Democrats & Liberals Archives

Hate to tell you, Newt, but somebody beat you to the punch.

More Insanity and stupidity from the right-wing This time from a guy who was supposedly once a history professor. I have my doubts now, because he’s peddling the notion that we are under threat from Shariah Law. Apparently, he thinks it breaks out like the Influenza virus.

Okay folks, it's pretty simple here. For Sharia law to become the law of the land, two things would have to happen. First, a majority in Congress would have to impose it, pass it through both houses, and get the presdient to sign it into law.

Second, it would have to get past legal challenges by the court on constitutional grounds. What grounds?

Well, the Establishment clause, not to mention the one that bars any law that discriminates against another religion.

Unless some idiots do some serious damage to the separation between church and state, we will never see Sharia law enacted, much less surviving a court case, much less being used by judges.

About the only Sharia law that folks can enact in this country are the portions of it that people can enact in this country, within our laws, in their own lives. Here, to say one would ban Sharia law would be to claim one could ban talmudic law for Jews. Maybe in other countries, Sharia is the law of the land, but here the law of the land is that no religion is the law of the land, or against the law of the land.

I pity those on the right caught up in this worthless hysteria. I have full faith and confidence in my First Amendment protections. I believe that I can live by Christian religious law, and they can live under Islamic religious law, and we both will live under American civil law, which will limit what we can do under either kind of code, and at the end of the day, it will neither break my leg nor pick my pocket that a Muslim can live his life like he wants to, and I can live my life the way I want to.

That's freedom, folks, not some high-falutin' sense that the governments got your back on all the religious and cultural issues. This is my position on freedom of religion, and I will be able to hold up my head in pride when all the BS dies down, when the right-wing's noise machine goes silent on the issue:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

In those words lies our protection from those who would impose religious law on us, and their protection from us. What Newt suggests is an intrusion on other people's rights. What we have already preserves our rights, and preserves his.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at September 18, 2010 3:50 PM
Comments
Comment #308744

I think the hysteria derives from the same fallacy that justifies writing laws based solely/mostly on Christian dogmas (such as bans on homosexual marriage). Basically it goes like this, if Christians can write religious laws, what’s stopping Muslims from doing the same?

Posted by: Warped Reality at September 18, 2010 4:22 PM
Comment #308751

WR,

Numbers and demographics.

Montana is the most recent example with their fear of homosexuals taking over their state and causing earthquakes.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 18, 2010 5:36 PM
Comment #308752

Stephen,

Newt is still stewing about Clinton not letting him in the front door of AF 1. He can’t stop himself from being Newt. It’s okay though, he’s one of the opposition leaders.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 18, 2010 5:38 PM
Comment #308754

NYC is fearful that a person smoking in Central Park may contaminate someone in a highrise miles away.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 18, 2010 5:48 PM
Comment #308763

Royal Flush,
There are plenty of loons and conspiracy theorists out there. Shoot, I enjoy the occasional conspiracty theory myself. Newt Gingrich, however, is a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, a frequently mentioned candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, and a person who often appears of FOX News & treated there with the utmost courtesy and respect. He is supposedly an ‘ideas man,’ a history professor, and a thinker responsible for creating the intellectual underpinning of the political right.

“We should have a federal law that says sharia law cannot be recognized by any court in the United States,” Gingrich says. This is wrong and weird for some many reasons it’s hard to even know where to begin.

Posted by: phx8 at September 18, 2010 6:23 PM
Comment #308765

Royal Flush-
?
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???
????
?????

Did you actually check the subject of the entry before you posted that?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 18, 2010 6:27 PM
Comment #308768

Stephen, You are a liberal. You know how these things work. Of course Sharia law will not be passed by Congress, at least not right away. Incrementalism has been the forte of leftists in this country for my entire lifetime and that is how Muslims will weave the tentacles of Sharia law in to our legal system. It starts locally in a small town somewhere where maybe a few Muslims get elected to a city council and they introduce some inoccuos tenet of Sharia Law. Opponents will be demonized as Islamophobic and quickly marginalized and silenced by the MSM and the left. Once it begins it will be a snowball rolling downhill with all opposition demonized or as is the custom for Muslims, they will threaten violence if their demands are not accepted. The Q’uran teaches that there will never be peace in the world until all nations accept Islam and are ruled by Sharia Law. The Q’uran also teaches that it is ok to deceive and lie to infidels in order to bring this about. So you want me to simply trust that the Constitution will prohibit this from happening. Our government has been running over, under, and around the Constitution for years and activist judges back them up. Forgive me for being skeptical but I would have thought that paying an Imam to represent our State Department in oureach to the Muslim world, or making the number one goal of the Director of NASA be making Muslims feel good about their contributions to math and science would also violate the Constitution. Substitute Bishop or Rabbi for Imam , and Catholics or Jews for Muslims and what would those of you on the left have to say then? Oh I forgot, Catholics and Jews are not trying to blow us up.

Posted by: Skeptical Boomer at September 18, 2010 7:05 PM
Comment #308769


This is one of many viruses afflicting or possibly afflicting America according to conservative Christians and some conservatives in general. They seek a rash of Constitutional amendments or federal laws to destroy those viruses.

Posted by: jlw at September 18, 2010 7:07 PM
Comment #308776
It starts locally in a small town somewhere where maybe a few Muslims get elected to a city council and they introduce some inoccuos tenet of Sharia Law.

You’ve seen the uproar from the Left when Right-wing Christians attempt to put 10 of the Mosaic Comandments in a courthouse. They’d react similarly if Muslims every tried a similar thing.

This goes back to what I said in my first comment; the same fallacy that makes the right think it’s okay to to impose their brand of Christianity on civil law allows Muslims to potentially do the same. Fortunately, this based on a fallacy and the Left will defend the Constitution.

The Q’uran teaches that there will never be peace in the world until all nations accept Islam and are ruled by Sharia Law. The Q’uran also teaches that it is ok to deceive and lie to infidels in order to bring this about.
You obviously don’t know anything about Islam then. The Quran actually says that there is no compulsion in religion. Occasionally, some have failed to obey that passage, but the same has happened with all the world’s religions. All faiths (and nonfaiths) have blood on their hands. Posted by: Warped Reality at September 18, 2010 7:55 PM
Comment #308779

“separation of church and state” means that some nut ball professing to doing gods work getting the gay off off people and then going off on some gay adventure can’t shove his so called values on me. I have found that the more religious people are the more of a hypocrite they are.

Posted by: Jeff at September 18, 2010 8:25 PM
Comment #308781

Warped Reality,

It is you who do not know anything about Islam. The earlier writings in the Q’uran are peaceful as you say and the quote you provide is from Sura 2. The later writings or Sura are where the prophets writings become much more violent. The Q’uran teaches that any inconsistencies between the early Sura and the later Sura. The later Sura supersede.

Posted by: skeptical Boomer at September 18, 2010 8:45 PM
Comment #308800

skeptical boomer-

Stephen, You are a liberal. You know how these things work.

Do I now?

Incrementalism has been the forte of leftists in this country for my entire lifetime and that is how Muslims will weave the tentacles of Sharia law in to our legal system.

Weave the tentacles of Sharia law? You’re not trying to use loaded words here, now, are you?

In terms of plausibility, can you offer real evidence that a sizable number of Muslims, much less liberals, are at work doing this?

Has it occured to you that most American Liberals, and those who would try to impose authoritarian sharia law on our political sphere are polar opposites in terms of sensibilities? The only thing that would connect the two are the overactive imaginations of those who insist on believing that whatever the enemy of the day is, Democrats and liberals are on their side.

It starts locally in a small town somewhere where maybe a few Muslims get elected to a city council and they introduce some inoccuos tenet of Sharia Law. Opponents will be demonized as Islamophobic and quickly marginalized and silenced by the MSM and the left.

Yeah, we’d be able to shut you up and marginalize you real quickly, just like we did with that Muslim Community center thing.

Y’all seem to have to imagine that if even a hint of this was ever allowed to take root, the Right would get steamrolled in an instant. Why? Because its scarier than admiting that the media scrutiny, especially from the politicized right-wing media, would probably more than hold its own. If Republicans admitted that they weren’t powerless, there would be less motivation for people to suddenly be up in arms, and Republicans need people up in arms because otherwise they slow down to think about what’s actually going on.

Once it begins it will be a snowball rolling downhill with all opposition demonized or as is the custom for Muslims, they will threaten violence if their demands are not accepted. The Q’uran teaches that there will never be peace in the world until all nations accept Islam and are ruled by Sharia Law. The Q’uran also teaches that it is ok to deceive and lie to infidels in order to bring this about.

Funny thing thing for the Qu’ran to teach that, especially since Sharia law is a development both of Qu’ranic verse, the Hadith, or attributed sayings of Mohammed, and the traditions, of which different Islamic scholars adhere to different schools of thought about. So about two-thirds of what contributes to Sharia law, postdates the Qu’ran.

Another thing, funnily enough: Christianity teaches something similar. Are we just going to go out there and take over the world? Well, everybody gave it their best try, and pretty much most modern Christians and Muslims prefer to just leave the boundaries as they are. You take small factions of Muslim society, and act as if they represent the whole enchilada. They don’t. Islam is a particularly fragmented religion, with many different schools of thought, sects, and even factions among the different sects. Without any central controlling figure, there isn’t even really a hierarchy in Islam that one could compare to Catholicism or Orthodox Christianity.

As for the lying? You’ve never heard of Deitrich Bonhoeffer, have you? He concluded that it would be moral to lie, if you were say, saving the life of a Jew, or something like that. That is effectively what the Muslim idea of lying would be about. Some folks might capture you, put you under pressure to renounce. He’s saying, lie to them, get them off your back, then get back to what you were doing before, making your apologies for what you had to do. You should no more expand that into a general doctrine of deceit than you should take Bonhoeffer’s conclusion that’s moral to lie to prevent worse crimes from occuring, and expand it into a general license to lie, kill, and commit treason. These are exceptions to orthodox rules, not abolitions of them.

Most American Muslims, additionally, would not agree to impose Sharia law in the first place, so lying to forward that goal would be out of the question for them.

My impression is, the Right is using that doctrine as a means to take the moderate, non-threatening language of the average Muslim, and call into question their honesty and credibility. It’s a cheap propaganda tactic in other words, and you should be ashamed to use it.

So you want me to simply trust that the Constitution will prohibit this from happening. Our government has been running over, under, and around the Constitution for years and activist judges back them up.

Don’t give me that activist judge BS, especially when Conservatives have been complaining for years about how those so-called activist judges have ruled to separate church from state in things like School Prayer.

We applaud decisions that have separated church from state. Why would we applaud the insertion of radical Islam right back where we just backed off Christian intrusions?

If you want a good indication of where liberals fall on Radical Islam, consider that Daily Kos Founder Markos Moulitsas, among others on his site, refer to the far right as the American Taliban, in essence comparing the right wing’s intolerance for women’s rights, for gays, for free speech and free religion to that of the radical clerics of the Taliban. We’re as opposed to them as we are to the Religious Right.

Forgive me for being skeptical but I would have thought that paying an Imam to represent our State Department in oureach to the Muslim world, or making the number one goal of the Director of NASA be making Muslims feel good about their contributions to math and science would also violate the Constitution.

The first example is not a violation of that separation becuase we’re not sponsoring his religion. We are using his religious ties towards a secular goal: enlisting the cooperation of moderate Muslims in countries that are mostly of that religion.

The second example falls in a pretty similar category, using NASA’s prestige and some good words about Muslim and Arab contributions to work towards the secular goal of getting the folks in those countries to be more cooperative.

Substitute Bishop or Rabbi for Imam , and Catholics or Jews for Muslims and what would those of you on the left have to say then?

I would not be opposed to similar outreach when that figure could be influential. If we could get a well regarded Rabbi to make our case to the Israeli’s about a peace plan, and that helps it work, no problem. Same thing if we were dealing with some Catholic country, and doing some backchannel negotiation through a priest with the Vatican, that would be good.

Now, if we were paying the Imam, the Priest, and the Rabbi to proselytize their religion, to go out there and make converts in our nation’s name, that would be a violation. It’s not that the Government cannot have dealings with or do negotiations through religious figures. We just can’t use government’s power to further or hinder a religious agenda for a faith. It’s not our job to give Christianity a leg up, or Islam a kick down.

Oh I forgot, Catholics and Jews are not trying to blow us up.

Whether some fringe faction of them were trying to do that is irrelevant. America’s freedom of religion protects even those religions that have nutjobs. Judaism has its share. Christianity has its share. Islam has its share. If we start arguing that the freedom of one should be restricted because renegade members are violent, then anytime our personal religion came under such a pall of infamy, then we would leave ourselves open to such discrimination.

The Separation of Church and State is not merely a mechanism for keeping those two from corrupting each other, it’s also the means by which the diversity of faiths in our country coexist peacefully. If you want to see what happens when that doesn’t quite go right, look at the Balkans, look at Northern Ireland. The fact of the matter is, people have more incentive to strike back at the state and be violent, when the state marginalizes them, discriminates against them. Even if they win back power, others will resent their winning, and the BS will start all over again.

America’s avoided major religious conflicts because our Government’s constitutional policy about religion is not to give a crap, one way or another. It simplifies things greatly, and leaves folks open to handle snakes, take communion, recite the Torah from big scrolls, speak in tongues, pray towards mecha, go shanti, shanti, shanti to their hearts content, without having to get into a big power struggle with everybody else in order to do that.

I’d say, if you don’t want to radicalize American Muslims, a good first step is not to try and legislate against their religion, discriminate against their places of worship, their places of assembly.

Oh, and on your last post, where did you learn about Islam from? Did you actually learn about it from the people who practice in this country, or is the skeptical boomer failing to take into account the nature of his sources?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 18, 2010 9:30 PM
Comment #308802

Islamophobia on full display. Bring on the hate.

So, Skeptical Boomer, how do you explain the Turkish government?

Have you ever visited an Islamic country? Like Christianity in its various forms, and like Buddhism, Hinduism, as well as other religions, the practice of Islam varies by region and country, and the variation is strongly influenced by the culture. Like Christianity’s Catholocism and Protestantism, Islam consists of two major branches.

Some Muslims are Sufis.

With the notable exception of Buddhism, virtually all of the major religions justify violence and war and killing.

American history is full of violence religious conflicts, expecially between the Protestants and Catholics. Did you know that? Yeah, hot Christian on Christian violence, especially in Chicago in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Despite these conflicts, we retain the separation of Church and State.

Pack up your hate in an old kit bag and smile, smile, smile. Religious intolerance has no place in America, and hopefully Americans will shun such behavior.

Such behavior is especially despicable in a former Speaker for the House of Representatives and potential candidate for the presidency.

Posted by: phx8 at September 18, 2010 9:38 PM
Comment #308809

Stephen & others

Sharia law is NOT law in the U.S. and it cannot be. It is simply a voluntary thing. American law is always superior to Sharia law in the U.S. NOBODY is bound to follow Sharia law in the U.S. any more than he/she has to follow the rules of any club they belong to. The worse the anybody can - legally - is kick them out of the club. Sharia law is not our law and anybody in America can ignore it.

BTW - sooner or later there will be a lot of trouble with Sharia. Think of the sound and fury surrounding those weirdos in Utah who have multiple wives, sometimes underage. This pretty much also describes Sharia practice. That means that some of the key parts of Sharia are actually illegal in the U.S.

BTW2 - I had a room mate who was a former Muslim. He had the complete set of some kind of Sharia law. It regulated everything, even how you sat when going to the bathroom. I suggest both opponents & supporters of actually read Sharia law. You might find it more … exotic or surprising than you think. And you may be less surprised by the current state of many Middle Eastern societies. It is a code of conduct that was applicable to relatively small and uncomplicated medieval societies.

The U.S. authorities have the duty to protect Muslims FROM Sharia, should they not want to follow those rules.

IMO - after they get over being PC, liberals are going to turn on Islam. Think of the PRACTICE of Muslims with regard to women & regimentation of religious practice. Almost all the things that liberal find unpleasant about fundamentalist Christians goes double for fundamentalist Muslims.

Posted by: C&J at September 19, 2010 12:19 AM
Comment #308810

Warped Reality,

“You obviously don’t know anything about Islam then.”

It would seem that “skeptical boomer” knows even less of the Constitution than he does about Islam.

Perhaps if the conservative right took a bit more time to actually understand what is in the document they claim to hold so dear, and a little less time attempting to twist the meanings of a book they seem to know nothing about, maybe then they might recognize that bullsh*t fairy tales like those being spewed by Gingrich are just that.

Bullsh*t.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at September 19, 2010 12:24 AM
Comment #308811

I have a question for Stephen Daugherty, are you a socialist?

Posted by: Kathy at September 19, 2010 1:11 AM
Comment #308812

C&J-
The same could be said about Jewish law for some sects, or Christian exegesis. There’s always some sect that gets ultra-finicky about things.

But you know what the beauty of this country is? People are free to saddle themselves or not saddle themselves with whatever level of religion they want, so long as they obey the civil laws in their practice.

Bigamy is illegal in America. I don’t see anybody changing that fact any time soon.

This is not about political correctness. This is about Gingrich’s flat out hateful, fear-mongering speech. The worst thing is, how he’s settin the tone for the debate:

We as Americans don’t have to tolerate people who are supportive of violence against us, building something at the sight of the violence.

That’s what he said about those building the Mosque. Anybody with any familiarity with those people know just how wrong and inflammatory this is. This goes beyond simple disagreement with a choice that is considered freely made by the other person. This is an outright dismissal of that right.

The irony of this, by the way, is that the Republican Establishment in Congress was created by that same fellow. For me, that they would cheer on red-meat speeches by this guy reflects a lack of depth in their knowledge of how they got to the point that they are. These people don’t know what the hell they’re protesting against if they’re cheering on the architect of the very Republican Establishment that they’re claiming they want to destroy.

If all a man has to do, in order to get your vote, is repeat a set of stock phrases, demagogue a few points, and push the right buttons, then you’re going to do a poor job of actually holding them accountable, because any politician of even just mediocre talent can do that. And one of really good politicians can do even worse damage.

Gingrich is a fine example. I mean, hell, a value voters convention being brought to its feet by a man who gave his wife the divorce papers while she was dealing with cancer.

When are Republicans going to start remembering what these people have actually said, done, and voted for? When are they going to realize that they’ll never live the Bush years down until they let go of the old Conservatism and move on to something new, something that acknowledges the flaws in the old politics?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2010 1:23 AM
Comment #308813

Kathy-
Nope. I’m a capitalist. I believe the market approach to economics works, and that the primary way to set prices is through that market.

I believe, though, that it’s naive to think that given lax enough rules, people won’t cheat their way towards a profit, and that cheating, done enough by enough people, can’t distort the market, both as it inflates the bubble, and as it deflates it on the rebound.

The market isn’t natural. Laws are needed to provide the framework for corporations and businesses to exist. They are needed to determine which contracts are valid, what parts of the contract are enforceable, and ultimately enforce the agreement Laws are also needed to get companies to work and play nice with others. If I told you a man was dumping poison in the drinking water, you would say “Arrest that man and punish him!” If somebody, through action or inaction, got somebody killed, there are consequences for an individual. Why not for a corporation that makes faulty products or disregards worker safety?

I do not see corporations or businesses as being special and exempt from the kinds of laws the rest of us must obey.

If all of the above does not qualify as capitalism for you, I don’t care. I believe in the market driven circulation of capital. I don’t worship the Capitalists themselves. They are my equals and should be treated as such. My brand of capitalism puts the emphasis on the movement of capital, rather than the individuals who do the movement.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2010 1:37 AM
Comment #308814

>IMO - after they get over being PC, liberals are going to turn on Islam. Think of the PRACTICE of Muslims with regard to women & regimentation of religious practice. Almost all the things that liberal find unpleasant about fundamentalist Christians goes double for fundamentalist Muslims.
Posted by: C&J at September 19, 2010 12:19 AM

C&J,

Too strong. We will not ‘turn on’ Islam. We are ambivalent as it is. We care not a whit for defending ‘Islam’ now. What we don’t want is for the distortions of one religion prevalent on the right. Actually two distortions…Christianity is distorted toward being the “American’ religion, and Islam is distorted as to make it ‘un-American’. Conservatives bash in order to make a few brownie points with a group of people who will eventually bite them on the butt, and they do it just to gain a power they do not deserve. If they ever come up with some positive policy issues that might better American life, they won’t need all this crap they use to befuddle and mislead our citizens.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 19, 2010 7:17 AM
Comment #308818

Stephen

I don’t care what Muslims, Christians, Jews or Voodoo priest do if all the participants are voluntary. I am just saying that You and I and others do not have to follow their rules. Anybody can opt out at any time.

I recall an early example of PC thinking by Charles Napier, a British governor in India. Some people in India had the cultural habit of burning widows along with their dead husbands. Napier found this appalling. The locals complained that he had no right to interfere with their cultural traditions. He explained that he would respect their traditions but they must also respect his. They could burn widows according to their traditions, but his tradition was to hang anybody who did it.

Re hatred - people have the right to dislike anything they want. They just don’t have the right to act on it outside the law. We have to TOLERATE; we don’t have to accept or like. I personally think it is odd when women are dressed like nijas. I won’t pretend I don’t think it is amusing and a little retrograde. If my daughter wanted to become one of them, I would object strongly. But I tolerate it in others, since it just is not my business. BTW - I would also object if my daughter wanted to become a nun or join a cult in the mountains, but I recognize the right of others to make those kind of choices.

IMO - one reason MOST people object to things like the mosque near ground zero is that they feel that other practices are being imposed on them. Again, we have to tolerate but not accept. For example, I would find it annoying as an employer if my workers wanted to stop work during the day for any reason, prayers or other, besides during their break time. Any employee who took that extra time would have to make it up in other places.

Marysdude

I am “tolerant” of Islam because I generally don’t care what other people do as long as they don’t bother me. Liberals tend to be more interventionist. If you compare fundamental Islam with fundamental Christianity, as both are practiced, Islam is far-far more divergent from what liberals want in terms of womens’ rights, corporal punishment, treatment of children etc. Everybody gives Catholics a hard time because a few priests have engaged in inappropriate behavior toward boys. Wait a few years until you get more complete information about imams and mullahs. OF course, as with priests, the vast majority are innocent.


Re distortions of the religion - have you traveled to Muslim majority countries? If you have, what have you noticed about the places? It will have to change, as Christianity did, to fit into modern societies. Personally, I like much of what Muslims do because it is family centered and conservative. Liberals and conservatives in America just haven’t figured that out yet.

Posted by: C&J at September 19, 2010 10:14 AM
Comment #308819

Stephen

Re the free market - we need rules on all sides. Nobody wants no rules.

What you don’t seem to understand is that government is not an impartial arbiter. Government is also an alliance of interest groups. It is - by necessity - run by individual politicians and bureaucrats who are to some extent detached and different from the people they are supposed to serve. As we have seen with public employees unions, they also have some very strong interests of their own.

We need government to balance private business. We also need private business to balance government. If we had almost no government, I would probably want more. But we already have a lot and so more government is probably not a good solution to most problems.

Posted by: C&J at September 19, 2010 10:19 AM
Comment #308821

C&J-
The system doesn’t work in pieces. Our economy needs the laws to make sure that people don’t cheat their way towards success. Too often, the Republicans have used the power of government to make corrupt bargains with businesses, or to help keep the status quo in place, no matter the harm we saw come of it.

Wall Street got what it wanted in terms of regulation. Result? Wall Street drove into the ditch. Is it time to hand the keys back to Wall Street? Problem is, it’d driven itself into the ditch several times over my lifetime, not coincidentally the period during which deregulation has been the watchword.

Republicans, nowadays, worry about mosques and Sharia takeovers, they worry about socialism taking over a country that doesn’t have much love for it, but they don’t worry about dealing with the actual bad things that could happen, and have happened.

On the subject of Sharia law, we first have to realize that we’re not dealing with one, monolithic interpretation of Islam’s holy law here. We’re dealing with a broad range of attitudes as to what is permitted and not permitted. Some fill books with the regulations, others merely fill their hearts. If we don’t recognize that difference, then we’ll only end up missing the opportunity to befriend those who are moderate.

Sharia law is not much different than Torah law, in terms of the range of its intepretation. Some would adhere to it to the letter. Others think the general spirit is what’s important, and we have to adjust to the modern day. Just look at Jews in America. Muslims vary in a similar fashion.

Sharia law will never have the foothold here that it does overseas. It is neither our tradition, nor something our laws permit to be the civil law of the land. The fearmongering on the right is useless at best, and dangerous at worse, because it may drive us to compromise the freedoms we’ve had for more than two centuries, all for the sake of a worthless fear.

It’s time for the Conservatives to start acting conservative again, to go back to that old meaning the word once had of being careful and prudent. It’s time for the Right Wing to stop indulging its nuts, stop indulging prejudice and racism of this kind. This is not me talking in terms of political correctness, this is me talking in terms of basic social justice. We do not need to be backsliding into prejudice of this toxicity. We do not need to be making enemies of our own fellow citizens.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2010 10:51 AM
Comment #308824

Stephen

ALL politicians have used government poorly - think Rangel and Waters. In fact, Democrats seem much better at this game.

It does indeed have to be part of the whole. The whole INCLUDES private power to counter government power as well as the reverse.

Re Sharia - I understand it as much as I intend to. I know that some Muslims follow it. I know that it is not my business and I don’t have to follow it. I also know that in America it is strictly voluntary, even for Muslims. I am fairly sure that it is not “God’s law”. I don’t mind if people say it is, as long as they allow me not to believe it. If I am wrong I suppose it will have serious consequences for me later, but nothing I can do about that absent more information.

Posted by: C&J at September 19, 2010 11:17 AM
Comment #308828

And around and around she goes…where she stops nobody knows. Stephen says conservatives are lacking in American spirit by their own actions. C&J say they themselves are conservative, but not like the nut cases Stephen talks of, and deny that what Stephen says is true. This is even worse than catch 22.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 19, 2010 1:14 PM
Comment #308829

PS:

It is not a good idea to get into a pissing contest ever which party has had the most corruption or the worst corruption. That is another ‘stick that has no end’.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 19, 2010 1:16 PM
Comment #308830

C&J-
Give me a Break. Rangel and Waters are the only two folks you come up. Democrats like me could come up with Ney, Cunningham, Foley, Larry Craig, Vitter, DeLay, and more. We could point to the attorneys firing scandal, with blatant conflicts of interests regarding political outcomes, cases pushed on weak evidence. We could bring up the Jack Abramoff scandal, that and more.

You want to talk “culture of corruption”, you better have more than just two members that Democrats generally have written off. You better have a real, far-reaching scandal.

As for countering government power? They flood the zone with lobbyists, flood the airwaves with their commercials, thanks to that criminal Citizens United decision. Anybody who doesn’t think corporations are getting what they want isn’t paying attention.

And anybody paying attention will see that getting what they want doesn’t lead to the promised ideal outcomes. Let’s stop kidding ourselves about whether Corporations are the victimes, powerless before the government.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2010 1:22 PM
Comment #308833
when all the BS dies down, when the right-wing’s noise machine goes silent on the issue

Personally, I don’t expect the right-wing noise machine to go silent anytime soon. They’ve been selling their White Christian conservative base nothing but FEAR for a very l-o-n-g time.

Fear of Muslims.
Fear of Homosexuals.
Fear of Obama
Fear of Liberals and Progressives.
Fear of Feminism.
Fear of their own sexuality (whether hetero or homo).
Fear of Black People, and most recently, “black liberation theology”.
Fear of Immigrants.
Fear of having their guns taken away.
Fear of Communism.
Fear of “Death Panels.”
Fear of Public Education
Fear of Public Anything.
Fear of Atheism, Agnosticism, and Secular Humanism.
Fear of Religious Persecution of Christians.
Fear of Losing their White Christian Majority Status.
Fear of _Fill in the Blank_!
I could go on, and on, and on.

Indeed, I think it’s obvious that the reason the right-wing noise machine exists at all is because they figured out a long time ago that constantly selling fear is something that works extremely well amongst the narrow minded, dimwitted, and cowardly.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 19, 2010 1:35 PM
Comment #308836

Adrienne-
I think the problem is, it doesn’t just work among those people. It works among many people, because we’re human, and vulnerable to emotional appeals.

But those appeals are not infallible, and should not be treated as such, and what one group can do, use rhetoric to their advantage, the other side can do as well.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2010 2:04 PM
Comment #308842
what one group can do, use rhetoric to their advantage, the other side can do as well.

Well, it’s seems pretty clear to me that the left doesn’t have anything remotely resembling the right-wing noise machine. Otherwise we’d be spreading positive messages of tolerance, civil rights, social justice, and constitutional notions such as insuring domestic tranquility, and promoting the general welfare all over the place.

Meanwhile, conservative fear-driven messages have been continuously sold on television (Fox “News” and Right-Wing Punditry Entertainment on other TV stations), and Radio (Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Savage. et al) and on the internet and in the press (Palin’s “death panel” style twitterings, Drudge, Malkin, Horowitz, Coulter, etc., etc.) for many, many years now. In addition to this, White conservative Christians (tea party crowd) have long used their churches and other organizations to further the spread of all this fear, as well as whatever other ignorant, narrow-minded messages are currently being whipped up by the right-wing noise machine.

I mean for pity’s sake, look at what Newt Gingrich just said — it’s SO FREAKING INSANE!!!

Yet, I fully expect this insanity will now be treated as though it is a serious issue.

I truly feel that we’re experiencing another utterly hysterical an unreasonable era in this country — much like the days of McCarthyism. And while the left has The Daily Show, and people like Mahr, Olbermann and Maddow making us laugh at the complete nuttiness of it all, perhaps what we really need most is someone along the lines of Edward R. Murrow very seriously and methodically calling out all this irrational insanity.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 19, 2010 4:27 PM
Comment #308844

I think the selling of fear, which is almost all that I see on Fox News and conservative blogs these days, by definition targets cowards.

You may equate dimwitted with misinformed. I told my family once that they were ‘WILLFULLY IGNORANT” of facts when they pressed me on my ideas while on family vacation. They know WHO they hate. They just can’t back up WHY they hate them with any facts. They base their fear and hatred on emotion and the word of known liars like Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck.

Narrow-minded is the zealot. The one who knows his mind and his positions on a range of topics, but doesn’t want the facts to trouble his mind when deciding.

Yeah, Newt is definitely trying to reach that crowd… and is doing a good job of it. There are lots of willing recipients.

This is why I stay out of political discussions for the most part now. Things will happen however they happen. Hopefully people will learn one day.

Posted by: LibRick at September 19, 2010 4:57 PM
Comment #308845

LibRick-
I don’t hope. At least, I don’t hope alone. The debate must continue. The whole point of all the obstruction and all the vilification is to make the debate so toxic that the rational opponents on the left give up and give in.

But to despair of fixing things, I think, is take the first step in being a bystander to one’s fate. I don’t wish to be a bystander.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2010 5:06 PM
Comment #308848

Adrienne,

Are you trying to tell me the left does not use fear as an effective tool themselves?

Fear of Christians
Fear of the Tea Party
Fear of Conservatives
Fear of Women who choose not to be Feminist
Fear of allowing gun ownership
Fear of Capitalism
Fear of private education
Fear of public sector solutions to anything
Fear of losing preferential minority status
Fear of belief in a deity

Indeed, I think it’s obvious that the reason the left-wing noise machine exists at all is because they figured out a long time ago that constantly selling fear is something that works extremely well amongst the narrow minded, dimwitted, and cowardly. Pardon me for using your words but they were appropriate.

Posted by: Skeptical Boomer at September 19, 2010 5:49 PM
Comment #308850

Just once I’d like to see some thought put into a posting by a conservative.

Item 1: Liberals don’t fear Christians. Liberals don’t hate Christians…hell, nearly all liberals ARE Christian.

Item 2: …oh, hell, skip it!

Posted by: Marysdude at September 19, 2010 6:07 PM
Comment #308851

LibRick,

Stephen is right. Cynicism is not the answer and neither is apathy.

I received an email from the DNC asking me to participate along the lines I did during the 2008 Presidential campaign. I sent a message to the White House saying I’d received the message, but was so disappointed in the President’s capitulation of the ‘public option’ and a small list of other things I thought he’d given short shrift on.

But, thinking it over, I’ve decided to go ahead and rejoin the movement. My disappointments are petty compared to the harm the Tea Baggie nuts can do to America. Ambivalence is not the answer. Just look at the swill spread tight here by those who post from the vision(less) of the right.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 19, 2010 6:14 PM
Comment #308853

Boomer:

Are you trying to tell me the left does not use fear as an effective tool themselves?

That’s correct. The Left fights for progress, and people on our side of the aisle understand that being clear headed, fearless and brave is precisely what that takes. Indeed, we all know that progress of any kind has never moved forward through the use of fear.

Fear of Christians Fear of the Tea Party Fear of Conservatives Fear of Women who choose not to be Feminist Fear of allowing gun ownership Fear of Capitalism Fear of private education Fear of public sector solutions to anything Fear of losing preferential minority status Fear of belief in a deity

Hilarious! All you’ve done here is describe the status quo in America! So no, we aren’t afraid of any of these things. Indeed they are commonplace (some unfortunately so), thus there is no need to fear what we already know.

the reason the left-wing noise machine exists

It doesn’t exist. Although I for one, wish like hell it did.

Pardon me for using your words

Well, I’ve always heard that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so even if they don’t actually apply, I’ll simply assume your mimicry was an attempt to flatter me. :^)

Posted by: Adrienne at September 19, 2010 6:35 PM
Comment #308855

Oh but the left does make a lot of noise:


•It was a liberal who bit the finger off a man who disagreed with him on healthcare.
•It was Obama-loving Amy Bishop who took a gun to work and murdered co-workers.
•Joseph Stack flew his plane into the IRS building after writing an anti-conservative manifesto.
•It was liberals who destroyed AM radio towers outside of Seattle.
•It’s liberals who burn down Hummer dealerships.
•It was progressive SEIU union thugs who beat a black conservative man who spoke his mind.
•It’s doubtful that a conservative fired shots into a GOP campaign headquarters.
•In fact, Democrats have no monopoly on having their offices vandalized.
•Don’t forget it was Obama’s friend Bill Ayers who used terrorism as a tool for political change. SDS is still radical, with arrests in 2007 and the storming of the CATO Institute in July 2008.
•It was a liberal who was sentenced to two years for bringing bombs and riot shields to the Republican National Convention in 2008.
•It was a liberal who threatened to kill a government informant who infiltrated her Austin-based group that planned to bomb the RNC.
•It was liberals who assaulted police in Berkeley.
•It was liberals who intimidated and threw rocks through the windows of researchers.
•The two Black Panthers who stood outside polls intimidating people with nightsticks were probably not right-wingers.
•Every time the G20 gets together, it’s not conservatives who destroy property and cause chaos.


The statistics in Europe this past year are as follows:

Left wing violence 39 occurrences
Right wing violence 1 occurrence

Sounds like liberals make a lot of noise. It often goes “BOOM” and kills people.

And by the way. I question many of your beliefs and oppose many of your ideas on the left but I do not fear them. What you consider to be “progress” I do not and so we battle in the arena of ideas and the American people will decide.

Posted by: Skeptical Boomer at September 19, 2010 7:15 PM
Comment #308858

Skeptical Boomer-
Do I fear Christians? I am one.

Do I fear the Tea Party? Honestly, yes, but mostly because they represent this country backsliding to policies we both literally and figuratively cannot afford. That, and the fact that nearly every candidate they offer is a dim bulb or a live wire.

Do I fear conservatives? No. I went to college at Baylor University, so the answer is no. Conservativism doesn’t scare me.

I have no fear of a woman who chooses not to take the career path. But I do have pity for a woman who thinks she’s worth less than a man, and lets that undermine her potential.

I have a best friend who collects guns, and I’ve raised no objection to him having them. I just think a few common sense background checks and limitations would be in order. Gun Rights activists have taken things to the extreme.

Do I fear capitalism? No. I just think it doesn’t work without enforceable rules against bad behavior. Anybody who looks at the last thirty years and still expects the market to police itself efficiently has a naive conception of how business gets done in the real world.

Do I fear private education? No. I do not fear the fact that some people send little Henry to the private school of their choice. If they can afford it, fine by me. What I don’t agree with are vouchers at taxpayer’s expense. If somebody forgoes a public education, they should forgo public taxpayer support for their education with it.

Do I fear private sector solutions to anything? No. I’m fine with them. Just so long as they’re actual, working solutions. We should not be afraid to involve government if private enterprise fails to solve a problem.

Do I fear losing preferential minority status. God, that’s a convoluted one. You know, lets check back with you on that when being a minority isn’t statistically shown to be a disadvantage in getting a job, a college education or all that other stuff. Then we have a preferential problem in the minority’s favor. Until then, it’s the majority that seems to fear losing its preferential status, which it does have.

Funny how some conservatives seem to tackle problems before they’re actually real problems.

As for fear of belief in a deity? Well, again, I’m a Christian.

On the other post:
Conservatives show up at political rallies with the President with guns in their hands, with signs referencing Jefferson’s “the tree of liberty comment.” Their leaders openly talk of second-amendment solutions to the problem of a politician. You don’t see quite so many Liberals shouting people down at town halls.

You give your examples, I’ll give mine.

But to say there’s a truly strong left-wing radical movement is to quite overstate things. Just look around you. Who won? We’re struggling to push back against your policies. Most of the time, our advice to our followers is similar to what the smart teabaggers are beginning to tell their supporters: Behave yourselves.

It’s a lesson the right’s been slow to learn because of its sense of exceptionalism. Y’all think because you’re trying to save civilization from the liberals that you can just go and do anything, and not suffer in your reputation. Truth is, you’re like everybody else. When you get nasty with somebody, it’s going to affect their conception of you.

The American people will decide. You must learn, though, that there are parts of that decision you can run afoul of that are not under your control, and that behaving respectfully towards others, even in the heat of an argument, will help you work through those factors much more effectively.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2010 7:59 PM
Comment #308859

see the above post by SkepticalBoomer

There’s your sign.

I regret at this point that Obama won the election. The American people still aren’t convinced yet that the conservative policies are destroying the middle class. Like taking medicine, the treatment is not yet complete. We’ll likely have to see the middle class come close to death before the infection is killed off.

Posted by: LibRick at September 19, 2010 8:04 PM
Comment #308865
Sounds like liberals make a lot of noise. It often goes “BOOM” and kills people.

Read these and weep:

Militant Extremists in the United States

Right-wing extremists encourage violence, FBI says

Right-wing militias on the rise in US: report

Posted by: Adrienne at September 19, 2010 8:44 PM
Comment #308868

Marysdude

My main point is that I don’t fear Muslims. I don’t fear Sharia law because I know I that nobody has to follow it in the U.S., neither you, me or any Muslim who doesn’t want to. I am agreeing with Stephen’s point re Sharia. But you guys cannot take yes for an answer because it upsets your stereotypes.

Posted by: C&J at September 19, 2010 9:14 PM
Comment #308870

LibRick,

Sorry to disagree but it is Conservatism and our Capitalist economic system that created the largest middle class in history and it will be your Progressivism and Socialist economic system that will destroy it and create a nation of government dependents. Socialism incentivizes dependence. I can get what I need and someone else will pay for it? Sounds good to me. Liberals are such kind, compassionate, and charitable people, as long as they are spending someone elses money.

By the way, the U.S. has not truly been a capitalist economic system for a long time. Too much government interference through tax policy, fiscal policy, and regulation. Some of it necessary and much of it political.

Posted by: Skeptical Boomer at September 19, 2010 9:37 PM
Comment #308872

Adrienne,

I gave you a list of actual attacks by left wing groups. You send me links to websites warning of possible right wing violence with the only specific example being the Oklahoma City bombing?

Posted by: Skeptical Boomer at September 19, 2010 10:00 PM
Comment #308876

Skeptic, if you have a few hours, check this site out. And it’s just one target of right-wing fanatical extremists. The data goes back several years.

http://www.prochoice.org/about_abortion/violence/history_extreme.asp

Posted by: jane doe at September 19, 2010 11:19 PM
Comment #308878
I gave you a list of actual attacks by left wing groups.

No, actually, you gave a list comprised mostly of acts of vandalism, even though you mentioned something about bombs and killings. And, you offered no proof to anything on that list whatsoever. Pairing some links to such claims is always helpful, and is in fact the only way to make them solidly credible.

Also, leaving out the stuff from the SDS back in the mid 1960’s would probably also be a pretty good idea. After all that’s a hell of a long time ago now, and those people weren’t liberals or progressives — they were radical communists. I know I certainly don’t need to reach back into the mid sixties — you know, for something like the Klan murders of Goodman, Schwerner and Cheney from the same time frame — in order to list examples of right-wing murder and violence.

You send me links to websites warning of possible right wing violence

Correct. I always try to back up what I say with links whenever possible. Therefore, I gave you a link to the website of the Council On Foreign Relations, a link to a Capitol Hill Blue story quoting from memos from the FBI and the Dept. Of Homeland Security, and a link to an AFP news story quoting a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center. None of those links reaches back further than 2008, and each provides proof that right-wing violence is currently considered of far greater concern as opposed to violence coming from the left.

with the only specific example being the Oklahoma City bombing?

Oh, I see you didn’t really bother to read my links.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 19, 2010 11:36 PM
Comment #308883

C&J,

> I am agreeing with Stephen’s point re Sharia. But you guys cannot take yes for an answer because it upsets your stereotypes.
Posted by: C&J at September 19, 2010 09:14 PM

My bust, I thought your agreement with Stephen had about the same number of qualifiers as Mark Antony’s ‘Caesar’ speech. Perhaps I was incorrect…er…well, maybe…

Posted by: Marysdude at September 20, 2010 12:36 AM
Comment #308892

Skeptical Boomer-
Have you ever considered the inherent problem in trying to convince a bunch of peaceful liberals that liberals are naturally more violent and radicalized?

That’s why this **** doesn’t work on people.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 20, 2010 9:00 AM
Comment #308893

“Sorry to disagree but it is Conservatism and our Capitalist economic system that created the largest middle class in history and it will be your Progressivism and Socialist economic system that will destroy it..”

The ascent of the middle class occured from the 40s through the 70s. It came upon the heals of the liberal New Deal policies. It was a period of strong unions and labor received a fair share of productivity gains. Since that time, the US has adopted laisse faire conservative neo-liberal anti-labor economic policies. The result has been wage stagnation and increased indebtedness for the middle class. Productivity gains have not flowed to the middle class but have been captured by the investment and financial segment of society. It was good for some (multi-national corporations) but very bad for the middle class. Wealth inequality has increased dramatically over the past three decades. The middle class has been on a trajectory of decline since adoption of laisse faire free market capitalism.

Posted by: Rich at September 20, 2010 9:03 AM
Comment #308896

Unionization of manufacturing and the GI bill had more to do with the onset of ‘middle class’ in America than any two other intities. Both are ‘social’. Conservatives should see the truth in that, supply is worthless wihout demand.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 20, 2010 10:55 AM
Comment #308916

Marysdude and Rich, I’m afraid your historical perspective and your presentation of facts regarding the asset ownership in the US is wasted on those who are already decided. What makes sense to some becomes fact to them regardless of whether or not the actual factual data supports it or not.

My youngest son was a master of this logic. When he decided that something made sense to him, he then believed it to be fact. He stated that he could skip classes and it wouldn’t affect his grade point average because, after all, the grades were based on his reports and test scores! See, he told me, skipped classes wouldn’t lower his grade because why would the professor care if he missed some classes as long as he made the reports and passed the tests. He was very surprised to find that they DID lower his grade, because the fact was that the school policy was that missing more than three classes called for a lower letter grade. In his mind this didn’t make sense and therefore was not actually a rule, or fact if you will.

I see this behavior in many zealots. Take positions based on what’s ‘right’ or what ‘ought to be’, or what is in their mind as ‘righteous’ positions, then make your arguments for them. Forget the facts, reasonable people use facts to muddy the water.

Posted by: LibRick at September 20, 2010 6:57 PM
Comment #308920

Stephen,

You said:
“Do I fear private education? No. I do not fear the fact that some people send little Henry to the private school of their choice. If they can afford it, fine by me. What I don’t agree with are vouchers at taxpayer’s expense. If somebody forgoes a public education, they should forgo public taxpayer support for their education with it.”

and

“Do I fear private sector solutions to anything? No. I’m fine with them. Just so long as they’re actual, working solutions. We should not be afraid to involve government if private enterprise fails to solve a problem.”

These two paragraphs appear to be very much in opposition. Should we be afraid to involve private enterprise if government fails to solve a problem?

————————

You also said, “Bigamy is illegal in America. I don’t see anybody changing that fact any time soon…” with the subtext that that was a good thing.

and

“We applaud decisions that have separated church from state.”

These two statements also seem to be in direct opposition to one another. Apologies if I misunderstood the subtext.

———————————

You also said, “I believe the market approach to economics works, and that the primary way to set prices is through that market.”

What other methods would you accept for setting prices sense the market is only the “primary” way to do it?

—————-

You also said, “I don’t worship the Capitalists themselves. They are my equals and should be treated as such.”

and

“I’m a capitalist.”

These two sentences seem to be in opposition to one another; in one sentence you set yourself apart from the capitalists and in the next you are one. Is it the capital “C” that differentiates these two. If so, who are “the Capitalists”?

—————————-

You also said, “Have you ever considered the inherent problem in trying to convince a bunch of peaceful liberals that liberals are naturally more violent and radicalized?”

Stephen, I didn’t agree with the post that called liberals more violent than conservatives, but I think that your retort is equally narrow minded. Neither end of the idealogical spectrum has clean hands (nor does the middle for that matter). When we start trying to claim that one side is more violent than the others, we are just as narrow-minded as those that believe that all Muslims are terrorists in training. I suggest that both sides should cease and dissist in this rhetoric because not only is intellectually dishonest it is also self-reinforcing and in the extreme can lead to the “get them before they get us” self fulfilling prophecy.

———————————————

You also said, “If you want a good indication of where liberals fall on Radical Islam, consider that Daily Kos Founder Markos Moulitsas, among others on his site, refer to the far right as the American Taliban, in essence comparing the right wing’s intolerance for women’s rights, for gays, for free speech and free religion to that of the radical clerics of the Taliban. We’re as opposed to them as we are to the Religious Right.”

That is pretty incendiary rhetoric; it appears to create enemies out of our fellow citizens. Do you think that we should do that?

—————————————————-

Finally, you also said, “When are Republicans going to start remembering what these people have actually said, done, and voted for? When are they going to realize that they’ll never live the Bush years down until they let go of the old Conservatism and move on to something new, something that acknowledges the flaws in the old politics?”

And this is something in which I believe wholeheartedly. Conservatives need to let the tea party go its own course and focus on recapturing the middle much like the Democrats did with the radicals in the 70’s and 80’s. We need our own version of the Blue Dogs to return the party to the middle.


Posted by: Rob at September 20, 2010 8:09 PM
Comment #308934

>You also said, “If you want a good indication of where liberals fall on Radical Islam, consider that Daily Kos Founder Markos Moulitsas, among others on his site, refer to the far right as the American Taliban, in essence comparing the right wing’s intolerance for women’s rights, for gays, for free speech and free religion to that of the radical clerics of the Taliban. We’re as opposed to them as we are to the Religious Right.”
That is pretty incendiary rhetoric; it appears to create enemies out of our fellow citizens. Do you think that we should do that?

Rob,

I’m not Stephen, and do not pretend to speak for him. That being said, your statement above would indicate that you believe there are no Islamics who are just as radical as Christian radicals, but are also American citizens. If Stephen’s statement was incendiary to our own people, would yours not be just as incendiary, to others of our people?

Posted by: Marysdude at September 20, 2010 11:43 PM
Comment #308935
When we start trying to claim that one side is more violent than the others, we are just as narrow-minded as those that believe that all Muslims are terrorists in training.

No, I’m sorry, but this is simply bunk. Skeptical Boomer started all this with his supposed list of left wing violence, and I gave my links proving that currently this has not been the case. I was going to just let it drop there, but now after reading this, I’m afraid I simply can’t let it go.

The sad fact of the matter is that Right Wing violence HAS been much more of an issue in the history of this nation, and indeed the violence of the right has been is far more horrific than ANY violence the left has ever perpetrated.

Don’t believe me?

Look at the statistics of the Oklahoma City Bombing:
168 men women and children dead and over 680 people injured. That was an act of Right-Wing Terrorism by extremist militia member. Prior to 9/11 it was the worst act of terrorism this nation has ever experienced.

Look at Eric Robert Rudolph, better known as the Olympic Park Bomber — even though that wasn’t the only bombing the man pulled off. He killed two people, and wounded 111 people that day with the largest pipe bomb in U.S. history. Rudolph is what’s known as a Christian Identity Extremist — that’s a lethal combination of Christianity, white supremacy and militia nuttiness. After his bombings he was harbored for years by his right wing extremist friends, and was actually held up as a hero by some in the anti-gay and anti-abortion crowd.

And speaking of that Right-Wing Christian-Extremist Anti-abortion crowd, they’re simply soaking in the rivers of blood that have poured from the victims of their abortion clinic bombings, and doctor stalkings-and-killings.

There are many more things I could mention here, because there has been a lot of violent and potentially violent right wing extremism going on over the past few years (such as the Hutaree plot to give just one example), but I think I’ll stop for now.

So anyway, as much as you’d really like for it to not be the case, there is really no equivalency here. People on the left have certainly been violent and have murdered others, but there has been far more insanely horrific violence and large scale murders that have come from the right.
This just an obvious fact, and I’m not going to refrain from plainly stating it.

Oh, btw, I find it really pretty laughable how frequently people on the right side bring up the Weather Underground every time they want to wag fingers at the left and say bombs in the same breath. The fact is, that group only blew up government property, not innocent people. In fact, the only people the Weathermen ever killed was two of their own members.

I suggest that both sides should cease and dissist in this rhetoric because not only is intellectually dishonest it is also self-reinforcing and in the extreme can lead to the “get them before they get us” self fulfilling prophecy.

Sorry, but it’s bullsh*t to lie simply to make certain that things will seem more polite, and comfortable, and equal — most especially when what we’re talking about is murder.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 20, 2010 11:44 PM
Comment #308939

Rob-
Private schools can sell their wares at a premium because they can offer one of two things: alternatives to secular instruction and a better grade of education than generic public education. The truly good schools don’t sell their wares cheaply, so even with vouchers, many of them are still out of reach of the poor that Republicans use to justify this plan. The schools that present an alternative to secular education might be here or there on the spectrum of quality, but I don’t want government getting involved in financing sectarian education.

Also, though I agree that competition can keep folks accountable, I see the vouchers as diluting competition, flooding the market with students, low-hanging fruit that the private schools don’t have to compete so hard to get.

Finally, I know that one reason many folks push vouchers is that it represents one end of a multiprong approach they’re using to privatize what have been, in the twentieth century, government functions. The low performing schools are used as the weak points for this offensive. If you can undermine them, other parts of the system become vulnerable.

My experience with privatizing is that all too often, what they call privatizing is actually using taxpayer money to pad the bottom line of private companies.

You see my positions as contradictory, but you don’t remember to weigh in my qualifications. If I don’t see privatization of this kind as a solution, then according to my logic, I’m not going to advocate it as a solution.

On the next one, the one to one ratio on marriage is not a religious principle as much as a cultural one. Even in societies where polygamy is permitted, it’s still often unusual. You have to be fairly well off to support another spouse. I don’t think it’s comparable

On the question of what I mean by primary means of setting prices, is that I’m open to the limited use of subsidies, tax credits, manipulation of price through the addition of taxes. Limited. I don’t think government is agile enough to pick winners well when the target isn’t broad or very specific.

There seems to be a motif developing here!

Look, when I talk about myself as a capitalist, I’m talking about the fact that I believe in markets and the private financing and operation of businesses. When I talk about others as Capitalists, I’m capitalizing Capitalists, because I’m referring to the main classes of investors and gatekeepers of the financial system. I’m distinguishing between my adherence to a system and my deference to those who fortune and effort have made leaders of it.

When I talked about the “inherent problem” I was inviting him to consider the average Liberal’s conception of their movement beginning with themselves. If you say, “hey, I’m a liberal, and I’m not violent, and I don’t see other Democrats approving of violence.” Well, then you see what my point is. Boomer judges liberals by the news Reports that have been concentrated for him. Liberals judge themselves by their ordinary experience of themselves and others.

Long story short, I believe my words invite him to consider us as he would consider himself.

Yes, Markos Moulitsas is intending to be incendiary with this comment. The incendiary nature of his comment, though, should be instructive in this case, concerning his opinion about radical Islam. Moulitsas wouldn’t use the name as an insult if he didn’t already think it carried with it substantial infamy and disgrace.

Or more succinctly, he’ll use Taliban as a perjorative term because he really doesn’t like the Taliban

As for your last paragraph? Amen to that. I’d love to have Republicans (like yourself) with whom I can discuss things, not just argue about them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 21, 2010 1:07 AM
Comment #308945

Stephen,

Yeah to that last…except the part where he says the right needs an equivelent to the Blue Dogs…whew! The Blue Dogs are a pain in the butt to a progressive. He probably isn’t serious about THAT part is he?

Posted by: Marysdude at September 21, 2010 7:07 AM
Comment #308972

Stephen,

You said, “When I talked about the “inherent problem” I was inviting him to consider the average Liberal’s conception of their movement beginning with themselves. If you say, “hey, I’m a liberal, and I’m not violent, and I don’t see other Democrats approving of violence.” Well, then you see what my point is. Boomer judges liberals by the news Reports that have been concentrated for him. Liberals judge themselves by their ordinary experience of themselves and others.”

My point was not your point in the paragraph that I cited in general, instead your implication that the other side is more violent not your side. The point was made more explicit by other postings.

You say above, “hey, I’m a liberal, and I’m not violent, and I don’t see other Democrats approving of violence”; I can say much the same about myself and conservatives. The reality thankfully is that violence in the political sphere in modern America is lower (to the point of being almost non-existent) than any other time in the history of the world. We should all decry violence of any form, and I believe that most reasonable people do.

However, the debate here is about which side is more violent. To try to further debate points by trying to determine which side is more violent is a method to undercut the ideas of the opposition is spurious as a debate tactic and worse still a confirmation that violence as a political statement is effective.

The quote by Markos Moulitsas is similar; compare a bunch of people with whom he disagree to sworn enemies of the United States. It is a tactic that has long worked in the short-run and proved less than helpful in the long-run. I’m sure that you are annoyed each and every time that you are called a communist. I’m sure that you were angry the first time that it happened. Do you think those that term you a communist helped there cause? This is litterally no different. It certainly helps to “otherize” the opposition, but it does absolutely nothing to find common ground.

Perhaps we are past that in this country; maybe we will just continue fracture into ever most specailized interest groups who are content to hurl insults at each other and trade power over one another. I hope not, but the last 20 years have seen this increase not decrease.

You said above, “The Separation of Church and State is not merely a mechanism for keeping those two from corrupting each other, it’s also the means by which the diversity of faiths in our country coexist peacefully. If you want to see what happens when that doesn’t quite go right, look at the Balkans, look at Northern Ireland. The fact of the matter is, people have more incentive to strike back at the state and be violent, when the state marginalizes them, discriminates against them. Even if they win back power, others will resent their winning, and the BS will start all over again.”

Religion is not the only thing that can set the violence cyle you describe into motion. In fact if you look at the last 20 years of American history this sentence could just as equally apply, “Even if they win back power, others will resent their winning, and the BS will start all over again.”

In fact, if you look more deeply at most religious conflicts, it is merely the rallying cry, not the instigation. The events in the Balkans were instigated as much for social and economic reasons as they were for religious. Religion was just the easy way to divide the sides up.

I believe that the reason that the founders so correctly decided that there should be a separation of church and state was that they wanted Americans to find common ground regardless of religious affiliation. We don’t seem to be managing to find much common ground lately. Name calling and trying to decide which side harbors more twisted souls that are willing to resort to violence in the name of politics seems an unlikely way to reverse this trend.

Posted by: Rob at September 21, 2010 2:32 PM
Comment #308977

Rob:

However, the debate here is about which side is more violent. To try to further debate points by trying to determine which side is more violent is a method to undercut the ideas of the opposition is spurious as a debate tactic

And what about when it’s not a mere debate tactic? Or an attempt to undercut opposing ideas? What if it is instead a call to reason? An attempt to make the opposing political side study and examine (no matter how uncomfortable doing so may be) where political extremism coming from their end of the spectrum has lead others in the past, and where it could easily lead people again in the future?
Would you consider that a spurious objective?

and worse still a confirmation that violence as a political statement is effective.

I think would be very naive to believe that putting people into a state of fear and terror could ever be anything else but easy and highly effective. This is what terrorism is all about. It’s also what manipulative political propaganda machines (like Fox News) knows is very easy to sell to the public in order to to achieve hidden or underlying political goals.
Indeed, sowing fear and terror has been very effective at shaping this world ever since mankind crawled out of the cave. And this is because hatred, and fear and killing are all easy, while remaining reasonable, and standing brave — even in the face of hatred, fear and killing — are much more difficult things to do.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 21, 2010 3:26 PM
Comment #308991

Rob-
I don’t see Democratic Party leaders even hinting about armed revolution or secession, or any of those things. We are discouraged from pushing that kind of notion.

You’ll always have some folks with a propensity for nuttiness. The question is whether you indulge them, or rebuke them. The Republicans seem to indulge them, right up to the point where it gets out, after which they quickly repudiate them.

But you know what? It is a debate tactic, and not one I much respect. I think you could just as well tell a Republican that there’s is a party of violence, and they’d be similarly put off by it.

That’s not to say that I want people to ignore the threat of radicals within the party. That’s just to say that I can’t cast doubt on the intentions or quality of all Republicans from that position.

Moulitsas is his own kind of hell-raiser. He’s not a militant, but he’s not a shrinking violet either. He has the opinion that the folks on the Right all too often resemble the radicals within Islam in their attitudes towards women, gays, and other issues.

But my intention was to draw attention to a crucial fact here: that he identifies them, contrary to Boomer’s argument, as sworn enemies, and him and folks like him strongly disagree with the other side. I would say that Boomer and Kos commit the same mistake from different sides of the political aisle, but Kos’s mistake provides a pretty strong answer to the notion that today’s rising liberal left is sympathetic to radical Islam, much less their brand of Sharia law.

Me?

As long as you party insists on there being no common ground, there’s not much moderates like me can do. In fact, folks who want results, like me, are going to get to the point where we no longer trust that playing nice is going to get what we want.

Democrats like me look at Bush policies and are truly afraid that things cannot continue in that direction without causing permanent harm. The Democrats of 1994 were prepared to lay down. 2010 Democrats are not going to be so kind.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 21, 2010 6:05 PM
Comment #309017

Stephen,

You said, “As long as you party insists on there being no common ground, there’s not much moderates like me can do. In fact, folks who want results, like me, are going to get to the point where we no longer trust that playing nice is going to get what we want.”

Another self-fulilling prophecy that leads to segmentation in the populace rather than unification. Someone from one party or the other has to step up and say “I will be the voice of the middle,” and lead the 80% of us that agree on 80% of everything to some common ground. Instead, you and your party are playing right into the hands of the Republican leadership. You are insisting that fire be fought with fire rather than try different tactics.

I was having dinner with some friends the other day (all of whom are members of your party), and I said that it is a shame that there isn’t a moderate Republican who can take the helm of the leadership. The country is begging for an alternative to “we look at everything that Bush did and must continue to fight so that we don’t have permanent harm,” and “we look at everything that Pelosi and Obama have done and must fight so that we don’t have permanent harm.” It’s a shame the McCain of 12 years ago isn’t available.

Hopefully someone will step up. Because you can worry all you want about the health of our economy, our standing in the world, etc., but those problems are all transitory. For the most part, they will mean very little in 50 years; somehow someway we’ll get solutions to them (you won’t like all of them, and neither will I). But if we don’t get some sort of stability in our government that we can all live with soon, I fear that we will have much more systemic changes made that will go well beyond the problems of today.

You also said, “The Democrats of 1994 were prepared to lay down. 2010 Democrats are not going to be so kind.” Maybe not, but they don’t have too to lose. They just have to continue doing what they are doing now, and they have lost the independents that both parties need to maintain power. Right now, your party seems to believe that blaming the other side for your failure to acheive objectives is a workable strategy. It doesn’t matter if it is all right, mostly right, mostly wrong, or all wrong. That message does not jib with the political realities of today. You party is expected to figure it out and make it work because you are in power. That is the political reality of today. Failure to do shape a message to that reality will doom you to the same failure that my party had. I sure as hell hope that they figure that out because my party, as you like to refer to it, is not ready to lead yet. We have not been in the woods long enough to realize our mistakes and learn from them.

Posted by: Rob at September 22, 2010 1:34 AM
Comment #309030

Rob-
Your people are nowhere close to putting somebody forward who will be the voice of the middle. Somebody moves to the middle, even for a single vote, and they’re facing a challenge from the right.

In a time where people want simple function in their government, Republicans are openly entertaining the idea of shutting it down. That didn’t play well in 1995. How will it play well in 2010 or 2011?

Today’s Democrats, meaning the folks out there in America, are going to put pressure on the Democrats in Washington to show the Republicans no mercy. If you want to de-escalate that, the time has come to start hamstringing those in your party who take it towards the fringe.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 22, 2010 11:30 AM
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