Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Kind of Encouragement I Fear.

Let me preface this by saying I think this man was obviously disturbed, and that most men and women here in America are of good conscience. But I can’t help but recall that only several decades before, an entire continent went nuts, with the pretext of another political disagreement as its starting point.

I would like to think that such incidents are isolated, that a mass murder like the one in Norway, and the mass murderer himself are rare, but with what I hear from some Republicans and conservatives these days, I'm truly concerned that they aren't.

The problem, I would submit is that in times when a political movement seems to be in decline, the temptation grows to set things to what we see as right by any means necessary. Of course, as the strain and the fear of losing power increases, so are the lengths that we seem justified to go.

In the case of Anders Breivik, I'd say his motives are ambiguous at best. At best, he's a sociopath with a mountainous ego, for whom the given excuse may be no more than a facade on a remorseless, fame-seeking monster of a human being. Or he may be sincere, and just full of a psychotic level of hatred whose strength allows him to commit acts our consciences wouldn't allow. What's not ambiguous, however, is that he intends his political rhetoric to appeal to those who fear immigrants, loathe the political left, and who see a clash of civilizations between Islam and Christianity. He's no content with justifying his actions to himself, he wants the people out there, his fellow Norwegians and Europeans to justify it as well. Whether he wants to be seen as the hero he thinks he is, or whether he's just manipulating people with their prejudices to get them to overlook his crimes, his kind of manipulation has dark echoes throughout history.


We're not immune.

No, I'm not saying that Ted Nugent will actually try and kill the President. But what position will Nugent be in when and if somebody does try? It's not that all heated rhetoric or passionate arguments lead to violence. But when you start talking about things like killing the President, when you start making out your opponents to be an existential danger to the country, you might not be lighting the fuse on a powder keg, but you're waving a torch damn close to it.

Justification. Who do we really want to give it to, and what for? When do we cross the line from simply expressing anger to creating an atmosphere of political violence?

Politics is high stakes. The decisions our leaders make are critical to our economy, to our safety and security as a nation. The question is, do the high stakes justify violent action, or at the very least, political intimidation and trickery that undermines our Democracy in the name of getting the "right" people in charge, or scaring/diverting the "wrong" people away from the polls.

This might seem an easy answer to some, if we don't think about the consequences on a second or third order basis. Or, put another way, I believe harm comes of having a system where those in charge used or still use counter-democratic methods to get into power. There are consequences to having people who know they can successfully skew the course of a Democracy, who know that even if they have screwed up, they can push the system in such a way that they still retain power.

When free, democratically held elections are not the means by which folks keep or lose their job, then it becomes very possible for leaders to avoid accountability for their mistakes, and their political overreach. So, when somebody says, "I have a gun which I will use to remedy things if the elections don't go my way.", we're talking an approach that ultimately leads to political tyranny. We're also talking a person who, regardless of what pious proclamations they make about their love of America, Democracy, and the Constitution, only has faith in it to the extent he or she gets what they want, which is to say no faith at all.

We must preserve democratic process even when it's results are likely to go against us, because only in that process do Americans as a whole govern themselves, and do so as free citizens. Otherwise we're simply fighting to see who gets to be under the gun.

I think a great deal of the time when we feel there is no compromise to be made, good or bad, we're simply suffering from a lack of imagination, or the lack of willing partner with that kind of imagination. Everybody has the task of pleasing their constituents, so the argument that somehow one kind of obstruction or another, one kind of breach of the democratic way of life is justified on the grounds of pleasing those people is weak. The framers did not design what they did in Philadelphia so we could see only the most vicious competitors get what they want out of the system, those fortunate few. It was a government tuned towards dealing with the general interests of the public, not the private, special interests of a few.

Like it or not, that's a good description of all of the little pet projects and opinions we've got. The government's not supposed to be our own personal wish fulfillment machine. It's supposed to work for what's good for everybody, and what's agreeable for most.

Literally agreeable. Government like ours is about what comes of agreement. Nothing becomes law without the agreement of hundreds of people in Congress, and one person in the White House, elected to represent us all, here and abroad. No matter how far we feel we are above having to settle for in a consensus, it nonetheless marks the way the government works.

What some folks have been sold on, unfortunately, is a system where their aim is to simply impose their opinion on everybody else. Some religious folks have been sold on using the government to reinforce Christianity as America's prime religion. Some business-folk have been sold on a return to an imaginary golden age when capitalism ruled purely, nobly, and without interference by those damn socialists.

So on and so forth. But all these people have been sold a bill of goods, in part because all the main social issues, thanks to American's freedoms, are largely out government hands. I mean, if you really think about it, in France they can ban wearing veils and covering your head. In England, the Church of England can count on their government to keep the churches running, even if they're empty. Those countries can meddle in those issues. It hasn't helped religion much, to be sure, but they can do it. Our government cannot devote tax dollars to support church activity like England's government can. Our government cannot force a Christian manner of culture on somebody, or force somebody to be a secularist, like some countries can.

You can't ban other parties, ban dissenting or critical publications, can't use the mechanisms of state here to do what others could do elsewhere (though the results of their efforts are debatable in quality, if you ask me.). The best you can do is work around the edges, and always with the taint of the forbidden impulse your actions are evidence of.

People would probably get further simply by informal social means, but those always carry with them uncertainty. Why go the long way around to get what you want, when you can push for and get more direct action?

he trick is, we have another name for this uncertainty: freedom! It's hard to remind yourself of that when the person you're disagreeing with is bashing everything you believe in, but the door swings both ways: what protects their speech, their religion, their right to organize and run political campaigns protects us as well. That the authors of the bill of rights phrased in it in terms of "Congress shall make no law..." is significant. This is a constraint on the power of government to predetermine the mindset and knowledge of those it means to rule, whether they are the majority or the minority. No distinction is made between the speech of groups or individuals.

I've always found it funny that if you argue with some people, they accuse you of abrogating their rights in this regard, as if it's not good enough to have the right to say something, but you have to be able to say it unchallenged. Well, if you read your constitution, it says nothing about denying this freedom to those who would respond to you. Freedom of one person's speech is not constraint on another person's rebuttal of what was said. You do not have the right to remain unchallenged in your views. In fact, a major reason for the freedom of speech, as the courts would have it, is so that people can respond to others, especially in the political arena.

The way I would put it, the system is designed so that even those who win a round of the game of political advantage out there never win it for good. You don't get one person who rises to the top, then pulls the ladder back once he or she is there, dooming everybody else to live with their politics and policies. There is always another round, and fortunes wheel turns for everybody, especially as the results of policy become clear.

Of course, the politicians, being competitive as they are, aren't interested in stepping down. Hopefully, that means they struggle to keep in touch with the will of the people, but all too often, it means they try to manipulate their constituents instead, and then claim the result to be the real will of the people.

What happens when the policies and positions in question aren't what they're cracked up to be, but those in power have staked their power, their tenure, and their reputation on that policy?

There's been an unfortunate process of rationalization and defensive posturing around those positions, putting Republicans in the position of having to defend weak policies and weak arguments with the rejection they're combating stronger for the shaky support their own position is based on.

Republicans and others on the right face these circumstances, and on many fronts have decided they have no choice but to do what they are doing. Defend your candidate, even if you don't like them, or agree with much of what they day! Defend your dogma, even if you have to deny scientific consensus and common sense to do it!

Defend your freedom from the other side legislating as it will, even if...

Ah, there it is, isn't it? In an effort to compel opposition to legislation they don't like, the GOP has gone to great lengths to portray Democratic policy as not merely wrong, but an abrogation of this nation's liberty. It's also gone far to distort the actual goals of most liberals, pushing the fifth column argument to its limits.

Desperation among the leaders to turn back a political change before it builds momentum has led those leaders to try and convince many people, unfortunately with success, that their nation, that they are less free than they actually are.

You have people blindly preparing for an apocalypse that won't come, stocking up ammunition to combat a campaign to take their guns that will never happen. You have people protesting that a bill was going to create death panel, but in legislation which only spoke of counseling for old folks about living wills and other expressions of their medical wishes. You have people thinking that conservatives are going to get shipped off to a concentration camp. People are being driven further apart from each other for no better reason than some fat cat in Washington wanting to stay put despite the fact they have much to be accountable for.

The danger here isn't from conservatism, but from the increasing insularity the party's leaders have been inflicting on itself, the increasing dissociation of the party from the mainstream, even as it aims to wield more and more power over what people think or do. It comes from the fact that outsiders to the party are viewed with greater and greater contempt, and their rivals with greater and greater hatred.

What I fear is the encouragement of this explosive mixture of isolation, malice, and sense of entitlement to control. What I fear is that this can get out of control, and what starts as a cynical exercise in hoodwinking people into continuing to support a political party that's let them down, can end up becoming a political movement that tests our Democracy's ability to endure.

What we need is for people to calm down, and realize that half this country isn't out to destroy it. I know most conservatives aren't acting out of some fascist impulse. That's not how the kind of political movements I fear sustain themselves. No, they drum up fear of one group or another, playing on shame people want to avoid, disappointment and disillusionment people want to forget, giving them the opportunity to take back and redeem their country by combating their natural political opponents. What turns it dark and threatening, like the movements that we hate from the Axis powers, is when the propaganda and political insularity combine to warp people's moral perspective, their perspective on the humanity and basic goodness of the people they're pitching themselves in battle against.

Or put another way, they get us to excuse things we wouldn't otherwise stand for people doing in the name of defeating an enemy, whether that's an obvious enemy like the Terrorists, or the imagined enemies of a fifth column. By appealing to the morality of opposing evil, they allow us to disengage our moral qualms, and having disengaged them, follow through with actions to disadvantage our opponents (and worse).

What I fear is that the Republican Party, at this pace, is going to create an insular group of leaders and constituents with both disengaged moral perspectives on party outsiders, and a very aggressive, resentment driven impulse to move beyond ordinary, legitimate means of political change. At the very least, it's going to make politics an ordeal to deal with over the next few decades, and an unnecessary one at that. But it could be worse.

It could mean that you will see a number of people like Breivik, who either out of some psychopathic thirst for acclaim or some psychotic sense of themselves as the redemptive here will take a political fight to people in a very physical fashion.

This is not a call for Republicans to give up on their political ideas, become liberals, or anything like that. This is a call for change in the way politics is operating in this country, an easing back of personal tensions, even if political tensions remain. The issues remain important, but the compact we make, as citizens in a democratic republic, is that we won't be killing each other or trying to marginalize each others rights in the process. Many appeal to the Framers to justify their policies and beliefs, and their attacks on others' policies. The Framers, though, did not always agree, and James Madison's minutes show a contentious debate over many elements some now speak of as if they were handed down from the heavens on stone tablets. The point would be that the Constitution was born of those men of disparate views, interests, and geographical realities working together to get past their differences, and find a system that they could all live with. They didn't just sit there and angrily insist on getting their way.

Our constitution was designed with peacemaking in mind, getting a country of people with disparate interests to work together so they wouldn't be immediately taken apart by outside interests trying to exploit a weak, fledgling nation. "These united states" was the phrase back in the early decades of our nation's history, and while the political power was more broadly distributed then, less concentrated at the top, the creation of a stronger central government was ultimately the purpose of the
Constitution. Remember, they already had a weaker, less centralized model, and the anti-federalists, the predecessors to the Democrats of today, preferred that model. The Bill of Rights was the concession they got for the sake of their support of the newer, more centralized model.

It wasn't all on purpose, as if it were deliberately planned that way from the start, but the dilemmas of the Framers, of those who wrote the Constitution, and those who pushed for the Bill of Rights, were universal after a fashion, so the model they came up with, with fairly few amendments, has stood the test of time. It's nowhere near perfect, but this is the real world- nothing is.

Point is, they made an effort to get along, to suppress not dissent, but the political instinct to try and go it alone and then try to force everybody to go along. America was strong enough, thanks to their commitment to last over two an a quarter centuries where most modern governments contemporary to them no longer exist, at least not in the forms they were in. The robustness of our nation has been enough that we have dealt with only one civil war in that time, and it was an unsuccessful one at that. America has been strong because people were capable of resolving their differences so the nation could function.

Unfortunately, for some, function is no longer desirable. They see the function of government, in its current form, as unwanted. They won't recognize authority unless its singing their tune. Unfortunately, they don't comprise a big enough portion of this country to force this by political majority, so authority won't sing their tune. The Framers knew better than to let debates about ideology paralyze their country. Their purpose was to create a government that could do its job, but not at the expense of the freedoms and the local self-control they wanted.

If these people truly followed the model of the Framers, they would be negotiating with an eye to protecting their interests, but nonetheless trying to find common ground. It may make sense to treat hostile countries or economic rivals as enemies in a certain sense, but your political rivals at home are no more the bad guys than you are. The time has come for us to realize that the good of the country as a whole is at stake, and America will not benefit from decades more of failure to reach common ground. People want a government that is working out the differences people have, not one that has broken down over somebody's ideological dispute. The message of every election since 2005, even 2010, is that this country faces serious problems, and people want the government to get to work solving them, not creating more of them.

It's time for the ideologues in this country to understand that the price of keeping power and influence is not paid in the currency of relentless criticizing of the other side, nor unceasing propaganda aiming at recruiting people to the ideological fight. It's paid in problems solved, and bad situations made better. No matter how true your belief is in your ideology, no matter how it makes sense to you, if things aren't getting better, people's patience will wear thin.

Now I know that the standard reflexive response from the right will be to turn this around and say that the Democrats have done nothing. I will say right out that this is untrue, but I'll add this: we can point to the things we have done, and make a plausible case that we solved some actual problems, even if results are ideal. The Republicans, though, because of their ideological position, and the direction they've taken in response to the rise of the Democrats, more or less have nothing. There's no big legislative push that people can look all that positively on. True, they've kept the Democrats from doing a great number of things, but in the process, they've made it impossible to get their way, either. They're waiting for people to simply come back to them, give them back the benefit of the doubt, but let me be blunt about that: after the Bush Administration, they don't even have the benefit of the doubt from their own people.

This is important for those of you who want more extensive power for the right, and want it on a healthy basis, not on this sort of pathological "I have anger issues and I'm reaching for my Glock" level. You need the rest of us to agree with you, even when you have power. Nothing is ever going to guarantee that you'll have the seats in Congress or the butt in the White House that you need, and if you respect the Constitution, you should realize this was by design. People wanted a government where you had to get agreement from a large number of people in order to get your way.

In a world where you will never have perfect power, you are essentially trying to make policy by holding your breath if you only have part of that political power. The Debt Limit fight illustrates just how difficult it is to just hostage-take your way to success. The problem, as always, with these tactics is that the really threatening positions, the ones that force consent from other people, are also the truly exhausting and grueling ones, and since the collapse and dysfunction of the government reflects well on nobody, also one that you have to back down from, making you look weaker, and leading to parts of your party, the especially dedicated ones, splitting off.

Now, as fervent a liberal as I am, I know the basics of how numbers operate in Congress, and I understand that if you can't line up President, Senate, and House in a straight line on a bill, it doesn't get passed. You can make a hell of a lot of political statements, and push a bunch of poison pills, but law doesn't get made that way, and policy does not arise from such hijinks. There's really nowhere to go for a party that just wants to say no until everybody says yes to what they want, because everybody else is just as capable of saying no to them.

That's why they are pushing this next election to take back the White House, take back the Senate, and keep the House. They want things back as they were, so they can just rubber stamp things. Long story short, though, it's one thing to pursue this ambition, it's another thing to achieve it, and if they have all their eggs in this one basket, in getting all the power to their party so they can do what they want, then they have what has to be one of the weaker kinds of plans a party has. America is not going to sit around and wait for the Republicans to get what they want to demand that the problem solving begin, and that is their problem. Plus, even if they do, they set one hell of an awful precedent in their obstructive behavior in the Senate, which means, as the constitutional formulation tells you, that they could just as well end up failing to pass much of anything, solve much of any problems themselves.

The system was not meant to be this adversarial. People were supposed to resolve their differences, even if doing so required the kind o f sausage making folks are uncomfortable with. I mean, folks can live with political impurity much better than they can live with political malpractice and dysfunction.

I don't see where the conservative movement is going with its tactics, its rhetoric, or anything else. It just seems to be trying to avoid impurity at all costs. So let me help you folks with something here, with a little insight I've had: At the end of the day, all philosophy ends up being is a tool for the mind to deal with the world. Whenever politics is in the drivers seat, I've observed, things tend to get worse, faster. But politics is necessary to get things done. So, the question is, how do we create a process where politics serves us, and not we politics.

That's what I think about when I see what's happening with global warming in the political sphere. That's what I think about when I see two wars that will probably have no more than unsatisfactory conclusions. That's what I think about when I see a wrecked economy out there. I see problems that need to be solved, or mistakes that need not to be repeated, but which aren't solved, and are repeated because to allow any other outcome would be to undermine the former, prominent political power.

Nobody deserves to do that, in my book, much less risk the future, the stability, and the peace of this country in the process. We need adults running it who understand that, regardless of party, who are working in this centuries long tradition of working out the differences of America's citizens, not just exaggerating those differences for the benefit of a few leaders who can't be bothered to do what they were sent to Washington to really do.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at April 16, 2012 7:54 AM
Comments
Comment #342326

Let me understand. Republicans hope to take the White House and Senate and keep the House. This would put them in the position Democrats were in back in 2009. This would be using the peaceful political process. Good thing, right?

If they succeed in this, presumably you will advocate that the opposition Democrats seek to find common ground.

Posted by: C&J at April 21, 2012 7:03 PM
Comment #342341

C&J-
I am fine with a productive sort of hardball politics. I don’t think my people should act the part of the doormat in the school play, if you know what I mean, but the point should not be to hold hostage important legislation, simply to push a political point. America needs to function. Debt Ceilings need to be raised. Governments don’t need to be shutting down. Budgets need to be passed.

What gets me about the way Republicans are approaching things is that there are so many opportunities for compromise they could have gotten, so many places where they could have watered down or hamstrung Democratic Party legislation by a strategic use of the filibuster, something that the concentration of blue dogs could have helped them do. But instead of that, they just take a scorched earth policy which leaves absolutely no room for the DLCers or third way Democrats who could have scored points for being bipartisan and everything by getting these deals.

Ironically, they’ve burned down the exact sort of Democrats who would make more favorable deals with them, in favor of the kind who get political points for driving harder bargains with the Republicans.

Power in a Democracy is not just who you can recruit to be a true believer, but also those you can invite to maintain a more casual relationship with. Reagan Democrats are an example. Obama Republicans in the last election are another example.

Republicans, in the hopes of removing all the RINO’s from the party, have been burning bridges with more casual supporters, who can’t measure up to the strict tests the GOP sets up, or who don’t have the patience or the deeper ties that allows them to follow their lead.

I would tell you that as a conservative, you need to take a look at your party, and consider that it might be chasing after more ideologically consistent power now at the expense of enduring crossover appeal later, which will be a key part of any long period of political dominance.

You should read Richard Dawkin’s The Selfish Gene. There’s a part where he details how biologists found that, contrary to the red in tooth and claw idea, creatures didn’t necessarily win by being more ruthless, by fighting all comers. Those who got too agressive wasted energy and risked injury by getting into too many fights. Long story short, I think this is generalizable. Conflict costs energy, brings in the potential that you don’t win the fight you picked.

I would say look over the last year, and tell me that all thc constant conflict, within the party and outside of it, hasn’t undermined its fortunes.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 21, 2012 11:49 PM
Comment #342342

Stephen

Cooperation is a two-way street.

You mention the conflict within the Republican Party and you are right. The party could not agree on many basic concepts and it took a long time to agree on leadership. Doesn’t this indicate that Republicans cannot march in lockstep? A clever and flexible President surely could have found leverage. That Obama managed to unite Republicans against his programs says a lot about him and his programs.

Re Rinos and Dinos - where will they hold that convention of pro-life Democrats?

Posted by: C&J at April 22, 2012 12:02 AM
Comment #342345

They still haven’t agreed on leadership, jack….they have just resinged themselves to what it looks like they’re going to have to market and defend.

Posted by: jane doe at April 22, 2012 12:38 AM
Comment #342347

Ted Nuggent’s comments were that if Obama were re-elected, Obama has let it be known that all the stops are pulled. That he will do anything and everything to get the country in further hot water. TN was saying that he would end up in jail or dead for his thoughts and ideas. This would also apply to others. He was not advocating a single thing illegal.

Your skreed has the republicans all coming to the democrats side of issues. That is not compromise. Your people want everything your way and you want it now. Of course when the budget gets flogged on a zero vote, well at lease somebody had the common sense to say no. There are many bills that have been passed by the house and the senate has under the lack of leadership of Reid not allowed anything to come to the floor for any kind of vote. He won’t even allow the budget to get to the floor.

Now is that the act of a leader and a leader with the votes on his side?

I say it is irresponsible in total.

You just spent all those words to say republicans don’t belong to govern.

Get used to it little boy.

Maranatha


Posted by: tom humes at April 22, 2012 3:20 AM
Comment #342349

Re Nugent -

we can’t as a general rule police the statements of every supporter. I think best to just abide by the kind of standards of behavior and rhetoric yourself. Do any of my liberal friends disagree with this statement. If you do, you are anti-Obama, since this is the White House statement, so get over the Nugent affair.

I have been observing the artificial outreach and the manufactured sound and fury surrounding his remarks. If every politician had to be responsible for every remark made by every rock star or celebrity supporter, Democrats would be in serious trouble.

Anyway, I read the Nugent comments. He said that HE (Nugent) would be in jail or dead. You can interpret that many ways. He may be saying that Obama is so bad that good people will be dead or in jail. I don’t agree with him, but remember all those idiot celebrities who said that they would flee the country is Bush was elected or the even dumber ones who said he would not leave office at all?

A large number of celebrities are good-looking idiots. Maybe idiot servants, since they have one big talent. We listen to them because they are pretty or well-known. We really should understand that they are just what you see, usually nothing more, sometimes a lot less.

jane

Maybe you are right. That would be even more evidence that they don’t march in lockstep and that they would only stand united in face of someone unable to find ways to compromise at least with some of them.

This whole thing presents Democratic colleagues such as Stephen with a monumental contradiction. They say that Republicans march in lockstep, making it impossible for a “great” leader like Obama to penetrate their ranks. But then we hear from the same people that Republicans are as disorganized as a herd of cats, with each one wandering here and there, following the beat of a drummer that only he/she can hear.

Logic and even a cursory familiarity with the English language tells us that they cannot march in lockstep and be hopelessly disorganized at the same time.

Posted by: C&J at April 22, 2012 6:31 AM
Comment #342359


It is a fact that conservatives have had a controlling hand in the Congress for several decades.

A Democratic president, 58 Democratic Senators, the House controlled by Democrats, and the best they could do was Obama care? Republicans oppose it because they have been told to. Democrats oppose it because it is not a Democratic health bill.

This ability to control most of the legislation has emboldened the conservatives to become ever more reactionary.

The Republicans know that with a Republican president, 56 Senators and 190 House members, they can pass virtually anything they want to pass. They know they can easily get that much support from conservative Democrats.

This has been the political reality for quite some time now.

Tom Humes:

Ted Nugent (Crusty) voided his bowels and his bladder in his pants for a month before taking his physical for the draft. Imagine what it was like when he was told to drop his pants, bend over and cough. A very imaginative way to avoid the draft.

Posted by: jlw at April 22, 2012 10:59 AM
Comment #342364

jlw

How stupid are Democrats if they let Republicans control the whole show even when they enjoy predominant majorities?

And yet according to the current liberal idea, Republicans are so fractious and disorganized that they cannot agree on a leader, a platform or even what it means to be Republican. And these are the guys that have been kicking the liberal ass for decades?

As a conservative, I am not sure whether to laugh or just be flattered by the liberal assessment of our super human discipline and abilities.

Posted by: C&J at April 22, 2012 11:41 AM
Comment #342369

To lump Ted Nugent’s comments in with the Norway killer is preposterous at best, but we can expect this from a self-proclaimed Liberal.

The Progressive point of view is very good at rationalizing behavour of their own while condemning that same behavour in their political enemies. They have mastered the art of “We don’t hold ourselves to the same standard you hold yourselves to, therefore we can criticize you.” The double-standard has been glaringly obvious as of late.

No, I’m not saying that Ted Nugent will actually try and kill the President.
Sing!
But what position will Nugent be in when and if somebody does try?
Song!
It’s not that all heated rhetoric or passionate arguments lead to violence.
Sing!
But when you start talking about things like killing the President, when you start making out your opponents to be an existential danger to the country, you might not be lighting the fuse on a powder keg, but you’re waving a torch damn close to it.
Song!

And all of it is fiction!

“If you want more of those kinds of evil anti-American people in the Supreme Court, then don’t get involved and let Obama take office again,” Nugent said Saturday. “Because I’ll tell you this right now: If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”

Those were Ted Nugent’s words quoted from your second link, Stephen Daugherty.


But when you start talking about things like killing the President

Those are your words, Stephen Daugherty. You are the baiter in this arguement. You have injected the murder of the president into this comment and then blamed that potential murder on a conservative. I can expect that from you, Stephen Daugherty. That is how a Democratic operates.


Posted by: Weary Willie at April 22, 2012 7:25 PM
Comment #342370

C&J-
Here’s the problem with your hypothesis: simply put, you don’t need to be all that smart or brilliant to just say no all the time. The only leadership it takes is the threat of being cut off from the party’s support. They demonstrated this with the Maine ladies and Arlen Specter.

You’ve benefitted from this. You’ve rationalized it when I pushed you on this. You won’t admit that in the absence of constructive policy making objectives, the GOP’s quite able to do this one without straining themselves. The only thing they have to worry about, is straining everybody else’s patience

You say cooperation’s a two way street, so tell me, what is it that has the vast majority of Americans, something like sixty percent, believing your party doesn’t negotiate enough, doesn’t compromise enough?

Oh, by the way, Obama has been clever enough to play off of the Republicans. He’s done it time and time again, and with the GOP the way it is, he’ll be able to keep doing it. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you, actually, about the faults of this kind of politics. I’m not holding up Republicans as politically great for their actions, I’m saying that they are taking a course of action that has no exit strategy, No truly successful conclusion in the long run. My concern is not that we can’t turn this against the Republicans, my concern is that you have all too many Republicans for whom conservatism has been reduced to simply being contrary with anything a Democrat agrees with, even if its the GOP’s own brainchildren, like RomneyCare.

Romney represents how corrosive the party’s strategy has been to itself. He became the nominee by default, because the whole rest of the lineup self destructed, and you have no true leaders in the pipeline not touched by the policies of the 90’s and 00’s.

tom humes-
From my linked article:

“If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year,” Nugent said, according to a video posted on YouTube by the NRA. “If you can’t go home and get everybody in your lives to clean house in this vile, evil America hated administration, I don’t even know what you’re made out of.”

Oh, and it gets nicer as you go along:

“We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November. Am I, any questions?” Nugent said.

No, he’s not saying anything reeeemotely violent. It’s just an exercise in vivid metaphors, right?

You know, when even you feel the need to explain the “context” of what he said, you’re in trouble. The bigger trouble is, as you rationalize this BS, you become complicit in the defining down of this deviance.

Maybe a little motion towards some ideas the Democrats support wouldn’t be a bad thing. One of your problems is this broad rejection of everything we support.

But I think the problem here is that you have been fooled into believing that politics has to be carried out this way, and that conservative principles have to be manifested just so, with those particular policies. Orthodoxy and conformity have wrung the real individualism out of GOP policy making. Now everything is prescribed within strict limits, even if it’s just a gimme to special interests.

The Tea Party’s making things even worse. Has it occured to you that some campaign promises were left unfulfilled because they didn’t make sense in the real world? Yet they take everything at face value, and when the politicians don’t fulfil their fantasies? Well, that’s right, they end up splitting party votes in Congress, which, guess what, causes further watering down of the conservative legislation, because guess what? Now they need Democrats to pass the legislation, because there’s no way they’re going to agree to the Tea Party’s preference.

There is a price to be paid in politics for leaving most of the rest of the country behind. You can rationalize it, make yourself feel better about it, but still, there are ways to self-inflice minority status on yourself.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 22, 2012 7:56 PM
Comment #342371

Weary Willy-
Oh, dear, an admitted liberal! You crack me up. I mean, this is the silliness of your approach. You’re not even trying to address the central issue.

Nugent isn’t talking about being dead or in jail because he anticipates being locked up. Even if he’s saying just that, he’s actually still using inflammatory language that will get people thinking that there’s a threat out there to defend against that there isn’t.

Oh, and to put this in further context, Nugent earlier suggested that Obama and Hillary Clinton suck on these, these being a pair of sub-machine guns he was carrying on stage a few years back.

So don’t tell me that he’s not one to use violent rhetoric, or that he’s not an influential figure. This is a rock star public figure who’s made quite a name for himself. He has no excuse. He has a history.

You’re letting the nuts run the asylum, and there is a price to pay for that.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 22, 2012 8:06 PM
Comment #342372


You’re forgetting something, Stephen Daugherty. You’re forgetting it to benefit your point of view. You’re forgetting about context, Stephen Daugherty. The mention of November in Mr. Nugent’s comment suggests November’s election, Stephen Daugherty! That, in turn suggests a vote to sever the political head of the Democratic Party from it’s body, ie: Our Body!, would be a politically expedient way to solve our problems!
All it takes is Guts to solve our problems, Stephen Daugherty.

That’s something a person hiding behind another hasn’t got.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 22, 2012 8:17 PM
Comment #342373

Now you are speaking for Ted Nugent, Stephen Daugherty?

Nugent isn’t talking about being dead or in jail because he anticipates being locked up.

How arrogant are you?

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 22, 2012 8:46 PM
Comment #342374

Stephen

If you find an impediment to things you think need to be done, and you allow that impediment to stop your action for a period of years of decades, you are stupid, weak or incompetent.

You tell me that this has been happening to Democrats, despite their ostensible popularity. If it is indeed true (which I don’t actually think is the case) what can we say about Democrats?

Then you tell me “Oh, by the way, Obama has been clever enough to play off of the Republicans.” So which is it? Is Obama able or not?

Your positions are internally inconsistent. All the things you say simply cannot be all true at the same time.

Re Nugent - let me repeat

“We can’t as a general rule police the statements of every supporter. I think best to just abide by the kind of standards of behavior and rhetoric yourself.”

This is what Obama says. He understands that there are a lot more nutty leftist celebs out there. He doesn’t want to have to explain them. I suggest you lay off. Otherwise we will be doing our usual game of cutting and pasting your statements in use of our purposes.

You know that we can easily match these things and will.

Posted by: C&J at April 22, 2012 9:00 PM
Comment #342384

I could easily smash windows to make my point.

The difference between Weary Willie and a Democratic is:

I would smash my own windows.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 22, 2012 9:35 PM
Comment #342419

Nugent made his remarks in front of an NRA convention, an audience that by definition favors violent solutions to problems, specifically, solving problems with violence in the form of gunfire. That’s a problem.

Posted by: phx8@aol.com at April 23, 2012 12:10 AM
Comment #342420

C&J,
YOu might be curious about how many Democrats are pro-life: in the Senate, three: Manchin, Nelson, and Casey. Reid is also pro-life, but not considered far enough on that side of the spectrum to warrant the label. Roughly 12% of the Democrats in the House are pro-life.

Among Republicans, four Senators are pro-choice: Snowe, Collins, Hutchinson, and Murkowski. They are all women, and two are retiring. There are nine pro-choice Republicans in the House, which comes out to about 4% of congressional Republicans.

Posted by: phx8 at April 23, 2012 12:32 AM
Comment #342421

You are wrong phx8@aol.com!
You cannot make that remark without proving it!

How dare you malign the NRA with that remark!

an audience that by definition favors violent solutions to problems

Posted by: phx8@aol.com at April 23, 2012 12:10 AM


by definition favors violent solutions to problems

Who the fuck do you think you are to say that, phx8@aol.com?

That is the problem with the progressive movement that has taken over our American Dream! They lie to get what they want and get away with it! Nothing is sacred.

Piss on your comment, phx8@aol.com!

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 23, 2012 12:48 AM
Comment #342422

Weary Willie-
Look, when people say things, they are sharing part of their mind with us. It can be argued that the picture is incomplete, but not that it doesn’t exist.

Ted Nugent is hardly a wallflower on the subject of guns, and has already made a very threatening invitation towards the President, back when Obama was just a candidate. That threatening invitation also included the current Secretary of State.

Yes, I understand his metaphor. But on what planet is that particular statement not very provocative, when addressed towards the President? The kind of implication he made is the kind folks make when they’re considering killing somebody. That is, if we take his words at face value.

But even if we don’t, these aren’t the kind of words that calm things down, that help us get along as a country.

As for what it takes to solve problems? I admit the
Republicans have plenty of guts, plenty of boldness and spirit. But applied to the wrong solution, to dumb ideas and terrible logic, they’re just a runaway locomotive heading off a cliff with greater than usual speed.

As for the “Democratic” thing? Stop butchering the English language. Democrat is a perfectly good noun, just as Aristocrat or plutocrat, or whatever are. It’s only when you apply it as an adjective that it’s a slip-up. Then you’re talking a Democratic something or other.

Republicans, though? We can talk about Republican form of government (or republican), just as we can talk about Republicans. You might want to make some kind of point about equivalent usage of the words, but they really are inflected in a different fashion, I think because Democrat and Democratic are from greek, and republic and republican are Latinate words. You might blast me as some kind of elite you can safely ignore for pointing something like that out, but those are the facts.

As for that last part, what? If you were to read carefully, which seems to be the last thing you’re trying to do, you might notice that I disdain political violence. I think it’s means to get through intimidation, what it can’t through persuasion.

C&J-
Concerning your first charge, I think we can reduce it to “political might makes right.” Which is precisely the kind of principle the constitution was created to frustrate.

In the old days, folks like you would realize that what you use against others can be turned against you. You would understand that your side could just as easily be paralyzed by this as ours have been, and that your only courses of action to prevent this would smack of supreme hypocrisy. You would have to aggressively fight the very filibuster you’ve aggressively used, probably making statements about how filibustering is anti-democratic, etc.

But there is a political price to pay for it, and the Republicans don’t make it a lower price for themselves by always being seen as the agent of frustration.

Obama can exact a political price with what he can do, but also by making the obstruction painful, and counterproductive. Republicans, in their haste to oppose, seem to be opposing a whole host of things, but not with sufficent discrimination.

How may things will he be able to say died on your party’s account?

As for the rest? The problem is, there are always plenty of others in the GOP getting on the radio, getting on Television, getting on the internet, and saying some pretty damn bad things, and after years of defining down deviance when it came to behavior, Conservatives will find it hard to keep the old foot out of the mouth.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 23, 2012 12:52 AM
Comment #342423

Stephen Daugherty,

Ted Nugent did not threaten the President of the United States.

You implied Ted Nugent threatened the President of the United States, you consider it a fact that your implication is true and you are currently slandering a conservative while speaking for the Democratic Party! You are a Democratic! There’s no other way I can look at your comments! Why can’t we just agree to disagree instead of you accusing me of being wrong all the time?

I know! You didn’t accuse me personally of being wrong. You only accuse Republicans and Conservatives of being wrong all of the time. It’s my bad luck that I happen to fall into your perception of a Republican or a Conservative. Sometimes I don’t know if a Progressive can see any difference between a Republican or a Concervative or a Libertarian or a, ect.ect. A Progressive is only concerned about itself. A Progressive is a Parasite. We should call every Democratic a Parasite. Let’s call it the Paracitic Party. That would be more like it!

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 23, 2012 1:18 AM
Comment #342438

phx8

So in the Senate we have 3 1/2 Democrats who are pro-life (all men)and 4 Republicans who are pro-choice (all women).


So a slightly smaller % of Democrats break the party line, but it is almost the same and a low number on both sides. Clearly, Republicans are not more united or narrow minded than Democrats based on this evidence or vise versa.

Stephen

You are facing an inconvenient truth. Either Democrats are too stupid over the course of decades to get around or neutralize opposition, so they keep on getting smacked around by numerically smaller numbers of Republicans, or your premise that Democrats are constantly victims is wrong.


Frankly, I fail to understand why liberals always want to portray themselves as victims.

How about this for something that is both true and not insulting.(I am nicer to you than you are to yourselves)

Over the past half century, the government of the U.S. has been fairly evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. Both parties have had success and failure. This has been a period generally good for the U.S. and the world, but people like to complain so not good enough. Both parties have played blame games that have polarized the American public and made people unhappy with what actually is a decent situation. Now it is like a bad marriage where neither really knows how to stop hurting and insulting the other. Since there is no way out of this relationship, it would be better if we could find some harmony.

I know you will reject this because it is balanced and true, and certainly not partisan enough for you. But I can only offer truth and fairness; I cannot make you accept.

Posted by: C&J at April 23, 2012 6:32 AM
Comment #342439

Weary Willie-
You know, if you wanted to agree to disagree, you wouldn’t have logged onto a site where the very point is debate. I brought up this topic, made my criticism, but you don’t seem to want me to go after Nugent for what most people would be an obvious implication in something he said. Or at least the worst of two appalling interpretations.

Truth is a defense for libel, and has been so long before the Constitution was written. The truth is, the suggestion that he might murder the President, however much it might be just him blowing off steam is a reasonable interpretation of something where he says “I will be dead or in jail”, and suggests that worthy Republicans will do their best to ride onto the battlefield and decapitate the other side in November.

At the very least, and this is what I said, he’s guilty of reflexively using violent rhetoric that if taken at face value could be

1) disturbing for those who fear for the President’s safety, and

2) incitement for the more foolish or crazy to do just what he says, or at least attempt it.

As for how you see the comments, it’s telling that you only choose to identify me in terms of my politics. The way I would put it, folks are made of more than just their politics. That your vision of them is so narrowed as to just see them in partisan terms, to see the right or wrong of their words and actions merely in those terms, indicates the depth of your error.

I am more than just a Democrat, or a Liberal, just as are more than any political cause you support. We are not parasites, any more than Republicans are. We’re not bond villains out to destroy the country. We’re not Nazis nor Fascists nor Stalinists, or any other name you could apply. We’re people who are mostly like you in what we value, and what we need.

C&J-
Look, Democrats are not always just there being wronged. Yes, there are many things the Republicans have done with their power that are unfair to the Democrats, and to their voters. At the same time, though, the party is increasingly confronting them with this, and sometimes pushing them back.

And you know what? I have no problem with being more than just the folks that Republicans and conservatives wrong.

The question here is, can Republicans begin to see their politics from beyond their own partisan identification so they can rein in those who are taking that rivalry too far, so they can build their strength on something else than shear antipathy to my people?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 23, 2012 8:54 AM
Comment #342452

Stephen, your one sided analysis is part of the problem you condemn and, as usual, refuse to acknowledge.

Right off the bat you associate the rights political disagreement with liberalism with the rise of Nazism. Then you associate the extreme political positions, rhetoric and actions of a madman with the valid concerns of a majority of Americans. Illegal immigration, government infringment on the individual and freedom of religion are not concerns held only by the extreme right of this country.

You speak of how “We must preserve democratic process even when it’s results are likely to go against us,” but then you rail against Republican representatives who, through that same democratic process, have been elected to do what they are doing.
Funny thing is that IF your reasoning were correct, liberals would hold all the majorities, ALL would be under the liberal gun, and you all could do whatever you pleased. Something I sincerely doubt you would have a problem with.

Representing your constituents is not seen as “weak” by any voter I know. Whether it’s the voter who votes for the person who says they will give them “free” health care, or the voter who votes for the person who says I will protect your rights, they vote for that person to serve that purpose.
Like it or not Stephen, there are more than just a “few” who see protecting their individual rights as the main “general interests of the public.”


The framers did not design what they did in Philadelphia so we could see only the most vicious competitors get what they want out of the system, those fortunate few. It was a government tuned towards dealing with the general interests of the public, not the private, special interests of a few.

“The government’s not supposed to be our own personal wish fulfillment machine. It’s supposed to work for what’s good for everybody, and what’s agreeable for most.”

You’re damn right. But isn’t it odd that it is your people who constantly attempt to use it to fulfill your own personal desires, while it’s the people you condemn who are saying enough?

You’re not looking for government to do what is good for ALL, you are looking for government to do what you think is good for all, and that is NOT what “marks the way the government works,” or was meant to work.

You have been sold on your beliefs in the same way you claim Christians have been sold on theirs, but you only care that they do this.

IF you really want government to represent all, you first have to respect ALL who vote for that government. And that is something “your people” have no clue about.

Posted by: kctim at April 23, 2012 11:09 AM
Comment #342457

Weary Willie,
I’m surprised you take offense to my pointing out the inherently violent nature of the NRA and its supporters, and the inherently violent attitude that a person would need to even own a gun in the first place. I’m not offended though. I thought the violent nature of the NRA and its members would be self-evident.

It’s a real stretch for me to come up with ways to match guns and non-violence. I suppose a person could collect guns and remove the firing pins to make sure they cannot serve their function. Maybe a person could buy a gun but never buy ammunition. That would be a non-violent approach to problems. Sort of.

In any case, it seems obvious an audience of NRA members would be the most violent group of people one could possibly gather outside of a prison, where people have already been incarcerated for being violent.

Posted by: phx8 at April 23, 2012 11:31 AM
Comment #342460

I can think of a few groups that might be more inherently violent than the NRA. Most are illegal, and in the case of illegal organizations, such as gangs or the Mafia, gathering in numbers for any length of time is rare. Their anti-social nature makes being together impractical and too easy to target. There are various fringe groups that are legal and violent, such as skinheads, right wing militias, anarchists, and so on. Once again, extended gatherings are rare, and as far as I know, occur in small numbers. The major legal exception I can name would be the military.

Posted by: phx8 at April 23, 2012 1:33 PM
Comment #342461

kctim-

Right off the bat you associate the rights political disagreement with liberalism with the rise of Nazism.

The way my thought processes work, if we can take a conservative idea of how to streamline government, and make it work, I don’t mind it. If we can do away with a regulation, and no ill effect (or positive, indeed!) comes of it, I’m all for that. I don’t like needless complexity, I don’t want it to be too burdensome to comply.

If you asked me, that would be my response. I keep telling people that I was a former Republican, but they don’t buy it. Regardless, I do not have an innate prejudice against conservatism as a philosophy. As a matter of fact, I’ve got a lot of conservative sensibilities.

But I’m of that old pragmatic tradition, and I think that’s the real issue here. Today’s conservative leaders and pundits simply don’t have a great deal of give, and in the process of justifying that lack of give, they’re giving a lot of people the false impression that they have no choice but to be just as inflexible. By feeding them a ton of misinformation, and constantly justifying their political excesses, the right is taking people further into radical, fringe territory than they would otherwise be.

It is fair to say that people have every right to be concerned about the extent the law inserts itself into their lives, that they have every right to ask the government to ensure secure borders, and that residents of this country are truly citizens of it, or visitors and immigrants visiting or naturalizing under the law. Freedom of religion is not solely the concern of the extreme right.

This is the point at which you should have yourself one mighty bit of a epiphany. If the above is true, then folks aren’t simply resisting legislation like that monstrosity in Arizona because they’re evil liberals seeking to undermine one thing or another. The fact of the matter is, we share a great many concerns, though we disagree on how to handle those concerns.

That, I would submit, is one of the fundamental purposes of our Constitutional government: to hammer out compromises between factions and individuals of different opinion.

You speak of how “We must preserve democratic process even when it’s results are likely to go against us,” but then you rail against Republican representatives who, through that same democratic process, have been elected to do what they are doing. Funny thing is that IF your reasoning were correct, liberals would hold all the majorities, ALL would be under the liberal gun, and you all could do whatever you pleased. Something I sincerely doubt you would have a problem with.

Have you ever read an entry by me claiming that the 2010 election was rigged? As much as I hated the outcome, I accepted the outcome as the legitimate, if misguided outcome of the votes of the American people, in all their districts and states.

But propaganda I’ve seen from the right makes claims like Obama’s trouncing of John McCain on the popular vote and the electoral vote are based on voting fraud. I’ve seen claims that the President wasn’t born in America, claims that some Republicans push even now, even despite the documentary proof offered by the State of Hawaii and Barack Obama.

Before you go saying Liberals did the same with Bush, disputed his legitimacy, you should take a second to distinguish the different contexts. In one case, an election came genuinely close, where a recount could have made the difference. There wasn’t so much a case of voting fraud, unproven, as a consistent attempt to stymie a state’s recount of the votes, and a final court decision that brought the disputed election to a questionable close.

In the other case, the margin of victory on the electoral college vote was 2 to 1, and the popular vote was won by about 10 million, and there’s absolutely no proof that any votes were false.

Rather than accept that they lost fair and square, the Republicans are being encouraged to think they were cheated when they were not.

I don’t need Republicans to go away, but if we’re going to have disputes and everything, it can’t simply be a game of one side or another getting to simply say anything they find necessary to destroy people’s faith in the fairness of the elections, and the right of those elected to form the agenda for government.

What I really want, what my reasoning states, is that if the constituents out there would prefer more liberal results, if they want bigger government than they have, if they would rather have the social services and everything, and if they are willing to pay higher taxes for it, so be it. There shouldn’t be one party that gets to dictate its policies now and forever more.

In the meantime, though I’m uncertain that you’ll acknowledge this, I’ll say that if people vote for the opposite, they should get their way, and then face the consequences for that, just as they would with us. I might hold a definite, strong opinion, but that doesn’t mean I’m not willing to let others do the same.

As for this:

You’re not looking for government to do what is good for ALL, you are looking for government to do what you think is good for all, and that is NOT what “marks the way the government works,” or was meant to work.

See, you’ve got something wrong there, and something right.

We’re fallible human beings, who have to do the best with what they got. So nobody’s thoughts about what is best for everybody are right. But you know, you can get some sort of consensus to head in a certain direction, towards what most poeple believe is the best course of action, and if that turns out to be wrong…

… well, if it does, this being a Democracy, we can correct the problem. Democracy is the worst form of government, except all others, for precisely that reason. And no, before you ask, this isn’t some elitist position, because the elites are just as fallible as everybody else.

No, Democracy is meant as a self-correcting solution to the problem that all governments have, which is that nobody can anticipate every result of a particular policy, and no wise men exist who can make policy the right way every time. A Republic like ours lets people shift their opinions, and see that shift reflected in their government.

Unfortunately, Republican leaders and pundits have enshrined heedless political orthodoxy as their model. When ideology drives things, when people are pushed to lay aside practical and moral concerns regarding how they deal with everybody else in order to win elections and maintain a status quo, bad things happen. To the party if nobody else, but sometimes to the nation as a whole.

As for Representation?

Nobody represents just people of their party. They represent the interests of the community, as well as everything else, and to forget that is to take something of a political risk, not to mention a risk with policy.

I would submit that being conservative is fine, for all the disagreements I might have with you, but we all got to live with one another, and negotiate settlements between our differences. That is part of the job for people in Congress, because if folks don’t do that, if they simply pass on a rubberstamped agenda, Poeple are missing out on so many of the opportunities to see their interests taken care of.

There are many places where you and I have common ground. Maybe if Conservatives recognized that, they wouldn’t win some elections or some legislative battles, but they’d be doing better job helping run the country and dealing with the changing times.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 23, 2012 1:55 PM
Comment #342462

I had forgotten what it was like to read reams of senseless partisan material. Long on opinion and short on facts.

Posted by: TomT at April 23, 2012 2:17 PM
Comment #342463

Jack:

Republicans march in lockstep

Video: Jon Huntsman: GOP like Chinese Communist Party ‘if you’re off script’

Posted by: Adrienne at April 23, 2012 2:26 PM
Comment #342465

Stephen

I can relate, people don’t buy that I am a former Dem. raised by a family of Dem farmers who are now Republicans.

“the false impression that they have no choice but to be just as inflexible”

Have you given any thought to the possibility that people have reached their limit on being flexible and that is the cause of the current tensions?

“But propaganda I’ve seen from the right makes claims…”

Far-right theories are no more prevelant than far-left theories though, and you don’t have to go back to Bush to find it.
My point though isn’t that questions or fringe theories don’t exist, but rather that you choose to believe they come only from the ‘right.’

“What I really want, what my reasoning states, is that if the constituents out there would prefer more liberal results, if they want bigger government than they have, if they would rather have the social services and everything, and if they are willing to pay higher taxes for it, so be it. There shouldn’t be one party that gets to dictate its policies now and forever more.”

The thing is though, the constituents have not voted in that direction, but you guys act as if they have.
Losing the House and having a 51-49 Senate is not a mandate for more liberal results, it is a sign that the nation is divided and a cause for caution when trying to implement legislation.

“In the meantime, though I’m uncertain that you’ll acknowledge this, I’ll say that if people vote for the opposite, they should get their way”

Well, aside from the fact that we are not a majority rules democracy, I would say that what you say is not shared by most liberals. They constantly attack the vote of the people when that vote does not favor their position.

“See, you’ve got something wrong there, and something right.”

No, we just look at government from two different perspectives. I look at it from the individual first and you from society first. Constitutional republic vs. democracy.
Because of this, our views on the interests we want taken care of is different.

“There are many places where you and I have common ground. Maybe if Conservatives recognized that, they wouldn’t win some elections or some legislative battles, but they’d be doing better job helping run the country and dealing with the changing times.”

So why shouldn’t liberals also recognize such a thing?
You see Stephen, this was the point of my post. “Your people” will be ok with help if the country is ran how you want, and the changing times are dealt with how you think they should be. That things would be so much better if those on the right would just compromise even more towards your solutions. You aren’t wanting the nation to change with the times, you want us to change into what you think we should be.
That is why you see those on the right as the problem. That is why people are finally resisting.

Posted by: kctim at April 23, 2012 3:53 PM
Comment #342470

Adrienne

I know you prefer linking to thinking but please think for once.

1. You and others say that Republicans are disorganized and cannot decide on who or what policies to support.

2. You and others say that Republicans march in lockstep.

No matter how much you link, both those things cannot be true at the same time. So let me give you a choice. You cannot have both, so do you want to say that Republicans are in lockstep or do you want to say that Republicans are disorganized and cannot agree?

If I were you, I would go with the lockstep for now. I know you preferred the disorganized before, but now that the primary season is over the “lockstep” will be more useful to you in hiding the truth.

Stephen

I am not surprised at your choice. It is a type of religion for you. I see that both Republicans and Democrats have had good and bad ideas. I also know that some good ideas in one time and place have been bad in others. The opposite is also true.

You can believe otherwise, but then we know who is closed minded.

“I keep telling people that I was a former Republican, but they don’t buy it.” I believe it. Apostates are often the most closed minded about their former beliefs.

phx8

“I can think of a few groups that might be more inherently violent than the NRA.” Most of my neighbors near my farm are NRA members. It is very safe and you rarely hear about any acts of violence. I also spend time in Washington DC, where NRA membership is much lower. People are beat up and killed there every day. Statistically, gun violence is much lower in Virgina, where NRA is headquarters and which is a “gun state” than it is in nearby Maryland and DC.

So I know of lots of more violent people.

There is one sign I enjoy on one of my friend’s doors. It reads.

“In the house we believe in guns and God. If you break in, you will be meeting both.”

Posted by: C&J at April 23, 2012 6:32 PM
Comment #342477

Jack:

No matter how much you link, both those things cannot be true at the same time. So let me give you a choice. You cannot have both, so do you want to say that Republicans are in lockstep or do you want to say that Republicans are disorganized and cannot agree?

The Republican Party DOES indeed march in lockstep, yet they do so in a way that defends completely disorganized and short-sighted thinking and policies all across the board.

You need examples? Fine. Bush/Cheney tax cuts for the rich as we were heading toward a downturn in the economy and during a time of not one but two wars — which sent us deeply into debt and crashed an already slowing economy. Disorganized thinking? Yes, and you all marched in lock-step with Bush/Cheney. Brownie doing a “heckuva job” after Katrina not getting those people any help? Disorganized? Yes, and you all marched in lock-step saying he was doing all that could be done, while simultaneously demonizing poor people for being too poor to able to leave the city beforehand. Rumsfeld waging war on the cheap and not having a plan for after invasion? Disorganized? Yes, and the GOP marched in lock-step every step of the way defending that complete f*ck-up.

My link is a perfect example of this fact. A smart, far more forward-thinking Republican such as Jon Huntsman never had ANY CHANCE of winning your party’s nomination. Because he couldn’t go along with the disorganized thinking and the short-sighted policies. On the campaign trail he dared to say he actually believes in Science more than Magic, and refused to sign every single one of those over-wrought Tea Party Pledges strictly based on either emotionalism or plutocracy for the 1%, and he also dared to criticize the Republican’s domestic and foreign policy stances because they didn’t make any sense to him. So, he lost.
And it’s all because he couldn’t bring himself to march in lock-step.
This is why Huntsman now says:

“I don’t know what world these people are living in.”
“Gone are the days when the Republican Party used to put forward big, bold, visionary stuff. I think we’re going to have problems politically until we get some sort of third-party movement or some alternative voice out there that can put forward new ideas.”

Such a failure to lock-step on demand, and for having the guts to speak truth to the power-structure of his own party then got him dis-invited to the RNC fundraiser.
And Huntsman knows why:

“This is what they do in China on party matters if you talk off script.”

So to answer your question: Yes, both things can indeed be true at the same time, and it is perfectly clear that in fact, they are.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 23, 2012 7:42 PM
Comment #342484

C&J-
Folks attack others for their certainty rather than their evidence when they either lack the talent for argumentation or the willingness to test conclusions on the facts.

So you deny Nugent. What about the several Tea Partiers who implied violence would be the result of the frustration of their political cause? What about about the false arrest of the Reporter in that Alaska primary, or the stomping of that protestor at the Rand Paul rally?

I can bring up the fact that many stalwart Conservatives lost and are losing elections to be re-elected, simply because they haven’t risen to the high standards of the Tea party right.

I know the common from of argument from the right these days is to repeat whatever Democrats said to them back, on some pretext. But I’d say there’s plenty of evidence to prove that Republicans have made an rather stark ideological shift, and not towards the center.

I’d say the Republicans can be very organized in one sense, in ensuring that members cleave to a political platform, and keep up lockstep votes in the Senate, while at the same time, being in disarray on how to respond to the current political climate, aside from a short-term surge in ideological fervor.

You can tell me that I’ve bought into some sort of religion, but what I really am working off of in this entry is simple logic: If people make it a habit to get angry when they don’t get everything they want, but they have to deal with a process, a kind of government that demands concession and negotiation, they’re going to have a hell of a time sustaining their political victories.

I mean, look at the budget and debt ceiling deals. Obama was able to manuever them into a terrible position politically because Boehner wasn’t able to put together a package that could pass the White House and Senate, yet keep the Tea Party votes in the House. Because Democrats were better used to compromising, they were fully capable of working out a deal with Boehner that watered down and more conveniently placed the President in relation to the 2012 campaign.

And what are they doing now? Trying to renege on the deal, trying to roll back the politically damaging defense cuts, and load it more on the entitlements. That’s what your brilliant Republicans are doing, because while they have the discipline to be obstructive, to hold things hostage, they don’t have the political savvy or flexibility to negotiate ideologically imperfect but advantageous deals.

I mean, it was a blessing in disguise, as far as I was concerned. The Tea Partiers, blithe to consequence, committed to manifesting their agenda made it plain they weren’t going to accept anything less than everything they asked for.

But with Democrats holding the Senate and the White House, as constitutional design would have it, they didn’t have a chance of getting that. So they scuttled the deal worked out between Boehner and Obama. Did that get them what they wanted? No. Instead, the absence of their votes left the GOP facing a dilemma: either let the government shut down or the Debt ceiling finally hit, taking a good share of the blame for that, or make a deal with the Democrats to get something through.

They naturally chose the latter, at cost to political unity and at the cost of far more concessions to the Democrats. They irony is that some clever political operators could have wrung the concessions, made a few of their own to keep the deal politically viable, and let everybody come out looking better while advancing conservative causes.

Or, put another way, less zealous Republicans could have shifted policy further in a conservative direction if they were clever enough, given the chance. In a government where law comes from the vote of a legislature, the political philosophy of going it alone is a path to failure.

That, unfortunately, is the path the Republican Party is nowadays willing to take to avoid having to do precisely the thing the framers intended all political factions and parties to do in our system: work out their differences with everybody else. Yes, that means policy might get a little bit more liberal, but the question is, if the Republicans succeed in isolating themselves enough from all the political parties and factions they don’t like in society, will they have enough votes to actually force the outcomes they want to in the general election?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 23, 2012 8:59 PM
Comment #342486

Stephen

President Obama addressed the Nugent thing better than you or I did.

“we can’t as a general rule police the statements of every supporter. I think best to just abide by the kind of standards of behavior and rhetoric yourself.”

The reason I don’t address all your points is that they are based on fundamentally flawed premises. You don’t use logic; you just pile on rhetoric.

For example, you say Republicans are disorganized and cannot decide what they want. You say they are in lockstep.

You say that Republicans control everything even when they are not in power. You say that Democrats are competent.

I like this, “Obama was able to manuever them into a terrible position politically because Boehner wasn’t able to put together a package that could pass the White House and Senate”

So did Obama actually manage to best the Republicans even when they hold a majority? But you say Republicans can block anything.

And another thing about your statement - you blame Republicans but then say that “Obama was able to maneuver them into a terrible position.” This is what you call desire to cooperate.

These things do not go together, not matter what sort of bodyguard of lies you surround them with.

Why not try to apply some logic? Just take your own statements and try to make sense of them. Don’t add more or link to more. Just make sense of what you have.

Posted by: C&J at April 23, 2012 9:12 PM
Comment #342491

C&J, you are asking a liberal to do the impossible; you are asking him to use logic. 95% of all libeal arguments are based upon “feelings” and “emotion”. Just look at their arguments on everything:

Taxes: it’s not fair that he rich pay less taxes than those who pay no taxes.

Environment: it’s not fair, we are all going to die if we don’t pass cap and trade.

Social Security: it’s not fair because Republcans are going to steal SS.

Education: it’s not fair because rich districts have better schools.

Income: it’s not fair that some people make more money than others.

Just think of a subject or goal of the left and you will find “it’s not fair” at the root of their logic; which is no logic.

Posted by: Frank at April 23, 2012 9:59 PM
Comment #342498
You are facing an inconvenient truth. Either Democrats are too stupid over the course of decades to get around or neutralize opposition, so they keep on getting smacked around by numerically smaller numbers of Republicans,…

C&J I would venture the Dems are not stupid all the time just fair minded. The Dems agreed to the super majority and a mere threat of filibuster which seems to prove that point. The Dems are also less willing to do damage then the repubs. Look at the fiasco that was the Debt ceiling “crisis”, and the repub/teabag caucus. They were willing to sacrifice our Countries credit rating for political gain. Remember it is the repubs that want to gut the government, a much easier job than doing the government right.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 23, 2012 11:25 PM
Comment #342499
you are asking a liberal to do the impossible; you are asking him to use logic. 95% of all libeal arguments are based upon “feelings” and “emotion”.

Seriously Frank? Have you forgotten that hate is also an emotion? Your grasp of logic hasn’t been displayed in your comments so far here on WB but your emotions have… just saying.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 23, 2012 11:30 PM
Comment #342511

C&J-
What precisely is the point of your attempts here to set up a contradiction?

There is none. My complaint is not that the Republicans were able to block things when they had legitimate power to do so. I’d take that as a given of the system, and I told folks that compromises would have to be made on policy in light of that.

But Americans shouldn’t have had to deal with a Senate they elected being virtually shut down by its minority, exploiting procedural loopholes. Americans, whatever their thoughts, did not elect such a sizeable majority to see it hamstrung and idle. Republicans should not get to determine the agenda whether or not they are the majority.

I didn’t object to the Democrats using the filibuster as a bargaining tool, to force better appointees. What I object to now is the Republican’s use of their numbers in the Senate to basically nullify the power of the majority. The Republicans show contempt for any conclusion of the voter that doesn’t reflect their judgment.

As for this:

For example, you say Republicans are disorganized and cannot decide what they want. You say they are in lockstep.

You say that Republicans control everything even when they are not in power. You say that Democrats are competent.
I like this, “Obama was able to manuever them into a terrible position politically because Boehner wasn’t able to put together a package that could pass the White House and Senate”
So did Obama actually manage to best the Republicans even when they hold a majority? But you say Republicans can block anything.

Your argument is problematic, because it assumes simplicity where complexity exists.

You’re treating the problem of obstructing legislation and writing it on a bipartisan basis as if they’re the same problem. They aren’t. Being good at setting up a roadblock isn’t the same as being good at riding in a car pretty fast. Republicans have the right kind of political organization to promote a constant filibustering, but not to write legislation that will please both their people and ours, so it can get through.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 24, 2012 12:21 AM
Comment #342512

Which I think is part of my larger point about the dead-endedness of where the GOP is going. If you can only function well when you hold all the right cards, you’re going to play a lousy hand of poker.

Republicans have succeeded in putting the brakes on many Obama accomplishments, but at the price of riding the brakes on their own. They’ve also scorched Earth many of their moderates, forced many of them to stop helping Democrats pass things. So what incentive do Democrats have to help Republicans get things their way?

If Republicans were capable of compromise, capable of offering up bills that it wouldn’t be political suicide for a Democrat to vote for, they might get somewhere. But they’re doing more political posturing with their House majority than actual legislating, and many of their newer members just don’t want to learn how to negotiate with the hated enemy.

Republicans have nothing to offer voters than a continuation of Bush policies and an end to Obama policies, and that will not be enough to match Obama’s portfolio.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 24, 2012 12:34 AM
Comment #342535


Weary Willie,
I’m surprised you take offense to my pointing out the inherently violent nature of the NRA and its supporters, and the inherently violent attitude that a person would need to even own a gun in the first place.

phx8, you are not pointing out the inherently violent nature of the NRA and it(s) supporters. You are only expressing and opinion. An opinion that is very unique to a person who has an ax to grind or a specific point to make. You’ve done neither, phx8. You’ve ground no ax. You’ve made no specific point.

That is the trouble with you Democratics. You think what ever comes out of your mouth is gosple. There’s a lot more people who don’t believe you, phx8. You’re a fart in the wind to a very many people who are looking another way. And it’s not your way. It’s not Stephen Daugherty’s way.

Good luck, phx8.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 24, 2012 5:29 AM
Comment #342544

Steven

You say Republicans are disorganized and unable to agree among themselves.

You say they march in lockstep

Do you not see the contradiction?

You say Republicans keep Democrats for doing things even when they are in the minority.

Yet you say with approval that President Obama has maneuvered them into a bad position where they will lose even when THEY are the majority.

I understand complexity, but some things are actually simple.

Your problem is that you cannot see more than one side of an issue, so you don’t see contradictions in your own side.

That is why we can so easily use your own words against you. I will do it once more. Does this sound good to you.

“Bush was able to maneuver Democrats into a terrible position politically because Pelosi wasn’t able to put together a package that could pass the White House and Senate”

If this happened, would you have thought it was a good thing?

One more contradiction. You say that Republicans have gotten themselves so far removed from the people that they cannot win. Let’s see what happens in November. No reason to argue this point. The truth will be out soon.

Posted by: C&J at April 24, 2012 6:28 AM
Comment #342547

C&J-
You’re oversimplifying the argument so you can accuse me of contradiction.

Let me present you with an metaphor.

We’re together, trying to figure out where we go to dinner. If you shoot down all my suggestions of where to go, does that, by necessity, make you good at making constructive suggestions yourself?

No, it does not.

You generalize inappropriately. It’s one thing to agree on scuttling Obama’s legislation, and easy to do when Obama is the melodramatic, Snidely Whiplash villain for your party these days. That, they agree on. But what about passing legislation?

The Constitution makes it far easier to kill a bill than to pass one, and the ex post facto change of the Senate Rules to allow a bill to be killed by landing it perpetually in debate makes it even easier.

Republicans, despite their admittedly significant success last election, still face a Democratic majority in the Senate, and a Democrat in the White House. Both the President’s approval and the Senate’s are constitutionally necessary to pass a bill. Republicans can pass just about anything they’d like to in the House, so long as enough of their people agree. But if they want something made into law, they’ve got to get it past the Democrats.

And that’s another skillset, one they’re too good to learn. They’re hoping and waiting for the Presidency and the Senate to yield back to them. In the meantime, though, a government needs to be run. That’s what they signed up for. So, they’ve manuevered themselves into situations, hoping to force an outcome, where they themselves are taking a political risk by holding certain necessary bills hostage.

But it’s proved more a loser than anything else. The Republicans, despite their success in stymieing Obama’s agenda, have stumbled into one unforced error after another. This is the fundamental mistake of their approach: they thought they could preserve the Party’s political purity, while sinking Obama’s re-election.

But Americans want more out of their government. They don’t want it sidelined, or f***ing off, ignoring them. Obstruction, by itself, is not enough to convince people, long term, that the Republicans need to be given the keys to the kingodm.

As for Bush? Bush had the filibuster on his side. Democrats could have nominally passed something, and forced Bush to veto or sign something he should have, but Senate Republicans blocked just about everything they could, setting a record for filibusters in that Congress alone, which was only broken by the next.

You’re still priding yourself on the brilliance of being an obstruction to the Democrats. Well, let me tell you something: it’s nothing to be proud of. Even a brick wall can be a barrier. It doesn’t take political brilliance to get nothing done.

I’m not predicting the Republicans won’t win. What I will predict is that it will be harder to govern by positive policy than it will be to keep somebody else from governing with negative obstruction.

I mean, let’s say you win. What keeps the Democrats from grinding everything you wish to do to a halt just like you did. From what moral high ground can you now protest the filibustering?

You guys did a ****load of foolish things, and the bloody irony of it all, is that what’s allowed you to rush heedlessly back into power is the same thing that will threaten to make it all for nothing, whether you win or lose this next election. You’re setting the precedent for how the other side hamstrings your side’s legislative agenda.

But you know what? I think there is good chance we’re going to win this election, and if we do, it will be because we have some achievements to our name, rather than just a long track record of saying no to the opposition.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 24, 2012 7:41 AM
Comment #342548

Frank-
The irony is, Republicans passed the legislation that now has most people paying an effective income tax rate of zero. You’re griping about your own handiwork. The same can be said about Obamacare, about Cap and Trade, and a number of other policies.

Let me blunt: rather than think and research for yourselves, people like you get your information from political operatives who don’t have either scruples, or the knowledge themselves to tell the truth on the subject.

On Social Security? Well, the Republicans are pushing a proposal even they admit will do nothing to improve the solvency of the SS trust fund. Given the recent problems with the stock market, I think now is probably the wrong time to suggest to people that they throw their money into the games of chance that Wall Street plays nowadays.

On education, the principle is that if you want schools that serve the needs of an advanced society for educate citizens, you invest in those schools, and not just in those schools that already have plenty of funding. If you think leaving the potential of the children of the poor and disadvantaged to rot on the vine is a good idea, that’s your problem. The rest of us want America’s potential, it’s earning power and economic primacy to improve. You don’t get that by writing off millions of children as losses. You can build more schools, or build more prisons and projects.

Fairness is one aspect of our thought. Only a propagandist like yourself would think it’s the only dimension to our thinking.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 24, 2012 7:53 AM
Comment #342562

“Let me blunt: rather than think and research for yourselves, people like you get your information from political operatives who don’t have either scruples, or the knowledge themselves to tell the truth on the subject.” Stephen Daugherty.

Great Stephen, the best answer you have is to accuse conservatives of the very thing democraps have been doing for years; and basing their arguments on the daily talking points of the liberal administration and left wing blogs. Real original Stephen……

Re/my claims that liberal democrats base their arguments on emotion (It’s not Fair); I see you don’t deny it. As usual, your strategy is to attack the messenger instead of answering the charges of the message. And your answer is:

“Fairness is one aspect of our thought. Only a propagandist like yourself would think it’s the only dimension to our thinking.”

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 24, 2012 7:53 AM

I don’t know what rock you have been hiding under for the past few weeks, but perhaps you should go back.

“you are asking a liberal to do the impossible; you are asking him to use logic. 95% of all libeal arguments are based upon “feelings” and “emotion”.

Seriously Frank? Have you forgotten that hate is also an emotion? Your grasp of logic hasn’t been displayed in your comments so far here on WB but your emotions have… just saying.”

Posted by: j2t2 at April 23, 2012 11:30 PM

Perhaps j2t2 could refresh my memory where I used the word hate to describe my feelings of the left? You’re comment must be one ofthe most idiotic statements I have ever heard. We are talking about making law, aren’t we? Neither you nor I make laws; but politicians do and liberals base their belief on passing laws on pure emotion. I asked the question, name one liberal democrat proposal, leading to law making, that is not based on the emotion of “It’s not Fair”? In fact, why don’t you answer the question and tell us which law, passed by democrats, is based upon logic and not emotion?

Posted by: Frank at April 24, 2012 11:34 AM
Comment #342564

Frank-

Great Stephen, the best answer you have is to accuse conservatives of the very thing democraps have been doing for years; and basing their arguments on the daily talking points of the liberal administration and left wing blogs. Real original Stephen……

Your best answer seems to be… well, just what you’re accusing me of.

I base my arguments on global warming, for example, on what the scientists who know something about the subject say. Of course, you’ve identified them as part of a political conspiracy. Same thing with just about any non-political, non-partisan institution that disputes something your party talks about. Whole segments of the media are roped off as unreliable, without even so much as the refutation of one thing they say.

When I make arguments about the effectiveness of different policies, I often site independent news sources, even the primary sources such as bureau of labor statistics data.

I do my homework. But what’s to prevent you from declaring that off limits, too? Nothing.

See, the modus operandi of folks like you is to ask people to share your prejudices as what is reliable information. But what are the reliable sources? Sites and publication run by political operatives, like think-tanks, like deliberately created conservative news sources which actively inject their own bias on purpose.

Neurologically speaking, nobody decides things without some feeling involved. Emotions are a part of human decision making, even when people think they’re being rational. However, there are ways of going about this that rely more on evidence and reasoned argument, and ways that try to short circuit things and reach directly for the emotions and gut feelings.

I can back my claims, whether they carry with them fearful consequences or not with real evidence. I can justify to people why they should be angry or impatient. I’m not doing what you are doing, which is trying to cut short the debate and the discussion by simply declaring certain sources untrustworthy, their claims automatically wrong.

The question you should be asking is whether you’re chasing around your own thoughts and philosophy, or whether what you advocate, what you say, has real world backing. At the end of the day, our minds can dream up anything they want. It is our disciplined attempts to perceive reality correctly that help us keep our views and our opinions grounded, and our policies effective in confronting our real world problems.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 24, 2012 12:07 PM
Comment #342567


C&J, going into the budget deal negotiations, it was the Republicans who thought they had Obama and the Democrats in a hard spot. To get a deal, Republicans had to give on some minor revenue enhancement and some cuts in defence. McConnell could deliver the votes in the Senate but Boehner could not do the same in the House.

Both political parties are divided. There are divisions between the RINO’s and tea party for Republicans and the Democrats are divided into liberals, conservatives and progressives. The liberal and conservative Democrats have been fairly efficient at cowing the progressives, while the Rino’s have had less success with the tea party.

The greater amount of legislation passed during the Clinton and Bush administrations was passed with a majority of Democratic support and with the progressives being the dissenters.

The fact is that conservative laissez faire has been very successful at dominating the legislative status quo for quite some time now.

Obama’s primary obligation to those who voted him into office was to take on and change the political status quo. In that regard, he is a failure.

By this time next year, I expect Romney to be signing the privatization of Medicare and the elimination of Medicaid. I would not be surprised if a majority of the supposed opposition vote in favor of the legislation.

Posted by: jlw at April 24, 2012 3:12 PM
Comment #342568

Stephen Daugherty says:

“I base my arguments on global warming, for example, on what the scientists who know something about the subject say. Of course, you’ve identified them as part of a political conspiracy.”

Sorry Stephen, but the left is losing the fight on this one. Nobody believes this left wing, cap and trade, shut down fossil fuel BS any more. Perhaps you have not noticed, but the electorate is not concerned about GW, but they are concerned about the price of fuel and the high cost of shipping goods.

“Whole segments of the media are roped off as unreliable,”

Great point Stephen and it’s true. Polls show that most Americans don’t believe the media, and for good reason. Bu it’s you who are calling it a conspiracy; I call it a lack of ability to do their job, much like the Democrats in the Senate.

“When I make arguments about the effectiveness of different policies, I often site independent news sources, even the primary sources such as bureau of labor statistics data.
I do my homework. But what’s to prevent you from declaring that off limits, too? Nothing.”

This again is BS. I have seen C&J correct you over and over of your fantasy facts and lack of reasoning abilities. You don’t do homework when your comments are straight out of the Obama hand bok or copied and pasted from the likes of the kos or media matters.

“Neurologically speaking, nobody decides things without some feeling involved. Emotions are a part of human decision making, even when people think they’re being rational. However, there are ways of going about this that rely more on evidence and reasoned argument, and ways that try to short circuit things and reach directly for the emotions and gut feelings.”

Nice try, but no cigar SD. Why don’t you tell me at least one thing the left has pushed that doesn’t involve the “downtrodden” and the sentence “It’s not Fair”? Just give me one thing the left has done that doesn’t involve fairness and feelings.

“At the end of the day, our minds can dream up anything they want. It is our disciplined attempts to perceive reality correctly that help us keep our views and our opinions grounded, and our policies effective in confronting our real world problems.”

This is coming from the expert on dreaming and the one most removed from reality, hahahaha. Perhaps it is Stephen Daugherty who should have the handle Warped Reality???

Posted by: Frank at April 24, 2012 5:13 PM
Comment #342573

Well, it’ nice to know we’re still trying to play a mean game of “keep away”. You remember the rules: don’t let the opposing person get the ball (or in this case the presidency\senate\house)or you’ll lose the game.

The problem with this game is very simple. NO ONE EVER WINS. We all end of losing, because no ones learns to share or play well with others.

I’d like to say that we have learned to compromise over the past 200 years, but it is all too obvious that hasn’t happened.

These days it seems we are ‘out to get’ one another. One party after another. Where’s the gridlock? I’ll tell you. Right here in these blogs. In our homes. In our thinking.

What if we were to let people:

Think for them themselves. Jeez, what a suggestion!

Worship for themselves - oh my gosh, I’m a heretic!!!

Vote for themselves - they might vote against what I think!

Deal with their own sexual partners in their own bedrooms -we might have to let everyone have some sort of marriage. ooooohhhhh

Handle education for themselves. Using good old fashion COMMON SENSE. EXPELLING first graders for trying to kiss a girl - Jeez, or fifth graders for hitting one another over the head with a pencil… Zero tolerance, BTW, is causing an exponential number of suspensions,expulsions, and drop-outs. Instead we just ship off the kids we don’t approve of to alternative schools, that parents can neither afford, or support. Many have no vehicles…believe it or not.

Of course I still believe that most of the time, parents should be held accountable for they’re children’s behavior - not the school system - assuming the parents actually do their jobs.

Oddly enough, even as a “liberal” I still wish sexual education was done, PROPERLY, at home. If ALL PARENTS would teach it truthfully, and correctly, instead of religiously or try to avoid it all together, then we wouldn’t have to worry about what insurance pays for or doesn’t pay for. At least not as much..

Realize that there is NO reason for allowing ASSAULT weapons into everyone’s hands. Who hunts with an AK-47? I believe that’s what they’re called, or any other semi-automatic weapon. A rifle, shotgun, for hunting or a a handgun for defense makes sense - but an assault weapon? A semi-automatic weapon? NO, that does not compute.

Recognize that even in finance there must be some sort of compromise, or structure, or standard, or something. Seems like those who ‘have” are more willing to push others into buying more, just so the rich can get richer.

Remember the old ‘supply and demand’ theory - now days the less product one makes (supplies) the higher priced it is, (demand) and the MORE it is pushed on to the very people who cannot afford it. So, instead of suggesting a better priced item of lesser cost, businesses suggest buying on CREDIT, LAY - AWAY, or some other payment method, and then wonder why they aren’t getting paid - anything!

Sound familiar? Remember the housing market situation of just - well - NOW?

Regulate the cost of medicinal insurance and\or treatments. Just to standardize costs a little. Sort of like , oh I don’t know - the way businesses used to do it - through competition.

Problem is, hospitals aren’t really in competition with one another. In small towns there is usually only one, in big cities, they can select who they will take and who they won’t take, etc. So hospitals charge whatever they believe they can can get by with. Just last night ABC News reported on the extremes that hospitals use to bill for their procedures. Those that even bothered to have some type of standard cost list were, ah, shall we say were wildly in disagreement with each other. Example given was the cost of a standard appendectomy. From $1500 up to $100,000. Assuming there was some type of price list available.

Of course the same is true of medical specialists these days. When is the last time you saw a doctor in your home,who wasn’t there for dinner, or a party?

I’m not totally complaining. After all the cost of medical school is outrageous. I know. I have a daughter who will be paying back her student loans for the next 17+ years, after having been paying them for the past 5 years. She lives in Atlanta. The cost of living is killing her, but she can’t afford to move to a smaller town (as she wants to ) until she can assure herself she will make enough to pay her own bills. After 5 years in private practice, she is still trying to keep her patients’ costs to a minimal, and not rely on Medicare for her income. (Yeah, I know all about biting your nose off despite your face… but - well dammit, I’m proud of her for standing her ground.)

Her student loans are still over $150,000, and that is after 5 years of payments, grants, scholarships, and as much parental aid as I can give her. The second job she has now, barely helps to support herself. (Scary thought isn’t it - that your DOCTOR might have to moonlight in order to survive and to pay for insurance, and thus might not be quite as prepared as you’d like them to be when YOU see them). However, even she agrees costs are way too high, and the cost of health insurance (and paying someone to file it)doesn’t help.It apparently takes a business degree to figure out how to file the blooming stuff, these days!

However, businesses, particularly law, have pushed the idea of “Sue,baby,sue”. When was the last time you actually saw a doctor who could treat you while you were there? Without sending you for tests, or someone else’s opinion? Fear of lawsuits, is a big thing these days.

One of my other daughters has her own law practice, and refuses to work for co-operations, or insurance companies. (Ok, I know she is biting off her own nose, too, but secretly I’m very proud of her, as well) She prefers the stigma of defending criminals, as to trying to get rich off of someone else’s misfortune. Of course she has her own malpractice insurance to worry about.

As long as I’m at it, I’m also very proud of my third daughter who actually works for a Emory in their research division, trying to help find better ways for diabetics to take their insulin - i.e, drink it, or take it in pill form instead of having to take a shot or two, every day. She caries a form of malpractice insurance as well.

None of them can win and still be good, caring, dependable professionals, and citizens, but at least they try. And frankly I am proud to call them MINE!

My point, is basically, quit fussing at each other, and start working together. Then and only then will we be able to have the type of government that makes us all proud. Not one that exists for an individual party, but for the people, as it is suppose too.


Posted by: Highlandangel1 at April 24, 2012 5:58 PM
Comment #342574

jlw

Maybe it worked because Clinton and Bush were closer to the center than Obama.

Think about this. Clinton was a Democrat. He passed lots of useful bills with Republicans in control of the House and the Senate. As you say, progressives didn’t cooperate.

Bush was a Republican. He passed lots of things with Republicans or Democrats in control. As you say, progressives didn’t cooperate.

Obama passed some things w/o Republicans and with a fair amount of trouble from Democrats. Progressive DID cooperate. Maybe this is the problem. Too far left for America.

Re Obama’s primary obligation - when he is elected president, he has the duty to represent all Americans, including those who voted against him. He is supposed to rise about the campaign politics. In this he failed.

Adrienne

“The Republican Party DOES indeed march in lockstep, yet they do so in a way that defends completely disorganized and short-sighted thinking and policies all across the board. “

So your current formulation is that Republicans are well-organized but they are behave in a way that is completely disorganized. Right? So could we conclude that you believe that their behavior does not reflect their organization? Why do you think they would choose to do that?

Stephen

I am just trying to understand your logic.

You say that Republicans are just trying to prevent Democrats from passing almost anything and that they don’t have a positive agenda, right? What do you think is their goal in doing this?

You criticize the Ryan plan, but we have nothing to compare it to on the Democratic side. “Your people” have not passed or even proposed a budget for how many years? It is difficult for Republicans to be against everything Democrats propose if they don’t actually propose things.

Republicans were indeed against ObamaCare. It was a bad idea. Should we not be against things that are bad ideas?

Posted by: C&J at April 24, 2012 6:06 PM
Comment #342576

Frank-
Cap and Trade was a conservative invention. You’ve forgotten that, or never learned it. Just like the mandate, also a party invention, it was meant to use market forces to regulate behavior, creating incentives for good, while punishing bad.

You claim to be in touch with reality. But you make two fundamental mistakes of attribution before you even start. You’ve been washed through the conservative news cycle so much, you don’t know which end is up.

You claim Democrats are trying to shut down fossil fuels. Notice how we’re producing more? Some shut down. You claim we’re out to get your guns? How many bills brought up for a vote, when we had both houses? None to do that.

Being a fantasist means having a good grasp of reality, a good grasp of what sells something as real. To grasp that, you need to study what is real. I’ve got whole families worth of languages in my fictional world. Why? Because our world has whole families of them. I know how recent a development our language was, where many of today’s most prevalent languages come from.

I’ve been constantly reading science and technology magazines and their websites for years. I’ve got a way above average grasp of mechanics, chemistry, and biology.

But hey, you’re more in touch with reality.

You know, the thing is, folks like you are always alleging a hidden bias when it comes to the “liberal” media. You have to do this because much of the media just doesn’t deal with things in an overtly political manner, like the Conservative media openly does.

Let me suggest what might be happening here. There might not be so much of a liberal media. That might all just be a smoke screen. What you might have instead are a bunch of conservative leaders who didn’t trust their constituents to make up their own minds. So what they do is they slag the rest of the media as inherently biased against what they believe, so much the better to offer them the “fair and balanced” media, which also happens to feed people the propaganda from the Conservatives leaders and their special interests on a direct line.

That way, they don’t have to keep people Republicans, or keep their facts straight, and the Republicans don’t have to behave so much, or avoid corrupting influences, because they always have somebody to back a party line that says nothing is wrong except the fact that the country isn’t conservative enough, and those damn liberals are messing up everything.

The conservative media is the worst thing to happen to the conservative movement, as far as its honest proponents go. The party has been funneled into an alternate reality. You tell me I’m out of touch, then why do surveys consistently show Fox News and Talk Radio listeners to be misinformed, worse than ignorant on the issues?

It isn’t anything inherently wrong with their intelligence. Anybody sold such bull**** successfully will be out of touch, even if they don’t want to be.

The desire to be politically flattered by your media is poison to the free exercise of reason. You have to have sources that will tell you stuff that undermines your false impressions, not what will intensify your ignorance and your disconnect.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 24, 2012 6:55 PM
Comment #342578

Stephen Daugherty is incapable of holding an intelligent conversation. He writes reams of new material and constantly changes the subject rather than answer a simple question. Sorry SD, but I am tired of your BS comments. You responed to my comment to C&J that liberals are not logical and base their agenda on emotion. Now answer the original question:

“Why don’t you tell me at least one thing the left has pushed that doesn’t involve the “downtrodden” and the sentence “It’s not Fair”? Just give me one thing the left has done that doesn’t involve fairness and feelings.”

Give me just one, I don’t think you can and I expect the same continued BS from you.

Posted by: Frank at April 24, 2012 7:16 PM
Comment #342613

Frank-
You ask leading questions, then wonder why I don’t answer them straight. Well, because to answer them straight is to fall into a rhetorical trap, one I have no intention of walking into, fully aware that it exists.

Liberals and Conservatives alike both have reason and emotion, and one doesn’t operate purely of the other. The results of logical thought can drive passions, and we often use reason to justify beliefs we came to on an irrational basis.

I’m not saying liberals are pure of it, or guilty of it, the way you’d like me to. I’m taking a position independent of your false dichotomy which I can take because I have readings in neuroscience beyond the scope of this argument with you, readings that indicate that portions of the brain related to reasoning abilities also serve to control emotional responses as well. It makes sense, if you think about it.

Other surveys I’ve heard about indicate that people from both parties have a tendency to see their own beliefs as rational, and those of others as coming from irrational, emotional thinking. The irony is, I would say both are right, and that each side simply analyzes things with a different mix and placement of reason and passion. If you don’t share that mix, a persons views from that group might seem irrational in a way the person themselves would be blind to.

As for the reams of arguments I use?

Well, from my perspective, what you do looks like the constant assertion of conclusions, of final results from an argument. Me? I like to unpack the premises of my arguments so that people can follow my line of reasoning for themselves, and so I’m not asking them to think through my arguments on my terms alone.

As for one thing that I’ve seen liberals push that isn’t about downtrodden, or, it’s not fair… Well how about our push for greater primacy in the STEM fields, with the space program?

I know you’re approach is to constantly cast us as the party of victimology, but you know what? We’re a party of national pride, not the empty kind that comes from simply blindly boosting and cheerleading the country, but the kind that comes from national ambition, common cause, a pride in the things we do, rather than boasts of what we’re convinced we are. We want this country to be built up and made proud again by achievement.

I mean, it seems to me that Republicans these days are content to let America withdraw into itself on nearly every level, to become more isolated, to export more of its jobs and productive work overseas, to let others make the discoveries and do the ambitious things like go into space and convert to renewable energies.

We’re not defined by the limits of your imagination of what we are and what we stand for. We’re better than that.

C&J-
I distinctly remember the President proposing a budget. I remember the omnibus bill of 2010. I also remember two other things: one that budgeting is now the Republican’s primary responsibility, which they have failed at so far, and two, that Republicans deliberately filibustered an omnibus bill so they could stage a government shutdown showdown just months later.

Your party has neglected the orderly budgeting process for the sake of a whole bunch of political stunts, and a bunch of time threatening government shutdowns and miniature funding crises in order to wring concession out of the President and the Senate. Additionally, they push budgets that are a virtual pharmacy of poison pills, with proposals no self-respecting Democrat could support.

Part of the whole point of the system, as I pointed out, is to force compromise, but your leaders in Washington seem to think they’re entitled to get whatever they want.

Sorry, 2010 was about jobs and anxiety over jobs. 2012 should be about that, too, only the people who should be anxious about their jobs now are the Republicans who spent the last two years doing little better than peddling Bush policies warmed over and endangering the economy through irresponsible political confrontations.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 24, 2012 9:44 PM
Comment #342614

Stephen

2010 was still a Democratic House and Senate. Did that budget work? Did Nancy Pelosi and Obama ever put one through?

In fact, you may recall all the gnashing of teeth in 2011 because Democrats failed to do a budget for that year leaving the fighting for the next year.

RE 2012 - I would be content to vote out all incumbents this year.

I think the Democratic slogan was supposed to be “We can’t wait”. Well Democrats Controlled the House 2007-2011. They Controlled the Senate 2007-today and they controlled the presidency 2009-today. What are we waiting for?

Posted by: C&J at April 24, 2012 10:19 PM
Comment #342615

Stephen, I distinctly remember the presidents budget proposal going down in sound defeat, even all the democrats voted against it. The republicans have an obstical called the senate and a president so anything that is proposed by republicans in the house will never get passed. No matter what republicans in the house sent to the Senate ole Harry would table and not bring it to the floor. The reason why Democrats won’t support anything that republicans propose is that republicans won’t give democrats blank checks and a unlimited credit card.

Posted by: KAP at April 24, 2012 10:21 PM
Comment #342616

Stephen

You know, I think you guys actually prefer to be out of power. Then you can play victims much better. The responsibility for actually being in charge scares you all, which must be why you hate to admit that you are.

Posted by: C&J at April 24, 2012 10:22 PM
Comment #342639

C&J-
If you’re so wise about turning situations around to look at them another way, you can step back and recognize the dilemma you’ve put yourself in, in the name of solving your party’s short term electoral problems. The filibustering can easily be deployed against your side, unless you change the rules.

Ah, but if you change the rules, that means that you only believe that the filibuster is a tool for saving democracy from the tyranny of the majority, when we’re the majority, and you’re the heroic minority, putting a stop to Obama’s unpopular legislation (never mind the huge political campaign deployed to make it so, first.) When it’s us using it, it’s an evil abrogation of Democracy. Of course, you used it at almost twice the rate we ever did, and at many times the rate most Democratic Senate minorities did.

You also, prior to that point, threw the mother of all *****-fits about our filibustering just five federal court judges, threatening the nuclear option of just outlawing the filibuster. How things change when we turn them around and look at them from the other side.

That’s what disgusts me. The naked hypocrisy, the underlying assumption that no power is legitimate in our hands, and any power you can get your hands on is an excellent means to your end. You killed about eighty percent of legislation that went through the 2006-2010 period, during both Congresses of that time. So much of what the Democrats could have passed, or the appointments that could have come to an up or down vote was just blocked.

You can mock me and the other Democrats however you like, but you can’t cover the stench of ambition-driven hypocrisy. That you are willing to dare whatever you want to get whatever you want is not necessarily grounds for admiration.

Nor has it been the wisest course of action, from a machiavellian standpoint. At the end of the day, people are no more content with the system as it is than they were before, and now most of them think it’s a fools errand to compromise with you. Now you have to try and gather all power to yourself, because if you fail, if you lose even just the Presidency, if you don’t get the Senate, or you lose the house, you are simply ****ed, because you’ve burned up much of the political capital you had left to get that.

If I had been a Republican, I would have continually encouraged Democrats to reach across the aisle, and reward them for it. I would have been getting them to make compromises that would tick off and quiet down the activist part of the party, with the ability to pass legislation on a regular basis giving my people cover on the “do nothing” side, while at the same time having concessions to show to Republican voters.

Instead, Democrats basically lost crediblity if they continued to push for bargains with the Republicans, because whatever promises or understandings the Republicans offered, they wouldn’t succed in getting their votes. All concessions and nothing to show for it makes Jack a loser in his next election. And, as a matter of fact, many Blue Dogs and Centrists lost or retired that year, and in the period after that.

It’s almost Pavlovian, if you think about it. if the dinner bell doesn’t bring dinner, the dog will stop salivating when it hears it.

Republicans have kept on ringing the bell, but they offer the conservative and centrists no good faith results to base bargains on. So, why should Democrats come when the Republicans call? There is no benefit in meeting halfway, because there is no halfway.

Until there is, you have no place.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 25, 2012 12:27 AM
Comment #342641

Stephen Daugherty, you really should re read your posts. Hypocracy? You bring up hypocracy? Machiavellian? OMG!

Democratics have been shown to be hypocrits over and over in recent years. Machiavelli would be proud to be called a Democratic.

Do as I say, not as I do, right Stephen Daugherty?

Geesh! Your last comment really looks like the mirror image of the Democratic Party, and your reply to Frank could be your position and Frank’s position at the same time!

Your house is built on sand!
Pot calling the kettle black!
Blinders!

Can anyone think of any more?

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 25, 2012 1:04 AM
Comment #342678

Kool-aid

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 25, 2012 4:35 AM
Comment #342689

Weary Willie-
First, let’s get something clear:Democrat’s the proper english noun as this dictionary entry confirms The word Democratic is an adjective. What you are doing is comparable to saying “a blue passed by” when you mean a blue car, or “I walked a hard” when you’re referring to a path. I know the use of Republican as both noun and adjective bothers you, but that is actually Proper English as a Noun, and as an adjective.

Additionally: Hypocrite is spelled with an “e” at the end, and it’s not Hypocracy (The rule of the low?), it’s hypocrisy. See how Hypocrite and Hypocrisy better resemble one another. Sorry, but you’ve been driving me up the wall with that crap.

Beyond that, your comment’s not worth responding to. Namecalling requires no evidence, no facts to back it up. You want me to feel pressure to submit, not reconsider my position because you can demonstrate yours is better.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 25, 2012 10:26 AM
Comment #342690

Weary Willie; Stephen will resort to any length to change the subject; now he has changed the subject by correcting your grammar and spelling. Stephen are you sure you want to go there; we have spell check too. The problem with SD’s posts is that they are so long; we would spend hours correcting his grammar. Let’s take a look at SD’s last comment to Weary Willie: he did not leave a space between the colon and the word Democrat; secondly, there is no such word as “namecalling”, but he should have said name-calling. The hyphen is used Stephen. Just think what we could find in one of his more lengthy posts.

Since C&J brought up the subject of liberals not being able to think with logic and I added the fact that liberals are a bunch of women who only think by emotion, and since I gave some examples of the agendas of liberals based on pure emotion, and then Stephen Daugherty jumps in the fray by defending liberal’s agendas by trying to convince us that their agendas were based on logic and not emotion; I then asked Stephen Daugherty to give me ANY law introduced or passed by liberal democrats which are not based on emotion (i.e. “It’s not Fair” or “unjust”). But, he can’t. So he once again goes on to his lengthy essays, fulfilling the old adage, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit”. If ever there was a saying made for Stephen Daugherty, this is it. I challenge anyone on WB to research Bills introduced, Bills passed, or arguments made against Republicans Bills, that are not based on the emotion of “It’s not Fair” or “Unjust”.

Posted by: Frank at April 25, 2012 11:25 AM
Comment #342695

This is so funny!! Stephen Daugherty claiming one thing and speaking another and then considers himself wise.

Hahahaha!

A fool speaks as a fool. A wise man speaks truth.

It is sew funny to see the reams of type that SD puts out just to have something to say, weather it makes sense or knot. He wood make a grate president in the tyime of a democratic dictatorship.

SD is so hilarious. He sounds like somebody truly walking down the middle picking up some from the left and some from the right and forming some kind of consensus for good government. He could be eternally elected for doing such a good job of “protecting” the people.

Maranatha

Posted by: tom humes at April 25, 2012 12:21 PM
Comment #342696

tom humes……….
Your arrogance is only overshadowed by your ignorance. Believe me, you will never come close to being held in comparison with Stephen. He has not faltered in fending off your attacks and some others on here, as well. Too bad you’ll never come close to the ability to understand and accept that.
Ever wonder why you have so few people on here to berate any more???

Posted by: jane doe at April 25, 2012 4:07 PM
Comment #342697

I should have included you,jane doe, in the lump with SD. You never make a sensible comment, but rip people of the opposite side you take a stand on, I mean sit down on. No truth, just rant and rave.

There are others likewise.

I am glad I don’t compare with SD.

I would be asshamed to be called as such.

Posted by: tom humes at April 25, 2012 4:34 PM
Comment #342698

Since Jane Doe wants to call people names and rush to the defense of the girly-man; perhaps Jane Doe could answer the simple question that was asked of Stephano D.

Please give us the name of ANY law introduced or passed by liberal democrats which is not based on emotion (i.e. “It’s not Fair” or “unjust”).

Jane Doe is justified in being emotional in her responses, because she is a female, SD on the other hand is not…at least…. unless SD is keeping secrets from everyone.

Yes Tom Humes, I thank God every day that I am not like SD. How depressing it must be to get up each morning and wonder what personal honor must be forfieted to protect Obumer. Especially as we learn more about this socialist as each day goes by.

Posted by: Frank at April 25, 2012 6:59 PM
Comment #342701

It can’t get any better than this; a few weeks ago and the left was up in arms (on WB) about George Zimmerman killing Travon Martin in a purely racist murder. Not one single liberal was willing to wait for evidence, and every single liberal was convinced it was racist. But all seems to be strangely silent from the left. Now we find out more condemning facts about Zimmerman:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/25/us-usa-florida-shooting-zimmerman-idUSBRE83O18H20120425

It turns out he is not only hispanic, but also has black roots. Tell me it’s not so…

How about this one you gutless sociailists; where is your outrage for this:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/alabama-man-allegedly-beaten-mob-claiming-justice-trayvon-article-1.1066893

Judging from the picture of one of the 3 arrested; this man is black. Now do you suppose that this was a racially motivated hate crime. Should Sharpton and Jackson go to Alabama and fight for this man’s rights?

http://www2.wkrg.com/news/2012/apr/23/73/man-beaten-mob-critical-condition-ar-3659891/

I look forward to the usual BS from the left defending this black man’s right to put a white honky in ICU.

Posted by: TomT at April 25, 2012 7:34 PM
Comment #342703

Frank,

Jane Doe is justified in being emotional in her responses, because she is a female,…

If this is an example of how you debate, I am very glad you are a silly, silly man. You must be using your other head.

Tom T.

I believe that Zimmerman was arrested for 2nd degree murder. How about letting a jury of his peers decide? I believe it was you folks who fell for the “Stand your ground ” defense. (after his self defense claim was rejected. BTW- a head wound bleeds a lot more than what the news showed)

This case will be a test of that law, as well as whether it is also a racially motivated crime.

Common sense.

Give it a rest, how ‘bout it?

Posted by: Highlandangel1 at April 25, 2012 7:54 PM
Comment #342730

Frank-
I don’t use spell-check, actually. I have a sort of intuitive grasp of how different words are supposed to be spelled, and if I have a doubt, I look it up. He’s been pulling this “Democratics” things for a while, and he needed a quick refresher on which word is a noun and which one is an adjective.

As for the rest of your post?

If I took out every hasty generalization, you wouldn’t have much left. Everybody’s got a brain that mixes rational modes of thoughts with emotional, not just as some option, but as the way things basically have to work.

Emotion is inextricably linked to thought, especially in the fact that we value things, that we have values at all. Without emotion, we simply decide things on impulse and need. If we feel nothing, what does it matter whether we abort a baby or not, at any stage of the pregnancy? Hell, what does it matter if the doctor takes the child out of the womb and dashes its head on the floor?

If emotions don’t play a role, fairness doesn’t matter. You can cheat and defraud anybody, because who cares? The people wouldn’t care about being cheated, and the cheaters wouldn’t care about deceiving and hurting other people.

If emotions don’t matter, say goodbye to ambitions and great big goals, because with emotions go motivations. A poor person without emotions feels no need to improve their condition, and a Rich person without them has no reason to do anything truly splending or meaningful with their money. Screw philantropy, screw altruism, screw logic, or any kind of discipline.

Emotions are part of what undergird our ability to care, to motivate ourselves, to assign priorities, to judge salience of information to the issue at hand. They’re part of what motivate us to act in our interests, and those of the people we love, to correct mistakes, and avenge injustices. You toss around claims about emotion, but you don’t know the first thing about how crucial it is to judgment, or how much your leaders have used it to manipulate you and yours into backing certain policies.

There are a class of people who operate without real emotions as we know them. We call them sociopaths, and scientists have come to associate their behavior with failings in particular parts of the frontal lobe that govern emotion. They are dangerous precisely because they don’t care. They don’t have the kinds of real values that lead people to constrain their behavior so as to not hurt others, or themselves for that matter. Sociopaths take worse risks, more drugs and more gambling precisely because they don’t have a clear impression of right or wrong, even as far as their own welfare goes.

You model your ideal, in effect, on the most maladjusted people we have in society.

The real question is not who is rational and who is not. The real question is whose rationality, and whose emotional values we buy into, and what consequences come of their particular brand of rational and emotional judgment.

You would prefer, I think, if I played the fire hydrant, while you and the others went along marking your territory at my expense. But really, I’ve got just a bit of pride here, so my response will be to give back as good as I’m given, and better if I can help it.

Tom Humes-
Actually, what I would say is that things are more complicated than a left, a right, and a middle, but for purposes of our system, there has to be a given and a take between left and right in order to actually, dependably run this government right. That’s how our system was set up.

You can blather on about what I’m supposed to think. You seem to consider yourself an expert, despite the fact that nearly everything you say about what I believe gets flatly contradicted by what I actually say.

Wise men are considered wise for their insight and discernment, for how they understand, and how they correctly perceive the world around them (and how they allow for the reality that they will make mistakes in that direction). They are not marked by simply being on the other side of an issue from a fool, or by denying what a fool believes. After all, even fools can be right, and wise men can still be wrong.

So if you want to be wise, don’t depend on my views to determine your own, open your eyes and your ears, and use what God gave you to see things for yourself.

TomT-
Hitler was half-jewish. That didn’t keep him from sending millions of jews to the gas chambers, to be worked to death and burned to ash in ovens by their own fellow inmates.

As for that mob? They had no right to do what they did, and it won’t bring back Trayvon or set right the system so kids like him don’t die. Let them be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, including hate crimes charges, if that is warranted. And then Let George Zimmerman face his own day in court over his behavior, and his choices.

What? You’ve done a good job of rushing to your own conclusion. What is it, you think every Trayvon supporter is like those thugs who beat up this man? Is that your idea? I’d rethink that, if I were you.

Especially if you read the third article closely, as it seems to say that person in question isn’t necessarily innocent, and the claim of “Avenging Trayvon Martin” might actually be incidental to an unrelated feud of some kind. I mean, you are familiar with the concept of a pretext, right?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 26, 2012 1:59 AM
Comment #342783

Anyone who has enough time to read all the magazines and webpages and enslipedias and medical journals and bibles and scripts and other writings…

doesn’t have time to relate to the real world.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 26, 2012 5:13 AM
Comment #342793

Stephen

I am not mocking you. I simply point out the inconsistencies in your arguments and probably in your beliefs. Many of them do not make logical sense. It doesn’t help to heap more arguments on a foundation that is flawed.

I - and others - have many times used your own words to disprove your statements. This is an indication of the problem you face.

This is what I think is your real problem. You believe that Republicans are always bad/stupid and Democrats are always good/smart. With that in mind, all your arguments follow.

I can give you the framework.

Democrats to X against Republicans = good because Democrats are good.

Republicans do the same X against Democrats = bad because Republicans are bad.

It is a very simple world for you. You pile on lots of words, but they are piled on that invalid foundation. False premise cannot produce a true conclusion, not matter who elegant and sublime the words piled on top.

I know that you and others consider my analysis unfair or sophistry but in fact it is the opposite. We all have the responsibility to produce arguments that could be true. We then can apply our values and facts and dispute them. If anybody can demonstrate that the premises are false, as we do with many of your arguments, that means that the conclusion cannot be true (except perhaps by random chance.)

I think that we have shown that your premise, that Republicans are bad and Democrats good, is invalid. It follows that your attempt to use that as an argument to treat the two differently is also invalid. So all the words piled on top are also invalid and the argument is wrong.


Posted by: C&J at April 26, 2012 6:04 AM
Comment #342813

Talk, talk, talk, talk; and Stephen Daugherty says nothing; so let’s try this again Stephen:

“Please give us the name of ANY law introduced or passed by liberal democrats which is not based on THE emotion (i.e. “It’s not Fair” or “unjust”).”

Stephen, you will notice I keep saying “It’s not Fair” or “Unjust”. I realize that all people have emotion, but I am talking about the Bills and Laws argued by liberal democrats on the floor of the Congress and how they say “We must pass this Law right now”, or they say “If we don’t pass this Law, it is unfair and unjust”. You make yourself look stupid for trying to get around the question. Now Stephen, name a Bill or Law that the democrats have argued for or against that was not based upon “It’s not Fair” or “Unjust”?

Please do not insult us with another of you lengthy diatribes; just answer the question. If you don’t, then we will assume you can’t.

Posted by: Frank at April 26, 2012 10:40 AM
Comment #342817

“I am afraid that Chairman Ryan’s budget reflects the values of his favorite philosopher Ayn Rand rather than the gospel of Jesus Christ. Survival of the fittest may be okay for Social Darwinists but not for followers of the gospel of compassion and love.”
Father Reese
Georgetown University


Posted by: phx8 at April 26, 2012 2:48 PM
Comment #342819

Stephen,
Remember, if you take the side of compassion and love, of fairness and justice, against the likes of tom humes, TomT, Frank, and Wee Willie makes me Weary with his Wee Willie- those social darwinists, Ayn Rand atheists, and haters that infest our society- you’ll always have that to your credit. Always. Compassion, love, fairness, and justice are their own rewards.

Posted by: phx8 at April 26, 2012 3:12 PM
Comment #342820

A year ago, Rush Limbaugh said the Obama administration was not concerned about the middle-class blue collar vote, and I thought to myself, this is not true. Today, I came across this story:

“Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said it took his group “two years and a lawsuit to get these documents out of the Obama administration.”

“It is hypocritical for President Obama to fire GSA officials for wasteful conference spending, while his family went on a luxury vacation in the Costa del Sol Spain that cost taxpayers nearly half a million dollars,” Fitton said.”


http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/26/group-michelle-obamas-spain-trip-cost-taxpayers-467k/

“Blue collar Democratic voters, stuck taking depressing “staycations” because they can’t afford gas and hotels, are resentful of the first family’s 17 lavish vacations around the world and don’t want their tax dollars paying for the Obamas’ holidays, according to a new analysis of swing voters.

“They view everything through their own personal situation and if they can’t afford to do it, they can’t enjoy it, they don’t like Obama using their tax dollars to benefit himself,” said pollster John McLaughlin. “In this case, they see him as out of touch. While they are struggling he’s not sharing in that struggle and he’s basically doing what they can’t do on their tax dollars,”

http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/washington-secrets/2012/04/vacation-backlash-blue-collar-dems-jealous-angry-obamas/538141

It is this stuff that will cost Obama the presidency; this shows how completely Obama and the elitist liberals are out of touch with working people.

Posted by: Billinflorida at April 26, 2012 3:31 PM
Comment #342821

Weary Willie-
I’m up to my neck in the real world, paying back student loans working a job that falls far short of what I was aiming for, dealing with family health problems, death in the family, and so on and so forth. I was forced for years to live from paycheck to paycheck, and only some timely windfalls kept things from getting truly horrible.

I read books and all that other stuff so I understand that world better. You might think it a waste of time, but the real waste of time is trial and error in ignorance. You can figure out ways to shorten the time wasted on fruitless approaches if you’re educated enough to figure out or know what the right course of action is sooner, rather than later.

C&J-
You muddy the water yourself and call that my contradiction. Practically my entire point is this: there is a difference between getting in the way of another person’s agenda, where all you have to do is trigger the failure of their changes, and legislating yourself, where you have to campaign for and actually get support for things. Adding to this difficulty is the fact that you’re trying to get this help from the same guys you’ve been roadblocking.

Why should Democrats help Republicans fulfill their voter’s agenda, when the Republicans ensured that four fifths of the Democrat’s agenda was killed before it could reach the President’s desk? Can you give a good reason beyond your personal opinion that the legislation was for the best?

Republicans have done a poor job of actually moving new policy through, and their obsessive need for political purity hasn’t done them any favors.

But still, there’s nothing about that problem that keeps them from standing together to block everything Obama seeks to do. So, no contradiction. You can point it out as much as you want, just like I could point out Harvey the invisible (and apparently lightweight) rabbit, standing on your head doing the Charleston.

At this point, what reason do I have for sympathy with the GOP? Who’s acknowledging that Wall Street failed to police itself? Who’s acknowledging that their taxing and spending policies respresent the bulk of the non-economic reasons we have a deficit? Who’s acknowledging the failure of Bush’s foreign policy?

Nobody. I started out about this time a decade ago a Baylor Univerity college student, familiar with and friendly with quite a few Republicans and conservatives. It’s not impossible for me to live with Republicans and conservatives. In fact, in many ways, I’m quite sympathetic. But that’s never going to matter if any dissent from policies means I’m seen as a far left loony.

Let me put forward an idea to you. For my part, I don’t believe that my liberalism has to be expressed in particular policy stances. My aim is for a result, and whether or not a certain policy appears ideologically correct, I’m willing to agree to policies that move things forward in a certain direction.

This is part of what galls me about the responses I get nowadays, from people who think I want to destroy the economy, who think I would like America to get taken over, or something like that. Half the time, these claims seem to trace back to a sacred cow sort of preference for certain policy prescriptions. That is, “If you don’t support this policy, then you must want X” X being some horrible result.

I got that when I dissented Bush’s war policy (I kept on telling people I wanted us to win those wars, beat the enemy, but…). I get it now that I dissent from your energy policy (You must want to destroy all fossil fuels and leave America in ruins!), and on the economy (you want to vampirize the job creators!)

On and on. The accusation is the same, and your fellow conservative writers are constantly making the same claim in different forms: that what I truly want is a negative result for this country.

I may believe you’re wrong, but I don’t believe your people are stupid, are aiming to destroy this country. Certain policies of yours approach being that problematic, but I want a political solution to these problems, and are willing to address concerns about government overreach and other subjects in order to get a better result for all sides.

I remember times when Republicans would allow greater regulation to commence in the wake of a financial scandal, when they would respond to spikes in the deficit with plans that included tax increases. I remember a time when Republicans could acknowledge environmental problems.

Now, though, it seems like there’s little that Republicans acknowledge, when it goes against their theories, until things take on the proportions of a crisis. The economy had to be well into collapse before Republicans were willing to bailout the banks. The violence in Iraq had to reach catastrophic proportions before Bush and company changed direction and went with the Surge. And even with the weather just going bugnuts insane, and Oil prices sky high despite all the new supply, Republicans are unwilling to change our energy policy except to double down on it.

You could call it a lack of accountability or adaptability. Whatever it is, I’m sick of it. I want people in charge, no matter what the party is, who are willing and able to actually deal with problems as they come, rather than sitting on those problems until they can no longer be ignored, thanks to their catastrophic development.

I would like Republicans to quit basing their policy and political decisions on what they would oppose, and start out anew from an approach that is more about guaranteeing good results, rather than trying to force the vindication of the policies they’ve been taught are infallibly good.

Frank-
Why should I honor your request, when it is, in and of itself, an insult? I have enough experience with arguing with folks like you to know that you’ve already made up your mind about what is just irrational emotion.

I’m not going to play that game. If I think I need several paragraphs to explain my point of view, I’ll take several. I’m not going to bumpersticker my ideas just so people like you can take pride in boxing me in with your loaded questions.

The question that should be asked is whether or not it is unjust to say that the current situation is unfair.

I think that’s a question that should be argued case by case, not in some slapdash generalization, like you’re asking for. But you seem to lack for specific examples yourself, and are relying on me to bring up subject matter for discussion. Well, you’re the person making the accusations, please, offer up some evidence for the prosecution. Don’t expect me to make your case for you. You can spin your wheels with pronouncements of what kind of debater or political commentator I am, most of it as unprovable as any other statement of preference, but I prefer, when I want to convince people are wrong, to present evidence that doesn’t depend on the other person being sympathetic to my politics

Unfortunately, these days, Republicans have so narrowed their list of publications that are considered truthful and right thinking, that it’s nearly impossible to confront them with information they feel obligated to recognize. That doesn’t mean that the publications they’ve roped off stopped being right about whatever, or that their not oblivious to some problem. It just means that they continue to support the current crop of Republicans despite all their problems, and continue to support the same special interest pushed policy, without the reservations or dissents they might otherwise have.

Still, I will confront you with it, at least so others can see the evidence I bring to the table, and your ideologically based denial of it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 26, 2012 3:43 PM
Comment #342822

Add to the previous comments about the blue collar workers, these discouraging Obama reelection polls:

“One reason the president’s job approval suffers: 83 percent of voters think the country is still in a recession — including 35 percent who think things could get worse. That’s little changed from a year ago, when 82 percent thought the country was still in a recession (with 38 percent saying things could get worse).”

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/04/25/fox-news-poll-45-percent-approve-obama-as-83-percent-say-country-still-in/

Almost 2/3’s of the American people think the country is going in the wrong direction:

http://realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/direction_of_country-902.html

“More Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week and consumer confidence declined by the most in a year, signaling that a cooling labor market may restrain household spending.

Jobless claims fell to 388,000 from a revised 389,000 the prior week that was the highest since early January, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index declined to minus 35.8 from minus 31.4 the previous week.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-26/more-americans-than-projected-filed-jobless-claims-last-week.html

“Rising foreclosures are weighing on the U.S. housing market, reducing prices and keeping new-home sales weak.

Foreclosed homes are usually sold at steep discounts, thereby lowering average prices. And by expanding the supply of low-priced previously occupied homes, foreclosures tend to limit demand for new homes.

Some economists expect foreclosures to keep prices under pressure this year, even though they think sales of previously occupied homes will rise.”

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/04/24/us-home-prices-drop-for-6th-straight-month/

Posted by: Billinflorida at April 26, 2012 4:13 PM
Comment #342823

Stephen Daugherty, you have confronted me with nothing.

There is not one person of intelligence on WB who has not seen the whining and crying liberal democrats on the floor of the Congress; who believe unless their laws and bills are passed it will be a travesty for the old, the young, the women, the gays, the sick, the minorities, the poor, the down and out, and the unintelligent masses of America. When a republican bill comes to the floor, the right is going to throw grandma off the cliff, children will not be fed or get an education, blacks will be sent to the back of the bus, gays will be castrated, the homeless will die in the streets, young women will be forbidden to get abortions or birth control pills, and families will starve. Your side is always the same and every election we can be sue of one thing: the same old rhetoric.

The question didn’t seem to that hard; to just show one bill or law that the left has proposed that didn’t involve “It’s not Fair” or “Unjust”. But evidently you can’t do it. Remember, “Dazzle with brilliance, or baffle with bullshit”.

Posted by: Frank at April 26, 2012 4:29 PM
Comment #342825

Stephen

I would only ask you to believe intellectually - if not in your heart - that Republicans and people who vote for them generally do so for reasons as good as Democrats and those who vote for them.

Nobody’s goal is to destroy the economy or impoverish the American people. Our common goal is to make America stronger, more prosperous, cleaner and better. We have disagreements about how best to get there.

I was fairly content with the late 1990s, when we had lots of liberal rhetoric but mostly conservative policies. A Democrat, Bill Clinton, made government smaller. It was good. During the 2000, we had mostly conservative rhetoric, but unfortunately government got bigger. A Republican did this. After 2008, we got liberal rhetoric too and government grew even more.

During this time, I supported Bush because he was better than the alternative and because I always support my president in times of national emergency, which I believe we faced after 9/11. But I can recognize things that went wrong. Chief of which was bigger government.

I am not defined by what I am against. I am in favor of smaller, more effective and more defined Federal government. I don’t want to get rid of it. I love government so much that I want to conserve it and restore its virtue.

I take this stand not because I am stupid or self-serving. In fact, given my particular situation, I would personally profit much more if government got bigger. I get along well with the Federal bureaucracy. I know how to use the programs. I have personally benefited from ObamaCare, since I could bring my kids on my policy. But I think it is the wrong way to go for America. So I vote against my economic interests and for my country’s.

I understand that many cannot understand this. Democrats want to tell people like me how much we personally will gain from Democratic policies and lose under Republicans. I know they are right. I am not stupid. But I have a higher value to protect.

Posted by: C&J at April 26, 2012 4:55 PM
Comment #342826

billinflorida,
A recession is defined as ‘two down consecutive quarters of GDP.’

GDP has been positive in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

A person would have to be drop dead stupid, criminally stupid, self-deporting from the Darwinian gene pool stupid, to think the country is currently in a recession.

Oh, wait. That was a FOX News poll. Well, that explains it!

Posted by: phx8 at April 26, 2012 5:13 PM
Comment #342827

Of course, the stock market will tell you the country is in a recession. When Obama took office, the DJIA stood at 8228, the S&P at 840, and the NASDAQ at 1505. Today, they stand at 13204, 1400, and 3050, respectively. Maybe you didn’t get that. Here:

DJIA 8228 to 13204
S&P 840 to 1400
NASDAQ 1505 to 3050.

Only five presidents in the history of the US have seen stock markets increase as much during the first three terms of their office.

Interest rates are extraordinarily low.

Job creation numbers, in terms of non-farm payroll, have increased every month since February 2010.

Real estate continues to be a disaster. The harm done by the Bush administration and Republicans was tremendous. It will be 2017 or 1028 before we see a full recovery, and even that may be optimistic.

Posted by: phx8 at April 26, 2012 5:27 PM
Comment #342828

billinflorida-
I don’t think you can argue that the sentiments against Obama, or the poor economic situation works as a positive for Republicans. Last election, Republicans could essentially argue that they had no part in it (despite the huge number of bills they helped kill through filibusters).

This election, Republicans share in the responsibility for policy. They cannot argue that current directions in policy results don’t stem from their actions or their inaction, the way they once could.

Frank-
You seem to center, in your analysis, on whether Democrats are using emotional appeals in their politics, attached to their bills.

However much you would stand in disdain of that, the question would be, are they wrong to? Which is not to ask whether you would say they are wrong based on your ideology… no, we know your answer to that, right off the bat. You’ve been rather plain about it.

No, the real question is whether students, old folks, the sick, disabled, and young are really suffering in the budget priorities. Objectively, if you look at what Republicans cut, in terms of spending, they are.

And are the Rich being handed more tax cuts in the bargain? Yes, in your bills they’re being handed plenty. You cite this as necessary since they’re job creators, but survey work over the past decade has indicated that this expected job creation simply didn’t happen.

So, can we really say that the cuts are bringing the prosperity promised, much less enough to make up for the plight of those who suffer in budget terms? No, we can’t.

If we had to be cynical about it, this seems to boil down to using the money lost through the unnecessary, unhelpful tax cuts to justify cutting programs and budget items that people otherwise wouldn’t be in a hurry to pare down. Unfortunately, it seems to be a pattern- Republican governors and legislatures cut taxes for the rich, for the corporations, and then use the fiscal imbalances that result as a pretext to reduce government people were otherwise fine with.

There is plenty in public policy that genuinely demands to be called out on its callousness. I don’t see the point in buying into your clearly artificial argument about these being illegitimate feelings regarding policy today. Calling me stupid or whatever won’t convince me any faster, not with what I’ve been through in the last decade.

C&J-
Big government, as I’ve said before, is a red herring. It leads to a solution that solves nothing. Does smaller government solve corruption, especially the specific kind, or does short-sheeting enforcement, as was done with the SEC, encourage it?

From my perspective, the problem for Republicans is not some party-wide stupidity, it’s more a matter of having built ideological walls against changing ideas or admitting mistakes. It’s also a matter of identifying error with agreement with a certain political party and movement, rather than with specific, testable policies.

I got into this game because I was learning about certain failures in policies, and the problems growing from that, at the same time I saw few in the mainstream media actually confronting those issues. Things intensified because not only did the GOP, and Bush in particular, fail to address these shortfalls, they seemed to actively politically combat those who pointed anything out.

You can sketch it out for yourself, from my position, what that meant was necessary. Part of the reason I went from being willing to be patient for a change over, to practically demanding it is that I saw too much needed change that couldn’t come because your politicians were in the way, trying to cover their asses by keeping policy from changing.

You think that motivation goes away with the filibustering and the reclamation of the House by Republicans, with the same stubborn resistance to change, and insistence on policies that didn’t work?

If Republicans, as a party, recognized the shortfalls and the shortcomings, if they started leading the party in a more moderate direction, negotiating settlements in good faith rather than obstructing and breaking deals in bad, I could relax myself, without feeling guilty for it. But as long as I don’t see any progress on the Right in dealing with the critical issues, I feel morally obligated to oppose the obstruction and the radical insistence on what is effectively one party rule of the country.

Ultimately, I will keep at it as long as I think it’s necessary. It’s nothing personal. I don’t need Republicans wiped out, or conservatism laid waste. But I feel we do need a change in the political landscape, and an end to siege on the political left. Relax, quit trying to wipe my party out as a viable political force, and I can relax, too.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 26, 2012 5:47 PM
Comment #342829

Stephen

Smaller, efficient and limited government does indeed help get rid of corruption.

Think about corruption for a minute. There is corruption that is against existing laws, which we all deplore. There is no indication that regulation were insufficient during the banking crisis. They just were wrong. And some of them encouraged the behavior they were supposed to stop. Government guarantees on mortgagees, for example, encouraged too much risk taking.

Then there is corruption created by government’s narrowing options or creating incentives.

Can the owner of a firm take a bribe to sell to you at a lower price? No. It is simply a lower price. The only time you can bribe is when someone controls access to resources owned by others. This is what government does when it gets involved too much in the economy.

Government should enforce contracts and work to create a transparent system. This is not what it does well. Sometimes restraint is better. People police their own transactions if they can understand them. Nobody enters into a transaction if he thinks he will get ripped off. This is the real check on crooks.

Re large government - I know government very well. It does many things well and some things only it can do. But it is led by politicians and administered by bureaucracies. Think of the strengths and weaknesses of such an organization.

If you have one person deciding on what to do, there is no administrative costs. Two people need to consult. Six or seven people need a manager. Ten or more get consultants and HR people. It keeps on adding on like this. In addition you need thousands of people writing and rewriting rules. It is not quick, innovative or cheap. Use it when being quick, innovative or cheap are not important considerations. Otherwise avoid it.

A big problem with regulators is that they are always one step behind the guys they are regulating. That is because they need to be reactive and need to have political buy in. Beyond that, government cannot pay enough to get the real innovators AND if they do get real innovators they quickly smother them in bureaucracy.

We need government and its bureaucracies in many parts of our society. But it is a consumer of wealth and innovation, not a producer of these things.

Liberals believe that crap that Bobby Kennedy mouthed about dreaming about things that never were and asking “why not?” Sound great, but it really stupid for government to try. Most innovations fail. Private markets are robust and can live with this failure. It is how markets grow and improve. Government creates a bureaucracy with vested interests in preserving these failed innovation. They get MORE money when things are going poorly.

Let me give you a simple truth. In government a manager is judged by the size of his budget and how much he can spend. Saving money by eliminating or consolidating functions will almost always weaken a government manager in promotion prospects. The good government manager will indeed try to make his operation more efficient, but will look for other places to deploy his budget. It is a kind of sin to give money back to the treasury. The bad government manager just maintains his department w/o improving and may even ask for more money to meet his “growing needs”. It is hard to tell the good from the bad on government’s standardized performance reports. Many don’t want to try, since if you discover a bad employee it is almost impossible to get rid of him. He will almost certainly file some sort of bias case and the person who discovered the problem will go down with the problem employee - even if he wins.

The plus side of bureaucracy is that it tends to protect its workers from arbitrary actions. The negative side is that it protects them from almost all actions.

In small bureaucracies, the benefits of bureaucratic organization outweigh the cost of coordination and rules. The bigger it gets, the more dysfunctional it becomes. That is what politicians find to their sorrow when they try to give more resources to bureaucracies that are working well. Sometimes 100 workers cannot do what 10 did before, but they do cost 10x more and will develop political weight and power.

So you see, we often talk past each other. You decry the current problems and emphasize them. I do not disagree about the problems. But you propose government as a solution. I wish it COULD be a solution, but it is already overextended. Putting a greater burden on it will not make it better. Rather, we need to trim back, create more autonomy and tolerate more differences in outcomes.

Posted by: C&J at April 26, 2012 6:25 PM
Comment #342831

I am constantly amazed hearing politicians say that they have cut government to the bone. We witness more government spending scandals all the time. When government knows it has a blank check for spending they will do what comes natural…spend.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 26, 2012 8:10 PM
Comment #342832

Royal Flush, it is called “Base Line Budgeting”, the process by which cuts cannot be made to any government program because there is an automatic increase in the budget every year. If republicans try to make cuts, the liberal left is there to say “It’s not Fair” or “Unjust”; when in reality there is no cut.

Now this is a real ignorant statement by guess who??? That’s right, you got it….Stephen Daugherty says there is less corruption the bigger a government gets.

Ever heard the saying, “follow the money” or “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutly”.

GSA had unrestricted access to taxpayer’s money. They were supposed to be in charge of protecting the tax payer dollars; but what did they do, they became corrupt.

The EPA was designed to protect the environment…they became larger and larger, and what did they do? Why they said we will crucify a few energy companies and the rest will fear our power.

SD, you are full of it; you write paragraph after paragraph of statements showing how ignorant you really are. I don’t know about C&J; but I would imagine there is a lot of laughter in their house after reading some of your comments. They are too curtious to tell you, but I see a lot of frustration in C&J’s comments, at your’s and other liberals lack of ability to comprehend.

By the way SD, are you ready to give us a bill or law in which democrats have not cried “unjust” or “It’s not Fair”?

Posted by: Frank at April 26, 2012 8:37 PM
Comment #342835

15 year low of Americans who trust the Federal Government; Pew Survey shows 33% trust the Feds. In 2002, under President Bush it was 64% who trusted the Feds.

“There’s the expected partisan gap: A majority of Democrats, 51 percent, view the Obama-led government favorably, compared with 27 percent of independents and 20 percent of Republicans. During the Bush presidency, a majority of Republicans viewed the federal government favorably, while support for it faded among Democrats”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75666.html#ixzz1tCJp1oyk

So 51% of people like Stephen Daugherty still defend the Democratic government, but on 27% of independents and 20% of Republicans trust them.

Add this to the earlier links and Obama continues to be in trouble.

I might add one more thought; it seems almost every day another bomb drops for Obama (GSA, SS, and now EPA). I love it, “The chickens are coming home to roost”.

Posted by: Billinflorida at April 26, 2012 9:00 PM
Comment #342836

billinflorida,
Not only is Obama not in trouble, he’ll win in a landslide. This is one of the easier elections to predict. Why? It’s a simple matter of demographics.

Among women, Obama leads by anywhere between 13 - 19 percent, depending on the poll. Let’s use the least favorable number in this and other demographics. In this case, we’re looking at a 13% lead among 51% of the population.

Among latinos/hispanics, polls show an Obama lead of 80 to 86%. Latinos constitute between 10 to 16 percent of the population, depending upon how you define the group. Let’s use 10%, with 80% of those supporting Obama.

Among Black, Obama leads by a huge margin. Let’s call it 96% among that 12% of the population.

Gays constitute another solid block for Obama, but make up only 3 - 4 percent of the population.

Add it up. Remember to exclude overlapping groups.

You see the problem for the GOP? Based on these demographics, which account for about 63 or 64% of the population, Obama leads by roughly 16%; in other words, 58% to 42%. And again, these estimates are conservative, assuming the most favorable standings for Romney. Now, that means Romney has to win the remaining demographic- mostly white males- by an overwhelming margin. That 37% of the population will have to go for Romney something like 70 - 30; a virtual impossibility.

You can hope against hope that someone will care about scandals at the GSA, or SS, or whatever, but the simple math makes Romney’s position extremely difficult, to say the least. Worse, all those primaries alienate the groups previously mentioned so thoroughly, it will be extraordinarily difficult to erode those big margins. It took a lot of alientating rhetoric to put off women, blacks, hispanics, and gays. Talk about chickens coming home to roost…

Posted by: phx8 at April 26, 2012 10:14 PM
Comment #342897

phx8

Whether your analysis is right or wrong and no matter who is voting for whom, I think it is sad when people think of themselves and can be identified as members of an interest group rather than as Americans.

We had a civil rights movement and hundreds of years of American history as an attempt to break out of the medieval identity by groups, but we have reassembled it with renewed vigor into a system that the architects of segregation and apartheid would understand very well.

I don’t think you are wrong in your group identification, but it is extremely sad that we can predict lifestyle, voting behavior or so much else by things like skin color, gender or sexual preference. I guess we will never reach that land of sweet contentment where we really do judge people by the content of their characters.

Posted by: C&J at April 27, 2012 6:43 AM
Comment #342898

C&J-
The trouble is, folks like you have become blind to the corrupting power of money and profit in the private system. You’re so used to blaming government for what’s wrong with the country that you fail to see that while government funding can be a tempting target for some, so can the money of the average person, or the average investor, or anybody else with cash in their pocket.

And if you think there’s no indication regulation was insufficient in the last crisis, you weren’t paying attention. People were shorting their own client’s investments, on investments they were selling them. Folks were being given mortgages without sufficient oversight concerning their ability to pay, or sufficient protection for them against those who would exploit their ignorance of finance. Big firms were using derivatives to hedge against the consequences of what would be intuitively bad business behavior, with the consequences that such behavior continued longer than it would, and was possible in the first place.

My feeling is that your side continues to rationalize this because they fear, perhaps rightly, that acknowledging the problem would mean acknowledging how it discredits the regulatory attitude of the conservative movement.

Of course, what it discredits is the extreme version that the current movement’s fallen into. You read what I wrote, right? There’s no objection to streamlining government, making it more economical. There is an objection to going beyond that to a zealous degree. The right wing doesn’t need to give up on all its ideas, it needs to recalibrate how it expresses and manifests them according to the results coming in from the real world.

As for this apartheid claim of yours? I wouldn’t make it anywhere near a person who actually experienced that regime. There’s a difference between people making distinctions between their beliefs and others’, and their being selectively disadvantaged by the law of the land.

Frank-
You know, you should quite while you’re ahead. Government size is not necessarily relevant to its level of corruption. Few would deny endemic corruption in the days of the gilded age, but hey, government was smaller then, right? The days that many conservatives idealize as the good days, government-wise, during Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge’s administrations, are seen as remarkably corrupt, but government was small then, too.

That’s not to say corruption didn’t tag along in times when government regulated more, with less business-friendly approachs. Democrats lost Congress for a reason. However, the smaller government Republicans immediatedly ushered in a period of giving the big special interests whatever they wanted, even set up a revolving door for lobbyists so their old friends could come back and give them money for their campaigns after they were done being Congresscritters.

Corruption is not a function of government size.

billinflorida-
How much of that drop in the faith we have in government is thanks to a combination of the incompetence and corruption of the Bush Administration, and the constant flow of paranoia-feeding propaganda from the right about government these days? Hell, that’s all Republicans market their party on, these days.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 27, 2012 7:42 AM
Comment #342899

Stephen

“but I want a political solution to these problems”

That’s kind of the main problem my friend. Government solutions are not needed or wanted for every problem, but you guys keep pushing them onto us to ‘solve’ every problem.
“Your people” have decided that only you know what is best for everybody else and that is not how this country was designed to run.

The backlash you are condemning is not because people don’t want what’s best for the country, it’s because we know your solutions are not what is best for the country. Whether it’s money, freedoms or whatever, we are tired of giving them up in order to live how “your people” think we should live.

Posted by: kctim at April 27, 2012 10:01 AM
Comment #342918

C&J,
I don’t think many people are one-issue voters. I doubt people cast their votes by first considering their demographic. However, there are are cases where a person cannot help but notice they belong to a demographic that is going to be adversely affected by one party or another. It won’t affect every voter in that group, but it will affect some, enough to show up as a measureable statistical difference. For example, women as a group voted more for Obama than McCain in 2008. If a one-issue concern dominated the debate for women, such as the abortion debate, that would still break for Obama; the latest poll show 56 -42 percent pro-choice v pro-life. But throw in the War on Women, meaning a sustained legislative assault against the demographic, and the percentages grow even larger. It’s an unavoidable consequence. Romney and the GOP’s only hope is to ignore women’s health issues and wish them away. Unfortunatley, that ‘sustained legislative assault’ just keeps going at the state level, and keeps the War on Women in the spotlight. The GOP made that choice. They brought about those various pieces of legislation, including the Blunt amendment on the national level. Now, they have to live with it.

Posted by: phx8 at April 27, 2012 11:36 AM
Comment #342920

Phx8 first said to me:

“billinflorida,
Not only is Obama not in trouble, he’ll win in a landslide. This is one of the easier elections to predict. Why? It’s a simple matter of demographics.”

Then you said to C&J:

“C&J,
I don’t think many people are one-issue voters. I doubt people cast their votes by first considering their demographic. However, there are are cases where a person cannot help but notice they belong to a demographic that is going to be adversely affected by one party or another.”

So which is it phx8?

C&J said:

“phx8
Whether your analysis is right or wrong and no matter who is voting for whom, I think it is sad when people think of themselves and can be identified as members of an interest group rather than as Americans.”

This is the reason the left promotes class envy and division; in order for them to win elections it is necessary to divide people into classes.

“billinflorida-
How much of that drop in the faith we have in government is thanks to a combination of the incompetence and corruption of the Bush Administration, and the constant flow of paranoia-feeding propaganda from the right about government these days? Hell, that’s all Republicans market their party on, these days.”
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 27, 2012 7:42 AM

Stephen, do you know how silly you sound; now you are blaming the drop in government support on Bush (again) who hasn’t been in office in 3+ years. The current percentages show a very accurate picture of who has no confidence in the Obama government. So, the comments by the attack dog Biden are not paranoia-feeding??? Get real Stephen.

Breaking News: the Obama administration has just dropped their attempts to make it illegal for parents to let their children work on the family farm. I wonder why they changed their mind. Could it possibly be backlash from the American people?

Frank brings out some good points that seem to be shuffled under the table by the left. This latest pull back from the government intruding into the personal lives of the American people is a great example. It seems that every day another scandal breaks out in the Obama administration. The reason for this is Obama’s choice of appointees; if you appoint corrupt Chicago type crooks, then it’s not surprising they will be corrupt.

Posted by: Billinflorida at April 27, 2012 12:03 PM
Comment #342921

Stepehen

Government and the private sector do not have a clear boundary. This money flows back and forth. As a matter of fact, money and power are to a large extent fungible. You find that rich guys have influence in government and successful politicians always get rich. Think of the Clintons. I am not saying they did anything illegal or immoral, but they did get rich based on their political careers.

I am not blind to the influence of money. I just see it influences even farther.

Re regulation - there was indeed no shortage of regulation. It did not work. There is a distinction. Very often smart operators like regulation. It gives them places to hide.

I understand that often if you want something to work, it works better when it is simpler and more elegant. This often means smaller.

Corruption is not always a function of government size, but it is a function of government complexity. All the most corrupt societies in the world are not-free market friendly and non of the free-market friendly countries are high on the corruption lists. Compare the index of economic freedom to transparency lists and you see this correlation very clearly.

Re my apartheid remark, I HAVE made it near people who have experienced this and explained it. I am not saying that it is the same system, but it is the same separatist urge and is a moral hazard.

Posted by: C&J at April 27, 2012 12:11 PM
Comment #342924


When it comes to corruption, there is no competition between Democratic and Republican Administrations. The Republican administrations win hands down.

Harding and his Ohio boys worked hard to gain their reputation as the most corrupt administration. Their rank has been challenged by both the Nixon and Reagan administrations.

In the Reagan Administration, 32 officials were convicted of various crimes. Bush I, pardoned at least 5 of those convicted, and Bush II actually brought at least two of those convicted, into his administration.

The Democrat administrations are not competitive with Republican administrations when it comes to corruption.

I am sure there are corrupt or corruptible people in the Obama Administration, as well as some incompetent people as well, but it would be very surprising and a historical anomaly if Obama’s Chicago people are more corrupt or incompetent that Bush’s Texans.

Dividing the populace is a mainstay of both political parties on behalf of the power brokers and their status quo. Divisiveness is the mainstay of the political pundit and Rush Limbaugh is at the top of that group.

Only a Republican could believe that the Ryan budget is not a class warfare document.

Which is more objectionable to the Catholic Bishops? The fact that Catholic institutions will have to include contraceptives in their health care plans or the Ryan budget? That is two divisive issues in which most conservatives are on one side of one issue and the other side of the other issue. Republicans promote the contraceptive issue and Democrats promote the Ryan budget issue.

Those who are capable of believing that liberals are all about dividing the people while conservatives are all about uniting the people are morons.

I believe the word used to describe a lack of division is utopia.

Posted by: jlw at April 27, 2012 2:07 PM
Comment #342925

jlw, the left has no right to even talk about a budget. If you are so concerned about the budget, why don’t you message Reid and ask him why the Senate hasn’t voted on one in 1090 days? Concerning the Ryan Budget; it wasn’t even allowed to come up for debate. Re/Obama’s budget: voted down twice by Democrats. A red herring, a polical football, and a reason for continued race baiting.

Posted by: Billinflorida at April 27, 2012 2:32 PM
Comment #342926

I’m not sure why a discussion of demographics and its impact on the 2012 presidential race would be considered divisive or a matter of class warfare. If I simply said ‘Obama will win in a landslide,’ that would not be convincing or informative. If I break the problem down into its constituent parts, and analyze implications, that does not promote anything; that simply identifies the pieces that add up to a whole, namely, an Obama landslide. Failing to understand this breakdown leaves a person unable to understand what is happening today with the Obama & Romney campaigns.

Failing to understand makes the constant mention of Rubio from FL as a VP candidate incomprehensible; after all, Rubio is an inexperienced Senator who most closely resembles Gov Perry from Texas- great resume, but weak intellect. However, understanding the absolute necessity for Romney to increase his percentages among the latino demographic suddenly makes Rubio look like a strong choice.

Romney might be able to make inroads with latinos if he can just get the GOP to back off its rabid attitudes towards immigration, language, and culture. He has to try, because it sure won’t happen with the black or homosexual communities. It won’t happen with women either, because the War on Women features attacks on women’t health care issues, and that is something women will remember right into November. It’s too personal for them to ignore. Whether big oil receives subsidies or student loans have a three or six percent interest rate is kind of abstract. It’s not going to drive votes. But birth control? You betcha. Throw in a sustained legislative attack on the state level, the infamous photograph from the Issa hearing where five religious old men debated providing birth control as a question of their religious freedom, Rush Limbaugh (the leading voice of conservatism) conducting a vile three day assault against a young woman and calling her a “slut” over the question of birth control, and finally, the Blunt amendment at the national level, and, well, that one’s baked into the cake.

Posted by: phx8 at April 27, 2012 3:15 PM
Comment #342927

phx8, you are the one who said Obama would win, based on demographics, “it’s simply a matter of demographics”; then you say it’s not a matter of demographics, ” I doubt people cast their votes by first considering their demographic”. You don’t make the original claim that different demograhics are the result of issues; you just claim they are the resul of who they are, e.i. gays voe for Dems, blacks vote for Dems, women vote for Dems, and so on. These claims you make are based on class warfare, which is un-American to say the least.

I love all the prospects of the democrats winning in 2012 as a result of demographics; but perhaps you could explain what happened in 2010?

Posted by: Billinflorida at April 27, 2012 3:34 PM
Comment #342928

phx8,
An inexperienced Senator??? You couldn’t have described Obama more aptly if you tried. Only Rubio would be a candidate for VP not POTUS. YOu were more than willing to elect a Rubio on your side to run the whole show and now you castigate Rubio as inexperienced even for a backseat.

Intellectual dishonesty at its finest. As is the notion that Rubio, who speaks eloquently without a teleprompter is somehow the weilder of a weak intellect, while Obama (who speaks an almost perpetually scripted and prompted dialogue and turns into an utter bumbling jackass when the prompter fails) is a great thinker. ROFL.

We are all screwed, as this demonstrates. That bill was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and is PROOF that the establishment left and the establishment right are just wings of the same corrupt and rotten bird.

The two aisles are supposed to disagree, then at least you know that someone is standing up for what you hope represent your ideals. One thing is for sure, when things go smoothly the American people are getting screwed.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at April 27, 2012 3:52 PM
Comment #342929

Yukon Jake, truer words were neve spoken.

There is something we have learned from the left over the years: the left always talks about the thing they fear most.

Why is Obama campaigning (on the taxpayer dollar) at universities (trying to instill fear of losing student loans), because he is losing the students and young people.

Why is the Obama administration saying Republicans have declared a war on women; because they are losing the women vote.

Rush Limbaugh had some great words today:

“So we have an opportunity to dispel a myth. And that is that criticizing Democrats sends independents running right back to Obama. Folks, there is no reason for people — this is not a standard, normal, run-of-the-mill, every-four-years presidential election. We are losing this country. People are losing their freedom, and they know it. They are losing their opportunity for economic advancement, and they know it. They see the debt piling up, they know what the tax rates for themselves and their kids and their grandkids are gonna be, and they don’t like it. This is not an average, run-of-the-mill, every-four-years presidential race. We’re losing the country, and people know this, and they don’t want to lose the country.

The days where independents would get mad at Republicans for being critical of Obama and run to the Democrats, there’s no reason to run to Obama. The only people Obama’s gonna have are the people he’s already bought and the people he’s gonna be able to buy between now and the election. But there’s nobody that’s gonna run to Barack Obama who’s not already there because of policy, because of track record, because of competence, because they want more of it. Not one single person wants any more of this. Not one.”

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/04/26/romney_could_win_in_a_landslide

This is true…

Posted by: Billinflorida at April 27, 2012 4:33 PM
Comment #342930

Our elections are funny like that.

The left runs on what they will give you and the right runs on what they won’t take from you.

Posted by: kctim at April 27, 2012 5:20 PM
Comment #342931

Yukon Jack,
Rubio? He is inexperienced. He will be 41 years old in May, and his experience on the national stage consists of less than two years in the Senate. That’s it. He’s been a figure in state politics for FL for a while, so that’s good, but politics at the state level is NOT the same as politics at the national level. Obama created, organized and ran a national campaign that defeated a very formidable opponent, Hillary Clinton. Rubio has done no such thing. Give Rubio some time, and perhaps he will develop into a formidable candidate and an appropriate choice for VP. Now is not the time.

By the way, did you see what happened to Rubio when his teleprompter failed the other day? Just wondering.

The behind-the-scenes talk about Rubio is that he is not that bright, that he’s another Perry. I’m not invested in that point of view. If Rubio turns out to be smarter and more articulate than Gov Perry, I’m fine with that. Maybe we’ll find out.

billinflorida,
Obama is in fact afraid of losing the youth vote. He motivated people in 2008 with talk of change, and Obama failed to deliver as much as young people would have liked to see. Obama needs those young people to turn out on election day. We’ll see. For the most part, the Obama administration has been a clean-up operation of the mess left behind by Bush. Both sides like to frame the 2012 election in cataclysmic terms, but the fact is, the Senate will keep government deadlocked for quite some time, and Wall Street and big corporations will continue to own the legislature lock, stock, and barrel, thanks in part to Citizens United and the conservatives on the Supreme Court.

I’m pretty surprised you would follow a sentence about how Obama is losing the woman vote with a reference to Limbaugh. Limbaugh’s listening audience mostly consists of old conservative white men, and he has played a prominent role in turning women away from the GOP, especially women under the age of 50. But if you want to cite a guy who said the following about a young woman who testified about birth control, go right ahead:

“What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex.”

“If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I’ll tell you what it is: We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

You might want to consider a different source when it comes to the War on Women. Just sayin.

Posted by: phx8 at April 27, 2012 5:25 PM
Comment #342932

phx8, I see you conveniently forgot to answer the question:

“I love all the prospects of the democrats winning in 2012 as a result of demographics; but perhaps you could explain what happened in 2010?”

So you don’t like the question and move on to something else; you’re beginning to sound like SD.

You talk about cleaning up the mess Bush left behind; but it appears Obama’s mess is getting bigger and bigger every day. I guess it will be left to Romney to clean that up.

Re/ Rush Limbaugh; I am not concerned about Rush and the left’s made up war with women. But what I am concerned about is Rush’s analysis of Obama’s re-election chances. Again, I see you don’t want to deal with the substance and would rather just personally attack Rush. It’s a shame you guys on the left have no depth of critical analysis.

Is your attack on the SCOTUS done as a prelude to decisions coming out in June? Don’t blame the SCOTUS for the inability of Obama’s lawyers to defend the WH. Surprising, since Obama is a Constitutional expert; you would think he could pick a competent lawyer to defend his case. So I guess the latest talking point will be a rogue SCOTUS.

By the way; you liberals love to defend your messiah Obama and since he won’t run on his record; perhaps you could list his achievements over the past 3 1/2 years?

Posted by: Billinflorida at April 27, 2012 7:06 PM
Comment #342935

billinflorida,
What happened in 2010? That was a midterm election, not a presidential election. It is common for the party in power to lose seats. The Democrats were particularly vulnerable because of shock over the poor state of the economy. The Tea Party, if you will recall, ran on the idea of jobs, jobs, jobs. Interestingly, the Democrats who lost their seats in 2010 were disproportionately Blue Dog Democrats. The Senate remained in Democratic hands.

I wasn’t aware Rush Limbaugh was saying anything of substance. I thought it was a lot of generalities without any factual content. Please explain the substance. ‘Loss of freedom’? What does that mean? The only examples of a loss of freedom that I can think of during Obama’s administration were initiated under Bush, and conservatives seemed fine with it back then. ‘Lose the country’? To what? What does that mean?

I’m not concerned about the June decision by the SCOTUS re Obamacare. I’ve been vehemently opposed to Citizens United from the time it was handed down, along with other legislation that hands our democracy over to corporations and plutocrats.

Obama’s achievements?

Osama bin Laden is dead, along with most of Al Qaida.
Khadaffi is gone and Libya has the opportunity to be free.
Egypt too.
Tunisia too.
The end of the War in Iraq.
GM is alive.
Chrysler is alive.
Consistent growth of GDP and non-farm payroll numbers.
Two excellent additions to the Supreme Court.
Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Health Care reform.
Investments in green energy.
Low interest rates.
Fifth strongest stock market of any president in their first three years! Wow! Talk about business friendly!!!

Truly, a very good record. Just the facts, there, just the facts.

That is a short list of the immediately obvious achievements. His biggest achievement will be one that can never be quantified: saving the economy from another Great Depression. It’s hard to overstate just how bad the economic implosion of 2007 - 2009 really was.

Posted by: phx8 at April 27, 2012 8:19 PM
Comment #342939

kctim-
I’m interested in specific problems, not every problem you could think of. You only conclude differently about my beliefs because you are constantly told this about Democrats. Ask the average Democrat what they think should be done, and you’ll get rather specific problems they want addressed. You’ll get plans.

A lot of this just seems to be your venting at us for not believing things your way.

As for knowing what’s best for the country… Why don’t we start with the more manageable problem of what policy actually works, because while everybody has an opinion about what policies could or should work, we can look at the actual outcomes to see what solutions actually worked.

As for what you’re giving up? Let me pose a question to you: are you actually giving up near what you used to, and when you were giving up that much, were you as anxious about it as you are now?

I ask because it seems to me, if my memory serves me well, that Republicans and conservatives were nowhere near as fearful and partisan in the days when Liberalism still held strong in many quarters as they are now, when they’ve had my entire lifetime to change things more to their liking. If anything, the more they’ve changed things, the less satisfied, the less safe they feel.

What do you think has changed on the right, that a government that is far more to their taste nowadays, which often defers to conservative ideas, including the ones they’re now branding as socialism, no longer allows them that feeling of satisfaction or victory?

My theory is, the Conservative movement has made an industry out of anxiety and insecurity. Fear drives the policy and politics, and as the leadership finds its hold on its members growing looser, they’re turning up the temperature on that panic and disquiet.

Those who rely on fear, though, burn out, sooner or later. It’s synaptic destiny, what happens to air traffic controllers and others in high stress positions. The GOP’s on the path to burn out, and the full on insanity of the Tea Party and the concerted effort to sabotage Obama’s rise to power are symptoms of that burning out. They’ve had to up the ante on fear and hatred of liberals and their policies in order to get past this mental, even physical exhaustion.

There are plenty of ways to be conservative, but not all guarantee those at the top a consistent hold on their constituents. Unfortunately, many of those constituents have been funneled into a situation where they have been convinced there is only one real way to be a true conservative.

billinflorida-
It shouldn’t sound silly, not with polling data still consistently showing that people blame the economic crisis more on Bush than Obama. Were you right, the blame would quickly shift in Obama’s direction.

Another case in point, people remembered Hoover and the Republicans long after the fact, when it came to their policies and the Great Depression. Folks don’t have to forget, if the catastrophe is big enough.

As for paranoia, Your people keep on trying to privatize Social Security and Medicare. Paranoia would be accusing you of this despite a lack of passed legislation, as Republican fear us on taking away their guns. It’s not accusing Republicans of basically doing exactly what they are doing. When you’re union busting in Wisconsin and a dozen other places, is it paranoia to suggest you have it out for unions? When you repeatedly pass tax cuts for the rich and for big companies, while tossing people off of social services, shredding the safety net, and undermine public education to pay for it?

It’s not paranoia to say that you’re against different people’s interests, and for others, when there’s evidence to support this, especially bills that do pretty much exactly what we’re complaining about.

As for your statement about appointments, the funny thing is, many of his appointments aren’t getting through, and the ones that are, we have to wrangle through Republicans, and considerably more conservative members of our caucus. So your imaginary chicago Obama mafia theory doesn’t hold up.

As for Demographics? Look if you convince enough people that you’re not interested in looking out for their interests, exactly how are you expecting them to be enthused to support your Republicans. The saving grace for us, when it comes to your approach to politics, is that you seem unconcerned with the fact that every group you alienate becomes a potential part of a coalition that will vote lopsidedly against you. There’s a price to pay for relying too much on dividing and debasing people

Rush Limbaugh, by the way, should be the last person you listen to on gender politics. He has done so much to set the Republicans back on gender politics, its not funny. In his ignorance of women health issues, he’s inadvertantly called an entire generations worth of women whores and sluts, and the rest of the Conservatives, as they have been used to doing, have either brazenly defended the foolish man, or have danced awkwardly around denouncing the words, afraid to offend him and lose his fans.

If Romney wins, it won’t be by a landslide. He’s the first candidate to fail to get over sixty percent after he’s become the presumptive nominee in quite a long time, and these recent primaries have been the first time he got above fifty percent. How do you think that builds to a landslide victory?

Obama’s problems with maintaining support don’t compare to Romney’s in gathering support. Obama can stick to the center without alienating his base. Romney has to bounce between the right and the center, with his appeals to one side risking his appeal to the other side. If he was so great, why didn’t have things locked up months ago?

Rush is just pushing whatever propaganda he needs to push so that Obama doesn’t get re-elected. His hypocrisy or reckless disregard for consistency tells us just how much he actually cares about politics as anything but entertainment.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 27, 2012 10:54 PM
Comment #342989

After I , no…

While I was relentlessly scrubing my scroll wheel on my mouse to get thru the diatribe, I finally came to this conclusion.

Whew! Thank you all!

Now! Can we get down to business?

The Kind of Encouragement I Fear.

Just think about that title, Stephen Daugherty!

If you’re afraid, then I’m afraid!

Stephen Daugherty, it’s obvious your philosophy is on the ropes in this thread. I’m looking forward to the second round.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 28, 2012 2:55 AM
Comment #342990

By the way, Stephen Daugherty, et al,

Thank you for cleaning up the spam.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 28, 2012 2:59 AM
Comment #342992
Rush is just pushing whatever propaganda he needs to push so that Obama doesn’t get re-elected. His hypocrisy or reckless disregard for consistency tells us just how much he actually cares about politics as anything but entertainment.
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 27, 2012 10:54 PM

Are we the pot calling the kettle black again, Stephen Daugherty?

I have more credibility in my posts with half as many words, Stephen Daugherty!

Your anger doesn’t measure up to my content.

Content=satisfaction in this case, Stephen Daugherty. Figure that one out!

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 28, 2012 4:05 AM
Comment #343000

I think that we can all agree on one thing -

None of us should ever buy Coach handbags or made-in-China replica watches. I only wish there was a way to get back at those spammers. Unfortunately, even if you write back to complain, they feel it is victory because you notice their nefarious add.

Posted by: C&J at April 28, 2012 6:29 AM
Comment #343008

“Osama bin Laden is dead, along with most of Al Qaida.
Khadaffi is gone and Libya has the opportunity to be free.
Egypt too.
Tunisia too.
The end of the War in Iraq.
GM is alive.
Chrysler is alive.
Consistent growth of GDP and non-farm payroll numbers.
Two excellent additions to the Supreme Court.
Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Health Care reform.
Investments in green energy.
Low interest rates.
Fifth strongest stock market of any president in their first three years! Wow! Talk about business friendly!!!

Bin Ladin was killed by Navy Seals. Obama opposed it but was overuled.
Libya, Egypt, Tunisia free? Explain
Consistent growth? What?
Health Care Reform? Power Grab 101 and corruption.
Auto industry given over to labor?

What accomplishments are worth while? And he is showing his inexperience which vis-vis Rubio? How do ya figure?

You just have to get in the weeds to say anyting good about this president.

Maranatha

Posted by: tom humes at April 28, 2012 10:05 AM
Comment #343009

“Osama bin Laden is dead, along with most of Al Qaida.
Khadaffi is gone and Libya has the opportunity to be free.
Egypt too.
Tunisia too.
The end of the War in Iraq.
GM is alive.
Chrysler is alive.
Consistent growth of GDP and non-farm payroll numbers.
Two excellent additions to the Supreme Court.
Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Health Care reform.
Investments in green energy.
Low interest rates.
Fifth strongest stock market of any president in their first three years! Wow! Talk about business friendly!!!

Bin Ladin was killed by Navy Seals. Obama opposed it but was overuled.
Libya, Egypt, Tunisia free? Explain
Consistent growth? What?
Health Care Reform? Power Grab 101 and corruption.
Auto industry given over to labor?

What accomplishments are worth while? And he is showing his inexperience which vis-vis Rubio? How do ya figure?

You just have to get in the weeds to say anyting good about this president.

Maranatha

Posted by: tom humes at April 28, 2012 10:07 AM
Comment #343015

tom,

“Bin Ladin was killed by Navy Seals. Obama opposed it but was overuled.”

Really?

Then who gave the “go” order, some rogue general?

Your comment just doesn’t make any sense.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at April 28, 2012 11:12 AM
Comment #343020

Rocky, According to floyd reports Obama was indesisive about killing OBL but finally made the decision 16 hours prior to the raid.

Posted by: KAP at April 28, 2012 2:08 PM
Comment #343023
If Rubio turns out to be smarter and more articulate than Gov Perry, I’m fine with that. Maybe we’ll find out.

A major liability if they choose Rubio is the fact that he intentionally lied about his life story and has during his entire political career. Why would anyone trust a man who was blatatly lying about his life and the immigration circumstances of his family, simply because it made a good political narrative?

Marco Rubio’s compelling family story embellishes facts, documents show

Posted by: Adrienne at April 28, 2012 3:41 PM
Comment #343024

Adrienne

We have to stop this kind of thing. My conservative friends have found all this things in Obama’s bio that are “truth challenged”. Biden’s embellishments are comical. Evnen my favorite big Democrat, Bill Clinton, talked about lots of things in his life that could not have been true. Unfortunately, when talking about such things we tend to embellish. I would not want to closely check my memory of my life with a real hard-nosed historian.

When speaking about evil dictators like Castro, there is a special revulsion among expats that people like us cannot understand. It certainly would have been a big part of a young Rubio’s life and would have made an impression.

If Rubio is indeed nominated, I expect that the Democrat equivalent of “birthers” will be hard at discrediting him and they will get about as much traction with reasonable people.

Posted by: C&J at April 28, 2012 4:05 PM
Comment #343025

Adrienne, you spend your whole life trying to smear conservatives; perhaps you should have read your own link. Please tell us what part of Rubio’s comments are lies? Since he was born in 1972; 16 years after his parents originally left Cuba, I can fully understand that he was telling an oral history, as told to him. Never-the-less, he said his parents had traveled back several times, even after Castro took power.

“Rubio’s office confirmed Thursday that his parents arrived in the United States in 1956 but noted that “while they were prepared to live here permanently, they always held out the hope and the option of returning to Cuba if things improved.” They returned to Cuba several times after Castro came to power to “assess the situation with the hope of eventually moving back,” the office said in a statement.”

“I’m going off the oral history of my family,” he said. “All of these documents and passports are not things that I carried around with me.”

In 2006, on the eve of his rise to speaker of the Florida House, Rubio told an audience that “in January of 1959, a thug named Fidel Castro took power in Cuba and countless Cubans were forced to flee and come here, many — most — here to America. When they arrived, they were welcomed by the most compassionate people on all the Earth.”

Posted by: Frank at April 28, 2012 4:12 PM
Comment #343026

Sorry righties, I know it’s painful, but it’s really clear that Rubio lied.
Immigrant families don’t “forget” their family histories (I know this, being a first generation American myself, and knowing many other people who are too). The fact is, if a person does forget the details, their family will be sure to correct them so they’re not caught out looking like a total idiot or a liar. That’s why we all know that Rubio DID know the facts (and his family knew the facts too, since he told that tale so many times in speeches that they would have had to have seen him lying about this at least several times through the years)— the man just chose not to stick with the facts because the lie was a far more compelling narrative.

GOP politicians engage in this kind of thing a lot. It goes right along with how they like controlling perceptions more than they like actually dealing with reality.

Remember when McCain lied and told that “Cross in the Dirt” tale on the campaign trail, and turned out to be lifted from Solzhenitsyn?!

Lying instead of telling the truth always makes people look like such total fools.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 28, 2012 5:32 PM
Comment #343027

Frank,

“Adrienne, you spend your whole life trying to smear conservatives…”

And you Frank, have spent your whole time here belittling anyone who disagrees with you.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at April 28, 2012 5:51 PM
Comment #343028

Adrienne


He didn’t forget. His family is a Castro era reguee. They could not go back to their home because it was taken over by an evil system. Simple.

Other make “mistakes” for example, Obama’s mother had complete insurance coverage, yet Obama recalled “”I remember in the last month of her life, she wasn’t thinking about how to get well, she wasn’t thinking about coming to terms with her own mortality, she was thinking about whether or not insurance was going to cover the medical bills and whether our family would be bankrupt as a consequence.”

In fact records show the hospital billed her insurance company directly.

About his father, Obama said ““[M]y grandfather began to imagine something different…His son, who grew up herding goats…So the Kennedy’s decided we’re going to do an air lift..This young man Barack Obama got one of those tickets…”

This would be very interesting, since Obama was born in August 1961. If you count backwards, you find that is less than eight months after Kennedy took office. So the old man must have gone from herding goats, to meeting an American girl and getting her pregnant in negative time.

Or recall Biden’s talk of his coal mining grandpa, who turns out was an oil company executive.

Obama continues along that line, BTW, half truth, innuendo
http://factcheck.org/2012/04/obama-misquotes-gop-congresswoman

I guess lying instead of telling the truth makes people look like fools.

Politicians’ memories are often a little imprecise.

But you can be with those birthers if you like. Have fun. Each side needs its fringe.

Posted by: C&J at April 28, 2012 7:08 PM
Comment #343029

My favorite Biden line is not really a lie, just really funny

“When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.” –Joe Biden.

If you don’t identify the two things funny about this you didn’t pass HS history.

Posted by: C&J at April 28, 2012 7:19 PM
Comment #343030

BTW - while we are on funny things from the past, we know that Obama ate dogs when he was a kid. It gives a new meaning to that 19th century phrase, “skins the living dog”. I wonder if they taste like chicken.

But Romney actually saved a dog from drowning, along with some humans. http://www.dailynewstranscript.com/news/x1128483358?zc_p=0#axzz1l9jpsMrS. Actually, it was Romney’s son who pulled the dog out of the lake.

I guess it is a dog eat dog world.

Posted by: C&J at April 28, 2012 7:35 PM
Comment #343031

“I was particularly excited to meet David Koch earlier tonight because I have a Super PAC, Colbert Super PAC, and I am — thank you, thank you — and I am happy to announce Mr. Koch has pledged $5 million to my Super PAC. And the great thing is, thanks to federal election law, there’s no way for you to ever know whether that’s a joke.”

Stephen Colbert, at Time’s 100 Most Influential Dinner speech.

What really makes the 2012 election so extraordinary is the repercussions of Citizens United.

On a completely unrelated note, the GOP candidate belongs to the 1% of the 1%, and won the nomination by saturation bombing the political air waves with negative advetising, outspending opponents by 4 - 1, 5 -1, 10 - 1, even 12 -1. Of course, that’s just a wild coincidence.

Posted by: phx8 at April 28, 2012 10:35 PM
Comment #343034

phx8, that’s why we love and support him.

Posted by: Frank at April 28, 2012 10:43 PM
Comment #343077

Phx8

Obama’s income puts him in the 1%. So is Biden. In fact, virtually every successful politician in in the 1%.

The interesting difference is that Romney was in the 1% and later entered politics. Obama was not in the 1% UNTIL he entered politics. So politics was the road to wealth and power for Obama.

If we want to make wealth a bar to political office, we will not be able to elect anybody or at least they will be on the proscribed list after they serve.

Let me make a little chart - I am working from memory so please don’t think I am trying to lie if I make a mistake. Let’s think of presidents and wealth.

Roosevelt - born really rich. Rich when he left office.
Truman - born middle class. Poor when he took first office. Reasonable wealthy when he left.
Eisenhower - born middle class. Rich when he took office (presidency was his first). Rich when he left.
Kennedy - born really rich. Rich when took office and when left.
Nixon - born fairly poor. Middle class when he took office. Rich when he left.
Carter - born fairly poor. Middle class when he took office. Rich when he left.
Reagan - born very poor. Rich when he took office. Rich when he left.
Bush I - born rich. stayed rich.
Clinton - born very poor. Relatively poor when took office. Rich now.
Bush II - born rich. Stayed rich.
Obama - born poor. Poor when entered office. Rich now.

You see the pattern. No matter where they start, they are ALL rich (i.e top 1%) after they are done with politics. The only possible exception I can think of is Truman.

So if you dislike the rich, what do you plan to do about Bush, Clinton and Obama?

Posted by: C&J at April 29, 2012 8:00 AM
Comment #343078

BTW - In my chart I am thinking of when they took their FIRST office. Truman was rich (by the standards of the time) when he became president, but was poor when he started his career with the Pendergast machine. Truman was evidently personally very honest, but he worked with Pendergast, who ran the Democratic machine in Missouri and was anything but.

Truman actually was a professional politician in that he entered politics as a way to earn a living. IMO, the same is true of Nixon, Clinton and Obama. I am not saying that remained their primary motivation, but there is an ideological argument re whether it should be possible in a democracy to be a professional politician.

Eisenhower made big money in the years just before he became president with his books and speaking tours. He made his living most of his life as a government employee (i.e. Army officer) but I don’t think this is the same as a professional politician. Our country certainly needs people like him.

Posted by: C&J at April 29, 2012 8:10 AM
Comment #343079

C&J,
I do not dislike the rich. I do dislike the rich who buy their way into office in order to further enrich themselves and other rich people at the direct expense of everyone else, or simply buy subordinates to represent their interest, or simply bribe, to once again enrich themselves at the direct expense of everyone else.

Recently, someone wrote an essay about why Romney is disliked by virtually everyone. I thought it was an interesting take. According to this writer, Romney’s problem is that he has a different sense of self from many people, a businessman’s sense of self. With this sense, he differentiates between what he does as a matter of business from who he is in his personal life. Who he is is not a matter of what he does. Romney differentiates. That’s why lying and exploiting people through Bain Capital is perfectly ok for Romney, because he is not what he does. His actions are merely business, and therefore anything legal is justified- lying, taking away working people’s pensions for himself, and so on. It partly explains why he seems so fake and phony, yet at the same time seems to perceive himself as a likeable guy. Romney lies with abandon and floods every campaign with negative advertising because that’s just politics. That’s not who he is, that’s business, that’s politics, so he feels no personal consequences for his actions.

Posted by: phx8 at April 29, 2012 10:44 AM
Comment #343080

Phx8

Is it worse for rich people to come into office or for not rich people to become rich because of the office.

George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson consumed personal wealth as a result of their political career. Today people make money through politics.

Re Romney - The premise is wrong of your article is wrong and there is no reason to reply directly. I will address the idea of playing roles. We all play different roles in different aspects of our lives. You do have to behave differently in business, than you do in politics than you do in your personal life. I have taken hard decisions in my professional life that I certainly would not have made in my personal sphere. It is called doing your duty.

Re Romney being liked - Most people who know Romney think he is an honest and intelligent man. His problem is that is a kind of boring and too moderate for the right wing of the Republican party.

I researched him back in 2008. He was my favorite candidate back then, but I didn’t think he could win. He was TOO smart, too accomplished and probably too moderate. This may still be his problem today. But now that we can compare Obama’s record to his “hope” maybe Romney has a chance.

Posted by: C&J at April 29, 2012 11:03 AM
Comment #343083

C&J,
We cannot dissassociate ourselves from our actions and merely dismiss it as ‘duty.’ Going out in the world and ‘playing a role’ in public does not relieve us from moral responsibility and consequences. Behavior might differ in private v public life, but nevertheless, we are what we do. Lying, cheating, and stealing might be legal or acceptable in business or politics, but that doesn’t change the fact that lying, cheating, and stealing makes a person a liar, cheater, and thief.

It reminds me of the movie ‘Brazil’ and the lines about being a ‘professional.’

Is Romney intelligent? Definitely. Is he honest? No. He routinely repeats lies in speeches, lines he knows full and well are lies.

Is Romney moderate? I’m not sure. The problem is that he doesn’t really care about social issues. He’ll say anything on any given day. What he really cares about is being rich, making other rich people richer, and helping big profitable corporations become bigger and more profitable. If that enrichment and profit comes at the direct expense of others, so what? It’s all about making the rich richer, and big corporations bigger, and that is all that matters. We should all congratulate him for stripping companies of their assets and working people of their pensions to that he could take them for himself, borrow against them, and perpetuate the process of exploitation. Because being a corporate vulture is legal. (‘Corporate vulture’ is a conservative term. It was applied to Romney by Republican Gov Rick Perry).

Posted by: phx8 at April 29, 2012 12:00 PM
Comment #343085


The main charge against Obama is that he has not cleaned up the Republican mess fast enough.

Immoral behavior by the political and economic leaders can corrupt an entire nation.

Posted by: jlw at April 29, 2012 1:29 PM
Comment #343086

phx8

If you are lying, cheating and stealing, that is bad. There is no indication that Romney did these things.

We have to live by a moral code. The Nuremberg defense was rejected years ago. However, we can expect people to behave differently in the roles they play. I have had to fire people I liked and it bothered me from a personal point of view. I have ended the careers of good people. In my personal life I would not have done it. But I needed to look to my duty. I am sure you have had similar experiences.

We cannot whipsaw between personal, professional and charitable. There is a basic code that runs through all three, but when somebody like Romney (or Obama) makes a decision that is for the greater good, we cannot pick on the personal side.

Re lies in speeches - Obama does much worse. Politicians do stuff like that. I wish they did not. But as my father used to tell me, hold your wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which weighs more.

If you are willing to condemn each of Obama’s lies and obstructions, I will do the same for Romney.

re corporate vulture - I had some experience with restructuring in Eastern Europe. Some firms actually have negative value in the current state. Nobody wants to hear that. But it is important not to save the zombies. The health of the whole is the goal. I had no financial stake in the advice I gave, but sometimes I had to tell people there was no hope.

Posted by: C&J at April 29, 2012 1:45 PM
Comment #343108

KAP,

“Rocky, According to floyd reports Obama was indesisive about killing OBL but finally made the decision 16 hours prior to the raid.”

Then at the end of the day what is the point? Obama made the decision and Bin laden is history.

Now all of this hoo-ha about the administration spiking the ball is just political baloney.

Gillespie was a part of Bush’s re-election and used the President’s “achievements” in the war on terror as a mallet to bash Kerry over the head.

The right can’t have it both ways.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at April 30, 2012 4:21 PM
Comment #343109

Rocky,
The whole topic of Osama bin Laden is a really tough one for conservatives. Prior to his election, conservatives criticized Obama for being willing to go after Osama, even into Pakistan, if necessary. Conservatives criticized him for being naive and inexperienced with foreign policy. Romney said it was “ill-advised” and “ill-considered,” and Romney did not “concur” with the strategy.

Presidents get the blame and presidents get the credit. They can delegate authority, but not responsibility. Sometimes it works out. Sometimes not.

While conservatives were in charge during the Bush administration, Osama bin Laden launched the most terrorist attack in the nation’s history. Those same conservatives failed make sure OBL was captured, and eventually they threw up their hands and put it on the back burner.

Obama repeatedly made a campaign promise to kill bin Laden. Under his leadership, we did just that. Under his leadership, we accomplished what conservatives thought was not achievable. Romney suggested it was not worth the price. Obama arranged for an Osama cocktail: two shots and a splash.

Posted by: phx8 at April 30, 2012 4:34 PM
Comment #343110

The claim that Democrats hate the rich is bunk. What we demand is that the system treats the average person’s wishes and interests with as much deference as it does that guy with a million in the bank.

You look at any third world country, and you can see the reason why this is important, namely that the rich can be rich even in the midst of extreme poverty- that is, what’s good for them and their interests, what allows them to be prosperous and form a class of their own in society needs not depend on general prosperity.

So, any system that basically says letting the rich do what they want generally lifts everybody else up, or that giving such people preferential treatment in taxes and whatnot does the same has a counterexample to explain. So does anybody who says that socialism, unleavened by capitalist policy, does the same.

Conclusions:
1)Prosperity for the general public and the nation at large does not come from a radical apathy towards the needs of the general public or disdain for the fate of the poor.

2)Prosperity for the general public and the nation at large does not come from favoritism and preferential treatment towards the rich and powerful

3)Prosperity for the general public and the nation at large does not come from an arbitrary provision of one’s needs by the government, either.

We need a system where the government’s role is to catalyze the potential and prosperity of the average person. Catalysis- as in working to create more likely conditions for activity, but with the rest of the ingredients doing most of that work.

I don’t need the government to do everything for me or anybody else. What I need a government is one that’s not deaf and blind to most of the people under its stewardship, which isn’t acting as the strong arm of those who already have wealth and power of their own, rather than serving as a third party that can act for or against those who need to be constrained or aided as is necessary.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 30, 2012 4:46 PM
Comment #343111

C&J-
You’re blaming Obama for eating what was put in front him as a kid. Democrats and pet lovers are blaming Romney for, as an adult, knowingly putting a dog on the roof of the car in a carrier.

I’ve seen the cartoons and everything that folks like you have put up. It’s disgusting, and does crap to actually change what Romney did.

As for what Romney says? I think it’s pretty self-evident by now that the man can be expected to say one thing at one time, and another on another occasion, often depending on whether he’s trying to pretend he’s a hardcore wingnut, or whether he’s put in the politically disadvantageous position of being asked by somebody whether he agreed with Obama.

Romney’s problem isn’t that he’s a centrist or a moderate. The problem is that he’s a cowardly liar, who can’t take a solid position on much of anything, for fear that he won’t be all things to all people.

The trouble for the Republican Party is that this man was a better choice than any number of other Republicans, who were either obvious scumbags like Newt or Herman Cain, Morons like Rick Perry, or so far right, like Bachmann and Santorum, that most Americans couldn’t stand their policies.

No Republican could honestly be all they would expect or need of an electable Republican candidate, so in the end, they chose the person who could fake it best to all concerned.

In the end, that’s what the Republican Party is going to be reduced to, in general, and it’s rank and file will sooner or later get used to that kind of “moderation”. That is, if the party continues to depend on some kind of dogmatism to keep people in line.

If they allow more free thought more testing and sharing of ideas from beyond the party, there could be new, honest life in the party. But otherwise, the party is going to constrain itself to living a lie.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 30, 2012 5:07 PM
Comment #343114

Jack,

Republicans can try to deny it all they wish, but Rubio lying and ridiculously attempting to dramatize his family history IS guaranteed to hurt him. Because everyone knows that it’s a totally sleezy thing to paint one’s family as desperate refugees escaping for freedom when that was simply never the case.

If you are lying, cheating and stealing, that is bad. There is no indication that Romney did these things.

Oh come on, everyone knows that Romney does lie, cheat and steal — and it’s incredibly silly to try to claim otherwise. But LOL! I do find it hilariously funny that you’re lying about the plain, obvious fact that Romney lies, and even lies about his lies — and he does so literally ALL THE TIME!!!

Rachel Maddow showing a mountain of video proof that Mitt Romney lies — constantly:
Mitt Romney is a serial liar

In fact, Mitt Romney lies so much about basically everything, the Obama campaign was able to quickly toss a bunch of the lies together for one of their ads:
Mitt Romney versus Reality

But you say: “There is no indication”!!!
Hahahahaha! Too funny!

Posted by: Adrienne at April 30, 2012 7:26 PM
Comment #343115

Adrienne

It if probably a good idea to seek corroborating evidence from sources outside the Obama campaign or the looney left. Maddow is not doing news; she is doing a kind of comedy routine. I am sure people like you are amused; others not so much.

I could link to Limbaugh or Hanity and I don’t expect you would be much impressed. We can make long lists of Obama’s lies. In fact those guys do.

If you google Obama lies you come up with 127,000,000 entries in 0.10 seconds. I don’t believe all these things, but they are as good as Maddow.

So to borrow your searing retort “Hahahahaha! Too funny”

Re Rubio - it will hurt him with people like you. People like you would never support him no matter what. So he loses people he would never get.

His parents could not go home because an evil dictator seized the country. He is still there. We all hope he and his murderous brother die soon, but they seem to be hanging on. Perhaps they have some kind of pact with the devil.

Stephen

All I know is Obama gives new meaning to the old phrase, “man bites dog” and maybe the hotdog as well.

Dogs like the wind in moving cars. That is why they always stick their heads out the windows. I don’t think they would enjoy being roasted an eaten, however.

I think many pet owners take this stuff too seriously, but if you do, you have to be concerned about dog-eating-Barack.

There used to be a guy called “liver-eating-Johnson. They even made a movie based on him with Robert Redford. Maybe they can have such a movie about Barack Obama.

I also saw a dog-eating catfish once.

Posted by: C&J at April 30, 2012 8:28 PM
Comment #343117

Adrienne,
A comparison of Romney and Obama by Politifact shows Romney lies a lot more than Obama. Romney lies all the time. Even fellow Republicans such as Newt Gingrich say he lies all the time.

Politicians often make misleading statements or use half-truths. That’s nothing new. What makes Romney such an “exceptional liar” is his willlingness to reverse virtually any position if he thinks it will please the audience of the moment. The only thing I know of that Romney consistently supports is tax cuts for the richest of the rich, and anything supporting big corporations… “because corporations are people, my friend.”

Planned Parenthood? He might be for it or against it. He’s switched back and forth so many times, I truly have no idea what he supposedly believes today. Check back tomorrow. It’s true on issue after issue.

I could go on a loooong time…

Obama is not perfect. He did not stop some of the policies instituted by the Bush administration, particularly in regards to defense and security. However, Obama’s kept most of his campaign promises, and he’s stayed true to his bedrock convictions. The same cannot be said of Romney.

Posted by: phx8 at April 30, 2012 8:33 PM
Comment #343118

phx8

So we are crediting the comments of a primary opponents. Remember what Hillary said about Barack? All of that was true.

George Will writes that “Barack Obama’s intellectual sociopathy — his often breezy and sometimes loutish indifference to truth — should no longer startle.” I guess that is true. We just don’t expect Obama to be telling the truth so we don’t make a big deal about it. His veracity has already been discounted.

Perhaps it is an example of the old truism, you are what you eat.


Posted by: C&J at April 30, 2012 8:50 PM
Comment #343119

George Will? Oh yeah. Funny guy to be using the term “intellectual sociopathy.” Pick your topic- global warming, the contraceptive debate, the housing crisis- and let’s have a look at the statements made in print by George Will. If you think he’s credible, that is. Heh. But that’s too easy. Let’s take someone more relevant.

Show me where Hillary Clinton called Obama a liar. Show me the words “Obama lies…” coming from Hillary Clinton. Go ahead. I double dog dare you.

Show me a time when Obama reversed a bedrock conviction about a social issue, or religion, or minority rights. Show me one time. Because I can show examples of each for
Romney. We’re not just talking about interpretations or half-truths.

Looks like you might be in for a good time browsing the right wing fringe… You know… Obama lied about his birth certificate… Obama lied about being American… Obama is a socialist… That stuff. The loony stuff your conservative compatriots routinely push. Have fun.

Posted by: phx8 at April 30, 2012 9:29 PM
Comment #343120
It if probably a good idea to seek corroborating evidence from sources outside the Obama campaign or the looney left.

Again, hilarious! Corroborating evidence! Hahaha! Jack, it’s VIDEO OF ROMNEY LYING, and also some VIDEO OF HIM LYING ABOUT THE FACT THAT HE LIED! Disregard the “source” — the video is the PROOF. Mitt Romney IS an utterly shameless liar! Period.

Maddow is not doing news; she is doing a kind of comedy routine.

Yeah — haha! Because it’s just TOO EASY to laugh at a guy who blatantly lies, and lies, and lies! And then wants to act like he doesn’t, so he lies again by saying he didn’t say things — EVEN WHEN THERE IS VIDEO PROOF OF HIM SAYING THEM!!!

quote text
I am sure people like you are amused; others not so much.

I’m afraid I can’t help but be amused, yes. But, I am also gobsmacked and appalled as well. Because this guy clearly lies more than ANY OTHER politician I’ve ever seen!!! And since most politicians lie, that’s really saying something!!!
Seriously, he lies so much that it really has to be placed in class all by itself! What a complete WEIRDO Mitt Romney is!

I could link to Limbaugh or Hanity and I don’t expect you would be much impressed. We can make long lists of Obama’s lies. In fact those guys do.

Or alternatively, the rightwing propaganda machine can simply make stuff up, or edit some video (ala Shirley Sherrod), or just play clips totally out of context.
That however, is not what Rachel or the Obama campaign needed to do in Romney’s case — he puts it all right out there, and clearly isn’t at all ashamed that he’s a World Class Serial Liar.

Re Rubio - it will hurt him with people like you. People like you would never support him no matter what. So he loses people he would never get.

I think he’ll lose amongst anyone who doesn’t like someone who makes up BS about his family history. And definitely amongst those whose families WERE actually refugees from anywhere around the globe.

His parents could not go home because an evil dictator seized the country.

His parents VOLUNTARILY left Cuba and emigrated to the United States — and have done very well as a result. Rubio should have been proud enough of that not to lie about it, but no, he obviously thought the bogus “refugee” story would be a better tale for a politician to spin.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 30, 2012 10:18 PM
Comment #343121
What makes Romney such an “exceptional liar” is his willlingness to reverse virtually any position if he thinks it will please the audience of the moment.

I know!!! It’s insane — truly. I think you’ve got to have some serious screws loose to lie THAT much — and then also lie about all the lying. This fact is just one of the MANY ways that Mitt is a total Weird-o.

The only thing I know of that Romney consistently supports is tax cuts for the richest of the rich, and anything supporting big corporations… “because corporations are people, my friend.”

Oh yeah. Multi-Millionaire Plutocrat through and through.

Planned Parenthood? He might be for it or against it. He’s switched back and forth so many times, I truly have no idea what he supposedly believes today. Check back tomorrow. It’s true on issue after issue.

I think he’s against Planned Parenthood actually. He’s a Mormon, and that religion doesn’t hold much respect for women. They like them submissive to their husbands, and willing to have enormous broods of children. I think Mitt was lying (again) when he wanted to be the governor of Massachusetts, so said what he thought he needed to in order to win. But yeah, on most issues, Mitt has no firm positions. He’s a phony, lying will o’ the wisp with a slicked back haircut and the voice and personal demeanor of a car salesman.

I could go on a loooong time…

Hahaha! Me too! He’s just SO incredibly unlikeable!

Posted by: Adrienne at April 30, 2012 10:44 PM
Comment #343122

I wonder how much of the Romney propensity for lying and reversing positions isn’t a generational thing. Maybe Romney lacks technological savvy. Maybe he doesn’t understand that, today, everything is on video. There is always someone nearby recording. Many conservatives have been technologically ‘left behind.’ Older white males, often from rural areas, people who rely on AM talk radio for information, cannot grasp the impact of cell phones, social media, and the technologies replacing the PC. Romney has the money to access those technologies, but he may not have the desire or aptitude, or understand the implications of what happens when our society becomes so connected.

His lies are well documented on video. But like I speculated earlier, Romney may have a businessman’s sense of self. Lying is ok as long as it’s just politics, just business. He separates that from his personal sense of self. What he does is separate from who he is… Or so he thinks. Lying doesn’t make him a liar. Being a corporate raider and borrowing against other people’s pensions doesn’t make him a thief because it is legal, and therefore ok, because taking stuff from people is not really stealing, and besides, he would never do that in his personal life. Therefore he is ok.

Posted by: phx8 at April 30, 2012 11:24 PM
Comment #343123

phx8:

His lies are well documented on video. But like I speculated earlier, Romney may have a businessman’s sense of self. Lying is ok as long as it’s just politics, just business. He separates that from his personal sense of self. What he does is separate from who he is… Or so he thinks. Lying doesn’t make him a liar. Being a corporate raider and borrowing against other people’s pensions doesn’t make him a thief because it is legal, and therefore ok, because taking stuff from people is not really stealing, and besides, he would never do that in his personal life. Therefore he is ok.

You may be right. While what you’re describing here might actually seem acceptable in extremely wealthy circles (I grew up surrounded by rich people who were definitely capable of thinking like this), however the vast majority of average, normal Americans view that kind of attitude as being indicative of sociopathic behavior. Because what you’re talking about above is people who have no discernible sense of morality or ethics. Who lack the normal human ability to feel empathy/sympathy for others.

And, that’s not the only sign that Mitt Romney is the kind of person who shows such tendencies. What he did to his dog also shows that something is seriously WRONG with him.

Let’s face facts: only a person with no morality, and no empathy whatsoever would actually tie their dog to the roof of their car in a crate and drive for hours and hours on end. And, when the poor creature gets the runs after being utterly terrorized and sickened by this extreme form of torture and finally shits all over themselves and the car, has their human stop the car, coldly and methodically hose the poor, sick dog down, force them back into that torture crate, and keep driving for many hours more.

Now, some people are saying that American’s have made far too much out of that story, but I personally don’t think so. That is clearly very sick, sociopathic behavior — and amazingly enough, this horrific story was one the Romney family thought would be a really AMUSING ONE to tell to the press!

As I said: Romney = Weirdo!

Posted by: Adrienne at May 1, 2012 12:07 AM
Comment #343124

Thought some of you on the left might enjoy reading this:
Author Stephen King: Tax Me, for F@%&’s Sake!

Posted by: Adrienne at May 1, 2012 12:31 AM
Comment #343125
I wonder how much of the Romney propensity for lying and reversing positions isn’t a generational thing. Maybe Romney lacks technological savvy. Maybe he doesn’t understand that, today, everything is on video.

I think it is much simpler than that phx8. Those on the right have been Fauxed for years, and then want to believe, for example, that Obama followed Romney advice to bail out Detroit. Despite the fact that he didn’t give such advice but gave instead the opposite advice. Romney can lie and get away with it because conservative ideology tells movement followers the ends justify the means. So if they hear it on Faux or if Rush says it well….

Posted by: j2t2 at May 1, 2012 12:45 AM
Comment #343132

C&J-
It really is a shame you don’t realize how small you’re making yourself look, you’re really a better person than that.

People latch onto Romney’s actions because they fit into a narrative of him being callous and indifferent to the suffering, potential or otherwise, of others.

Republicans latch onto Obama’s childhood meal as a way of encouraging xenophobic attitudes towards him, having done something so foreign, even as an innocent child, and as a way to deflect criticism from Romney. So, you’re either trying to make Obama look the part of a disturbing foreigner, or you’re covering for Romney’s actions, whatever meaning they carry.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 1, 2012 8:13 AM
Comment #343134

phx8

I was thinking about Hillary talking about how Obama was unprepared to be president. Or what about Obama folks ideas that the Clintons were racist.

And what about your new friend Newt. He has said lots of things about Obama and Democrats too. Are you also going to credit all those things.

You quoted that Polifact. that was among the many sites that came up when we Google “Obama lies” It listed several instances of Obama going back on his promises.

Re the Obama lies etc - I gave those to show Adrienne (and you) that there are both sides. If you quote Rachael Maddow, you have to go to the other side too. Personally I think Maddow and Limbaugh are both nuts. They are both dishonest but both entertaining to their respective groups.

I am self-aware enough to know that your side doesn’t consider “right wing” pundits evidence. I am trying to educate you all that “left wing” pundits don’t cut much ice with others.

Adrienne

Please see above. Maddow et al make these montages the same way Limbaugh et al make them about people on the left.

I try to open your mind that not everyone agrees with you or your sources. I understand enough to not quote Limbaugh to you as a source. You don’t get that it works both ways.

I have a fair amount of contempt for both right and left - both Limbaugh and Maddow. I am more moderate than either. You fall on the far left and so don’t see the distinctions.

“I think he’s against Planned Parenthood actually. He’s a Mormon, and that religion doesn’t hold much respect for women. They like them submissive to their husbands, and willing to have enormous broods of children.”

So you must also hate Muslims, strong practicing Catholics, evangelicals, fundamentalist Jews …

I know you do, but it is interesting to point this out. I know that there is a lot of anti-Mormon bigotry out there. Let’s reveal it. Thanks for you honesty.

Stephen

You don’t like my dog jokes? I am big enough that I can do small things if I feel like it. Believe me, I can make even more tasteless jokes.

Some of those Obama jokes are just dog gone funny.

Posted by: C&J at May 1, 2012 9:37 AM
Comment #343138

C&J,

“They are both dishonest but both entertaining to their respective groups.”

I suppose they may both be entertaining, but we must take into consideration the size of the fields on which they spread their manure, and the fealty with which they are treated.

Rush seems to make it up as he goes along, and spends his time trashing groups. Maddow seems more often to focus in on individuals.

RE eating dog humor; A thousand comedians out of work and we get you?

Seriously, I think that both of us have been to foreign countries often enough to understand that we don’t truly know what the contents of the meals we have eaten were. To target on meals eaten by a child, in a foreign country, many years ago is a bit disingenuous, IMHO.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at May 1, 2012 12:11 PM
Comment #343140

C&J,
So, Newt Gingrich is not creditable? Ok. I thought he was a Repubican candidate for the nomination to be President of the United States. If you say he cannot be believed, then I will accept your judgment of the former Republican Speaker of the House. Just to save time, what other conservatives should we automatically disregard as not be creditable- as being untrustworthy liars? Any Republicans come to mind? Anyone?

I had a pretty good idea of where you were going re the primary campaign of 2008. It was a heated and passionate race between two excellent candidates, Hillary Clinton and Obama. The latter won. Despite the heat and passion, those two candidates kept the debate focused on policies, and generally avoided personal criticisms, or slash and burn attacks. The same cannot be said for conservatives, who routinely aim venomouos attacks at Romney.

Maddow? She’s partisan. Sometimes she’s too amped for my tastes. Sometimes she ambushes a guest- I’m thinking of the interview with Senator Inhofe. But generally speaking, I think she’s good at presenting her information. She makes a point of being factually correct, and when an occasional inaccuracy occurs, she corrects it on air.

Being partisan doesn’t mean one side can’t be right while the other is wrong. Sometimes matters of right and wrong really are clear cut, and there really are consequences.

Posted by: phx8 at May 1, 2012 12:29 PM
Comment #343141

C&J-
Right, right. what’s next, darky jokes? This conservative commentator said that the underlying racist implications of the joke threw him off.

If you’re uncertain that I’m not off-base here, then ask yourself this question: would you feel comfortable making Vietnamese or Korean dog jokes yourself here?

You can’t argue that there’s an ethnic quality to the jokes against Romney, because the jokes are entirely about what people would see as callous and cruel conduct, akin to that joke where the incensed highway trooper flags down the family in the station wagon and shows them the torn up leash that used to belong to their dog.

You may get a laugh at it, but are you sure you want to, because the entire point of your joke relies on something Obama ate as a kid, a foreign food trope you would now inflict on an adult who certainly finds such cuisine distasteful nowadays.

And all to distract from a verifiably adult act of Mitt Romney, which he himself recounted as a humorous aside, especially the aside about washing the diarrhea the dog had off the car.

Are you certain you don’t have any more distasteful ethnic jokes you would like to make before we continue here?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 1, 2012 12:44 PM
Comment #343143

phx8

If you consider Newt credible, should we look up things he said about Democrats and credit that? People say lots of things in campaigns. Anyway, I don’t want to bore you if you don’t want to play, but if you confirm to me here that you will believe the things Newt says about Obama and others, I will take the time to find the links for you.

Rocky

Re the comedians - they expect to get paid; I work for nothing and receive compensation in relation to the quality of my work.

I don’t believe I have ever eaten dog, although it doesn’t outrage me that others do. I don’t have a problem making fun of them or the dog eaters either.

Re Rush and Rachel - it is true that Rush has a much bigger audience, but do we hold against people that others like them?

Stephen

Dog jokes are not the same as “darky” jokes. I am surprised that you cannot tell the difference. Do you tell racist jokes around the house? I don’t.

I didn’t make any distasteful ethnic jokes here, did I?


I also do not assume, as you do, that Asians are all dog eater who would be offended if I made a joke about Obama eating dog.

I probably won’t tell too many more dog jokes because I don’t have that many of them. If I think of a few more, however, I will pass them along.

Posted by: C&J at May 1, 2012 1:24 PM
Comment #343144

Jack:

Re the Obama lies etc - I gave those to show Adrienne (and you) that there are both sides. If you quote Rachael Maddow, you have to go to the other side too. Personally I think Maddow and Limbaugh are both nuts. They are both dishonest but both entertaining to their respective groups.

No sorry, but I have to call BS here. Rachel Maddow is not a defacto leader in the Democratic Party the way that Rush Limbaugh is. Democratic politicians don’t have to agree with what Maddow thinks, nor do they have to apologize for parting ways with what she says on her show. GOP politicians have proven time and again that they have to do this with Rush.
What Rachel Maddow is, is a strong minded, super-smart woman with a good sense of humor who calls things out what for she thinks they are, and who frequently does a very good job of exposing the truth — not only about the GOP, but with Democrat politicians as well. (Rush only attacks the left.) Maddow reports on politics in an amusing way, but unlike Rush Limbaugh she have never once been over-the-top disrespectful or rude to anyone (which is why people on the right aren’t afraid to come on her show), nor is she filled to the brim with hatred and rage — as mean, loud-mouthed Rush so clearly (and tragically) is.
What you’re doing above is trying to compare apples to oranges.

not everyone agrees with you or your sources.

Like I said, forget the source — just look at the video of Romney saying one thing, and then another. But you simply can’t can you? You know what we’re saying is the truth, but you have to attack the “source” because just can’t bring yourself to honestly face the fact that Mitt Romney is constantly changing his positions on everything depending on who he is speaking to.

You fall on the far left and so don’t see the distinctions.

Oh, I see the distinctions just fine. I’m just willing to be honest about them, and you’re not.

So you must also hate Muslims, strong practicing Catholics, evangelicals, fundamentalist Jews …

I know you do, but it is interesting to point this out.

Yes, I’ve always been completely against all forms of fundamentalist religious extremism — because this gives male fundamentalists what they consider to be a valid excuse (it’s not) to use “religion” to control and oppress women and deny both women and gay people of their Human and Civil Rights, and Legal and Economic Rights. I’ve always been completely honest about my feelings in this regard.

I know that there is a lot of anti-Mormon bigotry out there. Let’s reveal it.

Yes, I am intolerant and bigoted against the intolerance, bigotry and prejudices so clearly demonstrated by the Mormons. I think their stances against women’s rights and rights for gay people are truly despicable.
Mitt Romney is a multi-millionaire Mormon Elder within the cult of Mormon — a church that holds many blatantly nutty and utterly ridiculous beliefs. Romney is so dedicated to his cult that he has chosen to give every bit of his “charity” to the Mormon Church and he is now running to be the President of the United States. It therefore becomes necessary to acknowledge all the weird stuff that Mormon’s believe, and what they do with enormous sums of the “charity” money they collect — namely, rather than use funds to help human beings in need, they chose to use it to mount discriminatory campaigns that work only to deny rights and hurt the interests of American women and gay people.

Thanks for you honesty.

Your welcome, Jack.
Now, how about if you tried being a bit more honest with us in return? I think that would be refreshing!

Posted by: Adrienne at May 1, 2012 1:52 PM
Comment #343145

Adrienne

Maddow is left with ideologue as far to the left of the middle and Rush is to the right. Maybe more.

I don’t know whether she calls herself a Democrat. Leftists often officially call themselves by other names. It has no practical meaning. I am not now nor have I ever been a member of the Republican party. But I think you would identify me as such given my ideas. Same goes of Rachel.

Re the sources - When you make a video montage, it can say lots of things. I have seen such montages of Obama and others on conservative shows.

The fact is that politicians get messed up with the truth. Some of this is not their fault. Conditions change and so should positions, but politicians cannot do this.

I will give you an example. Obama has learned that the bad guys in Guantanamo deserve to be there. That is why he doesn’t close it. But what would you think if he just came out and said the truth?

In general, with ALL people, look to the truth in what they do, not what they say.

The other thing that I believe, and most people know but won’t admit, is that politics is tactics. Henry of Navarre said “Paris is worth a mass”. He was right.

Re being honest - I am always honest here and never said anything that I thought was untrue. On the few occasions I have been wrong, I have tried to explain why.

I think what throws you off is that you don’t believe that I am as simple as I tell you I am.

I don’t take things as seriously as you guys do. I think President Obama is bad for the country, but I don’t think the world will end if he is reelected. The same goes for my candidates. In the long sweep of things, we will get leftist times and rightist times. America is essentially a moderate place that absorbs both and benefits from both. We all need to work on what we think is best, knowing that we will be wrong in details and that the future will make us all look a little silly.


The reason I give you a hard time is because of your use of evidence. Often the timelines and the sequences don’t work.

Re religion - There are things I dislike about organized religion and things I like. I don’t believe in any dogmas, but I do believe in a higher power. I understand that different people have different ways to understand that.

My experience with “people of faith” versus others is that people of faith are usually more reliably decent. I like traditions as a means of discipline. I like traditions and religions as a balance to radical change.

I notice that when people lose their traditional beliefs they tend to replace them with worse ideas. Belief in superstitions such as extraterrestrials, astrology, ghosts, shamans etc has risen as traditional religion has waned.

Speaking specifically or Mormons - the ones I know have been exceptionally good people. They work hard and are honest and they give away 10% of their income (even if you dislike the charity). I think the idea of sending kids on missions is wonderful. They get a real background in the world at a young age. Mormons, as a group, are among our country’s best linguists and there are lots of them in international affairs.

If we leave religion aside, if more people had the type of habits that Mormons often have, we would all be better off.

Posted by: C&J at May 1, 2012 2:47 PM
Comment #343146

I’m really enjoying these past months because the Obama administration is outmaneuvering the opposition with a degree of mastery I have not seen in a long time. The administration is entering full-on campaign mode, and it is a thing of beauty.

Part of this mastery comes from an ability to recognize the weakness of the oppostion and then exploit it. The weakness? Conservatives hate Obama. Anything he does, they oppose.

Obama reaches a compromise over the issue of religious institutions covering birth control in the workplace. Aha! Obama must be opposed! And so, the GOP embarks on a campaign to prove Obama is attacking religious freedom. It becomes a full scale War on Women on multiple fronts. Not only must the compromise be opposed, but the GOP introduces the Blunt amendment, allowing any institution- religious or corporate- the ability to deny anyone health care on the basis or any moral objection whatsoever. States keep waging the War with piece after piece of profoundly anti-women;s health issues legislation. It’s like a dream come true for Obama.

Result: 13 - 120% gender gap, with women under 50 overwhelmingly supporting Obama.

Obama’s campaign team asserts Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive. Aha! Obama must be opposed! Obama must be wrong on all things, at all times. Instead of gracefully saying ‘well done’ with killing OBL and ignoring the accomplishment for a day or two, the GOP must engage in a series of utterly graceless attempts to deny the achievement. Not only does it make conservatives look really bad- it distracts themn away from what they really should be doing in order to win, namely, concentrating on the economy.

The more the Obama administration can anticipate and manipulate the GOP’s hatred, the better and better it looks for November.

Well done, Obama!

Posted by: phx8 at May 1, 2012 2:56 PM
Comment #343147

Phx8

“Not only does it make conservatives look really bad- it distracts them away from what they really should be doing in order to win, namely, concentrating on the economy.”

Maybe you are right but think about what you said.

You told us that Obama is suckering the stupid Republicans into attacking him on peripheral issues so that he can keep them from concentrating on what is really important, i.e. his record on the economy.

We may respect Obama’s mastery of obfuscation, but we should deplore his action nevertheless. What you describe with such enthusiasm is sophistry.

Posted by: C&J at May 1, 2012 3:00 PM
Comment #343149

C&J,
Look up “sophistry.”

Issues are not peripheral just because they will not favor the GOP. Foreign policy and women’s health issues are extremely important, and when the GOP takes the bait, they are being drawn right into Obama’s wheelhouse… um, for the metaphor to work, the wheelhouse would have to be the ship of state…

Concentrating on the economy does not guarantee the GOP a win. Not at all. There’s a real chance the economy will be too good in November to benefit the GOP. It’s a tough election for the GOP no matter how you cut it. After all, Obama is an incumbent who is maintaining an adequate approval rating (mid to high 40’s) and he strikes most people as more likeable than Romney. Nevertheless, the economy remains the best bet. There’s always a small chance the economy will be worse later this year. But if conservatives keep blindly, furiously striking at every hook Obama drops in the water, we’ll keep seeing these very public GOP debacles such as the War on Women and the sour grapes over the death of OBL.

Posted by: phx8 at May 1, 2012 3:27 PM
Comment #343150

phx8

Look up “sophistry.”

a subtle, tricky, superficially plausible, but generally fallacious method of reasoning.

Did you think it meant something else? I looked it up just to be sure I was right. I think Obama’s picture was included next to the definition.

The economy is the central issue. It is the thing that most worries Americans. You imply the same. You say that Obama is cleverly suckering Republicans to attack on other issues. Kind of fits the pattern.

Re peripheral issues - you also imply that Obama is bringing up these issues as a way to attract Republicans attacks.

You really cannot praise Obama’s clever campaigning and ability to keep Republicans off the main issue, i.e. the economy, w/o admitting to his duplicity and - yes - sophistry by the modern definition.

The central debate should be what Obama has done to improve the economy and what Romney might do better. Those people who are happy with what Obama has wrought should vote for him. Those that think a change might produce better results should vote for Romney. Those who think the economy is not the central issue can vote on whatever they think is important. Keeping the media full of noise about trumped up issues might be useful to Obama but not to America.

Posted by: C&J at May 1, 2012 3:54 PM
Comment #343152

I think the economy should be the central issue. If Republicans wanted my advice, I would suggest focusing like a laser on the economy, and nothing but the economy, and jobs, jobs, jobs.

But that’s the whole problem for the GOP. They are not focused on the economy. They are focused on hating Obama. According to many in the GOP, Obama is a socialist communist Marxist Kenyan Indonesian Muslim follower of Reverend Wright who hates Christianity, is un-American, hates America, made a tour around the world to apologize for America, and in his free time pals around with terrorists. Oh. And he’s stupid.

Remember the Tea Party and jobs, jobs, jobs in 2010? That worked for the election, but went completely by the wayside once they were in legislatures. Instead, the Tea Party focused on a War on Women at the state level, and an insane attempt to destroy the economy by forcing the United States to default on its debt.

So many in the GOP are motivated by the negative emotion of hate, and that makes them easy to manipulate. They should care about the economy. They should focus on that, but they don’t; they really care about opposing Obama on all issues, major and minor. Obama must always, always be wrong, at all times, in all cases. As a result, they can be maneuvered onto the ground most favorable to the administration.

Of course, part of the problem with focusing on the economy is that it would be nice to actually be able to offer an alternative; you know, something different from what was tried 2001 - 2008 under Bush. Tax cuts were a comlete disaster. Dismantling Medicare and Social Security were not popular during the Bush administration, and they aren’t be popular now.

There’s a school of thought that a lot of conservatives don’t mind losing this election. They would rather maintain ideological purity and lose the battle, in order to drag the country further and further to the right, and so win the war. It won’t work, of course, because most Americans like the progressive agenda; most Americans like Social Security and Medicare, among other things.

Posted by: phx8 at May 1, 2012 5:23 PM
Comment #343153

C&J-
Republican political responses have become about negative generalizations about the president that are never backed down from. You card stack fiercely, and object when Obama tries to present achievement, like… well, killing the terrorist leader that haunted this nation for almost a decade before. Bush can crow about his war on an aircraft carrier, but far be it for Obama to say “my administration took down Bin Laden.”

Or, short of that, “my administration ended the war in Iraq”.

What have your people done lately for the country? Last year, on this very day, Obama ordered the raid on the Bin Laden compound, killing our worst enemy in the process. This easily could have been another Desert One. But it wasn’t, the Obama administration ordered those SEALS in, and they got their man.

Name anything the GOP House did that even matches that. 2009, Obama pushes a stimulus package. Recession ends middle of that year, demand starts up again. Since then, nearly every job lost has been recovered. We should have had better, but whose main achievement has been preventing any additional efforts? That’s right, your people.

He chose to end the interminable bailouts of the auto industry, and set in motion a plan that bailed them out one final time, allowing structured bankruptcies otherwise impossible, bankruptcies that allowed the companies to become profitable again, to become a force for reemployment in Detroit and elsewhere.

What exactly were the Republicans doing at that point? Betting failure would be more helpful for the economy. That’s right.

So what’s their latest acheivement, in the last year? That’s right, they succeeded in alienating women everywhere, after making people wonder at our country’s sanity once again by precipitating an entirely unnecessary debt crisis. If you want an idea of how unnecessary a debt crisis last year’s debacle was, consider that the first reaction to the S&P downgrade of our debt to AA was people sinking their money in US Treasury Bonds. (Our debt, in other words.)

Politics, specifically those of the people who people had just voted in to help the economy, was the main reason cited for that downgrade, not our inability to pay.

So, that’s what your people have to run on, other than Obama is a durty mooslim traitor dog-eater. You have your campaign issue: we loathe Obama, and you should to. We give him no credit, and neither should you.

But ask you for any real achievements? Well, if you had wanted those, you would have had to go through the President, both before and after you took over the House, and all the while you had the Senate tied up in your filibusters. They would have shared credit in the bipartisan successes.

Your side was unwilling to do that, in order to do real things, actual things that would merit your people getting elected. You were more interested in starving Obama of things to take credit for, than creating things for your own people to take credit for.

Even if you win the next election, you lose, because your policies have become those of a party out of touch with what people really want. You can succeed at dragging the other party down and drowning it in the mud for an election cycle, but that hasn’t saved your party from sabotaging its own image and its own electability time and time again.

Sooner or later, you will realized that your party wasted an opportunity to rest and recover and come back when people were no longer in such a desperate position. Instead, they decided to fight lost battles of the culture war all over again, decided to hold the nation’s economy hostage, after having said that their agenda would be all about jobs.

I’d say good luck with the next election, but I want your side to lose. I want your side to learn from its mistakes, and let America recover from them as well, and it can’t do either as long as it continues to be in denial that it screwed up.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 1, 2012 5:33 PM
Comment #343154

Stephen

Obama did the right thing in ordering the death of Bin Laden.

I am very happy that Obama kept the general outlines of the Bush - i.e. the American - policy. I have written that on several occasions. I am also glad that he has seen the proper course in keeping open Guantanamo. He also has not given back any of those ideas re terrorist surveillance etc.

We used to argue about these things during the Bush times. As I recall, you thought they were bad ideas.

So indeed, I support Obama when he does the right things.

Re the economy - Obama did the right thing with the initial stimulus - he just implemented it poorly. It cost more money than it should have and didn’t have the effect he promised or expected.

Posted by: C&J at May 1, 2012 5:42 PM
Comment #343157

“Obama did the right thing with the initial stimulus - he just implemented it poorly. It cost more money than it should have and didn’t have the effect he promised or expected.”

Uh huh. Today, the DJIA closed at the highest level in over four years.

Posted by: phx8 at May 1, 2012 8:53 PM
Comment #343162

phx8

Things recover.

If I get a cold and the doctor gives me medicine that makes my cold go away in a week or ten days, he really didn’t do anything for me. If the medicine costs a lot and makes me sick to my stomach, it caused harm. I will still recover from the cold, because that is what happens. Maybe fifteen days later the doctor point out how well I have recovered and wants more credit. Should we give it to him.

Fortunately, much of our government works very well w/o specific government intervention.

The telling thing is that among the healthiest parts of the economy are the fossil fuels sector, which Obama wanted to phase out and actually stood in the way. Their advance is in spite of him, not because of him.

Posted by: C&J at May 1, 2012 9:42 PM
Comment #343206

C&J,

“If I get a cold and the doctor gives me medicine that makes my cold go away in a week or ten days, he really didn’t do anything for me.”

Why in earth would you go to a doctor to “fix” a cold?

I find it interesting you would choose a common human malady that has no cure to make your point.
Just as with a cold we perhaps have more of a tendency to treat the symptoms instead of the problems.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at May 2, 2012 9:17 AM
Comment #343207

C&J-
Healthy? The problem is, when they get too healthy, when their prices go up high enough, everybody else gets ill. Energy in the classical definition is the ability to do work. The economic necessity of energy is little different. The ability of our nation to be productive is dependent on our having relatively cheap energy, and efficient enough production and transport technology not to take up too much of it.

Otherwise, people are forced to make sacrifices, and those sacrifices come at the expense of growth.

You might be happy to let that happen, but the fact of the matter is, if we mollycoddle the energy sector, and let fossil fuels continue to be the dominant energy source, our economic performance will continue to rely on whether we have that “juice”.

We don’t merely need to kick our oil habit because it’s environmentally dirty, but because it’s economically restrictive, and it will never shed that problem because of its limited supplies. Some will stick with it because they’re not that big on changing anything, regardless of the reason. Some will do so because it’s what liberals don’t want, and that’s what’s become important to them.

But if you look at it from a point of view of environmental, economic, and geopolitical necessity, it’s not really that much of an option to remain with the status quo.

As far as Bin Laden goes, Republicans were on another page. Whether it was the need to gainsay Obama just on the principle that they have to, or whether it was covering for a President who came before, who had basically given up on finding him and taking him out, Republicans vocally opposed what Obama basically did, when Obama said he would do it in the campaign.

Now they belittle him taking credit for what was definitely his call, and his orders. They never belittled Bush for that, but there you go. Ultimately, The read I get on much of what Republicans say is that they just want a relentlessly negative atmosphere around Obama, because people took their ability to dictate policy away, and they don’t want to pollute their policy with any concessions to Democrats.

But this is a Democracy, so they won’t be able to keep things that way forever. The problem is, it seems like your folks are trying to break the system so that even if Democrats and liberals do get elected, they won’t be able to do what people sent them to Washington to do. I’ve asked this question in many ways and many forms, but let me ask it again: what entitles your party to be able to dictate terms to everybody else in that way?

America needs folks who recognize that Congress was supposed to be an engine of compromise between the states and the communities of America, a way to preserve both the ability for smaller places and states to represent themselves, while at the same time allow the majority to rule, so the rules and law that govern us largely fit with the consensus of society. I know some groups consider themselves entitled to dictate things to everybody else, but the reality is, even if they succeed in the short term, in the long term they build the backlash that will come back against them.

There is a virtue to persuading people, rather than trying to force things on them, to getting them to be at peace with what you promote in policy, rather than just do enough to succeed despite their objections. Republicans, fueled by self-righteousness, have tried to do just that. It hasn’t succeeded in forcing a shift in public opinion. At best, it’s just twisted up people’s thinking.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 2, 2012 1:42 PM
Comment #343208

So, C&J, apparently the economy is self-regulating. I seem to recall Greenspan testifying about that. Imagine his surprise when it turned out not to be true; the economy crashed, housing tanked, asset deflation and a credit crunch ensued, and the Federal Reserve had to provide trillions of dollars to banks ‘too big to fail’ in order to cover all the failures in those unregulated, self-regulating shadow markets. When monetary stimulus left off, fiscal stimulus followed. It took literally trillions of dollars government stimulus spending to save us from utter collapse. We should all thank our lucky stars the deficit spending worked, because at the time it was very uncertain.

The suggestion that the economy is self-regulating is both naive and demonstrably wrong. Maybe you did not follow any media between 2007 and 2009. That would at least be an excuse. But no. The Lehman Bros failure, Bear Stearns, WAMU going down, AIG, GM… Like I said, naive and wrong to suggest things would work out ok without government regulation and oversight. They wouldn’t.

Posted by: phx8 at May 2, 2012 1:49 PM
Comment #343211

Rocky

I chose the cold BECAUSE it has no cure. The problem goes away by itself. The treatment for a cold is very much analogous to the treatment of the economy. We have to do the basic things, like keep as comfortable as possible, do the normal things that keep you healthy, avoid unusual stress, but generally just wait. It is also a good idea NOT to spend lots of time or money trying to fix it.

The same goes for the economy. I applaud the president for his early work on the stimulus. After that, it was much like applying expensive treatments to a common cold. Probably didn’t cause harm, but did no good and cost a lot of money.

Phx8

It is mostly self-regulating or at least not easily managed by government.

Recall also that government is also run by fallible, ambitious, sometimes greedy and/or corrupt people. Their regulation may not be optimal and may be harmful.

Government activity played a role in the collapse too.

We really do not have a disinterested regulator.

Posted by: C&J at May 2, 2012 5:35 PM
Comment #343220

C&J-
Did you notice how many maybes and can bes and might bes you put into the premises of your argument?

You argue government action was involved, but you pick GSEs that were struggling to keep up as your culprits, rather than the private enterprise that faced little regulatory burden in terms of the mortgages they issued. You argue that the pro-home-ownership policy was responsible, but without some of the regulatory changes, none of this would have added up to a crisis.

Your policies meant banks consolidated more- too big to fail, right? Your policies meant non-bank lenders could avoid the leverage requirements that kept the depository bank divisions more conservative in their lending. Your policy changes allowed different kinds of financial sector businesses to come together under one roof, pairing safer banks with riskier hedge funds and investment banks.

Your response? Well, people in government can be fallible and greedy, too. Regulation may not be optimal, and may be harmful. Vague, isn’t that?

This is what happens when you choose your battles in a debate based on reflecting a mirror image of the other side’s argument. Better to find the crack in the other sides theory, rather than try the flawed tu quoque defense on thin evidence.

If there have been problems with the regulators, its in part that they’ve been encouraged to get too friendly, have too much in common with those they’re regulating. However, if we really think for a second who went out of their way to encourage such friendliness, the fault can be entirely lifted from the Democrat’s shoulders, but it sure lands like a ton of bricks on the Republicans, because they’re the ones who made it clear that deregulation and friendly treatment of industry were an unequivocal good, a moral requirement even, to avoid the evils of abrogating the free market.

But you don’t want to take credit for all that, do you, so you blame the whole policy on a couple of Democrats, regarding one piece of legislation that came up under your party’s majority and Presidential tenure, and the other which still was under the same President, but came onto the scene too late to precipitate a bubble that was already gone.

The question many Conservative debaters have asked is “what can I say that will push people’s buttons so nobody will buy what the Democrat or liberal says?” but the trouble here is that the Republicans are forced, time and again, to disagree with the facts that would lend them strength to their arguments if they followed them. Of course, sometimes the problem is that you’re not making the right argument. I don’t say this to imply that Republicans should be just like Democrats, but to say that some arguments they make are wrong, some policy prescriptions deserve to be discredited. If Republicans were less ideologically fixed, they might be able to dump what doesn’t work to concentrate on what does.

The liability of the “fight every battle” approach the Republicans take nowadays, is that it becomes a draining ordeal to fight an ideological war on all those fronts. The unwillingness to give up on bad arguments leads to a heavier and heavier burden of arguments that are real turkeys, and arguments they could drop, so that people could forget them, are instead drudged up to steal credibility again.

With only a limited amount of resources, the GOP can’t defend every policy or criticize everything Obama does without it becoming understood that that is simply what Republicans do. Obama could say “I can be reasonable as hell, compromise with them, and still they’ll refuse to make deals”, and he’ll be believed.

It might be too late already for this election. Republicans have allowed their conventional wisdom to become too unconventional, and it will make it difficult for the GOP to connect to voters who are looking for fewer sharp edges and sharp elbows in ther policy makers.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 2, 2012 9:42 PM
Comment #343236

TPM composite polling results for electoral college:
Obama 341
Romney 197

States showing 5% lead or more:
Obama 273
Romney 180

It takes 270 to win. A blowout is in the works.

It will be interesting to see if the GOP Super-PACs write Romney off, and spend those huge amounts of money downticket, in order to preserve House seats and possibly take the Senate.

Posted by: phx8 at May 2, 2012 11:16 PM
Comment #343326

Stephen

I use lots of “maybes” because I am unable to predict the future.

The problem I have with detailed planning is that we STILL do not really understand the reasons for the collapse. I know that you guys blame “greed” etc, but that is not an actionalbe understanding.

It looks the the Dodd-Frank did not address the problem. It looks like the stimulus did not work as promised. Maybe that is because the proponents of these things diagnosed the wrong problem and therefore prescribed the wrong medicine.

We are seeing a lot more analysis getting to more specific problems that helped cause the economic problems.

We have to think a little more clearly. You blame greedy policies, but we need more precise details. If you look at what is happening, the Europeans, who had a much different regulatory environment, are in worse trouble than we are. Both the US and the EU make up about the same % of world GDP, so the idea that America sneezed and Europe caught pneumonia is an idea that has not been true since the 1970s.

We cannot rely on the simplistic idea that one team messed up and the other team will do better. We need to understand what happened and apply more subtle and nuanced solutions.

Posted by: C&J at May 3, 2012 7:36 AM
Comment #343327

C&J-
If you’re talking about the future, I could just as well step in and say, “maybe we hold people to higher standards, write in more rules to prevent the kinds of corruption we speak of”. And as a statement of the future, there’s not much you can actually do to disprove that.

As for saying, “we STILL do not really understand the reasons for the collapse”, that’s bull. We understand that many of the assets the banks founded their solvency on were based on derivatives, many of which depended on the value of home prices. When home prices started going down, in the wake of the bubble bursting, we saw many of those assets become uncertain in value because their structure was not completely transparent. You could not know what your real worth was.

That precipitated a credit crunch, which got worse as the collapse of multiple investments banks, including Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, and the additional collapse of AIG, created even more uncertainty about the banks’s bottom line. TARP and the Fed’s actions were meant to shore up those uncertain bottom lines, and that they did. However, there still was an epic cratering of financial activity from those banks, and that caused a third collapse, in businesses and employment, as companies that couldn’t meet payroll or get financing laid off workers and folded up shop.

Then you had the compounding effect of that drop in unemployment, which reduced economic prospects even further.

So, to say we don’t understand how this all went down is just silly. Quite a bit defensive, if you ask me, because what you’re trying to hide in that uncertainty is the fact that this could have all been prevented at a number of places.

If we hadn’t allowed banks to merge together, and merge corporate and consumer finance with high risk derivatives trading, none of this would have ever happened. If we hadn’t left the non-bank lenders unregulated, fewer bad loans would have been issued, and this would have never happened. If we had made the structure of derivatives based on real-estate and their underlying value more transparent, if investors in banks and other institutions had understood just how much their necks were on the line with the derivatives, this may have never happened.

It’s not simply greed, it’s the failure to concede the fact that greed can motivate deception that sabotage the system’s ability to respond promptly, calmly, and moderately to failures of participants.

No, Dodd-Frank will not address the whole problem, and no, the stimulus did not completely resolve our economic problems. It couldn’t. It wasn’t designed for an economic collapse of the magnitude that happened. It was designed for something almost six percentage points less severe than what actually happened, or a difference that approaches the total GDP loss for the next quarter.

I’ve been giving you precise details and precise answers as to what did go wrong, and what didn’t. As for Europe catching pneumonia, you have to realize that they were participating in the very same game we were, only they couldn’t control their currency in order to ameliorate their problems on a national level. Because of that, because of the fact that many countries had differing levels of financial responsibility, but a common economic situation, money wise, they are in deep trouble.

But the most ironic thing is that they have attempted in several countries the same sort of austerity that your side prescribes for this one, and we have yet to see a country where doing that sort of thing in the midst of an economic downturn has helped. In every case, economic problems have worsened, and fiscal situations have decayed with those problems.

As for the simplistic idea about teams?

Well, so long as you have a two party system, you don’t have much choice, but more to the point, if one side is screwing up bad, and shows no sign that it wants to end screwing up, then it’s only logical to keep one side in the wilderness until they see sense, even if the other side is only marginally better. It makes no sense to simply bat back and forth just for the sake of a simplistic notion of accountability.

As for subtle and nuanced solutions, you first have to let people apply solutions in the first place, and Republicans reject everything.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 3, 2012 8:10 AM
Comment #343352

Stephen

YOU understand what caused the collapse. People who actually study it and/or were involved in the situation still are not certain. There is still significant disagreement about the causes of the Great Depression.

Posted by: C&J at May 3, 2012 5:49 PM
Comment #343363

C&J-
That is an argument from ignorance and you know it. Regardless of particular causes, the general cause is well understood: the housing market was badly overvalued, and the banks, investment and otherwise, were badly overleveraged on assets that depended on the value of properties in that market, assets that owing to the tranched up, non-transparent nature of mortgage securities did not have a reliable value anymore.

On that account, many of the banks could not prove that they were still solvent, so lending, which legally requires solvency, shuts down, and with the credit market goes businesses, and with them, jobs and the economy.

Where’s your dispute? I’d really like to know, because if all you have to say is that the causes are uncertain, all you’re really saying is, I don’t know, so let’s accept whatever interpretation I float instead of yours.

I’m sorry, but I can dig up articles that speak about the problem in all its stages, from the fall of the housing market, to the freezing of credit, to the torrential downdraft of unemployment. I don’t have to argue that we don’t know something, to bring that premise to my argument without getting it shot down.

You say I just allege that it’s greed. But you know, the desire for money, on a social and economic level is not bad. It encourages people to do things. What you and others in the GOP fail to acknowledge often enough is that the incentives also tempt people to short-circuit the system so they can get the rewards without doing the work. To cheat, to lie, to do any number of dishonest, dangerous, or risky things. The market, with its rewards isn’t restricted to being the inhibitor of such behavior, as you expect us to believe, it is very capable of being the incentivizers of such behavior.

We need law to keep perverse incentives from overcoming the legitimate and productive pursuit of profit.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 3, 2012 9:58 PM
Comment #343480

“Regardless of particular causes, the general cause is well understood: the housing market was badly overvalued, and the banks, investment and otherwise, were badly overleveraged on assets that depended on the value of properties in that market, assets that owing to the tranched up, non-transparent nature of mortgage securities did not have a reliable value anymore.”

I agree with this. But is is a extrapolation and an unwarranted leap to attribute this to Republican policy. We know that both parties pushed home ownership too low into the income chain and the both Dodd and Frank, of the eponymous bill were among the biggest participants in the run up of prices.

Posted by: C&J at May 4, 2012 6:40 PM
Comment #343749

C&J-
Most CRA and GSE subprime loans outperformed their private or unregulated counter parts in terms of avoiding defaults.

And really, this wouldn’t have mattered much if we could have let a few banks fail, and shift their assets to the better banks. That we had too few banks is directly connectable to policies that allowed banks to consolidate more. That an insurance company had to be worried about its part in the derivatives market, or the depository banks had to worry about non-bank lending divisions or the like in their portfolio directly relates to “reforms” your party promoted during the last two decades. Same thing concerning the relatively low regulation of derivatives, which is directly traceable to both resistance on Congress’s part in the late nineties, and legislation in the early 2000s that essentially barred further regulation.

You fought to make the market less constrained by regulation, more “modern” in its use of innovative products. You fought to make sure that companies could consolidate further, vertically, diagonally, and horizontally.

Long story short, you got the system you wanted, it just didn’t perform like you thought it would, because y’all were too idealistic about what kind of behavior incentives would encourage.

As for your claim on what ran up prices, I believe your own source refutes your theory, at least the one you based your entry on.

It’s time to consider the truth: that this particular iteration of small government policy didn’t work. Doesn’t mean you have to throw away all hopes of creating a less intrusive, less bureaucratic system, but you really ought to consider alternative strategies and policies, because these failed all of us.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 8, 2012 4:42 PM
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