Democrats & Liberals Archives

Looking over the Horizon

“I used to be a conservative, and I watch these debates and I’m wondering, I don’t think I’ve changed, but it’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective.”
Jeb Bush, 2/23/23

Almost unnoticed during this current election year has been the remarkable success of the Democratic Party. Why is this success taking place? Because the Democratic Party practices an inclusive approach to politics that works; because it keeps an eye on the horizon.

The GOP debates and their extended primary draw attention to a politics of divisiveness and exclusion, an approach resulting in such extremism that even conservatives like Jeb Bush can only shake their head. Other conservatives are joining the chorus. "It makes the party look like it isn't a modern party," says Rudy Giuliani. "It doesn't understand the modern world we live in." Alan Simpson, Alex Castellanos and Ed Rollins have all made similar observations. What escapes the notice of most is not so much the alienation of so much of the electorate by an increasingly radical Republican Party, but the success of the Democratic Party in bringing those alienated elements into the fold.

Why have the Democrats succeeded with the formula of inclusiveness?

Part of the success can be attributed to the Obama administration. A huge but often overlooked benefit of the president's leadership style has been to craft compromises. These compromises maintain a long term perspective while engaging in short-term give and take. This reasonableness encourages disparate elements to work together under the Democrats and progressives, in marked contrast to the slash and burn approach taken by conservatives.

For example, the energy policy of the Obama administration has quietly brought the concerns of oil and gas producers and environmentalists together. While many issues, including fracking and Global Warming, still need to be addressed, increases in production along with stricter CAFE standards lead oil economist Phil Verleger to make a remarkable suggestion: the US will soon be running surpluses, and become such a large energy exporter that we should seriously consider joining OPEC, in order to maintain high, stable prices.

On social issues, the Democratic Party has been even more successful. On women's health issues, they have taken the side of the argument supported by over 60% of the electorate, including most women. Stands taken on Civil Rights cost the Democrats the support of whites in the South, but brought most blacks into the party. Gay rights have once again rewarded Democrats with the support of yet another constituency, and the specific issue of gay marriage once again receives support of over 50% of the population- once again, smart, inclusive politics. Questions involving immigration and the latino community have once again been embraced by Democrats, as opposed to the conservatives of the GOP, who seem hellbent on alienating latinos for the next generation.

Forging consensus means looking over the horizon at the long term, and bringing together disparate elements in compromises. It does not mean one group gets what it wants at the expense of another. It does not mean one group gets to impose its religion upon everyone else. It does mean working together results in a synergistic effect- a better country, a more inclusive country, a country working together for change we can believe in.

Posted by phx8 at February 26, 2012 2:07 PM
Comments
Comment #337247

Another Republican hoping for a brokered convention and a brand new candidate:
‘The Country Deserves Better’: Maine Gov Unloads On GOP Field

Other conservatives are joining the chorus. “It makes the party look like it isn’t a modern party,” says Rudy Giuliani. “It doesn’t understand the modern world we live in.”

Yet, somebody needs to tell Giuliani he sounds like an old throwback himself when he says: We Need A President Who Can Say ‘Bomb’ Iran

Posted by: Adrienne at February 26, 2012 3:28 PM
Comment #337249

Adrienne,
Thanks for the link on those commments by the Governor of Maine. I don’t think a brokered convention will help the overall problem the GOP currently suffers. The Democrats are practicing an inclusive approach. The Republicans are not.

Part of the short-term problem for the GOP is the combination of weak candidates and negative campaigning. In addition, these candidates practice divisive approaches because they must capture the radicalized right wing base in order to win the nomination. Romney represents the wealthy 1% and Mormons. Gingrich represents the Neocons. Santorum represents Evangelicals. While it is normal to run to the right during a primary and return to the middle in the general election, an extended and highly publicized primary with many televised debates makes this difficult. It advertises the divisiveness. It destroys the brand. It makes it impossible to capture the middle.

Whatever else a person may think about issues, the math is inescapable. In an election, 60% beats 40% every time.

The thrust here is to point out we are not only seeing the failures of the GOP, we’re seeing the quiet success on the part of Democrats in building a larger and larger coalition.

Posted by: phx8 at February 26, 2012 3:55 PM
Comment #337254

phx8 and Stephen,

I posted this link over in the center column yesterday, but I think you guys might enjoy reading this too:

Arizona Debate: Conservative Chickens Come Home to Roost

I think Taibbi really nails the self-inflicted GOP ideological dilemma and the resulting complete political disarray we’ve seen really perfectly.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 26, 2012 5:02 PM
Comment #337259

Adrienne,
Good article by Taibibi.

“… all liberals, gays, Hispanic immigrants, atheists, Hollywood actors and/or musicians with political opinions, members of the media, members of congress, TSA officials, animal-lovers, union workers, state employees with pensions, Occupiers and other assorted unorthodox types had already long ago been rolled into the enemies list.”

Add to that list blacks, women, environmentalists, and anyone with a university education. By conservative lights, virtually everyone outside their core group has become some sort of liberal, possibly a traitor, maybe even a hater of humanity. It is a narrow and narrowing base.

To the Democrat’s credit, they’ve welcomed these groups into the tent, even when it was not popular to do so. It deserves props partly because it was the right thing to do, but also because it was politically smart.

Because the GOP has become such an ideological disaster, a brokered convention seems more and more plausible. Romney may make it unnecessary if he can win enough delegates. Who knows? Maybe Ron Paul cut a deal to throw his delegates to Romney on a second ballat. In any case, Romney has been damaged by his own party. It seems unlikely that enough of the Not Romney vote will ever follow him into the general election.

Well, like Taibibi said, ‘the chickens are coming home to roost.’

Posted by: phx8 at February 26, 2012 6:01 PM
Comment #337267

Good topic. I also think that one of the main reasons that people are leaving the republican party is that they do not allow an average person of average means to live a middle class life.

They talk about rugged individualism and that we should reduce the size of government so that people do not have to rely on the government for such programs as SS, Medicare and Medicaid. That sounds great, and I agree. However, the republicans lose all credibility when in the very next breath they slam unions and enact right to work legislation.

So let me get this straight: Republicans want people to support themselves more, but when they try to fight for a better wage so they can do JUST THAT, they slam the door in their faces. So my question to republicans would be, what do you want people to do? If you really want smaller government then you should be the biggest supporters of unions and minimum wage increases so that the MAJORITY of Americans could support themselves without any government help. But alas, common sense does mot seem in great abundance in the GOP these days.

Posted by: Tom at February 26, 2012 10:19 PM
Comment #337281

Scenario: I am a pastor of an evangelical church and I encourage my people to vote for the Republican candidate, and I encourage my members to make calls in their neighborhoods endorsing the Republican Party; is this a violation of church and state and should this effect our tax exempt status?

Posted by: BP at February 27, 2012 10:19 AM
Comment #337282

The course of our nation has changed and there are now more people dependent, or wanting to be dependent, on government. It’s been a slow progression, but the dependency group is now the majority and the individual freedoms group are now the minority.

Many have seen this coming for a while now and to be honest, the plan to reaching this goal it has been brilliantly implemented.
EVERYBODY is now a right-wing extremist if they do not believe in gay marriage, gun control, preferential treatment, paying for womens contraception, paying for abortions etc…
EVERYBODY is now a right-wing extremist if they believe their country is exceptional, lower taxes, lower debt, freedom of choice etc…
Hell, in our country today, right-wing Christians are feared and condemned, while understanding, respect and excuses are given to fundamentalist islamists.

We have given up on worrying about our rights being taken away and now worry about when our next government check will come. The ones who have not, are right-wing extremists and the drones who have, are good little citizens.

So I agree with you Phx8, the country has moved even further left and people are leaving the Republican Party in favor of the government Party.
The Republican Party will have to continue discounting the Constitution and keep moving even further left, or it will join the likes of the Greens and Libertarians on the sidelines.

Posted by: kctim at February 27, 2012 10:20 AM
Comment #337283

kctim,
When written, the Constitution did not envision women voting. Blacks were property. Native Americans were not even that. Some rights, such as privacy, were not specifically enumerated, but now commonly recognized as implicit in the original document. So, yeah, we’ve moved to the left.

But I think the argument could also be made that the Democratic Party has succeeded by becoming more inclusive, and quietly including the moderate right. The Obama administration has an energy policy that encourages drilling for oil and especially natural gas. On social issues, the administration has shown a willingness to compromise and assuage the concerns of the right on issues such as allowing the Catholic Church to opt out of paying for birth control in its businesses. On health care, The Democrats did NOT create universal health care, which is what the left has always wanted and what Hillary Clinton ran on in 2008; instead, Obama’s health care reform mirrors a Republican program created in MA by Romney. Until recently, most Republicans, including Gingrich, endorsed that approach.

Posted by: phx8 at February 27, 2012 11:07 AM
Comment #337284

Phx
The difference is that the government followed the process to change those things, but no longer need to today. If somebody thinks something is best for everybody, they use government to force it onto all. Everybody who objects is demonized.
IF we followed proper procedure to take away rights, we would not be in the position we are today.

The Democratic Party only seems “more inclusive” because more people are now dependent on government for just about everything. And the propaganda to promote this “inclusiveness” has been second to none. A work of art.
A “compromise” so the Catholic Church can opt out of paying for birth control is a perfect example. It’s promoted non-stop as being so fair, but anybody with a lick of sense knows that the church will still pay for it one way or another. It is fudging numbers, not compromising anything.

The far-left has always wanted universal health care just like their European role models they dream of becoming and they are willing to get it at any cost. This is why we have a record number of people dependent on government. The less people can or are willing to do for themselves, the easier it is to get their vote. Why take care of yourself when we will do it for you?

I don’t care about what Republicans endorsed the Romney health care plan. It was done on a state level and those who do not want can move out of MA. I personally would never vote for anybody, Rep or Dem, who supported such an overt socialist policy.

It really doesn’t matter anymore though. ANYTHING, other than individual rights, that tugs on somebodys heart can now be made a right that government must provide and people are now more than willing to give up anything to be taken care of.
2020 will be an election of who will give you more, not who respects your rights more.

Posted by: kctim at February 27, 2012 11:56 AM
Comment #337285
The course of our nation has changed and there are now more people dependent, or wanting to be dependent, on government.

Dependent on the government kctim? The government is an intregal part of our society much like a bathroom is an intregal part of a house. Use to be the bathroom was out back but times have changed. We were always dependent upon the bathroom but it was a little more remote back in the day. The same can be said of government. In part it is due to the progress of the country this past 200 years, the population growth, industrialization, and in part it has developed into this because of failures in other areas of society along the way.


It’s been a slow progression, but the dependency group is now the majority and the individual freedoms group are now the minority.

I would look to the individual freedom groups and ask why the failure on your part to convince the American people your way is right. The problem is the “individual freedom” groups are exclusive not inclusive and have had ulterior motives that many have seen thru. Lets face it the KKK is one such group. The many different militia groups are another.

Many have seen this coming for a while now and to be honest, the plan to reaching this goal it has been brilliantly implemented.

Yet despite seeing this coming those that have espoused “individual rights” have refused to see why this battle cry has failed. IMHO it has failed us because it meant individual rights for those with money only. For those that can buy these rights. It was exclusive not inclusive. It left out justice and individual human rights and demanded economic rights for those with the money. They meant certain individual rights for some not for all of us.

EVERYBODY is now a right-wing extremist if they do not believe in gay marriage, gun control, preferential treatment, paying for womens contraception, paying for abortions etc…

Not everybody, kctim, but many. I for one do not “believe in” gay marriage but I do believe it should be allowed to exist in our society. There should be no laws favoring or forbidding marriage between 2 people of the same sex. I believe in human rights for all of us even those I may not agree with or like.

I also favor our 2nd amendment rights yet find that some gun control is necessary in our society today. I get more frustrated with the laws prohibiting the number of rounds I can put into the clip than I do with laws telling me I can’t carry a full auto machine gun around town.

I don’t favor preferential treatment yet it is a problem today because some choose to give preferential treatment when in positions of power. So we have a government to make the rules to try and level the playing field.

Paying for contraception and abortion is more a health care issue that has been turned into a religious issue for political gain. Perhaps if the “extremist” would realize that all of us pay not just some of us, into the health care system, they would realize they have the choice they thought they didn’t have. At my age we don’t need contraception yet I don’t hear my daughters and grand kids yelling about paying for my high blood pressure meds.


EVERYBODY is now a right-wing extremist if they believe their country is exceptional, lower taxes, lower debt, freedom of choice etc…

Not everybody kctim, our country is exceptional I just don’t think we should use that as an excuse to invade other countries or to bully them around. We all like lower taxes and lower debt but we can’t fund wars on credit cards and expect our grand kids to pay for it. The extremist used the starve the beast strategy to put the country into bad financial shape, they should be held accountable. Especially when their economic policies fail us as we have seen this past decade.


Hell, in our country today, right-wing Christians are feared and condemned, while understanding, respect and excuses are given to fundamentalist islamists.

Right wing Christians should be feared and condemned kctim, when they stick their religious beliefs into laws for all of us. They can earn respect when they lead by example not by force of law. I don’t know of any of us that respect fundamentalist Islam kctim. However many of us recognize that not all Muslims are fundamentalist, that many fear the same far right Islamic groups that we do. Perhaps that is the confusion those on the far right need to deal with.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 27, 2012 11:56 AM
Comment #337286

Interesting thought j2t2, “However many of us recognize that not all Muslims are fundamentalist”, and that statement comes right after you stated, “Right wing Christians should be feared and condemned kctim, when they stick their religious beliefs into laws for all of us.”

Tell me j2t2, did you just classify all Christians as believing the same thing?

“However many of us recognize that not all Muslims are fundamentalist, that many fear the same far right Islamic groups that we do. Perhaps that is the confusion those on the far right need to deal with.”

But you do put all Christians in the same boat; perhaps that is the confusion those on the far left need to deal with?

This is called hypocrisy and elitism.

Posted by: Billinflorida at February 27, 2012 12:53 PM
Comment #337287

J2

Those who believe “government is an intregal part of our society” really mean “it is governments job to dictate and control society.”
And now that Americans are so dependent on government, it is now easier to dictate and control them.

“I would look to the individual freedom groups and ask why the failure on your part to convince the American people your way is right.”

Easy: dependency, laziness and sense of entitlement. It is and has been promoted non-stop by the left and the media.
Convince people they are entitled to something they are not, like “free” health care, the lazy would rather have it ‘given’ to them instead of saving for it themselves, and then once they are hooked on it, they won’t want to live without it. Social Security was the perfect model in accomplishing this.

And please, spare me the individualism = extreme, rhetoric.

“It left out justice and individual human rights and demanded economic rights for those with the money. They meant certain individual rights for some not for all of us”

Not even close. It means nothing more than that the lefts definition of justice and made-up human rights trumps how everybody else defines them.
The people have accepted that the desires of society are more important than their individual rights.
Again, this has been a very effective campaign and the country is now more leftist. And, the trend points to throw it all away and going even further left. It’s sad for our once great nation, but I have to be honest with myself and give the leftists credit when credit is due.

“The extremist used the starve the beast strategy to put the country into bad financial shape, they should be held accountable”

Our bloated government is to blame, nobody else. It has become ‘to big to fail,’ both militarily and at home, sticking its nose everywhere it does not belong.

“Right wing Christians should be feared and condemned kctim, when they stick their religious beliefs into laws for all of us.”

Of course they should, and the Constitution prevents it. But tell me, what religious beliefs have been forced onto you? Not the BS of them not having to pay for what you think they should, but actual laws that mandate you believe in their God and support their God.

“I don’t know of any of us that respect fundamentalist Islam kctim.”

Read what I wrote again. I said understanding, respect and excuses are given to them and that is exactly what the left preaches. We must understand that it is our fault that they feel like they have no other choice. We must respect their actions when we offend them and excuses are made to explain why they do what they do.
The left is all too happy to “recognize that not all Muslims are fundamentalist” but they sure as hell don’t afford that same line of thought to their fellow Americans.

It’s all our fault and rule by emotion has won out. The US is rapidly becoming just like any other two-bit European country. Congratulations.

However many of us recognize that not all Muslims are fundamentalist, that many fear the same far right Islamic groups that we do. Perhaps that is the confusion those on the far right need to deal with

Posted by: kctim at February 27, 2012 1:05 PM
Comment #337291
Those who believe “government is an intregal part of our society” really mean “it is governments job to dictate and control society.”

Perhaps that is why those that believe your revisionism are considered right wing extremist kctim.

“I would look to the individual freedom groups and ask why the failure on your part to convince the American people your way is right.” Easy: dependency, laziness and sense of entitlement.

When I pay into SS and Medicare why should I be criticized for feeling “entitled”? I am not lazy nor am I dependent upon anything more than what “we the people” have decided works best for most of the people of this country? I would suggest that you continue looking kctim, as this type of rhetoric is why those on the right that continue to frame these discussions around are considered extremist. Some are poor but that doesn’t automatically make then lazy. It is much more complicated than that. Using these bumper
sticker slogans to ridicule them is extreme IMHO.


It is and has been promoted non-stop by the left and the media.

The only reason I can think of ,kctim, for the media to promote “dependency, laziness and sense of entitlement” is that it makes news. The only reason I can think that it makes news is because far right extremist keep it in the news as they continue to try to derail these programs and make then self destruct. They make the half truths misinformation and outright lies they spread into news IMHO. The left defends these programs, as they should, from the far right ‘s constant attacks. It is the right wing that makes them news worthy.

Convince people they are entitled to something they are not, like “free” health care, the lazy would rather have it ‘given’ to them instead of saving for it themselves, and then once they are hooked on it, they won’t want to live without it. Social Security was the perfect model in accomplishing this.

No one ever says it is free health care unless they are right wing extremist trying to denigrate the programs kctim. This common tactic of ridiculing those that use or support these programs works to inflame other extremist and the uninformed.

Your suggestion of the “lazy” not having to pay into the system to receive anything is just wrong kctim. Saving for healthcare with low wages jobs is like peeing into the wind kctim, you get a warm feeling but it really doesn’t work with modern healthcare.

It seems you consider SS a conspiracy to make the American people dependent and lazy as well as a means to dictate and control us. Perhaps that is why many on the right are considered extremist.

It means nothing more than that the lefts definition of justice and made-up human rights trumps how everybody else defines them. The people have accepted that the desires of society are more important than their individual rights.

The progressive era and progressives since that time have accomplished many things kctim. Women can now vote. Civil rights for blacks, to name a couple. I would think these are worthy definitions of human rights and to think that the economic favoritism of those on the extreme right should define human rights isn’t acceptable to most Americans in the middle and on the left, IMHO.

Our bloated government is to blame, nobody else. It has become ‘to big to fail,’ both militarily and at home, sticking its nose everywhere it does not belong.

Another trademark of extremism is blaming government for all of our problems, then getting upset when government tries to fix them, kctim. IMHO this strategy was carried out by elected officials, our representatives in government intentionally. Those that supported this effort by voting for these representatives as well as the political parties that funded their elections, the corporations that contributed to the propaganda put forth to hide the facts from the voters and the representatives themselves should accept responsibility. Government is in reality an entity, a system and is controlled by reps of the voters. Blaming “government” is non conducive to getting the problem fixed.

But tell me, what religious beliefs have been forced onto you? Not the BS of them not having to pay for what you think they should, but actual laws that mandate you believe in their God and support their God.

kctim good point. Do you see what happens when these religious groups tell us it is against their religious beliefs to do anything and then campaign to get these “beliefs” put into law, Roe V Wade overturned as an example.

Just this past week these extremist have tried in, VA for one, to get unnecessary medical procedures put in the way of a women having an abortion. It is against their belief to have an abortion so they want all of us to believe as they do by “force of law” as you would say.

Read what I wrote again. I said understanding, respect and excuses are given to them and that is exactly what the left preaches.

I give them no excuses, the fundamentalist that is, understanding or respect kctim. Perhaps some do. Perhaps some on the left are actually Muslims who do see things differently. When your inclusive that will tend to happen, I think. But by and large those that use their religion whether they be Christian, Jewish ,Muslim, or whatever gain little respect from me when they bring their religion into politics. IMHO it hasn’t worked for centuries so I see no reason to think it will now.

We must understand that it is our fault that they feel like they have no other choice. We must respect their actions when we offend them and excuses are made to explain why they do what they do.

We live in the same world they do kctim. It is getting smaller. We should understand them. When our military burns their holy books in their country it is their extremist that protest, remember that. Offering an apology to the head of state by our head president is the political thing to do. As far as us being “infidels” in their country, that is where extremism leads to, fortunately we haven’t got there yet in this country, have we.

But we should realize that we would feel the same if they were doing to us what we have been doing to them, don’t you think? If peace is the goal we need to work out a compromise. I would suggest that just because we try to understand them doesn’t mean we necessarily agree with the more extreme Muslim groups.

The left is all too happy to “recognize that not all Muslims are fundamentalist” but they sure as hell don’t afford that same line of thought to their fellow Americans.

Sure we do, kctim as much or more than the far right extremist show to us anyway. I realize many Christian are not extremist and many keep their religion out of politics as well as politics out of their religion.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 27, 2012 2:11 PM
Comment #337296

J2

Revisionism? Hardly. In fact, we can attribute almost all of the division in country right now to the simple fact that leftists believe it is only they who should dictate policy and control society so that their vision of the greater good can come to be.
But, as I said before, you are correct. People who believe as our founders did are indeed considered to be right-wing extremists in todays US.

“When I pay into SS and Medicare why should I be criticized for feeling “entitled”?”

Sigh! You’re not. You are criticized because you believe EVERYBODY should be forced to support what you feel you are entitled to. In this case, retirement and health care.

“I am not lazy nor am I dependent upon anything more than what “we the people” have decided works best for most of the people of this country?”

If you promote the idea that everybody must be forced to participate, and you are not willing to plan for your own retirement, health care etc…, then you either live in fear or are lazy on that front.

“Some are poor but that doesn’t automatically make then lazy. It is much more complicated than that. Using these bumper sticker slogans to ridicule them is extreme IMHO”

Being poor also does not mean one is not lazy. And pretending that every poor person is some kind of victim has created the best bumper sticker slogans to be found.

“The only reason I can think of ,kctim, for the media to promote “dependency, laziness and sense of entitlement” is that it makes news.”

It is promoted like that because most in the media believe we have to morph into some European style society. Gun crimes are reported, self defense is ignored. The Phelps clan are promoted as the average Christian, Christian charities are ignored. Those begging for more are everywhere in the news, those making it on their own are ignored. I could go on and on, but you get the point.

“The left defends these programs, as they should, from the far right ‘s constant attacks. It is the right wing that makes them news worthy.”

Hence my reason for stating freebies have become more important to the people than their rights.

“No one ever says it is free health care unless they are right wing extremist trying to denigrate the programs kctim. This common tactic of ridiculing those that use or support these programs works to inflame other extremist and the uninformed.”

Talk about spreading half-truths J2. Those who support universal health care promote it by telling the poor and middle class that the “rich” will pay for it. In fact, the Public Option for ALL rhetoric was all about the “rich” paying “their fair share” in such a way.
And again, I am not ridiculing those who support such programs, I am condemning them for their willingness to force it onto all.

“Your suggestion of the “lazy” not having to pay into the system to receive anything is just wrong kctim. Saving for healthcare with low wages jobs is like peeing into the wind kctim, you get a warm feeling but it really doesn’t work with modern healthcare.”

And yet another half-truth J2. Just about EVERYBODY can save for their own retirement, health care, food etc… IF they are willing to admit they are not entitled to the latest and greatest.
As for those who cannot, those who “say” they care should actually help them instead of spending their time and money trying to force everybody else to help.

“It seems you consider SS a conspiracy to make the American people dependent and lazy as well as a means to dictate and control us. Perhaps that is why many on the right are considered extremist.”

I didn’t say conspiracy, I said planned. A huge government benefits only those who want government to do everything for them. The past decades tell you that people will not save for retirement or health care if it is provided for them.
Now, a conspiracy is believing the evil Wal-Mart corporation is trying to take over the world. Sadly, since it pits those with money against those who envy, it is a conspiracy that has legs and will continue to infect the nation.

“The progressive era and progressives since that time have accomplished many things kctim. Women can now vote. Civil rights for blacks, to name a couple.”

First, rights were not taken away from others in order for these things to happen, and second, both of these were the result of following the process that was laid out.
You convince 2/3 of the country that they should pay government for health care and I’ll accept it.

“Another trademark of extremism is blaming government for all of our problems, then getting upset when government tries to fix them, kctim.”

So says somebody who blames corporations for all our problems and believes government is the answer to everything. Talk about extremism.
Government forcefully taking a dollar from one person and giving it to another is NOT how you fix things.

“Government is in reality an entity, a system and is controlled by reps of the voters. Blaming “government” is non conducive to getting the problem fixed.”

Yes, it is. But it has limits on what it is allowed to force onto the people. In a free society, problems do not trump rights.

“kctim good point. Do you see what happens when these religious groups tell us it is against their religious beliefs to do anything and then campaign to get these “beliefs” put into law, Roe V Wade overturned as an example.”

What happens is they lose or they do not have the support in Congress. Despite constant fear mongering by the left, Roe V Wade has not been overturned, nor will it ever be.

“Just this past week these extremist have tried in, VA for one, to get unnecessary medical procedures put in the way of a women having an abortion. It is against their belief to have an abortion so they want all of us to believe as they do by “force of law” as you would say.”

Why does being against abortion now mean you are a crazed right-wing extremist?
And, while I disagree with the VA bill and the ultrasound fiasco in TX, neither one of them outlawed abortion.
This is another example of something fading away into a non-issue if taxpayers were not forced to support something against their will.
You want to keep religion out of the uterus? Quit shoving our wallets up there.

“We live in the same world they do kctim. It is getting smaller. We should understand them.”

I have been all over this same world J2 and to be quite honest, I don’t give a crap about understanding or respecting them until they are willing to give the same in return, and that is NOT happening.

“When our military burns their holy books in their country it is their extremist that protest, remember that.”

Except it is not. It was regular civilians, men women and children and even government employees who joined the extremists in protest.

“fortunately we haven’t got there yet in this country, have we.”

Yes we have, if you are a Christian or Constitutionalist.

“But we should realize that we would feel the same if they were doing to us what we have been doing to them, don’t you think?”

Why yes we do. In fact, many of us feel like that every time a flag is burned, a bible is burned or a picture of Jesus is pissed on. Are those who get upset at such things afforded the same understanding and respect you are calling for overseas? No. They are called extremists.

“If peace is the goal we need to work out a compromise. I would suggest that just because we try to understand them doesn’t mean we necessarily agree with the more extreme Muslim groups.”

I don’t give a rats ass about them, I care about my fellow Americans and that is who deserves understanding, respect and compromising with.

“I realize many Christian are not extremist and many keep their religion out of politics as well as politics out of their religion.”

The vast majority are not extremist and all these gross over generalizations and stereotypes about them wouldn’t even exist if not for the ‘freedom from religion’ crowd.

Posted by: kctim at February 27, 2012 5:46 PM
Comment #337300

When the extreme right says that they can’t make the country right, can’t rid themselves of the entitlement tax, because the people have become spoiled and lazy, the right isolates itself as a minority.

This right wing minority definitely has an enemy. The right wing in this country is loath to actually declare their true enemy, preferring comments like:

“Those who believe “government is an integral part of our society” really mean “it’s governments job to dictate and control society.”“

What they denounce is what they want. They want control.

Their enemy is democracy.

There were three factions that fought to win independence for this nation. One was the northern bankers, manufactures, merchants. One was the southern aristocrats. Both of these groups took part in the writing of the Constitution and they wrote it primarily with their interests in mind with little regard for the third faction, the common people, small landholders, indentured servants and slaves.

The ink wasn’t even dry before the first two factions began fighting eachother for control.

The winning faction has had to change, expend wealth to maintain control because of the third factions revelation that in a democratic system, they wield the power.

Divide and conquer is affective to a degree, but when push becomes a shove, the third faction knows which current political faction best represents their interests.

Posted by: jlw at February 27, 2012 6:24 PM
Comment #337326

JLW
So, those who denounce government over regulating, push for less government infringing on personal lives and, in general, want government to leave them alone so they can live according their own values and beliefs, are the ones who are after control over the people? Give me a break. That is just as silly as fearing Wal-Mart.

We have spared enough over the years for you to know that I am very willing to “declare the true enemy of America,” which is the perversion of the US Constitution and the taking of individual rights. In fact, I declare this so much that it drives you guys crazy.

And, as usual, you guys favor your interpretation over what actually is.
People don’t want a left or right government, they want the Constitutional government we were given, back. The fact that the right is closer to that Constitutional government is just how it is.
People also don’t really care about the entitlement taxes themselves, they just want their freedom of choice back. Funny how you guys think these programs are the greatest thing since sliced bread and that everybody loves them, but yet you won’t give people the choice in supporting them. Why is that JLW? Why not let the handful of us Constitution believing “extremist” opt-out and live with our decision if we so choose? Oh, that’s right, it’s because you know better than us and that the programs would not work without government enforced MANDATES.

Face it JLW, there is a large portion of our population who is spoiled and lazy, and the fact that government dependency is at record highs proves this.
You can dismiss this line of thinking as extreme all you want, but it’s still true.

Posted by: kctim at February 28, 2012 9:41 AM
Comment #337329

kctim -
“And, as usual, you guys favor your interpretation over what actually is.”

This is humorous. What you are really saying is that, “as usual, you guys favor your interpretation of the Constitution over my interpretation.” My answer is of course I do, that’s why I interpret it that way and that’s why you interpret it in the way you do. Our Bill of Rights and much of the Constitution was left vague intentionally because it was intended to be a living document not one stuck in the mores of the 18th century. The founders were, for the most part, aware of this and left things to be interpreted within certain boundaries that allow it to work for the situation on the ground. No one really knows the “framers intent” and I don’t think that it should necessarily be something we strive for. Where the Constitution was overly specific is where, in several places, it has become dated and irrelevant for things such as the 3/5 Clause, the 7th Amendment’s $20 threshold, really the whole 3rd Amendment. These were based on things going on in the 18th Century and not something relevant to us in the 21st.

It is very egocentric to think that what the left is doing is an interpretation and what the right is doing “what is.” The reality is that these are both interpretations. That kind of thinking prevents a helpful dialog and promotes senseless shouting matches that achieve nothing.

Posted by: tcsned at February 28, 2012 12:11 PM
Comment #337330

The problem for Republicans is that oppositional politics doesn’t make for a consistent worldview, apart from its polarization.

I mean, if you really looked at it, took the lenses of your political glasses off, you’d find that culturally folks in red-state America and blue-state aren’t that much different. But rather than draw on similarities to draw people in, the conservatives of today are noting the differences in order to wedge people away from the party that they think are insufficiently devoted to conservatism.

Trouble is, you need the folks that aren’t completely devoted, but who are open to it. If you drive them away, if you cut them out of the leadership, sure you don’t have to make compromises you don’t like on their account, but you also don’t get there help when you need it.

And let me tell you, Democrats are glad to have people to build coalitions with, which is what the GOP’s providing. Add into this the fact that these people, no longer compelled to conform to the conservative ideology, become more amenable to accepting liberal policies, and you have a recipe for Democrats to gain at the Republican’s expense.

Republicans responded to this in two ways, first by riling up a public backlash, which worked, but then by deciding that what got them kicked out was not being conservative enough, which hasn’t worked.

Some folks think that the Republicans are missing an opportunity, but my feeling is that their comeback drive in 2010 was driven by an uncompromising ideology, rather than by pragmatic sort of political manuevering designed to disrupt the Liberals’ political strength, so while they won against the Democrats with their momentum, they were driving towards their overreach even then, rather than anticipating that it would just put them in a better position to compromise, and being at peace with that.

The Republicans are unwilling to entertain just being an influence, after years of being told that Liberals were a disease that had to be cured. They’re unwilling to consider cooperation or agreement a political necessity.

But because their position is so extreme, two things are true: one, it’s a lot harder to sell people over the long term, especially as they see the other side being more accomodating, and two, they’re simply less likely to be able to get everything, so pushing for everything and not taking anything short means that often they get absolutely nothing. They can be righteous about it, but that still amounts to defeat.

The Republicans are defeating themselves, creating wedge issues in their own ranks, refusing to accept having a strong influence, out of greed for having total control. The worst thing for them is that the more they do what they want, push what they want, follow their natural inclinations at this point, the worse this problem becomes for them.

To win, Republicans will have to learn to accomodate. To learn to accomodate, they will have to unloose the constraints strangling the party’s ability to make those deals. This was going to happen at some point. The drive before 2010 just ensures that things get worse for the Republicans, since they didn’t reckon with what really knocked them out of power in 2006 and 2008.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 28, 2012 12:55 PM
Comment #337331

In fact, we can attribute almost all of the division in country right now to the simple fact that leftists believe it is only they who should dictate policy and control society so that their vision of the greater good can come to be.

Kctim, the “leftist” have seemed more than willing to negotiate with the rightist in Congress. In fact Obama has went so far as to adopt a healthcare reform plan the was authored by a right wing think tank. However the extremist on the right do not seem able to even negotiate with the repub conservative leadership on legislation. Your just wrong on this issue, time to take those partisan blinders off.

But, as I said before, you are correct. People who believe as our founders did are indeed considered to be right-wing extremists in todays US.

Perhaps during the time frame of the articles of confederation kctim. However it seems even the founding fathers realized we needed something more than that to actually run a country. Hence the Constitution. To think that the founding fathers would object to healthcare a social safety net and public schools as we have today seems to me to be a bit of a stretch kctim. Perhaps some would, but trying to fit the founding fathers into the context of today and then tell us they would be on your side appears to be a bit of wishful thinking IMHO.

You are criticized because you believe EVERYBODY should be forced to support what you feel you are entitled to. In this case, retirement and health care.

So it is the lazy, the dependent and those that feel entitled that force everybody to support what we “feel we are entitled to”? Once again it sounds to me like you are saying I should feel bad for paying into these programs as everyone else did then receiving what I paid in good faith to receive. Why frame it as it is “the lazy, the dependent and those that feel entitled” when we all pay into this system. SS and medicare was lawfully enacted and therefore we as citizens accept the responsibility to pay our fair share. To think that we are forced into this negates the obligations one has to one’s government and society at large.

If you promote the idea that everybody must be forced to participate, and you are not willing to plan for your own retirement, health care etc…, then you either live in fear or are lazy on that front.

I beg to differ kctim, promoting implies the opposite of lazy doesn’t it? What your actually upset about is not laziness but a difference in ideology, IMHO. I don’t believe participating in SS or medicare violates anyone’s rights. These programs were put into place for all Americans to contribute and use or not use as they choose. They are constitutional and therefore do not violate any rights. Force is used only when you break the law. SS and medicaid is but one part of planning for retirement because you include it as part of your plan doesn’t make you lazy or fearful, IMHO kctim, it makes you wise and fortunate. The fearful and lazy meme you use is extremist propaganda IMHO.

It is promoted like that because most in the media believe we have to morph into some European style society.

I assume this is an opinion kctim and that you don’t have any actual quotes from the media to back this up. Have you stopped to consider that much like a person grows from a baby to a toddler and so on to an adult and then as an adult matures as they age, so do nations. Perhaps what you consider to be “morphing into some European style society” could be just the progression of a nation as it grows and solves it’s problems?

Gun crimes are reported, self defense is ignored. The Phelps clan are promoted as the average Christian, Christian charities are ignored…..

On one hand you criticize the media whilst on the other hand you protect the corporations that have caused the problem you mention. The media amounts to 6 companies today, kctim, that controls the majority of media outlets. The bottom line is more important than real news. “If it bleeds it leads” is the guiding philosophy, especially with Faux news. That being said I would also add that just because the Phelps clan gets the headlines doesn’t mean they are promoted as the average Christian, at least not on the stations I watch (CNN, MSNBC, and local Denver stations mostly) so I would suggest that it is your personal sensitivity to the issue that causes you to think the news is trying to sell the Phelps as the typical Christian.

Hence my reason for stating freebies have become more important to the people than their rights.
But we haven’t given up any rights kctim! The Constitution never protected us from laws that were put into place by our elected representatives unless they were unconstitutional. SS and medicare don’t seem to be unconstitutional. Posted by: j2t2 at February 28, 2012 1:03 PM
Comment #337338

kctim:

On social issues, the administration has shown a willingness to compromise and assuage the concerns of the right on issues such as allowing the Catholic Church to opt out of paying for birth control in its businesses..

“Corporations are people, my friend” is what the GOP has stated. Therefore, these “corporate people” don’t get to say that non-discrimination laws aren’t something that should apply to them. Period.
The Catholic Church, and the Evangelical Churches, and any other religion who thinks they can go into businesss and then claim special rights to be able to discriminate at will should, by law, be out of luck when it comes to all attempts to enforce religious restrictions upon their employees with bogus claims that these “beliefs” somehow supersede the laws that apply to everyone else.

Because when you think about it, what they’re actually saying is that they want is their cake (capitalism) and to eat it, too (enforced archaic dogma).

As for those supposed “beliefs” they might actually be viewed as real and sincere if all these religions were also screaming about having to pay for vasectomies and viagra for their male employees. But since they’re not, it’s more than clear that all this fuss being made is NOT about RELIGION at all.

No, the true agenda is very clear. This is actually about the age-old FEAR OF WOMEN AND OUR SEXUALITY. It’s about DOMINATION AND CONTROL OF WOMEN. It’s about AN ENFORCED DESPOTIC PATRIARCHY THAT HAS INSTITUTIONALIZED PERMANENT INEQUALITY AND WHOLESALE DISRESPECT FOR WOMEN — one that they try to claim has been decreed by “God.” This is about DENYING THAT WOMEN ARE FULLY HUMAN BEINGS BY TRYING TO WITHHOLD FULL RIGHTS AS INDIVIDUALS, AND VITAL AND NECESSARY HEALTH CARE FROM US.

The fact is, Women (all over the world) have ALWAYS needed their government(s) to step in to protect us from this so-called religious horsesh*t. And while I’m at it, let me add that it is also very obvious that government(s) need to protect children from these “religious men” as well. Just as “Religion” should not be an excuse to withhold women’s rights and health care, it should not be considered an acceptable excuse to keep legions of pederasts out of jail after they’ve raped and physically abused so many thousands of children, and had their “religious” superiors cover up the long, repulsive history of these despicable crimes.

In fact, in my view what should be considered the true “culture war” is in getting people (whether they call themselves “religious” or not) to accept the idea of human equality and respect for ALL others, not just respect for male power, status, wealth — or a long, cruel history of institutionalized dominance over the needs, rights and autonomy of others. We need a culture of respect and dignity that is inclusive of all human beings: all genders (and persuasions), races, colors and beliefs. And we should reject as invalid the claim that “religion” gives a group a license to strip other Americans of dignity, respect, and well-being, or allows them to enforce inequality with bullying and lies.

A “compromise” so the Catholic Church can opt out of paying for birth control is a perfect example. It’s promoted non-stop as being so fair, but anybody with a lick of sense knows that the church will still pay for it one way or another. It is fudging numbers, not compromising anything.

Since the Catholic Church operates mostly as a tax exempt entity, it can definitely afford to pay for it’s female business employees to have full and complete medical care.

the programs would not work without government enforced MANDATES.

I’m so sick and tired of all this whining over the idea of a health care mandate for all Americans. The fact is, neither I, nor my husband, nor any member of our two families has been in favor of any of the wars that this nation has fought in following World War Two — yet none of us has had the ability to withhold that mountain of our tax dollars from going towards any of those extraordinarily expensive and unnecessary wars. You want to talk mandates? You want to talk about feeling forced to contribute our tax dollars to something we thought was completely immoral and wrong? How about being mandated to pay for the insane amount of military spending that has taken place over the past 67 years!

The current U.S. military budget is SIX times larger than that of China. If we cut that budget by only ONE THIRD we could easily pay for an absolutely fantastic universal health care system in America.
You Republican and Conservatives really want to whinge about something? Why don’t you start complaining about the fact that waging war and spilling the blood of other people all over the damn globe has been considered of far higher importance to our government than taking care of the health needs of American citizens for literally decades?

Posted by: Adrienne at February 28, 2012 2:33 PM
Comment #337341

By the way lefties and progressives, if you believe in women’s reproductive choice, as well as many other types of health care, please visit: this website and sign the petition that’s currently up. Because at this very moment pro-corporate anti-choice Republican Senator Roy Blunt is trying to use the transportation bill (S.1813) to try to allow insurers to refuse to cover ANY health benefit required by the Affordable Care Act. Since this vote could come up at any time, it’s really urgent to let your senators know that you want them to vote against this latest attack.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 28, 2012 3:28 PM
Comment #337437

Tsned

JLW was talking about his perception of an “extreme part right wing” that he believes is unwilling to declare what they are against.

“The right wing in this country is loath to actually declare their true enemy, preferring comments like”

I was simply pointing out that what leftists assume, and want others to believe, is BS. Non-stop reporting that the “evil right” is against contraception when it’s really about paying for anothers contraception is a perfect example.

Of course both sides have their own interpretation of the Constitution, the difference is leftist interpret towards government in order to suit their personal desires while those on the right interpret towards the individual.

The framers intent is obvious to those who agree with them. Claiming the Constitution is a ‘living document’ is nothing more than an excuse to change it without following the laid out process, or to help justify ignoring the parts one disagrees with.
We should be changing the parts that are outdated, irrelevent or disagreed with, not ignoring them. You do this and people who believe in individual rights over the desires of society, will no longer have an argument.

Posted by: kctim at February 29, 2012 9:18 AM
Comment #337438

Stephen
“And let me tell you, Democrats are glad to have people to build coalitions with”

Over the last 4+ years, I have spent time at DU. A popular leftist site where you are “tombstoned” for not being far enough to the left.
While I will agree that Dems are glad to build coalitions to work with, ‘your people’ sure get in an uproar when those coalitions don’t tow your line.
Were you aware that a person is NOT a “true” Democrat if they don’t support abortion, gay marriage or universal health care? That American Christians are the true terrorists?

Yes, FR is just as bad, but this holier than thou rhetoric doesn’t hold water.

Posted by: kctim at February 29, 2012 9:32 AM
Comment #337439

J2

A leftist position is a leftist position no matter who holds it. Demanding 90+% instead of a 100% is not compromising.
The accepted belief that one is now an “extremist on the right” if they support the rights of the individual over the desires of society, is why I agree with Phx8 when he says the country is moving even further left.

As for the HCR plan, government mandate forcing you to pay and support something against your will, is a leftist idea. Doesn’t matter if it comes from who you expect it to come from like Obama, or anyone else.

“Hence the Constitution. To think that the founding fathers would object to healthcare a social safety net and public schools as we have today seems to me to be a bit of a stretch kctim.”

Assuming they would support such things, especially after going to great stakes to pen a document that limited the government and placed such great emphasis on protecting the rights of the individual, is what is wishful thinking, IMHO.

I am not claiming the founders would be on my side today, I am saying I am on the founders side then. They clearly gave us a process to adapt to changes and we should follow them. If we can follow that process and give women the right to vote, surely we can follow it and give everybody the so-called “right” to “free” health care.
If you want to take away my freedom of choice, at least do it right.

“So it is the lazy, the dependent and those that feel entitled that force everybody to support what we “feel we are entitled to”?”

Who is calling for government mandated universal health care? Those who want government to leave them alone and let them find and pay for their own health care? Or those who do not want to save and provide for themselves?
If someone isn’t willing to find and sacrifice for their own health care or retirement, they are indeed lazy and spoiled. If a person thinks they are entitled and want others to be forced to pay for their health care, they are dependent.

“Once again it sounds to me like you are saying I should feel bad for paying into these programs as everyone else did then receiving what I paid in good faith to receive.”

No, you should feel bad for supporting government forcing others to support what you believe.
The argument isn’t over you receiving what you willingly paid in good faith to receive, it is over having choice.

“Why frame it as it is “the lazy, the dependent and those that feel entitled” when we all pay into this system.”

Because we all do not want to be forced to pay into the system, we prefer to take responsibility for ourselves and make our own choices.

“To think that we are forced into this negates the obligations one has to one’s government and society at large.”

That is only your personal opinion. Many others believe our “obligations” to government is to not be a burden on it and in turn we are allowed to live our life as we ourselves believe best.
As for “society at large,” again, the desires of society do not trump the rights of the individual.

“I beg to differ kctim, promoting implies the opposite of lazy doesn’t it?”

Lol. Touche. However, promoting willful dependence is no different than willfully being dependent.

“I don’t believe participating in SS or medicare violates anyone’s rights.”

Then why do we not have the right to choose whether to participate or not?

“These programs were put into place for all Americans to contribute and use or not use as they choose.”

Not true. We are mandated by threat of force to contribute. And only a fool would deny something stolen from them to be returned.

“They are constitutional and therefore do not violate any rights.”

Then why are they justified by partisan interpretation instead of amendment? It would take only one amendment to the Constitution saying something like ‘government is allowed to force any individual citizen to support what government deems is best’ and this issue is over.

“The fearful and lazy meme you use is extremist propaganda IMHO.”

Yes, supporting personal responsibility and individual rights are an extreme position in today’s US.

“Perhaps what you consider to be “morphing into some European style society” could be just the progression of a nation as it grows and solves it’s problems?”

In the US, that progression has rules that should be followed, not perverted or ignored. It does no good to solve one problem you care about by creating another problem you could care less about.

“On one hand you criticize the media whilst on the other hand you protect the corporations that have caused the problem you mention.”

No J2. I criticize the leftward trend of media and I believe in the rights of the individuals who own and work for corporations. I don’t care what media airs. Yes that means the left channels like CNN, ABC, NBC etc… and even far far left channels like CurrentTV.

“so I would suggest that it is your personal sensitivity to the issue that causes you to think the news is trying to sell the Phelps as the typical Christian.”

Sensitivity? No, I am an atheist and can honestly say I am not very sensitive over religion. I would say it is more of just my opinion based on my experience. EVERYBODY who doesn’t support gay-marriage is a religious homophobe, or EVERYBODY who opposes abortion is a crazed right-wing fundie. The Christian religion is always to blame, there is no way some people just view it as unnatural or care about an innocent life. It’s BS.

“The Constitution never protected us from laws that were put into place by our elected representatives unless they were unconstitutional. SS and medicare don’t seem to be unconstitutional.”

Of course they don’t, you support them. Do you feel the same about laws, put into place by our elected representatives and even public vote, that prevent gay-marriage? There is nothing in the Constitution that protects it, is there? In fact, you have to get into the whole individual rights thing to justify such a law being unconstitutional.
So tell me, why is a law valid if it mandates who you must care for and support, but not valid if it mandates who you must care for and marry?

Posted by: kctim at February 29, 2012 11:26 AM
Comment #337441

Ah, Ms Adrienne

“On social issues, the administration has shown a willingness to compromise and assuage the concerns of the right on issues such as allowing the Catholic Church to opt out of paying for birth control in its businesses.”

And the ever caring administration did this how? But forcing the insurance company to “cover the cost.” Does the insurance company ‘bite the bullet’ and pay for it out of their profits or do they adjust the premium to make it up?
Even the worst business person knows the answer to that.

“…should, by law, be out of luck when it comes to all attempts to enforce religious restrictions upon their employees with bogus claims that these “beliefs” somehow supersede the laws that apply to everyone else.”

So shut them all down, it’s not like they do any good at all, do they.
Yes, let’s shut them all down. Not because they are enforcing religious restrictions on their employees by banning contraception for all, which they clearly are not. Let’s shut them down because they dare ask others to provide their own contraception. How evil.

“No, the true agenda is very clear…”

Wow. All that about controlling and holding women back. About full rights as individuals for women and vital and necessary health care for women. All of that while demanding those same evil men be the ones to pay for your health care? Just how independent is a woman when she must rely on evil men to pay her way in this world?

“The fact is, Women (all over the world) have ALWAYS needed their government(s) to step in to protect us from this so-called religious horsesh*t.”

Protect? Yes. Be provided by? Not in a free country.

“And while I’m at it, let me add that it is also very obvious that government(s) need to protect children from these “religious men” as well.”

Uh huh. Going by that logic, I guess government also needs to protect children from those “gay men” as well. Give me a break.

“Just as “Religion” should not be an excuse to withhold women’s rights and health care,”

Women’s rights are law and women have access to health care, that is fact. Us evil men or any entity, religion or Wal-Mart, not paying and providing health care for you, does not change that.

“it should not be considered an acceptable excuse…”

No it should not. And doubt you will find anyone who believes otherwise.

“In fact, in my view what should be considered the true “culture war” is in getting people (whether they call themselves “religious” or not) to accept the idea of human equality and respect for ALL others,”

You mean according how you define equality and respect, right?
Surely you don’t mean we should all be taxed equally or that respect should be given to those who don’t wish to support what you support?

“I’m so sick and tired of all this whining over the idea of a health care mandate for all Americans.”

Of course you are, understanding it would require “respect for ALL others,” and wanting “a culture of respect and dignity that is inclusive of all human beings.”

“How about being mandated to pay for the insane amount of military spending that has taken place over the past 67 years!”

Then change the Constitution so you don’t have to pay and support armies. While you are at it, change it also to mandate government run health care and people like me will no longer have an argument.

“If we cut that budget by only ONE THIRD we could easily pay for an absolutely fantastic universal health care system in America.”

Well, again, Constitutional mandate says we pay for one but not the other.
What is “fantastic” is also in the eye of the beholder. For many of us, our individual rights are fantastic and giving them up for government run health care would catastrophic.

“Why don’t you start complaining about the fact that waging war and spilling the blood of other people all over the damn globe has been considered of far higher importance to our government than taking care of the health needs of American citizens for literally decades?”

Contrary to the common left-wing stereotype, not everybody who supports the military loves war. In fact, the vast majority of people, Republican and Democrat, don’t want it.

But, if we are being literal here, IMO the main reasons people don’t complain as much is because defense of country is in the Constitution and the fact that we have an all volunteer military. Add those to the fact that it is not governments job to provide health care for all and that individual rights must be trampled in order to do so, and it is very clear why people accept the former but object to the latter.

And Adrienne, please understand that I do not want to control you or any other woman. In fact, I want you to have every single right as I do. We are complete equals.
So how about I keep my beliefs out of your business and you keep my wallet out of your business? Win win.

Posted by: kctim at February 29, 2012 12:34 PM
Comment #337442

kctim-
We talk about a living document… Well, the question there is whether things in the real world are so simple that the laws can just be interpreted one by one, without consideration of the meaning behind the text.

Take the Fourth Amendment. If you take a literal view of that, modern electronic communication, completely unknown in that time, is not covered. However, if you assert that the spirit of the law was that communications, property, and people were privileged from search and seizure, and that the difference in modern trappings is just incidental to what the law intended, then you can apply an 18th century principle to a 21st century situation without problem.

That, in a nutshell, is an example of a living interpretation of the constitution, as opposed to unimaginatively applying just the text, and nothing but the text. It doesn’t mean you can go crazy with it, but you can make reasonable logical extensions of old constitutional rules and everything to fit with the way the world works now.

There’s a reason the constitution provides for judges. If everything was a matter of literalism, you would not need professionals to interpret the law. The reality is, cases in law are complex, filled with messy real world facts that don’t always translate directly into a clear decision.

We don’t talk about the letter of the law and the spirit for nothing, either. There will always be an imperfect fit between what lawmakers intended to do with a law, and its actual results. Sometimes this means you have to revise the law, or amend the constitution. But sometimes it means that you try to understand the problem that the legislators or framers were trying to solve with that law, and apply it accordingly. In the above example, the Framers were trying to limit the government’s ability to investigate people who committed no crime and were involved in no crime. If we arbitrarily allow searches and seizures of electronic communications, simply because of what the fourth amendment fails to cover, we plainly give the government a right to intrude on our affairs and on our persons that the Framers weren’t looking to give them.

It’s a balance between honoring the sense of a law, and its text.

We see the Constitution in more emergent terms, not just each rule by itself, assumed to act by itself, but a set of rules that work together to allow a working, functional government constrained by the rule of law to exist.

The idea of the living constitution has been vilified by those on the right seeking to push their notion of literal strict construction, but it’s really a response to a world where both society and laws constantly change, but the constitution changes much less so.

Often enough, though, the argument on the right isn’t about process, it’s about result. The constitution talk gets rolled out for decisions that do not favor them, and quietly rolled back into storage for the ones that don’t. These days, the constitution seems to be the bludgeon that conservatives try to use to make their personal interpretation seem mandatory to everybody else.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 29, 2012 1:02 PM
Comment #337444

On the other point?

There’s more than one liberal blog out there. If you just lurk at one site and don’t go through them all, you’ll miss an awful lot. Folks don’t agree. Some think the economy’s recovery is only skin deep, others think it has a more solid basis. Some think Obama’s been a great help to the environment, others think he’s as bad as Bush.

Hell, if you went and read my stuff at Daily Kos, you’d find somebody who was arguing, often enough, for the compromises.

The thing to understand is that while there are tensions in the Democratic Party about party loyalty, you can actually still find moderate Democrats and even conservatives, whereas Republicans these days are absolutely dominated by self-identified conservatives.

The Democrats are willing to forgive some differences of opinion in order to expand their base. Republicans aren’t.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 29, 2012 1:21 PM
Comment #337449

kctim:

But forcing the insurance company to “cover the cost.” Does the insurance company ‘bite the bullet’ and pay for it out of their profits or do they adjust the premium to make it up? Even the worst business person knows the answer to that.

Oh how dare anyone expect the poor, poor impoverished health insurance companies to ever lose a penny of their profits! And covering the cost of women’s health care? Why it’s an outrage to expect something like that!

So shut them all down,

They don’t have to shut down, but they should definitely lose their tax exempt status, and they should naturally be subject to all the same laws that apply to every other business in the nation.

Let’s shut them down because they dare ask others to provide their own contraception.

Businesses who will not cover contraception for women while covering vasectomies and viagra for men is blatant discrimination. The fact that they try to use “religion” as an excuse for their discrimination is nothing but bullsh*t.

All of that while demanding those same evil men be the ones to pay for your health care?

Yes, because paying for their male employees health care and denying women their health care is DISCRIMINATION.

Just how independent is a woman when she must rely on evil men to pay her way in this world?

Independent as well as smart enough to realize when she’s being screwed out of fair and equal treatment — by Institutionalized Chauvinism trying to justify blatant discrimination by claiming it’s part of their “Religion.”

Be provided by? Not in a free country.

Yes, in a free country if male employees are getting their reproductive health care costs provided by their employer’s health care plan, then women employees should also have their reproductive health care costs provided by that same employer’s health care plan. In BUSINESS there should be no excuses for discrimination in the workplace, and no employer should be allowed to dictate to an employee what healthcare they can consider necessary. Just as when an employee is paid, their employer has no right to tell them what they can spend their wages on.

Going by that logic, I guess government also needs to protect children from those “gay men” as well.

What the hell are you talking about??? I’m talking about a huge number of pedophiles who are and have long been raping children and being protected from going to jail. And this is because our government has thus far refused to involve themselves in thoroughly investigating a “religious institution” who everyone knows has looked the other way, and covered up for criminal pedophiles in their ranks.

Give me a break.

No, you give me a break. It’s outrageous that you’re trying to compare homosexuality with the disgusting criminal act(s) of pedophile rape!

Well, again, Constitutional mandate says we pay for one but not the other.

The Constitution doesn’t say anything about this nation having to spend $698 Billion Dollars on the military. Nor does it tell us that spending should be so out of control that as the GAO has declared: “serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense that made its financial statements unauditable.”

What is “fantastic” is also in the eye of the beholder. For many of us, our individual rights are fantastic and giving them up for government run health care would catastrophic.

In an era where 50.7 million Americans have no health insurance, government run health insurance is looking more and more fantastic to the vast majority of our citizens. This is because the “individual right” to be overcharged by health insurance corporations for substandard coverage and care is completely out of control.

IMO the main reasons people don’t complain as much is because defense of country is in the Constitution

Well, I find it pretty despicable that so many of you scream about a “mandate” when it comes to helping to maintain the health of our citizens, and to cure and/or ease the suffering of sick Americans, while at the same time try to defend, or say nothing at all about this nations absolutely insane and out-of-control military spending.

the fact that we have an all volunteer military.

My cousin didn’t volunteer. The government mandate at that time was to be drafted into the Vietnam War. He ended up getting his arm blown off fighting a war that he, and every other member of our family didn’t believe we should be fighting. That generation’s mandate was to pay for an incredibly expensive war with their tax dollars (whether they agreed with that war or not), while the drafted soldiers mandate was to fight, and pay in blood, suffering, life-long disability, health and psychological issues, and decreased economic opportunities. And of course for many, there was only death.
Now that is the kind of government mandate that was definitely worth being outraged about!

Posted by: Adrienne at February 29, 2012 3:07 PM
Comment #337452

Stephen
I understand your point about judges and the complexities of law, but that does not give those judges the power to take away rights in order to create new rights. Determining where modern tech falls under effects is one thing, determining one persons choice or property can be forcefully taken and given to another person, is entirely different.

And I realize there are many crazy ass liberal blogs out there and normal Democrat blogs. In fact I try to visit as many as I can. I only mentioned DU because I have been able to stay on there despite the fact that anything to the right of Marx is criticized.
The point is, that despite the constant rhetoric and propaganda, the Republican Party is no different than the Democratic Party when it comes to having its “fringe.” Well, other than the constant promoting of moderate Republican positions now being considered extreme.

Posted by: kctim at February 29, 2012 5:21 PM
Comment #337454

Adrienne

A company’s honest profits are no business of mine, nor is how they choose to distribute it. It’s fine to expect a company to pay for women’s health care, and its your free choice to find one that chooses what you want. However, it is not fine to force a private company or individual to do it against their will.

Seeing how it is wrong to force a private business to provide it against their will, I have no problem with applying that to every other business in the nation.

If you feel it is discrimination, then you sue based on that. You do not create a new mandate. But you cannot do that, can you? The companies would just quit offering coverage of Viagra and vasectomies, wouldn’t they.
Of course, if that happened, a private company would probably create something to fill that void, and we sure as hell can’t have that, can we.

“by Institutionalized Chauvinism trying to justify blatant discrimination by claiming it’s part of their “Religion.””

I don’t want to pay for another persons contraception, man or woman, and I have no religion. But, even if you were correct and it was discrimination, why not just say if a company chooses to offer coverage for one, it must offer it for the other.

“no employer should be allowed to dictate to an employee what healthcare they can consider necessary.”

Sounds ok. But why then should government be allowed to dictate to all business owners and employees what health care government considers necessary?

“I’m talking about a huge number of pedophiles who are and have long been raping children and being protected from going to jail.”

Yes, but you are also stereotyping ALL priests as being pedophiles, which is no different than saying ALL homosexuals are.
Now, if you really are speaking of only the lack of a governmental investigation and not simply just trying to condemn religion with another absurd accusation, then I and almost everybody else probably wouldn’t mind an investigation into alleged cover-ups.

“The Constitution doesn’t say anything about this nation having to spend $698 Billion Dollars on the military.”

Of course not, but it does say that we provide for our defense. If you don’t like how that is done, work to change it.

“In an era where 50.7 million Americans have no health insurance, government run health insurance is looking more and more fantastic to the vast majority of our citizens.”

To some, yes. But not to all.
Tell me though, if the “vast majority of our citizens” think it is such a fantastic idea, then why don’t we just get the Constitutionally requirement to take away rights and make it an amendment? Would it have anything to do with the fact that while 70 some percent think it sounds like a “fantastic” idea, not even half of them are willing to pay for it?

Actually, as you well know, it is the individual right to choose and I would gladly pay extra to keep that right.

“Well, I find it pretty despicable that so many of you scream about a “mandate” when it comes to helping to maintain the health of our citizens, and to cure and/or ease the suffering of sick Americans, while at the same time try to defend, or say nothing at all about this nations absolutely insane and out-of-control military spending.”

Such is the difference between understanding something Constitutional and something not Constitutional.

“My cousin didn’t volunteer.”

Yea, neither did my uncle, but he didn’t lose an arm, he died. Doesn’t take away the fact that we now have an all volunteer military now though. Or the lack of concern people have today.

“Now that is the kind of government mandate that was definitely worth being outraged about!”

I agree. Drafts suck and are unfair. Doesn’t have anything in common with the fact that people care about their individual rights more though.

Posted by: kctim at February 29, 2012 6:07 PM
Comment #337473

kctim-
What exactly do you mean, “take away rights to make new rights?” Because as far as I can see, the basis for the requirement and the basis for the exceptions made to the requirement come from equally constitutional grounds, 14th and 1st.

You can’t just say, they both have rights, and let it go at that. You have to figure out where one right begins, and one ends. President Obama went and cut out an exception that preserved both the Church’s right not to fund contraception it considers immoral, but fulfills the rights that women have under the law to coverage of contraception, and to free contraception services under the ACA.

You’d have to effectively create new rights for the Catholic Church to determine the healthcare of the female employees of non-church enterprises that they own, despite the fact that their equivalent employees in the rest of the private sector would not be denied this coverage, and the fact that their male counterparts would not be denied Viagra, a drug prescribed specifically so males can control their reproductive systems in a way other than nature intended.

In fact, Viagra is where all this started. Only after it was required that it be covered did women demand contraception be covered, too.

As far as political balances go in the party, the fact that an equal number of people in the party describe themselves as moderate, and a appreciable chunk of the party describes itself as conservative tells you something about the psychology of the party. Yes, some of the commentors online get pretty far to the left. But they’re willing to vote for candidates, Obama included, who sometimes triangulate on Republican issues. They’re a lot more forgiving of their candidates and politicians conceding points to Republicans than Republicans are in their direction. Democrats don’t get punished if they don’t raise taxes. Obama can maintain an aggressive military stance, but if you notice, that hasn’t killed his reelection. Obama can flirt with the center, in part, because he hasn’t cut off his party there. Look at how Obama talked about unifying ideals and post partisanship in the election. Did it cost him? No. Democrats still voted for them.

Now you tell me, and this is the critical test here: can Romney survive telling his follower that it’s good to work out deals with Democrats on a regular basis, and still win the primary?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 29, 2012 10:59 PM
Comment #337478


The hard core right won’t be voting for the Republican nominee, they will be voting against Obama. As far as they are concerned, the only Democrats that are going to be left in Congress are the ones that are going to be dictated to. If Obama gets any Republican votes, they will probably be moderates or UAW members.

If the economy continues to improve I think Obama can win the independents.

It’s the Democrats that are in question. They need to come out in the numbers they did in 2008. If they do, Obama will win.

I know that the citizens of this country are capable of electing someone like George W. Bush and change American history dramatically. Just as we entered the 21St century, the Republicans began trying to kick us back to the 19Th and they are committed to continue doing so.

Posted by: jlw at March 1, 2012 1:57 AM
Comment #337479

Republicans are right now losing the votes of SO many women, jlw.

I truly think that most of us (including a lot of women on the right) understand when we’re being treated with complete disrespect and indeed, outright hatred.
Women don’t like the Blunt Amendment (or as my friend calls it the Blunt Force Trauma Amendment) that wants to give our bosses the ability to act like they’re our Big Daddy, forcing us to pay out of pocket for the high cost of contraception, while our male co-workers are getting their free vasectomies and free viagra prescriptions.

Women don’t like the idea of mandated State Rape with these totally unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds the GOP is now trying to force into law everywhere — especially not after all of their screaming during the health care reform debate about how the government shouldn’t be able to shove their noses into “the private matters between doctors and patients” in the event that Medicare ever picked up the tab for end-of-life counseling.

Women don’t like the idea that the right has been outlawing birth control, and trying to criminalize abortions, and passing “fetal homicide” laws. They don’t like the fact that hundreds of women have already been convicted and gone to jail due to having miscarriages in states like South Carolina and Alabama. Nor do they like the fact that as a result of all this many poor uninsured women are starting to become terrified over seeking prenatal medical attention — because they’re now afraid they might be arrested.

Women don’t like the idea that contraception — which has long been considered a common, and very basic part of women’s health care — has now become a reason that a fat disgustingly repulsive idiot like Rush Limbaugh thinks he can claim that all the women who use them are “sluts” and “prostitutes.”

No, this Republican War On Women is going to cost them a lot — because women aren’t stupid and we have far more self-respect than I think they realize. Because we work too damn hard, and carry way too much of the load these days to be treated like complete shit by a bunch of angry, small-minded male chauvanist pigs.

Women will want to vote for those who protect their interests and show them the kind of respect they deserve.
And that’s why the women of this nation are going to vote to give Obama a second term in office.
Mark my words.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 1, 2012 2:56 AM
Comment #337496
“No one ever says it is free health care unless they are right wing extremist trying to denigrate the programs kctim….” Talk about spreading half-truths J2. Those who support universal health care promote it by telling the poor and middle class that the “rich” will pay for it………
I suppose they say the same about Medicare, kctim. Are you sure you are not buying into the extremist propaganda? Everyone earning a salary pays into Medicare whilst those that are rich and have investments instead of wages do not. It is that simple.
….. Just about EVERYBODY can save for their own retirement, health care, food etc… IF they are willing to admit they are not entitled to the latest and greatest.

Kctim, do you really believe the poor and the lower middle class have the latest and greatest ? Really? With the wage stagnation for most people that has occurred during the conservative revolution saving, rates measured in the tenths of a percent, and the rising costs of food, medicines and such most live paycheck to paycheck hoping an emergency doesn’t happen to cause them to belly up.

I didn’t say conspiracy, I said planned. A huge government benefits only those who want government to do everything for them. The past decades tell you that people will not save for retirement or health care if it is provided for them.

Planned, conspiracy what is the difference in this case? The fallacy you speak of would have us believe that extremist do not or would not use Medicare or SS when it is their turn, reality proves you wrong. Yet you try to tell me they don’t benefit because their ideology is extreme? The fallacy that providing SS to oneself through years of working and paying into the system causes one to not invest into 401k and other retirement plans is wrong and the number of 401k’s will prove it.

Now, a conspiracy is believing the evil Wal-Mart corporation is trying to take over the world. Sadly, since it pits those with money against those who envy, it is a conspiracy that has legs and will continue to infect the nation.

I would think a conspiracy is defending Walmart, a business entity, that pays it’s employees such low wages that they qualify for food stamps and other government assistance whilst complaining about government and loss of rights, but that is just me kctim.

You convince 2/3 of the country that they should pay government for health care and I’ll accept it.

Do you also expect the same 2/3rds majority for all laws, kctim or just those that violate your interpretation of the constitution?

So says somebody who blames corporations for all our problems and believes government is the answer to everything. Talk about extremism.

Extremism is known by its use of exaggeration, much as you have done here kctim. I neither blame corporations for all problems nor do I advocate for government answers to all problems. This type of propaganda is why the far right is considered extremist,IMHO.

Government forcefully taking a dollar from one person and giving it to another is NOT how you fix things.

But when we all contribute to things like SS and medicare we do fix things,kctim. Your comment shows us why the far right is called extremist, it fails to take into account the actual facts in favor of ideological spinning.

Yes, it is. But it has limits on what it is allowed to force onto the people. In a free society, problems do not trump rights.

Both SS and Medicare were enacted with the support of the people by our representatives in Congress and signed into law by the President. These laws were not hidden or combined with other laws they were voted on straight up kctim. It is extremist on the far right such a Blunt in Missouri using the transportation bill to usurp the will of the people that is forcing laws that trump rights,IMHO.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 1, 2012 11:44 AM
Comment #337511

Good News:

Blunt Amendment Vote: Contraception Measure Fails In Senate

Democrats who voted with the Republicans to allow employers to refuse to cover any kind of health care service for “moral reasons” were all men:
Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

The one Republican who voted against the bill was a woman: Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 1, 2012 2:58 PM
Comment #337573


Kaiser Family Foundation polls.

Support for private health insurance paying for birth control:

All 63%
Women 66%
Men 60%
Democrats 83%
Independents 62%
Republicans 42%
Catholics 60%
Evangelicals 57%

Opposed:

Republicans 58%


What should be done about the Health Care Law:

35% say to expand it

19% say it should be kept as is

18% say it should be replaced by a GOP plan

19% say it should be eliminated

Progressive change is slow. The opposition is loud and rhetorical. But, eventually the people get past all the rhetoric and make the change.

Posted by: jlw at March 3, 2012 4:13 PM
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