Democrats & Liberals Archives

Why Do They Do This To You? You Let Them Get Away With It.

Why are comments like these, comments that would have been political suicide a decade ago, so common nowadays among Republicans? The title states my basic thesis: because folks on the right, for one reason or another, do not punish such misbehavior. They sometimes even encourage it.

They call it being politically incorrect. In the name of exercising their freedom to say what they want, the Republicans have lost their sense of when to bite their lips, and let the thought pass. And having lost that sense, those politicians are apt to say even worse things, which pressed to either defend or excuse, they all too often defend.

This time, I'm glad to say Republicans mostly recognized that there was little purpose in defending a comment about "Obama hunting tags". But we have to wonder what got this guy to the point where he could even, in jest, condone the killing of a President.

Truth of the matter is, Republicans have said things about President Obama no other president has had to suffer being spoken about him. They have challenged his patriotism, called him a terrorist and friend of terrorists, demonized him relentlessly, and even alleged his birth was not an American one.

They blame him for a deficit that, even if you don't count the recession's impact, is more than half theirs. In fact, we can say that about two thirds of Obama's responsibility for the current Deficit is in continuing the policies of George Bush, including the war he started.

What makes it worse is that Obama could have done his accounting like Bush did, and probably knocked off several hundred billion dollars. Instead, he owns up to it, and the figures are thrown back in his face.

But what makes this ultimately reprehensible, is that if folks let them get away with scapegoating Obama and the Democrats, what lesson do you think Republicans in Washington will learn? That you can spend like drunken sailors, and it will okay, if there's a Democrat handy to blame?

If anything happens bad in Iraq, a Democrat will be to blame, rather than the Republican who got America into that mess. It will be the media's fault. It will be the gays and lesbian's fault if we're attacked by terrorists again, the televangelists on the right will likely say. It's the Democrat's fault they can't be bipartisan with a forty seat minority that refuses to let any legislation pass.

And look at Sarah Palin! Palin can get away with being a total hypocrite as a reformer. She can be for the Bridge to Nowhere, before she's against it. She can spout bull-crap about death panels Euthanizing her baby boy, and what does the Republican leadership do about it? They join in the chorus of stupidity and craziness! She can write speeches and give debate answers that sound like somebody assembled them from those refrigerator magnet word kits, and the Republicans tell the rest of us, she's the future of the party, the lady with ideas!

A Texas Governor, a Republican, flirts with the idea of secession. Secession. We tried that before, didn't we? Had a little bit of a tussle over it? I wonder, does this fellow remember that the first President from his party opposed the breakup of the Union, even fought a war to stop it?

It mystifies me how the Party of Lincoln has become the party of Dixie, how they square patriotism with the support of a secessionist doctrine self-destructive to that country.

I just look at all this, and I want to turn to the average person supporting the Republicans, and ask them, how can you not hang your head in shame at this?

But I guess there's one key thing here: Republicans are afraid to lose. They've been told that the other party doesn't merely favor social programs. They favor Soviet-Style Communism. They've been told that the other side doesn't merely disagree with a belligerent diplomatic stance, but that they want to help America's enemies. They've been told that Democrats by and large didn't merely want to change the policy that drove America into unsucessful wars, they wanted to destroy the chances for success themselves. They've been told that Democrats didn't merely want to pay for the programs that they propose, but that they want to tax everybody into catatonic sticker shock. They've been told not merely that Democrats would want to start new programs, but that they want to spend our children and our children's children into the ground.

The net effect of these demonizations is a picture of the Democrats as the worst kind of fifth column, evil even.

I'd be the first to say it's not accurate. Not that many from the right would trust what I say, but I'll say it anyways. But worse yet, it's other net effect is, you folks on the Right won't kick out the bums even if they richly deserve it, because you've so grown to fear the alternatives.

And that's the entire point.

Fear. Fear leads people to consider folks fiscal conservatives who don't lower deficits, who absolutely reject raising taxes, even when they do not deign to lower spending any to compenseate. Fear leads people to consider folks who failed to give our soldiers the manpower, the planning, the equipment and the vehicles they needed, when they needed them, the supporters of the soldiers. It leads people to consider the folks who have repeatedly mismanaged the markets, allowing catastrophic failures to occur, the folks who can do the best for the economy.

And now, the folks who have so bitterly rejected Medicare tell us that they are Medicare's defenders. The folks who hold themselves up as bipartisan continue to stonewall a president and his agenda with the most strident claims of alien and suspicious philosophies on that president's part, with borderline ridiculous claims that he seeks to destroy the fabric of this country, even establish a Fourth Reich on Pennsylvania Avenue.

These are the most outlandish of lies, and they are believed because people have been disarmed of their good senses by bad information and undeserved relationships of trust. The the people who call themselves Republicans out there are no more evil or foolish, necessarily than any Democrat might be, but they seem to have had poison poured in their ear by folks playing Iago to their Othello, Wormtongue to their Theoden, advisers with their own agenda who have cut people off from anybody else who could provide an alternative point of view. These are your neighbors, your fellow American's you've been turned against, with stories that portray them all as if they are represented by the worst or most controversial elements of their society. And by this, ironically, people are encouraged to behave in an extremist manner themselves.

Twenty years ago, Republicans as a party were celebrating the diplomatic successes of their party. Now, the UN is a four-letter word, diplomacy war's weaker sibling. Twenty years ago two Republican Presidents were still alive who were willing to raise taxes to prevent deficits from spiralling out of control, even the former of the two, who Republicans hold high as a tax cutter. Now the most recent of the Republican Presidents cut taxes even at the cost of expanding that deficit, knowingly causing his party to borrow more.

Republicans could once be counted upon to reach across the aisle on occasion. Now they demand concessions after concession, but give absolutely no mind to even letting matters come to a vote. And Democrats are blamed for being too partisan.

I keep on telling people that I once was a Republican. Why did I stop?

Because the politicians in Washington were acting like bullies, and encouraging others to behave the same way. Because they were claiming to be redeemers of Washington from corruption, but even in early years demonstrated themselves to be no better. Because they flew that God-forsaken banner of sound science, which particularly offended me as somebody who knew the facts on what they were opposing. Because all dignity seemed to be flying out the door, and the crazies and the fringe seemed to be taking over.

Because the people in government seemed to be encouraging the worst out of Americans, encouraging unbounded greed, undoing the laws that punished those who didn't keep themselves honest in their dealings, defending polluters and others whose actions were objectively harmful in the name of the free market, and then flirting with the dangerous elements of the fringe, whose actions, far from being as noble as they were lionized to be, were an affront to the very law and order that folks like me believed in, a fact all too tragically proved at Waco and Oklahoma City.

How is it that a convicted felon like G. Gordon Liddy, or a man who sold arms to our enemies, like Oliver North, are given prominent voices in the movement? Why is a man like Glenn Beck even allowed out of a straitjacket and cell with padded walls? A man like Rush Limbaugh sits on his Pilonidal cyst-inflicted rear end, and berates those returning soldiers who don't come back and spread sunshine and flowers about the war as phony soldiers, yet folks on the right don't tear him to shreds for speaking ill of veterans. Why not?

Republicans have become the party that sees its power in that nobody can argue it down. Not its enemies, not its friends. It can hold onto its own beliefs with desired purity, and disregard any calls to change. It can use every member in the Senate to block legislation in a time of crisis, and not think twice about what it's doing. It can force those beliefs on everybody else when it gets the chance.

But here's the problem: it can't make those beliefs true, simply by force of will. It is not coincidence that as the echo chamber has gotten more tightly sealed, the party's policies became a nightmarish chaos of mistakes carried too far, solutions deferred too long, and wish fulfillment that makes one remember that sometimes the worse curses are answered prayers. The Republicans got what they wanted with these methods, and for their troubles, it destroyed their strength. They can celebrate their party's successful lowering of Obama's job approvals, but their own remain around where their former President's were. They're successfully playing to their base, but their base seems to be all they have left.

A change has occured. Look at the generational numbers, and you see a sharp divide. The old political order, however much it struggles, is dying, and will die as a new generation, one made cynical about the right by it's decades of misbehavior in power, takes over from their parents and grandparents. These are people who have never known the racial prejudices their parents knew. There are some in this new generation that don't even have memories of the Cold War, who might not have even been born when the Berlin Wall fell or the Coup in Russia spelled the end of Soviet Communism. The Republican Party has picked a fight with the wrong generation- the generation that will rule the country in coming years, and a generation for whom few of the old dogwhistles and dependable, pushable buttons function. The party leaders, buoyed by years of success with the parents and grandparents of these children, have gotten lazy, just as the New Deal Democrats did.

But it seems the Republicans burned out faster. Rather than take several decades to go from prominence to decline, it took one and a half. What was the difference?

The difference is a lack of isolation. Democrats were constantly forced to answer for their decisions, with a press that could be hostile as well as friendly. Republicans complain about liberal bias, but the media has never been that kind to the Democrats. Just look at these past few months. If the media's bias truly was liberal, you would see anchors turning around and offering scathing commentary on the Tea Partisans and their charges. The media would be defending Obama and the Democrats the way Fox News defended the Republicans and their decisions. Democrats, by being forced to deal with the practical results of their decisions, by not being given a free pass by the media that serve their constituents, are forced to be more knowledgeable, more competent, less corrupt, because they know folks are watching.

Especially now. Go explore the Liberal Blogosphere, and you won't see legions of Kool-Aid Drinkers. You'll see people who are arguing about the right and wrong of policies and bills, who are criticizing and praising different candidates, who write letters and make phone calls. It's contentious, and the Democrat or Liberal who steps wrong can find themselves in a world of hurt.

But what you'll also see is a strong concern for policy over politics. People care about the outcomes of policies, and hold their leaders accountable for them. There are those that offer apologetics, but there is a willingness among Democrats to speak up and voice opposing views, and a willingness to go past facile propaganda to find the truth.

Republicans, and by this I mean their supporters among the populace, need to realize that they don't do their people favors by covering for them, or by letting them shoot their mouth off. They don't do themselves favors by being hostile to Democrats and Liberals, or by taking propaganda stories about Liberals feeding off of babies seriously. They only create further disconnects between themselves and the rest of the country, between themselves and a growing segment of the population that believes differently, and will be the major demographic power in the years to come. They are sowing the seeds of long-term defeat for their party, in the name of short term recovery, for people who have not been held accountable for their incompetence and corruption.

Their victories no longer do the folks on the Right out their more good. They have led their people into the wilderness, and will lead them even further from home if they are allowed. It's time for Republicans to return to the world the rest of us live in.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at September 1, 2009 8:16 PM
Comments
Comment #287281

Stephen

Take a look at your own writing and those of your fellow Democrats on this blog and read what you said about Bush and Cheney.

Just below this post, you can still find people who think that Bush started a whole war to make some quick cash. We had all those stories of people being denied the vote. There were so many stories.

Nobody disciplined Howard Dean for saying he hated Republicans. Nobody stopped the lies about Bush.

Let me say again, anybody who compares an American president to Hitler, hopes he will be hurt or die or says that our president is using his position to steal money or enrich his friends is a pin head. All who do it should be ashamed of themselves.

BTW - you may want to check those opinion polls before you use that “we” word when talking about the majority of the American people. President Obama’s approval rating has dropped below 50% and he has a net approval rating of negative 11. No president has dropped that much that fast. Even GW Bush was doing better in August of his first term.

A the vast majority of the American people wanted to give the President a chance, but he is proving not up to the job. We all hope he learns quickly. I don’t think the congress led by Pelosi & Reid is redeemable.

Posted by: Christine at September 1, 2009 9:32 PM
Comment #287290

This is digging pretty deep to find something offensive to pin on Republicans, isn’t it?

A simple google search shows that this guy Rammell ran as an Independent for the Senate in 08, and that Republicans went to the Supreme Court to try and keep him of the ballot even then. Hardly somebody who is part of the Republican establishment. And now he’s a marginal vanity candidate trying without any apparent success for the Republican nomination for governor and has minimal support even among Republican primary voters. What’s more, his comments were condemned by all the Republican leaders of his own state—your own linked articles say so.

Say what you want about him, but if we’re gonna start scraping the bottom of the bucket like this, we can find all kinds of people on the margins of any party to whip up outrage about. It sounds like you brought on axe to grind here and you’re gonna find reasons to grind it no matter what the actual story is.

Posted by: Paul at September 2, 2009 12:03 AM
Comment #287294

Stephen,

Vote for Kinky!!!!

Posted by: gergle at September 2, 2009 12:12 AM
Comment #287302

Paul and Christine, you make good points, but, so does Stephen, as Republican Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is finding out. Gov. Perry you recall, entertained Texan secession from Obama’s union as a ploy to rallie conservatives to his reelection bid.

This last week, two gubernatorial challenger candidates calling for blood on American Streets and civil war, rallied conservatives at the Capitol Steps, demanding Perry live up to his words in support of secession. Perry is suddenly dumbstruck on the issue.

Grassley, Enzi and the other Republican on the Senate Finance Committee overseeing health care reform have all made public comments amounting to defeating health care reform for the American people on no other grounds than the Democrats came up with the idea. This crap has blowback.

Which means, when all is said and done, that if one is going to incite the public, they had bloody well be sure it is the majority of the public they incite to their side, or they will end up the losers for their efforts.

Yes, Democrats and Independents, including myself, conjectured motive and reasons to otherwise inexplicable and incomprehensible actions by the Bush Administration, like invading Iraq, or doubling the national debt of the budget books. But, in the end, the majority of Americans came to recognize that too many of those conjectures and motives were justified. Not all, but, enough to have garnered the worst presidential legacy since Nixon, and which lost the GOP all vestige of majority power in government.

And that Christine, is a substantial difference between the critique of Bush by Democrats on policy, and the ObamaHate, by so many Republicans and conservatives, today. The understanding, I think polls are going to show in time, is that underneath ObamaHate, is the perception of racist motives, pure and simple.

And if that proves to be the case, the GOP hasn’t a prayer in hell of coming back. The GOP position of resisting all things Obama, has real potential for becoming coffin nails for the GOP. The irony is, the GOP leadership knew this going into the election race. And now more and more are acting as if they never knew this, or have completely forgotten it. Dumb, very very dumb, if you ask me.

Not sure what poll you are referring to. Gallup 3 day moving tracking poll conducted since Obama took office shows a steady decline, entirely predictable, but, with Obama approval at 52% and disapproval at 42%. I don’t believe these numbers are unprecedented. And we are talking about a very short period.

WSJ had Obama’s numbers improving into June along with the rise of the stock market. June, of course, saw the beginning of the Health care reform debate, which is likely the single biggest contributor to Obama’s approval rating decline since July. If that is the case, and if Obama is able to turn this health care reform response around for the majority of Americans in coming months, it is just as likely his numbers will rise again along with the improving economy outlook.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 2, 2009 1:07 AM
Comment #287306

Christine-
There’s a tagline from the movie The Ghost and the Darkness: Only the most incredible parts of the story are true.

We do better than that, but the point is, you folks really did screw up that badly. Look at the wars we’re fighting, the deficits we’re running, the spying, the economic crisis. Just one of these events would have marred the legacy of a President, and Bush had all of these kinds of failures under his tenure.

Tell me, what were my lies in particular? What did I say that wasn’t true about Bush? That he spied on Americans and violated their constitutional rights? That he claimed excessive power with this signing statements on dubious constitutional grounds? That he mismanaged the Iraq war, not to mention gathering the evidence to support it, and failing to prepare for the administration of the country? That he took our eye off the ball in Afghanistan, with the recovery of the Taliban and al-Qaeda resulting, Bin Laden still a free man?

Was I wrong to say that what Bush’s policies inflicted on prisoners was considered torture under our war crimes prosecutions, and therefore constitutes torture under our laws and the standards of prosecutors who weren’t exactly bleeding hearts?

I don’t know. It just seems like it’s the defense of the Bush Administration that took leave of the truth.

As for being up to the job… who is up to trying to govern with a rigidly uncooperative Republican minority tied to their leg? If only a few Republicans would cooperate, we’d have a functioning government again. Unfortunately, the party has invested in its least rational, most viciously partisan faction as its base, with its leaders propounding lies so baldface that all independent sources shoot them down as the canards they are. Majority rules was so important, wasn’t it, when Republicans were the ruling party.

Tell me, do you support having up and down votes on senate legislation, or do you believe in the minority’s right to perpetually blockade the lawfully elected majority?

Paul-
I didn’t have to dig deep. This was frontpage news in the left-wing blogosphere. And it was far from the first such comment we’ve seen. Trust me, this is neither the worse, nor the most bigotted. It just happened to be handy.

If it had been a different time, I might have picked the one where Glenn Beck, rationalist he is, talks about murdering Charlie Rangel with a shovel back in 2001 (or maybe he was fantasizing out loud about strangling him to death). Or maybe the one where Rush Limbaugh, the man to whom all Republicans apologize when they say something cross about him, talked about the President’s healthcare in Kenya.

We have a never ending supply of wonderful comments like Michelle Bachmann’s recent call for Republicans to slit their wrists and make themselves blood brothers (and blood sisters?) in the service of defeating healthcare.

Trust me, I don’t have to dig deep. This stuff is top of the head, recent headlines.

Oh, did you hear that the Tea Partisan anti-healthcare bus tour is being arranged by the guy who tried to pass off a peaceful Turkish city street as one of Baghdad’s?

Don’t test me on this one, Paul, you will regret it, because there is plenty more face-palm inducing information where that came from.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 2, 2009 1:34 AM
Comment #287309

David & Stephen

I cannot believe that racism is the motivation for the drop in Obama’s approval rating. A majority of Americans voted for him and his approval rate just a few months ago was very high. Did these people suddenly discover his race and were shocked?

The Bush hate was profound. If I were to just take some of the Bush attacks from the pages of this blog, change the names and particulars to make them attacks on Obama, it would certainly be called hate and probably racists. Remember the cartoons of Bush looking like a monkey or a rabbit?

The test of fairness is turn around. If what is happening to Obama was unprecedented or unrelated to his actions or non-actions, you could call it unfair or racist. But there are plenty of explanations beyond those things.

IMO – Obama is a great orator and role player. People had high hopes based on these superficial qualities. But he has little substance and almost no experience as an executive. These things are now becoming apparent and people are unhappy. Some are angry at being fooled by his slick personality and well-oiled PR machine. They will probably overreact in the negative directions.

Stephen

The “you folks screwed up” is getting old. The Dems have controlled congress since 2007. THey have shown remarkable incompetence. They were saved from the perception of this by the blame Bush mantra. Now they are exposed and it is not pretty.

Tell me the truth. DO you really have any confidence in Nancy Pelosi? She runs strictly on ideology and weirdness. There is nothing there besides that. Barney Frank? Jack Murtha? Does the word crook leap to mind?

Posted by: Christine at September 2, 2009 7:29 AM
Comment #287311

Christine-
No, what’s getting old is that you folks are STILL screwing it up for the rest of us. You are still complicating what should have been a straightforward plan of economic stimulus in the face of an incredible Economic disaster, which your economic principles were key in bringing about.

I’ll say more later.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 2, 2009 8:35 AM
Comment #287315

What Stephen gets perfectly right here is this: The constant mischaracterization of proposed policy and legislation. Death panels!!!!! Oh, wait, didn’t the Republicans propose the same thing? only mandated? They’re gonna RATION your healthcare!!!! I must be the only person in America with a tightwad health insurance company that pretty much makes me bow & scrape for most care. Obama wants to SOCIALIZE medicine!!! Ever heard of Medicare? Sheesh!!

And, it goes on and on…..socialism this, nazi that. And, have you seen the birth certificate? Have you?

My perception is that an angry and petulant minority has the whole works ground to a halt. My question to you (republicans) is: What are you FOR? What do YOU propose to solve the problems we face? Being AGAINST is so much weaker than being FOR……what the f%^# are you FOR?

Posted by: steve miller at September 2, 2009 10:32 AM
Comment #287317
The constant mischaracterization of proposed policy and legislation.

Right, because that didn’t happen in the 90s when the Republicans were trying to enact reforms and were accused of ‘trying to kill grandmother’ by the Democrats?

And the Republicans were saying the same thing about Democrats just a few years ago, asking ‘What are you for!? You are just against the president, what are you offering up?’

It’s the same problem all over again, just change the names and faces (and parties) of the participants and away we go. No better example can be provided than to hear Nancy Pelosi call protesters ‘unamerican’ after she was the most vocal about that exact tactic being used against her and her party less than 6 years ago…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 2, 2009 10:43 AM
Comment #287319

“I don’t think the congress led by Pelosi & Reid is redeemable. “

It was a mistake for the Dmcrts not to change leadership after winning the WH. P & R already had their chance in the last Congress and weren’t able to do anything because the Rpblcns still existed. If the Rpblcn party wants to marginalize themselves as Dxcrts, then the Dmcrts should be glad about that.

“entertained Texan secession”

I wish they would do it, bring back the old “This is Klan Kountry” signs to attract like minded people, and then build a wall completely around themselves. The USA without TX would be a better place.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 2, 2009 10:59 AM
Comment #287320

Christine-
We are dealing with the complicated aftermath of your Party’s time in power most of the events didn’t just happen in the last two years; that’s just a convenient oversimplification. Did that 10% unemployment rate just pop out of nowhere, or did an economic crisis cause it? Did the economic crisis just happen out of nowhere, or did the chaos and collapse in the derivative markets bring it about?

Did the derivative markets get the way they were on accident, or were things allowed to get that way as a matter of Republican policy, the belief being that an unregulated derivatives market, with it’s wild-west rules and the lack of collateral requirements for the undertaken risks would benefit the economy?

I know you invoke Barney Frank’s name, and would likely blame it all on Democrats trying to open up the housing market, but the attempts to increase the housing market would not have cause the damage that was done last year in and of itself. Had the market been well regulated, we would have seen market forces inhibiting the risky behavior. Instead, under the Republican’s paradigm of both regulation and enforcement, market forces were allowed to encourage that behavior.

Had people been forced to maintain collateral in order to make those derivative contracts, fewer of the derivatives would have been issued, as real-money backing would have forced a limit on leveraging. Had the credit ratings been forced to take account of actual riskiness, or if people had been paying attention, the brokerages would not have been able to sell much of the mortgage securities they did to the investors looking for safe bets.

Had the laws required greater transparency in the Mortgage Security’s contents, the tranches that compose them, there might not have been the confusion as to what the different securities were worth, and the credit crunch would not have occured as the banks turtled up.

Had the laws discouraged predatory lending, the market for laundered debt would have lost a major feedstock, and things would not have gotten so overheated. We would also have seen fewer foreclosures. Yes, the housing sector would have been less lucrative, and the recession more obvious, but the market would have been fluctuating naturally, rather than being bubbled up. The housing industry would not be undergoing the absolute depression it’s in now.

And if the Glass-Steagall laws had not been repealed, the financial system not allowed to consolidate across sectors, the collapse of one sector, one set of financial institutions would not have been such a blow to all the rest of the sectors.

We are partly responsible for this. But we had to buy into or defer to your party’s championing of these deregulations or regulatory changes in order for us to become part of this problem.

These measures provied the critical pathway of weaknesses that allowed our economy to fracture. Had it not been for them, the push for greater homeownership, nor even, in some cases, the default of so many mortgages would have been the broad spectrum economic disaster these things became.

The worst part is, the worst of the crisis behind us, folks like you, and folks like those on Wall Street are pushing for a return to normal.

The normal that created the problem.

It’s the same across the board. Your party has not learned. Having not learned, not repented of its actions, it cannot truly be forgiven. You have to accept the wrong of your actions to be truly contrite, and the Republicans have not. Instead, the Republicans simply consider what happened to them a mistake on the American people’s part.

Do I have confidence in Pelosi? Well, it seems like she manages the place well. Harry Reid, though, is insufferable at this point. Murtha? If he has to resign or gets kicked out, I won’t mourn him, despite his truth-telling on Iraq.

Democrats are not Kool-Aid drinkers on our leaders. We’re very hard-eyed and critical about them. They don’t have the kind of unconditional faith and deference the Republicans are given from their constituents, it seems. Our number-one concern right now is getting what we want from our leaders. Arguments as to how to do this are pervasive. But out of that comes consensus. Most Democrats want a strong Public Option. We want our folks to stop dilly-dallying with the blockading Republicans and start pushing stuff through. The Republican had their chance to govern as a majority, and they blew it. It would be rather decent of them (not to mention more honest) to let the Democrats rise or fall on their own actions, rather than force inaction on them through procedure.

Ohrealy-
Watch it. Me and David R. Remer are both Texans. We like our state just where it is.

Rhinehold-
Republicans have made a point of promising to undo Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. We could honestly say that this would render many old folks destitute, reduce their access to healthcare.

Care to guess how that would affect their life expectancy?

We had alternative policies. We had alternative budgets, alternative versions of bill funding the war, bills we wished to offer up to achieve some of the ends we were seeking to achieve.

Only they didn’t often get let out of committee. Republicans were no more open to bipartisanship then than now.

As for Pelosi? She said their tactics were un-American, shouting down people and trying to silence them, disrupting the forum.

I’d love to know what was the last time you actually answered any of my arguments without alleging the Democrats are doing the same things as the Republicans.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 2, 2009 11:20 AM
Comment #287323

Barney Frank should be SOTHOR. He was headed on that track until something came out. Then Rahm E thought he could get there, but he got sidetracked. Daschle is still working some levers from behind the scenes.

“Texans” need to be taken down several pegs. They always think they know what they don’t know, reference the previous occupant of the WH. Born in New Haven, schooled at Yale and Harvard, and the texas still wouldn’t wash off of him.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 2, 2009 11:47 AM
Comment #287329

Stephen, the Republicans were not able to able to enact their full agenda when they held power either.

If the Democrats are not responsible for the current state of things when they hold majorities, and their excuse is current Republican obstruction and the previous eight years of Republican control, then the Republicans weren’t responsible for their failings as the majority either and for the same reasons.

To his kind of partisan thinking, nobody is ever responsible for anything, whether they hold power or not, because they were never allowed to really do everything they wanted and were prevented from doing so by the minority.

Tit for tat, one groups blames the other for the past and the other can turn around and say that the past wasn’t their fault to begin with. At this rate, we’re gonna have to start wondering if the problems didn’t begin when the Mayflower crossed the ocean to America. Or maybe Adam and Eve are to blame. Certainly none of us are! You certainly don’t think that Democrats are anything but the most blameless of angels.

Republican screw-ups when they held power were legion. Most of the things they WERE able to do had to be done with bipartisan cooperation—such as tax cuts, the Patriot Act, senior drug benefits, the Kennedy-supported No-Child-Left-Behind bill, and yes, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. So now, whatever one thinks of those things, they are not merely “Republican” actions. The things they failed to address, like the growing mortgage crisis, could not merely be solved by muscling through their “agenda” because they weren’t allowed to, just as the Democrats are not able to just muscle through their agenda now.

Neither the past nor the present are purely “Republican” or purely “Democratic” creations.

We can go round and round with this kind of thinking, but what really matters is where the buck stops now. And that’s with who holds power. Like it or not, Obama’s crash in the polls and the fact that Republicans are now dominating the general polls about congressional preference is a result of a majority American population feeling the same way. Republicans lost power because they were held responsible for the status quo, as they should have been. And now the same is going to happen to Democrats until the cycle starts all over again. The finger-pointing and blame game feels good to the partisans, but it doesn’t stop the rent from eventually coming due.

Posted by: Paul at September 2, 2009 1:06 PM
Comment #287331
Republicans have made a point of promising to undo Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. We could honestly say that this would render many old folks destitute, reduce their access to healthcare.

No, they made a point of promising to REFORM SS, Medicare and Medicaid. Your side did the same thing, make conclusions based on what you thought ultimate motives were and used the same hyperbole that the Republicans are using now. They wanted to make cuts in the increases scheduled for Medicare and Medicaid and wanted to allow younger people the ability to move up to 3% of their SS payments towards Mutual Funds. Hardly the same as ‘putting old people’s retirement into the stock market’ as was suggested.

Now that the shoe is on the other foot, it’s just not FAIR.

We had alternative policies. We had alternative budgets, alternative versions of bill funding the war, bills we wished to offer up to achieve some of the ends we were seeking to achieve.

Only they didn’t often get let out of committee. Republicans were no more open to bipartisanship then than now.

And every Republican amendment to the bills have been voted down. Democrats are no more open to bipartisanship than they were then.

I’d love to know what was the last time you actually answered any of my arguments without alleging the Democrats are doing the same things as the Republicans.

I’d love to know when was the last time you posted an article that wasn’t ‘The Republicans Suck because…’

Since you keep wanting to make your side appear more ‘moral and righteous’ than the other, I will keep pointing out the hypocrisy of that sentiment.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 2, 2009 1:08 PM
Comment #287336


Stephen, we will get a health care reform bill written by the health care insurers. My advice, start making excuses for your party’s politicians and the President.

Blame it on the Republicans, blame it on the health insurers, blame it on the willful ignorance of the American people, blame it on anybody and everybody but Obama and the Democrats.

Sometimes a political party has to do what’s best for the country even if it may be bad for the party. This is something neither party is willing to do except when what is best for the corporations is labeled as what is best for the nation.

Posted by: jlw at September 2, 2009 1:42 PM
Comment #287338

Paul said: “If the Democrats are not responsible for the current state of things when they hold majorities, and their excuse is current Republican obstruction and the previous eight years of Republican control, then the Republicans weren’t responsible for their failings as the majority either and for the same reasons.”

Bingo!@ Which is why the bleak future of this nation can only be turned around by voters who, take up the bi-partisan anti-incumbent banner and wave it vigorously on election day, after election day, after election day, until the parties acknowledge that the people (especially the independent voters who now control election outcomes) will no longer be ignored and marginalized where the direction of this country is concerned.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 2, 2009 2:16 PM
Comment #287340

“Nobody stopped the lies about Bush. “………
That is because they weren’t lies. And the biggest lies came from Bush himself and his henchmen and handler Cheney. And now the lies are coming from the anti-Obama crowd who just can’t get over the fact that there’s an educated, intelligent, colored fellow in the White House.

Posted by: capnmike at September 2, 2009 2:29 PM
Comment #287343

Christine,

All that Dem party obstructionism in the nineties you speak of…is that the one that followed like little lambs to slaughter; NAFTA; GLB and other deregulations? Under a Dem Pres and a Rep Congress? Is that the one you mean?

Posted by: Marysdude at September 2, 2009 2:33 PM
Comment #287346
First Bush was Hitler, now Obama is Hitler.

Let’s clear something up right now. All US Presidents are going to have some bad ideas, regardless of which party they’re in, but until they kill 6,000,000+ people for having ‘inferior genes’, let’s hold off on the name calling.

My sentiments exactly…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 2, 2009 2:41 PM
Comment #287347

Oh, and for the ‘inciteful’ suggestion by captainmike regarding racists, this one’s for you.

http://photos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs232.snc1/7935_597251481354_27300743_34929346_1432627_n.jpg

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 2, 2009 2:43 PM
Comment #287349

Lets not forget Rep. Wally Herger R-CA, calling a “proud right-wing terrorist” a “Great American”, after the avowed terrorist received a strong round of applause from the entire crowd. Herger continues to stand by his comment:

“Congressman Herger stands by his statement in support of his constituent,” said a statement on his website this week by his press secretary Matt Lavoie. “Mr. Bert Stead is a taxpayer and veteran, who, like so many others, is rightfully fed up with being called “un-American”, or “extremist” or a “political terrorist” by liberals in Washington, for simply exercising his First Amendment rights.”


“Mr. Stead served his country and therefore he is a great American. The Congressman doesn’t at all regret commending him for standing up, exercising his free speech rights, and expressing his strong concerns with the direction liberals in Washington are taking our country.”

(http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/nov05election/detail?blogid=14&entry_id=46350)

Watch it on youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yw060QwkUE

Posted by: Calvin at September 2, 2009 2:43 PM
Comment #287350
So a libertarian and a statist have a discussion…

A: “I am taking you off my friends list”
B: “Why? Are you some kind of closed minded assh@#le?”
A: “Sort of. I am not open to negotiation on certain topics, one of which being my basic right of self governance”
B: “oh there you go again. We have a government, deal with it, you’re just mad because you lost”
A: “I’m mad because I don’t trust you to look out for my best interests”
B: “why not? It’s not like I am evil”
A: “what wouldn’t you do to me, if 100 of your friends agreed was right?”
B: “what are you talking about?”
A: “if 90% of the population wanted to execute me for the hell of it, should they be able to?”
B: “of course not”
A: “if 90% of the population wanted to take some of my money, because I have more than most people, should they be able to?”
B: “that’s different”
A: “how do I know what is and isn’t ok for you and your friends to do to me, if only you can agree amongst yourselves that you ought to do it?”
B: “what?”
A: “is the only thing that keeps you guys from agreeing that I ought to be put to death your mutual abhorrence about being thought of as murderers?”
B: “what are you talking about? We can’t just kill you. Who’d want to?”
A: “why can’t you?”
B: “its illegal and stuff”
A: “you guys make the laws now”
B: “we wouldn’t make a law like that”
A: “why not?”
B: “because we don’t want to go around killing people”
A: “but if you wanted to, you could make a law that let you?”
B: “….”
A: “ultimately, what protects me from you guys doing anything you want to me, if only you could agree to make it legal first?”
B: “nothing, I guess. That’s what a democracy is”
A: “Well, sort of. Luckily, we don’t live in a democracy, we live in a constitutional republic. The constitution is supposed to keep the government from ever passing a law that says a bunch of people get to kill me just because they feel like it. The constitution is supposed to limit the power of the government, which means it limits the power of the people. The constitution is supposed to keep me safe from you, and you safe from me”
B: “whatever, that’s fine. Why do you keep talking about killing people?! Nobody wants to kill anybody.”
A: “because it illustrates a point – today, nobody wants to kill anybody, but you told me that if a bunch of people changed their minds, they could make a law saying it was ok to arrest and kill me. Presumably, they could also throw me in jail, or make me wear plaid, or any other number of things… anything you could get enough people to agree on would be fair game, if only enough people agreed to it”
B: “someone can shoot up a school today if they want to, or shoot you in your house? so what’s the difference?”
A: “everyone understands that those people are criminals, and are evil”
B: “look, do whatever you want. Nobody is after you for anything so lighten up. You’re always like this”
A: “it’s hard for me to continue a friendship with someone who thinks they can take my life, my money, my freedom, or do anything else they want to to me.”
B: “I DON’T THINK THAT!!!!”
A: “so I should get to keep all of my money then?”
B: “everyone has 2 pay taxes”
A: “why?”
B: “because it’s the law, and because society needs money to function.. it’s the price u pay of living in a civilized place”
A: “so you think it’s ok to take my money from me”
B: “duh. Are you stupid?”
A: “what makes it ok?”
B: “because everyone has to pay taxes”
A: “everyone doesn’t have to pay taxes. Some poor people don’t pay them”
B: “argghh.. people that have money need to pay taxes so that the whole society functions”
A: “what else do some people have to do that others don’t? And why?”
B: “because that’s the way it is. The system has to be fair. People with nothing obviously can’t pay taxes. The people that have money pay to keep the system running”
A: “this system lets you make any law you can agree on, and lets you apply it to some people and not others based on any criteria you can agree on. Doesn’t that sound scary? Doesn’t it sound like anyone can do anything to anybody?
B: “so?”
A: “I’m not interested in paying to keep that system running. I don’t want any part of it.”
B: “because you’re a selfish bastard and you’re mad that we’re finally getting some real change in this country”
A: “we are getting some real change, but it’s been in the works for a long time, and I think it’s change for the worse. You think unregulated democracy is fine, but that’s not what America is, and that’s not what it was designed as, and that’s not what the constitution says. I want the constitution to have the power it’s supposed to have – the power that keeps your laws off my body {and off my money, and guns, and everything else}. You seem to think that anything you want to do to me is fair game, as long as enough people will do it with you.”
B: “nobody wants to take your guns or money or anything else, stop being paranoid”
A: “I disagree, but that’s not even relevant. That you think it is OK or even legal that someone might want to do those things to me is what creates the chasm between us. In your world view, you, I, and everyone else are slaves to each other, and we exist only because of the apathy or benevolence of everyone else. And you defend this system, this arrangement. So say it to my face, in clear words: I need to control you. We are all each other’s slaves, we are all each other’s property”
B: “you’re a sick bastard. Nobody is talking about slavery or killing or anything except you”
A: “then let go. Tell me that you don’t want to control me, and that I’m free to do what I like”
B: “whatever.”
A: “Look, I’d like to retain your friendship, but first you’ll need to recognize my right to exist. This isn’t a privilege you or society grant me – it’s a right I was born with, and that needs protecting from a population that fancies itself a degreeless democracy. As long as you want our relationship to be master and servant, I can’t call you a friend”
B: “bye”

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 2, 2009 2:52 PM
Comment #287353

Calvin,

You are JOKING here of course, right? After being called a ‘right wing terrorist’ by the left, someone stand up and says that they are proud to be called that by the left, and somehow people now actually think he *IS* a terrorist?

What the &*#@@! has gotten into people?

(BTW, SFGATE, what a great source!)

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 2, 2009 3:05 PM
Comment #287355

BTW, Stephen, just so we can keep up the ‘the left does it to’ discussion based on the premise of your article…

http://hotair.com/archives/2007/07/12/peace-dividends-kossacks-purge-st-cindy-nobel-winner-could-kill-george-bush/

In a keynote speech at the International Women’s Peace Conference on Wednesday night, Ms. Williams told a crowd of about 1,000 that the Bush administration has been treacherous and wrong and acted unconstitutionally.

“Right now, I could kill George Bush,” she said at the Adam’s Mark Hotel and Conference Center in Dallas. “No, I don’t mean that. How could you nonviolently kill somebody? I would love to be able to do that.”

Or

The right-wingers who think nothing but the worst of Cindy Sheehan probably won’t change their minds after reading Peace Mom. In the book, which hits bookstores September 19, the antiwar icon admits she has fantasized about going back in time and killing the infant George W. Bush, thereby preventing the Iraq War.

And

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Look, let me ask you this. Where are you on capital punishment?

MALACHY MCCOURT: Capital punishment? I think that if, if I’ve got to find that guy in Spain who indicted Pinochet and get him for war crimes, and I get him to do the same thing for Bush. And in that case, I would be for capital punishment. Otherwise, I am against it. Spitzer, who is the other guy running here, he is for capital punishment for those who kill policemen. Well, my son is a cop in New York, and if somebody killed my son, and it wouldn’t do me any good or give me any satisfaction to sit there in some death house in Sing Sing and watch them put some other person to death because they killed my son. That would not cheer me up one bit, Chris.

MATTHEWS: You just sound like a liberal Democrat, Malachy.

And

Did Gov. Steve Beshear really say what Joe Gerth is reporting he said at the democratic party fundraiser Friday night? According to Gerth’s column in the C-J, Beshear joked “I can think of only one Republican who can be a problem-solver,” Beshear told the crowd. “And that would be Vice President (Dick) Cheney, if he will just take George on a hunting trip.

Yeah, this is a new level that the Republicans have sunk to, definately…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 2, 2009 3:20 PM
Comment #287356

Democrats demonize Republicans and Republicans demonize Democrats. When they both have the same paymasters.

Posted by: Mike the Cynic at September 2, 2009 3:26 PM
Comment #287361

Rhinehold
I don’t care if he is really a terrorist or not. If he isn’t a right-wing terrorist, he should fight the label. Similar to the “Hitler” label, no American should call another a terrorist until the other commits some terrorist activity. But any American who would willingly, proudly share a category with Timothy McVeigh, even in name only, yes, scares the **** out of me, and should be roundly condemned by all responsible members of the political system.

You may say that he wasn’t serious. You would probably be correct. But still, NOTHING can ever excuse calling oneself a proud terrorist and NOTHING can excuse that crowd and congressman’s support and applause.

If you want to argue that there are also left-wing terrorists, I know. I’m from California and am quite familiar with animal rights and environmentalist nuts.

All sides (there are more than two!) of the political debate have their intellectuals and respectable characters, and their nutjobs and morons. Whose are worse,more numerous or more powerful is largely a debate that depends which side you’re on. For this reason I think it is largely pointless. Both you and Stephen can probably marshal endless quotes and articles demonstrating how awful the other side is and how wonderful yours is. Whatever.

I think (and hope) the vast majority of both parties are largely rational and respectful. Maybe I’m naive. But I think a fundamental part of civil society is the ability to conduct a civil, respectful discussion. I disagree with some of Obama’s ideas, and disagreed with some of Bush’s ideas, but I will not question their motives or sincere desire to improve America. Unfortunately, civil, respectful discussion does not sell so well in the corporate media, and news has been replaced by entertainment.

Posted by: Calvin at September 2, 2009 4:11 PM
Comment #287364

Mike the C., what makes it all so confusing is that a lot of that demonizing by both sides is warranted, and a lot of it is not, and even more applies to both sides. No wonder 60% of Americans polled say they are confused about the health care reform issue, eh? It’s kept me up nights, researching, I can tell you. Most folks don’t feel they have the time for that kind of endeavor.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 2, 2009 4:22 PM
Comment #287367

David I think you misunderstood my comment. I’m not confused at all (while not much) Obama cut a deal with the pharmaceutical companies that was probably more profitable than the deal bush cut with them. The insurance conglomerates are salivating over having 40 to 50 million new customers. Most of the big players are on board. Just like the energy bill— We’re going to stop global warming by giving coal and oil a bunch of subsidies.

The only thing they want me to remember is that I must vote for the other guy because the opposition is so bad I can’t waist my vote on a third party!

UNTIL WE GET THE MONEY OUT OF THE PROCESS NOTHING WILL CHANGE!

Posted by: Mike the Cynic at September 2, 2009 5:18 PM
Comment #287368

Stephen:

“If only a few Republicans would cooperate, we’d have a functioning government again.”

If only a few blue dog Democrats would cooperate, we’d have a functioning govenment again.

Why do you need to republicans to cooperate? House majority, 60 votes in Senate and President. It speaks to the perceived radicalism of the legislation that your own party members are balking, and the need to modify the legislation to appeal more to the center. Why should someone cooperate with something with which they don’t agree? I recall that this was stated as “patriotic duty to dissent” by the Democrats a few years ago.

Posted by: Mike in Tampa at September 2, 2009 5:31 PM
Comment #287370

Paul-
No full agenda? Well, that’s not a problem for my argument, as I did not argue they got everything. But you guys got much of what you wanted.

Not merely Republicans at fault? No problem, I wasn’t arguing that the Republicans did things without Democrats helping them.

The problem is not that Democrats are not being allowed to do everything they wanted, the problem is that the GOP minority is doing something the Democrats never did: filibuster most bills of consequence, and require sixty vote majorities for everything. That means we can’t have a single dissenter, a single person saying they don’t want the vote to go forward.

That was never a problem your party had to contend with. You can talk about where the buck stops, but that’s for what we’re doing.

What about for what the Republicans are doing? The filibuster was never meant to be a means for the minority to stall the majority’s agenda, because Go help you if your party wins and you’re faced with the same things. The Republican’s behavior right now isn’t merely unique in it’s wrong as far as what Democrats did before them, it’s unique in it’s wrong as far as what previous generations of Republicans did!

You should be held responsible for what you’ve actually done. Democrats have been put in a position where a highly improbable degree of absolute party unity is expected, in order just to VOTE on their policies, much less successfuly pass them!

But who cares, it’s only a Democracy here, it’s not like the principle of majority rule should count for something. Let the sore losers of the other party stall legislation at a critical time in our history for their political benefit.

Quit acting like this unprecedented bad behavior should be considered normal and okay. This crap is pathological.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 2, 2009 6:04 PM
Comment #287371

Mike in Tampa-
Perceived radicalism. if that’s the truth, if there isn’t a majority to support it, let us fall down on our face with an up or down vote. Oh, and by the way, those Blue Dogs are significant only because nobody in your party is budging.

The Democrats as a whole do not have a policy of blocking Democratic Party policies. The Republicans do.

But that’s not what’s happening. Your folks are preventing the votes completely. I wonder why they would do that, if they thought everything was so radical it wasn’t popular. The only reason to use a filibuster threat is to block legislation that has a potential to pass by a majority otherwise. Why bother otherwise?

The Democrats should not be expected to force every one of their people to vote a certain way just because the Republicans have decided on a policy of the same, in defiance of the voter’s clear wishes. We should let the chips fall where they may.

What is your objection to good old fashion Democracy, beyond the policy you don’t like that might pass?

Rhinehold-
No, if you listen to what they say, reform is often the last thing on their minds. Look for yourself. Oh, and reform is often a codeword among them for privatizing things, turning a government insurance program into a Wall Street crapshoot.

Polling for a Public Option, is rather good, when it’s explained properly. So are the other policies. The irony is, it actually saves money over time, according to the CBO. Yet it’s the first and most viciously attacked target among folks like you and the Republican. Why?

Because it doesn’t fit your agenda.

Oh, and as for your habitual use of those counterexamples?

Mister, I argue from first principles. If that means that those people you talk about are wrong, then they are wrong. I don’t argue that Republicans are wrong for being Republicans.

You? You just say that a liberal did it. So what! Are we supposed to accept their wrong behavior together? NO! That would make it normal. That would enshrine it as appropriate. Is that really your argument? Should we really be tolerating joking about the murder of a president, because somebody else did it?

I am willing to be consistent AND stand up for the value that I affirm by rejecting that behavior. That’s better than your foolish consistency of foul behavior, in my book.

As for those sources? Yes, a political cartoon that sockpuppets the founding fathers is a real good reason to oppose healthcare in the 21st century for all Americans.

I thought I was plain about my attitude about constitutionality, in saying that you have to have a court decision first, invalidating other similar govenrment insurance programs. Then, and only then can you say “Don’t do universal healthcare, it’s not constitutional!” You cannot adjudicate the case yourself as a private citizen from a precedent of wishful constitutional thinking.

As for somebody calling themselves a right-wing terrorist? If it’s a joke, it’s a bad joke, in poor taste. Just ask the victims of the Oklahoma bombing. The Right is so hypersensitive about things, that they can’t tell that unless they themselves stood up as right-wing extremists, and advocated this crap, they wouldn’t be counted subjects of that report.

Do the Republicans and Right Wingers have more in common with these people, in terms of sentiments and ideology than they would like to admit? If not, they should just say, we know this report is about loonies and extremists, and we think such people should be stopped from doing harm to their fellow Americans.

Why should folks on the right not feel free to say that? Why instead do they feel it necessary to make believe that it’s all just a liberal plot to defame them?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 2, 2009 6:30 PM
Comment #287373

Stephen,

Because they are ditto-heads, and can’t think for themselves. Sean, Rush, Anne, What’s-e’s-name-the -crew-cut, O’lylie have spun such a spell that Republicans have turned into Zombies, and taken half the libertarians with them. Ever heard of the Pied Piper? Watch the lock-step.

And they seem to be confused about something else as well…Hitler was NOT a Communist, so it would be impossible for him to be a Hitler Communist. I wonder which one they REALLY think he is…h, yeah, the Devil…oh, welll…

Rhinehold, I think the proof is in the pudding on Cheney/Bush. Obama has not been there long enough for his pudding to have jelled yet.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 2, 2009 7:23 PM
Comment #287380

Steve Miller

I personally would go for a Scandinavian system that treats everyone equally and would accept the diminished choice and service. In return we would have lower cost and virtually eliminate law suites and lawyers. I don’t think that is possible under the current proposals.

I don’t speak for “the Republicans” but this seems like a really excellent and thought out free market proposal - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204251404574342170072865070.html


Stephen
Politics has much less to do with the details of the economy than politicians like to think. We have a worldwide slowdown. The U.S. is the biggest, but not the only player in the world economy.

I bring up Barney Frank and could think of some others because they actively sought to create some of the conditions that caused the housing collapse.

You want to blame Republicans for everything. The economy did very for most of the time Republicans controlled congress and VERY well some of those years (1995-2000 and 2003-7) In fact, it is interesting, although maybe incidental, that the years when Dems were in control of both parts of congress 2007-now) and in control of half of it (2001-3) were the bad times.

You specifically mention Glass-Steagall. Do you recall who was president in 1999 when it was repealed? In fact, lots of those regulatory changes were made under Bill Clinton.

Now let’s think logically. You accuse Republicans of being able to block what Dems want to do now, even though they are very weak. Democrats ALWAYS had a stronger hand in previous congresses. Why did they go along? If Republicans can have such an impact now, surely Dems could have had a greater impact then, if they wanted to.

Your partisan polar view is just wrong. The constant accusations don’t make sense. It is not how our system works. According to you nothing good happened from 1995-now. I wonder about your point of reference. I am almost 55 years old. If I think of all the 12 years periods I have lived through, 1995-2007 is the best, I don’t think throwing it all out would be a smart idea.


Rhineold and Stephen

Rhinhold makes an excellent point about Democratic hate.

But, let’s try this. What if I said this about the new CIA investigation?

A year of investigation. The usual congressional leaders came and made dark pronouncements, accusing the Bush officials of Watergate style cover-up. Cute. I wonder something: will the Democrats feel this good about this kind of political maneuver when the next high-casualty terrorism attack occurs, and the next investigative committee finds they didn’t learn from the last one?


What about this talking about the health plan?

The Administration’s standards of behavior are uniformly low. This is one example of many.

With health care, they intentionally lowballed the costs of the government option. With stimulus spending, they gave one reason for spending when they claimed to be stimulating the economy, then gave a completely contradictory reason when things started to pick up. Justifying the their health care proposals, the administration knowingly used information that was considered unreliable or false by the very people they’re now scapegoating.

It’s not even necessarily some penchant for dishonesty as much as a disregard for the difference. Maintaining their received truth matters more than telling or ascertaining the truth in common practice.

If the words sound familiar, most are yours, BTW.

Posted by: Christine at September 2, 2009 8:22 PM
Comment #287382

Mike the C. said: “The insurance conglomerates are salivating over having 40 to 50 million new customers.”

That is NOT cutting a deal. That is a natural consequence of universal health care insurance. No deal cutting. Of course universal health insurance would provide the Pharma’s with more business. What has that got to do with any backroom deals? I will answer my own question. NOTHING!

Just because a policy will create certain corporate beneficiaries, does not mean the policy was created for that purpose. There is no conceivable policy that could come out of Wa. D.C. that would not be viewed as beneficial to some and costly to others. None. Obama, however, I assure you, did not call for UHC insurance IN ORDER to line the pockets of Pharmaceutical corporations.

The NASA program benefited an enormous number of companies via the innovations developed for NASA, from Tang to mylar to hydrogen fuel cell advancements. But, those beneficiaries were not the purpose of NASA spending or policy.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 2, 2009 8:29 PM
Comment #287383

Christine, all crimes are committed in the past from the point of view of investigators and the Justice System. Are you really arguing that rapists and murderers should not be investigated or prosecuted because their crimes are in the past?

Really? Same logic, Christine.

And what is this fallacious argument your comment presents, alluding that investigation WILL be causal to the next terrorist attack, or at a minimum perceived as such? Have the terrorists not been attacking us for decades now, and is it not safe to assume they are planning more attacks regardless of whether torture investigations are conducted or not?

Are you not pandering to the lowest common denominator of the uneducated and unintelligent in our population who would illogically extrapolate thusly?

A little logic is called for here.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 2, 2009 8:36 PM
Comment #287386

David

Re the terror attack, thanks for proving the point about Democratic hyperbole. I merely copied one of Stephen’s comments from a couple years ago and substituted turned it around. That extremism is, in fact, or Democrat provenance from this very blog. I am glad you find those Dem statements extreme. Of course, I would be ashamed to make up such things myself.

Re your more general point about crimes, we generally don’t reopen cases that were settled unless we find new evidence, nor to we create special prosecutors to search for crimes unless we have a reasonable belief they took place. The career professionals at Justice declines to take the cases. This is just political.

But - fine - this will be another Fitzmas. In a REAL court of law, such innuendo doesn’t stick. This will be Holders folly. Let’s hope it doesn’t cost too much or ruin the careers of too many civil servants.

Posted by: Christine at September 2, 2009 8:56 PM
Comment #287388

David and others

Now that I think of it, it might be fun just to mine the old comments from liberals on this blog and switch the names and details around from Republican to Democrat. After all, liberals are really much better at attacking than I am. I bet lots of Dems will be appalled by the vitriol of the attacks. Then I can just refer them back.

Posted by: Christine at September 2, 2009 9:20 PM
Comment #287396


David R., you still seem to be confused by the comments of Mike the Cynic.

“Obama cut a deal with the pharmaceutical companies that was probably more profitable than the deal Bush cut with them.”

This is in reference to the assurances given to the pharmaceutical companies that government negotiation on prices will not be included in the Health Care Reform Bill even though high pharmaceutical prices are a significant factor in healthcare costs. It is the reason the Pharmaceutical companies are for reform this time around.

“The insurance conglomerates are salivating over having 40 to 50 million new customers.”

This is in reference to mandatory health care insurance that is about to be passed. The insurance providers are going to get millions of new customers. Some of them are young healthy immortals who can afford but don’t buy health care insurance and the millions of new customers that the government will be subsidizing premiums for.

Posted by: jlw at September 2, 2009 10:26 PM
Comment #287397

Christine-
Republicans are hitting the president for the outlandish, implausible things they claim he will do.

We hit Bush on the outlandish, unbelieveable things he actually did.

Understand this: even if true, it’s a crappy argument you’re making. Tu Quoque (you as well) arguments have the singular weakness that they rely on discouraging the other person from making a claim by attempting to shame them over some real or imagined hypocrisy. Problem being that the the person on the defense hasn’t actually exonerated him or herself. Bush would still be as guilty of the things we accused him of, even if Obama is guilty of the same things.

It’s all just you saying that things under Bush were no different than they are going to be under Obama. It’s essentially this game of trying to claim that this is just the way things are, so just live with it, and stop trying to change it.

But sorry, some of us don’t want to live with this crap. We didn’t merely want change because Obama told us we wanted to, we really do want it. The status quo is unacceptable.

As for the economy? Politics may not have an effect, but policy does. And policy, not politics, was what I focused on. What banks were allowed to do, like consolidate and run brokerages, what people selling derivatives were allowed to do, what people selling mortgages were allowed to do. I made a simple argument: regulations blocking bad behavior in any one of these areas could have prevented last falls outcome.

Additional argument for economic effects of policy? Wall Street Journal is reporting Stimulus had significant effects on the economy, raising growth and ending the recession.

One can continue to emphasize a political dogma, or one can accept that the world does not organize itself around the axioms of our logic.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 2, 2009 10:38 PM
Comment #287404
But who cares, it’s only a Democracy here, it’s not like the principle of majority rule should count for something.

MMMM, no, it isn’t a Democracy and no, majority rule should not be allowed to violate the individual liberty of the minority.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 3, 2009 1:57 AM
Comment #287405
No, if you listen to what they say, reform is often the last thing on their minds. Look for yourself.

I have and yes they were talking about reform.

Oh, and reform is often a codeword among them for privatizing things, turning a government insurance program into a Wall Street crapshoot.

Oh dear, the ‘codeword’ thing again. I pointed out what the deal was, it had nothing to do with ‘a wall street crapshoot’, but since when did FACT enter into it, hyperbolic statements about things that WEREN’T in the bill and mean to frighten people against voting for something…

Weren’t you just arguing AGAINST that?

Polling for a Public Option, is rather good, when it’s explained properly. So are the other policies. The irony is, it actually saves money over time, according to the CBO. Yet it’s the first and most viciously attacked target among folks like you and the Republican. Why?

Because 1) I believe it to be unconstitutional and 2) it would cause a conflict of interest among the federal government and it’s job of oversight and 3) as written it would allow Medicare and Social Security to dip into the General Fund and 4) it brings politics into the area of healthcare where it definately should NOT belong…

Because it doesn’t fit your agenda.

Oh, I thought you were going to let me answer before you put the answer into my mouth… I guess you don’t really need me for this anymore do you? Arguing in a chamber now are we?

Oh, and as for your habitual use of those counterexamples?

Mister, I argue from first principles. If that means that those people you talk about are wrong, then they are wrong. I don’t argue that Republicans are wrong for being Republicans.

You don’t? LOL

You? You just say that a liberal did it. So what! Are we supposed to accept their wrong behavior together? NO! That would make it normal. That would enshrine it as appropriate. Is that really your argument? Should we really be tolerating joking about the murder of a president, because somebody else did it?

No, Stephen, I just want you to quit making the case that the Democrats are better than Republicans by nature because Democrats would NEVER behave such a way. It’s getting tired and old.

THIS is what you said as the first line of your article “Why are comments like these, comments that would have been political suicide a decade ago, so common nowadays among Republicans?” Except it WASN’T political suicide a decade ago when YOUR party was doing it and it ISN’T common nowadays among Republicans. Some people then thought it was funny then and some people now thought it was funny now. Those people can be ignored as being unfunny and ignorant.

But LYING, which is what you did as I have shown, in your article about the situation to make a point about how ‘desperate and evil’ the Republican party is for tolerating this type of behavior… Why should I accept *THAT* as well? Should we allow people like yourself to go around trying to convince people that the Democrats are inheritly good while the Republicans are evil bastards?

Because this is what your articles, for the past 5 months, have been about. Every one.

I am willing to be consistent AND stand up for the value that I affirm by rejecting that behavior. That’s better than your foolish consistency of foul behavior, in my book.

It has nothing to do with ‘foolish consistency’, it has everything to do with the attempt to shut down the views of your opponents because they use the same tactics that you used. Fight what they say, beat them on facts, but quite demonizing someone for going ‘beyond the pale’, as you suggest, when they aren’t acting any differently than politicians have acted for decades, including your own party.

As for those sources? Yes, a political cartoon that sockpuppets the founding fathers is a real good reason to oppose healthcare in the 21st century for all Americans.

Oh my, you mean the cartoon that I thought was funny was not effective in changing your mind? That’s a good thing since that wasn’t what I was trying to do. I just thought it funny and thought that those that think like myself, someone who cares about liberty and the constitution, would find it funny. I had no allusions that you would find it anything other than a violation of all that is good and holy.

I thought I was plain about my attitude about constitutionality, in saying that you have to have a court decision first, invalidating other similar govenrment insurance programs. Then, and only then can you say “Don’t do universal healthcare, it’s not constitutional!” You cannot adjudicate the case yourself as a private citizen from a precedent of wishful constitutional thinking.

No, but I can surely not support something because I think it is unconstitutional and can try to convince others of the same. Are you going to say I am not allowed to do that now?

BTW, it is very clearly not constitutional to make a federal law stating that people have to have insurance. You have no precedent to hang on that one and even some rulings that point to it being very unconstitutional.

And if you can’t force people to get insurance, how can you fix the problem of the uninsured when most of those people could get insurance now if they wanted to?

As for somebody calling themselves a right-wing terrorist? If it’s a joke, it’s a bad joke, in poor taste. Just ask the victims of the Oklahoma bombing. The Right is so hypersensitive about things, that they can’t tell that unless they themselves stood up as right-wing extremists, and advocated this crap, they wouldn’t be counted subjects of that report.

Let’s see… the left routinely calls people who dissent with them ‘right-wing terrorists’ and ‘racist’. So someone, tired of it, stands up and says he is…

And you have a deep-seated problem with that.

And you don’t see a problem with that? How some people might find that going out of your way to try to shut up people you disagree with? You don’t see the parallel in a woman standing up and calling herself a ‘bitch’, when she clearly isn’t, because she has been callsed one by men for most of her life?

And you REALLY REALLY think that people thought he was saying he supported McVeigh by saying that in the context is was said in as an obvious push back on the labels being forced upon them by the left?

In that case I really just don’t think it is possible to get any kind of rationality at all from the left anymore…

Why instead do they feel it necessary to make believe that it’s all just a liberal plot to defame them?

Because when something walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

Hell, even in these comments here we are told that anyone opposing the President is a racist. You really expect people to believe that isn’t a plot to shut people up and/or defame them so that their views are seen as invalid before they are even made or heard?

Because, that’s one thing the left has been really really good at for decades. And perhaps they’ve just been doing it so well for so long that they don’t even recognize that they are doing it anymore…

How many times have I been called a racist or selfish on these pages? Ignoring of course that I have black ancestry and work for several local charitable foundations. It’s just a tool in the arsenal of the liberal. Just like ‘un-american’ and ‘unpatriotic’ is a tool of the Republican.

Those of us who defend both sides for those actions and then have them thrown at us by the very people who we defended get very very very tired of it… just to let you know, even though you won’t hear it…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 3, 2009 2:26 AM
Comment #287412

Rhinehold-

MMMM, no, it isn’t a Democracy and no, majority rule should not be allowed to violate the individual liberty of the minority.

I don’t think that most Americans you ask will make that distinction. They do not assume that there is a difference between

1) having elected officials elected by majority or plurality, and

2)representative institutions they belong to passing laws principly by majority,

and having a Democracy.

Besides, we already have rights, imperfectly drawn up and enforced as they are, not only in the constitution, but in the statutory law as well. But what you’re defending at this moment isn’t a constitutional right.

At some point, we have to have a way to resolve where this country’s government is going to go. Right now, what you’re defending is a distinct minority using a parliamentary tactic to block all legislation it feels threatens it’s power politically. And not for some grand cause, but simply to win the next election on falling poll numbers. They’ve said so themselves. This is a cynical political manuever you’re defending.

I don’t say that the Democrats are better by nature. They could make the mistakes, and sometimes do. But right now, the Republicans, as a party, are committed to continuing and maintaining that error, rationalizing and justifying what they did wrong, rather than repenting of it and undoing the damage.

As for your allegation of hypocrisy?

Van Jones, an Obama Adminstration official, just apologized for calling Republicans a bad word before he was a part of Obama’s staff. Dick Durbin was forced to apologize for even putting the American and Nazi interrogators in the same sentence.

Yet Chuck Grassley, a supposed moderate, can talk about Death Panels, and he doesn’t have to make a tearful mea culpa on the Senate floor.

We are being called to task for saying that the tactics that people are using are unamerican- shouting down others, intimidating them, while the Republican media figures and politicians calling them on the carpet openly allege that Democrats are going to take over the country and destroy its freedoms, destroy “real” America.

We can’t even decry mob tactics used in meetings that are supposed to be orderly and civil, without being accused of being uncivil, and the same people are making us out to be enemies of the state, socialists on a rampage. You regularly accuse us of being anti-constitutional and you think nothing of it!

You think nothing of this drama and demagoguery. To you, it seems perfectly natural to accuse liberals like myself of not believing in the constitution, because we don’t agree with your interpretation.

I didn’t lie about anything. As a rule, I don’t like to go out on a limb like that. The claims I make about Republican behavior can be backed up with documentary evidence.

The Republican Party isn’t evil, but it is desperate, and it’s a desperation that’s unfortunately fermented in the juices of the party’s isolation of of itself from independent media criticism. Their news organizations ultimately work for the very party they are supposed to be keeping a check on, are lead by advocates for the party’s cause.

Democrats have to face a media which doesn’t necessarily back their plays or kiss their butts. It’s frustrating at times, especially in the light of declining journalistic standards, but it keeps us more honest than we’d otherwise be. We know we’re accountable to folks who aren’t obligated to tell our side of the story or help us out.

Fight what they say, beat them on facts, but quite[sic] demonizing someone for going ‘beyond the pale’, as you suggest, when they aren’t acting any differently than politicians have acted for decades, including your own party.

Look, all I want is a normalization of things. I look at all the things the Republicans are saying and doing, and I see a tremendous imbalance, not to mention a frightening level of disregard for the public peace and discourse.

It’s not merely that people are lying or fudging the truth. It’s that the lies have reached such a crescendo of brazen dishonesty that the other side is practically living in a parallel universe. It’s not merely that things have become contentious, but that these movements have taken on a measure of intimidation tactics that eerily reflect other dangerous extremist movements in history.

It’s not merely that Republicans are blocking things this time, but that they have used the parliamentary rules to make an unconstitutional number the threshold for passage of legislation, resetting the goalposts for the standard of majority rules in a way that has no constitutional grounding.

As far as what people get called?

Why don’t I admit that some Democrats see prejudice where it isn’t, and get overheated about matters sometimes?

Then why don’t you admit that personalities like Rush Limbaugh say contemptible, prejudicial things, yet still get kowtowed to by folks on the right, treated as a reliable source.

The irony of the Right-Wing Terrorist meme is thick. A Report was issued warning law enforcement officials of Right-Wing Extremist activity, not unlike an earlier report on left-wing extremists. Was it the Democrats who politicized it, called attention to it, made the Republicans and their fellow travellers victims of false association with those people?

No. If you look back through the news, it was the Republicans who first called media attention to it, who acted like it was somehow targeted them, and then having self-inflicted that association, then proceeded to act like the Democrats were victimizing them.

That probably in part is one reason many Democrats aren’t too sympathetic to a guy who calls a man who just self-identified as a right-wing terrorist a real American.

But of course, the other reason, and I will tell you this, is that Democrats and Liberals are genuinely scared by the craziness and ignorance, the manipulations. We’re fighting for a return to rationality, for an end to policies that bankrupted this country and squandered its power and prestige, and the Republicans seem to be going all out to incite a movement meant to keep things just as they are, even, it seems, to the point of violence.

Understand that the people that the Right is riling up are putting a very sinister threatening light on the Right Wing, all by themselves. There’s not much Democrats like myself have to do to scare people with this stuff, rather than just pass it on.

Do you understand the shape of the problem here? Republican politics has become so toxic to a majority of the country, that it’s not even necessary to do real work to demonize anybody. They’re demonizing themselves, by becoming so aggressive and transgressive in their actions that they scare people on their own accord.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 3, 2009 8:53 AM
Comment #287421

I have to say that Stephen nailed the current situation. I am a fiscally conservative, socially left leaning voter. Been married 27 years to the same woman. Go to church, etc. I do everything most Republicans would admire with the exception of two things:
a) I don’t complain about taxes when I have more than enough money in my life
b) I don’t ridicule those who think differently

I don’t know how many of you conservatives receive DOZENS of emails scathingly critizing anything “conservative”. Yet I do receive DOZENS of emails criticizing and blasting anything moderately liberal. Most of these are hate-filled and anything but “Christian”. This is primarily a Republican phenomenon. Almost the entire public speaking events at the Republican Convention were morosely sarcastic themes aimed at the “community organizer” Obama. Is that the best they can do?

You conservatives on this site might be able to argue that you use facts and data to support your positions. Believe me, that is not the case in 95% of your fellow Republicans. This is so true that I have sworn off discussing any politics with conservatives. There simply is no debate. All I get is a berating of how I support things which are UnAmerican, anti-God, Pro-Socialist, and all things evil. This is their “argument”.

Like Stephen, I too see ‘liberals’ arguing and discussing changes needed in their own party’s policies. Rarely seen in the conservative side.

I’m stating my position. You conservatives can disagree. Fine. Personally, I have decided that life is too short. Fortunately for me, I owe no one any money. I have plenty of assets to see me through the rest of my life (I’m 53). I am semi-retired and teach 5th grade in an inner-city school, but I’ll quit when I get tired of it.

I feel bad for the poor, but I cannot help them until they wise up, learn how to stand up for themselves and take the government into their own hands. As for the many middle-class and wealthy conservatives that I see and deal with on a daily basis, my response to them is that I don’t feel one whit sorry that they are so angry that they can’t get on with enjoying life. They have as much money/assets (or more) than me, yet they are filled with hate and bile. They seem to have no reserve when it comes to blaming others for their self-induced misery…. so forget them. I’m going fly fishing and playing bluegrass with a smile on my face. I won’t blast you if I disagree with you, but I’m not putting up with your crud, your lies, your hate, or your angst. You keep that.

Posted by: LibRick at September 3, 2009 11:33 AM
Comment #287422

stephen


“Do you understand the shape of the problem here? Republican politics has become so toxic to a majority of the country, that it’s not even necessary to do real work to demonize anybody. They’re demonizing themselves, by becoming so aggressive and transgressive in their actions that they scare people on their own accord.”

painting all republicans with the same broad brush is getting old, and the whinning on the left is really starting to get annoying. things aren’t going your way, so once again it’s those evil republicans, WHAAAAAAAAA!!! maybe if you get ALL the house, and senate seats you can get your agenda moving. somehow i doubt it though, and once again it’ll be those nasty mean spirited republicans even though there aren’t any. JEEEEEZ !!!

Posted by: dbs at September 3, 2009 11:38 AM
Comment #287425

Several decades ago we’d have called them lynch mobs, they are just that scary.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 3, 2009 11:53 AM
Comment #287430

jlw, thank you for the points of clarification on my replies to Mike the C. You are right, I was not picking up on that reference in the comments I read. I will go back and review the comments for what I apparently missed in his remarks.

Appreciate it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 3, 2009 12:37 PM
Comment #287433

jlw, No, I have reviewed the comments, and Mike the C. has NOT provided a single link or shred of evidence to support his assertion.

Therefore, my original replies to him stand.

I can assert that Bush was an extra-terrestrial, but, without evidence, it is just ET horned fecal matter. Mike the C. needs to provide evidence to support his assertion, if he is to persuade anyone with an intelligent skeptical capacity.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 3, 2009 12:50 PM
Comment #287436

Christine said: “we generally don’t reopen cases that were settled unless we find new evidence, nor to we create special prosecutors to search for crimes unless we have a reasonable belief they took place.”

That is a looney tunes comment, Christine. Show me your survey of the career civil servants at the Justice Department. What a crock of inventive B.S. Because you can assert a falsehood, you think that make the assertion true and valid? What a waste!

Our government officials authorized and tortured human beings. Torture is against our laws and treaties. Those are FACTS Christine.

Should we let this Guardino guy go because his kidnap and rape and psychological torture of that 11 year old girl happened in the past, and we all want to look forward? What a waste of logic education if any at all stands behind such conservative commentary.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 3, 2009 12:58 PM
Comment #287438

Christine, that was a lot of effort to demonstrate the obvious, that Democrats engage in hyperbole just as Republicans do. So, are you trying to make the argument that Republicans are no better than Democrats and vice versa and each justifies the other’s baseness, and our country is better off for this kind of rationalization?

Your comments appear to support Republicans. Why NOT expect and demand better of your fellow Republicans than what Democrats have to offer. Or, is it too much to give up hyperbole as a dishonest debate tactic because fact based debate is harder to persuade with? And here I thought Republicans believed in hard work. OoopS!

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 3, 2009 1:04 PM
Comment #287443

dbs-
Let me break it down for you so it’s not misunderstood. At best, it seems, there is only one Republican Senator willing to cross the aisle to move anything else than a Republican lead effort on policy. The folks we tried to get to cross the aisle to break the stalemate, to break the filibuster, have not done so.

This despite all the provisions we put in from Republicans in the Committee, including the one they would later decry as the Death Panels. This despite all the negotiating we’ve done, even against our better interests.

The Republicans could have validated this kind of departure from strict party-line interests. They’ve just about killed it, instead. They could have gone out on their own, represented their constituents instead of maintaining the party-line blockade with the rest of their party.

The Republicans have decided to vote alike, speak alike, speak for the same identical platforms, and so on and so forth. You tell me: when will somebody speak up with a difference of opinion, somebody in Washington who doesn’t follow the party line?

One uses a broad brush to paint something plain, without detail, and distinctions are what make the detail. I will get out my detail brush when you show me the shape of some thought that distinguishes itself from the background, when you show me the kind of crazy tumult in your party that people can plainly see in mine. I mean, where are the blue dogs in your party? Where are the guys who vote with the liberals, who compromise more?

Where are the ever-loving bipartisans?!?!

Don’t blame me for reducing your party to stereotypes. You folks have done it yourselves.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 3, 2009 2:17 PM
Comment #287470

stephen

“The Republicans could have validated this kind of departure from strict party-line interests. They’ve just about killed it, instead. They could have gone out on their own, represented their constituents instead of maintaining the party-line blockade with the rest of their party.”

earth to stephen, you have 59 senate seats, 60 if you get teds back. you won’t need a SINGLE republican vote to end cloture. it is the democrats that are not united, that is the problem. sorry can’t blame the republicans, that dog won’t hunt.

you have an overwhelming majority in the house. you don’t need a SINGLE republican vote. once again it is a lack of unity in the democrat party that is holding up your agenda. at some point you’ll have to put down the koolaid.

Posted by: dbs at September 3, 2009 8:25 PM
Comment #287472

Stephen

My perusal of this blog finds dozens of times when Bush was accused of invading Iran, preparing to grab a third term, stealing elections and worse. He did none of these things.

You cannot seem to see the truth. What people are saying about President Obama now has the same mix of truth, hatred and innuendo as what you guys said about President Bush. Just because you disagree with some and support the other doesn’t change that. People now saying outlandish things about Obama probably think they true. They certainly ARE at least or more true than true as Bush’s invasion of Iran, stealing the 2004 election and grabbing a third term.

I understand why you would want to run away from some earlier phases. Even if they were true (and BTW we did not suffer another mass casualty attack in the U.S. as you implied) it is more the tone that I was copying. You are complaining about the tone Obama opponents are using, but it is not different and some ways more moderate than Bush opponents used.

And I don’t want to jump into your argument with Reinhold (again) but there is certainly a distinction between majority rule and individual liberty. That is at the heart of our rights.

Beyond that, polls now show that a majority of Americans oppose the health care proposals put forward by the Dems. If you actually believe in majority rule, you have an answer. The latest Rasmussen poll (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/obama_approval_index_history) shows that a majority of American disapprove of President Obama. Go figure. But that is why you have to be careful with identifying your policy with “the people.

The Democrats hold all the power. They can do what they want. They can go against what the Republicans want and they can go against what the people want. But they are NOT noble warriors for the will of the majority.

BTW – the Republican Party seems to have no leadership at all, so it is hard to attribute anything to their plan. The irony of this astonishing turnaround is that the Democrats have done it to themselves.

Posted by: Christine at September 3, 2009 9:40 PM
Comment #287474

David

The “Facts” are not yet known. Earlier Justice Department officials found no cause to prosecute the cases now being reconsidered. They did convict one contractor, BTW.

Re career Justice Department Officials – I depend on this from the NYT, which nobody has challenged with any facts - “Decisions on whether or not to pursue action in court were made after careful consideration by career prosecutors at the Justice Department. The C.I.A. itself brought these matters — facts and allegations alike — to the department’s attention.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/24/us/politics/24detain.html.

If you have additional information, perhaps you should bring it to the attention of the Attorney General. He seems to reach for such things.

Re showing Democrats engage in hyperbole – I needed to go through the effort to square the silly idea that Republicans were acting in some novel way. Yes, Republicans can sometimes act as stupidly as Democrats. We proved it. I enjoyed zapping them with their own words and I am glad that you thought that what they said was out of bounds.

Stephen has written a whole series based on the invalid assumption that Republican attacks were somehow meaner than Democratic ones. That is why I had to use his own words. I will predict, however, that it will not work to end the accusations.

The reason I cannot really demand Republicans be better than Democrats is unfortunately because such tactics work. Democrats will always use them and I cannot advocate unilateral disarmament. Besides, some of the outrage is in the eye of the beholder. Some Democrats evidently believed some of the “facts” they spread about Social Security & Iraq and even all those stupid 9/11 conspiracy theories. Some Republicans believe some of the “facts” about Obama and the Democrats that Democrats get mad about.

Posted by: Christine at September 3, 2009 10:00 PM
Comment #287475

BTW, Christine, don’t forget that the new Green Jobs Czar, who Stephen has mentioned already, Van Jones, is a truther…

Yet he is defended. Imagine a Republican defending a birther…

http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/back-story/2009/sep/03/green-jobs-czar-signed-truther-statement-in-2004/

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 3, 2009 10:55 PM
Comment #287478

dbs-
I fully understand it. But as part of my post shows, I don’t like that folks leaning towards your party’s ideology in my party aren’t showing more loyalty to the party’s cause.

But you know something? All this crap is only necessary, because the Republicans have decided as a party to blockade the Senate. If even just a few decided to buck the party, just as some of ours have, we could have up and down votes. It’s only because of the Republican’s display of historically unprecedented partisanship that we are having this conversation.

We would need ten less votes to pass things, if it weren’t for the Republican Roadblock.

The problem we have passing legislation have nothing to do with not being able to form a majority on a given subject. It’s not that we have don’t have ideas. It’s not because our issues are particularly unpopular.

It’s because to override a veto, every Democrat, or a Republican to replace each Democrat who doesn’t agree, has to first vote to surmount the interminable partisan wall that the GOP has erected as a coordinated political effort.

You folks were even willing to ditch a Senator from your party, to deprive a state of one of their Senators in a long, drawn out legal process that nobody believed, a few months after the election, would overturn the election results.

This is not some accident, or some result of Democratic Party inability to form a majority among their ranks. This is a result of Republicans forcing every member in their party to vote lockstep, and the Democrats not being one-hundred percent purely in lockstep themselves.

So quit acting like this is just the Democratic Party’s fault. If it’s not your party’s fault, why don’t you tell your people to let our legislation have up and down votes? Come on.

Christine-
You manage to bypass most of the significant contoversies of the last eight years. Show us the serious accusations, the ones that we focused the most on. Don’t show me this penny ante stuff and tell me that this is what people like me fought the Bush Administration over.

As for “the same mix of truth, hatred, and innuendo”, I don’t think so. Flat falsehoods are more like it. They are saying Obama was not born an American. They are saying he’s a communist. They are saying that he’s going to use an address to children sometime next week as an opportunity to indoctrinate them into socialism. They are saying he wants to institute death panels, give coverage to illegal aliens, federally fund abortions. They are saying things that are demonstrably false.

And the hatred? People were furious at Bush, but I never saw somebody bring a weapon to brandish around near the location of a townhall meeting. They despised him, but instead of suggesting armed takeover of the government, we went for peaceful electoral successes.

As for polls? Screw the polls. He needs a realistic policy, and a good explanation of that policy. We don’t need his finger in the wind. We need his finger on the pulse of this issue. Are you prepared to pay an extra two trillion dollars a year for healthcare, just to avoid 239 billion over ten years? Your plans are pennywise, pound foolish.

As for the torture question? Why do you think the Bush White House called it enhanced interrogation, instead of coming right out and calling it what it was?

I’m sorry if I seem short with you folks these days, but it’s like the Republican Party seems to believe that resolving problems and conflicts is less important than getting their old jobs back. People talk of political realities, often enough, to excuse bad policy, but in my mind, the first political reality is this reality, and politics that founds itself on anything else raises its columns on quicksand.

That seems to be all that supports Republican policies these days. Why should we support deregulation now? What has a stridently anti-tax policy done for our fiscal stability lately? Why are persisting in letting healthcare costs get out of control, and healthcare itself becoming a privilege beyond tens of millions?

I am frustrated beyond words, so my emotions are doing a lot of the talking. I am mad at the Republican Party for not allowing us the courtesy of being able take our turn at dealing with this country’s woes. They failed to deal with it, and now deprive voters of a fair chance to see anybody else but them in action. We’re lambasted for not doing anything, for not being able to do anything, except the only reason we’re so paralyzed is that the Republican Party in the Senate almost exclusively votes against cloture on major issues.

When do these “political realities” stop dictating what the Republican Party does. When does no and nothing become cooperation in getting America back on it’s feet?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 4, 2009 12:13 AM
Comment #287485

stephen

“The problem we have passing legislation have nothing to do with not being able to form a majority on a given subject. It’s not that we have don’t have ideas. It’s not because our issues are particularly unpopular.”

this one as written appearently is.

“But you know something? All this crap is only necessary, because the Republicans have decided as a party to blockade the Senate.”

the republicans only have 40 votes stephen. they can’t blockade anything.

“We would need ten less votes to pass things, if it weren’t for the Republican Roadblock.”

well, like i pointed out before you have the votes. i guess now that things aren’t going your way we should eliminate the fillibuster in the senate. would you have been ok with that when the republicans were in control?

“It’s only because of the Republican’s display of historically unprecedented partisanship that we are having this conversation.”

oh you mean the party unity being shown, that your party as a majority isn’t showing. makes you angry eh?


“So quit acting like this is just the Democratic Party’s fault. If it’s not your party’s fault, why don’t you tell your people to let our legislation have up and down votes? Come on.”


once again, lets get back to the real world. democrats don’t need any republican votes to pass this in the house, or do you figure since your party is not united on this that it is the republicans responsibility to step up and help you move your agenda?

Posted by: dbs at September 4, 2009 9:10 AM
Comment #287486

stephen

“I am frustrated beyond words, so my emotions are doing a lot of the talking. I am mad at the Republican Party for not allowing us the courtesy of being able take our turn at dealing with this country’s woes. They failed to deal with it, and now deprive voters of a fair chance to see anybody else but them in action.”

so when was it again that the democrats just sat back after losing the majority, and said ok republicans it’s your turn, lets see what you can do? what kind of alternate universe are you living in? this is partisan politics stephen, not a friendly game of checkers. the future and direction of the country are at steak. stepping aside and saying ok it’s your turn isn’t a realistic expectation of anyone who understands politics.

Posted by: dbs at September 4, 2009 9:21 AM
Comment #287495

Christine, enough facts are known to warrant investigation, which is what the Justice Dep’t. is charged with doing. Get over it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 4, 2009 10:19 AM
Comment #287499

david

“Christine, enough facts are known to warrant investigation, which is what the Justice Dep’t. is charged with doing. Get over it.”

let me reply with your own words from another thread.

you said

“Without the specifics of how, and why, it is an idle opinion without substance.”

what say you hmmm?

Posted by: dbs at September 4, 2009 10:31 AM
Comment #287501

dbs,

The how is on record. Torture occurred in the hands of CIA interrogators and their agents, as well as military personnel. Very specific, photos travelled the world. Confessions without duress were obtained by some participating in that torture.

Why, well, Dick Cheney CONTINUES to give us the why in his weekly statements to the public.

The specifics are there. Your comment’s ostrich approach to blind partisan defensiveness just refuses to acknowledge those specifics, which DO IN FACT warrant investigation of alleged crimes in violation of our laws and treaties.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 4, 2009 10:40 AM
Comment #287503

dbs, let me add that pulling words out of one context and applying them to an entirely different context to be used as debate weaponry is a tactic conservatives have become all habituated to, and accounts for why their credibility was lost in the last two elections. I highly recommend kicking that habit in order to improve the credibility of your comments. Make sure the shoe fits before trying to put it on someone else’s foot. Just a suggestion.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 4, 2009 10:43 AM
Comment #287512

dbs-
No, I don’t think it is. I think the picture of it has been so badly distorted and muddled that people don’t know what it is. If you look back before this whole torrent of misinformation and confusing rhetoric came along, you’d find the essential principle of our plan, including the Public Option, poll well.

the republicans only have 40 votes stephen. they can’t blockade anything.
Okay, then, do you support them voting for cloture? After all, in your view, it’s futile, right? Republicans don’t have the votes to block anything, right?

Look, real world, on this issue, Democrats aren’t voting 100%. But if wasn’t for the Republican’s forty-seat blockade, I don’t think we’d have to do that. We could have a straight, up-or-down vote. That would take fifty votes, and would not require complete agreement among Democratic Party senators.

Honestly, it does make me angry to see that my party cannot unify itself. But only the unity of the Republican party, a unity that is exploiting a parliamentary method to the detriment of majority rule, makes that Democratic Party unity necessary. Worse yet, it’s an act of utter hypocrisy. The Republicans were prepared to stomp on the Democrats for a handful of Judicial blockades. Not a sustained campaign of obstruction, but five judicial appointment over more than a hundred.

It was the Republicans who introduced “nuclear option” to the vocabulary, threatening, over five judges, to completely eliminate the filibuster. It was up-or-down votes with your party. Yet the GOP does not have any problem with denying the same to others. Can’t bear to admit that your party is on the edge of being completely irrelevant can you, so you make it all seem like it’s the Democrats fault for not being lockstep ideologically pure like the Republicans.

The Real world is, we wouldn’t need any Republican votes if Republicans weren’t blocking every damn bill of importance that came their way. This situation, where the pressure is increasing the partisan tensions, where bipartisanship is suffocating for lack of Republican flexibility, is entirely of the Republican’s making.

If it wasn’t for that, whether or not the Democrats had a filibuster proof majority would be largely irrelevant. It only matters because of the obstacle we must surmount. And that obstacle is a deliberate, actively enforced result of Republican political policy. You guys decided to make sixty the new fifty, to rewrite the constitution to force a degree of majority that the founding fathers never envisioned as being necessary for ordinary law.

They should be ashamed of calling themselves originalists and strict constructionists. Obviously, the Republicans in Washington interpret the provisions of the constitution according to their desire for power.

As for when you guys took over? I don’t think you waited for our approval. You shut down the government for crying out loud. You folks never made any bones about shutting us out, now or then.

You’re right, it’s not a game of checkers. It’s not zero sum, where I jump yours or you jump mine. There’s a lot of negotiating that usually goes on, and Republicans have reduced their influence to all or nothing. If the Democrats pass their bill through reconciliation, there’s a good likelihood that the rules will force a more LIBERAL bill through, rather than an industry friendly one. Result? Republicans may very well kiss much of their input goodbye. If Democrats start making a habit of not dealing with Republicans, on account of their blockade, and they start being able to pass things by sixty votes, each and every time, you folks lose, and lose bad.

But maybe that’s the point. You can be the victors sneering at a sixty seat majority made impotent, or the victims sobbing as that sixty seat majority runs them over.

But you’ll do less good for your constituents, and affect the law that does pass much less.

You don’t really want to force all the Democrats to become independent of the Republicans, because then it becomes much less advantageous for a poltician in my party to be conciliatory towards the Republicans. You’ve made the Blue Dogs a useless group of people to their party. What are the chances that people will elect fewer of them, and more of the progressives?

The Republicans are making a desperate play, a losing play, ultimately. They best they can manage is stalemate. The Democrats aren’t winning right now, but the Republicans aren’t either, and the minute the Democrats pull anything off, anything at all, the Republicans lose.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 4, 2009 1:18 PM
Comment #287517
to rewrite the constitution to force a degree of majority that the founding fathers never envisioned as being necessary for ordinary law.

I’m sorry Stephen, but WHERE in the constitution does it dictate that bills passed by either side of congress needed a straight majority to be passed? If the Senate wanted all bills to pass their house require unanimous consent, that is not unconstitutional…

You will recall, perhaps, that I suggested that the Republicans not block anything at all.

http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/006300.html#269690

Unfortunately, there is still the threat of filibuster in the Senate.

And I recommended to the Republicans to not use it, it only give the Democrats a place to point a finger. You mention threats, which I found sad, that the Democrats would allow the Republicans to THREATEN a filibuster and slink away instead of putting them to the test. But to be honest, the wailing that the Dems couldn’t get anything done, while in power, because of the Democrats who attributed all of this bad stuff to Republicans with roughly the same numbers when they were in power, is akin to a 7-11 basketball center complaining that he can’t dunk because there is a 6-9 guard standing in his way. Yeah, you can make the argument that the 6-9 guard was able to make it a little harder for them, but shouldn’t the center be able to use his power to overcome that? And aren’t you then giving more credit to the 6-9 guard than he most likely deserves?

The reason is, as I predicted in that article, the left would use it as an excuse for why they couldn’t get anything done with more control of the government than the Republicans have enjoyed in, what, ever? When was the last time the Republicans had a filibuster proof majority in the Senate?

The fact is, as I stated in the article, Obama was going to have a tough row to hoe. And I was right in just about every detail of that article.

We’re sorry that Obama and the left aren’t able to do whatever they want with no political fallout, Stephen, but it was never going to happen. Mostly because the narrative that YOU wanted to spin, that the country had embraced progressive ideals, was just a fantasy. Perhaps it is time to write some reality for once…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 4, 2009 4:33 PM
Comment #287523

Rhinehold-
Where the Framers wanted supermajorities, they put them there. They made no such requirements about ordinary legislation.

The number of votes required to shut down debate was never meant to be the number of votes needed to pass legislation. It’s non-justiceable question, but I hardly think it was the original intent of the framers to have an embittered, entrenched minority dictate terms to the opposition.

You can talk about minority rights, but they were meant to be checks on the abuses of majority power, not the means of cancelling them out entirely.

You can talk and talk and talk about excuses, but when forty Republicans decide that they’re going to support a filibuster on every bill, what excuse is there to blame the Democrats, besides an unrealistic expectation that they should suddenly have a unified single faction in control. We have to deal with the political factions in place. But the only reason they matter is the unreasonable blockade by the Senate Republicans.

Their behavior is making things difficult for Democrats. The behavior of some Democrats makes it worse, but their antics would not necessarily be of concern if it were a 50+1 traditional vote instead of this procedural vote of at least 60.

You call it realism to believe that with numbers in the twenties and thirties, the Republicans have truly gained anything from this, that they have recaptured the imagination of the nation?

If you ask people who they trust on most issues, who do you think they’ll say, even now?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 4, 2009 9:26 PM
Comment #287524

Stephen

I don’t know any birther that I respect. However, as Rhinhold points out we have a “truther,” which is much stupider and hateful even than a birther as the President’s green job Czar.

If you don’t see the parallel between the hatred for Bush and the still much milder dislike of Obama, I guess I cannot make you see it. I will, however, feel free to refashion some of the leftist rhetoric from days gone by, so if you see that I have posted something you think uncharacteristically egregious, you might want to check its lineage before jumping too hard on the word choices.

You can say “screw the polls.” The will of the people is indeed sometimes over interpreted. But then you no longer get to use the “we” pronoun when implying popular support. Maybe the people just don’t understand, but it is no longer you and the people on the same team.

Re health care – the numbers don’t add up. Even the CBO says so. If you want to reform health care to cut costs, you have to include tort reform along with various forms of de-facto rationing. If you want to spread health care to the 10-15% of people who don’t have it, you have to put more money in. If Obama says that the system is broken, how can he promise that those happy with what they have can keep it? If he says Medicare is bankrupt, how can he advocate taking money out of it?

The problem for Obama supporters is that those who don’t believe in his magical powers cannot figure out how he can do the things he promised. Obama is just not experienced enough to understand that he cannot just will all this stuff into being.

You mention that young people like Obama. Think about that. What is the one characteristic that all young people share? They are all inexperienced. Just like Obama. When they learn a little more and see a little more, they will see that wishes are not enough, even if you are good looking and articulate.

Re “taking your turn” Didn’t the Democrats block Social Security Reform? I don’t remember them being that supportive of Bush in general. Senator Obama supported a filibuster against Alito. Democrats used voting with the president as a campaign attack. They dumped Senator Lieberman because he wasn’t hard enough against Bush. Is your memory that short? Don’t make me go back and mine some more old comments.

But you are taking the victim route. Republicans CANNOT block you. All they can do is not jump on the bandwagon. If you cannot get Democrats on board, why do you think Republicans should jump on?

BTW – they call it enhanced interrogation because that is what it is. Some of the methods sometimes are brutal, but if you watch any episode of “Law & Order” you have seen the detectives (the good ones) do some things that Holder would prosecute if he could.

Besides, lots of things are not called what they are. If you tear a baby apart or let it come part way out and then bash in its brains, some people call that a medical procedure.

Posted by: Christine at September 4, 2009 9:33 PM
Comment #287528

stephen

your not in kansas anymore. time to move on and quit blaming others for your parties lack of unity. click your heals together three times, and say there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home. LOL!!

Posted by: dbs at September 4, 2009 10:19 PM
Comment #287537

My party’s ‘lack of unity’ is its most endearing quality. That means we can think…we don’t have to walk in lockstep for fear of censure by our party members. We don’t adhere to schemes and stupidities voiced by spokespersons like Brash Lamebrain, because too many of us use intellectual curiosity as a weapon against such as that.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 5, 2009 5:16 AM
Comment #287538

“My party’s ‘lack of unity’ is its most endearing quality”

i doubt your party’s leadership would agree with you at this point. just a hunch. your party’s lack of unity is why pelosi won’t dare bring HR 3200 to the floor for vote. it would most certainly fail, and make her look more foolish that she already does.

Posted by: dbs at September 5, 2009 9:39 AM
Comment #287548

Dude
Your parties lack of unity is why they can’t get anything done and it’s downfall. Three factions in one party is a bit much.

Posted by: KAP at September 5, 2009 12:19 PM
Comment #287555

Marysdude

Lack of unity can indeed mean that people are thinking for themselves. But it also means that they cannot get anything done. It also seems to mean the Democrats just cannot make decisions.

I think that is why they do so well when they are hating Republicans and making trouble, but it is also why they don’t really accomplish much.

If they cannot really get off their rears and do something, they have no justification to complain about what is done by others.

I was sitting in the park yesterday eating lunch. A bunch of pigeons came around. They are the perfect Democratic bird. The flock around and tussle among themselves, but the quicker thinking sparrows get most of the bread.

Posted by: Christine at September 5, 2009 2:23 PM
Comment #287602

Christine-

I don’t know any birther that I respect. However, as Rhinhold points out we have a “truther,” which is much stupider and hateful even than a birther as the President’s green job Czar.

Truthers are not very well-respected in the DKos community. While we have our share of nuts on the subject, people like me fiercely oppose that craziness. Even on Kos, Conspiracy theories like that are fiercely beaten down, their purveyors not lent much in the way of credibility.

Contrast this with the Republicans and their media figures.

Since I published this blog entry, some party leader in Florida has come out claiming that Obama’s going to use the upcoming address he’s doing to kids in order to indoctrinate them with socialism. Does he have to apologize? No, he gets back up from Glenn Beck and others on Fox News, and Republicans start spreading the rumors!

Same thing with Death Panels. Same thing with GM. Same thing with this everpresent fear of Obama raising up a fourth reich, the death of Democracy.

Do Republicans discourage this nonsense, marginalize their purveyors? No. And that is the critical difference. That Chuck Grassley gets away with this nonsense, gets away with making such false accusations is telling. A Democrat can’t even get away with a reference to American interrogators and a reference to the Nazis in the same sentence.

If you don’t see the parallel between the hatred for Bush and the still much milder dislike of Obama, I guess I cannot make you see it.

Milder. I don’t know how you figure it’s milder.

I say screw the polls because the polls won’t be the final determinant of what’s best for the country. What’s best for the country is a healthcare system that works, and laws and programs that work to that end.

Or, put another way, don’t think about today’s polls. Think about the polling as it is when the programs and reforms have taken effect. Bush’s war polled well at first. As it screwed up, that change. We must anticipate the dynamics of public opinion in terms of the effects of policy results on it, rather than worry about numbers right now.

Re health care – the numbers don’t add up. Even the CBO says so.

Which report, on which bill? The CBO rates the Public Option as the best money-saver. The closest estimate I’ve heard on the costs of the program will be about 26.9 billion dollars a year, and that’s a very conservative assessment. In fact, ironically enough, going through the reconciliation process will actually force the program to be both revenue neutral, AND more liberal!

As for Medicare being bankrupt? Let me sort this out for you: essentially, Obama’s taking money out of insurance company subsidies in the Medicare Advantage plan and demanding greater cost savings from the drug companies. But also, the Public Option’s effect will be to force the insurers and providers to cut their costs, which in turn cuts medicare costs, since medicare’s essentially operating in the same market.

As for inexperienced young people? Oh, just look what wonderful things experienced people did with our government and our economy. We’re not the Kool-Aid Drinkers you think we are. You should see how aggressively folks on Kos are lobbying in order to get what they want on the Public Option. Nobody’s all that complacent.

As for “taking our turn”
Well, yes, we did do our best to block Social Security Reform. Two trillion dollars over ten years, to create a system that would hand Social Security tax dollars over to Wall Street, with no greater solvency for the system than it started out with. Our Healthcare reform costs less, and has a greater hope of doing actual good. The Public Option, too, actually will save money.

So let’s make that distinction clear: Bush’s reforms wouldn’t save Social Security, and would cost about 200 billion dollars a year to carry out. Obama’s stands a good chance of saving people money, and it costs much less to implement.

Obama did support a filibuster of Alito, but he didn’t, when elected, urge the Democrats in the minority to go on an endless, pointless rampage of filibusters. He also refused to filibuster Roberts, deciding instead to vote “no” on him. So I don’t see how this shoe is on the other foot either.

As for Senator Lieberman? He’s still caucusing with us, and Obama, I believe, was one of the people who supported him. But he did lose a primary, and that was his fault to a great extent. He hasn’t made himself popular to the Democrats since, either. One has to wonder about his prospects in 2012.

It’s interesting you make that argument, given the fact that you’re asking us to be unified as a party. Believe me, many Democrats wish we were. But it wouldn’t be a requirement for passing legislation, if it weren’t for the Republicans and their unceasing campaign of filibusters.

My memory is not short at all.

Republicans can block us. Simple fact. sixty votes is a minimum number required to break the logjam, and that requires our people, despite all their differences, to vote the same way, and this on a number of controversial issues. If we fall short on even one person- heck, as we are now- we can’t pass legislation. This despite having a majority.

The Republicans can block us. They’ve chosen as a party to do nothing but, to hijack the senate and play this game indiscriminately, not as an occasional strategic move. Obstruction IS your party’s strategy, and record numbers of filibuster threats make that absolutely clear.

As for enhanced interrogation?

First of all, Law and Order is a work of fiction, a dramatic (sometimes melodramatic) series. It’s a poor yardstick for real interrogations. Second of all, I don’t think the kind of stuff the Bush administration held out to be enhanced interrogation was the kind of stuff you could show on television without invoking torture. Chaining people up in awkward positions, taking away their clothes, blasting them with lights and constant noise or loud music. Hell, you can’t even waterboard most people, even conservatives, without having them sit up gasping going “Oh s***, this is torture.”

This is just a game Republicans play to avoid a very disturbing reality about what they’ve bought into. Jack Bauer is not a real federal agent; all his encounters with terror suspects are scripted by Hollywood screenwriters. Things don’t go that way in real life.

Torture is illegal. Our laws and signed treaties say so. There’s a reason it’s called enhanced interrogation- calling it what it is would mean prison time for a lot of people. Holder is obligated to prosecute such crimes, by the way- he is the nation’s chief law enforcement officer. My question to you is whether we are a nation of authorities, or a nation of laws.

As for Abortion? It is what it is: induced miscarriage. It’s certainly not pleasant, but late term abortions don’t tend to be used in pleasant situations. Often times, we’re talking a non-viable fetus that wouldn’t survive birth. Or we’re talking an already dead infant, whose continued presence in the womb would cause the woman never to be able to bear children again.

What we call things aren’t so important as what they are. But sometimes, some people don’t look past their party’s rhetoric to see things for what they actually are.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 6, 2009 4:28 PM
Comment #287603

dbs-
Pelosi’s said, it’s not getting out of the House without a Public Option, so your insinuations about H.R. 3200 aren’t worth much.

As for three different factions? Well, jeez, man. You SHOULD have factions in a healthy party. If you don’t, what you have is a brittle, lockstep party where if one faction’s approach proves unproductive, another one, more moderate or more partisan can take over.

Seen your party’s approval ratings lately? The net effect of Republican efforts has been to drive everybody’s numbers down, their own especially. Nobody beyond the party thinks the Republicans are their saviors.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 6, 2009 4:32 PM
Comment #287606

S.D.
Your party ain’t very healthy with the lower than whale crap numbers it’s been getting and Pelosi’s numbers are even worse. As far as factions go your party has a real problem, the liberal sectioon can’t get it together with the conservative section and the moderate section can’t get it to gether with either one. My party is whom ever I think will do the best job, be it Democrat, Republican, or independent. I don’t pull party levers come election time.

Posted by: KAP at September 6, 2009 5:32 PM
Comment #287607

stephen

“Pelosi’s said, it’s not getting out of the House without a Public Option, so your insinuations about H.R. 3200 aren’t worth much.”

really stephen, so why then won’t she bring it to the floor for a vote? as written it contains a public option. bring it to the floor for a vote, or get over it. oh thats right it would fail, because she doesn’t have the support for it, and she would look like the idiot she truely is.


“As for three different factions? Well, jeez, man. You SHOULD have factions in a healthy party. If you don’t, what you have is a brittle, lockstep party where if one faction’s approach proves unproductive, another one, more moderate or more partisan can take over.”

not my comment. where did i mention three different factions?


“Seen your party’s approval ratings lately? The net effect of Republican efforts has been to drive everybody’s numbers down, their own especially. Nobody beyond the party thinks the Republicans are their saviors.”


so the decline in the democrats polling numbers are due to the republicans? and just how does that help you? no one wants your crappy healthcare bill, time to get over it, and quit blaming others. the constant whinning is getting really annoying.

Posted by: dbs at September 6, 2009 5:34 PM
Comment #287611

Stephen

I am a fan of Bill O’Reilly. He has beaten down the birthers on many occasions. He calls them pin heads.

Birthers and Truthers are both wrong and extremists. I am glad we can both condemn these weirdoes. So we both agree that Obama was born in the U.S. and Bush did not allow 9/11. Now we should drop it.

Re Obama talking to school kids – it is great for him to do it. Some of the lesson plans asking students to write how Obama inspired them are a bit too much “dear leader” for me, but I don’t suppose it will cause too much harm.

Re Death panels – the government has publications giving end of life advice to veterans. The Bush Administration withdrew them. The Obama Administration put them back. They were available on VA websites a couple weeks ago. I don’t believe this was an evil plot, but it can create some fear in those who do not trust Obama. The correct response from Obama would be “sorry, we messed up. We meant nothing by it.” When they just attack the opponents it doesn’t help.

Re “screw the polls” do so at your peril. Polls are not perfect measures of public sentiment, but they show trends. Obama’s popularity has dropped like a stone. This is interesting. You have to ask why this happened. Republican plot is not the answer, since they obviously couldn’t do that with the elections, when they really wanted it.

Re young people – there is a saying that is at least a century old. It is variously attributed and quoted, but the essence is that is you are not a leftist when you are twenty, you have no heart, but if you are still a leftist when you are forty, you have no brain. I admit this is not always true. There are some great smart old leftists and some wonderfully compassionate young conservatives, but experience does indeed tend to make you more conservative. Age doesn’t make you give up your ideals, but you see that the promises of easy solutions are lies.

Obama in the Senate behaved as a partisan. He behaved a lot like you accuse Republicans of acting now. It was okay then (or not) and it is okay now (or not) but it is not different.

Re Law & Order – I understand it is fiction, but it does show things people find more or less consistent and acceptable. The hard core torture you mention was employed on a half dozen hard core terrorists. It may be wrong, but there is no evidence it was widespread. This whole issue is largely just used to beat up on the other side. It is passed. It may have saved innocent lives. Frankly, I may be a barbarian but I don’t feel very much sympathy for the man who planned 9/11.

Re abortion – it is really not a big issue with me and I don’t intend to beat you up with it, but those who support abortion are compromised when it comes to other sorts of suffering. I am glad that you and I agree that it should never be used in the case of a viable fetus. Yet many liberal do indeed accept partial-birth abortion.

Posted by: Christine at September 6, 2009 6:03 PM
Comment #287622

Stephen,

I don’t think bringing up DKos today is a great idea, not the way they are reacting to the Van Jones issue…

I’ve been told several times in the last 2 days that Van Jones was right and we need an investigation into 9/11, the government is lying to us. I’ve also seen people say that it was a ‘Lynch Mob’, which may be one of the most dangerous and pathetic things I’ve seen posted in a while…

I’ll show you some of my tweet history if you want a good example of what stand up DKos and Liberal defenders are really saying, not what you want them to be saying. Just like how you ignore the reality of the post 2000 election because it doesn’t fit your narrative in your recent article.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 6, 2009 9:23 PM
Comment #287624

OH, and let’s not forget the extension of the Blackwater contracts…

http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=8466369

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 6, 2009 9:26 PM
Comment #287628

“Van Jones, Victim Of Hate-broadcast Terrorism”

“@Rhinehold I don’t know what happened and neither do you, but I’ll tell you this much we haven’t been told the complete truth about it!”

“@Rhinehold I don’t give a damn if he signed it, cuz there R questions that need 2 B answered about 911 & you’re blind if U can’t see that!”

“@Rhinehold I didn’t play the race card…its not about me…its just about that hillbilly chick who thinks Van jones wants to rape her kids”

“@Rhinehold My point is thats where race plays a factor…I don’t think ppl would believe that Obama was out to kill old ppl if he were white”

“@Rhinehold it’s b.s. b/c this is what Van Jones believes. The petition is not as crazy as the “birthers” and “death panelers.”

“@CarlPope Im sick at heart. What happened to my friend Van Jones was basically a lynch mob”

“This was a deliberate effort by (13+ / 1-)

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the Reich wing to set up a political distraction at the most inopportune time. What else is new.

Frankly, I have my suspicions about past admin’s actions and role in the oh so convenient ‘new Perle Harbor’ myself. Neither Reagan nor either Bush were plaster saints and shouldn’t be treated as such. It’s not as though there wasn’t enough illegal, unconstitutional stuff going on before 9/11, why would they stop then?

The point is, this is just a slightly more clever part of the Republican Temper Tantrum (tm) that has been going on for 10 months now. They need to be made to sit in a corner with a dunce cap on and told to STFU while the adults are talking not rewarded for it. Doesn’t anybody at the WH get it that bi-bohoo-partisanship with these whinny-ass babies is never going to happen?

Torture is for the weak. After all, it is just extended wheedling.

by nargel on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 12:39:26 AM PDT”

The petition Van Jones signed is not (0+ / 0-)

unintelligent nonsense that is as ridiculous as “UFO cover-ups.”

It refers to well documented deficiencies and inconsistencies in the official government conspiracy theory. You say below

Suggesting that the Bush administration allowed 9/11 through intention rather than incompetence is a straight-up accusation of treason.

Would you say outing an undercover CIA agent during war time is also an accusation of treason? Do you not think they are capable of treason? You also say

It also indicates a remarkable lack of trust in the people who would have been involved in such a conspiracy—not just Bush and Cheney, but literally hundreds of intelligence analysts, military officers, and staffers.

That is not how our intelligence system works. An analyst reports to his superior, who reports to HIS superior and so on. The final step was reporting to a small group of Bush administration officials who could choose to ignore the information. This is, as a matter of fact, exactly what happened with warnings about an impending terrorist attack. The warnings were given but were ignored. Why on Earth would anyone, especially a progressive, not want to know why?

by babajimbob on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 05:17:22 PM PDT

What I would have said, had I been (20+ / 0-)

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in his [Van Jones] position:

“What you have to understand is that it’s an indisputable fact that the Bush administration also instituted a torture regime, so I hope you can understand my low expectations for a bunch of thugs and war criminals. Allowing 9/11 to happen as a pretext for war with Iraq would pretty much be par for the course from a bunch of guys who had innocent people tortured to death.”

Don’t just attack, go for the fucking throat.

The true measure of a man’s character lies not in how he treats his friends, but in how he treats his enemies.

by FunkyEntropy on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 11:36:26 PM PDT

I have to tell you folks, (50+ / 0-)

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we are losing this war. After 8 years of criminals running the country who broke law after law the Right Wing manages to drum this guy out after a few months??!!!!

What laws did he break??? What did he do???? That’s what I want to know.

You’re telling me he signed a petition that said Bush allowed 9/11 to happen and that’s the reason????

Half of America signed that petition.

The Left are losers to let the crazy Right Wingers push them around like this. Blood is in the water.

by Crazy like a fox on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 10:04:50 PM PDT

how about this… (5+ / 0-)

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Badabing, golconda2, lettuce kucinich, babajimbob, Jezreel

I would bet $1000 that Bush officials may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war.

I would NOT bet $1000 that Obama delivers a strong robust public health option

Private Property is the Curse. Those that Buy and Sell Land, and are landlords, have got it either by Oppression, Murder, or Theft

by pacific ocean park on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 10:10:04 PM PDT

Yes, Kos has a ‘don’t mention the truther movement or you are out policy’, but I haven’t seen these mass bannings happening on messages that are over a day old…

And that was just a 10 minute perusal of the Van Jones comments, I barely got through the first few hundred comments.

Oh, some more tweets!

“Van Jones “was of a part of an America that Fox & the reactionary right would like 2 put back on the plantation”“

“I interned for Van Jones and he was great. This hysteria is racist, right? Why couldn’t we get any of the antidemocratic Bushies to resign?”

“lesson learned from Van Jones: liberals will defend liberals no matter what, repub will defend repub no matter what”

I kind of like that last one myself…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 6, 2009 9:59 PM
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