Picking up the trash

It has survived a preemptive attack based on “faulty intelligence.”

It has endured rhetoric ranging from “tyrannical” to “incompetent.”

It has even remained resilient through “thousands of tactical errors.”

What, you ask, is it?

It is my unwavering loyalty to the Bush Administration. But to be honest, in light of recent events, it's wearing quite thin.

When President Bush offered his rationale for invading Iraq, it sounded logical—or at the very least, defendable: protecting the American people, liberating an impoverished society, seeking justice—sounded like a fairly patriotic platform.

And when the left callously taunted and mocked the Commander in Chief, there I was, standing by his side, taking jabs and uppercuts for the good of the cause. And after all the scrutiny, harboring no ill feelings, I'm still standing by the President on Iraq, as I turn into a garbage can for the entire liberal faction to dump their baggage, their soiled smear of lies and deception.

While the War on Terror certainly tested the allegiance of every Bush loyalist, and called for a degree of latitude and trust in the President, most ardent Bush followers stood firm, stubbornly discrediting liberal propagandists whilst zealously advocating the administration's agenda.

However, when word of alleged unwarranted wiretappings of American citizens hit the headlines, dedication and advocacy morphed into distrust and vexation, and separated true Bush supporters from quasi, halfhearted frauds.

The President's rationale was quite simple, despite its poor elucidation: tapping calls to or from the Middle East is not only justified, but necessary to the ongoing, ever intensifying, War on Terror. And, like virtually every major moral issue, the right wing bought into Bush's theory while the left wing griped about civil liberty violations.

But still, despite a growing anti-Bush movement from the left, screams of impeachment from the far left, and even whispers of dissention within the conservative confines, there I was, standing firm, collecting more smear, filling my garbage bag with more propaganda and half-baked, ill-conceived glut, with my ever resilient devotion to the most powerful man in the free world left wholly intact, sporting only a few minor tarnishes and oil stains.

It wasn't until the President announced a deal that would hand over major port operations to an Arab company based in a country that formerly recognized the Taliban that my loyalty began to dwindle, as I found myself questioning the integrity and competency of the Bush administration.

For the first time, an administration whose strong suit has always been security—when all else fails, play the defense card—now finds themselves on the short end of the stick, trailing in a battle they cannot afford to lose.

According to some polls, four out of five Republicans dissented with Bush on the Dubai ports deal and one would be hard-pressed to find a Democrat vouching for the President. The American people spoke their minds, and rightfully persuaded the termination of this ludicrous and potentially devastating deal.

A brief but disturbingly soundless calm sunk in after the ports deal debacle ceased its thunderous reverberations. Having not stirred controversy in, oh, about two weeks, the Bush administration was relatively serene, as were the clamoring dogs of the left wing, usually hooting and hollering about some impulsive "travesty" against America, instead found uncharacteristically fastening their scarcely used muzzles.

But this tranquility was short lived, proving to be nothing more than the eye of the storm, as a debate loomed that would shake the groundwork of the nation, force politicians to take fiercely divided sides, and incite thousands to rise in protest.

Previously at the end of the bill docket, astray from the buzz of everyday politics, nothing more than a lingering afterthought, with so many other issues stealing the limelight, immigration and border security were covertly slipping by undetected, temporarily.

While most Democrats seemed united in their effort to legalize currently illegal immigrants from Mexico and Canada, Republicans, thanks in large part to Bush, were split on their party platform. Most of the GOP wanted stringent border security, with some even calling for a prodigious and expensive wall to be built along the Mexican border. And while Bush generally shared the same sentiment regarding border security, he dissented on the issue of legalization, taking a quasi-liberal approach with his proposed guest workers program—essentially, amnesty. GOP leaders in the House and Senate took a more strict approach, advocating a more rigorous citizenship process than the Democrats had proposed—and this, naturally, caused internal strife in the GOP.

When proposing legislation, especially in an election year, policy-makers seeking re-election must be sensitive, or risk losing votes from a certain demographic. This is why GOP leaders in the House and Senate concocted such a lax program that probably doesn't reflect their true beliefs, for fear of damaging their fragile reputation within the Hispanic community.

A similar concept also applies: guilt by association. Congressmen, whether Republican or Democrat, simply don't want to be associated with the President. They shudder when they see the President's deplorable approval ratings and thus they strive to separate themselves from the Commander in Chief. And while Democrats feast on the endless fodder provided to them by the GOP, Republicans scramble to mesh together and form a solid platform to campaign from, thanks, again, to Mr. Bush.

With most Republicans, even hardliners, running away from the foul stench of the Bush administration over the ports deal, there I was, with my black bag stretched to its capacity, picking up defecation of foul intolerance, whose origin is indiscernible, a noxious combination of Republican and Democrat, when, somewhere along the line, I found myself wondering if it was all worth while: whether my supposed loyalty was true and unwavering, or just a pretense of pity, cowering behind a wall of deceit.

Seeking to mitigate a newfound distrust in the President, I found little comfort when the latest energy crisis hit the wires. Akin to security, energy is believed to be one of the GOP's stronger platforms—the big-oil sympathizers aren't supposed to lose the energy fight to the anarchical left. But Bush's failure to elucidate a clear, concise message, other than the obvious expulsion of our "addiction" to foreign oil, has left the rest of the GOP floundering to unite, thus leaving the door wide open for the environmental left to swoop in and steal the show—blaming the Republican led Congress and the Republican President for high gas prices, and our stingingly evil "addiction" to foreign oil.

And that, the administration's inability to effectively communicate with their constituents, facilitate the flow of information to the people, and illuminate a clear mission statement, is why Bush's policies, more recently, are a step behind the competition, resulting in a bogged down, hampered GOP, compliments of the Commander in Chief.

But, maybe, just maybe, there is a silver lining. The recent shuffling of figure heads in the administration, from Chief of Staff Andrew Card's resignation, to Press Secretary Scott McClellan's ousting, a void filled by Fox News anchor Tony Snow, might improve press relations. But again, emphasis on the maybe.

Just a point of clarification: in no way should my opinions be interpreted as anti-conservative—my "crossing over" with John Edwards from the right to the left—my political convictions are as conservative and capitalistic as they'll ever be. That will never change. Rather, my mere loyalty to America's leader is what is in question—and don't think for a second that every Republican supports, or should support, their Republican President, because that notion is simply irrational. The fact of the matter is that Bush is acting way out of character, atypically straddling the line between Democrat and Republican, and that is the infuriating part.

Though my faith in the President endured the Iraq controversy, wiretapping criticism, and the Dubai debacle, it was clearly eroding. And Bush's mishandling of immigration policy and energy have all but destroyed any hope of undoing the corrosion—my once durable garbage bag finally shattered into a heaping glop of gunk, along with my loyalty.

So here I am, with my torn garbage bag, frayed and tattered from all the controversy, its components splattered across the political landscape, reeking of treachery, corruption and duplicity, permeating the depths of the American mind, leaving a permanent mark of incompetence and ineptitude that will take years to eradicate, I ask myself a simple question: do I bend over and pick up the grime, as I always have, or do I finally remove the mask that has blinded me from reality? The decision is mine, but the outcome matters not, for as long as George W. Bush is in office, and an intellectual conservative mind is not, this great country will continue to tear itself apart, leaving the American people to pick up the trash.

Posted by Alex Fitzsimmons at May 9, 2006 8:45 PM | TrackBack (1)
Comments
Comment #146651

Bend over and pick up the trash. We depend on stalwarts like you to maintain the stereotype of a GOP believer. Don’t lose hope!!! Your Decider has 2 more years as President. I am counting on him to attack Iran and remove the real nuclear threat. Now is not the time to be a girlie man!!! Support Bush!!! You can’t let those gays marry and corrupt our culture!!! Follow the Decider!!!

Posted by: Aldous at May 9, 2006 9:26 PM
Comment #146660

“I found myself questioning the integrity and competency of the Bush administration.”

Katrina and it’s aftermath didn’t help in this slow-dawning revelation of yours?

Posted by: Tim Cros at May 9, 2006 9:51 PM
Comment #146662

Speakin of trash i am a lime wire user i file share!While downloading what was saposed to be the movie united 93!! I got 2 hrs of how 911 really never happened right down to sayin we attacked ourselves and claiming a cruse missle was what hit the towers 2 hrs of this trash and this is being passed of as united 93 i trust that or hope that no family members whom lost loved one has seen this trash its mean and hateful this is very bad and i hope the jurk that did this knows where he needs to go!!!!

Posted by: allen stephens at May 9, 2006 9:57 PM
Comment #146663

Yeah, Katrina would have been another example…I just realized I omitted it.

And about this “slow dawning revelation,” I had a lot of respect built up for the president over the years, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt on most issues. However, as his decisions continued to perplex me, I found my allegiance eroding. But since I had so much respect for Bush, it took a lot to finally shatter my loyalty.

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at May 9, 2006 9:59 PM
Comment #146664

“But since I had so much respect for Bush, it took a lot to finally shatter my loyalty.”

Fair enough.

Posted by: Tim Crow at May 9, 2006 10:03 PM
Comment #146672

I once had Respect for a diarrhoetic, rabid, brain-dead, 3-legged dog.

But it kept shitting all over the place, biting us, going to sleep in the refrigerator, and tripping itself up - eventually, we had to put it down…

Posted by: Betty Burke at May 9, 2006 10:23 PM
Comment #146676

“I once had Respect for a diarrhoetic, rabid, brain-dead, 3-legged dog.”

Uh Betty, and, uh… your point being?

Posted by: Tim Crow at May 9, 2006 10:27 PM
Comment #146682

Dog killer!!! I knew there was something wrong with you!!!

I bet you’d even pee on a wilting Shrub!! :)

( Watchblog manager please note the heavy sarcasm in the above retorts)

Posted by: gergle at May 9, 2006 10:34 PM
Comment #146700

Alex Fitzsimmons:

I am disturbed by your post. You said you had a “lot of respect” for your Leader. May I ask just exactly how Bush earned your respect in the first place? What has he done that earned him points at the beginning?

Posted by: Aldous at May 9, 2006 11:08 PM
Comment #146729

Aldous,

How about his actions in the aftermath of 9/11?

Betty,

I hope your not advocating what I think you are, and if so, I hope for your sake there’s no one from the secret service or NSA reading this blog.

I have to agree with Alex on this one. The President’s failure on the immigration issue was the ol’ proverbial straw for me, as well. I am a diehard conservative, which is why I can no longer support this liberal President.

Posted by: Duano at May 10, 2006 12:19 AM
Comment #146742

Duano

I am a diehard conservative, which is why I can no longer support this liberal President.

Oh, please!! Don’t try to unload your trash on us liberals. I don’t know a single liberal who supports this president or his policies. The Decider is all yours.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at May 10, 2006 1:03 AM
Comment #146745

Alex,

My spider sense started to tingle when, in the first half of ‘99, clearly 6 months before any primary, Bush had amassed $36+ million dollars.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/jul1999/bush-j12.shtml

“The hands-down winner among the Republicans was George W. Bush, the Republican governor of Texas and eldest son of the former president, who raised a staggering $36.2 million in the first half of 1999, more than any presidential candidate has raised for an entire nomination campaign, let alone in a six-month period in the year before the vote. So huge is Bush’s lead in fundraising that he collected more than double the amount of money of all his opponents for the Republican nomination combined”

Now, call me crazy, but this was for a guy that had failed in virtually everything he did, before he entered politics.

Yet he was picked up and dusted of every time he failed, with a huge new infusion of cash from one of daddy’s buddies.

Nobody honest raises that much money, that fast.

George W. Bush was annointed to be President. The only contender in the Republican Party that came close was promptly thrown under the bus.

The rest is history.

Posted by: Rocky at May 10, 2006 1:30 AM
Comment #146746

JJ,

Don’t you guys agree with Dubya’s amnesty plans? Thought so. Bottom line is this president is too liberal for me to support him any longer.

Posted by: Duano at May 10, 2006 1:30 AM
Comment #146761

Duano,

I for sure don’t agree with Bush’s plans, although I consider myself liberal. You may disagree with our president for many reasons, but thinking he is liberal is not one of them. I agree with you that he is not a conservative either (look at the budget), but that does not necessary make him a liberal.

Posted by: Warren P at May 10, 2006 8:14 AM
Comment #146769

“I once had Respect for a diarrhoetic, rabid, brain-dead, 3-legged dog.

But it kept shitting all over the place, biting us, going to sleep in the refrigerator, and tripping itself up - eventually, we had to put it down…”

Don’t worry Betty, we have great respect for the disabled in this country. And great sympathy for their plight. No one is going to put you down

Bingo

Posted by: Bingo Kahrde at May 10, 2006 8:42 AM
Comment #146770

I will be physically ill if it turns out that the new conservative lifeboat is to paint bush as a liberal.

Posted by: mpc at May 10, 2006 8:43 AM
Comment #146771

GWB makes me want to vomit every time I see or hear him and I wouldn’t like him even if we were on the same side of the political fence.

Same with Bill Clinton and we were supposedly more or less on the same side.

And oddly enough, the last president I liked was Ronald Reagan and I disagreed with him just about 100% of the time.

He seemingly made opposing him a lot of fun and not a hint of being less of an American for doing so.

Posted by: expatUSA_Indonesia at May 10, 2006 8:48 AM
Comment #146772


It is amazing to me that both democrats and republicans can’t see that this president is a liberal. He has caused the deaths of more than 100,000 muslems, the maiming or death of 1000’s of brave American troops, and squandered billions of our tax dollars with his liberal policy of democratizing the Middle East.

In addition, just look at his welfare program. He has squandered billions more in tax revenues with his liberal welfare program targeted to those most needy in our society, wealthy investors. How could any of them even think of turning against the president. That 36 million he raised in 1999 was peanuts compared to what they have received in welfare benefits.

Posted by: jlw at May 10, 2006 8:57 AM
Comment #146795

jlw,

I hoped your being facetious because Bush is anything but liberal. He was bought and paid for by the Christian Coalition and his foreign policy was conceived by neocons.

Its really as simple as that.

Posted by: reed at May 10, 2006 10:19 AM
Comment #146801

jlw,

“It is amazing to me that both democrats and republicans can’t see that this president is a liberal. He has caused the deaths of more than 100,000 muslems,”

Yep, that was my first clue.

Posted by: Rocky at May 10, 2006 10:25 AM
Comment #146825

The problem is one of ideal versus practice. We can hold a bunch of contradictory and conflicting ideas and impulses in our heads without realizing how at odds they are. We can even talk about them, and form what seem like consistent, strong platforms with them.

The trouble comes when we actually have to manifest those beliefs in the real world. In the real world, all the conflicting wishes and principles are forced to work themselves out. If you’re so absorbed in your own sense of righteous correctness that you simply thing its a matter of being more willful, more stubborn in pursuing one’s ideas, then you can run right into the brick wall of difference between fantasy and reality.

For decades now, the GOP and the conservative movement have been trying to push their beliefs on the nation’s policy. With party discipline they gained the majority and forged the new consensus to replace the fading legacy of New Deal America. With that power, though, has come all the contradictions of trying to get what you want in the real world. It’s the classic “having cake/eating it too” dilemma. One could moderate between the two impulses, taking the cake a slice at a time, but moderation has not been encouraged in the party. It breaks party discipline by making people more likely to take individual stances, and by reducing the ideological fervency with which they beat down the opposition. It also turns simple questions of party vs. party elections into more complicated weighings of different values.

What we see now is the strain that all the immoderate groupthink and conflicts between cerebral politics and real world policies have created. The Republican party discipline has been winning elections and legislative votes. It has also been crippling this country one forced ideal by one.

The most important question in politics is not who wins, but what solutions we settle on. The right ones may bear no resemblance to any party platform. The Right party to lead is the one willing to trade strong platforms for good ideas, and good ideas (which can be wrong) for good practice.

What we need in this country is not the triumph of one party over another, but the triumph of America over its troubles.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 10, 2006 11:15 AM
Comment #146832

Alex,

For once I’m with Aldous; Where exactly did this respect come from? Bush has never really succeeded at anything other than getting elected.

Posted by: Dave at May 10, 2006 11:33 AM
Comment #146844

Dave,

I attribute our currently thriving economy and low taxes to the President. I also attribute our success in Iraq, and I do believe we have been successful, despite what the leftist media will have you believe.

We’ve eradicated a vicious dictator, written and passed a constitution, revamped and converted a totalitarian state into a democracy, started to appoint government officials in this new democracy, and are training an Iraqi police force so Iraq can defend and sustain itslef logterm.

That’s where my respect is coming from.

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at May 10, 2006 11:54 AM
Comment #146856

Rocky said, “Now, call me crazy, but this was for a guy that had failed in virtually everything he did, before he entered politics.”

There have been quite a few people that entered politics with no other successes and a few failures under their belt that turned out to be incredibly important in the development of this country.

Is there a new 21st century standard where we no longer will accept that some people are better politicians than they are businesspeople, farmers, lawyers, or hat salesmen?

Posted by: Rob at May 10, 2006 12:18 PM
Comment #146859

Alex,

Thanks for the reply. Of course I think you’re nearly all wrong about that list, but that’s for another thread perhaps?

Posted by: Dave at May 10, 2006 12:21 PM
Comment #146870

Rob,

“Is there a new 21st century standard where we no longer will accept that some people are better politicians than they are businesspeople, farmers, lawyers, or hat salesmen?”

That you comment only on that particular line makes me belive that it was the only thing you read from my post.

This man went to Yale, and has an MBA from Harvard no less, and therefore he should, theoreticly, have a clue.

Frankly, from day one, he’s never shown that he has.

Posted by: Rocky at May 10, 2006 12:42 PM
Comment #146882

Rocky,

The root of the problem, IMHO, is that the Bushie has always been an investment by the moneyed elite. They bailed his stupid sorry ass out of every mess he’d ever been in. In exchange, that got a salable dufus into the WH where:
Big Oil wrote the energy policies.
Big Pharma wrote the new drug bill.
Big Money got tax cuts.
Dirty Industry got environmental protection rollbacks.
etc…
In this administration most new laws are written by industry, with almost no tracability to authorship. War, deficits, debt, loss of privacy, are small prices to pay for all those goodies.

Posted by: Dave at May 10, 2006 1:05 PM
Comment #146893

Dave,

Let no one say that secrecy doesn’t have it’s perks.

Posted by: Rocky at May 10, 2006 1:21 PM
Comment #146895


The wealthy of this country have just got to love this president and the republicans in Congress. But, I wonder how many of the religious right and the good old boys, who’s gun is more important than anything, are feeling dirty and used.

Posted by: jlw at May 10, 2006 1:28 PM
Comment #146920

jlw,

To them there is only Gods word as spoken to W, with interpretaion aided by Pat.
All hail savior Bush! Let the final days begin!:-)

Posted by: Dave at May 10, 2006 2:37 PM
Comment #146951

Alex-
I attribute our thriving economy to the hard work of Americans, the absence of any confidence shattering financial scandal (tentatively), to American scientific know-how, and last but not least to the benefits of the silicon and internet revolution. Bush’s tax cuts are his own, but I never thought them a bright idea, especially after the economic downturn reduced revenues, and the wars increased spending.

As for our success in Iraq? We succeeded in invading the country and destroying the conventional forces in record time. We succeeded in deposing the dictator, an event I wasn’t too sad to hear about. We also succeeded, though, in trapping ourselves in a situation where we were undersupplied and undermanned for the mission in question. It also turned out that our pre-emptive war had nothing real to pre-empt. Because of that, supporters like you are forced to play revisionist historian with the reasons we went to war: to head of a national security threat.

Given that we already had a security situation going on with al-Qaeda, we had no reason to get into a fight with Iraq unless it was absolutely necessary. We needed to keep our soldiers free to fight the enemies that posed the greatest threats to us, not the ones we were annoyed were still kicking around.

As for all the achievements in your second paragraph, they are supposed to be the achievements of the Iraqis, and most of those acheivements have yet to be fully manifested.

So, you talk about success, I still see things as up in the air. This is one of the main problems with you folks. You declare your successes prematurely.

Because we were premature in assuming our sucess, because we did not entertain the thoughts of what would happen if things did not go according to plan, we got caught up in a series of preventable disasters, not the least of which was the insurgency and the deaths of over 2000 Americans. Don’t get me wrong. I’m no shrinking violet on casualties. But the fact is, when you let forces get killed and injured through incompetence that don’t have to be, it’s a problem for winning wars.

I think that with larger forces we could have headed off the insurgency. The reconstruction of Iraq and the recruitments of armies and police forces would have all been made easier with the absence of open armed conflict.

It’s also a black eye for us, that as the most powerful nation in the world that we can’t or won’t get a hold of this situation. Additionally, our lack of readiness for new fights elsewhere makes it considerably more difficult to intimidate our enemies.

Go ahead though. It must be those treacherous liberals causing you all those problems. Without them, everything you folks do would just be perfect. It’s not the GOP’s fault that it didn’t think things through, that it focuses on politics to the exception of rendering practical solutions to the nation’s problems.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 10, 2006 3:35 PM
Comment #146965

Bush and his administration may be heading in the direction they want to go, but the goal might be blocked by the path they’ve chosen. I believe, and I could be wrong, that the administration’s goal is simply to keep America as the number one superpower in the world, economically and militarily. It’s noble, in a sense, this desire to keep your country above all others.

It’s the path he is choosing that disturbs me. Force over reason. Greed over compassion. You strip funds from education, and move them over to the war effort. You allow U.S. companies to outsource and effectively dominate any other market, regardless of the effects on that market’s culture.

That’s one way to do it. There are others. I would have liked to see some more compassionate, friendlier choices made. More alliances and less threats. More building up of third world countries rather than forcing our own companies upon them. If you’re going to use force for something, do it to stop the genocide in Africa, not start a new war somewhere else.

I won’t go into the upcoming 1984 scenario approaching stateside. It’s not here, but people need to be aware that it may be coming, and to start voicing against it now.

Posted by: Thomas R at May 10, 2006 4:17 PM
Comment #146974

Dave

MARANATHA!

Posted by: tomh at May 10, 2006 4:44 PM
Comment #146999

Alex,

Iraq is NOT a democratic governmetnt. It is a democratically ELECTED government. If you would read their constitution you would realize that they are a theocracy….much like Iran. Was this governmet elected democratically? Sure! But don’t try to sell us on the “democratic” Iraq. It just ain’t so.

Posted by: Tom L at May 10, 2006 6:14 PM
Comment #147029

Alex Fitzsimmons,

Excellent post!

This is a topic I have been poking at Republicans for years. Why the Bush love-in. When Clinton went to Waco and killed those people that was pretty much it for my love fest. Kepping Janet Reno on was enough to make me shudder with rage everytime her face appeared anywhere. The problem as I see it is that the middle is gone.

The left sloganeers now like children and fails to keep a balanced argument, the right defends a guy who demolishes their own party. I try to maintain my John Birch form of libertarian constitutional leftism in a climate where there is no such animal animal anymore. The left is moving more towards a leftism that scarcely makes sense (also is waaaay too dove-ish) and the right is just nuts with lockstep defenses of the ineptitude of the caviar cowboy.

Where to go—where to go? I definitely know the feeling.

Posted by: Novenge at May 10, 2006 7:31 PM
Comment #147038

Bottem line: If the President’s last name was not Bush he would be a used car salesman in Midland, Texas.

Posted by: Matthew at May 10, 2006 8:23 PM
Comment #147083

The Waco thing makes me sick too. What makes me sick is that so many people foolishly accept the revisionism of jackbooted thuggery when we had people there unwilling to go with peaceful solutions. When the evidence is on the table, the truth is plain: It was the Branch Davidians themselves who burned down the compound. It was the Branch Davidians who resisted arrest violently, killing federal officers. It makes me sick for the party that is supposedly of law and order to make apologies and insinuations about law enforcement in order to inspire fear about the government.

This is about the rule of law here. Do certain groups get a free pass, just because they are the favored darlings of the political elite?

The hypocrisy and irony of it all is what we see in Bush’s signing statements and his hostile response to any checks to his power. It’s really no different. He believes he knows better than the rest of us, and that we should just acquiesce to his measures to protect us and further his power.

The Democrats are not immune to this thirst for power. No one is. If we succeed in regaining the majority, though, I hope to God we don’t let these kinds of things slide. I haven’t spent all my time fighting Bush over these kinds of things to see my own folks take up this kind of bullshit themselves.

I believe in the constitution not just because I’m a liberal, but because I believe that people are not wise enough or perfect enough to govern by the unquestion rule of any person or group of people. Even a Democracy won’t remain free if it doesn’t have the kinds of checks and balances that are built into our system.

Bush sees many of these checks and balances as barriers to a more secure America, but the truth is that human fallibility ensures that even with the power he desires, he could not perfectly protect America. I believe we have the checks and Balances to keep us from forcing our Republic beyond the limits of it’s self-corrective abilities. Maintaining free speech means nobody can shut up the truth-tellers, or the devils advocates who consider what others are too self-absorbed to contemplate. Maintaining free religion means that nobody can force the dictates of one’s conscience, or dictate a spirituality one doesn’t believe. Maintaining various civil rights concerning due process is not some liberal plot to undermine justice- it’s our ability to force the government to justify the deprivations of people’s rights, to prevent the government from victimizing the innocent.

All too often, the theme of right-wing rhetoric seems to be “we know best, so just get over it, you whining liberals” Get over it? I’d rather not. I’d rather keep some dignity and integrity, and fight for a system, that however imperfect, helps us to avoid the fate of so many so-called Republics and Democracies that traded their freedom and justice for the power to defeat their enemies. I think this country has a heart and a soul that distinguishes it from all the other nations of the world, and that to squander that spirit on the ugly grasping for power, even in the noblest of causes, is a betrayal of who and what we are.

The Average Republican’s dilemma right now is trying to stop the moment of the train wreck of a political movement they have now. Trouble is, they should have realized long ago that no government’s power can offer salvation from the troubles of the world. There are problems and concerns that a government should handle, that it must handle, but government is no cure-all, and any government that promises such a panacea is no government that should be trusted to be capable or deserving of handling more power.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 10, 2006 10:19 PM
Comment #147093

Well said, SD….well said!

Posted by: Tom L at May 10, 2006 10:31 PM
Comment #147103

Stephen,

Cynicism and apathy…two of the greatest reasons our democracy (republic) may fail in the near term…we accept corruption by thinking ‘everybody does it’, and lose interest in the process.

Posted by: Marysdude at May 10, 2006 10:54 PM
Comment #147146

Dave,
Some of the religious right ARE feeling used.

What bothers me as a wondering conservative, somewhat like Alex, is this: If we EVER considered throwing our votes to a third party, Is there ANY guarantee that party could win, thereby insuring that a lost vote for the Republican Party, would not in effect allow the Democrats a majority in Congress this November?

Isn’t this what it boils down to. I mean President Bush Is NOT up for re-election. It’s our Republican Representatives in the House where we hold a 15-seat majority. It’s our Republican Senators in the Senate where we hold a 6-seat majority. Local elections, state elections etc.

I will withhold my personal thoughts as to our future, if we lose our majorities in the House and the Senate, but will say this: If the Democrats IMPEACH PRESIDENT BUSH, then we don havta worry bout Dubya ennymore.

Posted by: LAMB at May 11, 2006 6:33 AM
Comment #147152

Lamb,

Some may be able to feel used but they’ll never vote for a Democrat. So, they will keep on being used.

As for Impeaching Bush, and as you pointed out, it’s a GOPer congress. How do you propose the Dems get that moving? Even after they win this November Bushie has the freeper crew convinced he’s the only one who can protect them from the boogeyman.

Posted by: Dave at May 11, 2006 8:24 AM
Comment #147225

I think if enough Republicans crossover, a kind of moderation will occur in politics. It will likely be closer to the left than our society is right now, but I believe that the presence of those with who have some conservative principles will serve to increase the moderation of policies overall.

The trouble our country has faced over the last few decades has been this fruitless culture war, which has convinced people that they are in this apocalyptic battle to save America.

It’s come to a head now, in the days after 9/11 as the motivation on both sides has become stronger. But I think for a brief moment, we all realized that we weren’t so far apart as we thought we were. Now with the humiliation of the Iraq war and the various scandals, I think Republican voters are beginning to realize that complacent trust in their representatives is misplaced. Bush’s extremism, and power-grabbing is convincing many of the more moderate Republicans and swing voters that the policy and power of the Republican party have gone too far to the right.

I think the best thing for GOP and swing voters to do is to vote their moderation. At this point, that likely means to replace the current crop of Republican politicians with more moderate ones, or more likely, to do so with Democrats. And if the Democrats go too far? They should in turn punish us. That is the way of things in this country. We should not hesitate to punish those who fail and betray our interests. Party orthodoxy is cold comfort for voters when good policy and honest dealings are sacrificed for them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 11, 2006 11:20 AM
Comment #147300

Stephen,

I think we Americans are that far apart.

The absolutism of the religious right;
The near complete loop back to fascism by the “neo-left”;
The single issue elections;
The politics of Fear;
The simple lack of opportunity for decent public discussion without the sheep jumping up to shout “baaaaa!;
These factors all constructively interfere into a divided nation. When people enter the voting booth, they have only two choices for success (despite the VOID between them). The Bush failures will likely result in a Democratic win this cycle but it won’t heal the divide that’s been created without a real American leader.
Do you see one? I don’t.

Posted by: Dave at May 11, 2006 3:05 PM
Comment #147442

The normally-sharp Tim Crow asked:

I once had Respect for a diarrhoetic, rabid, brain-dead, 3-legged dog. But it kept shitting all over the place, biting us, going to sleep in the refrigerator, and tripping itself up - eventually, we had to put it down…

Uh Betty, and, uh… your point being?

Well, Tim, the point would have to be that, wherever one places one’s Misguided Respect, if the object of that misguided respect does nothing but shit all over one’s land, abuse and attack the hands that keep it, and act stupidly and unpredictably with dire results - one must then reconsider the wisdom of placing so much Respect in it, and start thinking about how to mitigate the Damage. Isn’t that so?

(Geez, you’d have thought it was a real Puzzler…) :o/


Other Odds And Ends:

gergle: No dog-killers here! (And in truth, it was unfair of me to compare George W. Bush to a diarrhoetic, rabid, brain-dead, 3-legged dog - unfair to the dog!)

A-HAHAHAHahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!


mpc and jlw: Sick, isn’t it? They will say anything and do anything to retain Power.


Dave:

For once I’m with Aldous; Where exactly did this respect come from? Bush has never really succeeded at anything other than getting elected.

He didn’t do that - remember? He had to be appointed, by the Ever-States’-Rights-Supporting Scaliquist Supreme Court.


Duano and Bingo:

[sings] :oO

“B-I—-N-G-O, - B-I—-N-G-O, - B-I—-N-G-O, and Bingo was his Dua-a-a-a-ano!”

Posted by: Betty Burke at May 11, 2006 11:19 PM
Comment #147615

Dave and Stephen,

Both Republicans and Democrats should avoid voting for a party. We must all invest the time and effort to look into the backgrounds of the people running for office and pick the best candidate.
I would vote for a republican if he/she was the better candidate.I would vote third party and or Democrat. Screw majority power. Let’s start getting the best and the brightest in office.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at May 12, 2006 11:51 AM
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