If Right to Keep It Right, If Wrong to Set It Right.
The quote from Carl Schurz goes like this: “The Senator from Wisconsin cannot frighten me by exclaiming, “My country, right or wrong.” In one sense I say so too. My country; and my country is the great American Republic. My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.”
I'm sure folks can imagine me rolling my eyes when I read C&J's latest. Frankly, I'm not all that impressed with gloating that comes from people who had years to get things right, but instead insisted on claiming themselves right and stonewalling any change.
There's no real perspective, no thought that the events of the last ten years could represent the best of the real world possibilities with those politics. Or, put another way, that their claims about taxes, about military matters, at least in particular instances, with particular policies, were wrong.
The logical question that I would ask goes a little like this: of all the possible policies that your given ideology would support, do there exist policies that succeed in meeting the demands of your given politics, but don't succeed in practical terms?
And the follow up: do even the good policies have their mistake within them?
The paradox of human creativity lies in our ability to conceive of the world in our imaginations. The imaginative qualities necessary to allow us to plan things, to imagine the world well enough to create workable strategies, also allow us the ability to delude ourselves, to see the world as we believe it is, even when it's not that way at all. You cannot remove the potential to get things wrong without removing foresight, imagination, empathy, connectedness with others.
What happens when you stop measuring your actions by results, but only by politics and political philosophy?
The real world has a way of grounding our expectation, grounding our lofty beliefs. Did I expect Obamacare to go off without a hitch? No. Do I expect Obama's foreign policy to lack for any big problems? Absolutely not. Not one President I've lived under has avoided disasters, terrorist attacks, the depredations of extremists of all kinds. Not Reagan, not George H.W. Bush, not Clinton, not Dubya, and not Obama. The simple truth is, [crap] happens. We are not in control of the whole world, and any expectation that depends on the notion that we are is doomed to be dispelled by reality. The economy will go up and down, disasters will strike, etc.
The measure of a President or any other government official cannot be whether these things happen or not. Mistakes are made. Problems do occur. We do not rule the world, govern our allies or our enemies. Imagination, memory, and judgment have their limits.
Thankfully, we have a system that allows us to change things when they go wrong. it's that system I worry about, that the Republicans, despite their good intentions, are attacking on multiple fronts. See, they're convinced enough about how right they are that they don't want to be gainsayed. Nonetheless, they can be mistaken, and so can Democrats.
The tendency, with all the political tension out there, is to see the other side as inhuman, stupid, etc.- incapable of being right. We want to believe that opposition to what we see as evil or wrong equates to being good and right. Doesn't quite work that way.
It's not even as simple as just gauging the positions of left and right and sticking a policy halfway in-between. These words, these ideas characterize less a process by which we might get things right, and more a means by which people might position themselves on an arbitrary set of policies. In fact, in some cases, the mere fact that somebody takes a certain position might be all the reason needed to take its opposite tack.
It's kind of brainless, as far as I'm concerned, like a kid feeding himself on just candy and sweets if he gets the choice, even to the point that he ends up sick to his stomach. Yes, you believe you got it all right. No, you don't, actually.
I was not such a fierce opponent of the right on policy until the policy started going wrong. I'm not against experimenting with either policy from the left, or from the right, but if it doesn't work, we shouldn't waste time waiting for it to work. When something looks to be going wrong, we should respond.
My problem with the previous Administration, and with the current Republican Party, is the unwillingness to take that cue to change. I don't expect Republicans to prefer Liberal policy. I do expect them to figure out that not all policy that could be called Conservative is either policy that work, or policy that reflects well on them.
When Republicans bother me about the so-called Obama Doldrums, I feel like showing them the Bush Crash. Slow improvement is better than what the last Administration did to the economy. When they talk about how much better they could do with foreign policy, I recall Iraq and Afghanistan, among other things. They don't seem to back their confident prescriptions with real successes.
That bugs me. They haven't even let us have the chance to change things, or showing the willingness to change things themselves in any practical sense, yet they're all too willing to block others from doing anything helpful. Yes, they say it will end in failure. Yes, they say it's all wrong. But they had every chance to prove themselves right.
If I had my druthers, the Republicans would have continued to pay the price for that failure, but voters, thinking that the Republicans would help get things done, helped get them back in the majority in 2010. What they didn't realize is that Republicans and their obstructionism were a big portion of the reason things didn't get done in the first place.
But Republicans failed to come all the way back, so there they sit, in charge of one branch, which with a dollar twenty-five might get them a cup of coffee. They've had a field day just screwing around passing abortion bills and repeals of Obamacare.
If the ideological is enough for you, perhaps you're satisfied, but most people aren't.
I don't think the right wing in America has much of a plan besides getting in the way of the left, a stalemate at best.
But more to the point, it's irresponsible. Gridlock like this is historically bad, and while it keeps the Democrats from getting their way,it also keeps Congress from doing its job. Bills aren't getting passed, priorities aren't being responded to.
Do the American people have to wait for an intervening election to get folks in charge willing to do something about the problems facing us?
That's what I'd like to know. What is it that Republicans and conservatives believe? That nothing shifted because of Bush? That everybody else shares their preoccupation with reducing the size of government, at least relative to their own priorities? That a preference for small government is a legitimate excuse to suck at governing?
Governing is not about a wishlist of ideological ideas. People first and foremost want things to work. If it does, if things improve, they won't care too much what you call it, they'll go with it. Most people don't give a crap about our politics, joining our little clubs. When they hear politics, they don't think sharp, smart negotiation to get what constituents want, they hear quagmire and frustration. They see a nation in bad repair, and they know, annoyingly enough, that the people in charge don't really want to be bothered doing anything about it.
At best, the GOP can hope that people just become resigned to this, resigned to being ignored, resigned to that kind of neglect of the country's fortunes. And that will work sometimes, when the rest of the country is functioning well enough, and the crises and negative events stay under the radar. When it doesn't work, though, the Conservative movement is only setting up further trouble for itself. And as with many things, the big, bad problems set it up so people are more sensitive to the smaller, less serious problems.
You have to earn conservatism, I think, make sure things are running well enough that people accept that there's simply a limit to what can be reasonably done. If you try and force conservatism, force inactivity in the face of big problems, then people will rebel against that. They'll rebel against dysfunction, despite the fact you might think it's just a phase we have to get through to reach your ideal, or just an honest mistake you think they should relax about.
No, you can't get ideal conservative policy through Congress, much less past the President's desk these days without compromising, or using some crucial policy to essentially extort a more favorable outcome (example: the debt ceiling). But what makes you think that people are going to wait around for you to get the ducks you want in order? Who is going to wait for your utopia to function?
A lot of us, when we talk about our pride in this country, aren't merely talking about the willingness to wave a flag, sing the Star Spangled Banner, and put our hand over our heart for the Pledge of Allegiance. We're talking about the kind of pride in this country that mirrors the pride we take in ourselves when we take care of our health and appearance, or in our job when we're careful and diligent in our job, when we make sure that what we do is done right.
When we talk about infrastructure, about getting good manufacturing jobs back, when we talk about restoring the trust of the international community, and not screwing up wars or the nation's finances, we're not merely talking about positions, we're talking about restoring America's strength and prosperity. I remember times when the kinds of obstruction and extortion schemes the Republicans use now were unthinkable, given the damage they do to the nation's functioning.
The politics is what we would prefer to happen, prefer to be done. The policy is what needs to be squared away, even if it's not politically ideal by our standards. The Framers put aside considerable differences to write a constitution that would allow our nation to function despite the fact that not everybody was on the same page, despite the fact that even then passionate disagreement was possible over what was the proper course of government.
Politics should not be the first driver of policy. At base, what we all want, as citizens, is a certain level of function in society. We want a system that hangs together, that works properly. Starting from that, starting from practical considerations gives us a better chance of agreement, a better chance of dealing with politics only as a matter of smoothing over differences, rather than as a way to amplify divisions. It also means less work trying to either talk people out of noticing problems, or having to fix problems after the fact.
Ideals and political beliefs are only a thumbnail sketch of what could be real, and one whose perspectives might be distorted by our own faults of perception. If we are going to be loyal to our country, proud of our country in the best way, we can't base it on ignoring the truth and its implications as a matter of course. Some might think that perspective naive, but I think it's naive to dance on the edge of failure to keep a desired policy going. Sooner or later, reality reasserts itself at the expense of our illusions, and only if we've mapped our actions as closely to reality as possible will we spare ourselves pain from our disillusionment.
We can make mistakes, each and every one of us, and the righteousness we feel about what we believe makes no difference in dealing with that reality. Our good intentions can blind us. Our rivalries can lead us to thoughtlessly oppose, rather than consider the wrong and right of things independently of our enemies' beliefs. Only to the extent that we allow the demands of the real world to mold our choices do we free ourselves of the kinds of illusion and delusion that come with letting thoughts and philosophies overwhelm our ability to observe and adapt, rather than fitting the former to the latter.
Posted by Stephen Daugherty at July 8, 2013 3:50 PM
Oh cry me a river. I elected my two Senators and Congressman to oppose the Obama Administration and they are doing exactly what I sent them to Washington to do. Conservatives and libertarians aren’t just going to go away because you won a Presidential election. Getting nothing done is absolutely preferable than passing bad legislation.
Mr. Daugherty continues to lay claim to the wisdom of extreme liberalism for nearly everything in government that works and what does not work must of course be laid at the feet of conservatives.
His answer to every conceivable problem appears to be solvable only by big central government and spending at levels never before contemplated by any government, anywhere at any time. His rational is backed up by nothing other than wistful thinking and the usual liberal attitude that doing something is always better than doing nothing.
When liberalism doesn’t fix a problem it is always claimed that conservatives blocked the needed measures and consequently only half-measures were applied to the problem.
Never having to accept responsibility for failed liberal programs, and having a handy scapegoat, fuels their fantasy of superior leadership and ideas.
When you talk about C&J latest, I assume you are talking about the one before the one I wrote re wood chips, which is really the latest.
I can indeed imagine you rolling your eyes because you just cannot comprehend what I am talking about. I simply point out that it is harder to get things right than inexperienced people like Obama was and you still are think it is.
I wrote - “Russia and China are behaving as they did before, but now they feel empowered to ignore us. The Middle East is as screwed up as ever. We have the worst economic recovery in since the Panic of 1893.”
All of these things are objectively true. When you are done rolling your eyes, tell me why you think differently. Is Putin cooperating so much more on important issues such as Syria? Are the Chinese suddenly working with us? Are you satisfied with recent events in Libya, Syria or Egypt? And do you believe the economic recovery has been robust and that 7.6% unemployment is just fine with you?
You are one of the most partisan people I have ever encountered and so you have trouble even seeing things you don’t like. However, even you surely cannot be content with those things I mentioned above. You might want to blame Republicans for everything, but as President Obama bears full responsibility for our relations with China, Russia, Syria, Egypt etc. Those are his policies.
I think you guys have to earn your way to credibility and you have not succeeded.
I acknowledge that you won’t go away. But what about caring about more than just stopping people like me? Don’t you feel that they’re responsible for more than just exercising political opposition? I mean, is that all you think about when you think about government?
Going into the next election, you’re worse than the Do-Nothing Congress that Truman ran against in 1948. Do you know how long it was until Republicans had the house again? 1994.
The world is going to put your leaders to the test, and if their response is to do more of that stupid “offset disaster relief” crap, or more stunts with the debt ceiling, people are going to come to understand that conservatives and libertarians are too ideological to be useful in helping to run the country. You’re too committed to your own political gain to look outside the politics to see what this nation needs.
You could, if you saw fit, try and formulate conservative and libertarian policies that would help the situation. You could use the negotiation to help further the cause of cutting waste and reducing corruption, among other things. You could do a lot, but it would require that you look outside your merely political options, beyond your fantasies of a conservative utopia, and accept that new policy requires cooperation with the Democrats.
Instead, you’re engaging in largely symbolic, but happily (for you) pure politics instead, and congratulating yourself for it. You’re chasing a vision, and not really registering how little political capital the right’s rebuilt for itself.
You know, I’ve often spoke up in defense of compromises that others in my party despise. Why? Because I like getting things done better than I get a kick out of simply expressing a political point of view. The fact your people can’t keep a solid caucus, capable of actually passing legislation that can get past the Democrats, just shows how weak your kind of mentality, this partisanship above all else, has made your movement, and the party that’s identified with it.
If you actually read what I wrote, you would have noted a section where I ask a couple of simple questions, among them, this: “of all the possible policies that your given ideology would support, do there exist policies that succeed in meeting the demands of your given politics, but don’t succeed in practical terms?”
I believe there are liberal policies that do that, ways of regulating that do that, was of laying down the law that are counterproductive or dysfunctional.
I am willing to let the real world shape my policies, and then my planning. Why? Because I recognize that there is a such thing as liberal policy that makes liberals look bad, regardless of how consistent it is with our philosophy. I want my philosophy to succeed on the merits, and where it doesn’t I change the central theory to suit.
I can comprehend it. I comprehend that this is an imperfect world, that advances don’t rule out backsliding, that a murder rate has little to do with why the NYPD wastes so much time on fruitless stops and searches that invade the privacy of those who aren’t criminals.
It’s cheap to say I don’t comprehend something, simply because you believe that if I comprehend, I must agree.
Your people championed free trade and outsourcing, arguing it was only necessary. You started us back on the path to deficit spending not once but twice, helping to finance much of the Chinese resurgence. It’s cheap to suggest this sort of vague weakness while refusing to acknowledge that your policies strengthened them as world powers.
As for the slow recovery? You’ve opposed additional stimulus at every turn. Your party has opposed improvement of infrastructure, opposed doing anything but taking money out of the economy by way of austerity, which has proven to undermine rather than aid economic recovery elsewhere. There’s a quantifiable cost to our recovery that your austerity measures have imposed.
You cannot complain about a slow recovery when your policies are slowing the recovery as we speak. No, the recovery hasn’t been as robust, and no, I don’t like 7.6% unemployment. But I’ve never said that I was satisfied with the pace of recovery. I’ve been insisting we should help the economy more. I’ve been insisting that we should be prioritizing this over deficit reduction.
You say we haven’t earned credibility, but that’s the point of your obstructionism: you no longer have people enchanted with your policy, so you have to scapegoat the other side, while at the same time keeping them from implementing many of their policies. Neat little racket, isn’t it?
As for the Middle East? You’re acting as if it just suddenly got ****ed up. Never mind whether it’s your policy or my policy, but has there really been any time in my lifetime that these places have been stable? This trouble has been brewing for decades now, but you chose to believe that if you planted right wing dictators on top of people, that would keep everybody in line. And perhaps they did, but at the cost of creating some of our worst enemies.
So, I see no additional credibility on your side. I only see the complete unwillingness to let the other side have the opportunity to outshine yours or not on their own terms. As for partisanship? You can say what you want, but typically you advance the same arguments as many of the conservatives around you. You don’t come across as the independent thinker you think you are, and you won’t admit that a policy of obstruction will only serve to keep the GOP stuck in its current bad situation.
The only way to pass legislation in the hyperpartisan age is to win the White House and majority control of the Senate and House. Republicans will eventually do this and for 2 to 4 years they will pass their legislation. After the Republicans take control of all three, Democrats will eventually win majority control of the Senate or House in the mid terms or Presidential election. When Democrats or Republicans do not control all three, no legislation will pass for either party.
Democrats will be doing the exact same thing Republicans are doing today. I’m wrong about one thing however: Obama became a lame duck in 2010. You Democrats only got 2 years of change. Republicans, hopefully, will have 4 years of change.
I’ve said this before: Obama has done more to help the limited government movement than Reagan. Thanks to Obama, Americans are less trusting of activist government than ever before. That is Obama’s lasting legacy. Obama is directly responsible for the rise of the TEA party movement, which will accelerate the move to limited government. While Obama is an irrelevant lame duck since 2010, he is extremely useful for demonstrating the danger of an out-of-control government.
Look at Obama’s excuse for his many scandals: “The government is simply too big for me to control!”
Your party had two opportunities to do this, but failed both times. You hold onto the house for two reasons: one, people don’t quickly do away with incumbents, and two, you’ve managed to redistrict the living hell out of places. But redistricting doesn’t affect Senate races or sway Presidential elections, and there you have failed.
I could list a great many reasons why your efforts to take Senate and White House failed, but I think it boils down to a lack of perspective. You’ve decided that you’re too good to compromise with anybody, you the constitutional scholars who should recognize that compromise was built into it.
The Tea Party movement has proved worse than useless for the Republicans, creating a block of voters who are too good to participate in pushing forward even the most advantageous deals, who instead insist on poison pill bills that never pass.
You’re pissing away your political influence, and worse yet, making a case for out of control activist government in the other direction, rather than ours. Now you might cite the latest scandals, as if you were immune, but can I point some things out? First, your IRS Scandal, however useful it was to you in making the IRS look bad, has turned out to be an utter crock of ****. The Benghazi scandal never took hold as promised. The Scandal regarding the NSA? Unfortunately for you, that involves your people, too, since y’all voted for it.
Necessity will make the case for government. Events will occur that outrage people. Your people’s brain-dead, tin-eared proposals, like budget offsets to pay for disaster relief, will continue to frustrate people. They hear again and again that the government can’t act, and will see again and again Republicans whose sole function it seems is to violently disagree with everybody else. At some point, you might even drop the ball on something critical, like you all did in 2008.
And that will give Democrats, Liberals and Progressives the opportunity to take things back from you. There’s only so much incompetence people can take, and if all you’re interested in is forming some conservative/libertarian Utopia, if you don’t bother to actually take care of business however you do it, you will pay for it sooner or later.
Ask yourself what your party has DONE, PASSED, in order to merit further time in office, during the last two years. What is it that you’ve undertaken that is actually popular with most American voters?
The price of being a roadblock is that you’re just there to be run through. The GOP has become, policy-wise, dangerously passive. It passes no legislation, it changes very little, especially as negotiation has become less tolerated among Democrats, in response the hardline from Republicans.
What happens if its Democrats that get the upper hand, then? You could have spent all that time building up a portfolio of policy changes to present to people, a portfolio of jobs done, crises answered. You could have made it clear that your people can run the government properly, can be trusted to control it all.
Instead, you’ve just demonstrated that when your people are in charge of anything, when they’re allowed the power to get I the way of anything, the government’s function grinds to a halt.
Brilliant way to promote a party.
When Democrats lose control of the Senate what will be your excuse then? Pseudoliberalism is a dying obsolete ideology. Americans believe in individual rights. Pseudoliberalism believes in collective rights, or special rights for special groups. The way forward is that all humans are equal. No special rights or privileges for anyone. No treating people differently. Without divisive politics of treating people differently, your party cannot win elections.
You are the party of race.
A government that grinds to a halt is not a bad thing. Passing legislation to “do something” when that “something” will not improve the lives of American people or infringes on the individual rights of Americans is wrong. The government we have now, that cannot pass legislation, is much better than a government that passes legislation based on the obsolete politics of race and “social justice” that pseudoliberals advocate.
I believe there are liberal policies that do that, ways of regulating that do that, was of laying down the law that are counterproductive or dysfunctional.
You misuse the word “liberal.” You’re not liberal. You’re a pseudoliberal whose policies are authoritarian and limit the choices and infringe on the individual rights of Americans in the name of “social justice” and special rights and privileges for special people.
All humans are equal. There is no room in this country for a hyphenated-American.
Re/Mr. Daugherty’s post; first my eyes were glazed over and I was almost comatose by the time I finished reading it.
Secondly; Mr. Daugherty is still trying to blame the Republican House for the failures of Obama, Reid, and might I say Pelosi.
Thirdly, let’s not just stop with the past 10 years. Let’s go back 75-80 years to the beginning of FDR’s New Deal. Let’s look at the years of complete Democratic control of the Congress. The problems America faces today is the result of 75 years of liberal/socialist policy.
In the House: except for the 80th Congress (1947-1949) the Democrats controlled the house from 1933 until 1995; and except for two 2 year periods, the Democrats controlled the Senate from 1933 until 1981.
The problems America faces are the result of Democratic policy. The problems with corporations and Wall Street, the problems with an out of control national debt, the problems with the poor and with blacks, the problems with SS and Medicare, and the problems with a massive and out of control government.
It takes a lot of balls to write an essay telling us that the problems of America started 10 years ago with the Republicans considering the Democrats have had the control for decades.
Now, the question is, if what Daugherty is saying is true, why are state governments shifting to Republican. If what Mr. Daugherty says is true; if Republicans are at fault; then why are the voters shifting historically blue states to become red states. The greater question is, if states are shifting to red, why should the representatives of those red states go to Washington and vote blue? Mr. Daugherty’s logic does not make sense. Mr. Daugherty believes it is the duty of Democrats to support Obama and liberal policy, but Republicans have a duty to also support Obama and liberal policy. If this logic holds, then why have multiple parties? The founding fathers set up a republic with checks and balances; Daugherty wants to nullify those checks and balances.
His post is nothing more than sour grapes. Whining and crying that America does not accept Obama’s messiahship as Mr. Daugherty has.
Daugherty wrote; “The fact your people can’t keep a solid caucus, capable of actually passing legislation that can get past the Democrats, just shows how weak your kind of mentality…”
Doughboy uses the same argument in reverse against Republicans. Here, he admits that house legislation can’t get past the Dems, and then displaying his hypocritical nature, tells us that the Republicans can’t get their legislation enacted because it is flawed and unpopular and not that it is blocked at every turn by the dem led senate.
A “Solid Caucus” exists as witness the some thirty or more bills to eliminate or defuse obamacare, the farm bill and soon, the illegal alien bill.
Daugherty wrote; “The world is going to put your leaders to the test, and if their response is to do more of that stupid “offset disaster relief” crap, or more stunts with the debt ceiling, people are going to come to understand that conservatives and libertarians are too ideological to be useful in helping to run the country.”
For a liberal it may be true that attempting to limit deficit spending is a “STUNT”, but in the real world, we have witnessed what infinite spending leads to in other countries.
As expected, Doughboy falls back on the default position used by all lefties…our policies would succeed if only the opposition would give us unlimited spending powers. For them, any solution to any problem, requires the spending of huge sums of money we don’t have.
The left’s motto is, and always has been…”Spend today, to hell with tomorrow”.
More obstructionism to obama plans this time administered by both Reps and Dems as found in today’s issue of Huff Post World news…http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/08/us-aid-syria-rebels_n_3563390.html
“Both the Senate and House of Representatives intelligence committees have expressed reservations behind closed doors at the effort by President Barack Obama’s administration to support the insurgents by sending them military hardware.
None of the military aid that the United States announced weeks ago has arrived in Syria, according to an official from an Arab country and Syrian opposition sources.
Democrats and Republicans on the committees worry that weapons could reach factions like the Nusra Front which is one of the most effective rebel groups but has also been labeled by the United States as a front for al Qaeda in Iraq.
Committee members also want to hear more about the administration’s overall Syria policy, and about how it believes its arms plan will affect the situation on the ground, where Assad’s forces have made recent gains.
Funding that the administration advised the Congressional committees it wanted to use to pay for arms deliveries to Assad’s opponents has been temporarily frozen, the sources said.”
Well Daugherty…what say you?
I have been thinking about the left’s insistence that more spending will result in a more healthy economy and Daugherty’s belief that Reps are obstructing our nation’s recovery by not raising our debt limit.
This is somewhat like a business owner who can’t keep costs under control and files bankruptcy blaming the bank for not granting more credit and the unwillingness of his customers (taxpayers) to pay more for his product or service.
“that a murder rate has little to do with why the NYPD wastes so much time on fruitless stops and searches that invade the privacy of those who aren’t criminals.” - it must be good to be you. You know so much w/o having to study or experience it. Indeed the “fruitless” stops probably don’t do much.
I know I give you a hard time about not knowing much about life, but you don’t. It is like explaining colors to a blind man. Let me try. Imagine you are working and trying to sell something. You approach ten people who seem likely to buy. Nine of them turn you down. The tenth one buys. It would indeed to good IF you could avoid those nine “fruitless” efforts. If you figure out how to do this, you will be rich.
RE “Your people championed free trade …” I still do. Free trade is the basis of much of our prosperity. I know you think things are horrible in the U.S. because you lack experience outside, but it is better than you think and places that greatly limit trade tend to be much less pleasant and poorer. I also don’t buy your xenophobia. I think other people in the world have a lot to share with us and that we all benefit from openness.
RE “As for the slow recovery? You’ve opposed additional stimulus at every turn.” The stimulus didn’t work as intended and I don’t suppose an additional surplus would do any better.
RE - infrastructure “my party” is in favor of infrastructure. Your guys want to do it more with too much money. The stimulus did not build much infrastructure. It only spent lots of money.
RE “As for the Middle East? You’re acting as if it just suddenly got ****ed up.” I know the region has been messed up since the Sykes-Picot agreement, actually much longer. You claimed that it was “our” policies. I Just point out that the “new” policies work pretty much the same as the old ones. We might argue that Obama is no worse than Bush, but he clearly is no better either.
RE “ You don’t come across as the independent thinker you think you are” I always explain my reasons. I don’t know if I am an independent thinker. I can say with certainty that I don’t consume much “conservative” media. I don’t get Fox down here. I read WSJ, Economist & Washington Post. My main U.S. electronic media is NPR. It is possible that I am just repeating conservative talking points, but if so I derived them myself. BTW – my conservative readers claim I am not conservative or partisan enough. Perhaps you saw that in a recent post. I don’t suppose anybody would accuse you of not being partisan enough.
Raising the debt ceiling does not authorize additional deficit spending. It authorizes Congress to pay for what has already been spent.
The Democrats sometimes stop the Republicans and vice versa. What makes the current situation unique is that Republicans in the House are stopping Republicans in the House from passing legislation. About 1/3 of the House Republicans can be counted on to join the Democrats in passing absolutely necessary legislation. The rest of the time, the other 2/3 of the House Republicans are passing personhood amendments, defunding ACORN (which ceased to exist three years ago), repealing Obamacare 37 times, and continuing a sustained legislative assault against women’s rights (aka the War on Women).
They have offered Obama a raise of the debt ceiling for the rest of his administration in exchange for doing away with Social Security and Medicare.
I can see no possible downside to threatening to default on the full faith and credit of the United States unless Social Security and Medicare are eliminated. Nope. No downside at all. Nothing bad can happen to the GOP with this strategy. Uh uh.
IF Democrats lose Control of the Senate. Even at the peak of Tea Party Popular appeal, you only managed to reduce our majority. You have to win six seats, and defend all yours successfully.
Nate Silver’s read on it at this point is that you have about a 37% chance of winning a majority in the Senate. The math doesn’t get better for 2016, when you have to win several states that Obama won.
As for your talk about “pseudoliberalism” and all that? Maybe in fairy tales, people can say “everybody’s equal”, and that does it. Maybe in fairy tales, history doesn’t affect the present, and simply saying everybody’s equal means that each person will get equal opportunity, equal protection of the law, equal franchise in the electorate.
In the real world, enforcement mechanisms are necessary, and reparative efforts elsewhere. They can be rolled back as the damage of centuries worth of disadvantage unravels, but until they do, it’s more an unwillingness to pay more than lip service to the problems of entrenched inequality than any noble sentiment about equality.
As for government grinding to a halt?
So far, the results of grinding it to a halt have not been all that impressive. You’re helping to replay the credit crunch of the financial crisis in the Student Loan business, because Congress can’t be bothered to keep the rates down on borrowers disproportionately hit by the bad economy.
Like I said about race, we don’t have a blank slate in terms of policy, in terms of our overall situation. That means that Congress has to be there, ready to revise law and revise policy when the need arises. Otherwise, we end up with a situation like the Framers faced with the Articles of Confederation, where authority was unclear, passage of legislation difficult to impossible, and coordination among the states in great disrepair.
Why can’t you learn the lesson that the framers learned, that a nation that can’t get its **** together, that can’t compromise despite its differences will only decline and fall?
As for your third comment?
Look, mister, we are not merely equal, but free. We have the freedom to peaceably assemble, peacefully associate. If we want to identify as Irish-American, German-American, Anglo-American, African-American, Arab-American, Asian-American, etc, then that is our Constitutional RIGHT!
Equal protection means, though, that we do not have the right to discriminate against others on that basis. We can maintain our identity, but our identification with a group cannot come at the cost of somebody else’s right to earn equal pay for equal work, and the equal opportunity to seek out the given jobs we are qualified to work.
Government cannot fully do away with prejudice as long as we are all free, but it can make sure that official segregation, and provision of unwarranted advantages on one group or another don’t occur, or at least don’t occur unpunished.
The irony is, while you would attempt to impose equality in terms of everybody being on their own, in practice, you would just leave the door open for the longtime inequality in the workforce and higher education to reassert itself. Results matter more than mere political lip service. People are either equal in practice, or they’re not.
You make a bunch of claims you don’t back. What policies? What acts of Congress? You just scapegoat liberalism in a general sense.
I can point to the policies that allowed big banks to consolidate to become too big to fail, and trace that back to Republicans leading the charge to weaken anti-trust laws, not to mention New Deal Safeguards. I can point to the conflicts of interest that generated.
I can talk about William Pitt pushing accounting “reform” that helped make it possible for Enron and other businesses to cheat their shareholders and investors out of money, and how Bush then hired him to head the SEC.
You think of it as boring detail, I think of it as the means by which my arguments take on credibility.
As for your Red State/Blue State argument?
You managed to shift a grand total of 2 states to Red that were Blue in the last election. You might have shifted some state legislatures towards the red, but how much of that is gerrymandering, rather than an overall percentage of representation?
As for checks and balances? It’s a laugh that you hit me with that. I don’t expect Republicans, as a matter of course, to vote my way. Trouble is, you somehow expect Democrats to do exactly what you’re accusing me of having them do, rubberstamping these atrocious debt ceiling deals, despite the flack from liberal voters.
The whole system, as the Framers set it up, was built to force all the different interests groups to settle on compromises that everybody could live with. You, though, can’t live with any compromise. Where does that leave you?
Well, in check. DEFEATED. Your inability to compromise even with your own party members, much less everybody else, means you often lack the majority to get your policy through. Republicans end up having to compromise with Democrats to get some sort of policy through, because your people are too good to participate.
Congress was meant to be a deliberative body, and representatives were meant to provide a layer of thought and consideration, negotiation and compromise between the different factions. We have the checks and balances between the Executive Branch, the Senate, and the House of Representatives for a reason. We have a representative, rather than direct Democracy for a Reason. We are a Republic, rather than a plebiscite for a reason.
It’s odd that a supposed conservative like yourself doesn’t recognize a structure meant to slow change when you see it. Maybe it’s because you’re not a real conservative. You’re too busy trying to wreck the institutions Liberals built in the 20th Century to register the fact that most people don’t want them to go anywhere. Talk about government in big, scary terms, as a hulking presence that overwhelms their freedoms, and of course people hate it.
But if you talk to people about things like health inspections on their foods, air traffic control, their Social Security and Medicare checks, etc. and you’ll find people really want it, and what you’re trying to do is change policy in spite of people’s resistance to it.
In my experience, when people try to do that, they’re just setting up the potential for the backlash that’s going to whack them in the ass. Folks want change, and not because it’s a cute slogan by Barack Obama. They want it because the change you’ve supported, that the Republicans have implemented is just not working.
My post is about how it’s better to focus on how things work in the real world, rather than focusing on politics that can mutate itself out of touch with reality. There’s no solid grapes, just a concern that modern Republican legislators aren’t entirely clear on how much more important their duties to the country and its citizens are than their loyalty to their party and their political beliefs.
I won’t say that legislation during that first two years was easy, but we did get plenty of things passed. We worked harder and smarter, spending more days at work, and surmounting the Republican’s artificially imposed threshold quite a number of times.
Yes, we had to deal with Conservative and Centrist Democrats. But we dealt with them, and they dealt with us, and **** actually got done!
As for your solid caucus? Give me a ****ing break. It’s a solid caucus to pass legislation that has no hope of actually passing in real life! I’m talking about a caucus that is willing to come together to create the negotiated legislation that actually has a prayer of becoming real law. We had to provide the majority support for the middle class tax cut this year because your Speaker couldn’t get a compromise capable of passing the Senate out of his house.
As for Stunts? We reduced the deficit each year we were in charge. We did it through quiet policy and promoting economic recovery. Your side? It’s achieved small change results by way of growth-slowing policy.
Normal government EXPECT for natural disasters to occur, and don’t exploit them to make more short-sighted changes to the budget. They don’t leave people in the lurch so they can promote their glorious political causes. You deceive yourself into believing that you’re the only people who care about fiscal balance, and then deceive yourselves into believing that your Tax Cuts and elevated national security spending don’t have any effects on that deficit.
As for Syria? Nobody should carelessly arm the rebels there. Of course, if you don’t arm some of them, you could end up yielding the field to al-Qaeda and their ilk.
You’re so busy trying to cast policy in glib soundbite-level bumpersticker statements that you don’t even bother to recognize a complex situation when you see it.
As for the last comment there?
You seem to have convinced yourself that the spending the Federal government does, nearly a fifth of our economy, has no effect on the economy.
I admire the boldness of your self-deception. It takes real chutzpah to get that deluded without an organic cause.
But lets be blunt here: government spending isn’t a magic solution. Neither is cutting government spending. You have to watch what you’re doing.
Analysts who are watching what’s being done are noticing a substantial cut in growth. You don’t acknowledge that discrepancy, for political reasons. I do acknowledge it.
You folks are like businessfolk who wonder why people complain when they substitute poor products for well-made ones, who wonder why their income goes down when they cut prices. You’re like CEOs who beef up the security budget by millions, and then wonder what they budget’s tight in other areas.
I could go on, but the point is, if you want to fling business metaphors at me, I could fling many right back about debt financing (which many businesses do as a matter of course in order to grow), about quality of products, about customer satisfaction. You’re not the only one who can play with thought experiments and figures of speech.
You’re so charming in your condescension. I’m convinced now!
Seriously, though, look at this article. It seems the policy you’re so in love with, in the vast majority of cases, is just plain frivolous. Most people stopped are innocent of any crime.
With results like this, why continue such policy? Perhaps an emotional attachment to a certain kind of policework that disregarded civil liberties. Even so, in simple information and cognitive theory terms, your approach wastes attention and time on irrelevant information. And in civil liberties terms, it’s a travesty that’s wrong even if it was effective. We pay a certain price in terms of people being free to break to law, in order for people to be free as law abiding citizens.
Most of the people being stopped, even accounting for the racial disparities in other crime statistics, are innocent.
As for free trade?
You know, I don’t mind not standing in the way of economically healthy competition and trade. But Americans are losing jobs not because it’s actually more efficient to make things overseas, but because it makes certain people more money. People are seeing the Walmart effect, where a lack of jobs here at home is undermining the economy necessary to shop at these low price outlets. No consumer economy can survive undermining the middle class base and its disposable income.
Moreover, even if we are severing the restrictions on trade to us, others aren’t playing fair and cutting their regulations on trade coming from us. I mean, its a simple matter of not acting like a sucker, and it’s odd that you don’t understand that.
American needs to be assertive, not passive-aggressive in its trade relationships. There needs to be mutual trade, mutual exchange of economic interests, not just foreign-biased trade policy that just happens to benefit the richest people here at home because they don’t have to pay some American a market-appropriate wage. It’s not xenophobia, it’s standing up for ourselves, rather than letting the few this imbalance benefits shift our policy in other nation’s favor.
As for the stimulus not working like it was designed to? Actually, it did work like it was designed to. The trouble comes from the fact that it was designed to deal with a much smaller disaster. That doesn’t mean, though, that it didn’t help.
It’s helped a lot more, as a matter of fact, than the billions in spending cuts and tax and fee hikes that the states engaged in during the same period of time. And it’s working a hell of a lot better than the growth-destroying sequester cuts.
As for infrastructure? Give me a break. Show me the actual policy your people came up with, the one that passed. Then tell me how great your party is for that.
As for policy in the Middle East?
I seem to recall thousands of Americans, not four, dying in efforts to unseat a Dictator. I seem to recall Americans being right in the middle of the fighting between different factions in Iraq, rather than being out of the way as they were in Syria. I seem to recall a certain Republican President’s national security operation selling arms to our enemy in that region, and building up a dictator who we later had to fight.
You’ve got some convincing to do before I believe that Obama’s policy is as bad as you think it is.
phx8 writes: “Royal Flush,
Raising the debt ceiling does not authorize additional deficit spending. It authorizes Congress to pay for what has already been spent.”
Sure…you bet…and that dog never does catch his tail.
Daugherty writes; “I could go on, but the point is, if you want to fling business metaphors at me, I could fling many right back about debt financing (which many businesses do as a matter of course in order to grow), about quality of products, about customer satisfaction. You’re not the only one who can play with thought experiments and figures of speech.”
Poor boy, he uses the word “Play” advisedly as that is all he is doing.
Business debt financing is a tool to grow the business just as the left wishes to do with government. The difference however is that business doesn’t debt finance to give their product away for free as does government with all their group entitlement and pork programs.
Under current Federal Banking regulations the Federal government, if it were a private business, would not qualify for a loan from any bank.
Daugherty has written of the perils of profiling….we wonder how he feels about this.
“In an initiative aimed at rooting out future leakers and other security violators, President Barack Obama has ordered federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues based on behavioral profiling techniques that are not scientifically proven to work, according to experts and government documents…
Federal employees and contractors are asked to pay particular attention to the lifestyles, attitudes and behaviors – like financial troubles, odd working hours or unexplained travel – of co-workers as a way to predict whether they might do “harm to the United States.” Managers of special insider threat offices will have “regular, timely, and, if possible, electronic, access” to employees’ personnel, payroll, disciplinary and “personal contact” files, as well as records of their use of classified and unclassified computer networks, polygraph results, travel reports and financial disclosure forms…”
Once again, we see Obama turning one group of American against the other. Obama, the great divider. If I didn’t know better I would think Obama was Khrushchev, and the United States was the USSR.
DSP…I will lay ten to one odds that Doughboy will find a way to defend obama’s profiling.
Re condescension - you are right. But maybe you should get a little more experience. It really is nearly impossible to explain things to people like you. You lack experience and that is clear in how you write and what your write about.
Your source tell us -
And 12% of the 4.4 million stops during that time period — roughly 528,000 — led to an actual arrest or a summons, Fagan said.
That is not a bad rate.
When you travel on an airplane, you go through security. They find much fewer than 12%, yet we devote much time and trouble. Why?
As I wrote many times, when I was young and on my way to work at 430am, cops stopped me often. They asked what was in my bag. I showed them my lunch and moved along. No harm.
RE “But Americans are losing jobs not because it’s actually more efficient to make things overseas, but because it makes certain people more money.” If it is not more efficient, certain people would not be able to make money.
But most of the industrial jobs “lost” have gone away due to technology. I used to work at a cement company. There were many of us loading bags 12 hours a day. Today that same plant runs with a couple people and puts our more product. I remember road building. There used to be hundred of men. Today a big machine runs down the road. One part takes up the old pavement, the other side lays new road.
Re the Middle East - it was a mistake to go into Iraq when and as we did. Of course, we do not know the outcome had we not done that.
The Obama policy is not working well. IMO too many people in the region are just A-holes, but that is not scientific. I don’t blame Obama as much as them. But we clearly do not have as much influence in the region as we did even a few years ago. Our enemies dislike us as much as ever, but now they fear us less.
RE stimulus - we can argue about this, but someone with your academic background should at least recognize that you have produced an idea that is not capable of being assessed. No matter how much stimulus doesn’t do, you can just say that it was worse than you thought.
But you have to at least understand that the Obama folks are the ones who made the assessments and the predictions. If they so clearly got wrong the assumptions, why would their prescriptions be any better?
The fall-back argument used by the left when big government spending programs don’t work is nearly always the same. We just didn’t spend enough money on the problem or, as C/J described, the problem was larger than we were led to believe.
The left wishes to be called progressive. If progressive; why do they always resort to the same old worn out solutions? The left is a one-trick pony…identify and inform groups of voters that government owes them something, promise to spend money on those special groups, get elected, and spend ever more money on those special groups making them dependent upon government and politicians.
The left believes that “WE the people” refers to groups of Americans. That belief allows them to trump individual rights with group rights. A simple reading of our founding documents reveals that our “inalienable rights” (That which is inalienable cannot be bought, sold, or transferred from one individual to another) refers to individuals and not groups. But, that is inconvenient for the lefts desire to make Americans beholden to them.
The left has only the carrot, and can’t find the stick of self discipline and self reliance. Government bribery of the electorate is rampant. The left has no new or useful ideas about governance, just the same old bread and circus crap that’s been pedaled to dummies for millennium.
The left always has its finger in the air to find the latest group grievance whether social or personal. The left caters to the lowest common denominator. They find strength in the misery caused by the very policies they promote.
Royal Flush, I like “pseudoliberal” or “recursive visionary” myself. I suggest adopting one of those words rather than misuse the words “liberal” and “progressive.” Neither “liberal” nor “progressive” accurately describe the Democrats’ authoritarian platform.
Honestly, calling Stephen a liberal is an insult to liberals. He’s a pseudoliberal that advocates the Nanny State. There’s nothing liberal about statism.
A liberal is someone that looks to the future and is ready to abandon old thinking. A liberal is someone that rejects authoritarianism. A liberal is something that believes in individual rights, individual choice and free will. Does that describe a Democrat? We should stop calling Democrats “liberal” because they do not fit the definition.
Words matter. We should use correct words in describing the platform of our opponents.
Joseph…a Liberal by any other name would smell as bad.
The left believes that “WE the people” refers to groups of Americans. That belief allows them to trump individual rights with group rights. A simple reading of our founding documents reveals that our “inalienable rights” (That which is inalienable cannot be bought, sold, or transferred from one individual to another) refers to individuals and not groups. But, that is inconvenient for the lefts desire to make Americans beholden to them.
Yes. Very well said.
You see, Stephen, the reason we cannot compromise with you Democrats is because there is no common ground between us. Without common ground, there cannot be compromise. Frankly, we might as well live in different countries (or planets).
We believe in the Constitution as written with its amendments. We believe in individual rights and that all humans are created equal. No special rights for anyone. We all have the same rights. Equal. End of discussion.
You believe in a “living document” that says whatever you want it to say to fit your pseudoliberal platform. Constitution in the way? Just “reintrepret” the “living document” and stack the court system with other pseudoliberals. You believe in group rights or collective rights. Special rights based on skin color. You don’t believe in equality.
We’re not interested in your brand of “social justice” because it’s immoral and inhumane. Lecture us all you want. We will continue to reject authoritarianism and the Nanny State. You can keep your “social justice.” We will continue to embrace individual rights and equality.
Joseph…a Liberal by any other name would smell as bad.
However, consider the implication of accepting that the word “liberal” accurately describes the Democrats’ platform. By calling their platform “liberal,” you are suggesting that it rejects authoritarianism and is based on new ideas and thinking. This is incorrect and I’m sure you would agree.
Pseudoliberal is a good word. Stephen’s heart is in the right place, or at least it is in my opinion. His execution of his liberal feelings is authoritarian. You cannot be both “liberal” and “authoritarian.” Those are contradictions.
Thus, Stephen and most Democrats like him are pseudoliberals.
CJ, despite writing for the “conservative” side, is more liberal than Stephen.
As I said before, words matter. We should use correct words in describing the platform of our opponents.
Can point out a better word than “pseudoliberal” that accurately sums up the contradiction of Democrats calling themselves “liberal” while advocating an authoritarian platform?
Joseph, you are correct about CJ. And you are absolutely correct about Stephen Daugherty.
Daugherty’s biggest complaint is that Republicans block the Democrat agenda. Since he is a Democrat, he believes in group thought, as you so eloquently stated, “You believe in group rights or collective rights”; and it is because of this very thinking that Stephen Daugherty cannot understand individual thought. He cannot grasp why conservatives oppose not only Democrats, but also oppose RINO’s. It has been explained to him hundreds of times, yet he will never understand individual thought.
Can point out a better word than “pseudoliberal” that accurately sums up the contradiction of Democrats calling themselves “liberal” while advocating an authoritarian platform?
Wouldn’t conservative be a much better description for those who advocate authoritarianism?
Authoritarianism is characterized by or favoring absolute obedience to authority, as against individual rights.
Which party advocates authoritarianism?
Another definition is: Of, relating to, or expecting unquestioning obedience.
Hmm, sound familiar?
How dare Republicans question Obama! He’s trying to improve the country! Obedience! You’re not allowed individual free speech! That’s a collective right. Only groups we approval of have that right and you’re not in an approved “free speech zone.”
And your racist. Very, very racist.
I forget the exclamation marks:
And your racist. Very, very racist!!!!1111
(I spelled “your” incorrectly on purpose)
We got our deficit back down to about 600 billion. You know how that happened? The economy improved.
What you fail to account for is that the more people are employed, the more people will do good business. As revenues come in from Americans who are working instead of taking unemployment checks, as revenues come in from corporations that are getting money from people who can now afford to go shopping again, you’ll see improvement in revenues.
You talk about getting people things for free. Well what about infrastructure, space exploration? What about science and other things? Those things have return on investment. Keeping people from falling through the floor economically also helps keep the economy from reacting too profoundly to downturns. If we didn’t have the FDIC, unemployment to help those who have lost their jobs, the impact from the crisis would have been worse.
You’re blind here. you had an eye for cost, and an eye for benefit, but you’ve gouged out that benefit eye for anything to do with government. That is, unless it’s some defense program. Then you make damn sure nobody’s in the way.
Also, what kind of business acts like the Bush Administration did with taxes?
As far as the leaking and everything?
If you guard your diamonds and your toothbrushes with equal zeal, you’ll lose fewer toothbrushes and more diamonds.
I don’t agree with it. I think it’s fairly pointless. Obama might have been convinced that it’s all necessary, but I think much of it is just confusing information glut with information access. It’s a common problem, in case you’re trying to say that it’s unique to the Obama administration. I think the whole Snowden case is overblown- we knew about things like this during the Bush Administration.
And no, the profiling probably won’t work. If you want to keep something secret, tell as few as possible
If you knew better, you wouldn’t use such a godawful clichéd attack. And Royal Flush? You lose. I think it’s dumb.
Remind me to schedule a poker game with you, if you think that striking out nine times out of ten is a good rate. I could use the money.
Seriously, that’s about nine people whose constitutional rights you just violated, to find one criminal. And out of those criminals, how many are actually convicted?
The beauty of a system built on warrants and probable cause is that it keep the cops and federal agents on task, not simply following suspicions. It cuts down on corruption, since power cannot be so arbitrarily justified.
As a liberal, I believe this is part and parcel of having a strong government that is nonetheless a just one. And as a student of information theory, I believe keeping government’s attention confined to where a crime is proveable and probable helps save time, taxpayer dollars, and trouble within society.
If your attitude is, instead, that we are obligated to try and prevent and predict every possible attack or crime, well then, the simple truth that probabilities are more numerous than realities will always lead towards your being overwhelmed.
With Airline Security, there is both a reason (terrorists smuggling weapons and/or bombs aboard), and a practical means for narrowing the search (you set your means of detection at access points). The natural flow of things channels your targets towards your security measures.
But in the wide world?
Every stop of somebody who doesn’t even have so much as a busted tail light is a cop unavailable to stop somebody who does have that, or worse. Attention is limited, time is limited, manpower is limited. Why waste it 90% of the time?
As far as efficiency goes?
Layoff a bunch of people, and inefficiency might rise on the production line, but it might go up in terms of profit/earnings ratio. If you make your money off of stock options, that might be a tempting proposition. Enron Execs certainly didn’t create an efficient business, or optimize power generation and delivery in California, but they made a hell of a lot of money doing things that way.
Some companies, like Boeing, have found to their chagrin that their business model simply doesn’t work with outsourcing. Other businesses? Well, if it makes the execs money, they might not be too concerned how dissatisfied their customers are or how many people get into assembly line accidents, or how much pollution they generate, or whatever else externality they have to deal with.
Efficiency, and the way you define it, depends on your goals. People can make a ton of money doing things that are not in the interest of their customers. They just have to get out of the way of the reckoning when the time comes, like Bain Capital getting out the way of the ruin of the companies they milked for debt-financed profit.
I can understand technology making it easier to do more with fewer people, and that will be a reality we have to deal with. But some are simply doing more with fewer people with an aim to pay fewer people, and cut a major cost.
And then we look back at an economy run according to this kind of efficiency and realize that with so many people being paid so little, or being out of a job, they can’t afford the consumer goods that drive the economy! But hey, the investors and the execs make money, so the system’s running right, isn’t it?
You’ve got such a narrow point of view on these matters, and it hurts your ability to see where the dysfunction in the system is.
As for the Middle East? As far as Iraq goes, Saddam was always mortal. Time would take care of him, eventually. Whole novels are written on the what-ifs of certain decisions. We can only try and make the best and most appropriate choices now, with the elements we have at hand. Neither the real intelligence, or any incident tells us that Saddam had to be dealt with then and there. We should have stuck to Bin Laden like white on rice instead. Fight one enemy at a time, if you can, and fight them well.
As far as general policy goes? At some point our framers decided that they had to take ownership of their nation’s future. The patriots decided that they weren’t going to get a fair deal from England, and after the turmoil of he first few years, they decided America had to be more than just a loosely confederated set of states.
Folks in those countries are going to have to figure out how to settle their differences in their own best interests. Before you say that this is impossible, just keep in mind how intense and hysterical the sectarian conflicts of the period after the foundation of the Church of England and the Protestant Reformation was.
Re: Stimulus? Well, a person of my background knows that if an argument is unprovable, it’s converse is no less unprovable. If the stimulus’ success is unprovable, so is its failure. However, results are not so entirely confounded. It’s never an exact science, but you can at least hazard educated guess as to the impact, and many of those who have done so have done so in favor of the Stimulus.
As for the assumptions being wrong? To simplify the model, if you show up to buy a cup of coffee, and you find out you’re a quarter short, that does not mean the dollar you already have won’t serve to function as part of the purchase price. The error was in failing to completely judge the depth of the economy’s failure. However, that doesn’t mean the stimulus did not work to help us overcome some of that failure, or in fact as much failure as it was originally intended to. It just means the economy needs more help
As for the Obama administration and that assumption, I’d first tell you that the numbers concerning fourth quarter 2008 were done by the Bush Administration. However, that’s a bit of a cop-out, so the better argument would be that NO-ONE had a clear idea of how bad the failure was, at least not together in a reliable estimate.
Now the Obama Administration could have corrected that, pushed forward additional stimulus, but it seems some didn’t like that idea, thought we should have simply let the damage from this more than just cyclical event just go unchecked. Like Ben Franklin used to say, a Stitch in time saves nine. If we let damage from such crises go unchecked, we just end up letting it become worse as the situation develops over time. by intervening early, we at least cushioned the economy somewhat, shortening the period of the problem.
1) And what if, on the facts, that happens to be true? If your reaction to the hated liberals means you dismiss fact and truth, then being opposed to those you think are wrong doesn’t make you right.
2)Progressive means moving things forward. It doesn’t mean all solutions are new and improved, it just means that they are aimed at improving the situation. Many of our solutions worked the first time around. If it makes progress for this country, why knock it for being an old idea?
3)You have ****-all of an idea of what the left wants. You just make these pronouncements about what we want, and then declare yourself the victor for beating up your strawman.
You seem to be conflating the Declaration of Indepdence, which no law in America gathers its legal authority from, with the Constitution, which, ratified by the states, has that authority. You seem to substitute in “inalienable rights” for any argument where you don’t want to have an actual debate on the issues.
I think the left has done a much better job in paying for its policies that the Right has. We at least acknowledge that you can’t magically make revenue appear when you cut taxes.
Word salad’s on the menu, apparently.
I don’t put my trust in mere words. We need to understand the facts and history that tie them to reality. You allege that people like me are racists. Why? Because we say that a practical inequality has to be dealt with by means of rules and laws that must recognize blacks and other minorities as distinct classes of individuals.
There’s a difference though, between being color blind and being an absolute idiot about history. We can tell ourselves that everything’s equal now, but the economic consequences of years of slavery and discrimination continue to make their mark.
We should enforce equal opportunity, punish discrimination. But we should also work to improve the economic lot of those whose ancestors were wrong by our ancestors, and whose disadvantage was an advantage for us. Amends should be made.
As for the living document?
Law can never be written specific enough to cover all eventualities. Laws are always changing, and the stresses put upon our liberties, and the attitudes we take concerning those liberties change, too.
There is something of a built in conservatism concerning final legal authority in the courts. We appoint justices for life. To believe, though, that even the Framers could all agree on one prototypical paradigm of what the constitution and all the laws meant, is to blind yourself to the truth: then as now, people argue about the meaning of the laws we live by, including the Constitution.
People like you have engaged in an arrogant form of fundamentalism concerning what our constitution means, what the relationship between commerce and the federal government is, what the proper interpretation of the law is concerning things like campaign finance. And you expect, because you wear some tri-cornered hats and prance about with teabags hanging from them quoting men two hundred years dead about today’s issues, that everybody should just fall down on the ground and agree with you.
Sorry, I think you’re wrong. This Constitution supports my right to think so and say so. It supports my right to have an opinion about what the Constitution says, and to elect people who will appoint the right folks (in my mind) to interpret the Constitution.
And that is what the Framers intended, why they made the justices and other court judges appointees of the President. They knew with something as complex as the Constitution, there would be great big disagreements. At the same time, they didn’t want there to be a system where one side simply hijacked things at the expense of the other, and vice versa.
They made it to where folks elected by the people had a check on the judges, but thereafter, the judges had nobody else to be accountable to than themselves. That has kept legal interpretation stable.
Calling it a living document simply means that we reconsider things from time to time, as events and insights merit it. It doesn’t mean we do what you do with the definition of Racism, and simply bend and break the words of the constitution. It means we understand that the Fourth Amendment must be reinterpreted so we can decide legal doctrine on new technologies, or deal with the new realities of city life, or whatnot. It means we have to accept that the creation of the modern corporation has forced an adjustment in how we deal with commerce in this country.
It means that life is considerably more complex, the needs more numerous, as running water, internet, electricity and other former luxuries have become commonplace needs.
It means we don’t sit on our asses and make irrational judgments just to satisfy legal doctrines from an inappropriatedly distant age. We don’t stretch the meaning of the Constitution, we take off the worn off clothes of interpretation, and replace them with a fresh set that can interface properly with our modern reality. We take the rules we got, and make them work in a modern age, rather than getting into a literalistic tail-chasing feedback loop of endless revisionism to the Constitution.
As for the rest? When I complain about blockage, I’m not complaining about Democrats holding votes, and losing because some Republicans managed to convince Democrats to vote the other way. I’m complaining about folks who block what should be up or down votes from every taking place. I’m complaining about people who keep Obama’s appointees bottled up, simply to deny him his Constitutional right to appoint officials.
I’m complaining about people who don’t get that Congress was meant to be a deliberative body, not merely a partisan one, where one set of idiots get into a long term stalemate with the other side, unless one or the other gets all the power.
You complain about folks not honoring the original intent of the Constitution, so answer me this: how does filibustering bills fit into that original intent? How does depriving the President of his ability to appoint, denying advise and consent proceedings, fit with that?
The arguments seem to be mostly about armoring your particular ideas and beliefs against challenge, claiming that what you believe is right and good must be considered so by everybody else.
That wasn’t what this Constitution was written for. It was written to settle differences, to give our young nation the ability to function. Your attitude of elevating your differences of opinion to untouchable levels isn’t fitting with that, it’s in stark contrast to it. They had arguments back in the day, passionate ones. But they at least understood that a nation whose political systems broke down, who couldn’t resolve differences, would be weak in the face of the world’s challenges.
The whole point of what I wrote is to highlight one important thought: that whatever we believe as individuals, we have to work together as a group in order to figure out just what we can agree to between each other. We’re all just human. Our differences cannot be so catastrophically absolute that we can’t agree on anything at all.
“It means we don’t sit on our asses and make irrational judgments just to satisfy legal doctrines from an inappropriatedly distant age. We don’t stretch the meaning of the Constitution, we take off the worn off clothes of interpretation, and replace them with a fresh set that can interface properly with our modern reality.”
That’s the problem, Stephen. You reinterpret things when you should be following the Constitution and changing them properly.
You know you can’t get the required majority of states to support your policies, so you advocate leftist reinterpretation of how rights and freedoms “interface” with your view of our “modern reality.” All in order to bypass that requirement.
Pretty chickensh** if you ask me.
Learn to do things the right way and people who support the founders and the constitution they gave us have nothing to argue about.
Look, the Fourth Amendment was originally written and interpreted in an age when people could only communicate by writing letters or sending messengers. No interpretation of that time could have considered the implications of the telegraph, much less the internet.
The Constitution, in order to be applied to this ages communication technology, has to go through a reinterpretation. Or put in more practical terms, whenever something develops in society, thanks to cultural change, thanks to technological change, thanks to the pressures of problems in our country, we reevaluate what the law means, and try to reconcile what the Constitution is obviously meant to mean to the situations we have to deal with.
You think it’s like God passing down his word from Mount Sinai, that it’s simply a matter of just reading off the words. Trouble is, laws interact, conflict, create logical problems. Plus, you have actually look at the facts of the cases and decide just what the hell the law actually has to say about the situation.
The interpretation only gets to be dead and done with when we’re dead and done with. Until then, the complexities of the real world force us to evaluate again and again what the law means in a given situation.
You want some sort of received, unquestionable wisdom. You don’t want to have to deal with grey areas, you don’t want to have to consider that there are actually some places where you and those dreaded liberals agree. Truth is, though, a lot of the process of self-governing in a country like ours is getting our hands dirty trying to make wise decisions, rather than setting some arbitrary standard we consider wise, and then heedlessly employing that in spite of how the real world might behave.
People need to interpret the law to honor its spirit, not just it’s literal enumeration in phrase and wording. We need to have some sort of common sense in touch with reality. That’s why the interpretation needs to be a living one, because the world doesn’t simplify and stagnate its changes for our sake. We need to keep up with events, and preserve Constitutional law by making sure it is constantly, consistently implemented in a wise, vigilant, conscientious fashion.
I was listening to someone a few days ago, talk about the genius of the founding fathers. To be able to put together the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. They have held this country together for 230 years as one of the greatest success stories in human history. But, somehow, for the past 40 years the Democrats have harped and harped about how unfair and out of date these documents are. Sad isn’t it?
Where would we be today in Stephen Daugherty had been one of those founding fathers? Daugherty not only believes he is more intelligent than anyone on WB; but he also believes he is more intelligent than the founders of this nation. They pledged and gave up their fortunes, liberties, and even lives. Daugherty has given nothing. He has no wife or kids to support, he never served his country in the military, he still lives with his parents. All I can say about Stephen Daugherty is thank God that imbecile had nothing to do with the founding documents.
Stephen is not only a “pseudoliberal”, he is also a pseudointellectual. Stephen is not able to hold an intelligent conversation. He’s in the tank for Obama and all socialist/communist agendas. As time goes by, I have noticed the more he writes, the more radical he has become.
Poker is a zero sum game. In most real world applications, a 12% success rate is very good. Beyond that, you are getting violent offenders off the streets and discouraging crime.
It is not an unconstitutional act; it has so far passed court review. Usually, it consists of asking questions. I have had it done to me hundreds of times and so have you. When you pass through an airport, they ask you about your bags. When you enter a secure building, you get checked. in the airport, thousands of people are checked and almost nobody is found to have illegal weapons. If you oppose the NYPD, you really should oppose airport security.
NYC has greatly lowered crime rates. Most perpetrators are black and so are victims. This is a little unfair to non-blacks, in that blacks are the chief beneficiaries but they are not stopped in relation to their numbers among perps. but we can let that go.
Freedom from violence and threat is important to your right too.
Re “And as a student of information theory, I believe keeping government’s attention confined to where a crime is proveable and probable helps” - then you certainly should be in favor of the police efforts. These are not random searches.
Think again about that 12% figure. Do you think that 12% of the general population is carrying illegal weapons or has an outstanding warrant? Obviously police are doing a decent job of targeting. But if you prefer to allow criminals to rape and kill, I suppose that is the liberal line.
If the authors of the Federalist essays had their way, there would have been no Bill of Rights. They argued against it.
You’ve bought into this cultification of the Framers. They were wise men, but they were also politicians, interested in the good of their particular states. Each, if they had their druthers, would have shaped the Constitution a different way. Some would have favored a Senate alone, equal representation for all states. Others wanted a House of Representatives alone, with the most populous states receiving the most pull in the legislature.
They bargained about what powers the new government would have, and what the states would have instead. They even bargained about the means by which the Constitution would be amended.
They did a whole lot of compromising. If they weren’t too good for that, why are the Tea Partiers of today, self-appointed guardians of the Constitution, not able to compromise enough to make their House and effective LAWmaking, not just Bill-passing operation?
You just don’t seem to particularly care about the future, about making peace with us. You still think of us as a political enemy to be eliminated, but in any constitutional republic worth its salt, with a bill of rights that guarantees freedom of speech, you can’t do that.
You might insult my position here, but you know what? If I really wanted to, I could have gone out on my own. My parents even offered to let me do that. I refused because I cared more about their welfare, about my family as a whole, than I did about my own happiness.
I’ve given up a better part of a decade of my life to help support them, and I will never get it back. I will not be the twenty-five year old on the verge of getting out on his own that I was before ever again.
But you know what? I can live with myself. I can live with the choice I made, however much it cost me, because I value my family.
You’re too interested in tearing me down to read my personal choices as anything less than a statement of inferiority. And that’s sad. But that’s what you’ve been taught. You’ve been taught to deal with politics on the basis of making political war on your opponents and assassinating their characters as an element of that battle.
In the end, though, we have the live with the consequences of all the sacrifices you selfishly required of the American people, just so your side wouldn’t lose its political power.
I got a birthday party to attend, so goodbye for now.
“He cannot grasp why conservatives oppose not only Democrats, but also oppose RINO’s.”
I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but when everybody opposes your agenda, perhaps it’s your agenda that’s the problem.
Poker is a zero sum game. In most real world applications, a 12% success rate is very good. Beyond that, you are getting violent offenders off the streets and discouraging crime.
Why not spend more manpower and more time following actual leads? The stops are almost all a waste of time, and we’re not talking about a bunch of people getting into a thin metal tube, which if it blows up in mid-air will likely kill most if not all on board.
And let’s be blunt: this security is mandatory for everybody. It’s not at the officer’s discretion whether your carry-on bags or checked luggage are scanned. It’s just done.
That, as opposed to having some cop pull random motorists over on mere suspicion, an act which according to statistics disproportionately targets the wrong people!
I untangled your statistical blunder over on the other side, so don’t insult my intelligence with your “correlation equals causation between unrelated numbers” argument. Very, very few of those successful stops (which in turn are a distant minority subset of all stops) actually deal with a violent offender.
I don’t know why you continue to use Mayor Bloomberg’s fatally flawed argument.
You’re trying to make a silk purse out of a Sow’s ear. My Liberal line is that criminals should be the primary catch of any strategy of law enforcement. Doing it otherwise not only makes a mockery of our Fourth Amendment rights, it also wastes the time it takes to make these stops eighty-eight percent of the time. It also undermines the faith of people in the Police, that they’re actually law enforcers and not simply agents of a hostile, discriminatory majority.
Pulling people over for driving while black or Hispanic is just a good way to encourage people to clam up and not cooperate, to fear rather than respect the police, to treat them like hostile outsiders, not members of the community.
Lies, damn lies and statistics. Your big piece of information is a cable business news channel’s ratings for states. But with the people in charge of that channel so heavily biased towards a certain style of business, evidenced by their failure to actually anticipate the market’s collapse, it seems to me that winning this contest is a bit like congratulating yourself for socializing because you went out for dinner with your family.
It’s largely based on how much Business groups like their policy. In other words, special interests. Make the special interests happy, and they’ll rate you highly! I’m shocked, shocked to hear that Republican led states ranked highly on the list!
And really, “An Ethiopian can’t change his color?”
There’s a reason so many of your politicians are faceplanting with such epic grace in recent campaigns. You’ve so divorced yourself from the culture most people know that you no longer even have a decent context for proper things to say.
Oh, but go ahead, whine about how I’m being politically correct. It’s what Republicans do best these days when they’re dinged on how out of touch they are.
Mr. Daughery, so your answer to the economic status of GOP controlled states is to attack to source? Typical Democrat answer.
The Leopard’s spots and Ethiopian’s color is from the Bible; I thought you were a biblical scholar.
What are we using to define the economic status, hmm? GDP? Employment numbers? Number of Small Businesses? Profits cleared?
No, we’re using surveys filled out by industry groups, using subjective measures.
I don’t know why I need to give that particular measure much respect. It doesn’t tell us anything real about the economies of those states.
As for where it’s from? Doesn’t matter. Being biblical doesn’t make it appropriate?
Are you familiar with the passage concerning Judah and Tamar? You know the one that involves A woman seducing her Father-in-Law under the pretense of being a prostitute to produce his heirs? (Not to mention the run up to all that, from which we got generations worth of angst over what every teenager does?)
There are occasions where somebody gets a tent peg through their head, where somebody gets run over repeatedly by a chariot. A prophet calls a whole ****load of bears over to kill kids who are making fun of his chrome-dome.
Oh, and then there’s the tremendously tasteful means by which David demonstrated to Saul that he’d killed two hundred Philistines.
There’s a whole load of things in the bible that wouldn’t pass muster in most polite conversations. Question is, why didn’t it occur to you to refrain from making a comment concerning skin color? You really just have to mention the Leopard’s inability to change his spots, and everybody knows, biblical scholar or not, the idea you’re passing on.
“Why not spend more manpower and more time following actual leads?” They ARE following actual leads. A couple guys outside a little store who seem to be checking the place out and don’t seem to have other business is an actual lead. It simply makes sense to ask them what they are doing.
When I was a young man, I lived in a less than stellar neighborhood. The cops often asked us what we were up to. In some cases we were actually up to no good. The attention of the police probably saved us from doing some petty crimes and so made possible my successful life today, since I avoided jail. It is good.
You are talking about “actual leads” because you want to check out crimes AFTER they have happened. That is good. I prefer to prevent the rape, robbery or murder rather than catch the guy who did it.
Re security - you are finally showing your true colors. You dislike the procedure simply because it allows choices on the part of the cops. You are missing the risk factors.
Tell me the truth. If you are walking through a bad part of town and you suspect you might be a victim of crime, are you equally careful watching to old woman at the bus stop or the young tough looking guys at the corner? If you practice what you preach, you can be forgiven for it, but I don’t think you would be able to do it very long.
An important factor of intelligence is the ability to make reasonable distinctions. You want to give that up. It is a nice way to look at things from the safety of your home, but it doesn’t work in any real applications.
Actually even in your home. You must get spam from people seeking your response. Do you respond to all messages equally?
Race and religion aren’t leads. Muslims, for example, comprise over two and a half million people. Even if you can say with certainty that al-Qaeda has a bomber in that population, where do you start?
There could be hundreds of thousands, millions of latinos and blacks in a given city. Again, where do you start?
And yes, I am talking, unfortunately, about enforcing the law AFTER it’s been broken, rather than invading and taking over people’s lives before the fact as a way to prevent crime at the expense of their freedoms.
I mean, what are we getting people killed in wars to defend, the right to walk around our streets pretending we’re free, pretending that we’ll only get stopped on probable cause, or when there’s evidence directly linking us to a crime?
I don’t want to pretend. I don’t want our civil liberties to be something we teach naïve kids to believe in, something they outgrow as the police employ constitutionally questionable techniques.
My true colors are that, as a liberal, I both want the government to have the strength to stop wrongdoers, but the discretion and constraint to prevent that incredible strength from troubling, much less crushing the lives of innocent people. I’m wanting to strike a balance between freedom and law and order, and not simply as if that balance were a zero sum affair.
We are not France or Great Britain. We are not some country where the police can pursue their suspicions as far as they want to. We are a nation which abides by an amendment that says you have to have a warrant based on probable cause to arrest, to seize property, to intercept and search through communications, to search people’s property and vehicles.
This policy is a corruption of the system, not an enhancement. You might have great intentions with it, but I think if I am not guilty or involved in any crime, I shouldn’t have to worry about being stopped, being searched, being arrested, or otherwise having my rights compromised.
Funny how that works. You claim to believe that micromanagement is futile, yet you’d have the cops looking over your shoulder, and are calling me weak on crime for believing that we shouldn’t do that.
I’m not weak on it. I just don’t think that we really gain anything of worth by betraying our basic principles for the sake of security. That seems like cowardice to me.
Stephen Daugherty has shown his true colors. When pushed, he’ll announce his hatred for our founding documents.
Makes sense considering the Constitution restricts the left’s ability to change our country and the Declaration and Bill of Rights affirms our inalienable individual rights.
When you believe in collective rights, our founding documents are your enemy.
The intent was for us to adapt the changes to the Constitution, not the Constitution to fit the changes. And IF that proved impossible, we were given a way to properly take away rights and freedoms in order to deal with the change.
If you want to change what the Constitution says to what you think it was “meant to mean,” you don’t reevaluate the rights and freedoms of all until they fit the beliefs of some.
I actually have no problem agreeing with leftists when they are right, the problem is that when it comes to the Constitution and our rights and freedoms, you are usually wrong.
You believe the emotions behind a law are more important than the Constitutional rights of the individuals it tramples. That if the goal of a law is to do what YOU want done, that the Constitution must be reinterpreted to allow it to become law.
You believe in reinterpreting the Constitution to fit your view of the future that you desire. I believe in honoring the document that made us the greatest nation on earth.
Tell me Stephen, why are you guys so afraid of following the Constitution in order to change it? IF leftist policy is what everybody needs and everybody wants, as you say, why are you all so afraid to let everybody have a say about it?
I’ve shown my true colors: Red, White, and Blue. When pressed, I will continue to show my respect for our founding documents. What I will not do is agree with you simply because you browbeat me with an arrogant presumption that your interpretation of what they mean is absolutely correct.
That’s just the thing. I’m not afraid. Your assumptions about what I believe, about my level of respect for the Constitution are wrong. You don’t have any special insight into my motivations or beliefs. Just a bunch of BS that charlatans like Rush Limbaugh say in order to keep people scared and outrage, paranoid about their neighbors.
The Constitution isn’t simply some yellowed parchment stuck in a glass case. It is the framework of a government, like the framework of a house. It has to be used to be useful. It must be interpreted.
And that interpretation will sometimes change over time, as politics and real world necessity change attitudes and circumstances. There is room in the legal world for more than one interpretation that fits the constitution and the laws on the books. You simply assume that your particular set of interpretations represent the only rational one, and therefore anybody who disagrees with the Constitution itself.
From where I stand, I think the Republican are using unwise, if not totally contrary interpretations of the Constitution to promote their politics, their agenda. But I recognize that as the system allows Republican judges and Democratic ones to take the bench, there will be shifts in interpretation, and that it won’t simply be because Republicans don’t feel warm fuzzies at the mention of “We The People”
You think you’re making some sort of triumphant statement here. I just think you’ve been drinking in too much of the conservative media moonshine, and I will accord your scorn for my professions of love for the Constitution for what they are: statements made in self-inflicted ignorance.
IF you are not afraid, then why do you not support getting the required 2/3 majority before passing laws which trample on individual rights and freedoms?
You like pretend that the founders wanted us to be able to reinterpret our rights and freedoms away all willy-nilly, but you know damn well the Constitution was never meant to give a centralized government the power to dictate and control how individuals in all the states would live their own lives.
You go off on a rant about what I think, what I believe, what I want and what I don’t want to deal with, but I’m the one citing pundits to keep up the fear? LOL! Give me a freaking break.
Unlike you, I am consistent in my beliefs. They do not waver from issue to issue and I do not make special exceptions for what applies to who. You cannot say that.
And while I do not listen to Rush, I seriously doubt he would have much objection to getting rid of rights and freedoms the Constitutional way.
“The Constitution isn’t simply some yellowed parchment stuck in a glass case. It is the framework of a government, like the framework of a house. It has to be used to be useful. It must be interpreted.”
You have the same problem with this as you do with understanding limited government doesn’t mean no government, don’t you?
Of course it has to be used and of course it must be interpreted. That doesn’t mean it is to be reinterpreted so that it runs counter to its original intent. If it does, then there is a specific process to follow. A process you are no doubt a fan of.
“From where I stand, I think the Republican are using unwise, if not totally contrary interpretations of the Constitution to promote their politics, their agenda.”
Yawn, of course you do. Let me guess, you don’t believe liberals do the same thing? Big surprise there.
Tell us Stephen, which group has to reinterpret things for their agenda to even be possible? Which group believes “the right of the people” means different things? Which group creates rights based on what they think government should provide? Which group promotes the absurd idea that “We The People” is not made up of individuals?
“You think you’re making some sort of triumphant statement here.”
Um, not really. Believe it or not, I don’t get a feeling of triumph or defeat by discussing politics on a computer. I don’t keep some kind of score. I don’t feel defeated when people disagree with me and I don’t feel “triumphant” when people do agree with me. After having almost died four separate times in 2010, I realize there are much more important things in our lives.
All I think I’m making here is some enjoyment for myself.
“I just think you’ve been drinking in too much of the conservative media moonshine”
And I think when leftists start throwing out words like Rush, racist, sexist, selfish, uncaring etc…, that they are trying to avoid the facts.
“and I will accord your scorn for my professions of love for the Constitution for what they are: statements made in self-inflicted ignorance”
Rather than act like I hurt your feelings in some way, why not just point out the statements you are talking about and prove me wrong?
Could it be because, as with the other questions, you are afraid of the answer?
God, do you actually ask full grown adults that question? That’s sort of like, “what’s your favorite way to beat your wife?”
Two thirds majority for what? There’s no such limit in the constitution, not for advise and consent on appointments nor normal legislating. The only things that require that on a constitutional basis are things like Treaties and Veto Overrides, as well as proposing constitutional amendments.
As for crushing rights and freedom, do you realize how immature that argument sounds? I know you’re allergic to taking what I say at face value, but I don’t say things I don’t mean. I think there are some behaviors that are just more trouble than they’re worth, and some weaknesses we can’t afford to have in the markets. I think there’s a balance to be struck, but you’re too busy imagining all the rights and freedoms you’ve been told people like me want to do away with, that you never bother to really ask or listen to my real opinion.
You talk about original intent, and you know, for the most part, I’d say yes, go with that. But what I’d add is, nothing humans come up with is perfect, or perfectly thought out the first time, so sometimes reinterpreting things is something you do so things can function. Now you can say, oh, it’s so terrible you depart from their wisdom, but the reality is, these necessary powers and well thought out constraints have to be expressed in new forms as society changes so they can be applied properly.
And that is infinitely preferable with constant revisionism to the constitution. You only amend when you absolutely have to, keeping the Constitution simple and understandable as a document.
It’s a balance I’m seeking. I’m not looking to distort the meaning of the Constitution, but rather express it successfully fulfill its functions. There’s no shame or evil in reconsidering things and trying to make them work right.
As for whether I sound hurt? I’m sick of giving out my opinion and being bashed by people who ignore what I write, but nonetheless tell me all about what my real opinion is, what my real motives and desires are. I’m putting them out there plainly, literally for you to see, but people are reading their own script on this matter. Maybe you’d realize I wasn’t your enemy, that I could be reasoned with, negotiated with, if you didn’t treat me like a stereotype. And then? Then perhaps some dumb bastards in Washington would be forced to govern rather than perform their political theatre, and we could get things done everybody could be somewhat happy with.
First off, my bad, 3/4s of states to amend, not 2/3s.
“you’ve been told people like me want to do away with, that you never bother to really ask or listen to my real opinion.”
No Stephen, despite the talking points you are given, people who disagree with leftists are quite capable of thinking for ourselves.
My beliefs about leftists are based on the facts from your words and actions, so please stop pretending that I don’t know what leftists stand for.
“nothing humans come up with is perfect, or perfectly thought out the first time, so sometimes reinterpreting things is something you do so things can function.”
I have not said otherwise.
“Now you can say, oh, it’s so terrible you depart from their wisdom,”
But I haven’t said that. What I have said is that departing from their wisdom needs to be done correctly or else we end up with the mess we have today.
“And that is infinitely preferable with constant revisionism to the constitution. You only amend when you absolutely have to, keeping the Constitution simple and understandable as a document.”
The only way to keep it simple is to abide by what it says.
Look, I’m not talking about little things like if electronic communications fall under the 4th here, I’m talking about them being unreasonably searched and seized. About changing (amending) the 2nd Amendment. About making the 1st freedom FROM religion, not freedom OF religion.
“It’s a balance I’m seeking. I’m not looking to distort the meaning of the Constitution, but rather express it successfully fulfill its functions.”
That’s not how your party behaves, Stephen. They redefine what the Constitution says in order to continually create new functions of the Constitution. This becomes permission for government to take from one and give to another. That makes bearing arms a priviledge, not a right. Government health care becomes a right. Welfare becomes a right. Birth control becomes a right.
I don’t believe I have ever said you should be ashamed or that you are evil for the beliefs you hold. I just disagree with them, don’t want anything to do with them, so I will do everything I possibly can to stop them from being forced upon me.
“As for whether I sound hurt? I’m sick of giving out my opinion and being bashed by people who ignore what I write…”
You are guilty of the same my friend.
“Maybe you’d realize I wasn’t your enemy, that I could be reasoned with, negotiated with, if you didn’t treat me like a stereotype.”
While your beliefs run contrary to mine and I believe they will ruin our nation, I have never considered you an “enemy.”
It is hard to reason with someone who believes you are to blame for all that is wrong. With someone who considers you a racist or an extremist or even a terrorist when you quote the Constitution.
It’s hard to negotiate with someone who wants to take from you, when all you want is to be left alone to live your life as you see fit.
“And then? Then perhaps some dumb bastards in Washington would be forced to govern rather than perform their political theatre, and we could get things done everybody could be somewhat happy with.”
LOL! Yes, that would be nice, but I’m afraid we are way beyond that point. I think we can still count this one as a mutual agreement though :)
Indeed, race is NOT a lead. The police are looking at behaviors in NYC. That is why they stop blacks and Hispanics at about the same rate as they commit crimes, in fact a little less. The fact is that if we were using race alone as an indicator, police would stop MORE blacks than they do. Race is not an issue here.
Re the idea of the police trying to prevent crime, we simply differ. I have been – many times – asked by authorities what I was doing. It is a small price to pay, a very reasonable price. The alternative is to run much greater risks of suffering from violence. It is a really much bigger violation of your rights to have be a victim of violent crime.
RE – “but I think if I am not guilty or involved in any crime, I shouldn’t have to worry about being stopped, being searched, being arrested, or otherwise having my rights compromised.” You don’t have to worry about that. Most of the stops involve only questions. Only if the officer has reasonable suspicion of a weapon will you be searched. And you will not be arrested unless there is a reasonable suspicion of a crime. If you are not guilty or involved in any crime, your chances of being arrested are small and your chances of being convicted are almost non-existent. Our system works pretty well.
Your position is that it is better for hundreds more mostly black and Hispanic people to be murdered rather than have the police ask questions of some people behaving in suspicious ways. I value life more highly than you do.
You think you can decode my thinking. I look at the results, and it doesn’t describe what I think one bit. Yes, you’re capable of thinking for yourselves. But the problem is, you’ve subscribed as a movement to people who essentially tell you to listen to nobody else.
My words constantly describe attitudes that are at odds with what you claim are my beliefs. Now either I’m the stupidest debater in the world, and I keep trying to deceive you with points I know you disbelieve, or I really believe what I say I do, and I insist on what I say because to do otherwise would be dishonest concerning my beliefs.
I resist your idea about amendments because I don’t feel it’s a practical way to adapt unless all other options are taken off the table by necessity.
As far as the second Amendment goes, here’s the thing: I don’t think that the Framers were as zealous in their interpretation as you and others are. They didn’t hold these as ideals separate from the welfare of their communities. It’s not that I think they would agree to outright bans on guns and weapons, but rather that I think they would agree with limits, including those dealing with people who have no business wielding a gun, like convicted criminals and folks with mental health problems.
I also don’t think they would get in the way of laws meant to interfere with gun traffickers and whatnot.
I really don’t want to take all your guns. I just want a more common sense interpretation, not one stretched so that some power-mad special interest group can emotionally blackmail a generation of gun owners into clearing the shelves of guns and paying them membership dues.
They’ve gotten to the point where they’re callous about even most simple and sensible of regulations, things that won’t even hurt the gun rights of law abiding citizens. But worse, they have people caught up in this world of fear that looks from the outside like paranoid schizophrenia, all plots and secret conspiracies.
My party does not do what you claim it does. But some folks want you to believe that because that gives them room to take things to the opposite extreme. Claim that there’s a nutty conspiracy to take your guns on one side, so that on the other, people refuse even logical, common-sense, second-amendment conserving legislation.
That seems to be the way other issues are dealt with, too. Claim the other side is extreme on a subject, then go extreme in the other direction.
If I’m wrong, just look at the changes in positions from the GOP. They’re going further and further away from what even they were comfortable with in the 90’s. The mandate was theirs. Cap and trade was theirs.
Opposition has become the guiding principle of policy. If they have the Senate, they threaten to do away with the filibuster. If they don’t, they filibuster almost twice as much in each congress as the Democrats ever did.
I think Conservatives need to step back from everything and recalibrate. Think for themselves, rather than dittoheading on Rush Limbaugh’s behalf. And by think for themselves, I don’t mean turn liberal. I mean observe, and most importantly figure out where they would naturally fall on issues. If they allowed themselves to do that, it would be easier to find common ground. It’s easy when everybody echoes what a few politicians or pundits say for the divisions to be cast in stone. When it’s much more organic, simple human nature and the commonalities of real life will guide people towards common ground, even with their worst enemies.
I look around me at the store, in the place where I look, and I find myself wondering what people’s politics might be, and then cutting myself short, because they might very well have the most obnoxious personalities when they’re talking policies, but might be the nicest people otherwise.
And it makes me wonder, whether it would be better for our real-life, everyday personalities to shine through, rather than let our politics hijack our sensibilities about other people.
Why are they stopping them? That’s the operative question. You can talk about behavior, but even with behavioral profiling at work, they ought to only be able to stop, search, and other deal with these people if they have reason to believe an actual crime took place.
Race is an issue. You keep citing murder statistic, but they have little do with these stop and frisk cases, and those cases, by the vast majority, yield up no evidence of wrongdoing, much less convictions in a court of law.
However you cut it, if you interpret the Constitution plainly, that is a violation of their rights. Now you cite criminals committing violent crimes as violation of my rights, and the rights of others, and I guess that’s a plausible way to describe that they do.
But you know what? They’re criminals. They’ll falsely detain people, take their lives, property, and invade their privacy without regard to people’s rights. And they’ll be punished for doing so under the law!
Reasonable suspicion. How about PROBABLE CAUSE?
That’s what the Constitution talks about. As in, you have to believe an actual crime has taken place, and that the person in question is involved, and the amendment quite plainly says that the warrant has to contain details about what’s to be searched.
And why do we do all this? Because we want to be victims? No, because we don’t. Because if we don’t constrain our government, it’ll do as much harm as any criminal might, and in this situation, we’d have no recourse within the law.
I value not merely life, but the quality of life as well. To be alive in a police state is to be a prisoner in your own society, and it would only take a shift in power for the suspicions and hatreds you think you’re immune from to be directed your way.
The Rule of law keeps everybody’s worse impulses in check.
By the way, have you ever considered that in part hostility towards the police from minority communities might have its roots in this kind of arbitrarily focused attention from the authorities? Does it not occur to you that the policies you think save people may in fact make people field besieged by authorities, and prompt them to be less cooperative with the law, less respectful for it?
And wouldn’t that kill more people, as they would feel more inclined to protect the murderers and the gangs and the drug trade?
It may strike you as only logical to go for your fishing expeditions where the most criminals are, but has it occurred to you that the greater crime owes to greater estrangement both from economic and social prosperity, thanks to all that’s been done to them?
It’s not just a question of trying to defeat crime through attrition, but also one of defeating it through enhanced ties to the authorities and greater stake in normal society.
“Why are they stopping them? … they ought to only be able to stop, search, and other deal with these people if they have reason to believe an actual crime took place.”
The law allows the police to stop them on the reasonable suspicion, based on behavior, that they may be contemplating a crime.
In typical liberal fashion, you wait for the man to finish raping the woman or robbing the man before stepping in to help. Actually, you never step in to help at all. You would be more concerned with protecting the guilty.
I believe in avoiding crime if possible. I further think it is doing the potential perp a favor. He is also better off stopping before committing a crime rather than spend time being punished for actually doing it.
Re the statistics - it is very simple. Most of the crime is perpetrated by blacks or Hispanics in particular parts of the city. They are being stopped in relation to that. If they were stopped in significantly lower numbers, it would indicate racist criteria at work.
RE “if you interpret the Constitution plainly” - the courts have not done that “plainly.” If the Supreme Court takes a case, both of us will accept the decision. For now, you are only voicing your opinion and I voice mine re.
RE “I value not merely life, but the quality of life as well.” As do I. Quality of life is very negatively impacted if you are the victim of violent crime. And calling NYC a police state makes me wonder about your frame of reference.
As I told you, as a young man growing up in Milwaukee, I was stopped lots of times by the cops. I didn’t think it was much of a problem and it was nice to have safe streets.
RE “By the way, have you ever considered that in part hostility towards the police from minority communities might have its roots in this kind of arbitrarily focused attention from the authorities?” Yeah. They have bad attitudes. I have seen how they are hostile to the police. I learned to be polite to everybody, including the police. We should try to teach that to more people.
Re Killing more people - the murder rate in NYC is gone way down. It has actually gone up in places like Chicago. Whatever is happening in NYC is working better.
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