Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Right-Wing Atmosphere of Failure

What’s the point of giving the right wing more power? All they seem to be interested in is cancelling out one man, one party’s legacy. Success isn’t in their vocabulary when it comes to government. If we want government that works for us, we have to stop rewarding those who choose to deliberately cause failures in order to advance their cause.

It is one thing to state that liberal problems and liberal policies are failures, and then stand aside and let them prove your point. It's quite another to actively sabotage those programs in an attempt to make them perform worse than they would have otherwise.

Republicans complain about Benghazi, at the same time they cut funding for security. Republicans complain about the Affordable Care Act, after they deliberately crippled portions of its rollout, then denied the Obama administration funding to set up the exchanges they were forcing them to set up.

They complain about how things are going in Syria, hinting that maybe extra intervention would have been necessary, or that we should have let Assad crush his people's opposition outright. That, after they led a charge against any kind of intervention.

The Sequester. That was never supposed to be policy. The idea was supposed to be that nobody was stupid enough to cause that much damage to the budget, and that it would promote cooperation. Republicans inflicted the penalty clause on the American people. The wisdom of this action is reflected in the scramble to re-fund the FAA and the USDA health inspections after the fact.

Look at the budget. We're not running hundreds of billions of dollars in debt because we stuck with a liberal program, we're running those deficits because of an economic collapse brought on by deregulation and most significantly, a collapse in revenue brought on by foolish tax cuts.

Funny thing about the tax cuts. What became the refrain, sorry, we cut taxes too much? Oh, no such thing, when you're starving the beast! Rather than get Americans behind giving up some things to reduce taxes, Republicans did it backwards. Drop revenues, then assert that all kinds of programs have to be cut.

That deliberate mismatch is what got us trillions of dollars deeper in debt than we started out in.

We see warning signs about infrastructure all the time, but only really heed them when something drops into the Mississippi, or some other high profile failure.

We see missions cancelled or put on hold at NASA, where manned spaceflight is mostly a memory.

What I see, everywhere I turn, is a nation made less of what it was than when I was born. And for what? So a few friends of politicians can benefit?

If there is one reason I am a progressive, a liberal, it's that I support the use of our government to improve the quality of Americans' lives. That's not about free stuff. I'd rather see people back at work than drawing a check from the government. It's not about punishing success, at least not the kind that actually improves both the economy, and our way of life. It's definitely not about imposing a nanny-state.

What it's about is returning to a tradition of government, one that was there even before the New Deal, where government would help coordinate things, keep people out of each other's hair, resolve disputes with some common sense. How about the tradition of infrastructure projects, which help sustain an economy that should be the envy of the world, rather than a steadily losing competitor to China and the developing world?

How about bringing jobs back home, rather than sending them abroad to support somebody else's economic growth and tax base? How about supporting science, even if it doesn't always reflect well on your campaign contributors and their think-tank's bought and paid for conclusions?

Conservatives seem to benefit from destroying our nation's credibility, it's stability, its position in the world economy, its status as a world power. The more things get screwed up by the red tape and penny-wise pound-foolish budgeting, they more they seem to laugh and reap the votes.

And as we do that, government seems to get more remote, more ineffectual, more corrupt, etc. I don't think that's a coincidence. I think that's a business model for them: sow pessimism about American Self-government, about people actively pursuing reform for that government and society, and then fulfill it by throwing monkey wrenches into everything you can, and simply not giving a crap about doing a good job. It's a vicious cycle of imposed incompetence, imposed impotence on the American people.

It's the GOP presiding over a national decline.

Under the conservative movement, we've become debtors where we were once creditors. Under the Conservative movement, income inequality has grown, and economic stability at the bottom has decreased. Under the Conservative movement, an infrastructure has been undermined, and our once great dreams of national pride have become a joke. We pretend that turning our education system into 24/7 preparation for standardized tests is going to make our kids smarter and more capable. We pretend we can be both a modern, advanced society, and a society of contrarians who despise the educated, the conclusions of the scientists, and the smarts it takes to handle this brave new world.

It's time to stop pretending we can preserve some idealized past, or resurrect a paradigm of governance that people abandoned of their own free will, for good reasons. It's time to stop wallowing in the escalating despair of modern civilization that seems to be at the center of the modern conservative movement, and start reaching for our future once again.

Government isn't the answer to everything, but that is not, logically speaking, the same as saying that it is the answer to nothing. There are some things Americans can't do by themselves as private citizens or private corporations. There are some things that can't be decided as an accident of the combined choices of millions.

Results that improve this complex real world of ours are my goal, not abstract positions held up as the necessary outcome, regardless of consequence. I don't believe you can predict everything that will work or not work ahead of time. There's no such thing as error free government in either direction. If Republicans want to reformulate conservatism so they can be forward-looking, and results oriented, fine by me. But if they want to blindly put this country through what two years of their feckless, lazy, hyperpartisan, moronic leaders have done, all to fulfill a bunch of idly made promises nobody should have taken seriously in the first place, then they have my opposition.

If Americans want to continue this experiment in trying to get results from their asinine policy approach, that will be their choice this November. But what I would suggest is that, imperfect as they are, Democrats have at least part of the right attitude we need in government, an attitude that says that if we got some policy wrong, we correct it, we don't refuse to do so in a rhetorically-minded effort not to contradict ourselves. If compromise will get us further towards results, we'll take it. If it's clear that Americans need help, we'll at least do something, not stand around making moralizing lectures while people suffer and even die.

This repeated flirtation with defaulting on our nation's finances tells us about the deeply wrong-headed political attitude of the right these days, an attitude that says If you will not agree to our policies, we will degrade the fortunes of this nation and blame you for that decline. We need other choices, not more people who threaten armed revolution and economic collapse when they don't see their political will done.

We need adults back in charge. We need people who have no conflict of interest with this government helping this nation getting back up on its feet and standing proud.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at January 9, 2014 6:14 PM
Comments
Comment #375509

SD:

“Government isn’t the answer to everything, but that is not, logically speaking, the same as saying that it is the answer to nothing.”

Strawman agruement. No one advocates no govenment

Posted by: Mike in Tampa at January 9, 2014 9:58 AM
Comment #375510

Stephen, the reason you are a far-left liberal progressive is not because of the goals you support, it is because of the solutions you support in order to attain those goals.

The reason you are a far-left liberal progressive is because you willingly rewrite and ignore our nations history and success in order to promote a future you personally desire.

The reason you are a far-left liberal progressive is because you blame the rejection and failure of your ideas on others who hold different beliefs.

IF you honestly want “results that improve this complex real world of ours,” you are going to have to start respecting your fellow Americans.

Posted by: kctim at January 9, 2014 10:04 AM
Comment #375517

Mike in Tampa-
I don’t see what the big difference is between that simplified argument, and the Republican’s real policies. Perhaps they believe there is some government, some law that is good, but it’s difficult to find a reasonable limit to their desire to cut things down. I mean, we had the worst economic crisis in the living memory of 90% of everybody alive or more, but apparently, what we need is MORE deregulation.

You tell me: where does this end, and is there a clear consensus for Conservatives where that end is? If there is no end in sight, then my “strawman” might as well be real, because there are few if any examples of where the Republicans would cut this anti-government fervor short.

Kctim-
I love being told I’m far left. Trust me, fella, there’s plenty of room to my left. Plenty. But you see it from such a rightward position, that like a photographer taking a shot with a narrow lens from afar, all perspective on the difference is flattened.

The thing that strikes me is that every solution from the right seems to be to let things alone, even when that doesn’t prove in practice to actually work. There’s no sense that the depth to which anti-government sentiment is applied is moderated by whether that liberation from regulation, from taxation, or whatever, actually succeeds. You simply assume it will, and blame other things when it doesn’t.

I don’t rewrite history. I don’t forget it. There’s a whole volume of history in between when the Framers signed their now glorified documents, and today, and the American people made a lot of choices inbetween then and there. What strikes me is that your people are willing time and again to defy the evidence and example of history, of what actually happens when you liberate people from these laws, or don’t apply them in the first place, and then get shocked when the results we say are obviously going to happen, actually happen.

And then, most ridiculously of all, you’re willing to blame us for the consequences of what you did. WHEN WE TOLD YOU WHAT WOULD HAPPEN. You have ONE explanation for what went wrong, any time your policies don’t work, and that is, folks didn’t run that policy as conservatively as possible. Conservatism never fails America, America fails conservatism. We don’t do things RIGHT enough.

As for that rejection? Well, I don’t feel sorry enough for my self to wallow in the fact that some of what we promote is rejected, but not all of it has been. As a matter of fact, many of the things we really want (as opposed to the phenomenally stupid claims you have about what we’re supposed to want) are actually well in line with the consensus.

The problem is, a lot of people are beginning to reject things based on bad information. If those people were better informed, they might reconsider, but then we get into the issue of how much of the population has gotten locked into the loop of self-serving information that the right-wing operates these days. It’s folk’s choice to do that, but it’s a sad choice to make.

People are also rejecting things, or failing to support them, because they’ve become convinced not that these things are wrong, but that it’s impossible to get the government to actually do them.

And why is this? Because one party, one movement has decided that no matter what everybody else decides, they’re going to just shut things down, rather than let a success emerge that doesn’t favor their politics.

You talk about respect, but your posts seem to say, “Any opinion applied to government that’s not my own represents an act of tyranny against me.”

Well, mister, I’ve seen plenty of decisions in the government worked against what I want, and paid plenty of taxes towards that end. But I’m much better able to live with it, because I understand that a government like ours will always be running according to some rules that are not the rules that I want. This is the nature of a democratic republic: since there is always some minority you’re part of (my districts elect Republican Congressmen, my state Republican Senators and so far Republican Governors), you will always be on the lousy side of some decision. Do I threaten to take up arms, or not pay taxes over this?

No, I do not. Because I understand that the price of living in a nation like ours is that I will never have a system that fully fits my beliefs, and I will never pay taxes only for the things I like. I don’t regard that latter part as a theft. I don’t cast doubt on the authority of governments set under the constitution, just because I don’t like what comes out of the otherwise constitutional process.

I have never seen anywhere near the sore-losership out of people as I have seen from the Republicans over the last few years. I can’t turn around without them trying to claim my President’s a foreigner or this law is Constitution, or that they’re going to get out their guns if they don’t get the policies they like. And the worst, most ridiculous thing is that people forget what sort of awful things have happened in American history when people get these sort of attitudes, and forget that when some people talk about armed revolt, some morons actually listen.

Our constitutional republic is a gift, and the most ironic thing about it is, the conservatives these days can’t even be bothered to open it. They’re too busy trying to get everything their way to recognize that there is sometimes great good in not being able to get everything you want.

See, with that sort of thing comes unending struggle. Everything becomes a political matter, and with politics comes politics’ ridiculous tendency towards ever-splintering acrimony over the smallest differences. If you want a good idea why religion is so poorly regarded in Europe, just consider for a moment: many of the worst and most profound wars over religion, and along religious divides, occurred there. So did all the loathsome political chicanery, and abuses of church power.

And look at all the revolutions and all the bitter political fights over economic and political philosophy. Hell, just twenty or so years ago, they got done with a conflict that had Europe divided down the center, over economic philosophy. You guys prattle on about socialism here, but nothing people like me propose comes anywhere close to what’s been done in Europe, much less what was done on the other side of the Iron Curtain. I’m old enough to remember the real totalitarianism, the real soul-crushing tyranny of what went on.

You know, you hear folks in those countries talk about counter-revolutionary thinking, counter-revolutionary opinions, etc. But we’ve never had that kind of stupidity go on. Why? Because we have a first Amendment, plus a tradition where leaders didn’t choose to hold onto power out of an egotistical belief that all the good, all the progress, would go away if they didn’t maintain it.

The irony is, that’s the sort of attitude that I see coming from Republicans. They had their revolution, and now they bitterly fight against it being rolled back as a consequence of their failure. They don’t see it as the system actually working as designed when Democrats get elected, when people reject their politics at the ballot box.

But it is the system working as designed, just as, you could argue, the Tea Party backlash of 2010 represented (though regrettably so) the same thing. As much as I don’t like it, if my side could use its power to prevent anything like the 2010 election from taking place, would that relieve the political pressure that created it?

No. What I hope is that this year, people will go to the polls, and register their dissatisfaction with the state of things by taking the people who have been the most obstructive, the most lazy, the most useless in their office, and punishing them. Yes, Obamacare didn’t work like it was supposed to, and inevitably there’s a political cost to pay for that.

But is that all that matters? I think people should look at the sum totality of the effects of what the Republicans have done, and punish them accordingly.

Rather than tell people not to go a certain direction, my advice to the American people is to respect their own opinions, to sit down, reason out what they’re objecting to in government, and take down those who most represent the failings of that government.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 9, 2014 12:03 PM
Comment #375521

Recently I saw a poll done by a reputable firm that absolutely floored me. According to Pew Research, in 2009, 54% of Republicans did not believe in evolution; today, 43% of Republicans do not believe in it. That is astounding. Evolution is a fundamental for the study of biology. Every related field supports the theory. For a person to deny evolution, they would also have to deny Geology with its concept of sedimentation and sedimentation rate, and geologic time; Chemistry, and radiocarbon dating; Physics and the concept of isotopic decay; and much, much more.

How on earth are these Republicans supposed to function in the modern world?

Large numbers of Republicans deny the science behind Global Warming. As of recently, 17/19 Republicans on the House Committee for Science and Technology are Deniers.

Here is a classic. According to one:

“All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. It’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior. There’s a lot of scientific data that I found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I believe that the Earth is about 9,000 years old. I believe that it was created in six days as we know them.”

Paul Broun

This guy is running for the Senate in GA! And this isn’t a one-off comment. It is a consistent pattern among Republicans.

And these people want to govern the country?

Posted by: phx8 at January 9, 2014 1:02 PM
Comment #375523

Correction: in 2009, 43% of Republicans did not believe in evolution; today, 54% do not accept it, an increase of 11%.

Posted by: phx8 at January 9, 2014 1:04 PM
Comment #375527

Stephen

Of course there is room on your left, if there wasn’t you wouldn’t be able to pick and choose as you do. Ok for government to force morals here but not there. Ok for government to force compliance here, but not there.
Far-left doesn’t mean totally left, you have leave yourself some room to fight for the freedoms you care about.

As you have been told over and over and over, the desire for less government control over our personal lives does not mean one is “anti-government.” That is only a talking-point you guys have come up with to silence those who do not believe excessive regulation and taxation are the answer to everything.

“What strikes me is that your people are willing time and again to defy the evidence and example of history…”

As President Obama has shown MANY times, that is a two way street.

“As a matter of fact, many of the things we really want (as opposed to the phenomenally stupid claims you have about what we’re supposed to want) are actually well in line with the consensus.”

First, I would LOVE for you to provide an example of these “stupid claims” I have made about what you want.

“The problem is, a lot of people are beginning to reject things based on bad information.”

Yeah, keep telling yourself that.

“If those people were better informed, they might reconsider”

The “everybody who disagrees with leftist policy are brainwashed drones” excuse is tired.

A lot more people than you think look behind that curtain Stephen. You can claim people are too dumb or blame “hate radio” or whatever else you guys are blaming this week, but the fact is, people reject leftist policy because it has proven to do what those people do not want.

“You talk about respect, but your posts seem to say, “Any opinion applied to government that’s not my own represents an act of tyranny against me.””

Not true. I only view opinions which take away individual rights as an act of tyranny against me. There are MANY things that I do not support but yet have to respect the rights of others over.

“Do I threaten to take up arms, or not pay taxes over this?”

No, you “occupy” things, threaten boycotts and file lawsuits.

“I have never seen anywhere near the sore-losership out of people as I have seen from the Republicans over the last few years.”

Then you need to get out more. Leftists complain and whine about the 2000 election to this very day. How Bush and his entire administration are war criminals and need to be prosecuted. How Reagan is responsible for all our economic woes. How Republicans are responsible for everything wrong TODAY. How things would be sooooooooo great if the evil Republicans would just give up their beliefs and liberals run the country their way.

“Our constitutional republic is a gift, and the most ironic thing about it is, the conservatives these days can’t even be bothered to open it.”

The gift had already been opened and was being enjoyed. Then your people decided it was outdated and needed to be replaced with the gift of YOUR choosing.
Sorry friend, but I am not going to throw away something I cherish in order to open this new gift. Especially when I know what’s in it.

“See, with that sort of thing comes unending struggle. Everything becomes a political matter, and with politics comes politics’ ridiculous tendency towards ever-splintering acrimony over the smallest differences.”

Ridiculous tendencies huh? Like trying to ruin a man for his religious beliefs? Like trying to ruin a business for their religious beliefs? Like claiming there is some war on women going on? Like claiming all objections are racist? I could go on and on, couldn’t I.
Damn those evil Republicans and their “splintering acrimony.”

“You guys prattle on about socialism here, but nothing people like me propose comes anywhere close to what’s been done in Europe”

Stephen, unlike most leftists and their book fantasies, I have actually lived in Europe, almost ten years. And while what you support now may not like what has been done there, it is the path to it.

Thankfully, you didn’t try saying stupid like they were just as free as we are.

“They don’t see it as the system actually working as designed when Democrats get elected, when people reject their politics at the ballot box.”

That is because getting elected does not give you permission to use government to force everybody to live as you want them to live.

“But is that all that matters? I think people should look at the sum totality of the effects of what the Republicans have done, and punish them accordingly.”

We differ on this. I think people should look at BOTH parties and then vote accordingly. Vote for the party who made a half-assed attempt to protect their freedom of choice, or vote for the party who took it away.

“and take down those who most represent the failings of that government.”

This is why I think the next two elections could be very defining for our nation. If leftists win out, then “failings of government” will be defined as wanting more and not being given enough, where as if the right wins out, “failings of government” will be defined as government taking too much.

Posted by: kctim at January 9, 2014 3:05 PM
Comment #375528

Daugherty writes; “It’s the GOP presiding over a national decline.”

Hmmm…did I sleep through a current Conservative presidency and Senate or are the dems still in charge?

I managed to read through about half of Daugherty long screed and just became too bored to continue. His comments are so myopic that he can’t see beyond the end of his nose and recognize from where many of our nation’s problems emanate.

His is the voice that takes credit for all that works and denies responsibility for all that doesn’t work. Hmmm…that rather sounds exactly like his leaders…obama, Reid and Pelosi.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 9, 2014 3:11 PM
Comment #375535

I listened to the Mark Levine radio show today and he had about five minutes of sound bites featuring obama saying he didn’t know anything about the various scandals plaguing his administration. Where the hell is the president and what is he doing that keeps him preoccupied and unable to focus on his executive duties?

Daugherty is so proud of this obama clown and I fail to understand why.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 9, 2014 6:37 PM
Comment #375539

kctim-
I don’t think you measure things from the center.

Truth is, if you listen closely to what anybody says, it’s rare that you’ll find somebody who isn’t wanting something curtailed, and something else allowed that isn’t now. That’s people in a democratic republic for you.

Why don’t you admit you have your own list on both counts, that you’re not all for freedom in every way? Wait! By saying you’re not anti-government, that’s precisely what you concede! Government by it’s very nature must be able to force people to cooperate. Of course, there are moral elements we have to force. It’s not moral to steal or cheat. Do you mind that there are laws that force that morality on people? Do you mind that the police have the power to force compliance?

You try and paint this as if I am “other” in comparison to you, as if I’m some alien from another planet that wants to eat your brains like pudding. But the reality is, just like you, there are things I want government to prevent, and things I want government to allow. I’m not big on excessive regulation or taxation. What dumbass would be?

Of course, I might have a different idea of what excess would be in either case, but that makes the disagreement not a conflict between a good person like you who wants to reduce regulation and taxation, and an evil person who wants to shoot it through the roof, but rather a disagreement on degrees between fellow citizens.

Ah, but talking about that won’t bring those talk radio jockeys their listeners, will it? Take it from somebody who knows a lot about entertainment: conflict sells!

Throughout American history, people have had disagreements on those categories of what they want government to do. We’re not the first, won’t be the last. The point of our form of government is not to deliver one or the other of us everything we want, all the time. It’s to let us have our say, let us have our influence, and if enough folks agree with one or the other of us, we get our way.

That, of course, notwithstanding any prohibition in the constitution against it, as interpreted by the courts whose authority the constitution grants.

Folks were fed a lot of BS about government takeovers and death panels. The bad information continues. There are webpages full of inaccurate claims. Obama may have been wrong to say that people would keep their doctor, but 2011’s Politifact lie of the year was the Republican’s claim that Obamacare was a government takeover.

As for believing people were dumb?

I don’t try to reason with morons. If I’m arguing with you, I’m assuming you’re smart enough to follow my reasoning.

As for this?

“Do I threaten to take up arms, or not pay taxes over this?”

No, you “occupy” things, threaten boycotts and file lawsuits.

Admittedly, that Occupy Wall Street was obviously textbook civil disobedience. They were clearly breaking the law. But boycotts and lawsuits are both well within the law for people to file, and guess what? Even that Occupy Wall Street thing was peaceful. They weren’t riots, there was no burning of those offices and lynching of the bankers.

We know folks are paying attention. Unlike Republicans, we are socially engaged enough with mainstream America to understand that threats of violence or revolution only feed ammunition to the opposition.

As far as 2000 goes, what would it take for you to admit that it was a poorly handled fiasco? People look at it as a stolen election because the margin was small, and the Republicans fought at every juncture to prevent a recount. In the end, they put the issue through the court, and in a poorly regarded decision that even the court wasn’t willing to set as a precedent, they stopped the recount.

You do that sort of thing, and an ambiguity is left as to whether you actually won.

Sometimes you folks on the right are so dismissive of outside opinion that you don’t really catch on to when letting the process play out will aid in shoring up your legitimacy. From my point of view, the doubts about 2000 aren’t sore-loserism, they’re the consequence of slamming the door shut on processes meant to confirm the result.

Contrast Obama, who won by a hell of a lot larger margin, both in the electoral college and in the popular vote. The margins are in the millions, the popular vote count in both cases overwhelmingly in his favor.

Yet Republicans allege that election was stolen. First case, you have a small margin and an interrupted, intervened in process for confirmation, the second set of cases, you have unambiguously overwhelming victories in both cases. Which can we say is less outrage over process, and more outrage over a result that while legitimate, is offensive to them?

And all that is different than the standard blame-game over policy. We all believe that if our people were in charge, in general things would be better. Believing that isn’t contemptible, it’s human nature, and the framers allowed for that. Their fix on it was that rather than letting the opinion of one set of people determine things, they let the general opinion filter through the system, and see what results.

As for the whole religious beliefs things, I think you’ll need to provide examples past what you are, because some people think that dictating to their employees what they can do, in contempt of that employee’s personal religious beliefs, is an expression of their religious freedom.

You can act like Republicans haven’t spent much of their political capital on a historic flood of anti-abortion, anti-contraception legislation and lawsuits, but then you’d be a liar for it. The statistics don’t lie on that front. Republicans aren’t also making the most lovely of comments on the subject.

As for the path to whatever you’re talking about? Good God. Does it occur to you that we don’t have to follow everything through to the lengthiest most absurd conclusion of it? I can accept moderate reforms, and so can a lot of people. Treating everything like a slippery slope is fun for pundits who want to nip every change they hate in the bud, but it’s a textbook argumentative fallacy, too.

I think you’d have a hell of time proving that we’d go as far as Europe in every case, which is essentially your argument.

The choice of how far to go is with the American people, and should be.

Royal Flush-
Yours is the voice that would have been promoting the status quo of 2006 and 2007, saying the fundamentals of the economy are sound, while denying that the events of 2008 could ever happen.

I love how you openly admit that you haven’t read my post fully before you comment on it. You’re a brave man to squander your credibility so flagrantly before making such strong assertions about what I really meant.

You folks always bring up Frank and Dodd, citing two… well, not even pieces of legislation, but as far as I can tell, statements and offered opinions. And for that alone, apparently, they’re completely to blame for this whole disaster.

Funny how the scapegoats happen to be the lead sponsors of the reform bill! Funny also how the incidents in question either take place during the time of the Republican majority in 2003 or in 2008, after the housing market fell. In one case, we’re talking a situation where Republicans both on the relevant committees, and in the Congress as a whole would have to be complicit, along with the President, in the passing of any such legislation. How Republicans avoid blame for that, I don’t know. In the other, we’re talking about legislation dealing with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

It’s worth noting some things here: The collapse wasn’t simply about bad real estate investments going sour. There was a chain of events.

For one thing, many of the assets went toxic because it was assumed the housing market would push housing values perpetually upwards. The correction was well underway the year Democrats won the election, the housing boom over. So, what could putting additional restrictions on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do then? If they are your culprits, then the horses have already left the barn, and additional constraints are useless.

But worse yet, if you look at the statistics, the GSEs aren’t even taking the most obscene of the risks! By law, they couldn’t! They were being outcompeted on every front by the leaner, meaner non-bank lenders. Their subprime loans formed a huge part of the basis for the toxic assets.

It goes further than that, though. Many of these toxic assets were bets on mortgage securities and risks that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have no part in.

Regardless of all that, though, the avalanche of toxic crap assets began in 2006, and all of Wall Street had helped it grow huge. The focus on the GSEs and the two lead authors of the reform bill is kind of a twisted scapegoating and impugning of the reputation of the authors.

The funny thing, though, is that their support for financial reforms that allowed banks to pull all this crap, probably would make more sense, if we were to blame them. Unfortunately for you, though, those financial reforms were supported by virtually the whole Republican Party.

And that, my dear man, is why they can’t take them down from that angle. That would remind folks of the real way that politics in Washington compromised our economy, and set us on the path to this crisis and crash. The way that makes it less of a good idea to elect and re-elect Republicans.

So, go on and talk about taking credit (as Republicans did when times seemed better) and denying responsibility (as they’re doing now, since we’re now paying the piper.)

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 9, 2014 7:13 PM
Comment #375543

Stephen,

50% of the reason as to why very few take you seriously is that your writing is 90% Superfluous!

The other 50% is b/c you’re a far-left elitist.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at January 9, 2014 8:38 PM
Comment #375553

Royal Flush-
Perhaps because I’m not mainlining rabid criticism from talk radio.

Kevin L. Lagola-
The reason why I don’t really take many of your arguments seriously is that they’re little better than insults and stock statements.

What’s the point of what you do, really? The world’s full of bitter critics. What did bitter critics ever achieve?

I want a government that helps America and Americans achieve, not one that blithely presides over the disassembly and downward slide of the fortunes of both, so a few can benefit.

I believe that the old guard and the elite should constantly have to be dealing with competition and pushback from below, that authority should be constantly challenged by an informed, educated public. I don’t believe that just the privileged, smart few should seek education and advancement, but that everybody should, and that the government should help keep the poor in the game, because in real terms there can’t be any real genetic difference between them and the rich, given that many fortunes, including those of the most notable rich folks of the past century, where built by folks who weren’t from rich families. If the differences are mainly circumstantial, then it’s only logical to improve the circumstances, and THEN let people sink or swim, where they have nothing else to blame for their failure than their own character.

I do not bear the marks that any centrist would accept as marks of a radical leftist. I do not support nationalization of industry, and I accept limits on the growth of the welfare state. I believe more in generating greater opportunity for employment and job training than I believe in letting people persist on the dole. I’m very cautious about the legalization of drugs, and don’t think much of Marijuana use. Military-wise, I accept a much greater degree of military intervention and covert operations than many on the left do, and I was never a big fan of either Bradley Manning or Edward Snowden, given my sentiments on national security.

I am neither far-left by most clear definitions, nor an elitist.

Of course, a person with more social graces than me would probably point out this fact: you’re not interested in describing me factually, you’re just interested in stigmatizing my opinion.

Of course, the reliance on such stigmatizing reflects a certain level of intellectual bankruptcy on your part. Rather than go point by point, analyzing and pointing out what’s wrong with my arguments, you make pronouncement from on high, and then stigmatize me as a writer and a political figure here. Your basic message is, “don’t trust him.”

Trouble is, Republicans and Conservatives have trapped themselves with this toxic paranoia of theirs, leaving them in a situation where they can’t go, “You know, these policies aren’t working, let’s change.”

You’ve scorched the earth on all alternatives, stigmatized them as the opinions of fools and villains. You can’t back down and adopt them without alienating your own supporters.

Yet you want more and more control. To do what? To write the toxic rigid-mindedness large on the face of American policy?

America needs more choices, more options that Republicans will allow themselves to provide.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 10, 2014 11:17 AM
Comment #375556

I wrote about the sound clips of obama denying knowledge of nearly everything that has gone wrong in his administration. He is the “know-nothing” president. Does he know nothing because his advisers are afraid to tell him the truth or because he wants to maintain “plausible denialability”?

Daugherty responds to my concerns with…”Royal Flush-
Perhaps because I’m not mainlining rabid criticism from talk radio.”

Sound bites of obama have now become “rabid criticism from talk radio.” Daugherty has informed us with nauseating regularity that he is a “truth seeker”. When the truth is presented to him…he simply can’t handle it. So sad.

From today’s NY Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/10/us/politics/reids-uncompromising-power-play-in-senate-rankles-republicans.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20140110&_r=0

Reid’s Uncompromising Power Play in Senate Rankles Republicans

“WASHINGTON — With his strong-armed change to the filibuster rule and an iron-fisted control of the Senate floor, Senator Harry Reid has engaged in the greatest consolidation of congressional power since Newt Gingrich ruled the House, unleashing a bitterness that may derail efforts to extend unemployment insurance.

Mr. Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, on Thursday dismissed all proposed Republican amendments to the unemployment extension, even those drafted by Republicans who had handed Democrats a victory on Tuesday by voting to take up the bill.”

How many times have we read Daugherty’s comments about bipartisan cooperation in congress as being his ideal? When the rubber hits the road however, we see his leader, Mr. Reid, crapping on Republicans who helped get a bill on continuing unemployment benefits to the floor of the senate.

“A Republican effort to try to reopen the amendment process failed on a party-line vote, 42 to 54, setting up a showdown next week that is likely to end in the bill’s demise, Democrats conceded.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 10, 2014 11:41 AM
Comment #375566

Stephen

You are both right and wrong in thinking I don’t measure things from the center. For me, the Constitution is the center, with everything calling for more government being left of it, and everything calling for less government being right of it.
For others, public opinion and elections determine the center. 51% want X, then it is the “new” center and the other 49% are radicals who live in the past. This allows for constant re-interpretation of the Constitution and has created the division that exists today.


I don’t think you measure things from the center.

“Why don’t you admit you have your own list on both counts, that you’re not all for freedom in every way?”

Because I don’t have such a list. You see, our rights and freedoms were laid out for us, as were the limits of government, and I support them.
Where we differ my friend, is in that I do not believe our rights and freedoms to be perishable. I do not believe in taking the rights of one in order to create a so-called right for another. I believe, as our founders did, that ALL of us have the right to freedom, as long as it does not cause harm to another.

“It’s not moral to steal or cheat. Do you mind that there are laws that force that morality on people?”

Stealing and cheating are voluntary choices that directly harm others.
But I’m not the person complaining about others pushing morals onto me, but trying to push my own morals onto them, am I. I’m not the one whining about government forcing morals into my bedroom, but begging for them to force morals into my wallet, am I.

“But the reality is, just like you, there are things I want government to prevent, and things I want government to allow.”

You take it to a personal and material level. You take government preventing things to mean that government has the power to engineer society. You take government allowing things to mean government has the power to allow what limits are to be placed on rights.

“but that makes the disagreement not a conflict between a good person like you who wants to reduce regulation and taxation, and an evil person who wants to shoot it through the roof, but rather a disagreement on degrees between fellow citizens.”

The ‘degrees’ do NOT reset after every compromise. You ask for 360, you get 180, and then you pretend 180 is the new 0. That is not how it works. Your people have far surpassed the true 360 mark and people are finally saying enough.
I have been trying to get this through to you for years, Stephen.

Spare me the ‘right-wing hate radio’ conspiracy.
1. Left-wing ideology is taught and broadcast on more television channels and for more hours than all the AM radio stations combined.
2. The are OPINION shows and they are not ALWAYS wrong simply because they dare question leftists or their ideology.

“It’s to let us have our say, let us have our influence, and if enough folks agree with one or the other of us, we get our way.”

Not at the expense of the rights of the other. There are guidelines laid out for us to follow, not to be re-interpreted by personal opinions every ten years.

“Obama may have been wrong to say that people would keep their doctor,”

Wrong? It was an intentional lie told to garner support for his bill. Talk about “bad information.”

“but 2011’s Politifact lie of the year was the Republican’s claim that Obamacare was a government takeover.”

Ah, but that totally depends on ones definition of ‘government takeover,’ doesn’t it? You think anything less than a government agent in doctor offices means government has not taken over anything. Others see government controlling what services are offered, how they are offered, who they must be offered to, who, under threat of punishment must purchase only from what is offered, what profit is allowed, etc… to be a government takeover.

“I don’t try to reason with morons. If I’m arguing with you, I’m assuming you’re smart enough to follow my reasoning.”

I wasn’t talking about myself, I was talking about the lefts standard talking point that everybody who disagrees with them are easily brainwashed dumbasses.

“They weren’t riots, there was no burning of those offices and lynching of the bankers.”

There also hasn’t been any uprising, but yet in hopes of dismissing their concerns, you feel it necessary to promote the idea that a revolution is right around the corner.

“As far as 2000 goes, what would it take for you to admit that it was a poorly handled fiasco?…”

YOU were talking about “sore losership,” and dwelling on losing an election 14 years ago definitely makes one a sore loser. Doesn’t matter how many what-ifs you come up with, how poor a decision was made, it is over and done. Let it go.

“From my point of view, the doubts about 2000 aren’t sore-loserism, they’re the consequence of slamming the door shut on processes meant to confirm the result.”

You view it that way only because your guy was on the wrong side of the outcome you desired. People who researched it better than I have provided info that you willingly dismiss simply because it doesn’t fit into the nice little box you created. Just like the Zimmerman case.

“Yet Republicans allege that election was stolen.”

No, a FEW Republicans claim it was stolen. Even fewer will still be claiming it 14 years from now.

And YES, claims of an election being stolen are greater when the election is close.

“because some people think that dictating to their employees what they can do, in contempt of that employee’s personal religious beliefs, is an expression of their religious freedom.”

Not providing your employees with birth control is not holding your employees personal religious beliefs in contempt. Believing in and quoting the Bible instead of being PC and embracing homosexuality does not mean one is filled with hate. Supporting organization that promote biblical teaching does not mean your restaurant should be closed.

And no, I don’t deny that a lot of Republicans are against abortion. I am saying that it would not be a serious issue if your people weren’t demanding everybody pay for it. There would be more room for the “compromise” you claim you are seeking.
Instead, if one believes government shouldn’t pay for abortions or contraception, you claim they are at war with women.

“As for the path to whatever you’re talking about? Good God. Does it occur to you that we don’t have to follow everything through to the lengthiest most absurd conclusion of it?”

Does it occur to you that our government usually does? An insurance program has evolved into a retirement program. A supplement to health care has evolved into being the only health care. A program to temporarily help people through unemployment has turned into a weekly paycheck. Registration has led to confiscation. Speed limits won’t create speed traps. You will never be pulled over for not wearing your seatbelt.
As long as people believe that it is THEY who knows what is best for everybody else, absurd conclusions will always be the end result.

“The choice of how far to go is with the American people, and should be.”

So, if 51% the American people voted for a return to our Constitutional government, you would sit back and say nothing? You would accept that the rights of one are not trumped by the desires of another?
No, you wouldn’t. You would be writing about the tyranny of the majority over your minority views.

Posted by: kctim at January 10, 2014 12:24 PM
Comment #375575

Eric Cantor says his people are interested in ‘employment’, not ‘unemployment’.

Wasn’t it HIS people who voted forty odd times to do a negative on the Affordable Healthcare Act, and did not present even ONE jobs bill?

After TeaPublicans paint themselves into that corner, they suddenly become so colorblind they can no longer see the paint.

You are spot-on, Stephen.

Posted by: David Stevens at January 10, 2014 2:24 PM
Comment #377358

The two major parties merely take turns flying in circles and screwing up the country and the witless voters reward the politicians with appoximately 90% re-election rates. The voters can complain and give Congress 11% approval ratings, but the majority of voters have what they deserve.

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Comment #378697

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