Democrats & Liberals Archives

Hope is Optional. Change isn't.

Recently, I’ve started doing thirty-minute walks about every day, during my lunch hour in the city I work. For the sake of variety, I try not to take the same route too much. Having done so for a while, I’ve seen much of my city, many of the layers of change that it has undergone, and that it continues to undergo. More than ever, it leads me to see the necessity for actively dealing with our nation’s change.

I've been working in the city for almost a decade now. When I started making regular trips into the city, part of my trip went towards the southern part of the city, near the Astrodome. A multimillion dollar complex built with taxpayer help for our sports teams.

Part of that trip goes down the light-rail line that was finished in 2003. It connects that side of town, with the Medical Center, to downtown. Now more of it is going to be connected, via new lines.

I take the bus for much of my journey, which has allowed me to put fewer miles on my car, a blessing to be sure, given how much it costs to maintain it.

It's now about approaching four years old, that vehicle of mine. When I first got it, part of its role was to be a fuel efficient vehicle for my errands, which I did on behalf of my Grandfather and grandmother.

Both are passed away now. The house he lived in was sold. For a while, I helped the family keep an eye on the place, putting miles on that car of mine to visit an emptying shell of what used to be.

His legacy to me is rich indeed. His books now sit on my shelves. He had a whole wall in his study full of them, by the way, on every subject you could imagine. Paintings from his living room, many of which he painted himself, now adorn the walls in my room.

There will come a time where the duties I perceive at this point as necessary, and the necessities I have to take care of will end, and I will find my own places. I will keep as much as I can of the places that so strongly figure in my memories.

There is only so much, though, that I can keep. Time eats away at things. Houses built in the seventies break down, the consequences of shifting foundations, years of weather and other things changing relatively easy burdens into more difficult ones. People age. The folks who were in their thirties and forties trying to keep these homes up are now in their sixties and seventies. The boy couldn't stay a boy, he had to grow up and become a man, and the boys and girls of the bush era are the young men and women of today.

As I walk around the city, I see the disjointed progress of change. One block will see cracked sidewalks, almost reduced to gravel. The next will see the new gentrified shopping center. Buildings raised in the seventies tower next to ones just recently built, while old brick structures and art-deco stand nearby.

Sometimes I walk along Buffalo Bayou, where you get a weird mix of the modern and the natural. There's a lot of green, a lot of birds and bees and flowers, and then there are these massive freeways criss-crossing, steel beams and concrete above, huge columns below. I see the rust, the chipping away, the foundation piers of old bridges not far from the new.

Houston also has a complex tunnel system in downtown, connecting many of the important buildings of the skyline, the Theatre District, and the energy companies further to the South. Many of the landmarks buildings that housed companies like Enron and Dynegy, figure on the route. What was once HL&P is now Centerpoint and Reliant, but their buildings are there.

Some of my routes have been altered by the fact that they demolished the old Macy's building (When I started working in Houston, it was Foley's!). I saw them close it, empty it out, punch holes in the brick, and finally (via video) implode it. I would later take photos and videos of the rubble, which was quite impressive.

Even now, they've got cranes above it, and the walls of the old footprint of the foundation propped up. A new building's going up, though I don't know what kind. Will it be tall or squat, a beauty or an eyesore?

Occasionally, while I walk through the tunnels, I see evidence of a different kind of change, little leaks or other spots that tell us that things aren't quite under control Houston's got a relatively high water table, and the buildings all float in montmorillonite clay, the infamous black gumbo.

Even New York, it's building's supported directly on strong metamorphic rock, has it's problems with permanence. We know that New Orleans depends on its pumps to continue to exist, but water would undermine New York City, too, if it wasn't constantly pumped out.

Metals rust, Concrete weathers and flakes away, plastic loses it's plasticizer and grows brittle. Some paper, by dint of how it was created, starts producing acid which eats away at its own continued existence, books crumbling to dust. Film suffers similar problems. Whether Acetate or Nitrate, film stocks can end up undergoing chemical reactions. with acetate film it means your negatives end up losing quality, degrading into nothingness. And with nitrate film, used in the earliest periods? Try this on for size: they could be fire hazards!

CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays aren't proof against the ravages of time, the information-bearing layers coming unglued from the polycarbonate, and of course you've got all the scratches and fingerprints. Flash drives are vulnerable to accumulations of errors, hard drives have mechanical components that can age and crash. That's to say nothing of the issues of all the file formats that become obsolescent as all the different production software wears on in age.

People? Well, they age, too. Endeavors do as well. We sure regret the Gulf War now, more than two decades down the line, more than we did in the years just afterward. The wisdom of many of the War on Terror policies probably look much different for Republicans now that Barack Obama is in charge.

The electorate has changed, too, or otherwise Obama wouldn't be a second-term President.

The Republicans, in my experience, are relying on their old institutions to keep saving the party. They're relying on the gift of the infrastructure that our fathers and grandfathers handed us from more liberal generations. They want to keep the old racial and political orders in place, see this as saving America. They keep on trying to return policies to how they were before whatever terrible change occurred, from School Prayer to the legitimization of labor unions.

The problem, in my opinion, is that they fail to recognize just how much of this is out of their hands, and just how much of what they're trying to bring back went away for a good reason.

More than that, though, I don't think they quite realize what else had to exist for those things to be the way they were in the first place.

It's hard to tell women to get back in the kitchen if the wages and salaries are modeled on full employment for both genders, rather than on men being sole providers. It's hard to attack birth control in this day and age when family planning is the assumed norm, rather than the radical exception. The purveyors of stereotypes about blacks and Hispanics have to contend with the fact that youngsters, particularly people of my generation, have grown up with much more contact, social and otherwise, with people of that kind. LGBT folks, while still suffering harassment at times, deal with a society where their orientation and gender issues are much less of a abominable mystery, and much more of a banal fact of life. It's surprised me as I've grown up to learn the extent to which people once knocked on each other over religion and nationality. Growing up, you could say you were Irish American, or Norwegian American, and it didn't convey any kind of division, as some fear-monger about, but just a matter of origin.

I read some of the things that people talked about a century or half century ago about women and minorities, and it's like, are these people out of their minds? So much was assumed to be true, and life's experience has demonstrated otherwise. It's interesting to watch shows from the eighties, with their attitudes about women, and compare them to what they are now.

It's my belief that the facts on the ground will tend to influence how change occurs much more strongly than mere opinions or beliefs will. It doesn't matter what you think the system's capable of handling, it matters what the system itself will handle when you put the load on it.

In terms of infrastructure, the fact is, our systems are not only aging, they're obsolete in many places. Our electric grid is wasting our energy. Our river locks are ceasing to function. Our telecommunication networks are falling behind our needs, as huge near-monopolies, encouraged by consolidation and regulatory laxity have fallen down on the job of upgrading them. We're even making the mistake of letting them act like the robber-barons of old, gatekeeping that bandwidth so they can make money off of being inefficient, reserving speed for those businesses who pay, even when customers themselves pay for a much greater flow of information. Even something so simple as the aging and breakage of water-pipes is taking it's toll, promising to be a problem.

The world shifts, new problems arise. And we are stuck with a maladapted, maladaptive government more concerned with blindly pursuing a struggle to preserve and resurrect dying and dead policies, than deal with the modern day.

Our nation was gifted with a dynamic system of government, one that stayed enough the same to create and maintain stability, but which had enough changeability in it to deal with the way this nation would change over its next two centuries. We were never going to simply stay Washington's America. Washington himself died before another century dawned, and his successors would not live long into the next century either. practically everybody who was born a century ago is dead, and the adults and leaders of that time are definitely all in their graves. The living memory of that time, the attitudes, the casual assumptions, bigotries and beliefs of that time have died with them. We can talk in casual terms about bringing back the ideologies and principles of those times, but will it be anything better than a nostalgic guess on our part?

The future, I've observed, has a way of assembling itself, regardless of what future or past we envision shaping it towards. Change isn't merely a must happen, it's a will happen.

Should we foreswear trying to shape it? No, you'll have missed the point if you take that attitude. What we are in is in a constant, imperfect struggle with our environment. Solutions are rarely neat, the politics are never perfect. Our will to move ourselves to do what we must always competes with the kind of laziness and cheapness that often motivates us to procrastinate. We make mistakes, and when people make mistakes, folks often turn around and say, go back to things as they were!

Also, though, we sometimes lose good things as change occurs, fail to see the necessity of the wisdom of the past, or to maintain skills and knowledge that support our current efforts to manage our world. But is maintaining those things so much an issue or reproducing the past? Or maybe, if we're trying to preserve a certain idea of things, we must present it in the modern context, providing them new spirit and new body for a new world, leaving the old trappings behind with the world as it once was.

Change will happen. The old world will age and rot away, it's citizens growing old and dying as we all have to. The question is, will we be able to maintain and sustain this country's greatness and power in the future?

I'm not always the world's biggest proponent of change. Very often, in a given situation, I like things how they are. Time, though, has taught me lessons. the pipes will corrode and break. Tile will crack. The wood will dry out or get moldy. The plants will get into the sewage lines and break them, the transformers will blow, and replacing it all will not be cheap. But as time goes on, do we have a choice? Well, we have a choice of sorts. We can look at the places we once called home, and surrender them to the rot. We can look at the infrastructure, and surrender that, too, giving up on the business and way of life they afforded us. We can shrink government, even when private entities don't prove up to the task of policing themselves, and little by little we can give up what made this country great so we can behave just like the people of a time some of us thought of as greater, back when this nation was smaller in many ways, and our civilization less complicated.

Or, we can wake up to the fact that we have changed, and we will continue to change. Much as I wanted the world of my childhood to remain, it has passed from the present moment, and now is just a memory. So many figures of that past are now dead and buried, and so much of the recorded memory of that time shows something different than our biased minds perceived.

What I was grasping for over the last few years hasn't been some radical destruction of the world I love. To be blunt, where radical destruction has occurred, much of it seems to what the other side has done to my country. No, what I'm grasping for is a better future. I don't need it to resemble some dead past in complete detail. What I want is a nation where the best virtues have improved. The Hope part of "Hope and Change" was always about striving for the best results, America working at it's best, rather than wallowing in its mistakes, trying to rationalize them to a skeptical world.

We do need to keep some memory and allegiance to our past, to our traditions and our heritage, but too much of that can lull us to sleep concerning the challenges we face now. Too much penny-pinching, too much decentralization, too much indulgence of what former generations call politically incorrect, but newer ones call bigotry can leave this country stuck in a malaise, feeling rotten about the state of things. Folks need to realize that there's a certain dynamic to the mood of a nation. You haven't won if people aren't happy with the system. You've only deferred that change, perhaps transforming it into a critical threshold sort of system, bound to flip with such speed and ferocity, that you're left trying to make sense of how things went wrong (from your point of view) so fast and so furiously.

The Right's deferred quite a lot of the change it feared, and rolled back quite a bit of what it hated. To do that, though, it had to supercharge the fear and anger of quite a group of people. Trouble with that is, emotions fade over time. You can't keep up the rock-and-roll level of enthusiasm forever, not without creating a whole system to maintain it. That's pretty much what the Right's done, but it's done so at the cost of increasing the distance between what the true believers are saying, and what the rest of mainstream society believes. More to the point, it's very difficult to be a casual conservative, a pick-and-choose conservative. The demand is for you to believe everything, or take a long walk off a short pier.

Too much emphasis on political purity makes a closed circle of parties and movements. If there is no compromise, then you can only get the few who either already believe, or who are wiling to fully commit. What's more, you stand a good chance of turning everybody else against you. If your demographic is set to shrink, that's a bit of a problem.

Our electoral system is built with a kind of polarity, and like a potentially magnetic material, that polarity is ultimately the sum of how many votes are aligned one way or another. This upcoming election for the Republicans favors them because they've gerrymandered the house in their favor, their voters tend to show up more often for the midterms, and the Senate seats that are up happened to be in predominately GOP aligned states. Add the public relations disaster of how Obamacare rolled out, and perhaps you've got your majority in 2014.

Here's the thing, though: 2016's map is considerably more problematic for them, and they have yet to offer up candidates whose priorities are tuned in a way that favors the center. The demographics that elected Obama aren't going away. If anything, they're getting worse for Republicans. Chris Christie might have been a viable candidate, but he's carrying a bunch of political woes that are going to make this a problem.

So, think of this scenario: Republicans win 2014, take the Senate and the House... But Obama's still President. Senate map changes, meaning that the Democrats likely take it back in 2016 (Even a Republican win will create just a slim majority), and with the field of Republican candidates like they are, a Democratic President in charge.

If they act like they have acted, the GOP will likely have engaged in one fruitless, popularity reducing battle after another. The dysfunction people hate will not go away, and what they do get passed, I bet, won't be well loved by the rest of the population.

At the very least, it seems, the Republicans are on the road to, at best, ultimately preserve the status quo of today. At worst, they could lose everything.

And that's before the states start their shift.

The question is, what will America look like in a few years? Republicans, if they had acted sooner, could have created a more center-left situation, one where people were interested in healing wounds, rebuilding bridges, restoring some level of unity. I think the consequence of this is a nation that will see a much farther shift to the left, with much less compromise done with the Right. With the obnoxious sorts at work in the party now, what we're seeing is the social isolation of the right both from the next generation, and from the political factions that matter in the future.

The failure to make peace if the future is going to lead to the future defeating the Right Wing's resurgence. Is that a bad thing? Not entirely. But taking the long view, I think isolation often begets a vengeful desire to return to power at all costs, and that's part of what created this hard-headed version of the party to begin with. It also means that Democrats don't get as much of the benefit of keeping in touch with the people on the other side of the aisle, and those that they represent. The different sides of these debates are going to be carried out with less perceived common ground, less civility.

I value practical results, and often too much politics means people don't get held accountable, don't look at things in more practical ways. Politics as war often creates absurd outcomes, especially as sticking it to the other side, and remaining in perfect disagreement become priorities.

So, I hope the Right in this country begins to realize that the rest of us aren't cartoon villains, that more of this blind political warfare is neither going to save the nation, nor preserve the values they want preserved. Things change, systems have to be remade, the government's going to change to suit the attitudes of the people. The question is, do we remain in touch with the world as it is, or do we end up wandering among the dark illusions of a dimply remembered past?

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at March 26, 2014 3:51 PM
Comments
Comment #377485

SD writes; “This upcoming election for the Republicans favors them because they’ve gerrymandered the house in their favor, their voters tend to show up more often for the midterms, and the Senate seats that are up happened to be in predominately GOP aligned states. Add the public relations disaster of how Obamacare rolled out, and perhaps you’ve got your majority in 2014.”

I must admit that I was enjoying the walk down memory lane as it reminded me of much I have left behind. But then, it turned political and extremely biased. SD doesn’t seem to understand why the C’s and R’s are likely to win seats this year. The biggest reason, and the one most difficult for D’s and L’s to overcome is simple mismanagement. They promise much and deliver little. They have lied repeatedly, even when unnecessary. The D’s and L’s are the ones stuck in the past and who believe they can relive the glory days of big spending and big entitlement programs.

Does the left have any NEW ideas? Nope…not a single one. It’s always a replay of the past for them. Yelling about the rich, race, and inequality is their bread and butter. The fact is, the dems are rich, they are racist, and they promote inequality and poverty by their legislation.

We have Republican governors with new ideas that are riding high in their states because they accomplish much without resorting to the tired old tricks of the left…tax and spend.

A new day is indeed dawning in American politics, and it won’t be the one SD envisions.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 26, 2014 8:07 PM
Comment #377486
“Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.” ― Robert A. Heinlein
Posted by: Rhinehold at March 26, 2014 8:56 PM
Comment #377489

It’s been an interesting few days for Democrats…

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/california-state-senator-leland-yee-arrested-in-federal-raid/

A California state senator who advocated gun control legislation asked for campaign donations in exchange for introducing an undercover FBI agent to an arms trafficker and told him how to get shoulder-fired automatic weapons and missiles from a Muslim separatist group in the Philippines, according to court documents unsealed Wednesday.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-03-22/news/sns-rt-us-usa-rhodeisland-speaker-20140321_1_rhode-island-house-speaker-resigns

The Democratic speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives resigned his leadership position on Saturday, a day after law enforcement officials searched his office and home in an investigation.

http://www.suntimes.com/26366727-761/computers-seized-at-former-state-rep-farnhams-office-in-child-porn-investigation.html

Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon, who has been in office less than six months, resigned Wednesday, just hours after he was arrested and accused of taking more than $48,000 in bribes from undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen who wanted to do work with North Carolina’s largest city.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/charlotte-mayor-resigns-accused-of-taking-bribes/2014/03/26/1fdee0e6-b545-11e3-bab2-b9602293021d_story.html

Federal investigators seized computer equipment from former state Rep. Keith Farnham’s district office in Elgin as part of a probe into child pornography, according to a federal search warrant released late Friday by the Illinois House.

What Stephen doesn’t understand is that more and more younger voters are getting as fed up with the Democratic party as they are with the Republican party because of the spying, the lying, the violations of their rights, etc. They are not happy about being expected to pay for their elder’s easier time of things. About how their technology and internet, which was for so long a free place to communicate, is getting less and less free.

Much like how the right missed the direction of the country the past decade or so, the left is missing the trends of today and things are destined to change, it just doesn’t look to me like the Democrats are the ones who are going to gain the advantage because of their being tied to the old ways.

When things are bad, the ones in charge are going to get tarred with it because it is their policies getting through. Continuing to run as an outside to power when you have held that power so long gets a little hard.

No, to Stephen the only way the Republicans have been winning is by ‘cheating’. Ignore the polling, ignore the trends, it has to be something else. Take the lesson that they didn’t learn from the McAuliffe election. He would have won handily had the young independents and libertarians not come out and vote against him. As a result, he nearly lost that election…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 26, 2014 9:39 PM
Comment #377496
“Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and given him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the ‘new wonderful good society’ which shall now be Rome’s, interpreted to mean ‘more money, more ease, more security, and more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.’” - Marcus Tullius Cicero
Posted by: Rhinehold at March 27, 2014 12:38 AM
Comment #377505

Stephen, nice post. Your post really seems to point out the fact that our country’s infrastructure has been terribly maintained and is in dire need of help. That you point out that Republican/Conservative/Tea Party types have hindered this process is presented subtly but as I can see from the comments it is still met with the same attitude. “You just always want to say it is the Republican/Conservative/Tea Party types fault”, is all I seem to hear from the people that disagree with your assertions. Now if they could only agree just a little bit that our country’s infrastructure could use help I might take their objections more seriously. But you see that doesn’t fit with the current narrative of we want limited government (except when it comes to women, same sex unions, and a plethora of other things) and sound fiscal responsibility. Never mind that building up our country’s infrastructure would help all citizens, that doesn’t matter we want smaller and less effective government by gosh and we don’t care what the price we pay, seems to be the rationale they use. What I find really strange is they think this will resonate with the people that really need infrastructure improvements and would benefit from them. It’s a long time from March to November. I am content to see what develops and hope for positive Democratic outcomes in our next election cycle.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 27, 2014 12:47 PM
Comment #377507

Royal Flush-
There’s a reason I’ve taken some time off writing here. Mostly, it helps me feel like a human being rather than a ball of rage at all the stupidity I see in politics these days.

You call me a racist, more or less. What does one say to that, when one sees people dogwhistling urban populations, or saying that somebody’s getting a free pass because they’re black? I think you folks use it for the same reason people use curare on arrows: to paralyze the victims of your deception. Those are strong words, words I don’t think you could honestly back up.

I see the problem as similar to what we had in 2000. Republicans had complained so loud and for so long that they’d poisoned the public’s perception of their rivals.

Trouble for you is, this poisoning doesn’t make Republican better at governing. This bullhockey surrounding the Ukraine is a great example. I mean, really, what is strong leadership, by your definitions? Should Obama be leading our armed forces into a confrontation, so he can get into a p***ing contest with Putin on his front lawn? That tends to shut people like you up, and it all goes down to what, harsher language? Obama’s calling it an illegal intervention, which it is. What is he supposed to do that he’s not doing?

But still I hear all this BS about Putin’s strength, about the Community Organizer being in over his head. I mean, folks are actually kissing that tyrant’s ass, while knocking down their own leader, and don’t tell me this isn’t getting picked up and used by their media. You folks are now Russia’s useful idiots. Congratulations. I used to think I’d never see that happen, but then I can add that to my long list of things I thought Republicans would know better than to do.

You folks have done nothing but beat everybody else down to your level of abject humiliation. Trouble is, your humiliation is earned. You picked a terrible leader, then fought to keep him. Since then, you’ve tried to browbeat the perception that the current President is equally bad into us. But I haven’t seen him get us into wars where thousands die and tens of thousands of our soldiers come home wounded and maimed. I haven’t seen one recession he caused during his administration, where yours had two. He’s being bashed for not cleaning up things fast enough, even as his opponents do their utmost to stymie any economic interventions.

I’m old enough to remember how things were during the Clinton Administration, and the poisonous din of rhetoric is not only quite similar, but much the same, with scandals pushed to excess, with even Clinton’s responses to al-Qaeda labeled distractions to the three ring circus that was the Whitewater investigation. All these matters with gate attached, as if that gave these matters such great importance.

This seems to be all the Republicans know how to do when they’re not in power. And when they are? Well, it used to be you had some good foreign policy and economic hands, who knew when to ease back on the political agendas and submit to the real world. But now you have idiots in charge who will push their agenda items no matter what the real world says about how they’re working.

So, really, I just think it’s like high school, where you have these morons who bash anybody who studies and does their work, while they do absolutely nothing to prepare for the challenges that lay ahead.

I think you guys talk and talk and talk, but you can’t do s*** right because your picture of your skills isn’t based on experience but a buttload of theory that your side has built up as to what’s dogmatically right.

You guys can create the appearance of failure for us, but we at least understand that things need to work. We’ll do things like fix the bad websites that don’t work, rather than spend inordinate amount of times pointing fingers at a supposedly hostile media to explain why we’re getting embarrassed.

Rhinehold-
I have no patience with cure-alls. I believe that the folks you think are all rational and enlightened individual are just human like the rest of us, and that social impulses and very imperfect human instincts for rich are going to dominate in societies as complex and well-populated as ours.

I think you might be getting some frustrated souls from my side, but I wouldn’t count on them to flock to you with your robes billowing in some kind of epic wind.

If everything settles down to libertarianism, I will be very disappointed. I mean, really, what is it your side has to offer, other than liberating those with more power and money than the rest of us? Government is not the only controlling force in our lives. Most of our bills to private companies dwarf what Uncle Sam takes from us. They have the power, the water, the food and other necessities of life in their hands.

You portray it all as the empowerment of the individual, but the truth is, most individuals don’t get the chance to accumulate the real economic and social authority to do things all by themselves. Truth is, if we adopt your model, we’re castrating ourselves.

In fact, I’d say that’s what Americans have been doing for decades now. We’re scared off by a parade of horrible from standing up for ourselves, told that if we push for a clean environment, good wages and working conditions, a decent spread of ideas and material on our public airwaves, etc, that we’re going to lose our jobs and suffer recessions.

However, I’ve seen us suffer more, economically speaking, for the power we’ve yielded, than the power we’ve kept.

I think libertarianism as its formulated now is a suckers’ bet. It’s trusting that those who get power deserve it because they’re better than the rest. It’s elitism wrapped up in a Darwinian parody of populism. Stand up for your self against big government… which is an institution shaped by your democratic activity, so you’re essentially standing up against yourselves!

I think America has had quite enough of the political paralysis it’s been suffering. I think it’s time to stop fearing the future, and start making it happen. Some of that is private enterprise’s job, and I won’t forsake that. Government can’t and should do everything. But some of the things we need to do as a society are best done through government; not government unconstrained; not government held unaccountable; but government nonetheless.

America has got to stop thinking that everything good just will magically happen. Sometimes we have to deliberately go and make things happen.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 27, 2014 4:06 PM
Comment #377508

SD writes; “There’s a reason I’ve taken some time off writing here. Mostly, it helps me feel like a human being rather than a ball of rage at all the stupidity I see in politics these days.”

Hmmm…perhaps even more time off is in order as I see no change, just political spinning as usual with some fear thrown in for good measure.

SD wrote; “America has got to stop thinking that everything good just will magically happen.”

There was no magic in what our founders did and said, just huge amounts of experience, knowledge and patriotic duty. What they and we have achieved over the past two hundred years may appear as magic to a liberal chiefly because we did it with conservative principles. This part of SD’s sentence makes sense to liberals…”America has got to stop thinking.”

As the left demands more dependence upon centralized power in the hands of the few and elite, conservatives are about empowering individuals and states.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 27, 2014 5:45 PM
Comment #377509

Stephan

- Like Royal, I enjoyed the first part of your post.

- The lefts very own actions are what has “poisoned the publics perception” of them, not Republicans.

- A little dose of understanding and respect will cure that rage you feel when discussing politics with those who hold different beliefs.

You know, I’ve actually thought quite a lot about this and I think there are two key reasons why lefties such as yourself and Speaks now read basically the same as Adrienne always did.

1 - You over invested yourselves in President Obama simply because of his race and politics. You are more concerned with him, how he is viewed, and how he will be viewed in a historical context, than you are with actual success.

2 - You have embraced all the divisive, ugly, false stereotypes that the extreme far-left progressive nuts promote on a daily basis.

Step back and take a breath man. We don’t hate you or want to destroy you. We just don’t want you dictating how we live.
Surely we can discuss that without rage, can’t we.

Posted by: kctim at March 27, 2014 5:55 PM
Comment #377510
I believe that the folks you think are all rational and enlightened individual are just human like the rest of us

Um, no Libertarian thinks anyone is better than anyone else and without flaws, that’s a real misreading of what it’s all about. If men were angles we wouldn’t need government. But you don’t carry that out that if people are flawed and irrational, should we be giving those people that much power over us? Government should be doing its job of protecting our rights, not infringing upon them.

I mean, really, what is it your side has to offer, other than liberating those with more power and money than the rest of us?

Liberating those with no power and no money as well. Remember, The Libertarian party was for gay marriage 40 years before the Democratic party was, its first Presidential candidate was gay and its first Vice Presidential candidate was a woman. We are for real choice, not just a few. Are against spying on citizens without a warrant, no matter who is in office, etc. Your reduction of what libertarianism is to ‘giving the rich more power’, which is kind of ridiculous since they only get any power they have now from the government through fiat, is not a very well thought out argument IMO.

You portray it all as the empowerment of the individual, but the truth is, most individuals don’t get the chance to accumulate the real economic and social authority to do things all by themselves.

Interesting, so the individual Martin Luther King Jr didn’t accumulate social authority? The ACLU, the Sierra Club, the Red Cross, just nothings? Bill Gates and Steve Jobs didn’t change our culture completely? The Rockefellers, JP Morgans, Carnagies, et al didn’t revolutionize and make this country a dominating power in the early 20th century?

No, not everyone gets rich and powerful, as you say, but that’s because most don’t want to be. Most just want to be quiet people, living a quiet life and trying to make a better one for their kids. Those are the people that libertarianism wants to empower and protect.

But as much as those visionaries did, they couldn’t have done it if the people buying their products or agreeing with their ideals hadn’t supported them. They were empowered by the people directly, not through government. And it was all done out of free will and choice, not coercion.

Truth is, if we adopt your model, we’re castrating ourselves.

How so? As much as I may not like Walmart, they have no power without the people going into the stores giving it to them or without the government protecting them/favoring them. They can’t come to my house and make me buy any of their products. But the government can. Yet, you see the former as the one with the real power, not the latter.

Stand up for your self against big government… which is an institution shaped by your democratic activity, so you’re essentially standing up against yourselves!

No, you’re standing up against your neighbors who want to tell you how to live your life with a gun pointed to your head. Think the black man being told he was just property by the majority. Think the gay man being told that he isn’t entitled to marry the person he loves. Think the athiest being told that he has to pledge fealty to a god.

We started this experiment in self rule with the caveat that individuals have certain inalienable rights. That no power can take those rights away from you. But you routinely tell us that those rights are the whims of the majority. If that is so, how are they inalienable exactly?

I think it’s time to stop fearing the future, and start making it happen.

I agree completely. But I don’t see any real benefit in waiting for the government to do that when we can do it ourselves.

But some of the things we need to do as a society are best done through government

And I and other libertarians agree. We just disagree on what those things are. That’s the rub, Stephen. If those things step on our inalienable rights, then it’s not best done through government, the gain is not worth the loss. And history, time and time again, bears this out.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 27, 2014 6:33 PM
Comment #377511

Good comment kctim. I sometimes get the feeling that many on the far left are miserable and wish to have more company. It seems that their political aim is to reduce us all to the basest common denominator.

Their policies don’t alleviate poverty, joblessness, poor education, crime, unrest or moral bankruptcy. I maintain that most of what they do actually promotes these very same social ills.

Why is that? Why would one human wish to enslave another by government edict? What’s in it for them?

Those lefties low on the ladder such as Daugherty are hard to figure. Their leaders occasionally gift them with a few crumbs from their table but that alone can’t be the reason. The laws and regulations they have passed, and those they wish to institute, harm most lefties as much as those of us on the right. We know this is true as the poor and uneducated on the left keep growing in numbers and keep demanding more while getting less.

Do the Daugherty’s of this country sleep better knowing that others will soon be as miserable as they are when the heavy hand of government makes all equally impoverished; morally and financially?

Do those who have given up hope for a better future take delight in robbing the rest of us of our ambitions and goals?

Can we really enrich the masses by intentionally impoverishing others by government edict? Is our brand of capitalism really a zero-sum game in which one persons gain is another persons loss?

The United States and our system of government and private enterprise has been, and remains, the greatest engine for lifting humanity out of poverty and want that has ever been seen in recorded history. Yet, if one listens to Daugherty and his friends one would think it has been a grand failure.

I believe that nearly the entire focus of the left is based upon envy. They don’t have the courage to take a gun and rob us themselves in broad daylight so they enlist the help of politicians who will do the job for them.

We are being robbed not only of our property, but of our idealism, our patriotism, and our birthright. They have managed to destroy the most basic unit of of a well managed society…our families. Our schools have become indoctrination centers rather than a place where our youth are taught lifetime skills that make them valuable members of society.

No longer is being fair with each other enough, now we must be equal in every aspect regardless of the individual input involved. God created us equal in our human rights and the left wishes to improve on God’s plan by making us equal in results.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 27, 2014 7:11 PM
Comment #377512

Royal Flush-
Misquoting me will not strengthen your argument. It represents your inability to either understand my argument or come up with a decent response.

I just love how you lean on the framers for your arguments, like Woody Allen bringing out Marshall McLuhan in the movie line to answer his critics. Trouble is, they’re dead, and they didn’t leave behind unified opinions. What’s more, we have no way of knowing what their opinions about the modern day would be, informed or uninformed.

We don’t ride horses anymore. Communication by letters is seen as increasingly archaic. We talk, correspond, and otherwise communicate mostly at the speed of light. We see planes hitting the WTC buildings within moments or hours, we don’t hear about these events days after the fact. Consider the problem of that Malaysian airlines flight.

That would not happen in their time. There was no Malaysia, no independent nation run by the natives. There were no airplanes, much less jets. There were no satellites to talk with the jet.

There was no internet to discuss things on, much less the millions of miles of interconnected wiring. There was no power grid or power plants to produce the energy necessary!

We are not the former peasants of a great European empire, living mostly by subsistence farming. There aren’t just Thirteen states, there are fifty. There aren’t just eight million people in this country, there are three hundred million.

I could go on, but the fact is, because of the framer’s gift of self government, we are not forced to apply the government of 1790 to the problems of 2014. We are privileged to govern ourselves as appropriate to our time, and it’s time we stopped running to hide behind the founding father’s legs, and started facing our problems like the adults we are supposed to be.

kctim-
I didn’t invest myself in Obama because of his race, though I was glad we had a good candidate to break that barrier. I invested in him because the way he communicated told me that he wasn’t merely thinking the way all the previous candidates I’d seen had been. He had, and demonstrated, a capacity for lateral thought, creative thinking about politics.

At heart, he’s a problem solver. The trouble is, in politics, things can center around the competition within government at the expense of the purpose of what government does. You folks have indulged politics at the expense of that, and if you’re rewarded for anything, it will be for making it seem so impossible to get things done that the political competition is the only horserace left to handicap. Congratulations: your side’s victory will represent the victory of Washington politics over the nation’s attempts to actually get those overpaid hacks in Congress to do something.

The fools of the Tea Party movement want to gallop into DC as democracy’s saviors, but you know what? In truth, they represent the victory of the most cynical and useless of politics and politicians, the lowest common denominator triumphant, the decline of the United State hurried on its way.

You think my problem is that I won’t admit how great and good and right you people are. No, my problem is that in all this time, I’ve seen nothing constructive come out of the Tea Party. All it’s built on is trying to stuff the genie of my generation’s political movement back in the bottle.

Let me clue you in on something: all you’ve succeed in doing is making an angrier, more cynical generation of Liberals and Progressives, who will enjoy tearing apart your legacy of extremist legislation. You could have moderated things, done the deals and other things Democrats did after their defeat, softening the other side’s politics and policies, but instead, you decided you were going to try and take everything back for yourselves.

But you know what? You’re on your way out. Mortality itself should tell you that you won’t keep it. The question you should have considered, at the end of the day, is whether you could be an influence, where you had once simply dominated. Instead, you have fought to dominate once more, your efforts and your rhetoric more strained than ever, in an effort to fight back against the fading away of the demographic.

For that, you have earned my generation’s hostility, it’s break with you, rather than it’s gentler disagreement. The future could have been eased in, Americans allowed to remain civil to one another, instead of stirred into a frenzy of partisanship. But you chose the road of desperation and slander, and as a result, you have turned an entire generation more liberal and progressive.

Whether it’s the abject failures of the Bush Administration, or the obstruction and vicious politics of the Obama era, your side has succeeded in alienating its last, best hope for future majority, first convincing the kids they couldn’t run the country, then convincing them that they weren’t going to help run it right, either.

I started out the last decade very much comfortable with the back and forth exchange of power, because I believed Republicans had better self preservation instincts than to allow the kind of catastrophic systemic disasters to happen that they did, the failures in the markets, in Iraq, and in rescuing people from Katrina. I thought anybody with a brain would know that you didn’t fail at these things, much less try to rationalize your failure.

At this point, the thought of Republicans getting back more power makes me fear for the country, in a way I didn’t, because I know that they’ll let things go to hell, and then try to compensate for it by blaming the media for how bad it looks. I know now that unlike the Republicans of even the Nineties, they won’t let reality force compromises on them, so bad policy will continue until we kick them out.

But what unfortunately isn’t different is the caterwauling from your side. If I don’t seem impressed by it, if I seem to treat it like the sadly expected tantruming of a known brat, it’s because I heard all the same things said of Bill Clinton as are now said of Obama. When you do the same thing both times, and the identity of the politician targeting doesn’t seem to matter, it looks less like spontaneous response to events, and more like strategical standard operating procedure.

The Right simply can’t tolerate not being in power anymore. They think they’re necessary for America’s survival. Well, I’m here to tell you that thanks to the wisdom of the framers, they aren’t. We are not built on the Gingrich or Reagan Revolutions, much less the Boehner. We are built on the American revolution which said that the citizens of this country govern themselves. We don’t have to rely on you, we have ourselves to rely upon, and that we will do as you grow old and die.

I don’t care to write a hundred comments to say what a few will. I’m not that young anymore that I have the energy or the inclination to waste it on folks who have no clue that time has passed them on, and who keep on trying to drag unwilling people back into their influence. We have already been strong enough to break free of some part of the domination of your generation over politics. In a few short years, even if you win this next election, we’ll break free of the rest of your jealous grip.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 27, 2014 7:13 PM
Comment #377513
Trouble is, they’re dead, and they didn’t leave behind unified opinions. What’s more, we have no way of knowing what their opinions about the modern day would be, informed or uninformed.

Actually, they did. You don’t think the Declaration of Independence was a unified opinion? As for what they would think about modern day, that’s a pretty weak argument. Jesus, for example, provided the opinion that people should be nice to each other, does that not view not hold up in a modern society? It’s the same with the ideals that they expoused, especailly when you study where the ideas came from and how they arrived at them. Their writings tell us a lot.

I know you like to say, for example, that Hamilton disagreed with Jefferson a lot, and he did. You could say that they really despised each other personally as well. There were many things that they disagreed upon. But there was a lot more that they agreed upon. I was just reading some writings of Hamilton and it was clear that their differences were small and minor and their agreements wide and major.

Communication by letters is seen as increasingly archaic. We talk, correspond, and otherwise communicate mostly at the speed of light.

Very true. But do you think that they would have said that it would be ok then to have someone copy all of the letters sent through the post office so that the government could later go back and read them if they wanted to? No, that would have been incredulous to them. The same principles hold up, despite the technology, your argument is merely a cop out.

We don’t lose our inalienable rights just because we have mastered the transistor or developed a means of transmitting power to people. You know, just a couple of the things that individuals did to reshape the world without government…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 27, 2014 7:34 PM
Comment #377514

SD wrote; “I just love how you lean on the framers for your arguments…”

Well thank you very much. I can’t think of anything better to support my beliefs.

Daugherty then goes on a spiel about how much the country and world has changed since the inception of the United States. No argument there. Then, by some stretch of imaginary logic, he contends that our founding documents are no longer applicable to our modern day. With only 27 Amendments to the Constitution I would say that the original document was extremely well conceived for our founders day; and this day; and tomorrow.

The flaw in Daugherty’s logic is simple. The Constitution is an establishment document with clear boundaries of, and limits to, power. It was written in this fashion to keep our citizens free of the tyranny of government.

Daugherty claims that this thinking is old fashioned and the tyranny of government is now supposedly a good thing. He proposes no limit to government and appears in favor of limiting or abolishing our “rights”. He does this because he believes, as does most of his party, that he and they are too enlightened to be bothered with the limitations of our founders and the governing documents they produced.

It is refreshing that Daugherty is no longer in the proverbial “closet”. He is now a proud member of the enlightenment which discounts our founding documents as mere quaint suggestions of old dead white men.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 27, 2014 7:43 PM
Comment #377515
He proposes no limit to government and appears in favor of limiting or abolishing our “rights”.

Actually, he does say that there should be limits on government. He just doesn’t explain what they are, how they are determined and how they are to be administered.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 27, 2014 7:57 PM
Comment #377517

The next time someone tells you how things have gotten nastier than they’ve ever been in US politics, just take a look at this video produced on the election of 1800 where two attack ads are created using the very words that Jefferson and Adams used… We can’t hold a candle. Stephen Douglas even gets in a jab at the end. :)

Trust me, this is funny.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Y_zTN4BXvYI

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 27, 2014 9:21 PM
Comment #377518

And some historical fistfights that took place in congress pre 20th century. One thing I learned from this list, perhaps they should outlaw canes on the floor!

http://voices.yahoo.com/ready-rumble-greatest-fistfights-us-congress-2129050.html

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 27, 2014 9:38 PM
Comment #377522

BTW, can we all get a collective forehead slap going for #CancelColbert? I mean seriously, are people just stupid and can’t understand satire and comedy…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 28, 2014 1:07 AM
Comment #377527

SD: Your quote “But you know what? You’re on your way out.”.

It seems odd that you should have been worked up to the extent that you state, if you think your battle is won. You should be patient, and celebrating.

Posted by: Mike in Tampa at March 28, 2014 8:16 AM
Comment #377530

Stephen
Well it looks like you haven’t lost any of your right wing groupies that fawn (in their own way?) over what you write. You do seem to prickle their conservative beliefs like no one else can. Keep up the good work.

Now we have kctim telling us why and how we vote, thanks for nothing and for being so dead wrong again. What else do you see in that crystal ball that you have kctim? I believe Stephen has laid out pretty well what he believes the future holds. As I said a while ago when Republicans and conservatives started their campaign of destruction of President Obama. When you sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 28, 2014 10:24 AM
Comment #377531

Stephen

Jesus your wound up tight. Relax some.

“I didn’t invest myself in Obama because of his race…,”

His race AND politics.
You looked past his inexperience and lack of qualifications because of his politics AND because you thought it was time the racial barrier was broken.
Being a liberal yourself, you want a liberal President to be viewed as a success, so naturally you are going to give a liberal President more passes. But you guys have taken it to a whole different level with President Obama because you worry that a substandard job, or even failure of our first black President, might have a negative impact on minorities in future elections.
His race plays a big part in your desire to see him succeed, and it contributes greatly to your excuse and defend at all costs attitude.

“I invested in him because the way he communicated…”

Yes, he talked a great game about ‘Hope and Change” didn’t he. But yet, here you are now telling people that hope is “optional” and that President Obama isn’t really needed for “change” to happen.

“The trouble is, in politics, things can center around the competition within government at the expense of the purpose of what government does.”

No Stephen, the left sees it as a competition because liberalism is about taking and controlling. For the people you think are in competition with, the debate has always been about “the purpose of what government does.”

“The fools of the Tea Party movement want to gallop into DC as democracy’s saviors…”

Sigh. Respecting the basic principles of our Constitution is not going to hurry the decline of the US.
Besides, IF you took the time to understand our past and what Tea Party supporters really want, you would see that they don’t desire a return to the life of 1776, but rather that they have been pushed to a limit. They have had “Enough Already.”
You guys aren’t mad because people haven’t already given up a lot, they are mad because people are refusing to give up more and more.

“You think my problem is that I won’t admit how great and good and right you people are.”

No, I think your problem is that you refuse to respect the fact that people disagree with you, do not wish to live as you think we should, and that it is not governments job to force us to.

“All it’s built on is trying to stuff the genie of my generation’s political movement back in the bottle.”

You got me there. I can’t speak for members of the Tea Party, but I definitely wish to stuff progressivism back into some bottle and smash it into pieces. Progressivism cannot co-exist with our Constitution and the freedom it provides.

“But you know what? You’re on your way out.”

As I have told you many times before, I totally agree with you. Year by year, progressive policy creates millions of more people dependent on government and they will vote for those who promise them more.

“For that, you have earned my generation’s hostility…”

Forgive me for not caring or worrying about any kind of “hostility” from progressives. I am a parent and I understand how children get when they don’t get their way all of the time. How they piss and moan when you only let them have half of a candy bar instead of the whole thing. How they will whine non-stop about how their sibling has more than them. And how they will use parents to get their way because they don’t have what it takes to do it themselves.

“At this point, the thought of Republicans getting back more power makes me fear for the country…”

No, you fear for only yourself because, despite evidence to the contrary, you think Republicans in control means you will lose the material things you have become dependent on. That is the “hell” you fear Stephen and that is actually quite sad.

“The Right simply can’t tolerate not being in power anymore.”

If you are talking about politicians, they ALL are like that.
If you are talking about the rank and file, you are mistaken. The ONLY power we care about or want is the power to stop people like you from forcing us to live as you think we should.
I want nothing from you nor do I give one crap how you live your own life. You cannot say the same about yourself.

“We don’t have to rely on you, we have ourselves to rely upon, and that we will do as you grow old and die.”

But yet you do rely upon us for almost everything. From our taxes you use to pay for your progressive way of life to our service in the military to protect your progressive way of life for you.
Funny how the term “for you” pops up over and over when discussing this, isn’t it.

“In a few short years, even if you win this next election, we’ll break free of the rest of your jealous grip.”

Jealous grip? What the hell does that mean? The only thing I could even be possibly jealous of progressives is their ability to feel ok with sitting around and doing nothing productive. LOL!

You really need to loosen up man. Stop reading those Kos nuts and watch some Tosh or Duck Dynasty.

Posted by: kctim at March 28, 2014 11:49 AM
Comment #377532

It don’t take much to figure how someone like Stephen votes or any liberal/progressive at that matter, Speaks. As long as the politician has a “D” after their name and tells them how much “FREE” stuff they will get no matter how unqualified for the job they are, as in the case of Obama, liberal/progressives vote for him/her.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at March 28, 2014 12:29 PM
Comment #377533

Isn’t the Constitution the “law of the land”?
Yet how many times have we been told that the health care take over is the “law of the land”. Then practice what you preach you southpaws. You southpaws talk with forked tongue, just like a snake darting his tongue. All those changes to the “law of the land” called Obama care makes it a farce. Nancy baby sure had it right. Ya gotta pass the bill to see what is in it. Typical foolishness. We now see what is in it and it is rotten to the core. So much for constitutional authority.

Posted by: tom humes at March 28, 2014 12:45 PM
Comment #377534

KAP
Thanks for your uninformed opinion. You are as wrong as kctim in your estimation of how people vote since you are not in the voting booth with them. But thanks for playing.

tom humes
What Nancy Pelosi actually said was said to the republican members of the house of representatives that refused to read the bill. She then informed them then they would just have to wait until the bill was passed to see what was in the bill. This often misquoted statement is held in high regard by right wing screwballs and I am not surprised that they do not even know what they are quoting.

I am also not surprised to learn that kctim obviously watches Tosh and Duck Dynasty. Wow.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 28, 2014 12:56 PM
Comment #377535

Can’t be to wrong Speaks, 51% still voted for the incompetent president for a second term. Either the 51% didn’t pay attention to the first four years or they were getting a whole lot of freebies. Or as Stephen put it he’s a good communicator, with that I agree he can spread a good line of BS. that people buy into.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at March 28, 2014 1:27 PM
Comment #377536

Rhinehold-
You know, I did say “most people”, and you replied by naming a few people and a few organizations that were able to gather most power. Thanks for missing the point, which was that most people won’t do that. We can’t all be winners enough to control so much. We can’t all be Martin Luther Kings and the like, and any system that sells you on anything more than that is selling you a fiction.

As far as the Declaration of Independence goes?

Just because they left behind that doesn’t mean they agreed on everything else. Just follow the debates during the Constitutional Convention. Also consider that the Declaration itself was something of a compromise.

What I’m saying, also, was that these folks didn’t all think like modern day Republicans and Libertarians, and it’s very, very presumptuous and arrogant to believe that any superficial resemblance of the beliefs of some to modern-day Libertarians entitles them to force their politics on everybody else. You folks are in a debate with the rest of us, and are not privileged by anything in the Constitution.

More to the point, how would they deal with the modern day, and would their principles in doing so be right?

As for my point about communications?

Well, gee, wasn’t that actually my point? See, the thing is, when we started out with the Telephone, people treated it as if the person were shouting something out in public (which would mean no right under the 4th Amendment to protection for it). But then we evolved on the subject, deciding that people talking on the telephone often expected that those communications would remain private. Similar things are happening with E-Mail and such. There’s an interesting example of this development with the Enzyte case.

They had to change the interpretation of the law to properly express the principle of the law.

It’s a political strawman’s argument to say that I believe the turn of the age means that everything in the Constitution is obsolete. Rather, my opinion is, effective and efficient application of the Constitution and other laws require that we admit that laws must be interpreted, not merely applied with dogged, blind literalism. Laws must be carried out and interpreted in a real world.

Too many Libertarians and Republicans are willing to screw the real world in an effort to enforce what they believe to be a more faithful expression of the law. Trouble is, language always has its limits, and much of those limits center around the fact that functionally, language is meant to help other reconstruct your meaning, not to transfer all the information wholesale. Context, experience, an attention to results and implications is necessary to properly carry out the law. Otherwise, you get the malformed abortions of justice that often come of naively to-the-letter interpretations of the law. Things like believing that Corporations can be treated exactly like people, even though they do not live or die in the same way.

We stand to lose our rights, if we don’t adapt the way we govern ourselves, the way we write, carry out and interpret the rules to the situation in front of us. When blind formality overrules common sense, we all lose out.

Royal Flush-
Stop writing arguments for me. I continually say the Constitution still applies. What I find to be outdated and outmoded is YOUR interpretation, your naïve belief that everything will be just alright if we only govern ourselves as if we were still a small, decentralized 1790’s Preindustrial, mostly rural rather than mostly urban Republic.

The beauty of the Constitution is that it let the people decide how to govern themselves. Those 27 amendments are part and parcel of that self-government, and also a reflection that the Framer’s judgment wasn’t perfect, that people needed to deal with issues they didn’t foresee.

They thought Slavery would just fade away, but the Cotton Gin made it economic to work millions of people in bondage for the sake of the South’s peculiar economy. They also thought that Blacks were incapable of working among us as equals. Hell, even Lincoln held somewhat racist views about Black’s capabilities.

My logic is this: we are meant to govern ourselves. The Framers themselves talked about how pathetic it was to be tied to dusty old traditions, to be hearkening back to things as they were, simply for the sake of some aura of antiquity. The Framers were radicals, undoing what most conservatives of the time would have considered the essential form of government! Rather than crown George Washington king, and give his throne to his heirs, we created a representative, democratic Republic, and wrote the rules with a BALANCE between government’s ability to govern, without which there is only chaos, and the constraints on that government, which allow law abiding citizens to live their lives mostly untroubled by their government.

I think you don’t have a decent, balanced argument of how to govern, so you have to constantly misrepresent mine.

I want a government that makes most of its citizens lives genuinely better. I’m not interested in welfare programs that don’t make real improvements. I’m more interested in seeing people get good work than a handout. I’m not interested in weighing down every aspect of American life with thick rule books, but at the same time, I’m also not interested in having the rich and powerful get their way, even as harm comes to most of our citizens as a result.

I have no problem with being a part of a New Enlightenment, actually. An enlightenment that unlike yours doesn’t assume that the “job creators” know best, but also doesn’t assume that an uneducated person, ripe to be manipulated by people like your masters, knows best either.

I don’t assume, though, that everybody who does become educated will agree, but I’d much rather have people formulating what to do based on some clear idea of things, than go through more years of government with people in charge who can’t seem to reason their way out of a wet paper bag.

Our Framers were children of the Enlightenment, people who believed that a social contract existed between the governed and those that governed, that those who governed could and should be replaced when they failed to govern properly. They also believed in exercising their mental faculties to the limits, in being renaissance men who expanded both their cultural and scientific awareness to the maximum. They didn’t see it as a mark of cultural impurity to know a second language, or to be well-travelled. They embraced a practical, compromising sensibility, believing that differences in opinion could and should be reasoned through, and that the system as a whole should move mainly through consensus.

What you support is a corruption of that, a bitter parody that claims to honor the original principles, but instead simply does the bidding of a few elite, the likes of which modern patriots would gladly rebel.

I’m sick of having to wait for the by-your-leave of a bunch of special interests to tackle our nation’s glaring problems. The evidence on Global Climate change is plain. The evidence on how Wall Street failed is plain. Americans are speaking, telling you what they want, and your people, in the tradition of George III, are just ignoring them with complete contempt. You are pursuing an agenda in the government against the will of most of the people, and corrupting the election system so you can keep that power.

Yes, I am a part of the New Enlightenment, which sees science and scholarship as the best basis for policy, not rabble-rousing and fearmongering. I want people thinking things out, not screaming at each other. I want equality between all men and women as fact, not merely as nominal promise.

Yes, if that is what you mean by being out the closet, then yes I am. I am a card carrying believer in the opinion that the Framers intended us to reason through our own problems, that we were meant to govern ourselves, not kowtow to an elite, that that there is a bargain between the governed and those that govern that the governing authorities must keep to keep their jobs.

Question is, what are you? What do your opinions represent, other than the deceived, the naïve, and the fearful tradition of politics that the Framers opposed?

Mike in Tampa-
Let’s say there were tyrants, ravaging the countryside. If you were told that they would all die in six months, would the burning, pillaging, raping and destruction not still trouble you, outrage you? You folks seem set on doing as much damage on the way out as you can, to ensure that none of us can govern this world as we see fit.

kctim-
Look, how many times has Jesse Jackson put his hat in the ring. If that really were the overwhelming factor, he’d have been President, long before Obama. That he breaks the old tradition of who gets to be President is a bonus, but it isn’t what led people like me to believe that he could be a good President.

And you know what? I’m not blind and deaf to all the efforts the Republicans have gone through to try and stop him. I’ve kept count of the filibusters, the choices he made that were denied, the bills that died despite majority support. I wasn’t under a rock when you folks used your authority in the House to force a debt ceiling crisis. You cannot oppose every damn thing he does, and expect people like me not to account for that in his performance.

As for hope and change? Don’t twist words. I said change was inevitable. I never said GOOD change was, though. Things can turn for the worse, and I’ve seen plenty of Republican policy, even now, doing just that. The pairing of hope and change is not content neutral. I wanted the good kind of change.

You folks are priding yourself on how much interference you’ve accomplished with Obama’s agenda. In fact, that’s your only selling point, because you haven’t really deigned to compromise with the rest of us to pass the kind of landmark legislation you could make a positive case for your leadership on. You have to be successful obstacles, and nothing better, because you’ve made any kind of cooperation a capital crime, politically at least. That is what I mean by centering things on competition. Democrats are willing to make deals to get necessary stuff passed. Your Tea Party can’t seem to do anything of the sort, and they even drag the guys with more common sense into that idiocy as well. How many times has my party had to step up and provide the votes to get something passed, to end your god-forsaken standoffs?

People across the country are ticked off about the inaction of Washington, their obliviousness to the plight of the country. It seems to me, if we want some kind of improvement, we need to be getting rid of the people who seem to only be there to stall for time and get in everybody else’s way.

That is what I mean when I say you’re not Democracy’s saviors. You’re the people that most folks in this country resent, one way or the other.

As for respecting the principles of the Constitution, you can’t even respect the fact that you’re not always supposed to get your way. You insist on imposing yourself on virtually every level, without any dilution from the other side. Short of that, you feel aggrieved, you talk of Second Amendment solutions.

The impression you give is that if you don’t get what you want, it’ll be bloody revolution. I mean, what do you think it looks like, it implies when you’re stocking up on ammo at the drop of a hat? How many times have people told you that Obama’s about to get your guns, and how many times has it actually happened?

Yeah, I thought so.

I’m sick of all the howling and the spoiled brat mentality. I want folks to realize that at the end of the day, they have to live as part of a society with everybody else, and that nobody gets their way all the time. I want folks to realize that people like me have lost a lot of patience with our counterparts, and so when demographics build up our numbers strong enough, we will not be so inclined to listen as we once were.

The warning I’m giving you, is that the time to make peace is now. The more you jealously pull away from us in the short term, the more you pay in the long term.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 28, 2014 1:29 PM
Comment #377537

“The warning I’m giving you, is that the time to make peace is now. The more you jealously pull away from us in the short term, the more you pay in the long term.”

Nice….

Posted by: Mike in Tampa at March 28, 2014 1:55 PM
Comment #377538

KAP
Count me as one of those 51% and so glad I did that. I paid attention the first four years and decided that President Obama needed 8 years. I do not receive freebies. I like this President for what he is able to accomplish given the adversity he has faced. You all get your kicks out of saying “he’s giving them freebies”, “he’s the food stamp president”, “he’s incompetent”, “he’s a diabolical dictator”, “he wants to be king”. Please take a moment to reflect how stupid those all sound when taken into the light of day and examined. He has displayed a great amount of political acumen and ability, I think that’s what really ticks you guys off. It is a sad day when most of the people who oppose him want to see him fail just to make themselves “feel” better notwithstanding what the failure of a President means to our country and all of us. Tsk, tsk, for shame. But don’t worry he will not fail and will be looked back on as one of the best.

This whole discussion about the Constitution has me a bit confused. They could have very easily added a footnote that said something like “This document will stand in perpetuity, never to be changed from it’s original content”. But they didn’t they gave us the avenues and abilities to change it as required for the citizens of this country. That we disagree about that is something I think they expected and was part of the wisdom of not adding the footnote I referred to.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 28, 2014 2:12 PM
Comment #377539

Speaks

As I’ve told Stephen, yourself and others over and over again, prove me to be “dead wrong” and I will acknowledge my mistake.

Have to say that I am shocked that you don’t like Tosh. Shocked I tell you! LOL
What’s the matter? You don’t like questionably gay, Jesus hating, abortion loving liberal comics?

Posted by: kctim at March 28, 2014 2:32 PM
Comment #377540

Lets see speaks, his foreign policy is weak, his economic policies are not working, his greatest accomplishment the ACA has been delayed or changed more then any other law, and by the way he overstepped his authority by doing so. He lied about keeping your doctor and health plan if you liked it. He’s a joker to our foes. Our allies do not trust him or will not back him. And you say he will be looked at as one of the best, hell Jimmy Carter would laugh at that statement. If he’s one of the best I’d hate to see who is worse, I know Bush.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at March 28, 2014 2:38 PM
Comment #377541

kctim
You are dead wrong because you know not of what you type. You typed the following:

1 - You over invested yourselves in President Obama simply because of his race and politics. You are more concerned with him, how he is viewed, and how he will be viewed in a historical context, than you are with actual success.

Gee who would of thought that your first “feeling” out of the gate includes race for some reason, hmmmm I wonder why that is. Not really because we know. You are this, you did that because of this, you want that. How about getting me the powerball numbers for tomorrow since you have such great insight and the ability to see into the future. You haven’t a clue of why I voted for President Obama and I don’t expect you ever will. I like his successes.

2 - You have embraced all the divisive, ugly, false stereotypes that the extreme far-left progressive nuts promote on a daily basis.

Speaking of divisive, ugly, false stereotypes how about you read what you type sometime. That is all you use. And again I don’t expect you will ever realize that either.

I don’t watch TFM (Television For Morons) but kind of already knew that you would be part of that audience.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 28, 2014 2:48 PM
Comment #377543

KAP
Turn off Fox news, right wing radio and where ever else you get your information from because they are lying to you. He has garnered much success and will continue to for the next couple of years. He is the most formidable President that I have seen in a long time. What you type just doesn’t make sense when you look at what he has been able to accomplish, the fact that he was re-elected and his wonderful family that he has been able to introduce to the world. You on the other hand are some has been typing bad things about a man you don’t even know. Let me see who do you think I respect more, wait, wait that’s easy and it is not you.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 28, 2014 2:55 PM
Comment #377544

Putin laughs in his face and you call him formidable speaks? No speaks what you type shows me that you are a blind partisan and would believe a lie rather than the truth. So I don’t want or need respect from you or anyone like you. By the way I don’t have cable so I don’t watch fox news.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at March 28, 2014 3:09 PM
Comment #377545

KAP
Yeah we’ve heard it before. You just spout the same nonsense from Fox news because it is a coincidence, sure whatever. I have not seen Putin laugh in his face. Again you have this terrific insight and ability to see things that are not there, I call it an over active imagination. Not looking to give you respect because you don’t deserve that. You are just a has been or more likely a never were and it is difficult to think that anything you say about our President should be looked upon as anything but trash talk from a nobody who is just disgruntled because his guy didn’t make it to the Whitehouse two times in a row.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 28, 2014 3:31 PM
Comment #377546

Here’s the thing, anger and frustration aside: the trip down memory lane wasn’t for nothing. The point I was trying to make as vividly as possible is that the foundations of any society age just as its people do. Maybe not as quickly or obviously as the people do, but they do have a limited lifetime.

Sooner or later, the old has to replace the new. Unfortunately, those who have sought out so much power now, who have done so much to get in the way of the new really have no plane to allow this progression from the old system to the new one. That’s where some of my most fundamental worries come in.

See, in my view, it’s not simply some whimsical, impulsive drive to novelty, it’s a necessary regeneration of what supports our society, our economy. I see the supports of my nation’s prosperity, its glory eroding away, while a bunch of naïve conservatives pretend like the old system’s going to keep going. Hell, they’re not even accounting for simple wear and tear, much less the effects of their relentless drive to deconstruct big government.

America wasn’t great simply on accident. Americans took deliberate steps to build a country capable of those great things, and we are living off that legacy.

I believe it’s time for your generation to allow my generation to start building a new legacy of greatness for my country, to allow us the chance to govern ourselves, for better or for worse. I mean, really, people have to make mistakes to learn. People cannot govern themselves perfectly with or without the mechanisms of a constitutional government. What that kind of government allows, though, is for people to learn from experience. Anybody who thinks that if they just yank away this authority, if they just suppress what other people want, they’ll somehow learn over time what they can and can’t do don’t understand the way ordinary, much less political, experience goes.

We will eventually dominate politics. Generation X is already pushing into the fray, and the Millenials are right behind them. You can lament that we’re inexperienced, unprepared, but I think there’s plenty of evidence that the Boomers were no better prepared than we were. Experience isn’t simply handed to you, it comes over time.

Finally, let me make a point about that: there is value to experience, but also value to a fresh perspective. There will always be a tension between those who know how it is done, and those who have new ideas about it, in no small part because both sides lack complete knowledge. Our evolution over time as a society comes in part from the fact that as we grow up, we unavoidably experience life for ourselves in an individual way. We can never live our parent’s lives all over; we will always see something in the world, something in what they did that they were blind to. Society’s ability to forget, though, is part of how we adapt. The newer generations grow into what we adults must retrofit to our existing experience.

The framers gave us the ability to change over time, and that is an essential part of what keeps American Democracy a going concern. For all they boast about their constitutional prowess, the Tea Party’s reach back to the Framer’s time is largely pretension, in my view. They have no visceral idea what life was like in those times. Would the framers really have identified so closely with a nation as heavily armed as ours, when guns and gun ownership in their time was constrained by the lack of industrial production?

Theirs is a time largely lost to us, in the electrified, networked, Voice/Data/Video enabled twenty-first century. Most of us do not grow or kill our own food, and most of those who do don’t have to. So while Constitutional principles apply, the question is, how they apply, and in relation to the colonial times, how must they apply differently in order to reach the same goal. In other times, interstate trade was less the norm. People made and grew much of what was traded locally. Then the industrial revolution changed all that. Why regulate using the paradigm of pre-industrial America? You could be laissez faire in a time when goods didn’t criss-cross the country on a regular basis, when much of your furniture and materials didn’t come here through international trade. You could be more laissez faire when a corporation was a limited purpose, limited term concern, rather than the powerful, effectively immortal systems they are now.

You can’t govern 2014 like 1814, or even 1914. The world has changed, and failing to acknowledge that will only lead to worse failures and decay of our society down the line.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 28, 2014 3:33 PM
Comment #377547

More blind partisan dribble speaks. No I’m not disgruntled, in fact I feel sorry for the 51% of the blind idiots that voted this incompetent person you call a president back in office. Like I keep telling your side Hillary would have been a better choice at least she had someone with eight years experience at her side. I even liked Bill I voted for him. Hell even he dislikes Obama. So Speaks you can defend Obama all you want it just proves to me how blind you are to facts that people like Rhinehold and kctim and others show you. Stephen is the same way blind to facts sometimes I think you and him are related both are blind partisans.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at March 28, 2014 3:52 PM
Comment #377548

Stephen

I did not say you voted for President Obama only because he is black, I said you have a vested interest in his success because of his politics and race.
Can you honestly say that you do not worry about failure on his part having a negative impact on future black candidates? I can, but then again I don’t care about race.

“You cannot oppose every damn thing he does, and expect people like me not to account for that in his performance.”

I expect people to know that Republicans blocking legislation or a judge has NOTHING to do with a President of the United States lying to the American people about their health care. That his performance can only be measure by what he has done, not by what he hasn’t done or was prevented from doing.

“Democrats are willing to make deals to get necessary stuff passed.”

LOL, yeah, ok. Starting after the ACA and ending right after you lose the Senate. Riiiiiiight.

“How many times has my party had to step up and provide the votes to get something passed, to end your god-forsaken standoffs?”

I don’t know. More or less the number of times Reid refuses a Senate vote?

“You’re the people that most folks in this country resent, one way or the other.”

If the representative is representing those who voted for them, it doesn’t really matter now, does it.

“You insist on imposing yourself on virtually every level, without any dilution from the other side.”

How is my not wanting new regulations, taxes etc… imposing anything on you? Are seriously saying that I am imposing myself on you because I won’t give you everything that you want?

“The impression you give is that if you don’t get what you want, it’ll be bloody revolution.”

The funny thing about that is that what people want is to be left alone.

“I mean, what do you think it looks like, it implies when you’re stocking up on ammo at the drop of a hat?”

To me, it kind of looks like camping out on public land and whining about not being given enough. It implies fear. The fear of being prevented from exercising a Constitutional right, and the fear of having to take personal responsibility for oneself.

“How many times have people told you that Obama’s about to get your guns, and how many times has it actually happened?”

How many times has it been tried? Yeah, I thought so.

“we will not be so inclined to listen as we once were.”

As I said before, I don’t care or worry about that. Sorry.

“The warning I’m giving you, is that the time to make peace is now. The more you jealously pull away from us in the short term, the more you pay in the long term.”

Ooooo, getting a little bit militant now. Scary.
Seriously, you surely don’t expect people to believe peace can only come by them rolling over and letting you have your way on everything, do you?

And I still have no idea why you think jealousy has anything to do with opposing the policy you support.

Posted by: kctim at March 28, 2014 4:17 PM
Comment #377549

Stephen
We got the point of your post, we just disagree with your construction “expertise.”

:)

Posted by: kctim at March 28, 2014 4:38 PM
Comment #377550

KAP
I type this with a wry smile on my face and knowledge of the fact that we are both a couple of the older gents on this blog, I believe. Younger folks who see our discourse just don’t understand where we came from and might think we really didn’t like each other. I know better, I grew up on mean streets. In those days if you didn’t watch what you said you ended up with a slap across the face or much, much worse. I get the feeling you may have experienced some of that. Anyway here goes. You are an old coot who is really upset that the black guy you didn’t like was elected to be President of this country and then was re-elected to be President of this country. Don’t worry I’m pretty sure you’ll get a chance to vote for Hillary Clinton to be the first woman President of our country. I will support you in that effort. As one old coot to another, have a nice weekend.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 28, 2014 4:40 PM
Comment #377551

kctim-
What I say isn’t necessarily going to be expressed militantly. It’s just that folks won’t be so inclined to indulge you when they no longer have to.

As far as Obama failing having an effect on future black Presidents? Barack Obama is Barack Obama. I wanted somebody who could pull off a devastating defeat on the Republicans. I wanted somebody who didn’t go into that election beholden to the same sort of system that lost us two other elections we shouldn’t have lost. I didn’t misjudge him.

I didn’t help him get elected because I saw him through the lens of the groups he belonged to, I helped him get elected because his virtues, his skills in evidence, his personal charisma all fit together to make a good candidate. After having half a good candidate with Gore and then Kerry, Democrats like me were looking for somebody who close the deal, not just come close.

All leaders end up disappointing, and that is the nature of politics. The question is, how much can you get through before then. Everything you folks say about Obama, all the fearmongering seems centered around what he can do, and what he has done. Would there be such an emphasis on this if Republicans didn’t fear that minus their counterweight, he couldn’t actually pull off these political victories?

Obama is strategically shrewd in a way a great many Democratic Party Politicians aren’t. That’s why I pushed for his election and re-election. Not because he was black, or because losing would make black people look bad. If that’s what you think, you’re more obsessed about his race than me by a mile.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 28, 2014 5:01 PM
Comment #377552

Wrong Speaks I’m upset that a black guy who has no leadership experience got elected to high office. Not even enough time in the state senate or u.s.senate. IMO he got elected because like the guys your side put up against Bush why he got elected. Race has nothing to do with it He talked a good talk and got himself elected. Did he learn anything the first four years? NO!! And so far it shows.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at March 28, 2014 5:14 PM
Comment #377553

Speaks

I see you are still having a hard time with comprehension.

I don’t care if you think I am trying to predict things or that you find facts against your position to be racist.

IF you did not vote for President Obama because you agree with his positions on the issues and wanted them enacted, then I admit I was wrong to say so. Not sure why anyone would vote for someone they disagreed with on the issues, but what do I know, I watch TV.

IF you do not wish history to view President Obama in a positive way, then I was wrong.

IF you do not believe a successful Obama presidency will have a more positive than negative impact on future minorities running for President, then I was wrong.

Could you now stop dancing around in denial and just tell me what I got wrong there?

“And again I don’t expect you will ever realize that either.”

Oh, believe me, I am fully aware of how facts and being un PC rubs people the wrong way. It causes them to get irate and start talking in circles until they start confusing even themselves. At which point they then say they don’t care what the facts are, I support him anyways, I am content.

“I don’t watch TFM (Television For Morons) but kind of already knew that you would be part of that audience.”

Ah, so you also have a crystal ball eh? Stop asking to borrow mine then.

Posted by: kctim at March 28, 2014 5:16 PM
Comment #377554

kctim
I voted for him because I support him. My wife did a lot more of that than I did. She worked telephone banks many nights and weekends. We both support him. I have no idea about the other things you speak of but I do still support him today. What you got wrong there is everything, no dancing on my part. I support him and I don’t expect you to do that but in that same sense I will not just let what you say pass for the truth. Have you ever thought that maybe you watch to much TV? I’ll be watching some basketball tonight and this weekend, sports is pretty much the only thing I think is worthwhile watching on TV. You watch what you like when you like. Just please don’t try to tell me you know why I vote for what I vote for, K?

Posted by: Speak4all at March 28, 2014 5:24 PM
Comment #377555

KAP
That’s your opinion. I have mine and it is a lot different. I’m pretty sure I explained this before but one of the reasons I voted for President Obama is because he wasn’t cut from the same political cloth as most politicians. I still like him for that reason today. Just because I call him black and say you didn’t like him I do not mean that you use race to make that decision, never said that. What I see is pretty much what I wanted from him. But we still have a couple of years to go, maybe he can do more of what I like.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 28, 2014 5:37 PM
Comment #377556

Stephen

Folks with the majority aren’t incline to indulge others NOW. I know you think otherwise, that everything would be great if the minority capitulated on everything, but that’s not the way things work.

“As far as Obama failing having an effect on future black Presidents? Barack Obama is Barack Obama.”

But do you not see his success as possibly being VERY beneficial to future minority candidates? His failure possibly hampering them?

“Would there be such an emphasis on this if Republicans didn’t fear that minus their counterweight, he couldn’t actually pull off these political victories?”

Victories like single-payer? Higher taxes? Stricter gun control? Do you honestly think we wouldn’t have all of that with the Republican counterweight? Hell, we get more and more of all of that WITH a Republican counterweight.

“If that’s what you think, you’re more obsessed about his race than me by a mile.”

Again, I stated that you are vested in his success because of who he is and what he represents, not that you voted for him based on his race alone.

Posted by: kctim at March 28, 2014 5:49 PM
Comment #377557

I agree Speaks that Obama wasn’t cut from the same political cloth as other politicians. But the fact remains if he had some experience at some leadership capacity he may have been a better president. The presidency is NOT OJT, some experience is helpful.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at March 28, 2014 6:07 PM
Comment #377558

Daugherty writes; “The framers gave us the ability to change over time, and that is an essential part of what keeps American Democracy a going concern.”

No doubt about it, that is a true statement. I am beginning to understand more fully why Daugherty continues to error in his thinking about our founders and the government they created.

He simply does not understand that our Constitution is the rule for how our government is constructed, its framework, powers granted and powers denied. It was never meant to be a document explaining the workings of nuclear fusion. Above all else, our founders feared government becoming tyrannical and everything our founders wrote and proposed was to keep individuals free and independent.

We have a Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution and the meaning and intent of our founders. Every decision, if it is to be in keeping with the Constitution, must be decided upon simple criteria: Will it benefit the people, will it encourage their freedom and independence? Will it empower the people or empower government at the expense of the people.

Daugherty wishes to empower government at the expense of all the people. He will sacrifice individual freedom and the independence of all the people on the altar of some greater good as seen in his mind’s eye. The greater good, as Daugherty envisions it, is identified by how good it makes him feel, and screw the rest of us.

Let me explain: Daugherty will not deny that he is willing to treat people differently based upon race, income, sex, education or some other imaginary profile. If some have too much money it is okay to take more from them to give to others. If someone is white and male and straight and religious, it is okay to discriminate against them to advantage a person of color, or female, or not-straight, and not rich.

Daugherty evidently wishes to run our country on the same principles used by labor unions. Last hired; first fired. He discounts ambition, effort, risk, and freedom as blase in this modern time and promotes his ideas of equality over those of our founders.

Our Constitution has performed well over a few hundred years and is the primary cause of our great advancements for mankind. It has freed us from the encumbrance of tyrants and others who would attempt our enslavement. It has advantaged those willing to embrace freedom in their actions by removing the impediment of political interference.

Daugherty speaks of a new age, one peopled by those who desire his brand of rules. He and his ilk have determined that we can’t live and prosper under the rules that have successfully led us to become the greatest nation on the planet. He contends that the bedrock upon which we have built must be replaced with shifting sand…subject to the ever changing selfish desires of a few.

Daugherty rebels against what we have built under the documents adopted by our states to be our rulebook. His contempt for what has worked is openly displayed and his writings suggest he has a better way.

Daugherty applauds a president who has flagrantly broken his oath of office. He wishes to see ever more power in the hands of the executive and less in the hands of the peoples legislative representatives.

Daugherty and his liberal partners are in danger of losing their power and they know it. The pendulum has swung too far to the left and their day in the sun is fading.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 28, 2014 6:13 PM
Comment #377559

SD wrote:

“I didn’t invest myself in Obama because of his race, though I was glad we had a good candidate to break that barrier. I invested in him because the way he communicated told me that he wasn’t merely thinking the way all the previous candidates I’d seen had been. He had, and demonstrated, a capacity for lateral thought, creative thinking about politics.

At heart, he’s a problem solver. The trouble is, in politics, things can center around the competition within government at the expense of the purpose of what government does. You folks have indulged politics at the expense of that, and if you’re rewarded for anything, it will be for making it seem so impossible to get things done that the political competition is the only horserace left to handicap. Congratulations: your side’s victory will represent the victory of Washington politics over the nation’s attempts to actually get those overpaid hacks in Congress to do something.

The fools of the Tea Party movement want to gallop into DC as democracy’s saviors, but you know what? In truth, they represent the victory of the most cynical and useless of politics and politicians, the lowest common denominator triumphant, the decline of the United State hurried on its way.”


Stephen, your “reason” for getting behind President Obama has to be one of the most skewed thing I’ve read in a very long time.

Your belief (I call it unfulfilled hope), is completely divorced from reality!

I don’t even know where to start, Stephen. I always attempt to explain to those willing to listen that actions speak louder than words, or more succinctly — show me, don’t tell me!

Obama preaches ad nauseam. Obama’s soaring rhetoric and omnipotent benevolence bestowed upon him by the likes of the MSM and out-sized influence peddlers / advisors such as Valerie Jarrett is legendary.

Stephen, forget the evil GOP, Tea Party, Bush family, Koch brothers, Fox News, haters, racists and rwnj’s alike for a moment and peel back the reality onion.

What you’ll see is very, very troubling. Like the man behind the curtain. He solved problems with elitist condescension, he solved problems using divisiveness and demonization, he solved problems by fear mongering, heck — he solved problems by lying!

I’ll give you a hint Stephen: It ain’t Congress; it ain’t Bushes recessions; it ain’t if-only-people-gave-me-a-chance-to-show-them-how-great-my-vision-and-ideas-are-they’d-love-me!

No, Stephen, Obama simply lacks the requisite leadership skills to lead; Obama simply lacks experience; and finally, Obama care more about Obama and his legacy than he does about our nation as a whole.

He’s detached; he’s cold and aloof; and he is really good at punishing his enemies.

Obama is one thing for sure, Stephen — Obama is a brilliant Pol’s Pol — especially in the Chicago Style!

Saul Alinsky has been one-upped!


Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at March 28, 2014 6:18 PM
Comment #377562

We need to develop more biotech; we need to exploit the new fracking technologies; we have to get rid of old fashioned identity politics. Change is coming. Liberals will be less happy about this. Obama is becoming an impediment to useful change.

Posted by: CJ at March 29, 2014 3:41 PM
Comment #377569
You know, I did say “most people”, and you replied by naming a few people and a few organizations that were able to gather most power.

And had you continued your reading on to the next paragraph, you would have seen the culmination of that thought concerning the other people who aren’t seeking power, the majority of Americans who are just looking for a quiet life and to be left alone as much as possible while doing it. If you need to cut out large parts of what I am saying to make your point, it isn’t a very good one, is it?

As far as the Declaration of Independence goes?

Just because they left behind that doesn’t mean they agreed on everything else. Just follow the debates during the Constitutional Convention. Also consider that the Declaration itself was something of a compromise.

Yes, that’s the point, Stephen, you are missing it again apparently. What I can tell you is what they agreed upon, and it is very basic stuff. That every citizen should be free to live their lives as they choose unless they infringe on the rights of others to the same. You know, libertarianism. Everything on top of that was how do we make that work, etc. I’ve read the debates and discussions around the constitution, bot the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers, and they agreed on keeping government limited and the defense of natural rights. There was NO ONE saying we should give over our rights to the federal government wholesale. Some people (the Federalists) wanted a little bit stronger Constitution than the Articles were, but they didn’t want (and feared very much) a large powerful central government. The very thing you argue for. No one was aruging FOR a large central government.

What I’m saying, also, was that these folks didn’t all think like modern day Republicans and Libertarians, and it’s very, very presumptuous and arrogant to believe that any superficial resemblance of the beliefs of some to modern-day Libertarians entitles them to force their politics on everybody else. You folks are in a debate with the rest of us, and are not privileged by anything in the Constitution.

I’m sorry Stephen, but when your politics requires that people ignore what the constitution says or try to subvert it to mean the exact opposite of what they meant when they wrote it, then yes, those people on the other side of the debate ARE privileged to use the Constitution in defending it.

As for your nonsense that modern day libertarains didn’t think like they did you are mistaken here as well. Take one position that libertarians have that is different than anyone involved in the founding of the constitution (other than slavery and women’s rights) and let’s talk about it. I will hand you that modern day libertarians wouldn’t truck with the idea of slavery or women’s rights, they believe that those rights apply to every individual no matter who they are as many at the time did as well, but beyond that, what exactly are you talking about here? Let’s get specific since you seem to have developed this notion.

More to the point, how would they deal with the modern day, and would their principles in doing so be right?

By finding solutions that both solved the issues of the modern day AND respecting the individual rights that the country was founded upon. You build a false choice in saying that it has to be one or the other, it doesn’t. We can solve issues and do big things WITHOUT violating the individual natural rights that we all have. And if it is decided that we need to cede some of those natural rights to the federal government, though I think that is and should be highly debatable, there is even a process built into the Constitution to allow that, the amendment process. Yes, it is a bit higher level to meet to get an amendment passed, but it SHOULD be if we are talking about those rights that we retain outside of government.

As for my point about communications?

Well, gee, wasn’t that actually my point?

No, not really, I used an interesting statement that I had seen by Jimmmy Carter to highlight how the issue should be dealt with, but I guess you missed that…

See, the thing is, when we started out with the Telephone, people treated it as if the person were shouting something out in public (which would mean no right under the 4th Amendment to protection for it).

But then we evolved on the subject, deciding that people talking on the telephone often expected that those communications would remain private.

No, there were ‘people’ who knew that those things were still communications and were still protected by the 4th amendment. And that is why we need to stop trying to subvert the meaning and ideas of the constitution to fit in with the political whims of those who seek power in the US. We eventually did and restored the ideas of this country into the overreach of the government by those who don’t respect those individual rights, but it took a little bit of effort, effort that shouldn’t have been needed if we were actually respecting those ideas. And the fact that it took over 40 years to come to this ‘understanding’, meaning 40 years of people’s rights being violated by the US Government, is a testament to this folly.

If we hadn’t been listening to people like Democrats and Republicans who tell us that those things like individual rights don’t matter anymore. Who tell us the Constitution is old and musty and not worthy of our respect. Who tell us to reinterpret it based on modern society. The day was won not by ‘coming to an understanding’ but by people who respected the constitution and those rights deciding that in court.

Similar things are happening with E-Mail and such. There’s an interesting example of this development with the Enzyte case.

The fact is that email should have been seen as a protected form of communication since it was founded. Just like other things should be as well. People like the EFF and ACLU have been saying this for decades. But when those who write the laws, both Republican and Democrat, don’t respect individual rights, then we get situations where solutions don’t take those into account. Is it changing? In this case, perhaps (I still have my doubts). It is because the two parties have started to come to an understanding of individual rights? No, they have been dragged kicking and screaming to the idea by the American people, thanks to Snowden. When our government lies to us, remains secretive, like it has been doing during Bush and even more so during Obama, we are never given the full story of how they are violating our rights. People like the ACLU and EFF are called ‘conspiracy theorists’ because they are talking about things that the government would never do, yet we find out that they are doing.

You can’t trust government when it is secretive, it has to be open and honest with us. Something this president ran on and then did the exact opposite of once he got into office, even worse than Bush amazingly. You wonder why many of us are suspicious of government, after what we’ve learned we wonder who so many aren’t. The founders were because they had lived through it. And today’s youth are living through it now, they are the ones who are getting fed up with the lies and misinformation.

They had to change the interpretation of the law to properly express the principle of the law.

No, they had to apply the spirit of the constitution and natural rights to new technologies. There is a difference… One does not have to ‘interpret’ if the ideas are respected. If you know why they are there and what they are there for, it’s a very simple process. But for too long people wanting to have power to do certain thing have subverted that process and placed other things on top of the protection of natural rights as a driving force. If you read the Supreme Court in the past 100 years, they started using the ‘good of the union’ as being more important than natural or civil rights. And this has been the problem ever since.

Find solutions, enact laws, do big things, we all want that. But do them in a way that does not violate those ideas. Sure, it’s a little bit harder, it may not even be the most efficient way of dealing with it, but in the end it makes us a better country for it.

It’s a political strawman’s argument to say that I believe the turn of the age means that everything in the Constitution is obsolete.

Not everything, just anything that gets in your way…

Rather, my opinion is, effective and efficient application of the Constitution and other laws require that we admit that laws must be interpreted, not merely applied with dogged, blind literalism. Laws must be carried out and interpreted in a real world.

It’s not literalism in the way you describe, Stephen. It is literalism in the ideas behind them. Madison was very clear on why the constitution was written the way it was written, when we ignore what he wrote and ignore what the constitution says and means, then you aren’t ‘interpreting’, you are rewriting.

But beyond that, your view is IMO dangerous. Please feel free to give me an example, but IMO if a new technology or need arises, we should find a way of dealing with it that allows us to continue as a nation and still respect the Constitution and what it says. To do anything else is to say that EVERYTHING in the constitution is up for reinterpretation. That nothing is absolute. We don’t have any right to free speech.

That mentality only exists if you believe that the rights that the Constitution is in place to protect are given to us by government. THEY AREN’T. This was made clear in the Declaration of Independence and the 9th Amendment to the Constitution just in case someone like yourself came along and tried to say the very things you are saying. This was something agreed upon by EVERYONE at the time.

The 9th amendment wasn’t needed, by some, because the way the Constitution was written everyone would know that the federal government didn’t have the power to violate our rights because they were given a small, limited amount of power and couldn’t exceed it without an amendment. But others were afraid that if it wasn’t spelled out, then someone could say ‘but it doesn’t say we can’t do x’. No one was arguing that the federal government was the one who provided us our rights and therefore could pretty much do what it wanted as long as they didn’t violate certain rights listed out too much… No one. Find that person, Stephen. You are the one saying that they all didn’t agree, but here they did. Wholeheartedly. And they made it the most basic, inviolable, law of this country.

Too many Libertarians and Republicans are willing to screw the real world in an effort to enforce what they believe to be a more faithful expression of the law. Trouble is, language always has its limits, and much of those limits center around the fact that functionally, language is meant to help other reconstruct your meaning, not to transfer all the information wholesale. Context, experience, an attention to results and implications is necessary to properly carry out the law.

Language does have its limits, oh if only we had some way of knowing what the founders meant when they wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution… If only they had written these expanded upon ideas and reasons behind the words to give them some context… Such a shame.

Otherwise, you get the malformed abortions of justice that often come of naively to-the-letter interpretations of the law. Things like believing that Corporations can be treated exactly like people, even though they do not live or die in the same way.

Stephen, NO ONE HAS EVER SAID THAT CORPORATIONS ARE TO BE TREATED LIKE PEOPLE. I know, this seems to be such a hard idea for you to understand because you keep listening to people whispering this nonsense in your ear, but it isn’t the case. What is going on is that individuals acting in a group through a legal construct like a corporation don’t lose their individual rights just because they are doing so. If corporations were to be treated like people, then they would be able to vote, but they can’t. They would be able to donate money to an individual running for office, but they can’t. They would have a lot more power than they currently do. But the fact is that just because people get together and legalize their organization doesn’t mean that at that moment they no longer retain their individual rights while doing so. It’s like the progressives in this country are being purposefully obtuse about this whole thing.

The Citizens United case was very clear on this, it has been the progressive movement that has invented this nonsense. A group of people got together, pooled their funds, did so in a way to protect each other in the form of a corporation (as many people do) and put together a documentary to express their ideas. They wanted to show it as a pay per view movie. Yet they were told by their government that their right to free speech in doing this was no longer valid, just because they did it in the form of a legal organization. That is why the ACLU fight on the side of Citizens United, because no one, NO ONE, should lose their right to free speech just because they do so in the form of a group. They weren’t given rights, they weren’t being treated as an person, they just didn’t lose their individual rights by acting as a group… I don’t know why this is so freaking hard for progressives to understand… That same ruling applied to Unions as well, but we never hear about how Unions are treated as people, do we? No, it’s just corporations… and that is where the real issue behind the ruling that they have lies. That’s why we have to protect people’s rights, because there are those who would take them away just because they don’t like them.

The administration while arguing against Citizens United said that they had the power to ban books because those books were distributed by corporations… That is what you are arguing for here, Stephen. Do you really think the government should have that power, to ban books? Seriously?

We stand to lose our rights, if we don’t adapt the way we govern ourselves, the way we write, carry out and interpret the rules to the situation in front of us. When blind formality overrules common sense, we all lose out.

What rights, Stephen? You say you stand to lose your rights by not protecting them, I’m absolutely not sure what you mean by that, but please enlighten me, exactly what rights are you going to lose if we protect the individual rights of everyone in this country?

When did that simple idea of everyone having certain inalienable rights that exist outside of government become so dangerous to society?

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 29, 2014 10:00 PM
Comment #377570

BTW, an interesting thing happened last week that you may not have heard about…

President Obama was giving a press conference at the Hague and after an initial statement and some questions, he ended up with these two paragaraphs.

But I recognize that because of these revelations, that there’s a process that’s taking place where we have to win back the trust, not just of governments but more importantly of ordinary citizens. And that’s not going to happen overnight because I think that there’s a tendency to be skeptical of government and to be skeptical in particular of U.S. intelligence services.

And so it’s going to be necessary for us — the step we took that was announced today I think is an example of us slowly, systematically putting in more checks, balances, legal processes. The good news is that I’m very confident that it can be achieved. And I’m also confident that the core values that America has always believed in — in terms of privacy, rule of law, individual rights — that that has guided, you know, the United States for many years and it will continue to guide us into the future.

The thing is, once he was done and said Thank you, there was absolutely no applause. Well, I take that back, there was *one person* who slow-clapped the statements.

Was it because they didn’t agree with what he said? OR, is it because it was recognized by everyone there (and anyone else reading this, especially in the light of what Stephen has been saying) that this was COMPLETE BULLSHIT…

Video of the end of the news conference…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=-4QjhOlTgL4#t=2224

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 29, 2014 10:13 PM
Comment #377571

BTW, Stephen keep making a flawed statement that libertarians are trying to push their ‘views’ onto others… This is the furthest thing from the truth.

I’ll put it bluntly, and this has been said by many libertarians for some time.

A communist, socialist or progressive area can exist well within a libertarian country (provided all those who live within this society agree to it through contract). A libertarian community, however, cannot exist at all in a communist, socialist or progressive society, whether everyone agrees to it or not.

So, say 1 million people sign an agreement to live in a city in California under a libertarian federal government and want to enact any and all progressive desires that come to mind, they would be free to do so. Their kids would have the option of leaving that society and moving on somewhere else if they didn’t agree, etc.

However, if 1 million libertarians did the same, they would be hounded, arrested and potentially even worse, under a progressive society.

That’s pretty much all you need to know about the differences there. One is truly tolerable, the other isn’t.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 29, 2014 10:21 PM
Comment #377575

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=SegAoSpHJck

“Yes We Can isn’t just a slogan, it’s our view on legality.”

Sums it up right there…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 29, 2014 11:35 PM
Comment #377576

Stephen, one more thing… The problem most of us have with your posts is that you simply don’t accept the Democrat’s own actions that lead them to the situations they face themselves in. From telling the Republicans that they aren’t needed or wanted in debate from the outset of this administration to completely flipping on their own stated ideals the minute they get into power, from increasing spying on citizens secretly after professing to be ‘open’ to going after journalists and whistleblowers who do nothing but make public those secrets, from keeping nearly 100 people in Guantanamo Bay after they have been cleared to be released after professing to want to close it to targeting opposition groups with the IRS, the Democrats have done a lot to earn the ire of anyone who isn’t religiously beholden to them.

So when you come on here and write articles explaining how everything is someone else’s fault, you just reinforce what we all know, that the Democratic party is incapable of learning from it’s past mistakes because they don’t feel as if they have made any mistakes.

Between this and things like South Park and The Whitest Kids You Know, as well as how a once libertarian type environment like the Internet is now being increasingly controlled by the government in detremental ways, the kids of today are waking up and seeing that the Democratic party is little different in many ways to the Republican party.

Here’s a video released by Trevor Moore last year after the public was finally let in on the level of spying going on (with more to learn on the way, btw).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4z09el30f8&feature=player_embedded

That is how millennials see all politicians. And try as you might to paint your opponents as insane and crazy (both republicans and libertarians), the fact remains that the things that the Democrats do and stand for, their hypocrisies, their doublespeak, is all noticed and available today for everyone to see who wants to see it.

You continue to say that ‘libertarianism is unworkable’ yet provide no evidence OR logical thought process to back it up. You have said repeatedly that we are no longer a country of farmers but most people live in cities now, as if that has anything to do with libertarianism. It doesn’t. What libertarians want is that if cities think they need some overreaching by government into their affairs, the are free to do that, it is when they push those out to the country as well that it makes no sense to most people. That is the problem with the differences between the two philosophies. One size fits all statism is little different than Mussolini’s Italy… That society was efficient and worked, but it didn’t respect individual natural rights.

Fascism is for the only liberty which can be a serious thing, the liberty of the state and of the individual in the state. Therefore for the fascist, everything is in the state, and no human or spiritual thing exists, or has any sort of value, outside the state. In this sense fascism is totalitarian, and the fascist state which is the synthesis and unity of every value, interprets, develops and strengthens the entire life of the people. —Benito Mussolini
Posted by: Rhinehold at March 29, 2014 11:55 PM
Comment #377577
Recently, I’ve started doing thirty-minute walks about every day, during my lunch hour in the city I work.

I stopped reading at “work.”

LOL

Moved out of your mom’s basement finally?

Everytime I skim though one of Stephen Daugherty epic progressive rants, I can’t help but think of pajama boy.

Wear pajamas. Drink hot chocolate. Cry about how Democrats are going to get whalloped in 2014.

Posted by: BOHICA at March 30, 2014 5:19 AM
Comment #377578

Like how they got walloped in 2012? Political certainty has always confused me, especially this far out. Who knows what is going to happen between now and then. Remember Obama was behind in the polls just a month before the election when the economy tanked.

I think it is a bit early to be calling landslides… And if the Republicans do win in 2014, they are going to have to do a better job in 1 1/2 short years if they want any hope of keeping it and getting the presidency. It might be better for the Republicans if they lost in 2014.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 30, 2014 7:26 AM
Comment #377579

KAP

“By the way I don’t have cable so I don’t watch fox news.”

You can watch it on the internet. It’s an excellent news channel. Just the fact that the left hates it so much should be all the motivation you need. They can spout all the nonsense they want. Fact is it ended their monopoly on the news media, and has better ratings than any of the other news networks. Every time they try to hang it around the neck of one of their political opponents, hoping they’ll scamper off in shame I have to laugh. So give it a try my old friend, and find why it irks them so much. LOL !

Posted by: dbs at March 30, 2014 7:34 AM
Comment #377580

Rhinehold

“It might be better for the Republicans if they lost in 2014.”

I don’t see how that could be, especially with Harry Reids rule change. Judicial appointment are the gift that keeps on giving.

Posted by: dbs at March 30, 2014 7:43 AM
Comment #377581

I’m not saying better for the country, personally I don’t think it matters much, there really isn’t too much of a difference between the two parties. But if the Republicans win in 2014 and don’t immediately in 2015 do some pretty impressive stuff, the 2016 election is going to be about how they took their majority in the senate and house and did nothing. Especially if they go after social issues, which would be a huge mistake.

It could work out for them, they could have the chance to prove that they aren’t after anti-women, abortion, anti-gay, spying, perpetual war agendas. But I don’t believe they have that kind of discipline. So their actions in 2015 and early 2016 will give the Democrats ammunition to take back the house and senate AND the white house in 2016. Then we would probably have a few supreme court justices retiring during that next presidential term…

So, yeah, it could all go very wrong for them.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 30, 2014 8:54 AM
Comment #377583

I don’t see that they can really do much even with the senate. Most anything they and the house pass will be vetoed by the president. I guess you could say the “party of no” LOL, could turn the tables forcing the president into being the “the office of no” So far his hand really hasn’t been forced because of Reid.

Without the tea party/libertarian leaning members of the republican party being able to wrest control of the party agenda from the establishment republicans, we will continue to see a party without the intestinal fortitude to make the tough decisions they were sent there to make.

I feel sad for the future of my country if Christy is the best candidate the republicans can nominate in 2016. Right now it is difficult to be optimistic about the future when we have a bunch of self serving political hacks looking out for their best interest and not our liberty.

Posted by: dbs at March 30, 2014 12:55 PM
Comment #377584

I am not quite as pessimistic as you are Rhinehold about do-nothing R’s should they retain the house and capture the senate. While not a Republican party member myself, I have applauded the efforts by many of those in the party at the state levels of government. I see a resurgence of conservative principles in many of our states and a growing public awareness of the better leadership at that level.

The primary elections have produced more conservative Republican candidates and more moderate democrat candidates who will be on the November ballot. A right leaning house and senate need not pass a whole bunch of new and creative legislation to be effective. They can be effective in helping our economy and increasing jobs by getting government out of the way by undoing much of the damage done by the far left.

Many current house and senate members, on both sides, are not very bright or creative. They adopt a herd mentality and follow orders. I see a new breed of candidates who recognize that their success or failure depends more on working for the people rather than the party.

I expect fewer party-line votes in the house and senate after the November election. I believe we will see more cooperation and bipartisan votes than we have now. Obama will be a lame-duck and will no longer enjoy lock-step votes. The new congress-critter will be one who wishes to be judged by what they do…not who they follow.


Posted by: Royal Flush at March 30, 2014 1:18 PM
Comment #377611
So, I hope the Right in this country begins to realize that the rest of us aren’t cartoon villains, that more of this blind political warfare is neither going to save the nation, nor preserve the values they want preserved.
Both sides wallow in the blind partisan warfare.

Funny that you think the Right is to blame.

The majority of voters is the majority of the problem and it doesn’t seem to be improving, and it probably won’t get better (if ever) until it gets much worse first .

Posted by: D.a.n at March 31, 2014 11:16 PM
Comment #377627
I believe it’s time for your generation to allow my generation to start building a new legacy of greatness for my country, to allow us the chance to govern ourselves, for better or for worse.
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 28, 2014 3:33 PM

Let’s put this request in perspective.

Picture, if you will, a teenager and his Dad sitting down to have a heart-to-heart:


teenager: Dad, I believe it’s time for your generation to allow my generation to start building a new legacy of greatness for “my” home, to allow “us” to the chance to govern “ourselves”, for better or for worse.

Dad: Ok, son. Here’s my credit card and the pin to my bank account. I’ll be going to work now. You take everything I earn at work and creat that new legacy of greatness. You know, for better or worse.

teenager: It’s about time you saw things my way, Dad. You’re going to be dead soon so it won’t matter what you’ve done. I’m the only one that matters now.

Dad: Do you know how self-centered and ignorant you sound, son?

teenager: It’s your responsibility to take care of me, so give me the money and quit being a mean, old, white, obstructionist!

Yea, I’m going to jump on that line of reasoning, right Stephen Daugherty? I’m just suppose to relegate myself and my generation to the ash heap so you can do away with everything we consider valuable? We’re supposed to do it with a smile and a handshake?

Fat chance, kid.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 1, 2014 1:20 PM
Comment #377630

I have no idea what the aforementioned conversation between a Dad and his son has to do with the statement that Stephen made. To call it a strawman argument would do disservice to all those noble scarecrows protecting their fields. It would appear that the originator of the make believe conversation has had no interaction with a teenager.

Posted by: Speak4all at April 1, 2014 3:51 PM
Comment #377663

Claims for equality are often thinly veiled envy and jealousy.
The sense of entitlement of some prople these dsys is mind boggling.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 2, 2014 3:31 PM
Comment #377733

A letter I wrote to a new acquaintance last week:

I would like to thank you and express my appreciation for that wonderful discussion about politics, and in particular Libertarianism v. Liberalism, on Saturday, at the home of C____s and B_____a W______s. It is a rarity in today’s world to find a keen political mind in a person that can remain civil under challenge of his political beliefs. You, sir, are certainly one of keen mind, and you do retain a civil tongue. I saw puzzlement on your face each time I said that ‘liberty’ is just a word, and that ‘reality’ was the reason for it being merely a word. I spent twenty years, and retired a Marine. Patriotism is part and parcel of who I am, but liberty as we assume it to mean has been the privilege of the few elites in America. The word has little meaning to the rest of us. My reasoning: • After the Revolution, we began to see the Barons of wealth and power create an atmosphere of serfdom toward ‘We the People’. We became mere chattel in their quest for ever more power, and ever greater wealth. In the early days of our governance we maintained what you and Ron Paul like to refer to as ‘a weak central government’. From the early days of land grabs, fur trade dominance, railroad barons, water rights thieves, coal and oil barons etc., we owed our soul to the company store. Those freedom loving mountaineers, fur trappers, buffalo hunters, cowboys, etc., were hardly free. None of those who actually did the work ever thrived. They all died poor and owing their every breath to those Plutarch’s who controlled the wealth and the weak government. In those days referring to a ‘middle class’ would have had folks scratching their collective heads in puzzlement. Only those of great wealth and the merchant class could reap benefit from the sweat of labor…the laborer, not so much. As the Industrial Revolution came into being, things got even worse…hence the labor movement and a more powerful central government became necessary for even the basic survival. As the labor movement progressed, so also did the realization that voters actually had enough power collectively to force the Plutarch’s and their own government to make things a little easier on them. By the end of WWII, and the GI Bill (making it easier for a skilled, educated workforce to develop), and at the height of Union influence, we had the best of all worlds, i.e., the strength of a central government and the great middle class. Those two entities carried us forward for about four decades…until Teflon Ron began to disassemble it. But, those four decades were the ones that showed the world that a Democratic, voter led, middle class based America was one to be emulated, admired and sometimes feared. We the People have two entities to consider into the future. One…a big, ungainly government that curtails our ‘liberties’ for the sake of pretending to protect us, or two…an Oligarchy, led by the likes of the Koch brothers, Rupert Murdoch, Sheldon Adelson, who are assisted by organizations such as the NRA, the Heritage Foundation, the Tea Party, FOX News, many members of Congress, two or three justices of the Supreme Court, etc., who see rapturous visions of indentured servants, slaves and serfs who are here only to do their bidding. It is all a game of ‘King-o-the-Hill’ for them, wherein the strongest will end up owning all the nickels. ‘Liberty’ IS only a word. In reality, it is merely a ploy in the game. Something to make us dream of greater things while our lives erode around us. The Paul’s are just pawns in that greater scheme of greater minds. I would thank you again for a bright, forceful and well thought out discussion (debate?) that Saturday. And, I would leave you with this one last thought…A government ‘of the people’ gets only as large as the people want it to be. If it cannot get that big, it is not a government ‘of the people’.


David Stevens, friend of C____s W_____s, and of you if it can ever be.

If we ever attain political parity it will come from the young. The young man was filing to run for County Commissioner. He was intelligent and raring to help his constituency. When I asked him how he defended speaking against government inefficiency and large size with his own political ambitions, he had the grace to be slightly embarrassed. Our conversation lasted more than an hour and neither of us denigrated the other nor did we stoop to raising our voices. He is in his mid to late twenties and I in my mid seventies. If America is to once again become the nation of ‘hope and change’,it won’t happen because of his conservatism, nor my liberalism,it will only come about when like with the two of us, civility rules the political spectrum and obstructionism for the sake nothing positive has come to closure.


Posted by: David Stevens at April 6, 2014 10:51 PM
Comment #377786

David
Thanks for sharing your story. I too believe the younger generation will be able to accomplish much in the way of political parity that our generation has been unable to bring about. They bring a lot less rigidity to the conversation and hopefully this will serve them well in their endeavors.

Posted by: Speak4all at April 8, 2014 9:32 AM
Comment #377880

Weary Willie-
You know I think you misunderstand. For one thing, it will happen. By being so adversarial, you not only make things us vs. them for yourself, but for people like me as well.

As we all know, when you get into that situation, the temptation becomes not merely to reject the big differences of opinion, but to oppose you on more minor things as well.

There’s little chance you and your generation is going to convince mine to restore things like you want them. What you might want to deal with, though, is whether you want the Millenials to end up so embittered by the whole fight that they even reject the things they might otherwise embrace as reasonable.

These kids weren’t born opposed to the Reagan revolution generation. They were born admiring it in many respects, and were actually not that much different until the Bush Presidency. What I believe happened over that time was disillusionment, as the system that was promised to do certain things failed, and rather than modify the system to solve these problems, the Bush Administration led a political charge to deny that things were wrong, and to oppose any change in policy. Political priorities took precedence over practical ones, which only let the bad military policy, bad regulatory policies, and other failures endure and fester.

In other words, people like me, faced with a government that wouldn’t moderate or modulate bad behavior, that wouldn’t learn from its errors, were not only not convinced to relent in our criticism and our political efforts by the Bush Administration’s pushback, we were further enraged and dumbfounded by it, to the point where we just couldn’t even fathom voting for a Republican except under the most extraordinary of circumstances.

The Tea Party’s only made things worse. Yes, thank you, you’ve proved that you’re ultra-conservative. But sorry, that wasn’t what we were worried about. We were worried that you were still impractical a-holes who are more concerned about the success of their political agenda than what the people want, or what sort of problems your political shenanigans created, and evidently our worries are still justified. Yes, older voters might be convinced by your hair-on-fire rhetoric, but everybody else is going “Oh please. When is this **** going to end?”

We’re not as radical as you might think, having had that crap hammered into your head by a bunch of Pundits who need a devoted, insular audience to keep their ratings and site-visits up. We’re actually fairly pragmatic. We’re more interested in things working than them conforming to a certain political point of view. I just hope you realize, though, that if we have to wrest control of everything out of your hands, if there isn’t a smoother transition, then things will operate according to critical mass, with years of deferred, idealized policy behind the change, rather than more pragmatic and compromising policy brought about through cooperation of both sides.

If you make it about an apocalyptic battle between our generations, then here’s what’s going to happen: the battle will happen, and Demographics will guarantee that sooner or later, we will win. If you acknowledge that political movements have a kind of mortality, tied to the mortality of their base, and the inevitable transition of generations, you can ensure that the boundary between one generation’s dominance and another will be less of a cliff and more of a slope.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 15, 2014 10:42 AM
Comment #377888

A friend of mine had a sign hanging on her living room wall. It said:

“Hire a teenager while they still know everything.”

Stephen Daugherty, when I was your age I thought I knew better than my elders. I’d go to work every day thinking I could do my job better than the way my boss was making me do it. I wouldn’t be afraid to tell him either. Sometimes he listened. Most of the time he just fired me.

Now I know enough to realize I don’t know everything. I know there may be things I don’t know. I know I could be doing something that I think is superfluous to my job but is meaningful in relation to the big picture. I will always listen to someone giving directions just in case he says something, however minute, that I don’t know. I listen to them at least once, because there is always a possibility I will learn something I didn’t know before.

Unlike you and your party, I believe there are faults on both sides. You see, I think the federal government as a whole is flawed, not just the left or the right. I believe the federal government has bitten off more than it can chew. I believe the 16th and 17th amendments destroyed the checks and balances imposed on the federal government by the constitution. It’s no coincidence the 16th, 17th amendments and the Federal Reserve came into being in the same year. Now, People believe they have a federal government to give them other people’s money and the federal government believes it can control every aspect of every person’s life. That is a major flaw, Stephen Daugherty.

Your attitude is also flawed in that way, Stephen Daugherty. You seem to believe the right is to blame for every perceived impediment to your utopia and the right is a personal affront to yourself and your party.

Why can’t you live your life the way you want and leave everyone else alone? Why do you think your party must force everyone to bend to it’s will to “be compassionate” and “help the children” and “save the poor”? Why can’t you and your party be content practicing what you preach instead of forcing others to do as you say and not as you do?

I want to ask you a question, Stephen Daugherty.

Many people older than I who are on Social Security are proud to tell others they are receiving their benefits. I like to ask them why. They say it’s their money, they earned it.

Here’s the question, Stephen Daugherty.

If it’s their money, why do they think they have to keep electing Democratics to get it back?

I like to remind them of a little truth no one seems to realize. It’s not their money. The money they receive every month is taken from the people who are still going to work every day. It’s taken from the people who believe they are going to enjoy the same bragging rights they have to listen to from their elders. Why do they think they have to keep electing Democratics to get their money back, Stephen Daugherty? Why do you think you have to elect the Democratic party time and time again if it’s your money? There’s the rub, Stephen Daugherty. It’s not your money.

Your party and your federal government need to get out of the way and let people do what they are destined to do instead of extorting their livelihood away from them for dogooder boondoggles. Your party need to learn how to trust people to do whats right for themselves, because contrary to what you’ve brainwashed yourself to believe, the federal government is lousy at doing things that are out of it’s constitutional purview.

It is your party that is creating the apocalyptic battles between old/young, men/women, between the races, rich/poor, queer/straight. Your party will exploit any difference between people for it’s own personal gain. It’s a shame to watch people getting forced from their job for contributing to a political cause or for “offending” someone. I just hope you realize, though, if you and your party continue to think force, threats, and intimidation are going to get you what you want then you’ve got some growing up to do.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 15, 2014 10:29 PM
Comment #377892

Mr. Daugherty,

Some folks do not learn from history. They honestly believe that laws, regulations, social programs, entitlement programs, etc., just fell out of the sky because some liberal somewhere wished it into being. They would rather believe there was no historical reason for it and that we should all be able to live on that mountainside, grow our own produce, build our own homes and protect ourselves from our enemies, both foreign and DOMESTIC.

We should not hold it against them their naiveté.

Posted by: David Stevens at April 16, 2014 1:38 PM
Comment #377894

Weary Willie-
You’re telling me you know better than me without actually demonstrating it. Neat trick, but not one I’ll fall for.

I think you folks are doing your best to return to the laws and the jurisprudence of this country before the 1920s. Thing is, I’ve read the history of those times, and there were very good reasons to take the approaches they did. You talk about the federal government biting off more than it could chew, but if you look at the history of industry and capitalism at the time, you would see overreach there, too.

Put another way, people weren’t magically convinced to grow government, they did it of their own free will in reaction to what went wrong.

I’ve yet to see the Wall Street of today act with less greed and more wisdom than that of yesteryear. Despite what all the conservatives and your friends on the right said would happen, the financial centers of our nation spun out of control. You keep on trying to blame big government, but that seems your eternal scapegoat, especially given what I know about how people actually behaved in that market. Nobody was forcing them to be that ridiculously bad about checking people’s financials, and they certainly profited well from it, rather than doing all this out of desperation.

And what about this 17th Amendment crap? Popular election of Senators a problem? They voted out the old system for a reason. Why you think the solution to out of touch, unaccountable politicians is to let other politicians elect them is beyond me.

For all the respect you ask for your elder’s experience, you seem to have practically none for the people who came before you, assuming they’re wrong on every count.

Rather than conserve the system that let America weather decades without a major economic crisis, we threw that all away, and now we’re in pain again. Rather than keep a fiscal situation which was working, you folks threw that away, and substituted one that’s lead to greater endebtedness and deficit. Rather than preserve our lead in science and technology, industry and invention, you’ve sold people on this aggressive anti-intellectualism that corrodes our status and our reputation.

I think it’s time to learn from better examples, and return to what actually worked, rather than the stuff you’re devoted to proving.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 16, 2014 2:59 PM
Comment #377902

Why do you guys always go from one extreme to another trying to discredit someone’s point of view? Who said I want to return to horse and carriage days? I’m not an environmentalist!

You guys say I want to return to the corruption of the pre-17th days. How is now different? Instead of politicians choosing senators we now have the media and corporations choosing them. I would rather have state legislatures who knows the ropes choose than someone who is ignorant choose based on a soundbite beauty contest.

Just look at how Harry Reid is acting. Is he representing the people of Nevada or is he representing Washington D.C.? It sounds to me like he’s representing Washington D.C.! He may be representing his corporate buddy!

but if you look at the history of industry and capitalism at the time, you would see overreach there, too.

You’re making my point for me. Not only did the 17th destroy the fabric of the constitution, it did nothing to solve the problem of the day! Thank you for realizing it didn’t work. Now you can focus on what actually happened in 1913. The federal government usurped the soverenty of the states by eliminating the state’s spokesmen in the senate. The federal government took control of the individual by taking control of their wallet, and a private, secret bank took control of the treasury. All in one year! Why isn’t that considered an overthrow of the constitution? Because it was hidden behind propaganda and dressed up in fancy Progressive cloths.

How anyone can be so gullible to think the Federal Reserve is moderating the business cycle when the worst depression happened 20 years later is beyond me.

Rather than keep a fiscal situation which was working, you folks threw that away, and substituted one that’s lead to greater endebtedness and deficit. Rather than preserve our lead in science and technology, industry and invention, you’ve sold people on this aggressive anti-intellectualism that corrodes our status and our reputation.

And the Democratic party was so ineffective and so neutered it sat cowering on the sidelines while the evil Republicans wreeked havoc in a greedy binge of incompetance, right? Why isn’t the Democratic party ever included in your blame game, Stephen Daugherty? They were there, weren’t they? Or did they run off to Canada in protest? Quit acting like the little kid pointing to the baby and blaming it for the spilled milk. The Democratic party is just as culpable as the Republican party. What part of both sides are to blame don’t you understand?


I think it’s time to learn from better examples, and return to what actually worked, rather than the stuff you’re devoted to proving.

Given you think the founding fathers are named Roosevelt, Wilson, and Johnson a little history lesson is in order. This country was founded in 1776 not 1913. It worked quite well for 137 years except when Democratics insisted on compromise. It did so without the 17th amendment and the individual paid no federal income tax.

So yes, let’s do return to what actually worked instead of continually defending what isn’t.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 16, 2014 10:40 PM
Comment #377919

As with most Christians, Jews and Muslims, as they preach about the perfection and unalterable Bible, most neo-conservatives preach about the perfection and unalterable Constitution.

Christians, Jews and Muslims are wrong because the Bible is not perfect and it has been altered so many times it doesn’t even resemble the original writings.

Neo-conservatives are wrong because those who wrote our separation and constitutional laws were not Gods, nor were they perfect, and the Constitution has been altered several times.

Dogma in Dogma out…the picture of conservatism in today’s America.

Half gods and demagogues all.

Posted by: David Stevens at April 17, 2014 1:23 PM
Comment #377922

David,

I’m not a neo-conservative but even I can see a few problems with your ‘analogy’.

First, no one is saying that the Constitution was ‘perfect’. In fact, the Constitution itself provides a means for the document to be altered, which admits that it will need to be altered over time.

Second, the issue is not that the Constitution is perfect, but it is the law of this land and if you just ignore part of it that you don’t like then none of the laws, the rights, the protections in the document have any meaning.

Let’s say you are firmly for a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion, a right that many on the right would say is not specifically spelled out in the constitution (it is, but people think ink blots are in its place instead). You don’t want people to just enact laws that ignore that part of the constitution, do you?

Of course not, but if you subscribe to the fact that you can ignore the parts of the constitution that YOU don’t like, then you leave open the power for those people to ignore the parts that THEY don’t like. Then we don’t have any basis of governing at all, do we?

That leaves aside the fact that the basic notion of the constitution was something very specific and has never been altered by the document, only by our willingness to ignore it. The fact that it is NOT a document detailing what rights the citizens retain but that it is a document spelling out specifically what powers that federal government has. And yes, we can give them more power, but we can only do so by amending the constitution, as it PROSCRIBES. To do it any other way means that the constitution can be changed by anyone for any reason. Basically, it means that the document is worthless.

I, for one, don’t want the basis for our government to be worthless.

If you, on the other hand, respect it not a whit, then don’t get your panties in a bunch when you are told to report to church on Sunday, or when abortions are outlawed, or free speech is entirely done away with. Because those are just suggestions in a flawed document that we should just ignore, right?

After all, it’s just a goddamn piece of paper…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 17, 2014 3:05 PM
Comment #377947

Rhinehold,

You saw absolutely NOTHING in my post to suggest a disrespect OR disregard for the Constitution.

I’m saying that it was not perfect and is not perfect. Necessary changes have occurred and necessary changes will occur in the future. That is why justices like Thomas and Scalia are so wrong in many of their opinions. A law is good only as long as it protects the people (think 13th). Once it disconnects from the people, it is only a piece of paper like President Bush once said much more colorfully, and you more recently.

PS: My panties are bunched quite comfortably, thank you.

Posted by: David Stevens at April 17, 2014 10:05 PM
Comment #377953

David Stevens, you forget one very important aspect of the constitution. The States! It’s called the United States, after all. The framers made sure the states were equal partners in the formation of the federal government. They knew when the people had all the power the government would fall as it is now doing under Progressivism.

The people were never intended to be involved in the federal government other than to control the purse. The states were to check that power to spend. The electoral college elected the president.

The federal government was never designed to control the states or the individual. If it was there would be no United States.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 18, 2014 8:12 AM
Comment #377958

WW,

It’s called evolution. The United States the framers organized was much smaller and less complex than the United States we have evolved to. That is why our Constitution cannot be interpreted as the framers intended, but rather as to how it can protect the people in real time. Please tell me how Madison could have anticipated the world of communication and high speed, high finances, and the complexity of world trade that we put up with every millisecond of every day?

Our Constitution is the law of the land today…but we don’t live in 1814 or 1914, we live in 2014.

States rights have been haggled over for a very long time after it was finally settled in 1865. If modern day conservatism is attempting to take us back to pre-Civil War days…more power to it. But THAT is stupid strategy for living in the world we currently live in.

Posted by: David Stevens at April 18, 2014 12:50 PM
Comment #377961
You saw absolutely NOTHING in my post to suggest a disrespect OR disregard for the Constitution.

And you saw nothing in my post suggesting you did either.

I’m saying that it was not perfect and is not perfect.

Of which I agreed.

Necessary changes have occurred and necessary changes will occur in the future.

Yes, that is why we have an amendment process and we follow that process to make those necessary changes.

That is why justices like Thomas and Scalia are so wrong in many of their opinions.

Errr, this is where I lose you. Could you explain that for me?

A law is good only as long as it protects the people (think 13th).

Again, this doesn’t make much sense. So, if I were to get a law passed that puts a camera into every room into everyone’s house and wires them up to the police station to be monitored and taped, that would be a good law because it protects people, right? I’m seriously just trying to understand your thinking here…

Once it disconnects from the people, it is only a piece of paper like President Bush once said much more colorfully, and you more recently.

So, are you saying that it is just a piece of paper or that it could be or… Please clarify, I’m a little confused trying to interpret your meaning here.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 18, 2014 2:35 PM
Comment #377962
The United States the framers organized was much smaller and less complex than the United States we have evolved to. That is why our Constitution cannot be interpreted as the framers intended, but rather as to how it can protect the people in real time.

So, you mean that since we live in a more ‘complex’ world that people shouldn’t be free to live their lives as they choose as long as they don’t prevent others from the same? How so? That is the basis of the constitution, one that as far as I know hasn’t changed.

In fact, it is because we are more large and complex that means that that protection is MORE important now than when we didn’t have people living on top of each other.

Please tell me how Madison could have anticipated the world of communication and high speed, high finances, and the complexity of world trade that we put up with every millisecond of every day?

Because he had a grasp of history and saw how fast and advanced society had been up to that point. That is why an amendment process was added to the constitution.

The document was written quite clearly for those who understand it… Everyone has unenumerated rights that exist outside of government. In order to exist within that framework, we had to conceed some small power to the government to make it function, but only so much power as was necessary and that was it. Any additional power that the government needed for any new advances or technology or changes in the society would require an amendment to be enacted, which requires more than a simple majority.

Why is that? Because while the founders wanted us to rule ourselves, they also know that doing so brought about the possibility that the majority might trample on the rights of the majority. So to prevent that they put in place a system that would respect the needs of the people and the states.

Basic human nature hasn’t changed, the idea of individual liberty hasn’t changed. It all doesn’t just ‘go away’ because we have more people or advances in technology. We just need to address those things while also respecting individual liberty as promised in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

As I said, if we simply ignore the document for any reason, the whole of it is invalid. It’s not a hard concept to understand.

BTW, there is a pretty good book about this that you can peruse.

The Conscience of the Constitution: The Declaration of Independence and the Right to Liberty by Timothy Sandefur

From a review of the book:

Sandefur says progressivism “inverts America’s constitutional foundations” by holding that the Constitution is “about” democracy, which rejects the framers’ premise that majority rule is legitimate “only within the boundaries” of the individual’s natural rights. These include — indeed, are mostly — unenumerated rights whose existence and importance are affirmed by the Ninth Amendment.

Many conservatives should be discomfited by Sandefur’s analysis, which entails this conclusion: Their indiscriminate denunciations of “judicial activism” inadvertently serve progressivism. The protection of rights, those constitutionally enumerated and others, requires a judiciary actively engaged in enforcing what the Constitution is “basically about,” which is making majority power respect individuals’ rights.

People like to make things easy. It’s easy to make a law that focuses on solving one problem and just doing it if you aren’t concerned about the consequences of that law or what kind of rights it damages in the process.

The hard part is making sure that we solve problems and come up with solutions to needs that present themselves AND respect the rights of the citizens of the United States. Mussolini did a very good job of making the trains run on time in Fascist Italy, but he didn’t respect anyone’s rights while doing it.

The funny thing is that the left will tell us that we need to ignore certain individual’s rights to enact their policies, but when the right enacts policies that affect THEIR rights, well, they scream like a stuck pig and complain about the abuse of the government… It’s an interesting dichotomy to watch.

Just a great example was when Senator Obama told us that the president of the United States did not have the power to send troops into conflicts around the world without getting approval from congress. Until he was president, then he doesn’t feel he has a need to get their approval at all.

Progressives complain that Conservatives are violating the rights of individuals by trying to block abortions or people from getting married, because those are constitutional rights. But owning a gun? Choosing who to spend your time with? Deciding how to take care of your own health? What foods can you ingests, what drugs can you ingest? Well, they can’t allow that to happen.

Most often it is usually someone saying that people should live like they say that they should live, but if someone else tells THEM how to live, well then the gloves are off…

Respecting the rights of people we agree with is easy. Respecting the rights of people we disagree with, well, that’s harder… And more important.

Something that the founders understood better than most today I’m afraid, even with their foibles.

But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others. The provision for defense must in this, as in all other cases, be made commensurate to the danger of attack. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.

This policy of supplying, by opposite and rival interests, the defect of better motives, might be traced through the whole system of human affairs, private as well as public. We see it particularly displayed in all the subordinate distributions of power, where the constant aim is to divide and arrange the several offices in such a manner as that each may be a check on the other — that the private interest of every individual may be a sentinel over the public rights. These inventions of prudence cannot be less requisite in the distribution of the supreme powers of the State.

There are, moreover, two considerations particularly applicable to the federal system of America, which place that system in a very interesting point of view.

First. In a single republic, all the power surrendered by the people is submitted to the administration of a single government; and the usurpations are guarded against by a division of the government into distinct and separate departments. In the compound republic of America, the power surrendered by the people is first divided between two distinct governments, and then the portion allotted to each subdivided among distinct and separate departments. Hence a double security arises to the rights of the people. The different governments will control each other, at the same time that each will be controlled by itself.

Second. It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. Different interests necessarily exist in different classes of citizens. If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure. There are but two methods of providing against this evil: the one by creating a will in the community independent of the majority — that is, of the society itself; the other, by comprehending in the society so many separate descriptions of citizens as will render an unjust combination of a majority of the whole very improbable, if not impracticable. The first method prevails in all governments possessing an hereditary or self-appointed authority. This, at best, is but a precarious security; because a power independent of the society may as well espouse the unjust views of the major, as the rightful interests of the minor party, and may possibly be turned against both parties. The second method will be exemplified in the federal republic of the United States. Whilst all authority in it will be derived from and dependent on the society, the society itself will be broken into so many parts, interests, and classes of citizens, that the rights of individuals, or of the minority, will be in little danger from interested combinations of the majority. In a free government the security for civil rights must be the same as that for religious rights. It consists in the one case in the multiplicity of interests, and in the other in the multiplicity of sects. The degree of security in both cases will depend on the number of interests and sects; and this may be presumed to depend on the extent of country and number of people comprehended under the same government. This view of the subject must particularly recommend a proper federal system to all the sincere and considerate friends of republican government, since it shows that in exact proportion as the territory of the Union may be formed into more circumscribed Confederacies, or States oppressive combinations of a majority will be facilitated: the best security, under the republican forms, for the rights of every class of citizens, will be diminished: and consequently the stability and independence of some member of the government, the only other security, must be proportionately increased. Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been and ever will be pursued until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit. In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature, where the weaker individual is not secured against the violence of the stronger; and as, in the latter state, even the stronger individuals are prompted, by the uncertainty of their condition, to submit to a government which may protect the weak as well as themselves; so, in the former state, will the more powerful factions or parties be gradnally induced, by a like motive, to wish for a government which will protect all parties, the weaker as well as the more powerful. It can be little doubted that if the State of Rhode Island was separated from the Confederacy and left to itself, the insecurity of rights under the popular form of government within such narrow limits would be displayed by such reiterated oppressions of factious majorities that some power altogether independent of the people would soon be called for by the voice of the very factions whose misrule had proved the necessity of it. In the extended republic of the United States, and among the great variety of interests, parties, and sects which it embraces, a coalition of a majority of the whole society could seldom take place on any other principles than those of justice and the general good; whilst there being thus less danger to a minor from the will of a major party, there must be less pretext, also, to provide for the security of the former, by introducing into the government a will not dependent on the latter, or, in other words, a will independent of the society itself. It is no less certain than it is important, notwithstanding the contrary opinions which have been entertained, that the larger the society, provided it lie within a practical sphere, the more duly capable it will be of self-government. And happily for the republican cause, the practicable sphere may be carried to a very great extent, by a judicious modification and mixture of the federal principle.

“Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been and ever will be pursued until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit.”

You tell me that protection is the key to government and laws. Madison says that Justice is. Why do you disagree with Madison here?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 18, 2014 3:08 PM
Comment #377963

Rhinehold,

Semantics?

Posted by: David Stevens at April 18, 2014 3:09 PM
Comment #377966
Semantics?

Is it? That’s all you have?

Why is individual freedom no longer a valid thing to have, Dave? Please enlighten me…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 18, 2014 3:59 PM
Comment #377970

Rhinehold,

The idiots who caused the recent meltdown of the world economy were ‘free’ to do so. There was no law or regulation to keep them from it.

Semantics…we see the word ‘free’ in a different light.

Posted by: David Stevens at April 18, 2014 10:32 PM
Comment #377976

Wasn’t there a law that said banks had to lend to people who had questionable finances?

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 19, 2014 8:12 AM
Comment #377977

WW,

I don’t know how many times this has to be iterated, but the bad mortgage situation would have been handled much like the ENRON fiasco and the Savings & Loan catsasstrophe.

IT WAS NOT BAD MORTGAGES THAT CAUSED THE MELTDOWN that took a world wide 70 trillion dollars out of circulation, and nearly took the US into another great depression. It was the free-wheeling financiers who felt the need to buy, sell and insure without knowing the value of the bundles of derivatives they were buying, selling and insuring, and without the reins of Glass/Steagall to stop them.

You are trying to blame mom and pop for a world wide monitory meltdown…why?

Posted by: David Stevens at April 19, 2014 9:35 AM
Comment #377978
financiers who felt the need to buy, sell and insure without knowing the value of the bundles of derivatives they were buying

Why didn’t they know?

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 19, 2014 1:05 PM
Comment #377979

WW,

Because the buying and selling and insuring was the game…the knowing values was not. Little boys and their toys.

When Lehman’s felt the pressure from some bad mortgages it turned to its insurer AIG and AIG had not put by a reserve to handle such a claim. Neither house could even say how much to bundles in question were worth.

Without those values other finance houses began to blunder around in the dark trying to figure out how to cheat their way out of the mess they’d gambled their way into.

A house of cards built by those who would be ‘King o’ the Hill’.

A single bad mortgage was enough to collapse that house of cards.

IT WAS NOT BAD MORTGAGES THAT CAUSED THE FINANCIAL HOUSE MELTDOWN. It was lack of oversight, and without regulations in place, oversight was impossible.

Posted by: David Stevens at April 19, 2014 1:44 PM
Comment #377980

That sounds pretty simplistic, David Stevens. They were in the business of buying and selling things they didn’t know the value of? That sounds more like two kids with play money, not financial giants that have the world’s economy in their hands.

You should probably look into the facts a little more. Your response doesn’t answer the question.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 19, 2014 3:06 PM
Comment #377981

Avarice in the thin air of high finance and gullibility of ‘freedom’ lovers to allow that avarice to multiply is simplistic?

Why didn’t they know? It would have taken too much of their precious milliseconds of trading to figure it out.

Posted by: David Stevens at April 19, 2014 4:04 PM
Comment #377983

David,

So much wrong in such a little space, not sure where to start…

First, you apparently don’t understand the phrase ‘free to do as you like as long as you don’t prevent another to the same’. Trying to equate ‘freedom’ with ‘anarchy’ is a common failure that opponents of liberty and freedom that progressives are often make.

Second, Glass-Stegall has pretty much nothing at all to do with the financial ‘meltdown’.

http://www.factcheck.org/2008/10/who-caused-the-economic-crisis/

The MoveOn.org Political Action ad blames a banking deregulation bill sponsored by former Sen. Phil Gramm, a friend and one-time adviser to McCain’s campaign. It claims the bill “stripped safeguards that would have protected us.”

That claim is bunk. When we contacted MoveOn.org spokesman Trevor Fitzgibbons to ask just what “safeguards” the ad was talking about, he came up with not one single example. The only support offered for the ad’s claim is one line in one newspaper article that reported the bill “is now being blamed” for the crisis, without saying who is doing the blaming or on what grounds.

The bill in question is the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which was passed in 1999 and repealed portions of the Glass-Steagall Act, a piece of legislation from the era of the Great Depression that imposed a number of regulations on financial institutions. It’s true that Gramm authored the act, but what became law was a widely accepted bipartisan compromise. The measure passed the House 362 - 57, with 155 Democrats voting for the bill. The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 90 – 8. Among the Democrats voting for the bill: Obama’s running mate, Joe Biden. The bill was signed into law by President Clinton, a Democrat. If this bill really had “stripped the safeguards that would have protected us,” then both parties share the blame, not just “John McCain’s friend.”

The truth is, however, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act had little if anything to do with the current crisis. In fact, economists on both sides of the political spectrum have suggested that the act has probably made the crisis less severe than it might otherwise have been.

The fact is that the meltdown would have probably been worse without it. It allowed banks that took advantage of it to weather the storm much better because they were diversified.

In 2009 when Democrats took over and started looking into re-instating it, they held hearings. At those hearings, Timothy Giethner (you may remember him?) said:

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era law separating deposit-taking institutions from investment banking, didn’t play “a material role in the causes of our financial crisis.”

“I know that view is not widely accepted in many places,” Geithner said in response to a question after a speech in San Francisco today. Geithner, 50, was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York during the 2008 financial crisis and became Treasury secretary the next year under President Barack Obama.

“A huge amount of risk built up outside our banking system, outside the safeguards and protections we put in place in the Great Depression,” Geithner said. “That risk and leverage grew up, built up, very substantially, and when the storm hit it put enormous pressure on a part of the system that provided about half the credit to the American economy. Nothing to do with Glass Steagall.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-26/geithner-says-no-glass-steagall-repeal-cause-in-crisis.html

It is also why to this day Glass Steagall hasn’t been reinstated. Because it had NOTHING to do with it.

The only reason people on the left think it did was because DailyKOS tried to use the crisis to attack McCain through Gramm, which worked at the time as McCain was leading in the polls before this attack was made. An attack based on a hugely flawed understanding of banking and the real reasons for the financial crisis…

If you want a real good explanation of it, watch the documentary Money For Nothing, available for digital download for 19.95. Well worth it. Official selection of 6 different film festivals and given praise by many national publications. http://moneyfornothingthemovie.org/press

The idiots who caused the recent meltdown of the world economy were ‘free’ to do so. There was no law or regulation to keep them from it.

Actually, there was. I know it’s hard to understand since you have such a politically flawed view of what the issues were, but the main problem of meltdown was inaction by the Federal Reserve who had been given the authority to regulated the mortgage loan industry, Moral Hazard injected into the system during the FIRST panic that this was a part of (do you realize that this was the second time this happened, the first being before glass-steagall was repealed? Only thing is we just delayed the reckoning to a later date and made it worse) and a belief that the FED was just that powerful to prevent it from happening.

It has been building a long time, since the late 1990s when Long Term Capital Management nearly took everything down, but the FED stepped in and save everything, by making everything even worse, just pushing the costs down the road. Kind of like our debt issue…

It’s someone else’s problem.

Why didn’t they know?

Because it didn’t matter to them, the FED had told them that if they screwed up again, they would be taken care of and protected with money from the FED into the system.

Which the FED did! To the tune of 4 TRILLION Dollars that we are going to have to somehow make up.

BTW, the fallout of the crisis could have been neatly contained within a few investment banks on wall street had the government not instituted Mark to Market accounting in the mid 90s, going away from more sound accounting practices that they were using at the time.

There were calls for congress in 2008 to temporarily suspend the mark to market accounting rules when the crisis hit, which would have affected very few people and left most banks alone. The Democrats running congress at the time said no, they had a presidential campaign to win. So, instead of containing the pain, they allowed BILLIONS of dollars to be ‘virtually’ wiped off of thousands of bank’s budget sheets, preventing them, by law, from lending any more and spreading the pain out to everyone…

They then did exactly what was previously asked of them in early 2009, once they had secured the White House. Immediately the banks were able to repay the TARP funds that they had borrowed just to stay open because now their budget sheets weren’t arbitrarily decimated anymore. Of course the damage had been done, but screw the little people, right?

When you want to have a real discussion on ‘freedom’ and what that actually means instead of displaying such a huge lack of understanding about just about everything, let me know. I would be more than welcome to have those frank and honest discussions with you. But don’t come in with that soft 2nd year political science mind rot and expect anyone to let you get away with it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 20, 2014 10:12 AM
Comment #377989

Rhinehold,

2nd year political science mind rot…wow! Really makes my day to see I made you think up such a good put down. I can likely make you do even better than that…you have no idea what impact Glass/Steagall had on our houses of mortgage, finance and insurance. so before you give me lessons in 2nd year political science, please go back to 101 in economics.

See. I can be just as cutting as you and for better reason.

Posted by: David Stevens at April 20, 2014 3:39 PM
Comment #377996
I can likely make you do even better than that…

No, see I provide facts and logic to back up my assertions, you just devolve into namecalling without anything to back it up.

If you somehow think that that is ‘better’… well, you can probably finish that thought on your own.

you have no idea what impact Glass/Steagall had on our houses of mortgage, finance and insurance

Yeah, me and Timothy Geithner and the Annenberg Foundation and William Isaac (Former FDIC Chairman) and Janet Yellen and Alan Greenspan and Bill Clinton and Wayne Abernathy and etc, and etc are all more stupid about economics than you. I fully concede that since you’ve obviously shown us your chops in this regard.

Meanwhile, of course, the real issues that caused the problem are still with us in arbitrarily low interest rates, bubbles that are percolating around us and instead of addressing those issues, people want to keep bashing away at a piece of legislation that is almost meaningless in the light of the issues that exist.

All because of political reasons. :/

The allure of Glass-Stegall, the 1933 law that banned commercial banks from owning investment banks, has become so prominent that a recent episode of HBO’s The Newsroom said its repeal was the cause of the 2008 financial crisis.

But many current and former industry and regulatory officials take issue with that idea, saying the crisis and the 400-plus bank failures that resulted had nothing to do with the mix of commercial and investment banking.

They point to Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch as proof, as all three investment firms were at the center of the crisis, but were not owned by commercial banks at the time (Bear was eventually bought by JPMorgan Chase, while Merrill was purchased by Bank of America). Had Glass-Stegall been in effect in 2008, they argue, Bear, Lehman and Merrill would still have collapsed. Nor would the law have prevented the fall of insurance giant AIG or real estate investment trust New Century Financial.

The primary cause of the crisis, they say, is the proliferation of exotic mortgage products that were securitized and sold off across the market. Nothing in Glass-Steagall would have prevented such loans from being originated, sold and securitized.

“Roughly 20 financial institutions were the major perpetrators of the recent financial crisis and the resulting great recession, primarily through the origination, securitization and distribution of exotic subprime mortgages with toxic features such as negative amortization and teaser rates, with stated incomes and reduced documentation,” William M Isaac, a former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and Kovacevich wrote in an editorial in the American Banker.

To be sure, Steven Pearlstein, a columnist for The Washington Post, notes that investment bank activities in the U.S. created a shadow banking system outside of regulators’ jurisdiction, which helped encourage sloppy lending practices.

Still, Pearlstein is unconvinced Glass-Steagall would have stopped the crisis.

“Repeal of Glass Steagall has become for the Democratic left what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are for the Republican right — a simple and facially plausible conspiracy theory about the crisis that reinforces what they already believed about financial markets and economic policy,” he wrote in a recent column.

Rattner, a former Obama administration official, said the crisis is regulators’ fault, not the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999 in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. He blames “old-fashioned poor management that expanded the banks’ portfolios and activities too aggressively without sufficiently robust risk controls, enabled by lax (or nonexistent) oversight by regulators.”

“Many of those excesses were concentrated in the housing sector, where a now a legendary bubble formed without regulators or industry leaders recognizing it,” Rattner wrote in an op-ed in The New York Times.

Both Isaac and Kovacevich agree.

“Unfortunately, regulators failed to see or act on the problems until they escalated into a full-scale crisis,” write Isaac and Kovacevich. “Rating agencies, unbelievably, rated significant tranches of these high-risk mortgage-backed securities AAA. By mid-2008 Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other government agencies owned or insured over 70% of these risky mortgages, according to research by Ed Pinto at the American Enterprise Institute.”

A return to Glass-Steagall would be disastrous, many argue. They predict further consolidation, a reduction in lending and a smaller banking industry share of the economy.

http://www.americanbanker.com/issues/177_152/the-case-against-restoring-glass-steagall-1051651-1.html

The subprime market was not regulated, the desire to regulate it was brought up several years before, but Alan Greenspan, because of his hubris, slapped down those efforts. Greenspan than suggested to bankers to get creative with their loans and looked the other way as the FED was already given power to regulate those loans and decided not to.

Glass-Steagall would have done nothing, at all, to prevent that kind of mis-governance. Greenspan was seen as an all knowing god of the economy, but didn’t believe that a bubble in the housing market was possible. Couple that with the fact that changes in how we measure inflation was changed in the mid 1990s and the FED could point to the ‘low inflation’ as a reason to believe that the bubble wasn’t ocurring.

So the heart of the failure was the FED telling banks and investment houses that if they screwed up they would be bailed out (See LTCM), the FED telling them to get creative with lending methods, the FED refusing to regulate the subprime market and the collective belief that a housing bubble was ‘impossible.

But hey, you know better, right?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 21, 2014 9:16 AM
Comment #377997

I’ll repost this quote since it is such an important one…

“Repeal of Glass Steagall has become for the Democratic left what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are for the Republican right — a simple and facially plausible conspiracy theory about the crisis that reinforces what they already believed about financial markets and economic policy,” he wrote in a recent column.
Posted by: Rhinehold at April 21, 2014 9:19 AM
Comment #378018

Rhinehold,

PULEeeeze, Glass allowed each of the three financial entities involved in the meltdown to infringe on each other’s financial territories, a brazen approach to conflict of interest AND easily corruptible, as we witnessed when Lehman’s went down.

By the way, look back carefully and tell me wherein I called you names. I said something about neo-conservatives, but did not name you as one, and you followed up by denying you were one, to which I did not respond, thus accepting your denial as being true.

Your frustrations are showing.

By the way, I wrote:

“A house of cards built by those who would be ‘King o’ the Hill’.

A single bad mortgage was enough to collapse that house of cards.

IT WAS NOT BAD MORTGAGES THAT CAUSED THE FINANCIAL HOUSE MELTDOWN. It was lack of oversight, and without regulations in place, oversight was impossible.”

How does that differ from what you are saying?

Argument for argument’s sake?

Posted by: David Stevens at April 22, 2014 9:13 AM
Comment #378034
Glass allowed each of the three financial entities involved in the meltdown to infringe on each other’s financial territories, a brazen approach to conflict of interest AND easily corruptible, as we witnessed when Lehman’s went down.

You are going to have to better explain your comment here I’m afraid… The 3 entities mentioned, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, were all investment banks. To say that they were infringing on each other’s financial territories is like saying that Apple, Microsoft and Google are infringing on each other’s territories.

All Glass-Steagall did was prevent investment banks from being commercial banks, but these three investment banks were never operating as commercial banks in any way. So if Glass-Steagall were in place at the time, they would have acted exactly the same way and would have failed in exactly the same way. Glass-Steagall had absolutely nothing to do with them.

IT WAS NOT BAD MORTGAGES THAT CAUSED THE FINANCIAL HOUSE MELTDOWN. It was lack of oversight, and without regulations in place, oversight was impossible.”

How does that differ from what you are saying?

1) Bad mortgages did play a part in the financial house meltdown despite your assertions that it didn’t.

2) The regulations WERE in place to prevent that. The FED was given the power to regulate the mortgage industry in the 90s.

3) Oversight was possible for those mortgages. The only thing missing was the ability to regulate the sub-prime market (not the sub-prime loans, but the market for buying and selling those loans).

4) Glass-Steagall had absolutely nothing to do with the meltdown.

You mention before that billions of dollars was taken out of the economy, but do you know how that was done?

Because the regulators switched from historical based accounting to mark-to-market accounting (at the objections of the FDIC, Treasury and FED), when the market for those sub-prime loans disappeared, essentially having *0* value, those mortgages had to be taken off of the balance sheets of all the banks who made them, even though they were backed by real assets (the actual properties).

Mark-to-Market accounting was actually outlawed by FDR because of the damage it could do, tying banking to a stock market type of environment. Much more so than anything Glass-Steagall could have prevented. For some reason it was brought back in the 1990s.

http://www.williamisaac.com/published-works/mark-to-market-revisited-a-picture-is-worth-a-thousand-words/

You can see by the slide that William Issac presents in his testimony to congress (he tried unsuccessfully to get them to do this in the fall of 2008), the failure of Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch (and with it AIG) resulted in a massive hit to the lending capacities of many banks because of this single accounting rule.

during the crisis of 2008-2009 that mark to market accounting senselessly destroyed over $500 billion of capital in U.S. financial institutions. Because banks are able to loan about $8 for every dollar of capital they hold, the $500 billion market to market write-offs destroyed $4 trillion of bank lending capacity, wreaking havoc on the financial system and the economy and contributing to millions of people losing their jobs and homes and starving small businesses of credit. We have yet to recover.
Posted by: Rhinehold at April 22, 2014 11:00 AM
Comment #378036

Rhinehold,

Sorry, I thought…er…oh well, never mind what I thought.

The three entities:

Mortgage Finance
Banking
Insurance

Posted by: David Stevens at April 22, 2014 4:34 PM
Comment #378041

David,

If you don’t want those industries to ever intermingle, you’ll have to come up with a new law to do that, Glass-Stegall didn’t prevent that from happening.

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