Culture of corruption continues

Democrats characterized Republicans as fostering a culture of corruption, selling access, abuse of power and even of choking democracy to death. But Democrats never stopped selling access themselves, it’s just that what they were really mad about was that while they were a minority they got less cash. Now that that issue’s been settled it’s time to get the money!

Eager to shore up their fragile House and Senate majorities, congressional Democrats have enlisted their committee chairmen in an early blitz to bring millions of dollars into the party's coffers, culminating in a late-March event featuring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and 10 of the powerful panel chairs.

In the next 10 days alone, Democratic fundraisers will feature the chairmen of the House's financial services panel and the House and Senate tax-writing committees. Senate Democrats also plan a fundraising reception during a major gathering of Native Americans in the capital Tuesday evening, an event hosted by lobbyists and the political action committee for tribal casinos, including those Jack Abramoff was paid to represent.

Critics deride the aggressive fundraising push as the kind of business as usual that voters rejected at the ballot box last November -- particularly the practice of giving interest groups access to committee chairmen in exchange for sizable donations -- but Democrats are unapologetic. ~washingtonpost.com


Is this anyway to reform campaign finance? or is this what Democrats call, "getting the money out of politics?"

Republican fundraising was evil, destructive, insidious, devious, and wicked. But now, apparently, it's ok. No, not just ok... it's necessary and good! At least according to Barney Frank.

"Financial services companies are inclined to give to me because I'm chairman of the committee important to their interests," said Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, who will headline a breakfast Wednesday at a D.C. hotel, for which donations range from $1,000 to $15,000 for the Democratic National Committee. "I'm fundraising to give to others so I can help stay in the majority and do the public policy things I want."

Asked whether banking interests feel obligated to give to Democrats when he asks them for contributions, Frank answered: "Obligated? No. Incentivized? Yes." Frank said, however, that those donating "understand, and others do, too, that there are no guarantees of my doing what they want, or even my being pleasant." ~washingtonpost.com


Funny, isn't it, that just a short while ago this was destroying democracy, and now it is saving it. Very different from how Bill Moyers characterized it not long ago:
Money is choking our democracy to death. Our elections are bought out from under us and our public officials are doing the bidding of mercenaries. So powerful is the hold of wealth on politics that we cannot say America is working for all Americans. ~commondreams.org

Was he correct then, or now?


Posted by Eric Simonson at February 24, 2007 7:47 PM
Comments
Comment #209622

Eric,

Until the campaign financing laws are reformed, everyone is going to get as much money as they can, any way they can. Republicans have been in power for a very long time, and could have changed the laws at any point. They chose not to. Blame the rules of the game, not the players. Don’t act like it’s just Democrat candidates doing this either.

Posted by: Max at February 24, 2007 8:53 PM
Comment #209625


Corruption is the name of the game in a capitalist society. It is a way of life in America from the top to the bottom. At least workers will get a little better deal from corrupt Democrats than they will from corrupt Republicans.

Posted by: jlw at February 24, 2007 9:19 PM
Comment #209629

jlw

Do you have any experience in a non-free market country? Even the most corrupt city in the U.S. was better than an average communist jurisdiction. If you compare the economic freedom index with transparency international’s corruption index, you notice that the less free a market the more corruption you find. It is almost a perfect relationship.

And about these “workers”. Who are they? I work for salary. I bet everybody who writes here does. This is not 1917 anymore. Unskilled workers make up a ever smaller part of the workforce. Most of us are now skilled or white collared. The top 20% of the income group has more “workers” than the bottom 20%, many of whom do not work.

Posted by: Jack at February 24, 2007 9:40 PM
Comment #209630

Thanks for another great laugh, Eric.

Posted by: ElliottBay at February 24, 2007 9:44 PM
Comment #209632

Culture of corruption…in America…how shocking!

Jack
“you notice that the less free a market the more corruption you find.”
Ahh…correlation doesn’t mean causation…but you knew already now…didn’t you?

Posted by: greenstuff at February 24, 2007 10:16 PM
Comment #209633


Jack: Corruption is just another one of man’s immoralities. Most men are immoral in one way or another. All human institutions will reflect that immorality. You don’t seem to have a bit of trouble seeing the mote in another man’s eye.

The current administration is the most corrupt, most immoral administration in American history to date. Some day in the not to distant future, there will be one that is even worse.

Posted by: jlw at February 24, 2007 10:18 PM
Comment #209638

jlw

“At least workers will get a little better deal from corrupt Democrats than they will from corrupt Republicans.”

This you are correct in. The workers will take two steps forward under the dems. And three steps backwards when republicans are again able to regain power. Seems like it always works that way. But then business money runs the republican party, so I guess it is in their best interests to favor the wealthy. It is funny how some things just seem to stay the same and many people never really catch on to what is happening until it has bit them in the ass.

Posted by: ILdem at February 24, 2007 10:59 PM
Comment #209639

Greenstuff

You have the “black swan” problem.

We see a consistent corelation of free markets with LESS corruption, richer societies, less pollution etc.

We cannot do an actual experiment with societies, but on two occassions we have come very close. Of course, I am talking about E&W Germany and N&S Korea. In both those cases, we took nearly identical cultures and split them. The only major variable was the type of economic system. Results were clear in both cases.

I agree that we cannot say for certain that free markets lead to better societies, but we can say that unfree markets never do.

So if we never see a black swan, we really cannot say that there are none. But it does mean that the conditions we have do not produce very many of them. If you wait for absolute truth, you will never make any decisions. But you knew that.

We can say, based on observation market economies produce the best results. We can also say that we have never seen a non-market economy that was not corrupt and oppressive. Is it possible to have a non-market good country, probably, but not in our world.

Posted by: Jack at February 24, 2007 11:05 PM
Comment #209641

I think the democratic base is far more liekly to push their leaders to change. The Republican base seems to consider corruption the natural state of affairs.

One answer is public funded elections but we’ve already discussed that.

Posted by: muirgeo at February 24, 2007 11:08 PM
Comment #209643

Eric

When was the last time the republicans attempted any reform on anything? Seems to me that they have fought reform from all angles. It would be too damaging to their agenda.

Serious campaign finance reform is in order. However until and if it is ever initiated you really can not expect the dems to sit back and allow the #1 party of corruption to outdo them in campaign financing. We might be corrupt but we aren’t stupid.

And as I said over on Jacks thread. This situation really is a sad state of affairs. It is shameful and does not speak well of our legislators who write our laws and should be held for all intent and purposes to the highest of standards. Instead there are those who accept it simply because it has always been. Doesn’t say much for their standards does it.

Posted by: ILdem at February 24, 2007 11:17 PM
Comment #209645

Looking at this, I can’t help but see the virtue of public financing of campaigns.

Still, we do have to address one crucial, and altogether incurable element of all this: One way or another, the people with interests like this are going to get their access. That is they way it’s always been, and no systerm where people have access to their leaders like ours can prevent this from happening.

The campaign finance issues, important as they are, remain secondary to the other issue: whether our elected officials do their duty. Truth be told, a long as their interests aren’t suffering most Americans do not mind the elite getting together. It’s a free country. However, people do want to be part of the process and it’s scary to feel like that’s out of their control.

I believe it’s only right that we make them scared right back.

Let’s start with a movement towards public financing. We can start there because even if the problem is going to be chronic, we can at least moderate the disease, instead of letting it run rampant.

Then there’s the issue of knowledge. If they know that they’re going to get caught, and suffer in elections for that, they’re going to put limits on the favors they grant. This involves keeping up with what’s going on with particular candidates. I have a feeling that Barney Frank’s going to regret those words. Such regret is not a bad thing.

The parties need to start creating alternatives if they want to hold power. People need to be willing to punish incumbents in the primary, if only by giving them a good scare with a substantial challeng.

Last but not least, we need to change the overall culture, not just in Washingtion, but everywhere, because the thing to to remember is that these people are a reflection of us.

Now, the Republicans need to recall how their members reflected on them, and start taking a dose of this medicine they’re dishing out, but this bitter brew should be dosed by Democrats as well. We didn’t overcome the last Republican majority to become just like it. And the Republican should reflect that they aren’t going to be taken seriously as having the moral high ground, so long as memories remain of the last twelve years.

Overall, though, we need to admit that if we have a culture of corruption, a culture that encourages cheating and lying as a way to get ahead, it’s going to filter through to our politicians. We need to reform ourselves as well as our government.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 24, 2007 11:27 PM
Comment #209649

Jack
Congratulations on your state apoligizing for its role in slavery.It took awhile but still it is the first to do so.

Posted by: BillS at February 25, 2007 1:03 AM
Comment #209651

Eric, that rare moment has arrived again when we can completely agree on something. The Democrats are taking the bribes hand over fist as the Republicans did and do, and that is make 10’s of millions of us voters turn Independent with a penchant for throwing incumbents out from the unified REPUBLOCRAT Party, whose modus operandi is identical even if their foreign and domestic polices differ a bit.

The Republican Party and Democratic Parties have the same process priority list, Money givers and Wealthy Special interests first, reelection second, Party third, Lobbyists 4th, the voters 5th, the nation dead last.

This is the priority list of incumbents of both parties, which requires we voters vote to replace them with challengers yet untainted by the Party machinery which enforces this horrid priority set.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 25, 2007 3:50 AM
Comment #209652

“Unskilled workers make up a ever smaller part of the workforce. Most of us are now skilled or white collared.”

That’s because all the unskilled jobs have been outsourced to China. Hence, a large unemployment that isn’t even recorded anymore.

Posted by: Juan dela Cruz at February 25, 2007 5:21 AM
Comment #209660


The Bush Administration has just launched another assult on the American middle class. Mexican truck drivers will now be allowed to operate anywhere within the borders of the United States. American companies will now begin the process of replacing American drivers with green carded Mexican drivers. American trucking companies can now proclaim that this is necessary for them to compete with Mexican trucking companies.

On the bright side, illegal drugs and illegal immigrants will be more plentiful and cheaper. When the trucks loaded with explosives start coming across the border, let us hope that the first one goes to Midland.

Posted by: jlw at February 25, 2007 10:14 AM
Comment #209666

Eric

I commended Jack for helping to keep this issue alive. The same thanks are in order for you. I often find your threads a bit sensationalistic and provacative. (this is not a slam, I have no problems with such threads) But while I do not necesarily see your analogies as fair and honest, I do see them as a means of highlighting what to me is propably the biggest concern in government today. That being corruption and the need for serious campaign finance and ethics reform. Thanks again.

Posted by: ILdem at February 25, 2007 11:33 AM
Comment #209668

“Unskilled workers make up a ever smaller part of the workforce. Most of us are now skilled or white collared.”

Jack,

You might want to look at this graph from the US Dept. of Labor:
http://stats.bls.gov/emp/emptab1.htm

If you include all “Professional and related occupations” (which I’m sure also includes occupations such as nursing) and all “Office and administrative support occupations” (which I’m equally sure includes such low level jobs as mail room worker, etc.) along with “Management, business, and financial occupations” the total is about 46.3% of all occupations that might fall into your category of “white collar” although as I said previously, I’m sure a number of these are far from actual white collar jobs.

Regardless of that, what I find as a stark contrast between the “two Americas” I often refer to is the fact that the two largest major occupational groups are (1)Professional and related occupations which represent 19.6% of the workforce and (2)Service occupations which represent a whopping 19% of the workforce. Both fairly well dwarf the 10.3% represented in the Management, business, and financial sectors.

At any rate to disregard Americans at the lowest end of the wage scale, 19% in service occupations alone, as an insignificant number speaks volumes about how the Republican mindset works.

IMO America under conservative rule has been moving closer and closer to a truly “caste” society. I can’t see such a system surviving infinitely in a true democracy. Sooner or later the “lower classes” will say, “enough is enough” and vote for real change.

You might want to consider exactly what historical events led to such sweeping change as FDR’s “New Deal”. Then read this:
Poverty level is at a 32-year high
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nationworld/bal-te.poverty25feb25,0,7802554.story?track=rss

BTW I’m not anti-free market, but it just makes good common sense that no democracy can stand while neglecting it’s most vulnerable citizens. The longer issues of inequality and disparity go un-addressed the harsher the change will be.

Posted by: KansasDem at February 25, 2007 11:56 AM
Comment #209669

Eric,

What’s your point?

Democrats shouldn’t be able to hold fundraising events?

Maybe Franks’ “frankness” just threw you for a loop?

Anyone can look here and see which party gets how much and who they get it from:
http://www.opensecrets.org/parties/index.asp

Posted by: KansasDem at February 25, 2007 12:07 PM
Comment #209672

If only Eric could recognize the problem in both parties, and become a truly independant thinker.

I’m not sure public finance will solve the problem, and reform has real free speech issues, but anyone with any semblance of integrity recognizes a problem.

Posted by: gergle at February 25, 2007 12:23 PM
Comment #209677
recognize the problem [is] in both parties,

I agree.
Too many irresponsible incumbent politicians exist in BOTH parties.
And, too many voters keep rewarding them for it by repeatedly re-electing them.

A large number of badly-needed, common-sense, no-brainer reforms (including campaign finance reform) are extremely unlikely to ever be passed by Congress.

There are a number of things that badly need reform, but:

  • campaign finance reform alone won’t fix everything.

  • an end to Gerrymandering alone won’t fix everything.

  • election reform alone won’t fix everything.

  • term-limits alone won’t fix everything.

  • ONE-PURPOSE-PER-BILL alone won’t fix everything.

  • line-item veto alone won’t fix everything.

  • eliminating deficits alone won’t fix everything.

  • eliminating debt alone won’t fix everything.

  • stopping illegal immigration (and politicians pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other) alone won’t fix everything.

  • stopping the plunder of Social Security surpluses alone won’t fix everything.

  • stopping eminent domain abuse alone won’t fix everything.

  • stopping corpocrisy, corporatism, and selling out American workers alone won’t fix everything.

  • reforming the dysfunctional legal system that encarcerates and executes innocent people while letting pedophiles, rapists, and murders run loose, alone won’t fix everything.

  • success in Iraq alone won’t fix everything.

  • fighting terrorism alone won’t fix everything.

  • securing our ports and borders alone won’t fix everything.

  • reducing the insidious inflationist practices alone won’t fix everything.

  • reducing CO2 emissions alone won’t fix everything.

  • providing affordable and safe healthcare alone won’t fix everything.

  • the next President, whoever it may be, alone won’t fix everything.

  • fixing public education, declining in quality while increasing in cost, alone won’t fix everything.

  • shoring up plundered pensions (PBGC $450 billion in the hole) alone won’t fix everything.

  • solving our energy vulnerabilities alone won’t fix everything.

  • reforming the ridulously complex, abused, and perverted tax system alone won’t fix everything.

  • etc., etc., etc.

Few (if any) of those things above will ever be solved as long as slumbering voters keep rewarding politicians for ignoring it.

If the slumbering voters keep re-electing repeat offenders, then the list above will continue to grow in length and severity … until the consequences of it finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 25, 2007 2:11 PM
Comment #209679

d.a.n.,

I hope everyone takes time to click on your ‘etc.” link. While I did a much poorer job of getting my point across I was headed in the same direction when I told Jack, “The longer issues of inequality and disparity go un-addressed the harsher the change will be.”

We still have time, but not a whole lot. For nearly three decades the Republicans have promised the middle class a better life thru tax cuts and reduced spending on “welfare queens”. Well it hasn’t really happened yet and we’re spending more, not less:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070225/ap_on_re_us/welfare_state;_ylt=AshNi1dzGuSzDOpqNK2PbNiyFz4D
“The welfare state is bigger than ever despite a decade of policies designed to wean poor people from public aid.”

This is not only the result of failed Republican policy. The Democrats are equally to blame. The problem is hardly limited to only social ills. At least as far back as Truman presidents have been thumbing their noses at congress regarding the use of military force in shaping foreign policy. Some outcomes have been better than others, but the end does not justify the means.

My two greatest fears are (1)continued failures regarding foreign affairs leading to World War III which will almost certainly have a MAD outcome and (2)the continued failure to address poverty and wage disparity that results in an extreme shift to the Left of true socialist proportions. (A third concern is a shift towards theocracy, but it’s a distant third)

I’ve recently been greatly influenced by the “Populist Papers”. While only registered with the FEC in 2002 The Populist Party of America “agenda” can be pretty well summed up in a few short paragraphs:

“Populists have no set agenda other than bringing the rule of the nation to the nation itself, and taking it away from the few who currently control our fate.

“With this in mind, Populism can be summed up in one simple phrase: “Rule of the People”

“Those against us will call us Nihilists. They say we have no place in society because we believe in nothing. This is completely untrue. Every Populist has their own personal political beliefs, but believes that each person has the right to vote to support their own, and to eliminate all underhanded political dealings.

“Political power is the greatest evil in the world today. Dictators and Senators alike are guilty. As campaigning has become expensive beyond belief, each politician becomes more and more indebted to the companies and groups that finance them, and less and less indebted to the people. Alternatively, more and more politicians are being required to have riches beyond the dreams of the average individual just to campaign. Thus, the leaders of our society are becoming less and less in tune with the needs of the people, and more and more in tune with the needs of the upper 10%.

“In other words, due to the need for wealth in political campaigns, and the enormous growth of wealth in the hands of the few, a dangerous majority of political power belongs to a small minority, and our current government cannot stop this. This is due to the reliance of legislators on political parties, which are, more often than not, financed and influenced by the wealthy minority. Populism seeks to eliminate this.

“Many will charge that we are trying to destroy this current system of Democracy. This is exactly what we intend to do. Most importantly though, we do not live in a democracy here in America. We intend to destroy the evils of our current system. After more than two centuries of the rule of the few, Populism intends to give the nation to the people. Political power is, after all, control over the people. In a nation deserving of self-rule, the people have the right to control themselves.”

You can read more here:
http://www.populistamerica.com/declaration_of_principles

Posted by: KansasDem at February 25, 2007 3:43 PM
Comment #209682

dan-
The problem is us. The system is going to put pressure on anybody you put in there, challenger or incumbent. voting out incumbents without changing the system is like giving morphine to cancer patients without chemotherapy. It will relieve the symptoms, but not necessarily change things. You say that the aftereffects of voting out all the incumbents will be an improvement in their behavior. That reminds me of the argument that taxes increase revenue. Theoretically, it could happen, but usually it doesn’t.

There is no simple answer, because the problem is not essentializable. It’s emergent.

One part will be getting incumbents kicked out, because that is one of our major moderating controls on elected officials. But we can’t just snap our fingers and make it happen, and even if we do get incumbents kicked out, the system will come back and put pressures and temptations on our officials.

Even if we do go for campaign finance reform (one part of the answer to the emergent problem of corruption) The very nature of government will attract people to court, if you will. Power has always attracted those who want power used to their own ends.

We could theoretically sequester our official away from all access, and just feed them information. That, however, would only theoretically do any good, and it would have the added liability of decreasing our contact with those officials, making for an ivory tower government. Not what we need, we have too much of that as it is.

My suggestion? Leave the political B.S. behind. For years we’ve discussing engineered talking points which really have little to do with the real world, and more to do with certain people’s agendas.

The internet offers one part of the recourse, in allowing the quick distribution of information. When these officials of ours fail in their duties, the sooner and in greater detail that people know this, the better.

Another part of this will be changing our ideas of what constitutes our interests. When it comes to the federal government we should try and consider national interests above parochial, and we should do our utmost to make the resolutions not ones forced on others, but rather to make the policies of this country the product of agreement. The more our politics determines what we think is in our interests, the worse the policies will be, and the more bad leaders can linger by kissing ideological butt.

You need to expand your horizons, rather than shrink them to one simple idea, because no one simple anything will determine the future of this country and the quality of its policies. In the end, it’s more prosaic than that. Our priority should not be to implement political philsophies, but to deal with practical realities. That’s what political philosophies were meant to deal with in the first place. If they get in the way, they should be discarded.

There’s no perfect solution, there’s no permanent one. This is the struggle of people with their government from time immemorial. It can’t won on one front, it must be approach on a case by case basis with common sense and expert knowledge wedded together to create the best solutions.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 25, 2007 4:24 PM
Comment #209692

KansasDem,

Thanks for the populist link.
I agree with much of what you wrote.

What many don’t realize is that Congress has been enjoying a 90% re-election rate for over a decade.

I think that is creating an arrogant, elitist, bought-and-paid-for, FOR-SALE government that ignores the voters.

But, why not ignore voters, since the voters keep rewarding them by re-electing them?

Thanks for the link to the Populist Party.
Respectfully, I don’t have an affinity to any party.
From now on, I will strive to look at all candidates, regardless of party affiliation, and consider them individually … especially incumbents that already have an established voting record. I’m not knocking any one party. I simply don’t see the need to support one.
In fact, I believe parties abuse their power once they acquire a majority of support.

What Congress needs more than anything is a wake-up call. That is, stop re-electing repeat offenders. It’s really no wonder politicians are the way they are. We reward them for it. We actually (sort of) program them to be irresponsible, by rewarding them every election with re-election, regardless of their voting records.

The Republican party has been hijacked by extremists.
The Democrat party has been hijacked by bleeding hearts, and selling out Americans by pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other. Republicans too, since they, and their big-money-donors, love cheap labor.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You need to expand your horizons, rather than shrink them to one simple idea,
Still trying to tell me what to do, eh?

What I stand for is voter education.
Why are you against that?
Is it because YOUR party is now the IN-PARTY?
Because it might lose a few votes for YOUR party?

Stephen Daugherty wrote:You say that the aftereffects of voting out all the incumbents will be an improvement in their behavior. That reminds me of the argument that taxes increase revenue. Theoretically, it could happen, but usually it doesn’t.
Nonsense.

Refusing to re-elect repeat offenders is mere common sense?
What’s wrong with that?

Ahhhh … I see. The previous OUT-PARTY and is now the IN-PARTY. It’s interesting how the roles of the IN-PARTY and the OUT-PARTY swap places.

  • the same teams (merely taking turns being the IN PARTY and OUT PARTY)
  • the same players (90% were re-elected)
  • the same old game
  • the same old results (the nation’s problems still go ignored)

Haven’t you noticed the very slim lead that either of the two party duopoly has had in the last 10 years?

Rewarding bad behavior will only get more of it.
That’s the logic behind voting out irresponsible incumbent politicians that keep ignoring the nation’s most pressing problems.

What’s wrong with that?

You think voting Democrats will fix things, eh?
Here in the rose colored column, they thing voting for Republicans will fix things.

The sad fact is, neither are serious about fixing anything.

The slumbering voters will have to learn the hard (again).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 25, 2007 9:50 PM
Comment #209693

KansasDem,

Thanks for the populist link.
I agree with much of what you wrote.

What many don’t realize is that Congress has been enjoying a 90% re-election rate for over a decade.

I think that is creating an arrogant, elitist, bought-and-paid-for, FOR-SALE government that ignores the voters.

But, why not ignore voters, since the voters keep rewarding them by re-electing them?

Thanks for the link to the Populist Party.
Respectfully, I don’t have an affinity to any party.
From now on, I will strive to look at all candidates, regardless of party affiliation, and consider them individually … especially incumbents that already have an established voting record. I’m not knocking any one party. I simply don’t see the need to support one.
In fact, I believe parties abuse their power once they acquire a majority of support.

What Congress needs more than anything is a wake-up call. That is, stop re-electing repeat offenders. It’s really no wonder politicians are the way they are. We reward them for it. We actually (sort of) program them to be irresponsible, by rewarding them every election with re-election, regardless of their voting records.

The Republican party has been hijacked by extremists.
The Democrat party has been hijacked by bleeding hearts, and selling out Americans by pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other. Republicans too, since they, and their big-money-donors, love cheap labor.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You need to expand your horizons, rather than shrink them to one simple idea,
Still trying to tell me what to do, eh?

What I stand for is voter education.
Why are you against that?
Is it because YOUR party is now the IN-PARTY?
Because it might lose a few votes for YOUR party?

Stephen Daugherty wrote:You say that the aftereffects of voting out all the incumbents will be an improvement in their behavior. That reminds me of the argument that taxes increase revenue. Theoretically, it could happen, but usually it doesn’t.
Nonsense.

Refusing to re-elect repeat offenders is mere common sense?
What’s wrong with that?

Ahhhh … I see. The previous OUT-PARTY and is now the IN-PARTY. It’s interesting how the roles of the IN-PARTY and the OUT-PARTY swap places.

  • the same teams (merely taking turns being the IN PARTY and OUT PARTY)
  • the same players (90% were re-elected)
  • the same old game
  • the same old results (the nation’s problems still go ignored)

Haven’t you noticed the very slim lead that either of the two party duopoly has had in the last 10 years?

Rewarding bad behavior will only get more of it.
That’s the logic behind voting out irresponsible incumbent politicians that keep ignoring the nation’s most pressing problems.

What’s wrong with that?

You think voting Democrats will fix things, eh?
Here in the rose colored column, they thing voting for Republicans will fix things.

The sad fact is, neither are serious about fixing anything.

The slumbering voters will have to learn the hard (again).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 25, 2007 9:51 PM
Comment #209697

dan-
If you don’t have a taste for people telling you what to do, why show up at a political site where that’s just about all people do? I’m not telling you to do your chores, or not to go out with that young lady. I’m suggesting a different approach to politics. If that were out of the question on this site, I’d think this would be a pretty boring place!

You tell me I’m against voter education. Got any quotes of mine to support that? As far as I know, I’ve advocated it, in fact, gone further than you in addressing the shape of what should be done. I also recognize, though, that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

I haven’t argued with you that bad officials shouldn’t be re-elected. Many of my arguments have been about specifically targeting bad officials. I believe you broad brush them, which drains the legitimacy and the factual power from the effort. If we can’t give a convincing answer to people as to why they should dismiss these officials, just what do you expect to happen? It’s their choice, no matter how smart we think our plans are. If we don’t show respect for that, we become part of inspiring the exact opposite reaction.

You patronize me with your rhetoric, assigning motives to my actions, and overlooking places where I’m almost in agreement. How is that good rhetorical strategy?

People will not always feel concerned enough about things to kick out incumbents whenever folks like us feel its needed. We don’t need to patronize these people, to alienate those who might agree, given the right knowledge. We need to put our noses to the grindstone and start working out for people the daily consequences of the actions of their politicians. We shouldn’t be hiding behind generalities that are practically cliches.

In answer to your questions, no, I don’t think simply voting Democrat will change things. We’ll see whether they wise up. They’re better so far than those who came before them, but that’s depressingly easy. We need to do better than the bottom of the barrel when the last congress practically went through that bottom.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 25, 2007 10:51 PM
Comment #209714

Stephen D. said: “voting out incumbents without changing the system is like giving morphine to cancer patients without chemotherapy.”

Stephen, voting out incumbents is precisely what happened in November and precisely why some aspects of the system are improving. Voting out incumbents is precisely what our Constitution calls for when the system of government fails the people. I think your comment above was either misstated or not thought through.

If voting out incumbents is not the answer to a flawed system, then revolution or servitude to the flawed system are the only alternatives.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 26, 2007 2:37 AM
Comment #209724

David R. Remer-
Voting out incumbents who do wrong can be one part of it, and can have some effect. It isn’t everything, though. Tenure is not the only issue at hand when it comes to corruption.

First, there’s the matter of what the culture around us encourages and overlooks. When the general rule is that being competitive takes priority over other gravitational centers of behavior, then the former challengers are pulled towards the kind of behavior that the incumbents were doing before.

Second, there’s the matter of how that’s allowed to manifest according to the rules in the Senate and House. If those are not reformed, you preserve the advantage for those who fundraise in a competitive manner.

Even if a third party comes to power, these problems will persist, because these problems are created by the nature of any government that concentrates power in the hands of a few- essentially any modern government, by necessity.

When repairing a broken machine, it can often be tiresome to keep on replacing the same part over and over again. Sometimes, by replacing certain parts and recalibrating some of the other processes going on, you can stop short this cycle of excessive disrepair, and allow the parts to remain as they are longer.

There are benefits to incumbency, to experience, to influence, as well as problems. What we should seek is a positive equilibrium, the best mix of tenure maintained, and tenure cut short.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 26, 2007 11:38 AM
Comment #209740


Two weeks ago, Hoyer and Bonner were on one of the talking heads shows. Hoyer said that the American people will not support public financing and the Congress would not pass it even if they did. Bonner agreed wholeheartedly.

Eric: Corrupt, inept and deceitful, the three words that best describes your great leaders administration. A couple of months ago the Musharraf regime signed a pact with the terrorists. The Bush administration signed off on that agreement. Now Cheney is in Pakistan threatening Musharraf that he has to crack down on al Qaeda or the Democrats will cut off aid to Pakistan. In other words, the administration loves and supports you but those terrible Democrats are serious about going after those responsible for 9/11 so you have to at least act like you are doing something about them.

Posted by: jlw at February 26, 2007 1:50 PM
Comment #209752
Stephen Daugherty wrote: You patronize me with your rhetoric, assigning motives to my actions, and overlooking places where I’m almost in agreement. How is that good rhetorical strategy?
Really?

Look whose talking.
I’m not going to draw a lot of conclusions about you or your statement.
Instead, I’m going to let your own statements say it all.

So, what do you call this (see your many statements below, Stephen)?

  • d.a.n … Voting out incumbents without changing the system is like giving morphine to cancer patients without chemotherapy… .

  • You say that the aftereffects of voting out all the incumbents will be an improvement in their behavior. That reminds me of the argument that taxes increase revenue.

  • Is that not patronizing and sarcasm?
    That “giving morphine to cancer patients” analogy makes no sense.

Stephen Daugherty,
It seems you just don’t want any competition for YOUR party [Democrat], now that YOUR party is the IN-PARTY, as evidenced by the obvious bias of your many statements:
Stephen Daugherty wrote:

  • d.a.n , “You’re wasting your time” [i.e. with VOID and One-Simple-Idea.com … both voter education sites]

  • The question of what good third parties are without substantial presence in the offices of the land is a good one.

  • They [voters] should be allying with us [Democrats].

  • In my opinion, the proper people to run this party are the voters who elect Democrats.

  • If third parties can’t win offices, what good are they to the voter?

  • You need to expand your horizons, rather than shrink them to one simple idea

  • I also don’t think replacing one set of people with another necessarily does the job.

  • The new third party has to materialize out of something more than just a sense of entitlement.

  • I don’t like to hear people get down on my party …

  • How many people curse the green party for George W. Bush getting elected?
There ain’t nothin’ blindly partisan about none of that, eh?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You tell me I’m against voter education. Got any quotes of mine to support that?
Yes.

See your own quotes above and below.
Especially the one where you say “You’re wasting your time”.

One-Simple-Idea.com is not only about voter education, but about what voters were supposed to be doing all along.
It also contains data, statistics, and potential common-sense solutions … many of which many Americans agree with, but politicians and Do-Nothing Congress continue to ignore.
The last election contained some anti-incumbent sentiment.
The next election is likely to contain more of it, since Do-Nothing Congress is still ignoring the nation’s most pressing problems.

It’s funny that you didn’t mind me criticizing the Do-Nothing Congress until Democrats got the majority.
What’s up with that?
By the way, neither party has had much of a lead since 1996 (for over a decade: one-simple-idea.com/CongressMakeUp_1855_2008.htm).

Stephen Daugherty,
It appears you are threatened by it, now that YOUR party is the IN-PARTY, as evidenced by your statements above.
You just want people, as you wrote, “allying with us [i.e. Democrats]”, eh?

Stephen, there’s a difference between telling people opinions and telling them what to do.

As for assigning motives and telling people what to do, your own statements below demonstrate a penchant for the very thing you accuse others of
Stephen Daugherty wrote the following:

  • Now you’re trying my patience.

  • d.a.n, First, don’t call people brainwashed

  • d.a.n, I told you that you shouldn’t do it, and you’re free to agree or not to agree with what I’m telling you to do.

  • You need to expand your horizons, rather than shrink them to one simple idea,

  • Again, I’m going to tell you, don’t …

  • your quest to oust incumbents is nothing but a partisan political cause

  • Wait until there are some actions actually taken by this [110th] Congress before you talk about their hypocrisy

  • But you seem to think that somehow if people just listen to your idea, things will be fine

  • Don’t call it pros and cons.

  • David R. Remer, If you want something that badly, fight for it.

  • Also, you’re not perfect

  • On the subject of third parties being spoilers or fringe, I’d say you need to avoid that

  • Don’t just excuse yourself by accusing those asking for those facts of being brainwashed idiots. Give the facts.

  • Don’t expect them to save you any by simply agreeing with you because you think so highly of your own arguments

  • [David R. Remer,] You can make all the generalized claims you want to …

  • … Congress, even the scuzzball congress we just got done destroying in the polls
    (yet, Stephen doesn’t like anyone criticizing this 110th Congress now with a Democrat majority?)

  • d.a.n … To be frank with you, you’re no better than the people you criticize.

  • I don’t like to hear people get down on my party [Democrat] …

  • d.a.n, You’re playing word games, though.

  • If you want to accuse me of lying a few more times for the road, that’s fine by me.

  • Your arguments are too abstract, too distant.

  • d.a.n , I’m just pointing out that you have a tendency to accept right-wing talking points

  • If you really know so much about what’s going on, you’ll be able to tell me a story about what’s happening.

  • Jeez man, if that’s respect, I’d hate to get on your bad side!

  • I’ve tried to do you the respect of not merely flatly contradicting you …

  • Facts, d.a.n . Facts. Not your opinions, not your conclusions, not your claims, facts. A fact like …

  • You’re flinging an ad hominem argument at me …

  • Come on. Get out of pundit mode, and start treating this as if you were a lawyer or a reporter.

  • Stop flinging rhetoric at me and calling it facts.

  • d.a.n, … You had better be prepared …

  • You had better come at us with good evidence …

  • d.a.n … You’re not being evenhanded.

  • If you want to badmouth us [Democrats] …

  • You just want people to bow down to your case, as if they should obligated to think in your terms.

  • we’ve told you no, we aren’t satisfied with facts you’ve provided.

  • For me, that means putting opinions like yours to the test …

  • you’re trying to win in front of me and everybody else …

  • d.a.n , First, you don’t respect people’s right to have other opinions… .

Funny!
Do you see a pattern there?
So, who is patronizing, critical, sarcastic, assigning motives, and admonishing others’ opinions ?
(NOTE: that’s a question.)

Posted by: d.a.n at February 26, 2007 4:09 PM
Comment #209774

Dan-
The analogy is plain: morphine takes away cancer patient’s pain, but the cancer remains. You can change out the politicians, but if the environment encourages certain kinds of politicians and makes it easy for challengers to rest back on their laurels once in office, then replacement provides temporary relief of symptoms without permanent effect.

If people see that throwing out the bums only lets in new ones, how long do you actually think people will have the heart to maintain your dream political system?

I’ll deal with the rest when I’m home from work.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 26, 2007 6:03 PM
Comment #209792

Dan-
On the subject of my comparison of your strategy for improving government and supply-side style taxation, I believe the comparison there is apt.

These are both complex questions that are reduced by the proponents of these ideas to sure-fire notions that they demand everybody should take part in, until it proves right.

It’s not sarcastic, necessarily.

You seem intent on defining me as an opponent, defining me as a mindless supporter of the Democrats. In-Party, out-party, that stuff, over and over again. You’re critiquing me more than my arguments.

You talk about voter education sites, it seems like you tend to define voter education to be people learning about your strategies. I have a broader definition of what voter education means, I mean just straight forward learning and being told about what the people in congress are doing.

My bias is obvious. I post articles on the Democrats and Liberals column for all to see. If you’ve got a problem with me being a Democrat and a Liberal, that’s your problem, not mine. I chose to be like this. However, I don’t like doing things in a way that I know is arbitrary. It offends me. My comments about third parties are valid. How do you expect to elect a president from a party that has little or no presence in Congress? How do you expect to elect representatives and senators when you don’t have a strong presence in local arenas. People elect folks they know, and the quickest way to become known at the state and national level is to have served in office at a lower level. A nation third party will have to build it’s presence to present a challenge to the two-party status quo. Just being spoilers will ensure that a party remains obscure. How many on the left think about voting Green, and remember with a shudder how things broke in 2000?

I’m practically laying out a course of action for those wanting to succeed in building third party presence. Folks want people they know can do the job. Find people who seem like very good alternatives, who have background in executive and managerial positions. Find people known in the community. Chance favors the prepared party.

And to answer your question, no, it’s not blindly partisan, it’s a pragmatic and helpful analysis. Just because I’m critiquing the way third parties are working out in this day and age, doesn’t mean I don’t see the good from some good stiff competition.

I like to venture towards all kinds of different sources. I like to know what articles actually say, rather than just what’s getting quoted. I’m a college educated kid, and one thing they taught me is how to run down a source. I really don’t feel like restricting myself to any one source.

To be brutally honest, you’re not telling me much about modern politicians I don’t already know. You write as if I’m clueless about these things, or worse complicit. It’s insulting. I started writing here for a reason, and it wasn’t because I just fell off the back of a watermelon truck. Just about every link you post is back to your own site. I’d rather look up different sites, different newspapers and other outlets to find things out. I want to think and find things out for myself. You’d rather I learn at your feet. I’m not interested.

Now, to address the rest. You could have done everybody a favor and post links to the comments you’re quoting, but instead, you’re just going to real off this list of offenses.

The “trying patience” quote is from our debate on John Edwards. I busted my butt getting you counter examples, testimonials to his good character, but as with the 110th congress, you had your preconceived ideas, and not even those could get you to admit that Edwards could be anything more than greedy ambulance chaser.

I’ve been rather cross about your tendency to call the new congress a do-nothing congress, because you’ve never let them have the chance to do things before you slapped the label on them. I have no problem with criticism of a party or a congress for what it does, and what it has done, but for what it will do? Without a significant track record in office, that’s just unbound speculation

The pros and cons comments basically had you put all the points for what you liked on the pro side, and all the points for what you didn’t like on the cons side.

My comments about brainwashing concern the attitude taken to people who didn’t think the cumulative theory of convention calling was valid. You said, “I’m just calling them what they are”. For me, I’d rather not critique an audience, I’d rather reason with it, because that is a sign of respect. I would rather slave away for months telling people why I hold the opinion I do, and why they should as well, than ever imply that people simply have a diminished capacity for reason. Even if people aren’t using their brains as much as they should, diminished usage doesn’t preclude potential use.

What’s the pattern? I think your arguments are too rigid, too based on prejudice. What does that say about you? I don’t know. I know I can sometimes show a different side of my personality, not necessarily a flattering one when I get emotionally involved with an argument. I’d expect you’re no better and no worse than I am, in terms of being human.

I just don’t agree with you sometimes. And I don’t typically mince words with people I don’t agree with.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 26, 2007 9:01 PM
Comment #209804
Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n If people see that throwing out the bums only lets in new ones, how long do you actually think people will have the heart to maintain your dream political system?
Repeatedly re-electing irresponsible politicians is why they are irresponsible.

So, we should keep re-electing irresponsible politicians?
That makes a lot of sense.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You seem intent on defining me as an opponent, defining me as a mindless supporter of the Democrats. In-Party, out-party, that stuff, over and over again. You’re critiquing me more than my arguments.
Nonsense.

One’s own statements and actions define them more than anything.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You talk about voter education sites, it seems like you tend to define voter education to be people learning about your strategies. I have a broader definition of what voter education means, I mean just straight forward learning and being told about what the people in congress are doing.
Nonsense.

There’s only one strategy and it is the one simple thing we were supposed to be doing all along, always.
Stop repeat offenders.
Don’t re-elect them.

That’s all.
What’s so complex about that?
What’s wrong with that ?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: My bias is obvious.
It certainly is.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you’ve got a problem with me being a Democrat and a Liberal, that’s your problem, not mine.
I have no problem at all.

Why get hostile and adversarial with a childish “that’s your problem, not mine” stuff?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: I chose to be like this. However, I don’t like doing things in a way that I know is arbitrary. It offends me. My comments about third parties are valid.
Think so, eh?

Here’s a couple of your comments about third parties and independents …

Stephen Daugherty wrote:
  • They [voters] should be allying with us [Democrats].

  • In my opinion, the proper people to run this party are the voters who elect Democrats.
  • Yet …

    Stephen Daugherty wrote:
    I don’t like to hear people get down on my party [Democrat] …

    No bias there, eh?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’m practically laying out a course of action for those wanting to succeed in building third party presence.
    That’s nice. You’re a smart feller.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: And to answer your question, no, it’s not blindly partisan, it’s a pragmatic and helpful analysis.
    Think so?

    This isn’t blindly partisan ?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote:
  • They [voters] should be allying with us [Democrats].

  • In my opinion, the proper people to run this party are the voters who elect Democrats.

  • If third parties can’t win offices, what good are they to the voter?
  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Just because I’m critiquing the way third parties are working out in this day and age, doesn’t mean I don’t see the good from some good stiff competition.
    Right.

    This is critiquing third parties?

  • They [voters] should be allying with us [Democrats].

  • In my opinion, the proper people to run this party are the voters who elect Democrats.

  • If third parties can’t win offices, what good are they to the voter?
  • Sounds a lot more like wanting people to vote for YOUR party.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’m a college educated kid, and one thing they taught me is how to run down a source. I really don’t feel like restricting myself to any one source.
    That’s nice.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: To be brutally honest, you‘re not telling me much about modern politicians I don’t already know.
    We know … afterall, you wrote …
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I see it through the eyes of somebody who knows all about technology and the limitations of design.
    … so no doubt, there’s nothing …
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I [Stephen] don’t already know.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You write as if I’m clueless about these things, or worse complicit. It’s insulting.
    I was not addressing you in this thread until you addressed me first with the following statements …
    Stephen Daugherty wrote:
  • d.a.n … You need to expand your horizons,
  • You patronize me with your rhetoric,
  • You say you feel insulted?
    But you don’t see your statements as insulting?
    Did you see the long, growing list above, of things you wrote?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I started writing here for a reason, and it wasn’t because I just fell off the back of a watermelon truck … . You’d rather I learn at your feet. I’m not interested.
    Here we go again …

    You follow me from thread to thread, thow insults at me like that, and then tell me you feel insulted? ! ?
    If you’re not interested, then why do you follow me from thread-to-thread to write insulting comments on my comments?
    The evidence of all those insults are listed above, and the list keeps growing.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Now, to address the rest. You could have done everybody a favor and post links to the comments you’re quoting, but instead, you’re just going to real off this list of offenses.
    Ahhh … an admission of offenses. That’s progress, perhaps?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The “trying patience” quote is from our debate on John Edwards. I busted my butt getting you counter examples, testimonials to his good character, but as with the 110th congress, you had your preconceived ideas, and not even those could get you to admit that Edwards could be anything more than greedy ambulance chaser.
    You busted your butt?

    Gee, that’s terrible.
    So we disagree.
    Can’t you accept that?
    After all, it is you that wrote …

    Stephen Daugherty wrote:
  • d.a.n , First, you don’t respect people’s right to have other opinions… .

  • Yet you are now telling me “not even those could get you to admit that …”.
    There’s nothing to admit.
    We simply disagree, and you are accusing me of the very thing you are doing … “not respecting people’s right to have other opinions”

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’ve been rather cross about your tendency to call the new congress a do-nothing congress, because you’ve never let them have the chance to do things before you slapped the label on them.
    Yes, indeed!

    You ordered me not to disparage them …

    Stephen Daugherty wrote:
  • d.a.n, I told you that you shouldn’t do it, and you’re free to agree or not to agree with what I’m telling you …to do.

  • Again, I’m going to tell you, don’t …

  • Did the orders work?

    Guess not.
    Giving orders over the internet don’t work too well, eh?
    The 110th Congress is still a Do-Nothing Congress.
    Congress is still ignoring the nation’s most pressing problems.
    And that first 100 hour clock was a joke.
    And they still haven’t worked a full 5 day week yet.
    And if they thought no earmarks was good for now, why not make it permanent?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I have no problem with criticism of a party or a congress for what it does, and what it has done, but for what it will do? Without a significant track record in office, that’s just unbound speculation
    No, it’s not speculation.

    What has the 110th Congress accomplished so far?
    Why is Congress still ignoring the nation’s most pressing problems?
    Why is Congress still pitting U.S. citizens and illegal aliens against each other?
    Why hasn’t Congress they done anything about campaign finance reform?
    Why is Congress still ignoring election reform and Gerrymandering?
    Why is Congress still ignoring wide-open borders and ports?
    Why is Congress still refusing a ONE-PURPOSE-PER-BILL amendment?
    Why is Congress still ignoring eminent domain abuse (6 cases per day)?
    Why is Congress still ignoring the massive debt?
    Why is Congress still printing too much money?
    Why is Congress ignoring the entitlements iceberg we are sailing toward?
    Why is Congress ignoring the PBGC over $450 billion in the hole?
    Why is Congress ignoring declining public education?
    Why is Congress ignoring it’s harmful role as a middleman in the heatlhcare system?
    Why is Congress ignoring tax reform?
    Why is Congress ignoring our energy vulnerabilities?
    Why is Congress ignoring government FOR-SALE?
    Why is Congress ignoring the nation’s most pressing problems?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: What’s the pattern?
    If you can’t see it by now, my telling you won’t matter.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think your arguments are too rigid, too based on prejudice.
    Nonsense.

    And look whose talking.
    Your own numerous comments have already revealed a bias and prejudice.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: What does that say about you?
    Nothing about me.

    What is revealling is your many comments above?
    And you admit it here …

    Stephen Daugherty wrote:
    I know I can sometimes show a different side of my personality, not necessarily a flattering one when I get emotionally involved with an argument.

    No doubt about that.

    You addressed me in this thread first, as in many threads.
    I was not addressing you in this thread until you addressed me with the following statements …

    Stephen Daugherty wrote:
  • d.a.n … You need to expand your horizons,

  • You patronize me with your rhetoric,

  • You seem intent on defining me as an opponent

  • You talk about voter education sites, it seems like you tend to define voter education to be people learning about your strategies.

  • you had your preconceived ideas, and not even those could get you to admit

  • You‘re critiquing me more than my arguments. (whose critiquing who or what?)

  • If you‘ve got a problem with me being a Democrat and a Liberal, that’s your problem, not mine.

  • you‘re not telling me much about modern politicians I don’t already know

  • You‘d rather I learn at your feet. I’m not interested.

  • I’ve been rather cross about your tendency to call the new congress a do-nothing congress …

  • What does that say about you?
  • So, let me ask the question that you asked me …

    Stephen Daugherty wrote:
    What does that say about you?

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 27, 2007 1:40 AM
    Comment #209882

    Dan-
    If you’re not so concerned about me, rather than argument, I would expect you not to spend a rather long comment attending to my faults and perceived offenses to you.

    My position isn’t diametrically opposed to yours. I don’t see a problem with kicking bums out. But I remember the promises of the Republicans in 1994. I also remember what my own party was like before that, and acknowledge that it pretty much sorely provoked people into action.

    Okay, so if I agree somewhat with your simple idea, what’s my problem?

    My problem is: “who and why”.

    Kick the bums out is a nice sentiment, but at the end of the day, you have to deal with people who are going to ask you “who should I have a problem with, and why?”. If you just tell them congress in general, especially the one they just elected, they’re going to blow you off, and rightfully so. It’s like asking people to do a full tune-up on a new car. They’re going to give this new congress time to work. They’re not going to second guess themselves so quickly.

    You have to frame things for people in a way that makes sense of what you’re asking. Otherwise, people will blow you off.

    One more note: sometimes it really is somebody else’s fault that your message isn’t going through, or isn’t being accepted. But too much thinking along those lines leads to a neglect of the kind of thoughtfulness and eloquence that people rightfully expect from those trying to persuade thm.

    The complexity is not in the ideas driving our perspective so much as in dealing with the complex relationships people have to their politics. What are they willing to compromise on, what are they not? What’s their threshold for tolerating mishbehavior from their candidates? Is the alternative better than the incumbent? These are not simple questions for those who aren’t partisans of one kind or another, and sometimes, they aren’t simple for folks like us.

    The angle I would take on things is not to fight these complexities trying to make some cause and effect occur, but acknowledge the challenge they present and address that.

    There is no one simple idea that can address all that, but there are plenty of fascinating, rich ideas that can deal with parts of our concerns, parts of our needs. We just got to find the right mix.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 27, 2007 4:48 PM
    Comment #209887

    Stephen D-
    Nicely said. I rarely agree with you, but on this topic I am with you. Furthermore, the idea being presented that ALL incumbents must go is foolish and simple-minded, in my opinion.

    Posted by: Don at February 27, 2007 6:43 PM
    Comment #209902

    One thing I seem to notice is that Republican corruption is far more vicious, insane, evil. For example when they go out of their way to suppress science and lie to the public about nearly any environmental matter that could cost their corporate buddies money.

    While corrupt Democrats have always acted sleazy and done questionable things for fundraisng, nothing compares to the Tom Delay/Frist/Abramoff culture of corruption that has been a big part in running our country into the groudn.I get the sense that Democratic corruption is bad, but Republican corruption is much more likely to, say, lead to the end of life on earth (at least for human civilization).

    In any case, as long as the system allows this and politicians need large amounts of money for elections, this will always continue. A good reason for maybe having publicly funded elections and stopping all of this.

    Posted by: mark at February 27, 2007 11:13 PM
    Comment #209926

    Stephen, you are ignoring reality. Nov.’s election through out a bunch of incumbents. The guys replacing them came in with a different agenda, more responsive to the will of the voters who voted out the incumbents. Congress is addressing Iraq, Congress is poorly addressing corruption and ethics, but, at least addressing it, which the former incumbents DIDN’T. Congress is trying to move on the minimum wage, deficits and debt, and soon will be addressing the safety nets.

    All these and more are a direct result of Nov.’s election which, by ousting incumbents, set new agendas more reflective of the people’s needs and wishes.

    That reality is one which you seem to ignore in your attempts to minimize the potential of voting out incumbents as a popular strategy for dealing with corrupt, inept, and out of touch incumbents who control the government’s actions and decisions.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at February 28, 2007 9:26 AM
    Comment #209938
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- If you’re not so concerned about me, rather than argument, I would expect you not to spend a rather long comment attending to my faults and perceived offenses to you.
    Perceived offenses to [me] ?

    It was you, Stephen that wrote about “perceived offenses to you”

    Stephen Daugherty wrote:
    You write as if I’m clueless about these things, or worse complicit. It’s insulting.
    It’s not mere perception.

    It speaks for itself.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote:
    My position isn’t diametrically opposed to yours. I don’t see a problem with kicking bums out.
    Yeah, right.

    As long as they aren’t Democrats, eh?
    Afterall, you wrote …

    Stephen Daugherty wrote:
    • I don’t like to hear people get down on my party …

    • They [voters] should be allying with us [Democrats].

    • In my opinion, the proper people to run this party are the voters who elect Democrats.

    • If third parties can’t win offices, what good are they to the voter?

    • The question of what good third parties are without substantial presence in the offices of the land is a good one.

    • d.a.n , “You’re wasting your time” [i.e. with VOIDnow.org and One-Simple-Idea.com … both voter education sites]

    • You need to expand your horizons, rather than shrink them to one simple idea

    • I also don’t think replacing one set of people with another necessarily does the job. (No? It makes sense to keep re-electing bad politicians?)

    • The new third party has to materialize out of something more than just a sense of entitlement.

    • How many people curse the green party for George W. Bush getting elected?
    Nothin’ blindly partisan about none of that, eh?

    No bias there, eh?
    Perhaps it really is true that …

    Stephen Daugherty wrote:
    … I’m clueless about these things, or worse complicit.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote:
    Okay, so if I agree somewhat with your simple idea, what’s my problem?
    My problem is: “who and why”.
    Vote for challengers, instead of rewarding bad politicians by repeatedly re-electing them.

    What’s wrong with that?
    Refusing that simple logic is illogical, and usually a result of blind party loyalty.
    The problem is not that all politicians are bad going in.
    The problem is they are corrupted once they get there, and that will continue until they understand that their career will be short if they continue to be irresponsible.
    It’s difficult though, when newcomers are faced with 90% of Congress that are still incumbents.

    Most (if not all) incumbents, because most (if not all) are irresponsible.
    They are irresponsible because they are rewarded with re-election for it, enjoying a 90%+ re-election rate.
    That is partly why, after over a year now, no one can name 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (half of 535) in Congress that are responsible, accountable, don’t pander, don’t vote on pork-barrel, waste, graft, corporate welfare, don’t troll for big-money donors, don’t look the other way, and don’t ignore the nation’s most pressing problems.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Kick the bums out is a nice sentiment,
    Just plain common-sense. That’s all. You’re argument against common-sense makes no sense.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Kick the bums out is a nice sentiment, but at the end of the day, you have to deal with people who are going to ask you “who should I have a problem with, and why?”. If you just tell them congress in general, especially the one they just elected, they’re going to blow you off, and rightfully so.
    That’s their choice.

    They are the ones that will suffer the consequences most.
    However, it is “Congress in general” that is corrupt and irresponsible.
    The proof of it is what they accomplish (which ain’t much, or nothing, or worse by creating more problems).
    If voters would start holding Congress responsible, in general, it might develop some peer pressure to police their own ranks. Instead, most (if not all) look-the-other-way.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s like asking people to do a full tune-up on a new car. They’re going to give this new congress time to work. They’re not going to second guess themselves so quickly.
    It’s not really a new Congress, with 90% of the same incumbents stil there. What have they accomplished so far?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You have to frame things for people in a way that makes sense of what you’re asking. Otherwise, people will blow you off. One more note: sometimes it really is somebody else’s fault that your message isn’t going through, or isn’t being accepted. But too much thinking along those lines leads to a neglect of the kind of thoughtfulness and eloquence that people rightfully expect from those trying to persuade thm.
    Common-sense doesn’t work on everybody.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The complexity is not in the ideas driving our perspective so much as in dealing with the complex relationships people have to their politics. What are they willing to compromise on, what are they not? What’s their threshold for tolerating mishbehavior from their candidates? Is the alternative better than the incumbent? These are not simple questions for those who aren’t partisans of one kind or another, and sometimes, they aren’t simple for folks like us.
    Folks like us? You mean partisanly biased?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The angle I would take on things is not to fight these complexities trying to make some cause and effect occur, but acknowledge the challenge they present and address that. There is no one simple idea that can address all that, but there are plenty of fascinating, rich ideas that can deal with parts of our concerns, parts of our needs. We just got to find the right mix.
    Nonsense.

    It’s not rocket science.
    Continually trying to portray it as complex and other nonsense is most likely motivated by blind party loyalty.
    Repeatedly re-electing irresponsible incumbent politicians makes no sense, and it won’t accomplish anything but to make irresponsible incumbent politicians more irresponsible.

    Education is the key.
    Ignorance is the problem.
    Ignorance breeds corruption.
    Voters will get that educaiton:

    • the smart, peaceful, responsible way,

    • or the hard, painful way (again).

    Don wrote: Nicely said. I rarely agree with you, but on this topic I am with you. Furthermore, the idea being presented that ALL incumbents must go is foolish and simple-minded, in my opinion.
    What is foolish and simple-minded is rewarding irresponsible politicians by repeatedly re-electing them.

    Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, eh?

    Mark wrote: One thing I seem to notice is that Republican corruption is far more vicious, insane, evil. For example when they go out of their way to suppress science and lie to the public about nearly any environmental matter that could cost their corporate buddies money.
    Nothing like fueling and wallowing in the partisan warfare.

    Politicians and their hacks love that circular, distracting, divisive, manipulative, destructive partisan warfare.
    The fact is, politicians of both parties, over time, are irresponsible.
    The IN-PARTY abuses power and becomes the OUT-PARTY.
    Republicans blew their small lead after only one decade.
    Democrats had a large majority for most of 70 years before that.
    Why did Democrats lost their majority temporarily?
    Because they abused their power, and voters voted them out.
    The Democrats become the OUT-PARTY.
    Now the Democrats are the IN-PARTY again.
    But what has changed?
    What has Do-Nothing Congress accomplished thus far?

    Mark wrote: While corrupt Democrats have always acted sleazy and done questionable things for fundraisng, nothing compares to the Tom Delay/Frist/Abramoff culture of corruption that has been a big part in running our country into the groudn. I get the sense that Democratic corruption is bad, but Republican corruption is much more likely to, say, lead to the end of life on earth (at least for human civilization).
    They’re both corrupt.

    Sure, the last Republican majority (small at that) was corrupt, but not the most corrupt in all of history. Not even close.
    You have a short memory.
    Do you not remember:

    • Pardongate (1999, 2001)? Clinton’s 546 pardons (140 on his last day in office). Dan Rostenkowski (he pleaded guilty, but got pardoned by Clinton)?

    • Lancegate: President Carter’s OMB Director Bert Lance resignation amidst allegations of misuse of funds (1977).?

    • Tongsun Park “Koreagate” scandal involving alleged bribery of more than 100 members of Congress by South Korean government; charges were pressed only against congressmen Richard T. Hanna (convicted) and Otto E. Passman (not prosecuted because of illness); also implicated was South Korean President Park Chung Hee ?

    • Senator Herman Talmadge of Georgia [“Hummen, they called him. Hummen Talmadge of G’ogia.] punished after his ex-wife produced cash “gifts” he had hidden in an overcoat (1979); Talmadge later wrote, “I wish I’d burned that damn overcoat and charged everything on American Express.” Talmadge the same year admitted to having spent five weeks in alcohol rehab; he was not re-elected to the Senate in 1980. ?

    • There was the Abscam scandal in (1980) [“One senator, Harrison A. Williams (D-NJ), and five members of the House: John Jenrette (D-SC), Richard Kelly (R-FL) — later overturned — Raymond Lederer (D-PA), Michael Myers (D-PA) and Frank Thompson (D-NJ) — were convicted of bribery and conspiracy. John M. Murphy (D-NY), was convicted of a lesser charge. Most of the politicians resigned. Congressman Myers had to be expelled. Five other government officials were convicted, including the mayor of Camden, New Jersey, Angelo Errichetti. One politician targeted, but not indicted, was Congressman John Murtha (D-PA).] ?

    • “Debategate”: briefing book of President Jimmy Carter stolen and given to Ronald Reagan campaign before the 1980 presidential election debate in Cleveland, Ohio. ?

    • October Surprise (1980). Which, of course, the Democrats were still investigating in 1990.?

    • Anne Gorsuch Burford refusal to turn over EPA documents (1982) ?

    • William Casey insider trading (1983) ?

    • Savings and loan scandal and the Keating Five (1980-1989): Alan Cranston, Dennis DeConcini, Don Riegle, and John Glenn?

    • Senator John Tower’s nomination as Defense Secretary derailed due to allegations of habitual and extreme alcohol abuse and improper ties to defense industry. (1987) ?

    • Mario Biaggi convicted (1988) in Wedtech scandal of bribery, extortion, racketeering, filing a false tax return, mail fraud, and false financial disclosure; resigned from U.S. House before he could be expelled. He was a Democrat from New York. ?

    • Speaker of the House, Jim Wright from Texas forced to resign after ethics committee investigation found dozens of violations of House rules, including alleged improper receipt of $145,000 in gifts by Wright’s wife from a Fort Worth developer and large profits from “sale” of Wright’s speeches. ?

    • Anthony Lee Coelho of California. That’s Tony Coelho, who remains a major big shot organizing Democrat politics. He resigned from U.S. House for unethical finance practices including “junk bond” deal in 1989.?

    • Alcee Hastings, federal district court judge impeached (1989) and convicted of soliciting a bribe. Nevertheless elected to U.S. House by the Democrats in Florida in 1992! ?

    • Senator David Durenberger denounced by Senate for unethical financial transactions 1990. ?

    • Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) scandal implicates former Defense Secretary and Washington insider Clark Clifford (1991). BCCI that was a Jimmy Carter Deal During his term in office. ?

    • House Bank scandal (1992) ?

    • Mary Rose Oakar (1992) allegations of “ghost employees” on payroll. ?

    • Travelgate (1993) ?

    • Zoe Baird’s nomination as Attorney General and Kimba Wood’s subsequent near-nomination were derailed by past employment of illegal aliens as nannies. (1993) Both nominated by President Clinton. ?

    • Walter Fauntroy, Delegate to Congress from the District of Columbia, guilty plea regarding lying on financial disclosure form (1995) ?

    • Wes Cooley (1996) ?

    • Walter R. Tucker III of California resigned before bribery conviction (1996) ?

    • Secretary of Agriculture Michael Espy forced to resign from office despite ultimate acquittal on criminal corruption charges (1998) ?

    • Bruce Babbitt, Interior Secretary, independent probe (1998-2000) of alleged lying to Congress concerning influence of money in 1995 American Indian tribe casino decision finds no criminally prosecutable perjury by Babbitt. ?

    • Vice-President Al Gore (1998) improper fundraising and “no controlling legal authority” defense. This is those nuns out in California they bilked, the Buddhist nuns. Then he went out and said “no controlling legal authority.”?

    • Whitewater scandal (1994-2000) ?

    • Dan Rostenkowski’s post office scandal (1994). Later, in Dan Rostenkowski’s house in Illinois, they found a bunch of furniture from his congressional office! ?

    • Henry Cisneros resigns as Housing Secretary and, after lengthy probe that began in 1995, pleads guilty (1999) to lying to the FBI about money he paid former mistress; later pardoned by President Clinton in 2001(Possibly reclassify or cross-reference to Sex scandal) ?

    • Linda Chavez, nomination as Secretary of Labor derailed by past employment of illegal alien. (2001) ?

    • Jim Traficant (D-OH) we all know. ?

    • Robert Torricelli bribery scandal (2002) ?

    • Massachusetts congressman Gary Studds and playing with House pages?

    • Teamstergate: Ron Carey’s and Bill Clinton’s 1996 campaigns for the Presidency of the union and the US, respectively, swapped Teamster’s Union general treasury funds into Clinton’s campaign for Clinton Campaign funds into Ron Carey’s campaign warchest. The Teamster’s political director was jailed. No Clinton officials were charged. Carey’s re-election was invalidated James Hoffa, Jr was elected when the Teamster election was rerun. ?

    • Rep. Jefferson Williams (D(2)-LA) was videotaped (30-Juy-2005) by the FBI allegedly receiving $100K (of $100 dollar bills in a leather briefcase) at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Arlington, Virginia. The FBI later found $90K of it in his freezer, in $10K increments wrapped in aluminum foil and stuffed inside frozen-food containers. The serial numbers found on the currency in the freezer matched serial numbers of funds given by the FBI to their informant. Yet, the voters re-elected Rep. Jefferson Williams !

    Want to talk about “culture of corruption” ?
    There’s ample corruption in BOTH parties.
    That’s why these discussions always devolve into which party is MORE corrupt.
    The corruption of BOTH is undeniable.
    Of course, partisan bias gets in the way of the facts.
    People choose to believe what they want to believe.
    The IN-PARTY usually is a little more corrupt.
    That’s all.
    Also, the culture of corruption has been growing for a few decades (in BOTH parties).
    And rewarding incumbent politicians for being irresponsible and corrupt, by repeatedly re-electing them, will simply make them more corrupt.

    Mark wrote: In any case, as long as the system allows this and politicians need large amounts of money for elections, this will always continue. A good reason for maybe having publicly funded elections and stopping all of this.
    Yet, this Congress still refuses to address that. They ain’t about to do anything that may reduce their power, their opportunities for self-gain, or the security of their cu$hy, coveted incumbencies.
    David R. Remer wrote: Stephen, you are ignoring reality. Nov.’s election threw out a bunch of incumbents.
    Well, almost 10%. And it had a good effect.
    David R. Remer wrote: The guys replacing them came in with a different agenda, more responsive to the will of the voters who voted out the incumbents.
    Well, they are certainly making it appear more like they learned something from the election (and ousting of about 10% of the previous incumbents).

    However, I’m not sure they are serious yet.

    David R. Remer wrote: Congress is addressing Iraq, Congress is poorly addressing corruption and ethics, but, at least addressing it, which the former incumbents DIDN’T. Congress is trying to move on the minimum wage, deficits and debt, and soon will be addressing the safety nets.
    Yes, they are avoiding addressing corruption and ethics, which will probably tarnish and sabotage everything else.
    David R. Remer wrote: All these and more are a direct result of Nov.’s election which, by ousting incumbents, set new agendas more reflective of the people’s needs and wishes.
    Precisely.

    The question is, was it enough to motivate Congress to really and truly adequately address and solve problems?
    That remains to be seen.
    Sure, I’m glad the Republicans lost their tiny majority.
    That’s some progress.
    However, was it enough?
    What would really send a loud and clear message to Congress is to oust a large number of irresponsible incumbent politicians from BOTH parties, instead of merely letting 90% of BOTH parties take turns enjoying their cu$hy 90%+ re-election rates (for over a decade now: one-simple-idea.com/CongressMakeUp_1855_2008.htm).

    David R. Remer wrote: That reality is one which you seem to ignore in your attempts to minimize the potential of voting out incumbents as a popular strategy for dealing with corrupt, inept, and out of touch incumbents who control the government’s actions and decisions.
    Partisan bias is at the root of that, as evidenced by … Stephen Daugherty wrote:
    • They [voters] should be allying with us [Democrats].
    • In my opinion, the proper people to run this party are the voters who elect Democrats.
    • I don’t like to hear people get down on my party …

    They keep asking the same question …

    Stephen Daugherty wrote:
    Okay, so if I agree somewhat with your simple idea, what’s my problem?
    My problem is: “who and why”.

    Vote for challengers, because rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians by repeatedly re-electing them is why they are irresponsible.

    What’s so hard to understand about that?
    What sense does it make to keep re-electing bad politicians (such as Rep. William Jefferson for instance)?

    You ask: “who and why” ?
    There’s your answer.
    What part of that do you not understand?
    Please explain how rewarding irresponsible behavior begets anything but more irresponsible behavior.

    The problem is obvious: Blind partsian loyalties.
    Blind partisan loyalty can rationalize anything.
    Politicians love it.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 28, 2007 11:42 AM
    Comment #209950

    Dan-
    Even if they are Democrats. In fact, there’s a certain logic to being willing to kick out your own, which I have emphasized quite a bit. That was the Republican’s problems, self-protective to the point of keeping their embarrassments in a position to embarrass them.

    I talked about the previous Democratic congress as having provoked its own dismissal. How is that not admitting that my party has had a problem with Corruption?

    You criticize me for not being able to take criticism of my party. What was my first response to the article above?

    First thing I do is to suggest public financing instead of private.

    Second thing I advocate is greater public knowledge, and then I use a fellow Democrat as an example, saying that Barney Frank could be made to regret his words

    Third thing I advocate is to shake things up with primary challengers, who at the very least can put the pressure on irresponsible incumbents, if not push them completely out altogether

    Fourth thing I advocate is less tolerance of everyday corruption. How will we have the moral strength to censure our representatives for what we do in day to day life?

    Then I said this:

    Now, the Republicans need to recall how their members reflected on them, and start taking a dose of this medicine they’re dishing out, but this bitter brew should be dosed by Democrats as well. We didn’t overcome the last Republican majority to become just like it. And the Republican should reflect that they aren’t going to be taken seriously as having the moral high ground, so long as memories remain of the last twelve years.

    I’m not against voting out incumbents, I’m against presenting it as a panacea. These kinds of pitched political battles are exhausting, and people will not second-guess themselves so soon without good cause.

    I’m not making an argument against common sense. I’m making an argument against thinking that everything in the world operates by common sense. There’s a more complex structure to things. You can say glibly that it’s “their choice” if they blow you off, but what if that choice is repeated again and again across the populace? You’re back where you started.

    The real world IS complex, and so is politics in general. If it weren’t, a person could, observing a few rules, apply any sort of political order they wished. That doesn’t happen. It’s why the market sets prices better than a command economy. That’s why despite best efforts, not every Hollywood movie, even the good ones, succeeds. You’re confronted with that with the way the increases in the money supply cause economic problems rather than solving them. Common sense arithmetic would have printing more money be an excellent solution. However, if you are familiar with the more counterintuitive aspects of the problem, you understand that increasing money supply increases inflation, which creates a separate problem that compounds budget problems- that is, lower currency value buys less, which makes increasing the budget necessary, among other effects.

    I’m addressing political persuasion the same way you address money supply issues, allowing for the higher-order behaviors of the system.

    For me, voter education is simply keeping up with the news, keeping up with current events. I don’t think voters should have to go to some special site to learn from anybody. It’s nothing personal. I just think people should think for themselves, because the world is way too complex for anybody to appreciate fully.

    It’s better to get a survey of sources than try to consilidate and centralize everything. That’s the charm of blogs. Occasionally they’re good as primary source, but the real killer app of blogging is drawing together different news and relevant information. It’s hypertext’s most powerful application, allowing people to get past the nuts and bolts of html to bring what they’ve seen and heard to other’s attention.

    The key, as with any kind of education, is for people to want to know. The attitude people took in the 90’s was to turn a blind eye to corruption, to potentially problematic “reforms”, because they were told it was good for the economy. People did the same with the tax cuts, the same with the war on terror.

    A great deal of the unaccountability of the last congress was in our blithe tolerance of the corruption. It’s that which keeps the irresponsible incumbents in there. Americans are beginning to awaken, but it’s difficult to care or pay attention without specific details, and a narrative to organize them.

    You present a good list of examples down there. That’s the way to go. A word of advice: don’t info-dump. I guess the rule of thumb is that people shouldn’t forget the first thing they read before they get to the last. Mellow it out, mix into the text.

    And also: look for common ground. Common ground means you know what you don’t have to write about. The more you get with less writing, the more efficient the point becomes. The less you argue with people about things they already agree with, the more you can fight the battles that really need to be fought.

    I think you need to start singling out the real problem politicians, the people you see as getting in the way of good policy getting done. responsibility is judged in terms of what is expect and how folks fall short. Tell of that, and you will convince people of the need to push out these incumbents more easily.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 28, 2007 1:08 PM
    Comment #209958
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think you need to start singling out the real problem politicians,
    I just did …
    • Rep. Jefferson Williams (D(2)-LA) was videotaped (30-Juy-2005) by the FBI allegedly receiving $100K bribe (of $100 dollar bills in a leather briefcase) at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Arlington, Virginia. The FBI later found $90K of it hidden in his freezer, in $10K increments wrapped in aluminum foil and stuffed inside frozen-food containers. The serial numbers found on the currency in the freezer matched the serial numbers of funds given by the FBI to their informant. Yet, the voters re-elected Rep. Jefferson Williams !

    Yet, and I just heard Nancy Pelosi just recommended Rep. Jefferson Williams for a seat on the Homeland Security Committee ?
    What’s up with that?
    Why would Pelosi do that?
    Oh … right … looking-the-other-way is Standard Operating Procedure for Congress (regardless of party).
    Hence, the name of this thread “Culture of Corruption”.
    I thought you said Rep. Jefferson Williams would be kicked to the curb? Guess not, eh?

    And, then there’s this bunch that voted YES to give illegal aliens Social Security benefits.

    I could fill libraries with corruption.
    This blog ain’t big enough to list all the corruption of BOTH parties.

    That’s because most (if not all) in Congress and the Executive Branch are corrupt and/or irresponsible.

    Therefore, it would be easier to name the politicians that are responsible and accountable.

    Know any?

    I don’t.

    That’s why, for over year now, no one can name 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (half of the 535) in Congress that are:

    • Responsible

    • That don’t look the other way

    • That don’t fuel the partisan warfare

    • That don’t vote on pork-barrel, graft, and corporate welfare (while our troops risk life and limb)

    • That don’t vote themselves cu$hy perk$ and rai$e$? (Congress has voted itself a raise 8 times between 1997 and 2006).

    • That don’t troll for big-money-donors to feed their campaign war chests

    • That don’t refuse to pass any sort of campaign finance reform

    • That don’t refuse a number of common-sense, no-brainier reforms (e.g. What good is a minimum wage increase when illegal aliens (cheap labor) are allowed to flood in by the millions, and the government refuses to stop those that illegally employ illegal aliens)

    • That don’t give pardons to convicted felons (some who even pled guilty; like the 546 criminals pardoned by Bill Clinton; 140 on his last day in office, including Dan Rostenkowski, who pleaded GUILTY)

    • That don’t pander and make promises that are fiscally irresponsible; bribe the voters with their own money (e.g. Medicare prescription drugs)

    • That don’t continue to ignore the nation’s most pressing problems

    That alone ought to be telling people something.

    Rewarding irresponsible politicians by repeatedly re-electing them only makes them more irresponsible.

    It’s that simple.
    Yet, how can something so simple can be so elusive ?
    Ignorance.
    How can ignorance be overcome?
    Education.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: For me, voter education is simply keeping up with the news, keeping up with current events.
    Merely keeping up with the news and current events is not enough. Education about human psychology and government is needed too.

    President Thomas Jefferson said: “If a people want to be both free and ignorant, they want what never was and what never can be”.

    Unfortunately, too many Americans are sadly ignorant of the real history of our nation, of the basic laws, of the Constitution, of basic human nature, and of the fundamental components required for any healthy organization, government, or society.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 28, 2007 4:04 PM
    Comment #209961

    One of you guys should start a thread on this side of the boards asking the question: Are the Democrats Failing?

    I would put forth the following.

    1) Two months into 2007 they still have no 2007 budget.

    2) No plan for moving to a balanced budget.

    3) Pay as you go is a failure because with no budget, they have no clue what if what they are spending is a part of the budget or needs to be covered by pay as you go.

    4) no plan to fix social security, not even meeting on it.

    5) No plan to fix medicare, not even meeting on it.

    6) have failed to secure the boarder or fund the fence.

    7) no plan to create and PAY FOR a national health care plan. Which should come AFTER they reign in spending and fix the BROKEN SS and Medicare.

    8) No plan to stop corruption. They kept ear marks alive. They even put Reid in charge of the Senate. A man who took that one million dollar “property deal” in vegas, kept his ABramoff money, and whose own kids are being paid money to lobby him.

    I’m seeing a lot of failure here and two months into the first year…..it’s time they start blaming republicans and take ownership of THEIR FAILURE to fix what needs to be fixed or to even plan to fix what needs to be fixed.

    The Republicans FAILED. That’s HISTORY. The democrats ARE FAILING….that’s the here and now. That’s what needs to change. They need to be pushed to do what’s right and fix this stuff they promised to fix.

    Posted by: Stephen at February 28, 2007 5:02 PM
    Comment #209963

    d.a.n -

    d.a.n. wrote: “Therefore, it would be easier to name the politicians that are responsible and accountable. Know any? I don’t.”

    I’d say you don’t know very many “American” politicians. There are many who I believe are responsible and accountable on both sides of the Democrat/Republican aisle. I know at least two who are.

    There is no point in ousting all incumbents. That’s like killing all cats because some are mean (not a bad idea, really, but a huge overkill for the problem). This is not a believable agenda.

    Moreover, last year I recommended a Republican candidate to replace an incumbent Republican. You said you wouldn’t vote for ANY Republican. I don’t think that comes from an unbiased mind. That is to say that I believe your agenda is not what you claim it to be. Now you’re arguing against a strong supporter of the Democratic party (Stephen). So, you’re clearly not in favor of ANY Democrat either.

    I wonder if there are any reasons a foreign agent would want to hinder the effectiveness of our “American” government by eliminating those who have experience in our government.

    (Please don’t respond with one of those annoying “cut and paste” tomes!!!)

    Posted by: Don at February 28, 2007 5:29 PM
    Comment #209975
    Stephen wrote: The Republicans FAILED. That’s HISTORY. The democrats ARE FAILING….that’s the here and now. That’s what needs to change. They need to be pushed to do what’s right and fix this stuff they promised to fix.
    Yes, it’s looking that way, isn’t it.

    They are still ignoring the nation’s most pressing problems and many badly-needed common-sense, no-brainer reforms (especially campaign finance reform).
    And today Pelosi recommended Rep. Jefferson Williams for the Homeland Security committee ? ! ?

    Don wrote:
    d.a.n. wrote: “Therefore, it would be easier to name the politicians that are responsible and accountable. Know any? I don’t.”
    I’d say you don’t know very many “American” politicians. There are many who I believe are responsible and accountable on both sides of the Democrat/Republican aisle. I know at least two who are.
    You know two?

    Who?
    Name them, if you reall do.

    Don wrote: I’d say you don’t know very many “American” politicians.
    Thinks so?

    I know a lot more than most, which is why I think most in Congress don’t deserve to be re-elected.

    Don wrote: There are many who I believe are responsible and accountable on both sides of the Democrat/Republican aisle. I know at least two who are.
    You say “There are many” ?

    Prove it ?
    I don’t think you do.
    Just give me 10 or 20 names.
    Then consider how lame that is unless there are at least 268 (half of the 535) in Congress that are responsible and accountable.

    Don wrote: There is no point in ousting all incumbents. That’s like killing all cats because some are mean (not a bad idea, really, but a huge overkill for the problem). This is not a believable agenda.
    Not all.

    Keep the good ones.
    You say you know many?
    Then name some of them.

    Don wrote: Moreover, last year I recommended a Republican candidate to replace an incumbent Republican. You said you wouldn’t vote for ANY Republican.
    I never said that. You are mistaken.

    In the last election, I voted for one Republican who was an unopposed non-incumbent for the Texas State Senate.
    I voted for Libertarians, Greens, Democrats, and one Republican.

    Don wrote: I don’t think that comes from an unbiased mind.
    Nonsense.

    Your conclusion is flawed since I never said (as you falsely allege) “I wouldn’t vote for ANY Republican”.

    Don wrote: That is to say that I believe your agenda is not what you claim it to be.
    My agenda is merely to stop rewarding irresponsible politicians by repeatedly re-electing them.

    Your conclusions and suspicions are unsubstantiated by facts.

    Don wrote: Now you’re arguing against a strong supporter of the Democratic party (Stephen). So, you’re clearly not in favor of ANY Democrat either.
    Nonsense.

    I have no favorite party, and have written many times that most (if not all) politicians in BOTH of the two-party duopoly are irresponsible.

    Don wrote: I wonder if there are any reasons a foreign agent would want to hinder the effectiveness of our “American” government by eliminating those who have experience in our government.
    So, now I’m a foreign agent?

    That’s really off the deep end.? You’ve been reading too many spy novels.

    Don wrote: I wonder if there are any reasons a foreign agent would want to hinder the effectiveness of our “American” government by eliminating those who have experience in our government.
    That’s funny. Experienced at what?
    • Experience at voting themselves cu$hy perk$?
    • Experience voting themselves rai$e$? (Congress gave itself a raise 8 times between 1997 and 2006)
    • Experience at fueling partisan warfare, and pitting voters against each other so a majority can never exist to vote out irresponsible incumbent politicians?
    • Experience at ignoring our pressing problems as they grow in number and severity ?
    • Experience at growing government ever larger to nightmare proportions?
    • Experience at clouding the issues, obscuring the facts, manufacturing non-sequiturs to skirt the issues, change the subject, devising clever distractions, while they get theirs, pad their golden parachutes, and make they incumbency more secure?
    • Experience at growing the National Debt ?
    • Experience at creating Ponzi-schemes, like Social Security, skimming surpluses and replacing them with worthless bonds?
    • Experience at pandering and trolling for big-money-donors to fund their campaign war-chests?
    • Experience at votin’ on pork-barrel, corporate welfare, graft, bribes, and peddlin’ influence ?
    • Experience at pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other, (for votes and cheap labor; an exploited, under-paid under-class)?
    • Experience resisting campaign finance reform, term limits, One-Purpose-Per-BILL, Balanced-Budget-Amendment, tax reform, and many other common-sense, no-brainer reforms?
    • Experience fooling and brainwashing voters to lazily pull the party lever, vote straight ticket, and wallow in the petty partisan warfare ?
    • Experience at scaring voters about all the wrong things?
    • Experience at leaking top-secret information?
    • Experience at dirty, negative campaigning?
    • Experience at excessive and wasteful spending?
    • Experience at excessive money-printing?
    • Experience voting on waste and pork-barrel while our troops risk life and limb?
    • Experience blocking access to voting ballots and election debates for independent and third party candidates?
    • Experience at appearing to be doing very hard and complex work (like rocket science), while actually doing very little (if anything, since most of the time is spent working to merely get re-elected, troll for big-money-donors, bribes, and peddling influence)?
    • Experience at pretending to care deeply for the increasingly unaffordable and unreliable health care crisis, while doing nothing to solve that was primarily caused by greedy, irresponsible middlemen (government and insurance companies?
    • Experience at pretending that homeland security is important, while both do nothing to secure the wide-open borders that are trespassed by thousands daily, and costs stemming from illegal immigration (exceeding $70 billion per year) are heaped upon U.S. citizens.?
    • Experience at perpetuating the myth that we can all live at the expense of everyone else?
    • Experience at making their cu$hy, coveted incumbencies more secure?
    • Experience lying to The People (“Read My Lips”, “WMD”, “Your President is not a crook”, “I did not have sex with that woman”, etc.)?
    • Experience using and abusing everyone?

    What good is that kind of “EXPERIENCE” ?

    The “EXPERIENCE” excuse is the lamest excuse there is to justify re-electing irresponsible incumbent politicians.

    Vote for me !
    I may be as crooked as they come,
    but I have EXPERIENCE !

    Don wrote: There are many who I believe are responsible and accountable on both sides of the Democrat/Republican aisle. I know at least two who are.
    Who?
  • Posted by: d.a.n at February 28, 2007 6:33 PM
    Comment #209977

    Dan-
    I still think he should be kicked to the curb, and I do think this is a bad idea. Once he’s charged and indicted, he should be immediately removed. Apart from that, we can’t gainsay the voters.

    Pelosi, let me remind you, kicked him off the powerful ways and means committee. I’m not sure she can keep him off all committees while he’s still a member of congress.

    There might be an issue here: if he screws up on this particular committee, he might find it much harder to explain this to folks back home. If he deals corruptly with getting aid to New Orleans, he might find himself on this way out. I would hardly lament that.

    As for your notion of voter education? What qualifies you to give all that? These are our opinions. People aren’t a bunch of kindergarteners seated in rows, girls with ribbons in their hairs, boys with baseball caps. We’re dealing with adults here. They can get their education where ever they want, the question is why they would listen to us.

    As for the law that these people voted yes for, you failed to properly cite it. You should provide a link to the Congressional database on such laws so we can find what exactly it is they voted for.

    All too often, pundits like ourselves let our interpretations get ahead of what we can prove. Providing such citations can be a check on the tendency to make claims beyond the facts, to reason well and cite facts accurately.

    Stephen-
    First, we’re going by your 2006 spending bills, since your party failed to get 2007’s in on time. Second, I think we’re going to have a field day on the budget.

    Third, Social Security was a fictional crisis, and Medicare as a crisis has been made worse by Bush’s new drug benefit. Funny how Republicans have created worse and more dysfunctional bureacracies than three decades of liberals and liberal presidents. I have no doubt we’ll get into that soon enough. As far as National Healthcare goes, we’ll have to see what can be worked out. You people still wield power in the Senate through the filibusters, and your folks are still standing in the way of constructive legislation there.

    As far as the border fence goes, its a waste of money. Bush has admitted as much by making it a virtual fence instead of a real one.

    As far as corruption goes, you shouldn’t be relying on the reporting of that guy who keeps on dogging Harry Reid. The guy’s fact-finding is hideous. He painted Harry Reid as getting ringside tickets through his power, when in fact he his VIP passes could not be purchased, he had reason to be there, and his lush accommodations were folding metal chairs on a concrete floor.

    The Republican failure persists, especially when they continue to engage in their old habits. It’s in my interest to keep the Democrats clean. I’ll do that, as much as I can. You ought to look after you own people, they’re still not getting the point the voters made to their party.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 28, 2007 6:39 PM
    Comment #209990
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- I still think he should be kicked to the curb, and I do think this is a bad idea. Once he’s charged and indicted, he should be immediately removed. Apart from that, we can’t gainsay the voters.
    Why is it taking so long? Perhaps there’s more than one indictment (i.e. more than one person) on the way?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Pelosi, let me remind you, kicked him off the powerful ways and means committee. I’m not sure she can keep him off all committees while he’s still a member of congress.
    Lame.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: As for your notion of voter education? What qualifies you to give all that? These are our opinions.
    Yes they are my opinions. So what?

    You make sound as if opinions aren’t allowed.
    Nobody is forced to read it.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: People aren’t a bunch of kindergarteners seated in rows, girls with ribbons in their hairs, boys with baseball caps. We’re dealing with adults here. They can get their education where ever they want, the question is why they would listen to us.
    Nonsense.

    I don’t tell people what to do.
    That’s your department, as indicated by these numerous instances of you telling others what to do …
    Stephen Daugherty wrote the following:

    • d.a.n, First, don’t call people brainwashed

    • d.a.n, I told you that you shouldn’t do it, and you‘re free to agree or not to agree with what I’m telling you to do.

    • You need to expand your horizons, rather than shrink them to one simple idea,

    • Wait until there are some actions actually taken by this [110th] Congress before you talk about their hypocrisy

    • Don’t call it pros and cons.

    • David R. Remer, If you want something that badly, fight for it.

    • On the subject of third parties being spoilers or fringe, I’d say you need to avoid that

    • Don’t just excuse yourself by accusing those asking for those facts of being brainwashed idiots. Give the facts.

    • Facts, d.a.n . Facts. Not your opinions, not your conclusions, not your claims, facts. A fact like …

    • Come on. Get out of pundit mode, and start treating this as if you were a lawyer or a reporter.

    • Stop flinging rhetoric at me and calling it facts.

    • d.a.n, … You had better be prepared …

    • You had better come at us with good evidence …

    • we’ve told you no, we aren’t satisfied with facts you‘ve provided.

    • d.a.n … You need to expand your horizons,

    • d.a.n , First, you don’t respect people’s right to have other opinions… .

    • Again, I’m going to tell you, don’t …

    There’s a difference between having an opinion and telling people what to do?
    Don’t you ever get tired of telling people what to do?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: As for the law that these people voted yes for, you failed to properly cite it. You should provide a link to the Congressional database on such laws so we can find what exactly it is they voted for. All too often, pundits like ourselves let our interpretations get ahead of what we can prove. Providing such citations can be a check on the tendency to make claims beyond the facts, to reason well and cite facts accurately.
    Nonsense.

    It was part of S.2611
    You can also cooroborate the votes via ontheissues.org .

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think we’re [Democrats] going to have a field day on the budget.
    Yeah.

    Probably more rampant wasteful spending and pork-barrel.
    Historically (see cagw.org), Democrats vote for a lot more pork-barrel.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Third, Social Security was a fictional crisis,
    Think so, eh?

    Social Security could see short falls by 2017 (or sooner).
    With the current debt and other factors, I think the cuts will have to be large, the eligibility age will have to be increased to age 70 or higher, and taxes will have to be increased significantly.

    It’s not easy downplay the impact of 77 million baby boomers wanting their benefits from a system they paid into all their life.
    77 million retiring entitlement recipients over the next 50 years (18,263 days) is 4216 recipients becoming elibigle each day!
    77 million retiring entitlement recipients over the next 40 years (14,610 days) is 5270 recipients becoming elibigle each day!
    77 million retiring entitlement recipients over the next 30 years (10,958 days) is 7027 recipients becoming elibigle each day!
    77 million retiring entitlement recipients over the next 20 years (7,305 days) is 10,540 recipients becoming elibigle each day!

    Let’s conservatively assume the 77 million baby boomers only live another 20 years.
    Now, lets just estimate the cost for one year with 10,540 recipients becoming elibigle each day.
    10,540 recipients per day x $9,000 of entitlements benefits per year per recipient x 365 days per year = $34.6 billion per year
    Now consider that an additional 10,540 people are becoming eligible each day for 20 years.

    That’s $34.6 billion per year more for the first year (in addition to benefits already being paid to pre-existing recipients).
    That’s $69.2 billion per year more by the second year (doubled)
    That’s $103.9 billion per year more by the third year.


    That’s $346 billion per year more by the tenth year.


    That’s $692 billion per year more by the twentieth year.

    And all that is in addition to those already receiving benefits in the first year.
    Many will not live to the end of that 20 year period, but many will, and some will live beyond that.

    Currently, about 45 million people receive Social Security and Medicare benefits.
    That could climb to 84 million people in a decade (45 million + (10,540 x 365 x 10 years)).

    Can GDP grow enough to make of for that?
    Not likely.
    Especially not with:

    • [01] a large aging population
    • ;
    • [02] 77 million baby boomers will soon be retiring;

    • [03] baby boomers will earn less;

    • [04] baby boomers will pay less taxes;

    • [05] baby boomers will spend less;

    • [06] some baby boomers will down-size and consume less;

    • [07] baby boomers will start drawing on Social Security, Medicare, Rx, and Medicaid benefits;

    • [08] some baby boomers will draw on welfare as many discover they haven’t saved enough for retirement;

    • [09] many baby boomers will become a burden on their children and families;

    • [10] the ratio of tax payers to benefit recipients is decreasing;

    • [11] older Americans vote; younger Americans are not very diligent about that, clearing the way for more taxes;

    • [12] government will be forced to raise taxes during a period when U.S. incomes are falling due to loss of manufacturing and jobs to increasingly competitive nations with very cheap labor;

    • [13] generational differences will create resentments as the ratio of entitlement recipients per working tax payer increases larger and larger;

    • [14] Americans are living much longer, which will burden entitlement systems and some retirees will run out of money; some will compete with younger Americans for fewer jobs left;

    The younger generations aren’t going to be happy about steep taxes and the entitlements recipients aren’t going to be happy about massive cuts.
    That could fuel a generational storm.
    This could fuel the decline of the nation (along with a number of other things).

    And one of the biggest concerns about all of it is the lack of attention and understanding about it.
    Voters and government are complacent and apathetic about all of it.
    We have more debt than ever (including after WWII) when you don’t deceptively exclude the $12.8 trillion Social Security debt, and $450 billion PBGC debt, in additioin to the $8.76 trillion National Debt, and the $20 trillion nation-wide personal debt (altogether, over $42 trillion of nation-wide debt).

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Third, Social Security was a fictional crisis,
    So, none of that is a problem?

    Look at the math. It’s not a pretty picture.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: and Medicare as a crisis has been made worse by Bush’s new drug benefit.
    True, but most Democrats voted for it too.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Funny how Republicans have created worse and more dysfunctional bureacracies than three decades of liberals and liberal presidents.
    Not true.

    Democrats controlled Congress for most of 70 years prior to 1996, and also had Democrat presidents part of the time too.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I have no doubt we’ll get into that soon enough. As far as National Healthcare goes, we’ll have to see what can be worked out. You people still wield power in the Senate through the filibusters, and your folks are still standing in the way of constructive legislation there.
    “You people” ?

    “still standing in the way” ?
    I thought Democrats were in control based on your statement …

    Stephen Daugherty wrote:
    … the scuzzball congress we just got done destroying in the polls

    If you destroyed them, how can they still stand in the way?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- If third parties can’t win offices, what good are they to the voter?

    Stephen Daugherty,
    If Democrats still can get anything done, what good are they?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: As far as the border fence goes, its a waste of money. Bush has admitted as much by making it a virtual fence instead of a real one.
    It’s not a waste.

    A security barrier would cost less initially and per year than a third of the annual pork-barrel.

    Corruption is rampant in both parties.
    The list above demonstrates it.
    Yet, some want to keep rewarding them by repeatedly re-electing them.
    That makes no sense.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Republican failure persists, especially when they continue to engage in their old habits. It’s in my interest to keep the Democrats clean.
    Like Pelosi recommending Rep. Jefferson Williams to the Homeland Security committee?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’ll do that, as much as I can. You ought to look after you own people, they’re still not getting the point the voters made to their party.
    2008 may prove you ain’t gettin’ the point either.

    Especially since this Do-Nothing Congress is still ignoring the nation’s most pressing problems.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 28, 2007 7:54 PM
    Comment #210004

    d.a.n. -

    First, I asked you not to write a “cut and paste” tome.

    Second, Yes, I really do know responsible ones and I don’t have to list them. Since it is YOUR supposed agenda to eliminate ALL incumbents it becomes your responsibility to give the reasons, not mine to find out why not. You have not given me evidence why I should vote against each and every one by name and accusation of failure. YOU have failed to support your agenda.

    Third, you really did say that you wouldn’t vote for ANY Republicans. Go back and check for yourself.

    Fourth, your agenda is better explained as a foreign interest than any other explanation you have given so far.

    Failure is fine if you just like to argue. But if you truly believe as you say you do, then you are doing a better job of pushing voters away from your agenda than persuading them to join. I see only folly in a blanket “get rid of the cats” scheme. True wisdom comes from true discernment. Just as not all cats are mean, so not all incumbents are unworthy of re-election. (…All Texans are biggots, all horses are brown, all children are unruly, all fences are made of wood, all houses are too big, all Frenchmen are cowards, all…) It doesn’t take long to poke huge holes in the AGENDA.

    Posted by: Don at February 28, 2007 9:40 PM
    Comment #210013
    Don wrote: d.a.n. - Second, Yes, I really do know responsible ones and I don’t have to list them. Since it is YOUR supposed agenda to eliminate ALL incumbents it becomes your responsibility to give the reasons, not mine to find out why not.
    Just as I suspected.
    Don wrote: You have not given me evidence why I should vote against each and every one by name and accusation of failure. YOU have failed to support your agenda.
    Right.

    Yet you refuse to sustantiate your claims.
    As suspected, it was just a lot of big talk.

    Don wrote: Third, you really did say that you wouldn’t vote for ANY Republicans. Go back and check for yourself.
    Did not.

    Prove it.

    Don wrote: Fourth, your agenda is better explained as a foreign interest than any other explanation you have given so far.
    Nonsense.

    I was born in Oklahom in 1957.
    I am part Cherokee and English.
    Your conclusions and suspicions are ridiculous and completely unsubstantiated by any facts.

    Don wrote: Failure is fine if you just like to argue. But if you truly believe as you say you do, then you are doing a better job of pushing voters away from your agenda than persuading them to join. I see only folly in a blanket “get rid of the cats” scheme.
    Sure you do.

    Never underestimate the power of the blind partisan loyalty and propensity to wallow in the petty partisan warfare.

    Don wrote: True wisdom comes from true discernment. Just as not all cats are mean, so not all incumbents are unworthy of re-election.
    Then name some, if you dare?

    I don’t think you really know any.
    If you did, you would proudly proclaim their names.
    Since you don’t, you refrain.

    Don wrote: All Texans are biggots, all horses are brown, all children are unruly, all fences are made of wood, all houses are too big, all Frenchmen are cowards, all.
    Think so?

    Fascinating.
    How revealing.

    Don wrote: It doesn’t take long to poke huge holes in the AGENDA.?

    Why can’t you back up your claims.

    Don wrote: There are many [politicians] who I believe are responsible and accountable on both sides of the Democrat/Republican aisle. I know at least two who are.
    Right.

    Yet, you refuse to give any names?
    How revealing?

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 28, 2007 10:24 PM
    Comment #210026

    Dan-
    You know, your one simple idea is basically you telling everybody to vote out their politicians until things improve. You have an entire site devoted to telling people what to do. In fact, you call your site a voter education site. What is this education meant to do? Back their acceptance of your point.

    What’s more, you’re obviously trying to discourage me from certain words, the imperative voice, and any serious commitment to the Democratic party.

    I’m at peace with the notion of being told what to do. I can always say no. I know that I can’t really stop people from doing anything myself. All the power I have here is the tenuous power of the word.

    That’s all you have, too. Because of that, it’s understandable that people ask for authority beyond what you yourself can offer on a subject.

    So, what’s your message? It seems to be that you think much of other people unless they are independent and friendly to your idea. That, in no small part, is why I say you’re just as much a partisan as anybody else. It doesn’t take being part of a major party to be narrowly devoted to an agenda or an idea.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 28, 2007 11:33 PM
    Comment #210050

    Stephen,

    You have had this conversation before.
    It may have been on a different subject, but it was the exact same conversation, and nothing else has changed.

    You are a wordsmith. You are usually able to convey your message without invoking memories of reading “War and Peace”, and I admire that skill. I wish I was better at it myself.

    That said, no amount of haggling will change this conversation, anymore than it changed the last, or even the one before that.

    It is what it is.

    Posted by: Rocky at March 1, 2007 9:02 AM
    Comment #210060

    d.a.n. -

    It’s your AGENDA. It is up to you to support it. You haven’t. List the offenses of my incumbent legislators that would make them un-worthy of re-election. You haven’t, thus a huge hole in your AGENDA.

    Also, apparently you don’t understand the concept of overstatement as a method of getting the point across. When I said, “All Texans are biggots, all horses are brown, all children are unruly, all fences are made of wood, all houses are too big, all Frenchmen are cowards, all…,” I was pointing out the absolute folly of statements that begin with the word “all”. Thus, the absolute folly of your AGENDA that “all” incumbents must go. That is another of many huge holes in your AGENDA.

    Time to face the music…support your AGENDA if you want people to follow your piper. Making snide remarks, questioning the truthfulness of others, and accusing others of “partisan politics” does not support the AGENDA.

    Posted by: Don at March 1, 2007 10:07 AM
    Comment #210078
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- You know, your one simple idea is basically you telling everybody to vote out their politicians until things improve.
    False.

    I don’t tell people what to do.
    There is a difference between having an opinion and telling people what to do?

    Telling others what to do is your department, as demonstrated by your numerous comments telling other people what to do …
    Stephen Daugherty wrote the following:

    • d.a.n, First, don’t call people brainwashed

    • d.a.n, I told you that you shouldn’t do it, and you‘re free to agree or not to agree with what I’m telling you to do.

    • You need to expand your horizons, rather than shrink them to one simple idea,

    • Wait until there are some actions actually taken by this [110th] Congress before you talk about their hypocrisy

    • Don’t call it pros and cons.

    • David R. Remer, If you want something that badly, fight for it.

    • On the subject of third parties being spoilers or fringe, I’d say you need to avoid that

    • Don’t just excuse yourself by accusing those asking for those facts of being brainwashed idiots. Give the facts.

    • Facts, d.a.n . Facts. Not your opinions, not your conclusions, not your claims, facts. A fact like …

    • Come on. Get out of pundit mode, and start treating this as if you were a lawyer or a reporter.

    • Stop flinging rhetoric at me and calling it facts.

    • d.a.n, … You had better be prepared …

    • You had better come at us with good evidence …

    • we’ve told you no, we aren’t satisfied with facts you‘ve provided.

    • d.a.n … You need to expand your horizons,

    • d.a.n , First, you don’t respect people’s right to have other opinions… .

    • Again, I’m going to tell you, don’t …
    Again, there’s a difference between having an opinion and telling people what to do?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You have an entire site devoted to telling people what to do.
    False.

    Having an opinion, and recommending something, and presenting the logic to support a recommendation, is not the same as telling people what to do.
    Telling people what to do is what you do when you say those things listed above.
    Those are your many statements.
    See the difference?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: In fact, you call your site a voter education site. What is this education meant to do? Back their acceptance of your point.
    It contains economic data, historical data, famous quotes, etc.

    It also holds to the belief that rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians by repeatedly re-electing them simply makes them more irresponsible.
    Are you saying that is false?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: What’s more, you’re obviously trying to discourage me from certain words, the imperative voice, and any serious commitment to the Democratic party.
    False.

    I’ve never said there was anything wrong with having a party affiliation.
    I’ve only said blind party loyalty, and blindly pulling the party-lever is a problem, of which you also acknowledge to be true.
    However, as for telling people what to do (as demonstrated by your numerous statemetns listed above) is a questionable practice, since such orders obviously can not be enforced.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’m at peace with the notion of being told what to do.
    That’s not the issue.

    The issue is you telling others what to do.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I know that I can’t really stop people from doing anything myself. All the power I have here is the tenuous power of the word.
    True.

    Yet you keep trying to tell people what to do, as evidenced by the list of your orders above.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: That’s all you have, too. Because of that, it’s understandable that people ask for authority beyond what you yourself can offer on a subject.
    True.

    But I’m not the one telling people what to do.
    That’s your forte.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: So, what’s your message? It seems to be that you think much of other people unless they are independent and friendly to your idea.
    Nonsense.

    I know and respect lots of people from all parties.
    You are confusing that with a disdain for blind partisan loyalty.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: That, in no small part, is why I say you’re just as much a partisan as anybody else.
    Not in the sense of belonging to any political party.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It doesn’t take being part of a major party to be narrowly devoted to an agenda or an idea.
    So?

    I have my opinions, and I’m entitled to them.
    Yet, you spend a lot of time following me from thread-to-thread to tell me what to do (as demonstrated by the long list of your comments above).
    Yet, you say to me?:

    Stephen Daugherty wrote:
  • d.a.n , First, you don’t respect people’s right to have other opinions… .
  • Rocky wrote: Stephen, You have had this conversation before. It may have been on a different subject, but it was the exact same conversation, and nothing else has changed. That said, no amount of haggling will change this conversation, anymore than it changed the last, or even the one before that. It is what it is.
    Rocky,

    It may come as a surprise to you, but people are not obligated to change their opinion just because you, Stephen Daugherty, and Don don’t like it.
    There comes a point where people should agree to disagree.
    Stephen follows me from thread-to-thread to tell-me-what-to-do and insult me (as listed above).
    Don’s personal attacks on me are very clear (as listed above).
    We may disagree on a few things (law suit reform, border security), but I’m surprised if you are siding with those (unlike yourself for the most part to the best of my knowledge) that are making those sort of personal attacks listed above.

    I’ve consistently written that rewarding irresponsible politicians by repeatedly re-electing them will simply make them more irresponsible.
    Voters will continue to do it until it becomes too painful.
    That’s my opinion, and intend to adhere to it until there’s a good reason not to.

    Then there’s Don who previously wrote …

    • Don wrote:
    • d.a.n, You seem to speak out of both sides of your mouth.

    • d.a.n, … That is just being anti-Republican in the end.

    • d.a.n, … You should be honest about your real agenda OR be more careful about personal opinions which conflict with your stated goal.

    • d.a.n, … If you cannot see that you are incredibly blind.

    • My last response is one of utter frustration in dealing with someone so unable to get past himself and his ego.

    • You cannot take a constructive critique, apparently.

    • Sad for you and your stated position.

    • So there’s no helping you. Enjoy.

    • d.a.n … Some people will not take any suggestions because they are full of themselves.

    • d.a.n, … You may want to be a little less assinine in your responses and have a little less ego.

    • d.a.n, … You are ignorant and that’s that.

    Hmmmmm … sounds like a lot of personal attacks to me.
    Fairly blatant too.
    That’s usually a sign of a weak argument.
    Also probably the root of the “utter frustration”.

    Here’s some other interesting comments by Don …

      Don wrote:
    • They [voters] see that the Democrats have given voters no reason to vote FOR them.

    • The Dems have not won the minds or hearts of the independent voters.

    • My last response is one of utter frustration in dealing with someone so unable to get past himself and his ego.
    Don, perhaps the root of your (in your own words) “utter frustration” is the weakness of your own arguments?

    Now Don writes …

    Don wrote:
    It’s your AGENDA. It is up to you to support it. You haven’t.

    That’s your opinion and you are entitled to it.

    Don wrote: List the offenses of my incumbent legislators that would make them un-worthy of re-election.
    Who are they?

    Are you afraid to say?

    Don wrote: You haven’t, thus a huge hole in your AGENDA.
    Think so?

    Seems quite a few incumbents got ousted in the last election on 07-Nov-2006.
    Not enough (since 90% of incumbents are still there), but it’s an improvement.
    Hopefully, the 2008 election is likely to see more of it.

    Don wrote: Thus, the absolute folly of your AGENDA that “all” incumbents must go. That is another of many huge holes in your AGENDA.
    Nonsense.

    Not ALL incumbents.
    ALL irresponsible incumbents.
    In case you haven’t notices, I almost always write “irresponsible incumbents”.
    There’s an obvious difference between ALL incumbents and ALL “irresponsible incumbents”.
    My web-site states: vote out “irresponsible incumbents”; keep the good ones.

    Thus, you are guilty of the very thing you accuse others of.

    You said you know some good incumbent politicians, but you and Stephen Daugherty refuse to list their names.
    How revealing.

    Don wrote: Time to face the music … support your AGENDA if you want people to follow your piper. Making snide remarks, questioning the truthfulness of others, and accusing others of “partisan politics” does not support the AGENDA.
    Based on your own numerous personal attacks and snide remarks listed above, your unsubstantiated accusations apply to yourself more than anyone else.

    My position is simple.
    There are many symptoms of the “Culture of Corruption”.
    Corruption results from:

    • (01) rewarding irresponsible politicians by repeated re-electing them

    • (02) partisan warfare and blind party loyalism fuels the blind straight-ticket voting.

    • (03) partisan warfare fueled by irresponsible incumbent politicians and their blind loyalists

    • (04) ignorance; lack of education; education is paramount in a voting nation

    • (05) money in politics makes it rotten to the core

    • (06) fiscal irresponsibility;

    • (07) a lack of responsibility due to a lack of transparency, lack of accountability, and lack of education

    • (08) compacency, apathy, lack of conscience to do what is right and responsible

    When does it change?
    When it becomes too painful, when the number of severity of the problems have been ignored for too long and become too overwhelming.
    At that point, lessons are learned, or the decline becomes irreversible, and another nation withers away like thousands before it.

    When you boil it all down to the most simple components, laziness is at the root of many of our problems.
    Understanding that basic human flaw is paramount to knowing how to successfully deal with it and create successful organizations, governments, and societies.


  • Posted by: d.a.n at March 1, 2007 1:18 PM
    Comment #210092
    There comes a point where people should agree to disagree.

    Ahh… If only people were more inclined to listen to their own words.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at March 1, 2007 3:30 PM
    Comment #210097
    LawnBoy wrote: Ahh… If only people were more inclined to listen to their own words.
    LawnBoy,

    I’m not the one making personal attacks on those that disagree, or telling others what to do, or insisting they must agree with me.

    There’s a difference between debating and attacking others when they don’t disagree.

    What some individuals here don’t like is seeing their very own comments listed for all to see.

    They also don’t like my opinion(s) that the Congress is still ignoring the nation’s most pressing problems.

    Yet, you somehow ignored:

    • all of that above

    • all of the personal attacks on me above

    • all of my comments above on the topic “Culture of Corruption”

    … and in the end, all you have to offer is that one little barb directed at me?
    Interesting.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 1, 2007 4:12 PM
    Comment #210099
    I’m not the one making personal attacks on those that disagree, or telling others what to do, or insisting they must agree with me.

    You apparently have no idea how you come across to others.

    In my opinion, the tactics and attitudes that you decry in other are very much tactics and attitudes you present yourself. I say this not because I’ve ignored the comments and the debate, but instead because I have read them and similar comments in many, many threads.

    I’m not going to say anything more on this subject because I don’t desire to be the victim of another one of your “cut and paste” tomes. I know I’ll get it anyway because I’ve dared to disagree with you and address you directly, but that’s the price I’m willing to pay for showing you a mirror.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at March 1, 2007 4:20 PM
    Comment #210118
    Lawnboy wrote: You apparently have no idea how you come across to others.
    Lawnboy, just because you and a few others don’t like it, doesn’t mean everyone else agrees with you. You apparently have no idea how you come across. What you just did here was nothing more than piling on and offering nothing to do with the topic of “Culture of Corruption”.
    Lawnboy wrote: In my opinion, the tactics and attitudes that you decry in other are very much tactics and attitudes you present yourself.
    Not true.

    I’m not the one attacking others.
    But you choose to ignore that.
    The tactics I use are often to merely post what others wrote themselves.
    That’s the real mirror.

    Lawnboy,
    You have provided nothing to substantiate your claim.
    I have observed your tactics too, such as the one you just used above.
    How is it you overlook those giving orders to others, blatant personal attacks and name calliing?
    Seems awfully biased, don’t ya think?

    Lawnboy wrote: I say this not because I’ve ignored the comments and the debate, but instead because I have read them and similar comments in many, many threads.
    Right. Perhaps you see only what you choose to see?
    Lawnboy wrote: I’m not going to say anything more on this subject because I don’t desire to be the victim of another one of your “cut and paste” tomes.
    Typical. Your hit and run personal attacks, like the others, are unsubstantiated. Usually the sign of a weak argument, and no willingness to stick around to substantiate it.
    Lawnboy wrote: I know I’ll get it anyway because I’ve dared to disagree with you and address you directly, but that’s the price I’m willing to pay for showing you a mirror.
    I haven’t attacked you.

    You, Lawyboy, attacked me, unprovoked, along with Stephen Daugherty, Don, and Rocky.
    I never addressed any of you first.
    It seems to me that you saw three others piling on, and jumped at the chance to join in.
    Interesting.

    I’m willing to debate the facts, but you and others appear to want to merely make personal attacks on anyone that disagrees with you.

    Lawnboy, perhaps the mirror you speak has your own reflection in it?

    And, perhaps there is also some partisan motivation for these personal attacks, eh?

    Afterall, here’s some of Lawnboy own comments:

    Lawnboy wrote:
    • Yet another anti-immigrant fear-mongering post from Mike Tate.

    • d.a.n … I’m just annoyed with the style that you have displayed for months since you joined WB, and this is the first time I’ve ever tried to point out to you how bad your approach really is.


    LawnBoy,

    Yet, Lawnboy is questioning others debating style?
    Interesting.

    Again, more on topic, these discussions of corruption seem to always devolve into which party is more corrupt.
    The problem is, NEITHER party has much of a leg to stand on.
    The corruption of politicians of BOTH parties would fill libraries.
    However, both sides are constantly trying to portray the other as more corrupt, and it only fuels the circular, divisive, distracting partisan warfare.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 1, 2007 6:17 PM
    Comment #210137

    Dan-
    Let me quote to you from your own page:

    Want to put an end to this irresponsible pork-barrel, waste, and corruption ?
    Stop rewarding and empowering irresponsible incumbent politicians by repeatedly re-electing them, and then demand that Do-Nothing Congress finally pass some badly-needed, common-sense, no-brainer reforms, such as a One-Purpose-Per-BILL amendment !

    You do tell people what to do. You might call it something else, but you are telling people to kick out irresponsible incumbents, and then to demand reform.

    These aren’t necessarily unreasonble things to favor. Unfortunately, you take such a zealous and narrowly defined notion of these things that what you demand of people in practice is far more than what you demand of them in theory. You seem to cast your net further than the rest of us, and you don’t really replicate or compose the kind of logic that would convince the rest of us of common cause to get rid of all the people you would have us get rid of.

    That’s the thing. You have hundreds of different congressional districts, and their respective representatives, and then you have fifty states with two senators apiece. In each case you will find a combination of local interests, and common sensibilities, in different proportions and configurations. I keep on telling you that the politics of this nation is complex because that’s the reality of the situation

    But it’s not hopelessly complex. You just got to figure out what’s going on, and what to say about it. That means, though, that you have to step off the pedestal of generalization and explore the situations in detail, to see how the specifics add up to the overall situation.

    You also have to keep in mind that in the end, kicking out incumbents is not nearly so easy as scaring them straight. It’s as important to give warnings as it is to give out punishment. The purpose of police, in community terms is not to actually prevent crimes, but to discourage them such that the citizens themselves prevent them- by not committing them, or allowing them to be committed. What’s more, the ability to discourage indirectly reflects true power. What we need to do, to regain power over our country, is to give all politicians who even approach the appearance of impropriety second thoughts, such that they feel strongly inhibited when it comes to actual corruption.

    That, however, is about more than just getting rid of incumbents. The politicians must realize that the people know, and that they don’t approve. One of our biggest problems with reining in the former Republican majority was the willingness of many people to turn a blind eye to known corruption. We can’t do that. We shouldn’t. We ought to be storm clouds on the horizon here, and we ought to make it clear that if these guys continue to point metal objects towards the sky, they’re going to get a real shocking experience.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 1, 2007 8:46 PM
    Comment #210138

    DAN,

    “You, Lawyboy, attacked me, unprovoked, along with Stephen Daugherty, Don, and Rocky.”

    Bullshit!

    Please show me where I attacked you.

    Did I intimate that I was writing about you?
    Did I even mention your name?
    Was any thing I wrote untrue?

    Do I need to re post line by line what I wrote?

    In the time you have been posting here the only criticism I have leveled at you is that you are extremely verbose.

    Do I think that your opinions are sometimes silly?
    Yes, but I don’t think I have ever attacked you for having them.

    Posted by: Rocky at March 1, 2007 9:02 PM
    Comment #210140

    Rocky,
    Come on. You know damn well your were referring to me, and a previous discussion amongst you, Stephen Daugherty, and me. To deny it is a fraud.

    Are you trying to deny it?
    Do you want me call up all the posts?

    Yes, post what you wrote, line-by-line. Pile it on. Go for it. It’s pile-it-on time.
    The four of you can go at it all you like.

    As I said previously, the “Culture of Corruption” is alive and well in BOTH parties. The new IN-PARTY loyalists don’t like to hear it, but it is true. How about that Pelosi letting Rep. Jefferson Williams on the Homeland Security Committee?

    Why should we expect Congress to be all that different when 90% of the same incumbents are still there?

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 1, 2007 9:34 PM
    Comment #210142

    Stephen Daugherty,

    I think, of the four of you (you, Don, Rocky, and Lawnboy), you have some scrupples.

    However, if you are complicit with these blatant personal attacks, you are no better. Likewise for Rocky. I expected better.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 1, 2007 9:40 PM
    Comment #210144

    Dan,

    Here is my only post on this thread in it’s entirety;

    “Stephen,

    You have had this conversation before.
    It may have been on a different subject, but it was the exact same conversation, and nothing else has changed.”

    No attack there.

    “You are a wordsmith. You are usually able to convey your message without invoking memories of reading “War and Peace”, and I admire that skill. I wish I was better at it myself.”

    Wow, no attack there either.

    “That said, no amount of haggling will change this conversation, anymore than it changed the last, or even the one before that.”

    Nor there.

    “It is what it is.”

    No attack there either.

    Now, I spoke the truth throughout the aformentioned post, and you have accused me of attacking you, I have not.

    I expect a retraction.

    Posted by: Rocky at March 1, 2007 9:49 PM
    Comment #210147

    Rocky,

    Please don’t waste your breath. As you said,

    That said, no amount of haggling will change this conversation, anymore than it changed the last, or even the one before that.
    It is what it is.
    Posted by: LawnBoy at March 1, 2007 10:01 PM
    Comment #210148

    Lawnboy,

    I have given up trying to change Dan’s opinion. Whether or not we disagree, he is entitled to it.

    I don’t make a habit of personally attacking people on watchblog as it is against the rules.

    His opinion, however, is fair game.

    Posted by: Rocky at March 1, 2007 10:09 PM
    Comment #210165
    Rocky wrote: Now, I spoke the truth throughout the aformentioned post, and you have accused me of attacking you, I have not. I expect a retraction.
    You did not “speak” and are not “speak”ing the truth if you are saying you were not targeting an insult at me when you wrote …
    Rocky wrote: Stephen, You have had this conversation before. It may have been on a different subject, but it was the exact same conversation, and nothing else has changed… . That said, no amount of haggling will change this conversation, anymore than it changed the last, or even the one before that. It is what it is.
    Rocky,

    You are correct in that what you said is more subtle and not nearly as blatant an attack such as Don’s or Lawnboy’s, nor the obvious incessant telling-me-what-to-do, such as Stephen’s (see bulleted list above).

    However, there is no doubt at all as to who your barb was refering to, and it is obviously not a compliment, and has nothing to do with the debate on the “Culture of Corruption”.

    The insult and target is obvious when you wrote: “no amount of haggling will change this conversation, anymore than it changed the last, or even the one before that”, and there will be no retraction.

    Rocky wrote: I have given up trying to change Dan’s opinion. Whether or not we disagree, he is entitled to it.
    Yes, given-up, and chosen instead to resort to barbs such as “no amount of haggling will change this conversation, anymore than it changed the last, or even the one before that”, pretending no personal insult is intended, and demanding retractions.
    Rocky wrote:His opinion, however, is fair game.
    and
    Lawnboy wrote: Rocky, Please don’t waste your breath… .

    What is interesting is that neither you [Rocky] or Lawnboy ever even debated any issue about the topic of this thread “Culture of Corruption”.
    Instead, it was nothing but piling on, insults and barbs directed at me, and then getting upset about it, or denying it, when it is identified as such.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 2, 2007 4:23 AM
    Comment #210169

    d.a.n. -
    d.a.n. writes: “Not ALL incumbents.
    ALL irresponsible incumbents.
    In case you haven’t notices, I almost always write “irresponsible incumbents”.
    There’s an obvious difference between ALL incumbents and ALL “irresponsible incumbents”.
    My web-site states: vote out “irresponsible incumbents”; keep the good ones.”

    And he also wrote: “Therefore, it would be easier to name the politicians that are responsible and accountable.

    Know any?

    I don’t.”

    Since you don’t know any responsible incumbents, it follows that you are for ousting ALL incumbents. It is time for you to do your research, my friend. You need to research each and every incumbent to find which ones you think are responsible. Otherwise, you are merely advocating the ouster of ALL.

    “Only a fool finds insult in every criticism.” — author unknown


    Posted by: Don at March 2, 2007 8:15 AM
    Comment #210171

    Don,

    There’s a flaw in your logic.
    Saying “I don’t” know any does not equate to none exist.
    There’s a difference.
    I’m not advocating ousting all.
    Just the bad ones.
    Keep the good ones.
    You said you know some, but refuse to say who.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 2, 2007 8:37 AM
    Comment #210173

    Dan-
    This is the thing. You’ll post something like “Edwards is a crooked ambulance chaser.” I’ll go and research, and find out that he’s considered a rather frugal, well-adjusted man, and that nothing distinguishes the judgments he’s gotten as out of the ordinary. You present no ethics complaints, no evidence of clients who felt that he pushed them or took advantage of them. No, for you, the fact he did his job, which is bringing and trying to win lawsuits on behalf of his clients, is enough.

    You even unloaded that spiel that medical liability was driving up costs and denying people healthcare. I took the time and effort to find out the facts on that. it simply wasn’t true.

    Did you even acknowledge that? No. Instead of simply getting emotional on you and cursing you out right on the spot, I had gone and done my best to provide a factual reason to reach other conclusions on virtually every point. Not all opinions cover things that simply subjective. There are judgments, accusations and claims that can be objectively substantiated if not proven.

    Now some people can roast Al Gore for having a big light bill, but the soundness of their claims of hypocrisy is undermined when one learns that he uses renewable sources to get that power. The amount is not so important as the source.

    I keep on providing you with a real picture of what I believe. Yet you keep on telling me, me what I actually believe. I would think I would know my own mind better than you. Now you keep on writing “how revealing”, as if you can see what’s in our evil hearts, but you never so much as question the logic of what we actually say. You simply state or imply that we are wrong. You rarely bother to explain why.

    You say it is common sense that we should come to your senses on the matter and agree entirely with you. How can we not want to kick out irresponsible incumbents? How can we defend those incumbents? Never mind asking us questions about what we believe, and who we support. You just assume that we’re falling prey to our partisan failings.

    Never mind that people might have rational reasons for wanting to support a party. Never mind that people could have good reasons for wanting to see a certain party win, and reasons that might seem rational to them for not being to hard on them. People don’t need that kind of salvation, and they don’t want it. Folks have too much pride to be dictated to by those who do not value their opinions, their faculties. They may cling to bad ideas because of that, but that’s just the complexity of the real world, and you need to deal with it.

    And yes, from time to time, I tell people what to do. But I rarely if ever expect people to just do things just because. Do I want third parties to become more prominent? Yes. Do I think that will just happen? No. So I advise folks as to where the hard work is need. In the 2006 campaign, did I believe their support could be helpful, did I believe that the nation needed their help to unseat the incumbent Republican majority? Yes. Should third party people feel obligated to vote just for third party candidates? No. They should vote for the candidate who they anticipate will bring the best kind of change.

    Green Party members, confronted with established powers that counter their agenda were better off supporting those who broke their way more often, who rejected less of their sensibilities. There was no sense in punishing Democrats, just to have a Republican majority continue to wreak terrible policy damage on the country. Should they always vote Democrat? Not if they don’t want to. They should support what’s good for their interests. Supporting Republicans and playing spoiler in their favor doesn’t strike me as good for their interests, given their diametric opposition. My logic is that simple.

    I believe that third parties need to build up a base of elected politicians and satisfied voters. Without those, any large scale disruption of the “duopoly”, as you might call it, will be difficult to manage. It’s not bad to pray for miracles; you just shouldn’t depend on them. The creation of a new party with national clout will not be easy, nor will it be a panacea for the ills of government; with power comes corruption, and no party’s immune.

    That is one example of the kind of thought process I unfold for people when I make my suggestions. I know I can’t just tell people to do something. I could be like King Canute telling the waves not to break, if I wanted to be. But instead, I try to get people to understand my point of view before I ask them to take it.

    A great deal of what you label as personal attackson my part are instead just helpful suggestions. You seem indifferent to how other people view the manner of your arguments. Other elements are people complaining about how you approach them, the way you regard them.

    You’re implying to a number of your adversaries in this debate that they’re engaged in a certain level of duplicity, that they’re hiding what they truly believe, or simply not prepared to face the truth you’re dealing out. But saying that, even if it’s real, and convincing the other person of it are two different matters, and people naturally defend themselves against attacks of character.

    In short, you have to convince other people they’re wrong through the premises of your argument, to get past those defenses. This if the value of building arguments from the facts up, rather than taking the approach of reflecting one’s feelings alone. People will accept facts (which you are responsible for getting right) where they will not respect an alternative point of view.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 2, 2007 8:49 AM
    Comment #210174

    Dan,

    “Rocky wrote:His opinion, however, is fair game.”

    Everybody’s opinion is fair game here.
    What part of critique the “MESSAGE”, not the “MESSENGER” don’t you understand?

    I continue to stand by my innocence. I wrote nothing that could be even remotely construed as an insult to, or a personal attack on you.

    Now, as far as my two cents will go, the idea of voting out every single solitary incumbent on the assumption that they are corrupt is just silly.

    You are entitled to vote as you wish, but the American public is entitled to do their own research, in their own way, and make their own choices as to who represents them in their government.

    That is supposedly what America is all about.

    Posted by: Rocky at March 2, 2007 8:58 AM
    Comment #210181

    d.a.n.-
    “There’s a flaw in your logic.
    Saying “I don’t” know any does not equate to none exist.
    There’s a difference.
    I’m not advocating ousting all.
    Just the bad ones.
    Keep the good ones.
    You said you know some, but refuse to say who.”
    ____
    It’s YOUR AGENDA, dude! Back it up with facts. My point is that you don’t have the facts. If you did, you could give me a list of who’s naughty and who’s nice. But you can’t.

    You say, “Keep the good ones,” but then you refuse to tell me who.

    For goodness sakes, what good is your agenda if you don’t know who’s been “nice.” Without that distinction your’s is an agenda of “all” (it makes no difference how you say it). That’s my logic. There is no difference between you saying “get rid of only the bad ones” or “get rid of them all” if you do not know of any who aren’t bad.

    Posted by: Don at March 2, 2007 11:47 AM
    Comment #210182

    OK … ya’ll are piling on and ganging up … but that’s OK … keep ‘em coming and I will try to address each of your comments as best I can …

    Don wrote: “Only a fool finds insult in every criticism.” — author unknown

    Don,
    There’s a difference between criticism and name-calling (and personal attacks).

    Here are your statements:

    • Don wrote:
    • d.a.n, You seem to speak out of both sides of your mouth.

    • d.a.n, … That is just being anti-Republican in the end.

    • d.a.n, … You should be honest about your real agenda OR be more careful about personal opinions which conflict with your stated goal.

    • d.a.n, … If you cannot see that you are incredibly blind.

    • My last response is one of utter frustration in dealing with someone so unable to get past himself and his ego.

    • You cannot take a constructive critique, apparently.

    • Sad for you and your stated position.

    • So there’s no helping you. Enjoy.

    • d.a.n … Some people will not take any suggestions because they are full of themselves.

    • d.a.n, … You may want to be a little less assinine in your responses and have a little less ego.

    • d.a.n, … You are ignorant and that’s that.

    Wow, that certainly is some really constructive criticism there, eh?

    Yet you write …

    Don wrote:
    “Only a fool finds insult in every criticism.”

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- This is the thing. You‘ll post something like “Edwards is a crooked ambulance chaser.”
    “Like” is the operative word, because I never wrote those exact words.

    However, I do believe using a law suit to get millions (or tens of millions) of dollars per year is an abuse of the legal system.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You even unloaded that spiel that medical liability was driving up costs and denying people healthcare. I took the time and effort to find out the facts on that. it simply wasn’t true.
    It is true.

    For example, one year, all of the neurosurgeons in Washington, D.C. were being sued.
    Do you believe it because all neurosurgeons in Washington D.C. are incompetent?
    Yet, you think that does not increase medical liability and costs?
    It most certainly does.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I keep on providing you with a real picture of what I believe. Yet you keep on telling me, me what I actually believe.
    Not true.

    I can’t know all of your beliefs.
    All I can know is by what you write.
    Some of what you write appear to be biased for one party and against the other.
    You’re not alone.
    I used to do the same thing myself.
    I question such biases, as do many.
    We all do.
    You question my One-Simple-Idea all the time.
    That’s OK.
    Nothing wrong with that, as long as it doesn’t turn into personal attacks or telling others what to do.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I would think I would know my own mind better than you. Now you keep on writing “how revealing”, as if you can see what’s in our evil hearts,
    That’s your conclusion. Not mine. And I never said any of you are evil.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: … but you never so much as question the logic of what we actually say.
    Not true.

    I question lots of things, and ask lots of questions about a lot of things.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You simply state or imply that we are wrong. You rarely bother to explain why.
    Not true.

    Especially if I agree.
    I explain my positions clearly and frequently.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You say it is common sense that we should come to your senses on the matter and agree entirely with you.
    Not true.

    I have never written that or told people to agree with me.
    Telling people what to do is your department, as evidenced by your many quotes above telling others what to do.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: How can we not want to kick out irresponsible incumbents? How can we defend those incumbents?
    Right.

    However, the fact is, many voters support and defend irresponsible incumbent politicians.
    I used to do the same thing, by blindly pulling the Republican party-lever (i.e. straight ticket).
    That’s how I let others do my thinking for me.
    But, it’s not merely a Republican affliction.

    Representitive William Jefferson (D) (D, LA-2) is a good example of that.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Never mind asking us questions about what we believe, and who we support. You just assume that we’re falling prey to our partisan failings.
    Not true.

    I ask people often who they support.
    I’ve probably asked that question more than anyone else.
    How many times have I asked if anyone can name 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (half of 535) in Congress that are responsible and accountable?
    I asked Don several times in this one thread, who he supports.
    Don said he knows many honest, repsonsible, and accountable politicians, but Don refused to say who they are.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Never mind that people might have rational reasons for wanting to support a party.
    There’s nothing wrong with supporting any party, as long as it is not merely blindly pulling the party-lever, and letting the party do your thinking for you.

    However, you are the one that wrote the following which indicates a bias:
    Stephen Daugherty wrote:

    • If third parties can’t win offices, what good are they to the voter?

    • d.a.n , “You’re wasting your time” [i.e. with VOID and One-Simple-Idea.com … both voter education sites]

    • The question of what good third parties are without substantial presence in the offices of the land is a good one.

    • They [voters] should be allying with us [Democrats].

    • In my opinion, the proper people to run this party are the voters who elect Democrats.

    • You need to expand your horizons, rather than shrink them to one simple idea

    • I also don’t think replacing one set of people with another necessarily does the job.

    • The new third party has to materialize out of something more than just a sense of entitlement.

    • I don’t like to hear people get down on my party …

    • How many people curse the green party for George W. Bush getting elected?
    Don’t you think that sounds too biased?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Never mind that people could have good reasons for wanting to see a certain party win, and reasons that might seem rational to them for not being to hard on them.
    Nothing wrong with good reasons.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: People don’t need that kind of salvation, and they don’t want it.
    Not true.

    Sadly, people are basically lazy, and they often abdicate their responsibility because of it. One way that often occurs is by blindly pulling the party-lever (i.e. voting straight ticket). Surely, your not going to deny that occurs?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Folks have too much pride to be dictated to by those who do not value their opinions, their faculties. They may cling to bad ideas because of that, but that’s just the complexity of the real world, and you need to deal with it.
    Yes, too much pride is a bad thing.

    Dealing with it requires education
    In a voting nation, education is paramount.
    President Thomas Jefferson said: “If a people want to be both free and ignorant, they want what never was and what never can be”.
    There are multiple methods for different people and occassions.
    Sometimes, the truth, instead of sugar-coating or clever schemes, is the best policy, even if it hurts.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: And yes, from time to time, I tell people what to do. But I rarely if ever expect people to just do things just because.
    While your criticizing my methods and style, you might want to carefully consider whether telling people what to do is a good thing to do. As you said yourself above, it might result in people to “cling to bad ideas because of that”.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Do I want third parties to become more prominent? Yes. Do I think that will just happen? No. So I advise folks as to where the hard work is need.
    Yet, you deride me for my advice and my web-site?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: In the 2006 campaign, did I believe their support could be helpful, did I believe that the nation needed their help to unseat the incumbent Republican majority? Yes. Should third party people feel obligated to vote just for third party candidates? No. They should vote for the candidate who they anticipate will bring the best kind of change.
    I agree.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Green Party members, confronted with established powers that counter their agenda were better off supporting those who broke their way more often, who rejected less of their sensibilities. There was no sense in punishing Democrats, just to have a Republican majority continue to wreak terrible policy damage on the country.
    A vote for a third party candidate is not a vote for the Republican party.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Should they always vote Democrat? Not if they don’t want to. They should support what’s good for their interests. Supporting Republicans and playing spoiler in their favor doesn’t strike me as good for their interests, given their diametric opposition. My logic is that simple.
    We’ll have to disagree on that.

    You see them as spoilers.
    I see them as voting for the candidate they want.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: I believe that third parties need to build up a base of elected politicians and satisfied voters. Without those, any large scale disruption of the “duopoly”, as you might call it, will be difficult to manage. It’s not bad to pray for miracles; you just shouldn’t depend on them. The creation of a new party with national clout will not be easy, nor will it be a panacea for the ills of government; with power comes corruption, and no party’s immune.
    I agree.

    However, independents and third party voters still provide a very valuable service.
    As David R. Remer wrote …

    David R. Remer wrote:
    Independent’s have no loyalty to the DNC or RNC, and therefore, are a potent check and balance on both

    Competition and more choices is a good thing.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: That is one example of the kind of thought process I unfold for people when I make my suggestions. I know I can’t just tell people to do something. I could be like King Canute telling the waves not to break, if I wanted to be. But instead, I try to get people to understand my point of view before I ask them to take it.
    HHMMmmmmm … you do realize that you wrote above …
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: And yes, from time to time, I tell people what to do.
    … and there are those comments above that reveal otherwise.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: A great deal of what you label as personal attacks on my part are instead just helpful suggestions.
    : )

    Sorry, I thought that was really funny. I was actually laughing out loud.
    Stephen, you are most certainly not as blatant about it as Don, who writes

  • Don wrote:d.a.n, … You are ignorant and that’s that.
  • We all know how it works.
    There are ways to launch subtle barbs and insults.
    They are, nonetheless, personal attacks, no matter how mild.
    May I remind you that I never addressed any of you in this thread first.
    In fact, two persons launched a few barbs and blatant insults at me, completely unprovoked, while two didn’t even make any comments with respect to the topic of the thread “Culture of Corruption”.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You seem indifferent to how other people view the manner of your arguments.
    Not true.

    I’m not perfect.
    I’ve been wrong at times, and have apologized for it.
    But, this is not one of those times.
    There will be no retractions or apologies.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Other elements are people complaining about how you approach them, the way you regard them.
    We all get complaints.

    I also get many compliments and many comments that are in agreement.
    It’s only some of those that disagree that complain, and resort to personal attacks or less than complimentary remarks. Those are the type that like to pile on. I’d hope you wouldn’t be one of them.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You’re implying to a number of your adversaries in this debate that they’re engaged in a certain level of duplicity, that they’re hiding what they truly believe,
    Not true.

    I neve addressed any of the four people in this thread first.
    They addressed me first, and did so in way that they themselves would find offensive.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: But saying that, even if it’s real, and convincing the other person of it are two different matters, and people naturally defend themselves against attacks of character.
    Yes they do.

    And of all the comments in this thread, who is attacking who?

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: In short, you have to convince other people they’re wrong through the premises of your argument, to get past those defenses. This if the value of building arguments from the facts up, rather than taking the approach of reflecting one’s feelings alone. People will accept facts (which you are responsible for getting right) where they will not respect an alternative point of view.
    No, I don’t have to convince people they are wrong.

    But, I get your point.
    Facts are hard to ignore.

    Rocky wrote: d.a.n, “Rocky wrote: His opinion, however, is fair game.” Everybody’s opinion is fair game here. What part of critique the “MESSAGE”, not the “MESSENGER” don’t you understand?
    Why be so hostile?

    Yes Rocky, Good Question?
    Is that what this is?
    Rocky wrote:

    • Now, I spoke the truth throughout the aformentioned post, and you have accused me of attacking you, I have not. I expect a retraction.

    • Stephen, You have had this conversation before. It may have been on a different subject, but it was the exact same conversation, and nothing else has changed… . That said, no amount of haggling will change this conversation, anymore than it changed the last, or even the one before that. It is what it is.

    • I have given up trying to change Dan’s opinion.

    Rocky, there is no doubt at all who your barbs was refering to, and it is obviously not a compliment, and has nothing to do with the debate on the “Culture of Corruption”.
    Yet, you keep pretending it is not “even remotely construed as an insult” (in your own words)?
    Interesting.

    Rocky wrote: I continue to stand by my innocence. I wrote nothing that could be even remotely construed as an insult to, or a personal attack on you.
    No? What’s that above? You don’t see anything insulting about any of that?

    Here’s some more Rocky statements that couldn’t possibly be construed as insults …

    • d.a.n,
      Since you’re so adept at this spread sheet thing, why don’t you put together one of your ultra verbose posts on exactly how much this is all going to cost?

    • I wasn’t born yesterday, and you’re just going to have to do a lot better …

    • Look, you can bitch all you want …

    • d.a.n , I could give a rat’s ass …

    • …but don’t try to shove opinion on me as facts.

    • Of course you are entitled to your opinion, but holy crap dude.

    • You just don’t get it.

    Rocky wrote: Now, as far as my two cents will go, the idea of voting out every single solitary incumbent on the assumption that they are corrupt is just silly.
    Yes it is.

    It’s funny how ya’ll keep trying to mischaracterize my position, because without that mischaracterization, you wouldn’t have much of a case.
    I never advocated voting out all incumbent politicians.
    It’s not even possible, since all are never all up for re-election simultaneously.
    Keep the good ones.
    Vote out the bad ones.
    Where did I say vote “out every single solitary incumbent”?
    You are mischaracterizing my position.

    Rocky wrote: You are entitled to vote as you wish, but the American public is entitled to do their own research, in their own way, and make their own choices as to who represents them in their government.
    Of course it is.

    Who ever said it wasn’t?

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 2, 2007 11:57 AM
    Comment #210186

    Dan,

    At the risk that you may think I am attacking you yet again, I think you are being waaaay to sensitive about this.

    I am not going to change my style of writing just because you may take it personal.
    I have told you before that it isn’t personal, but you continue to ignore that.
    The insult isn’t in my words, but in your perception of them.

    Everything I have written here is within the guidelines set forth at the top of each column. I have never criticized you personally.
    I have, on occasion, been critical of your writing style, or of your opinion, but never you personally. That you may take it as an insult, or an attack, isn’t my problem.
    I have been bounced from watchblog before, and I know why.

    Just a note on verbosity;
    Dan, your last post was over eight pages long, and even though you have written before that I can skip over your posts if I choose to do so, if my name appears, I have to read them.

    Feel free to ignore mine as well.

    Posted by: Rocky at March 2, 2007 12:40 PM
    Comment #210199
    Rocky wrote: d.a.n, At the risk that you may think I am attacking you yet again, I think you are being waaaay to sensitive about this.
    Me too sensitive?

    Rocky,
    When people launch barbs and criticisms (and blatant personal attacks such as Don’s), it is normal to get a response.
    In that way, I’m not much different than most people.
    Still, my responses are quite mild actually.

    I don’t resort to rampant name-calling and such.
    But I’m not inclined to back-down and run scared either when three or four are piling on and ganging up.
    This thread demonstrates a great number of barbs, criticisms, and personal attacks at me.
    I think I did quite well to respond logically and calmly to all of them.

    Rocky wrote: I am not going to change my style of writing just because you may take it personal.
    There’s a difference between style and intentional barbs. Your statement …
    Rocky wrote: I have given up trying to change d.a.n’s opinion.
    … is not mere critiquing the message. It is clearly critiquing the messenger. Pretending it is style or anything else ain’t workin’.
    Rocky wrote: I have told you before that it isn’t personal, but you continue to ignore that.
    Not true. When someone writes …
    Rocky wrote: I have given up trying to change d.a.n’s opinion.
    … it is meant to be personal, since it is most certainly not critiquing the message.

    In fact, you addressed me first, and it had nothing to do with the topic of this thread.

    Rocky wrote: The insult isn’t in my words, but in your perception of them.
    Nonsense.

    Imagine if someone wrote:

    • I have given up trying to change Rocky’s opinion.

    • Rocky, What part of critique the “MESSAGE”, not the “MESSENGER” don’t you understand?

    • Rocky, Look, you can bitch all you want …

    • Rocky, I wasn’t born yesterday, and you’re just going to have to do a lot better …

    • Rocky, I could give a rat’s ass …

    • Rocky, don’t try to shove opinion on me as facts.

    • Rocky, Of course you are entitled to your opinion, but holy crap dude.

    • Rocky, You just don’t get it.

    How would that make you feel?
    Make sense?

    • Rocky wrote: Everything I have written here is within the guidelines set forth at the top of each column. I have never criticized you personally.
    Sure you did.

    It wasn’t as blatant and flagrant as Don’s, and it may not be considered a violation, but it is most certainly intended to be insulting.

  • Rocky wrote: I have, on occasion, been critical of your writing style, or of your opinion, but never you personally. That you may take it as an insult, or an attack, isn’t my problem.
  • Think so?
    • Rocky wrote: I have been bounced from watchblog before, and I know why.
    It’s not hard to see why.
    Rocky wrote: Just a note on verbosity; d.a.n, your last post was over eight pages long, and even though you have written before that I can skip over your posts if I choose to do so, if my name appears, I have to read them. Feel free to ignore mine as well.

    Rocky,
    Thank you for yet another criticism.
    At least it has to do with style, even if it still has nothing to do with the topic of this thread.
    Perhaps I should respond as you did?

    Rocky wrote:
    I am not going to change my style of writing just because you may take it personal.

    At any rate, it’s not mere verbosity.

  • (1) about a third of my post are quoted portions from other persons comments,

  • (2) I’m trying to respond to three or four different persons at a time,

  • (3) as you acknowledge, no one has to read it, and can simply scroll past the parts they want to ignore.

  • (4) I try to respond to each persons’ statements in detail. That is my style. Some like it, and some don’t. You obviously don’t. I will consider your opinion, but style is a tough habit to break. I’ll work on it.
  • Posted by: d.a.n at March 2, 2007 1:59 PM
    Comment #210202

    d.a.n. -

    Thanks for repeating my criticisms of your style and program and other failures so often. That way I don’t have to repeat myself. I still believe every one of them to be true for I haven’t seen any substantive changes. It would do you good to re-read them (along with the other criticisms, constructive or otherwise, offered by others here.)

    And by the way I didn’t write “Only a fool finds insult in every criticism.” I quoted it. You have the right to take it personally if you want. It may apply.

    You blame me for not venturing a list of respectable incumbents when you refuse to do the research so you can do so yourself. Revealing, isn’t it! Yet it is YOUR AGENDA, not mine.

    Before you claim again that yours is not a “get rid of ALL the incumbents” scheme, I’d like to see at least ONE incumbent that you would support for re-election. That would show that you are truly willing to do the research to support your agenda.

    Of course, some people would rather argue about criticisms than do the real work.

    Posted by: Don at March 2, 2007 2:21 PM
    Comment #210212
    Don wrote: d.a.n., Thanks for repeating my criticisms of your style and program and other failures so often. That way I don’t have to repeat myself. I still believe every one of them to be true for I haven’t seen any substantive changes. It would do you good to re-read them (along with the other criticisms, constructive or otherwise, offered by others here.)
    Criticisms of style?

    There’s a difference between critiquing style and critiquing the messenger …

    • Don wrote:
    • d.a.n, … there’s no helping you. Enjoy.

    • d.a.n, You seem to speak out of both sides of your mouth.

    • d.a.n, … That is just being anti-Republican in the end.

    • d.a.n, … You should be honest about your real agenda OR be more careful about personal opinions which conflict with your stated goal.

    • d.a.n, … If you cannot see that you are incredibly blind.

    • My last response is one of utter frustration in dealing with someone so unable to get past himself and his ego.

    • You cannot take a constructive critique, apparently.

    • Sad for you and your stated position.

    • d.a.n … Some people will not take any suggestions because they are full of themselves.

    • d.a.n … It would do you good to re-read them [i.e. this list] (along with the other criticisms, constructive or otherwise, offered by others here.)

    • d.a.n, … You may want to be a little less assinine in your responses and have a little less ego.

    • d.a.n, … You are ignorant and that’s that.
    Yeah, that’s really critiquing the message, eh?

    Don wrote: You blame me for not venturing a list of respectable incumbents when you refuse to do the research so you can do so yourself. Revealing, isn’t it! Yet it is YOUR AGENDA, not mine.
    That’s because I don’t know any.

    They’re certainly not my Senators or Representative.
    I used to like John McCain, but he’s soft on illegal immigration, and voted along with others to let illegal aliens participate in Social Security.
    Tancredo is a possibility, but he leans too far right on many issues, such as voting YES to allow continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight.
    Barack Obama might be a possibility if he wasn’t also one who voted along with others to let illegal aliens participate in Social Security.
    Romney maybe? As governor of Massachusetts, I’m not sure of all his positions, but I agree with many of his stated positions thus far.

    So, there ya go Don.
    That’s a few possibilities for president.
    You said you know many responsible and accountable incubments politicians, but refuse to identify them.

    Don wrote:
    I’d say you don’t know very many “American” politicians. There are many who I believe are responsible and accountable on both sides of the Democrat/Republican aisle. I know at least two who are.
    So, who are they?

    What are you afraid of?

    Don wrote: Before you claim again that yours is not a “get rid of ALL the incumbents” scheme, I’d like to see at least ONE incumbent that you would support for re-election. That would show that you are truly willing to do the research to support your agenda.
    Like I said, I don’t know many (if any).

    That doesn’t mean none exist.

    Don wrote: Of course, some people would rather argue about criticisms than do the real work.
    Right. Just like you just did all through your own post?
  • Posted by: d.a.n at March 2, 2007 3:44 PM
    Comment #210228

    Dan,

    “It wasn’t as blatant and flagrant as Don’s, and it may not be considered a violation, but it is most certainly intended to be insulting.”

    I give up.

    Posted by: Rocky at March 2, 2007 6:02 PM
    Comment #210231

    Dan-
    Nobody’s piling on. You’ve just managed to separately offend three or four people at once.

    The word “you” is not an automatic sign of an insult, nor should it be taken as such in the context of a debate, where a second person is often being addressed. I refer to you, because I’m not sure, when I’m directing a comment to you, what other pronoun can properly apply.

    On the subject of my example, I don’t think that it didn’t increase healthcare costs all that much. That’s wrong. I know they haven’t. I posted links to factual information that flat out contradicted your assertion.

    As far as all the neurosurgeons getting sued, how many lost? You can’t lose money on malpractice if the plaintiff doesn’t win.

    As far as you telling me what I believed, my writing provides ample clues as to my opinions, and I do believe I’ve explicitly said that I supported kicking out dysfunctional incumbents.

    As far as not telling you what to do, what good is a political discussion if you can’t discuss alternatives?

    As far as what you really mean by “how revealing”, just what do you think that phrase means? It’s snide, it implies we’ve got this other position, this other agenda we’re not owning up to, which you claim our sentiments reveal.

    As for explanations, how is it that you can cut and paste a litany of our quotes to make a point, and you can’t afford more than a two our three sentences to respond to what we say? It’s like a transcript of a tennis match, With you posting our assertion and saying something like “not true”, following up with a defense that is just a plain contradiction of our conclusion. I mean it’s almost comical that I complain

    You simply state or imply that we are wrong. You rarely bother to explain why.

    and your response is:

    Especially if I agree. I explain my positions clearly and frequently.

    And that’s it.

    As far as people jumping on you, I think Lawnboy was trying to tell you that you weren’t coming off well, and Rocky was simply expressing the opinion that I should not persist in the face of what he saw as your stubborn refusal to change your mind. Don honestly agreed with my position, and said so. It was your response to him that likely kept him involved. It is in fact your responses to all of them that got them frustrated enough to get in the running comment exchange as it is. They might have safely left the thread behind had they not been so offended by your replies.

    I think there’s agreement among the four of us that you do tend to write these overwhelmingly dense “cut and paste tomes.” You occupy long tracts of comment space reprinting arguments (yours and other people’s) Deluging people with data, and generally saying the same things over and over again. You don’t deal with people’s novel arguments with novel responses of your own, typically, often opting to reprint a standard argument from what seems to be a library of them.

    It’s enough to make one’s eyes dry just looking at it. I in fact intentionally dialed back from my usual point by point approach because I figured I’d be working on it forever, and without much real grist for the mill.

    You’ve got to realize that your style, and the tenor of your responses to those who openly disagree with you are not communicating a positive message about your theory or yourself.

    However imperfectly I live by these principles, you should take heed of the fact that folks on different parts of the political spectrum are registering the same basic complaints.

    The worst that you’ll have to do is write more fluently, include more outside sources, and reduce the bulk of the evidence you bring to the table. Take my advice: the more unnecessary stuff you can throw away, the better.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 2, 2007 6:37 PM
    Comment #210232

    Stephen,

    “Rocky was simply expressing the opinion that I should not persist in the face of what he saw as your stubborn refusal to change your mind.”

    That was exactly my point.

    It was like deja vu all over again.

    Posted by: Rocky at March 2, 2007 6:48 PM
    Comment #210236
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It is in fact your responses to all of them that got them frustrated enough to get in the running comment exchange as it is. All of you completely missed it.
    What you were all frustrated with is your very own commnents.


    Posted by: d.a.n at March 2, 2007 7:27 PM
    Comment #210237

    CORRECTION:

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It is in fact your responses to all of them that got them frustrated enough to get in the running comment exchange as it is.

    All of you missed it.
    What you were all frustrated with is your very own commnents.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 2, 2007 7:29 PM
    Comment #210238
    You’ve got to realize that your style, and the tenor of your responses to those who openly disagree with you are not communicating a positive message about your theory or yourself.

    And that was my point. Stephen’s got it going.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at March 2, 2007 7:46 PM
    Comment #210241

    Lawnboy,
    You’re just piling on too.
    Good for you.
    You should be proud of yourself.

    Just because you and a few others pile on doesn’t prove anything.

    I’m disapppointed that Stephen Daugherty and Rocky join in, even though I expect nothing better from you and Don, as evidenced from your peronal attacks.

    Nevertheless, numbers don’t prove legitimacy.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 2, 2007 8:04 PM
    Comment #210242

    dan,

    Disagreeing with you is not a personal attack. Not liking your style and trying to point out ways that you could be more effective is not piling on.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at March 2, 2007 8:09 PM
    Comment #210247
    Lawnby wrote: Right. Let me rephrase.
    Lawnboy wrote: d.a.n, Disagreeing with you is not a personal attack. Not liking your style and trying to point out ways that you could be more effective is not piling on.

    Now, imagine the following variation …

    Somebody wrote:
    Lawnboy,
    Disagreeing with you is not a personal attack. Not liking your style and trying to point out ways that you could be more effective is not piling on.

    Make sense?

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 2, 2007 8:27 PM
    Comment #210254
    Make sense?

    No.

    The word “you” is not inherently insulting. I don’t think that I’m under attack whenever anyone directly addresses me.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at March 2, 2007 8:51 PM
    Comment #210264

    One who is too insistent on his own views, finds few to agree with him.

    Lao Tse

    Posted by: Rocky at March 2, 2007 9:53 PM
    Comment #210273

    d.a.n. -

    Just to clear up one more item:

    d.a.n. wrote (July 26, 2006): “Personally, if it was my district, I’d vote for anyone but Joe Schwartz or Tim Walberg. Partly because Republicans need to be taken down a notch or two, to balance the abuse of power a bit. And, I used to be Republican. So, if one exists, I’d probably vote for a non-Republican for that seat.”

    d.a.n, wrote (209975):
    “Don wrote: ‘Moreover, last year I recommended a Republican candidate to replace an incumbent Republican. You said you wouldn’t vote for ANY Republican.’
    I never said that. You are mistaken.”

    Who’s mistaken? I was referring to a particular race and you DID say that you wouldn’t vote for a Republican in that race.

    Will I get an apology?

    Posted by: Don at March 2, 2007 11:26 PM
    Comment #210288

    Don, that proves nothing.
    “probaby vote” in one particular office does no equate to “never” in all elections.
    In fact, in the last election, I voted for one Republican (for a local seat).
    Yet, you think you deserve an apology.

    Lawnboy wrote: I’m not going to say anything more on this subject because …
    Guess you can’t resist piling on, eh? Still, you have said nothing related to the topic of this thread.
    Rocky wrote: “One who is too insistent on his own views, finds few to agree with him.”
    Look whose talking. Likewise. You can’t resist piling on, eh? You also have said nothing related to the topic of this thread.

    So none of you like my style.
    That’s interesting, since most of it is merely listing your very own comments.
    Interesting.

    Lawnboy wrote:
  • d.a.n … You apparently have no idea how you come across to others.
  • Ahh… If only people were more inclined to listen to their own words.
  • In my opinion, the tactics and attitudes that you decry in other are very much tactics and attitudes you present yourself.
  • Yet another anti-immigrant fear-mongering post from Mike Tate.
  • d.a.n … I’m just annoyed with the style that you have displayed for months since you joined WB, and this is the first time I’ve ever tried to point out to you how bad your approach really is.
  • … …
    Don wrote:
  • d.a.n, … there’s no helping you. Enjoy.
  • d.a.n, You seem to speak out of both sides of your mouth.
  • d.a.n, … That is just being anti-Republican in the end.
  • d.a.n, … You should be honest about your real agenda OR be more careful about personal opinions which conflict with your stated goal.
  • d.a.n, … If you cannot see that you are incredibly blind.
  • My last response is one of utter frustration in dealing with someone so unable to get past himself and his ego.
  • You cannot take a constructive critique, apparently.
  • Sad for you and your stated position.
  • d.a.n … Some people will not take any suggestions because they are full of themselves.
  • d.a.n … It would do you good to re-read them [i.e. this list] (along with the other criticisms, constructive or otherwise, offered by others here.)
  • d.a.n, … You may want to be a little less assinine in your responses and have a little less ego.
  • d.a.n, … You are ignorant and that’s that.
  • … …
    Rocky wrote:
  • d.a.n, What part of critique the “MESSAGE”, not the “MESSENGER” don’t you understand?
  • Look, you can bitch all you want …
  • d.a.n, I wasn’t born yesterday, and you’re just going to have to do a lot better …
  • d.a.n, I could give a rat’s ass …
  • d.a.n, don’t try to shove opinion on me as facts.
  • d.a.n … Of course you are entitled to your opinion, but holy crap dude.
  • d.a.n, You just don’t get it.
  • … …
    Stephen Daugherty wrote:
  • d.a.n, First, don’t call people brainwashed
  • d.a.n, I told you that you shouldn’t do it, and you‘re free to agree or not to agree with what I’m telling you to do.
  • You need to expand your horizons, rather than shrink them to one simple idea,
  • Wait until there are some actions actually taken by this [110th] Congress before you talk about their hypocrisy
  • Don’t call it pros and cons.
  • David R. Remer, If you want something that badly, fight for it.
  • On the subject of third parties being spoilers or fringe, I’d say you need to avoid that
  • Don’t just excuse yourself by accusing those asking for those facts of being brainwashed idiots. Give the facts.
  • Facts, d.a.n . Facts. Not your opinions, not your conclusions, not your claims, facts. A fact like …
  • Come on. Get out of pundit mode, and start treating this as if you were a lawyer or a reporter.
  • Stop flinging rhetoric at me and calling it facts.
  • d.a.n, … You had better be prepared …
  • You had better come at us with good evidence …
  • we’ve told you no, we aren’t satisfied with facts you‘ve provided.
  • d.a.n … You need to expand your horizons,
  • d.a.n , First, you don’t respect people’s right to have other opinions… .
  • Again, I’m going to tell you, don’t …
  • Funny.

    From the looks of this thread, it appears what ya’ll are most upset about is your very own comments (i.e. looking in the mirror).

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 3, 2007 2:26 AM
    Comment #210295

    Dan,

    “Look, you can bitch all you want …
    d.a.n, I wasn’t born yesterday, and you’re just going to have to do a lot better …
    d.a.n, I could give a rat’s ass …
    d.a.n, don’t try to shove opinion on me as facts.
    d.a.n … Of course you are entitled to your opinion, but holy crap dude.
    d.a.n, You just don’t get it.”

    When exactly did I write these things in this thread?
    It is too easy to take things out of context, and portray them as an attack.


    “You also have said nothing related to the topic of this thread.”

    What about;

    “Now, as far as my two cents will go, the idea of voting out every single solitary incumbent on the assumption that they are corrupt is just silly.

    You are entitled to vote as you wish, but the American public is entitled to do their own research, in their own way, and make their own choices as to who represents them in their government.
    That is supposedly what America is all about.

    Posted by: Rocky at March 2, 2007 08:58 AM”

    Apparently that doesn’t count.


    Corruption in Washington didn’t start in 2000, or 1990, or 1980, or even 1900.
    I doubt seriously that the corruption in Washington is even as bad as it has been in other times.
    The American people aren’t stupid, but they do seem to have the attention span of a gnat. When things are going well they seem only to care that things are going well.
    I don’t get to vote in Louisiana, and neither do you.
    Jefferson is responsible to the American people, but he is responsible to the people of Louisiana first, as they elected him.

    Posted by: Rocky at March 3, 2007 7:36 AM
    Comment #210299
    Guess you can’t resist piling on

    Sadly, my self-control is sometimes weak in preventing myself from continuing to try to explain my point and/or defending myself from misrepresentations of my words. Unfortunately, both came into play in this thread.

    If want us to stop “piling on” with what are mostly at this point defenses against our words being taken out of context, then you have the power within you to stop us:

    Just stop.

    We’d all love it if in the long term you took some of our advice to heart and understood that your style is obnoxious, overbearing, and counterproductive, but that seems to be to much to ask for at this point. However, if you want us to cease explaining ourselves, defending ourselves, and pointing out how frustrating it is to have our words taken out of context, then just stop.

    The other approach you have taken, of defending yourself from accusations of having a troublesome style by continuing to do more and more of the same, obviously isn’t working. Perhaps you should try something else.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at March 3, 2007 8:41 AM
    Comment #210323
    Rocky wrote: Now, as far as my two cents will go, the idea of voting out every single solitary incumbent on the assumption that they are corrupt is just silly.
    Again Rocky, I didn’t say vote out every single solitary incumbent nor that they are all corrupt.

    Keep the good ones.
    Vote out the bad ones.
    Get it?

    Lawnboy wrote: Sadly, my self-control is sometimes weak in preventing myself from continuing …
    Obviously.
    Lawnboy wrote: Sadly, my self-control is sometimes weak in preventing myself from continuing to try to explain my point and/or defending myself from misrepresentations of my words. Unfortunately, both came into play in this thread.
    But it’s OK to defend yourself? That’s all I’m doing.
    Lawnboy wrote: If want us to stop “piling on” with what are mostly at this point defenses against our words being taken out of context, then you have the power within you to stop us: Just stop.
    Why don’t you just stop?

    It does not matter if the words are taken out of context, since the meaning is the same.
    What they reveal is what bothers you most.

    Lawnboy wrote: We’d all love it if in the long term you took some of our advice to heart and understood that your style is obnoxious, overbearing, and counterproductive, but that seems to be to much to ask for at this point.
    What you describe is exactly what you are doing now.
    Lawnboy wrote: However, if you want us to cease explaining ourselves, defending ourselves, and pointing out how frustrating it is to have our words taken out of context, then just stop.
    Look whose talking. Why don’t you just stop?

    I’m not criticizing ya’ll or telling you what to do.
    I’m just showing you your own statements.

    Lawnboy wrote: The other approach you have taken, of defending yourself from accusations of having a troublesome style by continuing to do more and more of the same, obviously isn’t working. Perhaps you should try something else.
    Oh, it seems to be working quite well.

    Who is it that is doing more and more of the same?
    Funny. What you accuse me of is exactly what you are doing.
    Your list is growing. Please continue.

    Lawnboy wrote:
  • d.a.n … You apparently have no idea how you come across to others.
  • Ahh… If only people were more inclined to listen to their own words.
  • In my opinion, the tactics and attitudes that you decry in others are very much tactics and attitudes you present yourself.
  • Yet another anti-immigrant fear-mongering post from Mike Tate.
  • d.a.n … I’m just annoyed with the style that you have displayed for months since you joined WB, and this is the first time I’ve ever tried to point out to you how bad your approach really is.
  • … your style is obnoxious, overbearing, and counterproductive
  • That’s critiquing the message?

    Looks more like critiquing the messenger.
    As of yet, you still haven’t said anything that has to do with the topic of this thread.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 3, 2007 11:42 AM
    Comment #210336

    Dan-
    I think the problem here is that you’re trying to take the law into your own hands concerning the “critique the message…” rule of the site.

    I’ve done this before, it’s fairly fruitless. Let the editors avenge you for any personal attacks. They can warn the offending parties.

    The trick is, it is not a personal attack to criticize the way a person writes, argues, or debates. A case can be made that you’ve crossed the line yourself, which deprives you of the moral high ground. You dance around it, but you really are critiquing people’s character, and they don’t agree with your critique.

    Are you going to win this argument? No. It’s rare to win a character argument.

    Let me tell you what I think. I think people like personal responses. Being confronted with what they call “cut-and-paste tomes” gives them the impression than instead of taking the effort to compose something novel, you’re simply bashing them with rote arguments. It’s about as satisfying as getting a form letter back from your local congressman or woman. It’s impersonal. It also doesn’t demonstrate a great deal of what you could call engaged thought. Sure, it might be well thought out, but the thinking seems to be mostly in the past.

    Let me tell you a story. For most of my time as a writer, I’ve been trying to discern and divine the secret of what separates good writing from bad, and good writing from great. For the longest time, I sought what you might call a classical set of laws concerning the matter.

    What I discovered about five years ago, or rather figured out, that writing is an emergent matter. There is nothing I can write myself that cannot work without an audience’s help. In fact, much of good writing is about your own abilities, but rather those of the reader. The real story is not the one you write, but rather the one that gets read. The tricky part is that these can be very similar, but they differ in one important respect. People look at things from their own subjective points of view, and by the necessity of each person’s individual intellectual development, these POV’s are all different.

    At the same time, though, there’s an element of what Emerson might have called “the oversoul”, our common humanity, and all the things that flow from that. We are in the position of all being somewhat similar, meaning we have a common basis for communication, and irrevocably different,tied to an invidual point of view; that last part means that nothing ever quite comes across in perfect translation.

    There are different ways to deal with this. Some people essentially look for a choir to preach to. This can be effective when one finds the right buttons to push. Others simply repeat bland common sense Yet others use charisma to draw people to their side, rhetoric and image tied together to create a gravitational pull for people to center on.

    Many of these people, though, use approaches that can only be called incomplete. They’ll try and be charismatic, but they’ll try to run roughshod over the realities of the situation. They’ll search for the right audience, but their stubborn patronage of it might lead them to do things and say things that while gratifying to their base, alienates those who might be persuaded to their side in various disputes. Others, those who use bland generalizations, will find themselves repeating bland generalizations in a time where others want them to deal with the unsure than the difficult to understand realities that cause them the most trouble.

    The problem with modern politics is that the audience is often considered secondary to the wish of the people addressing them, and don’t appreciate the feedback effects from reality and folk’s own psychology, which is geared towards it.

    This is a matter I’ve long considered.

    So how do we get around all this? In some ways, we don’t. It’s a fact of life. It’s the landscape.

    But there are ways to build bridges and dig tunnels. The key thing to acknowledge is that you don’t have control, and that truth, which you do not know entirely, can be seen in different, legitimate ways by different people.

    It pays to be knowledgeable, to be able to build your opinion from the facts up. It also pays to be willing to acknowledge other points of view, if the facts check out. To simply assume you’re right can put you in a fix, where you’re defending things based on your opinion alone, which will hardly serve to build your credibility with others.

    It’s impossible to avoid bias, but it’s possible not to be a victim of it, especially if you don’t try to defend things “just because”. It might be painful and even humiliating to make admissions, but it’s a necessary means of keeping oneself from becoming a prisoner of one’s bias. I have to admit that my party hasn’t performed perfectly. I started out the thread, before you made your first posting, admitting that it was a problem.

    For a second, I thought about denying it or simply shifting attention to the past deeds of the Republicans, but it’s my party, and if the party members overlook such things, who can really reform the party, bring out the best in it? To do that, I have to acknowledge the problems.

    It’s one thing to give one’s party the benefit of the doubt. You’ll obviously do that, if you’re a member. But that doesn’t mean you just make excuses for them, because you’re not just dealing with the image of the party creating the problems for it, but the reality of it. The message that the reality sends can easily overwhelm the message sent for the sake of the image. Take care of the reality, and it in turn takes care of much of the image, supports it with the facts.

    We argue about realities, at the end of the day. Though a lie can change how people think and act, shape reality, and a poorly founded argument that people buy as well, neither of these has the simple determining effect of a reality, which people can separately and spontaneously react to. Bush can push the rhetoric about the economy, for example, but if most people’s recent experiences are marked with the negative effects of a dysfunctional economy, then it’s a tremendous uphill battle, which they may not win.

    The use of facts, and the consideration of them apart from the need to back an agenda, is essential. Establishing one’s real reality is crucial. It is the fatal flaw in Bush’s war plans. He pushed, owing to his opinions a war whose realities were sharply different from what he had expected. Whether he failed to gain hold of the facts, or simply rejected them, the outcome is the same. His often spoken of incurious nature is perhaps one of his most dangerous personality flaws, aside from his stubbornness.

    Stubbornness as well can perpetuate arguments, but it doesn’t necessarily win them. Like with any war, you can lose it for not understanding the conditions on the ground.

    In the end, you may not be fated to be right. You may not have the best plan, the best expertise, the clearest perspective. We would all like to thinks so, but we are all flawed. Democracy is built on the notion that the differences between people insure that some flaws are not held in common, and that the strengths and weakness of invididuals can cancel each other out. With a monarchy or other authoritarian government, those flaws are much more difficult to cancel out, since some can indulge in their weaknesses without the system reining them in, and others are prevented from fully employing their strengths.

    One must respect the emergent character of a democratic republic like ours. There is no good in total conformity, because that just take one person’s flaws and forces it on the multitudes, and keeps others from fully expressing their strengths. This a republic where everybody’s will is frustrated from time to time. The price of a great amount of relative freedom to live life as one wants, is the absence of absolute freedom to live life as one pleases, a freedom that would almost always come at somebody else’s expense.

    We must have some kind of humility before that.

    In the end, politics is about influencing decisions more than compelling them, and that utterly reshapes the nature of what one tries to do.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 3, 2007 2:25 PM
    Comment #210348
    Why don’t you just stop?

    Because it doesn’t matter that I had stopped earlier. When someone else said something, you would reply to them with the summary of “attacks” by everyone, taking non-attack statements from Rocky and Stephen and me and turning them into attacks. That I stopped didn’t mean I wasn’t being mischaracterized anymore.

    It does not matter if the words are taken out of context, since the meaning is the same.

    No, taking words out of context deprives them of original meaning and imparts on them the meaning that the repeater wants them to have. It very much does matter.

    Oh, it seems to be working quite well.

    At what goal? Picking a fight? Prolonging an argument? I truly don’t see what you think you’ve gained through the effort you’ve put into these 8-page collections of quotes out of context.

    Funny. What you accuse me of is exactly what you are doing.

    Actually, that is the ironic thing. Going back to my first couple comments on this thread, the only thing I really said was that you yourself were doing the same things that you complained about in others. If it was such a personal attack from me to say that you were engaged in such behavior, wasn’t it also a personal attack from you in the first place when you said it yourself?

    Your list is growing. Please continue.

    I’m amazed that you bother. That list (which you’ve posted at least three times now) is a list of consistent statements of my opinion of your style (with one exception - an accurate description of my opinion of Mike Tate’s first few articles). If I wanted to, I could come up dozens of statements from you in this thread alone that I could over-sensitively characterize as examples of your being rude or insulting to me and others. But I don’t bother, because it wouldn’t prove anything at all about either of us.

    I truly don’t understand what you think that list gains you. The obnoxiousness of the list comes from the compilation of it, not from the components of it.

    Looks more like critiquing the messenger.

    Once again, haven’t you written several multi-page comments doing the same? What moral high ground do you think you have here?

    As of yet, you still haven’t said anything that has to do with the topic of this thread.

    I didn’t respond to Eric’s original post because there wasn’t anything worth responding to, but these threads go on tangents. I’m on topic to the tangent. This is how things work on WatchBlog all the time, and I rarely feel constrained to the original topic when the tangents are more interesting.

    The trick is, it is not a personal attack to criticize the way a person writes, argues, or debates.

    Once again, Stephen is absolutely right.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at March 3, 2007 2:59 PM
    Comment #210363

    This paragraph needs some correction:

    What I discovered about five years ago, or rather figured out, that writing is an emergent matter. There is nothing I can write myself that cannot work without an audience’s help. In fact, much of good writing is about your own abilities, but rather those of the reader. The real story is not the one you write, but rather the one that gets read. The tricky part is that these can be very similar, but they differ in one important respect. People look at things from their own subjective points of view, and by the necessity of each person’s individual intellectual development, these POV’s are all different.

    There is nothing I can write myself that cannot work without an audience’s help. should read “can work” rather than “cannot”.

    In fact, much of good writing is about your own abilities, but rather those of the reader. should say “not about your own abilities”

    I know context would probably clear it up, but I’d rather it be clear rather than left to chance.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 3, 2007 5:17 PM
    Comment #210368
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n, I think the problem here is that you’re trying to take the law into your own hands concerning the “critique the message…” rule of the site.
    Not really. Bear with me for a moment on this issue … Lawyboy also quoted you …
    Lawnboy wrote:
    Stephen Daugherty wrote:The trick is, it is not a personal attack to criticize the way a person writes, argues, or debates.
    Once again, Stephen is absolutely right.
    Exactly. Your choice of the word “trick” is revealing.

    Yes, you are absolutely correct. More correct than you know.
    Yes, it is a clever trick, but the clever permutations do not diminish the insult that is clearly intended.
    Would you deny that?
    For example, one could write as Lawnboy did in (a) below …

  • (a)your style is obnoxious, overbearing, and counterproductive

  • Or, one could write …
  • (b) you are obnoxious, overbearing, and counterproductive

  • See? Both really mean about the same thing, and accomplish the same thing.
    Sure, one can argue the technicalities, but they really aren’t that different.

    Another clever technique commonly used is saying “some people” instead of “you”.
    So, there’s no mystery about how the game is played.
    It is a bit of a fraud to pretend no insult or barb was intended.
    There are also better ways to criticize, without sugar coating, or intending hurt.
    We’re all guilty of it from time to time.
    I’m not perfect. I’ve made that mistake too.

    Stephen Daugherty,
    At any rate, as for the rest of your last post, I agree with most of it.
    Thank you for that civil and creative response.

    Lawnboy,
    You may classify your statements any way you wish.
    However, all fraudulent semantics aside, it does not change the fact that your statements to me, starting with the very first one, were certainly not a compliment. Insult was the intent and denying it won’t change the truth.
    Still, my response that followed did not return insults.
    Instead, I merely listed your own revealing statements, which appears to be what is truly upsetting to you. The meaning and intent of each of your own statemetns is perfectly preserved, despite being taken out of context.

    Lawnboy wrote: At what goal? Picking a fight? Prolonging an argument?
    Perhaps you should ask yourself that question.
    Lawnboy wrote: I’m amazed that you bother.
    It’s no bother. No more than the effort you spent on your own responses. Besides, I didn’t write it. You did. All I did was cut and paste your own statements. It’s easy.
    Lawnboy wrote: But I don’t bother, because it wouldn’t prove anything at all about either of us.
    Sure it does. It proves plenty.
    Lawnboy wrote: I truly don’t understand what you think that list gains you. The obnoxiousness of the list comes from the compilation of it, not from the components of it.
    Perhaps what is most upsetting is the content of the list of your own statements?

    Perhaps something can be gained from that?
    Perhaps not.

    Lawnboy wrote:
    What moral high ground do you think you have here?
    On this one issue, three things:
    • (1) You started it with your first criticism directed at me, that was clearly intended as a barb.

    • (2) I did not criticize you in turn, but merely listed your own writings to show that you are doing the very thing you criticize others for. Yet, you continued to write things that are clearly insulting, and then try to pretend they aren’t. Do you really think that’s constructive criticism?

    • (3) You tell me my “style is obnoxious, overbearing, and counterproductive”, yet you don’t think there’s anything insulting about that? Where did I ever say anything like that to you or anyone else?

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 3, 2007 6:11 PM
    Comment #210378
    Perhaps you should ask yourself that question.

    I’m not the one who claimed that this is working. You think this all is working, according to your claims. I think it’s more along the lines of singing to a pig.

    Perhaps what is most upsetting is the content of the list of your own statements?

    Not at all. Read the second sentence you quoted right before you said this. There’s no need to speculate.

    Where did I ever say anything like that to you or anyone else?

    You’re kidding, right?

    Posted by: LawnBoy at March 3, 2007 7:16 PM
    Comment #210379

    No, I’m not kidding.
    Prove it.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 3, 2007 7:22 PM
    Comment #210380

    Dan-
    Is it revealing? Or do you just want to be such?

    The trick is, the phrase is not always used to indicate “trick” as in deception. We can say the trick to doing well in Karate is mastering the footwork. “Trick” can also indicate a difficulty to be surpassed, or a mystery to be understood.

    This is the trick in parsing what people are saying. Your own bias can lead you to read things into what they write that aren’t there.

    You should leave the enforcement of the Critique the Messenger Policy to the people running the site. Venting your feelings back at somebody doesn’t work. The venting will become a feedback loop, perpetuating itself, one person’s angry response feeding the others. There is no escape except for people to stand back and calm down.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 3, 2007 7:33 PM
    Comment #210381

    Never mind, d.a.n. If you take offense at people using the word “you” directed at you, yet you can’t see that you’ve been rude yourself, it’s going to take a heck of a lot more than anything that’ll happen in a political forum discussion to get anywhere. It’s amazing how adept you are at parsing personal attacks out of the words of others, but cannot see insults in your own.

    Good luck.

    If it makes you feel better, feel free to convince yourself that you’ve won something here.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at March 3, 2007 7:35 PM
    Comment #210386
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n Is it revealing? Or do you just want to be such?
    Yes, I believe so. There is a clever game going on, but the intent to insult is obvious. Especially the little trick where some write “some people” instead of “you”. Surely, you not denying these tactics exist and are used?
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s amazing how adept you are at parsing personal attacks out of the words of others, but cannot see insults in your own. Good Luck.
    Lawnboy,

    I’m not perfect and have made mistakes, as we all have, and wish I had simply ignored you, but I have never said anything as rude and insulting as your comments, such as this …

    Lawnboy wrote:
  • d.a.n … your style is obnoxious, overbearing, and counterproductive
  • Yet, in this thread alone, you wrote …
    Lawnboy wrote:
  • d.a.n … You apparently have no idea how you come across to others.

  • Ahh … If only people were more inclined to listen to their own words.

  • In my opinion, the tactics and attitudes that you decry in others are very much tactics and attitudes you present yourself.

  • you can’t see that you‘ve been rude yourself …

  • If it makes you feel better, feel free to convince yourself that you‘ve won something here.

  • your style is obnoxious, overbearing, and counterproductive
  • And there is nothing rude about any of that?

    The word You doesn’t always 100% of the time indicate an insult, but it’s usually a good indicator.

    Lawnboy wrote: If it makes you feel better, feel free to convince yourself that you’ve won something here.
    There’s nothing to win.

    You say I’m rude, when your own statements surpass everyone in else in rudeness.
    That is, everyone except Don, who flat out wrote:

      “d.a.n, … You are ignorant and that’s that”,
    … which is a flagrant personal attack.
    You were merely more clever and replaced the word “you” with “your style” in:
      “d.a.n … your style is obnoxious, overbearing, and counterproductive”.

    Deny it all you want, but it won’t change the truth.
    Yes, I’ve been rude before, but rarely without provacation.
    And never like you and Don.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 3, 2007 8:38 PM
    Comment #210387

    Sure, d.a.n. Whatever you say.

    Your words are always exactly to be read as innocently as possible, but it’s acceptable for you to read any intent and meaning into our words that you like.

    Yawn.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at March 3, 2007 8:48 PM
    Comment #210390

    Lawnboy,
    If my rudeness surpassed those of your statements, you would have jumped at the chance to post them.
    But you can’t, because the don’t exist.
    Refusing to admit it does not change the truth.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 3, 2007 9:16 PM
    Comment #210392

    :)

    Thanks for providing an example. It’s rude of you to claim that you know what I think and I would do better than I know for myself. Stephen pointed out this very flaw earlier.

    I expect you to claim that this isn’t rude, and that your words are innocent of any negative intent, etc., and we’ll go round and round about whether my words (in your opinion) are more rude than your words (in my opinion), and nothing at all will be accomplished.

    And that’s why I haven’t been listing each of your statements and claiming them to be insults, and whining about statements you probably think are innocent; it’s absolutely unproductive.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at March 3, 2007 9:26 PM
    Comment #210393

    Lawnboy,
    The best example of rudeness is your own comments.
    You haven’t listed mine because nothing I’ve written (ever) even borders on the rudeness of your statements …

    Lawnboy wrote:
  • d.a.n … your style is obnoxious, overbearing, and counterproductive
  • Yet, in this thread alone, you wrote …
    Lawnboy wrote:
  • d.a.n … You apparently have no idea how you come across to others.

  • Ahh … If only people were more inclined to listen to their own words.

  • In my opinion, the tactics and attitudes that you decry in others are very much tactics and attitudes you present yourself.

  • you can’t see that you‘ve been rude yourself …

  • If it makes you feel better, feel free to convince yourself that you‘ve won something here.

  • your style is obnoxious, overbearing, and counterproductive
  • Posted by: d.a.n at March 3, 2007 9:32 PM
    Comment #210395

    d.a.n.

    Now you’re just repeating yourself. That last comment is just a cut and paste from #210386. It’s bad enough that you spend pages and pages of text cutting and pasting our words, now your comments are just cut-and-paste of yourself?

    And, you proved me right. I pointed out that I though you were rude, and you denied that the quote displayed rudeness, and we’re about to “go round and round about whether my words (in your opinion) are more rude than your words (in my opinion), and nothing at all will be accomplished.” Just like I said we would. Wasn’t it pointless for me to have pointed out your rudeness when you just deny it?

    So, it’s your move. Will you just go round and round again with another copy of your same repetition? Or is there a chance that you’ll take into account the opinions of four very different people (who rarely agree) and see that we just might have a point?

    Posted by: LawnBoy at March 3, 2007 9:47 PM
    Comment #210396

    Lawnboy,
    Is it just the cut & paste that bothers you?
    Four opinions don’t prove anything.
    Your own statements prove plenty, which is what you find most disturbing.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 3, 2007 9:53 PM
    Comment #210397
    Your own statements prove plenty, which is what you find most disturbing.

    Maybe if you were right, then you’d have a point. However…

    Once again, telling others what they think and believe. How rude.

    Tsk… Tsk…

    Posted by: LawnBoy at March 3, 2007 9:56 PM
    Comment #210400

    I have a very good point.

    I’m not telling anyone what they think or believe.

    Nice dodge, but your own statements speak for themselves …

    Lawnboy wrote:
  • d.a.n … You apparently have no idea how you come across to others.
  • Ahh … If only people were more inclined to listen to their own words.
  • In my opinion, the tactics and attitudes that you decry in others are very much tactics and attitudes you present yourself.
  • Yet another anti-immigrant fear-mongering post from Mike Tate.
  • If it makes you feel better, feel free to convince yourself that you‘ve won something here.
  • d.a.n … I’m just annoyed with the style that you have displayed for months since you joined WB, and this is the first time I’ve ever tried to point out to you how bad your approach really is.
  • your style is obnoxious, overbearing, and counterproductive
  • Posted by: d.a.n at March 3, 2007 10:09 PM
    Comment #210401
    I/m not telling anyone what they think or believe.

    Telling me what I find disturbing is telling what I think. Now that you’re denying the very plain meaning of the words I quoted back to you, well…

    What is there to say? Where is there to go from here?

    Posted by: LawnBoy at March 3, 2007 10:17 PM
    Comment #210402

    It’s fairly obvious don’t you think.
    The rudeness of your statements is hard to explain away.
    That’s what you obviously find disturbing.
    Deny it if you like.
    It still won’t change the truth.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 3, 2007 10:20 PM
    Comment #210403
    It’s fairly obvious don’t you think. The rudeness of your statements is hard to explain away.

    Absolutely, and yet you yourself deny the rudeness of your statements.

    Round and round…

    Posted by: LawnBoy at March 3, 2007 10:22 PM
    Comment #210405

    Haven’t you been paying attention.
    I admitted to mistakes above.

    However, I’ve never written anything (ever) as rude as your statements (see above).
    Had I, you’d probably be listing them all now.
    But you can’t, because I have never said things like you have.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 3, 2007 10:28 PM
    Comment #210406

    Oops… I quoted a little too quickly. I thought I was saying “absolutely” to It’s fairly obvious don’t you think. The rudeness of the statements is hard to explain away., not what I actually quoted.

    In fact, I think some of the comments you’ve quoted a half dozen times by now are snarky, and some are completely innocent of any rude content or intent. For some of them, my offense was simply using the word “you”.

    How dare I?

    Posted by: LawnBoy at March 3, 2007 10:30 PM
    Comment #210407
    However, I’ve never written anything (ever) as rude as your statements (see above). Had I, you’d probably be listing them all now.

    Round and round, ignoring explanations, proclaiming innocence to play the victim…

    But you can’t, because I have never said things like you have.

    No, you said different rude things. How honorable of you.

    Round and round…

    Posted by: LawnBoy at March 3, 2007 10:34 PM
    Comment #210408
    Lawnboy wrote:
  • d.a.n … You apparently have no idea how you come across to others.
  • Ahh … If only people were more inclined to listen to their own words.
  • In my opinion, the tactics and attitudes that you decry in others are very much tactics and attitudes you present yourself.
  • you can’t see that you‘ve been rude yourself …
  • If it makes you feel better, feel free to convince yourself that you‘ve won something here.
  • your style is obnoxious, overbearing, and counterproductive
  • And there is nothing rude about any of that?

    Right. None of that is insulting, eh?

    Now, show me where anything I’ve written compares to the rudeness of any of that.

    Your statements speak for themselves.
    If you weren’t most likely so bothered by it, you wouldn’t be so determined to portray it otherwise.

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 3, 2007 10:34 PM
    Comment #210412

    Well, goodnight.

    It’s time for bed now. I probably won’t check this page for 8 hours or so. That should give you time to repost the exact same six quotes of my disagreeing with you, talking to you, and occasionally being a little snarky a good 500 times.

    Maybe after that many times of seeing them in print their meaning will magically change to the horrible insult they never were but you think you’ve been victimized by.

    Now, show me where anything I’ve written compares to the rudeness of any of that.

    I tried. You denied that it was rude despite two people telling you the approach was rude. We went round and round in circles because we had different impressions.

    If you weren’t most likely so bothered by it, you wouldn’t be so determined to portray it otherwise.

    And now we’re full circle, with d.a.n. saying something rude about someone else that might well fully apply to himself. And it’s a repetition of telling someone what they believe, just minutes after denying he ever does that.

    But this is working, right?

    Posted by: LawnBoy at March 3, 2007 10:43 PM
    Comment #210414
    lawnBOY wrote: But this is working, right?

    Yes, obviously.
    You seem to be glued to it.
    You’re own statments reveal plenty …

    Lawnboy wrote:
  • d.a.n … You apparently have no idea how you come across to others.

  • Ahh … If only people were more inclined to listen to their own words.

  • In my opinion, the tactics and attitudes that you decry in others are very much tactics and attitudes you present yourself.

  • I think some of the comments you’ve quoted a half dozen times by now are snarky

  • d.a.n , Now you’re just repeating yourself.

  • … your comments are just cut-and-paste

  • … I pointed out that I though you were rude …

  • Wasn’t it pointless for me to have pointed out your rudeness …

  • So, it’s your move. Will you just go round and round again …

  • … telling others what they think and believe. How rude.

  • … you yourself deny the rudeness of your statements.

  • No, you said different rude things. How honorable of you.

  • you can’t see that you‘ve been rude yourself …

  • If it makes you feel better, feel free to convince yourself that you‘ve won something here.

  • your style is obnoxious, overbearing, and counterproductive
  • lawnBOY believes there is nothing rude about any of his own statements above?

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 3, 2007 10:49 PM
    Comment #210432

    Dan-
    I think it’s important to consider the rationale behind the Critique the Message Policy, before continuing in these attempts to visit justice upon Lawnboy.

    Like I said before, there’s a tendency to fall into these emotional feedback loops when we start just going at each other. Your basic flame war.

    You want to avenge what you see as his rudeness. He doesn’t seem to think that he was that rude, but he and others see your responses as rude. My advice? Step back. Your aggression is not serving as a defense of your actions, but a validation of other’s accusations towards you.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 4, 2007 12:03 AM
    Comment #210451
    lawnBOY

    And now we’ve graduated to a new, unprecedented level of rudeness: making fun of someone else’s name, and doing so in a way that calls that person a child.

    Let’s just call this over now that we’ve hit this new level, and hope that the Managing Editor doesn’t ban us all forever.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at March 4, 2007 8:59 AM
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