Democrats & Liberals Archives

Worth Dying For

Allen West, recently elected Congressman and veteran of the Iraq war should know better, as should his erstwhile chief of staff Joyce Kaufman. I don’t think they quite understand why most veterans fought and died for. Not just freedom, but the ability to enjoy that freedom without the threat of somebody coming after you or your elected leaders with a gun for believing differently than they do.

When I hear Rick Perry or folks from the Alaska First Party talking about secession, I immediately have to wonder about the state of the Republican Party, how far it's slipped into its decadence, when it's adopting the the language and the disloyal attitudes that were the hallmark of the Democratic Party as it was before and during the Civil War.

Whether you think slavery was the point of the Civil war, or not (I don't think much of what they did makes sense if you don't factor in the slave-driven economy), what was a factor in its beginning was the fact that political disagreements were allowed to become so overwhelmingly nasty that people were willing to shoot and kill their fellow Americans, destroy the union, just so they wouldn't have to live with the decisions they did not agree with.

The phrase goes, "love it or leave it." Not "love it, AND leave it." A person who would advocate the breach of the peace, the dissociation of the union, the rejection of peaceful political resolution of our differences is most decidedly not loyal to this country. If they are patriotic, it is to the nation they dream of, rather than the one they reside in.

Men and women have fought and died in many countries over the decades, not for the sake of some abstract politics, but to preserve the peace and tranquility of this country. In only one war have American soldiers ever fought to tear the country apart, and thankfully, for the history of the world, they did not succeed.

Since then, soldiers have gone to defeat the Kaiser's autocratic ambitions, The Nazis' racist, expansionist quest, to contain and defeat the communists. But did most of them do it for some political abstract, for some partisan notion? Even the ones who talked the talk on the politics had another idea at heart: the peace and tranquility of our country.

When they fought for Democracy, were they fighting for the hollowed-out joke of it, where fear and intimidation would rob people of the will to resist their fellow Americans? When they fought for the Republic, did they fight so that their friends and neighbors would one day see it extorted or violently torn from them by their disgruntled neighbor?

It is difficult, and sometimes extraordinarily frustrating to be a citizen in a Democracy, to believe and feel strongly about a certain notion of the way policy should run, a certain interpretation of the constitution's meaning, only to see the nation's government, Democratically elected and constitutionally backed, rule, legislate, and carry out the will of a majority that is against you. As a Democrat whose political life almost began with the disastrous collapse of the Senate and House majorities in 1994, I understand what it is to feel as if your country's course is in the hands of morons, defilers of tradition, and other such such-and-suches. We all trust more strongly in our own views, of course, in what we think is wise and good, than we trust in our rival's plans, interpretations, and actions.

It was no different in the Framer's day. Though Washington and others hoped that their nation would not feel the bitter emnities of partisanship, the constitution was not even written before conflicting interests, factions, and parties had set their agendas against each other. It is a basic principle of Democracy that people gather together to maximize the strength by which they carry out their interests, that parties will form, and will accumulate power. It is a mark of the brilliance of the Founding Father's design that our nation remains in one piece, with only one civil war fought in its 200 year history. Ours has not been a nation without conflict, but the arc of history is that most disputes, for most people, are settled peacefully, even if they don't always start out that way.

The person who, in the midst of the peace, order, and tranquility of this country decides that if Government doesn't set the policies they like, that they are entitled to take out a gun and threaten that peace to get what they want, is no better than bank-robber taking people hostage for their own gain.

Yes, people have a right to defend themselves against an encroaching government. But how we define that limit is a critical and constitutional matter, and the constitution defines legitimate authority through certain prescribed channels.

It's important that it's not some vague principle, some mission statement that later officials of the government could turn and twist the way all too many fledgeling Democracies have seen their principles manipulated. What saves us from being a banana republic, a preposterous sham of a nation, is the fact that our system is designed to moderate both sides of the equation in majority rules, the majority itself, and the minorities that might be inclined to overthrow it.

Throughout history, we've seen mob rule endanger the few unlucky enough to be in the minority, to be the strangers, the foreigners, the supporters of unpopular causes, the holders of unpopular opinion. Throughout history, we have also seen minority political factions, through manipulation of the system and use of force, undermining the governing strength of the majority of the people, forcing them to rebel, at long last, or at least threaten revolt to effect change.

This nation's signature form of government is meant to a moderating, dynamic force, not stuck in some past, but helping us to deal with our nation's problems, our nation's needs. Some would like it to restrict itself to only doing somethings, many would much rather it not. To what extent, and into what places the government should intervene, is not the sole province of any party of folks who consider their cause righteous and beyond reproach. It's a decision all Americans should make, with as much information, good, meaningful information present to give them a real choice between real alternatives as to how America governs itself as a nation.

Any American whose patriotism is worth its salt should denounce politics based on threats and intimidation.

I know many here will instantly talk of Union thugs or New Black Panthers when I make that statement, trying to head off the point. They'll do so, neglecting a basic question. See, for one thing, union thugs and New Black Panthers are doing wrong, but to acknowledge that point, you have to first acknwledge the basic question of intimidation, and answer it for yourself. If, you, being a Republican if you are, use them as a counter-example, you assent to the conclusion that intimidation has no place in our process. The question is whether you turn around, and apply that assent to the conclusion in terms of your own causes, your own political factions. If you don't like a racist militant black man standing outside a polling place with a nightstick, then the basic principle should also have you speak out against the white man brandishing a gun outside the place where the President of the United States is about to show up.

For another thing, it's a question of whether we bear responsibility for these folks. I would certain discourage Union member from engaging in thuggery, and certainly applaud the Obama Administration for seeking the injunction against the New Black Panther with the nightstick where the Bush Administration did not seek to prosecute. Our politics should not support such measures of intimidation. Let's keep in mind that the story I start this article with is about a man who is now representative elect to a congressional district. When he and others like him, when their staff, or those who they associate with talk about "second amendment options", when they advocate for and coddle for a cause that tells people it's all right to bring up the spectre of insurrection, armed rebellion, or even the sundering of the Union, they shouldn't be praised, or coddles. They should be rejected and denounced, and I feel that some folks have not rejected and denounced these people's behavior or words well enough.

But lastly, I don't believe I truly win a political battle where fists or force of arms decide the outcome, rather than a voter's unimpeded access to the polls and to their right to vote. I think interests that work against that franchise, that work against people's ability and opportunity to vote by such dishonest or intimidating means are only creating an environment where resentment and discontent are left to reach a boiling point. Republicans may gerrymander, but at some point, tensions will rise and people will revolt against their government. with the degree of that disobedience the question left at that point.

Persuasion by force of reason should be what overcomes resistance, not persuasion by force of arms. The truly sound and secure government is the one that has the opinion of the people one it side. Some may win temporary advantages by turning others against their rivals, or scaring people into coming to the polls to vote for their people, but at the end of the day, if they have not convinced people of the wisdom and the strength of their policies, they will be forever balancing on the edge of a knife, their political fortunes easily disrupted if they come against a crisis that forces them to either alter their promised beliefs, or maintain them in the face of public outrage.

This government was designed to keep the peace by satisfying the interest of the general public, especially where the private interests of the few, or in some cases, the many, contradict or conflict somewhat with them. When it fails to do that, when folks in power fail to govern well, people should have recourse at the polls.

To use intimidation, to use trickery, deceit, and other methods to deprive people of representation is to set the clock on a time bomb to eventually go off, because the answer to violence, the answer often given to people who take over a country by violence, the response of oppressed minorities throughout world history and our own, is often violence itself. Those who would rely on the seductive notions of domination by force, or by its threat are blind to the lessons of history that show that those who govern by the sword, often end up governed by it in turn.

Our Veterans, who we honored this past week raised the sword of this country so that they and their families, their neighbors, would not see it raised over them. Let us honor their sacrifices by keeping to the promise of a peaceful government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at November 14, 2010 10:18 AM
Comments
Comment #313124

As long as it’s ok for the government to be intimidating and violent, right Stephen Daugherty?

Your post condemns a person who speaks up against an overreaching government but many of your other posts support the over reach as necessary to insure the government’s authority.

I’m confused.

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 14, 2010 1:48 PM
Comment #313127

Weary Willie-
She said this:

The Founding Fathers were brilliant. They gave us two methods with which to do it. They gave us ballots — and that’s a first line of defense. We go out there, and we change them, we send home all of these incumbents who have done nothing to represent the people. They don’t come to their districts, they don’t talk to us — and they stopped taking my calls.

And then the Founding Fathers were ever so brilliant — and I don’t care how this gets painted by the mainstream media, I don’t care if this shows up on YouTube, because I am convinced that the most important thing the Founding Fathers did to ensure me my First Amendment rights was they gave a Second Amendment. (Cheering.) And if ballots don’t work, bullets will.”

Clarification?

When I say I’ll put my microphone down on November 2nd if we haven’t achieved substantial victory, I mean it. Because if at that point, I”m gonna go up into the hills of Kentucky, I’m gonna go out into the Midwest, I’m gonna go up in the Vermont and New Hampshire outreaches, and I’m gonna gather together men and women who understand that some things are worth fighting for — and some things are worth dying for.”

What I condemn is a way of approaching politics which treats an slippery slope argument about turning a certain way politically as an appropriate trigger for inciting a shooting war. What I condemn is treating a government that observes many of our rights, that operates free and fair elections, that does not send people to prison for mere differences of political opinion, as if it’s just as illegitimate as a monstrous police state regime.

I believe in letting Americans set their own level of government, and letting the system work so that if people don’t like the consquences of having too much or too little government, they can change things to what they deem is a more appropriate level, and repudiate those they think are going too far in one direction or another. That’s part and parcel of Democracy. You can’t force people not to take on more government if they see the need. Sooner or later, the Demand will be there for a greater supply of intervention.

We should not have to always please some minority faction of people who are unwilling to hear any other approach to government than their small government preference.

You guys don’t get to set the agenda no matter what. The rest of us will have a voice, or you will ironically face more of the resistance you promise, because of your unwillingness to embrace the Democratic process and le the people decide.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 14, 2010 4:22 PM
Comment #313129

SD

“We should not have to always please some minority faction of people who are unwilling to hear any other approach to government than their small government preference.”

Liberals constitute 20% of the population.

Oh, that doesn’t apply to liberals. It only applies to the majority of right of center population which is twice the liberal numbers.

Your quote is all messed up just like you. Oops, it came from you. My bad.

Posted by: tom humes at November 14, 2010 4:41 PM
Comment #313131

Wee Wiley I am very sure you are confused. There has been no over reaching just blather from the right that some how someone took your freedoms.

Posted by: Jeff at November 14, 2010 4:42 PM
Comment #313132

TH heres some info that says your WRONG… In 2004, it was the largest political party, with 72 million voters (42.6% of 169 million registered) claiming affiliation. By comparison, the Republican Party had 55 million members at that time.[4] During the first quarter of 2009, 52% of Americans identified more closely with the Democratic party while 39% did so more closely with the Republican Party.[11] A Pew Research Center survey of registered voters released August 2010 stated that 47% identified as Democrats or leaned towards the party, in comparison to 43% of Republicans.[12] From wikipedia

Posted by: Jeff at November 14, 2010 4:55 PM
Comment #313136

Jeff,
I do not believe Tom was speaking about party affiliation. The most recent Gallup survey shows 42% of those surveyed identifying themselves as Conservative, 35% as Moderates and 20% as Liberals. Not all of those identifying themselves as Democrats consider themselves to be Liberals.

Posted by: Skeptical Boomer at November 14, 2010 5:36 PM
Comment #313137

How high does the government allow the grass to be in your home town?
How much does the tow truck operator charge for towing and storing the vehicle the government decides has sat too long in one place?
Do you own your property or do you rent it from the government?
How much do you have to pay the government to have a yard sale?
Do you have to pay the government to have a pet?

Local governments use force and intimidation. The federal government bribes local governments.
The most important thing government includes in legislation is the force to employ and the money to pay for it.

Did every citizen have a license plate on their horse’s butt for the first half of this country’s history?

I think the problem is more of a procedural problem. The procedure is to wave the magic legislation wand and everything will be ok, the problem will be solved. But, are the problems that are created considered a negative against the legislation or is more legislative wand-waving needed?

Every time the government responds to a perceived threat to an individual, the result is to instill a sense of security and as a result people are no longer protecting themselves, they are expecting the government to protect them. Unknowingly they allow themselves to be victims. To believe the government can protect your child from bullying is like expecting the pro football team to avoid hitting the guy with no padding. Eventually the guy with no padding is going to get creamed.

We are being “Lawed” to death. A blind dependence on government, expecially our federal government, to protect us individually is unsustainable. A different procedure has to be realized.
Should we turn to 535 people and expect them to use force to control the other 350 million people from injuring us? Or, should we start thinking about how individuals should be responsible for themselves?
Those who condemn any discussion of an alternative do not allow others the freedom to protect themselves. That condemnation will send us travelling down another road towards civil war.

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 14, 2010 6:11 PM
Comment #313142

tom humes-
According to the numbers that commonly get quoted to justify such approaches as yours, about forty percent of people are moderates, presumably willing consider big government some of the time.

And even beyond that, does every self-described conservative think in such absolute terms about government? When you have a zealous tea partisan telling government to keep their hands off of Medicare, one of the biggest of the big government programs, the question of what people really mean when they say they’re against big government gets quite muddled.

So I believe I’m right in claiming that a majority is not so blindly small-government oriented.

As for calling me messed up? I’m sorry you feel it necessary to drag a personal insult into this. Whatever you say about me, the fact that most Americans are open to different solutions than yours remains a fact, as does the rigidity of the GOP in Washington in pursuing their small-government agenda.

Skeptical Boomer-
The very fact that somebody’s a conservative Democrat rather than a conservative Republican speaks to a greater flexibility on the question of government.

Weary Willie-
It’s interesting how some conservatives, to sell the virtues of their ideology, describe what are really annoyances, in terms of requirements, or petty, unlikely to remain laws. Folks say things like “The Government’s going to take your cheeseburger.”

Meanwhile, they say its alright to turn America into a surveillance state, to chip away at the rights that even American citizens have in the face of their government, in the face of their accusers.

It’s even tyranny to suggest things to people like they should eat better, you folks say.

Look, the purpose of Democracy is to give us the ability to influence the laws we live under. That way, it’s not fend-for-yourself anarchy, nor is it do-as-I-say tyranny.

What we need is not some vaguely hopeful experiment in lawlessness, but a public that is constantly involved in its own government, because government isn’t simply some outside imposition- in this country, it’s Americans governing themselves, delegating and undelegating, if necessary, the responsibility of making, carrying out, and ultimately interpreting the laws.

And above all else, what we need is to look past politics to what is practical. Sometimes the simplest approach is best. Republicans tried for years to achieve balance (or so they say) in the budget by cutting taxes and hoping revenues would rise to suit.

Clinton’s tax hikes, though, set the stage for the restoration of balance instead.

Republicans tried again, tried to vindicate their approach. They not only failed, but failed miserably. It wasn’t that they became liberals, it’s that they never learned to hold themselves accountable on things, they simply pushed the agenda on their fiscal items without anybody really saying “stop, this is ludicrous!”

Where were the Tea Party folks at the beginning of the last decade, telling folks that the tax cuts would undermine the fiscal balance? Where were they when Bush charged the wars on the Credit card? Where were they when the Republican Senate and Republican House pushed the Medicare Drug Benefit without paying for it?

Fact is, modern conservatives care more about starving the beast, forcing reductions in big government (or being seen to) than they care about actually balancing any budgets. The last decade is proof of that. Bush’s fiscal picture was bad long before the 2008 crash pushed it into being a problem of even more epic proportions.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 14, 2010 7:39 PM
Comment #313145
Weary Willie- It’s interesting how some conservatives, to sell the virtues of their ideology, describe what are really annoyances, in terms of requirements, or petty, unlikely to remain laws. Folks say things like “The Government’s going to take your cheeseburger.”


It’s interesting how some traitors to our constitution, to sell the virtues of their ideology, condone what are really annoyances, in terms of requirements, or petty, unlikely to remain laws. Folks say things like “The Government’s going to take your cheeseburger.”

Meanwhile, they say its alright to turn America into a surveillance state, to chip away at the rights that even American citizens have in the face of their government, in the face of their accusers.


Meanwhile, they expect others to say its alright to turn America into a surveillance state, to chip away at the rights that even American citizens have in the face of their government, in the face of their accusers.


It’s even tyranny to suggest things to people like they should eat better, you folks say.

Look, the purpose of Democracy is to give us the ability to influence the laws we live under. That way, it’s not fend-for-yourself anarchy, nor is it do-as-I-say tyranny.

The Democratic Party is expecting too much of itself. There is no way a national government is going to solve the problems of each and every individual community in these fifty states! It isn’t going to happen even with the best intentions of the Democratic Party. I say “the Democratic Party” in response to your saying “Democracy” because I believe you think the Democratic Party and Democracy are the same.

What we need is not some vaguely hopeful experiment in lawlessness, but a public that is constantly involved in its own government, because government isn’t simply some outside imposition- in this country, it’s Americans governing themselves, delegating and undelegating, if necessary, the responsibility of making, carrying out, and ultimately interpreting the laws.

The American Experience is, and always will be, a vaguely hopeful experiment in lawlessness!

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 14, 2010 8:24 PM
Comment #313155

Hmmm…42% conservative and 35% moderate, and 20% liberal. That 20% plus the 35% elected a liberal President in 2008. 20 plus 35 equals about the vote that put him into office, so at the time almost all the moderates considered themselves at least partially liberal.

This time the 42% conservative bunch convinced much of the 35% to vote conservative…mostly by lying and deceiving, but…well…all’s fair, blah, blah, blah.

Now we get to the crux. How many of the 40% conservative and 35% of the moderates thought they might be signing on to go to war against the 20% they had been FOR just twenty months ago?

Can someone tell me why moderate thinkers would pick up arms against their fellow Americans?

Now…how many of the 40% conservative crowd have the desire to shoot at those Americans who feel differently about how this country should be run? Would one half of one percent be a good guess?

If the one half of one percent actually took up arms against their fellow Americans, how many of the conservative crowd and the moderate crowd would then feel obligated to come to the defense of the poor little 20% who would be being shot at?

Can anyone here tell me why the Congressperson who mouthed that trash should not be run out of town on a rail, while being tarred and feathered? Perhaps it is because the Constitution, which they so obviously distrust to keep us legal and lawful, keeps such railing, tarring and feathering from being kosher?

Posted by: Marysdude at November 14, 2010 11:00 PM
Comment #313161

Weary Willie-
You know, I could call you a cheese-sniffing vinyl-muncher, but the real trick would be getting you to convince yourself that you were one. Part of the reason why I prefer not to argue by insult, it’s never an argument you really win!

My comment about “taking away your cheeseburgers” addresses the sort of trivialities that seem to raise Republican ire. Our government even suggests eating better, and they get called elitists. Obama suggests people inflate their tires to save gas, and he’s knocked for that. Michelle Obama talks about feeling pride in her country in seeing the response to her husband’s campaign, and that gets slammed. So does her wearing certain dresses, campaigning against childhood obesity, so on and so forth.

Meanwhile, other, unlikely things turn into existential threats. Take the provision to have medicare pay for a session with a professional to help plan out critical care and end of life treatment options (like a Do Not Rescusitate order).

Death Panel!

A Muslim Community center gets planned just a few blocks away from ground zero. The Right pounces.

Ground Zero is sacred! Just move out the strip clubs that are as close if not closer.

Sharia law is upon us! Never mind that no application of Sharia law could ever pass muster in court, due to the First Amendment, since it would be state support of religion.

Republican leaders have gone from being counterweights to Democrats, to being absolutely allergic to everything they say or do, and prone to monstrously overreact to even the smallest hint of deviation from their politics.

Take that Sharia law example. The supposed idea behind this is that well meaning officials, probably liberal, would allow evil Muslim radicals to infiltrate our legal system with Sharia law, maybe by first instituting innocuous ordinances or whatever, but then gradually tightening things.

Only problem is, Sharia Law, at least the medieval, non-assimilated variety, is not all that attractive to liberals. Sharia Law, at least Saudi or Afghan varieties are very conservative, even reactionary in their dislike of the new, of the socially liberal attitudes of the average Liberal. How does the party that Rush says has the Feminazis square with politics that are, depending on the Muslim country in question ranges from old-fashioned to rabidly misogynistic.

How would liberals square their standard Separation of Church and State argument with what is essentially state support of Islam?

How would liberals who balk at Christian excesses in the courtroom or schools square Muslims doing the same?

But hey, if Liberals don’t like Christianity in the Schools, by necessity, they must want its opposite in there, right? No, sorry, wrong. Liberals are typically looking at things from a standpoint of Secular vs. Religious government, not simply anything but Christianity.

The Democratic Party is expecting too much of itself. There is no way a national government is going to solve the problems of each and every individual community in these fifty states!

Well, isn’t it convenient then, that Liberals run for state and local offices as well?

Besides that, you cariacture a willingness to use more Government as a compulsive drive to appeal to it. They’re not the same thing. Of course, it’s convenient to say they are so you can warn people that the government will just explode if you elect Democrats, but convenient explanations don’t have to be true.

I say “the Democratic Party” in response to your saying “Democracy” because I believe you think the Democratic Party and Democracy are the same.

What crap. Is that how you argue? Look, I advocated peaceful means of changing the guard in Washington. When I lost in 2004, along with my party, did I say, “Democracy is dead?” No. I did not.

I sure want Democrats to win, to be the favorites in the Democracy, but you know what? You don’t see me talking about organizing an armed Rebellion to prevent the Republican Congress from convening, now, do you?

I believe in Democracy, even when the people practicing it don’t believe in what I do. I have faith that with the right candidates, the right strategies, and the right approaches and facts, we can win again. And I want to win that way. I want my party to earn the trust of the voters, do well for them, and thereby get voted in.

You’re just substituting twisted words for straight arguments.

As for the last line?

For my part, I believe that freedom is the motor oil of the engines of Democracy. Without it, leaders cannot be held accountable. Without it, leaders don’t get called on things when they don’t sync their claims with the facts. Without it, Americans can’t organize effectively politically, without being of the dominant order.

Freedom isn’t simply you being able to do whatever you want, because one person’s freedom might be used to discriminate against another for a job, to use violence to intimidate money and other things from people, or to decieve people, con them out of their money or valuables.

Freedom, therefore, has to emerge out of a system of checks and balances not just between branches of a government, but between different people, mediating disputes and partisan political ideologies. The power of each individual person to act must be balanced with that of the other for optimal liberty on everybody’s part.

I’m free to own my own business, but I’m obliged to pay for the retirement and old age health benefits for my employees. Bad deal? Well, benefits keep my folks working happily, or at least not looking for other work. It also means that when people aren’t capable of doing the job, they’re less likely to hang around in that position, rather than yield it up to the next generation.

Folks talk about NIMBYs, but have people considered that one of the reasons NIMBYs exist, is that businesses so often made factories, power plants, and other facilities dubious bets as neighbors. If there were fewer problems with what effects the citizens could expect from those businesses and corporate entities, then maybe attitudes would soften about having such industries based nearby.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 15, 2010 1:07 AM
Comment #313163

stephen

“Folks say things like “The Government’s going to take your cheeseburger.””

nope, just your kids happy meal.

Posted by: dbs at November 15, 2010 5:50 AM
Comment #313170

Dude,

That is quite comical.

Hmmm…42% conservative and 35% moderate, and 20% liberal. That 20% plus the 35% elected a liberal President in 2008. 20 plus 35 equals about the vote that put him into office, so at the time almost all the moderates considered themselves at least partially liberal.

This time the 42% conservative bunch convinced much of the 35% to vote conservative…mostly by lying and deceiving, but…well…all’s fair, blah, blah, blah.

From my perspective I see it as the complete opposite. That liberal president got elected by the 20 plus 35 by pretending, lying, and hiding the fact that he was a liberal. He made promises of “reaching across the isle” and “changing the tone in Washington”…which actually made the less informed believe that he would somehow preside from the center.

This time, however, the Republicans never made such claims. They were combative, non-concillatory, and downright obstructive to the entirety of the liberal messege. Not one of them claimed to work WITH Democrats. They all claimed to work against democrats, they vowed to work together to defeat the Democratic agenda. Yet, without any concessions, and without hiding their own personnal beliefs, these people were elected in record numbers. Able to garner both their 42 percent base and the 35 percent moderate. Their rhetoric might have been inflammatory, but at least it wasn’t used to hide their true colors…

Why is it that so much of the democratic campaigns focus on rebranding their individual candidates as conservative or moderate? Why do you never see republicans trying to illustrate their liberal leanings? Could it be that the american people are truly a right of center nation, and both parties know it. The democrats only believe that the general public is easy enough to decieve, and uninformed to the point that is doesn’t matter…

Posted by: adam at November 15, 2010 10:41 AM
Comment #313172

You mean this ban? Well, the mayor of the city vetoed it, for one thing, but what was it actually to begin with?

From the CBS News health blog:

Actually, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to ban restaurants from handing out toys with meals that fail to meet basic nutritional standards for fat, calories, and sodium. That would include the Happy Meal, which has been a fat-packed fave of hungry children for decades.

[…]

Under the ban - scheduled to take effect December 2011 - restaurants in the Golden Gate City would be allowed to distribute toys with meals only if they contained fewer than 600 calories and less than 640 mg of sodium, according to Canadian broadcaster CTV. In addition, less than 35 percent of calories in the meals could come from fat (less than 10 percent from saturated fat).

Really, I’m not mourning the results either way. Me, I’d figure the better approach would be to require the healthy alternative in order to keep selling the unhealthy version. Then parents could choose between them.

Why we treat the Happy Meal as such a sacred institution is beyond me. I would agree it’s a frivolous thing to concern ourselves with and would further submit that school lunch cafeterias might be the better place to start, where the school has some actual authority.

I remember the kind of food I got at school. It wasn’t exactly the best stuff for you. If we want healthier kids, that might be a good place to start.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 15, 2010 11:02 AM
Comment #313173

adam-

That liberal president got elected by the 20 plus 35 by pretending, lying, and hiding the fact that he was a liberal.

Oh, I see. You never looked at his website or listened to any of his speeches when he was running. Anybody who thought Obama wasn’t going to be a Liberal probably also thought that Bush wasn’t going to govern as a conservative.

This time, however, the Republicans never made such claims. They were combative, non-concillatory, and downright obstructive to the entirety of the liberal messege. Not one of them claimed to work WITH Democrats. They all claimed to work against democrats, they vowed to work together to defeat the Democratic agenda. Yet, without any concessions, and without hiding their own personnal beliefs, these people were elected in record numbers. Able to garner both their 42 percent base and the 35 percent moderate. Their rhetoric might have been inflammatory, but at least it wasn’t used to hide their true colors…

Most Americans were not aware of the Republican’s epic, history-making campaign of obstruction. But if they were, I’m not sure you would have gotten the same results:

According to a CBS News survey released Thursday, 72 percent of Americans say congressional Republicans should make tradeoffs in order to get things done, with just over one in five saying Republicans should stick to their positions. Thanks to the results of the midterm elections, the GOP will control the House of Representatives and will have a much larger minority in the Senate in the new Congress next year.

Democrats questioned in the poll, which was conducted after the election, overwhelmingly say Republicans should compromise. But even six out of ten Republicans and 55 percent of self-described Tea Party activists agree that the GOP should be willing to deal with Democrats in order to get things done.

A real mandate for obstruction, right?

Why is it that so much of the democratic campaigns focus on rebranding their individual candidates as conservative or moderate? Why do you never see republicans trying to illustrate their liberal leanings? Could it be that the american people are truly a right of center nation, and both parties know it. The democrats only believe that the general public is easy enough to decieve, and uninformed to the point that is doesn’t matter…

Why is it that so many of the people who did try to sell themselves as more conservative lost?

Why did the Tea Party candidates who had high profiles mostly lose?

Why did Americans consider it more important to pass a new stimulus bill than fix the deficit?

Why do more Americans prefer Obama’s version of the Tax Cuts to the Republican’s? (And why do even fewer of them think they have a solid plan to deal with the economy than Obama does?

I tell you what’s really happening: Most people were never aware of the sheer level of obstruction carried out by the Republicans. They aren’t even really aware of the dynamics of what’s going on in Washington. Can you blame them? They have their hands full taking care of their own lives, and most aren’t political junkies like us. That’s why a lot of the BS works so well, there’s little to get in the way of it, to exert drag on bad talking points.

That all changes the minute Republicans start gumming up the works as majority in the House. They can no longer dissociate themselves from the Gridlock, and claim that Democrats simply hadn’t gotten their act together.

The Republicans are overconfident, once again. Sadly enough, they had to be overconfident, because they no longer have any real policy expertise to be confident about. They screwed up the last two wars, screwed up the economy, where they were supposed to be marvellous at what they were doing.

I don’t think you’ve realized what a predicament you’re in, because you don’t have folks in government running things already. But if your people make things worse, if they start pulling the same crap they’ve pulled as minority these past few years, I think it will be difficult for them to make such excuses without getting some of their own blame poured back on them. Personally I think Republicans’ governance will be a political and policy disaster right out of the box, because they are not only out of touch, but aggressively so. They can manipulate people’s anger, but I don’t think they appreciate just how little armor they have against that same anger. They’ve been out of sight, out of mind as the minority, and they just ended that this Novemember.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 15, 2010 11:38 AM
Comment #313176

>Why is it that so much of the democratic campaigns focus on rebranding their individual candidates as conservative or moderate? Why do you never see republicans trying to illustrate their liberal leanings?
Posted by: adam at November 15, 2010 10:41 AM


adam,

Perhaps they are afraid of Beck or Limbaugh? Fear makes Republicans do some pretty repugnant things.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 15, 2010 1:13 PM
Comment #313178

Stephen,

I’m angry with you today. I’ve enjoyed debating with you in the past, but not today. You can continue to go ad hominem on the Republican Party by locking the lunatic fringe in as spokespersons for the mainstream, but it is tired, trite, and insulting. I’ve never measured your thoughts by that wacko in South Carolina. I’ve never measured your Party by that wacko from Ohio that almost won an election from jail.

I have been willing to agree with you that the Republican Party has done bad, failed, and been associated with bad apples. Your party has as well, but you are an expert at rationalizing that behavior away, but fail to give your “enemy” any quarter whatsoever. Your willingness to see the worst of the Republican Party coalition as representative of the mainstream is either disingenuous or delusional. At one time, I was pretty sure that you were in complete control of your faculties, so I figured it was the former, but you know you keep repeating a message long enough and you begin to believe your own bullshit and the latter might become true.

Regardless of the cause, your continuing beating of this drum, your argument that the reason that Republican’s won the last elections is so reliant on your own conclusions that it can never be proved false. Your a scientist, you know what that makes your argument, right? It’s not a hypothesis, it’s not a fact, it’s an opinion. An opinion that is completely unsupported by any reliable data, correct? So it is most likely a very bad one.

You craft your arguments as a pragmatist, but your messages for the past two years are so embedded with so righteousness, such Hell and Brimstone that it seems more suited to a Revival tent than a Politcal forum. It’s quite the change from your messages from the years before that. It’s a shame, I believe that we’ve lost one of our better minds here at Watchblog; it’s moved from the realm of practical solutions to the Political Religion.

There in the outer reaches it joins the great minds of Newt Gingrich and Karl Marx where every step whether for good or bad is just one step toward the telos of pure government. In this case, the telos is defined by the gospel of Daughtery. Or is it? Maybe it is the gospel of Kos, and you are merely the preacher here in your virtual church.

Posted by: Rob at November 15, 2010 1:25 PM
Comment #313182

Rob,

You may have a point, but look at the numbers before you condemn. Paul, Bachman, DeMint, Wilson, Jindal, Perry, Brewer…the list could outgrow the page. Crazy talk is still crazy. I agree that Democrats have a share in ‘nonsensespeakers’, but hardly any of them are advocating bringing the country down if they don’t get their way about legislation. Your people are really starting to sound scary.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 15, 2010 2:52 PM
Comment #313184

No, Democrats are not advocating bringing the country down, at least not this decade anyway. However, my point is that they are not “my” people anymore than Democratic crazies are “your” people.

My point is it’s time to move past discussing the crazies and get back to talking about where “we” people can talk about real issues.

Posted by: Rob at November 15, 2010 3:03 PM
Comment #313190

Rob-
Your party needs a wake up call. This is the first choice for a chief of staff of your new Congressman from Florida. This is a guy your folks actually elected.

Ad hominem arguments are fallacious when the appeal against character is irrelevant. It’s not here.

I quote the actual words of this candidate for chief of staff, and their opinion is important because this will be a government official now we’re talking about, an aid to an actual legislator.

I would like to say that the mainstream in your party has nothing to do with these people, but I would have to jump through a number of hoops to do that. The last person to talk about Second Amendment solutions came close to unseating Harry Reid. Your people almost put Sarah Palin, who was associated with an Alaskan Separatist group in the Vice Presidency, and she’s an easy name for the 2012 election, along with Governor Rick Perry, who himself hinted at the possibility of Secession in reaction to Obama’s policies.

And then, of course, you have Glenn Beck, who alleges conspiracies all over the place, and who has already incited some rather hair raising incidents with his attacks on George Soros and the Tides Foundation. This guy peddles investment in Gold and Seed packs designed to get people through some kind of armageddon, and spreads rumors of death camps being created by FEMA. The last time I heard something like that, I was watching Martin fricking Landau say it during the X-Files movie!

This is what I’m confronted with, as a Democrat. Stuff that was considered insane enough to put in a science fiction movie along with abduction by Aliens, insane enough that it even causes Fox Mulder, who’d spent five seasons chasing after aliens and monsters, to think the guy was nuts.

If I smack it down with a certain sense of confidence, It’s because the stuff Republicans put out nowadays is just that bad. I don’t even have to do too much research to bat down these talking points. What frustrates me, gets me angry, is just how much of a death grip the GOP nowadays has on these conspiracy theories, making Death Panels out of counselling sessions on patient’s rights and medical wishes.

You haven’t lost my mind, your fellow Republicans have lost theirs, and I’m just trying to fight to keep the conversation on Planet Earth.

For me, that is almost a religious calling. It’s what lead me to show up here in the first place: because I thought the Republican Policies under Bush weren’t merely wrong, they weren’t even acknowledging reality.

They still aren’t. Worse, they’re doubling down on nearly everything they did wrong, and have successfully convinced the American people to back them once again. Well, folks were wrong in 2004, and they’re just as wrong six years later, but they’re going to have to find out the wrong way that unfortunately the GOP in Washington is no longer filled with people like you.

As for Daily Kos, there’s a standing rule there against the indulging of Conspiracy theory, and a constant fight going on to keep policy discussion centered on fact. Things are not all monolithic at Kos, in fact things are even more tumultuous than they are here, since moderation on the site is mostly done by consensus.

The gospel I preach is really a quite conservative one when you get down to it: loyalty to this country, loyalty to democratic processes, loyalty to the public good, a resistance to change merely for its own sake, but a full willingness to do what it takes to confront the forces that might tear the country’s economy or society apart.

I don’t like the divisiveness, the reckless disregard for the facts, or the hatefulness of the rhetoric directed at their political rivals. There’s no compromise, no give, just take. Meanwhile, all the things that were going wrong, are still going wrong. That is what wears on me. My Telos isn’t preaching to the wilderness or preaching to the choir. My telos is returning American policy to a practical, data-driven, open-minded, and accountable state, where we can make at least some progress on dealing with our problems.

I’m sick of the right insisting on getting its way no matter how many arms have to get broken, no matter how fierce and nasty the divisions they create are, no matter how many people tell them no in the electorate. Somebody needs to bring that party down to Earth.

When is it going to be people like you? When are you going to decide, like Eisenhower did, like William F. Buckley did that letting the John Birchers run the party, letting the extremists push their agendas, is bad for your party? The question is how long the Republicans take to accept the reckoning that’s already been made, before the next reckoning comes, and its even worse?

I want to discuss the issues. But I feel that at this point, it’s also necessary to discuss how politics should be seen and carried out. Do you want Glenn Beck to remain the face of the Republican Party, do you want him to continue to do his best impression of Peter Finch, complete with the breakdown that follows that famous tirade in that movie?

I have spent my life listening to folks exhorting people to outrage, all the while undermining their interests. The time has come for rational thought to make a comeback. But for that to happen, the folks who promote the kind of hackery that people like the mainstream leaders of your party do have to be called on the damage they’re doing to the public discourse.

If you want to be angry at somebody, be angry at the people who are putting your party to shame, making a weeping mad prophet the idea man for its politics.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 15, 2010 4:24 PM
Comment #313192

stephen

“Really, I’m not mourning the results either way. Me, I’d figure the better approach would be to require the healthy alternative in order to keep selling the unhealthy version. Then parents could choose between them.”


i think the parents make that choice already. forcing a business to offer something on thier menu that they choose not to, is just more nanny state nonsense. do you really believe that if you take away the 10cent chinese toy that the kids are going to choose the salad bar? ya, i can’t have the piece of crap toy with my cheese burger and fries, so i think i’ll have the salad bar, because i like cauliflower, and carrot sticks much better anyway.

“Why we treat the Happy Meal as such a sacred institution is beyond me.”

it seems you again completely miss the point. with or without the toy, a kid going to mc donalds wants mc nuggets, burgers, and so on. if the parents wants to feed thier kid a healthy alternative, there are plenty of other options.

Posted by: dbs at November 15, 2010 4:38 PM
Comment #313193

Rob,

It is a lot easier to discuss rationally, when there are more rational people involved. Any sane Republican today, has to be subservient to the crazies, or face stiff inner-party penalties. How many ‘moderate’ Republicans have had to apologize to Beck or Limbaugh in the last two years? How many serving currently on the right have been chastised and threatened by the kooks now coming into positions of power? You don’t really get just how unsettling all this has become because you are too close to it and have that Kudzu growing all over you. Step back…look at the situation…I think you are smart enough to see that it may be getting too late for discourse.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 15, 2010 4:43 PM
Comment #313194

stephen

“Our Veterans, who we honored this past week raised the sword of this country so that they and their families, their neighbors, would not see it raised over them. Let us honor their sacrifices by keeping to the promise of a peaceful government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

the gov’t you praise, created by progressives raises that sword everyday, but i guess that’s different. we would never tolerate it from outsiders, but it’s ok for our own people to do it to us through excessive force of gov’t. people just aren’t smart enough to allow them the freedom the founders intended for us to have, so we need you to keep us in line. excuse me while i puke.

Posted by: dbs at November 15, 2010 4:48 PM
Comment #313195

dbs That is without a doubt the most ridiculous thing I believe I have ever read. The gop the party of bumper stickers. STOP THE LIBERLS THEY GONNA TAKE OUR FREEDOMS. PLEASE!

Posted by: Jeff at November 15, 2010 5:10 PM
Comment #313196

Stephen,

You said, “Your party needs a wake up call. This is the first choice for a chief of staff of your new Congressman from Florida. This is a guy your folks actually elected.”

Not “my,” “ours,” he is our Congressman from New York and reasonable people might agree that paraphrasing Jefferson’s rebellion speech is not the way to govern. I’ll agree with you on that.

But that is not what you said, you took his statements and made them representative of the Republican Party. That is ad hominem. Here is one such definition of the ad hominem: “Ad hominem abuse (also called personal abuse or personal attacks) usually involves insulting or belittling one’s opponent in order to invalidate his or her argument, but can also involve pointing out factual but ostensible character flaws or actions which are irrelevant to the opponent’s argument.

Do you honestly believe that the Republican Party is advocating the overthrow of the government? If so, please supply specific evidence from a leader of the Republican Party that states that. Without that evidence, your argument is an hominem attack on the Republican Party.

You also said,

“I have spent my life listening to folks exhorting people to outrage, all the while undermining their interests.”

And this is my fundamental disagreement with you and the Democratic Party elitists. You believe that the rabble vote against their own interests and it is up to you to save them. You believe that personal interests are so easily definable that you can speak for someone else as to what is in their best interest. And this my friend, is where your religion conviction in Democratic Party beliefs swayed you to preach the gospel. Your telos is that the rabble will all wake up one day and agree with you. That hoi polloi will wake up and throw off the shackles of “unrational thought,” and realize that you were right that they were voting against their “interests” all this time.

You say you are for give and take, but not really. You are really just a Rush Limbaugh styled cheer leader battling for the hearts and mind of those that can’t see their own interests. You have mastered his tactics. Put out some outrageous statement or action made by someone affiliated with the opposite sides beliefs, organization, or region and rail against it to the point that it becomes not representative of a small element or aspect of something but a central tenet of the oppositions belief system.

Do you and Rush get together to discuss communication protocols?

Posted by: Rob at November 15, 2010 5:10 PM
Comment #313197

>Do you honestly believe that the Republican Party is advocating the overthrow of the government? If so, please supply specific evidence from a leader of the Republican Party that states that. Without that evidence, your argument is an hominem attack on the Republican Party.

Rob,

The leadership does not have to advocate, they merely have to remain silent on the issue. That way they keep their own hands clean, but allow the rabble to be roused. Keeping silent on the issue is a win-win for Republican leadership…unless they are asked to man one of the guns.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 15, 2010 5:32 PM
Comment #313198

Mary’s,

There is craziness within the Republican Party no doubt. I don’t disagree with that, and not that I expect you to have, but if followed my postings here, you will see that I don’t like it. I have spoken out against it. I have said that I don’t believe that it was good for the Republican’s to have been elected again so soon. I was disappointed that the Democrats failed to heed the message of Carville and realize that it is the economy stupid and in so doing allow us back into power before we had the opportunity to take our walk in the wilderness and reform as a Party the way the Democrats did in the late 80’s/ early 90’s.

We absolutely need to reempower moderate Republicans. That said, I do not agree that they represent the main interests of the Republican Party. I do not believe that the Republican Party leaders advocate for the overthrow of the government.

While we personally may not be able to control the debate on Capitol Hill, we have that opportunity here. We can choose to be rational and reasonable. We can reflect a vision of a better government. We can reflect a vision of a more reasonable political discourse. Or we can choose has Stephen has to try to become apart of the craziness.

Let’s be clear, he’s not calling this out because he’s truly concerned that the Republicans are advocating the overthrow of the government. He’s calling this out because he can score points on the issue and try to tar all Republican’s with the crazy brush. He’s’ calling this out because not because he believes that this issue is legitimate but because he doesn’t like Republican’s. They are his enemy not is co-citizens.

This is not reasoned discussion. It is channeling Rush. Rush reached his apotheosis with the impeachment of Clinton. It was the ultimate act to date of playing with the government body for sport. He didn’t get there in one-fell swoop. It was incrementalism. Just like Stephen didn’t get to calling the Republican Party out for wanting to overthrow the government today in one-fell swoop. It was incrementalism. Both he and Rush got there in baby steps. They convinced themselves in the absolute power of their ideals over time. They made enemies out of their opposition over time. I’m not sure Stephen has made it to his moment yet, but he’s well on his way.

Posted by: Rob at November 15, 2010 5:46 PM
Comment #313199

Mary’s

You said,

“The leadership does not have to advocate, they merely have to remain silent on the issue. That way they keep their own hands clean, but allow the rabble to be roused. Keeping silent on the issue is a win-win for Republican leadership…unless they are asked to man one of the guns.”

So you believe that the Republican leadership actually supports the violent overthrow of the U.S. government?

Well Stephen, one down. 37 million more to go. If you can get them all to believe this, then you will have definitely reached your Rushian apotheosis.

Posted by: Rob at November 15, 2010 5:50 PM
Comment #313200

Rob,

They have done nothing to alay those kind of fears. Their inaction, and silence speaks volumes

Posted by: Marysdude at November 15, 2010 6:08 PM
Comment #313201

Rob,

Please don’t talk like an idiot. I need no outside influences. I can read, and think, and analyze, and determine the ill winds that blow, through those observations. I’m too damned old to pay attention to a whippersnapper like Stephen, or like you either for that matter.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 15, 2010 6:16 PM
Comment #313202

Sorry to subscribe your delusion to Stehpen’s post; minus Stephen.

Posted by: Rob at November 15, 2010 6:32 PM
Comment #313204

This is extrapolation, based on innuendo and then linked tenuously with a Republican politician so it can be tied with no particular justification to veterans and the civil war.

Posted by: C&J at November 15, 2010 6:54 PM
Comment #313205

David Frum, a moderate Republican, has an interesting take on the Post-Tea-Nation for Republicans. Of course, as he points out, the lessons are the same for Democrats. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/14/magazine/14FOB-idealab-t.html?_r=1&pagewanted=2

Posted by: Rich at November 15, 2010 6:56 PM
Comment #313206

dbs-
I said I’m not mourning the results either way. You think I love micromanagement, but I don’t see it as practical. I do think government should shape healthier agriculture policy, but it’s hand should be subtle and light, an influence on the market not an undue burden.

As for Veterans? I am the grandson of one, and I think the world of him. What you’re sickened by is your own twisted notion of what I mean. You presume to speak for my motives, even as I am flatly telling you what they really are.

I support a system that lets everybody collaborate for their part to form the goverment that keeps everybody in line. Like just about everybody else, I have my idea of what should happen, but as the past election has demonstrated, that’s not always what happens. I don’t feel the need to impose large government the way your people feel it necessary to force small government. I just want a government that works.

If you want to be so immature as to allege that I have all these nefarious motives, save your breath. I just want a break from all the ****-ups that seem to have become par for the course since Bush got into office.

Rob-
I believe the Republican leadership is willing to play with fire in order to gain the approval of folks on the far right who will then show up for every election to counter the threat the GOP paints. They’ll tolerate it, and as they tolerate it? Well, that’s what concerns me.

It’s not that I think a shooting war will break out overnight, but it just seems to me that the Republicans don’t have real political inhibition anymore. Republicans in Washington are so afraid of losing power, that they’ll let somebody say things like that, that they’ll quail away from confronting the Rushes and the Glenn Becks who poison people’s minds with conspiracy theories and hatred of the left.

The stress is telling. I’m sure you have much to be disappointed in me. I’m disappointed, too. I wanted an end to this sort of god-forsaken political idiocy. The country seems to be burning down around our ears, but your party just seems to care about getting back in.

I read the hateful remarks that so many Republicans leave all over the place, the raging, dogmatic, snide, constant anger over anything and everything… And I can just feel my patience with these people corroding. My patience with reasoning with folks.

So you tell me. What can I do with these people? What can I say? Is it just going to be another few years of hellish policy failures, while we sort out all this crap? I was sick of it when I campaigned to elect Obama President. I was hoping Republicans would finally realize that they had to redeem themselves from the policy failures of before. But your party seems to have gone like Norma Desmond and no longer registers that it isn’t the fresh young party of ideas it was back in 1994.

I didn’t get into this to feel an overwhelming sense of futility about politics. I truly do believe that government can help the people of this country, though I’m fairly moderate about how it does it. But it’s just about impossible to even get Republicans nowadays to concede basic facts.

And now they’ve been rewarded with a majority in the House.

I don’t think it will end well for the GOP or the country. I get the feeling that there may not be much anybody can do at this point. But I am too sick of continued policy disasters to sit back and wash my hands of politics.

I will hold your people accountable, as your people have failed to hold themselves accountable. I’m not going to make things up, I’m not going to lie about things. I am simply going to confront Republicans with the ugly truth about what their party is doing, and what it’s become.

C&J-
1) Where does it say that I actually accuse all Republicans of being like this? I simply invite the majority of law abiding, patriotic Americans to reject that kind of talk, to hold those who say such words accountable.

2) What of the things I say is untrue? What am I insinuating that isn’t the case? I will simply tell the Republicans to repudiate that sort of behavior, repudiate that resorting to the threat of violence to get what they want, before some kind of crisis develops out of it that causes more damage to the Republicans that they don’t need.

I mean, really, unless your party has become too dependent on voters whom this talk inspires, or too dependent on that rhetoric to fire people up to do otherwise, it’s not going to be a problem to say no to these kinds of words and those kinds of people. Republicans can reject their fringe as Democrats do theirs.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 15, 2010 8:33 PM
Comment #313209

Stephen

It is unfounded extrapolation. You go from one conditional probability to another. By the time you are done, there is no there there.

As a general rule, I reject calls to violence as a substitute for peaceful politics. I reject it when the lefties engage in violent protests or when the right does it.

You are asking Republicans to repudiate what virtually none of them have ever supported.

At least when the right asked Obama to repudiate some of his loony acquaintances, such as Rev Wright or Bill Ayers, he actually met them.

You are doing the old conflate and extrapolate and associate trick. One Congressman HAD a chief of staff who may have said things that could have caused some nut case to feel inspired to plan violence.

Beyond that, it is probably not a good idea for you to speculate about what motivates men to risk their lives for their country, especially when you are lecturing a guy who actually was in Iraq risking his life. He might have his own ideas about why he did that and they might be better informed than you are.

Posted by: C&J at November 15, 2010 9:08 PM
Comment #313211

>Beyond that, it is probably not a good idea for you to speculate about what motivates men to risk their lives for their country, especially when you are lecturing a guy who actually was in Iraq risking his life. He might have his own ideas about why he did that and they might be better informed than you are.
Posted by: C&J at November 15, 2010 09:08 PM

The great historians rarely experience the traumatic events they chronicle. Good insight can sometimes tell a better tale than can those who experienced an event. I’ve put my life on the line several times, but would have a hard time relating my motives at the moment it happened. When I look back, at times I even feel shame that I was not more cogent of surrounding events; being more aware might have led me to form better opinions of why I was doing what I was doing. I think your argument on this subject is weak at best and disingenuous at worst.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 15, 2010 10:33 PM
Comment #313219

It seems as though the good people of the great state of Florida have replaced one loon named Alan (Grayson) with a perceived loon named Allen (West).

I certaintly hope not. However, West is way out of line defending his proposed chief-of-staff from alleged gender bias or other nefarious ‘race’ characterizations and subterfuge. She’s a nut. And West’s enigmatic choice of Ms Kaufmann as his office point-woman would cast West as a recalcitrant rube.

Congressman-elect West has a pretty good narrative. He shouldn’t waste all of his political capital in a matter of days trying his best to out-conceit Mr. Grayson.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at November 16, 2010 12:42 AM
Comment #313224

Btw, Adam’s rebuke (comment #170) of marysdude’s assertion of liberal vs moderate vs conservative electorate votes was on the money. Obama is the Commander-in-Chief of meretricious behavior.

However, the non-elitist (and in many cases elitist) ‘folks’ (btw, Obama’s favorite colloquial term) did not acquiesce to Obama’s conceit.

In other words, the people ain’t that dumb.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at November 16, 2010 12:59 AM
Comment #313231

stephen

you say this

“I do think government should shape healthier agriculture policy, but it’s hand should be subtle and light, an influence on the market not an undue burden.


but you also said this


“Really, I’m not mourning the results either way. Me, I’d figure the better approach would be to require the healthy alternative in order to keep selling the unhealthy version.”

sounds like nanny state micro managing to me. why not let the consumer decide? if they want healthy someone will provide that option because there is a market for it. not because a bunch of busybodies think they know what’s best for everyone else.

“What you’re sickened by is your own twisted notion of what I mean. You presume to speak for my motives, even as I am flatly telling you what they really are.”

sorry i’ve been here at WB long enough to know how you roll. my ” twisted notions ” as you put it, are based on your written words. i call em the way i see em.

Posted by: dbs at November 16, 2010 5:43 AM
Comment #313233

C&J-

It is unfounded extrapolation. You go from one conditional probability to another. By the time you are done, there is no there there.

Which conditional probabilities? I asked for them, so people could judge for themselves.

I welcome your call against political violence, but I have my doubts that your party is so pristine. What do you think happens when folks in your party talk about killing grandma, or taking away our freedoms, especially after years of positing that the means to maintain those freedoms are firearms? All these claims of existential threats, sooner or later, are going to have people acting out against that threat the way people faced with existential threats act out.

Now, I’m not saying that every Republican is advocating violence, much less most. But what I am saying is that by escalating the rhetoric on a constant basis, and justifying that escalation at every step on political grounds that members dare not speak against, your party is putting itself in a position where it has few means to both keep the support of its base, and ask members to tone things down. It’ll especially be hard in the wake of the perceived mandated the Tea Party folks believe they have.

The thing about people playing with such fire, is that sooner or later, that potential for violence gets realized. At the very least, the pushing of the party towards the hardline alienates people.

But worse yet, what I’ve observed is that rather than take to heart any critiques of their behavior, rather than acknowledging a common bond with their fellow American and taking their advice to draw back, Conservatives and those on the right have seen fit to ratchet up tension, ratchet up the brinksmanship.

You say, it’s not mainstream Republicans saying these things. But what was Sharron Angle? She talked about Second Amendment remedies herself. And she was the person you were trying to replace the Democrat’s Senate Majority leader with! If she wasn’t mainstream before, she was going to become mainstream at that point for your party.

So I think a good case is there for asking you a simple question: what are you standards for who you will support to be a Republican Representative or Senator. Are you willing to buck your party to purge it of the Michele Bachmanns and Sarah Palins? Will you have the will to stare down the Rand Pauls, the Glenn Becks when they start talking about death camps, death panels, and all that other rhetoric meant to convince people that their very lives are endangered by the other side for political reasons?

Does the mainstream in your party have it in them to face down their radicals and say no to them, or are they going to simply cave into them to save face, to prevent political discord within the party. What Faustian bargains are Republicans willing to make with their fringe, in order to win more elections and scare more people into voting for them? And at one point does the devil of extremism return to take its due? At what point does giving these people prominent stages and failing to rein them in put the Republicans in a position where they can’t both succeed politically and repudiate their extremists?

I’d argue that in some ways, that point has arrived, and Republicans are failing to hit the brakes, exactly as I’m saying they’d be loathe to. Well, enjoy yourself, this is the party ruthlessly scrambling back to power gets you.

dbs-
Mister, you forget what you read two ago. What was my proposal? To tell McDonalds and other companies giving out toys that they had to offer a healthy alternative, if their current meal didn’t fit the bill.

In other words, give parents the choice. That way, if the little rugrat has his heart set on the toy, you don’t have to buy the fatty, salty, high calorie meal to give him what he wants.

Buuuuut… You can if you want to, and stick to the elitist man!

It’s not a choice for the company, but they’re not prevented from offering something that really sells, so they’re not completely out of luck.

But do I have my heart set on doing that? No. I’m not itching to get government into people’s lives that badly.

And I’ve said this. Over and over, and over and over, and over and over again. I’m all for setting simple rules with more elegant aims in mind. If you’re going to regulate a slaughterhouse, as Temple Grandin had it, you don’t issue a whole bunch of rules as to how they should make the ramp, you simply tell them that if the cows slip on that ramp, they’ve failed inspection. Then let them figure out how to keep the cows from slipping.

That’s my attitude: figure out what the problem is, tell folks the problems they got to fix, and then let them manage their own way. Don’t clobber people with books worth of regulations, but find the essential problem and tell them they’re required to solve it to do business.

I recognize the value of freedom, regardless of what you think or say about what I think and say. I just don’t have this quasi-religious belief that letting people do whatever they want, and then letting the market render a verdict is always the best way to do things. Markets can be manipulated, and with that, the policing function of the market can be corrupted.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 16, 2010 8:03 AM
Comment #313239

Kevin,

Speaking of meretricious, adam’s rebuttal was just that. As was your agreement with it. All that is said in hollow triumph, is meretricious, and my posting was on solid ground. You both prostituted yourselves to the god of pride. The truth of my entry is evolving as those ‘chosen’ arrive at the nation’s seat of power and begin shuffling for position just like their predecessors.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 16, 2010 12:03 PM
Comment #313241

Stephen,

You said, “If you’re going to regulate a slaughterhouse, as Temple Grandin had it, you don’t issue a whole bunch of rules as to how they should make the ramp, you simply tell them that if the cows slip on that ramp, they’ve failed inspection. Then let them figure out how to keep the cows from slipping.”

In the movie anyway, it was not regulation by innovation that Temple Gardin supplied to the slaughter houses. She showed them if the cows slip that they lose money and that they should design their slaughterhouses differently to avoid it. It was a shining example of how the free market can reach the same ends that regulation can, and it can do it more expediently and uniformly.

You also said, “I believe the Republican leadership is willing to play with fire in order to gain the approval of folks on the far right who will then show up for every election to counter the threat the GOP paints. They’ll tolerate it, and as they tolerate it? Well, that’s what concerns me.” This is somewhat at odds with what you said in the initial post that, ” I immediately have to wonder about the state of the Republican Party, how far it’s slipped into its decadence, when it’s adopting the the language and the disloyal attitudes that were the hallmark of the Democratic Party as it was before and during the Civil War… what was a factor in its beginning was the fact that political disagreements were allowed to become so overwhelmingly nasty that people were willing to shoot and kill their fellow Americans, destroy the union, just so they wouldn’t have to live with the decisions they did not agree with.”

You are accusing Republicans of fomenting political discourse that will end up with a shooting war. I can only infer from this that you mean all Republicans.

That you have temporized this statement in your later comments is nice, but you led with and evidently found some believers here that the Republican Party is at a minimum tolerant of the idea of a government overthrow by violent means.

This is where we diverge in what we think is ok. You now agree with Rush and other extremists that it is ok to view your opposition as the “enemy”. You now agree with Rush and other extremists that is ok to question to the patriotism of said “enemy”. When you begin to question the patriotism of Republicans, you are no better than those on the right that questioned yours in disagreements over the war in Iraq. What’s more, your language doesn’t separate me as a member of the Republican Party from the leadership.

I find it as insulting as you did when your patriotism was questioned. Temporize all you want, but it is not ok to question the patriotism of your fellow citizens because they disagree with you. It wasn’t ok for the right; it’s not ok for you.

You aren’t playing watchdog anymore, you’re now the alley cat looking for a fight. When you cross that line, you move from being the commentator to being part of the game. You are now full on in league with Rush and Glenn. If you want to be there, be prepared to here the same criticism that they do from reasonable people.

Posted by: Rob at November 16, 2010 12:42 PM
Comment #313243

Rob,

Would YOU pick up a gun if political policies don’t follow what you believe to be the best course? Would YOU look the other way if your fellow party members picked up theirs? Would YOU voice your concerns, should you see and hear rumblings that led you to believe that your fellow party members were contemplating such a thing as using arms in order to not fall into the clutches of us rabid Marxists?

I can stand flat footed and proclaim aloud that I would NOT take up arms against my fellow Americans even if I thought they were taking me down the dark road through bad political policies (as they have already done). I can say with all truth, that I will and have spoken against those of my persuasion, who get too rambunctious, and I can say with all candor that I would NOT look away if my party members took up such arms.

Some in your party are already saying it, or hinting at saying it, as we speak. The only thing you seem to be willing to do is harp against a voice that is crying out for that to stop.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 16, 2010 1:30 PM
Comment #313248

Rob-
Yes, I’ve seen the movie.

AND read a number of her books. As a person with Asperger’s Syndrome, I take particular interest in her story.

Animals in Translation, I believe, is the book where she talks about this. So, whatever you say about shining examples, she’s still in favor of regulating such facilities, rather than leaving the free market to decide everything. She’s just got a pretty elegant perspective on the way it should be set up, aimed towards requiring a result, rather than dictating every little choice.

On the subject of the Republican leadership playing with fire? I believe political systems evolve, and that taking certain positions put certain selective pressures on what you can and can’t do.

It disturbs me to hear Republicans making noises about States Rights and Tenth Amendment nullification, at the same time other Republicans are talking secession, even shooting wars. It disturbs me that the party of Lincoln seems to have so thoroughly forgotten the history of their own party that they’re taking up the words and the attitudes of their party’s earliest antagonists!

Meanwhile, Republicans join together in efforts to lock out the elected majority out of being able to actually legislate as a majority, blocking a huge proportion of their legislation.

My sentiment is not that your average Republicans sitting out there is an enemy. I don’t think that way. My sentiment is that the leaders and the pundits on the right have set themselves up in a situation where they cannot moderate themselves without negative political consequences. It’s a no win situation, but worse, I think it has a negative effect on their voters, raising anxieties, getting people to fear the normal changeovers of power that do happen as if they were the end of the world. Sometimes literally!

This is bad leadership on the Republican’s part, and I don’t like the trend it takes us on for the political future.

As far as questioning people’s patriotism? If a person is so hypocritical as to suggest taking arms up against very country they profess to love if they don’t get their way, then I feel that it’s only fair to question their patriotism.

Otherwise, I would simply say, I get that you love your country, but could some part of that love be a pride and a carefulness about how you deal with policies concerning its welfare?

If you want to get angry with me for wanting some consistency in those regards, be angry with me. I’m not pointing these things out to rile people up, but to tell them to calm down, to work together with others, rather than try to force their way on everything. Allen West isn’t every Republican, but if you don’t watch out, he could be what most Republicans are driven towards. You need to decide that certain things are beyond the pale, and pull your party back.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 16, 2010 2:43 PM
Comment #313249

I received an email from my wife’s friend, who’s in the Tea Party of North Carolina. It had a number of quotes and pictures touting the carrying of weapons, the big bad government and other sundry second amendment propaganda. But, that is not what caught my interest or my concern. This is that:

ONLY IN AMERICA We are the only country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed without eating, elderly going without needed meds, and mentally ill without treatment - yet we have a benefit for the people of Haiti on 12 TV stations, ships and planes lining up with food, water, tents, clothes, bedding, doctors and medical supplies. Imagine if we gave ourselves the same support that we give other countries. I feel bad for them, but I wonder who cares about America.

The very essence of ‘Tea Party’. Hate the government for spending money and saddling our children with debt. And, in order to prove the point, use things that would cost more money, grow the government bigger, and would undoubtedly be more socialistic than they would ultimately approve of.

These people are dangerous. They have no concept of what this country is about, but they hate it. They hate it so much, they are willing to kill it to cure it. And, they love guns…

Posted by: Marysdude at November 16, 2010 4:16 PM
Comment #313252

Politico published a rather astonishing story yesterday that should make the constituents of Maryland’s first congressional district scratch their heads in wonderment. It seems that their new congressman, Andy Harris, is a bit short on the details of the U.S. health insurance system.

At an orientation for new members of Congress, Harris learned that he would not get his government-subsidized health insurance pronto, and would have to wait until February 1 for coverage to become effective. He wanted to know why it took so long, and what he would do without twenty-eight days of health care. Harris said in the meeting: “This is the only employer I’ve ever worked for where you don’t get coverage the first day you are employed.”

He also wanted to know if he could buy coverage from the government to cover the one-month gap. It seemed like he had never heard of COBRA, under which he could pay the full premium on his old employer’s policy until his new coverage takes effect. Millions of Americans do that, sometimes at great financial hardship. FYI, Congressman: COBRA has been around since 1986.

An aide to Harris tried to backpedal, saying he wasn’t being hypocritical—he was just pointing out the inefficiency of government-run health care.

Harris, it seems, is among the insurance elites. He is an anesthesiologist at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and works at several hospitals on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. He’s lucky that he has gotten coverage from day one on a new job. Millions of other Americans have to wait. I know I waited six months in two jobs before I was covered. That was for health insurance that had nothing to do with the government. It was employer-sponsored coverage sold by commercial carriers.

Probationary periods without benefits are not uncommon, because employers want to know that new employees will work out before putting them on the insurance rolls. Others have to wait for six months, and sometimes a year if they have pre-existing health conditions. Those are not rules of government-provided health care, but of the private insurance companies that the new congressman apparently champions.

Then there’s the matter of the new provision under the reform law that allows young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance until age twenty-six. Although that provision took effect September 23, practically speaking many young people can’t get coverage until the next open enrollment period for their parents’ coverage. For many, that’s a several-month wait to comply with private insurance company rules.

There is a lot for the congressman to learn, and we hope the local press on the Eastern Shore keeps tabs on his learning curve. Although he has vowed to repeal the new health law, it would still be good if the media can help him understand the nuts and bolts of the insurance world, and how the new law fits in as he travels down that path. We kind of knew that the media were a trifle disconnected from the public. But members of Congress, too?… The hypocrisy on the right never ceases to amaze me.

Posted by: Jeff at November 16, 2010 5:36 PM
Comment #313256

Nature abhores a vacuum.

Weary Willie- You know, I could call you a cheese-sniffing vinyl-muncher, but the real trick would be getting you to convince yourself that you were one. Part of the reason why I prefer not to argue by insult, it’s never an argument you really win!

I didn’t call you anything! I apologize if I touched a nerve when I used your words to describe my opinion of someone who doesn’t believe in the U.S. Constitution. I thought your words were fitting if they were attributed to a party of people that believe the U.S. Constitution is a barrier to their goals. I noticed you attributed them to Conservatives.

My comment about “taking away your cheeseburgers” addresses the sort of trivialities that seem to raise Republican ire.

Why do some people insist on pidgeon-holeing others who disagree with their politics? There must be a narrowmindedness that insists anyone who disagrees with the government’s intrusion is a Republican. I’m concerned as to why these intrusions are considered trivialities by those who support them. My biggest concern is the condemnation of the people who disagree with these intrusions, and the condemned’s inability to defend themselves.

Our government even suggests eating better, and they get called elitists. Obama suggests people inflate their tires to save gas, and he’s knocked for that. Michelle Obama talks about feeling pride in her country in seeing the response to her husband’s campaign, and that gets slammed. So does her wearing certain dresses, campaigning against childhood obesity, so on and so forth.
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 15, 2010 01:07 AM

It’s one thing to say, “People should consider eating right.” It’s another to have someone who’s meals are prepared and paid for by others to say, “People should consider eating right.” Michelle Obama launched a campaign to promote the garden and growing healthy foods, but did we continue to see Michelle Obama, in the rose garden, with a hoe, the many days needed to tend a garden? No! We didn’t. Those of us who are familiar with providing for ourselves see the hypocracy when pampered people expect from us what they would not expect from themselves.

Well, isn’t it convenient then, that Liberals run for state and local offices as well?

Do they run on a platform stating the employees of the federal government deserve a 3% pay raise every year? They don’t, do they? They wouldn’t, would they? They couldn’t, could they?
Do they run on a platform that convinces their neighbors to pay for the federal government employee’s health care? They don’t, do they? They wouldn’t, would they? They couldn’t, could they?
Do they run on a position of printing free money to pay for their promises? They don’t, do they? They wouldn’t, would they? They couldn’t, could they?
Do they run on a platform that explains the origin, mechanics, implimentation, and repercussions of the 16th and 17th amendments? They don’t, do they? They wouldn’t, would they?

They couldn’t, could they?

No, they’re too busy responding to petty partisan bickering and accepting bribes from the federal government.
Both sources quoted in the original link failed to link the perp to the radio host. Considering the radio host’s link to the candidate as being very brief and skeptical, and the fact neither have been connected to the crime, to the radio host, and a brief and skeptical link to the candidate, I would venture to say this entire post may have been perpetrated by Rush Limbaugh as a feint!

Ha, Ha! The joke’s on you.

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 16, 2010 6:01 PM
Comment #313259

Stephen

Maybe when you guys get rid of people like Maxine Waters (the crook), Barbara (don’t call me mam) Boxer, Harry (Mr.Defeat) Reid, not to mention Howard (Republicans are evil) Dean, you all can bother Republicans.

The voters took care of Alan (die quickly) Grayson.

You are a regular reader of Daily Kos. If you want hate, I am sure you have seen plenty there.

Posted by: C&J at November 16, 2010 7:22 PM
Comment #313260

C&J,

How many of those you mentioned have suggested an armed take-over, rebellion, or secession?

Posted by: Marysdude at November 16, 2010 7:25 PM
Comment #313261

Marysdude! You don’t get it, do you?

Oh well, you can continue to think you are the only people who think you are right.

You’ve done it before, now you’re trying it again.

Good luck to you, not for my sake, but for yours.

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 16, 2010 7:47 PM
Comment #313270

Marysdude

Many leftists promised to leave the country if Bush was elected then elected. They didn’t go. Too bad.

I don’t believe in violence. It is not a conservative position. Stephen finds one case and extrapolates all the way home.

Yes, I reject civil violence, as I am sure you do. That is really all that needs to be said on this now inane thread.

Posted by: C&J at November 16, 2010 9:13 PM
Comment #313272

C&J,
Cameron Barret (WatchBlog Manager) will have to decide if this is an inane thread.

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 16, 2010 9:58 PM
Comment #313274

C&J,

If it were just one case, I’d believe you to be right about this. If it were just one case, this thread would never have gotten past the third entry. No one here posts in an uninteresting or false thread…well…er…there are some threads on the right column that fit that bill, but…well…you know…

You can call it inane, just like many of y’all call us exaggerated names…it’s what you do. But, this thread has a real purpose, and that purpose is exemplified by your response to it.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 16, 2010 10:20 PM
Comment #313277

Weary Willie-

It’s interesting how some traitors to our constitution, to sell the virtues of their ideology, condone what are really annoyances, in terms of requirements, or petty, unlikely to remain laws. Folks say things like “The Government’s going to take your cheeseburger.”

That’s your lines, quoted. And, if you look, you were intentionally mirroring what I said. And what I had, where you put traitors to our constitution, was conservatives.

In other words, you replaced a word of neutral effect with something rather nerve-touching. You provoke and then dance and caper about about the fact that I was provoked by what you said. Sorry if I’m not the stoic type about being misrepresented, no, lied about by others.

I believe in this Constitution. Do you read me talking about how Democrats should stock up on ammunition, how if the Republican don’t cater to our politics, we should just head for the hills? No. Even in 2004, demoralized and depressed about the results, did you see me saying that we were going to need Second Amendment solutions to the Bush Administration, or the Republican Congress?

I put my trust in this electoral system, in Democracy. Even now, with it as dysfunctional as it is, I am no where near asking for extraconstitutional remedies to my political problems. My belief in Constitution is so implicit, that I don’t even really want my party to do in return what was done to us. I am more interested in my Government doing its job than my people getting back in charge. If my people have to stay a minority party in order to do what’s right, so be it. If my party has to piss off its base, so be it.

Because in the end, our political squabbles do not compare in importance to the problems that face our country. If you’re thinking that it’s more important that Republicans or liberals are defeated than this system carry on in a constitutional manner, then you are one of the people I condemn. No party is so indispensable or infallible as to deserve being placed beyond accountability by the people of this country.

Even if the system sometimes results in misplaced punishments. ;-) I think people will figure it out, and I’ll be helping them, with my FIRST amendment remedies, to do so.

C&J-
I wouldn’t mind seeing the last of Maxine Waters or Rangel. I’m not a fan of corruption. Unlike many Republicans, I’m not eager to circle wagons on their behalf, as you did with Tom DeLay

As for when we can bother Republicans? You know, rather than wait for everybody to become perfect angels, let me suggest something really radical: mutual destruction of the corrupt. Let’s hold each other accountable, and ourselves as well to minimize our exposure. Isn’t that better than mutual moral paralysis?

As for hate? I’ve seen my share of anti-Republicans sentiment on Kos. But you know what? I reserve most of my hate for systems that don’t work. I can’t understand why the proper response to the most serious economic collapse in multiple generations is to deregulate the already unregulated businesses that ruined things. Same thing on the oil spill. Why do we keep on giving the market the chance to police itself when we see one failure after another to curb bad behavior, and even epochal screw-ups to boot?

Shouldn’t this benefit of the doubt have to be earned by not having things go kaplooey?

A lot of us, you would be surprised to find out, are mostly concerned about the practical issues of policy.

Frankly, my objection to most Republicans nowadays is that they seem to be more concerned about pleasing a vocal minority of their fringe, and keeping to some arcane political requirements of their party, than actually taking care of the issues that matter most to Americans.

I don’t care who they are, Republicans or Democrats, but I’m sick of being governed by people who are out of touch, and Republicans seem to be more than just out of touch, they seem to not even be walking on the same planet some times. Most Americans agree that the issue of jobs and the economy is the number one priority.

But what does the Republican Party say is its first priority? Deficits. or, if you listen to Mitch McConnell, defeating Obama in 2012.

What does it tell you think that even with Deficits as the stated priority, that their tax plan expands the deficit even more than the Democrat’s does. Where do all their savings come from, to keep that from being a hole in our fiscal spreadsheet? Why is there no firm spending plan out there capable of doing that?

Is it the Deficit that Republicans are concerned about, or are they still going on about Big Government, even as the economy remains most people’s priority?

You can condemn me for not being positive about all the people who are twisting up and ****ing up policy in this country, or you can realize that your party won’t ever have stable support for the expansion of its power until things in America shape up properly. You can badmouth the Democrats until you’re blue in the face, but unless you live up to your hype, you will disappoint people, and today’s highly impatient public will punish that.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 16, 2010 10:45 PM
Comment #313299


“Maybe when you guys get rid of people Maxine Waters….”

This is a perfect example of how the voters are screwing themselves and the U.S. of A. It is the voters who are at fault. No true progress can be obtained until the voters are willing to admit their guilt.

A majority of the voters say they are not getting the government they voted for, while continuously sending their favorite incumbent back to Washington.

When the Democratic and Republican voters are willing to admit their culpability, they will get rid of all the incumbents who played a role in putting this country in the position that it is in.

Reid, McConnell, Pelosi, Boehner, etc., they are all guilty. Get rid of them.

WW says that the House of Lords should be elected by the lords of Capital City. He must think that his statehouse is not one of the fifty corrupt statehouses in America.

Posted by: jlw at November 17, 2010 1:45 PM
Comment #313315

Many leftists promised to leave the country if Bush was elected then elected. They didn’t go. Too bad…. We didn’t have to he sent our country away for all of us.

Posted by: Jeff at November 17, 2010 5:38 PM
Comment #313328

Please try that again, Jaff, I couldn’t quite figure out what you were saying. Do you mean America is only here for conservative thinkers?

Posted by: Marysdude at November 17, 2010 7:31 PM
Comment #313355

Stephen,

You said, “I’m not pointing these things out to rile people up, but to tell them to calm down, to work together with others…”

This I fail to believe. If you did not want to rile up Democrats with this post, you would not haw said this:

“I immediately have to wonder about the state of the Republican Party, how far it’s slipped into its decadence…”

You also said this,

“It disturbs me to hear Republicans making noises about States Rights and Tenth Amendment nullification…”

This might disturb you, but it is a valid political debate. The 10th amendment is in the constitution. Per the constitution, it should only not be in force if it appealed by another amendment. It is the only amendment that our courts have decided they have the authority to decide is no longer applicable. The last major decision on the amendment decided that because the States have representatives in congress that is enough to ensure that the powers resident with the states are preserved.

This decision is clearly out of line with the intention of the framers. The power of the states were further eroded when the courts interpreted the article 1 section 8 to allow the federal government to force states to take action that it deems necessary to promote the general welfare by withholding money from the states. While more debateable, this too seems out of step with the framers intent on how power should be allocated.

Whether you believe states rights should be preserved or not, I think it should give us all pause that we have allowed such core constitional issues to be settled by the courts ray her than constitutional ammendment. While the framers put into place a system of judicial review, I don’t believe that they meant for the courts to decide whether elements of the constitution can be rendered obsolete. They clearly outline an ammendment process for this.

That republicans are looking at the issue of the division of power int this country is a valid political issue. It is certainly not treasonous or unpatriotic.

Finally, you said, “As far as questioning people’s patriotism? If a person is so hypocritical as to suggest taking arms up against very country they profess to love if they don’t get their way, then I feel that it’s only fair to question their patriotism.”

I disagree with you. Just as I disagree with those that believe it is ok to question the patriotism of those who are unwilling to take up arms to defend it. When you get into the game of questioning patriotism, you make it ok for others to play too. Everyone gets to play by there own rules. Me, I’ll stick with treason as my criteria, the bar may be too high, but see I believe that we all want we think is best for the country, and I think that in and of itself is patriotic. That we disagree on what best is and how to achieve it is part of the great strength of this country.

Posted by: Rob at November 18, 2010 1:47 AM
Comment #313361

Rob-
Well, it’s your failure to believe. I’m hoping that Republicans still have some sense of shame out there, that overwhelms the need to just keep on justifying their behavior. Even you resent the Rush Limbaughs and the Glenn Becks. But you assume the the problem is isolated, contained. It’s not.

How many Republicans believe that Obama is a Socialist, despite everything he’s done to save and help Capitalism? How many Republicans actually believe he’s secretly a Muslim? How many question whether he was even born a US Citizen at all?

Why did Chuck Grassley feel it necessary to propagate the Death Panel lie? Why is Palin, despite resigning as Alaska Governor miday through her first term to become a FOXNews Personality, lecturer and star of a reality show, still a serious contended for the Republican Presidential Nomination?

Why is there any doubt as the renewal of the START Treaty, depriving America of the ability to inspect Russian Nukes for the first time in fifteen years?

In short, what the hell is going on in your party? I’m sure there are plenty of rationalizations, but consider these events and truths in and of themselves, and tell me they don’t paint a disturbing picture.

I get nervous hearing pre-civil war rhetoric from my opponents. I know how the story turns out, when the narrative of “if you don’t agree with me, I’ll take up arms to force the matter” threat ultimately plays it out.

See, once you’ve made such threats, you either get your bluff called, making yourself look weak, or you push harder, perhaps get your way, perhaps escalating the crisis further. The longer this carried on, the less people on one side were willing to tolerate the threats, or concession to them, and the more people on the other side were unwilling to let their threats remain idle.

That’s why I find it to be an absolutely appalling approach to the national debate. Supposed love of country or not, such rhetoric represents the path of destruction, and its one that we’ve walked before, and it’s also one Republicans, if they know their history, should absolutely be opposed to walking again. Your founders fought a war in order to preserve the union, and now you have folks like Governor Rick Perry talking about breaking it up, if things don’t go the way they prefer?

It’s appalling to me, especially because of the contempt it shows for Democracy. Democracy means you have to gut it out when others get what they want, and if you want to undo what they did, you are supposed to peacefully persuade a majority in the right places in order to do it. If you don’t do that, why does the other side have any reason whatsoever to observe the niceties of Democracy? To respect majorities? To respect the peace and tranquility of the nation, when you use threats of taking up arms to back your cause?

You can call it mutual disarmament, the deliberate decision on everybody’s part to participate in democracy in a peaceful manner.

The way this country runs itself is part and parcel of what makes it the nation that it is. We can argue as to whether these people love their country in terms of the literal land that they love, but the real question is whether they love their country in terms of the nation that the constitution they claim to care about creates, the one where they are not written in as the absolutely necessary winners of the elections the documents talk about.

For me to respect their patriotism, they have to learn to live within the constraints of a peaceful, constitutionally run system, to respect the rule of law our founders gave us, and the constitution’s still valid mechanisms for how that law comes about, and who gets to make it.

The Republicans have already proved that they can take back a part of Congress, that they can win by legal methods. They are not so oppressed as to be justified in employing extralegal methods. They may imagine that liberals are planning to take over and make them first against the wall in some revolution, but that scenario, that imaginary future is no excuse for threatening a real breach of the peace now, nor for inciting people to rebel against their government.

Our Democracy survives in part because we continue to hold the consensus opinion that we should stick to it. When we push and push and push people to believe that their political will should triumph even if they have to undo the legal order of this country, even if they have to consider themselves above the law, when we convince people that they should think of themselves and not the constitutionally delegated courts as the sovereign interpretors of the law, then we get into a situation where people will undermine the peace and security of their own country in order to remake it as they see fit.

In other words, an insurrection, a Civil War.

That’s my fear of the political trajectory, especially given the fact that your party leadership is so loathe to compromise, to reach common agreement, to recognize the legitimacy of power and authority beyond themselves.

That is why I’m angry. I love my country, and I hate what they’re doing to it. Beck talks about 9/12, and the feeling we had on that day. I remember that feeling, but I also remember something else: that unity was the product of the common, not Republican or Democrat, the common love of our country, the common anger against a common enemy, who showed no discrimination in who they killed.

I remember that. Then I remember the folks who divided Americans so they could start a War many Americans thought was unnecessary, unwise.

If we want that same feeling again, that feeling of unity and common cause, you aren’t going to see it come out of Beck’s vicious divisiveness. People like you are going to have to remind your fellow Republicans of the real truth: that half the country isn’t out to destroy it. That the liberals are not an existential threat to the country.

Until then, your people are going to strain against the system until something breaks- either them, or the system.

Frankly, I’d prefer neither. I’d prefer some peace and quiet. I’d prefer that government once again become boring.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 18, 2010 8:49 AM
Comment #313379

Stephen,

Boehner says his first prority will be to unfund NPR. How’s that for setting an agenda for the new America?

Posted by: Marysdude at November 18, 2010 4:04 PM
Comment #313380

I’m hoping my moderate Republican friends on the right will join with me in hoping that this man does not get a second term.

Seriously.

But there are Republicans and there is Republican Loy Mauch, elected to represent House District 26 near Hot Springs. A former head of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans post in Hot Springs, Mauch calls the Confederate flag “a symbol of Jesus Christ,” and is a current member of The League of the South, a group which works toward the formation of an independent Southern nation.

Founded in 1994 in Killen, Ala., The League of the South advocates for “the secession and subsequent independence of the southern states from this forced union and the formation of a southern republic,” according to the “Introduction” page on its website. The site also encourages members to “personally secede from the corrupt and corrupting influence of post-Christian culture in America” by home-schooling children and creating “parallel institutions to which people can attach their loyalties.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center calls the group a “neo-Confederate” organization, adding that League rhetoric often bears racist overtones. “The League believes the ‘godly’ nation it wants to form should be run by an ‘Anglo-Centric’ (read: white) elite that would establish a Christian theocratic state and politically dominate blacks and other minorities,” an SPL report said.

It gets worse.

For seven years, Mauch was the commander of James M. Keller Camp 648 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He stepped down as commander last year. In 2004, angered by the city of Hot Springs’ refusal to remove a statue of Abraham Lincoln displayed in the Hot Springs Civic and Convention Center, the Keller Camp hosted a conference in Hot Springs called “Seminar on Abraham Lincoln — Truth vs. Myth,” with a keynote address called “Homage to John Wilkes Booth.”
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 18, 2010 4:13 PM
Comment #313382

Stephen D., in other words, an American version of a neo-Nazi. Unfortunately, Mauch will find a lot of like-minded comrades in the GOP, in principle if not in overt rhetoric.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 18, 2010 4:52 PM
Comment #313383

Marysdude said: “Boehner says his first prority will be to unfund NPR. How’s that for setting an agenda for the new America?”

Yep. That’s the Boehner agenda, to put even more people out of work, and those who critique his corporate donors will be the first to go. Shades of 1930’s Germany.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 18, 2010 4:54 PM
Comment #313384

Stephen D., look to Richard Lugar as one of those sane and rational moderate Republicans still left who took on his own Party critically this week on the START treaty reestablishment. Appears most of his Republican comrades in Congress are wanting to sell out national security for their goal of insuring Obama gets nothing good for the country accomplished.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 18, 2010 4:57 PM
Comment #313395

Based on what’s in the article I can agree that The League of the South goes a little over the top, but the focus of the article was about Loy Mauch and his candidacy and election to a state legislature.
Why is it a concern Stephen Daugherty should address? Do these 7500 people that elected Mauch control Stephen Daugherty’s environment? Is Stephen Daugherty going to observe Mauch’s performance and report to us again when he shows his support for succession from his seat in the state legislature?

I doubt it. I’m sure Stephen Daugherty will report it if it happens. I doubt that it will happen. The selective quotes from the article, as well as the author’s skewing of Mauch’s position demonstrates the bias mud slinging that political hacks use while attempting to make a self-supporting point.

When Stephen Daugherty fails to include quotes such as these, he displays his objection to those points, and a bias against those people supporting them.
Also from the linked webpage:


Contrary to the League website, Mauch said the group doesn’t want the former Confederacy to stray from the Union again. “We don’t think we should secede from the Union,” Mauch said. “We just want constitutional government. Secession has never been unconstitutional.”

“The number one issue in our district was jobs — jobs in the private sector, of course,” Mauch said. “I guess if we want to have jobs, we’ve got to have a business-friendly environment. You do that by cutting government red tape, regulation and cutting taxes.” While Mauch said he isn’t as active in the Tea Party as he once was, he’s very sympathetic to their goals, saying they’ve “got it right” about limited government.

Mauch has used the phrase “Biblical government,” in letters to the editor before, but said he doesn’t mean a theocracy. “It’s just that the government has limitations,” he said. “Christians are commanded to obey the laws of the land as ordained by God. It’s like that… it’s constitutional government, with limitations on government.”

Mauch said he wants to work to serve the people of District 26 and the state of Arkansas. “My job is a service job,” he said. “I’m here to serve them, not the other way around. I’m the voice of my constituents in my district.”


Constitutional government
jobs in the private sector
business-friendly environment
cutting government red-tape, regulation
cutting taxes
limitations on government
serving the people, not the other way around

Where were the Tea Party folks at the beginning of the last decade, telling folks that the tax cuts would undermine the fiscal balance? Where were they when Bush charged the wars on the Credit card? Where were they when the Republican Senate and Republican House pushed the Medicare Drug Benefit without paying for it?

Where were the Democratics, Stephen Daugherty? I’ll tell you.

They were right next to the Republicans, speaking out of both sides of their mouths all the while. Much like majority of your posts.

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 18, 2010 6:03 PM
Comment #313402

Texas’ Perry strikes again; now says we should send US troops into Mexico to fight the drug cartels. Hmmm…invade a sovereign nation because they have weapons of messy destruction. I think we’ve heard that before. I wonder how much more debt that would pile up while other Republicans are condemning President Obama for adding to the stagnant pile already heaped by previous Republican administrations.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 18, 2010 7:15 PM
Comment #313405

Marysdude said: “Boehner says his first prority will be to unfund NPR. How’s that for setting an agenda for the new America?”

Yep. That’s the Boehner agenda, to put even more people out of work, and those who critique his corporate donors will be the first to go. Shades of 1930’s Germany.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 18, 2010

Nothing wrong with a little hyperbole is there Mr. Remer.

“NPR gets no direct money from the federal government for its $161.8 million annual budget. It does receive some dedicated grants from Corporation for Public Broadcasting for projects like covering the country’s economic crisis; in fiscal years 2009 and 2010 combined, those grants totaled just over $5.2 million. NPR also gets occasional grants from from sources financed by the federal government. In all, NPR said those grants accounted for 1 to 2 percent of its income on average.”

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/11/18/move-to-cut-npr-funding-blocked-by-house-democrats/

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 18, 2010 7:30 PM
Comment #313410

Weary Willie said: “
Mauch said he wants to work to serve the people of District 26 and the state of Arkansas. “My job is a service job,” he said. “I’m here to serve them, not the other way around. I’m the voice of my constituents in my district.””

And where is saving America in any of his comments. Why do so many federal politicians place district and state above the welfare and posterity of the nation? Must be because they are political and historical idiots. No district or State in the Union can survive a failure of federal government or dissolution of the Union. They will all be vastly WORSE off. I heard Murkowski make the same reference about her priority of Alaska first and no reference to America. It is telling. Very, very telling, as to how our nation has come to being so degraded against its potential.

Politicians don’t even seem to notice that they take an oath to the United States Constitution upon ascent to federal elected office, not their State Constitution or even their home district constituents. And home district constituents who ask of their representatives that they do the district’s bidding first and serve the nation’s needs last, are either fools, illiterate, or severely undereducated in American history, and thus ignorantly ask their representatives to work against their own interests.

Just imagine what state Floridians would be in if the U.S. Treasury failed and currency lost all its value. The economic effects would drive them back the 17th century quality of life without the skills or training of 17th century Americans to deal with it. They are fools who ask that their State or District come first. Absolute fools.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 18, 2010 7:54 PM
Comment #313412

RF said: ““NPR gets no direct money from the federal government for its $161.8 million annual budget. It does receive some dedicated grants from Corporation for Public Broadcasting for projects like covering the country’s economic crisis; in fiscal years 2009 and 2010 combined, those grants totaled just over $5.2 million. NPR also gets occasional grants from from sources financed by the federal government. In all, NPR said those grants accounted for 1 to 2 percent of its income on average.””

$5.2 million dollars pays a number of salaries, RF. Cut it, and you cut jobs. My statement remains factual. Not hyperbolic.

NPR hosts programs analytical of American politics and Boehner’s personal and party donors fall into those analytical cross-hairs from time to time. My statement remains factual, not hyperbolic.

When I said: “Shades of 1930’s Germany”, you got me. That was hyperbolic. That must be the part you were charging as hyperbolic.

But, if you are saying the amount in question for NPR is so paltry as to be moot, are you not also saying that Boehner is going after windmills in threatening to cut funding for NPR and making a mole hill sound like a mountain in terms of resolving the deficit and debt? Good. I agree.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 18, 2010 8:05 PM
Comment #313420

You said, “Well, it’s your failure to believe.”

I can’t connect this reference back to a previous post; I don’t know what you mean.

Posted by: Rob at November 18, 2010 9:25 PM
Comment #313423
Well, it’s your failure to believe.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 18, 2010 08:49 AM

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 18, 2010 9:46 PM
Comment #313425

Right, he posted that I believe to something that I posted, I’m not connecting the dots.

Posted by: Rob at November 18, 2010 9:53 PM
Comment #313426
Just imagine what state Floridians would be in if the U.S. Treasury failed and currency lost all its value. The economic effects would drive them back the 17th century quality of life without the skills or training of 17th century Americans to deal with it. They are fools who ask that their State or District come first. Absolute fools.
Posted by: David R. Remer at November 18, 2010 07:54 PM

Well, it’s your failure to believe.
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 18, 2010 08:49 AM Posted by: Weary Willie at November 18, 2010 9:59 PM
Comment #313435

What if Florida’s Disney World had the same political autonomy as the Vatican?

Would Florida worry about the U.S. Treasury’s failed currency?

Do you really think that 17th century governments and societies would erupt like a pox across the world’s surface if the Federal Reserve Note had no value?

Maybe we should divide the room into 2 sections and try again.
ha, ha, ha ha ha diabolical ha ha ha!


Posted by: Weary Willie at November 18, 2010 10:26 PM
Comment #313439

Rob-
What I was saying was whether or not you believe it anymore, my overall intentions remain what they once were: to get American’s government back working on things in a practical manner, and to fight back against this tide of nuttiness in today’s politics.

But after that last two years, I’m not perhaps as patient as I once was. That is why I may not always act so calmly, or spare certain leaders and certain movements the rough edge of my tongue.

But really, if you look after my facts, you’ll see that I still try to base my assessment of things on an objective set of information.

Weary Willie-
Divorcing a phrase from proper context does wonders. He was saying that he didn’t believe that I wanted to calm things down, and I said it was his failure to believe that.

In other words, that was my honest intention whether he chose to believe it or not.

Those who want to turn it into me wanting people to join some cult of belief are just trying to be misleading.

As for Mauch?

God, do you think we’re stupid here? With the phrase you put the emphasis on, the context makes it innocuous.

But how do you make a keynote address entitled “an homage to John Wilkes Boothe” innocuous, especially for a member of the party of Abraham Lincoln? How do you justify calling the Confederate battle-flag a symbol of Jesus Christ? How does being a member of a group whose website openly advocates secession?

And did you notice, in your quote, the line “secessation has never been unconstitutional?”

It’s a bloody rebellion against the Federal government.. An insurrection. Have you had a chance lately to examine what some of Congress’s powers are? Let me refresh your memory:

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

And what was the purpose of the group that Mauch belonged to?

Founded in 1994 in Killen, Ala., The League of the South advocates for “the secession and subsequent independence of the southern states from this forced union and the formation of a southern republic,” according to the “Introduction” page on its website.

This isn’t just some guy pining for the antebellum days, this is a guy whose organization wants a second shot at that old Confederacy thing.

Oh, he says all the right things about big government and all that other stuff, but really, man, you’re just spinning here. He’s not the sort of old war horse you want to hitch your wagon to.

As for this NPR thing? Why are we trusting people who don’t even know the exact structure of our government’s finances to come within a dozen yards of the means to cut the budget? Rabid ideology doesn’t replace good economic sense much less practical working knowledge of the way the government works.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 18, 2010 10:40 PM
Comment #313440

Weary Willie-
If you think the collapse of the dollar, which represents most of the wealth of the world, wouldn’t have a dramatic effect on the world economy…

Well then that’s good reason to kick your party out of power as fast as humanly possible. We just had a taste of such a collapse in America’s wealth not to long ago. We’re still suffering the consequences of that, even now.

At the very least, it would likely be as bad as the Great Depression was, before FDR got in.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 18, 2010 10:43 PM
Comment #313443

Stephen Daugherty, please define “nuttiness”.

It’s not bloody.

As for this NPR thing? Why are we trusting people who don’t even know the exact structure of our government’s finances to come within a dozen yards of the means to cut the budget? Rabid ideology doesn’t replace good economic sense much less practical working knowledge of the way the government works.
Posted by Stephen Daugherty at November 18, 2010 10:40 PM


I couldn’t have said it better!

TNX, Stephen Daugherty

Posted by: Weary Willie at November 18, 2010 10:54 PM
Comment #313465

Stephen,

If you wqbtto debate whewther or not republican are good stewards of our government or economy, i will be happy to debate the stengths and weaknsses of the members of the parties and their respective policies,

Howver, when you take stands that suggest that the republicans are against the idea of government in the country, then you have left the realm of objective facts (whether you have some misguided quotes from nutcases on the radical right or not). It is well worth keeping in mind that rush starts his rants with objective facts and quotes and then strings conjecture, condemination, and derision together and ends up with conclusions that have nothing to do with the facts in question.

It is well worth remembering that we are part of a community here at watchblog. We don’t write for the public at large, instead we right for our community. While you may be disappointed with the leadership in Washington, you should remember that you are part of the leadership here. You can choose to use your position here to fan the partisan flames by insulting republicans and treating us as your enemy, or you can use it to try to raise the level of debate to what you hope to see in washington.

If you choose the former path, then i believe that you are every bit as negligent in your leadership here as you believe that the republicans have been in their position in washington the last two years, and just as you feel that you must play watchdog to them, when you are acting the alley cat, I feel like you must be watched here.

I don’t care if you think that the republican party is all screwed up and want to yell about it every day; I’ll agree with you much of the time. Ill disagree with you when I think that you give the democratic party too much of a pass or on specific policy issues. But when you start suggesting that the republican party is fostering seditious acts, then a line has been crossed. It smacks of McCarthyism, and moreover, it drags you into a position that i think you should not be, when you into that level of the mud, you lose all moral high ground. You cant act indignant when republicans on the right accuse those that don’t want to serve in the military of being unpatriotic if you dive down there now.

What I think that you miss most is that there is tremendous advantage of maintaining some moral high ground. This pieces abandons it. You noted above that I don’t like rush or Glenn beck. That’s true, but i don’t like olberman, carville, or mainland either. I prefer to have commentators with class. I much prefer stephanopolis, will, gergan, and russet rest his soul.

I used to lump your works here in with the latter, but as you have become more frustrated, you have strayed and ultimately jumped both feet into the former. I get that your are frustrated, I’ve been there, but how you manage your frustration and make your points is important too. If you are using this site just as a forum to vent, then go ahead, I’ll ignore you in the future like I do most writers here.

But if you want to convince and persuade others to think like you, then you may want to change your habits. You changed my mind on some things before here, but since you started bashing the republican party like rush does the democrats, well shrill usually does not sell, and you havent convinced me of much.

Posted by: Rob at November 19, 2010 3:14 AM
Comment #313466

Please exec use the garbled mess if the first two paragraphs above; typing on a tablet is not all it is cracked up to be. They should have been struck.

Posted by: Rob at November 19, 2010 3:18 AM
Comment #313468

Rob,

A simple ‘spell check’ program will solve most of those problems…the rant on the other hand…well…may not solve that one.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 19, 2010 6:45 AM
Comment #313470

Weary Willie-
Define nuttiness?

We have the biggest deficit and the largest real dollar debt load we ever had. On one hand, you have folks who are threatening to deny a vote raising the debt ceiling, despite the fact that this would be an instant economic meltdown.

On the other hand, in the same party,the party that promises to cut the deficit is all to willing to add what will work out to be eighty billion dollars a year permanently to that deficit.

And they advertise themselves as the party that’s going to restore fiscal sanity to Washington. That’s nuts.

The Party of Lincoln welcoming members that openly advocate or threaten secession from the union if they don’t get what they want from Washington. Mauch is an incredible example of that, even delivering a keynote address that is literally an homage to Lincoln’s assassin. That’s nuts.

Cutting people off of Unemployment benefits with unemployment at 9.6% and five people looking for the same job every person is looking for, and expecting people to just magically find work- that’s nuts. Worse, it’s cruel, too, and bad for the economy.

Thinking that in a time of great crisis, with two wars, Bin Laden still at large, economic conditions the worst they’ve been in three generations, a huge deficit, healthcare costs still too high and rising, that the Senate Minority’s main priority should be defeating the President politically? That’s nuts. He could have said, we ought to deal with this, this and this, and that’s why we should seek a different president, and at least pretend to care about the problems of the country, but instead, it’s taking down Obama that comes first to mind.

What else is nuts? The level of hatred levelled at the average Democrat by so many people in the comments. I mean I feel like taking a shower after some of the comments I read, the vitriol is just that thick. And it isn’t anything we’ve actually done, it’s this conspiratorial BS that the leaders of the Right have been feeding people for decades now, and you can’t get people to realize that they aren’t much different from the people they’re criticizing, or vice versa. That’s nuts.

After the worst oil spill in American history there are people who actually believe that laissez faire regulation is what’s in order, and that an apology is owed to the company that ruined so many people’s lives, for being pressured to create a sure, independent way of compensating people for the harm done. That’s nuts.

And after the worst financial collapse in decades, we’re told much the same thing, that not only should what people did wrong be kept legal, we should unleash their financial creativity even more! That’s nuts.

What’s nuts is despite all the evidence that’s in from a variety of sources, the Republicans still think global warming is a hoax. We got anomalous readings all over the place, climate acting out of whack, we have most scientists saying that Global Warming is a reality, most conservatives world-wide agreeing, but come here to America, and we have an entire major party that thinks it’s all just a facade for socialism. That’s nuts.

The whole damn system is nuts, and expecting somebody like me to respect that system, respect sticking to all that is nuts itself. I’m not going to mince words. America is in crappy shape, and more “Morning in America” blind optimism isn’t going to get us out of this mess. Hell, given the facts, give the reality that we’re facing precisesly the oppposite of Reagan’s economic problem, a deflationary market rather than one with doubled digit inflation, using inflation-busting austerity is going to be a disaster. We don’t have overheated growth in this country by any stretch of the term. We’re printing out money like it’s going out of style, and still inflation hovers at about one percent.

That should be a sign that something’s fundamentally wrong with the idea that our biggest concern right now is preventing inflation. Dude, we have no real inflation. We have an economy that’s struggling to grow despite the fact that businesses don’t have as many customers. We have stubborn unemployment, and the Republican notions here is that we use stimulative measures that not only failed to generate job growth, but did nothing to prevent the lowest job growth in decades during GOOD times. To suggest the continuation of that same policy would help us now is wrong. To insist on it, even if it scuttles tax cuts we might be well advised to preserve for the time being is nuts.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 19, 2010 7:17 AM
Comment #313472

Rob-
Look, I don’t mind if women stay at home the way Rush seems to mind them going to work. I don’t mind if Black people become Republicans, or if Hispanic people oppose illegal immigration.

Just a day or two ago, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association publically wondered whether the Medal of Honor had been feminized, simply because he didn’t see as many citations where it was all about high body counts. Worse, he used the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to make the point about the need for a body count.

Now I know better than most Liberals that this would be a horrifying point to make to most of the devout Christians that I went to college with, and under. That there aren’t public voices in the Republican party there immediately to slam that man’s twisted notion of what real valor is, to reassert normal mainstream values in the place of that man’s extremism is the real shame to me.

I mean, even Rove, no moderate he, gets thwacked for suggesting that Christine O’Donnell would be a terrible candidate to win the general election. Turns out, he was the right the first time. Wouldn’t it be nice of the Right Wing media actually listened to folks making reasonable critiques of the party, instead of folks who are just interested in boosterism, regardless of the problems of the people they elect?

I fear that in the process of trying to rationalize things, Republicans are finding themselves led by people who are more and more extreme than they are, but whose claims and ideas are then given more of the benefit of the doubt than they deserve.

I want Republicans to look, actually look at what they’re being asked to rationalize, and how.

I mean, you should take a look at Weary Willie’s response to my comment on Rauch. I mean, I have the fellow pretty much dead to rights on what he and his folks have advocated for. But what’s Willie’s response?

Well, I left out a few quotes where Rauch denied things, where he basically spieled out the required planks of the platform, and he says that I’m witch-hunting him, that I’m making him a victim of bias.

But logically, if the website of the group says different things than what he as a member claims, there’s good reason to be suspicious of what he says. Note how he kind of doubles back on his constitutional adherence line, saying essentially, “I’m not advocating secession, but if we did seceded, it wouldn’t be unconstitutional!”

That sounds like somebody caught in a lie, and the website quotes back that. He understands his views aren’t popular, yet he doesn’t want to suffer the penalty for that unpopularity, so he drags out the basic talking points about government, and his suppporters drag out claims of bias to paper over facts that are in and of themselves damning.

Don’t you think Republicans deserve better than that? That should be able to vote for mainstream candidates, rather than have to rationalize and rationalize to vote for folks whose views represent a fringe? I’m not saying somebody can’t believe stupid, racist, or unpopular things, or that they should be thrown in jail. But I think a certain level of honesty about what these people, what the Republican party is doing and saying is important.

As for Patriotism? For so long, the way patriotism has been defined towards me and mine has been that you must support the military policy of this country, bad or not, you have to deny any wrongdoing by the country, true or not, that you can’t be disappointed in what your country’s standing for.

But my definition is pretty simple. It says, if you say that you love this nation of ourse, then don’t advocate it’s break-up. If you say you love this country, then love its founding principles of freedom and Democracy, and submit yourself to its rule of law. I say, if you love this country, keeping the country, its reputation, its economy and competitiveness in the world strong is part of it. If you love this country, you’ll want to take pride in it being pushed to be the best it can be, rather than just left to wallow in an inflated sense of self-esteem.

I don’t need to purge this country of Conservatives to do this, the way it seems the modern Republican party seems to think it necessary to purge liberals like me. I just want them to realize how far their party’s gone off the edge of the mainstream, and get out of the closed loop of media manipulation that has people denying the terrible, flat facts about who they’re electing. Republicans need to exit the echo chamber and rejoin the rest of the Country.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 19, 2010 7:59 AM
Comment #313481

Stephen,

A cogent well-reasoned critique; I understand it. I agree with portions; I disagree with other, we can could debate this. However, that is not where you started this thread. Instead, you flame-baited that Republicans were advocating and/ or tolerating for a shooting war within the country.

This is quite different than the critique outlined above.

That said, as I was thinking further about your posts when I went to bed last night, another thought crept in. You have consistently laid into the Republicans over the past two years. In a quick review of your posts, well over 50% have offered critiques and “helpful advice” of and to the Republican party.

When we look at the election results from earlier this month, I wonder if the results are indicative of a similar communication strategy from Democrats. For so long, you have set the Democrats up as a foil to what you see as the evilness of the right. However, in so doing, you allowed the debate to be wholly defined by their actions. You are not making a consistent case as to why the Democrats are the right party to lead the country, you are just trying to win by saying, “we are not like this.”

From my anecdotal viewpoint 90+% of election commercials in the last cycle were negative. The Democrats tried to tie Republicans to Bush; the Republicans tried to tie to the Democrats to Pelosi. When you look at the ultimate outcome, it was clear that the latter strategy worked better. There are lots of reasons why, chief among them the stale economy. But it also worked because the Democrats were the party in power, they should have stood for something larger than “I’m not that guy.” That’s a line that is typically reserved for the opposition party.

Your message here has been much of the same. It would be infinitely more interesting, and I think more productive if Democrats would spend substantially more time talking about what they are for than what they are against. That is an opposition party stance. As much as you fault the Republicans (with good reason) for not acting like they lost the elections in the previous two cycles. I have to wonder when the Democrats are going to start acting like they won them. It’s time to use communication cycles and energy being for something instead of perennially against something.

Finally, in speaking of patriotism, you say, “But my definition is pretty simple.” But you have 7 criteria that you have established for it. That’s not simple. Your definition is set up to divide people into this country into patriots and non-patriots. That different aspects you have set up are to measure how patriotic someone is.

Mine is simple, if you love your country you are a patriot. I firmly believe that we need to move past the point where we are declaring those that don’t believe like us to be enemies of the country. I feel that as strongly about those on the right that do it as I do with you and those on the left. That is real moderation. Empathy for your opponents positions; that you can understand how and why they believe what they do is best for the country is moderation. Moderation seeks to reach out and define a vision for America that the 80% of us that agree on 80% of the issues. Looking to divide and undermine that goal whether it comes from the right or the left is not. Moderation is respecting the beliefs of those with whom you disagree while trying hard to persuade them to your viewpoint.

I would welcome the opportunity to return to moderate debate with you where I can understand your viewpoint and try to persuade you otherwise. I challenge you for your next 5 posts to take the affirmative side of a debate in support of a Democratic position. I challenge you in those 5 posts to define what the Democratic view of the future looks like. I challenge you to try to show why that view of the future speaks not to the 50 - 60% of the population but to the 80% of us that can agree on 80% of topics. I challenge you to do this not by foiling against the Republicans, but rather by convincing us of the righteousness of the Democratic position using facts and logic.

Posted by: Rob at November 19, 2010 10:50 AM
Comment #313486

Rob,

Facts and logic have been useful in the past, but the conservative agenda has become so mendacious, that logic is overshadowed. The ‘fact’ is, conservatives do not want nor do they accept ‘fact’ or ‘logic’. If it is not a lie they can use to further their goals, it is not worth telling. The only way to defeat that is to point it out long and often so that people begin to see it for what it is. Gingrich has come out with a plan to make America a one political party. It would be very difficult to use facts against that. It requires one to point to the inherent evil of it. The inherent evil cannot be emphasized enough without saying bad things about the party that spawns it.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 19, 2010 12:56 PM
Comment #313493

I don’t accept all that you say Mary’s, but putting my disagreements with your statement for the moment, your point is made to the world at large, not to our community here on Watchblog. I thought we were here to have a political discourse not hurl insults at each other. Perhaps I’m in the wrong place.

Posted by: Rob at November 19, 2010 2:01 PM
Comment #313494

Rob-
Maybe I could say that my definition is of what I consider to be functional, proper patriotism. I know you might not like that, but bear with me.

Love that becomes a God becomes a demon, said C.S. Lewis, and I based one of my entries on his examination of the problems of pathological love. My sentiments haven’t much changed.

I reject patriotism that destroys or degrades the object of its love.

A man who claims he’s patriotic, but threatens secession, betrays that principle. A man who uses patriotic appeals to push bad policy or cover for incompetence betrays that principle. A woman who uses the glamor of patriotism to claim that the dissenters to a policy are un-american betrays that principle.

I reject patriotism that is used to encourage people to defy and defile the rule of law, to claim their own as a law to themselves. Dedication to this country, in my view, must adhere to the constitutional rule of law and the constraints thereof to have real integrity. And part of that is recognizing that the constitution itself is interpreted by the courts, and that their decisions are binding. None of this amateur jurisprudence crap. It’s one thing to have a strong opinion on what’s constitutional, and to disagree with the courts. However, adopting the attitude that the courts lack for legitimacy when they don’t agree with you is a dangerous step to take.

Part of the contract, I believe, that underlies a Democracy is this: when you have the majority, I will honor the legitimacy of your decisions; in return, you will honor the legitimacy of mine.

That’s what’s maddened me so bitterly about what the Republicans did these last two years. I feel it’s a betrayal of the spirit of Democracy. It’s one thing to occasionally obstruct, to take a few stands to prevent the worst from coming to pass, or to force the other side to bargain some concessions. But the Republicans nakedly aimed their stonewalling at stopping the agenda of the folks who won the election in 2006 and 2008, repudiating the voter’s verdict. We can debate what voters thought in 2010, but the Republicans got much traction out of the continued bad jobs outlook, which arguably could have been dealt with by a Democratic congress less shackled by the Republican’s obstruction.

As for your challenge? I accept.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 19, 2010 2:29 PM
Comment #313514

Rob,

I presented an olive branch the day after Stewart’s rally on the mall. I felt the rally had a good point about bringing sanity into the political sphere. I got romped and stomped. Civil discourse may be a thing of the past, even here on WB. It is a sad state of affairs, but does seem to be the way of it.

Stephen has been about as patient as anyone could ever be. You are right that his presentations have changed this last few months, but look back at all he’s actually put up with before you pass judgment too harshly. It ain’t easy being the only cogent one in the crowd, while the hyenas yap and yowl at your heels.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 19, 2010 4:10 PM
Comment #313563

Stephen,

I look forward to the articles.

As for your definition of functional patriotism, my problem with it is that it is relative. Your definition of what destroys our country varies from what Rush’s is and perhaps even mine. That makes the definition inherently political and puts us right back into making it otherizing our opponents, viewing them as enemies of the state as opposed to fellow citizens who disagree. Right back into the realm of radicalism not moderation.

Posted by: Rob at November 20, 2010 4:57 AM
Comment #313564

Mary’s,

In case it was not clear from previous posts, i have followed Stephen most closely of all the authors here. I fully realize his value here, for reasons that you probably don’t. I admire his writing. When he writes a good article, i spend lots of time thinking about and researching the topic; especially when I disagree with him.

I judged the message in this post on two levels: for the message itself which i disagreed with vehemently, but also for what is says about our star. Stephen disagrees with me, I can accept that, but I hope that at least some of what I said here hit a mark somewhere.

Finally, you may have been romped and stomped when you offered the olive branch, but if you felt it was the right thing do, i encourage you to consider that it is entirely possible to fight back against that while maintaining a civil posture and a level head. That is the beauty or words.

Posted by: Rob at November 20, 2010 5:19 AM
Comment #313617

Rob-
It does indeed have that weakness. I would encourage people to step down a notch from what some theory or ideology would consider functional, and simply look at the way things run in the real world. One reason I stick to what I do is that I fear that if I base my opinions too much on politics and ideology, then I can end up spiralling off into na-na-land in what I advocated.

That’s the danger, really. Politics can make itself the master when it should be the servant, and I think that’s key for folks understanding where my political perspective comes from.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 20, 2010 2:48 PM
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