Democrats & Liberals Archives

No Reason For Republicans To Worry About the Primary

I’m hesitant to predict a long primary battle simply because I lived through the media frenzy that was the 2008 Democratic nomination process. Many will recall how Republicans were cheering on the prolonged fight, talking about a divisive Dem convention, a sore loser Clinton campaign that would rather destroy the party than let Obama win, and at least four more years of GOP control in the White House.

In 2008 at this time in the calendar McCain was the clear front runner with almost 50% voter support and the other candidates like Romney were dropping out. This was no real surprise. McCain had run a strong campaign in 2000 and in 2008 was the favorite early on.

On the other side things had come down to Obama and Clinton and they were in a dead heat with 45% of the vote a piece. John Edwards, the only other viable candidate, had dropped out of the primary late in January. I think it was surprising early how strong Obama was but that Obama and Clinton were both running strong in February wasn't a total shock.

Today Rick Santorum, an unexpectedly strong candidate, leads Romney by a hair. They are in a virtual tie around 30% a piece. Surprised? I wouldn't have bet on that. But does this mean the GOP is in for a long fight? Maybe. Maybe not. Gingirch was in his place a few weeks ago and he's nearly dead in the race now. The fact that it's 30% support and not 45% seems bad but if Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich were not in the race I believe Romney and Santorum would have that 45% a piece and look considerably stronger going forward.

The trouble with anyone saying Santorum has a chance is that he has no money. He is only winning because Romney is weak, not because voters can't decide between two strong candidates. This entire event has been a race to the bottom this year.

Imagine for a moment that Biden and Edwards had not dropped out early in 2008. It's not inconceivable to suggest they might have recovered slightly in February once voters saw Obama and Clinton clawing at each other. Most likely though they would have continued to be weak and continued to blow money. That is one thing that has made 2012 so interesting.

Now I'm seeing Democrats cheering a long battle and talking about a divisive convention and so on. I keep asking myself if these folks remember 2008. Wishful thinking rarely translates into reality or the Los Angeles Dodgers would have won the last 20 World Series championships. A safer bet would be that Romney will have only a slight advantage going forward but any advantage will help him weaken Santorum over the long haul. The fight will be longer than expected but Romney will inch toward that 50% while Santorum inches slowly downward. Other than the fact that Ron Paul has delegates he'll use to screw around with as much as possible, I imagine the GOP convention will be pretty boring for Democrats to watch.

What should worry Republicans is not the primary candidates but the turnout and enthusiasm. Apparently they have let 2010 victories convince them Obama is weaker than he is. They are in constant denial about the recovery and they spread misinformation and lies to counter any positive news. Conservatives have convinced themselves that Obama is much more Carter than Reagan. But just like Reagan at this time, every day the economy grows stronger and Obama grows stronger with it.

Republicans can either start thinking of Obama as a strong candidate or they can continue tripping through the primary pretending any Republican they nominate will easily beat this President.

Posted by Adam Ducker at February 14, 2012 6:49 AM
Comments
Comment #336610

Adam,
It’s interesting to compare and contrast the 2008 Democratic primary with the current one. To me, it looks like very few similarities, and a lot of contrasts.

Hillary Clinton and Willard Romney both played the roles of anointed front runners. Both are sharp, competent, able organizers capable of raising money and conducting a nationwide campaign. Their abilities to inspire and enthuse followers is somewhere between so-so to good. However, there was never the degree of dissatisfaction among the base with Hillary that we see with today with Willard. There was never a question among Democrats that a good candidate would lead the ticket- it was just a question of which one.

The nature of the challengers is very different. In the Democratic primary of 2008, Obama came out of nowhere. He exhibited superior organizational skills, created a campaign every bit as good as Clinton’s, and showed more innovativeness with the use of the internet, and in creating a superior political strategy to amass delegates as a counter to Clinton’s big state strategy. Most importantly, Obama exuded optimism. He inspired. He enthused supporters. And he is one of the best orators in the country’s history.

In the Republican primary of 2012, the front-runner, Romney, has more or less stayed at a level of about 30% support, while the rest of the GOP base has fled from one Not Romney to another in the vain search of an alternative- any alternative. At various times, Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Gingrich, and Santorum have all temporarily assumed the mantle of top Not Romney candidate. None ever demonstrated much skill at creating and staffing an organization or fund raising. The lack of enthusiasm and the low voting turnouts among Republicans has been remarkable, especially considering the horse race nature of these primaries. The Not Romneys have been thrust into the circus spotlight, NOT because they possessed skills to earn it, but because a previous Not Romney proved incompetent; in other words, no one climbed to the top of the heap like Obama in 2008; instead, each GOP candidate has tumbled to the bottom in turn, leaving the next who simply stayed in the same place now at the top of a lower heap.

In 2008, Clinton and Obama occasionally got chippy, but they never engaged in really destructive attacks. In 2012, the negative attacks have been remarkable, with Willard destroying Newt in IA, and Newt responding with a devastating attack against Romney in SC.

I still think Romney is a lock, and Super Tuesday will be the proof the pudding. However, Gingrich and Santorum have stayed in the race despite their respective lack of funds, and they could conceivably continue on that basis right into the convention. Since most primaries and caucuses divide delegates proportionately-

And since Paul will stay in the race to the bitter end, drawing low but consistent support, another big difference between the natures of the 2008 & 2012 primaries-

It is not inconceivable that Romney could have less than 50% of the delegates at the time of the convention. That creates scenario for a Second Ballot. At that point, a brokered convention could happen…

Posted by: phx8 at February 14, 2012 12:51 PM
Comment #336612

I think they’ll give themselves reason. With the Citizens United decision paradoxically backfiring on them by allowing poorly funded candidates to remain well represented in the media, and with the obsession with both electability and ideological purity leaving no candidate the preferred, realistic choice, and with the fact that many of their later contests aren’t winner take all, it’s going to be some time before they have a winning candidate.

Nate Silver’s take on this is interesting, too. He’s saying that Romney’s campaign resembles Gerald Ford’s 1976 and Mondale’s 1984 run, with both going almost to convention before they became presumptive nominee.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 14, 2012 3:29 PM
Comment #336617


Supporters of both political parties tend to be overly optimistic and under concerned about the opposition, at least until late in the election process.

Republicans underestimated Obama as well in 2008. They are underestimating him this time as well. Perhaps they feel that they have muddied the facts in regards to his presidency enough to feel overly optimistic.

Likewise, Democrats tend to underestimate the Republican candidates and the eventual nominee.

Last year, a lot of talk was about the huge reelection war chest that Obama was building up. Now, Romney’s war chest and the effect that super pacts are having has Obama altering his strategy.

Posted by: jlw at February 14, 2012 6:25 PM
Comment #336621

jlw-
I’m not underestimating them. I’m sure they’ll do their best to befuddle people with BS. But they’ll have to throw more BS at the screen, and they’ll be late into the year before they can declare a winner. They’ll have a choice between folks they can be enthusiastic about, and somebody nobody is quite enthusiastic about.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 14, 2012 8:58 PM
Comment #336625


Stephen, as things stand, I will be voting for Obama, but enthusiasm has nothing to do with it.

Considering the sad state that both of these political parties, yes both political parties, have put this country in, it is hard for me to think that anyone could be enthusiastic about electing either of them.

Posted by: jlw at February 15, 2012 12:08 AM
Comment #336626

jlw-
I think the need for enthusiasm is in part an artifact of a media culture that feeds on raw emotion. I prefer to ask myself a simple question: what result do I want, and a vote for who gets me closest to that fastest?

I like that Obama was charismatic, and that the election represented a new bloom of Liberalism and progressive legislation. But I was mostly interested in the later. I made the calculation that Obama could achieve the most, in part because I found in him an ability to phrase novel concepts attractively, not merely repeat a set of political catchphrases.

I believe this country needs more people like that, who can think through policy organically, not merely mechanically follow the dictates of political orthodoxy.

The charisma, I think, represents an outgrowth of that, rather than just a sort of empty suit glamour. That’s what led me to vote for him, and that’s why I’ll vote for him again. The Republicans had better hope that they get somebody in play next election who can think for themselves, because what they’re seeing now is the end result of years of trying to lock in every candidate to a common orthodoxy. They’ve removed the hazards of human judgment, and introduced, inadvertantly, the hazards of groupthink. Their gyrations between Romney and all the not-Romneys, in my opinion, is a result of a system that requires them to bitterly oppose liberalism, or its traces within the party, but nonetheless requires them to mount a center-oriented campaign at the end if it all. If they get too conservative, they can’t win, much less govern, if they get too liberal, they self-select themselves out of the picture.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 15, 2012 1:14 AM
Comment #336638


Yes Stephen, I will probably vote for Obama for three reasons.

1) IMO, his performance has improved in the past year.

2) He has done some things that I approve of, especially with regards to those things he has done on his own initiative without dealing with Congress.

3) The conservatives.

Posted by: jlw at February 15, 2012 5:49 PM
Comment #336639


Yes Stephen, I will probably vote for Obama for three reasons.

1) IMO, his performance has improved in the past year.

2) He has done some things that I approve of, especially with regards to those things he has done on his own initiative without dealing with Congress.

3) The conservatives.

Posted by: jlw at February 15, 2012 5:50 PM
Comment #336640


Yes Stephen, I will probably vote for Obama for three reasons.

1) IMO, his performance has improved in the past year.

2) He has done some things that I approve of, especially with regards to those things he has done on his own initiative without dealing with Congress.

3) The conservatives.

Posted by: jlw at February 15, 2012 5:51 PM
Comment #336641


Sorry about the triple post.

Posted by: jlw at February 15, 2012 5:53 PM
Comment #336643

Vote for Obama. Bring on the real financial collapse. You Communists have such blinders on, and the stooges on the right that are trying to anoint Romney are just as bad.

Every time I read the marxist rants by Stephen Daugherty (always telling Republicans what they ought to be doing) and j2t2, and adrienne, and the other closet communists on WB, I occasionally post, but usually I just go buy a few more ounces of Silver and once in a blue moon, the good stuff.

Usher in another 4 years, I’m gonna make a killing when the dollar implodes, and it’s gonna happen. I can’t wait to hear how that is all Bush’s fault, or the fault of people that make more than $250k a year - when the real problem are a select few corporations and their bought and paid for politicians.

Bring it on.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at February 15, 2012 10:19 PM
Comment #336644

And you’re absolutely right - this ridiculous primary is like a circular firing squad.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at February 15, 2012 10:32 PM
Comment #336646

Non-performing assets are sucker bets. Always have been.

Posted by: phx8 at February 15, 2012 11:13 PM
Comment #336661

Yukon Jake-
I’d like to know why I’m considered a communist, closet or otherwise. You seem to use the term to mean “insufficiently devoted to just letting stockbrokers and industrialists do as they please”, rather than any accurate portrayal of actual communist beliefs. I get dinged for class warfare just for suggesting that if you have more, and it take less of your income, percentage-wise to satisfy your needs, that you pay a moderately greater tax rate.

I mean, a lot of what people like me want is a return to some of the more effective safeguards which were up when Reagan was President. We’re not looking for a return to clunky price controls like we had before Nixon, or anything of that kind.

But out rolls this label, “communist.”

I remember the market’s response to the failure to bail out or gradually unwind Lehman Brothers was a panic. Simple reason there is that Lehman Brother’s failure put the assets of so many of the other banks into doubt. But how could that happen? Because so many of those assets were really financial instruments. Lehman Brothers owed them money, and they counted the money they owed as money in the bank, almost literally.

But how could this be? The depository sides of these banks were never in doubt. It’s these very profitable, but very risky operations stuck to the sides of the company that had the problem.

The irony in all this is that you’re taking up a response specifically designed by those who came with it to preserve this sick state of affairs, this risk taking that buy little sustainable productivity in the real world. You’re buying their defense, even as you rage at the system for its faults.

The fact is, people thought that if the folks who had more, had a little more, they’d hire more people. They speculated and manipulated markets instead. Instead of more jobs, people saw fewer, and then saw the cost of everything rise. Instead of a system where risk was managed, conservative policy created a system where risk was hidden behind closed doors of proprietary trading systems and accounting gimmicks, until the real world consequences of those corporate policies burst out on the scene to cause catastrophic damage.

Folks can talk about how it would have been wiser to let all the banks fail, but putting aside the secondary effects of letting such failures occur, we should step back and consider the fact that such a failure was even possible, and understand that to be a fundamental indictment of both the government and corporate policy that existed to that point.

Which is unfortunately the policy that your people favor.

I’m not a communist. I’m a fellow who believes that when it’s obvious that letting spontaneous, emergent behavior rule a system by itself doesn’t yield good results, it’s time to intervene, to bring in the force of law. I prefer a light touch; as a person who’s studied complexity theory in its various forms, I can see where sometimes just letting things order themselves is the best route.

But we shouldn’t ignore problems, especially not those as big as the fact that allowing the banks to consolidate more, to add riskier side businesses, and encouraging speculative markets in various areas hasn’t worked out.

The Problem for Republicans this time around is that they’re running into the limits of the usefulness of their institutional logic. They want both purity and electability, and don’t realize that with the tensions between the two of them, they might not get either.

Romney keeps on returning to the front because he was moderate enough in the past to avoid saying and devoting himself to policies too far right to sell to the public. He’s seen as less risky precisely because he’s not going to say the kinds of things that alienate regular voters from Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, or Rick Santorum. He’s smarter than Rick Perry, probably less promiscuous than Newt or Cain. He’d be a competitive candidate, except for one big problem: he’s not allowed to be a moderate, any more than McCain was.

The Republican Party doesn’t want to admit that it can’t elect somebody from close to the base. It wants to believe that 2010 meant people were welcoming right-wingers back with open arms, rather than punishing the Democrats for the economy and dumping things in their laps to sort out. The differences are considerable, and the GOP comes into this contest with a much different view of itself than the public has.

In the rush to oppose Obama, the GOP’s done its best to ram the party hard to the right, in order to ensure as much support for opposition to the President, even in the face of triangulation and compromise, as they can possibly get. But that means that all the candidates are forced to meet those standards, too. You can’t have them in agreement with, or to the left of Obama, can you?

The President’s policy is stalled in many places, true enough. His negatives are higher than before, the honeymoon with supporters is over. But Obama’s coming back strong, and has greater strength than his opponents, despite what must have been grueling, unrewarding political fights since Obama took office.

So, the effort to punish Obama’s movement into failure has itself failed. The President has kept strong support. Meanwhile, the GOP’s posting record lows on approval for its Congress, terrible turnout for its voters, even compared to 2008, is widely considered the more unreasonable of the two opponents, and is on the wrong side of its own most recent wedge issue, even with the candidates in question. Polling shows the President’s coalition of support has returned, and his strength in swing states is greater than the GOP.

You have to ask yourself why the GOP is in this position. In calling us communists, you’ve given yourself part of the answer. You call us communists and socialists as a way to encourage others to abandon us. It’s a cheap, fallacious way to argue things. But does it work that well? People still prefer many of the policies you call class warfare. The GOP and the folks can divide people, but do they do a better job of wedging themselves these days, than wedging Obama’s voters?

I think the answer is yes. You’ve failed to see that it’s not good enough to trash your opponent, to cause them to fail at things, to obstruct and destroy their agenda. You have to get people on your side. But Republicans don’t want to be bothered with that, because they’ve been taught to see outsiders as folks with diminished capacity, RINOs at best, socialists and communists if they’re Democrats.

You’re going to lose this election most likely, and more down the road most certainly, if you don’t register that your side has failed to convince others of what they believe, if you don’t register that there is a limit to how far the Republicans can take things, and maintain the ability to draw policy further right.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 16, 2012 8:36 AM
Comment #336665

Out of 15 comments on this thread, Yukon Jake is the only conservitive to post with 2 entries. It seems like the liberals are worried more about the Republican primary than the conservitives are

Posted by: tdobson at February 16, 2012 10:41 AM
Comment #336666

tdobson, You got that right, never seen so many liberals worry so much about who is going to run on the Republican side.

Posted by: KAP at February 16, 2012 10:51 AM
Comment #336667

“It seems like the liberals are worried more about the Republican primary than the conservitives are.”


There’s the obvious explanation, and the underlying ones. First, and most obviously, the story of this election cycle is the GOP primary. If you follow politics, well, there it is. How many times can liberals comment on the improving economy? Weekly job claims just took another big dip. That means next month’s unemployment numbers will probably be very good again.


In the meantime, does anyone expect a conservative to step up and talk about how much they like Romney? Or Santorum? Or Gingrich? The enthusiasm gap is very real. Conservatives know they are on their way to an electoral disaster. No one likes to support a loser in a rout. It involves too much running away.

There have been at least one conservative on the site who supports Romney. At least two supported Cain. Those two were badly burned. Santorum is a terrible candidate. No conservative wants to put in writing their support for him. Meanwhile, liberals cannot talk about Santorum enough. Pitting Santorum against Obama would force a once-and-for-all face off between liberals and conservatives, and I think we all know how that match up would go. Conservatism would be destroyed.

Most conservatives have spent these years of the Obama adminstration opposing any and everything. That strategy has turned out very, very badly. The vast majority of Americans not only do NOT believe Obama is a socialist communist Marxist Keynan Indonesian Muslim follower of Reverend Wright un-American terrorist pal who, by the way, hates America- but Americans like Obama on the issues, they like him personally, he has a 50% approval rating which will continue climbing with the economy, and the majority of Americans back liberals on issue after issue.

Where are conservatives supposed to hide? Behind George Bush?

Posted by: phx8 at February 16, 2012 11:27 AM
Comment #336668

phx8 As an independent conservative I don’t vote in the primaries unless it is issues only. Come election time when all the candidates are picked I will weigh the choices but I can say right now Obama will NOT be on the list.

Posted by: KAP at February 16, 2012 12:17 PM
Comment #336669

tdobson and KAP perhaps you are confusing worry with anticipation. This primary season has been fun and entertaining. We were told it was a done deal and Mitt would be running against Obama. Well as it turned out the other candidates have said wait a minute, at least for the time being. The fun of watching the repubs/conservatives in the debate audience wince and run from Paul’s anti Iraq comments time and again is great TV. The 3 candidates who believed they were God’s chosen candidate have all bombed. The family values business executive candidate was exposed for the playboy he is and the economist he isn’t, nein nein nein. Newt and his antics and his goal of manning the moon in the next 8 years was great fun to watch. They all had their 15 minutes of fame as the front runner and now we are down to the corporate commie and the authentic conservative, this is better than the Colbert report. You just can’t make this stuff up. It’s fun to watch and there really isn’t much worth watching on TV anymore.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 16, 2012 12:25 PM
Comment #336673

Posted by SD:

“Yukon Jake-

I’d like to know why I’m considered a communist, closet or otherwise.”

I have to agree with Yukon Jake; Mr. Daugherty is a socialist/communists, and his much writing doesn’t change the fact.


“Out of 15 comments on this thread, Yukon Jake is the only conservitive to post with 2 entries. It seems like the liberals are worried more about the Republican primary than the conservitives are”

Posted by: tdobson at February 16, 2012 10:41 AM

“tdobson, You got that right, never seen so many liberals worry so much about who is going to run on the Republican side.”

Posted by: KAP at February 16, 2012 10:51 AM

There is GREAT FEAR among the socialist/liberals. I just sit back and listen to them rattle on and on about something they have no knowledge of or no control over. It was OK when Clinton and Obama were slamming each other; when Hillary said Obama did not hav the experience to be president (which has been proven), and when Bill Clinton brought up the race issue. Not to mention Biden’s claim that Obama was a clean and articulate negro… But God forbid that Republicans conduct a primary. The left is laughable.

Posted by: Frank at February 16, 2012 2:26 PM
Comment #336674

j2, It’s worry otherwise there wouldn’t be rattling on like your side is.

Posted by: KAP at February 16, 2012 2:45 PM
Comment #336676

What I find amusing about KAP and tdobson is how often conservatives on this site disparage our writing about their primary. I wonder what other subject they would rather us write about on this political site? The economy? Oh, no, they disparage me for that too. The primary is a laugh a minute, but we can’t say that? The economy is improving every day, but we can’t say that? I get the feeling like this is less about the subject itself and more about the fact that we keep reporting fact based news that they don’t like to hear. Reality has a liberal bias again.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at February 16, 2012 3:18 PM
Comment #336677

tdobson, KAP-
If you think we’re concerned either would be a strong general election candidate, you’re wrong. We’re just looking to see what the ballistics of the cars in the train wreck are going to be. Will it be a morale-sapping drift to the left, or a track-twisting jolt to the right that leaves the rest of the country behind?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 16, 2012 3:29 PM
Comment #336678

Another part of the problem for conservatives is that participating in a discussion challenges their beliefs with facts.

For example, I caught a few minutes of Limbaugh this morning. First, he re-assured listeners that the unemployment statistics were being “manipulated” by the government. Then, he urged conservatives not to pay attention to polls because they were being presented by the media, and therefore not to be trusted.

It’s the kind of denial of reality which is simply not sustainable. Are today’s weekly job claims an example of more manipulation? GM reported record profits. More manipulation? The Dow and NASDAQ are setting highs not seen in a very, very long time. Another example of manipulation? At some point, reality overwhelms the conservative perception. It’s easier to simply not comment and hide, or advocate something utterly foolish like buying precious metals, or call people communists.

This kind of denial runs into some very serious problems. Conservatives assure one another that the polls and media are wrong, and that they have a winning issue in denying women birth control as a matter of religious freedom. (The Blunt bill in the Senate also allows corporations to refuse to provide any form of health care if the objection is moral or religious. I’m not kidding.) Polls show Americans side 62 - 38 (or higher) for the Democrats on this issue.

Most politicians & pundits would look at those numbers and conclude it’s better to drop the matter. Yet conservatives are so deep in denial, so convinced providing birth control in the businessplace represents an attack on religious and corporate freedom, that they ignore those polls. It’s incredible.

There are two important primaries coming up: AZ and MI. In the most recent poll, Romney is losing MI, supposedly his home state, to Santorum by 4 points. For anyone who likes to follow politics, that’s pretty remarkable. As of the other day, the Romney campaign had spent $1.4 million on MI, and Santorum only $42,000. Yet oonservatives can barely manage a comment or article or this.

KAP,
Do you think a falling unemployment rate is cause for worry for progressives? The lowest weekly unemployment claims in four years? Stock markets setting highs not seen in years? GM posting a record profit? Polls showing Obama at a 50% approval rating? Match-up polls showing Obama handily beating GOP candidates?

Posted by: phx8 at February 16, 2012 3:34 PM
Comment #336679

Personnelly Adam I could care less about you writing about Republicans because I don’t vote in the primaries except for local issues. But it does seem funny that just 4 short years ago the same thing was going on in your primarty race. But with Obama you guys can’t praise him on his accomplishments because he has very little. What I find ammusing is your worry about who is going to run against Obama if he is as good as you think WHY WORRY.

Posted by: KAP at February 16, 2012 3:37 PM
Comment #336680

phx8, All the things you mentioned could change tomorrow. Stocks could go down for one reason or another, unemployment could change. Polls are like a roller coaster.

Posted by: KAP at February 16, 2012 4:00 PM
Comment #336682

KAP,
Well, in the long run, we are all dead. Pessimists can always fall back on that. In the meantime, life is full of uncertainty. It might make sense to buy some gold and some guns, invest in canned food, and live in a cave. Of course, in an earthquake, a cave can cave-in, so maybe living in a cardboard box would be safer.

Polls track trends. They provide information. A FOX poll just showed Obama beating all GOP candidates in 10 ‘swing’ states. A Rasmussen poll shows Santorum spanking Romney in MI, and the Romney lead in AZ shrinking to 7%.

I still think Romney will knock out the competition on Super Tuesday, but a brokered convention is looking more and more possible, and that’s a tremendously interesting development for any political junkie.

Posted by: phx8 at February 16, 2012 4:20 PM
Comment #336683

phx8,

“…so maybe living in a cardboard box would be safer.”

Only if it’s lined with tinfoil.

Rocky


Posted by: Rocky Marks at February 16, 2012 4:45 PM
Comment #336684

KAP: “But with Obama you guys can’t praise him on his accomplishments because he has very little.”

No accomplishments that you care about, for sure.

“What I find ammusing is your worry about who is going to run against Obama if he is as good as you think WHY WORRY.”

That’s faulty reasoning though, isn’t it? Just because I think Obama has done a good job doesn’t mean I think everybody thinks that or even most Americans. A president’s accomplishments don’t always equate to populate support. Just ask President Bush. He had plenty of accomplishments pleasing to conservatives, and certainly that 20% of Americans that always loved the man. I don’t think Obama’s 2nd term is a certainty by a long shot but I do feel emboldened by the weak pack of elephants stomping around the gates outside the White House looking for a way inside.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at February 16, 2012 4:57 PM
Comment #336685


Put your silver between your knees and squeeze tightly!

Unlike you Nazi brown shirts, we commies have a candidate. You Nazi/Fascists need to keep focused on stopping the economic expansion if you expect to take over because other than that you’ve got little to offer that the people want. It really doesn’t matter if you Nazi/Fascists get it or not, the American people aren’t interested in returning to the Dark Ages.

This economic growth has really raised the bar for the right so you are reduced to praying for something bad to happen to the American economy and the American people.

Your hopes lie with severe economic austerity for the American people. So, you pray for it, you proclaim it, you demand it.

When it comes to trashing your candidates, you people are doing a really good job of doing that all by yourselves and we are just joining in for the enjoyment. It is good entertainment for politicalites.

You all let that 40% are conservatives and 20% are liberals go to your heads. When it comes to many of the commie programs like Social Security, Medicare and mandatory coverage of contraceptives, the conservatives shrink to 20%.

It is obvious why conservatives had no comments till the trolling began. Well here’s back at you.

Posted by: jlw at February 16, 2012 5:29 PM
Comment #336689

“Your hopes lie with severe economic austerity for the American people. So, you pray for it, you proclaim it, you demand it.”

It has been their game plan from the day Obama was elected. Obstruct at every opportunity. Let him twist in the wind of economic despair. Offer no alternatives and certainly offer no cooperation or compromise for any initiative, however deserving.

Well, if the economy continues to improve it will turn out to be a disastrous strategy for Republicans. Romney is left with a plea that he would have done better. He would have done sort of the same thing with the auto industry but somehow better. Santorum is left with a plea that he will return the US to evangelical values.

The right offers no alternatives other than they are not Obama. Its myopic concentration on attacking Obama for anything and everything has left it without any policy development.

Posted by: Rich at February 16, 2012 7:44 PM
Comment #336690

Furthermore, the lack of cooperation from the GOP means they cannot claim any bipartisan credit for the economic recovery- another consequence of the Obama hatred and obstructionism.

Re policy development:

The GOP did attempt to stop a raise of the debt ceiling. When Americans realized raising the debt ceiling meant paying bills due, NOT increasing spending, and that refusing to do so would result in default, the GOP changed its line; now, instead of defaulting, the government would simply slash spending by 44%, resulting in an instantaneous cut to the GDP of 9%. The effort to tank the economy on the part of those House Republicans did knock back the markets and result in a downgrade of the debt.

The chickens are coming home to roost.

Posted by: phx8 at February 16, 2012 9:26 PM
Comment #336694

It’s a pack of elephants trying to get a JACKASS out the white house Adam.

Posted by: KAP at February 16, 2012 10:54 PM
Comment #336699

KAP: Call him what you want. The last laugh will be ours if the elephants continue on this path.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at February 16, 2012 11:09 PM
Comment #336701


If the economy continues to grow, Rush and the crew may denounce the market for cooperating to get Obama, the man that hates business, reelected.

Posted by: jlw at February 16, 2012 11:45 PM
Comment #336706

Phx8 says:

“For example, I caught a few minutes of Limbaugh this morning. First, he re-assured listeners that the unemployment statistics were being “manipulated” by the government. Then, he urged conservatives not to pay attention to polls because they were being presented by the media, and therefore not to be trusted.”

I didn’t hear Rush Limbaugh’s broadcast, but I did read the transcript (thanks to your comments). It appears you spent more than a few minutes listening to him. You condemn Rush for his comments (attacking the messenger) but you fail to answer his claims. I will simply deal with unemployment numbers:

The unemployment is being “manipulated” by using seasonal data instead of raw data. Tell me phx8, how does the BLS come up with their figures of the percent unemployed? I will tell you. A survey is taken; each month “Each month, 2,200 highly trained and experienced Census Bureau employees interview persons in the 60,000 sample households for information on the labor force activities (jobholding and jobseeking) or non-labor force status of the members of these households during the survey reference week (usually the week that includes the 12th of the month).” Tell me; are these the same highly trained and experienced people who body grope old ladies at the airport, or perhaps the same “highly trained and experienced” people you get on the phone at the IRS or some other government agency?

http://www.bls.gov/cps/cps_htgm.htm

It is nothing more than a poll of 60,000 sample households each month and from this the unemployment numbers are created. Most well known political polls have a plus or minus 3 to 4% and if we add the same + or - % to unemployment we could be looking at 6.3 to 11.3% of unemployment.

Since GM is co-owned by Obama and the government; what tax breaks were given to them? Did the bailout deal allow GM to claim more profit and pay less taxes? You see phx8, numbers can be manipulated.

Concerning Obama’s approval rating: I travel all over the country and I honestly hear very few people who are happy with Obama. Except for the Hollywood crowd and the liberals on WB, I would say at least 90% of the people I talk to don’t have anything good to say about the direction America is going.

You said to KAP:

“Polls track trends. They provide information. A FOX poll just showed Obama beating all GOP candidates in 10 ‘swing’ states. A Rasmussen poll shows Santorum spanking Romney in MI, and the Romney lead in AZ shrinking to 7%.”

You are a liberal; do you now trust in Fox and Rasmussen Polls? If a conservative quoted these two polls; they would be attacked for quoting conservative biased polls.

Jlw said:

“Your hopes lie with severe economic austerity for the American people. So, you pray for it, you proclaim it, you demand it.”

This is completely untrue. We want people to do well financially; but we also understand that Obama’s economic strategy has and will do nothing to help our economy. If Obama had done nothing at all, America would have already been on the road to recovery. Much like FDR’s prolonging of the depression by his socialist policies. But Obama did spend, spend, spend and now, thanks to Obama’ we are $6 trillion more in debt.

Rich continues jlw’s thought and in his ignorance says:

“It has been their game plan from the day Obama was elected. Obstruct at every opportunity. Let him twist in the wind of economic despair. Offer no alternatives and certainly offer no cooperation or compromise for any initiative, however deserving.”

If conservatives had not blocked some of Obama’s out of control spending, instead of $6 trillion, we would be $12 trillion more in debt; so kudos to those conservatives who are working for the taxpayer.

Posted by: Billinflorida at February 17, 2012 7:21 AM
Comment #336709

Yahoo has spoken. BHO will be re-elected. All that’s left is a year full of name-calling by the commies and fascists. I just hope Hulu doesn’t accept any political ads.

Posted by: ohrealy at February 17, 2012 8:09 AM
Comment #336710

Billinflorida:

“The unemployment is being ‘manipulated’ by using seasonal data instead of raw data.”

You’re really against seasonal adjustment of data? Seasonal adjustment let’s us know change in a month is outside of seasonal forces. This happens to almost all useful data we use to measure our economy because otherwise comparing one month to the next would be useless over a 12 month span.

“It is nothing more than a poll of 60,000 sample households each month and from this the unemployment numbers are created.”

Nothing more? You know how many people that is? That is an insane amount. You make two faulty assumptions there. One, that the margin of error is as high as polls, and two that it would translate to plus or minus +/- 4% the unemployment rate. First of all political polls ask a little above or below 1000 people typically. Gallup asks 1500 people for their job approval poll with a 3.0% MOE. Rassmussen asked 1000 likely voters in a recent national GOP poll for 3.0% MOE. So few people asked is the reason it’s 3%.

Because they ask 60,000 people, the margin of error for the Current Population Survey is statistically insignificant. But imagine it was 3%. That wouldn’t be +/- 3% unemployment because unemployment is a ratio of numbers subject to that margin of error. Let’s say the workforce was accurate but they were off by unemployed persons by 3%. That would be a shift of 0.25%. The margin of error is much closer to 0.02% if you take their stated standard error of about 300,000 people out of last month’s estimate of 154,395,000.

“You are a liberal; do you now trust in Fox and Rasmussen Polls? If a conservative quoted these two polls; they would be attacked for quoting conservative biased polls.”

The thing about Rasmussen is it almost always paints a better picture for the right when compared to other recent polls. So when even Rasmussen is reporting bad news it’s significant.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at February 17, 2012 8:52 AM
Comment #336716

When I listen to talk radio, it is literally for a few minutes, during a 12 minute drive back from the gym. I flip between Thom Hartmann & Limbaugh, and if neither is any good or if both are on commercial break, then it’s back to music.

Seasonal changes in unemployment numbers are well known. There’s no manipulation involved. Anyone who suggests seasonal hiring involves manipulation is counting on others to know nothing about the unemployment rate. It’s a crass way of taking advantage of the ignorance of an audience.
And I’ve said it a hundred times on WB for years, the unemployment rate is a poor yet popular measurement of unemployment. It seems simple and straightforward, but it doesn’t mean quite what many people assume. The significant number, the number followed by anyone even casually involved in finance, is the non-farm payroll number. And per Adam’s comment, 60,000 is a huge number for compiling a statistic.

If tax credits and a bailout transformed GM into the largest producer of cars in the world in just a few years, then clearly we should provide every company with tax credits and a bailout.

It’s not a good idea to argue against success. When the successes continue long enough, arguing against it leads to the whole denial of reality thing. That’s part of the problem with the Limbaugh hyper-partisan approach to politics. It becomes impossible to simply say, ‘that worked pretty well, but we have an alternative that works even better,’ or ‘let’s build upon that success with this idea’; instead, it becomes of matter of constantly insisting the opposite of whatever helps Obama is the truth, and that Obama is always wrong and hates America…

Adam nailed it on polls, so I will cut and paste:

“The thing about Rasmussen is it almost always paints a better picture for the right when compared to other recent polls. So when even Rasmussen is reporting bad news it’s significant.”


Posted by: phx8 at February 17, 2012 11:50 AM
Comment #336718

“The thing about Rasmussen is it almost always paints a better picture for the right when compared to other recent polls. So when even Rasmussen is reporting bad news it’s significant.”

So when it suits you, you quote Rasmussen; but when the polls change in a couple of weeks, you ignore them.

You have no idea what questions are being asked by the superior employees of the BLS? Their stats said they ask poll the same households for up to 4 months. How do you get an accurate poll when yo ask the same people the same questions for 4 months?

Posted by: Billinflorida at February 17, 2012 12:43 PM
Comment #336720

Billinflorida,
This is a weird dynamic re Rasmussen polls. Is there any circumstance in which you would recognize a poll that did not match the outcome you want?

One more item on the unemployment rate and the conspiracy about manipulation. Other statistics support the validity of an improving employment picture, such as non-farm payroll (23 consecutive months adding jobs), positive GDP’s, stock markets reaching levels not seen in many years, and virtually every number you care to name- weekly jobless claims are falling to four year lows, housing starts are happening, consumer sentiment is heading north, and on 2/14, retail sales ex-auto were the largest in 10 months.

An improving unemployment rate is not happening in a vacuum.

Posted by: phx8 at February 17, 2012 1:29 PM
Comment #336721

KAP-
No, he’s just broken a recession before it turned into a recession and turned around the unemployment situation. He prevented the fall of the domestic car industry, helped promote incredible growth in wind and solar energy, Got Bin Laden, Hastened the fall of a despot in Libya without a single America soldier on the ground, ended the Iraq war, restarted job growth in the manufacturing sector for the first time since the middle of the Clinton Administration, passed healthcare reform where Clinton couldn’t, passed Wall Street Reform strong enough, Passed a huge stimulus, all despite almost complete Republican resistance.

Your inability to realize this is probably in part due to a conservative media that downplays and rationalizes every success and policy victory into something else.

As for why we are concerned about who might be his opponent? Well, we’re not counting our chickens before they’re hatched. We want the weakest general election candidate. Rather than leave such matters to chance, we’re going to keep an eye on things, and then we’ll know how to face the man who does win the nomination.

billinflorida-
Interesting that he says, don’t pay attention to unemployment numbers as they improve, or poll numbers as they rise. Face facts, he doesn’t want listeners to lose heart. His job is to be a cheerleader, and he’s been willing in the past to do things to the facts in order to remain one. His presentation is deliberately one-sided at best, and at worst is at odds with the facts.

The unemployment numbers are seasonally adjusted, which is to say, adjusted for jobs that come and go, say, with summer, or the holidays. That job a kid gets at the local waterpark is only going to be around until the summer ends. The new hires for the store in order to deal with the Christmas rush is going to go away as the new year comes and goes.

As far as the survey goes, that’s how you do a survey. If you tried to get millions of people at once every month… just think of the logistics of that. So, you do a few thousand people, and you randomize the people you poll. You might think that a poll of 60,000 people is insufficient, but that’s twenty to sixty times the number of people they normally poll for one of those CNN, FOX, NY Times or Rasmussen Polls. You get those three percent margin of error numbers precisely because of how few people you ask, compared to the population as a whole.

According to this calculator, your biggest margin of error with a sample size of 60,000 and a working population of 175,500,000 is .4%. Which at best means a range between 7.9% and 8.7%.

So, rather than the true percentage being anywhere between 6.3% to 11.3%, the best unemployment rate you can hope for is equal to that of March 2009. If you’re really unlucky, He’s basically erased all losses for his entire administration, unemployment rate-wise.

As for your “highly trained and experienced” crack at the surveyor’s expense? First, you realize you started out by faulting phx8 for attacking the messenger, so where do you get off attacking them, with no evidence provided of unprofessional results?

You talk of numbers being manipulated, but you don’t understand the distance polling companies go to cut out biases. For example, you say that 90% of the people you talk to don’t like Obama.

But you don’t talk to people randomly, do you? You might tend to pick folks you like, to talk to. You might tend to drive through rural areas, or through states that aren’t big on Obama. Accurate polls take into account these biasing effects, and ask random folks, rather than simply the folks that they like.

When we cite polls from folks we believe have what they call a house effect- that is, the pollster biases towards one side or another- we’re trying to tell you that even with the help that comes from pollsters biasing their questions, or ironing out the demographic irregularities, your side still is at a disadvantage. The most happy-go-lucky pollster you can appeal to are giving you bad news.

You talk about Obama’s out of control spending, but if you look at the numbers, and the legislation that caused them, it was the Republicans who spent out of control, paying for two wars, an tax cut during a deficit period, and a new entitlement benefit, all without offsets. For all the programs Obama’s created, he’s offset much of what he spent, so a trillion dollar healthcare program isn’t adding a hundred billion dollars a year to the deficit.

You need to look and see whether your own bias is blinding you to your party’s part in things, because until you do, these folks won’t be accountable for what they do, and all they’ll have you doing is going after Democrats for what they did. That helps nobody, especially when everybody else but you realizes what’s going on.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 17, 2012 1:58 PM
Comment #336725

Phx8: “An improving unemployment rate is not happening in a vacuum.”

This is what I’ve been trying to tell a conservative friend of mine recently. The point of suggesting unemployment is manipulated is to suggest the economy is not really in recovery. Yet employment is a lagging indicator and it comes at the tail of months of positive economic data that keeps beating expectations. More and more conservatives will move from “there is no recovery” to “it’s recovering in spite of the socialist Muslim in the White House!”

Posted by: Adam Ducker at February 17, 2012 3:31 PM
Comment #336728


Billinflorida, there is ample evidence to show that the Republicans have been obstructionists and that in doing so have done damage to the recovery.

Between 2009 and 2011, they refused to even negotiate on health care reform and many other issues.

In 2011, they produced the Ryan Budget that would have forced severe austerity measures on the people, the economy and right in the middle of a recession where recovery is primarily dependent on consumer spending. All through 2011, the Republican controlled House did everything it could think of to obstruct any and all Obama initiatives.

Go to any Republican controlled state website and you can find out how these states have used Obama’s recovery plan to put people to work and help their economies. This despite the fact that Republican governors across the country vowed to never use that money.

On Ohio dot gov. family services, right below a picture of gov. Kasich is an announcement telling unemployed workers who may be facing foreclosure on their homes to take advantage of the Obama Administrations mortgage refinance program.

You should ask small business owners what they think of Obamacare. It has saved many of them big bucks and enabled them to hire new people or bring back some of their laid off workers.

While the Bush Administration is primarily responsible for the recession, it did take quick actions to prevent the recession from becoming another Great Depression and it was able to do it because it had overwhelming bipartisan support. TARP, no one liked it, but it helped prevent a depression. The auto industry bailouts, yes, it was the Bush Administration that initiated them and Obama followed it up.

Once Obama became president, the Republicans changed tactics and switched from bipartisanship to obstructionists. They felt they could seriously damage or destroy Obama’s presidency if they could stymie his attempts to recover the economy and attack his plan as unworkable. Retaking the House in 2010 convinced them to double down on the obstructionism.

Now, because of the recovering economy, Republicans are undecided about how to continue the attacks on Obama. Should they say that Obama’s policies did nothing but harm the economy and Republican efforts have improved the economy despite what Obama has done, or should they revert to 2004 and rerun the Guns, Gays, and God campaign.

What do you think they should do? Should they make the ridiculous claim that the true believers eat up, but many of the rest of the people have caught on to, or should they go all out on God, Gays and Guns? That combined with a weak Democratic candidate worked in 2004 to reelect Bush.

Of course, when it comes to the true believers, it really doesn’t matter.

The economy is improving.

It’s because of what the Republicans have done, not what Obama has done.

The economy makes a down turn.

Obama is to blame, not the Republicans.

Never question the right wing, just believe what they say no matter what they say. I guess for true believers, contradictions go zing right over your heads.

Obama has proven his intelligence by outsmarting the Republicans time after time. Time after time he has used the tea party hard core obstructionists to put Boehner between a rock and a hard spot, making him look like a fool. Boehner got lucky this week and managed to convince the tea party politicians to stop hurting the Republicans chances. The tea party isn’t making any further guarantees that they won’t continue to cause more harm to the party in the remaining time between now and the election.

Stephen, directed the stoppage and cleanup of a disastrous runaway oil leak from a well in the Gulf, and facilitated the recovery of the Gulf’s economy.

Posted by: jlw at February 17, 2012 5:32 PM
Comment #336729

Haven’t visited WB in a few days, but I just read through all the comments in this thread — and doing so has made me laugh so hard, it brought tears to my eyes!

And oh look! — I was even mentioned, despite my absence!

Vote for Obama. Bring on the real financial collapse. You Communists have such blinders on, and the stooges on the right that are trying to anoint Romney are just as bad.

Every time I read the marxist rants by Stephen Daugherty (always telling Republicans what they ought to be doing) and j2t2, and adrienne, and the other closet communists on WB, I occasionally post, but usually I just go buy a few more ounces of Silver and once in a blue moon, the good stuff.

Usher in another 4 years, I’m gonna make a killing when the dollar implodes, and it’s gonna happen. I can’t wait to hear how that is all Bush’s fault, or the fault of people that make more than $250k a year - when the real problem are a select few corporations and their bought and paid for politicians.

Bring it on.

Truly priceless — indeed, one of the most side-splittingly funny comments I’ve read here in a very long time! Hitting upon almost every fear-based Fox “News” talking point imaginable!
And the follow ups to this comment from the left — so good!

Yes, how DARE anyone on the left discuss the zany twists and bizarre turns of the still-ongoing GOP clown-car primary?! Ha ha ha!

phx8:

Conservatives assure one another that the polls and media are wrong, and that they have a winning issue in denying women birth control as a matter of religious freedom.

LOL! Why on earth should they ever listen to the polling on this issue or the “Lamestream Media”??? The GOP KNOWS that what this nation is crucially interested in at the moment is making sure we have a rock-solid Patriarchy! Where panels made up of male religious leaders get to decide that women are immoral sluts for considering birth control a necessity and part of taking care of their health! They just have a GUT FEELING that Americans are DEMANDING that women should have to struggle in order to gain access to birth control! Indeed, the enormous (yet under the radar) popularity of this winning election year issue is why the two top GOP political candidates have been making it Issue Number One lately — with the leading candidate promising to roll back the clock on women completely and ensure that end of ALL FORMS of birth control!

Does it matter that Before current birth-control fight, Republicans backed mandates on birth control?

NO it doesn’t matter that they’re now totally up in arms over what they formerly supported! Ha ha ha!

Does it matter that:

In Massachusetts in 2006, then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed a healthcare overhaul that kept in place a contraceptive mandate signed by his Republican predecessor. Now the GOP presidential candidate is calling the Obama rule an “assault on religion.”

NO, this doesn’t matter at all! Ha ha ha!

Does it matter that the first time that Rick Santimonious spoke out against the idea of birth control and made it perfectly clear that he was completely against it (in 2006) that was also the same year he lost his Senate seat by a wide margin? Even though he was the incumbent candidate?

NO, this doesn’t matter at all! Ha ha ha!

There is GREAT FEAR among the socialist/liberals.

Yes, everyone on the left is shaking in their boots! Who will win? And what flavor best represents today’s GOP? Will it be the phony, dishonest Rockafeller Republican and Buzz Lightyear lookalike, Willard Romney? Or will be that woman-hating, Sweater-vest wearing clenched-ass Spanish Inquisitor better known as Rick Sanctimonious?
LMAO!

Posted by: Adrienne at February 17, 2012 6:08 PM
Comment #336732

Stephen,
You can hide behind the claim that you do not support he abolishment of private property - and are therefore not a socialist.

Lipstick on a pig as far as I’m concerned.

I’ll tell you why you are a socialist. Almost every novella that you post is a dissertation of why it is the government’s job to control and provide for the people. In one form or another that is what your opinions boil down to. I’ve been reading the first 1/3rd of your posts for 4+ years and the tune hasn’t changed a bit. You are remarkably consistent in your philosophy.

What you fail to do when making accusations about what Republican’s “out to do” is legitimize your ideas as being anything other than the rantings of a socialist.

CLAIMING that Republicans support the bailout of bank’s because Bush initiated the TARP program doesn’t make it true. Every conservative I know feels the same about corporations that they do about people - if you screw up - face the music. Does that mean the Republican Elite feel that way - certainly not, as evidenced by most of the news lately.

I am a conservative libertarian. When you accuse Conservatives of being in lock-step with Banksters and the elite, and we’ve not defended their actions - it’s more of the same. The difference is that everything we abhor Obama for, you CONTINUALLY defend. I’ve never defended bailouts, but I’ve heard Nary a peep from you or any other liberal on here regarding Obama’s responsibility for the Solyndra fiasco.

The farthest any one of the socialists on WB will go is to say he didn’t get out of Iraq as fast as you’d like, or some other such trivial non-issue.

The blind allegiance you have toward Obama is evidenced by your constant defense of his awful policies. I don’t EVER defend the Republican elite, and yet you accuse me of the same allegiance to them. Can you really not see the difference?

Posted by: Yukon Jake at February 17, 2012 7:22 PM
Comment #336737

Yukon Jake: “…but usually I just go buy a few more ounces of Silver and once in a blue moon, the good stuff.”

Do you have student loan debt too? That would be nice. One bubble is as good as the next, right?

Posted by: Adam Ducker at February 17, 2012 9:34 PM
Comment #336738

Yukon Jake:

Stephen, You can hide behind the claim that you do not support he abolishment of private property - and are therefore not a socialist.

Lipstick on a pig as far as I’m concerned.

I’ll tell you why you are a socialist. Almost every novella that you post is a dissertation of why it is the government’s job to control and provide for the people. In one form or another that is what your opinions boil down to. I’ve been reading the first 1/3rd of your posts for 4+ years and the tune hasn’t changed a bit. You are remarkably consistent in your philosophy.

What you fail to do when making accusations about what Republican’s “out to do” is legitimize your ideas as being anything other than the rantings of a socialist.

I guess there really is no moderator on this site now, huh? Looks like people are allowed to be as generally uncivil as they want to be all the time? Talk about “rantings”!

I am a conservative libertarian.

Oh no you are NOT!!! According to your pathetic rules of “debate” I now get to inform you that everything you say is complete crap. And furthermore, that your comments, no make that “rantings”, are those of a Nazi-Fascist Piece-of-Trash Totalitarian Pig (wearing lipstick) who wants to completely destroy the country!

There. You see? I too, can try to pass a bunch of nasty name calling off as debate — just like you do!!!

Posted by: Adrienne at February 17, 2012 9:42 PM
Comment #336741

Adrienne, and everyone else who agrees:

I did not call Stephen a pig, it’s a colloquialism that your Obamessiah used during his first campaign referring to McCain’s policies. He was no more referring to McCain as a pig that I was referring to Stephen that way. Your overreaction is normal and expected.

Stephen is responsible for more lines of text on this blog than any three posters combined. Lengthy, almost unending posts are nothing if not a rant, and it is his modus operandi.

As to Socialist being an uncivil term, I’m sorry you feel that it is. I wonder then, why his and your commentary are so closely aligned with that philosophy?

I didn’t say he was a jerk, or mean, or a liar, or a hypocrite, or a Nazi Piece-of-Trash Totalitarian Pig (as you labeled me). Though moderators need not come to my defense, because if my comments have you so incensed as to write such things, then I have clearly struck a chord of truth.

Socialist policy is the summation of Stephen’s discourse - other than his fallback denial regarding private property rights.

It is interesting the term so unnerves you, or rather offends, and so many others on WB who are literally socialist policy cheerleaders - under the self-moniker of progressive.

You called me lots of things, which made me smile because they are undeserved, but I would love for you to explain what in my commentary aligns me with Nazis OR Facists? How have I espoused the ideals of “National Socialism”?


To Adam,

I recently saw an OWS protestor with a sign that said something along the lines of “you shouldn’t make money off of my education.”

That’s one example of Stage 1 thinking that makes me lol when the left claims 99% of America agrees with the movement.

I want businesses to make money off me. I want restaurants to make a killing, I want a waiter to look at me like a fox in a henhouse, kill me with service and then lol himself when I tip 30% (as I usually do to great waiters/waitresses) as he/she goes home that night having likely made more than most paralegals or nurses.

Student debt is ridiculous because College Tuition is ridiculously expensive and increasingly worthless. The top 5 in demand tech jobs today are based on technology that is less than 2 years old. A non-medical degree is simply an easy filter for commitment and rudimentary intelligence. People that go to community colleges don’t have these problems (to this degree) and quite honestly - they’re better educated AND more motivated than Ivy league grads I’ve interviewed.

Forgiving student loans will only obliterate the last vestiges of worth associated with most college degrees. Also, if you’ve ever had children you’ll understand, when you give a kid something they could give a rat crap about it, but when they save or work for/through it - they cherish it and it builds their character and their self-esteem. When you make it free, you make it worthless.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at February 17, 2012 11:12 PM
Comment #336742


Yukon Jake, so your saying that if Paul doesn’t get the nomination, you won’t be supporting Romney, Santorum or any other Republican elitists? Do you usually vote Republican or do you support the Libertarian Party?

I am glad the Iraq War is over, how about you? I criticized Obama for not ending it as soon as he said he would, but I don’t know all the details and since Iraq hasn’t erupted into chaos, perhaps he knew what he was doing. It is a war that should never have been fought.

Propagandize the hell out of a bunch of trumped up charges, most of which were false, to promote a war that the American people did to want to fight. That is a play right out of a 1939 playbook.

This lefty has attacked the Democratic Party and many of it’s politicians many many times on WatchBlog. This lefty did not vote for Obama and has criticized him on many occasions. This lefty will be voting for Obama this time, not because I love him and, but because he has grown in the job, he has been doing more that I agree with, and because of the Republicans. I would prefer to vote third party again, but this election has become to important, the Republicans need to be trounced.

I know that most Republicans and most Democrats did not support TARP, and some of us, even though we did not support it know what the consequences would be without it.

TARP is the result of to big to fail banks. As Republican policy and with Democratic support, these banks were given unprecedented power and they were given the right to self-police themselves, and they made us pay dearly for what they received.

There were a lot of guilty people involved in the decisions that brought down our economy. Not one Republican and only one Democrat stepped up to the plate and took responsibility for it and resigned his office, Dodd. Shelby was just as guilty, but he is also a coward and he will be reelected easily.

Neither Republicans nor Democrats can say that they don’t like what was done unless they are willing to stop supporting the guilty parties. The partisan blame game is a tool use by the guilty to protect themselves.

Clinton said he was mislead, well, Obama wasn’t and if he wins this election with enough support in Congress to prevent the Republicans from obstructing and Obama and the Democrats don’t start a systematic program of eliminating to big to fail, I’ll vote third party for the rest of my life. The writing will be on the wall for all to see. No more giving the Democrats another chance.

You should know as well as I that the Republican party isn’t going to break up these banks and as a matter of fact, they have vowed to eliminate the regulations that Democrats were able to pass aimed at preventing another bailout of to big to fail.

I am interested in finding out of the Democrats have been paid enough to not do it as well. The Democrats say they have learned their lesson. I say actions speak louder than words. Issues like gay marriage and availability of contraceptives, while important, are side issues aimed at distracting from the big picture.

I realize that conservatives don’t want the government helping the people but they sure do want the government to control people. Conservative controls, not liberal ones.

Surely you understand authoritarianism.

Both parties are authoritarian, they only differ in the way they want to control.

The Democrats just make the experience more pleasant for a majority of the people.

People may say differently, but most aren’t opposed to authority, but they prefer the good king rather than the bad king.

All Republicans and Libertarians are saying is, the king that cares for his people is a bad king. Better to let the cutthroats of the free market handle the people.

Posted by: jlw at February 17, 2012 11:54 PM
Comment #336743


Ridiculously high as in whatever the market will bear?

Posted by: jlw at February 18, 2012 12:10 AM
Comment #336747

jlw,
The “market” for a college education is as variegated as the market for a car. You can spend $10,000 and get a really great 2 year old Economy Car or you can get a cadillac escalade and hope no one notices you’re compensating for something - lol.

If Liberal parents want to send their kids to Ivy league schools to get an education in sexual studies and know full well they’re staring down (or pushing their kids down) a road to a $200,000 bill - it’s an eyes wide open situation.

College Professors with tenure and huge salaries are just as disconnected from the truth of the common man as CEO’s with huge salaries… and there are endless examples of despicable behavior by both roles.

But thanks to the glorious plethora of educational options, only ego-driven students “need” to attend Ivy league schools to get a sound education. So in a sense, there is a market for people who buy the Cadillac Escalade of education - the difference though is that buyers of Cadillac Escalades aren’t and won’t likely be asking the government to forgive their purchase because they “needed the status that comes with the purchase” anytime soon.

As to authoritarianism - the only “infringement” of liberty (as you would certainly call it an infringement) that I am personally in support of is abortion without medical (not psychological, or financial) cause. As I said before, if you screw up (or around as the case may be) face the music. I feel this way because I delivered both my daughters in our home and the notion that they weren’t people until they breathed air out of momma’s womb is absurd. There’s no mainstream support of my “when the fetus has a heartbeat” cut-off, but that’s my personal opinion. Anyway, that’s the only infringement on your liberties, the only authoritarianism, that I am in support of - period.

I believe in and support a political policy of human non-violation (and unborn babies count to me). I agree, Republican Elite DO want the banks to control everything, that’s why I buy PM’s - because as our monetary policy torpedoes the dollar (bipartisan missle firing over the last 2+ decades) the only thing left of any value will be precious metals. The elite are building their armageddon bunkers as we speak, and that worries the hell out me because I have two young daughters. I don’t want the government to control your life - be Gay, cut your Penis off and be a girl, paint your house tiger stripes, do all the drugs you want, I don’t care.

BUT…

If you make choices that end badly, face the damn music. If your business tanks, as my first two did - suck it up and PAY OFF YOUR DEBT. If you get aids from sharing needles, you’re SOL. As long as you are not forcing your choices on me or my family (or forcing me to subsidize you via taxes because of them) then enjoy your life.

‘I’ don’t want authoritarianism from either side. I want liberty. And liberty is inversely proportional to government control.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at February 18, 2012 1:58 PM
Comment #336748

In national politics, I usually support the libertarian leaning conservative candidate. If there isn’t one, I stay home - it doesn’t matter in Alaska anyway. The election is literally over before our polls close.

This round if Paul doesn’t get the nomination, he will run 3rd party and I will vote for him there. He’s the only one left running who is constitutionally consistent and willing to overhaul spending to save the dollar. Romney will likely take a year or two longer to implode the dollar than Obama, but it doesn’t matter - they’re both big government politicians - and they’re both unconcerned by our debt and our impending fiat currency implosion.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at February 18, 2012 2:06 PM
Comment #336750

Yukon Jake:

As to Socialist being an uncivil term, I’m sorry you feel that it is.

Yes, it’s uncivil — because it’s horsesh*t. And no, you clearly aren’t sorry at all.

I wonder then, why his and your commentary are so closely aligned with that philosophy?

No, you don’t really wonder — you know this is complete bunk, yet keep repeating this troll-bait in order to display overt hostility.

You’re not alone in doing this, of course. That pathetic tactic has been frequently used for a long time in this blog.
Here’s an article that describes what’s actually going on when such comments are repeated ad nauseum.

Quote from the link:

Robert Altemeyer, a Canadian psychologist, has done extensive testing to isolate and describe the traits of the authoritarian personality. His results are distilled in his book “The Authoritarians.” He describes religious fundamentalists, the core of the right-wing Republican base, as follows:

They are highly submissive to established authority, aggressive in the name of that authority and conventional to the point of insisting everyone should behave as their authorities decide. They are fearful and self-righteous and have a lot of hostility in them that they readily direct toward various out-groups. They are easily incited, easily led, rather un-inclined to think for themselves, largely impervious to facts and reason and rely instead on social support to maintain their beliefs. They bring strong loyalty to their in-groups, have thick-walled, highly compartmentalized minds, use a lot of double standards in their judgments, are surprisingly unprincipled at times and are often hypocrites.

Yukon Jake:

As to authoritarianism - the only “infringement” of liberty (as you would certainly call it an infringement) that I am personally in support of is abortion without medical (not psychological, or financial) cause. As I said before, if you screw up (or around as the case may be) face the music.

Also covered in the above article:

According to Reich, a patriarchal, sexually repressive family life, reinforced by strict and punitive religious dogma, is the “factory” of a reactionary political order. Hence, the right wing’s ongoing attempts to erase the separation of church and state, its crusade against Planned Parenthood, its strange obsession with gays.
Posted by: Adrienne at February 18, 2012 2:58 PM
Comment #336751

Yukon Jake, what you think and I think about authoritarianism doesn’t change the facts. We have it, we have always had it, it is part of the human experience. There was a time in our past when Christian conservatives had a lot of power, especially in state governments, which they still have in many state governments, We had all kinds of authoritarian blue laws, sodomy laws, and other laws restricting human behavior. Some of those laws are still on the states books but not enforced anymore.

Some laws are funny, Massachusetts did or does have a law stating it is illegal to make or serve tomato based clam chowder in the state. I don’t know if it was ever enforced. I don’t blame them, I don’t like Manhattan style clam chowder either.

Authoritarianism is what created civilization, a need to be safe and productive. Government, religion, business are all authoritarian entities.

We have another tool called management and in the future, we are going to use it a lot. The oceans, water ways, land, air, animals, people, everything will be managed very closely. Necessity will be the authority to do it.

It will do a man no good to hide out in the wilderness because all the resources will be needed, harvested, and what is left will be managed for future harvests. the ever growing human population and it’s need for those resources will make it a necessity.

Total management will not come in my lifetime, yours or your children’s, probably begin in earnest in their lifetimes, but it is the future.

I see nothing that will prevent this from happening in the future short of Armageddon or some really devious and bright people using a particularly vicious biological to seriously thin out the human population.

Confiscation of private property? That will probably happen to most people unless owning a small apartment fits the bill. Corporations, or if not them, governments will probably own just about everything. There will still be illusions of freedom.

What other end game could there be to ‘be fruitful, multiply and teem on the earth, subdue it?’

Some scientists have said that the earth’s resources will not meet human demands by as early as 2050. Science is usually off the date, but the management of the system will be kicking into high gear by then. It is already beginning to happen.

In my lifetime, the human population of this planet has nearly tripled. In 1950, 2.55 billion. Today, 7 billion and growing. Human population growth will be the controlling factor for individual liberty. Supply and demand, If you can afford individual liberty you can buy some.

This is just a scenario, it doesn’t have to happen this way, we can change the outcome. But will we.

On your education riffs, authority isn’t interested in having a highly educated thinking population. Far better to have people who think what they are told to think. Which is basically the norm.

The motto of capitalism, there’s one born every minute.

If we develop faster than light travel anytime soon, libertarians can have a whole planet for themselves, maybe one for each.

Posted by: jlw at February 18, 2012 3:51 PM
Comment #336752

Yukon Jake-
When push came to shove, your side tried to do the whole “not too big to fail” thing with the banks, and it failed catastrophically. We tried letting a major investment bank simply fail. That idea failed catastrophically.

We tried your style of governance over Wall Street. There’s a great deal of solid evidence that the current situation sprung from that. Banks could only merge to become that big because the regulations preventing it were struck down. They could only gain divisions and conglomerate with other kinds of financial companies that were less regulated and ran greater risks because the laws saying otherwise were struck down.

Too big to fail, it turned out, is an emergent product of a conservative policy that allows greater conglomeration and assocation of different parts of the financial sector.

The real trouble here is that you don’t see these viewpoints in the GOP’s policy for what they really are. You’re completely taken in by the cover story that surrounds it, of needing the markets alone to decide these things.

As for the rest of what you’ve said about me? You spend more time in dispute over what I believe (with me right there to tell you what I literally believe!) than you do actually answering my objections.

You’ve decided that if I don’t support your rather purist brand of capitalism, one which acknowledges no other imperatives or necessities other than its own, then I don’t support any.

Have you ever considered that the reason why the banks pushed the laws that freed them from constraints on their growth is that they simply assumed that after years or decades of success, whatever they were doing wasn’t going to end in disaster, and the reason they’re in terrible shape, and asking for government handouts now is that they were wrong?

The assumption has been that these people learn from their mistakes. In my lifetime there have been several counterexamples on that, and each one seems to be worse than the last. The assumption has been that the people running the show knew what they were doing, but again, we’ve seen one corporation after another fail at that. Some do well, and some executives know what they’re doing, but the assumption that they always know better than a governing official or an average person demanding redress of their grievances has turned out to be wrong.

In other words, we don’t need to be giving these people deference on matters. We should assume that sometimes these people have a point on this subject or that, and sometimes they’re just chasing after the improvement of their bottomline regardless of what it takes.

We shouldn’t assume that anybody in this society should be outside the rule of law, nor the need for certain constraints. The libertarian approach is naive, and overestimates the virtue of human nature.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 18, 2012 4:50 PM
Comment #336755

One more reason for the GOP to worry about Romney winning the primary:

Billionaire Romney donor uses threats to silence critics

Made his billions running a crooked pyramid scam, too. Oh what a good, pious Mormon!

Just as Obama had the relationship with Reverend Wright to answer for to the American people, I’m willing to bet that if Romney wins the primary, his relationship to this crooked, bullying VanderSloot guy is what he is going to eventually need to explain.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 18, 2012 5:52 PM
Comment #336756

Also, some bad news for the Romney campaign in the state of Arizona:
Romney co-chair resigns after allegations of same-sex relationship with immigrant

Paul Babeu, an emerging Republican figure and strong border defense sheriff, resigned from his position Saturday afternoon as Arizona co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign for allegations of threatening deportation on a former lover.
Posted by: Adrienne at February 18, 2012 5:58 PM
Comment #336758

Adrienne,

Wanting and encouraging the people to accept government control of every aspect of our lives for “the greater good” is at the core of socialism, and you correctly read sarcasm in my apology about your feelings on the matter. Your commentary and Stephen’s espouse this view, that government control is both necessary AND good for us. I patently disagree.

I have not had, nor do I inflict upon my daughters a patriarchal repressive family life. Unless you consider it repressive to ask my daughter to start wearing shirts now that she’s beginning to “bud” as the family doctor explains. I smooch my wife twenty times a day in front of them, and I smooch them too, and I encourage them to love their minds and bodies and their looks for the unique and beautiful women they are growing up to be.

Would it do your heart good to hear me call out Dogmatic Christians for the damage they do to their own cause? Then hear it, “no single group does more damage to the cause of Christ than Christians themselves. - Yukon Jake”

Does it do your heart good to hear that I loathe the corpocracy and bankster elite? The Republicans that are trying to anoint Mitt Romney are retarded, but they genuinely believe that the family housecat would do a better job of leading this country than Barack Obama, and four more years of debt acceleration at this level will destroy the dollar and take our opulent quality of life along with it. Look at “poverty” 50 years ago, and poverty today. I know a family that has 3 (50+ inch) flatscreen tv’s, everyone (all 4) have iPhones, all 4 have cars, they have cable and internet and every conceivable amenity - but their medical expenses are covered by medicaid, they are on food stamps and WIC, and the husband is going on over 70 weeks of unemployment - and loving it. Makes me sick.

So yes, I will gladly agree that the “Republican Party Elite” have their heads up their butts. They makes issues of non-issues, and this primary is nothing short of a freak-show circular firing squad for America to eat popcorn and watch unfold.

I’m genuinely unhappy with political leadership - period. But I am particularly unhappy with Obama and what his spending and programs are doing to the dollar in an effort to buy votes through hand-outs. That’s the main impetus for my loathing of his administration. Michelle and her 40 servants, and separate jets to appointments with an ice cream cone in her hand all the while telling us what foods we should be allowed to eat and how people need to get control of their personal finances. She treats the presidency like her personal lottery ticket, and so does he. I am a BUSY BUSY guy, and I maybe squeeze in 15 rounds of golf a year. Obama has more responsibility than any ten people combined and yet manages to squeeze 90+ rounds in less than 3 years - in addition to vacation after vacation while apologizing for America when he’s on the job. Bush played 24 rounds in 8 years as a comparison - and was demonized on this very blog for having his priorities screwed up and GOLFING while our country was in need. Golfing is really a non-issue, it’s just indicative of his flippancy.

Stephen,
You can try and characterize libertarianism as proponential of anarchy and ruleless, but that is simply not true. Where safety and health are concerned, there needs to be law, but behavior modification via legislation, whether it’s drugs or sexuality or whatever - is not the role of the Federal Government (so sayeth a libertarian).

You’re completely taken in by the cover story that surrounds it, of needing the markets alone to decide these things.

When have I ever demonstrated that I am taken in by this notion? I don’t believe in “the free market” as it exists right now. It’s rigged top to bottom, and if all regulation was completely dropped we’d have child labor in less than a year. However the amount of regulation for the sake of itself is so overwhelming as to be suffocating. One of my biggest clients is a credit union and last month, the Obama administration released 140 pages of new regulation for them to sift through. That’s ONE month, in one industry. The government is at a point where it must create work for such a vast workforce that frivolity is written into law for the sake of something to do - with no explanations given - out of what one can only understand to be sheer boredom.

As to banks and business and parachutes for risk, let em face the music and do time as the criminals they are. As should virtually all of the criminals in Obama’s current cabinet.

The environmental mafia has been given funding and free legal reign to suppress almost all forms of development in this country, Alaska is a prime example. We are ground zero for what regulation and tort can do to halt business and responsible resource development.

Libertarians are constantly mis-characterized by both sides because they don’t want people leaving their movement. It’s obvious because both sides use the same rubbish to label our ideas. “They want anarchy” - “they don’t believe in laws and regulation” - “they want your kids to be able to buy drugs” and other sheer nonsense.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at February 18, 2012 6:09 PM
Comment #336759

Now I understand.. Alaska the land of the Sarah Palins and other nonsense.

Posted by: Jeff at February 18, 2012 6:52 PM
Comment #336762

YJ,

Thank you for clarifying your views. When you used to be a frequent commenter a few years ago, I had the impression that you were more of standard variety conservative including all of the social conservative junk. My memory is apparently erroneous. Also, I’m glad that you recognize that there are dual threats to individual liberty in this country. Not only do we need to be vigilant against political governmental abuses of liberty, but also private abuses of liberty. Corporations and private business are “governments” of another sort and they will wield authoritarian power when given the opportunity. All too often, American conservatives fail to recognize this and mistakenly believe that rolling back our political government’s power will lead to liberty, but they are wrong.

Also, I appreciated you commentary on tertiary education. I’m a university student right now in my senior year and I had to make the decision four years ago if I would buy a “Cadillac” or not. I was accepted into several of the more exclusive private universities in this country, but I ultimately decided to attend SUNY Stony Brook because they offered a very generous full tuition scholarship to me. When I was a senior in High School, many of my friends criticized me for doing this. Many of those same friends went to those private universities and in a few months they will graduate with thousands dollars of debt. A few of them will be over $100,000 in the hole. Even if the Ivy League brand name on the degree enables my friends to earn a few thousand dollars a year more than me initially, It’ll likely take them decades for that tiny advantage to make up for all that debt.

The top 5 in demand tech jobs today are based on technology that is less than 2 years old. A non-medical degree is simply an easy filter for commitment and rudimentary intelligence.

Here, I think you are wrong. STEM fields in particular are very relevant and the tools needed to learn new technologies are taught in STEM courses. For instance, one of the most valuable tools for any scientist or engineer is calculus; some high schools and community colleges will offer courses in single variable calculus, but only a four-year institution will teach students multi-variable calculus and differential equations. Completion of those two courses unlocks the entirety of higher mathematics for students. Couple those mathematics with the proper science or engineering courses that teach one to apply mathematics to our world and you have a person capable of producing a great deal of value.

Posted by: Warped Reality at February 18, 2012 7:54 PM
Comment #336763

Yukon Jake-
People have electronics like they do not because they are richer, but because it costs less to buy them.

If you want to trumpet the cause of libertarianism, the problem’s going to be that rather than mirroring the optimistic predictions of its proponents, these outcomes have mirrored the pessimism or realism of its critics.

Just because the market can emergently set things right, doesn’t mean it will. Just because people can be shamed by the market or by society, doesn’t mean they will be.

You talk as if libertarian rules haven’t been implemented purely enough. But the thing is, you’ll never really get them implemented as purely as you want them. I don’t think you quite realize that the ambitions for what happens from political changes aren’t nearly as important as what actually comes of it, and that the Libertarian movement in America has been selectively encouraged by those who just want to use it in order to shed their responsibilities and obligations.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 18, 2012 8:05 PM
Comment #336894

Warped,
Glad to better explain my positions, they have evolved a bit over the years. As to the degree comment, it is/was a generality. The point I was making is that technology is evolving so rapidly that it is next to impossible to graduate with a 4-year degree and have a grasp on the usage and implementation of that technology as it is evolving in the marketplace. Post secondary stuff gets you there in a lot of cases, but there are exceptions to every rule.

The jobs that are in demand do require a tremendous amount of math and science because that is increasingly at the core of every amenity in our homes from programming the refrigerators that order your groceries for you when you run out, to making the semiconductors and ICs that transmit the signal through abnormally well shielded refrigerator linings. [I digress - and concede partially]

The vast majority of degrees offered nowadays are meaningless to the typical starting position in a company. Your exceptions are exactly that, and correct.

As to social stuff, I personally follow a lot of that conservative junk (My wife is a stay at home mom and all), the difference is - I don’t think it’s my place to legislate or tell others what they must do. I’d rather lead by example and when my daughters ask why one of our gay friends is always crying about being lonely and seeing more bigotry while getting older, I just tell them that the gay lifestyle brings a different set of problems along with it, and I’ll let them both choose for themselves what path in life they want to take. I’d love them either way, but with a dad and mom that love them and engage them the way we do, I suspect they’ll make very happy “breeders” as that particular gay friend refers to us between schnaazes into a kleenex.

Stephen,
ROFL - it’s not that libertarian rules haven’t been imlemented purely enough, it’s that they haven’t been implemented at all. This country was founded on simple theories of non-violation and widespread fundamental liberty and most of our sweeping governmental regulatory policies since has been made to address an exception and not the rule.

Like getting citations for bike helmets, and seat belts, and booster seats. Like light bulbs and fat percentages and sodium intake and every other manner of behavior modification that we are subject to because of serving “the greater good.” It’s the one bad apple spoils the bunch approach to legislation (and litigation). One knucklehead in a well mannered town gets laws made to address people like him, instead of just dealing with the knuckleheads on a case by case basis. And so progressively our liberties are eroded. The other side of that coin are people who aren’t knuckleheads, they are just supremely lazy and entitled - and we MUST take care of them regardless of whether they will get off their butts and work for a living - and so we do. (So says the stage 1 thinker come politican at the state AND federal level). I don’t see the “poverty quality of life” as a reflection of the cost of goods, it’s a reflection of subsidy. If money was not spent on needless electronics and monthly services to stream entertainment TO those electronics, there would be MUCH more money available to purchase basic food and shelter - which IMO is all the public is obligated to provide and ONLY for those who are not able-bodied.

encouraged by those who just want to use it in order to shed their responsibilities and obligations.

By that do you mean paying exorbitant taxes? Do you mean tithing? Do you mean community service? Do you mean product safety? Which responsibility do you think I am advocating the shedding of? For clarity’s sake, an example please…

Posted by: Yukon Jake at February 19, 2012 5:13 PM
Comment #336897

Yukon Jake-
The problem is, you “know” too much. You “know” technology’s just going to completely turnover. Which it won’t. Microsoft Word’s not that much different in what it does in version ‘97 than what it does now in version 2010. A camcorder these days is more different in its electronics than in its optics.

If you know basics, you can deal with changes, because you’ll understand what’s really different, as opposed to what just looks different.

You “know” the constitution was meant to be a document constraining the government.

But is that true? Why did Jefferson and others ask for a Bill of Rights, then?

The Constitution is an exercise in the increase of power, and then the constraint of that power to make sure that the increased power isn’t abused. Long story short, your people take an artificially libertarian view of a document that was really meant to create a well regulated, though much more powerful government than the one it replaced.

What I said about libertarianism early basically comes down to this: there’s only so much influence you’re going to get, before it gets countered by the influence others have. Unless you somehow get the right majorities on a subject each and every time, you’ll never get the level of libertarianism you say is necessary to create the ideal society you’re dreaming of.

Today’s right doesn’t encourage humility, doesn’t encourage people to believe that they might have to horsetrade things. It encourages people to think in pure terms that are great for getting people enthusiastically together in the short term, but long term just guarantee disappointment.

But what’s more, it just leaves people on the right in a constant state of victimhood, because the media doesn’t agree with them enough, there are too many people who don’t buy into their ideas, and everybody else doesn’t buy the idea that compromises means accepting fig-leafs at best, while you guys get all you want.

You are citizens in a Democratic Republic, which means that you either persuade people to form a majority with you, or you don’t really have a solid grasp on power. You can talk about what your principles would do if people were to just do everything you wanted, but that’s not going to come true, not until the policies your side support stop ending in catastrophe.

You’ve convinced yourself that the problem is that people are lazy, that they’re commies, that they just envy the rich, that they’re really wanting to control you within an inch of your life. The reality, though, is that most people are nothing like this. This is a mythology cooked up by people who want Americans like yourself, well-meaning and everything, to be operating from a more paranoid mindset. They want you to see our hands turned against you. They want you to think of us as the enemy.

The problem is, making enemies is easy enough. Make enough in a Democracy, though, and you lose power. Nowadays, it seems, the only thing the right does is scare people into ad hoc coalitions with them, by telling them that the sky is falling, and the liberals are coming to do this or that.

But the past few years of policy failures have made it difficult for people to sympathize with the right in a positive direction. You can call people socialist, but many people look at Republican Policies nowadays, and see policies that aren’t merely said to be dangerous to the survival of the capitalist economy, but which actually have a track record of endangering it, requiring big bailouts and scary emergency responses.

What libertarians like you fail to figure on is how to make things work practically. You’ve spent so much time defending policies reflexively, that you’ve failed to weed out those stabs at libertarianism that just don’t work out, that are counterproductive. I get that you don’t want bad results, but you’re getting them anyways. The only question is whether they get acknowledged, or whether your side just keeps on trying to hammer the rest of us into accepting them, even if failure after failure discredits them, and then libertarianism as well.

As far as I go, I don’t want liberalism just for the sake of liberalism. I have an opinion about what functions best, but I want to see it function, and if it doesn’t, I want the policy changed. If a conservative, libertarian, socialist or whatever policy works, I’m willing to try it, but having that policy work and do good is the first priority.

I see that as fundamental to good government. We can chase our different philosophical quests however much we want, but if we want programs and policies that gather, rather than lose support, we have to deal with things on a practical level, and get things right in fact, and concede things as wrong when they’re wrong.

As far as that last part goes, just look at what deregulation typically got through in the last couple decades. Look at the friendlier processes for measuring consumer safety that ended up letting more dangerous drugs through approvals, that let energy companies frack without telling us what was in the fluid, which let oil companies force the government to approve their drilling proposals in less time than a reasonable examination of their safety protocols would take.

Look at the accounting deregulation that allowed Enron and WorldCom to cook the books. Look at the deliberate hamstringing of regulation on the derivatives market, even after a 1998 collapse of a company called LTCM proved what a minefield that market was. Look at the changes that allowed banks to grow bigger, that let them create and acquire riskier businesses, or divisions whose operations created conflicts of interest for the company as a whole in some of other part of it.

They knew what they were doing, in terms of shedding responsibilities and obligations that kept them from making money, at least in terms of their bottom line. But their negligence and dishonesty cost people so much, really.

Those are the people who lead others to look at your philosophy and reject it. So long as deregulation and laissez faire economics are championed without regard to consequences, folks will be less willing to lend you their influence to help you pull government in your direction. If you want people to be able to fairly consider your political ideology, it’s got to be responsive to how things happen in the real world.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 19, 2012 7:54 PM
Comment #337080

I think the gruelling campaign will be good for Romeny , if he is able to come out victorious

Posted by: Praveen at February 21, 2012 12:57 PM
Comment #337086

Really funny video!:
Willard Romney being as awkward and insincere as it is humanly possible to be.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 21, 2012 7:03 PM
Comment #337098


‘I like cars, especially the ones with those neat dogie racks on the roof.’

Meanwhile, Pope Rick is scaring the Republican establishment conservatives badly. They are mounting a campaign to take him out. He is doing harm to Romney’s chances.

Romney: ‘Obama has a secular agenda rather than a religious agenda for the secular government of the U.S.’

Romney: ‘If Congress doesn’t slow down on these spending cuts, they will wreck the economic recovery.’ How about that, an argument that makes some sense. Now if the tea party only had some.

Posted by: jlw at February 21, 2012 10:23 PM
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