Democrats & Liberals Archives

Accountability

There’s the people you want to hold accountable in order to correct their mistakes, and those who you want to hold accountable so they never have the opportunity to mess things up that way again.

Obama’s team underestimated the impact of the recent, possibly ended recession, one of the longest on record. Recently, reports posted positive growth for our nation’s economy for the first time since December of ‘07, almost two years ago. But apparently, slower than desired growth is a worse offense for some than a financial meltdown.

I don't think Obama's performance on the economy is one-hundred percent good. I think he's made some mistakes. I think he needs to be tougher, and less vulnerable to the red-baiting that passes for critical thought amongs some theses days. Political ideology should not eclipse economic necessity as a priority.

But you know what? I think he's correctable. I think he's willing and able to learn. I don't think he's close-minded, and I think he genuinely meant it when he offered his hand in bipartisanship to the Republicans.

The Republicans are not satisfied, though, with being junior partners.

They should be.

They can talk about deficits. But should we not talk about the ones they ran first, and ask them whether they would, if they had it to do over again, refuse to do the Bush Tax cuts, especially while attempting to win two expensive wars at once? I wonder. But as the Republicans accuse the Democrats of being spendthrifts concerning a paid for, deficit reducing bill worth a few hundred billion over ten years, their legacy strains under the burden of Bush's two trillion Dollar tax cuts, and two long term wars that themselves will cost trillions before they are over.

Yes, let's discuss how much attention the Republicans paid to the niceties of where they were getting the money when they did their Medicare legislation: none. That's the same concerned they had for what the CBO said it might cost. None. Since the Republicans, by their natures, were supposed to be able to constrain their spending, we could all trust them not to break the bank.

I could be forgiven for suggesting that the main use for the philosophy of fiscal responsibility among the Republicans nowadays is bashing Democrats for wanting to use government to answer certain needs, solve certain problems out there. The question asked in the constant refrain, which we never heard the Republicans ask themselves when they were building up their debts, voting again and again to raise debt limits, and mortgaging our country to China, was, "Oh, will nobody think of the children?"

Yeah, leaving a massive hole in the economy will help fiscal matters real well. Just over a third of our total deficit comes from the sharp fall in revenues. Whether we avoid further fiscal problem will hinge in part on how well the economy recovers over time. An economy that recovers poorly, or not at all, impacts the deficit negatively. And as Clinton's critics and champions alike know, a booming economy can be a Godsend to somebody trying to right the fiscal situation.

What do we hand our children? A crumbling infrastructure? A second rate scientific and research capability? An economy better at putting people in never-ending debt, freezing them up as consumers, than it is at making them productive customers? An international and trade situation that puts our country at odds with the rest of the world? A climate of fear and vanishing privacy that does little to combat the terrorist threat its supposed to answer? And as for healthcare coverage, how long can we keep this current system up, with its rising costs and the fiscal pressures it's creating?

All too many things were allowed to get screwed up and stay screwed up under the Republicans, and I hardly see any sign that the folks on the right regret their decisions. In fact, they make a big show of doubling down on their decisions, even as they claim that they're a new and improved party.

That's the logic: the party makes huge claims about how reformed, how much better it is, and people are supposed to accept such tokens of repentance, and then stand back and let the Republicans do what they did before.

Your forgiveness, folks, is a formality to their getting back to the business of entrenching the status quo. You see, you were just not thinking right. That's why they have all those signs with Obama as the Joker. They probably think it's a clever reference to you (who they are figurative comparing to mobsters) panicking and seeking out the help of a man you didn't fully understand (Obama, taking the role of the Joker.)

The cleverness hides a contempt for you, the voter, for your judgment.

See, the Republicans, when they made those disastrous decisions on the economy, were trying, in their way, to show how much they'd improved, how much they were acting like real conservatives. Before then, they had broken records without much interference they had run with the Liberal's agenda, threatening a filibuster on about 112 bills. This was their way of being accountable for what their internal story was telling them was the failure of 2006: that they didn't look like real conservatives.

When Republicans are held accountable nowadays by their party, it's not for corruption, which reports they blast as products of the liberal media, it's for deviating from the party's agenda. Their votes and their actions last year show where their priorities are. Now in their defense, many of them must think that their way is the best way, and the Liberal's way will be disaster, but when a party becomes primarily an engine for enforcing stifling political orthodoxy, even in the face of catastrophic events, then a clear message must be sent: we are not removing you from offices because this is a center right nation and you have betrayed conservatism, but rather because you are making mistakes, and continuing to make mistakes that you will not recognize as such. Your ideology is keeping you from seeing how America's situation is getting worse, how your rigid politics are getting in the way of our reforming a system badly in need of repair. We're removing you guys because all the other means of sending that message, "You're doing it wrong, try another way" have not gotten through to you.

That's what folks should say to the Republicans in Washington, and to all the incumbents, for that matter, who stubbornly insist on maintaining an ugly status quo.

In my mind, it's a last resort, but it's a method that must be undertaken once all other attempts to get through have been exhausted.

The Republicans have inspired the country to use this last resort twice. Maybe they get off light this time, but how long before all the things they force us to to put off until conservative leaders can handle them as they like blow up in their face as last year's ideologically skewed decisions did? What good is it if Conservatism appears to triumph, but returns to the policies and habits that destroyed its crediblity and demolished much of this nation's prestige and prosperity in the first place?

Me? I'm not patient enough to let people have another taste of Republican leadership. If it seems like I'm angrier and less compromising these days, less "let us reason together," then it's because the Republicans have turned the politics of this country into an ugly streetfight. At heart, I'm a very frustrated centrist, a person who feels that there is a course we can agree on as a nation, but who sees centrism and moderation turned to the service of the dogmatic extremes of the right, which was what people like me were trying to get away from in the first place.

I feel that an accounting, a reckoning needs to be done with the paradigm that has left this country in such terrible shape. I mean, for all the Republicans, like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh talk about this country being destroyed by the liberals, the folks who have done the most extensive damage to this country and its interests have ben the Republicans. I think the painful lesson of the wrongness of these policies has been well and thoroughly taught and that it's time to make a clean break. But at this point, the resistance is so heavy to that obvious and urgent step of repentance of our errors that I just feel that some people won't learn the lesson until folks like me fight back with equal or greater intensity. We tried to do things the nice way, to be gracious in victory, forgiving to those we defeated. People like me hoped the GOP would get the message and seek their own third way to compliment the kind of change in policy that Democrats once undertook in response to the Republican's ascension.

But no, that's not going to work, and if we Democrats sit back, and let Republicans do what they want, we're going to get trampled. We had enough trampling during the Bush Administration. Democrats like me would love to support an atmosphere of true bipartisanship, but we're not morons, and we're not wimps. We are, like Glenn Beck, very, very worried about our country. But we're not worried about communist symbols in the architecture of the Rockefeller Center. Nor are we portraying every Republcian move as the potential ruin of our nation.

No, we don't need to. Because to be honest, the Republican policies have been, already, before Obama even got into office, the ruin of our nation. We are in seriously bad shape. Over the last eight years, we've gone from a military power with primacy in the world to a nation whose military isn't even in good enough shape to come to its defense should we be attacked. We managed to lose all our economic progress going back to 1997, and have dipped into a recession that came that close to being the absolute, rather than relative ruin of our nation's economy, and the world's as well.

Our healthcare system is rapidly getting more expensive, and rapidly getting more exclusive to those who don't need it, or those who can afford the more expensive plans that really do cover you. In other words, it's becoming an even more inefficient mess as we speak.

The Republicans tell us to wait, on this and the other things. Wait. Like they have? Waiting until things get devastatingly desperate before feeling the political need to do something about it?

This nation is falling into ruin, and the Republcians suggest that doing much of anything about it is going to destroy the country? I mean, what are they saying, don't destroy the country, that's our job?

Go ahead and live in your fantasy worlds if you can stand to ignore all the warning signs of things going wrong. But I want us to start doing some actual recovery here. I want our politics to start making sense to rational human beings again, instead of just those people who work inside the beltway.

I want a government in touch with reality, and though Obama and the Democratic Congress are not perfect, they are better in touch and I take that, and moderate my calls for their accountability accordingly. But for those who fail to make that connection, who continue to wall themselves off in their own universe of political self-indulgence, I have no patience, nor mercy left. Patience and mercy are for those who are actually trying to do something constructive to improve the lot of Americans today, not for those who feel privileged and entitled to leadership regardless of how badly they screw it up.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at November 22, 2009 8:41 PM
Comments
Comment #291347

Stephen if you want accountability it is time to go to the heart of the problem. The “to big to fail” firms in the banking and financial industry that have bilked us for billions of dollars need to be held accountable. Unfortunately the bankers finance both parties, which is a major problem but they have also infiltrated both parties which leaves us with no where to turn for relief. Geithner and Summers are wall street types who are part of the problem and they both work for Obama. Yes the repubs/conservatives lead the charge and have set the stage for the financial ruin of the country. But the dems have followed suit since the days of Clinton and have not helped to solve the problem.
There is not much difference between the two parties anymore other than the conservatives in the repub party are so far off base they are willing to destroy the country rather than accept the failure of their ideology but that doesn’t excuse the dems from being so tepid and following like sheep because tea baggers and conservatives bray louder and have money behind them.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34026530/ns/us_news-weird_news/

Posted by: j2t2 at November 22, 2009 11:55 PM
Comment #291348

I think we just have to give them a clear alternative: keep their Wall Street money or keep their jobs.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 23, 2009 12:07 AM
Comment #291351

Stephen

Some simple questions -

1. How many Democrats do you need in Congress before you control it? You obviously think it is greater than 60%. I am wondering what number you have in mind.

2. How long before it becomes Obama’s economy? My guess is that you won’t take responsibly for it unless and until it becomes good.

It is a very simple point of view here. Democrats are good. Therefore anything good is Democratic and anything bad is not. It is as close to a statement of faith as there can be and it is not possible to argue matters of faith with logic.

So I will not try to talk re faith. I will just get to the possible scenarios. The American people can choose to vote for or against Democrats in 2010 or 2012. If you are so confident in the goodness of Democrats, presumably the people will keep them in office. You have no worries. If you are worried, maybe the Democrats are not quite so good.

But no matter what, according to you winning elections doesn’t do Democrats much good anyway. Even with 60%, they are evidently still at the mercy of Republicans, who must be much smarter to be able to control the majority with a minority.

So how many Republicans (or non-democrats) does it take to control the Democrats? We know that Republicans rule in a 4:6 ratio, so two Republican is worth at last three Democrats, according to your math. Is one Republican enough to control 99 Democrats? Where is the tipping point?

So - again according to your math - Republicans need not be satisfied with being junior partners, since a few of them can control many Democrats.

BTW - your statement about the military is absurd. Give that a little more thought, maybe talk to some people with extensive military experience and ask them if the American military could not defend America. You might want to ask carefully, however.

Beyond that, President Bush prevented terror attacks against the U.S. homeland since 9/11/2001. We all hope and pray Obama can do as well.

Posted by: Christine at November 23, 2009 1:14 AM
Comment #291352
1. How many Democrats do you need in Congress before you control it? You obviously think it is greater than 60%. I am wondering what number you have in mind.
But no matter what, according to you winning elections doesn’t do Democrats much good anyway. Even with 60%, they are evidently still at the mercy of Republicans, who must be much smarter to be able to control the majority with a minority.

So how many Republicans (or non-democrats) does it take to control the Democrats? We know that Republicans rule in a 4:6 ratio, so two Republican is worth at last three Democrats, according to your math. Is one Republican enough to control 99 Democrats? Where is the tipping point?

So - again according to your math - Republicans need not be satisfied with being junior partners, since a few of them can control many Democrats.

I think you are overlooking the fact that while there are 60 senators caucusing with the Democrats there are a few moderates who are more than willing to join the Republicans and defeat the bill unless their needs are satisfied. That’s a consequence of being a Big Tent Party, and it’s why we hear things like, “I’m not a member of any organized party, I’m a Democrat.” and comparisons between organizing Democratic Senators with Herding cats. Similar conditions exist in the house. If you notice, the GOP has a great deal more party discipline than the Democratic Party does, which is seen in their unanimous lockstep voting behavior.

Posted by: Warped Reality at November 23, 2009 3:18 AM
Comment #291353

Christine-
Let me address the military question first.

Don’t try and use that military pride stick with me. I’m not putting down our military forces. I’m telling you that there is an objective strain on our force’s ability to respond to other wars.

Our military could probably come back to defend us. But it would take time, and it would take withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan precipitously.

I complained about this for years, as it became a serious problem. Things like this made me consider statements like “support our troops” coming from Republicans hollow words. In my mind, if all you’re doing is cheering them on from the sidelines, yet sending them out again and again short of resources, you’re not really supporting them. You’re supporting the agenda that sends them out in harms way, short of what they need to get the job done.

That’s the kind of thing that makes me this bitter about Republican Policy, this unenthusiastic about seeing them come back to power in any real way. Soldiers died on account of a partisan unwillingness to admit their was a problem with the way they were being deployed. If the Republicans don’t fully appreciate both the stakes, and the consequences of their decisions, they don’t deserve to wield power.

The blockade of the senate is a product of their collective, unanimous denial of the need for change. They are comfortable with letting all kinds of problems get worse as time goes on, just to sully Obama’s name, destroy confidence in the Democrats, and win elections later on.

And it doesn’t break from the pattern that seemed to develop during the Bush Administration of this stubborn, partisan unwillingness to abandon policies when they failed our people, this unwillingness to admit to any wrong, to avoid showing vulnerabilities to their political rivals.

Our problems, though, won’t wait, and given their earlier performance, shouldn’t wait for the Republicans to regain power, in this incredibily cynical political strategy.

When will you stop seeing this in these inside baseball terms, and start recognizing that the Republican’s insistence on getting their way is putting this country at risk once again? How many times do you think people can see the Republican put its own fortunes ahead of the country’s, it own politics ahead of the policy needed for the nation’s recovery, and not finally decide to relegate the party to obscurity?

Your party already reached the breaking point for its majority. Does it want to reach the breaking point for its continued existence?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 23, 2009 8:18 AM
Comment #291368

Harold Ickes, Secretary of the Interior under FDR 1938 asks “What kind of new America will it be?”

Will we fit an economic system of private enterprise to our democracy?

Will lawless big business be controlled to save Democracy?

Will America attain economic freedom for the average man as defined in the Bill of Rights?

Will America reach out in spirit to meet new conditions in the modern world? Or, will it be another kind of America?

Has our system disgusted people so much we will welcome a system in which liberty is regarded as an intolerable luxury?

Will Americans yield Democracy to dictatorship in exchange for an illusion of better living?

In America it is the old struggle between power of money & power of the Democratic instinct.

Economic power in America does not now rest in the people as it must for Democracy to endure.

Wealth is not equitably distributed but is so concentrated it controls those who possess it.

America’s wealth is controlled by 60 Families who hold in their hands complete dominion over the economic & political life of all Americans.

These 60 families lulled Americans, by promising to put capital to work to raise wages & stocks plus put 2 cars in every garage. They gained our TRUST!

These 60 families divinely claimed genius over private enterprise & promptly led Americans into the worst peacetime catastrophe ever known.

Then the disillusioned people changed the government.

Perhaps it is still not too late. But that was then…this is now, so, after the recovery, if indeed there is a recovery, will we have learned not to trust the moneyed few?

Posted by: Marysdude at November 23, 2009 2:32 PM
Comment #291369

PS:

I placed the at the end of the word known, but it did not take. All after ‘carastrophy ever known’ is me again.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 23, 2009 2:36 PM
Comment #291371

PPS:

And in the above disclaimer the blockquote disappeared as well…in several years, I’ll try again, but for right now you’ll just have to figure it out on your own.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 23, 2009 2:47 PM
Comment #291374
Will America attain economic freedom for the average man as defined in the Bill of Rights?

Did I read a different Bill of Rights than he did?

Has our system disgusted people so much we will welcome a system in which liberty is regarded as an intolerable luxury?

Now THIS I agree with completely. Though… I am betting he defines ‘liberty’ differently than I or the dictionary does.

Will Americans yield Democracy to dictatorship in exchange for an illusion of better living?

Agreed. I’m not sure why you are supporting a party that is bent on doing just that though…

Oh, BTW, I would recommend a great article on how the left became the left that it is now, http://www.city-journal.org/2009/eon1122fs.html. It is a great read and enlightening as well…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 23, 2009 3:20 PM
Comment #291384

Rhinehold-
Do you actually believe that those are his real intentions? Dictatorship?

Man, in politics, if there is one rule you should never break, it’s never buy your own hyperbole.

People forget things, really. When the folks who were the adults of the teens and twenties are now the long dead corpses of our time, you can’t really expect people to remember what a progressive once was. In all honesty, they’re basically liberals looking for something to call themselves that hasn’t been poisoned by years of hateful Republican rhetoric.

There’s plenty people forget. They forget the elitist, industrialist origins of policies and attitudes they claim to be populist. They forget what the reasons once were to support cracking down on unions. They forget that many of the things we now consider abhorrent, like child labor, or things we expect, like minimum wage, weekends off, overtime, and the forty-hour work-week, were once goals of the unions, and things that the industrialists opposed.

People don’t always make the connection about where something came from, and where it’s going, but it’s there.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 23, 2009 5:39 PM
Comment #291385

Christine:

100 is the right number for Senators.

Stephen:

With polling numbers for the health care bill in the 30’s, I don’t think it’s the Republicans that should be worried about a backlash at the polls. If a majority of Americans were on the side of this legislation I would agree with you.

When you are preventing (obstructing) the majority from going against the will of the people I don’t think there is much danger do you?

Posted by: Craig Holmes at November 23, 2009 5:50 PM
Comment #291387

Without quibbling, I was just pointing out that the same basic rhetoric was being used then to describe businesses, and especially financiers, who did not consider the national consequences of their actions. They don’t consider those consequences…because they don’t have to. We did not learn it from the thirties, so if we do indeed get out of it this time, will we pay any more attention than we did then? Free marketers are not really marketers at all, they become privateers at the very first sign of national weakness, or drop in will. Citizens should not have to protect themselves from freebooters any more than from terrorists or foreign invasion. We have to rely on the government to protect us from all enemies and predators, foreign AND domestic.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 23, 2009 6:30 PM
Comment #291388
Do you actually believe that those are his real intentions? Dictatorship?

Intentions? I don’t believe I said that they were his intentions, did I Stephen?. I’m sure those things weren’t Wilson’s intentions either, but he headed down that path through a series of missteps and flawed ideology.

That is how it is going to get there, through good intentions, not bad.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 23, 2009 6:38 PM
Comment #291389
Free marketers are not really marketers at all, they become privateers at the very first sign of national weakness, or drop in will.

No, people who you label as free-marketers or label themselves as free-marketers but do not follow that view are not free-marketers. They are usually corpratists or anrcho-capitalists.

There are free-marketers who genuinely are. Again, don’t denigrate a philosophy by those profess to embrace it for political purposes.

And for the record we haven’t had a ‘free market’ economy in the US since the 1910s. Again, I suggest the link I posted for how that happened. We’ve been a corporatist society for nearly 100 years… A fight between statist (progressives) and corpooratists (conservatives) that has put us where we are now…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 23, 2009 6:43 PM
Comment #291401

The city journal link isn’t working. 404 error.

Posted by: gergle at November 23, 2009 8:29 PM
Comment #291404

http://www.city-journal.org/2009/eon1122fs.html

Isn’t working? I just cut and pasted it in after verifying…

Oh, sorry, there was a period after the link that got added into the hyperlink. Remove the period or try the link I just posted, it wil work.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 23, 2009 8:32 PM
Comment #291412

Stephen I linked to the wrong article , this may make more sense.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34067419/ns/business-businessweekcom/

Our politicians, should they want to actually be in office, must accept the money. That is our fault, we believe political bribery is free speech. It is the system not the politicians that is the problem, IMHO.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 23, 2009 9:04 PM
Comment #291414

I don’t know, j2t2, I think the bribing that gets done on our behalf by other politicians with our own money is a bigger concern…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 23, 2009 9:14 PM
Comment #291420

Marysdude:

Who is going to protect us from government?

Posted by: Craig Holmes at November 23, 2009 10:00 PM
Comment #291422

j2t2-
No. It’s the politicians. The system is just a bunch of individual politicians working together with our political pressure applied where we see fit to put it.

I mean, think about it: who do you ask to change the system? The politicians. They’re the ones who’d have to pass any reform.

We can’t hold a system accountable. Systems aren’t responsible for things. Individuals can be held responsible, and should be. We should stop excusing that as political reality, and start fighting against it as the political travesty it is.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 23, 2009 10:16 PM
Comment #291423

Craig Holmes-
You should know what the answer has always been: we protect ourselves, by our rights to speak, to report, and to vote. When we fail to use those rights, nothing in the world can protect us.

I am not afraid of my government. My government should be afraid of me, and everybody like me. The problem with your Republicans, and some of our Democrats, is that they just don’t fear the voter enough, especially with their excuses about how government is bad in the first place. Kind of a good excuse to underachieve, isn’t it? You can pass off your failures as the fault of government’s naturally inability to do things right, instead of having to take responsibility of it as your own.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 23, 2009 10:21 PM
Comment #291424

j2t2-
As for the article, which I recommend the free-market conservatives read, Here’s what I think: It’s time to start pounding them hard. Raise holy hell to high heaven, because with stories like this, those rotten bastards don’t have much defense left.

They should have read the biblical passage about the guy who was forgiven his debt by the king, but got locked up after he tried to shake down somebody who owed him money.

I cannot understand the depths of stupidity of people on Wall Street sometimes. Are these people really that oblivious to the fact that a Damocless sword of resentment and hatred hangs over their head, and that even among the Republicans, there are people who would cheer their destruction?

Large scale political changes because morons like this fail to notice the tensions developing between them and society. They keep pushing their luck until something snaps.

And if they keep pushing it, then it gets even worse. But some people have been on top for so long, they’re no longer even properly considering how their actions look to everybody else.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 23, 2009 10:31 PM
Comment #291425

Stephen:

Thus the second amendment.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at November 23, 2009 10:40 PM
Comment #291427

Craig Holmes-
I believe that’s a bit of revisionist history. I won’t say the right to bear arms is unreasonable as a guard against a renegade government, but I don’t think that was the first thing on the framers minds. In that time, America was a frontier country, with its back to an extensive wilderness, and large parts of the continent in the possession of potential enemies.

As the very text of the amendment says, the second amendment was about dealing with three different varieties of threats, of which government tyranny was only one. Insurrection and foreign invaders were the other.

Kind of puts flirting with states seceding to a bunch of survivalists and anti-government militia members in perspective, doesn’t it?

I’m not comfortable, to say the least, with the undertones of violence on the right concerning liberals. But Republicans should consider that not all Democrats and liberals share the typical liberal strawman’s horror of guns and weapons.

That said, violence should always be a last resort, and only then in self-defense. Those who answer ideas they don’t like with the threat of violence don’t get the point of Democracy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 24, 2009 12:59 AM
Comment #291428
I won’t say the right to bear arms is unreasonable as a guard against a renegade government, but I don’t think that was the first thing on the framers minds

They had just fought a revolution against a tyrannical government who attempted to keep them docile by taking away their guns… I am not sure why you don’t think that was high on their minds, especially considering what they said when the Amendment was introduced to get the constitution ratified.

That said, violence should always be a last resort, and only then in self-defense.

Which is the one pledge that Libertarians have to agree to upon joining the party. Yet you keep trying to lump Libertarians with right wing sepratists groups as a danger to the country because of their hair trigger racism… You’d think you would think that you would praise them for being the only party who makes that requirement…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 24, 2009 1:07 AM
Comment #291429

Craig,

Unlike you, I don’t consider the government to be as great an enemy to me, as an individual, as those many entities out there, like financial houses that are too big to fail, that do actually threaten me. And, government is the only entity great enough to stave off those hard cruel types who would do so. While any government has the potential to do its citizens harm, and does so sometimes, the harm from ours is mostly benign, while harm from my real enemies is not benign at all.

Rhinehold,

Through many discussions here we determine that Conservatives are no longer Lincolnesque, Libertarians are no longer Daniel Boone’s, and Liberals changed from believers in slavery to having an abhorrence of it. In your very article, Liberalism changed radically in a mere five year period. We have, in our national history, flirted with Socialism many times, and have even incorporated many Social programs into the national mix.

One of the things that has kept us strong over these centuries has been this very flexibility. It is when we become rigid in our credos that we falter in our growth as a nation.

Change is inevitable. When I was a teen, highway drag-racing was common. In todays world, because of the growth in the numbers of vehicles that contend for the space, drag-racing on a highway would be suicidal and murderous. Libertarians have not figured that part out yet. They actually believe it is possible to be Daniel Boone forever.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 24, 2009 3:36 AM
Comment #291446

Rhinehold-
If it was the first thing on their minds, why do they mention well-regulated militias first as a preface to the right to keep and bear arms being guaranteed for all? Folks on the right have grounded the second amendment too much in self-indulgence and self-interest, rather than as an overall right that was aimed at the security of the community, as much as that of the individual.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 24, 2009 10:03 AM
Comment #291458

Stephen,

You said, “Unlike you, I don’t consider the government to be as great an enemy to me…”

Would you have said the same thing five years ago? Two?

As to the financial institutions who you have so cleverly allied with the Republican parties, you should look at the campaign contributions and political participation of Goldman Sachs alumni over the past 20 years, they are much more closely allied with the Democrat Party.

As to the rest of your article, you have clearly lost your ability to do decent analysis. You used to speak eloquently about decisions and judgement being in the gray area. Your articles have become as well researched and nuanced as a Rush Limbaugh segment. You take a piece of information and crank out a vitrolic thousand words. For someone that seems to loathe the idiot right, you seem to be very willing to take on their methods.

Posted by: Rob at November 24, 2009 10:52 AM
Comment #291461

>You take a piece of information and crank out a vitrolic thousand words. For someone that seems to loathe the idiot right, you seem to be very willing to take on their methods.
Posted by: Rob at November 24, 2009 10:52 AM

Unlike you, Rob, who takes the time to respond to the wrong individual in a vitriolic way. I’m over here, and if you want to spew bile, at least aim it in the right direction.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 24, 2009 10:59 AM
Comment #291463
If it was the first thing on their minds, why do they mention well-regulated militias first as a preface to the right to keep and bear arms being guaranteed for all?

Because you make the invalid assumption that ‘well regulated’ means regulated by a governmental body. That phrase didn’t have that meaning when the constitution was written.

http://www.constitution.org/cons/wellregu.htm

The phrase “well-regulated” was in common use long before 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to the property of something being in proper working order. Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected.
Posted by: Rhinehold at November 24, 2009 11:12 AM
Comment #291465
Libertarians have not figured that part out yet. They actually believe it is possible to be Daniel Boone forever.

Another perfect example of how you just don’t comprehend what being a Libertarian means. I suppose it is easy to dismiss that which you can’t understand, but you make a mistake in doing so.

It has nothing to do with being a ‘frontier man’ or ‘Daniel Boone’ or whatever other way you want to describe a loner who wants to be removed from society. Libertarianism is a way to live within society in a way that does not allow others to force you to live in a way you disagree with.

You know, freedom and liberty? Or are those concepts no longer valid in your United States as well?

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 24, 2009 11:15 AM
Comment #291467
the harm from ours is mostly benign

You have the good fortune of not wanting to live your life outside of the current majority’s view of how it should be lived…

As soon as that changes, I am sure that you will be one of the first to complain. Oh wait, you did a few years ago. Did those warantless wiretaps ever stop, btw?

Some of us understand how dangerous it is to live ‘outside of accepted normality’. Heck, for some they can just be sitting on their couch in their own homes.

Why not tell the families of these people who great they have it here in the US, they will be greatly relieved to hear that our government’s use of force is ‘mostly benign’:

http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/drug-war-victim/

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 24, 2009 11:22 AM
Comment #291468

Where the regulation comes from is immaterial. Whether it means it runs like a clock or is regulated by a government entity, it still means those in the Militia are to be armed. Why would that then mean that everyone is free to be armed? A Militia, made up of EVERY citizen who wishes to be armed could possibly be ‘well regulated’? Run like clockwork? Where does this stuff come from?

Posted by: Marysdude at November 24, 2009 11:28 AM
Comment #291469

Stephen you may be forgetting the voter and the role of the voting public as you make your case that the system cannot be held responsible for the act of the politicians. Were the voters as educated as our founding fathers intended perhaps campaign contributions from corporations and foreign governments would be recognized as political bribery instead of free speech.

Since the days of Clinton the dems are just about as guilty as the repubs, after all it takes money to get elected and if you follow the money much of it comes from corporate America. Look at the farce health care reform has become due to the influence of the insurance companies on both sides of the aisle.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 24, 2009 11:32 AM
Comment #291471

The Greater Good in a democratically elected government can be defined as the majority seeing benefit from policy, though a minority will always exist, opposed to any policy of any kind.

It is therefore, incumbent upon minorities holding opposing agendas to those sanctioned by the majority, to change their minority status to one of a majority. The greatest tool which can be afforded such minorities is that found in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing freedom of political speech in public forum.

As long as political speech is protected, the minority has all it needs to change its minority status, absent a sound and convincing argument. Failing to develop a sound and convincing argument however sufficient to change their status from minority to majority, cannot be allowed to become justification for harming the majority through acts such as secession, civil or revolutionary war, or acts of conspiracy toward insurrection and violence.

When tea-baggers hold up signs calling for revolution or, implying civil war with symbols of the last one, or calling for secession, they have crossed the boundaries of democracy in favor of overthrowing democratic elections and the policies that ensue from those.

There is a line that all modern democracies in the world today draw between freedom of political speech and conspiracy to overthrow the democracy that protects that freedom. And it is a necessary line to be drawn in the laws of a democratic nation. Democratic elections are themselves the civilized and humane method for changing policy and national agenda. And no minority can be permitted to override that methodology for change in their minority status.

Freedom of political speech combined with the ballot box fairly accessible to all, is all that any minority can rightfully expect in a democratically elected society. Whether change occurs or not through these processes and freedoms depends entirely on the abilities of the minority to persuade a majority to their view and to vote for that view on election day.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 24, 2009 11:42 AM
Comment #291472
Where does this stuff come from?

Well, the Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787 in Pennsylvania… There were many discussion about its adoption, some of them written in newspapers and collected as the Federalist Papers and Anti-Federalist Papers.

I would recommend starting there and having a look at what those who wrote the words meant when they wrote them if you are looking for understanding.

If, on the other hand, you want to just spew venom, I wouldn’t recommend you waste the time doing that research… Time is a precious thing.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 24, 2009 11:43 AM
Comment #291474
Freedom of political speech combined with the ballot box fairly accessible to all, is all that any minority can rightfully expect in a democratically elected society.

Wow. I am so glad I don’t live in that country you are describing where the minority have no rights other than free speech. Being able to have my minority religion and freely admit to it is something I woudl hate to lose. Heck, being treated as a human being and not 3/5th of one just because the majority says so is nice as well.

So many things that the majority cannot do to the minority in THIS country, I would hate to live in David’s country and have to give them all up to have to live my life at the whims of the majority of voters.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 24, 2009 11:50 AM
Comment #291475

Rhinehold,

There are laws written within the Constitution. Those are LAWS. It is why we have the three branches, and regulations as to how they can and should be formed. Incorporated within that Constitution is the framework for the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has final say (although it does change its say on occasion) as to what the Constitutional law mandates. So far we are in agreement?

We come apart when we try to decipher what the founders were thinking when they wrote what they wrote. I say they never intended it as a bludgeon, to be used to hit citizens with, and that their intent was a fluid document that could help guide us through all time. You apparently think it is never changing, inflexible and arbitrary and can be used as a bludgeon to beat me up with. Your words of condescension are noted and ignored.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 24, 2009 12:02 PM
Comment #291477
We come apart when we try to decipher what the founders were thinking when they wrote what they wrote. I say they never intended it as a bludgeon, to be used to hit citizens with, and that their intent was a fluid document that could help guide us through all time.

And I agree as well. I think where we fall apart is when you think that to change the document we just ‘ignore’ it when it is inconvenient and I think that to change it we go through the proscribed method of passing an amendment.

You apparently think it is never changing, inflexible and arbitrary and can be used as a bludgeon to beat me up with.

This an illogical conclusion, the document is there to PROTECT you from the government and can (and has) been changed 27 times so far. All in all a great document that allows for the protection of the minority’s individual rights against the tyranny of the majority and maintains within itself the ability to be altered as time, progressing on, demands.

I just don’t get the point of wanting to ignore it when it suits our purposes, and then turn around and complain when our political foes do the same thing? If it should be in place to protect us from our foes’ desires to violate our rights, shouldn’t we celebrate that it protects us from our own excess as well? How can you fault the Bush administration’s violation of the constitution and then have any standing by defending the Obama administration’s violation of the constitution? It is really just dependant upon who is in the office at the time to you? Isn’t that a bit ‘arbitrary’?

You call that ‘bludgeoning’, what is so bludgeoning about protecting the rights of our fellow citizens? Are you saying that we don’t have the capacity to find ways to solve our problems that don’t violate the constitution? I think I am giving Americans much greater respect than you are.

Or are you saying we can’t be expected to get together and amend the constitution when it is truly necessary? I think there are 27 examples of how you are wrong with that view…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 24, 2009 12:21 PM
Comment #291487

Rhinehold said: “Wow. I am so glad I don’t live in that country you are describing where the minority have no rights other than free speech.”

Our Constitution provides those rights as guaranteed against the power of government. You missed my reference, ever so conveniently as an excuse to go off on a rant, to the 1st Amendment.
Ah, well. Democratic governance just doesn’t sit well with conservative predilections for authoritarian government where the minority rules.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 24, 2009 1:37 PM
Comment #291503

Rob-
I have made plain the ideals I stood for before, and what I wrote five or three or two years ago or in the last election still stands.

What has changed? It has become apparent that your party is completely unwilling to compromise. That every bill is going to be a goshdarn fight. I want the reforms. I want the improvements in my government. I’m not waiting around for your party to be appeased so I can get those reforms.

If your party wants fights, there is a new generation of Democrats willing to give it to them. If you think I’m bad, I’m not. I’m still reasonable. But I’m a reasonable person who has become disenchanted with the prospects of being reasonable with the Republicans. Your party has made a cold blooded calculation in its electoral strategy that I cannot in good conscience allow to remain unchecked and unchallenged, and which fills me with anger.

It has decided that it will cause Obama to fail, but offer no alternative to his failure, thus leaving this country with no solution to the problems facing it. And it will do this so that failure to take action by the government as a whole will reflect badly on the Democrats and on the President, allowing a party that has not repented of its policies, not done anything of note to improve the lot of Americans to regain seats, and perhaps the Presidency.

I’m old fashioned. I think people should earn things if they can, that the help a liberal system provides should be for those who don’t have any other reasonable choice.

I look at this BS the Republicans are trying to pull, and it fills me with a dark black rage. After all their mistakes have cost us, they’re getting in the way, not redeeming themselves, with the notion of winning elections by building resentment against others.

When is enough enough? When are you folks willing to admit you were wrong, and that your policies should be set aside for new and better ideas? Damn it, you don’t have to make them liberal ideas. Just good. Workable. Practical. Anything but the kind of drek your party’s become addicted to in the name of ideological purism.

I’d be happy to see us return to some kind of negotiated middle ground tomorrow if the Republicans gave up on the blockade. I’d be happy to see Congress doing its work and doing its job. But as long as this blockade lasts, and Republicans won’t break with it, what is the point of being bipartisan,? What’s the point of reaching out to the other party if crossing party lines only means additional delay and defeat, rather than better chances of passage?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 24, 2009 4:50 PM
Comment #291504

Marysdude:

Unlike you, I don’t consider the government to be as great an enemy to me, as an individual, as those many entities out there, like financial houses that are too big to fail, that do actually threaten me. And, government is the only entity great enough to stave off those hard cruel types who would do so. While any government has the potential to do its citizens harm, and does so sometimes, the harm from ours is mostly benign, while harm from my real enemies is not benign at all.

Tell that to the people at Waco!!


Posted by: Craig Holmes at November 24, 2009 5:06 PM
Comment #291521
Ah, well. Democratic governance just doesn’t sit well with conservative predilections for authoritarian government where the minority rules.

Ah, this tired old BS again. The notion that defending the rights of the minority is ‘authoritarian’. Just as the sky is green and the grass is blue.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 24, 2009 7:05 PM
Comment #291528

Bark shooters are a fact of life, we live with it because it just IS, but when things turn ugly like they did at Waco, Wounded Knee, Ruby Ridge, et al, they should have understood they pot and the fire concept. It is not that I am defending the government or its stooges, it is that violent activity is a magnet to violent activity…it goes with the territory.

I’m saying that Koresh and his bunch were flirting with fire and it burned them. When the smoke settled, the government turned out to be wrong, but it certainly had good reason to believe there was cause for concern. You spout off as if Waco was the Brown Shirt movement in Germany, and you think I
use hyperbole…did Clinton tell the ATF folks to go out there to Waco, and set the place on fire and kill those that the fire doesn’t get? No. He used the information he had on the subject and ordered an arrest. WTF???

Posted by: Marysdude at November 24, 2009 7:36 PM
Comment #291571
it is that violent activity is a magnet to violent activity…it goes with the territory.

I’m saying that Koresh and his bunch were flirting with fire and it burned them. When the smoke settled, the government turned out to be wrong, but it certainly had good reason to believe there was cause for concern.

They were flirting with fire how, exactly? They were living a different lifestyle than you? They were exercising their 1st & 2nd amendment rights? What did they do wrong, exactly, that led to the warrant being served and the terrible mistake that occurred that morning?

You spout off as if Waco was the Brown Shirt movement in Germany, and you think I use hyperbole…

I suggest no such thing. I point out that government *IS* force. This is the result of that force, sometimes the constant threat of it is not enough and actual force gets applied. But make no mistake, behind every law is the threat of Waco occuring.

Ask these people:

http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/drug-war-victim/

A law is an authorization of the legal use of force by the police force on the citizens. Sorry if you think that is ‘hyperbole’ but is isn’t, it’s an actual fact. And when you diminish the reality of that you allow it to continue and are just as guilty for those deaths because you vote to authorize it…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 25, 2009 10:23 AM
Comment #291576

Craig Holmes-
These people fired on and killed federal agents. They should not be lionized, set up as heroes. We are a nation ruled by laws, not by the self-righteousness of our citizens.

The FBI and the others could have handled it better, but there are civilian checks and balances and constitutional rights which are available to them, and they should have availed themselves of those.

When a religious group starts considering itself above the law, it does damage both to itself and to its community. There is a reason that Paul advised his churches to respect the authorities in power, even though he was talking about the Romans in his time.

As the sort of person who believed in law and order back then, I found it appalling that the Republicans and others were trying to make martyrs out of them. It just smacks of this attitude that pushing one’s agenda is more important that keeping things together on a basic level in society, and as my entry lays out, that’s something I deeply resent.

Folks have to realize that when they play with fire by backing folks like that, a lot of people are going to get burned

Rhinehold-
There’s defending the rights of the minority and then there’s insisting on that minority getting its way.

The Republicans are insisting that its their way or the highway. They’re not even really offering alternatives, which could pass in their own right. I mean, if they could get just ten or twelve more votes, and do a little dance with the committee members, they might be able to work something out.

But the Republicans just want things to be done their way. They want to starve their political enemies of achievements. I think that’s an unworthy, and dangerous goal to set.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 25, 2009 10:42 AM
Comment #291579

Again, Stephen, sorry but you are bemoaning something that is a problem with the Democrat party, not the Republican.

The Democrats can’t agree, so it’s the Republican’s fault? The Democrat’s refuse to take the Republicans up on their threats of filibuster because they want to enjoy the same when they are out of power again, and its the Republican’s fault?

The fact that you can’t own up to your own issues and want to deflect them onto Republicans CONTINUOUSLY is starting to be sad…

But worse, since you aren’t going to convince Republicans, all you are doing is pissing off independants, the same ones who voted you into office, with the way you are governing and responding to your opposition. Lumping anyone who disagrees with this president on specific policy issues into the same ‘racist’ groups, trying to shut down debates, hiding the text of bills that are being voted upon until after the vote takes place, etc. You were given a filibuster proof senate and overwhelming majority in the House and STILL you blame the Republicans for being able to stop you. Yet, you were unable to stop all of those horrible things being done during the Bush administration when they never had that kind of majorities.

I guess those sitting outside can declare the Republicans the better party if you want to get things done, can’t they? You just help make the Democratic party sound like a bunch of whining elitist wonks. I’m sure you would rather not reinforcing that old stereotype, but that is exactly what you are doing and exactly why support for this administration’s policies have been dropping and are now under 50%…

People want change, but they don’t want THIS change and they are starting to demand a different direction. By insisting it is your way or the highway, which you have done but are unwilling to take responsibility for, you are assuring that there will be a loss of seats for the Democrats in 2010.

Of course, I predicted all of this, but don’t mind me, I’ll just be off being all ‘racist’ and stuff, getting my gun out and trying to lynch a sitting president. At least, that’s what I’m being portrayed as by the left. It’s astonising that I am not interested in voting for them, must just be my ignorance.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 25, 2009 11:08 AM
Comment #291582

Rhineland-
What’s sad is that you think I don’t notice the elephant in the room of the Senate: the forty Republican Senators who have to vote in lockstep to keep the cloture votes from succeeding. If just a few of them say yes, then Democrats wouldn’t have to worry about absolute unity in order to pass legislation.

It puzzles me that you don’t approach the Republican claims (which your talking points are) with more skepticism. After all, you’re not one of them. You don’t have to buy their rhetoric without question.

The question is what change is it that they want? Are things difficult in passing this legislation because of what a majority Americans want, or just a few, strategic figures in Congress, and a stubborn, obstructing minority?

Did we Democrats not make ourselves clear on what we would do in the last two elections? Did Barack Obama mumble in his campaign when he laid out what his policies would be?

What change was it that they elected?

I cannot believe that a public that knocked the Republicans out of the majority, then put further distance between the two of them the second time around wasn’t looking for our kind of change.

Has it occured to you that it’s the fact that Congress has been stalled that’s affecting the poll numbers? That people look at the people who were elected, and wonder why they are not getting results?

I find this line of argument sickening. You prevent problems from getting solved to sap the Democrats of the credit they would get for doing the work, then turn around and use it to promote the policies and candidates who ill just turn around and say no to needed things being done.

If you’ve noticed, though, Republicans are not getting a windfall from this strategy. What they may end up doing in the end is just hardening the opposition, which is a lousy idea if you’re in the minority, with only a few Conservatives in that majority between you and an utter failure to thrive. You can’t build up the tensions and the grievances on the other side without costing yourself the ability to negotiate.

What they’re doing, I think, will strangle the ability of their minority to stand up for the rights of its constituents. If they don’t get the majority, then what? What is their plan? Try their luck until 2012, with Harry Reid’s conservative centrism probably no longer leading the party in that chamber?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 25, 2009 12:06 PM
Comment #291587

Stephen,

The talking points are not the Republicans, they are the Democrats. We can’t save America with the largest amount of power that any party has enjoyed in decades, it’s all those Republican’s fault that we can’t get anything done…

Perhaps it is just the two party system that you have a problem with? Maybe a single party system is what you are after?

Do you really think that the people of the United States is not paying attention, Stephen?

Did we Democrats not make ourselves clear on what we would do in the last two elections? Did Barack Obama mumble in his campaign when he laid out what his policies would be?

Actually, yes. Obama made several promises that were either too good to be true and he has already broken or were contradictory depending on who he was speaking to at the time.

But you labor under the false perception that the American people voted overwhelmingly for Democrat’s policies. What they voted for was something other than Bush and Obama’s personality. Many people like Obama. They just don’t like what he is trying to do to the country.

Has it occured to you that it’s the fact that Congress has been stalled that’s affecting the poll numbers?

Not really, since that is not what the polling information is telling us. Another Democratic talking point, Stephen?

“the most recent CBS News poll shows only 40 percent of Americans approve of the proposed health care plans in Congress while 45 percent disapprove.”

This is not people saying they approve or disapprove of congress, democrats, republicans, the president or anyone else. This is opposition to THESE PLANS. Most people do not want a public option. Most people don’t want to have it illegal to not purchase health insurance. Most people understand that that provision is unconstitutional.

How can you expect Republicans to support a plan that DEMOCRATS are at odds with themselves on? What kind of logic is that, Stephen? We can’t get all of the people we have basic agreements with to buy in, but the fault are those that oppose the kind of reforms we are talking about at their very core?

Keep attacking the minority out of power party, Stephen. It just makes the Democrats look small and weak. Again, if you don’t think people are paying attention…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 25, 2009 2:33 PM
Comment #291593

Rhinehold-
Juvenile, this whole argument. The opposition is to the politics, and the politics has been a put up job. How can we tell?

61% of people want a public option, according to a recent CBSNews poll. They want a government competitor to the private industry out there. That’s 56% among independents, around 80% for Democrats.

This throws a serious monkey wrench in your argument. People are literally of two minds about this. What the Republicans have done is not appeal to already present fears, but laid a minefield of loaded terms which poll poorly, even when people, otherwise polled, score the actual concepts more highly.

Which indicates somethign to us: namely, that Republicans have been more successful in selling the legend of a center right country, than creating the actual reality of it.

What happened in 2006 and 2008 is that they overleveraged this, and Republican’s bubble burst, not once, but twice.

What have they done since then? The equivalent of market manipulation. They’re blockading the senate to drive down the Democrat’s numbers. I wonder, would they feel this necessary if they didn’t fear that Americans would like a Congress going to work for them?

Would they feel this necessary, Rhinehold, if they knew that Americans would reject the Democrat’s legislative efforts wholesale?

A narrative is being created here, and some are fitting the facts to that narrative, rather than the narratives being fixed to the facts as they really are.

Why else talk about outlandish things like Death Panels, and taking people’s Medicare away? Why else spout so much froth about nazis and **** like that?

If Liberal and Progressive policy was truly so horrible on the merits, the Right could do what we on the left did: for the most part, simply inform people of what was being done.

Instead, these folks have to minimize the real achievements of the Democrats, dump on those real achievements and proposals with lies, mistruths, and wildly inaccurate allegations, and maintain a constant campaign of villification.

The Republicans want what they have not earned. Unless they can give us another choice than just a nervous procrastination on the status quo until it becomes a problem for them, they don’t deserve to win.

Democrats should not have had to play this kind of bulls*** political game simply to move legislation around. We earned the majority. We offered an alternative people accepted. When are you going to accept that people have a right to the alternative of your paradigm of politics and law? Is freedom only alright until it allows somebody to offer up policy you don’t like for a simple up and down vote?

The filibuster power in the senate should not be abused like this, used as a weapon to hamstring a duly elected majorities ability to legislate. NOTHING in this nation’s history has ever happened like this.

The constitution did not set down one’s politics as the determinant of one’s right to rule, nor one’s ability to play vicious cutthroat games of power. It set Democratically held elections as the means to fill those positions, at least in the House. Later, we would amend the constitution to make Senators popularly elected, too. We won those elections, won them fair and square.

That’s the compromise we make between having a few ruling tyrannically over all, and people swamped with the mind-numbing complexities of an unmanageable world in a Direct Democracy.

I don’t think anybody is becoming more charmed with libertarianism like you enjoy on account of it being ENFORCED. You’re building up resentment in people who believe that they played by the rules and deserve the rewards of doing so. Who are you to tell them that they should just let a vocal, strident, extremist minority party cancel out their rights because of some arrogant presupposition of political superiority?

I mean, what gives them the goddamn right to do this? Why should the majority of the American people have to sacrifice their rights to the priviliged few who call themselves conservatives? What noble order, what ruling totalitarian party do they belong to, that can so ask this? When did we rewrite the constitution for this kind of flouting of the constitutional order.

Find me, Libertarian, that constitutional rule that explicitly authorizes the Republicans to have this kind of veto power. Find me that damn minority right you’re so fond of.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 25, 2009 5:39 PM
Comment #291611

My hand is up, Stephen…I know…I know…GUV’MENT BAD!

Posted by: Marysdude at November 25, 2009 7:29 PM
Comment #291613
If Liberal and Progressive policy was truly so horrible on the merits, the Right could do what we on the left did: for the most part, simply inform people of what was being done.

SNORT! Rosy Glasses there, Stephen. We are good, they are bad…

Find me, Libertarian, that constitutional rule that explicitly authorizes the Republicans to have this kind of veto power. Find me that damn minority right you’re so fond of.

You know, I think I’ll let my responses to this in another column speak for themselves on this, other than to say that ‘constitutionally’ speaking, the Democrats can get rid of the filibuster completely if they want to. I have not once said that it was involate, just gave you the reasons why it was there. I’ll requote David Remer on the topic.

I believe it is Jefferson’s Parliamentary rules for the Senate that grant the minority party the filibuster option on any legislation proposed on the Senate Floor when the Senate is in session. If I recall this correctly, it is these centuries old rules that are threatened to be changed by the GOP, and not just for judgeships. By changing the filibuster rule, they open many other majority party whims to be acceded to by a simple majority on a floor vote.

In fact, if the filibuster rule is changed, there is nothing to prevent any majority party from changing all of the parliamentary rules to their favor for as long as they remain a majority party. Talk about chaos and losing an entire year or more while a majority party rewrites all of the rules in their favor. Fun stuff this…

So, they can do it if they want to. They won’t.

But let’s pretend that they do. Do you think they are going to be happy when they are 49-51 or 50-50 in the Senate in a few years and wanting to block something that they disagree with?

It’s too bad we haven’t had something like that recently and saw what their responses to that was! OOOPS

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 25, 2009 7:54 PM
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