Swallowing the Democratic Toad in November

Dems would win the House if elections were today. As Eric and others point out, two years of Pelosi would probably improve Republican prospects in 2008. But we should nevertheless consider the nature of the choice. Dems would like you to believe that Republicans deserve to lose; but do you believe Democrats deserve to win? There is no zero option.

Last time Dems controlled the House was back in the 1992-4 term. Since it was a long time ago, some people look back at it nostalgically. Take a closer look and you see an unemployment rate ranging from 6.1-7.5%. We didn't get low unemployment until the Republican Congress was in business. In fact, if you go back through the previous 20 years of Dem control of the House you NEVER see an unemployment rate as low as we have today. How about foreign policy? Google Somalia/US/1993 OR Bosnia/U.S./1993 and see how confident you feel or maybe world trade center/1993. Feel better? This was a Democratic Congress AND a Democratic president.

So we know their history, (very personal history - both Pelosi and Reid were on the job during those "good times") but what do we know about today's Dems?

We know that they hate Bush. Moveon.org, the left's paymaster these days, sums up the Democratic zeitgeist and if you look at what moveon.org has to say, you get an idea of what the leftish Dems advocate. When I checked their site I understood where much of lefty's vitriol originates. Consider their recent 1.3 million ad campaign of lies about gas prices. If you were gullible enough to believe it and you didn't read the factcheck.org debunking you would be one red-faced-angry liberal.

What else do Dems want? When you get past hatred of Republicans, you don't have much left. They want to purge their party of moderates, but I think that is a subset of Bush hatred. They want to leave Iraq on a timetable unrelated to events on the ground. They are not fond of surveillance of terrorist communications and they are proud that they could block Social Security reform. Is there more or should we just move on?

I have praised moderate Dems, but most of these guys were friends of Joe Lieberman and we know how the leftish Dems feel about him and his ilk.

I have mixed feelings about the November elections. The Republicans need castigating. But if that means letting Democrats in, the price might be too high. It is like swallowing a toad to catch the fly you accidently swallowed. It is a choice we all have to make, but it is a choice between two options. You really cannot vote against anything in our system. Do you really want the toad? He probably won't solve the fly problems anyway and he will hang around like a f*rt in an elevator long after you are sick of him. So who are you for?

Posted by Jack at August 29, 2006 10:41 PM
Comments
Comment #178214

One can easily state it the other way, Jack.

What else do Repubs want? When you get past hatred of science, civil liberties, the environment, fiscal discipline, separation of church and state, real border security and the middle class, you don’t have much left.

Damn right, I’m ready to swallow that toad. Thanks for asking.

Posted by: Mister Magoo at August 29, 2006 11:21 PM
Comment #178215

Yes, Jack, that is the problem: no zero option. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have a no-confidence vote on Congress and make them all sit out a term?

Unfortunately, we have to select someone to sit in Congress and take care of the nation’s business. But at this rate, I think we would all benefit greatly from a Congressional Sabbatical. No new laws, certainly no new taxes. Wouldn’t that be nice.

Posted by: Charles Adams at August 29, 2006 11:22 PM
Comment #178216

It’s an easy choice. The Republicans control both Houses, the presidency, and the Supreme Court, and have failed miserably by any reasonable standard. They’ve botched a war, wiped out Clinton’s surplus, deepened our national debt, weaked U.S. power and influence, made our allies distrust us, They’ve slashed taxes on the rich at precisely at the worse time. What do the current Republicans believe in? Smaller government? No. Fiscal responsibility? No. Non-intrustive government? No. Pre-emptive war on a country that didn’t threaten us? Yeah. That and cutting taxes is about it.

The self-destruction of the Republican Party has been monumental. It’s abandoned its principles, hung all its fortune on a mediocrity they thought they could get elected, and then, stunned and staggering, weakly hang onto the Iraq War, because that’s all they’ve got. And now they are \reduced to saying, well, the Democrats would be worse. Based on what? Bush inherited a strong economy from his Democratic predeccsor; it’s a testament to its strength that it’s still hanging in there despite Republican folly. The Republicans have failed on a massive scale, and the public knows it. I swear, you guys will vote for anyone who calls himself a Republican.

It didn’t have to be this way. There are bright people in the Republican party, but you guys put all your money on the guy with the money, whose campaign had no problem dishing the vilest dirt on McCain. You know, you get what you pay for; if anything good comes out of the debacle that is the Bush presidency it might be this: your party will again realize that you need to nominate someone close to the best you got, not the worst.

You know what the Democrats stand for: improving the living standards of the poor and middle classes, working to fix the health care crisis, getting the deficit under control, saving Social Security, taking real steps toward energy independence, protecting the environment, and, for god’s sakes, fighting an intelligent war against terrorism. You know, pretty much everything the Republicans have botched. The Domocrats did all right by this country through the ’90s. Not perfect, and plenty I disagree with, but compared to the Republicans, there’s no contest. You don’t have to be a partisan to see that.

Posted by: Trent at August 29, 2006 11:29 PM
Comment #178222

Trent,

You know you give the same list of “what the dem will do”, that Nancy and the gang keep spouting. Except when asked for a plan they can’t come up with one. They sound like the beauty contestants who want world peace. It makes a good bumper sticker but not much else.

Posted by: Keith at August 30, 2006 12:07 AM
Comment #178223

Trent,

It is easy to say that the Democrats are for “everything the Republicans have botched.” That costs nothing and is impossible to disprove. But you can’t seriously believe they want to control the deficit or stop robbing SS to pay for pork barrel spending. The Democrats I remember want to create national health care, raise minimum wage, grant amnesty to illegal aliens (oh, that’s Republicans, too), abort babies and raise taxes to pay for new entitlement programs.

Frankly, I hope the Democrats get their chance so we can see them for the incompetent, corrupt party they are, too. What we need are a few good Americans. Unfortunately, between the Republicans’ dirty tricks and the Democrats’ lack of moral clarity, real Americans do not have a chance.

“You don’t have to be a partisan to see that.”

Actually, that’s exactly what you have to be to “see that.”

Posted by: Charles Adams at August 30, 2006 12:15 AM
Comment #178224

Seems like every election year the libs do the same thing, they get so excited about their upcoming victory. Then they lose, it’s kinda sad actually that they are so unaware as to how far they have strayed from mainstream. They have the media telling them how well they will do and they acually belive it every time. I have personally turned down two phone polls because I have nothing to complain about, if I did I would have sit through them.
Also, what is trent problem with the economy? It’s stronger than Clinton’s, except for maybe during the dot-com couple years, and Bush had the dot-com burst, 9/11, Iraq and natural disaters to overcome.
Also 2, this cr*p about the survaliance, anybody in his position would have done the same thing, hopefully, well maybe not Kerry or Gore enough said.

Posted by: andy at August 30, 2006 12:26 AM
Comment #178225

well that’s your opinion, I know damn well clinton walked in the presidency with the recession over and on the rebound. i personally liked mr clinton he and a Real conservative Republican congress and senate passed many bills that he signed in to law to make this a better country and a Great economy from the mid part of 1996 to 2000. but the conservatives in the congress were also hammering (Remember) him on his (hey mr president how about the deficit speech when he was running for president) he was for all the trade agreements and NAFTA as Bush NO 1 .he was one mighty CENTRIST! and he did not hand a perfect economy to bush no2 clintons recession started as the dot com bubble broke and was falling six months before he left office. i seen ,many people lose hundreds of thousands of dollars before clinton left office. I did pretty good in 1994 -1998 and ole bill was president then when the housing market was still tanked in california i bought three houses there thanks bill.and the rest i agree with you, they the republicans did abandon there ideology and principles in 2002 and lost there vision and direction.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at August 30, 2006 12:27 AM
Comment #178227

The Reps have been trying to moderate all their moves so as not to piss anybody off and stay in office. Trying to beat the Dems at their own game. It hasnt worked. They have pissed off plenty of conservatives and now they might lose a bunch of seats. They dont have the mainstream media smoothing things out for them like the left does. GWB has been doing his job well and also pissing off many Reps. Unfortunately, Bush now has fallen in line with the Reps. He probably has been recently worried about losing seats and has started playing partisan politics like everybody else. No more cowboy diplomacy. The Reps will lose seats and they will not learn a lesson. They will just be watching polls and figuring out how to win seats next time. Bush is going out and he has to do good by his party, so we will see more politics from him from now on.
The next couple of years are going to be very hard core politically. Everyone is going to running for prez and its going to be an all out brawl, not just between the parties, but inside the parties as well. People seem to be paying more attention, nowadays, and politics will be very exciting for everyone. It will be like watching the Yankees and the Mets playing a long drawn out World Series. Fortunately, all this will be very good for democracy.

Posted by: JoeRWC at August 30, 2006 12:28 AM
Comment #178228

Mister Magoo: You are exactly right. However, you failed to include the key hatred of Republicans: They hate Americans.

Jack: Democrats do not hate Bush. They despise his policies and the policies of the Republican Party as they seek to destroy the constitution, institute a theocracy, and drag the reputation of the United States into an abyss from which we may well never escape.

Posted by: Allen at August 30, 2006 12:31 AM
Comment #178233

Trent

The problem is your point of comparisons. You say Dems did well throughout the 1990s. Until 1994, things were not so good. After that, Congress was not Democratic. Your point of departure has to be 1993 (midterm of the last Dem control), which is illustrated by the links I included.

This year, we are talking about electing Representatives and Senators. Dems would like to point to the late 1990s, but if they do that they are pointing to Republicans. Yes, we need someone like Newt Gingrich running the House. Do Dems have one?

Dems like to talk about how bad things are. Like what? The economy is not great, but it is good. Unemployment is lower than any time in the last 30 years when the Dems held the House. I know you all like to compare to 1999, but that was a Republican year, so was 1998 and 2000. To repeat, if you want to see a Democratic year, you have to go back to 1993/4. That is the nature of the choice. Dems say the WOULD do better, but history shows they DIDN’T.

Allen

I was surprised by the moveon.org. I guess I should not have been. A lot of the Dem statements sure seem like hatred, like when Dean says he hates all Republicans.

Posted by: Jack at August 30, 2006 1:06 AM
Comment #178234

Say it ain’t so Jack! Your article is completely contrary to the liberal mantra that domestic and global life is always grander, more wholesome, and easier with the Dems in charge. Surely you couldn’t have debunked their entire 2006 campaign theme in one simple article?!

Alas, I think you have.

Posted by: Ken Strong at August 30, 2006 2:27 AM
Comment #178235
“I have mixed feelings about the November elections. The Republicans need castigating. But if that means letting Democrats in, the price might be too high.

So, because “the price is too high” in your mind, your castigation of the GOP drops by the wayside? You can’t have castigation without spending some time in the political wilderness. Besides, the price of Democratic governance cannot possibly be higher than the price the country is paying for the conservative free-for-all.

Don’t worry Jack, the Repubs have done an excellent job of rigging the system, stacking the courts, having ideological purges of governmental agencies from Justice, to the CIA, to the State Department to FEMA. The government is riddled with Right-wing moles and ideologues. The GOP will take their lumps this election, but the rotten fruit will not fall far from the tree. The Democratic Party will have about a year and a half of feel-good chest thumping; in 2008, the GOP will win again, and then they will continue marching the country backward to the thirteenth century, with property rights supreme, and witch-burning and union-bashing and war-mongering, corporatism and economic survival of the fittest and anti-intellectualism leading the way.

I think it extremely important that all the conservative ducks are in a row when the economy blows up, when the Middle East blows up, when the middle class blows up, when the country blows up, when the environment blows up. When things are so bad, that the last thing on Americans’ minds is voting the conservatives out. I will like to see the anger and rage on the American visage when everything is kaput, and the only thing left standing is corporate conservatism wagging it’s collective finger and saying, “That damn Clinton.”

And the retribution on conservative policies will be terrible to behold.

So, I’m all for a Republican government in ‘08. I truly believe the Republicans deserve to be in office, they are the best advertisment for revolution. And what’s more, I think the American electorate deserves a Republican government; their lackadasical attitude about their government, their sheer stupidity and prideful ignorance insures a collapse of monumental proportions when the Republicans have stolen everything in the American household that isn’t nailed down (and maybe even some of the stuff that is nailed down), including civil liberties, religious freedoms, economic justice, unfettered elections and intellectual freedoms, all gone.

I’ve tip-toed around the subject for far too long these past several months. This government is shot, this country is locked in a hammerhold of corporate oligarchy; facism isn’t a looming thundercloud on the horizon, it’s right here and it’s right now and it’s pouring on this ‘democratic’ parade. This country is a goosestep away from a Right-wing lockdown— we’ve already had our Reichstag fire, it was in Manhattan. The elections are rigged, the government is rigged, the economy is rigged, the media is rigged. The only way Americans are going to wake up is an utter collapse, an absolute rupture in the fabric and continuity of everyday life. I am convinced that the best way to hasten this day along so that the rebuilding can begin, is Republican and neo-con government. Lots of it. The American nation shouldn’t be molly-coddled and spoonfed by feel-good liberalism, the people that believe that government can be reformed, and run competently. It can’t, not the way it is compromised now by money and ruthless, unrepentant lust for power. The country should be bullwhipped and humiliated and degraded and ransacked. Only then will Americans become the revolution this country sorely needs.

And I think the Republicans are more than up to the task of starting the country off on the path to true healing and a real house-cleaning—through revolution.

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 30, 2006 3:33 AM
Comment #178236

Jack, I’ll soon be moving to the hills of Kentucky, hiding out in my cave like Osama. I guess you are just in the next holler in Virginia. Maybe we caould meet and drink some moonshine.

I think I’ve given up on politicians. Nothing is going to change until lots of people die off and get so pissed that they threaten to hang a few bastards. I’m sorry, but it’s still the rich and privileged against the honest folks. Not much different from the privileged Royals and their exploitation of the colonies. I don’t want to fight the oil wars anymore than the colonists wanted in on the European Elites feuding.

Posted by: gergle at August 30, 2006 3:45 AM
Comment #178237
Google Somalia/US/1993 OR Bosnia/U.S./1993 and see how confident you feel or maybe world trade center/1993. Feel better? This was a Democratic Congress AND a Democratic president.

Jack, who are you kidding here???

Google Iraq/US/2003, Afghanistan/US/2002, North Korea/US/2004, Iran/US/2006, Word Trade Center/2001. Feel better?
Nope?

You can’t have it both way.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at August 30, 2006 4:27 AM
Comment #178238

Jack, you ask questions of Democrats and Republicans. But, try asking the American people if either political party is the answer to America’s woes and future needs. They will answer in majority with a clear and stoutly resonated “NO”!

Polls show confidence in the Republican and Democratic Parties is AWL, Absent With Leave, by the actions of the parties. But the public has only two options, vote out incumbents regardless of which party, or overthrow the government, and convene a new Continental Congress and draft a new Consitution which starts with the old one, but, removes money and parties from their roles as primary movers of politicians.

Given this choice, and paths of least resistance, obviously, the people are going to choose to throw out the incumbents.

This is not rocket science. Just simple psychology and sociology. And precisely because the people aren’t sufficiently educated and motivated to reconvene a Consitutional Convention, America’s future is more perilous than it has ever been since the period between the first Constitution’s adoption and the end of the Civil War.

Republicans have for years been telling us everything is getting better as our national debt doubles, the future of Social Security, Medicare, our Health Care system, and our education without system move inexorably toward collapse, and American industry and business lose ground to global competitors. And the only answer Republicans and Democrats have is to throw money we don’t have, or withhold money from, these problems, as if money is the answer to all problems. And of course Republicans have told us that we are becoming more secure as we alienate more and more of the rest of the world, including our allies, from our foriegn policy based on the threat of our military superpower status.

Democrats have not proferred better solutions than Republicans. So, yes, Republicans will be getting the boot. And later, Democrats will get the boot. Our nation’s future and the looming ice berg with America’s name on it will not be averted. ‘This Titanic can sink, I assure you. It is a mathematic certainty. United we stood. Divided, we will sink’. (To paraphrase the movie).

It happened to the Roman empire, it happened to the Babylonian Empire, it happened to the British and the Egyptian’s empires. And now, for lack of intelligence, education, and the lessons of history, it is happening to the age of the American super power. And the one single fundamental root cause, history will show, was our failure to educate our people sufficiently to vote in accordance with the lessons of history.

For a united democracy demands a united electorate with the vision and intelligence to hold their representatives to the task of guiding our ship of state through troubled waters. But if the public knows not the perils within the waters, how can they hold their representatives to the task of navigating around such perils?

Yes, it is the Republic in our democracy that is failing. For without the democratic capacity to hold representatives to account for basic survival skills: like top notch education for all, like fiscal responsibility and insuring means constrain policy, like guaranteeing domestic tranquility and unity of national purpose and resolve, the Republic is doomed to fail for the very reasons our founding fathers foresaw and fretted over.

Our founding fathers fretted over greed with access to the public purse, concentration of power into the office of one, and propaganda which cloaks reality and truth in secrecy and laws designed to protect the office holder, not the nation and the public. Yet, the fears of our founding fathers, despite their best efforts to design checks and balances to protect against them, are being realized and witnessed everywhere we look throughout our political system.

Perhaps my grandchildren will be part of the new Constitutional Congress. Hopefully, my daughter will teach her children what I have taught her about politics and it will be incorporated into the new Constitution as follows:

We hold this truth to be self-evident: that money and individual power corrupt politics and governance. Therefore, in order to provide a more perfect union in which enlightened national and self interest may flourish without corruption, we lay these constraints upon office holders and those seeking office: ____________________________________________.

To be completed by some future generation.

How would you complete that sentence?

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 30, 2006 4:47 AM
Comment #178241

My Name Is Roger:

SCHWARZENEGGER —> Mr. Conservative, just signed into law, Sen. Sheild James Kuehl’s Pro. Gay-Bill #SB 1441.

Talk about ” SWALLOWING A TOAD TO CATCH A FLY “

Sorry… I forgot it is not politcaly correct to say anything nagative about people who are gay.

ROGER

Posted by: ROGER at August 30, 2006 6:22 AM
Comment #178242

David R.Remer, my brother-in-law, who can be a bit of a funny guy, is given to saying that it doesn’t matter who you vote for, the Government always gets in! ;-)

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 30, 2006 6:23 AM
Comment #178243

My Name Is Roger:

P. S.

QUESTION: WHY IS IT IF YOU ARE PRO GAY… YOU ARE RIGHT, BUT IF YOU ARE PRO REIGHT YOU ARE WRONG?

ROGER

Posted by: ROGER at August 30, 2006 6:31 AM
Comment #178245

Jack
Sorry, but your esteem(in my view) drops a big notch when you are critical of foreign policy under Clinton to the disaster we have now. To judge what happened in Somalia or Bosnia in comparison to Iraq is laughable. Sad, but ridiculous.

Posted by: mark at August 30, 2006 7:19 AM
Comment #178246
As Eric and others point out, two years of Pelosi would probably improve Republican prospects in 2008.

You are wise not to endorse the “winning by losing” strategy. If Republicans really believe this, they should give money to Democratic candidates and vote for them.

Google Somalia/US/1993 OR Bosnia/U.S./1993 and see how confident you feel or maybe world trade center/1993.

You guys should be embarrassed to bring up Somalia anymore. Clinton was treated like an incompetent and murderer because tens of US soldiers died under his watch. The Battle of Mogadishu just qualifies as a slightly bad day in Iraq.

World Trade Center, 1993? The perpetrators were caught and prosecuted. Clinton went after OBL. Again, bringing this up just makes Bush look bad. How about WTC, 2001?

The US should not done more about Bosnia in 1993, but you could say that about a lot of times and places. Clinton took a lot of political flak for getting involved in Kosovo.

Re your economic points: It seems to be an argument for divided government, if anything.

They want to purge their party of moderates

This is commonly stated, but it’s still wrong. I was going to dig up a lot of evidence, but why waste time curing your opponents of a self-destructive delusion? Never mind, you’re right.

Posted by: Woody Mena at August 30, 2006 8:06 AM
Comment #178249

I cannot for the life of me decide that now is the time for:
-higher taxes
-unilateral surrender in Iraq
-far weaker national security
-killing of the Patriot Act, FSA or bank surveilance programs
-more porous borders
-gay marraige

The Republicans may not be all we hoped for, but PLEASE consider the alternative. The dems are weak, weak, weak—and our enemies know this. The Islamofascists are praying to Mecca for the liberlas to take over this country.

Posted by: nikkolai at August 30, 2006 8:34 AM
Comment #178254

Nikkolai
The Islamic teeorist we are fighting are not facist. Perhaps Islamic Theocrats would be a better term. Save the word facist for W and the neo con administartion, they truely deserve it.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 30, 2006 9:00 AM
Comment #178257

Philippe

You made the point. Troubles, we have some and they tend to be persistent despite the leadership. In fact the trouble spots turn up in the news with monotonous regularity. The Dem idea that we somehow fell off a cliff in after 2000 just doesn’t track.

Gergle

Kentucky is nice, from what I see of it. Do not be so depressed about the state of the world. It will always be imperfect and it takes a smart man to be cynical, but it takes a wise one not to be. Despite all the troubles, real and imagined, life for the vast majority of people in the U.S. is good, or at least it would be if they would let it.

David

Leave my Romans alone. If only we can be so lucky. Actually the same goes for the Brits. All these guys accomplished great things. The fact that all things come to an end does not mean they were failures. And yes, the future is always completed by the future generation. Life is a giant chain letter.

I agree that we have serious trouble with SS etc. But wasn’t it Bush who tried to correct the problem and the Dems that proudly rave that they derailed the reform?

Mark

See above to Philippe. I could (and may) write a longer post on foreign policy. Both Clinton and Bush made mistakes early in their terms and got better later on. In Bush’s case, 9/11 pushed him to do things that in retrospect may have been hasty. I do not believe others would have done better. I recall in September 2001 that his critics were complaining that he was too slow and not aggressive enough. Only the left liberals like moveon.org strongly opposed Afghanistan and only a few more opposed Iraq (although memory now fails many more.)

Woody

Somalia had consequences beyond those causalities. That is what evidently convinced Osama bin Laden that America would cut and run if he could impose casualties and make a media event.

Re foreign policy in general, I did not perceive a big difference in overall policy under early Bush. 9/11 pushed the policy in a different direction. The biggest departure (and it is big) is the freedom agenda. I believe that if Clinton had been in office he might have done something similar, in which case conservatives would be on his back and liberals would be praising his idealism. Foreign policy is a bit too important to be partisan. If you read my stuff, you will notice that I criticize Clinton foreign policy no more than I do Bush. They each made mistakes and had success. It is an American foreign policy.

I do honestly fear a liberal Dem policy. Clinton was a moderate. Pelosi and the moveon.org types are apt to preemptively surrender. They call for this almost openly. I know I will take some heat for saying this, but it is what I believe and it is the most important reason for me to be against them. The Dems have moved left since Clinton. It is not a good direction to go in a dangerous world.

Posted by: Jack at August 30, 2006 9:06 AM
Comment #178258

Wow… You’re all missing the obvious here. Then again, with the way Jack posed the question (“There is no zero option”), I can see why you might.

During Clinton’s administration, there were no “Republican years”, as Jack claims. Instead, there were BIPARTISAN YEARS, where the three houses (White House, House of Representatives, and Senate) were split between the two parties. This allowed a set of Checks and Balances to be in place that, quite frankly, are gone today.

The current Republican administration has screwed things up pretty bad. But it’s not because they’re Republicans… it’s because they are UNCHECKED. An UNCHECKED Democratic regime would be as bad, if not worse!

Thankfully, those aren’t our only two options, as Jack would have us believe. A mixed government, giving one party control of the Legislature, and another party control of the Executive, would allow each to check the extreme nature of the other, thus returning our country to some semblance of sanity.

David R. Remer,

I’d love to see some incumbents removed, making way for some Independent and Third Party candidates. But that’s a long-term goal. In the short term, the most realistic “fix” to our government is to remove the one-party monopoly that currently exists. Once that’s done, both parties will have to learn to compromise again, which will give new strength to the voices of the moderates in both parties.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 30, 2006 9:10 AM
Comment #178261
Somalia had consequences beyond those causalities. That is what evidently convinced Osama bin Laden that America would cut and run if he could impose casualties and make a media event.

Okay, I’ll stop blaming Bush for 9/11. I’ll blame it on the ankle-biting Republicans of the Clinton era. ;)

The issue in Iraq isn’t whether to abruptly surrender, but how to set a firm framework for leaving. For the past three years, Bush has been saying that victory is just around the corner. (How many times have we “turned a corner” in this war? We’re going in circles!) The public, including a lot of Republicans, want a more concrete timeline because they lost trust. Still the administration keeps trotting out the same tired lines about fascism, appeasement, 1938, etc. It just doesn’t wash anymore.

Posted by: Woody Mena at August 30, 2006 9:21 AM
Comment #178263

Rob said: “Once that’s done, both parties will have to learn to compromise again, which will give new strength to the voices of the moderates in both parties.”

That Rob, is wishful thinking. Compromise only results in ineffective and watered down responses to huge and looming problems which demand decisive, full force nationally unified efforts to resolve. You think there will be a bipartisan solution to the deficits and debt? How about foreign policy? How about education?

There may be bipartisan responses, but, NOT SOLUTIONS! A divided government and nation is NOT a prescription for solving a nations problems. At best, it is a deterrent to extremism.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 30, 2006 9:27 AM
Comment #178264
The Islamofascists are praying to Mecca for the liberlas to take over this country.

I doubt it. In 2004, some of them even expressed that they were hoping for Bush reelection. Because it help their cause. Go figure.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at August 30, 2006 9:32 AM
Comment #178265

From a Libertarian:
I have noticed that this argument is getting some steam. “Oh my God! If you don’t vote for US, you’ll get Liberals!” Hey, that’s the nature of our system. This strikes me as simple fear-pandering fallacy. Maybe we deserve a change of leadership.

Chris Dukes

Posted by: Chris Dukes at August 30, 2006 9:33 AM
Comment #178268

David R. Remer,

There may be bipartisan responses, but, NOT SOLUTIONS! A divided government and nation is NOT a prescription for solving a nations problems. At best, it is a deterrent to extremism.

I agree entirely. But “extremism” is exactly what we have now. The Republicans are moving further to the right, and the Democrats are moving further to the left in response. You’ll never get a “full force nationally unified effort” in this environment. Well, actually, you might — Germany and Russia both found national unification through extremism last century… but I hope that’s not what you had in mind.

I called this a “short term” response for a reason. We’ve lost checks & balances, David — the very framework of our government is falling apart! And neither party sees that as a problem.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 30, 2006 9:45 AM
Comment #178269

Jack,
When did Bush try to fix the SS problem? What he proposed was to perform surgery with a chainsaw, which really wasn’t a fix. I think the options were to dismantle it or dismantle it. What other choices were available to the Dems at that time?

Posted by: j2t2 at August 30, 2006 10:08 AM
Comment #178274

Jack, if your line is merely that no matter how bad your party has behaved, the Dems would be worse, then there’s not a whole lot of room for discussion, is there?

Dems will gain some seats, of course, party because it’s an off year and partly because the public is disgusted with Republicans. I think this will be good for both parties, actually.

At any rate, we all know that government has exploded during the last three Republican presidents. Simply saying the Dems would be worse when the only example in the last quarter century shows otherwise is just… mind boggingly. You guys will lose because you failed; then it will be the Dem’s turn. Maybe we’ll get lucky and have someone capable in the White House in 2009.

The Republicans would get more of my respect if 1) they actually were fiscally responsibile, 2) they didn’t screw up management-wise, 3) they weren’t anti-Science, 4) they didn’t cozy up to Fundamentalists, and 5) they made a serious attempt at bipartisanship. The Dems have made a tactical decision to let the Repubs continue to screw up.

Myself, I just want serious solutions to the nation’s pressing problems. The Republicans aren’t serious on a host of issues, including energy, a favorite of mine. Will the Dems be better? Better, I think, but perhaps not comprehensive enough. Somehow we’ve got to get a leader who can unite the nation, someone actually worthy of respect.

Posted by: Trent at August 30, 2006 10:39 AM
Comment #178277

I don’t know the point but I’d rather swallow a Dem toad than any of this crop of GOPers. The taste of anura is gourmet compared to the evil poison of a toxic squamata.

Posted by: Dave1 at August 30, 2006 10:59 AM
Comment #178280

Please please please you have got to stop with the blatant disregard of the Adminstration in charge as if they were the only ones responsible with indoctrinating Americans into becoming resocialized fascist syncophants.

You all seem to so easily forget the Harvard incident where even the slightest mention of a difference between the genders will cost you no less than your job and will create an uprising amongst the intellectual elites.

Conservatives and neo-cons may be fundamentally ruining the country through the Administration, but socialist elites and Hollywood progressives are destroying America through the Universities and the media.

Yes economic and military ruin are probably inevitable at this point due to the irresponsible-at-best policies of Bush co., but Feminism and the whole Sexual Liberation debacle have absolutely destroyed the nuclear family. Divorce keeps skyrocketing, Depression and other forms of mental disorders are on the rise, boys are losing the college race with only a 45% enrollment rate compared to girls and challenging the Liberal doctrine of female infallibility through the literature in the class will earn you swift rebuttal against your GPA.

It doesn’t take breaking the bank or overstretching the military to ruin a nation. The best place to start is in the home. The MTV lifestyle has turned our men into drunk, emotionally dead carnal heathens and our women into loose, fetus-aborting frigid distrusters-of-men.

Who’s to blame for this? This isn’t certainly the practice of the Republican party to bombard you from day 1 the notion that sexual irresponsibility is not only acceptable but encouraged. Who else but a liberal would think it’s ok to send a broken woman to an elementary school to encourage children to make orgasm faces and invite students to taste a condom? Think that if you had children, you would want them learning about sex this way? I sure as heck know I wouldn’t.

Democrats will continue to lose elections because they continue to forget that polarizing the American people along the lines of the right being “intellectually void” does not help them earn votes. That and they kill what would be probably 2.5 million new Democratic voters every year through abortions.

Great job, guys.

Posted by: Coleman at August 30, 2006 11:12 AM
Comment #178285

j2t2:”The islamic terrorists we are fighting are not fascist.”

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck….it’s a duck!

I just listen to what they say, watch what they do. Is there a continent on earth where the islamofascists are not waging war on Christians, Jews, Budhists, etc.? Maybe Antarctica…..watch out penguins!!!

Posted by: nikkolai at August 30, 2006 11:48 AM
Comment #178286

Jack

Interesting post, but let’s examine your facts:

Somalia, yes it was a mess, and who was the idiot that got the U.S. involved there. Oh yeah right, the first President Bush, he called it Operation Restore Hope. Of course he just dropped that messed on the lap of the incoming President and let him clean it up. Much like the second Bush is going to do with the present situation in Iraq. Is that just a Bush trait or a Republican one? To his credit, Clinton stabilized Somalia enough to allow U.N. forces to go in before he removed our troops.

Bosnia, oh yes, the reason given for our involvement there actually proved valid. President Clinton was able to organize a true coalition (NATO), and accomplished his fore stated goals and wins that war. Then he was able to turn over a stabilized region over to the U.N. and remove our troops, what a unique exit strategy! If only we had a President now that could accomplish the same in Iraq. Oh that’s right, Bush doesn’t believe in Nation Building.

World Trade Center, oh yes, a new enemy appeared off the horizon, one of the towers was damaged and 6 people were killed. Do we really need to compare that to the 2001 attack? Where a known enemy perpetrated that act, yet the Republican President and Congress ignored the warnings of the outgoing administration and his sub-cabinet anti-terrorist expert, Richard Clarke. Where after nine months in office, he hadn’t yet gotten around to form a policy to face the pending danger Islamic terrorism posed. Oh yes, he did demote Clarke from a cabinet post to a sub-cabinet post. I guess he felt the danger of an attack wasn’t important enough for a cabinet position. That’s right, he hadn’t developed a policy yet, but he was far sighted enough to move Clarke out of his inner circle. I guess it was easier to ignore Clarke, and his incessant hounding that way.

Unemployment rate, you failed to mention that unemployment rate hit a high of 7.8 percent in 1992. But of course this was still during the first President Bush’s administration. As soon as President Clinton took office with a Democratic Congress, a downward trend in unemployment developed that ended when the second President Bush took office. High unemployment rate, is that another Republican/Bush trait?

Unemployment rate has started coming down under Bush. But surprisingly, or perhaps not, the poverty rate has increased almost every year under this President. Under Clinton, the poverty rate actually went down every year. The median salary in the U.S. went up throughout the Clinton administration with or without a Democratic Congress, yet a downward trend started with a Republican President and Congress. Give me the toad Jack, hell give me a whole truckload.

But nice distortion of the truth Jack, you are dependable.

Posted by: Cube at August 30, 2006 11:49 AM
Comment #178287
Feminism and the whole Sexual Liberation debacle have absolutely destroyed the nuclear family.

I guess you mean nukulear family, right?

they kill what would be probably 2.5 million new Democratic voters every year through abortions.

They force all these women to abort, really?
Where the place of personal responsability in your rant? Can’t turn MTV off anymore? Can’t teach your kids about sexual risks alone? Can’t stands women sexual freedom? Crying about lack of over-testosteronous guys (hint: check Landis & co)?

It smells like sexual frustration…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at August 30, 2006 12:03 PM
Comment #178290

Nikkolai-

Lets take these one at a time:

1. higher taxes - “borrow and spend” is NOT a better alternative to “tax and spend” regardless of how you spin it. Do a projection. Paying interest in addition to the principle equates to spending MORE money EVERY time.

2. unilateral surrender in Iraq - OR we could turn it over the the Iraqi’s to police themselves. After all, that IS the whole point…not some magical moment of “victory” where every “terrorist” comes out of hiding, turns in their AK47 and signs a binding peace treaty. I’ve never once heard anyone say the goal was NOT leaving. And even if we did somehow figure out a way to “surrender” to a strategy (terror), then who represent “terror”? Everyone who’s ever thrown a rock?

3. far weaker national security - it would be WEAKER because the troops were NOT stretched thin and over-worked? This defies logic and common sense. Mounting casualties and decreasing progress makes for increased strength? Really?

4. killing of the Patriot Act, FSA or bank surveilance programs - solely based on their being unconstitutional…you remember the constitution don’t you? That thing our entire government system is based upon? Or is following our constitution also a sign of weakness?

5. more porous borders - MORE porous? Tell me: who granted amnsesty to millions of illegals effectively openning the floodgates? Reagan. Who built the wall that forces most to risk dehydration or untrustworthy cayotes instead of walking right in? Clinton. I’ve got MANY more where those came from, so just say the word.

6. gay marraige - gay marriage is suddenly a democrat issue? Nope, sorry, the only ones who want government involved is the high handed fundementalists (half of whom probably troll the internet for little boys in their off time…why else are they so fascinated with something that would otherwise have no bearing on their daily lives whatsoever. And don’t give me the sanctity of marriage crap either…marriage is what you make it. The best marriages are held together by mutual respect, NOT because of the vow you took, and certainly NOT because government says it is sacred. Religions can do whatever they like, but DONT involve government unless it is ACTUALLY harming your ability to have a good marriage yourself.

“The dems are weak, weak, weak—and our enemies know this.”

Which totally explains why they waited for 2001 to attack right? And why some were even hoping for a Bush victory in ‘04? Seems like the hard evidence goes the other way.

Any more brain busters?

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 30, 2006 12:18 PM
Comment #178293

Jack, the Republicans have failed this country in every way possible, and they have been exposed as liars and crooks more heinous than any in modern history (Contract with America, my tuchus). You and many members of your party have been cheering their actions on and/or made excuses every step of the way. Too many people (including many members of your party) didn’t agree with that failure, dishonesty and crookedness, and this is why you may have to swallow the Democratic toad, as you call it. But, Diebold may see to it that your current frown doesn’t become permanent, and you folks can go right back to cheering on failure, lies and corruption, and blaming everything on Clinton, and Secular Humanists, “Limosene Liberals” and the influence of Hollywood.

“I have praised moderate Dems, but most of these guys were friends of Joe Lieberman and we know how the leftish Dems feel about him and his ilk.”

Moderate Dems — aka Republican Lite — have sold out America. Lieberman is a sell out to special interests. All the members of the DLC have. There is nothing “moderate” about that or them. What you are seeing from “leftist” Dems is a demand that their party return to representing all the people, rather than the rich and the special interests. We need balance, because the country has moved so far right that the average person is suffering and struggling at the expense of the rich.
This needs to change.

Tim Crow, David Remer, I respect both of you (and your writing and thinking skills) so much, but your pessimism makes me very sad. I can’t live like that — hoping everything falls apart. I dare say, most people can’t. I want to believe that there is enough will and optimism to turn things around. I want to believe that we can have another great president who can see to it that America doesn’t fall apart, that our Consitution will be their guide, and that they want it to protect all of our people far into the future. I want to believe that our fellow citizens will demand good governance, honest leadership, and accountability.

Trent, excellent posts! You wrote:
“Myself, I just want serious solutions to the nation’s pressing problems.”

Yes! We need real problem solvers SO badly. Good leadership at the very least TRIES to find solutions.

“The Republicans aren’t serious on a host of issues, including energy, a favorite of mine. Will the Dems be better? Better, I think, but perhaps not comprehensive enough.”

I think it depends on WHICH Dems are given the reins of power. The DLC Dems are not comprehensive enough, because they’re too beholden to Big Business.

“Somehow we’ve got to get a leader who can unite the nation, someone actually worthy of respect.”

A leader like Russ Feingold. The kind of leader who will do what is right because he’s honest, he cares and has a conscience. Even people on the right respect him, because they know he’s the real deal.

Coleman, people who talk the way you do really need step off of the moral character of Democratic voters. The vast majority of the Bible-thumping states full of Republican voters have a higher divorce rate (despite all their “protect marriage” rhetoric) and a much higher teen pregnacy rate. What has more of an influence over this, is it Hollywood, or is it all the people around them?

Posted by: Adrienne at August 30, 2006 12:42 PM
Comment #178294

“j2t2:”The islamic terrorists we are fighting are not fascist.”

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck….it’s a duck!”

Do you understand what fascism is? Check a dictionary. Works for Bush… does not work for terrorists. I also love the concept that anyone mentioning the Jewish religion in connection to terrorism is immediately call anti-Semitic, but people so easily drop Islam into everything evil. Bigotry exists whether you see it or not.

Posted by: tony at August 30, 2006 12:51 PM
Comment #178298

Someone mentioned the liberal notion of female infallability. Whuzzat? Never heard of it. Also blamed libs for mental illness, the breakdown of the nuclear family, etc., etc. Good grief.

Adrienne, yeah, Russ Feingold looks good to me. I want him to hold the line on spending; he needs to convince me of that. I also want to see a more detailed energy plan from him, though, sigh, he may not consider that politically feasible. We’ve got bipartisan experiments going on with health care in several states — that’s something else to keep an eye on.

I have a lot of sympathy for the cynical views expressed on this thread, but, unless we just give up, what else can we do except try to push on? We need to push more campaign finance reform, more transparency in money flow, tansparency in government programs, etc. I want the so-called libs to show good management skills and to not be married to ideas that need changing.

My bottom line: I don’t care what party is in office as long as our real problems are being addressed. Frankly, right now it’s a matter of whom I trust less, and the Republicans get that honor.


Posted by: Trent at August 30, 2006 1:15 PM
Comment #178299

What do the Democrats really want? They want back in power. Those nasty Republicans have controlled Congress for 12 years now and they aint screwing things up fast enough.
And if they get in power nothing will change. It will be business as usual. The corruption and incompetence will continue unchecked.
The budget won’t get balanced, our borders won’t get secured, the national debt won’t get paid down, education will continue to go deeper in the toilet, and special interest will still be running the country.
You can bet we will get some new social programs for the middle class to pay for. And you can bet that they think the middle class is keeping to much of it’s money so we can expect a tax increase on it to pay for the new social programs.
But let’s vote them in. After all it’s their turn.
It’s really interesting that in my life time the Democrats have controlled Congress for about 38 years and the Republicans now for 12 and the only thing either party has proved is that neither one deserves to be in office.
For the next three election cycles we need to vote this whole bunch of idiots out and put independents and third parties in. And if they don’t start straighting things out fire them too.

Posted by: Ron Brown at August 30, 2006 1:18 PM
Comment #178300

Democrats want fiscal responsibility (e.g. lockbox), transparency, paying down our debt, a plan for dealing with Iraq, universal healthcare, and alternative energy. Stop repeating your party’s talking points long enough to open up your ears.

Posted by: Max at August 30, 2006 1:26 PM
Comment #178302

hyperbole, spin, hyperbole, spin, hyperbole, spin; sounds like a broken record. I just put it into a couple of words, thats all

Posted by: tomh at August 30, 2006 1:35 PM
Comment #178307

Oh, and I forgot to address this earlier:

They [Dems] want to leave Iraq on a timetable unrelated to events on the ground.

We should definitely pay attention to the “events on the ground”, but remember that Iraqi ground isn’t the only ground that matters. Events HERE should affect our timetable just as much as events in Iraq do.

Don’t get me wrong… I’m not advocating a “cut-n-run” strategy. But I’m not advocating a “win at all costs” strategy either. Let’s not get so wrapped up in winning in Iraq that we forget the homefront.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 30, 2006 1:56 PM
Comment #178312

Trent re:Feingold
“I want him to hold the line on spending; he needs to convince me of that.”

I’m surprised you would say this, since his views on government spending are one of the things he’s best known for, aside from campaign finance reform. Would it help you to know that Citizens Against Government Waste, The Concord Coalition, and Taxpayers for Common Sense, have repeatedly commended him for his stance on government spending? Or how about this: Feingold Once Again Listed Among Top Senate Spending Watchdogs. National Taxpayers Union Lists Feingold as One of Only Three U.S. Senators Whose Proposed Legislation Would Save Tax Dollars?

Here is the page on his website with more regarding his ideas regarding deficit reduction

“I also want to see a more detailed energy plan from him, though, sigh, he may not consider that politically feasible.”

Here are the ways he’s been working on energy solutions Also, there are issues forum pages on his site where you can submit your thoughts on where you think we should go with the energy problem.
On a related note, The League of Conservation Voters has rated Feingold for having the highest lifetime pro-conservation voting records of any seated U.S. Senator.

“We’ve got bipartisan experiments going on with health care in several states — that’s something else to keep an eye on.”

Definitely. This past July in Wisconsin, Feingold announced legislation with the title “The State-Based Health Care Reform Act”. This is intended to create a pilot program for a system of universal health care where each state gets to create a program to provide their people with universal health insurance, but with the federal government providing significant funding. The bill will also create a non-partisan Health Care Reform Task Force to give five-year grants to a few states so they can see what works best for the most people.

Feingold is a man of ideas, but he’s also very cautious about spending. In my view, this country needs a guy exactly like that to address all our mounting problems.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 30, 2006 2:26 PM
Comment #178317

You know, I’m tired of the constant mantra that Dems hate Bush. If he and his cohorts had governed in good faith, then I could respect him even if I disagreed philosophically. So, yeah, I distrust him, I think he’s an intellectual midget, I roll my eyes at his position on Intelligent Design, I think he’s reactionary, I think what most of us here think. No one here is really defending the guy, after all — it’s all, “Well, the Dems would be worse!” I don’t blame you for taking that line; what else can you do? But to say we hate Bush just rolls up everything into one nice little word that’s clearly BAD, BAD, BAD. Personally, I don’t see him as a mastermind plotting anything — I see him as a tool easily bent to other’s purposes. Hate? No. I kinda feel sorry for the poor schmuck. But go ahead and keep saying “Hate” — I guess makes it easier to think about.

Posted by: Trent at August 30, 2006 3:08 PM
Comment #178321

Nikkolai,
Even though the Islamist are fighting all over the world they are not fascist. Fascist are people that combine the corporations with government. Sorta like Bush and his ilk.
Ive been hearing the Islamofascist phrase a lot lately so I just figured its time to call it out. I beleive W uses it to sort of numb us to it so we disregard it , fascist do things like that. Its a very powerful word, I would hate to see it watered down.
I would consider the Islamic terrorist to be Theocrats, Maybe Islamorats, or Islamocrats, or Islamothugs would work, after all its a holy war and Allah is on their side. So I dont know what kind of Quack your hearing but the islamofascist duck dont fly. Actually, I guess I do have an idea of what “Quack” your listening to …

Posted by: j2t2 at August 30, 2006 3:40 PM
Comment #178328

Maybe “islamo-nazi” or “islamo-genocidist” may be more apt. But the world wide caliphate is their ultimate goal. Sharia law and all…kinda sounds like a fascist duck quacking to me, my friend.

Posted by: nikkolai at August 30, 2006 4:06 PM
Comment #178329

Republican fears about Democrats can only rise so high because their paranoia stands on the shoulders of a big heap of propaganda. The fact we are willing to raise taxes becomes the allegation that we’ll do nothing but. The fact that we are willing to walk away from a bad war becomes the allegation that we’ll do so from any war. And of course, the fact that we don’t agree with Bush’s war on terrorism and his ways of defending our country becomes the allegation that we just want to hand the country to the terrorists to be blown up and attacked again and again.

The GOP has become jealous about anybody else holding power. They’ve started to think that they are entitled to this control, and they will say any desperate thing to get people to overlook how terribly they’ve done.

No more excuses. If you want screw-ups in power, people who have shown actual incompetence and contempt for the interests of the voters, go ahead and self-inflict the wound of re-electing them on yourself. If you want to try out the other side, see if you can do better (with the understanding that you can dump these schmucks too if they screw things up), then I invite you to send a message and elect fresh blood to congress.

To all the Democratic candidates, I say this: this is your chance to prove wrong those who say that Democratic policies would be bad for the country, to prove that Democrats can manage a government better than the Republicans. The extent to which we succeed at this is the extent to which the moderates, who mostly worry about the functional aspects of policies, will accept and support us as their leaders.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 30, 2006 4:06 PM
Comment #178330

Those who use the Islamofascist label want to treat the whole Middle East as an evil empire to oppose. The label can be slapped on any non-Democratic government or group that has even the barest of relations to Islam, even secular regimes like Assad’s and Saddam’s.

The real problem is that this term is so vague as to be meaningless. It includes both Baathists (who are secular Sunnis) and Sadrists (religious Shiites) in one group. It lumps Caliphate hungry Bin Laden with the Saudi Royals he hates. So too does Hosni Mubharak, a secular socialist dictator get tossed in the same bag with Ayman al-Zawahiri, Islamist and religious terrorist. Saddam Hussein would be put in the same group as the Mullahs with whom he fought an eight year war.

The term Islamofascist (or Islamic Fascist. Same Difference) Is simply a way of ignoring the complexity of the problem so a simple solution can be imposed on it: military intervention and coercive changes in government along the lines of what we did with the old fascists. The term is a license to treat this whole situation like World War III, complete with the Good Vibes of the Greatest Generation Reborn.

In truth, it’s just going to lead us to fight wars ineffectively, as our objectives and expectations are shaped by a poor model of the social and political situation in the Middle East. If we truly wish to know who our enemies, friends are, both potential and actual, then we should move past such amateur, unsophisticated thinking as that which spawns the term Islamofascism.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 30, 2006 4:22 PM
Comment #178331

Stephen—very good thoughts there, as usual. But what is the ONE thing these disparate groups all have in common?

Posted by: nikkolai at August 30, 2006 4:30 PM
Comment #178335

The ONE thing that these groups have in common—the jihadi terrorists among each group (and supported by others in each group) have a self-evident ambition: to establish a world dominated by muslims, Islam, and shari’a. This means establishment of a world-wide caliphate founded by shari’a. Thus the term islamofascist. They are yelling this loudly world-wide. Some of us hear their message. And, like other threats to freedom and liberty before, it must be met and defeated.

Posted by: nikkolai at August 30, 2006 4:51 PM
Comment #178337

Nikkolai-
If you’re talking about Islam, then it’s sort of like the old joke of Americans and the British being divided by a common language.

The Middle East is divided by a common religion, at the very least. The Arabs think the Turks are backsliders. The Shia think the Sunni are Heretics and vice versa. Some Shia look askance at the theocracy in Teheran, as there is a great distrust of the mix of government and religion for them. There are even divisions among the Shia as to whether there were 12 imams or just 9.

Islam is just one source of divisions. Ethnic divisions matter too- Arabs are not defined as a race, but as a group of people speaking a language: Arabic. Same for the Persians, the Kurds, and the Turks, among others.

These divisions matter to people to one degree or another, and they will define the success of any approach we take. We cannot win the war on terror without the cooperation of the locals whose countries produce the terrorists. We have to know the buttons to push, the people to influence, the faultlines to bridge, the touchy subjects we’ll need to avoid or engage delicately.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 30, 2006 4:55 PM
Comment #178339

Adrienne:

“Tim Crow, David Remer, I respect both of you (and your writing and thinking skills) so much…”

The feeling is mutual.

“I can’t live like that — hoping everything falls apart. I dare say, most people can’t.”

I’m not hoping things fall apart. I don’t have to—the situation has already made up it’s mind, and it doesn’t need any help from me.

“I want to believe that there is enough will and optimism to turn things around.”

The human spirit is a remarkable thing and is capable of supernatural heights of endurance and tenacity, such that statistics and mere facts can be overcome in totally illogical ways, delightful ways that tweek our certitude and our prosaic ‘expertise’. In the long run, it is just such illogic and irrationalism that makes me optimistic about humankind. But in the short-run, I am very pessimistic, because we indulge ourselves with an arrogance and hubris and self-deception that often turns criminal. We delude ourselves with our religion and our patriotism and our self-satisfaction that we stand at the pinnacle of human accomplishment. We haven’t achieved much, really—the history of humankind is a long, sad story of pulling it’s face out of the mud and slowly and painfully discovering that… by golly, there are stars in the darkness. Humankind’s greatest achievment was sealed on the look of the Buddha’s face as he gazed at a flower.

“We need real problem solvers SO badly. Good leadership at the very least TRIES to find solutions. Somehow we’ve got to get a leader who can unite the nation, someone actually worthy of respect.”

This top-down solution, this very human desire to be rescued and led, may be a chapter in human development that is slowly coming to an end. I posit that the leaders and the problem solvers aren’t out there—they are in here.

Trent:

“I have a lot of sympathy for the cynical views expressed on this thread, but, unless we just give up, what else can we do except try to push on?”

Who’s giving up? Certainly not me! I am all for using the system to undermind the system—and by that I mean fooling the system into a better behavior that it didn’t believe it was capable.
But, I am one of the few on this blog that thinks limited reformation and margin-adjusting to a corrupt and thoroughly compromised system is a fool’s errand. Right now, the reason this country limps along as it does is because there aren’t enough people that are down-right uncomfortable.(There are reasons why we have an all-volunteer army, for instance, even though three and four tours to Iraq hardly sounds voluntary to me. There are reasons why a President, after one of the worst one-day atrocities in the nation’s history, pleads for everyone to ‘go shopping’—or the terrorists win.) Thankfully, that is beginning to change. The poor, well, there will always be the poor—but now, the middle class and upper middle class are starting to become uncomfortable. Such is the nature of boiling frogs when you don’t monitor the heat levels. But one thing is for certain—if humankind continues it’s behavior in this fashion, revolution, so ludicrous to think of, much less speak of now, will be a desperation devoutly to be wished.

The Tao te Ching states:

In the pursuit of learning, everyday something is acquired.
In the pursuit of Tao, everyday something is dropped.
Less and less is done
Until non-action is achieved.
When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.
The world is ruled by letting things take their course.
It cannot be ruled by interfering.

And so, the ‘we must do something’ crowd will affect their ‘changes’ and their ‘reforms’; we must actively reform to make things better. They will vote out the incumbents, they will cut taxes, and then they will raise them again. And there will always be war and rumors of war rumbling in the dusk.

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 30, 2006 5:03 PM
Comment #178341

Nikkolai-
What kind of coherent solution can come out of such an incoherent definition of our adversaries. I say look at each one individually instead of trying to jam them into one vague category, with one specific solution that will not serve to improve things on all ends.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 30, 2006 5:05 PM
Comment #178345

Another factcheck.org note I got in email today:

MoveOn.org Political Action attacks three Republican House members in TV ads saying they were “caught red-handed” supporting money spent on Halliburton contracts and wasteful Iraq projects. But a majority of Democrats voted the same way on most of the same measures, usually overwhelmingly. MoveOn endorses one Democratic House member who voted the same way 10 out of 14 times, and two senators who voted for the same measures every time they reached a recorded vote in the Senate.

Lefties love to make these sorts of points, but they often are w/o merit. Some of the revealations are like saying that it snows in Minneapolis and then blaming Republicans for traffic problems associated with the storms.

This is why Dems want to concentrate only on Republicans.

Posted by: Jack at August 30, 2006 5:12 PM
Comment #178349

No, Jack, partisans love to make those kind of points. Never trust a partisan.

Posted by: Trent at August 30, 2006 5:27 PM
Comment #178355

So Tim, I’m being illogical and irrational, arrogant and deluded, but you still respect me? Hmmm!
:^D

“This top-down solution, this very human desire to be rescued and led, may be a chapter in human development that is slowly coming to an end.”

I can’t agree. Our constitution needs rescuing from those who are attacking it. Our security and the health of the planet hangs in the balance and so, we need some immediate solutions. Not everyone can be, or is cut out to be, in charge, therefore, people are going to have, and indeed need, wise and capable leaders. This has always been, and will always be.

“I posit that the leaders and the problem solvers aren’t out there—they are in here.”

Where? This blog? Or are you speaking in a more mystical and metaphorical sense?

Posted by: Adrienne at August 30, 2006 5:36 PM
Comment #178357

Jack,

This is why Dems want to concentrate only on Republicans.

And presumably, this is why Republicans want to concentrate only on Democrats, right? After all, that is why your entire article above was about the Democrats, and not about the Republicans, isn’t it?

Democrats and Republicans both have the same two-pronged approach to politics:

1) Convince everyone (wrongly) that there are only two choices; and then

2) Show them how bad the opposing choice is.

The last thing either party wants you to do is look at THEM.

As Trent says, “Never trust a partisan.”

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 30, 2006 5:43 PM
Comment #178360

“Where? This blog? Or are you speaking in a more mystical and metaphorical sense?”


:-)


“So Tim, I’m being illogical and irrational, arrogant and deluded, but you still respect me?”

You can only recognize and respect others for such qualities that you yourself possess. Your arrogance, delusion and irrationalism seem to match mine.:-0

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 30, 2006 5:52 PM
Comment #178380

Okay, Tim. I must say, it’s a good thing for you I’m a left-handed lefty, otherwise I might not have been able to graciously accept such a compliment in the correct spirit! ;^)

Posted by: Adrienne at August 30, 2006 7:05 PM
Comment #178389

Adrienne:

You are nothing if not gracious. You have the patience of Job and the wisdom of Solomon when it comes to dealing with the ne’r-do-wells that inhabit this blog. Especially me. And Sic Eagle, of course. (I was madly trying to think of the female counterparts to the two biblical guys—my memory fails me. Perhaps you can supply two better examples.)

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 30, 2006 7:31 PM
Comment #178395

Tim
Try Deborah and Esther

Posted by: KAP at August 30, 2006 8:02 PM
Comment #178396

All of us here are illogical and irrational, arrogant and deluded. Otherwise we would probably be doing other things. Instead we spend our time trying to convince each other. Our virtual community is kind of Valhalla for partisan writers. Each day our wounds are healed and we go into battle again.

I think the Dems will win an interim victory in November but Ragnarok comes for them in 2008 when my boy McCain beats whomever they field like a drum.

BTW - you get the House; we keep the Senate.

Posted by: Jack at August 30, 2006 8:06 PM
Comment #178399
Coleman, people who talk the way you do really need step off of the moral character of Democratic voters. The vast majority of the Bible-thumping states full of Republican voters have a higher divorce rate (despite all their “protect marriage” rhetoric) and a much higher teen pregnacy rate. What has more of an influence over this, is it Hollywood, or is it all the people around them?

Well first to prove your point you would have to provide some evidence that there’s an actual correlation between people who vote Republican or go to church and how their marriage and divorce rates work.

As far as the “moral” argument is concerned, you couldn’t be farther off in my opinion. Are we to ignore an entire group of people who think that our President embodies the ultimate in tyranny and consumption and exploitation of the poor yet is entirely wrong in their own right?

Nobody takes Democrats seriously because we are being constantly told by them that most Republicans have never “made an honest living” or that we are a “White, Christian party” (but of course who would guess being that America is 67% non-Hispanic white and 76% Christian).

Believe me the Republicans have many faults to number. But the Dems are no better.

Posted by: Coleman at August 30, 2006 8:22 PM
Comment #178403
This means establishment of a world-wide caliphate founded by shari’a. Thus the term islamofascist.

I get the Islamic part, but not the fascist part. That sounds nothing like fascism, if you actually understand what it means.

Posted by: Woody Mena at August 30, 2006 8:27 PM
Comment #178406

Jack:

“All of us here are illogical and irrational, arrogant and deluded. Otherwise we would probably be doing other things. Instead we spend our time trying to convince each other. Our virtual community is kind of Valhalla for partisan writers. Each day our wounds are healed and we go into battle again.”

Wait a minute!! Does this mean we agree??! I’m getting vertigo, let me sit down for a minute….:-)

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 30, 2006 8:48 PM
Comment #178409

Phillippe,

Come back when you learn the King’s English. Until then, press 1 to continue in English; press 2 for deportation.

Posted by: Duane-o at August 30, 2006 9:15 PM
Comment #178417

Duane-o

Do not mess with Phillipe until you can write French as well as he can write English. I really value his contributions and point of view.

Phillipe

You are always welcome in my blog, if you can tolerate us.

Woody

Saddam Hussein was very literally a fascist. Baathism is based on it with a levening from its cousin marxism. But I agree that the term is overused. Osama doesn’t have the organizational ability to be a fascist. He is more like a bandit leader.

Posted by: Jack at August 30, 2006 9:46 PM
Comment #178419

That’s right, Jack. Adopt the latest GOP talking points as soon as they come out.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/08/30/gop.fascism.ap/index.html

Posted by: Mister Magoo at August 30, 2006 9:50 PM
Comment #178424

Magoo

Baathism was based on Fascism. Openly, on purpose and without appologies.

If you look at the archives, you will see that I have long said things like that. Maybe Rumsfeld is copying me.

Posted by: Jack at August 30, 2006 10:19 PM
Comment #178428

Jack,
I think it is Rove’s way of making the debacle in Iraq less noticeble while making the whole middle east more noticeble. Also if you hear fascist enough the word loses its power. Sorta like Nazi and Hitler has. W and his lackeys are just covering their butts. They have heard themselves being called facist, which they actually fit the tried and true definition of, and just want to muddy the waters for the election cycle. Kinda Orwellian isnt it?

Posted by: j2t2 at August 30, 2006 10:33 PM
Comment #178429

Politics makes us all a bit nuts, I think. I can only take so much before I find myself slipping into slipperly, unfair arguments. I have to circle into it, dive into the mud, and then get the hell out. It dirties us all.

I live in Tennessee, which is a very depressing state for a left-leaner.

At any rate, I just got in the mail a very cool-looking book on the Byzantium Empress Theodora, and after that I’m going to plow into Guy Lee’s translation of Ovid’s Amores. This has been fun, and educational, but I got to take a break before my head spins apart.

Take care, all. I’ll pop back in if we bomb Iran.

Posted by: Trent at August 30, 2006 10:34 PM
Comment #178430

“Duane-o
Do not mess with Phillipe until you can write French as well as he can write English. I really value his contributions and point of view.”

Hear, hear!!


“Phillipe
You are always welcome in my blog, if you can tolerate us.”

A big ‘if’ to be sure. Thank you, Jack.

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 30, 2006 10:36 PM
Comment #178433

Trent

Sorry to see you go. Come back and see us sometimes. Spend enough time with us and it is true you may go nuts, but you may also become transendental to the partisan frey.

I gave up blogging for about a month a year ago. But I found I actually missed all those liberal goons and - anyway - they needed me to set them right.

We need guys like you. Despite your profound error of leaning left, anyone with a classical education is an asset.

Anyway, it was great to have you. Sic transit gloria mundi.

Posted by: Jack at August 30, 2006 10:58 PM
Comment #178435
Jack wrote: But we should nevertheless consider the nature of the choice.

It sucks, either way. All the more reason to stop repeat offenders. Stop re-electing them.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 30, 2006 11:43 PM
Comment #178436

Trent, Yeah, sorry to see you go. Come back soon.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 30, 2006 11:47 PM
Comment #178439

Coleman:
“Well first to prove your point you would have to provide some evidence that there’s an actual correlation between people who vote Republican or go to church and how their marriage and divorce rates work.”

Okay.
New York Times article: To Avoid Divorce, Move to Massachusetts

Dallas Morning News article: Non-denominational Evangelicals and Baptists have the highest divorce rate
(Much higher than atheists and agnostics, even.)

National Center for Policy Analysis article: Bible Belt Leads U.S. In Divorces

Posted by: Adrienne at August 31, 2006 12:30 AM
Comment #178440

And here’s a nice easy to read graph regarding teenage pregnancy by state:
Bible belt has a higher rate.

I couldn’t make head or tail of the rest of your post, Coleman, so I won’t even try to comment.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 31, 2006 12:34 AM
Comment #178442

Tim: “You are nothing if not gracious.”
Thank you — very kind of you to say!

Jack:
“Do not mess with Phillipe until you can write French as well as he can write English. I really value his contributions and point of view.”
Me too. Well said, and good on you for saying so, Jack.

Trent, I’ll really miss your contributions — hope you’ll be back soon!

Posted by: Adrienne at August 31, 2006 12:42 AM
Comment #178445

Adrienne,

not to poke at your graph, but One question to ask you? yes the graph shows BIRTHS from girls in 02, but any chance they are higher in the bible belt because they are more anti abortion than say other areas where teen girls may still be getting pregnant but also more of them abort?

Posted by: Rhancheck at August 31, 2006 2:50 AM
Comment #178453

I Am A Old Man:

KEVIN 23…. I was reading your comments to NIKKOLAI, and I think you need to schrool up and read the question ROGER asked about people who are right and wrong.

An old, old man

Posted by: ROGER at August 31, 2006 6:09 AM
Comment #178463

I have a couple of points on this topic.
1. The unemployment rate is lower but so are wages so those that have low paying jobs more than likly have 2.
2. Marriage is a faith based institution not based on governmental laws.
I am suprised that nobody addressed the fact that the educational system under this adminastation has kept American more stupid than ever. Of course I could be wrong ,maybe that was the plan all along. Afterall, he did get elected again.

Posted by: michele at August 31, 2006 7:37 AM
Comment #178465

Yes, our unemployment is lower but so are wages. The people that have low paying jobs, more than likely have to work two jobs, just to survive. Then you get well “go back to school” but with the higher interest rates and tuition who can afford it? No one has talked about how this administration has lowered the educational system to the point that we are stupid enough to elect them again!!

Posted by: michele at August 31, 2006 7:43 AM
Comment #178467

Jack,

Saddam Hussein is sitting in a jail cell, so I guess we have defeated Islamofascism…

I doubt there are any other good examples out there. Hitler and Mussolini would have found today’s radical Islamist program very alien to them. Hitler would have liked the anti-Semitism, of course, but hating Jews is not a system of government.

As you acknowledge, the term “fascism” is over used.

Posted by: Woody Mena at August 31, 2006 8:00 AM
Comment #178476

Jack, you brought up Somalia,Bosina,WTC 1993, but lets see under republican pres you have Beruit Marine Barracks,Grenada,panama,afganistain,Iraq(both times).
Going after Osama was right I would agree with that one, and the first Iraq War, after that, ronnie ran after the Marine barracks were bombed, the rest was republican presidents flexing their muscles and being the bully on the street. Now of course the bully wouldn’t push the biggest kid on the street, he picked on the weakest, smallest and look at Grenada, Panama, and Iraq the second time, all weak countries who had a military in name only.

Posted by: KT at August 31, 2006 9:23 AM
Comment #178496

Rhancheck:
“not to poke at your graph, but One question to ask you? yes the graph shows BIRTHS from girls in 02, but any chance they are higher in the bible belt because they are more anti abortion than say other areas where teen girls may still be getting pregnant but also more of them abort?”

Yes, it may well reflect the fact that there are now fewer family planning clinics in the bible belt overall, and fewer that perform abortions and dispense contraceptives. It may also reflect the fact that comprehensive sex education is also disapproved of in schools in the bible belt in favor of implementing completely ineffective, but Bush-promoted and heavily funded abstinence-only programs in schools. Not only has teen pregnancy been on the rise in those states with that switch to giving out little to no information on sexuality and contraception, or alternately, false and misleading info, but AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases are sharply on the rise in those states as well.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 31, 2006 11:26 AM
Comment #178497

Jack,

That republican software in your head screams real loud at you to do and say things doesn’t it?

You have decided first to attack the Dems and find a reason to suggest that it might not be a good idea to vote for the Dems in November. Then you went out and LOOKED for the reason you needed. That is intellectually dishonest, Jack. Besides, what you cite is erroneous and misleading as well. Context is everything, Jack. Ask yourslef what direction the country was moving in when Democrats had the reins. What direction are we moving in now and how fast?
Why?

The most perplexing question is not why Dems hate Bush..it is - why is it that supposedly fiscal conservatives such as yourself DON’T?!!

You say these things like “When you get past hatred of republicans you don’t have much left.”
What more is needed, Jack? The republicans are moving EVERY aspect of this country in the wrong direction in a way that is so complete and so thourough it would cause a more superstitious person to imagine they were being guided by the devil himself! To ssuch a degree that the right thing is to move 180 degrees in the opposite direction from what this administration and these congessmen in the GOP are doing. Hatred of republicans says it most succinctly and completely. What more needs to be said?

I looked at your fact check link and it’s supposed debunking…it’s B.S., Jack. The “unconscionable excessive” language was a reaction a congressional finding that the majors were engaging in price gouging on top of already sky-rocketing gas prices. The republicans chose to do nothing about it. So, much for the people!
The stilt on the article you cite is rediculous in the strictist definition of the word. It points out Delay denied money laundering charges…THE REALITY: DeLay denied improper campaign contributions that the donors themselves already admitted to. Every element of the crimes were public record and outside of the realm of doubt. Like it or not.

AS for the crimes that the republicans being defended by the article are guilty of is were not readily definable violations, but rather the obvious implication of what it means that the republicans chose NOT to do anything about the finding of gas-price price gouging that is taking place. Simultaneously, we find they accepted major campaign donations from the very companies they refuse to defend the people from.

At one point in the artice there is the assertion that Democrats voted AGAINST a bill that would save money on prescriptions for seniors…BUT THAT IS COMPARED TO NO PLAN, NOT THE DEMOCRATIC PLAN!

There is no honesty or intectual integrity to this article, Jack. Worse yet, it is readily apparent that you, like the authors of this article, first decided WHAT you wanted to find…and then went looking for the evidence (regardless of how dubious or stilted) to support that. It’s farsical.

Neither you, nor your party, has a leg to stand on.

Posted by: RGF at August 31, 2006 11:29 AM
Comment #178502

Jack,

I’ve been a conservative (not a Republican) for a long time. Aside from Reagan, I’ve swallowed a lot of toads. I’ll even admit that while I didn’t agree with many of his policies, I liked Clinton.

It seems to me that the party process on both sides of the aisle eliminates the best candidates. I would enjoy an intelligent debate between the parties, but they seem too busy demonizing each other to talk about the real issues. Even on this site, we’re reduced to name calling and non sequitar arguments.

I’ve tried involving myself in Republican politics and I found that the only thing the party is interested in is winning elections. Once in office, the only thing that is important is staying in office. I’ve been greatly amused by the Democrats constant pandering about the “right-wing” controlling the party. The only thing that controls the party is how to get elected. Ideology is not only unimportant, it’s not invited. My brother works on the “other” side, and we are amazed at how similar both parties work….and how ineffective both are at real change.

So when we throw out one set of bums, we just get another set. Is there a way to fix it, or are we all just going to have to get used to swallowing toads?

Posted by: Mike at August 31, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #178547

Since the main theme of this thread is “Democrats are Idiots”, I’d like to point out that the main theme for 4 of the last 5 threads in the Red column are also “Democrats are Idiots”. Only one of the 5 (Thank you Seminole 6) sparked any intellectual thought. Since the 25th the number topics in Green (10) and Blue (8), dealt primarily with specific candidates, congress as a whole, and the current executive administration.

I think what you’ll find is, as the Red column finds little else but pointless slander to offer, the Green and Blue, continue discussing real issues, and that the majority of time and attention is spent on those threads that are actually debating, rather than playing in the mud.

Just something I noticed that I thought was interesting.

Carry on.

Posted by: DOC at August 31, 2006 2:24 PM
Comment #178551

DOC,

I’ve noticed this trend in the Red Column, too. But, let me point out another trend. Look at the number of comments on articles in each column. During this “Dems are idiots” phase, the Reds have had more hits than anyone else.

Reasonable discussions don’t get the readership that flamewars get. It’s why people like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Moore are still in business.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 31, 2006 2:44 PM
Comment #178555

Rob - (LOL) Yes, I’ve seen some of that as well. So. I’m not trying to change it. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Posted by: DOC at August 31, 2006 3:00 PM
Comment #178569

For the “Conservatives are idiots” posts, see the democrat site.

Posted by: nikkolai at August 31, 2006 4:34 PM
Comment #178576

nikkolai - For the most part they only pick on one or two at a time. Lately the Blues have found that demeaning the entire conservative faction is very counterproductive.

Posted by: DOC at August 31, 2006 4:54 PM
Comment #178609

Roger-

I’m sorry, but if I knew what the hell any of your posts were about, I MIGHT comment on them. But I don’t, and I’m not sure how many people do. I think you may be too old, old of a man.

And as for Nikkolai’s habitual inability to justify his rants when challenged, I don’t think you do him any justice. Maybe you should let him fight his own battles. OR you could press me on an issue and you and I could have a nice back and forth.

Either way, I still don’t understand anything you post except that it is baseless crap like bashing of gays for no reason and with no point other than to show your ignorant intollerence. Sad part is that, while they may not be “old men” enough to keep it uncensored, I think many people posting here agree with your unwavering hatred of the gays (who I’m sure play a huge role in your life).

Get a life.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 31, 2006 7:07 PM
Comment #178613

RGF

Factcheck.org is considered non-partisan, maybe a little left leaning. If you do not agree with them, what can I say? I do not have additional information about this. They seem credible and I will continue to believe.

DOC

I never called Democrats idiots. My point is that you need to look at both sides and make your decision based on that. The blue side constantly says that Republicans are bad and that is enough. You see that with blue men on this post. I say we need to make an intelligent choice. Is that limited to Republicans?

Leftists have taken over the Dems. Consider who would be in charge in the House. Nancy Pelosi would be a new Speaker of the House; the 19 potential Dem primary committee chairmen are leftists who attacked Bill Clinton’s attempt to govern as a New Democrat, and before thateven Jimmy Carter in the 1970s. 13 of the 19 voted against the welfare reform that we now say was a great success and a triumph of bipartisanship.

So those of you who liked Clinton cannot be enthusiastic about electing his enemies, although moderate Dems may swallow the toads. Those who thought Clinton was too far to the RIGHT should be happy.

Rob & DOC

I am a bit insulted by your mischaracterizations of what I write. I never call Dems idiots and have probably been among the most reasonable writers on either side. For that I have been called evil, stupid etc. Only a radical could think like that. Maybe you are just annoyed that you cannot win with logic. I make a reasonable comparison. If you don’t like it, maybe you should change.

Posted by: Jack at August 31, 2006 7:13 PM
Comment #178628

The drop in unemployment in 92 also matches with Bill Clinton becoming president{the first democrat since 80). You should also google world trade center2001(feel safer?) You should also note that the people who bombed the w.t.c. in 93 were caught,tried, and are in prison. where is Osama?

Posted by: Kevin at August 31, 2006 7:41 PM
Comment #178630

Adrienne,

The reason religious people have a higher divorce rate. Secular people by and large are not getting married in the same numbers that religious people are.

Posted by: KeithG at August 31, 2006 7:47 PM
Comment #178634

KiethG,

“The reason religious people have a higher divorce rate. Secular people by and large are not getting married in the same numbers that religious people are.”

That may be because secular people are actually trying to know the person they are marrying BEFORE they marry.

I knew my wife 9 years before we married. We lived together for 18 months of that time, 3 years after we first met.

We’ve now been married 26 years.

Posted by: Rocky at August 31, 2006 8:01 PM
Comment #178639

Jack - Please don’t pretend that comparing Democrats to toads, and lingering elevator farts is in any way reasonable.

Suggesting that Democrats are not interested in capturing terrorist communications is nothing but accusation of terrorist support. Not reasonable either.

There is really not much room to mischaracterisze.

You never called Dems idiots, I never called you evil or stupid, and if I’m a radical, I’m a radical centrist.

It would be silly for me to be annoyed with the lack of effect my logic has here. I’m used to it, in a very elementry school, playground manner.

My point, and I think it stands, is that over the past several days in comparison to the Blue and Green this column has been in somewhat of a Dem/Bashing rut, and not just specific Dems.

Posted by: DOC at August 31, 2006 8:16 PM
Comment #178645

Jack,

I am a bit insulted by your mischaracterizations of what I write. I never call Dems idiots and have probably been among the most reasonable writers on either side.

Neither DOC nor I have called you evil or stupid (in this conversation, at least). And, as far as I can tell, you ARE one of the more reasonable people on this site.

But there’s a growing trend (currently seen more on the Right, but quite often seen on the Left, too) of spending more time talking about the opponents than talking about the issues. Instead of talking about what the Republicans can/will do right, they talk about what the Democrats will do wrong. Your article above is a perfect example — you seem to be supporting the Republicans, yet you don’t give a single reason to vote for them. Instead, you overwhelm us with reasons why NOT to vote for the Democrats. All this really does for me is make third parties and independents more attractive.

Maybe you are just annoyed that you cannot win with logic.

Well, since you haven’t responded to any of my logic, I’d say I win by default. If you’d like to change that, feel free to respond to my “checks and balances” post above (August 30, 2006 09:10 AM). I think it was a valid, “logical” response to your article, and yet you seem unwilling to address it.

Are you perhaps annoyed that YOU “cannot win with logic”? :-)

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 31, 2006 8:32 PM
Comment #178648

I believe it was George Washington who warned us against the partisanship and hatred natural to a two party system. I say that for someone to vote for a candidate just because they belong to a certain party is lunacy. Both sides unarguably spend more time insulting and attacking the other than actually debating. Because debating is not a very good way to “energize the base.” On the other hand, screaming about how Republicans are racist and want to take away women’s rights or how gays and the liberal media are destroying the family do a very good job of it.

Rob, Jack and DOC
-I think that your running argument (not really a debate) is not really either side not using logic but rather each side not seeing the other sides logic as logical, and therefore not worthy of debate. Instead of talking about how reasonable we are, how about debating issues?

Posted by: Silima at August 31, 2006 8:57 PM
Comment #178679

Keith:
“The reason religious people have a higher divorce rate. Secular people by and large are not getting married in the same numbers that religious people are.”

Doesn’t matter. The fact that they divorce in such high numbers really blows all that self-righteous “sanctity of marriage” stuff right out of the water. I can’t begin to tell you how very tedious it is for us liberals to be continually attacked and smeared for our supposed immorality by people who clearly aren’t very successful at practicing what they preach.

Rocky:

“secular people are actually trying to know the person they are marrying BEFORE they marry.”

I agree. And it seems smarter that way — not rushing into marriage or having a family before a couple is at least a little more sure they’ll be able to stay together for the long haul.

“I knew my wife 9 years before we married. We lived together for 18 months of that time, 3 years after we first met.
We’ve now been married 26 years.”

Stupendous secular success story!

Here’s mine: Met first year of college, sparks instantly flew, moved in together, lived in glorious “sin” for sixteen years, finally decided to get married because we were buying a house. Crazy in love with each other for 23 years total.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 31, 2006 10:36 PM
Comment #178684

Silima

You are probably right about the logic angle. The sides in the sides in this debate disagree about the basic facts, not to mention values and world view. Logic doesn’t lead to truth if the premises are wrong.

Many things are internally consistent and logical but just wrong. Marxism is like that. If you grant the premises, everything else follows. I understand that you can logically prove the earth is flat if you grant certain premises.

We all find inconsistencies in each other, by our standards.

I don’t think that we are going to give up any time soon, however. I do not get annoyed at the counters, but I do not like it when people mistake me for the streotype they have of conservatives.

And DOC, I do not compare Democrat to toads or farts in elevators, I make an analogy. I think it is kinda funny. For the actual comparison, I want to compare Republicans to Democrats. Democrats want to focus on Republican problems and I cannot blame them. It is always a winning strategy if you can define your opponent. My point is that we have a CHOICE, not an up or down vote. If you get rid of Republicans, you get Democrats. Our experience with them is not good.

As I point out above, most of the Dem leadership voted against Welfare Reform. Look at their records and compare them to what you want. People should vote as they think is best, but the key word is THINK.

Posted by: Jack at September 1, 2006 12:15 AM
Comment #178696

Dems blew it when they had power during both the Carter and Clinton administrations, and they still cannot get past the fact that Al Gore lost. Their resentment and hatred has made them blind to reality.

Under Carter we had double digit inflation, massive taxes, highest gas prices ever, and the start of Islamo facism. One term and out with the toothy peanut farmer.

Clinton inherted a rebounding economy that he lied about to win, rode it for 7 years until his three tax hikes kicked in with interest rates and corporate corruption leaving it in a recession, he separated intelligence agencies, ignored terrorism, slashed the defense budget, partied every night. All while preoccupied with Monica. Then he lied to the entire nation about it on TV.

Oh, by all means lets put dems back in office so they can invite Ahmadinejad over to the White House for some tea before he goes to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom and we all wake up to find out he blew it up for Allah.

Posted by: Ottmann at September 1, 2006 2:41 AM
Comment #178700

Duane-o,

Come back when you learn the King’s English. Until then, press 1 to continue in English; press 2 for deportation.

I apologize for my poor English skill.
I’m glad you both still managed to understand my post and didn’t disagree with none of my points but my english weakness, though.

Jack, Tim and Adrienne, thanks for your warm support.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 1, 2006 4:21 AM
Comment #178701

KeithG,

The reason religious people have a higher divorce rate. Secular people by and large are not getting married in the same numbers that religious people are.

First, you’re trying to compare rate with numbers here.
Second, sure, non-married people have a very low divorce rate, indeed. ;-)

What’s the point about religious vs secular divorce rate? Both kind were married before getting divorced, you know, and a rate is a rate is a rate.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 1, 2006 4:35 AM
Comment #178702

As Jack and others up-thread have mentioned the overuse of the word fascism, perhaps an overview is in order.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_allen_l__060831_14__characteristics_.htm


This overuse of the word fascism by the Bush administration is a way of muddling Americans’ thinking, and distorting the definition of a word that has increasingly been used by their political opponents to characterize Bush’s administration. This manipulation and distortion of language was recognized by George Orwell; below are quotes by him.

“Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

“Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.”

In regard to the second quote, there is no such thing as Islamofascism, just as there is no Christofascism. There is fascism, period. Two critical aspects of fascism to my mind are the enmeshing of state and religion, and the strong, inseperable alliance of government and corporate entities, where the government exists to service corporate wishes and policy.

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 1, 2006 4:48 AM
Comment #178708

My Name Is Roger:

KEVIN 23… “you said ” You did not know what the [ _ _ _ _ ]my post were about ” and ” you think I may be too old, old of a man ” and something about ” Nikkolais inability to justify his rants ” and that I was ” ignorant and intolarent “.

I think you need to read the rules of participation,which states “YOU MAY NOT CRITICIZE THE PERSON THEMSELF” ” THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE COMMENT IS NOT TO PROVOKE HOSTILITY OR ANGER ” is also has a rule concerning ” PROFANITY”.

I asked a question…………………..

WHY IS IT IF YOU ARE PRO GAY YOU ARE RIGHT
BUT IF YOU ARE PRO RIGHT YOU ARE WRONG?

So why is it if you are pro gay you are right, but if you are pro right you are wrong?

ROGER

Posted by: ROGER at September 1, 2006 7:19 AM
Comment #178711

ROGER,

By “pro gay”, do you mean actively encouraging is no people to be homosexual, or do you simply mean accepting the right of gay people to be gay?

In most cases, I support the side that protects the freedom of the individual, and oppose the side that takes that freedom away. Someone else being homosexual doesn’t impose upon your rights/freedom in any way.

As for “pro right”, that could mean all sorts of things. Not even the Republicans can agree on what the “right” is anymore, so you’ll have to be more specific.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 1, 2006 7:58 AM
Comment #178712

Silima - Thank you. That’s my point exactly.

Posted by: DOC at September 1, 2006 8:01 AM
Comment #178716

Hey—maybe we are getting somewhere. Looks like our lefty friends are now grudgingly admitting that maybe there is a little international problem with islamic terrorism (do not DARE call it fascism, though). How about we call “Islamists who are bent on world domination through formation of the caliphate under shari’a”? Does that properly label this growing menace?

Posted by: nikkolai at September 1, 2006 8:37 AM
Comment #178720

Well most people kissed the frog and look what happened.
We got no prince.

We got warts.

I’m voting for the ‘toad’.

Posted by: Joe at September 1, 2006 9:07 AM
Comment #178723

nikkolai,

Nobody has denied that there’s a problem with islamic terrorism. But the word “fascist” has a very specific meaning, which doesn’t apply in this case. You seem to be using the word “fascist” when you mean “genocidal” and/or “theocratic”. The word “fascist” doesn’t necessarily mean either of those.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at September 1, 2006 9:21 AM
Comment #178727

A friend of mine recently reminded my of a John Landis film of the 70’s, Kentucky Fried Movie.
This is a quote from IMDB that sums up a reply to recent comments:

A.M. Newscaster: In the meantime this is A.M. Today. It’s 18 minutes after the hour and time for our daily feature of debate: Count/Pointercount. Once again here are John Fitzsimmons and Sheila Hamilton.

John Fitzsimmons: [alternately to Sheila and camera] Well Sheila, I guess even you and your liberal cronies have found the light at the end of love with our beloved president. The intellectuals have been much agitated and now, having gotten the presidency by exploiting the problems they themselves have manufactured, he has done his best to fuel their anxieties about him. Sheila. Will you and your pack of bleeding heart liberals never learn that expanding welfare roles only accelerate inflation and inevitably hurt most those they purport to help?
Sheila Hamilton: Why John, you old stick in the mud. [to camera]
Sheila Hamilton: I’ve been listening to that horse shit of yours for months, and you can take that crap and blow it out your ass. And for good measure, sit on THIS [flips the bird]
Sheila Hamilton: , John


Posted by: Dave1 at September 1, 2006 9:43 AM
Comment #178731

Jack,

Once again we will be asked to hold our collective noses and judge this lack of beauty pageant.

This is the country that gave us Adams, Jefferson, Washington, and Lincoln. Hell, even Eisenhower was a brain surgeon compared to our latest crop of morons.

nikkolai,

Your attempts to label something you don’t understand are a fruitless exercise. What you don’t understand is the present administration is only battling the symptoms, not the cause of the malady we all face.
Try as we might, until we attack the root causes, it won’t matter how many Islamo-whatevers we kill, there will always be more to step up and fill the void left behind.

Posted by: Rocky at September 1, 2006 10:11 AM
Comment #178733

The list of characteristics of fascism derived from a study of fascist movements in the 20th century by Lawrence Britt (linked to above) has been around for several years and is now the accepted definition in political science circles. It is useful to note that prior to Britt, the late Chicago Tribune reporter, George Seldes, had studied fascism first-hand in 1920s/30s Italy and Spain. His writings are insightful for those inclined to read them. A two-chapter excerpt from one of his books on fascism can be found here:

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/George_Seldes/Facts_and_Fascism.html

I knew Seldes during the last 20 years of his life (he died in 1995 at 104 years) and found him to be an exciting conversationalist and keenly insightful even during these late years of his life. As an octo- and nonogenerian, he had an exceptionally powerful historical perspective.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 1, 2006 10:29 AM
Comment #178738

An exercise I’ve often assigned to students is to identify similarities between sides. I borrowed the idea from Winston Churchill who, in a letter, argued that knowing the similarities one has with an opponent is more important than the differences. Subsequently, I learned this exercise is an important tool in military science.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 1, 2006 10:47 AM
Comment #178746

You are arguing that the democrats will be no better than the Republicans, but if we had opted into Al Gore’s lockbox, alternative energy, or Kerry’s plan to fight terrorism through an international peace force and work towards universal healthcare the world would be a better place.

Posted by: Max at September 1, 2006 11:26 AM
Comment #178748

Roger-

Again, I have no interest in the gay issue. I don’t know why you are so overcome by it. You should drop it. It doesn’t relate to this thread, which is also part of the rules of participation. And don’t take me out of context in a whining attempt to point your finger and cry foul. You know I was attacking the idiocy and incomprehensibility of your posts. You know it and I know it. So again, get a life!

Posted by: Kevin23 at September 1, 2006 11:40 AM
Comment #178760

Dr. Poshek,
How interesting that you knew Seldes. I deeply admire that man and his work! The last book I read of his was “Witness to a Century, Encounters with the Noted, the Notorious, and the Three SOB’s.” I highly recommend it to everyone.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 1, 2006 12:26 PM
Comment #178769

Adrienne,

BTW, well done.

Posted by: Rocky at September 1, 2006 1:25 PM
Comment #178773

Adrienne-

And I thought my 4 year engagement was long…you beat me hands down. I must say that “living in sin” was pretty much identical to living in the good graces of the church.

Posted by: Kevin23 at September 1, 2006 1:32 PM
Comment #178786

Dr. Poshek:

Thanks for the link. I don’t know that much about Seldes or his work, but what little I do know makes me admire the man.

“The main threat to democracy comes not from the extreme left, but from the extreme right, which is able to buy huge sections of the press and radio and wages a constant campaign to smear and discredit every progressive and humanitarian measure.”

George Seldes

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 1, 2006 2:17 PM
Comment #178807

Max, you as everyone else here do not know what Gore, or how Kerry would have done. But I do know that bush and the misadminstration has gotten us into the middle of a Civil War, an unjustified war, and that he lied to the American people, and more americans are dying because of it. Bush lied just like Clinton did and Bush should be impeached. Rumsfield should be fired and Cheney needs to take a hunting class.
The only smart one that worked for bush left the misadministration and that was Gen. Powell, he knew that bush was blowing smoke up American’s ass, once it came out that no WMD were found, and there never was any after the first gulf war.

Posted by: KT at September 1, 2006 3:28 PM
Comment #178819

Philippe:

“Adrienne, thanks for your warm support.”
Tres bienvenu, Philippe!

“I apologize for my poor English skill.”
Vous soyez davantage que bon assez. N’ecoutez pas cela opinion!

Rocky:
“Adrienne,
BTW, well done.”
Thanks! Kind of quiet now, isn’t it? :^)

Kevin:
“”living in sin” was pretty much identical to living in the good graces of the church.”

Indeed. Maybe because following the impulse toward love, mutual respect and commitment is far more important than the impulse toward following strict traditions or dogma? I think so.

Tim:
“I don’t know that much about Seldes or his work, but what little I do know makes me admire the man.”

Seldes is one of the most fascinating people who ever lived, in my view — and if you read some of his books, I’m almost positive you’d share that opinion, Tim. He led a truly amazing life, and his work has held up well, without being dated. Here’s a bit of info about him: The Forgotten Man of American Journalism: A Brief Biography of George Seldes

Posted by: Adrienne at September 1, 2006 4:45 PM
Comment #178833

Adrienne-

“the impulse toward love, mutual respect and commitment is far more important than the impulse toward following strict traditions or dogma?”

Ding Ding Ding. That sounds like a winner to me.

Maybe, just maybe, the children pick up on all the fearmongering and scare tactics that some of these “god fearing” parents subject other people to on a regular basis. A child is very impressionable, and tend to pick up on the actions of those around them much more than the words. Then guess what they do? The second things turn sour in a relationship, they use those same demonization tactics on their partner. And then there is the messy breakup or divorce that follows. It’s good for the divoce attorneys…bad for everyone else involved.

Posted by: Kevin23 at September 1, 2006 6:03 PM
Comment #178835

Allen:

You are dead wrong.

Republicans do not hate Americans. Republicans (for the most part) hate liberalism: the scourge of America.

Since many liberals talk like traitors in time of war, calling them Americans is a stretch.

You are also wrong about dems and libs vs. Bush. Libs and dems hate Bush- a lot more so than they care about America. When Bush is long gone, the rhetoric of the left will still be focused on: hatred for Bush.

I have never defended Bush on any policy issue, and I certainly disagree with Bush on many issues.

But I can tell you that 90% of the time, when I have engaged a lib on any issue of policy, they come back with an attack on Bush and attack me for supporting Bush, when the discussion was never about Bush. After a while, you realize that attacking Bush is all that the libs have.

Personally, I am so sick of listening to libs that I welcome the chance for them to regain power so that they can become “targets”.

Posted by: Jimmy at September 1, 2006 6:22 PM
Comment #178837

The consternation and angst among conservative republicans in this midterm election is palpable.
It is also understandable. We’d like to “kick the bums out” and teach them a lesson. We feel betrayed. They haven’t been listening to us on the Hill. We elected them to represent us, but they seem more concerned about their own agendas and have turned a deaf ear to their constituency.
But what, as Jack asked, is our alternative? I would like to be able, in good conscience, to walk into the polling booth in Nov. and vote for someone other than Mike DeWine. He’s out in left field somewhere with our other distinguished Senator Metzenbaum and McCain’s ‘gang of 14’.
However, the cost is too high and times are too significant to vote into Congress a liberal extreemist such as Sherrod Brown whom I would consider to be a FAR WORSE choice.
To all other conservative voters, who are between a rock and a hard place also, we must not give in to pessimism. Many of us are in the same boat in our states, but if we focus on the War on Terror, THE essential issue that we face today, we will all walk in…take a deep breath…grit our teeth…and vote with our brain for those that wish to continue to DEFEND and not surrender our country.

Posted by: Linda at September 1, 2006 7:04 PM
Comment #178892
Max, you as everyone else here do not know what Gore, or how Kerry would have done.

I find it hard to believe they would have done as badly as Bush. Certainly, I would have expected them to keep to their word of trying to have a lockbox, police terrorists internationally, etc., as opposed to Bush who said he was going to be bi-partisan and did not believe in nation-building. That man has hurt this country badly. He has done more harm to the country that Osama Bin Laden, and more moral harm than Clinton could have ever been capable of.

Posted by: Max at September 2, 2006 1:01 AM
Comment #178909

Jack,

The Republican election policy for several election cycles has been based on the Machivellian principal that the only way to win is to attack Democrats - put them on the defensive, make them the subject. It’s negative campaigning. And this post is just one more example.

Be honest Jack. Admit the truth. Whether you folks on the wrong wing admit it or not, the last six years of Bush League ineptitude are proving to the American people that Republicans have the governing ability of a flock (herd?) of penguins. Maybe that’s why support for Republicans has fallen into the mid-30% range overall, and is still dropping. And the best thing you guys can come up with is “yeah, but what about the Dems”? That sounds like you’re getting desperate.

This post just drips with the scent of fear, Jack. Fear that Republicans are losing their their grip on power. Fear that the Bush League has been discovered for the inept boobs that they are. Fear that the Republicans are gonna lose both houses of Congress in 2006. Fear that the Bush League may have poisoned the well for 2008 and possibly more elections into the future. Fear that the Republicans party has finally moves so far to the wrong that they no longer appeal to mainstream America.

You’re starting to sound desperate, Jack.

Posted by: ElliottBay at September 2, 2006 10:54 AM
Comment #178916

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that Democrats and liberals can’t argue the facts but instead attack the person delivering the truthful message?

Posted by: Dana at September 2, 2006 11:46 AM
Comment #178923

Max

And I suppose you think Howard Dean would have been a terrific Secretary of State.

Bush has tried and succeeded in
1. cutting our taxes
2. keeping unemployment low (now at a mere 4%)
3. beefed up the level of homeland security
(maybe the drive-by media hasn’t called this
your attention much but we haven’t had
another attack in 5 years). With ‘cudos’ to
our terrific allies in the UK.
4. keeping the economy on track and moving in an
upward direction. (I can’t see that our life
style has suffered much over these past 5
years). Fluctuations in the stock market and
minor adjustments yes, but no dramatic
shift.
5. gas prices are stabalizing again - after
last years string of Gulf hurricane
devestation.
6. despite the doom and gloom which is always
prevelent in the ‘drive-by media’, hearing
from the lips of a 40 year old military naval
officer who just came home from serving an 18
month stint in Iraq, he is impressed and
optomistic about the situation there
eventhough serving in some the hot-bed areas
such as Fallujah, and Baghdad. He is
impressed with the incredible progress that
has been made there in so many areas of the
country. (Of course we never hear about this)

And, he says that the support coming from
people here at home is incredible. Boxes of
clothing for the Iraqis and supplies of
goodwill and support for their efforts. Yes,
our peopleknow well what is being said by
the naysayers, but what brings hope is the
REALITY OF WHAT THEY’RE SEEING HAPPENING
with the people there each day and how much
appreciation their presence receives. They,
the Iraqis, aren’t ready for them to
leave yet - though they know they must at some
point. These are stories we rarely, if
ever hear. Certainly it’s tremendously
difficult work they’re doing, they’re special
people, to say the least. They are ‘in
harms way’ every day, but they are receiving
the support from home and the knowledge
and appreciation that what they’re doing
really matters to the Iraqis. These are
messages of HOPE.

I suppose, if you choose to look at the glass half empty all the time, you can certainly do that, however I see every reason to be optomistic for Iraq and US. If you choose to see a land of Mordor up ahead rather than Lorien that’s your choice too, but as Frodo and Sam had to make that incredibly difficult journey to Mt. Doom, we’re on just such a journey/a battle for light to overcome darkness and destruction.

I guess that’s pretty idealistic, but then maybe that’s why the Dems are incapable of understanding W, because he’s not about negativity and doom and gloom. He sees what’s good about the country and tries to make it better. While they focus on what’s wrong and want to tear it down. He’s far to optomistic for them to stand. It’s too bad they have to be so full of rage, hatred and pessimism. One can only HOPE for the light to come on.

Posted by: Linda at September 2, 2006 12:41 PM
Comment #178924

Linda,

If you sincerely feel that Bush is doing a great job with the economy and with the war in Iraq than nothing I am going to say is going to change your mind. Even Bush has admitted making serious mistakes at this point. Even Republicans have say he did a terrible job with Katrina. I guess some people get so invested in someone or something they can’t see the truth, no matter how obvious it is. On the whole, Bush is a terrible president.

Posted by: Max at September 2, 2006 12:52 PM
Comment #178928

Jack,
Nice site and nice work.

Glad I bumped into the healthy dialogue here.


www.regimeofterror.com

Posted by: Mark at September 2, 2006 1:21 PM
Comment #178934

Adrienne:

Thanks for the link to the Seldes biography. A very interesting fellow, to say the least. His link to Lincoln Steffens I was not aware of.

And, his reporting during the Spanish Civil War sounds like it needs to be read. The SCW was a watershed event. I’m reading Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell right now, an excellent read. I became enthralled with the SCW several years ago. I must walk the streets of Barcelona before I die—and I’m not quite sure why, or what I would look for.

But I think the very fact of being there will impart something to me that books can’t. Like my other obsession, standing in the shadow of Little Round Top early on a crisp October Monday morning, and watching the sun crest it’s summit, in silence, broken only by the hum of commuters traversing the Emmitsburg Pike and the streets of Gettysburg.

Posted by: Tim Crow at September 2, 2006 2:27 PM
Comment #178935

Linda,

Even though I know I won’t change your mind, I’ll address your points one by one, so you can understand my side of things.

1. Bush cut our taxes
I think this was a mistake. We shouldn’t be cutting taxes while we are in massive debt. It makes no sense. I don’t attribute any growth to it.

2. Bush kept unemployment low
It turned out a primary reason for this was many people have taken second jobs. They have to now, because the wages from one don’t pay the bills. Consider also the results of a new poll of American workers by the Pew Research Center finding workers perceive a long-term downward trend in their economic status. A majority say that it’s harder to earn a decent living than it was 20 or 30 years ago, and a plurality say that job benefits are worse too. The latest Census report on incomes, poverty and health insurance, released this week, shows that in 2005, four years into the economic expansion, the percentage of Americans with private insurance of any kind reached its lowest level since 1987. And Americans feel, again correctly, that benefits are worse than they used to be. Finally, hiring was tepid in August, bringing average job creation in the private sector to 102,000 jobs a month since April. That is nowhere near the level of labor demand that’s needed to give employees the clout to bargain for raises. Accordingly, hourly wages weakened in August, up only one-tenth of a percent, all of which is most likely to be eaten up by inflation. (In 26 of the last 28 months, annual hourly wage growth has failed to outpace inflation.) Most economists agree a slowdown is likely in our future and that it will hit workers hard, whose real wages never increased.

3. beefed up the level of homeland security. There’s been no attack.
Just because there hasn’t been an attack doesn’t mean Bush has beefed up security. Katrina proved we are less prepared for an attack than before.

4. keeping the economy on track and moving in an upward direction.
If you haven’t seen a downturn affecting you’re quality of life you are lucky and in the minority (or maybe just really rich). However, the massive debt Bush created alone most people would agree means we have not moved in the right direction.

5. Gas prices are stabalizing again. I don’t think so.

6. Some naval officer came home and said everything is great in Iraq.
So what? The rate of casualties and insurgency related violence is dramatically increasing not decreasing.

7. You’re just seeing the glass half full.
No. I’m not. I’ve coldly surveyed the facts and made an assessment based on them. We’re not going in the right direction and many Democratic ideas would have led us to a better place. You’re the one that’s been brainwashed by the media. Brainwashed into believing there’s some question as to whether or not we are winning in the war in Iraq. Listen to the military analysts, or even Bush, the picture is bleak. Or maybe you believe there’s some question as to humans creating global warming and the situation being dire. Not among scientists. Or maybe you believe that Intelligent Design is just as valid as Darwinism because both are theories. Wrong. Darwinism has an incredible amount of evidence behind it. You can’t wish away debt, or deaths, or the truth, just because it’s not convenient for you.

The people that have led us down this road are criminals. I restate that Bush has done more damage to this country than Bin Laden.

Posted by: Max at September 2, 2006 2:32 PM
Comment #178948

Max
Even though neither of us will ever convince the other, I believe the fact that we can have an intelligent conversation is a good thing.
I don’t blindly follow and agree with all that Bush has done. Actually, to send more troops there to once and for all get the job done would be great. What I, for the life of me, cannot understand is why we’ve ‘pussyfooted’ around this long. And on illegal immigration and our porous borders, I’ve been disappointed.
As for Democrat ideas, I have yet to hear one that makes any sense.
As for my financial situation, it’s very middle class, but I and my husband have investments in our retirement future which I have seen no substantial drop in lately. Tax cuts have been a positive thing for us and our employers as well.
You know, if you’re so crazy about the government taking your money, maybe each year at tax time YOU CAN VOLUNTARILY SEND THEM SOME EXTRA to use as they wish. I’d rather hold onto mine for the future thank you, along with donating to charitable organizations and causes of my choice. That’s the key element - choice. My choices with money that I’ve earned, not the governments choices (which have a poor track record).
As far a my opinions on creation…however our Creator chose to create, He still did it, whether by intelligent design or evolution (both of which have holes in them large enough to drive a galaxy through)it doesn’t really matter, creation is awesome and awe-inspiring and none of us will ever be able to grasp it. In this area, any and every theory will always be just that.
Comparing Bush to Bin Ladin, come on. That’s quite an exaggeration now isn’t it? You can’t honestly believe that. As horrible a President as I thought ‘Slick Willy’ was I wouldn’t say that. I suppose it’s a matter of respect, and though I don’t see anything ‘SW’ did to earn mine, he was our President. But, maybe you don’t see Bush as your President, which means you may not see yourself as an American citizen. Hmm…and interesting connundrum. I believe that each of our Presidents have done what they thought was the right thing, some were proved wrong and some proved right.
I think, just out of a sense of respect, as an American citizen, you might give him more credit than that.

Posted by: Linda at September 2, 2006 6:45 PM
Comment #178949
Comparing Bush to Bin Ladin, come on. That’s quite an exaggeration now isn’t it? You can’t honestly believe that. As horrible a President as I thought ‘Slick Willy’ was I wouldn’t say that. I suppose it’s a matter of respect, and though I don’t see anything ‘SW’ did to earn mine, he was our President.

I only compare the damage they’ve done to this country, not their moral characters. Btw, I wasn’t aware that “Slick Willy” was a term of respect. Anyway, impugning someone’s moral character is Republican normal operating procedure. The way they treated Clinton and Kerry was truly sleazy, like when Bush suggested the person he was running against for Governer of Texas was a pedophile. Respectful indeed.

Posted by: Max at September 2, 2006 7:06 PM
Comment #178954

Linda,

“I believe that each of our Presidents have done what they thought was the right thing, some were proved wrong and some proved right.”

Has any President in the past authored a tax cut during a war?
That maybe good for you and yours but how is it for the country to be trillions of dollars in debt, AND fighting a war?

Mr. Bush said he disagreed with “Nation building”, yet here we are three years later with a civil war, and us in the middle.

Mr. Bush said he was a “Uniter, not a divider”, and going into Afghanistan Bush had nearly 100% approval from the country.
A recent poll shows that support down to 56%, and the country has rarely been so polarized.

It’s not that the ideas that are necessarily wrong, but the execution truly sucks.

Posted by: Rocky at September 2, 2006 8:07 PM
Comment #178960

Max
Though ‘Slick Willy ’ may be a rather derogetory term, I by no means called him a terrorist or traitor to his country. As far as my impuning his moral character, he’s done a pretty good job of that all by himself.

Rocky
Why would tax cuts be a worse idea during a war than any other time?
1. the government needs money.
2. people receive a tax cut therefore they
have more money in their pockets.
3. people spend money on goods and services.
4. more revenue is collected in taxes on these
goods and services.
5. the government collects the taxes from
these goods and services to replace what is
continually spend on all sorts of
government programs, of which the Iraq war
is only one, though a huge one I agree.
The more people have, the more they will spend, the more taxes and revenue will be collected which will go back into the state and federal government coffers. It’s pretty basic Economics 101. This is not just good for me and mine, but you and yours and the governments. It’s a ‘win/win’ situation. You want to throw the country into a recession—-raise taxes.
No, everything hasn’t gone smooth as silk in Iraq, and mistakes have been made, as occur in ANY war. I can’t recall one in my history studies that has gone perfectly. The perfect war is pretty much a contradiction in terms. Wars are by their nature unpredictable, especially when your dealing with small cells and pockets of insurgents who pop up at random. We’ve never fought this kind of war before, however, I believe our intelligence is much better than in the past and we’re learning how to fight it more effectively.
I do see Bush to be a uniter. It’s the Liberals who choose dissent in just about everything these days. You can’t unite those who do not wish to be united.
As far as polls go, we’ll see how ready America is to place the country in the hands of Nancy Pelossi. Polarized - yes indeed it is. But this county’s been there before too and survived. This too shall pass after this knock-down-drag-out fight is over, and America and Americans will be stronger for it.

Posted by: Linda at September 2, 2006 9:07 PM
Comment #178961

Linda,

I just don’t know where to start.

“The more people have, the more they will spend, the more taxes and revenue will be collected which will go back into the state and federal government coffers. It’s pretty basic Economics 101. This is not just good for me and mine, but you and yours and the governments. It’s a ‘win/win’ situation. You want to throw the country into a recession—-raise taxes.”

You want to be able to provide the troops with everything they need, someone has to pay for it, and that means cutting social services AND raising taxes.

Do you realize that for the first time in recent history, the American public is taking more money out of their savings than they are putting in?
Do you realize that during the housing bubble more than quite a few people put themselves beyond their means refinancing their houses, and now owe more on the houses than their worth?

“It’s the Liberals who choose dissent in just about everything these days. You can’t unite those who do not wish to be united.”

This administration has chosen to surround itself with “yes” men, and brooks no disagreement.
This administration only wants to unite with those who see it their way.

“I can’t recall one in my history studies that has gone perfectly.”

We had Afghanistan in the bag, and seem about to give it back.
We could have had Iraq in the bag also, but chose to do it on the cheap.
You’re right, war is unpredictable, that is why you don’t rush into wars of choice. You plan for everything, these guys planned for nothing past the fall of Baghdad.

Posted by: Rocky at September 2, 2006 9:28 PM
Comment #178967

Rocky,
Linda seems to have been proven correct when you look at government revenues now compared to before the Bush tax cuts.

Posted by: Duane-o at September 2, 2006 10:21 PM
Comment #178968

Phillipe,
Your English is far better than my French could ever be, (I took 5 years and lived in France for a brief time), and frankly I’m ashamed that you would be insulted on this blog. Please do not judge the many by the few ignorant people who happen to have a computer and keyboard.

Adrienne,
I thoroughly read the articles you linked to, and unfortunately the first doesn’t seem to hold water, mostly because it appears to be poorly writtten.
It refers to Christians and Non-Christians. However the article itself doesn’t seem to understand or explain what a Non-Christian is. It also doesn’t show the rates between the Non-Christian,and those who profess to be Christian.
In fact it almost appears to imply that all the other organized denominations are not Christian.

I’m from the South, (SC & NC), and have lived here all my life.

Evangelicals and Baptists, and the “Born Again” may appear to be more evident in the South, however one can not simply say that they are the reason for higher divorce rates in the South.
I truly believe that the greatest reason for higher rates has more to do with the educational level of many Southerners , (which is more than horrible), not religion. Even economics has more influence than religion. Frankly, even women starting to realize that they don’t have to be punching bags, or be marred to raise their children, probably have a higher influence than religion in the south.

I’ve always be told that if one is an Evangelical ( in a hush-hush whisper) they will get wealthy and move up to a higher social status. It has something to do with being rewarded by God, at least that’s the poor southern view.

Otherwise I enjoy your posts, and find you frequently speak not only for yourself, but for me as well.

As for everyone else,
Seems like I remember the words GRIDLOCK a lot during Clinton’s Presidency. Am I the only one who remembers that term?

Posted by: Linda H. at September 2, 2006 10:31 PM
Comment #178971

Duane-O,

“Linda seems to have been proven correct when you look at government revenues now compared to before the Bush tax cuts.”

http://www.heritage.org/Research/Taxes/bg1957.cfm

“According to the CBO’s long-run forecast in December 2005, federal taxes under current law will rise from 18.3 percent of GDP to nearly 19 percent within five years and reach almost 24 percent of GDP by 2050. This means that the federal tax burden on Americans, as a proportion of income, will increase by almost one-fourth. When state and local taxes are included, the U.S. tax burden will be comparable to the burden in today’s slow-growth Europe.

This scenario assumes that the Bush tax cuts are not made permanent and that Congress does not mitigate the impact of the AMT. Yet even making the Bush tax cuts permanent would shave only 1 per­centage point off of this projected steep rise in taxes.”

Posted by: Rocky at September 2, 2006 10:51 PM
Comment #178973

Duane-o,

Imagine that, a painless war.

Sooner or later, somebody’s going to have to pay the tab for all this frivolous spending. I don’t suppose our grandchildren will enjoy paying the freight for the “War on Terror”, even if it ended in the next couple of years.

Posted by: Rocky at September 2, 2006 10:56 PM
Comment #178974

By 2008, after two more years of GW Bush, Pelosi will appear a godsend. The appearance will be deceiving, but, the idea of allowing the Republicans to put forth another President after this choice of theirs, will be far more than the majority of Americans will tolerate.

There will be no Republican president in 2008, unless they are Republican in name only. The anti-Bush is what Americans will want in 2008, and insist on getting at the polls. By then we will have an 11 trillion dollar national debt, we will be fighting not only a civil war in Iraq, but, one backed by an Iran-Iraq alliance. We will not be any closer to salvaging a safety net for Americans, an less than 25% of Americans entering college will be equipped to finish and graduate.

Yes, indeed, Americans will be looking to elect the anti-Bush in 2008. Of that, evidence already abounds in 2006.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 2, 2006 11:07 PM
Comment #178978

Linda H.
“I thoroughly read the articles you linked to, and unfortunately the first doesn’t seem to hold water, mostly because it appears to be poorly writtten.”

Since you didn’t like that first NYT article I linked to, I did a quick search and found another that was written about that exact same study:
Christians Are More Likely to Experience Divorce Than Are Non-Christians
Seems a bit more in depth.

“It refers to Christians and Non-Christians. However the article itself doesn’t seem to understand or explain what a Non-Christian is.”

I believe it means exactly that — everyone who isn’t a Christian. So, I assume that would include all those of other faiths, as well as atheists and agnostics. From what I’ve gathered from these articles about the study, Barna is an Evangelical pastor with a research group whose purpose is to track trends among Christians in general. Here is the main page to the website if you’re interested in what they do: The Barna Group
I did a search for the 1999 study in question and it wasn’t listed for some reason. Then I did a study for divorce in general and saw a 2004 update to the previous study — it seems that not much has changed.

“Otherwise I enjoy your posts, and find you frequently speak not only for yourself, but for me as well.”

Thanks very much, Linda!

Posted by: Adrienne at September 3, 2006 1:28 AM
Comment #178981

Tim:
“I must walk the streets of Barcelona before I die—and I’m not quite sure why, or what I would look for.”

Well, I can give you my own why: because it is magical, gorgeous, and the food is terrific. As for what to look for, don’t miss the architecture of Antoni Gaudi. It is well worth searching out. The above link is to the most famous of his buildings (and some of them you actually won’t be able to miss), but Gaudi can be found all over Barcelona. He designed everything from a park, right down to things as small and practical as street lamps. Once you really absorb his amazing style, you’ll be able to spot his genius in many places all over the city. Lot’s of other lovely buildings in Barcelona too, but none as mind blowing as Gaudi’s, in my opinion.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 3, 2006 2:38 AM
Comment #179261

I was in Barcelona in Dec 2000. As I walked down the street, I nice old man started to brush some dirt off my coat. Soon another man came and helped. I thought they were crooks so I tried to keep my hand on my wallet. When they left my wallet was still there, so I figured they were just nice guys. About an hour later, I went to buy something and found that both my credit cards were gone. They were so good that they took the wallet, removed the cards and put it back all while I was trying to be vigilant. Smart guys. If they had taken the wallet, I would have chased them or at least called the credit cared firms. They charge up a couple thousand dollars of jewels. I didnt have to pay for it, but it was not fun.

Despite all that, Barcelona is worth seeing. Go in the fall or the early winter.

Posted by: Jack at September 5, 2006 1:58 PM
Comment #179262
Jack asked: What else do Dems want? When you get past hatred of Republicans, you don’t have much left.

No, Jack. The truth is that once you get past the irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians of both parties in congress, you don’t have much left.

Did it ever occur to you that a good many Republican voters (or former Republican voters, like myself) are fed up with incompetence and mismanagement?

Hell, it is the Republicans themselves that are causing voters to leave the Republican party.

My fear is that they will leave irresponsible Democrat incumbents in office and we will have achieved nothing.

Both parties have too many irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians.

Just look at the irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians’ handi-work.

This didn’t happen overnight.
The problem has been getting worse for decades.
The voters are starting to feel the consequences (the pain).
Good. They should. Voters are culpable too.

When voters go to vote in the coming elections (always, for that matter), don’t just go and lazily pull the party lever (e.g. vote straight ticket for either party).

  • That is how incumbents secure their cu$hy, coveted seats.

  • That is why the nation and voters are low on the irresponsible incumbent politicians’ list of priorities; the are preoccupied with fillin’ their own pockets, votin’ themselves cu$hy perk$ and rai$e$, votin’ on pork-barrel, graft, waste, and corporate welfare (while our troops risk life and limb and some go without body armor and medical care).

  • That is how Congress maintains a 90% re-election rate;

  • That is why the problem is not just incumbents of one party. It is irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for incumbents of both parties. Don’t forget the severe negligence of incumbents of both parties.

  • That is how voters empower those that threaten the nation to continue to do so. That is why voters are culpable too.

So, if you really want improvements and want to get America on the right path, simply remember to do the one simple, common-sense, logical, peaceful, safe, non-partisan, and responsible thing that voters were supposed to be doing all along, always:

  • Stop Repeat Offenders.

  • Don’t Re-Elect Irresponsible, Bought-and-Paid-for Incumbent Politicians !

Posted by: d.a.n at September 5, 2006 2:07 PM
Comment #179267

What are conservatives all about? Why, the indignities visited upon them by liberals over the last 60 years: the New Deal (mainly Social Security and welfare), civil rights for expanding classes of people, the impeachment of Nixon, the “loss” of the Vietnam War, Roe v. Wade, Brown v. the Board of Education, derision of right-wingers as reactionaries and crackpots (e.g., John Birchers), the embarassing exposure of Iran-Contra, the separation of church and state, and, of course, hoam-a-seck-shuls in public. They struggled over the last 30 years, spending oodles of dollars to get the Right-Wing Echo Chamber functioning with the full complement of components, like talk-radio, “think” tanks, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, etc., and finally put together a bare majority coalition of the venal (that is, greedy folk with a lot of money and who want to part with none of it for any purpose they don’t agree with) and the ignorant (who think they are part of the first group). The objectives listed above consist of bait for the latter group, and rewards for the former group. The social conservative bits are to attract those of lower intelligence who believe that reproductive rights can be rolled back in this society without grave social consequences and that the constitution guarantees any bozo the right to carry around a loaded weapon. The property and contract bits are to attract the venal who view the government’s taxes and regulations as depriving them of their justly deserved wealth (i.e., the estate Daddy left to me).

The current administration, not content merely to roll back regulation and taxation on the rich, have actually turned government into a source of increased wealth by plundering the segments that govern expenditures on defense, energy, and public works. The spectacle of Halliburton and other contractors feeding at the “no-bid” trough has been a balm to the wealth supporters of this administration.

The good news is that the bare majority coalition seems to be breaking apart (if it ever was a majority; it may have been helped by some election tampering in key areas). Moderate Republicans are beginning to have pangs of conscience about the raping of society and the independents are seeing that they have been taken for a ride. Rove’s little ploys are not working as well as they once did and hanging on to a narrow enough margin to be able to manipute the vote into an electoral majority is going to be difficult this time around.

So, those of you who still support this government, I hope you are in the top 5% in wealth and income, because if you aren’t, you are being played for a sucker.

Have a nice.

Posted by: mental wimp at September 5, 2006 3:09 PM
Comment #179272

Mental

That is the problem for Dems. They just don’t get why people vote Republican. I went to a family reunion over the weekend. One of my cousins is a farmer and part time mechanic who literally lives in a pole barn. By any income measures, he is poor. You think he is a chump for not trying to get government handouts or voting for income redistribution. He thinks he has the pride of making his own way in the world more or less on his terms. His problem is government interference in his business.

Yes, if money was all that mattered to us, we would all vote Democratic. We would redistribute the wealth and everyone would have wealth - for a short while. But to some people, other things trump the government handout model.

That is what is “wrong” with Kansas and lots of other places. You assume all these guys are chumps and fools. They have their own opinions about you.

Posted by: Jack at September 5, 2006 5:18 PM
Comment #179321

Jack, didn’t your Mom or your Granny ever warn you to never let a stranger touch you? And that if they did, you should make sure that what they drew back was a bloody nub? Mine did. After your Barcelona mugging, you should definitely make sure you pass that wisdom along to your own kids.
Also, it’s always a good idea to keep your money and credit cards in a money belt, and your passport in the inside pocket of your coat or jacket. I’ve even fashioned and sewn in my own pockets in clothes for this very purpose — you can never be too careful with your passport.

Mental Wimp:
“So, those of you who still support this government, I hope you are in the top 5% in wealth and income, because if you aren’t you are being played for a sucker.”

Ain’t that the truth. But in my view, for as god-awful as they are, it’s not just this particular government. The GOP has been a rich man’s club playing everyone else for a sucker during my entire lifetime.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 6, 2006 12:16 AM
Comment #179376

Jack,

You and your cousin perplex the hell out of me.
That software in your head has given you the erroneous notion that Democrats are about government handouts. It is your own party that advocates that, only it is for the very corporate elites that are already robbing us blind.

As a Democrat, I am about freedom of opportunity, less burden on small business so that new businesses can grow and benefit all, individual rights and constitutional protections. Throwing out all the hype being spouted by your party (..and by the software in your head), the republicans are stunting the growth and health of small businesses in favor of special treatment for big business that is manipulating us all, our economy, our laws and robbing us all blind. We have seen special interest legislation passed to favor of large insurers, energy companies, the big petrolium industry companies, Haliburton, Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, etc. etc.

YOUR party, not the Democrats, has the proven track record (outside of the hype) of spending pork barrel money for handouts. The Democrats have the proven track record for actually fighting it!

What’s funny about the whole software-in-the-head thing, Jack, is that you are voting based on arguments that have not been valid in your lifetime! The whole ‘Democrats are for uncle sugar’s handouts’ thing is based on the republican arguments against FDR. Looking at your picture, I doubt you were even alive during FDR’s tenure as President. Were you?

Posted by: RGF at September 6, 2006 10:50 AM
Comment #179463

RGF

We see things differently, that is true. Dem default reaction is to regulate. I have seen it on many occassions. They are concerned with redistribution and with equality of outcomes.

When I have a problem, I like to think that I am going to do something about it. When liberals have a problem, they think they should demand something be done.

Think of the hot issue of Social Security. I want the government to help me help myself. Make retirement accounts tax exempt or deferred . Give me incentives to save. That just makes perfect sense to me. When I bring it up with Democratic friends, they go nuts. We really do start with different premises. Or take the issue of minimum wage. I don’t think we need one. I don’t believe their is a “fair” price for anything.

BTW - my cousin is poor. I used to be, but am not any more. But I think that both of us believe we got where we did because of choices we made - with constraints - along with some good or bad luck. But neither of us can complain about what we got because we chose it.

I think if we are trying to be fair to both sides we might say that liberty and justice are both good things. Republicans lean toward liberty. Dems lean toward justice.

As I wrote in another post, we probably agree on 98% of the issues. The 2% is what counts.

Posted by: Jack at September 6, 2006 7:40 PM
Comment #180361

Jack,

“The dem default reaction is to regulate?”

Again, Jack, you are spouting that GOP software in your head stuff again. I cannot fathom where that came from.

Just look at the issue of tort-reform:
Texas passed an absolute cap on punitive damages for Med-mal suits three years ago. It has actually resulted in making the system MORE friendly to frivolous lawsuits. That is because the more legitimate the case, the less likely it is to be WORTH bringing a suit for a capped fee.

That was a horrific and reactionary regulatory move made by republicans. It’s not the only one. It’s just a good example of how unthinkingly reactionary the republicans can be.

Posted by: RGF at September 10, 2006 4:23 PM
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