Proudly Neocon

Let’s exchange some ideas. Wikipedia has a decent definition of neo-conservative , so start with that. Neocons are ones who believe that we can (and should) bring democracy to the Middle East. They are the ones who have confidence that free people, free markets and freedom in general will overcome the obstacles of despotism, excessive government control and poverty. They know the process will be messy, but they also believe it is inexorable. They are optimistic, pushy and often a bit too clever. People like this get into trouble. Read all the clever definitions and you will get my meaning.

To understand neo-conservatism, you have to get away from the confusion that you can project today’s political groupings back in time. All great ideas are mongrels draw from a variety of sources (interesting book on that). And all great achievements are apparent contradictions. If you notice that some neoconservative rhetoric especially about foreign policy sounds like something Wilson, FDR or Kennedy said, you have not discovered a contradiction. Ideas mix, mutate and reformulate. Ronald Reagan is a good example of how this works in one person. He began a supporter of FDR and never broke with his earlier convictions; Reagan just evolved along different path. He most inspiring speeches echoed the muscular sentiments of FDR, but by then the formulation had become Neocon. He even played “Happy Days are Here Again” at the 1984 Republican convention.

Old conservatives were realists who believed in subordinating ideals to real politics. Nixon’s policies with Kissinger represent the high water mark of conservative realism. It recognized, some say created, limitations on U.S. power. Nixon and Kissinger recognized the reality of Soviet power, and sought to limit the nuclear threat. New conservatives saw other possibilities. Ronald Reagan saw the possibility of getting rid of the Soviet Union and its nuclear threat and transforming the world. We need both realists and idealists. The dynamic creates better outcomes and we seem to go in cycles.

Where are liberals in all of this? I am not sure liberals really matter any more in these kinds of equations since the passing of the last generation of muscular liberals - the GI generation. Kennedy's rhetoric in his inauguration would embarrass today's liberals. Moderate Democrats, such as Bill Clinton, are similar to realist conservatives in the way they behave. The left wing of the Dems - the liberals - have more or less abdicated any possible policy. Can somebody tell me what the liberal postion on foreign policy might be? Besides hating Bush? And they have also given up their practical idealism. Richard Cohen summed it up in a column in today’s Washington Post entitled, Ceding Idealism to the GOP. Something to think about for both sides.

One more idea about ideas. Nothing that happened before we were born is our fault. On the other hand, every idea ever thought is the property of anyone who can and wants to use it. We can change them, mix them and match them to suite our needs at the time we need them. We are under no obligation to maintain the integrity of any idea, nor to use it in the way envisioned by anyone else, including the idea’s “originator.” That means that I will take and repurpose any idea I find useful, no matter what its provenance.

Posted by Jack at October 25, 2005 9:15 PM
Comments
Comment #88041

Jack,
Good article that should open some liberal eyes and insight to neo-cons realm of thinking. I do agree that Presidents like Reagon, Clinton, JFK, and FDR all had great vision and understanding of what the Founding Fathers gave each Generation of Americans they ability to do with the Laws that govern us.

It is for that reason that I would enjoy seeing the neo-cons support the “I the Corporation” natural theory against a political party supporting “We the Consumers” by the same standards of political issues. Do you want to wager on who would win?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 25, 2005 11:22 PM
Comment #88042

Henry Schlatman:

Oh please. Try looking at the results of the last few elections. Less and less people are falling for the bogus stereotypes handed out by talking heads on the Democrat party, and their mainstream media accomplices.

“I The Corporation”? You need to get past Democrat talking points and study real facts. Did you know that something like 90% of the top rich people in this country donated to the Democrat party and about 70% of donations to the Republican party were made by regular working people in the 2004 elections? So much for the “party of the rich” and “party for the poor” stereotypes!

Posted by: DJ at October 25, 2005 11:35 PM
Comment #88046

DJ,
First, rich people do not equal rich corporations so to say that the Republican party does not and is not supported by major corporations is false. Second, the fact that you and other pundits fell to see that as a society every American is looked at as a corporation makes me wonder if you understand how our government works.

And while it is true that many “Rich People” are awakening to the fact that it is the consumer in the 3E’s of Civilization that matters most, don’t you think that the Republican party is missing that point with their policies?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 26, 2005 12:09 AM
Comment #88048

Jack,
Thanks for the article! One wit, wishing to differentiate traditional conservatives from neocons, called the neocons “liberals with guns.”

There’s little to say about neocons in terms of domestic policy. I’d characterize their domestic policy as identical with the interests of multinational corporations and the military-industrial complex, particularly ones related to the energy industries.

Most people will latch onto the perjorative connotations of terms such as ‘multinational corporations’, but if you think about it objectively, I believe that’s a fair characterization.

In the domestic arena, government exists as an instrument for neocons to accumulate and wield power. At home, wielding power means asserting control through the accumulation of wealth, i.e., tax breaks. The agendas of social conservatives means little to neocons, other than a voting bloc to be placated. Fair enough?

In terms of foreign policy, I’ll add two observations only touched upon by the Wikipedia article:
1) Neocons perceive the interests of Israel to be identical with the interests of the US.
2) An almost messianic sense of ‘manifest destiny’ guides the neocons.

You ask, “Can somebody tell me what the liberal postion on foreign policy might be?”

Of course I cannot speak for all liberals. Personally, I believe John Quincy Adams articulated the ideal of liberal foreign policy to perfection in his speech from the well of the House of Representatives.

In speaking of America, he says:

“Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be.

But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.

She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.

She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”

Short, readable, and very memorable, it is simply a tremendous speech, and an almost prescient description of the liberal foreign policy we should pursue today; one contrasting strongly with that of the Nixonian conservatives and neocons.


Posted by: phx8 at October 26, 2005 12:31 AM
Comment #88053

DJ-
Your source, unfortunately, completely misinterpreted their information. First, all percentages represent the share that each party had of the money donated at that bracket level. It isn’t 90% of rich people who donated to the democrats, it’s the Democrats getting 90% of the share of donors giving hard money at the 1,000,000 dollar level. Total number of people who gave at that level: 23. I think one or two of these people gave to Republicans.

Seventy percent of donations weren’t made by working people, either, DJ. That’s based upon a figure that represents their share of donations at about the 200 to 1000 dollar level, somewhere around 60 bucks. The real bulk of both Democrat and Republican money for that campaign period (about 2002, I think it was.) was in the 1000-10,000 dollar range.

Think Big dinners.

The way it happened, was that Ronald Brownstein wrote up a column on it, where he properly worked out what the figures meant. Mona Charen, looking for material, came across it and obviously didn’t read too close or check Brownstein’s sources.

She read out of it what she wanted read: The Democrats were pawns of the elitists, oh joy! Result? Instant talking point. It’s got that shocking truth element to it, where it’s so surprising it must be true. Such is the Right Wing Media. The narrative is more important than the details.

The next time one of these talking points sounds too good to be true, do a little research. You might be unpleasantly surprised what turns up.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 26, 2005 1:01 AM
Comment #88054

60 bucks? 60 percent, sorry.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 26, 2005 1:02 AM
Comment #88056

Jack,

You should indeed be proud to be a neo-con. As of Wednesday AM, you’ll be one of the few who isn’t indicted. Congrats.

But don’t hurt your hand too much patting yourself on the back. “A bit too clever”? I can’t think of one regular poster in the red column who would fit that description.

Posted by: Burt at October 26, 2005 1:43 AM
Comment #88058

Translation:

Iraq, Plamegate, deficit spending and cronyism are NeoCon actions. The “Traditional” Republicans are completely innocent. Its all the NeoCon’s fault!!! Please vote for us!!!

Posted by: Aldous at October 26, 2005 1:59 AM
Comment #88064
Ronald Reagan saw the possibility of getting rid of the Soviet Union and its nuclear threat and transforming the world.

No he didn’t, Jack. Reagan was working with Soviet leaders like Gorbechev and Yakovlev to liberalize the Soviet Union, not destroy it:

“[A] Soviet leadership devoted to improving its people’s lives, rather than expanding its armed conquests, will find a sympathetic partner in the West,” Reagan said.

Reagan believed in calling a spade a spade, but he never wanted the breakup of the Soviet Union. Too messy.

As for neo-cons, the “liberals with gus” label is pretty accurate. They’re all ex-Democrats who got tired of conservative foreign policy — America should use its unchallengeable strength to change the world, they believe. I’d call them the ‘hubris’ wing of the Republican Party.

And I don’t know about liberal foreign policy, but mainstream Democratic foreign policy is summed up in Thomas P.M. Barnett’s excellent book, “The Pentagon’s New Map”: Work with the international community to strengthen and enforce the rule of law and integrate failed/rogue states into the global economy.

President Bush’s decision to work with the UN and France against Syrian President Assad is an excellent example of what was once a bi-partisan — but now a very Democratic — foreign policy.

Posted by: American Pundit at October 26, 2005 3:54 AM
Comment #88065

I take offense to the belief that all NeoCons were Liberals. They are not. While a few are indeed ex-Liberals, the great majority are simply those who believe in the use of force to extend American Power. Your Great Rumsfeld and Cheney, for example, were never liberals.

In our time, a neo-conservative is any Republican who supports the Iraq War and torture. Therefore, our Jack is a neo-conservative.

Posted by: Aldous at October 26, 2005 4:08 AM
Comment #88074

Jack,

“Neocons are ones who believe that we can (and should) bring democracy to the Middle East. They are the ones who have confidence that free people, free markets and freedom in general will overcome the obstacles of despotism, excessive government control and poverty.”

If the real reason we are in Iraq had anything to do with bringing Democracy to the Middle East, then why all the false intelligence reports re: Uranium and WMD?
If the GOP were really interested in government control, why all the big government actions from this administration? You can say what you want but Bush has expanded Federal government control which has angered traditional “Republicans.”
If the GOP were interested in reducing poverty why has the disparity between the haves and the have-nots grown significantly under this administration?

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at October 26, 2005 7:49 AM
Comment #88077

Jack:

Excellent thought provoking article. For myself, I’d say that labeling virtually ANYone is the wrong thing to do. I know “liberals” who would torture someone in a heartbeat if it helped their cause. I know “conservatives” who give heartily to help the poor and needy. I know “evangelicals” who wouldn’t stop to help someone in need unless someone else was watching.

Trying to define a person with a label simply gets it wrong. We are the sum of our thoughts and actions, not labels. I recall the many times I’ve seen people debate whether Jesus Christ was a liberal or conservative. How stunningly stupid. By any definition, Jesus Christ was a great person, thinker, teacher, philosopher and in my opinion, Son of God. To worry about what label to pin on him is a waste of time.

I am conservative in my beliefs, have lived in a third world country in order to help poor people there, give money to support social programs, help out with disadvantaged youth, believe in the Bible etc.

My sister is very liberal in her beliefs, lived in the same third world country, gives money to social programs (probably different ones), helps out in her community, does not believe in the Bible etc.

Note that only one word in each paragraph defines us differently, while we have many cross grain similarities. I’d defy anyone to categorize us simply with a title.

Posted by: joebagodontus at October 26, 2005 8:00 AM
Comment #88079

What’s the true neo-con goals?

1) unrestrained government;
2) an absolute leader responsible to a single party;
3) a planned economy with nominal private ownership of the means of production;
4) bureaucracy and administrative “law”;
5) state control of the financial sector;
6) permanent economic manipulation via deficit spending;
7) militarism, and
8) imperialism

Just a little something they have in common with fascists.

Posted by: Taylor at October 26, 2005 8:24 AM
Comment #88083

Jack,

Good article. I agree the neocon idea is one based on a much higher moral ground than the euro or democrat one, which is leave the middle east as it is. The region is broken, the europeans, as well as us have helped to create states that met our needs. Now we need to fix the mess we helped to create. It is not going to be easy, I wish W would explain the goals better. As the war built up he did have a few speeches on the democratization of the middleeast. Since then he seems more like an ambulence chaser, jumping to the microphone after things like Lebenon, and Gaza happen. We have to lead this movement. We have to sell it.

Posted by: Matt Verger at October 26, 2005 8:50 AM
Comment #88086

I enjoyed the article but I do wonder why we are so interested in labeling ourselves anything other than Americans? Shouldn’t that be the key issue? How do we save this country from ourselves? It seems the more we label, i.e., neo-conservative, liberal, African-American, Hispanic-American, ect., the more divided we become! We can’t even have civil debate anymore because all we want to do is point fingers, affix blame, and bitch at one another! All that being said, it is still the greatest country this world has ever seen or will see. I don’t advocate losing ones identity or culture in favor of a single idealism but it should help shape views and ideas and not be the single most important point in any debate. Aren’t we Americans first?

Posted by: Britt at October 26, 2005 9:31 AM
Comment #88088

What I love are what was “far-left” 10 years ago (i.e. civil unions for same sex couples) that was vehemently opposed by conservatives, is now the neocon fall back position (gay marriage - bad, civil unions - good). That one makes me pee my pants with laughter everytime I see it. You may control every corner of the government, but you still unwittingly let liberal policy leak through. Then you claim it was your idea all along. America’s beliefs have always become more liberal, given enough time. There are small waves that eb back and forth, but the progression over time, is always liberal. Sorry.

Don’t so easily write off the democrat party. There have been times in history where the tables were turned and the republicans always recovered (you still owe the Coors family for saving the party in the 70’s). Don’t get too wrapped up in patting yourselves on the back and berating the poor in the here and now because you will miss things as they walk right past you.

You let me know when controlling every sector of this nation actually results in a smaller government (your value remember?). The American people are waiting for you all to deliver the goods you promised and you’ve got no more fingers to point. You’re out of excuses and the polling numbers and Bush’s mood show it. You guys remind me of Elmer Fudd poking his gun into the rabbit hole and still managing to shoot himself in the ass. Arrogance is not flattering.

Oh, and tying a polka dot ribbon to the end of your gun doesn’t work.

Posted by: Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout at October 26, 2005 9:50 AM
Comment #88090

Phx8

I thought of including something from John Q Adams (although it is interesting that you have to go far back to find something and it could also describe traditional conservatives). I don’t think TODAY’S liberals have anything to give.

Re J Q Adams: This is a mixed legacy. The same guy who did the famous quote also is the one who pioneered the use of force to control “failed states” in accepting Jackson’s conquest of Florida and thinking up the justification for it.

John Lewis Gaddis has an interesting book on the subject - “Surprise, Security, and the American Experience.”

Joe

The reason I wrote this is because so many people use the word Neocon without any reference to what it might actually describe. I agree that no definition fits people, who are complex and changing. But there are some characteristics we can point to.

Taylor

You just made that stuff up. One reason I wanted to discuss this subject is to point out some of the errors.

Posted by: Jack at October 26, 2005 10:00 AM
Comment #88091

As an independent this article is very interesting to me. I can see the vision of “Neo Conservative” and can see why you’d want that, but it comes down to execution. To me the RNC leadership and Bush Admin have done a very poor job of executing. Vision statements are always swell, but the truth is in the pudding.

Democrats on the other had seem to lack a new vision for themselves, and much to their detriment. I cannot see why the democratic leadership is content with dilly-dallying about and not forming a unified platform and communicating it left and right. Say what you will about the NeoCons they at least have a well publicized vision.

Posted by: chantico at October 26, 2005 10:03 AM
Comment #88093

DJ,

You said:

“Did you know that something like 90% of the top rich people in this country donated to the Democrat party and about 70% of donations to the Republican party were made by regular working people in the 2004 elections?”

This is a classical mixing of statistics that can easily confuse (perhaps intentionally so). “90% of the top rich people” measures against a select list of donators (exactly what constitutes the “top” portion?), while “70% of donations” measures against the all the donations. It is not even clear if the 70% is applied to the count or value of donations; makes a huge difference as to its’ meaning.

Therefore, although these may or may not be accurate percentages (BTW, can you cite the source so we can all share the research and understand them in context), what they mean is a mystery and as separate values are not at all worthy of any comparison.

Bill

Posted by: bbunk at October 26, 2005 10:38 AM
Comment #88113

B bunk

This is off subject, but as I understand it (and I looked into it for practical reasons last year so I don’t have sources) there are roughly the same number of Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. but the income distribution in the parties is different. The Dems have tend to be strong on both ends of the economic spectrum. They have relatively more of the very poor and the very rich. The Republicans do better in the middle. That was a problem for Dem fund raising.

Under the new campaign laws, individuals could contribute $2000. Even if the Republicans and the Democrats had similar total potential donor money, the Republicans had more people who could give $2000 and since people like George Soros of Sean Penn were - donor purposes - the equal of a reasonable prosperous owner of a dry cleaners, they Democrats couldn’t take advantage of the bigger donations and the poor side of the party couldn’t afford to give anything at all. That is why so much liberal money poured into 527 organizations. Soros, for example, could and did contribute millions to polical groups to try to defeat George Bush, but he could only contribute $2000 to the actual campaign.

As I said, I can’t remember the exact sources, but you can easily check out this. The richest counties and zip codes went for Kerry. Consider Manhatten, Beverly Hills etc. Even in “Red States” this happened, as in Fairfax Co Va.

Posted by: Jack at October 26, 2005 12:53 PM
Comment #88116

Chantico wrote:
To me the RNC leadership and Bush Admin have done a very poor job of executing. Vision statements are always swell, but the truth is in the pudding.

Democrats on the other had seem to lack a new vision for themselves, and much to their detriment.
__________________

Seem to? Unfortunately, the Dems have absolutely no vision whatesoever. I agree with you about the Repubs, they have certainly missed several opportunities to fully execute. I wonder if that has anything to do with the politicizing of every issue in the public or the obstruction of the Dems.

I mean, everything today is politicized. It’s labels, labels, labels. People ask me, are you Repub or Dem? Conserv or Lib? I tell them I’m independent; however, I have to say that I’m American first!

If it’s good for the country, then I’m down with that. And, if what’s good for the country means having a Dem Prez, then I’m all for it. And vise vers, of course.

Right now, the Repubs are the better party for us. I don’t like some of them nor do I like some of their policies; however, there are a lot more Repubs than Dems that have vision and are good leaders.

As a matter of fact, to me, there are only two Dems that I would trust with National Security and they are Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller. Now, Miller is retired and (completely) ostracized by his party for speaking against them. And Lieberman couldn’t even get 20% of the vote in the 2004 Democratic Primary.

It’s a shame too, b/c those two Dems actually represent the “Old school” Dems (Truman,JFK,WW).


Posted by: rahdigly at October 26, 2005 1:03 PM
Comment #88117

Jack,
When it comes to JQ Adams, we should critique the message, not the messenger. Adams was a brilliant practictioner of foreign policy. He was also elitist, and probably a pretty dislikable guy. The speech itself is usually associated with isolationism, but read it carefully- isolationism doesn’t necessarily follow.

Essentially, the speech reminds us to be confident, believe in ourselves, and trust the rightness of our principles to carry the day. Providing a model will inspire followers.

Surely most of us would agree, the effort to convert others to our highest principles by force, such as the neocons have attempted, has been a disaster.

Isolationism is not an option. We’ll interact with the world more and more, inevitably. Withdrawing into a Fortress America, somehow closing the borders, and hoping our language and culture will never change is a conservative pipe dream, absurd on the face of it.

Participating in the world’s economy & legal system are givens because of globalization. Acting as the world’s policeman is unecessary. Participating as part of the world community, in a unilateral context, is the liberal answer, the only one that makes sense, and the answer most truly worthy of our ideals.

Posted by: phx8 at October 26, 2005 1:04 PM
Comment #88118
Can somebody tell me what the liberal postion on foreign policy might be? Besides hating Bush?

Ah… the popular gambit of reading your opponent’s mind and finding something there that makes them look bad. From before the beginning of the Iraq War, liberals who opposed or questioned it were accused of “hating Bush”. If you haven’t noticed, the war is widely acknowledged now to be a disaster. By earlier standards, most people “hate Bush”! Maybe those earlier “Bush haters” should be called “prescient foreign policy realists”.

As for liberal foreign policy, I think it has evolved into a mix of realism (don’t let your president write checks his ass can’t catch) and a focus on “soft power”, treaties, and coalition building.

As for the neocons, plenty of big, bold foreign policy ideas — alas, most of them are BAD!

Posted by: Woody Mena at October 26, 2005 1:04 PM
Comment #88122

Following up with Bill (still off topic)

I found an interesting webpage re. It shows the breakdown of contribution from rich and poor communities. http://www.colorofmoney.org/nat_overall.asp?ctlPresData=2&ctlYear=1&ctlPresSelector=1

Kerry got more money in rich places, such as the fabled Beverly Hills 20190. In general Kerry got 57.8% of his cash from the rich; Bush only got 50.6%.


Posted by: Jack at October 26, 2005 1:12 PM
Comment #88124

Woody mena:
From before the beginning of the Iraq War, liberals who opposed or questioned it were accused of “hating Bush”.
———————————

The reason the were tagged “Bush Haters” is for how they opposed this Prez, not for actually opposing him.

Sen. Ted Kennedy: “Bush and Chenney concocted the War in Crawford,TX for political gain”

Rep. Dennis Kucinich: “We’re targeting civilians in Iraq”

Loser (Ha! Ha!). Al Gore: “He betrayed this country. He played on our fears”

Not to mention a whole host of others that have blamed Bush for “going to War for oil”, “knocking down the towers”, etc. It’s just disgusting to even repeat the other yay hoos.

So, if you opposed the war and the reasons, that’s not grounds for “Bush Hater” moniker. It’s the ones that will and have said anything and everything about this Prez and our troops fighting over there.

Posted by: rahdigly at October 26, 2005 1:23 PM
Comment #88132

IMO, the necon term “bringing democracy” to the Middle East is a euphemism for forcing our form of government on Iraq with the barrel of a gun. We objected to the Soviet Union doing that, so why is it OK for us to do it?

See, that’s the thing about the far Right these days. It’s become SO extreme that it wouldn’t recognize (or accept) the pragmatic conservatism of Nixon or Eisenhower. Furthermore, it thinks its nobility of purpose (“the end”) justifies the any and all tactics it uses (“the means”).

  • Calling your opponents traitors? Justified - neocons are the only true patriots.
  • Running up deficits that our grandchildren will have to pay off? Justified - who cares about deficits?
  • Alientating our allies? Justified - if they don’t support EVERYTHING we do, they aren’t really allies. Pass the freedom fries.
  • Money laundering? Justified. “Everybody does it”
  • Leaking the name of a covert CIA agent? Justified. Her husband was a traitor.
  • Torturing Iraqis? Justified - it’s a war, after all, and it wasn’t any worse than a fraternity hazing.
  • Paying a male prostitue to impersonate a reporter? Surrepticiously paying columnists for favorable coverage? Justified - after all, the entire news media is biased against us.
  • Killing as many as 100,000 Iraqis? Justified. After all, they died free. And so what? Saddam was worse. And only a traitor would bring that up in the first place.
  • Fundamentally failing to protect American citizens from natural and man-made disasters? Justified - that isn’t government’s job.
  • The problem with neocons is that they’re ideologues. And ideologues (of either extreme) aren’t pragmatic. They aren’t interested in actually running a government, and it shows. They don’t govern well. The FEMA response to Katrina was a classic case of ideology trumping practicality. The complete and utter failure to plan for a post-invasion Iraq was another.

    God protect this country from ideologues - of EITHER extreme.

    Posted by: ElliottBay at October 26, 2005 2:00 PM
    Comment #88135

    Yeah, that’s right, liberals hate Bush, as opposed to the respectful treatment conservatives gave Clinton. And he was pretty conservative!!!

    Posted by: Mental Wimp at October 26, 2005 2:08 PM
    Comment #88138

    Jack:
    You say that neocons are idealists. I don’t think so. Killing people in foreign lands in order to impose your type of government on them is not idealism. It’s bullying. it’s vigilantism. It’s militarism.

    I take offense at your description of liberals. Liberals believe in democracy as a liberalizing force. The way to spread democracy is not through war but by example. Show the world how liberalism brings people together, helps everyone in society to live a better life, and how liberalism leads to peace.

    With regards to the “war on terror,” liberals want to fight Al Qaeda, but not a country that did not attack us. The way to fight Al Qaeda is to get together with as many countries as possible to kill terrorism of all kinds. The UN is the best place to do this.

    Neocons are for war, liberals are for peace.

    By the way, the Republican Party is the party of the corporation. DeLay has worked very hard to arrange for that bastion of corporate power,K Street, to be a subsidiary of the Republican Party.

    Posted by: Paul Siegel at October 26, 2005 2:17 PM
    Comment #88151

    Paul

    I hardly described liberals at all. In fact, I asked you all to describe their policy for me. I do believe that if someone paraphrased Kennedy today.

    “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” This would make the left wing of the party shudder.

    “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” I hear a lot more asking for the country to do something for people.

    Elliot

    Calling your opponents traitors? Justified -neocons are the only true patriots.

    Some of the extremists do this. I never have. Neither has the President. Look to Michael Moore, Howard Dean et al if you want some real scurrilous statements.

    · Running up deficits that our grandchildren will have to pay off? Justified - who cares about deficits?

    Bad thing. I am against it. We should cut spending.

    · Alienating our allies? Justified - if they don’t support EVERYTHING we do, they aren’t really allies. Pass the freedom fries.

    You may recall that the French called us a hyperpower (not a compliment) and arrogant during Clinton. Our relations with China, Japan and India are much better than they were in 2000. It is a mixed bag.

    · Money laundering? Justified.

    Don”t know what you mean. Maybe talking about Marc Rich or Al Gore’s big fundraising at the Buddhist Temple.

    · Leaking the name of a covert CIA agent? Justified. Her husband was a traitor.

    This is mostly a political dispute. It will be adjudicated. IF someone broke the law, they should be punished. Lying under oath is a crime, after all (for both parties)

    · Torturing Iraqis? Justified - it’s a war, after all, and it wasn’t any worse than a fraternity hazing.

    Against the law. Cases are investigated. Perpetrators have been punished.

    · Paying a male prostitute to impersonate a reporter? Surreptitiously paying columnists for favorable coverage? Justified - after all, the entire news media is biased against us.

    Manipulating the news is nothing new for either party.

    · Killing as many as 100,000 Iraqis? Justified. After all, they died free. And so what? Saddam was worse. And only a traitor would bring that up in the first place.

    Saddam killed a lot more people. The same people responsible for your 100K estimate, estimated that 50,000 children were dying each year from sanctions in the 1990s. Numbers are easy. The 100,000 is a high end figure for the total mortality- NOT what the U.S. did. The terrorist are killing scores of civilians each day. Of course, we could just give in to them because they are so vicious. I don’t think that would save lives, however.

    · Fundamentally failing to protect American citizens from natural and man-made disasters? Justified - that isn’t government’s job.

    Katrina was one of the biggest disasters in U.S. history. It was managed poorly on the State, local and federal level. Bad thing, yes. George Bush’s fault, probably not particularly. People have to sometimes use their brains and get out of harm’s way, especially if they live below sea level. This was a disaster waiting to happen for more than a century. It just happened this year. Other disasters and recent hurricanes have been managed fairly well. Remember too that more than 12,000 Europeans died from unusually warm weather a couple years back. The roughly 1000 killed in one of the worse hurricanes on record needs a little context.

    Posted by: Jack at October 26, 2005 3:46 PM
    Comment #88171

    Damn! I wish I’d gotten to this post earlier, but now I see that everybody on the left has already posted so many brilliant or hilarious things that my comments aren’t likely to leave any sort of a mark…

    So Jack, I’ll ask you a question instead.
    You wrote:
    “To understand neo-conservatism, you have to get away from the confusion that you can project today’s political groupings back in time. All great ideas are mongrels draw from a variety of sources”

    Well, I certainly don’t want to come off as confused or regressive but since you were discussing the term “Neocon” I’d really be interested to know what you feel the difference is between their ideologies and those that we think of as traditionally belonging to the Whig’s?
    Or when it comes to foreign policy, how about discussing the greatest differences between the plans and actions of the Neocons and those of Imperalism?
    I ask, because I honestly can’t discern much difference among these particular “mongrels”.

    Posted by: Adrienne at October 26, 2005 4:54 PM
    Comment #88184
    Say what you will about the NeoCons they at least have a well publicized vision.

    So did the Nazi’s.

    Taylor

    You just made that stuff up.

    Nah, it’s all right here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-fascist

    Right now, the Repubs are the better party for us. I don’t like some of them nor do I like some of their policies; however, there are a lot more Repubs than Dems that have vision and are good leaders.

    As a matter of fact, to me, there are only two Dems that I would trust with National Security and they are Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller.

    Oh my. Don’t let Zell hear you say that, he might challenge you to a duel or something.

    Elliot:

    See, that’s the thing about the far Right these days. It’s become SO extreme that it wouldn’t recognize (or accept) the pragmatic conservatism of Nixon or Eisenhower. Furthermore, it thinks its nobility of purpose (“the end”) justifies the any and all tactics it uses (“the means”).

    A great line from a great post overall. Condi herself said the end does justify the means. It has become the mantra of the neo con movement. The tragedy, however, is that the supporters of this movement will continue to excuse the behavior until the cows come home. You did a wonderful job of pointing out shady means and all you get is a laundry list of excuses from the right. It’s kinda scary.

    Posted by: Taylor at October 26, 2005 5:45 PM
    Comment #88189

    Taylor

    So then it has nothing to do with Neo-con except the neo part as perhaps in Neolithic, neologism, neoclassical, neonatal etc. I can see how you might be confused.

    Adrienne

    I will write something more when I get home later. But WHIG? That is a bit esoteric even for you and me. First I get John Q Adams from Phx8 and now the Whigs. I have not really thought about the whigs since … ever.

    Posted by: Jack at October 26, 2005 6:13 PM
    Comment #88197
    So then it has nothing to do with Neo-con except the neo part as perhaps in Neolithic, neologism, neoclassical, neonatal etc. I can see how you might be confused.

    It has everything to do with neo-con. The only confusion I have is how people take pride in it. I suppose it’s difficult to see the world outside through the thick mop of chest hair as one suckles a version of the truth out of Karl Rove’s teat. Really Jack, it’s not so much cleverness as it is breast feeding.

    Posted by: Taylor at October 26, 2005 6:48 PM
    Comment #88204

    Jack,

    I know you haven’t said that liberals are traitors, and I respect you greatly for it. However, a fair number of the Right have said things like that, and worse. Michael Moore, Howard Dean and company can’t begin to hold a candle to the hatred and vitriol coming from the far Right. Ann Coulter called liberals traitors, and said that a reasonable alternative to impeaching Bill Clinton was to assassinate him. She said that the only way to talk to a liberal is with a baseball bat. Rush Limbaugh calls liberals “the hate America first crowd”. I could go on and on about the hatred coming from the Right. And they’ve had a twenty year head start on Moore & Co.

    Alienating our allies? Please pass the freedom fries. We pissed away an ENORMOUS amount of goodwill from almost the whole world (including the French) following 9-11 with a pig-headed determination to invade Iraq. The fact that Bush II, unlike his father, was unable to convince a significant number of our allies to join us in attacking Iraq is pretty conclusive evidence that (1) there was no real compelling evidence that Iraq was enough of a threat to justify the invasion, and (2) the current administration has all the diplomatic skills of a Bulgarian shoe-factory manager. Wait, I take that back. It isn’t fair to the Bulgarian shoe-factory managers out there.

    Money laundering? Ask Tom DeLay and his fellow indictees. Granted, this has probably been done by folks on BOTH sides of the aisle, but I don’t see how money-laundering is a family value. And I don’t recall Al Gore ever being indicted, in spite of all the right-wing rhetoric and name-calling.

    Both parties HAVE tried to spin the news. But hiring PHONY reporters to ask PHONY questions is NOT something that’s been done before. And it points out how low the Right is willing to go. This is blatant cynical dishonesty. How do the people who do this sort of thing sleep at night? How can they look themselves in the mirror and be proud of what they see?

    Torture. I can call up a bunch of posts in this blog that attempted to say that (1) it wasn’t really “torture”, (2) it was justified, (3) it wasn’t as bad as what others did, and (4) it wasn’t really against international law. C’mon - let’s be honest here. TORTURE IS WRONG. It doesn’t matter WHO does it. Contrary to Rush Limbaugh, it’s NOT the same thing as a fraternity hazing. My point is that right wing “idealists” attempted to justify torture. That’s a sure sign of an ideologue, when they knowingly justify doing something wrong to achieve their goal.

    Leaking the name of a covert CIA agent is NOT a “political dispute”. IT’S TREASON. Covering up such a leak is OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. Granted the jury is still out on this (literally), but there can be no excuse for this kind of behavior.

    Regarding Iraqi deaths. “At least we aren’t as bad as Saddam” is hardly high praise. By that standard, Richard Speck was a MUCH better person than Ted Bundy because he didn’t kill as many people. Comparing our actions with one of the worst dictators on the face of the earth dosen’t exactly exonerate us, epecially when this war was avoidable. Is it justifiable to paraphrase that now-infamous quote from Vietnam that “we have to destroy Iraq in order to save it”?

    Posted by: ElliottBay at October 26, 2005 7:20 PM
    Comment #88206

    Let’s adress these things piece by piece shall we?

    You offer a definition of NEOCON, and then go into ideals of foreign policy. I have wondered for some time now how the ‘conservatives’ can pretend they are CONSERVING anything.

    Bush ran roughshod over American and international law in order to go to war in Iraq. The result is that the world has a lot LESS trust in America. We have created more enemies. We feed the rhetoric of haters like Bin Laden when we act like an empire. How can BRINGING democracy ever work from a ‘bringer’ with such an image? …or ANY ‘bringer’ at all for that matter.

    That yields a philosophical point worth making as well. A significant part of the ‘conservatives’ in this country are evangelicals who seem to think prosletizing is the way to go. Even if you could somehow justify trying to homogenize the entire planet under ONE religion, it is impossible to accomplish by such prosletizing. People must first COME TO YOU (the bringer). Otherwise, deservedly or not, it will not be REAL and will be perceived as being far too heavy handed. That is just human nature. If Christianity is the goal, it MUST be achieved by EXAMPLE.

    I say this because there is a perfect analogy between this and the spread of DEMOCRACY. We will NEVER succeed as BRINGERS of democracy. It can ONLY work by example. We are setting an ANTI-example lately. The very people who CALL themselves CONSERVATIVE are actually ANARCHISTS who have no understanding whatsoever of Constitutional law, much less respect for it. Even the word ‘Constitution’ has come to signify the speach of those of us who PROUDLY call ourselves liberal.

    As for foreign policy, consider this: We SHOULD have STAYED THE COURSE with the UN as article 1441 mandated, and as our own signing and ratification of the UN CHARTER REQUIRED!!! not to mention our own provision that a duely signed and ratified treaty is supreme law where foreign action is concerned. What’s that you say? we had a clear and present danger of WMD’s to worry about?…please…WHAT WMD’S??? Perhaps you think they were hauled away? in what direction, without being noticed, could they have been hauled? North across Kurdish lands? East to Iran? South to Saudi Arabia? West to Jordan, Lebabnon or Isreal? Perhaps they went through turkish troops to Syria? I can’t fathom how any of this could make sense to anybody. There clearly were not any WMD’s when we made war on Iraq. Thus there was no immediate threat. I also beleive this administration KNEW that or else they would not have gone to such lengths to stilt the evidence for war in their favor.

    The first change I would make for both foreign and domestic policy in this country would be to put people who actually believe in DEMOCRACY in the administration.

    Which brings us to another point: how can it be a good idea to appoint Bolton, a man who doesn’t believe in the UN, to be our UN ambassador???

    Now let’s talk about this thing called conservatism, shall we? The OLD school conservatives believed, to varying degrees, in the economic ideals of visionaries like Hayak and Freedman who taught that government should be small and regulate as little as possible. They held that market forces, not tarriffs and subsidies should dictate market strengths and weaknesses and the freeing of the markets would yield dynamic strength. They taught that less taxes, no deficeit spending and as little as possible inflation are the keys to a healthy economy. Where is any of that in this administration? Why are there ANY philosophical conservatives behind this president at all? He is 180 degrees from all of these values.

    *When faced with 911 inteligence failures, he ADDED MORE beurocracy to the problem by creating the largest addition to government size and expense: the Dept. of Homeland Security. Where was the outcry from the supposedly fiscally conservative?

    *ALL of the tax cuts Bush has brought about are merely forced loans which later administrations will HAVE to adress and each tax payer will have to pay back! How is that wise? We are borrowing on our future economic health for short term cash in hand? DUMB!

    *We make steal at a 30 percent greater energy cost than the rest of the world. We are thus subsidizing our steal industry rather than allowing market forces to bring about a heathier industry. Huh? this is causing us to ultimately lose share of world steal market. STUPID move on our part. Have we forgotten how Carnegie made his fortune?

    *Now. the croneyism of the appointmetns to positions in FEMA has been revealed. How much more devastating is the cost to our country and our citizens as a result of our ineffectual, late and jaded response to the emergencies of Katrina and Wilma? How is this wise?

    Enough fault finding. What we need is an administration that CARES about America, The American Constitution and individual Americans. One would think that would be an obvious value of ALL regardless of politics. Evidently not.

    RGF

    Posted by: RGF at October 26, 2005 7:47 PM
    Comment #88219

    ‘I take offense to the belief that all NeoCons were Liberals. They are not.’

    I hate when words mean things too!

    I think I see where the confusion comes in. (Let me slow it down for the public school teachers)

    Neo means Neo

    and this is the tricky part

    Con means Con

    Okay, now we have to put them together

    Neo + Con = NeoCon

    Posted by: Peter at October 26, 2005 8:50 PM
    Comment #88222

    Taylor

    This whole fascism thing just doesn’t make any sense. You can say it, but it doesn’t make it in any way accurate. I can’t argue with it because it is just completely gratuitous. I don’t believe you believe it.

    Adrienne

    I don’t know about the whigs.

    I don’t advocate imperialism. Imperialism means you control and govern others. My vision is that benighted parts of the world embrace democracy and free markets and become partners in prosperity. Let me say a few things about it.

    I believe that given a choice most people will choose democracy and free markets. It is interesting that those who tell us this is not true are never very enthusiastic about actually asking the people. Regional despots tell us that their people like things the way they are and that democracy is a foreign concept. This is an easily tested proposition. I don’t think that you can impose democracy, but you can help remove the obstacles. We made some mistakes in Iraq, but bad as it is, Iraq is currently the most democratic Arab country in the world. That is something to think about.

    People have the right to elect any kind of government they want. The only constraint should be that they have the right to change it through democratic means.

    A second neo-con idea is to be strong. There is a saying that a lock is not meant to keep out thieves but rather to keep honest people honest. Weakness invites offense and the world is still dangerous. That is why I support a strength based policy.

    I think it is important to have goals, but it is even more important to recognize that you cannot achieve perfect results. All choices involve alternatives that are unpleasant. When people criticize the situation in Iraq, I wonder about how things would have been different with other choices. Backward looking analysts can cherry pick without having to deal with the consequences of the alternative choice. For example, the quick victory in the Iraq war helped lead to the problems of the aftermath. Putting more people on the ground and moving more methodically would probably have led to a better aftermath, but at what cost?

    Speaking of trade offs, the disadvantage of being in power is that opponents get to criticize real choices with hypothetical ones. The practical truth is that any idea or plan gets corrupted by reality. So the test of an idea or plan is not how it holds up as an ideal, but rather how it works when soiled by reality.

    Posted by: Jack at October 26, 2005 9:22 PM
    Comment #88224

    RGF

    It depends on which firms are making the steel and where. The U.S. steel industry is restructuring and has been for a long time. If you want to invest in American steel, try NUCOR. If you are looking offshore, try POSCO.

    American can be inefficient in the use of energy. But that is not the end of the story. Everything exists in relation to something else. We need to measure energy versus output.

    United States produces 4.2 units of gdp per kg of oil equivelent, which is a little lower than the world average of 4.5, but not much and U.S. efficiency has been growing a little faster than the average since 1990. Our less efficient steel firms are closing down at a faster rate.

    Posted by: Jack at October 26, 2005 9:45 PM
    Comment #88228

    Yeah, the ‘grass-roots’, everyday working stiff gave to the Republicans… people like my wife, who, inspite of my objections, donated money to Republican/Conservative candidates through concerted (coersion, really) efforts at her job. If you wanted to keep on the management track or in the good graces of the top brass, you’d better contribute. So, are these bundled contributions (which happened a LOT, especially the Texas gangs like Enron) from the people?? or are they strong armed, mafioso-type extractions from those held hostage to corporate America??

    Read an Ayn Rand novel if you want to know the philosophy of Cheney, et.al. Many of them were big in the Ayn Rand Society clubs and think tanks. They basically think all resources should go to a small handful of successful (in their mind ‘creative’) businessmen and women. There is an obvious lack of respect and a great deal of contempt for the everyday citizen. We are basically regarded as sheep who waste resources, live off the sweat of a few movers and shakers, and are good for little more than clerks or laborers.

    Check it out for yourselves. BTW, you conservatives are regarded in the same way by this crew. They will have no compulsions about clearing out your bank account or taking you property once they have complete control. In fact, they’re probably counting on you as enthusiastic cannon fodder. Fortunately for most conservatives, they don’t sign up so easily. They’re eager for war, but not so enthusiastic about picking up the gun if someone’s going to be shooting back.

    Posted by: Rick at October 26, 2005 10:03 PM
    Comment #88248

    Jack

    You are going to have to do better than just commenting on the steel industry comment in my response.

    Here’s another shot to think about:

    Our Lusterless leader has committed two acts of treason: The illegal war in Iraq and accessory after the fact to Karl Rove’s treason with regard to Valerie Plame. How is supporting this administration conservative? …of anything? Is THIS the kind of ‘morality’ conservatives want in the White House?
    The founding fathers must be whirling like dervishes in their graves!!!

    RGF

    Posted by: RGF at October 27, 2005 12:21 AM
    Comment #88250

    ElliotBay
    Valerie Plame was outed by her husband Joe Wilson. She was not a covert agent in the CIA. She was an analyst. The Washington Times has reported that all her neighbors new her as Valerie Plame and as an employee of the CIA. Fred Rustmann spent 20 of his 24 years in the agency as a “nonofficial cover” employee and has identified Valerie Plame as the same. At the time of the Novak article Valerie Plame had not spent any time overseas on assignment for over five years. As Valerie Plame she was also politically active. She donated $3000 to Al Gore in April 1999 and $372 to Americans Coming Together in October 2004. The 2003 Iraq Form, June 14th, 2003, Washington, D.C. Joe Wilson was one of many speakers. His bio listed his wife as the former Valerie Plame. This was a full month before the Novak column.

    See:
    2003 Iraq Forum
    Washington Times

    Posted by: tom at October 27, 2005 12:46 AM
    Comment #88256

    Jack:
    “WHIG? That is a bit esoteric even for you and me. First I get John Q Adams from Phx8 and now the Whigs. I have not really thought about the whigs since … ever.”

    Well Jack, I think you really should. Because the Whigs were actually the progenitors of your own Republican Party. Maybe you’re not aware of it, but Lincoln was once a Whig — before he was a member of the “The Party of Lincoln” of course! ;^)

    The many similarities there are between your “Proud Neocons” and the (American) Whig Party are quite striking. As a history geek, I’ve been vaguely aware of some of them since the Reagan years, but the number of notably similar factors have really increased with Bush II.

    Well before the Neocon’s arrived, the Whig’s were all about protecting business interests and making the rich richer — and they were extremely hostile toward any kind of federal economic regulations. Sound familiar?
    One hundred and fifty years before Reagan became our president, the Whig’s were claiming that only by protecting the interests of the rich, would the wealth eventually reach everybody else.
    Yes, you heard me right — it was the Whig’s who first invented the idea of supply side, trickle down, “voodoo” economics.
    I swear it’s true. (and btw, it didn’t work then, either.)

    While the Whigs blathered on a whole lot about filling up the country with “self-made men”, in Reagan and Bush I’s time, the Neocon’s called that same idealistic vision an “opportunity society”, which of course then turned into W’s “ownership society”.
    Oh, and both also spoke/speak with bravado about the glory to be found in taking risks when it comes to personal investments.

    Like W, and a lot of present day Republican’s, many of the Whig’s were fervent supporters of an Evangelical Christian viewpoint that wanted to do away with the separation of church and state. In this day and age the Dem’s are often considered members of “The Godless Left”, while Horace Greeley (a rabidly whiggish sort of guy) said things like…
    wait let me go find the exact quote…

    “Wherever you find a bitter, blasphemous Atheist and an enemy of Marriage, Morality, and Social Order, there you may be certain of one vote for the Jacksonians.”

    Kind of amazing, isn’t it?

    They too, ran a very serious slime machine and were masters at using language to demonize their opponents — just like Reagan did (mostly before his elections) and like W and Rove have chosen to do, non stop, all the time.
    In the Reagan/Bush I years everyone on the left was suddenly transformed into the much dreaded “Elites”, while in the Whig’s time (1840’s and 50’s), they made similar accusations about Jackson and all the Democrats.
    And it’s strange, because even though the Dem’s in that era weren’t at all hesitant about viciously attacking the priviledged classes for their greed, they were also accused (just like they are now) of waging class warfare while simultaneously mouthing empty rhetoric to the working classes.

    When Gingrich told us that the GOP would be getting rid of “waste, fraud and abuse”, the Whig’s spoke of Jackson’s administration as:

    “an agency mainly of corruption, oppression and robbery”

    (Btw, I am not actually defending the Jackson administration here, just pointing up the similarities between the Whig and Neocon rhetorical styles.)

    And you know what else? The Whig’s also took the same faux, simplistic, hardworkin’, buck-skinned, aw-shucks cowboy approach to winning votes and trying to inspire confidence in their abilities with the nation. This despite the fact that their most ardent supporters were the elitest and filthiest of the rich.

    For instance, they gave us the Famous Frontiersman/Congressman Davy Crockett, and the fake “Log Cabin and Hard Cider” image of a “man of the people” to the wealthy and aristocratically born William Henry Harrison — and shamelessly inflated his military service.
    While the Neocon’s have given us a Famous Hollywood Star/Governor in the form of Reagan riding his horse at his ranch and misty nostalgia for “Mornings in America”, as well as the Yale attending, wealthy and aristocratically born W, who also paints himself as a “man of the people”, likes BBQ, and brushcuttin’ with a chainsaw on his Texas ranch — and has a questionable and possibly shameful of history surrounding his military service.

    The Whig’s however, were not nearly as successful at keeping themselves a political entity as the Republican’s have been, though they did manage to exist much longer than the Neocon Republican’s have, as of now. But, their party seems to have shared a similar characteristic with the Neocon’s; namely, a number of competing factions which eventually had the power to pull them apart and eventually destroy them.
    The Evangelicals weren’t liked by many of the truly wealthy, or by members of the rising merchant class. And vice versa. The lower classes who fell for the rustic image and homespun rhetoric didn’t like the wealthy or the merchant classes either, when they finally caught on that it was really all about protecting the moneyed interests of everybody but them.
    Kind of reminds me of what’s going on with the Neocon’s now. The attitude toward Mier’s and her nomination. Or with the polls numbers plummeting due to a great deal of speachifyin’ that doesn’t match up with any of the realities on the ground — in America, or with the war in Iraq.

    I kind of dashed this reply off quick, Jack, because I’m kind of busy at the moment, but I hope you found at least some of it interesting. I’ll try to answer your other reply tomorrow if I have the time. I will, that is, if someone else on the left doesn’t beat me to the punch with a good reply to it, like they all did with your above article. :^)

    Posted by: Adrienne at October 27, 2005 1:59 AM
    Comment #88261

    I might have missed it during the last few years, but could you provide me a description of exactly what “neo-con” position on foreign policy is?

    Posted by: expatUSA_Indonesia at October 27, 2005 3:17 AM
    Comment #88263

    The Neocons basically believe that democracy and free market economies will overthrow regimes and make life better for the people. Unfortunately, they also believe in doing this aggressively aka violently. The failed coup in Venezuela and the Iraq War are examples of this.

    Over time. The belief in using US Supremacy came to be added to the agenda. The World Bank and the IMF became tools to force Countries to toe the US line. USAID and other assistance were tied into the political goals of the neocons.

    There is also a distinctly pro-Israeli slant in their policies. Thus Israel’s WMD and the Occupation of Palestine are largely not mentioned.

    Posted by: Aldous at October 27, 2005 5:03 AM
    Comment #88266

    Adrienne

    Interesting historical. I will have to read up on it more.

    RGF

    The Bush Administration does many things I don’t like. I was writing about neo-con, not Bush. The two are not exactly the same. One important fact is that it is easy to criticize reality with ideals and to compare real actions to hypotheticals.

    The war in Iraq was not illegal and has a logic to it. I wrote about it before - http://www.watchblog.com/republicans/archives/2005/06/http://www.watchblog.com/republicans/archives/2005/06/.


    The Plame case is being investigated. I have not read today’s newspaper yet, but if you know the facts of who did what, you know more than was publicly available last night. The is a lot of smoke, but maybe not much fire.

    Aldous
    Aid should have some political strings. Poverty is political and most poor countries are run poorly and corruptly. That is the big reason they are poor. For example, giving aid to Zimbabwe does little lasting good as long as it is run by Robert Mugabe.

    That has been a problem with aid. It has supported and even created klepocracies in the developing world.

    Venezuela is headed down the toilet. Even with all the oil wealth, you cannot run a country like that. It is just not among the choices you can make in the real world to have this kind of populist socialism and prosperity. It is a matter of time before that is apparent. I wouldn’t invest any money there, not because I dislike the regime but because I don’t think it is a smart investment. Many in the business community are coming to that conclusion. It is not my policy take, it is just the reality.

    Posted by: Jack at October 27, 2005 7:23 AM
    Comment #88272

    CURRENT Liberal GOALS

    U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.
    U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.
    Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.
    Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.
    Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites.
    Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination.
    Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N.
    Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev’s promise in 1955 to settle the German question by free elections under supervision of the U.N.
    Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the United States has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.
    Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N.
    Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.)
    Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.
    Do away with all loyalty oaths.
    Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.
    Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States. ACCOMPLISHED THANK YOU DEMOCRATS
    Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.
    Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.
    Gain control of all student newspapers.
    Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.
    Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.
    Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.
    Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to “eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms.”
    Control art critics and directors of art museums. “Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art.”
    Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them “censorship” and a violation of free speech and free press.
    Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.
    Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as “normal, natural, healthy.”
    Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a “religious crutch.”
    Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of “separation of church and state.”
    Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.
    Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the “common man.”
    Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the “big picture.” Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.
    Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture— education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.
    Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.
    Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
    Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.
    Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.
    Infiltrate and gain control of big business.
    Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat].
    Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.
    Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.
    Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.
    Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use [“]united force[“] to solve economic, political or social problems.
    Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government.
    Internationalize the Panama Canal.
    Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction [over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction] over nations and individuals alike.

    Posted by: Sean at October 27, 2005 8:44 AM
    Comment #88283

    Tom,
    You need to read something other than that biased Moonie paper, because it got it wrong. Wilson did NOT out his wife. His bio may have mentioned her name, but it DIDN’T say who she worked for. And other news reports (CNN ran one yesterday) have said that her neighbors had NO IDEA she worked for the CIA. Nice try at obfuscation, though.

    Perhaps you don’t understand what NOC (Non Official Cover) is, so here’s a definition (emphasis added):

    Nonofficial cover. NOCs (the word rhymes with “rocks”) are the most covert CIA operatives. They typically work abroad without diplomatic protection (often they pretend to work for some commercial enterprise). If these spies are caught, there’s no guarantee that the United States would admit their true identities. When using official cover could put a spy’s life and work at risk, NOC is the only alternative.
    A good reason for maintaining NOC status after returning to the states is to protext those people you recruited and those you had contact with, who might be at risk if your name was exposed. But what are a few dead agents to an ideologue, eh?

    Posted by: ElliottBay at October 27, 2005 10:34 AM
    Comment #88286

    Sean
    Great list. A good start. And you probably recognize that you could have gone on to a longer post. Good effort.
    One of the most important arenas the left/liberal element wants to conquer is in world government. We truly see prophetic occurances daily in that area. Too many people in this country do not see the hand writing on the wall and continue to advocate thoughts and ideas that are detrimental to mankind. This is neither republican or democrat. It is just plain inhumane and unhuman.

    Posted by: tom at October 27, 2005 10:42 AM
    Comment #88291

    Sean,

    Plagiarism is frowned upon here. Since you didn’t bother to document your source, I took the liberty of looking it up. You’ve posted a list of supposed Communist demands that were read into the Congressional record by a Democrat. In 1963. You changed the word Communist to Liberal.

    Here’s the source.

    Do you think that plagiarism is justified because your cause is so pure?

    Posted by: ElliottBay at October 27, 2005 10:52 AM
    Comment #88293

    EllitoBay
    Re-read my post. She was not covert. When you read the pre-Novak column and the several sources available, her husband did indeed define her place of employment. That should end the story but news sells. It also influences people beyond belief. This whole situation is an internal affair by the CIA to discredit the Bush Administration. There are all kinds of little snipets of facts that continue to build a case against Wilson/Plame. Did George Tenet receive any kind of briefing whatsoever on Wilson’s trip to Niger? No. Did Wilson sign the confidentiality agreement associated with his kind of activity? No. And on it goes. There is so much out there to discredit the Wilson/Plame effort.

    Posted by: tom at October 27, 2005 10:54 AM
    Comment #88300

    Tom,
    If you fell for a plagiarized article in this column, I’m not surprised you think Plamegate is all a plot.

    The Bush administration doesn’t need any help from the CIA to discredit it. It’s doing a fine job of that all by itself.

    Posted by: ElliottBay at October 27, 2005 11:09 AM
    Comment #88305

    Jack I agree with you 100%. To the point and with facts. And……..best of all you look at the whole picture. Hope you stay on this site your imput is greatly appreciated.

    Posted by: vam at October 27, 2005 11:23 AM
    Comment #88308
    Kerry got more money in rich places, such as the fabled Beverly Hills 20190. In general Kerry got 57.8% of his cash from the rich; Bush only got 50.6%.

    Jack, there is no way you can make that conclusion from that data. Zip codes do not equal individual doners. It’s apples and oranges.

    You may (or may not) be right, but you can’t draw a conclusion either way from that data.

    Posted by: American Pundit at October 27, 2005 11:41 AM
    Comment #88315

    Conservative? Liberal? What does it mean? Nothing. Its just a term thrown out there so voters feel that they can identify with a given candidate without actually doing a scrap of homework. Truth be told, anyone who is quick to label themselves as one or the other should not be elected to office because they themselves are probably a forgery, a lie, and in it for personal profit.

    I feel much better electing someone bases on their ideas and quite frankly, neither party would be elected if that were the case. Republicans are a party of bad ideas and the Democrats are a party of no ideas.

    “Conservatives” should be outraged at the relaxing of environmental policies if they are truly conservative. Clean air? Bah. Clean water? Bah. Drilling in Alaska? Brilliant!!! Government at this point is in a really sad state, and because of this we all look like a bunch of hippocrites when we are “spreading democracy as freedom fighters” in Iraq. There are more dire situations that we should be dealing with in Africa if we were truly just freedom fighters, what a joke.

    Repubs and Dems are both getting rich from the same people. Special interest groups and massive corportate interests are dominating politics and if you dissagree you aren’t really paying attention. You may be the most intelligent individual on the planet but if you missed this one, your skills of general observation have gone to the wayside.

    There are no more “Mr.Smith goes to washington” types. Elect a green if thats what you want, but even then watch for the soft money to start pouring in as soon as they become politically relevant.

    The facts are: We are at war (you know, not the video game, but real people—mostly innocent are dying, from the money that should have been reinvested to us, the citizens who pay for it). How many Iraqi civilians have to die before we say “too much for too little”? And the environment, the one issue that should unite us all considering it is the only one we have is being degraded far faster than most realize. This is a one time inheritance of natural resources we are squandering so we can continue to consume and pollute and leave a giant mess for our children. The past 100 years will be despised for its ignorance for those in the future.

    God is not going to save you. God is not going to save this planet. The rapture is not going to happen. War isn’t going to make you safer. Fertilizer on your lawn pollutes your neighbor’s drinking water. Your car, no matter how fuel efficient, is bring the next ice age on far faster, and the destruction and extinction of animals and their diversity, makes the survival of the next ice age unlikely for us all.

    Republican and Democrats will destroy this planet because thier ideas for saving it are at their core, rediculous. Economic growth does not equal progress. End the consumption based model for one that the conservatives and liberals can agree with: one that promotes health and well being through personal responsibility.

    Posted by: Jon Q at October 27, 2005 12:20 PM
    Comment #88326

    Jon Q wrote:
    Conservative? Liberal? What does it mean? Nothing. Its just a term thrown out there so voters feel that they can identify with a given candidate without actually doing a scrap of homework. Truth be told, anyone who is quick to label themselves as one or the other should not be elected to office because they themselves are probably a forgery, a lie, and in it for personal profit.

    _______________________________

    You know, I’ve been saying that for a long time. I consider myself an independent b/c there’s some things I conservative about, some I’m liberal and a few that I’m libertarian about. I’m conservative when it comes to crime, military/national defense and fiscally I’m conservative as well. So, I’ve been siding with the Repubs (big time) since 9/11.

    However, I have to say that I’m an American first. And, if having a Democratic administration is good for the country then I’m all for it. Yet, the Dems are lost in translation; they don’t know what their identity is anymore. I mean the only two Dems I like (Zell Miller and Joe Lieberman) are looked upon as the black sheep of their party. And Miller and Lieberman are similar to the Dems of old (Truman,FDR,JFK,WW). I guess the identity crisis is still on wit the Dems…

    Posted by: rahdigly at October 27, 2005 1:01 PM
    Comment #88334

    I agree rahdigly, well partially. To me being militarily and fiscally conservative is a great concept, however siding with the repubs there while they mount a deficit the size of which we have never seen and running to war on faulty evidence isn’t too conservative to me, so the repubs are also lost in translation, or their translation is pretty far off.

    Any sort of social progress always will come from liberal thought processes, by definition. You have to break ranks with the status quo if you want serious change, and serious change is what some aspects of this country are in dire need of. The redistribution of wealth, the re-emergence of the dissappearing middle class and the eradication of poverty will not happen with conservative thought processes.

    Rahdigly, the proper thing for the states— and i know you will agree— is to love your country first, and your leadership when they deserve it and for the past twenty years, they haven’t deserved much love.

    Terrorism? Communism? Thats subjective. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. We never asked ourselves the tough questions of “how does this continue?” or “how did this begin?”. Its not as easy as “they hate our freedom”. thats what a kindergartener would say. Maybe if Reagan didn’t sell them arms… Maybe if Clinton payed more attention, maybe if Bush Sr finished the job, maybe if at the end of WWII we didn’t build military bases on muslum holy land… who knows.

    If the real word got out on either of the partys, dems and repubs there just may be a revolution. The working man can no longer go on being screwed while the fat cats on washington and their buddies get richer, fill their bellies with pork and send the poor off to war all the while our earth and resources are being sh** on.

    The US has turned into what we had despised about england just before the revolution, and the rest of the world sees it, eventually before it is too late i hope we all can too.

    Posted by: Jon Q at October 27, 2005 1:42 PM
    Comment #88366

    I’m not a Neocon, I have always been a conservative. I was a conservative when the word conservative rang like the word liberal does now. I support my President but at times he pushes the envelope. I completely support our troops. I support the American way of life.

    I support the war on Terrorist. I am blind but they look like men from the middle east to me. I do not support the imposition at airports in the name of safety. Few terrorist look like a little old lady from Pasadena.

    America, Her Flag-My Flag, Her Cause-My-Cause

    Posted by: George Van valkenburg at October 27, 2005 3:24 PM
    Comment #88378

    I tried to post the URL, but my link was broken, thanks for the update, but you have to admit, that your agenda looks like the pages of the communist hand book! Butch up nancys, who cares what someone calls you, so long as they do not come with the sticks and stones, and if they do I am glad for a second amendment that lets me defend myself!

    Sean

    Posted by: Sean at October 27, 2005 4:19 PM
    Comment #88381

    I am a Proud Liberal Dem. As such…here are a few ideas to shut the mouths of those who say we have none.

    *Let’s put the funding back into the grants and research into alternative fuel and energy sources. I have a friend who’s brother has perfected ‘bio-diesel’ that runs in ordinary diesel engines with no problems at all for the engines. This is the kind of long term investment that would ultimately result in a MUCH healthier and more prosperous America would it not?
    -Our treasonous, lustreless leader cut ALL such funding as one of his first acts in his first term.

    *Appoint judges, ambassadors and other positions based on those who are actually qualified, not just idealogues. Bolton actually does not believe in the UN and has stated his belief that it should be disolved. Miers has NEVER been a judge at ANY level. There appears to be no attempt to hide the croneyism at all. That offend everyone and I cannot fathom why it does not.

    *NEVER allow lobbyists or power brokers of any kind to have ex parte conferences or meeting with policy makers. The legal world has these rules in place already. THIS administration is composed of too few lawyers so they don’t understand basic rules of ethics like this. Haliburton, Enron, the med mal insurers have all run rough shod over this country of late simply because this administration does not know any better…or perhaps doesn’t care.

    *When threats arise that threaten the whole world…involve the UN and get peacekeeper troops involved. This is required by law -our duely signed and ratified treaty called the UN charter (oh, that’s right, this administration has no understanding of law). This seems simple enough. Just stop listening to those rediculous WACKOS who say things like “Dissolve the UN” …they clearly need a few history lessons.

    *Build diplomatic relations and international good will at every oportunity. Ultimately, it is respect that earns peace dividends, not fear. Only a coward seeks respect through fear.

    *Relax immigration restrictions along the border with Mexico. This would have the effect of increasing the flow of labor from Mexico to here. We are suffering from the loss of labor to countries like Indonesia and India for tech and menial labor and the continuing dwindling of our industrial sector. The increase in our labor force would NECESSARLILY create a larger middle class and increase the ultimate wealth potential of the whole country in LONG TERM…and there’s the rub. Conservatives have this greedy I got mine attitude and don’t want to create a heathier country in the long run as long as they got their’s in the short term. ENOUGH!!! The Mexicans are inteligent and hard working and will ultimately strengthen us. oh, and make sure they get naturalized and registered to vote as soon as possible because that would shift a lot of the influence back closer to the economic middle of the country where it should be.

    *Make education a REAL priority not just a false issue to give lip service to. There is no greater thing that we can do to foster democracy and the strength and health of our nation than to truely VALUE education of the next generation…and ourselves for that matter.
    That means grants and scholarships which can be funded by increasing tax incentives for companies who create scholarship programs.

    Bush’s initiatives for ‘accountability’ have done immense harm and are clearly only in place to create statistics (that are already being manipulated) for propaganda purposes. ENOUGH!

    Never let it be said there are no ideas among liberals. The real issue is that the mainstream media is too conservatively biased…yes that’s right CONSERVATIVELY BIASED for liberal ideas to be heard.

    I recently heard an ad being aired soley in Travis County Texas for the obvious purpose of propagandizing potential jurors in Tom Delay’s case. That is not only disgusting but actually ILLEGAL!!! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Bring Democracy back to America!

    RGF

    Posted by: RGF at October 27, 2005 4:35 PM
    Comment #88391

    Jack:
    “I believe that given a choice most people will choose democracy”

    I agree.

    “and free markets.”

    I think most people want fair markets, Jack. Not free markets the way you Neocon’s define them.

    “We made some mistakes in Iraq,”

    What an understatement. Iraq was a mistake. Even your hero Reagan’s National Security Agency director (Lt. Gen. Odom) has called the Iraq war “the greatest strategic disaster in United States history.”

    “but bad as it is,”

    I’m relieved to hear you finally admitting this, Jack. Good on you for being more truthful than most other people on this side of WB.

    Iraq is currently the most democratic Arab country in the world. That is something to think about.”

    It’s a theocracy.
    Was it worth the lives of 2000 U.S. citizens?
    Was it worth all this money?
    Has it made us safer?
    Those are some things to think about, too.

    “People have the right to elect any kind of government they want. The only constraint should be that they have the right to change it through democratic means.”

    Sharia law is not democratic.

    “A second neo-con idea is to be strong.”

    There are many kinds of strength, but Neocon’s seem to feel there is only one — the military kind.

    “There is a saying that a lock is not meant to keep out thieves but rather to keep honest people honest.”

    Well, good locks also take a certain amount of time to break, therefore, a good lock will give others the time to notice that theives are at your door trying to break in.

    “Weakness invites offense and the world is still dangerous.”
    The world will always be dangerous. It has always been dangerous.

    “That is why I support a strength based policy.”

    Again, there are many kinds of strength, and I firmly believe that more than one is always needed to guard against weakness.

    “When people criticize the situation in Iraq, I wonder about how things would have been different with other choices.”

    And when people don’t analyze and criticize, I wonder how they are managing to suspend their critical faculties — especially when so much of what was being hidden has been exposed, and when the truth is so glaring.

    “Backward looking analysts can cherry pick without having to deal with the consequences of the alternative choice.”

    Because our leaders cherry picked intelligence to lead us into a war seemingly without thinking about, or planning for the consequences, and without giving anyone an alternative choice to that war.

    “The practical truth is that any idea or plan gets corrupted by reality. So the test of an idea or plan is not how it holds up as an ideal, but rather how it works when soiled by reality.”

    I agree.
    But a good leader is one that will take some time to consider everything they can think of that might possibly go wrong before they put any one particular plan or idea into action. And once in motion, good leaders should be more than prepared to change the course of their idea or plan to make it mesh with reality, or deal with whatever unexpected situations might arise.

    None of these things seem to have happened with this administration — this is why I consider them to be very poor leaders.

    Posted by: Adrienne at October 27, 2005 5:28 PM
    Comment #88393

    Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.

    MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

    Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.

    MISSIION ACCOMPLISHED!


    Posted by: Ron Brown at October 27, 2005 5:34 PM
    Comment #88403

    Sean,

    Let me explain something to you. Liberals are not communists any more than conservatives are Nazis.

    So the ficticious “liberal agenda” that you plagiarized is in fact no such thing. In fact, the only thing that we DO know about what you plagiarized is that it contains the words of a conservative anti-communist Florida representative from the 1960’s. The words may in fact be his and his alone.

    Posted by: ElliottBay at October 27, 2005 6:55 PM
    Comment #88415

    In the interests of good manners and just plain accuracy let me point out a couple of things.

    I am a conservative and proudly so, as I have said on many occasions. Most conservatives are good Americans. Most liberals are also good Americans. I think it is childish when someone compares conservatives to Nazis. It just shows ignorance of conservatives or Nazis or both. It is equally childish to call liberals communists.

    Ronald Reagan and conservatives were instrumental in destroying communism in the Soviet Empire. They built on the achievement of Harry Truman and a generation of liberals.In places like Poland they worked in close cooperation with the American labor movement and heroes like Lane Kirkland.

    When I give advice to Democrats, they assume I am being disingenuous or duplicitous. Sometimes they are right, but not always. I know that power corrupts and this goes for both liberals and conservatives. I don’t want the Dems to disappear or be in permanent oblivion.

    We should stop these words of hate. We can disagree. I love a good fight. But just stop the communism and fascism crap. No reasonably mainstream American really fits into any of those backward and intellectually bankrupts collectivist camps.

    As for the liberal agenda published above, we all know that liberals are not organized well enough to have such an agenda.

    Posted by: Jack at October 27, 2005 8:26 PM
    Comment #88484
    As for the liberal agenda published above, we all know that liberals are not organized well enough to have such an agenda.

    That’s why we have the Democratic Party, Jack. Liberals are welcome to embrace our agenda if they want. :)

    Posted by: American Pundit at October 28, 2005 12:24 PM
    Comment #88496

    In times of war, there are plenty of questions that need to be asked; most of us suspect, correctly, that fruitlessly paranoid questions about errant backpacks and idling vans shouldn’t be among these. What we really want to know are the reasons why all of this is happening. Why there seem to be more and more suicide bombers with each passing day. Why they target the people that they do. But our leaders condemn reasons as excuses, and dismiss our desire to understand as a desire to justify evil. And so we are left thinking about shady strangers in bulky jackets, snaking their way through the crowd, towards the trains.

    The roots of terrorism run very deep, deeper than many would care to accept. And there are people in this world who have worked hard to obscure them. Yet if we are fearless enough to dig down, down through the muddiest and darkets parts of OUR history, we should still be able to uncover them. What we find, however, may implicate everyone in ways we never expected.

    The question then become whether or not we are prepared to take on the responsibility.

    I say this because the labels of liberal/conservative/communist, they really and truly don’t mean a thing.

    Main Entry: 1con·ser·va·tive
    Pronunciation: k&n-’s&r-v&-tiv
    Function: adjective
    1 : PRESERVATIVE
    2 a : of or relating to a philosophy of conservatism b capitalized : of or constituting a political party professing the principles of conservatism : as (1) : of or constituting a party of the United Kingdom advocating support of established institutions (2) : PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE
    3 a : tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions : TRADITIONAL b : marked by moderation or caution c : marked by or relating to traditional norms of taste, elegance, style, or manners

    Main Entry: 1lib·er·al
    Pronunciation: ‘li-b(&-)r&l
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin liberalis suitable for a freeman, generous, from liber free; perhaps akin to Old English lEodan to grow, Greek eleutheros free
    1 a : of, relating to, or based on the liberal arts b archaic : of or befitting a man of free birth
    2 a : marked by generosity : OPENHANDED b : given or provided in a generous and openhanded way c : AMPLE, FULL
    3 obsolete : lacking moral restraint : LICENTIOUS
    4 : not literal or strict : LOOSE

    5 : BROAD-MINDED; especially : not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms

    There is nothing wrong with either definition, so why do we villainize? Because it is easy. Let us all think and discuss (truthfully and intelligently) and we would be suprised at how much we agree opposed to how much we dissagree.

    PEACE.

    —-Q
    A functional Liberoservative.

    Posted by: Jon Q at October 28, 2005 1:01 PM
    Comment #88503

    Jon Q,

    Thank you for agreeing and disagreeing with me respectfully. I’ve been on this blog for a week now and I have not had a decent debate; it’s been hateful comments (you’re a chicken hawk, you don’t know your history, etc.) Now, the history book comments weren’t hateful, they just weren’t exactly what you call a good comeback or retort.

    So, with that said, I would say the split now a days isn’t the repubs or dems, it’s the fact that America is moving ahead of everyone else and some of them (France, Germany, Russia) don’t want to catch up or even compete anymore. It’s like Lance Armstrong and the tour de France. Is it his fault that he’s just better than the competition? Should he slow down and let the others catch up? I don’t think he should, nor should the US. And, the rest of the world is always going to throw around the “arrogance” charge about as long as they don’t compete and catch up with the US.

    I think the reason they don’t compete is b/c they’ve adopted the socialism concept. The voters in France, Holland and Germany shot down (bigtime) the EU Constitution last Spring. And a big reason is that they don’t want other people taking local jobs. The French love the 35 hour wrk week and 5 weeks paid vacations per year. They don’t want people from Poland (and elsewhere) competing for their jobs. And this vote happened during 10% unemployment (Especially in France and Germany) and a stagnant economy in those countries that voted no.

    The dems seem to side with the European Countries more and more. They want universal healthcare like the Europeans, fight wars like the Europeans, and follow some of their laws instead of US law system.

    That’s where I think the split is. You can’t fight terrorism with compassion and criminally prosecuting them. It just can’t be done and Europe (at least Western Europe) wants to do that and the dems side with them too much on that particular issue. I mean, going to the UN is not going to get things done.

    I’ve always said, and been saying on this blog, that I’m an American first. So, I definitely concur with you that most Americans priorities should be that.

    Posted by: rahdigly at October 28, 2005 1:27 PM
    Comment #88504

    Elliotbay wrote:
    Liberals are not communists any more than conservatives are Nazis.
    _____________________________

    Here’s a history fact for you, and you can look it up b/c I already have. Hitler’s Nazi party was from on the left, not the right. Just look it up, there was a big socialist movement sweeping throughout the 1920’s and early 30’s in Germany; conservatives couldn’t generate enough power to compete with the socialists. It was the socialists that dominated the elections.

    Posted by: rahdigly at October 28, 2005 1:35 PM
    Comment #88508

    Jack,

    I just finished Law School. THE IRAQ WAR WAS ILLEGAL!!! There is no way around it. The only possible justification would be the ACTUAL presence of WMD’s presenting a ‘Clear and present danger’ …so much for that.

    Study a little law yourself. When you truely understand what the NEOCONS are doing…you won’t be one anymore. Trust me.

    RGF

    Posted by: RGF at October 28, 2005 1:45 PM
    Comment #88512

    RGF

    Sorry. Wouldn’t want to match experience with someone who just graduated from law school. Things are often very clear when you just graduate. They get fuzzier after that.

    Didn’t another great lawyer say “Knowledge and timber shouldn’t be much used till they are seasoned.”

    Posted by: Jack at October 28, 2005 2:02 PM
    Comment #88548

    RGF
    God forgive us. Another lawyer on the loose. Your elitism shows like a rainbow in a thunderstorm. Like a lawyer knows all about all. It that what you tried to tells us with your pronouncement of I just graduated from law school? The Iraq war was illegal? Did they teach that in law school? What is illegal about the United States going to war against another country? Enlighten us poor uninformed.

    Posted by: tom at October 28, 2005 4:13 PM
    Comment #88558

    rahdigly,

    I said that “Liberals are not communists any more than conservatives are Nazis” because I’ve seen several people in here claim that Liberals are all either Socialists or Communists, which is a lie. I’ve also seen members of the extreme Left claim that Republicans are Nazis, which is ALSO a lie.

    Just because the Nazis called themselved “socialists” doesn’t mean that they were a left wing organization, any more than the name “Republican Guard” in Iraq meant that they were really Republicans. Wikipedia states:

    Various right-wing politicians and political parties in Europe welcomed the rise of fascism and the Nazis out of an intense aversion towards Communism. According to them, Hitler was the savior of Western civilization and of capitalism against Bolshevism. During the later 1930s and 1940s, the Nazis were supported by the Falange movement in Spain, and by political and military figures who would form the government of Vichy France
    So why would a bunch of right-wing politicians and political parties support a supposedly left-wing party in Germany? They wouldn’t. You have confused your opinion with real facts.

    Posted by: ElliottBay at October 28, 2005 5:00 PM
    Comment #88569

    noe-consevatives, or whatever makes a lib. happy. It doesn’t matter. The labels they throw out are hard to keep up with, not to mention ridiculous. Most conservatives are used to the bleeding hearts who think that if we just be nice and act like a good communist, all will be good. Gays can get married. NAMBLA is cool, just misunderstood. The Soviets and the Arabs don’t want to hurt anyone, and so on. Beat up on anybody who is smart enough to make a living without the government holding their hand. Hate, hate, hate averyone who disagrees. You liberals are sadly losing any degree of ligitimicy. Your party stands for everything that most people are discusted by, and you can’t deal with it, or honestly deal with it. I find it so funny when Shummer, or Clinton want to tell the Prez and consevatives who the next S.C. judge shoud be. There cluesless to think that we would take their advice on anything.

    Posted by: steve at October 28, 2005 5:58 PM
    Comment #88599

    ElliottBay
    You are in jest I hope. When is a socialist not a socialist? When is a duck not a duck? A socialist is a socialist is a socialist. There is only one time that I can recall that water was not water. When Jesus turned the water into wine. An absolute is an absolute. Left is left and right is right. How much further must I go to convince you?

    Posted by: tom at October 28, 2005 6:55 PM
    Comment #88604

    Most conservatives are used to the bleeding hearts who think that if we just be nice and act like a good communist, all will be good. Gays can get married. NAMBLA is cool, just misunderstood. The Soviets and the Arabs don’t want to hurt anyone, and so on. Beat up on anybody who is smart enough to make a living without the government holding their hand. Hate, hate, hate averyone who disagrees. You liberals are sadly losing any degree of ligitimicy. Your party stands for everything that most people are discusted by, and you can’t deal with it, or honestly deal with it. I find it so funny when Shummer, or Clinton want to tell the Prez and consevatives who the next S.C. judge shoud be. There cluesless to think that we would take their advice on anything.
    —————————————————

    Broad general blanket statements about people -or “bleeding hearts” that you do not know. Do you know the definition of communism? Here, in case you haven’t read it lately:

    Main Entry: com·mu·nism
    Pronunciation: ‘käm-y&-“ni-z&m
    Function: noun
    Etymology: French communisme, from commun common
    1 a : a theory advocating elimination of private property b : a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed

    Now what is wrong with that concept, on the most basic of levels? Absolutely nothing. I hope and wish for the preservation of our natural resourses, earth air and water for further generations to come. By definition communism is a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed, but only if taken care of with good conscience and sustainable practices.

    Steve, as a conservative, do you not wish to protect the earth for your children and your neighbor’s children? If you do you are currently in agreement with a liberal. Pretty scary….

    Anyway, to hate communism is silly because there haven’t been any true communist societies, if there were you’d probably want to live there… unless it was really cold all the time. If it were a communist tropical island somewhere, I could fit in that lifestyle. Ahhhhhhh….. If you want to hate another country becuase of their red flag and large nuclear arsenal, go ahead… but don’t be shocked if they hate you back.

    Hate is an ugly cycle like that. Those “bleeding hearts” you were refering too who would certainly like to see what sort of progress that could be made if we were nicer to everyone and respected their space instead of imploded it. And then in turn used the space once used for aggression to foster ingenuity allowing us to develop a sustainable society where peace reigned over war, the earth was allowed to shed itself of the pollution we have so altered its ecosystem and ecological diversity with and return to a natural balance.

    Thats more conservative than liberal, but it takes a liberal to be a conservative i guess. Bizzarre.

    Gays can get married. NAMBLA will never ever be cool, not close, not now not ever.

    Posted by: Jon Q at October 28, 2005 7:13 PM
    Comment #88623

    Protecting the earth is not going to happen by catering to the liberal idea that we kiss the butts of the French. I have five children, and your right that I care, it’s just that we have differences about how to protect them, and to what extent we here in the U.S. should go. No other country has done more for more people than the U.S., and to constantly say we’re the problem, and not the answer is an insult. I’m dam prould to be an American first, and a conservative second. This is the greatest country in the world ,and those who think otherwise should go to France, or Iran. Whatever.

    Posted by: steve at October 28, 2005 8:00 PM
    Comment #88629

    Jack,

    “Sorry. Wouldn’t want to match experience with someone who just graduated from law school. Things are often very clear when you just graduate. They get fuzzier after that.”

    Somebody sould hire him soon before he doesn’t know “everything” anymore.

    Posted by: Rocky at October 28, 2005 8:27 PM
    Comment #88643

    Rocky

    You are right. I used to know everything, but I forgot. I do envy his certainty, however. Sometimes I miss that. My motto used to be “often wrong, but never in doubt.”

    Re communism etc

    There has never been “true” communism, just like there has never been “true” capitalism or true anything. You also have to make a distinction between communism and Marxism. Communism could be a harmless, if limited, system practiced by monks. Marxism is a pernicious ideology that has led to millions of deaths. You might want “true” communism, although I think it would be really boring. You would never want true Marxism.

    Fascism had its roots also on the left. Doesn’t apply to America. We have developed our own pathologies, but fascism did not find fertile ground here. Fascism is collectivist, like Marxism. It believes in struggle, like Marxism. The difference is that Marxism sees struggle of classes and Fascism sees struggle of races. Neither ideology believes in freedom for the individual nor permits a market free from very strong government control.

    Both communism and fascism are old fashioned and unworkable today. Liberals are not communists, as I wrote above. Liberals were never communists. The two start with entirely different assumptions about mankind. My only complaint re liberals is that sometimes they were too trusting of the reds. Today even communists aren’t communists. Outside of Western university campuses, I doubt if anyone believes in it.

    Posted by: Jack at October 28, 2005 9:16 PM
    Comment #88646

    Jack
    Your last sentence on communists and western campuses I like. It really does fit. Without the labels but with the practice western campuses in general have a well documented history of collectivist thinking.

    Posted by: tom at October 28, 2005 9:30 PM
    Comment #89024

    “Neocons are ones who believe that we can (and should) bring democracy to the Middle East… They know the process will be messy, but they also believe it is inexorable.”


    Before I can feel an iota of respect for this particular part of the neocon menu, I’d like to see more veterans of combat among neocon ranks. Most of neocons in the Bush administration are hypocritical chickenhawks who did their damnedest to avoid military service when they were subject to the draft.

    How many Americans would support pre-emptive wars if they or their kids had a good chance of being drafted to fight it?

    Posted by: pianofan at October 30, 2005 9:03 PM
    Comment #89036

    Okay chickenhawk folks. Let’s take your logic to its conclusion. Whenever we make decision of war and peace (which is the most important part of a president’s job), only those who served or are serving in the U.S. armed forces should have the right to vote. So we will be limiting the franchise to soldiers and veterans. If that is what you want, you can keep up your rants. Otherwise, you may as well just give up.

    I have explained on too many occasions why your argument is invalid. You can check back and/or study up on logical fallacies yourselves. I know you think it is a strong argument. It says more about you than us.

    Your question about preemptive wars is a bit more valid. We fight preemptive wars to avoid bigger ones. They save lives, American and otherwise. A preemptive war against Hitler in 1937 might have saved alot of lives. We don’t know what we didn’t try, so it is always uncertain.

    Re Iraq - there was no zero option. Your choice is leaving Saddam in power with the weakening sanctions. My guess is that we would be fighting the war by now anyway, it would just be against a stronger Saddam. We can’t know that, of course. We do know that there was no zero option.

    Posted by: Jack at October 30, 2005 10:13 PM
    Comment #89117

    I am a disabled vet, and I have tried to go back in to the service 3 times to go and defend my country. I hope and pray that if the time ever comes that my son, and my daughter would take the mantle on. Freedom is not free, I take freedom and the American capitalist way any day. I would never support a socialist anything, what is mine should stay mine.

    Posted by: Sean at October 31, 2005 10:55 AM
    Comment #89563

    For those of you keeping score:

    freedom does not equal capitalism

    socialism does not equal evil

    liberal does not equal kissing French butt (but there are some French butts I wouldn’t mind kissing;>)

    neocon does not equal whig

    Nazi does not equal socialist

    Any others I’ve missed?

    Posted by: Mental Wimp at November 1, 2005 8:42 PM
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