Democrats & Liberals Archives

Why is this still a controversy?

Twenty-five percent of Americans, about half of Republicans believe something, which, by the legal standards of Hawaii, which by the testament of this document, now released by the President, and therefore the United States of America is verifiably false. Why?

We got to ask ourselves a question here: does the truth matter to those pushing the narrative? We've seen the release of both the long and the short forms, the original certificate of live birth, and the legally binding certification that today's Hawaiians can go to their state government to get as proof of their citizenship, proof that would satisfy any court in the country, any Federal Authority.

No, the truth does not matter to the Birthers. This is about denying legitimacy and spreading fear and hatred to political ends. This is about encouraging a dangerous level of disregard for fact that contradict predetermined narratives.

Why all the effort? For some it's about imagining themselves the only right thinkers, the only true Americans, the only legitimate heirs to power in America, imagining that any other rival to that power is simply out to destroy all that is good and true. It's an arrogant, self-centered narrative that robs this country of its ability to work out reasonable compromises, and for us to focus on the actual nuts and bolts of our policies, and not ask that inane question, "It works in practice, but does it work in theory?"

The President has proved to the satisfaction of the law, and to most reasonable people that he has won the Presidency under fair and legal circumstances. Having done so, leading a campaign that primarily focused on uniting Americans to confront the grave challenges of a broken economy with high unemployment, addicted to resources that can only get rarer over time, the withering response from the right has been one of paranoia, accusations of hostile intentions towards his own country, bigoted allegations about his religious life, and a continual rain of red-baiting rhetoric meant to do one thing, and one thing alone: prevent any real discussion about what capitalism is, and should be in light of one of the greatest failures in our nation's history of that system.

This is about people who have run this country into the ground, yet still do not want to have reasonable discussion about why our systems failed us.

For my seven years at Watchblog, my primary mission has been on of forcing a reconciliation between the discussion of the facts, and the discussion of our policy here and abroad.

But how can any of us do that if our discussion is based on nothing so much as a flaunting of political positions barely thought out and barely researched, if all we are is mouthpieces by proxy for a party or a political cause. Even if we tend to agree with those people, we need the agreement to be founded on a respect for, and an awareness of the facts and their implications.

We can win a million debates, and elevate our parties to popularity, but if all we've succeeded in doing is glorifying hollow lies and empty bluster, than we have only given our selves more room to accelerate on our political fall from grace. Truth must be the bedrock of our politics, and must have precedence over it, because politics that defies truth corrupts power, makes it useless to us.

The truth can be a selective force, carving away from our political philosophy and behavior that which is unworthy of us, and unhelpful to us, and our popularity. Some, having gotten carried away by media successes over the last few decades, have decided that i's more important to try and rewrite reality, rather than go through the trouble, the risk, and the problematic politics associated with getting things right..

But in my view, getting things right, and communicating all that well, is where the real synergy lies, and where it can transcend the mundane grind of lies and vain dreams.

It's time to let the Birth Certificate matter go. It's time to realize that all that immature political theatre can and should be left behind. We need, and should expect better from those who want to lead us.

The question is, is the GOP wiling or able to give it up?

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at April 25, 2011 11:34 PM
Comments
Comment #322384

In an article I googled yesterday I read that supporters of Hillary Clinton started this whole mess. Now IMO Obama should have just produced his certificate 3 years ago and put the matter to rest then. But alas there are still idiots out there who don’t want to accept his certificate as being true.

Posted by: KAP at April 28, 2011 8:23 AM
Comment #322387

Yes - it did start with Democrats in the Democratic primary.

The problem with any news story is that most people don’t pay close attention and some are stupid. Consider the pin heads who thought Bush plotted 9/11 to invade Iraq. Those people, called truthers BTW, still hold to that despite the evidence.

Obama played this game until it stopped being useful for him. He could have produced the evidence, but wanted to get the nut cases to attack so as to make himself look better. It was only when Donald Trump (who I think is a clown, BTW, but has PR power) forced him that Obama put out the evidence.

The GOP gave it up a long time ago. Just as legitimate Democrats never believed that Cheney plotted the Iraq. But the crazies will keep it up.

Stephen

You have no particular right to be outraged by this. Weren’t you among those who said that President Bush manufactured evidence to get into Iraq? Did you denounced the “truthers” who not only are as stupid as the “birthers” but are actually traitors to their country not just a political leader?

Posted by: C&J at April 28, 2011 9:28 AM
Comment #322389

Invariably the conservatives must deflect from the issue at hand in order to cover for their own. Truthers, truthers they shout, well maybe not shout but they do use it as if it is some sort of justification for the birther crowd. Of course it is not. The GOP never gave it up, they pursued it to this day. The leading candidate, at this point,for the GOP presidential run is the big birther.

Trump, the birthers, Germany 1930’s? Or just another step in moving the Country from a Democracy to an Idiocracy? Because of the conspiracy theorist I won’t link to the movie Idiocracy because the president in the movie was a black guy, I just don’t want to get the Tea Party types going on this…..sorry can’t resist.

http://www.amazon.com/Idiocracy/dp/B000LWBSDU


http://www.pollster.com/blogs/ppp_national_birthertruther_po.php?nr=1

http://blogs.forbes.com/digitalrules/2010/02/19/tea-party-truthers-are-neo-john-birchers/

Posted by: j2t2 at April 28, 2011 10:14 AM
Comment #322391

KAP-
He did. The legally binding short form. Why should he be blamed if he satisfied the legal standard?

The continued controversy is purely the responsibility of those on the right who cannot take legally binding proof as satisfactory, who won’t accept yes for an answer.

C&J-
Obama’s answered the slander, and what’s the response from so many on the right? To question the veracity of the news media, to allege that what he showed was a fake.

The responsibility for this false controversy lies strictly with those who cannot accept a reasonable standard of evidence, who let the accusation come first, and then the proof second, if it ever comes.

Which it will never come, here in this case.

You should be ashamed of yourselves. I mean it! To indulge in such endless paranoia and counterfactual speculation just shows how far from the center the Republicans have drifted.

The GOP gave it up a long time ago.
Did they now?

Did they really abandon that issue?

How many Republicans said “I take the President at his word.” rather than saying “The State of Hawaii certifies that he was born an American, and that should be good enough for any rational American.”

It takes a lot of gall to blame the victim of a scurrilous attack for being attacked. Obama was ALWAYS in the right, and it wasn’t his job to prove he was born here. The Birthers should have had to prove their point before it ever became mainstream Republican belief.

You Republicans should have been more critical in your examination of this claim. Don’t blame us for your intellectual wild goose chases. We didn’t put you up to this bull****, we reviled your party for continuing to insist on it, against all evidence.

On the subject of truthers, I have actually been a vehement critic of them at any and all times. Reasonable authorities and reasonable science explains why the buildings fell, and discounts such absurdities as these skyscrapers, hundreds of feet tall, being rigged for controlled demolition without anybody’s notice.

The truth of the matter is, I’m a strident critic of conspiracy theories. Their lack of verifiability distorts the public discourse, and undermines policy when that sort of thinking becomes applied to it.

I fought back against the claim that Trig was Bristol Palin’s baby, too! Did you know that? Why did I do it? Because again, I deeply dislike that kind of discourse.

On the subject of Iraq, my accusations were more along the lines of him being reckless, and interfering too much in the process to get the results he wanted. They didn’t apply proper standards to evidence, they just cardstacked a case that would prove what they already believe was right, rather than letting the evidence naturally, organically lead them to whatever conclusion was appropriate Other liberals would go further, but I think it’s bad enough. I don’t need to claim that this was all about blood for oil, or anything like that. I merely have to point out that they failed at their basic duty to verify whether or not there was a genuine threat to be faced.

There is enough rational grounds, in my view, to criticize the Bush Administration over, and I have, and will take those grounds when I do. I don’t need or want to make baseless accusations about the former President. Substance is sufficient, and always was.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 28, 2011 10:26 AM
Comment #322392

Idiots on the left started the mess and idiots on the right kept it up. He finally produced the long form now it’s OVER. But alas idiots on both side will keep up the fight.

Posted by: KAP at April 28, 2011 10:31 AM
Comment #322393

KAP, the question was answered years ago for most people. This birth certificate will not convince birthers of anything. They are already claiming it to be a fake.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 28, 2011 11:03 AM
Comment #322394

KAP-
There were a lot of false rumors thrown around during the Democratic Primary. Then all that got dropped when Obama won the nomination.

The Republicans on the other hand, have maintained this BS for the better part of three years since that primary.

It has also, by something less than coincidence, been almost three years since Obama released the legally binding short form certificate, so the Right Wing has been carrying on this BS in the face of legally definitive proof just about the whole time!

Somebody’s going to have to tell me why it’s our fault that the Republicans have carried on this BS for three years, and why in God’s name it’s some sort of political triumph to force somebody to whack your insane conspiracy theory with definitive proof of its falsehood.

Such thinking rewards the unscrupulous for vandalizing the public discourse with their paranoid insistence on discredited canards. It rewards those who want to force-feed falsehoods to a nation, simply to provoke hostility towards their opponents.

If we want the revilers and the slanderers, the merchants of lies and sleaze to win the argument in our national forum, withholding scorn from those people is the way to do it.

There should be no equivalence between what the Republicans and Democrats did. I scorned the Democrats who, in the heat of that campaign, did that kind of rumormongering and conspiracy theory, and I continued my scorn ever onwards. Most Democrats can claim the same.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 28, 2011 11:06 AM
Comment #322395

j2t2

Truthers and birthers and both stupid. The birthers got a lot more attention than they deserved because liberals and MSM liked to point to them. In the media, mere attention draws more attention.

I wrote on several occasions that that birther idea was dumb. Obama would be a U.S. citizen even if born elsewhere because of his mother. It was never a serious issue.

But look where it is talked about, not on the right side, but on the left.

Stephen

During the campaign there were questions about McCain’s birth in the U.S. His campaign put out all the information and it was over. Obama played his own “birther” issue and it worked for him.

Glad you attacked the “truthers”. I have said and will repeat that the birther thing is just plain stupid.

And you really should stop this “you should be ashamed of yourselves” I rejected the birther stuff from the beginning. How would you like it if I wrote, “you should be ashamed of yourselves for the truthers”

It is a form of bigotry to lump people together as you do.

Posted by: C&J at April 28, 2011 11:18 AM
Comment #322398

Stephen & j2t2, Refer to comment 322392 last sentence.

Posted by: KAP at April 28, 2011 11:52 AM
Comment #322399

But look where it is talked about, not on the right side, but on the left.

Hmmm. Didn’t Trump, who may or may not throw his hat in the GOP ring, bring this up?

Posted by: Spinny Liberal at April 28, 2011 11:55 AM
Comment #322403

C&J-
Your party refused for the better part of three years to force its members to accept the American birth and citizenship of the current President. Guilt by association is not what I’m talking about here, but rather guilt by both commission and omission, as major Republican figures took actions ranging from outright claims of foreign birth, to unfounded claims that he might have faked the documents in question, to expressed doubts and reservations about a matter that was never in legal doubt, to weak-as-water responses to a matter where the honest response would be unequivocal support for the fact he was born here.

And few in the Republicans Party had the guts to stand up and say “You’re wrong, and this is beneath us.”

Instead, it was rationalized, and even now you try to blame us for the insistence of many in your party (in fact, just around a majority) that Obama wasn’t born in the US. Sorry, fellow. Your people kept that alive. Democrats wanted that settled long ago. We felt it was insult to our President, not to mention an attack on his legitimacy.

Your party members are responsible for pushing this falsehood, or failing to oppose its promotion, when you had plenty of chances to.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 28, 2011 12:53 PM
Comment #322406

45% of Republicans believing that President Obama is a triumph of propaganda, innuendo, and cynicism. In light of the numbers, it doesn’t quite rise to the standard of “lumping people together”. The right owns this; started it, is now PERPETUATING it!!!

I’ve already received a slew of emails: The birth certificate is “layered”!! It can’t *possibly* be real!!!!! Obama isn’t
“natural born”, isn’t qualified!!!!! It was never about the birth certificate, it was about that!!!!!!!!!!! The hospital named on the B.C. didn’t exist when the Pres. was born!!!!!!!!!!!! And on and on….ad freaking nauseum. There’s a collective pathology here unlike anything I have ever seen in my 52 years on this planet. I can’t for the life of me understand why it isn’t laid to rest………….

Posted by: steve miller at April 28, 2011 1:00 PM
Comment #322407

S.D., It’s over Stephen, he showed it. Why keep bringing it up? Your party members are responsible for starting this mess and yes, republicans are responsible for expanding on it. Now it’s time to move on, we have jobs, economy, and other problems to fix.

Posted by: KAP at April 28, 2011 1:04 PM
Comment #322410

I can’t for the life of me understand why it isn’t laid to rest…………

He hasn’t woken up white yet. That’s why.

Posted by: Spinny Liberal at April 28, 2011 1:16 PM
Comment #322411

Tell me please who on Watchblog is a “birther” and please refer to some posts that reference it. I think your criticism is misplaced.

While you are digging around the archives, please point out the “truthers on Watchblog also.

Posted by: tdobson at April 28, 2011 1:18 PM
Comment #322412

KAP-
Why keep bringing this up?

I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’ve actually mentioned the Birther issue in any of my last several entries. I HAVE been paying attention to issues like the economy, the budget, and the debt limit.

Important issues.

The things that Steve Miller describes above show that the folks on the right are not so undistracted.

These further attempts to defibrillate life back into the birther issues demonstrates who is truly is failing to let this go.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 28, 2011 1:23 PM
Comment #322413

tdobson-
I never singled anybody out as one or the other. The topic of this post is generalized, regarding the forum of American discourse as a whole.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 28, 2011 1:30 PM
Comment #322414

Stephen, I never mentioned the birther issue either. You, by this post IMO aren’t ready to let the issue go either. I’ve found that the less you pay attention to the idiots of the world the faster they go away. He showed it, it’s over. So go on to the more important issues.

Posted by: KAP at April 28, 2011 1:32 PM
Comment #322415

Stephen,
You “generalized” every republican on Watchblog with your comment

“You should be ashamed of yourselves. I mean it! To indulge in such endless paranoia and counterfactual speculation just shows how far from the center the Republicans have drifted”

Posted by: tdobson at April 28, 2011 2:09 PM
Comment #322416

KAP-
Really. This takes the cake. I can’t even discuss the issue, or express my dismay at their intransigence, without being accused of encouraging it?

How about letting these people be responsible for their own actions, and leaving me out of it. I pointed out the subjects of my previous essays to show that this wasn’t some long term fixation.

tdobson-
Wrong again. I was speaking to all Republicans, not merely the ones on the site. What’s the game here? Playing defense once again?

Why not just admit your party has a problem, and that it needs to deal with this problem? The Republican Party’s long term fortunes have not improved on account of its refusal to deal with its failures.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 28, 2011 2:29 PM
Comment #322417

S.D., WHATEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: KAP at April 28, 2011 2:33 PM
Comment #322419

tdobson, according to the recent polls almost one out of two righties on this site may be birthers. Why not ask them to fess up.

“But look where it is talked about, not on the right side, but on the left.”

C&J, since when? Trump and the tea party as well as many repubs in Congress kept this going for as long as it has. Bachmann, Palin and the JBS contingent of the repub/tea party have kept it going, not the Dems not Obama.

Can anyone name another president who was asked by the opposition for his birth certificate to prove he was a citizen after he was elected to office? R

Can anyone name another president who had books written by the opposition claiming he wasn’t a citizen after he was elected to office? A

Can anybody name another president who had almost half of the opposition party believe he may have been born outside the Country after he was elected? C

Can anybody name another president who had a possible opposition party candidate demand to see his birth certificate, ran on the issue and take credit for it? I

Can anybody name another president who had the Speaker of the House publicly question his citizenship after he was elected to office? S

Can anybody name another president who had his citizenship questioned by the Arizona legislature majority party to the point they put a birther bill on the Governor’s desk, after he was elected? M


Posted by: j2t2 at April 28, 2011 3:02 PM
Comment #322426
Can anyone name another president who was asked by the opposition for his birth certificate to prove he was a citizen after he was elected to office? R

Can anyone name another president who had books written by the opposition claiming he wasn’t a citizen after he was elected to office? A

Can anybody name another president who had almost half of the opposition party believe he may have been born outside the Country after he was elected? C

Chester A. Arthur?

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 28, 2011 4:23 PM
Comment #322427

Stephen,
Since all republicans don’t read Watchblog, you were speaking to the ones who do read it. Since I don’t identify myself as a republican, nor am I a “birther”, I’m not being defensive. Merely keeping you honest.

Posted by: tdobson at April 28, 2011 4:25 PM
Comment #322428

J2T2,

“tdobson, according to the recent polls almost one out of two righties on this site may be birthers. Why not ask them to fess up.”

What polls are you talking about? I’m not aware of any poll of “righties” on Watchblog. You say according to the recent polls, they MAY be birthers. That’s kind of weak.

Posted by: tdobson at April 28, 2011 4:31 PM
Comment #322429

I’m a conservative and I’m not a “birther”, I was never polled on WB either…

Posted by: 1776 at April 28, 2011 4:48 PM
Comment #322430

tdobson-
You have better things to do than tell an author who his intended audience was. I was being honest, you just don’t take my word for it.

Why do you think I would lie? Why are you disputing my stated intentions? I have always used Watchblog as a platform for generalized communication on political subjects to a general audience.

You’re not keeping me honest, you’re failing to understand my post for what it was, and who it was for.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 28, 2011 4:53 PM
Comment #322431

SD writes; “Your party refused for the better part of three years to force its members to accept the American birth and citizenship of the current President…”

That’s an odd comment. The party should “force” its members… Why is that? What “force” would you suggest? I do understand that in some circles the party is everything and all knowing and all powerful. However, that’s not the Republican Party.

For three years the president of the United States has allowed this controversy to continue as he apparently didn’t care or didn’t know how it could harm the nation. He could have cleared this up with a simple telephone call requesting release of the document.

However, instead, he let it fester and grow. Dear Leader failed once again to act responsibly or presidential. But then, why would he have done otherwise? His nature is one of controversy and contention, apparently thriving on both.

I believe the reason that obama waited this long to do something so simple was because of arrogance and pride. A real man, a real president, a real leader would have ended the controversy immediately.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 28, 2011 4:56 PM
Comment #322433
He could have cleared this up with a simple telephone call requesting release of the document.

No he couldn’t. Ultimately, the HI Dept of Health had to break the law in order to provide Obama with the long form certificate. Obama’s critics should have been placated when he released the short form certificate three years ago. The short from is enough documentation to apply for a passport, register to vote or do anything else. It should have been sufficient evidence to qualify to be POTUS.

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 28, 2011 5:02 PM
Comment #322434

Obama’s critics should have been placated when he released the short form certificate three years ago.

Thank you. Even if he released it back then, the same thing would have happened. Nothing will placate them.

Posted by: Spinny Liberal at April 28, 2011 5:21 PM
Comment #322436

WR said:

“No he couldn’t. Ultimately, the HI Dept of Health had to break the law in order to provide Obama with the long form certificate.”

So Warped, could he have asked them to break the law 3 years ago, or 2 years ago? Are you telling us that a democrat government in the democrat state of Hawaii would not have answered the request of a democrat president? That is BS.

Furthermore, since when a Chicago politician worried about breaking the law? It is less about whether he sent out a long form or a short form; it is about Trump, who does not care what people think of him and hammered Obama on the issue. It was fine, when it was a fringe group questioning his birth and he could hammer the TP or other Republican groups (whether or not they believe he was born in America)for being idiots; but when Trump started hammering him on the MSM news shows, it was more than he could handle. His arrogance was overruled by reality, and the reality was that there were Americans listening to Trump. It was not necessary for Americans to believe what Trump was saying about his citizenship; the question by Americans was “what is he afraid of and why won’t he release the certificate”?

Posted by: Conservativethinker at April 28, 2011 5:49 PM
Comment #322438

but when Trump started hammering him on the MSM news shows, it was more than he could handle.

I think it was more of “I’m sick and tired of this crap.” Especially when it had died down for a while. The Donald ressurected it, and since he’s a famous famewhore, it got a lot more press than it should have. I don’t think The Donald is even a birther. Just someone who wants people to watch his lame ass show.

It will never end because they will never be placated.

Posted by: Spinny Liberal at April 28, 2011 5:58 PM
Comment #322440

Royal Flush-
Well, you can certainly have your leaders, both politicians and pundits state that the position will be laid to rest. You can have the conservative news sites and editorial boards say that this is no longer a news story, absent new evidence.

You can have the RNC and all the caucuses make it clear that they’re not going to support any such charge.

For three years, the President has had the legally binding document that proves his citizenship available to everybody. For three years, the GOP has allowed this provably false defamation to continue.

He couldn’t allow or disallow anything! No, the Republicans looking for enthusiasm among members of their base have allowed them to profane the national discourse with an outright, easily disprovable lie, contradicting the only clear, legally binding proof any person born in Hawaii can normally provide, treating it like some insane conspiracy to hide the truth that they didn’t get this particular document.

And when they do get it?

Even that isn’t enough for some.

Geller argued that before she makes a hasty judgment about its legitimacy, this certificate needs a digital forensic examination analysis.

//Slaps forehead.

Bolling commented on how strange it was that the family of the doctor in Hawaii who delivered Obama were clueless about Obama’s birth and he wondered, “if you gave birth to the President of the United States, don’t you think your family would know about it?”

Yes, I imagine they would learn about it fifty-some-odd years later, say when he became famous enough to be worth mention

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of epic fail.

Some questioned the authenticity of the long-form birth certificate: “After more than two years of concealment and obfuscation, this document must be submitted for forensics testing to determine its authenticity,” said supporters of an Army doctor in prison for refusing to deploy due to his concerns about Obama’s eligibility. Orly Taitz — who fell for fake Kenyan birth certificates on eBay — told TPM she still has her suspicions about the document provided by the state of Hawaii.
It’s never been about the birth certificate, others like Phillip Berg claimed — arguing that Obama renounced his American citizenship when he lived in Indonesia.

The conservative conspiracy website WorldNetDaily quickly argued that the President’s place of birth wasn’t the issue — the issue is where the President’s father was born.

Citing the book “The Manchurian President: Barack Obama’s Ties to Communists, Socialists and Other Anti-American Extremists,” WND argued that “according to correspondence from the original framers of the Constitution as well as multiple Supreme Court rulings and the legal writings that helped establish the principles of the Constitution, Obama is not eligible to serve as president since his father was not a U.S. citizen.”

In an email to TPM, WND founder Joseph Farah said that a “review of our work will show ‘natural born citizenship’ has always been the key issue.”

Yeah, except the whole reason to dispute the birth certificate is that if he was born here, even if both his parents were Kenyan, he’d be an American Citizen. As it was, his mother was of course American (although I would not put it past these people to invent some reason to believe she wasn’t), so he was a natural born citizen.

If your first instinct to your own error is to chase your failure around with more rationalizations, or blame the person your people just spent three years falsely accusing of being Kenyan, then you’re not really keeping yourself honest, are you, or letting yourself be held accountable.

And that’s the big thing for me. For years, the Republicans have been sliding deeper and deeper into this state of denial about what their policies are doing, even as they seek more power. If their relationship with the truth is this casual, then inevitably, they will apply such a casual sensibility, such a tendency to avoid responsibility and accountability towards their own policies.

I’m saying here “Stop, just stop it. Take responsibility. Take stock of the fact that your people are this far gone, and then take steps to restore credibility to your party, and truthfulness to its discourse.”

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 28, 2011 6:00 PM
Comment #322441

Last time I checked, Linda Lingle was a Republican. She wasn’t willing to treat Obama differently than anyone else born in Hawaii.

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 28, 2011 6:02 PM
Comment #322444

but when Trump started hammering him on the MSM news shows, it was more than he could handle.

I think it was more of “I’m sick and tired of this crap.” Especially when it had died down for a while. The Donald ressurected it, and since he’s a famous famewhore, it got a lot more press than it should have. I don’t think The Donald is even a birther. Just someone who wants people to watch his lame ass show.

It will never end because they will never be placated.

Posted by: Spinny Liberal at April 28, 2011 05:58 PM


So, you agree with me that it was the Donald who brought it to a head? I’m assuming this is what you are saying.

Posted by: Conservativethinker at April 28, 2011 6:19 PM
Comment #322445

I guess the talking point of the day is “Obama releases his birth certificate”, and why the GOP is at fault for making him do it.

Ho Humm; what will be the liberal talkin point of the day next week? Anybodies guess…

Posted by: 1776 at April 28, 2011 6:23 PM
Comment #322446
what will be the liberal talkin point of the day next week?

I’m keeping an eye on what’s going on with Assad, Syria’s ruler. This going to be especially important given Syria’s outstanding dispute with Israel over the Golan Heights.

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 28, 2011 6:27 PM
Comment #322447

So, you agree with me that it was the Donald who brought it to a head?

Yup. Easier to ignore a wanna be famous famewhore than an already famous famewhore.

The sad thing is before this jackass brought it up again, it was finally dying down.

Posted by: Spinny Liberal at April 28, 2011 6:29 PM
Comment #322449

conservativethinker-
I suppose Obama thought that legal proof of birth and citizenship would have been enough. It’s not enough for some, obviously, but I don’t think America should have to follow the paranoid and hostile this far down the rabbit-hole without some kind of evidence to justify the trip.

I think the President’s notion was “Let’s stomp this cockroach dead, and let American’s see how desperately insane these people are, as they try to breathe life into it again.”

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 28, 2011 6:32 PM
Comment #322451

I think the President’s notion was “Let’s stomp this cockroach dead, and let American’s see how desperately insane these people are, as they try to breathe life into it again.”

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 28, 2011

You’re wrong of course. A real man, a real president, a real leader would have simply produced the document. Pride and arrogance delayed the inevitable. Now, obama is shown to be the inept and clueless person we all have known from the beginning.

And, this debacle has not only proven that obama can’t lead or follow, he has surrounded himself with people who are more inept than he is. It takes a real bunch of political hacks to give such worthless advice to the president.

It will take a miracle for obama to win a second time around when folks now know what a clueless person he really is.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 28, 2011 6:50 PM
Comment #322452

I watched as Obama came before the microphone and interupted the Trump news conference to become the “Adult” in the room and bring America back to the real issues. Well, here are the real issues the the NYT hid on the back pages:


Brutal NYT/CBS Poll for Obama
Comments (0) Share Print By: Conn Carroll 04/22/11 9:43 AM
Senior Editorial Writer Follow Him @conncarroll
.The New York Times is burrying the lead on their latest poll. The numbers are just brutal for the White House:

•70% of Americans feel things in this country are seriously off on the wrong track. That is the highest number since the 79% registered in 1/11/09 when President Bush was still in office.
•80% rate the national economy as bad (44% fairly/36% very). Only 19% rate it as good (2% very/17% fairly).
•39% think the economy is getting worse, only 23% say it is getting better. Last month those numbers were even at 26. In February they were flipped at 32% better, 22% worse.
•57% disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy. That is the highest disapproval measured by the CBS/NYT poll. His 38% approval is matched only once by a pre-Democractic election wipe out October poll.
•59% disapprove of Obama’s handling of the federal budget. Also the highest CBS/NYT has ever measured that number.
•Obama’s Libya approval numbers have completely flipped from 50/29 approve in March to 45/39 disapprove today.
•46% disapprove of the way Obama is handling foreign policy. That is the highest number ever for Obama in a CBS/NYT poll. His 39% approval on FP is also his lowest score ever.
•55% tell NYT/CBS they would rather have a smaller government providing fewer services. Only 33% want a bigger government with more services.
•When asked “Do you think Barack Obama has the same priorities for the country as you have, or doesn’t he?” 53% said no and 43% said yes. When Obama was inaugurated those numbers were 65% and 28% no.


Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/04/brutal-nytcbs-poll-obama?utm_source=feedburner+BeltwayConfidential&utm_medium=feed+Beltway+Confidential&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BeltwayConfidential+%28Beltway+Confidential%29feed&utm_content=feed&utm_term=feed#ixzz1KrTpxKZw

Posted by: Conservativethinker at April 28, 2011 6:59 PM
Comment #322453

Polls…Oh wait a minute… let me answer for SD:

1. The polls are skewed by right wing news outlets.
2. The questions were skewed.
3. The people questioned were lied to by right wing nuts.


Obama is in real trouble and he knows it: this is why he came out with a birth certificate, and for no other reason. It was to his advantage to make fun of a group of Americans who questioned his birth.

Posted by: Conservativetinker at April 28, 2011 7:09 PM
Comment #322454

Thanks for that post Conservativethinker. Americans have gotten to know this fraud parading around as a pseudo-president. I say fraud because much of what he believes is in direct opposition to our founders notions and documents. He is a socialist without the thugs necessary for him to become a dictator.

His pride and arrogance are unmatched by any previous president I can think of. Perhaps, when he loses office in 2012, he can retire to his home in Chicago, write books, and pal around with Jimmy Carter.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 28, 2011 7:13 PM
Comment #322455

“A real man, a real president, a real leader would have simply produced the document. Pride and arrogance delayed the inevitable.”

Why? Because of some deranged theory, unsupported by a scintilla of evidence, that he was not born in the United States and not eligible for the presidency. Because the State of Hawaii’s official certification is not to be trusted? Because corroborating evidence is not to be trusted?

If Obama displayed any pride and arrogance by not requesting until now, an exception to release the “long form”, it would be the pride of an American citizen elected to the highest office of the land who should be able to trust that his proof of citizenship submitted under the laws of this land would be sufficient to prove his credentials to his office.

If there was any arrogance in this episode, it was displayed by Donald Trump and other birthers. It is clear that he and the others had absolutely no basis for their “concern.” Yet, he repeatedly implied that he had some special knowledge that would support the allegation. Trump’s run is over. The arrogance of thinking that he could milk a phony issue to the presidency. I suspect that Trump expected Obama to not request a release of the document and that he could ride it through the Republican primaries.

If anything, Obama displayed some maturity. He could have allowed the Republican party make complete fools of themselves through the election cycle and then hit them with the “long form.” But, he didn’t. He decided that this foolishness had gone too far. There are actual issues to discuss and debate.

Posted by: Rich at April 28, 2011 8:00 PM
Comment #322456

He decided that this HIS foolishness had gone too far.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 28, 2011 8:03 PM
Comment #322457

Stephen

Let me explain how it is with me and the Republicans. I don’t think politics should play such a big role in our lives. I think it might be better if average Americans were only vaguely aware of politicians. That would mean that things were okay and didn’t require attention. I live in the County of Fairfax. I am not sure who is in charge of the place politically. They do a decent job, so I am not concerned. Over on the other side of the river is Washington DC. Everybody knows the names of the local politicians there because they are actively doing stuff, usually making trouble. I prefer the quiet.

Republicans and Democrats are both political parties. That means that they, by definition, cannot give me what I want – not to be bothered by politicians. I am unsatisfied with both groups, but I don’t have a realistic choice of doing nothing, since politics finds you whether or not you are looking for it. Republicans promise less bother. They don’t always come through on this, but they seem to think it is a valuable thing. Democrats promise more bother. I know that Mrs. Obama is not running but her attitude is shared by many liberals and Democrats:

Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.

It is none of their business. I push myself to be better. I am better in many ways then they are, and they are better in some ways than I am. But they know little or nothing about my preferences. If I obey the law, the government has no cause to demand that I shed my cynicism. It is none of their business if I believe in divisions. I like my isolation and I don’t want to leave my comfort zone. I like my life as usual, and if I want to be uniformed and uninvolved, that is my business. Who are the Obamas to tell me how I should be involved? They should not presume to be superior in that way.

So the Republicans are not “my party”. I usually vote for them because they promise more of what I want, or at least give me less of what I don’t want. My idea of great government is one that creates the infrastructure for the people themselves to build prosperity. I don’t want to be led by politicians. I am not excited by the idea of revolutionary political change. I thing those who like it are either inexperienced, pinheads or nefarious. I want to do the things I do well and leave others alone to do the things they want to do. I am willing to let others make choices and mistakes, but I don’t want to pay for them.

So I don’t necessarily want a “better” government or a more just one, if that means it will be bigger. I don’t want to praise clever politicians or be impressed by their programs to change the world if it means they are taking away my options to choose for myself. I want to be aware that politicians exist and be able to say with confidence that if I obey the law and do my basic duties as a citizen, that politics won’t bother me very much. No party will give that to me. The Democrats don’t even think it is a good thing. So I have to go with the Republicans.

Posted by: C&J at April 28, 2011 8:09 PM
Comment #322458

I find it interesting that this man (with a spine of steel according to biden) allowed this issue to fester until a prominent person (Trump) turned up the heat.

He couldn’t stand the heat so he caved. He temporarily swallowed his pride and arrogance and showed the document. Now, after the release, he continues to jawbone the issue to save some semblance of authority. Pathetic.

He is taking a losing position and making it even worse. Is it any wonder he is the laughing stock of the world?

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 28, 2011 8:14 PM
Comment #322460

If anything, Obama displayed some maturity. He could have allowed the Republican party make complete fools of themselves through the election cycle and then hit them with the “long form.” But, he didn’t. He decided that this foolishness had gone too far. There are actual issues to discuss and debate.

Too late, Rich. If it weren’t for the fact that this whole idiocy played out and highlighted the hate, ignorance, fear and inadequacy in the neocons, it would be kinda funny that he played them like first-row violins!
It doesn’t look like this next year will be quite the slam-dunk some would like to see.

Posted by: jane doe at April 28, 2011 8:39 PM
Comment #322461

Royal Flush-
He produced the document that was standard issue for the state. He had to get a waiver of current state law to get the longer form, the original birth certificate, which has actually been superceded by the short form as the actual legal proof of birth and citizenship.

There’s nothing inept or clueless about producting your state’s legal proof of birth and citizenship when asked for your state’s legal proof of birth and citizenship.

I want to repeat as many times as possible that Barack Obama, President of the United States in a free and fair election, has produced, and has had produced that legal proof of birth and citizenship since the beginning of his general campaign.

That’s not pride, not arrogance, that’s a lawyer who knows what legal proof of birth and citizenship is.

The only reason why the long form took on significance for you folks out there is because some idiots made bizarre claims on no proof whatsoever, that the GOP decided, apparently, was a legitimate question.

Despite the fact that he had, from the start provided the legal proof of Birth and citizenship.

Obama is not the clueless one here. It’s the folks who get led around by the nose by morons who demand forensic tests on state documents, who act like there’s some massive conspiracy afoot. I mean really, that is the backing of any notion that the Long form certificate is necessary, much less that it needs to be examined like some sort of evidence at a crime scene.

The hidden premises here are that even if every accusation directed at Obama turns out to be false on the evidence, your people will continue to raise these questions just to raise them, not because anything has happen, anything has been found that actual merits the suspicion.

What this is about is driving Obama’s image, poll numbers and reputation down, so that Republicans do not have to anwswer for the failures of George W. Bush to get a Republican elected in 2012.

To get Obama to this point, your party had to push what is basically a crazed LIE.

You’re criticizing him for not confronting you about your own monstrous dishonesty! You’re perpetuating the lie that he should have had to do this, to settle this controversy, when by any reasonable standard any controversy should have been settled in June 2008, when he produced the legal, binding proof of his birth and citizenship in the United States.

But reasonable standards aren’t what are at work here, what your people have popularized. You’re not interested in them, because by any reasonable standard, the Republicans have learned NO lessons from the Bush Administration.

I think people are beginning to realize that, though. More on the next comment.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 28, 2011 8:58 PM
Comment #322463

Conservativethinker-
I know your hair might fall out if you actual go back the sources, but I recommend it. If the polling is brutal for Obama, it’s a violation of the Geneva Convention for the Republicans.

Congress, meanwhile, remains exceedingly unpopular, with just 16 percent approving of the job Congress is doing. That roughly matches where Congress’ job approval rating stood last May, before the midterm elections. Last month, Congress’ approval rating was at 21 percent.

Seventy-five percent of Americans - three in four - say they disapprove of the job Congress is doing. That’s up from 66 percent last month.

House Speaker John Boehner fares slightly better than Congress overall, but he’s not exactly beloved. Thirty-two percent of Americans approve of his performance on the job, compared with 41 percent who disapprove - including 22 percent of Republicans. Twenty-seven percent say they don’t know.

The Congress, of which Republicans are now the most visible part, has dropped in the last few weeks in popularity Your Speaker of the House has only a third of the country in his corner, and over forty percent against him.

You’re so focused on attacking Obama that you fail to see that your own party is more or less immolating itself to burn Obama. People trust the Republicans more on certain issues, but you have to watch what conclusions you draw from that, especially where people’s own interests are at stake. You’ve marketed your ideology well, but haven’t convinced people of the composing sentiments. You have surface agreement, but an underlying problem in getting people to take up orthodox conservatism, much less the Tea Party variety.

I think the problem isn’t that the poll is biased, or anything, but that the people you trust to give you the truth of them are withholding the more painful truths from you, so you go rushing out there to support the cause.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 28, 2011 9:10 PM
Comment #322464

Warped, Arthur was appointed to fill out the term of Garfield, not elected to the office, a technicality I know.

“What polls are you talking about? I’m not aware of any poll of “righties” on Watchblog. You say according to the recent polls, they MAY be birthers. That’s kind of weak.”

The polls I linked to in this thread for starters, tdobson, and many more polls conducted the past couple of years. You may have noticed I didn’t mention polls on WB. But one would think that if polls are the opinions and beliefs typical of people around the Country and WB has commentators from around the Country…. I said “they may” because roughly half of the Independents and repubs are, so it would seem that would include some here at WB, unless of course those here at WB are all slightly above average repub/independents. I would imagine it would take a bit of courage to defend that position now so I wouldn’t expect many to admit to it.

“You’re wrong of course. A real man, a real president, a real leader would have simply produced the document. Pride and arrogance delayed the inevitable. Now, obama is shown to be the inept and clueless person we all have known from the beginning.”

Such a hateful comment Royal. It seems to me Obama handled it quite well. The issue was entirely without merit. Had he been white it would not have been an issue at all. The unfounded rumors perpetrated by the extremist on the right were proven to be lies previously, yet they continued to make it an issue. Obama has chosen to ignore it and deal with existing problems that would warrant the time of the POTUS. He even went so far yesterday to chide the media for rushing to cover this non-issue while serious issues that need to be debated and resolved are not given the attention they deserve. Pride and arrogance in the form of the Birthers and other conservative extremist on the right is what kept the non-issue going, not Obama. Who do they think they are to question a duly elected official about such things as a birth certificate and then make such scurrilous accusations without any facts to back them up. They used false documents to perpetuate their lies. Yet Obama is arrogant, go figure.

It is quite a stretch to claim Obama to be “inept and clueless”, the conservative talking point of the campaign season, when it is the conservatives themselves that were shown to be clueless on this non-issue. The conservatives were the ones to turn the false claims into a national group of tin foil hat weirdos, a rather inept group of people, who insisted all documentation provided by Obama was false. Of course their lies were without merit.Perhaps if you could see past the hatred you could put the blame for this nuisance where it belongs on the Obama haters.


Chester Arthur Quote: “I may be President of the United States, but my private life is nobody’s damned business.”

Posted by: j2t2 at April 28, 2011 9:15 PM
Comment #322465

C&J-
Our current state of corruption, of inefficiency, of deficit and degradation on the world stage is the product of just letting the elites tend to their own needs while we tend to ours.

Democracy doesn’t work without involvement, it just becomes a plaything for the rich and the powerful who bend it to serve their interests.

I like quiet, too, competence that I don’t have to look over people’s shoulders to be assured of.

Trouble is, thinks keep happening, things that wouldn’t happen if we were more vigilant. So, rather than rest, I get involved.

The thing you might not understand, is that the people who Obama spoke to already wanted what he was offering. I think we, as a people, are sick of the division, sick of the hatred, sick of the corruption, sick of being ignored by our government, and sick of all the dysfunction.

My belief is that doesn’t get fixed until the light of day and the attention of the American people are focused on things. But your party is too busy trying to permanently ensure its power to be a partner to that.

Go with the Republicans. But for God’s sake, talk some sense into the folks who think they can just sit back and let things go to hell for the rest of us while they give away gifts to the rich and powerful.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 28, 2011 9:18 PM
Comment #322466

Stephen

What they learned during the Bush Administration was that the left didn’t much care about truth. Bush was accused of deploying American troops to gain wealth for himself, his friends or Halliburton. There can be no more scurrilous accusation against an American president. Yet lots of pinhead repeated it.

And you are falling into that “your people” again. Check how to use English grammar properly if you don’t understand that when you specifically respond to someone and say “your people” you are including him in that group. Since you cannot find actual Watchblog participants who are “birthers” you are engaging in a type of bigotry.

For example, if I say that you and your leftist friends are supporters of truthers, would that be an accurate statement? It is true that virtually all truthers dislike Bush and most liberals dislike Bush too. If we apply your logic and use this flawed syllogism, we might say that “your” liberals are truthers.

Posted by: C&J at April 28, 2011 9:21 PM
Comment #322467

Posted by: Rich at April 28, 2011 08:00 PM
“A real man, a real president, a real leader would have simply produced the document. Pride and arrogance delayed the inevitable.”

Why? Because of some deranged theory, unsupported by a scintilla of evidence, that he was not born in the United States and not eligible for the presidency. Because the State of Hawaii’s official certification is not to be trusted? Because corroborating evidence is not to be trusted?”

Follow me on this thread: SD wrote a post condemning Republicans as being “Birthers” and that even if the evidence was given to prove Obama a real citizen, they would still not believe. Many other liberals have chimed in on how ignorant Republicans are for believing this with no substantiated evidence. To top this off, one liberal even gave results of non-existent polls taken among conservatives on WB who supported the birther beliefs.

First of all the birther movement was started by liberal democrats and not Republicans:

“False rumours about Mr Obama’s background first surfaced in 2004, in Illinois, where he was a state senator. Andy Martin, a perennial local candidate and litigant, claimed Mr Obama was secretly Muslim.
Related theories — including that he was radicalised in a “madrassa” in Indonesia — developed after Mr Obama entered the national stage with a speech to the Democratic National Convention later that year.
In 2005, Mr Obama went to Washington as the junior US senator for Illinois. The rumours about him persisted, but seemingly failed to take hold among political insiders and voters alike.
It was not until April 2008, at the height of the intensely bitter Democratic presidential primary process, that the touch paper was properly lit.
An anonymous email circulated by supporters of Mrs Clinton, Mr Obama’s main rival for the party’s nomination, thrust a new allegation into the national spotlight — that he had not been born in Hawaii. “

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/8478044/Birther-row-began-with-Hillary-Clinton.html

The left loves to act with such outrage at unsubstantiated facts; which brings me to the meat of this thought. Follow me now; don’t let me lose you liberals:

Jack Stuef is a liberal democrat. He is of the same persuasion as all liberal democrats on WB. And this is what he said on wonkette.com about Sarah Palin’s son:

“What’s he dreaming about? Nothing. He’s retarded.
[…]
His mom went to a lot of trouble to leak amniotic fluid over 8 states to make sure that he arrived in this world somewhat alive,”
[…]
Enjoy yourself today, Trig. Have fun! Get drunk (on purpose this time)! We can hardly wait for 15 years from now, when you will finally be able to vote and will be sent off by your mother’s junta to fight the Union in the Great Alaska War. It’ll be quite a loss. You’re the smartest one in that family.”

And this was the answer from the administration of wonkette.com, which was the correct response:

“Rude Post Deleted By Editor; Author Apologizes

by admin
9:17 pm April 18, 2011

A post on this page satirizing Sarah Palin using her baby as a political prop was very badly done and sounded like the author was mocking the child and not just Sarah Palin/Sarah Palin’s followers.

The writer, Jack Stuef, has apologized for it. And we have decided to remove the post as requested by some people who have nothing to do with Sarah Palin, but who do have an interest in the cause of special needs children. We apologize for the poor comedic judgment.”

http://bigjournalism.com/dloesch/2011/04/20/wonkette-makes-fun-of-trig-palin-calls-him-retarded/

Now, my question is; where is the outrage? And Can I assume this liberal represents the views of all liberals, including those on WB, or does this represent the views of fringe liberals? If it represents the view of a fringe, do conservatives have the right to blame all liberals for what a fringe has done? And if we don’t, then how does the left have the right to include all conservatives in with the fringe group of birthers?

This is another attempt to be outraged at the right. It is another attempt by SD to use the daily liberal talking points as a post. Where is the outrage of the left at Hillary Clinton’s people for starting the whole thing? And most of all, where is the outrage of the left to attack the child of a woman without any substantiated evidence?

Posted by: Conservativethinker at April 28, 2011 9:23 PM
Comment #322468

“I think people are beginning to realize that, though.”

I certainly hope so. The Republican party has been trading on this nonsense for too long. They have made a mockery on legitimate public debate. Any responsible Republican politician understood that the birther issue, death panels, etc. were false. Yet, they either promoted them or gave them legitimacy by their phony proclaimed agnosticism. Now maybe, the actual policy proposals of Republicans can emerge from the smokescreen of phony distracting allegations. That’s good for liberals.

Posted by: Rich at April 28, 2011 9:27 PM
Comment #322469

Stephen

Obama and Mrs Obama have no standing to talk to me or anybody else like that. As far as I can tell from their biographies, neither has ever done any real manual work nor have they ever met a payroll. They know politics and community organizing. That is they know involvement political organizations but not involvement in the the things of life.

I believe in being effective and getting things done using the power of individuals in voluntary association. Liberals tend to talk about big solutions to problems involving the coercive use of government power.

Posted by: C&J at April 28, 2011 9:28 PM
Comment #322470

SD, you are so predictable. I gave you polls from the liberal MSM showing democrats and Obama in particular falling into never never land, and I thought I had the bases covered. I know you cannot stand to be proven wrong in a poll and you will use any excuse to discredit it and if all that fails, you will change the subject. You never let me down. Instead of realizing Obama is in trouble, you do what you always do; change the subject. You come back with Boehner and the congress. Well, do you want to compare Boehner’s numbers with Pelosi’s? The subject was Obama, not Boehner. Boehner is not running for re-election as president next year. Just fess up and admitt he is in trouble. Even your progressive friends on WB know he is in trouble.

Posted by: Conservativethinker at April 28, 2011 9:37 PM
Comment #322474

C&J-
There’s a phrase you need to repeat in case you think the tu quoque arguments are worth repeating: “Two wrongs do not make a right.”

There used to be an idea around that you would try to avoid the reality or the appearance of impropriety. A Vice President hires the company to support US operations in the Middle East that he was the CEO of, just about until he God himself on the Bush Ticket.

And what was he before that? A Representative from Wyoming, and then a Secretary of Defense who advocated for replacing certain functions in the military with Civilian Contractors.

I don’t think he started the war just to make money for his old company, I just think that he had so few ethical objections to that kind of revolving door relationship, that it bears questioning.

It’s a classic example of what Eisenhower warned against.

Since you cannot find actual Watchblog participants who are “birthers” you are engaging in a type of bigotry.

Really. Check what I’m claiming.

Supported by poll numbers, I’m claiming that a large chunk of the GOP believes the Birthers. That is a well-backed claim. I’ve seen your candidate and pundits, politicians and leaders flirt with the birther ideas.

See, here’s the thing. Somebody shows up on Daily Kos and posts a Diary in favor of Loose Change or whatever else Truther stuff is out there, the folks on Kos are going to take it down, and discipline the person who puts it up. Why? Because it is an embarrassment to us as a party, and as a site.

Republicans have not done the same, and indeed, rather than admit to the embarrassment, and getting that out of their system, the Republicans either go into denial about how prevalent this kind of idiocy is, or they start blaming us for giving them attention.

Well, when somebody claims Bush deliberately faked 9/11, would you be slow to dispute that?

I can show you the comments I wrote against Truthers, and the poll results that sho Republicans to be sympathetic to the Birthers. I can show you the distinction on which my reasoning is based. You, meanwhile, make up something out of thin air.

Obama and Mrs Obama have no standing to talk to me or anybody else like that. As far as I can tell from their biographies, neither has ever done any real manual work nor have they ever met a payroll.

I have done manual work, and I have no objections. Its funny that you of all people should peg him for being elitist. He’s probably little different from you in lifestyle.

And anyways, I think it’s silly to have a hangup about working together with other people. You’re fighting academic theories, and failing to face policy realities in the meantime.

Conservativethinker-
On your thread:
Let me repeat: I didn’t write this as a comment on Watchbloggers here, but on Repulblicans everywhere.

The real joke here, and what deserves critique is that Republicans are claiming to be the victims here. I have spent the last three years defending against this claim, virtually all of that time against Republicans making it.

It wasn’t necessarily started by liberal Democrats, either, but suppoters of Hillary Clinton, Moreover, those who did push it, dropped it not long after.

I have not had to defend against this silly, counterfactual claim from the Democrats for three years, and if you read the title, and much of my entry, my objection is how superannuated this whole rigamarole has become, and really that isn’t the problem with those Democrats you cite anymore.

So, I am less concerned with who started it, as who persists in it.

Where is the outrage of the left at Hillary Clinton’s people for starting the whole thing?

Hillary lost, her people stopped peddling the BS, so, it went away. But while she did it, that and other hijinks became very controversial, and very divisive, and I should know, I was there, frequenting those sites.

As for Trig and Palin? I stepped up to defend Bristol and others. We all have our share of a**holes in our groups. The question is, how do you deal with them?

We don’t encourage them the way Republicans do. We don’t want the trouble. We also have this little thing called political correctness, which leaves many of our own to object to these items on the grounds that they are nasty and mean-spirited.

As for Boehner?
I’m just saying that as admitted bad as it is for Democrats, Republicans have things still worse in many categories. The irony here is if Republicans go down the path they’ve picked for supporting the destruction of big government, they’ll be facing supermajority opposition even within their own part!

But if you want to offer people a sanitized version of the polls that excludes negative details for the Republicans, be my guess. just be aware that I and others stand ready to google your claims.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 28, 2011 11:52 PM
Comment #322475
Warped, Arthur was appointed to fill out the term of Garfield, not elected to the office, a technicality I know.

If you are going to be technical, I want to point out that Arthur was elected to the office of Vice Presidency, and you never specified which office you were referring to in your earlier comment.

I would like to point out that racism (namely anti-Irish sentiment) was a significant component to the rumors regarding Arthur’s qualifications.

CT,
I agree that it is inappropriate for the left to use the birther conspiracy theory to paint the right with a broad brush. However, I think it would have been magnanimous if prominent Republicans had been more forthright in condemning all this claptrap. The left I think has been pretty proactive in marginalizing those who allege conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11, but I never got the same feeling from the Right. Maybe I wasn’t looking in the right places and I missed the condemnations, but I doubt it.

Regarding Stuef, I certainly condemn anyone who mocks Trig Palin. Not only is he a child, but he is a human being with special needs. I know the prominent blogger Andrew Sullivan has repeatedly attacked Trig’s parentage, which is extremely shameful. I used to read his blog daily, but I know longer do on account of this. However, I was not aware of this Stuef fellow until just now; his comments surely did not reverberate across the blogosphere like those WND articles alleging that Obama was born outside Hawaii.

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 28, 2011 11:57 PM
Comment #322478

Con “Now, my question is; where is the outrage? And Can I assume this liberal represents the views of all liberals, including those on WB, or does this represent the views of fringe liberals?”

Con this link takes us to Breitbart, how do we know this is even real and not some made up thing like he is famous for? Speaking of outrage where is the conservative outrage over being suckered by Breitbart into believing his fake videos. It seems you still patronize his sites despite him being a known fraud.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 29, 2011 1:03 AM
Comment #322488

You can call me what you will and it will make no difference to the facts.

Where is the state seal on that document?
Where is the doctors signature on that document?
Race was stated as African. African is not a race.
In 1961 the state of Hawaii used either Black or Negro to id the race of the newborn. This document said his race was African.
Certificate of Live Birth is not the same as a Birth Certificate.

It is fake and a fraud.

Latest fad on WB is use of the phrase tu quoque. Is that supposed to show intelligence, knowledge, or communication skills. I say lack of communication skills. There are some people on WB that may not have latin, french, or other foreign words and phrases in their command. So to communicate with those people one should use words and phrases that give the message that the majority should be able to understand. A good communicator can talk to anybody and those he speaks to will be able to understand and comprehend what the communicator is saying.

Posted by: tom humes at April 29, 2011 5:41 AM
Comment #322489

“It is fake and a fraud.”

Tom,

Jeez! Do you honestly think that the State of Hawaii doesn’t understand what constitutes legal certification of birth in Hawaii? Do you honestly believe that the State of Hawaii has for the second time released a phony document certifying his birth in Hawaii? Do you think that Hawaiian officials, including Republicans, are involved in some fantastic conspiracy? Even if they were, do you actually think that they wouldn’t know how to properly “forge” the document?

Posted by: Rich at April 29, 2011 6:27 AM
Comment #322490

Rich,
I could be wrong (and I’m sure Tome will correct me if I am) but I think the inference is that the White House has proffered a phony birth certificate.

With a huge Republican House majority, and all the attendant subpoena and investigative powers, it’ll be a cinch that the phony certificate is exposed, and the impostors ejected from the White House in shame……………..right?

If this doesn’t happen (and soon), I expect the birthers, on WB and everywhere else, to shut the F%CK up (and soon).

BTW, don’t cry foul when (that disgusting turnncoat phony-ass socialist-medicine-denying-even-though-he propogated-it-in-his-own-governorship) Mitt’s very bizarre mix of polygamy and foreign-ness in his family starts getting publicity. You made it easy for this kind of thing to get traction. Yes, YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (readers will know whether this applies to them or not…;)

Posted by: steve miller at April 29, 2011 7:44 AM
Comment #322491

“I could be wrong (and I’m sure Tome will correct me if I am) but I think the inference is that the White House has proffered a phony birth certificate.”

Steve,

Perhaps, but that would mean that Hawaiian officials would stand mute when the President said he got it from them or they would fail to point out that it wasn’t the document that they presented and had on file. You would think that with this phony birth certificate that its a no-brainer now to finally get this guy out of the White House. But then again, nothing would surprise me about this lying, socialist Muslim. Its quite possible that he has paid off those Hawaiian officials.

Posted by: Rich at April 29, 2011 8:26 AM
Comment #322493

tom humes-
Tu quoque (Or “you also”) Is the technical name for a fallacy where a person accused of a certain offense alleges that same offense on their accuser’s part, in order to force them to answer that objection, and take some of the force out of the other side’s argument.

Unfortunately, it does not prove that the person using the argument is innocent, and so it’s actually a bit of a distraction from the truth, or at least from arguing something different that actually exonerates the person if they’re not guilty.

There are plenty of sites that cover argumentation, logic, and rhetoric, and you can find information on such fallacies there.

Congratulations, tom, on being the first Watchblog regular to show up as a confirmed Birther.

1) State seals like this tend to be raised and impressed into the paper. Others have seen it, but it likely will not come out in the scanning process That’s on purpose, to defeat conterfeiters.

2) 19a, under Attendant. The person who did so checked “MD”

3,4) That question assumes that there are a set number and type of racial descriptors. It also assumes that somebody looking at that birth certificate is actually going to put up a fuss about such a distinction in the first place. I mean, phrase it like , “Nobody could possibly accept a form with “African” rather than “Black” or “Negro”“, and you get a sense of how absurd this quibble is. I’m pretty sure nobody cared, especially not in a place as racially diverse as Hawaii.

5) You’re joking, right? They’ve used these things for decades now, and nobody’s raised that objection. The term “Birth Certificate” is a generic term for it. If those documents call Certificates of Live Birth are not valid, if the real ones are called something else, like “Birth Certificate.” It should be an Incredibly simple thing for a person like you to come up with a counterexample to demonstrate that what Obama has provided is not the real thing. The population of Hawaii, and the fact that you must have at least some cooperative individuals in Hawaii, who have such copies of that document stashed away somewhere.

You have there a way of disproving that certificate’s authenticity. Did you folks ever think to follow that up? To put that notion to the test, rather than merely claim it?

But the Conspiracy Theory mindset is not to prove a theory, but to dispute the official one, and opportunistically exploit any information that can be cobbled together to prove it.

Or, put another way, a conspiracy theory is a way to blame somebody else for the fact that the evidence available doesn’t back your preferred conclusion. As such, it is vulnerable to the preferences of the person making the conclusion.

And that is why some use such theories in order to gain political power, because the folks who buy into them will, whether or not the theory is disproven, persist in believing it.

But those who do believe it, ironically enough, considering how they feel about other people, will be perfect dupes, because the folks who aren’t so ill-informed, aren’t so caught up in the lie won’t be able to reach or talk down so easily those who have bought into it.

Now are you folks out there seeing why I hate the employment of conspiracy theories in politics? They are by their nature manipulative pieces of psychological engineering, self-sustaining even in the face of good evidence to the contrary. It’s like an induced form of madness.

And I think that madness has infected the way we write and legislate our policies. A lot of bad things have come as a result, because people won’t question the very laws and policies that make things worse. They’ll let wars get further out of control, because they don’t want to give in to those who they think want to lose. They’ll let disturbing and destructive economic behavior continue, even after a massive crash has demonstrated the danger, because they’re too scared of letting the socialists win to actually confront the problems that threaten to destroy capitalism anyways. They’ll vote with a mind to failing to uphold the full faith and credit of the United States, to beat back those who they think want the government to take over.

Perfectly sane, rational people can do this to themselves, simply because the emotional motivation and the pulls of adversarial thinking have taken over.

We have to be in touch with reality to make good policy by anything but pure chance. Ideologies, however elaborate or complete, are just our beliefs, and our beliefs about reality often fall short of describing correctly the real thing. It is not a question of if a certain belief of ours will be put to the test and fail, it’s a question of when.

The Truther movement, among others, proves that Liberals are not immune to this kind of thinking. We, too, can imagine unprovable connections. It’s a human failing, one that comes from imperfections in the way we come to conclusions. But the Democrat’s reaction to the Truthers, their marginalization of that group, despite their deep dislike of its targets, shows us something important, something the Republicans can learn from: The Democrats have a sense of shame, a sense that they don’t have the political capital to burn going off the deep end.

Democrats are not content to be believed merely among themselves. They want to appeal to the center, appeal to the country as a whole, and they’re willing to moderate their behavior and their policies to get that result.

Now, the compromises don’t always sit well with the base, but no majority is sustainable simply on the basis of pleasing the base alone. Sooner or later, the base becomes too selfish, too demanding of its own interests, and fails to compromise its interests with the rest of the country’s.

When a party becomes infected with the CT outlook, it’s generally bad news for the country as whole, because that party becomes a party that turns the natural inclination not to want to change cherished beliefs into a primary principle of the party, and from that point out, the agenda of the party inevitably brings it into conflicts it will not resolve, and creates tensions against it it will not profit by.

All parties have to watch out for that.

The Republican Party needs to take the risk, and stop indulging the Conspiracy theorist fringe.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 29, 2011 9:47 AM
Comment #322495

Tom, glad we can count on our far right friends to keep the birther movement going. Obama was right, there will be a segment of the population that will still not get it. You have proved the birther apologist on WB wrong, the conspiracy that wasn’t continues with more half baked misinformation. In lieu of informed debate on serious issues we get the birthers and those in the conservative movement and the repub party still placate them.

Where is the outrage Con?

I think Mama Gump was thinking of the birther movement when she told little Forrest “Stultus est sicut stultus facit”.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 29, 2011 10:22 AM
Comment #322497

More Conspiratorial goodness.

Some sane Republicans, though, Have issued a good rebuttal to that theory

To be clear, the Birther claim is that the layers found in the PDF file are indications of photomanipulation.

The reality is, PDF is a wrapper format for text and graphics, just as Flash is a wrapper format for video, text, and web elements. These files are built up almost like programs, with each part of the program parsed out to its individual components. You might have the text from the typewriter, the handwritten signatures, the boxes for the form, the imagery from the background (those small little dashes), and whatever else, all in their own little objects. I’m not sure how the layers work in the file, but I would venture to guess that they’re part of the system, part of how the user’s computer renders out this file.

Layers in Photoshop are different. Photoshop layers are different images, each with its own set of controls. Even selecting something in Photoshop is an image manipulation, because in the computer’s mind, the selection is an alpha channel of sorts.

For non-graphics people, that means a black and white image where black is transparent, white is opaque, and grey, in its varying degrees, is translucent.

But Photoshop is not merely useful for forgeries. It is the standard professional image editing program, and you can do things like enhance contrast, correct colors, remove dust particles, sharpen up the image and other such non-destructive operations

Photoshop does, in short, what a darkroom used to do. Now people could fake things in a darkroom, but its use was no more incriminating than dropping a roll of film off at Walgreens or CVS.

Really, if you want to be paranoid about things, no level of proof will satisfy. In the age of digital imagery, where you get everything over the web, nothing can be trusted because everything can be manipulated. And who knows? Your favorite conspiracy theory site could be in fact a forgery, because you have no way of knowing whether their feed was intercepted and replaced with a fake one!

And even if you get one in your hand, it could still just e a very clever fake, so you’ll need forensics. But the forensics will only be worth anything if somebody doesn’t steal the report, blackmail the forensic scientists, and force them to pass you a fake there as well!

The problem of paranoia is that it has no end. You cannot even trust what is right in front of you, because in a very real sense, we all experience the world second hand, and even our own senses are not dependable.

The question is: Why do you believe that it’s a forgery?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 29, 2011 1:13 PM
Comment #322498

I have not looked in a while, but I believe my birth certificate was a “live birth” certificate.

What a bunch of nonsense. My question to the birthers (same as to the folks that stated “Bush stole the election”)- so what? Obama (and Bush) are “done deals”. I don’t think that Bush stole the election and I don’t think Obama was born outside the US, but what if they did/were? They were/are the president, regardless.

Posted by: Mike in Tampa at April 29, 2011 1:27 PM
Comment #322501

SD

Sure used a lot of energy and words to tell me to go to hades, only duplicated by the WB Liberal Society. You cannot own up to what I cited, but felt it necessary to lie, twist and distort existing facts. I don’t know where Obama was born and I really don’t care. If He was born in Hawaii then produce the proper correct forms. It is just that simple. The Liberals are making a Mt. Everest out of this with their twists and spin.

I refuse to obligate you by going to hades. My future is much more certain that that.

Posted by: tom humes at April 29, 2011 3:20 PM
Comment #322503

I refuse to obligate you by going to hades. My future is much more certain that that.

I would have to agree with you, although you may not like the outcome.

Posted by: jane doe at April 29, 2011 3:54 PM
Comment #322506

Here is a real controversy:

“Black Chamber of Commerce President Blasts “Marxist,” “Brownshirt” Obama
Today on The Laura Ingraham Show,

Harry Alford, president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, blasted President Obama’s anti-business administration in an explosive interview. Alford, a 2008 Obama supporter, labeled the administration “Marxist” and “fanatical.” “They might as well put on the brown shirts and swastikas,” he said.”

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/04/29/black_chamber_of_commerce_president_blasts_marxist_brownshirt_obama.html

Harry Alford is black and voted for Obama, but can he be considered a racist for his remarks against Obama?

Posted by: Mike at April 29, 2011 4:48 PM
Comment #322507

Here is another real controversy:

“Tornadoes whipped up by wind, not climate: officials

AFP - US meteorologists warned Thursday it would be a mistake to blame climate change for a seeming increase in tornadoes in the wake of deadly storms that have ripped through the US south.”

http://www.france24.com/en/20110428-tornadoes-whipped-wind-not-climate-officials


Is GW at fault?

Posted by: Mike at April 29, 2011 4:54 PM
Comment #322508

Naaah. It’s anthropogenic global warming. =)

Posted by: Spinny Liberal at April 29, 2011 4:56 PM
Comment #322514


What amazes me is that for as long as this birther stuff has been going on, not one conservative that is about Obama’s age and born in Hawaii has stepped forward to reveal his real Hawaiian birth certificate for comparison.

If that has occured, perhaps a conservative will provide a link.

Posted by: jlw at April 29, 2011 7:21 PM
Comment #322515

jlw, what makes you think there is a conservative from Hawaii?

If I was a conservative in Hawaii, I wouldn’t want to broadcast it…

Posted by: Mike at April 29, 2011 7:29 PM
Comment #322519

Stephen

I accept that you have denouned the “truthers”. Everybody you are arguing with
on this blog had denounced the “birthers” You keep on talking to us in the “you
guys” mode.


If “we” are responible for birthers, you are responsible for truthers, & the
blood for oil pinheads, who are just as stupid, but a lot more anti-American.


Re Latin - I studied Latin and Greek in college. Forgot most of it. I think you need to use Latin for fallacies for the ad hominem and the non sequitur, since decent English versions are hard to come by.


As for Tu quoque - this would be very hard on you, Stephen, since it is the basis of most of your posts. It seems very hard for you not to attack what Bush or Republicans did (or you think he did) in the past when justifying Democratic
messups.

Posted by: C&J at April 29, 2011 7:58 PM
Comment #322523


All I really have to say on the matter was said first by the “Rude Pundit”;

“If you take your political advice from the man who “fired” LaToya Jackson from a fake job on a crappy TV show with a straight face, then you pretty much deserve whatever terrible things are coming your way.”

Donald Trump is a buffoon. He is a media whore who will do almost anything for attention.

Yeah, he’s made a lot of money, but who really cares what he thinks.
Frankly I believe he has just saved the American people from the problem of wasting a vote for him.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at April 29, 2011 9:07 PM
Comment #322525

Trump is nothing but a crude, populist blowhard. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/29/donald-trump-curses_n_855280.html

Posted by: Rich at April 29, 2011 9:36 PM
Comment #322527

From Rich’s link at the huffpost, now I know why you always submit such intelligent comments:

“Donald Trump Curses, Says Our Leaders Are ‘Stupid’”

And please tell me which liberals on WB have not used the same language, of course disguised as **!!&&, on WB themselves?

As for his assessment of our leaders: he is right.

I’m assuming, with all the talk and attacks on Trump, that he must be the next liberal talking point. Since, there is a slight possibility that he could be the Republican nominee, the left must begin their unrelenting attacks on him as they did Bush, Cheney, Palin, Bachman, Christine O’Donnell, and of course the Arch Enemy…The Tea Party.

Posted by: Conservatvethinker at April 29, 2011 10:32 PM
Comment #322528

Rocky

Agree with you re Trump except when you say that he made a lot of money. He inherited a lot of money. Random chance investing would have yielded results better than his. I think the saying goes that he was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple.

But he is good at self promotion.

Posted by: C&J at April 29, 2011 10:32 PM
Comment #322529

Mike-
So if he’s black, and he’s calling Obama a Nazi, he must have credibility, right? How much do you know about Alford’s background? I’m not asking rhetorically. There are some things you should know about what he’s said in the past, if you’re planning on using him as a character witness against Obama.

Go do some research on him, and you’ll see what I mean.

As for the association between AGW and tornadoes, Well, Climate change is about climate- weather patterns over the long term. This is a weather pattern that unfolded over a matter of hours. So, it’s not really that Kosher to say definitively that there wouldn’t have been a tornado outbreak here.

But if it does bring the specter of it to people’s minds, it’s not without cause. The way rain works is that heat evaporates water, air expands and cools as it rises, water condenses out, rain falls down when it has enough weight to settle out of suspension.

What happens if the air’s warmer? Well, it can take in more water before it reaches the point that it’s saturated, and it takes longer to cool off enough to let that go. And when it lets go, it lets go with more water.

So, droughts become more common, severe and long lasting, storms become more intense, despite not necessarily being more common, and whatever systems depend upon heat differences to produce their power, like Tornadoes or Hurricanes, may become more powerful.

But these are not simple events, and the atmosphere is not put together simply. The reasons why Oklahoma and other places in the center of the North American Continent are such active tornado zones is because they’re located right around the places where cold air coming from the North and Warm air from the South meet, in addition to other factors like the arrangment of long lasting high pressure and low pressure systems.

We’re pretty certain that raising the global average temperature will have profound effects on the prevailing weather in different places, and the incidental weather systems that will develop.

The question is, what?

We look to the North, this last Winter, and Scientists saw a loosening of the winds of the polar vortex that kept cold air wrapped up in the Arctic. The result was that colder air ventured south. One major factor for the loosening of the winds was the disappearance of the sea ice, which allowed warming updrafts to come from the dark oceans.

So, that air comes down our way, and what does it run into? Well, warmer, moister air than it used to. One scientist cited a four percent increase in the water vapor caught up in the air.

This is important, because there is a such thing as too cold to snow. As I described before, precipitation requires moisture condensing out of the air in response to colder temperatures. But if the moisture never has a chance to get into the air because it’s so cold, it won’t be coming out. This is how both of the arctic regions are defined as deserts, getting very little precipitation all year.

So what we have here is very warm air carrying a lot of moisture that those strong cold fronts are going to squeeze out in the form of freezing rain, ice storms, and snow.

Now, naturally the assumption is that tornadoes and Hurricanes would become stronger, but if the heating of the earth in certain areas creates more wind shear, systems may get torn apart before they have the chance to properly organize.

If. See, this is the problem with playing Chicken with Climate Change. If we lose the bet, we will have very little warning about what the eventual outcome will be.

Predictability has a certain virtue, and within limits, we’ve had a fairly predictable set of climates to deal with, climates we’ve constructed our cities and towns to take advantage of. We put fields of our grain and our crops in places where we believe the rains will fall with appropriate regularity, where we believe the heat will persist at the right level, where the weather is not so violent as to destroy the crops.

We do the same with Reservoirs, with other means of attaining water and using it. But what if the climate that supports that water supply, the glaciers or the rainfall, shifts? Well then, you either have to go through the expense of adapting to that, or waste all the investment you’ve put in that city or town, or whatever, and abandon it for somewhere or someplace else.

So, maybe Global Climate change may not have caused the tornadoes, but that doesn’t mean it won’t upset the other apple carts of our society, or cause tornadoes to become more common in certain areas.

C&J-
You’re still trying to get away with it, it’s not going to work. Let’s say you’re right, that the Democrats went just as nuts.

It’s still nuts to believe Obama wasn’t born in the United States, a Citizen.

Since I opposed both kinds of nuttiness, I have no problem saying that we should have a rational discourse without a whiff of hypocrisy.

My advice to Democrats is that Bush’s misjudgments leading up to 9/11 were bad enough, and that you don’t have to hype the whole Bush military effort as some sort of conspiracy to benefit oil producers or military contractors to find serious problems on a number of policy fronts concerning Bush, to find some pretty rank corruption.

And more to the point, you can prove what Bush Administration officials did, rather than chase around an unresolveable conspiracy theory.

Which faction won in my Party’s case? Well, if you look at our roster, you won’t find many truthers. In many Democratic sites, they were suppressed and cast out. Look at what happened to Van Jones for merely signing a petition.

We can all go nuts sometime. A Party can encourage it, or a party can discourage it. Our party discouraged it, knowing that however hyped up some would be, it would be a devil’s bargain otherwise, robbing us of credibility and tying us to the unforgiving excesses of the extremes of political thought.

But here’s my point: I can say something different than just, “Your party did this too, so shut up!”

I can say “I don’t want this insanity anywhere in my government. I don’t want officials who feed this bull****, and I will fight this whoever pushes it, however they push it.”

There are things I want out of my Government and my political discourse that have their roots beyond mere political ideology. Rationalism must win out in Government and in politics, and I will fight for that regardless.

I will not justify mess ups by Democrats like this, and in fact, I did not. So I don’t see where you criticism has any traction.

All I see here is damage control by your side, distraction, and denial, but no real efforts made to categorically oppose it, purge that political plague from your forums. You were too concerned about winning to look at how you were winning, and consider what would be the price of winning that way. Birtherism is one symptom of that.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 29, 2011 11:00 PM
Comment #322530

Donald Trump, in my opinion is a crude elitist, who plays at being a populist to get votes from people who that appeals to.

That’s why he cursed like a sailor. Republicans, objecting to Obama as an empty suit, are very close to choosing a 4 time bankrupt man to resolve the budget deficits, a reality show star to bring substance back to the White House, etc.

Trump is the triumph of a person’s claims over real examination of his history. This is not the man to lead the Republicans back to power.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 29, 2011 11:10 PM
Comment #322535

j2t2

said

“the question was answered years ago for most people. This birth certificate will not convince birthers of anything. They are already claiming it to be a fake.”

the same can be said about truthers. there will always be idiots out there that refuse to accept facts. even if obama wasn’t born on US soil his mother was a citizen, which makes him a citizen, and eligable to be president.

Posted by: dbs at April 30, 2011 8:03 AM
Comment #322536

stephen

said

“Republicans, objecting to Obama as an empty suit, are very close to choosing a 4 time bankrupt man to resolve the budget deficits, a reality show star to bring substance back to the White House, etc.”

that’s quite a stretch on your part. he hasn’t even anounced he’s going to run. IMO he’s an ego maniac with way to much baggage, not to mention his support for liberals in the form of campaign contributions. i’m sure the left is praying he ends up being the rep. candidate, but that’s not likely to happen IMO. how you come up with him being very close to be the republicans guy is a mystery to me.

Posted by: dbs at April 30, 2011 8:12 AM
Comment #322537

dbs-
Have you seen the polls?

Besides, I’ve already said that things may change as they move. I just don’t have faith that a Republican Party will avoid careening off this particular cliff.

The Right Wing doesn’t want to get caught agreeing with, or otherwise being in a weakened position relative to the Democrats. To avoid losing, to avoid being embarrassed, the folks on the Right are willing to rationalize away the urgency of dealing with stupidity and craziness on their side. Where the left confronts the craziness, shuts it out, the Right encourages it, or makes excuses for it.

The game is being played on more than one level, and you should realize that. On one hand, the Right is competing with the left to lay hold of power and keep hold of whatever superior position it has.

On the other hand, the Right is, or should be, fighting to keep its values consistent with what it’s claiming to be: a force for good in the country.

What good is winning in the name of benefitting the economy if your policies keep the economy in the doldrums? What good is running on cutting the deficit, if your policies increase it? What good is running on smaller government being better, if Conservatives don’t actually shrink or improve government?

To win this particular kind of fight, I think sometimes a party has to make exceptions to its theories, let reality guide how results are attained, rather than mere thought, which can be a product of human illusions about the world.

If the folks in the GOP do not make these reconciliations, they will continue to be at odds with themselves as results are promised over and over again, but not delivered.

The Republicans have become, over the last thirty years, much better at marketing themselves and their ideology, and much worse at policy itself.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 30, 2011 9:02 AM
Comment #322538

Stephen

Its nuts to believe Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. I agree. There is not evidence to support it and it is just an absurd idea.

But I still won’t let leftists off the hook for saying that Bush and Cheney planned the Iraq war in order to make money for private firms or for themselves. This is also just nuts, but it is worse, since it implicates the whole United States in a nefarious plan.

And of course, “truthers” are truly the scum of the earth.

People on the left like to bring up the sins of others and ignore those on their side. I guess everybody does. But after eight years of truly nasty and stupid criticism of Bush, the birther thing is small potatoes.

Even now when I bring these things up, I get a variation of “of course this wasn’t true, but Bush …”

Re the “your party did it too” that is your main line of posting. But I am not using that. I am telling you straight out that I think birther ideas are nuts. But just as you didn’t feel the obligation to discipline the crazier people of Code Pink, Daily Kos or even some of the dumber statements by people like Nancy Pelosi, it is not our business to discipline or punish people who claim to share some of my beliefs.

BTW - back in 2008 Trump praised Obama and said that Bush was the worst president in his lifetime. Now he has changed his mind and thinks Obama is the worst. He pretty much acts on impulse. Did you think he was wrong in 2008?

If Trump is nominated for a Republican office, you can complain about Republicans. The fact is that he does not now nor has he ever held an important position in the Republican Party. He may not even be a Republican at all, given his earlier praise of Obama and criticism of Bush.

You liberals (borrowing your formulation) always do this. You talk about a hypothetical possibility, convince yourselves that it is truth, get outraged and then attack Republicans. Remember Fitzmas?

So this is the bottom line - we both denouced the nuts on our side. I reject birthers; you reject truthers and blood for oil nuts. Neither of us feels the obligation to somehow discipline them. We agree that they are all nuts. So why do you continue to empower them by talking about it?

Posted by: C&J at April 30, 2011 9:22 AM
Comment #322542

C&J, all the talk about Trump is a prelude to the attacks he would get just in case he ran a nd was to win the nomination. Their getting their ducks in order. The left acts outraged, but the things Trump has said pale in comparison to the attacks that have come from the left on other conservatives. These are talking points.

SD:

Your response to mike about GW was hilarious. You write paragraphs of facts and figures to prove GW and what will happen in 5, 10, 50, or 100 years, and yet our stupid weathermen can’t even tell you what tomorrows weather will be with any accuracy. What a joke.

Posted by: Conservativethinker at April 30, 2011 11:13 AM
Comment #322543

Why are Americans fed up with Obama and his cronies? I found this story and it applies to what is going on in America:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/apr/28/feds-sting-amish-farmer-selling-raw-milk-locally/

I’m sure SD will write us a diseration on the evils of drinking unpasturized milk, but this is a micro of what is wrong with government. GET OUT OF OUR LIVES.

While illegals and drugs can cross the border unheeded, he fed wastes time and tax pauyers money going after an Amish farmer. What will Obama go after next; the local farmer who sells vegitables and fruit at a stand in from of his house? And the left get’s upset because Trump calls Obama stupid? I call him stupid.

When you read the link, also read the comments. I never found any who supported the feds.

Posted by: 1776 at April 30, 2011 11:55 AM
Comment #322544

That dairy farmer was selling his milk across state lines (from PA to MD), so the Fed should be involved.

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 30, 2011 12:26 PM
Comment #322545

1776

It is good to see Obama addressing the Amish menace. Those guys have long been a threat to big-government. They are self-sufficient, well-disciplined & religious. They believe in hard work and don’t accept welfare. On top of all this, they own property and rarely commit crimes and so cannot be viewed as “victims of the system”. In short, they are everything a liberal hates.

Posted by: C&J at April 30, 2011 12:37 PM
Comment #322547

Sorry, but hard work, well-disciplined, and self-sufficiency isn’t owned by Conservatives. To believe so is at the very least, condescending.

Posted by: Spinny Liberal at April 30, 2011 1:45 PM
Comment #322548

Elitist….?

Posted by: steve miller at April 30, 2011 1:49 PM
Comment #322549

C&J-
Look, if where you’re going with these flood of counteraccusations is, “The discourse ought to be more rational, and we ought to marginalize and disregard the fring of our parties,” then you already have my agreement.

In fact, you never didn’t have it. Me, I find it enough to point out the real misdeeds of your party. That, to me, is keeping them honest. I don’t want kooky people on my side, because they’ll give you guys an excuse to point at their cookiness, and disregard my very real concerns, and the very real problems that raised them, with that crazed garbage.

I doubt Bush and Cheney started the war to profit off of it, but they had no problem letting their big contractor friends profit off of it. They also had a real problem holding people accountable for things.

The Republicans held not one oversight committee hearing on the way the money was being spent, even as we lost billion to profiteering contractors.

I have very openly and loudly said, “Don’t associate me with these people!” I didn’t wait for it to become genuinely embarrassing to my party on a national level, I disagreed from the start!

As for Trump? Bush and Palin, and all the Tea Partier nuts they tried to elect and did elect have given me the cause for concern and complaint. I don’t need to wait. Your party has already been screwing things up, Trump just represents an escalation of that dysfunction.

Other elected officials like Tim Pawlenty and major party figures like Sarah Palin

So why do you continue to empower them by talking about it?

In my experience, such people empower themselves just fine. My policy, given all I’ve seen over the past twenty years is not to wait for crazy to give up power, but to confront crazy head-on.

Conservative Thinker-
You’re talking about predicting weather, I’m talking
climate. Weather is what happens tomorrow. Climate is what happens around the year, over decades worth of time.

With Climate, you don’t have to nail things absolutely. It’s an average, the well-worn path that the weather follows most of the time, though not always.

Chaos effects undermine our ability to nail down weather specifically, the exact temperature and rain figures. Small changes matter, and throw off predictions even with the best modelling, the best computers, and the best theories at work.

But those effects don’t mean that we can’t make general predictions about the weather.

1776, C&J-
The value in the Raw milk market, according to its proponents, is that Pasteurized milk is too clean, doesn’t have enough germs in it to challenge the immune system.

But challenging the immune system often means making people sick, and the whole point of Pasteurizing milk is to prevent that, and for good reason: Milk was once one of the most common routes for food-borne illness.

You tell me: is bloody diarrhea and organ failure worth being closer to nature? Your appeal to pity for these wronged farmers flies in the face of well-documented troubles that Americans of earlier generations faced with contaminated milk. The farmers won’t be pitied for big government’s imposition on them if an outbreak occurs, they’ll be out of business, like that Peanut processing plant that let its operation become filthy.

Too much public health decision making these days seems to be made by folks with more of a political and a cultural agenda than a solid grasp of the science that truly determines results.

It’s this kind of attitude I oppose from just about anybody. It’s not a partisan sentiment of mine, it’s my attitude towards just about any public health issue of this kind. I opposed the Anti-Vaxxers on these grounds, too. Policy built on political fantasy will kill people, sometimes permanently disable them.

Government should carry out its responsibility to the people, not cater to those whot take risks with public health on pseudo-science’s account.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 30, 2011 2:32 PM
Comment #322550

Spinny

You seem a nice person. Probably will become a conservative at one time.

We engage in some generalizations. Liberals tend to think of conservatives as ungenerous, greedy and sometimes stupid. We know these things are not true, but we get them. I personally get annoyed when some of our liberal colleagues misspell or misuse words, such as “yer”, in a mock attempt at “conservative dialogue.”

I suppose some liberals are hard workers, but the modern liberal ideology (as opposed to the original formulation)is not one of self sufficiency.

Stephen

“Me, I find it enough to point out the real misdeeds of your party.” Look at your posts. Most of them consist of attacks, like this one above.

As for “tea party nuts” the American people decided that they couldn’t be any worse that Pelosi and those sorts of nuts. The issues were painted very clearly They voted. Your guys lost. Are the American people stupid?

Re milk - I believe that pasteurized milk is better. I also believe that plastic bottles are safe and GMOs are a great advance in agriculture. But if people want to make other choices, I accept that.

It is the freedom thing that I like. I am willing to let people choose to drink unpasteurized milk, eat only organic food and use only glass bottles. As a conservative, I am willing to let others do what they choose, as long as it doesn’t hurt others or cost me any money.

Posted by: C&J at April 30, 2011 2:55 PM
Comment #322552

C&J-
Let’s say you make it a choice. Let’s say it becomes a legal choice whether to pasteurize milk.

Well, then, it’s cheaper. It eliminates a step in the process. So, perhaps, a lot of dairies do that instead. Perhaps people like you could emphasize what a wonderful freedom it is, and the natural foods people could praise it for being natural.

And if one person slips up back at the dairy, you could have an epidemic on your hands.

We are long enough removed from many of the consequences of how things were done in the old days, to unfortunately have forgotten, or never experienced them.

Me, I’m willing to look back to history and not repeat those mistakes, not be the person who says “Well, maybe it will be different this time.”

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 30, 2011 3:17 PM
Comment #322553

WR, you seem to miss the point of the post: Obama and his justice department seems to have no problem with the use of grass for medicinal purposes, they have no problem with allowing drugs and illegal aliens crossing the border, but they will go after an Amish farmer who sells milk. Evidently you didn’t read the article. There are a lot of people who want to drink unpasteurized milk; there were even some who set up a system in MD to pay for the farmer’s labor and allow the cow to be owned by the users, but MD passed a law against it. My question is how long before farmers markets are shut down? What if a person crosses a state line the buy green beans and tomatoes from a farmer’s vegetable stand? Does this fall under interstate commerce too?

Posted by: 1776 at April 30, 2011 3:42 PM
Comment #322555

If those Marylanders want to be able to drink raw milk, they need to work with their state legislators to repeal the state laws prohibiting that. Instead of doing that, they tried to get around the law by importing milk from PA. Twist it any way you want, it’s still interstate commerce, which comes under the purview of the federal government.

If people really want that sort of thing I have no problem with letting them so long as they are aware of the consequences. I live in Massachusetts, where it is legal to purchase raw milk intrastate. I don’t oppose this sort of thing in general, but I want the government to as much as possible to ensure there are no information asymmetries. Raw milk is potentially very dangerous beverage, and there is absolutely no evidence that it contains any benefits over pasteurized milk. Any customers of a raw milk dairy need to be fully aware of the risks they are undertaking. Unfortunately, many customers are now aware of this.

My question is how long before farmers markets are shut down? What if a person crosses a state line the buy green beans and tomatoes from a farmer’s vegetable stand? Does this fall under interstate commerce too?
I don’t know why you are making this leap. Green beans and tomatoes do not pose the same health risks as raw milk; although the purchase of those items across state lines constitutes international commerce and may be regulated by the Federal Government, there isn’t any real reason for this to be done. I’m generally a supporter of locally grown food, which has a variety of benefits.
Obama and his justice department seems to have no problem with the use of grass for medicinal purposes, they have no problem with allowing drugs and illegal aliens crossing the border,
Currently, the DEA still enforces drug lawsagainst Medical Marijuana and deportations of illegal immigrants are up. I don’t know why you seem to think there is a double standard. Posted by: Warped Reality at April 30, 2011 4:45 PM
Comment #322558

I don’t understand why people would engage in generalizations. When people use “Liberals are lazy” and “Conservatives are heartless” it’s no longer about what is being debated, but attacking character.

Posted by: Spinny Liberal at April 30, 2011 5:56 PM
Comment #322560


Who approved the medical marijuana laws?

“they have no problem with allowing drugs and illegal aliens crossing the border.” they aren’t doing enough to solved the problem, but more than Bush and the Republicans.

If you want to blame the liberals, blame them for not doing enough to prevent the corporations and the Republicans from throwing our borders wide open. Blame the liberals that became corporate cronies for the money just like the Republicans.

Shouldn’t conservatives be lambasting the government for making marijuana illegal, just like raw milk. The liberals didn’t outlaw tobacco, but I guess the tobacco corporations have far more power than Amish farmers or people who grow marijuana in their yards.

If the government legalizes marijuana and hands it over to the corporations, everyone in America should start growing marijuana in their yards.

Posted by: jlw at April 30, 2011 6:07 PM
Comment #322561


Obama’s brownshirts?

When I read that, I envisioned teachers and college professors with clubs and torches marching through the streets, trashing and torching conservative businesses, clubbing conservatives and dragging them off to the….

Posted by: jlw at April 30, 2011 6:30 PM
Comment #322562

Stephen

It is a choice. I would not buy raw milk. Just like I don’t bother with organic foods in general, but if people want to do it, it should be their choice.

You worry that if we allow people the choice, others might do it too.

Are you worried about those greedy Amish selling too much raw milk. Maybe some of them might be tempted to buy a new horse or maybe even get some buttons on their shirts.

jlw

Have you seen the thugs at some of those rallies?

Spinny

It is sometimes fun to generalize and some are unfair. Liberals are not lazy as a rule, nor are conservatives heartless. In fact, we all know that conservatives tend to give a lot to charity.

Some things, however, are a matter of ideology. Liberals believe in more government and collective decisions over individual ones. That makes them believe less in self reliance. If they do not believe these things, they are liberals and probably unlikely to be reliable Democratic voters.

If you want to be nice to both sides, you can say that conservatives favor liberty; liberals lean to justice.

Posted by: C&J at April 30, 2011 6:51 PM
Comment #322563

“On top of all this, they own property and rarely commit crimes and so cannot be viewed as “victims of the system”. In short, they are everything a liberal hates.”

C&J,

The Amish are a pacifist, communal society. In short, they are everything a conservative hates.

Posted by: Rich at April 30, 2011 6:54 PM
Comment #322564


According to researchers at Ohio State University, conservatives believe Stephen Colbert is making good points and pulling the wool over liberals eyes by being funny about it.

Posted by: jlw at April 30, 2011 7:00 PM
Comment #322565


One of the greatest threats to the Amish communities is the influence that conservative evangelicals are having on their people.

Posted by: jlw at April 30, 2011 7:11 PM
Comment #322568

jlw

Re the Amish and evangelicals - what are you talking about? Seriously, do you have some reason to say that? I have not heard that conservative evangelicals are making inroads into Amish communities. You do understand that television doesn’t work in Amish communities?

Re Colbert - I don’t find much to love there. He indulges liberals in their fantasy about what a conservative would be. From what I read here, I think that some people think Colbert really is like a conservative.

Posted by: C&J at April 30, 2011 7:17 PM
Comment #322569

“If you want to be nice to both sides, you can say that conservatives favor liberty; liberals lean to justice.”

C&J,

Nicely stated.

Posted by: Rich at April 30, 2011 7:19 PM
Comment #322570

Rich

Conservatives LOVE communities; they just love voluntary communities, not those imposed by government coercion. That is why conservatives are more likely to give money to charity and to volunteer their time. They are working in communities and in creating communities - voluntary ones.

Posted by: C&J at April 30, 2011 7:27 PM
Comment #322571


C&J, each side has it’s thugs. From a WatchBlog view, have you seen the liberals threatening violence. I have seen several conservatives talking about getting their guns and manning the barricades.

You conservatives supposedly outnumber us by a large amount, yet you are afraid we are going to come and take you away. You guys have most of the guns to, so it would seem that the threat from the right is greater than the left.

You guys can sell anti liberalism to the masses, but you can’t sell your agenda to them.

Posted by: jlw at April 30, 2011 7:55 PM
Comment #322572

jlw

We are not afraid that liberals will take us away. But liberals are good at taking strategic parts of society.

I saw this way back in college. Smart conservative kids went into business. Smart liberal kids hung around academia.

There is also a dividing line. Conservatives tend to be suspicious of political theory. This makes us successful in practical ways. Liberals tend to like theories, even ones that don’t work. This makes them successful in academia and media, where there is no bottom line.

But the biggest problem is one of narrative. Conservatives believe in markets, which are very effective, but impersonal. Liberals have a better story line. When the price of something goes up, conservatives understand that dispersed market forces are at work. It may be the no individual has made a choice that did it, but it is a systemic effect. Liberals identify villeins and heroes. They are often wrong, but it sounds much better.

I always envied one thing about Marxists. They had a story that seemed to make sense, of progress from one thing to another. They were full of shit, of course, but the narrative had appeal.

re thugs - unions have thugs. I am not saying that they are common, but you joked about the brown shirts.

When I was a young man, I was almost in a the longshoreman’s union. I loaded cement during the summers. We had a union shop and so I had to pay dues and join. Three times I paid induction fees and three times something happened to the money. Finally, I complained. A few days later, a couple of guys with big forearms came to visit me. The said “We hear you been askin’ questions about da union.” They went on to explain that the union gave me everything I had and that I shouldn’t ask no more questions. They then told me a story about some guy who was out deer hunting and was accidentally killed. Since we weren’t talking about hunting, I assumed the reason for the story was the “accidentally” killed part. I cannot say they used actual force and I was flattered that the union would take so much interest in a little guy like me. Of course, maybe it was just a coincidence that these big guys showed up and they were just avid hunters warning about the dangers of firearms.

Posted by: C&J at April 30, 2011 8:37 PM
Comment #322575


C&J, there is an easy way to find out about the Amish and the evangelicals, do what we do with your sides claims, google it. The article I read was in an evangelical magazine, Christianity Today.

Posted by: jlw at April 30, 2011 8:45 PM
Comment #322576

rich

said

“The Amish are a pacifist, communal society. In short, they are everything a conservative hates.”

the amish do not try to force others to conform to thier beliefs. they live their lives as they see fit ,and accept that others will do the same. liberals on the other hand do not.

Posted by: dbs at April 30, 2011 9:03 PM
Comment #322577


C&J, I have been a member of two unions. They are like most human institutions, and most humans; both good and bad and like others capable of doing bad things in the name of defending the good or the bad. Most organizations are dependent on their members. The less attention paid by members to the leadership and doings of the organization, the easier it is for bad elements to take over. The government does pretty much what it wants to do or what the corporations pay it to do because half of us are to busy fighting about what we think it should be doing and the other half is totally indifferent.

Posted by: jlw at April 30, 2011 9:23 PM
Comment #322580

jlw

I read the article. One swallow does not make a summer. The evidence is thin.

The greatest threat to the Amish would be rising prices for farmland along with regulations that make it difficult to maintain traditional agriculture.

re Unions - I really do not believe that those thugs represented all union members, most of whom were a very good sort. My father was a union member his whole life. Unions were good and necessary back then. But even back then, in the heyday of the unions, you could see the seeds of destruction. The union protected the incompetents. They also made it hard to be flexible. For example, they gave me a hard time of changing light bulbs, because I wasn’t an electrician. We were supposed to stop work and wait in the dark if the lights went out until the proper union guy came to change the bulb. The union guys gave me a hard time for NOT spending enough time in the bathroom and for sweeping up dust between pallet loads.

The rules also set up strict job distinctions. The boss couldn’t help with the work, for example. The other thing was the strict seniority. When times were slow, the old guys would “bumb” the younger guys. We loaded bags that weight 94lbs. The old guys couldn’t handle the work, but they pretended to do it. The biggest lie was that all workers were equal, except seniority. Jobs could not be based on ability. And we were all paid the same. After I worked there for three months, I became an “experienced” operator. I earned as much as my father, who had been there for 36 years. He was no longer as strong as I was, but he was a lot smarter and could have contributed a lot more, but the rules were against it.

Posted by: C&J at April 30, 2011 10:17 PM
Comment #322581

Warped Reality, how many Amish have died from drinking unpasteurized milk?

You say, “I don’t know why you are making this leap. Green beans and tomatoes do not pose the same health risks as raw milk; although the purchase of those items across state lines constitutes international commerce and may be regulated by the Federal Government; there isn’t any real reason for this to be done.”

You contradict yourself; you say I am making a leap to include a government crackdown on beans and tomatoes and then you say they do fall under the commerce laws. Answer one question, “Could the Obama machine crack down on farmers for selling fruits and vegetables across state lines”? I have always found the government will infringe on our lives as much as they can and then some.

Re/ medical marijuana; you say, “Currently, the DEA still enforces drug lawsagainst Medical Marijuana and deportations of illegal immigrants are up. I don’t know why you seem to think there is a double standard. Posted by: Warped Reality at April 30, 2011 04:45 PM”

Well don’t know WR, perhaps it could be because the Obama admin has said they won’t:


“In a big switch from the last administration, the Obama Justice Department won’t go after users or suppliers of medical marijuana who comply with state laws.”

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2009/10/feds_wont_pursue_medical_marij.html

jlw said, ““they have no problem with allowing drugs and illegal aliens crossing the border.” they aren’t doing enough to solved the problem, but more than Bush and the Republicans.”

I believe I have blamed politicians on both sides many times for the current problems. It is not about Bush or Obama; it is about a problem that must be solved. It just so happens that Obama is in the hot seat now.

Rich says, “The Amish are a pacifist, communal society. In short, they are everything a conservative hates.”

Why do you insist on saying things that are just not true? While the Amish are pacifist, they are not communists. Their communal society is designed to care for each other’s needs; simply doing what Christ taught them to do, but they are very competitive when it comes to business. They own their own land and farms, they barter with each other, and they like to make a decent living from hard work. Conservatives agree with them perfectly; hard work, no reliance upon government, they take care of their own and all of these things have already been properly explained by C&J.

Jlw; you also have no idea what you are talking about when you say, “One of the greatest threats to the Amish communities is the influence that conservative evangelicals are having on their people.”

The Amish are a breakaway from the Mennonites, also called Dutch Ana-Baptists, who were also Baptist. The modern Mennonite church service is very similar to modern day Baptist church services. While the Amish do not have the same kind of church services as the Mennonites, it is not uncommon for Amish to attend Mennonite services. And of course, Mennonites and Baptist are considered to be part of the Evangelical movement. The Amish are not threatened by any Evangelical movement; the decision to be a member of the Amish is strictly up to the individual. To back this up, I will give you the stats; the old order Amish have grown from 165,000 in 2000 to 249,000 in 2010, with a 10% increase in the past 2 years. So your theory that the Amish are threatened by Evangelicals is wrong. You are making this statement simply to besmirch Evangelicals and Amish.


jlw, Christianity Today does not represent Evangelical Churches.

Posted by: 1776 at April 30, 2011 10:42 PM
Comment #322582

If you want to be nice to both sides, you can say that conservatives favor liberty; liberals lean to justice.

See? Now THAT I can buy. The lazy and heartless crap is well, crap.

Posted by: Spinny Liberal at April 30, 2011 10:42 PM
Comment #322589

“the amish do not try to force others to conform to thier beliefs. they live their lives as they see fit ,and accept that others will do the same. liberals on the other hand do not.”

Except, of course for their own members and community. If conservatives cherish individuality and personal liberty, the Amish way of life would not be their cup of tea. “Modern culture’s aggressive individualism sharply contrasts with the Amish gelassenheit. Through gelassenheit, an Amish person yields to the Ordnung, the will of God, church, elders, parents, community, and traditions. The individual suppresses the will of ‘self’ in lieu of the Amish community.” Wikipedia, quoting — The Riddle of Amish Culture, Donald Kraybill , Johns Hopkins UP, 1989, p.26

In my earlier comments, I was not trying to be particularly critical of the Amish, but to respond, somewhat tongue in cheek, to C&J’s comment that the Amish were everything that a liberal hates. In truth, neither modern liberals or conservatives would be happy within an Amish society. The requirements of rigid conformity to a collective norm and suppression of individual thought and behavior in favor of the collective good, would seem especially troublesome to conservatives.

Posted by: Rich at May 1, 2011 7:33 AM
Comment #322591

1776-
Christianity Today IS an Evangelical Publication, and was started by Evangelical preacher Billy Graham. It purposefully was more liberal on social issues, while standing pat on theological ones. It represents Evangelical churches, just not necessarily the ones you identify with.

The generalization has been that Evangelicals are by definition conservative, but what actually marks a church as Evangelical, regardless of the politics, is its priority towards conversion (evangelizing, or spreading the good news)

The Mennonites and Amish split off from the anabaptism movement long before the time that modern Baptists did, and are probably not considered Evangelical, by virtue of the fact that they are not very active converters. Their main mechanism for increasing their number is their large families. If you define having a faith relating to the Baptist, Methodist and other such protestant churches as evangelical, that might be your argument, but if it’s simply about active seeking of converts, well you don’t see many Amish missionaries out there.

Like WR told you, the facts on what the Obama Administration has been doing in terms of immigration and drug busts contradict what you claim as well. Perhaps you’re working here not so much from what you know, but from what you think you know.

On the subject of the milk? Look, we have a system that mandates certain amounts of cleanliness in how we deal with food. This prevents costly and deadly outbreaks of disease that were once common. Is the social or health benefit of drinking raw milk balance out the risks? When they passed laws requiring Pasteurization, incidents of milkborne disease dropped by 90%

As for Farmers Markets? The issue is that most contamination on fruits and vegetables is on top. You can wash those items.

You can’t wash milk. You can boil it, which is what I hear folks in areas that get raw milk do in Mexico, but boiling permanently changes milk (which is why most Pasteurization processes fall short of doing that, temperature-wise)

Communal doesn’t mean communist. You can be for the collective public good without being a socialist or a communist. You just have to believe at the end of the day that not everything that benefits a person at the individual level scales up to benefit society when practiced at a community, city, state, or national level.

The basis of all law is the idea that what can benefit or please one person (for example, stealing your wallet, murdering a relative or parent to inherit their money, molesting a child, or raping an unconsenting adult) may indeed be harmful to others, and to society as a whole, and society must therefore act to stop such behavior by force.

The law, at basis, is about living together. One aspect of modern society is that you often live at great separation from those who prepare your food. It’s not as if you can go to Farmer Bill and say “Your milk made my wife sick, clean up that cow before you make anybody else sick!”

In the modern world, our success in transportation of food products means that food can travel quite a ways from the source, and the production is often managed by those that remote, part of powerful agribusiness interests, or both.

We’ve already tried the experiment you folks are talking about, already attempted to make it work, and failed. People turned to government on this one for a reason: they didn’t like getting ill, and in the time before Penicillin, an ounce of prevention was worth a pound of cure. That’s true even now, as resistant strains show up and mutate from the regular ones.

C&J-
This one article demonstrates some of the dilemmas and conflicts involved with the Amish and Environmental regulations. as the article points out, though, the answer is not ignoring the issue, and hoping it goes away.

I’m of the belief that good government requires interaction of the interested parties, not merely absolute liberty for those below or absolute power for those above. That’s what makes Democracy useful: it encourages feedbacks.

Now the point’s been made that those who spend their whole lives on farms don’t get sick from the milk. But I think that’s perhaps misleading. The truth is, they probably got sick at an early age, then developed an immunity or a resistance from earlier exposures. But we out in the cities and suburbs aren’t going to get the kind of regular contact with the germs of those places that would even give us the partial resistance.

Some people take good science or good ideas, and generalize them beyond their useful, proper application.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 1, 2011 8:29 AM
Comment #322593

rich

said

“Except, of course for their own members and community. If conservatives cherish individuality and personal liberty, the Amish way of life would not be their cup of tea.”

this is actually false. when they reach maturity they are given the ability to go out in the world and decide on thier own if they want to remain in the community. i live in rural ohio so i’m somewhat familiar with thier habits. don’t know where you live, but when was the last time you went to a walmart and saw horses and buggies parked in the lot?


you said

“In my earlier comments, I was not trying to be particularly critical of the Amish, but to respond, somewhat tongue in cheek, to C&J’s comment that the Amish were everything that a liberal hates. In truth, neither modern liberals or conservatives would be happy within an Amish society. The requirements of rigid conformity to a collective norm and suppression of individual thought and behavior in favor of the collective good, would seem especially troublesome to conservatives.”

the difference is one can choose to leave the the amish society without leaving the country if they choose to not conform to thier ideals. the key is there is still freedom of chouce. it is liberals in general that choose to force others to conform to thier societal ideals with no chance to opt out.

Posted by: dbs at May 1, 2011 10:10 AM
Comment #322600
Warped Reality, how many Amish have died from drinking unpasteurized milk?
This isn’t relevant. It isn’t illegal for one to do what one wants with the milk within state lines (unless state law forbids it, but that’s a different matter). What is illegal is bringing the milk across state lines to sell to unsuspecting consumers, who don’t know the health risks posed by raw milk. Personally, I’d support letting those farmers sell their milk across state lines, but only if the customers gave informed consent, which isn’t what’s happening right now.
You contradict yourself; you say I am making a leap to include a government crackdown on beans and tomatoes and then you say they do fall under the commerce laws. Answer one question, “Could the Obama machine crack down on farmers for selling fruits and vegetables across state lines”? I have always found the government will infringe on our lives as much as they can and then some.

The Constitution give the federal government to regulate interstate commerce. That is a very powerful tool, it can be wielded foolishly (such as banning all interstate commerce) or it can be wielded intelligently. Our protection against unreasonable regulations is the ballot box; it’s one of the advantages of living in a Constitutional Republic that relies on the mechanisms of Representative Democracy to choose its leaders.

Re/ medical marijuana; you say, “Currently, the DEA still enforces drug lawsagainst Medical Marijuana and deportations of illegal immigrants are up. I don’t know why you seem to think there is a double standard. Posted by: Warped Reality at April 30, 2011 04:45 PM”

Well don’t know WR, perhaps it could be because the Obama admin has said they won’t:


“In a big switch from the last administration, the Obama Justice Department won’t go after users or suppliers of medical marijuana who comply with state laws.”

”>http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2009/10/feds_wont_pursue_medical_marij.html

I think my link shows that the Obama administration’s DEA is acting contrary to the announcement made in 2009. Nonetheless, I don’t think they should have the right to intervene in medical marijuana markets unless the drug is being shipped across state lines. It’s unclear whether those dispensaries in Spokane referenced in my link were selling intrastate or interstate.

Posted by: Warped Reality at May 1, 2011 11:57 AM
Comment #322603

SD said:

“Christianity Today IS an Evangelical Publication, and was started by Evangelical preacher Billy Graham. It purposefully was more liberal on social issues, while standing pat on theological ones. It represents Evangelical churches, just not necessarily the ones you identify with.
The generalization has been that Evangelicals are by definition conservative, but what actually marks a church as Evangelical, regardless of the politics, is its priority towards conversion (evangelizing, or spreading the good news)
The Mennonites and Amish split off from the anabaptism movement long before the time that modern Baptists did, and are probably not considered Evangelical, by virtue of the fact that they are not very active converters. Their main mechanism for increasing their number is their large families. If you define having a faith relating to the Baptist, Methodist and other such protestant churches as evangelical, that might be your argument, but if it’s simply about active seeking of converts, well you don’t see many Amish missionaries out there.”

I can assure you Mr. Daugherty that Christianity today is not recognized as anything by main stream Evangelical Christians. There are not “stand pat” standard theological beliefs among Evangelicals. Every Evangelical church has I’s own interpretation of Scripture, although means of salvation is the ONLY thing that makes them similar. You say; “The generalization has been that Evangelicals are by definition conservative” and then you try to say these conservative churches support liberal social issues. Perhaps you could pull your head out of your rectum Mr. Daugherty. You talk just to hear yourself speak

I don’t have time for this drivel. The absolute arrogance of your ignorant statements proves to me you know nothing of Amish or Baptist history. I stated the Amish are a breakaway of the Mennonites, and the Mennonites followed Meno Simmons, who was Ana-Baptists. The Ana-Baptists did not originate from another other denomination, and the Ana-Baptists and Baptists are the same group. They were called Baptists because they baptized by emersion, and they were called Ana-Baptists because they re-baptized.

Let me explain something to you Mr. Daugherty, I will explain in terms you may understand. This is my field of expertise; I have a BA and MA in Theology and have taught in Seminaries on the very subject of Baptist History. I have studied the writers that I am about to give you and have all their books in my library. And I will tell you, as you are one with a Catholic background (and I might add, does not even believe in the religion you proclaim), you have no idea what you are talking about. You can Google all you want on the subject, but you are over your head on this one. For the sake of time and the waste of time to explain any further to you on the subject of Baptist history, I will simple include link from Wikipedia, which serves to give you the very basic idea of the subject. The rest of the history of Baptists was written by those who have no more knowledge of the subject than you do.

“Strict organic perpetuity view

Main article: Baptist successionism

Position: There has been a succession of Baptist churches throughout history beginning with the first Baptist church of Jerusalem. Dissenters from the earliest times were merely Baptists with different names.[19]

Proponents: James Robinson Graves (1820–93), the founder of the Landmark movement; JM Carroll (1852–1931) and his Trail of Blood booklet (1931).[19]

Prior to the 20th century, Baptist historians generally wrote from the perspective that Baptists had existed since the times of Christ.[21] The Baptist perpetuity view considers the Baptist movement to have always been historically separate from Catholicism and in existence prior to the Protestant Reformation.[22]

The perpetuity view is often identified with The Trail of Blood, a successionist pamphlet by J.M. Carrol published in 1931.[22] Other Baptist writers holding the perpetuity view are Thomas Crosby, G.H. Orchard, JM Cramp, William Cathcart, Adam Taylor and DB Ray[22][23] This view was also held by English Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon[24] as well as Jesse Mercer, the namesake of Mercer University.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptist

Posted by: 1776 at May 1, 2011 1:29 PM
Comment #322605

Rich & DBS

DBS explained some of my concerns. Please pay attention. I am not saying this to be condescending, but rather because there is a liberal stereotype of conservative ideology that you seem to be going with. Liberals mistake a conservative emphasis on individual choice for a rejection of community. This is actual opposite from the facts.


Conservatives value community. They seek community in their churches, volunteer activities, firms and families. Within these communities, individuals cede autonomy to the group and people work together toward common goals beyond what the individual alone could accomplish. Most voluntary organization are NOT democratic. People join because they appropriate of the goals or benefits, not to vote.

We do not like INVOLUNTARY organizations, mandated by the coercion of the state. We believe, in fact, that state sponsorship weakens communities formerly based on free association.

The states legitimate duty is to make sure individuals are protected. Groups have no rights. The state should guarantee that individual group members have the right to leave the group w/o suffering physical coercion. For example, a religious group might believe that women are subordinate to men. If everyone is choosing freely, the state has no role. But if a woman suffers violence at the hands of her spouse, the state can legitimately step in, even if the religion says it is okay.

The Amish are voluntary. The worst thing they do to punish members is to eject them from their communities, which is well within their rights of free association. The state has no legitimate role in this. Since it is voluntary organization of hard-working people, conservatives generally would be supportive of leaving this group alone to handle its own problems in its own way

It is true that few modern people would seek an Amish lifestyle. We do not have to. That is the beauty of choice and freedom. Most people have lifestyles I would not choose for myself and few people would enjoy my lifestyle. As a conservative, I just don’t care. It is not my business. I will freely give advice to those who ask, and even those who don’t. They do not have to listen to me, unless they interfere with my lifestyle or ask me to help pay for theirs.

Stephen

Re communists - see above - it is a matter of freedom. In my family, we share in a communal manner. It is our choice. The government doesn’t mandate it and that is good.

When we talk “communist” we generally are referring to Marxism. Marxism is a serious error and has been the most deadly ideology in world history. Anybody advocating Marxism is an enemy of humanity.

If you want to talk about communism is the contemporary setting, unfortunately, you have to explain that you are not talking about Marxism.

You can complain that you are using the word correctly, but that doesn’t matter. I have learned that some words cannot be used. For example, I do not use the word “disinterested” because I know that a majority of my readers will not understand the correct definition. The same goes for a word like “inflammability” and communist.

Re Amish farming - environmental regulation is a legitimate government function, depending on how it is done. Your article, in fact, demonstrates a good use of regulation. The Amish farmers are given the facts and information that actually help them do the right thing for the Bay.

Government has a right to protect the environment. It should mandate the goal, not the precise means of achieving it. Returning to our milk problem, the government has a goal of healthy milk sold. But it also needs to provide choice, since the people involved have free will. In a way the environment does not.

As I wrote, I do not want to drink raw milk, nor do I care about organic food or natural (non-plastic) packaging. Some people do. They should have the choice.

I agree with you about the science, but I prefer to allow people the freedom to disagree since it is their health that they are talking about.

Freedom is the key.

Posted by: C&J at May 1, 2011 1:36 PM
Comment #322609
We do not like INVOLUNTARY organizations, mandated by the coercion of the state. We believe, in fact, that state sponsorship weakens communities formerly based on free association. … The Amish are voluntary. The worst thing they do to punish members is to eject them from their communities, which is well within their rights of free association. The state has no legitimate role in this. Since it is voluntary organization of hard-working people, conservatives generally would be supportive of leaving this group alone to handle its own problems in its own way

One of the key ideas that went into founding this nation was the concept that our government is a voluntary organization. After all, Thomas Jefferson penned the words:

… Governments are instituted among Men, deriving the just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, Laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

If you do not agree with what the government is doing, you can organize politically and influence elections, or you can choose the option of emigration. If neither of those options work, then you may overthrow the government as a last resort, which is what the Declaration of Independence is all about.

Posted by: Warped Reality at May 1, 2011 2:15 PM
Comment #322613

WR, do you believe that right was exercised last November?

Posted by: Conservativethinker at May 1, 2011 4:10 PM
Comment #322614

I find it interesting that not one single subject can be brought up on WB without massive attacks from the left. I say left because that is what I read. Even to the point of disputing about food. One type of food is illegal to bring across a state border, but is alright to do it, and another food it is not alright. If no one can find any common ground on food, then how will we ever expect our politicians to get anything constructive done? I fear we are doomed.

Posted by: Mike at May 1, 2011 4:22 PM
Comment #322615

Why, you can’t even discuss the origins of religion without someone arguing about it.

Posted by: Mike at May 1, 2011 4:24 PM
Comment #322616

Warped

Government is voluntary in theory, as Jefferson says. It has the consent of the governed. But Jefferson envisioned a government much more limited than what evolved during the 1930s and especially during the 1960s.

We believe in limited government, as Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton and others envisioned.

And we DO indeed influence elections. Remember we elected guys like Ronald Reagan and we won big in the most recent elections. as Conservative Thinker pointed out. Our goal is to keep up the legal fight against usurpation.

I recall when Bush was elected, many liberals threatened to leave. None did. When conservatives win again in 2012, I wonder what will happen.

So we conservatives love community when it is based on freedom and dislike it based on coercion. Liberals, it seems to me, disagree.

Posted by: C&J at May 1, 2011 4:41 PM
Comment #322617

Interesting and true:

“Liberalism’s Death Croak
By R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. on 4.28.11 @ 6:09AM

WASHINGTON — While inspecting the body politic, one encounters one clear sign that Liberalism is dead. It is the condition of our political discourse. Polite commentators note that the dialogue is “rancorous.” Some say toxic. Actually it is worse than that. It is nonexistent.

From the right, from the sophisticated right, there is an attempt to engage the Liberals. Budget Chairman Paul Ryan just did it by presenting a budget that cried out for intelligent response. President Barack Obama’s response was to invite Chairman Ryan to sit in the front row for Obama’s “fiscal policy” speech at George Washington University. There, Obama heaped scorn on an astonished Ryan and his work. He did not even mention Ryan’s name. This is what Obama calls an “adult” debate?

From the rest of the Liberals there is generally silence. They prattle on about Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin, but they pay almost no heed to the think tanks on the right, to their journals of opinion, or to the writers and figures of heft. The Liberals are dead.

There are the zombies out there. Well-known politicians such as Al Gore or writers such as the New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who howls about the Heritage Foundation while fudging that think tank’s findings or about the aforementioned Ryan, but there is no one capable of engaging the serious conservatives. None even tries. Their idea of dialogue amounts to hurling what are lines fit for a bumper sticker—”I Am a Citizen of the World” or “War Is Not the Answer.” Or perhaps they hurl a slur—conservatives are “extreme,” though by now the conservatives have been around for decades and running the country more frequently than not: the Reagan Administration, Bush Administration, and the Gingrich Congress. Have the Liberals not noticed this? As I say, Liberalism is dead.

This has not always been the case. There was a time when Liberals, say, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, engaged conservatives quite brilliantly. They knew what conservatives thought. They could even find elements of conservative thought that they disagreed with without disfiguring that thought and pouncing on the resultant red herring. This is not the way it is today. There has been a change in the politically charged audience in this great Republic.

It is not in the vituperation. The vituperation was always out there. Sometimes it has been delicious. As early as the presidency of George Washington invective was eloquent of the political bad blood between the contending factions. In looking for a secretary of state to replace Edmund Randolph, Washington was turned down by five candidates, the last, Rufus King, explaining to Washington’s agent, Alexander Hamilton, that he had rejected the offer because of “the foul and venomous shafts of calumny” then being heaved at public servants. Washington was disparaged as a monarchist, Hamilton as a lackey. Things have not improved in the public discourse since then.

Yet now something is different. I blame the Liberals. They do not engage their adversaries. They have been able to do this because they have controlled the public media, the Kultursmog. The smog reported their grotesqueries with the utmost seriousness. Thus if you were visiting from a foreign country you might think Glenn Beck a major force in American politics and you might be gravely frightened of Beck and of Fox News. But Beck is only an entertainer and he is leaving Fox News. Some say under duress. Sarah Palin and her whole family might sound like the Marcos family of the Philippines, but she is from Alaska and out of office.

Or take the recent imbroglio between Krugman and the Heritage Foundation. Heritage recently ran Ryan’s numbers through a perfectly mainstream, non-political, economic model, the U.S. Macroeconomic Model developed by Global Insight. Krugman responded in a New York Times column by impugning Heritage’s integrity, claiming Heritage used a model that would force the conclusions that Heritage wanted. Heritage’s Bill Beach called Krugman out in an open letter. Now it has been over a week and not a peep of response from Krugman. As I say, Liberalism is dead, and its nigh unto totalitarian control of media has ended. Fox News, talk radio, and the Internet have arrived. Raise a toast to free speech.”

http://spectator.org/archives/2011/04/28/liberalisms-death-croak#commentcontainer

Posted by: Mike at May 1, 2011 4:58 PM
Comment #322618
We believe in limited government, as Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton and others envisioned.

You do a very poor job of showing it. Remember, that whenever you decrease the power of politicians in DC, you are increasing the power of our unelected corporate government. This is the key lesson that was learned from humanity’s experimentation with Fascism. Nature abhors a vacuum so utopian desires for anarchy are impossible, someone must control the power in a society. The best bet for a liberal society is to distribute that power amongst the greatest number of people, which is the entire reason for our country’s democratic process.

And we DO indeed influence elections. Remember we elected guys like Ronald Reagan and we won big in the most recent elections. as Conservative Thinker pointed out. Our goal is to keep up the legal fight against usurpation.

Well duh! The political pendulum swings back and forth; each ideology wins some elections and loses others. The recent election was the result of a substantial portion of the electorate being unhappy with the first two years of the Obama administration & the behavior of the Democrats in Congress.

I recall when Bush was elected, many liberals threatened to leave. None did. When conservatives win again in 2012, I wonder what will happen.
So what? Same thing happened when Obama was elected in 2008 with conservatives. My point was that this country doesn’t require exit visas to emigrate, nor do we even require documents to travel within our own country (except for AZ). The freedom of movement is one of most fundamental freedoms there is, and its presence is required if we are to have a liberal society. Illiberal regimes such as the USSR, PRC, PDRK, NAZI Germany and others put enormous barriers on their citizens’ movement in order to implement their tools of coercion.
So we conservatives love community when it is based on freedom and dislike it based on coercion.

Today, our political government is based upon freedom, yet conservative rhetoric leads me to think conservatives don’t like the community values fostered by the government. On the other hand, liberal ideology is founded on the premise of voluntary associations and communities. The only place one finds coercion and totalitarianism is in illiberal societies.

Posted by: Warped Reality at May 1, 2011 5:03 PM
Comment #322620

Warped

“You do a very poor job of showing it. Remember, that whenever you decrease the power of politicians in DC, you are increasing the power of our unelected corporate government.”

This does not follow. The politicians in DC are not saviors. Again, when you compare the Nazis/communists to a free economy, you neglect to recall that they are examples of the government authorities owning or controlling business.

We are against that diabolical concentration of power.

And Nazi/communism did NOT follow from a limited government. They followed weak governments trying to be big. It is not the same thing.

As I wrote, America had a small government throughout its history, much smaller in the extent of intrusiveness than Germany or Russia. Revolutionary socialism came to those places, not us.

Re community - you are right. I do not like community created by government fiat. It is not a free association.

Re liberalism - be careful with the definition. Liberal in the old days - and still in many foreign countries - means the desire for less government interference. People like Henry David Thoreau would have called himself liberal when he wrote that the government is best which governs least. Not many moderns liberals would buy this.

You only find totalitarianism in countries with intrusive governments where government owns or controls most of the economic activity. This is not an American conservative ideal. It is illiberal in the original formulation, but it is more like a modern liberal.


Posted by: C&J at May 1, 2011 5:22 PM
Comment #322626

C&J,

Perhaps you were not condescending enough, but I fail to see how the structure of the Amish society merits conservative admiration and liberal hatred. It would appear to be the antithesis of an ideal conservative society. It is a society in which individualism is suppressed in favor of the collective. Individual achievement and merit is actively discouraged. Education is limited to the 8th grade. No student goes on to higher education. That is a deliberate effort to maintain equality of knowledge within the community. No student (scholar) is better than another. Individual accumulation of wealth is discouraged. Access to alternative ideas is restricted. There is a reason that electricity for homes is prohibited (no modern media). By the way, there is little doubt that the norms of the collective will are enforced by the authorities within the society. You conform or you are out. There is no tolerance of alternative life styles or thought within the society. Banishment may not be jail, but it is extremely painful for a person brought up within that community.

Posted by: Rich at May 1, 2011 9:50 PM
Comment #322628

Rich

Listen - it is a VOLUNTARY organization. It is a community of willing adherents. If the Amish had an army or police force that enforced its will, I would be against them. But since they don’t, I support their rights.

Amish farms are neat. They rarely break the law. They do not take welfare nor do they take government handouts. What is there that could be offensive to anybody?

Few people would want to live like they do. But it is their business. I admire their commitment to hard work, community and faith.

We all are members of groups. This is good and something that conservatives understand. We understand community. We just like those that are chosen, not imposed by government.

Do I want to be like them? No. My choice. And theirs.

Posted by: C&J at May 1, 2011 11:06 PM
Comment #322630

Rich

Let me add a note about “alternative lifestyles”. Being Amish IS an alternative lifestyle. Those that don’t like it can leave, but why would you demand that they accept changes.

I always find it interesting when people freely want to join a group, but then complain about the rules.

The nice thing about the Amish, as opposed to some other religions, is that they don’t try to kill anybody who wants to leave, nor do they react with violence when somebody criticizes them.

Posted by: C&J at May 1, 2011 11:12 PM
Comment #322637

C&J,

I have been just responding to your statements that the Amish are everything that liberals hate. I am not demanding that the Amish change anything in their culture. I just find it odd that a conservative would find the nature of the Amish society appealing.

“I always find it interesting when people freely want to join a group, but then complain about the rules.”

The Amish, today, are born into that society. They don’t freely chose to join the group.

Posted by: Rich at May 1, 2011 11:36 PM
Comment #322695

1776-
The folks up at Baylor evangelized just as much as anybody I ever saw, so I have first hand experience to doubt your exclusion of folks who disagree with your view on.

I acknowledge, and never disputed that Baptists and the Amish shared a common root. But as species evolve separately when they split from one another, so do organizations. Modern Baptist organizations are quite evangelical, quite in favor of spreading the faith.

The Amish and the Mennonites are less interested in that, than maintaining an Orthodox community of followers. I doubt they would discourage somebody from joining them, but they’d certainly want them to adopt the lifestyle of their people, with all its limitations and religious requirements.

The Problem with alleging that your movement has perpetual continuity, going back to the beginning, is that anybody can make such a claim, if they look at it the right way. Hell, a Zoroastrian can look at the three religions of the Book and say, “We’re the original!” Judaism can say, “we were the first ones to make the compact with God on Sinai, we’re the original!” Islam looks at it and says that Mohammed’s message is the culmination, the purification and correction of all that came before it. Christianity has Jesus saying, “I have not come to do away with the law, I have come to fulfill it. We talk of what was undone by the fall of Adam, being repaired with the ressurrection of Jesus.

Even among the many Sects of the world, the notion that the sect in question represents some sort of continuity with the original, great revelation is a very common one. With denominations like Catholicism or Orthodox Christianity, Sunni or Shia Islam, the claim is of true continuity from the beginning, the line of succession reaching back to the original prophet or patriarch. Catholics talk about one holy, catholic(meaning universal), and apostolic church. Sunnis and Shia argue about what the proper line of succession is for the Caliphs of old were, and each claims the correct succession in their mind. Even among the Shia there are Niners and Twelvers who argue about who the last great imam was.

But of course, later movements claim they’ve got a better idea. The Mormons claim an entirely new narrative of the origins of true Christianity. Protestant churches spoke of returning the church to its original state of tradition, coming from the early fathers of the church- this later pattern of doing an end-run around a history of leaders considered corrupt and wayward is a common feature of such religious movements.

So, I’m not going to take the continuous history theory at face value. That’s a common apologist’s argument.

The strongest argument against today’s fundamentalists, I feel, is that they’re stuck in an outmoded paradigm of what the greatest strains on religious orthodoxy are.

See, the reason for the heavily rationalized approach to the Bible, treating it as an authoritative book that must be completely heeded as a literal reference, was the similar character of much of the scientific thinking of the time, and the social thinking as well. But today’s world runs such systems up against their ability to function, and the reality is, religion doesn’t work well when over-rationalized, since rationalizing faith puts pressure on faith to be justified on some sort of external evidence.

That’s where you get creation science, and that’s where you get the dilemma of what comes of Creation science: it offers a target to Christianity’s critics to undermine their arguments. Rather than move Christianity beyond question, it makes our religion very vulnerable to question because the critics can very easily refute many of the pseudo-scientific claims they make. I mean, people riding dinosaurs. It doesn’t work.

My approach is not to put that strain on things. Rather than try to butcher what is observed in the real world to fit what the literal bible says, I interpret the bible as being an account told by people who had a certain understanding of the world that colors that account.

I consider the bible both inspired and fallible document. The light in the bible strains against human imperfections, both from the authors, and from the readers.

But being familiar with mythology and the psychology of storytelling, my attitude is, the undertones and underlying themes can often shine through the imperfections of composition.

Which is to say that I believe God pushed and subtly manipulated the authors of the bible towards writing something that had greater relevance, and a more timeless message and ethic than what they would have otherwise written. God filled the bible with his spirit, just as he fills us.

To me, God is perpetually reaching out towards us through the Bible, through the principles and ideas contained within. I don’t think he trusted us to get all the rules and requirements and whatever else right, so he delivered his message not in the brittle, vulnerable form of a perfect document that would be broken by human fallibility, and lose its message, but rather in a more robust form that uses the power of literary forms and mythological storytelling to relate things on a level that surpasses the need for people to get God’s message completely right to seek out salvation.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 2, 2011 2:20 PM
Comment #322706
Not many moderns liberals would buy this.

Here is where you go wrong. Most liberals fight to limit government interference. We just recognize that there is more than one government in this nation. Currently, we fear the corporate government more than the political government, but if circumstances change, so will we.

Again, when you compare the Nazis/communists to a free economy, you neglect to recall that they are examples of the government authorities owning or controlling business.

Now you are sounding like the modern day Marxist who insists that the USSR & PRC never implemented Marx’s ideas and that there still exists a communist utopia that has never been tried. Technically, a true Communist Utopia is a stateless system made up of entirely voluntary interactions, but that utopia is impossible for obvious reasons. Conservatives preach a utopia of limited political government, but unlimited corporate government. The conservative says that because the law says the corporate government is not allowed to use force, we have nothing to fear. However, extralegal usurpations of power abound in human history.

You point out that during the 1930s & 1940, the German government tightly controlled the German economy. However, it’s probably more accurate to say the relationship was the other way around. That the German government was controlled by German Corporations. There were no Reichstag decrees incrementally growing government. Instead, Hitler usurped power after the Reichstag fire. The Nazis from the beginning had been in the pocket of Germany’s bussinesses from the very beginning. Krupp, Volkswagenwerk, Messerschmitt, Rheinmetall, Rochling, Büssing and Siemens all bankrolled Hitler. All these companies enthusiastically colluded with Hitler throughout his reign.

Posted by: Warped Reality at May 2, 2011 8:44 PM
Comment #322744


“The German government was controlled by German Corporations.”

It seems like I have heard of another government that is controlled by it’s corporations.

The German corporations had allies and friends among the American corporations. British corporations as well. Some of the American corporations supplied the Germans with war materials and finances throughout the duration of the war.

The Fascist German corporations and their foreign counterparts had one big problem, Hitler was an incalcitrant psychotic.

After the Germans had secured Western Europe, excluding Great Britain, the corporations wanted to sue for peace and secure it as a Fascist State. Hitler refused. He bombed the hell out of England and then the idiot invaded the Soviet Union, screwing up everything.

In the aftermath of the war, some of the American corporate businessmen rushed into Berlin to protect their fascist businessmen friends and secure high places in the new German government for some of them, helping to kick start the Cold War.

Posted by: jlw at May 4, 2011 1:49 PM
Comment #322763

Warped

They did indeed implement many of Marx’s ideas. Marx was full or shit in general. To the extent that his ideas could be implemented, they did. It is just that Marxism in practice looks a lot like Nazism in practice.

The Marxist theorists point to differences, but as a pragmatic American, I just look to what happens. Every time Marxisms is implemented, lots of people die. Maybe the ideology is evil.

Re the German government controlling the firms or the other way. It doesn’t matter. There was NOT a free market. IF you were living there, you could not just start a firm to compete with the existing ones. The government, on the other hand, did create firms, such as Volkswagen.

Again, taking the pragmatic view - I am against the concentration of power. If corporations come to control government, THEY are the government. Big government can come from that direction. Or political leaders can come to control the economy. They are the totalitarian government too. The result is the same - lots of people die, the free market ceases to exist and things fall apart.

But you have to make a distinction. IF the corporations are to become the controllers of coercion they MUST become government. AND government must possess the tools of oppression.

I understand that people like to compare corporations in the U.S. with those you mention in Germany, but there is no comparison. Even the most entrenched American firms face stiff competition. The famous liberal economist John Kenneth Galbraith wrote that a firm like GM was so powerful that it could control the market. History showed him wrong. Before GM we feared the railroads. In the 1980s, IBM supposedly had a lock on computers. Not. Of course, Microsoft was recently thought to control the market. Now we have Google.

This is how it works. A firm maybe can control its product line, but people find ways around it with alternatives, UNLESS government uses its coercive force to prevent the change.

Posted by: C&J at May 4, 2011 9:15 PM
Comment #322787

C&J

I think we are on the same page on this one. Both of are distrustful of concentrated power. I think you agree with me that if the political government is too weak, it is prone to being replaced by a totalitarian regime. In Germany, you could say the corporations became the government because they had access to the power of coercion.

However, I don’t think it’s honest to say that our political government has a monopoly on coercion. When I say political government, I’m referring to the people in DC, the 50 state capitols and in local governments that we elect. These people certainly do wield a great deal of power, but they are constantly in competition with other would-be governments. These competing governments are almost totalitarian and it is our job to minimalize their power.

Posted by: Warped Realit at May 5, 2011 11:53 AM
Comment #323810

SD

“I consider the bible both inspired and fallible document.”

“To me, God is perpetually reaching out towards us through the Bible, through the principles and ideas contained within.”

Then God reaches out to us with his fallible word. That is blasphemy.

According to Stephen we get to pick and choose which is fallible and which is infallible in the Bible. That is insane.

That is chronic and classical make-believe. Leave the story telling to those who have made a career out of doing it. You don’t do a very good job of it. But I guess you gotta start somewhere.

Posted by: tom humes at June 2, 2011 4:57 AM
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