Democrats & Liberals Archives

Tangled Hierarchies

The next big thing, the next neat thing. The intellectual fads are a dime a dozen, and I’m not immune. But as a student of science, including the cognitive science, I think I’ve been given a broader perspective on things than just somebody who’s merely read a pop science book once.

Across the way, somebody defined a Progressive in terms of crude bands of cavemen developing up towards perfect, austere government. If ever there was a strawman stood up in these discussions, that's one.

The progressive tradition is not simply a matter of government's development, rather it's about society's development, and not towards more rigid authorities being in power, but more towards Americans being able to do something about their lot in life, with the government's power drawn to their aid. If you're wondering what that means, I think things like the end of sweat shops in America, improvement in work conditions, worker safety, gaining better pay, and a better ability to represent yourself is part of it.

But another part of it is fighting the tendency of government to reinforce the power of the already powerful among the elites of society. We want the interests of the average person to get a fair hearing in Washington, and in other seats of power around the country. We want people to be able to breathe the air, dring the water, swim in the lakes and river. If somebody gets sick we want a system available to them that will get them back in good shape.

We don't want a system that pushes people towards hopeless levels of debt, that leaves them at the mercy of their employers or their creditors. We want a system that makes sense for the interests of the average person, in short, which gains progress for the both society and the individual.

Some would say this is contradictory to the willingness that progressive have to impose greater government controls on business and sometimes individual decisions.

So how do we square this?

The false dichotomy here is between decentralization and centralization. It's false because power concentrates both under Republicans and Democrats, and is decentralized in other ways. Here's where it helps to understand complexity theory from more than one direction.

Gödel, Escher, Bach introduced many people around the world to the concept of a strange loop. What is a strange loop? The title of this entry is a giveaway: a tangled hierarchy, of course. But what is a tangled hierarchy?

It's one where you move up the ranks, up the levels of hierarchical system, only to find that yourself at the other end of the hierarchy all over again. The top affects the bottom, and the bottom affects the top.

In our system of government, when it's running best, the people are governed, and society is kept in order through rules, but if the pressures or the screwups that occur under those rules are too disruptive, if people just don't like what's being done, they can change those at the highest levels of the system, and they can change the rules.

In other words, we govern our nation not top to bottom or bottom to top, but in an entangled hierarchy, a system where government influences and constrains the people's behavior, and the people's behavior influence and constrains the government's behavior. Rather than having a system that lets the impulses of those on top runaway with themselves, or those on the bottom either, we have a system that keeps both the elite and the average person from misbehaving.

The system was never meant to be constructed in such a way that you'd have an authority simply pointing the finger of God down at us poor, dumb, peasants from above. We've always had the option to point our collective finger back up. (and not always the index finger, thanks to the bill of rights!)

But the system isn't foolproof. The folks in Government can become out of touch, the voters can be alternatively scared, inspired, misled, misinformed, or carry any other defect of reason or judgment that an individual can be. There's a danger in romanticizing collective reasoning. Or rather, there's a danger in not thinking for yourself or finding out things for yourself, and simply absorbing the conventional wisdom as a default. We have only to look at the cliffs that we Lemmings have run over in the past few years, like the Iraq War, the popular policies and deregulation efforts that lead to our economic crisis in 2008, and so on and so forth, to realize that the wisdom of the crowds is no better than the wisest person actually listened to by most people in the crowd.

It's not that the wisest people can only be in government. That's absurd. But we should consider that we ourselves are not always the wisest or smartest person in a crowd on the subject. We need to admit where others may know more than we do.

In an ideal world, we'd all be experts, but nature and society force a necessary division of labor on us, and nowadays many fields require a truly profound commitment of time, effort and economic resources for the person trying to become an expert in them. So, expertise does not spread equally. We need to be able to admit when our knowledge compares unfavorably, not so much so we can stick those people in charge, but so we can ask their advice as we make decisions for ourselves.

We all have our different views on who that person may be, and that's why we have elections instead of all just shouting the name by spontaneous acclamation. And, of course, no election will, or a least should be the end of the line. There will always be adjustments to be made, big or small. And no, nobody here will like all of them. I certainly don't like the apparent direction of things right now.

I think a lot of people are pursuing what seems like a good idea to them. They aren't brainless, to be sure. But folks can be misinformed. They can be had. Like all systems, the tangled hierarchy of our Democracy has those who play fast and loose with the rules, and who manipulate the system. Christine and John across the way proclaim that the great diversity of the Tea Party movement represents some sort of decentralized system that creates emergent results, but has anybody noticed how on-message these folks are for a supposedly decentralized group? How quickly they are to say the same thing about the same subject?

When everybody's thinking the same thing, somebody's doing the thinking for them. Who needs to control every decisions when you can control the basis for their decisions?

The strange loop of Democracy can be turned on itself, even to the point of destroying itself. But short of that, those in authority can create a system where they feed people a diet of prepared information, where the individual act of finding things out for yourself is co-opted by sources which turn you away from rival sources that might present a different point of view. In that case, the politicians can manipulate their way out of being held accountable, and worse, push bad policy despite information and wisdom out there which might otherwise act as a check on such actions. The Wisdom of the Crowds can become good old-fashioned group think, or at its extreme, mass hysteria.

To be truly free, in my view, as our founding fathers wanted us to be, we can't simply sit in front of Glenn Beck, or Keith Olbermann, for that matter. It's easy to challenge what our rivals believe, but what about what we believe?

We give up our ability to act as agents of our own destiny, stewards of our own interests when we don't remain open to more than just partisan sources. We need the ability, when necessary, to change our minds, to depart from the rest of the crowd, to introduce new insight, new analysis. Yes, that sometimes means admitting that some people know more than us and listening, but it also means developing our own capacity to think for ourselves, to at least become laypersons who can judge a basic level of competence in those advising us.

In Right Wing politics, of late, we've seen a kind of narrowing of the list of acceptable sources, acceptable advisors. Funny thing, that, if you really think about it. When the difference between whether an expert is reliable is a matter of political convenience, folks can very quickly go from orthodox to heretical.

Take the case of one Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Once, he and Glenn Beck appeared on the same program to promote moderate Islam.

But when he moved forward with plans to build a muslim community center a couple blocks from Ground Zero, Beck followed and led folks over the cliff in respects to him, and he practically became Bin Laden in their eyes.

There are whole lists worth of people who were once Centrists or even Republicans, who ran afoul of the GOP leadership, and suddenly became communists, terrorist sympathizers, and radicals.

Joe Wilson (the one who said "you lie" to Bush, not Obama) worked for Reagan and Bush. He wasn't a big fan of Saddam Hussein. When the dictator threatened the diplomatic staff, he showed up at a press conference with a fake noose hanging off his neck saying that if Saddam was going to have him executed, he was going to bring his own ****ing noose. He was doing a favor for Cheney and the Bush Administration when he went on his trip. When he later contradicted Bush... well, you know what happened. One would have thought he was Che Guevara's best friend.

When Paul O'Neill became a main source for an account of his tenure critical of the President's economic and fiscal policy, he became persona non grata.

When Richard Clarke published a scathing critique of the, this Reagan and Bush administration veteran was tagged as far left.

Whether everything these people said is true is immaterial to this argument, because in many, many instances, when officials and even Congresspersons broke ranks with the GOP, the instant response was often to disparage their loyalty, their politics, and by presenting them as hardliners of that other side, poisoning the well on their accusations. The Right Wing Media figures are pre-emptively defining acceptable sources simply by talking as if their targets, who are often moderates and centrists, are radical leftists.

Consider that for a moment. Consider how much that is meant to restrict YOUR choice, if you are a conservative voter, and by what means. If you cannot look beyond your party, if there are no answers to be found beyond there, what's the use of holding your officials accountable. It's no mistake that Republicans were able to get away with what they did. They had a cooperative press that helped them get away with it, regardless of how extreme their screw-ups on basic principles got. They had advocates on the case who were less interested in exposing hypocrisy, uncovering screw-ups, critiqueing policy objectively, than they were in getting Republicans elected.

Contrast that with the Democrats, who are quite willing to call their President on his policy shortcomings. We see ourselves as more of free agents, who can play the part of prophet, rather than just being an adviser, co-opted by the system. That's not to say Democrats are by any means perfect, or that I am, but rather that our culture has a healthy respect for letting people have room to think, to consider things for themselves.

I mean, consider the case of Christine O'Donnell. One might say that the Tea Party represented a diversification of views, But the man she defeated was much better suited to the politcs of the state, was popular among many voters. Look at that Bob Bennet guy in Utah: sterling record, but he unfortunately ran afoul of the Tea Party, which blamed him for voting for the bailout.

The Republicans have been willing to trade good candidates for bad ones, just to keep the ideology in line. As a result, some races they could have won, they will lose by wide margins, even in this unfavorable environment for the party.

The feedback loops, the loops that create our government and determine the quality of its response, are crucial to the shape of the government we get. Voters and Government must be accountable to each other, and each must allow the reality of their common situation to moderate and modulate their judgment. When an electorate tries to get what it can't have (deficits resolved, at the same time no spending is cut, and taxes are lowered), it will do damage to its own interests. When a Government pushes a policy, here or abroad, whose judgments and assumptions are at odds with reality, failures occur. Just look at Iraq and the 2008 crash.

Rather than continue to flatter ourselves, or to debate uselessly about where on the totem pole we are, we should realize that we are in a system that allows us to remedy many of the problems that afflict other societies, not blessed with the system we have, the constitutional government that allows for a strong but responsive government, checked and balanced by a free electorate. That system asks of us two great responsibilities: that we the people look out for our own interests, and that we do our best to take the responsibility required so that we don't harm those interests by our choices. We're free, but where we have the luxury of not being forced to live with somebody else's errors, we also have the burden of not being able to escape from our own.

So folks, don't worry about whether somebody thinks they're better than you. In a government like ours, you are an equal to anybody you meet. You don't need to put them in their place for you to be elevated to your proper status. No, you only need to take responsibility for the system whose rule has been handed to you, and decide for yourself how you will change the government that will change your life.

Just remember, though, what goes around, comes around, and the choices you make in haste today, are the choices you might be repenting at your leisure for the next few years. So make them good.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at October 30, 2010 12:38 PM
Comment #311755

Mr. Daugherty wrote; “Christine and John across the way proclaim that the great diversity of the Tea Party movement represents some sort of decentralized system that creates emergent results, but has anybody noticed how on-message these folks are for a supposedly decentralized group? How quickly they are to say the same thing about the same subject.”

I can’t speak for C&J but you mischaracterize the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) party. It does not have a broad party platform addressing many issues but rather is focused on one central theme…that being, we want to control the ever increasing spending by our federal government. The TEA party is attractive to both conservative and moderate voters of both parties and many independents.

Why would SD be surprised at how “on-message” this group is when they have only one message. By controlling government spending and limiting taxation to pay for it this group believes it can eliminate many of the failures created by government.

Government is empowered with money. It gets money thru taxation. Limit taxation and you limit power. Power (money) not ceded to government remains with the individual or state. It is really very simple and attractive to those who foot the bill for government.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 30, 2010 2:44 PM
Comment #311760

Stephen is probably talking about the REAL Tae Baggies, not the bought and paid for group that took millions of dollars, from their corporate sponsors, and became the false front for that group. The original Baggies could not put a cohesive statement together.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 30, 2010 3:18 PM
Comment #311770

Royal Flush-
You ask a Democrat what they’re for, and you’ll get a pretty specific list. You ask them about where the deficits is now, compared to what it was in Bush’s last budget (about 125 Billion lower, a sharp decrease), and they can tell you. You ask them where the tax rates are, and they have some idea of it.

How does this work, that they’re for one issue, and they don’t even have things right on that issue? That’s a sure sign that they’re following somebody else’s lead.

The Tea Party is about appearances and beliefs, and it’s candidates? They’re not principled conservatives. Many of them are charlatans and thieves.

They can talk with fiery passion because they don’t bear the burdens of having to make actual decisions much of the time

The Tea Party just seems to me to be the most cultish, out of touch elements of the Republican Party boiled down to a politically powerful force of unreasonably enthusiastic supporters. Unreasonably so, because despite all their talk about what solutions they’re going to bring, most of their solutions have been tried already failed. There’s nothing new under the Tea Party sun. It’s just repackaged BS, brought under that bannery to distance it from the seriously poisoned Republican Brand.

It makes no difference.

When they get into Washington, they will encounter the same BS everybody else does. Will they remain pure, resist temptation? If you want to keep your morale up, don’t read up on Joe Miller or Christine O’Donnell’s past. These aren’t the pure and the uncorruptable. They’re just the shameless and uninhibited.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 30, 2010 4:49 PM
Comment #311772

Thanks for you opinion SD. I will file it in the round circular plastic container where all my junk info goes as it is obvious to me that you don’t know anything about the TEA party.

I am curious however if you reject their tax philosophy. Do you want higher taxes and bigger government?

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 30, 2010 4:59 PM
Comment #311777


Scientists make poor leaders as a general rule because working with actual people perplexes them. That is why we let them stick to making up theories that others can put into practice.

The theories that often apply to complex systems are game theory, chaos theory and prospect theory. Intellectuals work hard to keep them separate. People who have to get things done usually mix them up. The lessons from the theories AND even more the practice shows how you really cannot come up with a grand centralized system.

BTW - when you talk about the goals you identify for progressives, I doubt many people disagree about their desirability. We have problems with the methods used to achieve them and collateral effects.

Progressive theory is beautiful. What actually happens often doesn’t come out so good.

The other problem for the plan makers is dynamism. Yesterday’s solution is today’s problem. Government has trouble changing its mind.

Posted by: C&J at October 30, 2010 5:33 PM
Comment #311778

Royal Flush, how correct you are. See, the problem with Stephen and all his liberal socialist friends is they do not believe conservatives are smart enough to understand the concepts of taxation and government.

This is why Pelosi referred to the TP as Astroturf, Katie Couric called middle America “The Great Unwashed” (look up the history of this statement), Obama referred to conservatives as “clinging to their guns and religion”, and “Kerry then told the students that if they were able to navigate the education system, they could get comfortable jobs – “If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq,” he said to a mixture of laughter and gasps.” The list goes on and on.

The liberals are elite and educated and the rest of us are simply commoners. You will notice how the elitist liberals on WB love to let the commoners know how educated they are and how uneducated we are. I can think of several names, but I don’t have to name them , because you and they know who they are.

They honestly cannot understand why we are incensed with anger at what they have done. Their socialist leader, Obama, cannot understand either. In fact he even stated, “We should be thanking him for what he has accomplished”. They have no concept; the word does not exist in their vast vocabularies, for why we won’t fall to their feet and worship them for saving us from ourselves.

It’s interesting that there are some on here who wholeheartedly advocate vote incumbents out, but only republican incumbents. On Tuesday, there are many incumbents who will be looking for new jobs. Thank God.

Posted by: Bill at October 30, 2010 5:43 PM
Comment #311779

I would also point out a big difference in our outlook.

You say “We’ve always had the option to point our collective finger back up. (and not always the index finger, thanks to the bill of rights!”)

I want to maintain the right to point MY finger and defend your right to point YOUR finger back up. We don’t have to be members of a group or make a collective agreement. I is our right at INDIVIDUAL Americana. Collective can be good but is not something I always want. I want the right to op-out of the collective on many occasions.I want the freedom to make my own decisions. Freedom includes the option of not playing.

Posted by: C&J at October 30, 2010 5:43 PM
Comment #311780

Tea Party going down.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 30, 2010 5:49 PM
Comment #311783

Remer, Out of all the polls out you pick one from the most biased rag Huffington Post and news organization MSNBC out there even more biased then Fox. David I know you can do better. You could have at least found a neutral organization I know it’s hard to find now but still. Huffington post, I’d rather trust the National Enquirer they’d probably be more truthful.

Posted by: KAP at October 30, 2010 6:13 PM
Comment #311785

Mr. Remer’s link to the Huffington article included this statement…”Given the religious conservatives’ relative strength in numbers, the current trend will likely continue. Already they comprise over 23.5% of Tea Party supporters, compared to 17.0% for libertarians. A little over a year after the birth of the Tea Party, libertarians and other proponents of small government - no moral strings attached - may need to start yet another movement.”

If we add 23.5% and 17.0% we have a total of 40.5%. I find it interesting that there was no survey mention of the remaining 59.5% of TEA party members. I guess they weren’t important and would not provide the fodder necessary for this partisian and ingnorant piece.

Yet…here comes Mr. Remer, fingers frothing, and pounding feverishly at the keyboard to announce…”Tea Party going down”.

Someone once said…”If brains were gunpowder many would not have enough to blow their nose”.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 30, 2010 6:27 PM
Comment #311789


“They’re not principled conservatives.”

I know they like to do things big in Texas, but that is a huge, gigantic, exceedlingly large blanket stantement. Literally covering 10’s of millions of people. Stephen I would have never guessed you even know 100,000 people.

Seriously, Stephen you didn’t snow me with that. I saw right thru it to the unprincipled scoundrel you really are. That quote above is telling me its time to get my shippment of kleenex to you but I don’t have a place to send all those boxes that have been gathering conservative dust here.

BTW what is a principled conservate in your opinion and not from the left wing talking points.

Posted by: tom humes at October 30, 2010 7:20 PM
Comment #311794

A number of broad sweeping statements, mostly hot air (emphasis on hot), many insulting…none saying anything constructive. I love conservatives…none of them ever have to think. They can spew spit and vinegar at those who do, but thinking is just out of reach for most of them. When was the last time anyone here saw a constructive thought pattern from the right?

Posted by: Marysdude at October 30, 2010 9:13 PM
Comment #311798


Perhaps what we are saying just goes over the top for you. We continue to cast the pearls(I assume you get the allusion, being a super-smart liberal after all), however, hoping that eventually they might make a difference.

We conservatives are simple folk. Liberals often mistake complexity for intelligence. They think they are smarter than conservatives. Maybe that is why they are so much richer, healthier and successful than we are. It is amazing that with all these advantages, they still seem so angry, unfulfilled & frustrated.

Posted by: C&J at October 30, 2010 9:30 PM
Comment #311800

Well, you only got the forty hour work week, your children not slaving at jobs instead of getting an education, the middle class expanding, the collapse of the great depression mitigated, and ultimately reversed, same with the great recession, social security, medicare…

We’ve got a track record, progressives and liberals.

We governed the country for quite a few decades, not just one and change. Our most recent two term president ended with twenty million more jobs when he left, yours left having lost the previous decade’s worth of jobs, and scoring the lowest of any president since they started keeping track, concerning employment.

You want to talk about theory vs. practice, where’s the damn pony that was supposed to be under all that crap with Reagan’s policies? Where’s the economic surges that were supposed to accompany the tax cuts, much less the rise in revenues to make up for that lost by them?

If we want an agile government, the first thing we might want to do is get rid of a bunch of conservatives, because sure as hell they’re doing their best to make our government less dynamic, less responsive. Republicans seem intent on proving your point by cheating all the give out of the system. Yes, the stock market crashed, but no we can’t regulate derivatives, because that would be bad for business. Yes, the Deepwater Horizon spill was a big environmental disaster, but no, we can’t raise regulations or even push BP to compensate the victims. Heck we should drop even more regulations!

In theory, your idea of non-agility might have some merit, but in practice, Republicans haven’t been content to let government fail. In hundreds of cases in the last two years, they’ve simply utterly prevented a response. Because Democrats were the party that was unquestionably in power, we took the flack for it, but most of the forty something votes on those filibusters that stopped things were yours. And don’t be BS me about unpopular policies, because your people were stopping them up before you even had the poll numbers to back that proposition.

The whole point of what I talked about was that this wasn’t merely a matter of top down, or bottom up, that there was an active, dynamic relationship at work that feeds back in both directions, that your insistence that everything work a certain way impairs the proper function of that system in many ways. It’s time to let go.

It is astroturf. Do you want me to dig up the video of tea party chapters answering to our good friend Mr. Koch, billionaire scion of Koch industries?

Anything with a Freedomworks association fails the test. That’s Washington insider former rep Dick Armey’s outfit. Anything associated with Rick Scott is out, that billion dollar medicare-cheating former Healthsouth CEO.

As for the rest? Read what I wrote. People aren’t peasants, and shouldn’t act like it. My basic message isn’t sit down and receive your commands from the lord in the castle. It’s march into that castle and hold that damn stuck-up son of a bitch accountable, because otherwise you’re not seeing to your own interests.

Look at your policies. Who are your people intent on giving tax cuts to? The people who need the money? Or the folks who already have the money?

Whose freedoms do those deregulation efforts focus on? Ours? Or the corporations? I seem to hear a lot about Wall Street, Healthcare insurers, etc. I don’t hear a lot about personal rights.

You think somebody might be conflating the two to convince people, illogically enough, that helping to defeat provisions helpful to their interests is a good thing?

You can bat around these silly little populist rants, but you do so in service of elitist arguments and policies.

tom humes-
You don’t know crap about me. You just write back to me when I write to you on a website’s column. Worse yet, you seem to have decided a lot of things about me based on the fact that I don’t share your politics, and that’s an awful shame. You may be a great person if I were to meet you in person, but all I see of you is the slander you fling my way every day. You should consider sometimes what your politics filters out of the real you when you argue politics.

I don’t need Kleenex. The Republicans didn’t earn this with a legislative plan, or with any real accomplishments. You didn’t create great compromises, or uncover real scandals.
Their “Pledge For America” was a flop.

Instead, you folks just went insanely negative, with no checks and balances from the facts to slow you down. Well, that can work if you’re no longer a majority, but it’s not going to fly if you’re one of the sets of people in charge, if people can see and point to the things you do, and most importantly don’t do.

The Republicans nearly tested the whole range of America’s policies to destruction in the last decade. They can’t return to do the same things they did, and expect not to see the same rejection result. I don’t think people care about Republican or Democrat, but they do want mature adults in charge.

I think Republicans are going to spend the next two year proving to Americans that they were not the adults in the room in these last two years.

I know this because I have seen nothing change about Republican behavior. That’s why I’ve been so adamant about stopping the Right in this case. They’ve changed nothing.

Republican voters are going to discover that real soon. They’re going to discover that tea party or not, the Republicans still take them for granted. The rest of the country’s going to remember why they sent the previous Republican majorities crashing down.

So do I need a tissue? Nope. You need to get ready for the third act of the Republican’s great tragedy, one way or another. The tissues are what you need to save for yourself.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 30, 2010 9:38 PM
Comment #311805

Okay, Jack. Perhaps I got carried away. But all that sniping, and no meat, carping and no solutions, and flame baiting without remorse, has just about filled me up. You’ve proven to be almost as intelligent as one or two of us…:). Maybe, I’ll temporize a little bit.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 30, 2010 10:12 PM
Comment #311809


I thought you said the last twenty-five years (since Reagan) were just so-so bad.

We fundamentally, disagree re the role of government and how much credit/blame it should get.

I am also not sure what anybody means when they say “progressive”. Progressives were a political movement 100 years ago. It was mostly a Republican movement, very much opposed to welfare and created in many ways as an antidote to socialism. Much of what they advocated became routine. In the 1930s, “progressive” became Democratic and much more government directed. In the 1960s, it really went off the tracks with lots of identity politics.

What is progressive now, Stephen? Does it mean to you what it seems to have meant to TR? He would/did tell people to get off their asses and get to work. He was a man of action, who disliked strict rules and abhorred what we would today call identity politics. He was a Republican then and he would be a Republican now. Or is progressive the LBJ “Great Society? Or is it whatever Obama is trying to do?

Most of the progress of the last centuries came because of innovations in technology and organization. They were usually not planned by government officials and sometimes/often opposed by progressives and unions. For example, the big and largely unknown logistical advance was containerizing cargo. I was in the Longshoreman’s union when that was in its beginning. “We” opposed them because it would put men out of work. It did, but on the way it made goods a lot cheaper.

Government has a big role to play in creating conditions for the people to build prosperity. In America, we have done a good job, generally.

I would also point out that it depends on when you are talking about things and how much. Some of the reforms of the New Deal were useful. Government was perhaps too small and weak in 1929. But it grew past its useful size and now it is too big. Some manure helps the plants grow. After a while, additional manure will not improve results and if you pile the crap on too much it will kill the productive plants.

RE being elitist - I believe in the wisdom of the American people, but I also believe that I know better than most of them in some things and that others know better than I do in other things. In a free market democracy, there is plenty of room for elites, but they will be ephemeral, situation dependent and merit based.


We all go overboard sometimes. I truly assume that everyone who regularly writes here is sincere and reasonably intelligent. It is fun to make fun of each other sometimes and it doesn’t hurt within reason.

Posted by: C&J at October 30, 2010 10:33 PM
Comment #311814

Crowd Estimates of Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear: 215,000.

Crowd Estimates of Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally: 87,000.

Danger of using fallacy of arguing inappropriately from popularity? Somebody might draw a bigger crowd than you.

The darkest point for me in my political life was watching the Republicans win 2004, because I knew that was another four years of Bush, with the GOP Congress still in place.

This? We’ve still got the Presidency, We’re probably going to keep the Senate, so all the Republicans can really do is shutdown the government and stall everything.

But this time, they won’t have us to hide behind. Sorry, guys, people will expect you folks to govern. At the same time you have to keep all the ridiculous, implausible promises you made to voters. If you think the Democrats can suffer this bad a defeat while actually getting some historic things done, what do you think you’ll get if you win, and then just keep on behaving like you have been?

The Republicans will meet their reckoning sooner or later. Now they’re just going to drop from a greater height before they hit the bottom.

Oh, favorite line of the rally, which Colbert used to interrupt Yusuf Islam’s rendition of “Peace Train”:

I’m gonna pull the emergency brake on this rainbow moonbeam choo-choo!
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 30, 2010 11:10 PM
Comment #311815

>Government has a big role to play in creating conditions for the people to build prosperity. In America, we have done a good job, generally.


Perhaps this is the essence of what ‘is’ is. You think that allowing our financial institutions to put us in the position it did in ‘29 and again in ‘08 helped us to progress. I, on the other hand, believe that unionization, the GI Bill, Social Security, Civil Rights Act, the current Health Care Bill, and many other things like that are what allowed us to progress.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 30, 2010 11:16 PM
Comment #311816


I’ve read everything from 65, 000 for today to 140,000 and now 215,000. You know that we’ll never know for sure because the National Park Service no longer makes an official guesstimate. I expect there will be several different numbers bandied about tomorrow as well. Perhaps we should wait and then just average all the guesses?

Posted by: Marysdude at October 30, 2010 11:22 PM
Comment #311817

I think the record shows that much of the real productive job creation was a result of technological advancement and the stabilization of the economy following the austerity of the seventies. Tax cuts? Well, look through my comments for the last few months. I keep on referencing how useless some of the biggest tax cuts of all time proved for those caught in the early eighties recession.

The more control Republicans got over policy, the more damage they did. It wasn’t because all their ideas were bad, half so much as it was because of the simple fact that they wouldn’t admit when theory didn’t pan out to reality. It’s not enough to convince people to vote for you; if your policy sucks, you’re just setting yourself up for a higher fall.

That’s why I emphasize the model that I do, the feedbacks, the critical pressures, and the other elements. It’s a warning. I wish more Democratic politicians had taken their politics more seriously, but many of them, I think, are of a different era, when going along to get along to deal with the Republicans was the norm. They’re coming into conflict with a generation of Democrats that’s not at all shy about standing toe to toe with the Republicans. I think many missed the opportunity to pin the Republicans on the issues. They let the Tea Party movement and the loudmouth Republicans intimidate them too much.

But I view political problems as inferior to policy problems A political problem can be resolved, as Obama has done to a certain extent, by the better exercise of rhetoric and communications skills. But communications skills and rhetoric can only do so much to dress up the corpse of a bad policy, or undesirable behavior. If the Republican politicians were smart, they’d put their nose to the grindstone, and just crank out good policy, to justify their placement in the majority.

What I’m seeing is that Boehner’s going to bring back the whole K-Street things.

What I’m seeing is more nuts pushing for a second government shutdown, and not enough moderate Republicans willing to stand up to such nuts to avoid being the visible party of gridlock.

What I’m seeing is that the tea party rhetoric that did well on the campaign trail is going to become the gaffes and controversy your party doesn’t need in holding onto the house. It’s not going to age well.

What I’m seeing is Joe Barton apologizing to more oil companies. What I’m seeing is more Republicans peddling industry’s junk science on their behalf.

What I’m seeing is a party that will not change its policies, its rhetoric or its attitudes, even when that wears poorly on the electorate.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 30, 2010 11:31 PM
Comment #311819


I don’t see that Democrats have much of a system anymore, certainly not one that works. The Reagan era reforms keep us going for a quarter century. The Obama policies resemble the failed policies of the 1960s & 1970s.

Obama policy seems to have been to throw lots of money and hope some stuck. I do not believe we should have done nothing, but we could have been much more effective. As I wrote on the other side, I think Obama’s talk of infrastructure was a big bait and switch.

Obama is very good at rhetoric, but not much else. Federal spending as we are doing now is not sustainable. Obama doesn’t have a real plan to get it back down. I don’t think he wants to. He and his people used the economic crisis to try to push government interference to higher levels.

Posted by: C&J at October 31, 2010 12:12 AM
Comment #311824

“I’ve read everything from 65, 000 for today to 140,000 and now 215,000. You know that we’ll never know for sure because the National Park Service no longer makes an official guesstimate.”

Marysdude, 250k according to A Canadian paper. Judging from the pictures I would think Michelle Bachmann would estimate 2 or 3 million people if her last estimate is to be believed!

Posted by: j2t2 at October 31, 2010 1:29 AM
Comment #311825

Reagan’s policies doubled our debt, and told Republicans that debt did not matter.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 31, 2010 7:05 AM
Comment #311827

Under President Reagan 10% of Americas’ workforce was left behind and made “Second Level Citizens,” Your Parents retirement accounts were taken by Wall Street Raiders, than there was the S&L Bailout as well as a massive regulation of the Corporations. In fact, one of the neat thing I thought President Reagan did was force through the tax codes any corporation making over $250,000.00 profit in two quarters pay 20% taxes or give their employees raises. And that was only the tip of how strong armed his adminstration was.

Remember “Buy American for Americans” solgan? Well, dig into what was done to help those unwilling at first to decide it was better if they followed the status quo. Yes, I realize that for 80% of the American Public they thought they were getting a good deal; however, look at the other 20% of the population and see how hard the road was. For Small Business Owners had for the first time submit all financial records to their accountants. And no longer could certian tax breaks be taken even though Big Business still enjoyed many of them.

Yet, you complain about President Obama who so far has not mandated the Fedeal Government become Energy Independent, the Banks lower their interest rates, and the healthcare system be broken up. No, even the argument of infrastructure was changed because today’s Republicans cried they needed more tax cuts than roads built. So why you can complain about President Obama not having a “Real Plan” to deal with the last 30 years of Trickledown Economics, why is it that Conservatives want to stand in his way of creating a Trickle-Up Economy?

Thus, why the Idea of President Reagan was to allow the Rich to get Richer while spoon feeding the Poor a little bit of money at a time though the increase of wages. Stop and think where America would be today if 30 years ago “We the People” made an affort on educating every American Student how they can prosper. Now, are today’s leaders and parents going to be that Ignorant?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 31, 2010 8:19 AM
Comment #311832

Royal Flush,

I am curious however if you reject their tax philosophy. Do you want higher taxes and bigger government?

I like food, don’t you? Do you want to be a fat slob with high cholesterol? Shouldn’t you reject food?

When you answer my questions, perhaps I’ll answer yours.

If my point isn’t obvious, which seems to happen a lot when talking with conservatives on this site, your loaded question is meaningless rhetoric.

Posted by: gergle at October 31, 2010 9:26 AM
Comment #311835


Debt matters, but the key to the problem is spending. The Reagan deficits didn’t cause significant harm to the economy, which thrived for the next twenty-five years, because spending remained under control. It is also true that all revenue bills originate in the House of Representatives, which was controlled by Democrats until 1994. A couple years after the Democrats lost the House, we did manage a surplus.

I worry about the Obama spending at Debt, because it is much larger than anything before and the economy is not spiking up as it did under Reagan.

I am intimately familiar with the Capitol Mall, since I have been running around it for around fifteen years and can make decent guesses about how much space people occupy. The Stewart rally was very big. It was almost as big as the Beck rally. But it doesn’t much matter, since we hear that both rallies were non-partisan and in no way competitive.


I think Obama is a leftist at heart, but that is not my current biggest problem with him. He just does not seem particularly competent or even interested in being president. He is a good talker and a great campaigner but not a good president.

Posted by: C&J at October 31, 2010 11:11 AM
Comment #311838

Putting the nation on a debtor, rather than creditor footing isn’t my definition of a lack of long term harm. That Bush followed his lead and drove us even further into debt just shows you that the example as well has its consequences.

Obama’s reduced the deficit from Bush’s highest level, the 2009 budget, by 125 billion dollars. You talk of incompetence and disinterest, and I see nothing to support your claim. I see a president who is more interested in policy than politics, more interested in getting things done than being seen to get things done.

Republicans have been conditioned by their system to simply attack whoever’s in charge. They say all the same things, all the time, and give them no credit. Meanwhile, they fail to look at what their politicians are doing, and as a result, their admitted political skills are only succeeding in requiring them to use their political skills on a more or less consistent basis to defend a bunch of dumbasses and crooks.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 31, 2010 11:58 AM
Comment #311840


“Did you get your lines mixed up. WOW!
They say all the same things, all the time, and give them no credit. Meanwhile, they fail to look at what their politicians are doing, and as a result, their admitted political skills are only succeeding in requiring them to use their political skills on a more or less consistent basis to defend a bunch of dumbasses and crooks.”

Sure sounds like a bunch of dimocrats to me.

Posted by: tom humes at October 31, 2010 12:12 PM
Comment #311844

Nobody parrots the talking points better then the republicants. They walk lock step or if you will goose step in perfect unison.

Posted by: Jeff at October 31, 2010 1:02 PM
Comment #311847

tom humes-
I know this may pain you, but go read through the archives of our sites. Our people are acutely aware of the deliberations in Washington at all times. People on Daily Kos keep up with the bill, keep up with who’s voting for what, who’s floating what suggestions.

Oh, and there’s a reason Sestak is running against Toomey, and not Specter.

The problem with this whole liberal bias thing you folks are fixated on, is that you’ve denied yourselves all other news sources than the ones that are actively supporting the Conservative agenda. As such, you’re submitting yourself to their authority on the matters you need to keep them accountable on. Other sources, however factual, get dismissed as Liberal media sources, and are marginalize.

And so, the folks on the Right, even those people you put in place to punish the folks you know screwed up, end up being crooks and incompetents. We have Alvin Greene, and nobody’s trying to support his sorry butt. You have Christine O’Donnell, Jeff Miller, that Iott guy, Buck in Colorado, Linda McMahon, Sharron Angle, Rand Paul, John Raese, just off the top of my head. And you know what? These people have made races that should have been a Republican’s in this climate either competitive races or definite losses.

That’s just pathetic. The real problem for the right nowadays is that they’ve become so insistent on Orthodoxy that they’ve squeezed the policy competence, the charisma, the intelligence right out of the party. The Tea Party, while an attempt to make the party look like it’s a new direction, is mostly just a rebranding, a PR stunt made to look like a popular anti-incumbent movement. But that lasts only as long as the rubber hasn’t met the road.

The continual escalation of tensions with the rest of the country has created a trap for the Republicans. Democracy, and often voter sympathies, depend on compromise. Voters are not clamoring for more gridlock. But with the Senate most likely out of their reach, the Republicans aren’t going to be able to please their base with much better, and the rest of us aren’t really going to be that happy with them, especially if they cut short unemployment benefits.

The Republicans shouldn’t have simply given up, but they should have understood that how they were doing things before was toxic to their sustained leadership, in fact fatal. They should have acknowledge their mistakes and matured their political philosophy accordingly. You have no real leaders. You have no new ideas. All you have is rage towards and contempt of everybody who doesn’t agree.

But sooner or later, people will want something done, will want things changed. For that, they will have to turn to us, because the Republicans have no intention, at this moment, of reconsidering their governing philosophy, or lack of same. Republicans will inevitably make the Democrats people’s only choice for adult leadership.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 31, 2010 1:33 PM
Comment #311848

C&J the series of recessions Republicans brought us are not sustainable, either. Reagan believed in Debt. He helped leave a sizable one behind him. Republicans believe in debt, just not paying for it. They leave that to Democrats who also can’t resist debt, and then block all their efforts.

Both parties are destroying our nation, and ALL their Party supporters are DIRECTLY responsible for them continuing their destructive ways.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 31, 2010 1:36 PM
Comment #311849

KAP, if knew anything about probability and statistics you would realize that Poll published on Huffington Post is clearly one of the better designs and more rigidly conducted polls of all the published political polls out there.

But, hey, I don’t have a problem with folks operating on delusions and poorly crafted information. They won’t keep be calling the shots for the rest of us.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 31, 2010 1:40 PM
Comment #311850

KAP, and btw, that poll was published on Huffington Post, not conducted by Huffington.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 31, 2010 1:41 PM
Comment #311854

Stephen, great article and follow-ups.

David, very interesting link.

Dude, j2t2, etc.,
Rally to Restore Sanity was definitely Huge. And the best thing about it was that it wasn’t a mostly all white crowd like Beck’s rally was. Demographics reminded me of Obama’s inauguration. Always awesome to see a enormous mix of Americans having a great time together!

Posted by: Adrienne at October 31, 2010 1:56 PM
Comment #311855

“Progressives were a political movement 100 years ago. It was mostly a Republican movement, very much opposed to welfare and created in many ways as an antidote to socialism.”

It is true that the progressive movement began with conservative farmers, but not having anything to do with welfare because welfare didn’t exist at that time. No, those farmers were protesting having their productivity stolen by robber barons and Wall Street.

This discontent quickly spread to the workers who joined the struggle against the unfairness of the status quo.

To maintain it’s God given right to exploit, the status quo had to give some concessions.

I have never heard a Democrat say that deficits don’t matter even though that act like they don’t. I have heard plenty of Democrats say that we run deficit when it is necessary to stimulate the economy but, apparently the economy is in permanent need of stimulation because we always run deficits, in good times and bad.

On the other hand, the Republican position on deficits varies in accordance to their political power. When they are in power, deficits don’t matter and when out of power, deficits are going to destroy the country.

The term debtor nation is most aptly applied to the people of this country rather than their government. Government debt is merely an extension and enhancement of consumer debt.

Debtor nation is the greatest profitable program ever created by Wall Street and the corpocracy, Unsurpassable.

Royal Flush said,

“…that being, we want to control the ever increasing spending by our federal government.”

That’s it huh? Just one big demand with no ideas about how it should be accomplished?

You are not a spokesman for the tea party and many of those who supposedly are spokespersons have been more forthcoming about specifics.

When this election is over, those tea party candidates that are elected will be K-Street Republicans who will then proceed to continue to blame Obama for their failure to deliver.

One would think that their overriding objective would be a balanced budget amendment rather than extending the Bush tax cuts and repealing Obama care.

Posted by: jlw at October 31, 2010 2:31 PM
Comment #311858

Remer, Anything having to do with or published in Huffington Post and sponcered by MSNBC IMO is no more reliable then Fox polling. Both news medias are biased. Like I said couldn’t you find something in a neutral media outlet? I know they are hard to find. Like I read in an earlier post awhile back “If you want a liberal view read and watch liberal leaning media, if you want conservative ideas likewise, if you want the truth find out for yourself.

Posted by: KAP at October 31, 2010 3:07 PM
Comment #311859

“If my point isn’t obvious, which seems to happen a lot when talking with conservatives on this site, your loaded question is meaningless rhetoric.”

Posted by: gergle at October 31, 2010

Thanks for the non-answer gergle. I asked if liberals favored higher taxes and bigger government and don’t find anything loaded in the question. Hopefully, in a few years the liberals who not long ago hated that label will be able to answer my question with a truthful and resounding…YES. They will finally find the balls to come out of the closet and embrace socialism, higher taxes, bigger government and not be so bashful as to their true intentions.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 31, 2010 3:40 PM
Comment #311866

The question was loaded, because any answer other than the one desired would be derided.


I don’t know you well enough to speak for you, but my answer would be that liberals want enough taxes to pay the way and enough government to get the job done. Size of either is relative to need and want.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 31, 2010 4:37 PM
Comment #311868

RF I will try and answer your convoluted question. I’m for enough government that provides enough regulations to keep us safe IE food, water, air etc enough regulations to keep wall street from cheating us for business not to make products that hurt us for a living wage to protect the people from living in abject poverty do you need more. Only an idiot would call these things socialism. And social security to keep old people from living in poverty. Is social security socialism? I would have to say yes but are you for getting rid of it come on answer the question come out of the closet.

Posted by: Jeff at October 31, 2010 4:51 PM
Comment #311869

Stephen, whether Cat Stevens or Yusaf Islam, I still love to hear him sing!
Adrienne, the rally was great. How fun to see that many people together and not chanting lines of hatred or posting venomous signs ( mis-spelled ) spurring others to violent thoughts and actions.

Posted by: jane doe at October 31, 2010 5:05 PM
Comment #311875

Jeff asks…”Is social security socialism?” Tough question Jeff. Here’s the answer, Socialism. Glad you agree.

As for doing away with Social Security my answer is yes with some clarification. We relish the individual freedoms guaranteed by our constitution and that should include how we wish to fund our retirement years. Allow those who wish to continue with SS as it now is to do that. Allow those who wish to fund their retirement in different ways to do that.

There is no competition for your contribution, and your employers contribution to social security. Government has a complete monopoly. I believe government should compete with private business for those dollars. Can anyone honestly tell us that the broken SS system we currently have is the only and best way to approach funding retirement for all American’s?

Some will say, well…we can’t do that as too many would opt out of social security and it would fail. That’s a poor argument for keeping a program that can’t pay for itself over the long haul without ever-increasing premiums and constant tweaking with retirement age and benefit amount. It’s the same ignorant argument used by those who bash school vouchers. We can’t give American’s choices…hell, they might not choose the government plan and opt for something better and more effective.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 31, 2010 6:22 PM
Comment #311877


Take a look at the pictures of the crowd a little closer. They tended to interview diverse groups and people of color but the crowd was mostly people of white and not far different from the Beck crowd.

It really is not that surprising people of white make up the majority of the population and so you would expect that anything that appeals to all Americans would attract mostly people of white. Also, if you look at a crowd, you probably would classify most Hispanics as people of white, so a crowd shot at Beck or Stewart rallies would look mostly like a white crowd.


The Beck rally did not feature people chanting hate and there were not significant numbers of misspelled signs. Take a look at the pictures and maybe some of the footage.

I like Cat (Peace Train)Stevens too, but I also recall that he got on board with the death fatwa for Salman Rushdie. He said, “He must be killed. The Qur’an makes it clear - if someone defames the prophet, then he must die.” Later he claimed he was only joking. Some joke.

Posted by: C&J at October 31, 2010 6:38 PM
Comment #311879

RF First thank you for your honesty. Now if we could get those who are running for office like the tea party crowd to be more honest people could make a more reasoned vote.

Posted by: Jeff at October 31, 2010 6:42 PM
Comment #311881

Royal Flush-
School Vouchers subsidize private education, rather than let the market work as it’s supposed to. If competition is what makes private schools so good, you’re essentially diluting what makes those schools good.

Why is it that so many times, privatization, rather than being the utter withdrawal of Government from a given business, turns out to be taxpayer dollars going to some contractor or some business that charges more for the privelege of doing the job?

Most of these proposals represent a corruption of the former system, neither returning it to pristine non-interference in the market, nor letting it operate within the direct oversight of the taxpayer-responsible government. Republican privatization nowadays presents us with the worst of both worlds: more cost, less scrutiny for what we’re paying for.

Besides, as the last big economic crisis has proven, left to themselves, many businesses don’t create the most efficient operations, they only create the most lucrative operations in the short term. Having released Wall Street from so many of the constraints and obligations it once had, Wall Street repayed us all by ripping us off, overcomplicating their operations to the point it threatened our entire economy, and then sticking the taxpayers with the tab for their failures.

It’s time to come back to planet Earth and admit that textbook applications of competition in the market don’t match up with reality without certain restraints.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 31, 2010 6:47 PM
Comment #311882

Royal Flush,

You didn’t answer my question, did you?

Of course, you don’t see a loaded question. You aren’t thinking, just trolling.

Let’s try this one, do men want bigger or smaller penises?

Bigger and smaller are relative numbers without meaning. If you had to carry it around in a wheelbarrow, you might want something smaller(See elephantitis). If you had the penis the size of a gnat, you might prefer something larger.

If you were an idiot you’d just keep saying you want x bigger or y smaller without reference to what you’d reduce or expand and how you’d accomplish that task, and then I’d declare you an idiot without an argument, or more commonly known as a Republican/Tea bagger.

But thanks for demonstrating my point.


Well yeah, but you are a liberal facist, don’t ya know that? :)

Posted by: gergle at October 31, 2010 6:57 PM
Comment #311901

>The Reagan deficits didn’t cause significant harm to the economy__


Are you so totally shameless that you can type this stuff so that people can actually see and read it?

That debt occurred for no reason other than he wanted less taxation, but created more spending. Between him and Sam Walton…Reagan for reasons of bad judgment about the Soviet Union, and Walton because he wanted to create more poor people to prop up his business…debilitated the Middle Class to the degree it will likely never recover.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 31, 2010 11:30 PM
Comment #311902


I know who I am, but who am I?

Posted by: Marysdude at October 31, 2010 11:31 PM
Comment #311903

jack, I don’t support his outrageous beliefs, either…or anyone elses for that matter.
I just like his music.
Takes me back to a kind of Haight/Ashbury moment…..or was that a week??!?

Posted by: jane doe at October 31, 2010 11:39 PM
Comment #311912

President Obama is not a good president Why? And compared to whom?

Granted he is no President Bush 43 nor is he President Clinton; nevertheless, he has not walked into the White House saying “My Way or Get out of the Country” nor has he shown to disrespect Ladies. So why to you believe he is a Bad President?

Would it be that as a Parent he faced hard choices and done what was necessary instead of popular (i.e. give away more tax cuts)?

Or could it be that he worked with Members of Congress and the Financial Community to change the terms of TARPP?

Yet, another reason yp call him a bad president could be that he wants America to become Energy Independent and stop paying for both sides of the War on Terror.

And than I guess one could say he was a bad president because he continued to work with GM to help save Americas’ Industrial Base.

No, IMHO President Obama has used a gentle hand to get the necessary changes America needs. And though that may upset some who are heavily invested in those sectors of society. I personally do not feel the First president of the United States of America younger than the Children of the 70’s has gone far enough to put an end to the “Political Stupidity” of the Youth of the 60’s and Silver Spoons of the 70’s.

For are you aware that under Healthcare Reform the President could have asked for all 911 Services be updated with Remote Medical Screening and Video Uplink so evert American could have a Doctor by their side 24/7/365?

Are you also aware that from day one the president could have created a Renewable Energy Project designed to harness Mankinds’ Ability to put four windmills into a wind tunnel?

Yes, C&J every American can point to flaws President Obama or as far as that go any President of the United States of America has or will make; however, calling the Leader of America “Bad” or “Good” to me gives way to the American Public being able to tell other citizens that they are “Bad” or “Good” Parents for the judgement calls they make. Than how much of a leap does one have to make before we tell the corporations they are “Bad” or “Good?” And more important, does any Human over the age of 30 even have that Unalienable Right?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at November 1, 2010 8:37 AM
Comment #312010


If Fox News reports the election results tomorrow, are those results tainted by the fact that Fox News reported them? Or vice versa for MSNBC? Of course not. Facts are empirically verifiable. The trick for viewers of any media is to separate the Fact news, from the editorials and entertainment and infomercials for paying advertisers and supporters. It requires a bit more effort than a couch potato with a remote is willing to muster, but, not that much if they have a high school education and the will to cross reference News stories for validation.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 2, 2010 12:33 AM
Comment #312017

What I think is one of the best things the Founding Fathers of America did was to include All Media, Reports, etc. for information. My only question (not to br answered by the Courts Today) is how the Internet Media, Blogs, and Social Networks will be blended into the fold.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at November 2, 2010 7:31 AM
Comment #312033

Remer, I was talking about polling. I have seen different numbers on candidates one has a rep down the other up. As far as the results of the election, I really don’t think either can distort the outcome like they can distort the polling numbers. As I said both MSNBC and FOX are biased as is the Huffington Post and a few other rags around the country. People will always find what they want to hear and read and people will always find the polling numbers they want to believe. I did a personnel drive by look around my area to see what political signs were up in the yards and found a significant drop in the number for either party so that just tells me people in my area are P.O’d.

Posted by: KAP at November 2, 2010 12:57 PM
Comment #312079

Bias to me is unimportant until it gets in the way of me getting the facts. I dumped FOXNews during the Gulf War because it repeatedly claimed, then retracted claims, that WMDs had been found. I got sick of the runaround and checked them off for good. Not much of what I’ve heard since has given me cause to doubt my judgment there.

But I’ve often watched Morning Joe, and other programming with conservatives on it. I don’t mind them. I just wish they’d come back to being adults, to arguing things based on facts.

I believe in starting from substance and working your way up to subjectivity, not trying things the other way around. The way I see it, if we’re trying to do objective good, getting the facts as right as possible is necessary. If you don’t want a crooked table, don’t used warped wood. In a way, I’m conservative the way the term used to mean: careful, not quick to change my mind, most comfortable with routine and sameness.

But even I am willing to recognize when things are going wrong. If you aren’t, the results will be painful.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 2, 2010 5:07 PM
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