Democrats & Liberals Archives

Being Partisan without Partisan Blinders

What is best for our nation? What is best for our society? What is best for our planet?

In a complex world, there is no one simple answer to such questions. World views can help us shape how we approach solving the world’s problems, but those views can also blind us to solutions that others may offer.

If you consider yourself a Republican, you may be convinced that most Democrats are more interested in seeing Republicans fail than in working across the aisle to solve problems. If you consider yourself a Democrat, you may be convinced that most Republicans are more interested in seeing Democrats fail than in working across the aisle to solve problems. Many Independents and supporters of third parties are convinced that partisan blindness in both parties has stalemated Washington's ability to solve anything.

We partisans are often guilty as charged. But not always. It is possible to be partisan without partisan blinders. But it takes discipline.

It is easier to remove the blinders in the immediate aftermath of a crisis. I can honestly say that in the days following 9/11 seven years ago, I was looking to our President - to MY President - with great hope that he would make good decisions, based on sound reasoning and a long view of the future. The polls which showed Bush's approval climb to 90% in the aftermath of that crisis are testament to the fact that most Democrats were NOT wanting Republicans to fail at that frightening moment in history. Even among the 10% who continued to express disapproval of Bush, I am quite confident that a large fraction did not WANT him to screw up. 90% approval did not mean that the country was momentarily mostly Republican, but rather that we were Americans first. It was an expression of hope that we would rise above partisanship.

Within two or three years after 2001, we returned to a state of deep division, and now seven years later we remain largely divided on where to go from here, in spite of having two candidates who both profess the intent to put country ahead of party. There have been times when I confess to wishing that a particular (usually Republican, but sometimes bipartisan) economic policy would fail, because I felt so certain that it was part of a larger policy direction which I saw as directly harmful to large segments of the populace. It's rather like hoping that your child who has an obvious gambling addiction does not have a run of luck luring him into taking foolish risks with larger portions of his nest egg.

In the arena of foreign policy, however, I have never been so cynical. As convinced as I was in 2003 that invading Iraq was an awful blunder, I truly prayed that those weapons would be found, Saddam would be toppled to the cheers of Iraqis, and order would be restored to Iraq in a fairly democratic fashion. I feared with good reason that it would not be so neat, but what transpired eclipsed even my fears. When the atrocities at Abu Ghraib were revealed in 2004, I was deeply saddened, but still hoped that Rumsfeld would quickly resign or be dismissed, the policies which nurtured such atrocities would be unambiguously repudiated by the Bush administration, some of our international reputation would be restored, and then surely we would elect a Democrat to the Presidency to restore it further. When I and many fellow Democrats were calling on my party in 2007 to be tougher about funding the war at current levels and demanding a commitment to a withdrawal process, and Bush responded instead (after the Democrats' capitulation) with a plan for a surge, I thought that was foolish. I believed it was too little too late, but nonetheless, I hoped in spite of my fears that it would work. Honestly, I have been relieved at the reduction in violence that has resulted since, certainly in part due to the surge. Though there is plenty of evidence that serious political problems remain unresolved in Iraq, the resultant reduction in violence may put us in a better position to draw down our overstressed troops. I am happy with good news, even if it may be spun politically to the advantage of those who advocate policies that I disagree with.

You can always find cynics or partisans who are so blinded by their own world view that they will spin ANY news to the advantage of their ideology. That is true of any party or any world view, so the existence of these cynics is NOT evidence either against or for whatever ideology they are trying to advance. Often we focus on the cynics or the demagogues or the corrupt politicians as if they prove the wrongness of their side, rather than recognizing that we should instead debate the issues directly. Often that focus is cynically intentional, due to the historic success of straw man arguments in lieu of solid analysis.

Partisanship is not evil in and of itself. I still believe that government ought to play an important role in regulating industry to protect the concerns of employees, consumers, and our environment. I believe my party is more likely to advocate such a role than is the Republican Party. But when Republicans and conservatives counsel that we must pay heed that regulation does not cripple the natural ability of markets to provide goods to consumers at competitive prices, we should see the truth in that and be willing to compromise accordingly, and make sure that new regulations are not too onerous or restrictive.

On a whole host of issues, from civil liberties - to foreign diplomacy - to a healthy partnership between science and government - to the rights of workers to engage in collective bargaining - and so on, I am more inclined to take a more liberal position and agree with Democrats more often. But that doesn't mean that I cannot also respect reasoned conservative cautions against excesses which might give too much authority to government or honor the rights of some to the detriment or danger of others. I am proud of my liberal values, but that doesn't mean that I don't have conservative values as well. Bush and Republican Congresses of the past have angered me often by their dismissive disdain for liberal values which I cherish, but they have angered ME as well for their abandonment of some of the best conservative values which they supposedly espouse.

This year we face a choice between candidates who both claim to represent a break from the partisan politics of the past. I will be heartily endorsing and arguing in favor of Obama whose speeches and writing eloquently and closely reflect my own beliefs and values. I will also be pointing to reasons to be suspicious that McCain and Palin will not be likely to become the change agents they claim, as they surround themselves with lobbyists and Republican partisans with heavy ties to politics as usual, and often when researched, real political corruption.

But let me also here confess to two things which my fellow partisan Democrats will cringe to read. I have no crystal ball assuring me that if he is elected that Obama won't capitulate to forces that honor the status quo, the influence of big business, and the most powerful lobbying groups of the traditional Democrats. In fact I am pretty certain he won't be able to completely avoid such influences, as we can already see in his pragmatic inclusion of advisors suggesting some of that. But the extent to which his campaign has been financed by many different individuals gives me real hope that he will be able to chart new ground in breaking with lockstep adherence to DLC initiatives or the politics of the past.

And secondly, as much as I worry otherwise, if McCain is elected you may be assured that I will be praying that his ascendancy to an executive role will free him to truly break with the past, root out corruption in government, return to his previous positions against torture, and against irresponsible tax cuts for the very wealthiest Americans, and challenge his own party where they are unduly influenced by money. In terms of policy positions, I will necessarily be disappointed, because McCain will be aligned with positions I believe to be flawed, but if he is true to his "maverick" persona, and a Democratic Congress can act as a balance, that would truly be a step forward from the Bush years.

So I have risked having my own words used against me. For some that is a cardinal sin of politics. But I do so for this reason: I ask readers of this column or any other to bear in mind that every writer will tend to reveal that which supports their beliefs and not their doubts. The person behind those words may be an ideologue incapable of seeing any alternate view point, but maybe they are not. Perhaps that writer who seeks to convince that Obama is a disaster waiting to happen, or that McCain is a sure ticket to World War III, actually hopes they are wrong should the candidate of their fears be elected. In this post, let me assure all that I will hope for the best regardless of whom we elect this November. In future posts, I may not sound so much that way.

Fellow liberals, conservatives, libertarians, communitarians, greens, Americans, and humans, Peace be with you all, and may wisdom guide our electorate and our future leaders.

Posted by Walker Willingham at September 15, 2008 9:21 PM
Comments
Comment #263062

Walker

Peace be with you all, and may wisdom guide our electorate and our future leaders

You were doing fine until you threw in that word wisdom. The last eight years have reflected everything but wisdom. You are using a word that covers a pretty broad area of associations with good judgment and insight. I certainly wish the best for this country no matter who our next president may be. An elected McCain however imo would insure another eight years of lack of wisdom. The GOP has proved to be anything but partisan, and their wisdom has not worked well for us. I am not sure that any republican president would have the power to buck the party of lockstep membership. Compromise is a dirty word in republican circles. On the other hand a republican president may have no choice but to be partisan. Even that though is no guarantee because if we look at the six years of unfettered GW, republican control, they were incapable of very little, if any productive legislation. They had the numbers to change the world for the better. Boy did they blow that one.

Posted by: RickIL at September 15, 2008 10:20 PM
Comment #263073

Walker, a well written article. You wrote:

Fellow liberals, conservatives, libertarians, communitarians, greens, Americans, and humans, Peace be with you all, and may wisdom guide our electorate and our future leaders.

RickIL replied:

You were doing fine until you threw in that word wisdom. The last eight years have reflected everything but wisdom. You are using a word that covers a pretty broad area of associations with good judgment and insight.

Yeah, wisdom is right out, for Republicans, Conservatives and Libertarians really don’t seem to have any these days. Maybe that’s because there can be no true wisdom without a large measure of compassion. As for wishing them Peace, I have to admit that I find it impossible to do that.

Even the act of wishing for peace has merely become a sign of weakness on the opposite side of the aisle. The kind of weakness that makes them believe it’s perfectly okay to take advantage of us in any way they can find. Seriously, all it takes is a few minutes with anyone on the right to realize that working toward peace is the sort of sentiment they never, ever bother to trifle with.
Indeed, in their minds they’re constantly at WAR with people like us. You know, the Democrats, Liberals, the Greens and the Communitarian types.

This is why as the years roll past they think nothing of using extreme and dehumanizing terms like TRAITORS and TERRORIST SYMPATHIZERS on us. Actually, anyone who stands to the left of these groups are frequently, almost automatically, labeled “Socialist” or “Communist”, when in reality only a very slim minority would actually claim those terms apply to them.
This is why we now see McCain and Palin very blatantly murdering the truth every single day on the campaign trail. It’s gotten so bad that they aren’t even embarrassed by the fact that they’re lying their asses off. No truth-telling, no shred of respect, no decency, no brotherhood or fellowship is warranted or due to people such as us. And their followers obviously also don’t care about truth, respect, decency, brotherhood or fellowship, either.

Because in their minds the end somehow always justifies the means.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s the “Free Market”, or an “Almighty God” they worship — or simply an overriding hatred for those who don’t share their own level of economic status and privilege — these people want nothing whatsoever to do with people like us on the Left.
Indeed, we’re “the enemy” who cannot be trusted — as much if not more so than actual terrorists who threaten this country. Thus, in their view every ounce of governmental power must be wrested from out of our hands, and put into theirs. Laughable? Yes. But even after all of the chaos, debacles, outrageous incompetence, and mismanagement of the GWBush years, these people still seem to think that they’re the only ones who should be entrusted with running America.

Even as the lives and limbs of our troops are sacrificed for no reason beyond a transparent desire to wage their wars for profit and/or to fulfill their absurd imperialist fantasies.

Even as our debts pile up, and up, and up, and our economy begins to fail, and so many American families are forced out of their homes.

Even as they destroy our reputation and our honor, and descend into the utter madness of torture and outright murder.

Even as science and learning become something to be sneered at, and relegated to a horrid kind of “elitism.”

Even as secrecy and cronyism becomes “just the way things work.”

Even as the rule of law becomes optional and our Constitution and Bill of Rights are nullified on behalf of “safety and security.”

Even as the health of the planet and all of her inhabitants hangs in the balance, while they continue to deny that a problem exists.

No it’s we who are at fault, we who are the problem, never themselves.

So unfortunately, I cannot wish them Peace, because I know damn well that Wisdom has nothing to do with their brand of guidance.
Instead what I wish is that they could begin to see themselves the way that I have come to see them: as a pack of brutal, hateful bullies who are so stupid, so unwise, so regressive, and so totally uncivil that they have completely torn this nation apart from one end to the other.

Sorry if this sounds overly harsh or dismissive of your fine article, but I’m only calling things the way that I personally have come to see them.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at September 16, 2008 12:38 AM
Comment #263083

Walker,
Good article, but you left out Uncivilized Gentlemen.

Veritas,
Why I couldn’t tell you why I cannot take away the Argument of Stupidity, I do believe that My Peers and the Children of the 21st Century can learn from the Debate of Stupidity held by the Democratic and Republican Leadership of America.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 16, 2008 3:46 AM
Comment #263092

VV,

I’m personally acquainted with many fine conservatives who desire peace and don’t hate liberals. I admit that most are not GWB supporters, but even there you may be surprised. Perhaps you should get out more and widen your circle, but at least try not to fall victim to the same intolerance and stereotyping that you see so readily in the other side.

Wisdom is available to anyone, even the village idiot. We can always hope.

Posted by: Walker Willingham at September 16, 2008 11:15 AM
Comment #263093

Walker:

Perhaps you should get out more and widen your circle, but at least try not to fall victim to the same intolerance and stereotyping that you see so readily in the other side.

Perhaps you shouldn’t direct statements like this towards me, when you don’t even know me, or know anything about how wide my circle happens to be.
The truth is, I wouldn’t even have written what I wrote if I felt I had no experience with a great many people on the right.
Indeed, I even have family members whose attitudes are a perfect reflection of what I wrote.
Currently, I’ve had even more exposure to such people — as I’ve been volunteering for Obama’s campaign. I’ve been registering voters and canvassing neighborhoods — two very good ways to come in contact with people of every sort and stripe.
So basically what I’m trying to say is that you have absolutely no idea the level of rightwing intolerance and abuse that people like myself are being subjected of late.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at September 16, 2008 12:23 PM
Comment #263096

Intolerance shows up in a lot of places in a lot of different forms.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 16, 2008 12:47 PM
Comment #263098

VV,

I too have encountered intolerance from some on the right. I suspect you and I would get along just fine, but I was reacting to the tone of your post which seemed to presuppose that EVERY person who might be Republican, conservative, or libertarian is guilty of all the awful things you say. Rereading your statement I see a pretty accurate indictment of the Republican leadership we have suffered over the last eight years. I don’t begrudge you your right to speak your truth as you see fit. I apologize for suggesting that you are cloistered among only liberals without having any personal knowledge of you.

Allow me to suggest nonetheless, that you imagine that just maybe there is an open-minded conservative out there who doesn’t vilify anyone who disagrees with him or her. (I can assure you that they do exist.) Now try to put yourself in such a person’s shoes and read your comment from top to bottom. Do you think it might put them off?

I know that there are snakes out there. I’m all for outing those snakes who have been identified. But even when I see a strong correlation between such folks and a particular ideology, I remain very cautious about using “they” language with generalized insults. I’m happy to expound however on why I believe an ideology is flawed or failing to take compassion into account. Good people get trapped up in bad movements.

Conservatism and liberalism are not movements. They are sets of values. They can and should coexist. Animus against either is misguided. Animus against a political party is a different beast and definitely understandable. We need multiple political parties to fairly represent actual values and not entrenched interests. I’m trying to work on my party to retain some of that, and I desperately hope that others will work to instill that into SOME other successful party.

Posted by: Walker Willingham at September 16, 2008 1:13 PM
Comment #263099

For a few weeks I’ve been thinking about writing a separate blog about how to think like a scientist. I get frustrated listening to partisans butcher both scientific issues and other issues with natural cognitive distortions like oversimplification, over generalization, and black and white thinking. People rarely appreciate being challenged about those, of course.
——————————
Vijay

Blaze Infotech

Posted by: vijayakumar at September 16, 2008 1:27 PM
Comment #263101

vv

“So basically what I’m trying to say is that you have absolutely no idea the level of rightwing intolerance and abuse that people like myself are being subjected of late.”

this statement shows your own intolerance of those with whom you disagree. remember people that live in glass houses should not throw stones.

Posted by: dbs at September 16, 2008 1:35 PM
Comment #263104


The only application for wisdom in our society is the wisdom to chose the stock that offers the best return on your investment. That is how we run our society. That is how we determine the path that civilization will take. That is how we have created a civilization that IMO, cannot be sustained.

VV: You correctly point out that conservatives and libertarians rely far more on reactionaryism than wisdom but, you seem to be implying, through omission, that liberals apply wisdom in copias amounts. This is just not true.

After the Republicans gained control of the government, I joined with fellow Democrats in a show of disapporval for thir leadership abilities and the terrible condition that our country is now in. A careful analysis of what the government has done during this period shows beyond any doubt that most of it was done in a bipartisan way. The Republicans were in the drivers seat but, the Democrats were leaning over the seat with one hand on the steering wheel.

While the Democratic politicians were bashing Bush and the Republican rubber stamp Congress, they were cooperating on most of the legislation and in return, the Democrats got more than half of the pork pie.

Posted by: jlw at September 16, 2008 1:49 PM
Comment #263106

Walker,
I am not trying to tar and feather every last person who stands on the right, what I am saying is that I know that the level intolerance and abuse that is being directed at people on the left has been increasing exponentially for quite some time and has never been higher than it is now.
I could be wrong, but I suspect that this has a lot to do with how people on the left have been treated by the Bush administration, the Rovian slime machine, and Republican members of Congress over the last eight years. Additionally it seems connected with how we are portrayed as well as treated within the media.
The words of so many politicians demonizing the left both subtlety and overtly for many years. All those screaming pundits who can’t allow anyone from our side of the aisle to finish a sentence, and who heap the most vile sorts of abuse on us. All of this has deeply affected American society for the worse.

It’s not as though I’m a sensitive and thin-skinned child or something. I’m a forty five year old woman who has been volunteering for Democratic campaigns since I’ve been old enough to vote. I’ve canvassed neighborhoods for our candidates many times over the years, and frequently came across some folks on the right who would go out of their way to be nasty. But I’m telling you that I’ve never before been subjected to so much nastiness and disrespect as I’ve experienced during this election season. Simply because people on the left are out there trying to spread our message and explain our candidates platform is now considered an an excuse or an opportunity to show as much disrespect as possible, to sneer hateful things, to yell abuse, or even threaten us with violence.
I’ve also never seen a campaign descend so far into the gutter as the McCain-Palin campaign has during this election season. Truly Republican contempt for people on the left has never been more obvious or palpable.

So, as I said, while I find wishing them peace pretty much impossible at the moment, I’m instead wishing that these folks gain a measure of self-awareness. Because if they do, perhaps they might begin to feel ashamed or embarrassed of what they’re allowing themselves to become.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at September 16, 2008 2:23 PM
Comment #263108

jlw - you are right about the Democratic capitulation to the GOPs whims in the last 8 years. After 9-11 I think there was an honest attempt by many on both sides of the aisle to do what’s right for the country. However, this was a lot more short lived than even Walker asserts. A couple of years was a couple of years longer than the forces of corruption took to turn an incident that should have brought us closer together into a bludgeon to not only bash liberals with but to steam roll honest members of their own party. Just look at what happened to John McCain. I have never been a fan of his politics, I have always thought of him as brash and rude but basically honest. He is anything but that now. The man who suffered horribly at the hands of George W. Bush in the 2000 primary did not learn the right lesson - which should have been our politics should not be sullied by such outrageous tactics. Rather, he learned that only through this tactic of personal destruction and the ends justifying the means has turned him into just another liar and a really bad one at that. Our party has demonstrated its lack of spine over and over again by capitulating to this wave of right wing hatred and aggression. I wholeheartedly believe that George Bush and Dick Cheney have committed heinous war crimes from starting an illegal war to engaging in wholesale torture including many innocent people and even minors. They should be tried and imprisoned for their crimes so that no one in this country or around the world will ever think that this kind of insanity had anything to do with being an American. Sadly, my party capitulated and our leadership has either turned a blind eye or given tacit approval to the worst sort of state crimes possible. Nancy Pelosi has taken impeachment “off the table” because, in part, she and the other members of the Democratic leadership knew about W’s crimes and are, in part, responsible for them. They deserve to be impeached and removed from their offices too. THAT would send the right message to the American people that we are better than the last 8 years.

The GOP has been hijacked by bullies and nitwits more interested in their own power than making America better. This movement has an anti-intellectual aspect to it that sees everything in black-and-white and if you aren’t with them then you are with the terrorists.

It hasn’t always been that way as evidenced in our Supreme Court. The court has been pulled in a very dangerous direction by incompetent jurists like Alito, Roberts, and their mentors Thomas and Scalia. The only thing saving us from a total repeal of the bill of rights, the balance of power, and the justice system are judges appointed by Bush 41 David Souter. While many on the right have treated him as a traitor, I think he has become the judge he is because he takes his job seriously and doing right trumps being right-wing. That cannot be said for the Bush 43 appointees. Sandra Day O’Connor was also in this mold. That integrity seems to be lost in the current political climate where winning is valued more than being correct - I intentionally didn’t say “being right” :)

The GOP has become so beholden to the christian wing of the party and the neo-cons that they don’t resemble a conservative party anymore. They appeal to the basest fears and desires of the public. Unfortunately, it has been successful because the American people did not live up to their potential and bought into this garbage and wen, like lemmings, over the cliff to a place where they actually believe that Jesus would have cared whether or not a government allowed two of its citizens to get married just because they were the same gender. Or that it is ok to torture and kill innocent people just so a few guilty ones get caught too.

Posted by: tcsned at September 16, 2008 2:45 PM
Comment #263109

tcsned:

Just look at what happened to John McCain. I have never been a fan of his politics, I have always thought of him as brash and rude but basically honest. He is anything but that now. The man who suffered horribly at the hands of George W. Bush in the 2000 primary did not learn the right lesson - which should have been our politics should not be sullied by such outrageous tactics. Rather, he learned that only through this tactic of personal destruction and the ends justifying the means has turned him into just another liar and a really bad one at that.
I think you’ll probably enjoy reading this op-ed: The Ugly New McCain Posted by: Veritas Vincit at September 16, 2008 3:14 PM
Comment #263110

tcsned:

Our party has demonstrated its lack of spine over and over again by capitulating to this wave of right wing hatred and aggression. I wholeheartedly believe that George Bush and Dick Cheney have committed heinous war crimes from starting an illegal war to engaging in wholesale torture including many innocent people and even minors. They should be tried and imprisoned for their crimes so that no one in this country or around the world will ever think that this kind of insanity had anything to do with being an American.

Indeed. There does happen to be some good news on this front:
For prosecution of Bush war crimes, planning begins

Sadly, my party capitulated and our leadership has either turned a blind eye or given tacit approval to the worst sort of state crimes possible. Nancy Pelosi has taken impeachment “off the table” because, in part, she and the other members of the Democratic leadership knew about W’s crimes and are, in part, responsible for them. They deserve to be impeached and removed from their offices too. THAT would send the right message to the American people that we are better than the last 8 years.

I Agree 100%. There are quite a few members among our own party who are guilty themselves, who have utterly failed to do their job, and who have gravely let down the American people.

The GOP has been hijacked by bullies and nitwits more interested in their own power than making America better. This movement has an anti-intellectual aspect to it that sees everything in black-and-white and if you aren’t with them then you are with the terrorists.

Again I agree, and I really couldn’t have said it better myself!

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at September 16, 2008 3:25 PM
Comment #263112

Walker said, “In this post, let me assure all that I will hope for the best regardless of whom we elect this November. In future posts, I may not sound so much that way.”

Walker, I will join you in that hope.

“While the Democratic politicians were bashing Bush and the Republican rubber stamp Congress, they were cooperating on most of the legislation and in return, the Democrats got more than half of the pork pie.”
Posted by: jlw at September 16, 2008 01:49 PM

Well said jlw.

Veritas, perhaps I can help you understand a little more fully what you may be experiencing. The Democrat Party has swung way to the left of its historic positions as a party (a time when I voted Democrat as often as Republican) in the past decade and has embraced social and governing positions that were once the province of the fringes of the party. The extreme liberal wing of the party has now become their center and it scares conservatives in both parties and Independents. There is no denying that liberals has grown in both their numbers and influence within the party.

Liberalism is a real threat to conservatism and diametrically opposed to our philosophy and beliefs. Imagine for a moment that you are of the Jewish faith and an evangelical Christian knocks on your door to give you a message of conversion. How receptive would you be? I would hope that you would politely say you’re not interested as would I. Some however, are not as diplomatically inclined and are unnecessarily provoked and display hostility towards the messenger rather than the message.

Surely you understand human nature at your age 45 and having been canvassing neighborhoods for candidates. My question Veritas…do you believe the hatred you have experienced is directed towards you, or to your message of conversion. And, is there any possibility that it is you who have changed and not those on whose doors you knock?

Posted by: Jim M at September 16, 2008 3:28 PM
Comment #263114

I find the notion that the left is being beaten up by the right somewhat humorous considering some of the things that was done over the past 30 years or so…

I also am intrigued with the notion that the right has become mean-spirited while the left is pleading and begging for unity and compassion for all. All the while excoriating their opponents as Evil, etc.

Really very interesting…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 16, 2008 3:39 PM
Comment #263116

Jim M:

My question Veritas…do you believe the hatred you have experienced is directed towards you, or to your message

Both.

of conversion.

There is no conversion being attempted on my end. This is nothing like the selling of religion. When volunteers canvass neighborhoods we are there to give voters information, to answer any questions people may have, and to have a conversation if they have the time, and wish to know a bit more about us and why we’re volunteering for Obama.
Perhaps this seems very strange to you that people like me don’t view this in terms anywhere near those of religious conversion, and maybe that’s because your party tends to think along such lines and has for years been employing preachers and church organizations to disseminate your political viewpoints.

And, is there any possibility that it is you who have changed and not those on whose doors you knock?

No, I still utilize the same good manners my parents raised me to have. If people come to my door trying to either sell me their religion or provide me with some political information that I’m not interested in, I simply tell them: ‘Thank you, but I’m really not interested.’
No, I have not changed at all in that respect. What I have noticed is a change for the worse in how more and more people whose political beliefs lean toward the right don’t think they need to possess good manners or demonstrate any toward people like myself who stand on the left.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at September 16, 2008 3:56 PM
Comment #263120

Veritas, thanks for your response. Knock on my door and I’ll even buy you a cup of coffee or a soft drink. Have we, as a people become more crass…perhaps, but I don’t think if that is true that one could place all the blame on politics or religion. Have a great day.

Posted by: Jim M at September 16, 2008 4:57 PM
Comment #263121
Indeed. There does happen to be some good news on this front: For prosecution of Bush war crimes, planning begins

Good luck with that, I would check out the conference but, even though it was broadcast on ustream, we can’t see it without paying a few bucks… Someday. Probably right after the election no doubt.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 16, 2008 4:58 PM
Comment #263126

Here’s an interesting read from the NY Times. It certainly is a new twist on a much debated topic.

Save the Environment: Drill, Baby, Drill

For the full story go here; http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/15/opinion/15hahn.html?th&emc=th

Posted by: Jim M at September 16, 2008 7:11 PM
Comment #263167

VV - It would be a good thing for this country to have Bush/Cheney tried for the long list of offenses they have committed. I would like nothing better than to see them on the side of the road in orange jump suits picking up trash. Not that they both would jump ship to Dubai and Halliburton headquarters to avoid a trial. Though a life in exile is ok with me too.

Since this post is about not exclusively using our partisan blinders, I firmly believe that anyone in the House and Senate that signed off on torture or any of the other crimes committed by this administration be tried as accomplices. Jane Harmon, Stenny Hoyer, Nancy Pelosi - whoever was involved should get matching orange jump suits too.

The danger to our country is that if these crimes are not prosecuted and even if President Obama doesn’t engage in the same crimes as his predecessor, the precedent that has been set in the last 8 years is dangerous not only to the rule of law but to our national security. It would send a great message to the country and the rest of the world that we make mistakes, sometimes huge mistakes, but we admit them, correct them, and put those who have committed heinous crimes in the name of this country in prison.

Not that this will ever happen because those in power will do what they have to to cling to it. They will claim that the political ramifications will cost the Dems the House and Senate, maybe even the presidency. I say “so what.” I would rather get rid of all of the rats on this ship and give power to an honest group of Republicans than to continue supporting a government with blood on their hands.

Posted by: tcsned at September 17, 2008 11:05 AM
Comment #263259

W W, the political parties in this country are a complete failure. Who are these people that want to hold political offices anyway? I never ran for anything, although I have been told that if I didn’t like the way things were, I should run for office myself. To get anywhere requires a level of toleration for the peculiarties of others, which is beyond my capapbility.

To be in the political arena, you lose your freedom of association, and probably have to turn off the part of your brain that controls critical thinking. Then the usual suspects show up like LDS missionaries or Jehovah’s Witnesses, to promote the idea that people must have things that they don’t want, but aren’t smart enough to know what they need, or that such and such an interested party deserves consideration in getting something special that they can’t get unless the government consents. The different parties just cater to different interests, but they all want things that are not in our collective interests to give to them.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 17, 2008 9:13 PM
Comment #263501

Reverend Wright On 9/11
Here are the post 9/11 quotes attributed to Barack Hussein Obamas friend and personal mentor.
“We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye.”
“We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.” (Sep 2001)

“In the 21st century, white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01. White America and the western world came to realize that people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just ‘disappeared’ as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring black concerns.” (magazine article)
With mentors who believe we brought 9/11 upon ourselves and deserved it, I cringe at the thought of Obama winning the Presidency and the blindness he may have to the issues of his mentor.

Posted by: Blind Vision at September 19, 2008 11:40 AM
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