Democrats & Liberals Archives

Five Reasons The Republican Majority Remains Lost

Let’s start with today’s number one reason:

House GOP leaders: 9/11 first responders aid bill ‘a massive new entitlement program’ I dunno. I’m still trying to figure out how this makes things better for the GOP.

House Republican leadership is advising its members to vote against a bipartisan bill that would, among other things, bolster medical support to Sept. 11 victims.

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2009, sponsored by New York City Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D), provides medical monitoring to those exposed to toxins at Ground Zero, bolsters treatment at specialized centers for those afflicted by toxins on 9/11 and reopens a compensation fund to provide economic loss to New Yorkers.

And it’s all paid for by closing a tax loophole on foreign companies with U.S. subsidiaries, Democrats say.

There should be a big neon sign on top of that one saying "Please for the love of God vote for this if you have a brain.", but apparently, it was left in the shop. I mean, jeez louise man.

Number Two: The unpopularity of Healthcare Reform is declining. By that, I mean, Fifty percent approve, and Thirty-five percent disapprove.

Republicans hoping that it would be an anchor around the Democrat's leg may end up sorely disappointed.

Number Three: Republicans are failing math.

Appearing on Fox News, Thune and host Greta Van Susteren discussed the bill's call for the creation of a Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction, tasked with reducing the deficit 10 percent year over year.

"It would be required to find 10% in savings -- 10% of the deficit in savings every budget cycle," Thune said.

"So in 10 years we wouldn't have a deficit?" van Sustern asked.

"Theoretically, yes," Thune replied. "10% Is a floor. Obviously -- you can go beyond that."

This is what's known in think tank (and Twitter) circles as a #mathfail.

According to Thune's plan, "the new Joint Committee must introduce legislation that eliminates or reduces spending on wasteful government programs and achieves a savings of at least 10 percent of the previous year's budget deficit." Because the deficit would decrease yearly, the actual returns on 10 percent annual savings would diminish over time, such that it would take decades to reduce the deficit to one percent of its current level. Forty-three years to be exact. For those who remember Zeno's paradox, it would actually be impossible to ever completely eliminate the deficit under the Thune plan.

Well, maybe he intended to say that his plan would cut ten percent a year from current levels. Okay, that granted, is there still a problem?

Yes. It's called extending the Bush Tax Cuts.

Nunes is right about one thing: Tax cuts do increase the debt, but he’s dead wrong in claiming that they reduce the deficit. In fact, as the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities pointed out, the Bush tax cuts will cause $3.4 trillion in deficits between 2009 and 2019 while the “debt-service costs caused by the Bush-era tax cuts, amount[] to more than $200 billion through 2008 and another $1.7 trillion over the 2009-2019 period — over $330 billion in 2019 alone.”

Number Four: Those wonderful, wonderful, wonderful quotes! :-)

Here's a nice selection:

Rand Paul, in Details Magazine:


Something about Harlan has lodged itself in my brain the way a shard of barbecue gets stuck in one's teeth, and I've asked Paul for help. "I don't know," he says in an elusive accent that's not quite southern and not quite not-southern. The town of Hazard is nearby, he notes: "It's famous for, like, The Dukes of Hazzard."

No, it's famous for something else. The Dukes of Hazzard was actually set in Georgia.

"It sounds funny, but you need to be paying more for your health care,"

Nope, not really.

Paul believes mountaintop removal just needs a little rebranding. "I think they should name it something better," he says. "The top ends up flatter, but we're not talking about Mount Everest. We're talking about these little knobby hills that are everywhere out here. And I've seen the reclaimed lands. One of them is 800 acres, with a sports complex on it, elk roaming, covered in grass." Most people, he continues, "would say the land is of enhanced value, because now you can build on it."

If you know what Mountaintop Removal Mining is about, you know just how jawdropping that statement is. It's a practice opposed by the majority of West Virginians. It not only causes more environmental damage, but it's used by the Corporations to get out of the labor intensive requirements of traditional coal seam mining.

Oh, and then there's that other stuff Rand Paul said about the Civil Rights act.

Sharron Angle seems to be competing to make an even bigger ass out of herself, handing a likely Election day life preserver to Harry Reid, who many had declared DOA.

On the oil and mining industries:

I was just saying we are over regulating some of our industries and of course the oil and petroleum industry is one of those we’ve been over regulating and that has what has been dependent on foreign oil.

On "Second Amendment Remedies"

Angle: I feel that the Second Amendment is the right to keep and bear arms for our citizenry. This not for someone who's in the military. This not for law enforcement. This is for us. And in fact when you read that Constitution and the founding fathers, they intended this to stop tyranny. This is for us when our government becomes tyrannical...

Manders: If we needed it at any time in history, it might be right now.

Angle: Well it's to defend ourselves. And you know, I'm hoping that we're not getting to Second Amendment remedies. I hope the vote will be the cure for the Harry Reid problems.

Sort of reminds me of this little comment the King of England made about some priest. Hopefully somebody hasn't considered Second Amendment solutions to political disputes in Washington. That kind of helped make things difficult in the Sixties and Seventies.

This one isn't quite a quote, but it does win the award for best effort to protect our precious bodily fluids.

She pulled a Barton, and then thought better of it!

Angle also seemed to agree with a caller who flatly described the fund as extortion, and added: "Government shouldn't be doing that to a private company." For good measure, she said Dems are exploiting the crisis to push energy reform and are following "Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals."

Angle made the claims on the Alan Stock show late yesterday. A caller said that Obama had "basically extorted $20 billion from a private company," and asked Angle what she thought of "the $20 billion slush fund."

"Government shouldn't be doing that to a private company," Angle replied. "And I think you named it clearly: It's a slush fund."

(We'll get to Barton a little later.)

Then there's this little prize about turning life's lemons into lemonade.

I think that two wrongs don't make a right. And I have been in the situation of counseling young girls, not 13 but 15, who have had very at risk, difficult pregnancies. And my counsel was to look for some alternatives, which they did. And they found that they had made what was really a lemon situation into lemonade.

I don't generally support abortion, but I really do think that in such cases, it should be the choice of the woman who just got assaulted by the father of the child. This isn't a piece of fruit, it's the violation of a woman by the father.

Back to Joe Barton. The oil is spilled on Louisiana shores, fishermen and folks who depend on tourists are out of work, and Barton thinks that the tragedy of the first order is that BP is persuaded to pay for the damages they've done in a way that ensures that they won't try to weasel out of it?

And these aren't mainstream folks. John Boehner compares the target of the Financial reforms to an ant, and the reforms to a nuclear weapon. Yeah. Well, when the ant eats a significant portion of the economy and doesn't even pay when the check comes around, I think a little nuking is in order.

How do Republicans get the idea they can say these things?

Well, when the only folks you listen to all day are lobbyists buttering you up for their sectors, Fellow Republicans speaking your language, and a news network and conservative media praising you for saying things like this, you might get the idea that everybody's cheering you on. Unfortunately for Republicans, the fan club aren't the only folks Republicans need to appeal to in order to get elected.

Number Five: The hits just keep coming!

The article linked discusses the possible political repercussions of a new oil spill, this time in the area of Lake Michigan. Add that to a new one down in Louisiana.

Republicans have something they didn't have in 1994: a terrible legacy of catastrophic policy screw-ups. People might forget, but how much does it take for them to remember, once again?

Small screw-ups fade from memory. Big screw-ups stick around. Republicans, in an effort to avoid having to concede problems to Democratic Party competition, decided to let a lot of problems get worse. Whether that was a fiscal crisis, a market heading for instability thanks to the housing market, a war that was spiraling out of control, the Republicans essentially put themselves in a position of trying to muscle back the media and public opinion blowback from a series of incredible, difficult to believe screw-ups, rather than taking steps to deal with the realities of those problems.

Of those two options, that is, trying to muscle back disdain from people who think you're screwing up, and solving the problem, I would tell you that solving the problem is the better option. With the first option, you're choosing the option that offers the easiest, least difficult decisions to make. It's always going to be easy to talk than do something real, and if you can convince people to accept your talk, your problem's solved.

But for all that easiness, that option represents the hardest way to get anything positive actually done for your country, much less your party. Talk only works when it motivates action, and the talk most people use to jawbone themselves out of trouble often motivates inaction instead. Then when the problem spirals out of control, you find yourself with something really difficult to talk your way out of.

If, however, you manage the problem in the real world, and deal with things responsibly, it's a lot easier to talk your way out of problems, because people cut problem solvers slack easier than they cut loafers slack.

Republicans can talk all they want to, in order to defend their inaction, but when it comes right down to it, people will still see the results of that inaction. A Republican Party that continues to seek excuses to do nothing, or to help their old friends is rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic. Talk was nice in the 90's, when people didn't have wars or economic problems to deal with. Now people want more from their government. If the Republicans can't or won't deliver, that will serve as a ceiling to the fulfillment of their ambitions.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at July 31, 2010 12:31 PM
Comments
Comment #304967

SD, why don’t you write anything positive about the past two years instead of simply bashing the GOP. I already know the GOP is too foolish to deserve my vote, however I have not been convinced that voting Democratic is the way to go. Why does my Democratic Congresswoman (Niki Tsongas) deserve my vote in November?

BTW, you probably should have double checked this:

Rand Paul, in Details Magazine:


Something about Harlan has lodged itself in my brain the way a shard of barbecue gets stuck in one’s teeth, and I’ve asked Paul for help. “I don’t know,” he says in an elusive accent that’s not quite southern and not quite not-southern. The town of Hazard is nearby, he notes: “It’s famous for, like, The Dukes of Hazzard.”

No, it’s famous for something else. The Dukes of Hazzard was actually set in Georgia.


Hazard KY is in the county next to Harlan. The name “Hazzard County” in the CBS show was derived from this Kentucky town, so I wouldn’t condemn Rand Paul for his statement.

Posted by: Warped Reality at July 31, 2010 3:13 PM
Comment #304969

It is sad. The Democratic platform since 2004 has been that they are not Republicans and are better/smarter/not dishonest.

Turns out the that only true part of that is that they are not Republicans.

Nancy Pelosi has run a House that is a model of corruption. They have been doing no real good.

Let the Democrats run on their record since they won power in 2006. Are you better off now than you were then? Have you been impressed by the Democratic leadership over the past four years?

Interesting thing about those oil spills. Obama was running the show when the BP spill happened in Federal waters. A Democratic governor also is running Michigan. So this oil stuff is a Democratic problem and another reason to vote the clowns out.

The problem for Democrats is that they are in charge. It is hard to run against dishonesty and incompetence in government when you are the government.

Posted by: C&J at July 31, 2010 3:51 PM
Comment #304972

Mr. Daugherty, cherry-picking in choosing your comments is evident. I have no idea what your point is other than any fool can find quotes that make the speaker appear stupid. For evidence of that, consider some of the stupid things Obama Boop has said. Unlike your comments, I won’t bore the readers here with an endless list of them.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 31, 2010 4:46 PM
Comment #304982


The point is:

Democrats are trying to convince their base that they haven’t moved right to moderate Republican.

The Republicans are trying to convince their base that they really are neoconservative.

One party is taking a libertarian approach to corpocracy, while the other party is trying to keep its progressive roots alive without soil or water.

The two party system has failed. The people haven’t given the government a passing grade in many years. The sad part is that the people are kept divided on issues by the two parties and are unable to consider alternatives like representative democracy.

A majority say they would end corporate personhood and adjust money is free speech. Again, no response from either party is convincing evidence that representative democracy is a hollow joke.

Posted by: jlw at July 31, 2010 6:26 PM
Comment #304983

Warped Reality-
He can be forgiven for the confusion, but my question would be, is this guy really close enough to the people in their thoughts or interests to Represent them well? Others could be forgiven for being ignorant of local history, but not a guy who wants to lead the people effected by it as a Senator.

C&J-
No, that hasn’t been our platform. We have clear platform items like Greening of the economy, reform of Wall Street, Healthcare Reform, and we’ve actually done things to carry those platform items out.

Republicans, on the other hand have run on not being Democrats, and this time on not being the incumbents. Did they help raise dissatisfaction by showing people a better way? No, the did so by talking a lot of bull about Democratic Policies. That’s why I spoke of the increasing popularity of Democrat’s Healthcare Reform. Because people are forgetting the BS, they’re recognizing that the policies were for the most part benign. There was no sudden government takeover, no jackbooted docs knocking down people’s doors to drag off Granny. America has not become the Soviet Union, and no, the economy did not collapse again.

As for Democratic leadership over the past four years, it is amazing what we have gotten done despite literal record obstruction from the GOP. I’m sad that your side has seen fit to just throw a legislative tantrum, and played boat anchor for the last few years, and you should be, too.

As for your claims about the energy companies?

Republicans set the policies.
Maybe the Dog wasn’t looking when the weasel made off with the chicken, but that doesn’t mean you hire the fox to guard the henhouse. Most Democrats are willing to change the policy in response to public outrage. Most Republicans are willing to block any change in policy. People should hire the folks willing to change the policy.

As for being the government?

This ain’t England. Republicans are part of the government. They have so damaged the ability of a simple majority to rule in the Senate that the media reports the sixty vote threshold as if its nothing, as if its not an extraordinary occurence. They’ve turned a once rare procedure into one of the gravest offenses to the framers’ original intent in American history. There is a limit, or should be, to what you folks are willing to do to get back in power. The voters made their will abundantly clear. You folks did the same thing you did now before 2008. Their answer was to put Democrats even further into the majority. But you’re arguing with that. You’re still arguing that despite the results of all those votes, Democrats do not deserve to pass legislation.

My God. The majority is supposed to enjoy that privilege. We suffered for years, watching policies we didn’t like passed through Congress. Why don’t you people have the the good grace, in the interest of preserving the fabric of our Democracy, to simply endure, work up real proposals, and compete instead of obstructing the duly elected winners of the last election? Why is it that your people’s ideological dogmas seem to be more important to you than that this country functions as a Republic?

You should be ashamed of yourselves, that your party is so bankrupt that it has to act the boat anchor in order to have a chance at getting its majority back. No Contract With America to give people the hope of an alternative, just steady, unrelenting destruction of our Legislature’s ability to function. No impressing people with a repentant Republican party’s prowess with policy, no, you’re just going to do your best to vilify Democrats, and allege that they’re trying to destroy America.

There’s no future in that strategy, like I’ve said a million times. At some point, people want the government to function. Your party is hopelessly bad at it, indifferent to running things properly. You claim your way would be better, but your way has failed in practice pretty much for the last decade, and people want a change. It’s sad that you have to try and kill people’s hope of an alternative, suck the morale out of movements of change, so you get you precious authority back, and save this country from itself.

Well, let me ask a question, when you’re through saving this country from itself, who’s going to save it from you?

Royal Flush-
I was actually more afraid of having that quotes section take over the entire article, rather than running out of things to quote from these folks. Conservatives have elected a generation of people unimaginative enough to hew to the Republican Party’s narrowing list of accepted dogmas, but as a result, they’ve saddled themselves with folks so unimaginative, so incurious, so bad at thinking on their feet or in whatever position that the Democrats do not find it difficult to sound smarter.

So what do Republicans do? They attack people for sounding smarter. They’ve mowed themselves low, so they can’t let anybody else grow taller.

Unfortunately, it’s not going to fool anybody

Mr. Obama, who did not join the Senate until 2005, reminded Mr. Boehner and the Senate Republican leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, that the tax cuts’ architects purposely left the deficit problem to a future administration, according to aides from both parties.

“I wasn’t there,” Mr. Boehner quickly countered. “I didn’t structure that deal.”

The room briefly went quiet as participants seemed to ponder that statement from a legislator first elected in 1990. “How long have you been here?,” a Democrat asked Mr. Boehner, and the others broke out in laughter.

As one Liberal blogger put it:

Obama is prepared to do part of what Republicans included in their own plan — letting tax rates for those making more than $250,000 return to the same levels that existed when the economy was strong, as was outlined in the Republican plan of the Bush era. Reminded of whose idea this was in the first place, Boehner, in effect, argued that he has nothing to do with the plan he voted for, and which was crafted by his own caucus.

Indeed, Boehner was, at the time, responsible at the committee level for helping shape the tax-cut package, and was on hand at the White House for the bill-signing ceremony.

No wonder the room broke out in laughter.

I will bore readers with as many of these details as necessary, because it’s the best way they’re going to see how Republicans try to talk their way out of their current troubles, rather than do something to get people out of their current troubles.

If you’re unwilling to provide evidence for your claims, that’s alright, I’m willing to prove what I say is true without having to deal with your competition. Thank you for giving up in advance!

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 31, 2010 6:26 PM
Comment #304984
Republicans, on the other hand have run on not being Democrats, and this time on not being the incumbents.

This is a problem Democratics have. They think they are the center of the universe and it’s the other person’s fault for not genuflecting and reflecting the Democratic point of view. What an arrogant position to broadcast.

Republicans, on the other hand have run on not being Democrats
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 31, 2010 06:26 PM

The arrogance of that statement makes me ill.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 31, 2010 6:54 PM
Comment #304985
Maybe the Dog wasn’t looking when the weasel made off with the chicken, but that doesn’t mean you hire the fox to guard the henhouse. Most Democrats are willing to change the policy in response to public outrage.


Maybe we should not listen to people who want to change the policy only because they think the policy should be changed!

It sure is strange when ceos of widely respected drilling companies say there have been no major leaks until these last 2 years!

(sorry, no link.) sue me.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 31, 2010 7:09 PM
Comment #304986
This ain’t England. Republicans are part of the government. They have so damaged the ability of a simple majority to rule in the Senate that the media reports the sixty vote threshold as if its nothing, as if its not an extraordinary occurence. They’ve turned a once rare procedure into one of the gravest offenses to the framers’ original intent in American history.


It may never cross his mind he may be wrong. Only Republicans are to have delusions of grandeur, Yes?

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 31, 2010 7:22 PM
Comment #304987

C&J wrote: “It is sad. The Democratic platform since 2004 has been that they are not Republicans and are better/smarter/not dishonest.”

Since 2007 and the Obama presidency, the Democrats have initiated legislation addressing a wide range of economic, social, health, energy, immigration and environmental issues. They have not been without a platform. Universally, however, the Republicans have stonewalled the efforts and refused to cooperate even when the legislation is bedded in conservative philosophy, e.g., health care.

What is truly sad is that the Republican party has been thwarting not only Democratic solutions but any reasonable solutions to major national problems.

Posted by: Rich at July 31, 2010 7:36 PM
Comment #304988


“So this oil stuff is a Democratic problem and another reason to vote the clowns out.”

That is exactly correct. The elections of 2008 absolved the Republicans of all responsibility.

For decades, the in party has been irresponsible to the people. The out party begins to sound very responsible to their base until general election time. It is at that time, both parties make the effort to sound responsible to the center. After the election, the in party again, becomes unresponsive to the will of the majority. The two parties have a nice little ‘Catch 22’ going on behalf of the moneyed minority.

The third branch is covered as well. The litmus test for the SC is corpocracy; either you support it or your unacceptable.

For the most part the conservatives on the court can provide for the corporations but, there are rare situations when the liberals are called upon to carry the load, when a particular issue may be sticky for the conservatives. The eminent domain case of a couple of years ago was an example.

It is no coincidence that the only response to the people on anti-corpocracy is coming from local governments.

Posted by: jlw at July 31, 2010 7:36 PM
Comment #304989
My God. The majority is supposed to enjoy that privilege. We suffered for years, watching policies we didn’t like passed through Congress.

Is this getting pathetic, or what?

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 31, 2010 7:42 PM
Comment #304990

Two names: Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters

And don’t forget William Jefferson.

And all of them, even if ever convicted, will get to keep their cu$hy pensions, and may even get a pardon (like Dan Rostenkowski; pardoned by Bill Clinton).
Just ask the following congress persons (i.e. your tax dollars hard-at-rest):

      Democrats:
    • (D) Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill., the former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, was sent to prison on charges of keeping “ghost” employees on his payroll and embezzling public funds to buy gifts for friends and family. He was pardoned by Bill Clinton, and was still able to keep his $126,000 annual federal pension. Cha Ching!

    • (D) Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., convicted on federal charges of racketeering, soliciting bribes and money laundering in a long-running bribery investigation into business deals he tried to broker in Africa.

    • (D) John M. Murphy

    • (D) Austin J. Murphy

    • (D) Carroll Hubbard Jr.

    • (D) Mario Biaggi

    • (D) Walter E. Fauntroy

    • (D) Mary Rose Oakar

    • (D) Nicholas Mavroules

    • (D) Joseph P. Kolter

    • (D) Lawrence J. Smith

    • (D) Frederick W. Richmond

    • (D) Albert G. Bustamante

    • (D) Michael J. Myers

    • (D) Carl C. Perkins

      Republicans:
    • (R) Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, R-Calif., resigned in November 2005 after pleading guilty to accepting $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors and underreporting his income for 2004. He reportedly used his ill-gotten gains to buy a yacht, a Rolls Royce and a mansion in a Washington suburb. Mr. Cunningham started serving an eight-year prison sentence in March 2006 and still collects a combined $64,000-a-year congressional and military pension.

    • (R) David Durenberger

    • (R) Rep. James A. Traficant Jr., D-Ohio, was ousted from Congress after being convicted in 2002 for taking bribes, filing false tax returns, racketeering and forcing aides to perform chores on his farm. He is serving an eight-year prison term and continues to receive his $40,000-a-year taxpayer-funded federal pension.

    • (R) John G. Rowland

    • (R) Donald E. Lukens

    • (R) Rep. Robert Ney, R-Ohio, was convicted last year of doing illegal favors for a lobbyist in return for gifts, expensive meals, skybox sports tickets and luxury travel that included a golf vacation to Scotland. When he turns 62 in nine years and becomes eligible, he will receive a $33,000 annual federal pension.

Since 1980 at least 27 (or more) lawmakers have been convicted of crimes.

But why shouldn’t they commit crimes, when crime pays so well, and when the voters repeatedly reward FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Do-Nothing Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates?

The blind, circular partisan-warfare is so, so, so, soooooooooo old.

The fact is, the majority of incumbent politicians in BOTH parties suck.

Otherwise, who can name 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (half of 535) in Do-Nothing Congress who are not FOR-SALE, incompetent, and/or corrupt?
This question has still not been unanswered for many years.
If any blind partisan loyalists from EITHER party can’t prove that at least half of Congress is not FOR-SALE, incompetent, and/or corrupt, then how do they know THEIR party is better than the other party?

Keep right on pullin’ that party-lever, wallowing in the blind, circular partisan warfare, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates, and see where it gets you.
Keep right on rewarding failure and corruption, and see where it gets you.
Keep right on doing the same thing over, and over, and over, while expecting a different result, and see where it gets you … which will most likely be exactly what you deserve, as these abuses and problems continue to grow in number and severity.
It’s a free country, eh?
So, keep it up, and reap what you sow!

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, repeatedly rewarding the duopoly, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Do-Nothing Congress with 90% re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at July 31, 2010 7:45 PM
Comment #304991

Weary Willie,

Mr. Daugherty’s point about the Republican’s use of the super majority cloture rule to stop legislation is well taken.

I am constantly surprised by conservative posters who fail to see the Constitutional implications. The fillibuster and cloture rules are not in the Constitution, they are Senate rules of procedure. The Constitution requires only certain isssues to have a super majority. By implication, the founders thought that all other issues should pass by simple majority. If procedural rules impede the passage of legislation by simple majority vote, it would seem fair to assume that the rules impede the scheme of the Constitution for passage of legislation.

Posted by: Rich at July 31, 2010 7:57 PM
Comment #304992
You should be ashamed of yourselves, that your party is so bankrupt that it has to act the boat anchor in order to have a chance at getting its majority back.
There’s no future in that strategy, like I’ve said a million times. At some point, people want the government to function.

He really doesn’t think he’s doing anything wrong, does he?

How sad.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 31, 2010 8:04 PM
Comment #304994

The government cannot address Constitutional issues. Our Federal government is focusing on issues the constitution has denied.
Who is the enemy here?

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 31, 2010 8:22 PM
Comment #304995
At some point, people want the government to function.
Do they?

If that is really true, then why do the majority of voters repeatedly reward failure, repeatedly reward the duopoly (both the IN-PARTY and OUT-PARTY who simply take turns), and repeatedly reward FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Do-Nothing Congress for perpetuating these abuses, with 90% re-election rates, despite the growing pain and misery, and despite dismal 11% approval ratings for Congress?

Is it simply that enough voters aren’t yet feeling the painful consequences of their own negligence?

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, repeatedly rewarding the duopoly, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Do-Nothing Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at July 31, 2010 8:23 PM
Comment #304996

Yes, d.a.n

they do! They want the government to function.

If we have 90% reelection rates this November we should question the validity of the process! If we have 90% reelection rates this election cycle then something is wrong, not with the public, with the process.

Acorn has been in existance for how long?

Think about it.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 31, 2010 8:29 PM
Comment #304997
the founders thought that all other issues should pass by simple majority.

The founders never thought other issues would reach the federal government. The founders thought these issues would be taken care of by the state governments.

The founders also thought the state governments would appoint senators to the federal government to address issues state governments had with other states.

The state governments are no longer allowed to participate in the ruling of the federal government because the 17th amendment was ratified along with the 16th amendment.

The 16th amendment allowed the federal government to put it’s hand in the pocket of the individual. The 17th amendment allowed the federal government to control the state governments.


Posted by: Weary Willie at July 31, 2010 8:49 PM
Comment #305000

David R. Remer is actually crowing about this.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 31, 2010 9:29 PM
Comment #305001

WW, and the majority of the American gave at least tacit consent to those amendments, as well as majorities of the states and in Congress. The founders specifically provided the future citizens and representatives this power, KNOWING, that their construction for their time, would need to be amended to keep it from breaking and falling apart.

Our nation both passed and repealed the Prohibition Amendment, demonstrating that prior amendments are not set in stone if they fail to work for future generations. The absence of such repeals for most of our amendments, constitutes tacit assent to their continued usefulness for the nation. This is by design of our Constitution as well, since, our founders generally opposed the concept of direct democracy in which a majority governed by their passions and emotions of the day, may well create changes in law that would be damaging to the nation present and future.

Emotions and passions are by design, insufficient to amend our laws and Constitution, usually. Our design of government requires, in nearly all cases, that reason and logical conclusions drawn upon valid premises, be a required adjunct to change our Constitution and through most of our history, to change legislation as well.

The hyper-partisanship which has grown continuously since the 1960’s now bypasses reason and logic as a required step to changing law and legislation by the Courts and Legislature, resulting in a game of musical chairs for political power in which each new majority immediately sets out to undo key legislation of their predecessor political rival party. Such hyper-partisanship now prevents our federal government from engaging in ANY long term objectives and strategies to resolve longer term challenges and threats.

The Parties are now in control. Not the people, and not even the individual representatives collectively as representatives. The Party leadership supported by more than 1.5 billion dollars in campaign contributions every 4 years, the bulk of which comes from wealthy and corporate special interests without concern for national or voter interests, are now in control, and their first agenda and priority is not good governance, it is first and foremost repaying those who supported their election candidates, and then seeking ways to insure their power remains entrenched. The people and nation as priorities fall well down on their agenda list, as a result. The evidence of this is all about us for all to see, including those on the right and left.

Hence, the dramatic rise in numbers of registered independent voters, and anti-incumbent sentiment. There is a change afoot in America’s landscape. And like all change, there will be winners and losers as a consequence. It remains to be seen if there will be vastly more winners than losers, or, vice versa, and whether that change afoot ever reaches its potential. God help us if it doesn’t. What we have today is clearly sending our nation headlong over the precipice disunity and landslide of national debt and economic fragility.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 31, 2010 9:39 PM
Comment #305002

Does anyone actually read all the links SD posts? By the time I get to the end of his post, I forget what the title was. All Stephen’s posts sound the same. We could just not read the post and listen to R.Maddow or K.Olberman and hear the same things. It would save a lot of eye strain.

I have to agree with WR. Why don’t Stephen tell us something positive about the past 2 years instead of bashing Bush? Oh, wait a minute, that’s what Maddow and Olberman do. Sorry, question answered.

Although I do find this statement by Rich interesting:

“Since 2007 and the Obama presidency, the Democrats have initiated legislation addressing a wide range of economic, social, health, energy, immigration and environmental issues. They have not been without a platform. Universally, however, the Republicans have stonewalled the efforts and refused to cooperate even when the legislation is bedded in conservative philosophy, e.g., health care. “

My question is, how do the American people feel about all these democrat initiated legislations?

Posted by: Beretta9 at July 31, 2010 9:56 PM
Comment #305003
WW, and the majority of the American gave at least tacit consent to those amendments,

Prove it, David R. Remer.

Walk us thru it. Step by step. Day by day.

Where are the links?

Shouldn’t you, the omnipotent one, be able to provide the links that demonstrate the procedure/history of the ratification of amendments 16 and 17?

I’ll make it easy for you. They both were ratified in the same year. In the year 1913. They had lightning fast communications in those days also! Uma-fast. Lick-ity-split.

Everybody in the whole country knew what happened in 1913 and approved of it with a smile on their face and a dollar in their hand.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 31, 2010 10:20 PM
Comment #305004

“The founders never thought other issues would reach the federal government. The founders thought these issues would be taken care of by the state governments.”

Ok, dodge the issue.

Posted by: Rich at July 31, 2010 10:21 PM
Comment #305005

Stephen

Democrats control the government. The president appoints the regulators. The Democratic legislature oversees them.

There are two choices. Either Democrats are too stupid to run the government, even with their vast majorities. Or Democrats are running the government. Either way, these oil spills, ethical lapses and general mess ups are their fault. Either by commission or omission, it is a Democrat problem.

Posted by: C&J at July 31, 2010 10:25 PM
Comment #305006

It’s a sabat in the machinery.

Everybody wants to clean it up but nobody wants to say what caused the problem.

Posted by: PFCLarue at July 31, 2010 10:32 PM
Comment #305007

Weary Willie-
Comment #304984-
Democratics? Democrats. It’s a well established English-language noun for folks who believe in rule by the people. Democratics is simply a misplaced adjective.

Republican, on the other hand is both adjective and a noun in its own right. We can speak of a Republican, and of a Republican form of Government, and still be speaking proper English.

Typically when I twist the language for rhetorical reasons, I try to use proper English, because when I don’t use it, I end up sounding kind of stupid. I wouldn’t want anybody else’s message to come off kind of funky, so I offer my advice.

They think they are the center of the universe and it’s the other person’s fault for not genuflecting and reflecting the Democratic point of view. What an arrogant position to broadcast.

This is a lousy position to argue. It reeks of resentment and partisan rancor. Most Democrats are nice people, just like most Conservatives, and the point of this venom is lost on most people who don’t feel it fits them. You need an argument that more closely matches the kind of dignity and pride you would want to present.

As for my “arrogance” making you ill? Look, what are Republicans running on? They are running on repealing the things we did over the last two years. They are running on opposition to all our policies. They are literally running on being the antidote to the Democrats.

Comment #304985-
Funny they should use that standard.

Maybe we should not listen to people who want to change the policy only because they think the policy should be changed!

If a massive, historically awful event like the Deepwater Horizon Blowout doesn’t give you pause, what will?

It was the same old song and dance, everytime: when the oil was still offshore, the Conservative politicians were quick to defend the old interests they were beholden to, and stave off the Federal government.

Of course, when the oil hits, it’s where is the Federal Government, and why haven’t they cleaned up this spill yet?

Me, I think it’s better to ask for the Federal Government to do sufficient, smaller scale interventions before we have a big problem that puts the future of both the country and the companies in doubt.

As for not having a link? Well, I’m not that litigious, but it would be interesting to know whose credibilit you are relying on.

Comment #304986
I never spoke of delusions of grandeur. Delusions don’t enter into it. It’s a matter of choices, and the Republican’s choices are truly unique in American history.

Comment #304989
It was pathetic. But it motivated us very well, both to sell our policies better, and to become more aggressive in confronting the Republicans. Result? Well, who did the voters put in charge now?

What’s truly pathetic is the way Republicans have desperately exploited the rules they once considered axing in order to undermine the Democrats. When Democrats filibustered a few judges, they had their fainting-couches at the ready, and talked of original intent.

Now that they’re the minority? They wasted no time in running that sentiment right over on their way to setting record for Obstruction that left the worst of Democrat’s opposition twitching in the dust. Republicans have decided to believe whatever those things are that allow them to feel fully committed to defeating Democrats. Everything else is negotiable. That’s how they can run on being deficit cutters, yet run on continuing the largest tax cuts in American history.

To me, that kind of politics by expedience is truly pathetic, and becomes no-one.

Comment #304997-
First: Congress was never meant to be a decoration. The Constitution clearly hands the Federal Government certain powers. However, only a few votes are clearly delineated as requiring supermajorities.

Second: This line of argument is pointless so long as the standard jurisprudence sets the government the way it is today. Even if Congress was not meant by the Framers to entertain the notions that it does now, that is neither her nor there in terms of how society has evolved since then. People think differently about the law than they did then, and current law maintains an strong role for the federal government. Dissent against this as you will, but don’t deny the fact that it’s run this way.

Given that it is run this way, Congress should be free to legislate as current law allows it to, until such time as your people succeed in amending the Constitution or getting your desired court decisions.

It should be free to run pretty much as the Framers envisioned it.

You should know the framers deliberately constructed the Congress with the majoritarian impulse in mind because of their bad experience with the Article of Confederation’s national legislature, which required the two-thirds majority to get anything done.

As for the 17th amendment? Damn. You’re telling me that Legislators should decide who gets to be a Senator, rather than the people of the State? Has it occured to you that there is a very good reason why folks went to popular elections, that the old system helped support the political machines of that time?

As for the 16th Amendment, if you want to try funding everything by tariffs and duties on imports and exports, be my guest.

All these things had to pass two thirds of both houses of Congress, and be ratified by Three-Quarters of the State Legislatures of all the states in the union at the time. David’s right.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 31, 2010 11:52 PM
Comment #305008
Weary Willie wrote:Yes, d.a.n They do! They want the government to function. If we have 90% reelection rates this November we should question the validity of the process! If we have 90% reelection rates this election cycle then something is wrong, not with the public, with the process.
Are you sure?

Are you saying the voting system adequately fraudulent and rigged to guarantee 85%-to-90% re-election rates for incumbent politicians?

I have not seen any proof of that.

Therefore, I can only conclude that the majority of voters are sufficiently satisfied.
After all, 45% of all 200 million voters don’t even bother to vote at all.
And the majority of the voters who do vote, blindly pull the party-lever (i.e. vote straight-ticket), so they must be happy with THEIR party.
And 90% of elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money (usually the incumbent), which means the voters must like it that way.

Weary Willie wrote: Think about it.
Are you saying that the vote-counts are false, to the degree to repeatedly ensure 85%-to-90% re-election rates for Congress? That’s doubtful.

It is very strange that voters polled give Congress dismal 11% approval ratings, but 85%-to-90% re-election rates, but fraud on such a huge scale, seems unlikely.

I think the real problem is the majority of voters themselves, who repeatedly reward incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, repeatedly rewarding the duopoly, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Do-Nothing Congress for perpetuating these abuses with 90% re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 1, 2010 12:07 AM
Comment #305015

Dan-
Comment #304990
Inevitably, power corrupts. The question is, do we kick their asses out, or apologize for them?

Democrats like me have no taste for rationalizing the behavior of people like Rostenkowski, Jefferson, Charlie Rangel, or Maxine Waters, if the charges are true. Kick them out. It might be embarrassing to see their behavior exposed, but denying it would only make things worse. I want my leaders to think second thoughts before they get any wise ideas. They are expendable, to today’s Liberal Netroots movement.

Oh, and Traficant was ours, before they beamed him up. ;-)

You complain about partisan warfare, but I don’t give a crap, because it never is going to end. Give people a bunch of power in one place, as a society our size needs, and folks are going to get crooked. The question is how much we inhibit this behavior by making it very much of a difficult to avoid the consequences of their actions.

You can preach at people like you always do, but I think your points fall on deaf ears because they are old and cliched points, and lack any sort of strategic discussion about the grassroots necessities of overturning incumbents.

If you think the problem is that there isn’t a third party to join, then the question becomes which one. Not just any would do. It’s rise would have to compliment whatever the voter wanted in the first place, rather than just simply be the splitting of whatever majority one could achieve. The Democrats, in my case, would have to be unable to co-opt whatever it was that made that other option popular- sort of a tall order.

I’m not going to join a Right Wing party, and not because I’m partisan, but because I have genuine problems with much of what they say, believe, and aim to work out policy wise.

So what are my options? As I see it, the Democrats are there, and their party platform represents much of what I believe. Faced with problem about corruption, and political weak will, the only response that makes sense to me is to go in there and change things.

I don’t vote randomly. I’ve seen what happens when people vote without looking at what they’re voting for. People aren’t just do-si-doing in political positions, they’re making decisions, and faced with two different sorts making imperfect decisions, I’ll pick the person I think’s going to do the least harm in the position, whether we’re talking primary, or general election.

As for the difference between approval ratings and re-election rates?

1) We’re talking different scopes here. The poll is nationwide. Congress is elected (and re-elected) district by district, state by state.

2) It’s one thing to talk about Congress in general. It’s quite another to talk about your own Representative or Senator. People tend to like their incumbents. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t get elected. The failure to recognize this fact is part of the reason I find your approach so lacking in usefulness. It’s not like you’re organizing on the level required in specific places to unseat the incumbents. It’s just shotgun at the side of the barn style generality.

3)Besides, there’s more than one level of incumbency here. There’s the incumbency of the people, and then there’s the incumbency of the ideas that benefit the people who are the incumbents.

There’s no point in threatening the incumbency of the candidates if you’re not going to encourage people, inspire people to think differently, and by that, I do not mean more browbeating. I mean real-world persuasion. If all you’re really doing is just asking for more refined versions of conservatives, or whatever else, the problems will stil emerge. The system will reinforce them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 1, 2010 1:10 AM
Comment #305017

Stephen D. said to d.a.n: “You complain about partisan warfare, but I don’t give a crap, because it never is going to end.”

True, partisan debate will never end and should never end over solutions to national problems, which is a very different animal than partisan warfare over political competitive edge. The latter trumps finding solutions to the nation’s and people’s problems. And that is the entrance cue for a growing anti-incumbent movement. I commend Obama’s attempts to reach out to Republicans for solutions. However, far too many Democratic Party leaders and Congress persons continued to poison the well of reason, not that Republicans hadn’t already rendered the well lethally toxic.

That distinction between political contest and debate and resolution on policy issues, is paramount. Both parties have lost sight of good governance and national challenge resolution for their partisan political war. And growing numbers of voters have had more than enough of this debilitating partisan cowcrap.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 1, 2010 7:00 AM
Comment #305021

C&J incorrectly stated: “Democrats control the government.”

NO. They don’t. They are the majority in government, but, Republicans represent a sizable minority in government and Democrats DO NOT CONTROL THE REPUBLICANS. Ergo, Democrats are not in control of the government, they are only partially in control of the government. In order to have control of the government, the Democrats would need 5 liberals on the Supreme Court and 60 plus Senators in the Senate. They do not. Therefore, they don’t.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 1, 2010 7:32 AM
Comment #305027

David

How about this? Do you “blame” Bush for the policies during his term? Obviously he controlled the government less than Obama and the Democrats do now, since his majorities were smaller and sometimes the Democrats actually had a majority in both Houses.

If we take your (and Stephens’s) logic, it would be impossible to hold politicians responsible for anything, since they never control anything.

What I have noticed in the posts, is that people are content to blame Republicans no matter what. If there were no Republicans at all, I am certain that Democrats would blame the “Republican spirit.”

Posted by: C&J at August 1, 2010 9:46 AM
Comment #305034

C&J,

“What I have noticed in the posts, is that people are content to blame Republicans no matter what.”

Two words, NUCLEAR OPTION.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at August 1, 2010 12:31 PM
Comment #305037

C&J-
I don’t blame Bush merely for things that just happened to occur in his administration. I blame him for policies that clearly came from his administration. It isn’t impossible to find people to hold responsible. I’m just not committing the fallacy of Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc.

I hold people responsible for what they do. When it comes to policies, I blame the originators before I blame the people who continued them. I blame the people whose idea it was, before I blame the person who merely went along with it.

This doesn’t exclude Democrats from blame. I read a Rolling Stone article about Obama’s policy, and sadly had to conclude that he bore some blame in the acceleration of the drilling in the gulf and the laxness of the enforcement. That said, Republicans more than share the blame because the Bush White House and Republican Congress together wrote the laws that made things like 30 day reviews on permits, exemptions on certain environmental impact studies (which also affects the environmentally dangerous practice of fracking in gas well drilling).

I do things this way because I don’t see the point in confronting just the policy when a bad thing happens, when a bad outcome arises. The thinking behind the policy must also be critiqued, and those who push the thinking hardest should be the ones confronted most firmly on the matter.

For the past four years, your people have been breaking records in the use of the filibuster and other procedural roadblocks. Yet, you want to say that we have control. Odd argument, isn’t it? You do your absolute best to make sure what comes out of Washington is under your control, by essentially blocking everything of political value, you threaten filibusters left and right, and you justify this as a legitimate power, but when it comes time to assign responsibility for the way policy is shaped, you’re nowhere to be seen, despite the fact that the Republican filibusters has been the major impediment to many changes in policy. The fact that everything has to be passed by sixty votes skews the politics of what comes out.

Additionally, For two of the years, we had Bush at the helm, and he was happily using that Veto Pen that he somehow lost during the first six years of his administration.

So you tell me: Are Democrats fully in power, or is that exactly what you’ve been doing your best to prevent, with some success, with your approval, for quite some time?

Your blame game seems rather cynical to me. Worse, it’s getting in the way of this country recovering from the mistakes of the past generation. All because Republicans are desperate to hold onto power.

I think in the long run, things get worse for the Republicans, because they’ve hardened the Democratic base to the value of compromise. As the previous generation steps aside, the new generation isn’t going to be pulling any punches. One day, you will regret that you did not make the compromises with Obama, who was willing to make them, eager to make them, because while his administration would have been a twilight for many of your policies, it wouldn’t have become the darkest midnight that the Demographics are going to lead to in coming years.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 1, 2010 1:35 PM
Comment #305048


The government policies of the last three decades are proof positive that the partisan war changed from a battle between the left and the right to a love fest between the center right and the right, and is now a battle between the center right and the right.

Bush was a right authoritarian who failed the right by not dismantling the socialist policies and programs.

Obama is center right authoritarian, has no support from the right and because of his center right position, is loosing support on the left and the center.

Obama removed single payer from the talks from the very beginning, not because of the Republicans but because the conservatives, the Republicans and the blue dog conservative Democrats are in control of the Congress, especially the Senate.

The conservatives control the Congress and the Supreme Court, with a supposedly liberal centrist in the White House.

Posted by: jlw at August 1, 2010 7:20 PM
Comment #305051

Stephen

You use as proof of Bush’s “failed” policies that the economy didn’t do well. You are judging by the result. Good. How are those Democratic policies doing to improve things? Claiming that it would be worse is not much of a proof.

Posted by: C&J at August 1, 2010 8:40 PM
Comment #305070

a small point:

The CBS television series The Dukes of Hazzard got its name from Hazard, Kentucky. To avoid legal problems, the producers added an extra “Z” and set the show in a fictional county in Georgia. In 1981 many of the stars of the show, Catherine Bach, James Best, Sorrell Booke, and Rick Hurst visited Hazard, Kentucky during the Black Gold Festival.[2] Soon afterwards Tom Wopat, John Schneider and Sonny Shroyer made appearances in Hazard.


Harlan County and Hazard, Ky is famous for moonshine, coal mines and corruption. There are several stories about corrupt sheriff’s and killing from long back in the area’s history. My father’s high school basketball team beat them in the 40’s and were told by the coach to head directly for the bus, do not shower or dress. They did and avoided a beating of another kind. My brother in law was from the area.

As to Ron Paul’s comment, many Kentuckians are pragmatic and simply look for ways to make money and don’t care a bit about the cosmetics of the region, but many also deeply relish in the “hills” and couldn’t imagine living in flat lands. Many Kentuckians lost their coal rights to their farms in the 30’s and 40’s desperate for money, selling to coal companies for scant monies. Having their farms destroyed by mountaintop removal was not something they envisioned.

I think Ron Paul is disconnected from the ties that many Kentuckians have to the land and culture. He is appealing to their desperate need for economic revitalization.

The coal mining regions are primarily in the east in the heart of Appalachia and while none of the mountains are Himalayan or even like the Rockies, they are difficult to build roads in and why the region remains remote. Western Kentucky is more gently rolling terrain, where Boonesborough (Near Lexington) was established and where race horses are bred, and famous for the expanses of bluegrass.

Posted by: gergle at August 2, 2010 11:11 AM
Comment #305091

C&J-
You’re missing a critical element here to my allegations: I would often point out a news story, complete with information about how the policies lead to what they did.

I established the relationships between the economic crisis and the Bush and Republican Congress policies that lead us to it. Or, rather, others established that independent of me, and I provided their reporting to justify my claims.

That’s what leads me, by the way, to put a large share of blame for the oil spill on Obama’s policy. However, since Obama’s policies were largely inherited from the Bush Administration, according to my research, I’d be wrong to give them a pass.

If you say Clinton and many of the Democrats voted to strike down Glass-Steagall, I would agree with you. But I would point out that Republicans nearly all voted for it, and deregulation of that time was commonly championed by them.

One reason I’m not a fan of David R. Remer’s anti-incumbent approach to things is that I don’t think it seriously enough considers the consequences of merely chipping away at incumbents, rather than changing the ideological atmosphere around them. Not everybody who replaces an incumbent will bring in different ideas or approaches.

No, for me, the important thing is to get past the thinking, the policy approaches that didn’t work, and to that end, I believe both Republicans and Democrats are expendable. I simply make the calculation, cold enough, that Democrats are closer to getting it right, more likely to be persuaded.

I am not ideologically far to either side. I’m a Clinton Centrist at heart. But increasingly, there’s no room to get anything done in that space, thanks to Republicans who simply fail to be willing to negotiate, to let things pass moderated, rather than trying to stomp most policies flat.

I am fighting, more than anything else, the Republican unwillingness to negotiate, their insistence on taking the whole pie whether they are voted the majority or not. It’s one thing to represent your constituency, its quite another to deny other people the privileges that come with the majority they voted in, and to stomp on the majoritarian principles that the founders made the default, constitutionally.

My anger is that the Republicans aren’t willing to admit that, center-left or center-right, this country is mostly in the middle. If it takes strengthening the left to get this country’s policies back aligned with what most people want, so be it. I can live with a world that is not entirely liberal. I cannot live with a country where only Republicans and conservatives get to shape policy. I will not accept such an extreme state of affairs as a healthy representation of what Americans want, and it is unfortunately what many on the right insist upon, with a pretentious level of apocalyptic anxiety resting on whether they get their way.

I’d just say to Republicans that it wasn’t the end of the world when Democrats didn’t get their way all the time, nor will it be the end of the world when you don’t get your way all the time. You’re underestimating, especially in light of your past and current successes, the ability of this system to moderate itself. I’d say, stop getting in the way of the system’s efforts to moderate your influence. You went too far, you got it wrong, now’s the time to come back down to earth and refigure things, and not just in terms of political messaging.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 2, 2010 5:43 PM
Comment #305092

C&J,

You use as proof of Bush’s “failed” policies that the economy didn’t do well. You are judging by the result. Good. How are those Democratic policies doing to improve things? Claiming that it would be worse is not much of a proof.

There was a comedian who was stationed in Kansas during WWII who used to tout that there were no Japanese attacks there. It was a joke. It was funny. Your argument is a joke, as well. It just isn’t funny. Economics is a fundamental part of understanding economies. Basing a joke on pretend ignorance can be funny. Basing an argument on real ignorance could be funny if told well.

Posted by: gergle at August 2, 2010 6:53 PM
Comment #305119
Stephen Daugherty wrote:d.a.n- Inevitably, power corrupts. The question is, do we kick their asses out, or apologize for them?
That’s up to the voters, and so far, the majority of voters apparently not only apoligize for them, but reward them for it, with 85%-to-90% re-election rates.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Democrats like me have no taste for rationalizing the behavior of people like Rostenkowski, Jefferson, Charlie Rangel, or Maxine Waters, if the charges are true.
Right. That’s very convincing.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: I want my leaders to think second thoughts before they get any wise ideas. They are expendable, to today’s Liberal Netroots movement.
Right. As long as they’re Democrat, eh?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: You complain about partisan warfare, but I don’t give a crap, …
Doth protest too much.

If you really “don’t give a crap”, then why let it bother you so much?
Why resort to circular gobbledygook and pretzel imitations?

Besides, everything has a beginning and an end.
It will end, when it becomes too painful.
But what replaces it may be much worse.
So, if you really “don’t give a crap”, why even respond so vociferously?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Give people a bunch of power in one place, as a society our size needs, and folks are going to get crooked.
D U H ! Right. So, Vote Democrat, eh?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: You can preach at people like you always do, …
Funny how some people accuse others of the very thing they are masters of, eh?
Stephen Daugherty wrote:… but I think your points fall on deaf ears because they are old and cliched points, and lack any sort of strategic discussion about the grassroots necessities of overturning incumbents.
Really? Then why worry?

Hmmmmmm … it seems to me that anti-incumbent sentiments are increasing significantly.
So that doesn’t bother you, eh?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you think the problem is that there isn’t a third party to join, then the question becomes which one.
The voters don’t need a third party, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Not just any would do.
Would you consider the Tea Party a third party?

And what about independents, who are the biggest group who actually decide elections?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s rise would have to compliment whatever the voter wanted in the first place, rather than just simply be the splitting of whatever majority one could achieve.
Really? Where are those rules written?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Democrats, in my case, would have to be unable to co-opt whatever it was that made that other option popular- sort of a tall order.
We’ll see. If we’re fortunate, a bunch of incumbents will get the boot (in BOTH parties). Especially the likes of Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters, and many others who may not have got caught yet, but are just as FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’m not going to join a Right Wing party, and not because I’m partisan, but because I have genuine problems with much of what they say, believe, and aim to work out policy wise.
Me too.

Who ever said you should join a Right Wing party?
Is that somehow a sly implication to label me (or others) as members of a “Right Wing party”?
Why do you do that?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: So what are my options?
Here are some no-brainer solutions, and they don’t require any party.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: As I see it, the Democrats are there, and their party platform represents much of what I believe.
That’s your choice. Voters will reap what they sow.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Faced with problem about corruption, and political weak will, the only response that makes sense to me is to go in there and change things.
Right. As long as people vote Democrat, eh?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t vote randomly.
Right. Of course not. Who ever said blindly pulling the party lever was random?

The term “blindly” refers to the voters’ awareness of whose names are on the ballot, much less their voting records.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’ve seen what happens when people vote without looking at what they’re voting for.
Right. Especially when they don’t vote Democrat, eh?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: People aren’t just do-si-doing in political positions, they’re making decisions, and faced with two different sorts making imperfect decisions, I’ll pick the person I think’s going to do the least harm in the position, whether we’re talking primary, or general election.
Right. Pulling the party-lever is the solution, eh?

Especially when the differences between the IN-PARTY and the OUT-PARTY are so vast, eh?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: As for the difference between approval ratings and re-election rates? 1) We’re talking different scopes here. The poll is nationwide. Congress is elected (and re-elected) district by district, state by state.
Really? Gee. What a revelation? Who would have thunk it?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: 2) It’s one thing to talk about Congress in general. It’s quite another to talk about your own Representative or Senator. People tend to like their incumbents. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t get elected.
Gee, another revelation. But, what do they say about doing the same thing over and over and over, while expecting a different result?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: The failure to recognize this fact is part of the reason I find your approach so lacking in usefulness.
Of course, since it doesn’t advocate repeatedly rewarding failure and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent DEMOCRAT politicians with perpetual re-election.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s not like you’re organizing on the level required in specific places to unseat the incumbents. It’s just shotgun at the side of the barn style generality.
Not really. When things get bad enough, voters will most likely do the same thing the majority of unhappy voters did in years 1929, 1931, and 1933, and vote out FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians by the hundreds.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: There’s no point in threatening the incumbency of the candidates if you’re not going to encourage people, inspire people to think differently, and by that, I do not mean more browbeating.
Pain and misery will provide the encouragement, as it continues to grow worse, and worse. And the majority of voters only have themselves to thank for it. If that upsets you, then one has to wonder why? Perhaps it’s anything that might reduce the numbers of FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt (DEMOCRAT) incumbent politicians, eh ?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: I mean real-world persuasion. If all you’re really doing is just asking for more refined versions of conservatives, or whatever else, the problems will stil emerge. The system will reinforce them.
Who ever said anything about voting for “conservatives” ?

Why do you do that?
Not everything “not DEMOCRAT” is conservative.
Why must it always everything “not DEMOCRAT” be labeled an evil “conservative”, or “more refined versions of conservatives”?
What’s up with that?

One thing you’re right about.
It’s up to the voters (or, more accurately, the majority of voters).
And that’s the reason for hope.
Because fortunately, there is potentially a very effective built-in self-correction mechanism: “Pain and Misery”.
When enough voters discover that doing the same thing over and over and over, while expecting a different result, does not work, they may finally do the one simple thing that was right under their very own noses all along:

  • Stop Repeat Offenders!
  • Stop Repeatedly Rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates!

It’s that simple.
It’s not the entire solution, but it is a good start.
And this one simple fact remains: The majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, repeatedly rewarding the duopoly, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Do-Nothing Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 3, 2010 9:11 AM
Comment #305120

All right d.a.n. and Stephen how should I vote this Nov?

For the open Senate seat, Jim “Waterloo” DeMint or Alvin “Family Reunion” Greene? According to both of you it would be the non-incumbent Democrat Greene.

Or for Congress either Joe “You Lie” Wilson or Rob Miller? Rob is a Democrat who is running on ethics reform, tax cuts, a strong military (he’s a former Marine), and balancing the budget. I thought the goal of the Netroots guys was to get rid of the blue dogs?

The real interesting race around here is for Governor. The incumbent vote would be to pull the lever on Nikki Haley even though she’s billed as the Tea Party outsider. She’s really a political creation of Mark Sanford however. The Democrats on the other hand are running Vincent Sheehen, a legacy politician and rich trial lawyer with old money ties. Let the good ol boys get their pockets lined or continue on with 4 more years of nothing?

All in all November around these parts is going to be pretty depressing.

Posted by: George at August 3, 2010 9:58 AM
Comment #305124

Dan-
Read Democratic Party blogs. Nobody cares much for those people, they think they’re an embarrassment. Even Democrats are expendable, in my view.

There’s plenty of anti-incumbency, and some of it concerns me, because while I sympathize, especially when it comes to some Democrats, I understand something else: if changing out the people doesn’t change out the bad and/or corrupt ideas with it, it’s pointless.

I think people can get stampeded by their emotions into doing things that make no sense, not when considered rationally- which, by the way, I think people are capable of, for the most part, when they’re calm.

You talk in broad generalities about taking power back, about unseating the incumbents, about pain and suffering being the proper motivations. I say bull****. The pain and suffering of the Seventies helped propel the Republicans into power. Dissatisfaction with Clinton helped Bush get elected. And now, dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs will lead some people to put back in power just the same people whose policies made their lives hell in the first place.

No, pain and suffering don’t lead people well, because in ignorance, in their failure to properly, logically work out consequences, people can make things worse.

And what about voting for Conservatives?

Well, your wishful thinking is, some magic third party’s going to spring up all of a sudden, a generalized thing that incumbents of all types can be defeated by. Bull. It never happens that way. Because of the way our system is set up, duality is inevitable. The two party system reinforces itself, whether we’re talking Democrat-Republican and Federalists, Democrats and Whigs, Democrats and Republicans, at other party’s expense.

Even if the party’s do fracture, I am willing to bet that the fracture will tend to keep itself down at a Congressional level, and caucuses will form from coalition groups that will reinforce the old order.

Why? Those who split their votes lose. The allure of parties, the power of them, will always be the potential of majority. Even if we see major third party and fourth party activity, there will be incentive for like-minded groups to stick together, creating majorities, or at least groups within shouting distance of majorities.

You can blast me with that BS about in parties and out parties, but can you change a damn thing about it?

Let me be blunt. I would love to get rid of some of the bastards in the Senate and House. Hopefully, a number will find themselves on the curb. But I’m not going to do it mindlessly, and I’m not going to do it while turning a blind eye to the consequences of those I help elect. My purpose is not some abstract cleansing I don’t even think you know how to carry out as a movement. My purpose is a very directed sort of activism, we where hold the politicians accountable based not on sentiment, but on fact and understanding.

I am not really distressed at the Rangel or Waters thing. Rather than ignore what these people have done, the Democrats are taking the risk and putting these people on trial for ethics charges. If you think, somehow, that a war in a party for accountability and integrity would not bring up this sort of garbage, then your expectations are unrealistic. It is never going to be pretty to bring up all that crap. I want to encourage my party to expose those within who befoul its name.

George-
If you got bad choices, make the best of them. Greene is no good alternative to DeMint. Rob Miller I don’t mind as long as he sends Joe Wilson packing. The Netroots generally do want to get rid of blue dogs (since they want that novel thing called a Democrat who votes like a Democrat), but if Joe Wilson goes down, I think they’ll make an exception in his case.

The choices might be depressing, but my feeling is, these kinds of choices get worse the more people choose not to make them. Vote for the best candidates, raise the standards. When only the party die-hards vote, the standards drop.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 3, 2010 1:48 PM
Comment #305172
Well, your wishful thinking is, some magic third party’s going to spring up all of a sudden, a generalized thing that incumbents of all types can be defeated by. Bull. It never happens that way. Because of the way our system is set up, duality is inevitable. The two party system reinforces itself, whether we’re talking Democrat-Republican and Federalists, Democrats and Whigs, Democrats and Republicans, at other party’s expense.

Even if the party’s do fracture, I am willing to bet that the fracture will tend to keep itself down at a Congressional level, and caucuses will form from coalition groups that will reinforce the old order.

Why? Those who split their votes lose. The allure of parties, the power of them, will always be the potential of majority. Even if we see major third party and fourth party activity, there will be incentive for like-minded groups to stick together, creating majorities, or at least groups within shouting distance of majorities.

You can blast me with that BS about in parties and out parties, but can you change a damn thing about it?

This is why an amendment is needed for our Constitution to address electoral reform. The duopolies that have reigned for the past 210 years were not intended by our founders who wanted a nonpartisan government. Because eliminating partisanship is impossible the next best thing is to remove impediments for third, forth and fifth parties.

George, if I were you, I’d make ample use of the write-in lines on my ballot.

Posted by: Warped Reality at August 3, 2010 7:58 PM
Comment #305178
Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- Read Democratic Party blogs. Nobody cares much for those people, they think they’re an embarrassment. Even Democrats are expendable, in my view.
Then why are they repeatedly re-elected? Oh, right. Most voters (obviously) think that THEIR incumbent is wonderful.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: There’s plenty of anti-incumbency, and some of it concerns me, because while I sympathize, especially when it comes to some Democrats, I understand something else: if changing out the people doesn’t change out the bad and/or corrupt ideas with it, it’s pointless.
Not really. The voters are going to get their education the smart way, or the hard way. But they will get their education.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think people can get stampeded by their emotions into doing things that make no sense, not when considered rationally- which, by the way, I think people are capable of, for the most part, when they’re calm.
And what do you call doing the same thing over and over and over, while expecting a different result?

And what do you call repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates, despite dismal 11% approval ratings for Congress?

Hmmmmmmm … is that rational?

By some definitions, it’s considered insanity.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You complain about partisan warfare, but I don’t give a crap, …
Stephen Daugherty wrote: You talk in broad generalities about taking power back, about unseating the incumbents, about pain and suffering being the proper motivations. I say bull****.
HMMMmmmmmmmmmmmm … that’s nice.

If you don’t care, then why get so upset?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: The pain and suffering of the Seventies helped propel the Republicans into power.
HHHMMMmmmmmmmmmm … I thought you just said (above) that “pain and suffering”, etc., was a lot of …
Stephen Daugherty wrote: I say bull****.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Dissatisfaction with Clinton helped Bush get elected.
So, you’re finally agreeing with me, eh?

The politicians are merely taking turns, while enjoying 85%-to-90% re-election rates, eh?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: And now, dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs will lead some people to put back in power just the same people whose policies made their lives hell in the first place.
Right, which would all FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians in BOTH the current IN-PARTY and OUT-PARTY.

Gee … it’s amazing. We’re finally agreeing on somehing.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: No, pain and suffering don’t lead people well, because in ignorance, in their failure to properly, logically work out consequences, people can make things worse.
True. But that’s what is sometimes required for people to finally learn from their mistakes.

“Pain and suffering” is a very effective teacher, but it doesn’t always guarantee that things will get better any time soon.
That’s why it’s all the more important to not let things deteriorate for so long, as they have under BOTH parties in the duopoly, for so many decades.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: And what about voting for Conservatives? Well, your wishful thinking is, some magic third party’s going to spring up all of a sudden, a generalized thing that incumbents of all types can be defeated by. Bull.
I have no idea what you’re talking about, since I’ve never said anything of the sort, nor am I a “Conservative” or a “Republican”, nor do I believe a third party will rise up and replace all incumbents.

Your comments consistently seem reveal a propensity to label anything and anyone not-DEMOCRAT as “Conservative” or “Republican”.
Strange.
What do you do that?
Why do you see everything through a DEMOCRAT or CONSERVATIVE lense?
Those labels are woefully inaccurate.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: It never happens that way. Because of the way our system is set up, duality is inevitable. The two party system reinforces itself, whether we’re talking Democrat-Republican and Federalists, Democrats and Whigs, Democrats and Republicans, at other party’s expense.
Perhaps. So what? I’ve never argued otherwise, but it is interesting that you feel so threatened by the prospect of a 3rd party.

But it is independents that decide elections, and they don’t need (or want) a party.
Blind partisan loyalism, and fueling and wallowing in the circular, blind partisan-warfare is for idiots.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Even if the party’s do fracture, I am willing to bet that the fracture will tend to keep itself down at a Congressional level, and caucuses will form from coalition groups that will reinforce the old order. Why? Those who split their votes lose. The allure of parties, the power of them, will always be the potential of majority. Even if we see major third party and fourth party activity, there will be incentive for like-minded groups to stick together, creating majorities, or at least groups within shouting distance of majorities.
Right. It’s the sheep mentality.

But it doesn’t apply to everyone.
That’s why some Republicans and Democrats loathe independents, who is the largest group that actuall decide elections.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You can blast me with that BS about in parties and out parties, …
“blast” you?

Nonsense.
A fool can only make a fool of themselves, and they don’t need anyone else’s help.
People who fuel and wallow in the blind, circular partisan-warfare are the real fools.
It’s easier to blame the OTHER party for everything, while ignoring THEIR own party has few real differences from the OTHER party.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You can blast me with that BS about in parties and out parties, but can you change a damn thing about it?
Then why get so upset?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Let me be blunt.
As in “dull”, or as in “not the sharpest knife in the drawer” ?

OK. Why change course now?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: I would love to get rid of some of the bastards in the Senate and House. Hopefully, a number will find themselves on the curb. But I’m not going to do it mindlessly, and I’m not going to do it while turning a blind eye to the consequences of those I help elect. My purpose is not some abstract cleansing I don’t even think you know how to carry out as a movement. My purpose is a very directed sort of activism, we where hold the politicians accountable based not on sentiment, but on fact and understanding.
Yes, very directed, and consistent.

You’ll get no argument about that: Fuel and wallow in the blind, circular partisan warfare, and loathe and demonize anything not-DEMOCRAT. Right?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: I am not really distressed at the Rangel or Waters thing.
Right. Then why worry?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Rather than ignore what these people have done, the Democrats are taking the risk and putting these people on trial for ethics charges.
But after how many years? Besides, Charlie Rangel claims he was the one who have requested the ethics hearings.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you think, somehow, that a war in a party for accountability and integrity would not bring up this sort of garbage, then your expectations are unrealistic.
Accountability and integrity? Where? That would be funny, if it weren’t so pathetically absurd.

Besides, after several years of already ignoring rampant corruption, it does sort of become difficult to sweep over a dozen+ ethics violations under the rug for many more additional years.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: It is never going to be pretty to bring up all that crap. I want to encourage my party to expose those within who befoul its name.
If that’s true, then why are almost all of your articles about fueling and wallowing in the blind, circular partisan-warfare?

Where are your articles about Charlie Rangel’s violations? Did I miss it?
Where are your articles about Maxine Waters’ violations? Did I miss that one too?

And what about all of these (mostly Democrats) since year 1980 (see list below)?
Don’t just say your want to expose them. Prove it. Write articles about the corrupt incumbent politicians in YOUR own party too.
Otherwise, you will continue to appear to most readers as being rabidly partisan; as someone who only cares about fueling and wallowing in the blind, circular partisan-warfare.

    Democrats:
  • (D) Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill., the former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, was sent to prison on charges of keeping “ghost” employees on his payroll and embezzling public funds to buy gifts for friends and family. He was pardoned by Bill Clinton, and was still able to keep his $126,000 annual federal pension. Cha Ching!
  • (D) Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., convicted on federal charges of racketeering, soliciting bribes and money laundering in a long-running bribery investigation into business deals he tried to broker in Africa.
  • (D) John M. Murphy
  • (D) Austin J. Murphy
  • (D) Carroll Hubbard Jr.
  • (D) Mario Biaggi
  • (D) Walter E. Fauntroy
  • (D) Mary Rose Oakar
  • (D) Nicholas Mavroules
  • (D) Joseph P. Kolter
  • (D) Lawrence J. Smith
  • (D) Frederick W. Richmond
  • (D) Albert G. Bustamante
  • (D) Michael J. Myers
  • (D) Carl C. Perkins
  • (D) Rep. James A. Traficant Jr., D-Ohio, was ousted from Congress after being convicted in 2002 for taking bribes, filing false tax returns, racketeering and forcing aides to perform chores on his farm. He is serving an eight-year prison term and continues to receive his $40,000-a-year taxpayer-funded federal pension.
  • (D) Possibly, Charlie Rangel ?
  • (D) Possibly, Maxine Waters?
    Republicans:
  • (R) Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, R-Calif., resigned in November 2005 after pleading guilty to accepting $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors and underreporting his income for 2004. He reportedly used his ill-gotten gains to buy a yacht, a Rolls Royce and a mansion in a Washington suburb. Mr. Cunningham started serving an eight-year prison sentence in March 2006 and still collects a combined $64,000-a-year congressional and military pension.
  • (R) David Durenberger
  • (R) John G. Rowland
  • (R) Donald E. Lukens
  • (R) Rep. Robert Ney, R-Ohio, was convicted last year of doing illegal favors for a lobbyist in return for gifts, expensive meals, skybox sports tickets and luxury travel that included a golf vacation to Scotland. When he turns 62 in nine years and becomes eligible, he will receive a $33,000 annual federal pension.

The fact is, and this pains many partisan loyalists, but far too many incumbent politicians in BOTH main parties are far, far too FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt, and the evidence over the past several decades is overwhelming, and becoming clearer and clearer, as the inevitable consequences become more and more painful. And it ain’t over, because there are most likely many years of more high unemployment, more federal debt (currently a staggering $13.3 Trillion; about 90% of GDP), more nation-wide debt (about $57 Trillion; never larger in size or as a percentage of GDP; up 400% as a percentage of GDP since 1956), more debt per-capita (up 200% since World War II, and up 700% since the Great Depression), more constitutional violations (One-Simple-Idea.com/ConstitutionalViolations1.htm), continued illegal immigration (and probably another shamnesty like the shamnesty of 1986, which quintupled the problem), more inflation (a 1950 dollar is now worth 9 cents), etc., etc., etc.

George wrote: All right d.a.n. and Stephen how should I vote this Nov?
For the open Senate seat, Jim “Waterloo” DeMint or Alvin “Family Reunion” Greene? According to both of you it would be the non-incumbent Democrat Greene. Or for Congress either Joe “You Lie” Wilson or Rob Miller? Rob is a Democrat who is running on ethics reform, tax cuts, a strong military (he’s a former Marine), and balancing the budget. I thought the goal of the Netroots guys was to get rid of the blue dogs? The real interesting race around here is for Governor. The incumbent vote would be to pull the lever on Nikki Haley even though she’s billed as the Tea Party outsider. She’s really a political creation of Mark Sanford however. The Democrats on the other hand are running Vincent Sheehen, a legacy politician and rich trial lawyer with old money ties. Let the good ol boys get their pockets lined or continue on with 4 more years of nothing? All in all November around these parts is going to be pretty depressing. Yes, it’s pretty depressing.

However, the voters of South Carolina are culpable too.

The situation in South Carolina demonstrates how important it is for more voters to work harder to ensure better choices on the ballots.
Voters need to pay much better attention during the primaries, so that they’ll have better choices.
Voters can’t just show up on election-day only.
But sadly, that’s what too many voters do.

    Unfortunately:
  • 45% of all 200 million eligible voters don’t even bother to vote at all.

  • Too many voters do not know who their senators and representatives are, much less those incumbent politicians’ voting records.

  • Too many voters are unaware that 99.7% of all 200 million eligible voters are vastly out-spent by a tiny 0.3% of the wealthiest voters who make a whopping 83% of all federal campaign donations of $200 or more.

  • Too many voters blindly and lazily pull the party-lever. 90% of all elections are won by the candidate (usually the incumbent politicians) that spends the most money.

  • Too many voters prefer to lazily engage in the blame game, and wallow in the blind, circular, divisive, distracting partisan-warfare, rather than admit that there is no important diffference between the IN-Party and the OUT-Party, who sabotage each other merely for political gains, instead of what is best for the nation.

  • Too many voters are delusional, and lazily believe that THEIR incumbent politician and THEIR political party is grand.

  • Too many voters think the problem is only with the OTHER party and fail to see the disturbing problems with THEIR own party.

  • It’s easier to blame the OTHER party, rather than admit-to and fix problems in one’s OWN party.

  • Too many voters whine and complain, and give Congress very low approval ratings (as low as 11%), but repeatedly re-elect and reward THEIR incumbent politicians in THEIR party with 85%-to-90% re-election rates.

  • Too few voters (if any) can name 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (half of 535) in Congress that are responsible and accountable, but the majority of voters continue to reward incumbent politicians in Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates.

  • Too many voters fail to see the insanity of doing the same thing over and over, while expecting a different result. Too many voters fail to understand that rewarding failure and corruption merely creates more failure and corruption, and more constitutional violations.

  • Too many voters are too easily bribed with their own tax dollars. Too many voters have fallen for the myth that we can somehow all live at the expense of everyone else. Too many voters want to be coddled and cared for from cradle-to-grave.

  • Too many voters fail to understand or admit how despicable it is for incumbent politicians to pit American citizens and illegal aliens against each other, for votes and profits from cheap labor. And an estimated 3% of all votes are by illegal aliens, since some states do not have or enforce voter identification. Now the federal government is despicably suing Arizona, instead of helping Arizona, and Arizona’s law is merely enforcing the laws that the federal government blatantly refuses to enforce.

  • Too many voters simply don’t care … at least, until (possibly) some day, the consequences of the majority of voters’ negligence finally becomes too painful.

More voters need to pay more attention, every year, to all politicians, all elections, primaries, and the politicians’ voting records.
And that is much easier to do today than ever before, since politicians’ voting records are all online now, for all to see (here’s a good site: OnTheIssues.org).
And there are many fact-check sites to help sort out the lies and the facts (here’s a good site: FactCheck.org).

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, repeatedly rewarding the duopoly, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Do-Nothing Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 3, 2010 9:49 PM
Comment #305261

Dan-
Typically, I like to respond to people at length.

Your argument just tires me. How many years have you posted the same stuff? How many incumbents have you taken down?

Can you divide the first number by the second number, and not get infinity?

Cut and paste tedium won’t win you many supporters.

I’m not afraid to repeate a point. But then I write arguments that are appropriate to the subject. I do not try to make every subject about incumbency.

I don’t try to give out cure-alls. There are no cure alls in politics, not in a field that is human factors rich, and full of creative people who twist and turn words around on themselves. Substance attracts me better, and that means that each subject gets its special treatment.

And yes, that means I take positions. But I don’t like to take them on political grounds alone. I feel that practical government is best. Theories only help if they simplify complicated things, make it easier to deal with things as they are.

For me, the Iraq War, for example, wasn’t about anything really partisan. It was about the simple idea that you go into a war to win, and not merely to win battles, but to win objectives. I started my arguments from there.

For me, the financial crisis is less about some party agenda, and more about the results of policies, both private and public. I believe it’s the government’s responsibility to keep the market stable so that it’s freedom is sustainable.

For me the matter of incumbency is less about some generalized principle or theory. It’s a matter of a test. Do I think this person in office is better on the balance than their alternatives?

You’re so interested in pinning me down as a blind partisan that you won’t see that I am precisely the opposite. I don’t oppose tom humes point of view because he’s a Republican. I oppose them because there’s no provision that says that the states can fill in the gaps on a federal power, when they don’t appreciate what’s missing in their view.

As for your Article V opinions, it’s an Ockham’s razor issue. The simplest construction for that Article is that the State requirements and the Congressional Requirements are pretty much the same, in terms of the political support needed from the states, that they are two different ways of doing the same thing.

I support my arguments from primary sources of those times, from the writings of Alexander Hamilton, who doesn’t treat it like a trip meter on a car, but rather as a means of granting the States Constitutional changes when they are unified enough in the matter. The point of that is to keep the interests satisfied by these proposals and ratifications general ones, rather than the interests, say, of a region, or of a split collection of states. What’s the point, also, of the inequality between the two methods, if both methods are going to require the same number of states to ratify in the end?

You’ve failed to bring forth any evidence to show that the Framers had any desire for such an imbalance, much less a motivation.

I vote for a self-consistent Article V, where the procedure is no more complicated than getting two thirds of the states to agree on a convention together. After all, they will have to attend it together, then vote on the ratification, essentially, together, as a collective of states. I do agree that the Convention method was meant to be a bypass, but I don’t think it was meant to be any more easy or common than its Congressional Counterpart in its success of proposal. The Federalists were not about to put a wild card like that into the deck of their constitution’s deck. They wanted it to be changed rarely, and only with overwhelming consensus.

As for pain and suffering as motivations? Ask folks in the Appalachians and the South, in the west, and everything, the people who lost jobs, why they voted for Republicans.

Breaking News: irrational emotions can be channelled into actions that are irrational. Now, I believe people are capable of controlling these emotions and thinking rationally, but it take more to pass on a message to people than just good intentions.

You and Roy Ellis and others repeat slogans, but I’ve found that distances people, rather than drawing them in. I write conversationally, so people can follow me and my arguments. I don’t care to wear out my welcome.

Don’t wear out yours.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 4, 2010 10:32 PM
Comment #305265
Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t care to wear out my welcome.
That’s Funny.

So, you don’t seen any contradiction between your statements above and in numerous other threads and these previous statements here and here by you?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Don’t wear out yours.
Nonsense. Welcome to what?

Funny how some people accuse others of the very thing they are masters of.

No amount of circular gobbledygook will change the truth.

Most likely, what upsets the blind partisan loyalists that love to fuel and wallow in the blind, circular partisan warfare is that someone recognizes it for exactly what it is. It’s an activity for idiots. But you’re in luck, since there is no shortage of idiots that like to fuel and wallow in the blind, circular partisan warfare.

Any way, it seems likely that many incumbens in BOTH parties are in trouble. That’s a good sign, but it’s doubtful enough voters are yet ready to repeat what the majority of voters did in years 1929, 1931, and 1933, when they voted out Congress members by the hundres (206 of 531 in year 1933).

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, repeatedly rewarding the duopoly, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Do-Nothing Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 4, 2010 11:51 PM
Comment #305291

Dan-
My position has always been that third parties may be of great benefit. But my position takes realistic notice of the consequences of a system where the person with the most votes wins. They system will always pull towards a Majority party or coalition of parties against a Minority Party or coalition of parties.

The issue will always be that such a coalition would essentialy split its vote. So, there will always be that tension. That is, unless a split occurs on both sides. IN that case, though, you’d still see coalitions, because a majority will still rule in the legislature. Meanwhile, the tensions will be even greater in the Presidential elections, because only one person can win, and that person has to win the majority of electoral votes, or something along those lines.

Ignoring these tensions doesn’t make them go away. They will be the challenge to anybody who wants to make that happen.

Personally, I think it will take more than just Third Parties to make things change. I think it will take a revolution in political thinking, to break the reinforcing dynamic of our current political system.

But you take my rather sympathetic, but hardnosed analysis personally. For lack of a better term, you use partisan warfare against me, because I fail to say what you think I would have to say to qualify to be among the ranks of the righteous.

And you know what? I really don’t care about this disagreement the way you do. I don’t have two full pages of selective quotes, just for one enemy who happened to annoy me. When you were banned the last time, I can’t say that I wasted another keystroke on your account.

I am a strategist at heart. Rather than latch on to one tactic and beat the dead horse out of it, I look at the conditions and ask myself what must be done to work past or destroy those obstacles.

I call myself a Democrat, not because I admire all of those politicians in Washington, but because my beliefs are consistent with the platform. Nothing fancier than that. I work to get policy consistent with those beliefs. In the name of that, I am willing to both accept compromises, or the need to appeal to imperfect or worse than imperfect politicians, and take hard lines and wave goodbye to the same politicians. I care more about real world results than I do political ones.

It just seems that as of late the Republicans have become particularly divorced from reality. I can’t ignore that. I can’t watch them continue to break America down with their policy. We need change.

But not random change. Random change is just as likely to work for the problem as it is against it. No, we don’t need to demagnetize washington, heat it up so the poles go in all different directions. We need to change the direction of the magnetic field, the dynamics of the system. Whether Democrats or Republicans, we need folks willing to head in a new direction.

If I felt there was a genuine movement in the Republican Party towards true reform, I would support it. As of this point, there’s nothing to support. I’m not impressed with most Democrats, either. But as I want results, I’m taking the best choice, even if I don’t get a perfect choice.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 5, 2010 11:37 AM
Comment #305316
Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n - My position has always been that third parties may be of great benefit.
Your previous comments contradict that statement.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Personally, I think it will take more than just Third Parties to make things change.
Me too.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think it will take a revolution in political thinking, to break the reinforcing dynamic of our current political system.
Me too; motivated by Education, whether received the hard way, or the smart way (but most likely, the hard way, again).
Stephen Daugherty wrote: But you take my rather sympathetic, but hardnosed analysis personally.
Nonsense. I’m not the one taking it personal.

I’m not the one saying things like this:

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You complain about partisan warfare, but I don’t give a crap, …

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You talk in broad generalities about taking power back, about unseating the incumbents, about pain and suffering being the proper motivations.
I say bull****.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: And you know what? I really don’t care about this disagreement the way you do.

Doth protest too much? Again?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: For lack of a better term, you use partisan warfare against me, because I fail to say what you think I would have to say to qualify to be among the ranks of the righteous.
Nonsense. Only a fool can make a fool of one’s own self.

Fueling and wallowing in the blind, circular partisan warfare is for fools.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: And you know what? I really don’t care about this disagreement the way you do. I don’t have two full pages of selective quotes, just for one enemy who happened to annoy me. When you were banned the last time, I can’t say that I wasted another keystroke on your account.

Right. Like now, eh?

In any debate, what a person writes is fair game in supporting arguments that reveal contradications, inconsistencies, falsehoods, and hypocrisy.
Many of your statements are inconsistent.
And many of your statements and articles reveal a strong propensity to fuel and wallow in the circular partisan warfare, and loathe anything not-DEMOCRAT.

You comments and rebuttals appear quite to the contrary. Especially when your arguments appear to reveal a frustration due to having to resort to inconsistent, circular, obfuscated gobbledygook. That can happen when a person lacks a moral compass, and constantly has to resort to twisted arguments and rationalizations.

Your numerous statements certainly don’t appear like someone who really doesn’t “give a crap”.
If you don’t really “give a crap”, then why continue to dig the hole(s) deeper?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: I am a strategist at heart.
Of course. Also …
Stephen Daugherty wrote: I see it through the eyes of somebody who knows all about technology and the limitations of design.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Rather than latch on to one tactic and beat the dead horse out of it, …
Really?

Then what do you call the endless fueling and wallowing in the blind, circular partisan warfare?
That very much appears to be “one tactic”, and “beating the dead horse out of it”.
So, when are you going to pay equal attention to corruption by Democrats ?
Especially when most of the 27+ convicted felons since year 1980 are Democrats?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: I call myself a Democrat, …
No kiddin’ ?

HHHMMMmmmmmmmmm … who would have ever guessed ?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: I call myself a Democrat, not because I admire all of those politicians in Washington, but because my beliefs are consistent with the platform.
Platforms are about mostly what people say they will do, and promises they make.

Not what they actually do.
Actions speak louder than words.
When you look at what BOTH the IN-PARTY, and OUT-PARTY do, there are no important differences, beyond both of their equally destructive extremes, broken promises, and actual deeds.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: I care more about real world results than I do political ones.
That’s questionable, in view of the non-stop fueling and wallowing in the blind, circular partisan warfare, when there is actually no important differences between what the IN-PARTY and the OUT-PARTY actually do, which has been going on for many decades.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: It just seems that as of late the Republicans have become particularly divorced from reality. I can’t ignore that.
Then why write articles that are always fueling and wallowing in the partisan warfare, and demonizing Republicans only, when there is actually no important differences between what the IN-PARTY and the OUT-PARTY actually do?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: I can’t watch them continue to break America down with their policy. We need change.
So, it’s us and “them” , eh?

We need reforms, but that ain’t gonna ever happen by blindly fueling and wallowing in the blind, circular paritsan-warfare, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians in BOTH parties in Congress with 90% re-election rates.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: But not random change. Random change is just as likely to work for the problem as it is against it. No, we don’t need to demagnetize washington, heat it up so the poles go in all different directions. We need to change the direction of the magnetic field, the dynamics of the system. Whether Democrats or Republicans, we need folks willing to head in a new direction.
What direction?

The direction is actually very clear.
It’s not that complicated.
The problem is simply this.
Too many people in this country are quite simply too selfish, and currently lack the motivation to do the right thing.
The right thing is not that complicated.
There are a few different categories of selfishness, which are all root causes (i.e. human traits; what some call the original 7 deadly sins), which in excess, have always brought pain and suffering to people, and account for much of the pain and misery of our very own making:

  • apathy, complacency, sense of futility, negligence, ignorance, and laziness;

  • greed, selfishness, gluttony, lust for power and control, envy, pride, and exploitation of others and things (e.g. lawlessness and constitutional violations, abusing wealth to influence government, usury, unnecessary wars, unfair taxation, etc.);

  • irrational fear, fear mongering, anger, intolerance, hatred, prejudice of others and things (e.g. religion, race, gender, color, ethnicity, etc.);

  • delusion (deception and self deception), misplaced loyalties, partisan-warfare, misplaced compassion, misplaced priorities;

But, they can all be summed up as “selfishness”.

Most people, naturally, seek security and prosperity with the least amount of effort and pain.
There is nothing wrong with that, and most people are sufficiently ethical and law abiding (otherwise, we would have wide-spread chaos, war, lawlessness, and societal disorder).
However, some people (Cheaters) have surrendered to selfishness, which breeds greed and Corruption.
Cheaters will resort to unethical and/or illegal methods (to varying degrees).
Especially when and where opportunity and Power exists.
Cheaters will try to tap-into others’ selfishness, and use it for their own nefarious purposes (e.g. controlling others; seducing voters into the circular, divisive, distracting, petty partisan warfare; pitting voters against each other; pitting citizens and illegal aliens against each other; brain-washing voters into believing they must pull the party-lever (i.e. blindly vote straight-party-ticket), dividing the voters so that a majority can never exist to vote-out the irresponsible incumbent politicians, etc.).

The key to real reforms requires attention to the worst abuses, which requires Education about the worst abuses, the reasons they exist, which cheaters and master parasites perpetuate the worst abuses, how to reduce or eliminate those abuses, and the fact that there is no important difference between either the IN-PARTY or the OUT-PARTY.

Corruption and abuses grow when and where there is:

  • insufficient Virtue, which creates complacency, apathy, and a lack of concern, which creates

  • insufficient Education, which paves the way for growing ignorance, which creates

  • insufficient Transparency, which creates opportunities for self-gain, which creates

  • insufficient Accountability, which means there are no consequences, which creates

  • insufficient Responsibility,

  • and Power amplifies the problem, as laws are ignored and perverted to do the very things they were originally supposed to prevent.

Responsibility = Power + Virtue + Education + Transparency + Accountability

Corruption = Power - Virtue - Education - Transparency - Accountability

So, Education is one of the keys to the Solution, and the majority of voters will almost certainly receive their Education, one way or another, whether they like it or not.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: If I felt there was a genuine movement in the Republican Party towards true reform, I would support it.
If I thought there was even a small bit of true reform in EITHER party, I would support it.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: As of this point, there’s nothing to support. I’m not impressed with most Democrats, either. But as I want results, I’m taking the best choice, even if I don’t get a perfect choice.
AHHhhhhhhh … an argument for mediocrity, at best.

But that is your choice.
All voters have that choice.

But regardless, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, repeatedly rewarding the duopoly, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Do-Nothing Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 5, 2010 8:16 PM
Comment #305317

Stephen Daugherty, You wrote an article with “Five Reasons The Republican Majority Remains Lost”.

But there are many more important reasons why BOTH the IN-PARTY, OUT-PARTY, and majority of voters are lost.

Keep right on repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incomptent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates, and see where it leads.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, repeatedly rewarding the duopoly, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Do-Nothing Congress with 90% re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 5, 2010 8:19 PM
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