Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 9, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

RADICALISM AND THE BLOGOSPHERE....We have two interesting entries in the Chait/Kos/Atrios war tonight. First, Jon Chait backs off his contention that lefty blogs "refuse to tolerate any ideological dissent," but then tries to salvage his original critique by saying that the blogosphere's hard-edged worldview "is suggestive of a tendency to move in more radical directions over time." This is pretty weak brew, no?

The rest of his post hits a little closer to home, I think, but I'll leave that for another time. Sticking with the ideological front for now, Atrios weighs in with a short list of stuff that he thinks most lefty bloggers agree on. Since I know most of you guys won't click through to read it even if I ask really nicely, here's the whole list (the serious part, anyway):

  • Undo the bankruptcy bill enacted by this administration

  • Repeal the estate tax repeal

  • Increase the minimum wage and index it to the CPI

  • Universal health care (obviously the devil is in the details on this one)

  • Increase CAFE standards. Some other environment-related regulation

  • Pro-reproductive rights, getting rid of abstinence-only education, improving education about and access to contraception including the morning after pill, and supporting choice. On the last one there's probably some disagreement around the edges (parental notification, for example), but otherwise.

  • Simplify and increase the progressivity of the tax code

  • Kill faith-based funding. Certainly kill federal funding of anything that engages in religious discrimination.

  • Reduce corporate giveaways

  • Have Medicare run the Medicare drug plan

  • Force companies to stop underfunding their pensions. Change corporate bankruptcy law to put workers and retirees at the head of the line with respect to their pensions.

  • Leave the states alone on issues like medical marijuana. Generally move towards "more decriminalization" of drugs, though the details complicated there too.

  • Paper ballots

  • Improve access to daycare and other pro-family policies. Obiously details matter.

  • Raise the cap on wages covered by FICA taxes.

  • Marriage rights for all, which includes "gay marriage" and quicker transition to citizenship for the foreign spouses of citizens.

This list isn't meant to be exhaustive, and Atrios doesn't pretend that every single lefty blogger in the world agrees with all of this. And it's solely domestic stuff.

But if there's any radicalism here, or even a tendency to drift in that direction, I sure don't see it. As I said yesterday, it's only modestly to the left of the DLC and maybe not even that. I'm not an expert on the DLC's positions on everything, but it doesn't look to me like there's an awful lot there they'd argue with. (Though if anyone from the DLC wants to set me straight on this, I'll stand corrected. And there are some contentious issues, like free trade, that don't show up on Atrios's list.)

So what's left? Iraq, of course, the motherlode of disagreement between the netroots and the vast TNR/DLC/mainstream Dem axis. And on that, I have no idea how to square the circle. I don't think anyone else does either.

UPDATE: The DLC responds here.

Kevin Drum 2:06 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (166)

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Comments

But if there's any radicalism here, or even a tendency to drift in that direction, I sure don't see it. As I said yesterday, it's only modestly to the left of the DLC and maybe not even that. I'm not an expert on the DLC's positions on everything, but it doesn't look to me like there's an awful lot there they'd argue with.

I think they'd fight "gay marriage" and instead push for "civil unions", for one, and I'm guessing their stance on marijuana is the convention "war on drugs" angle.

And on that, I have no idea how to square the circle. I don't think anyone else does either.

I think there's agreement that Bush pulled a bait-and-switch in getting us into it, and if the pro-war contingent of the Democrats were honest, they would have to admit they were complicit in trusting that SOB, even though he clearly merits zero trust.

There should also be fairly broad consensus that things aren't going well there and that we need a viable exit strategy - soon.

Posted by: BB on May 9, 2006 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

Universal health care, any move to decriminalize drugs, and supporting "gay marraige" would all be portrayed as radical were a Democratic Congress to pursue them. They are also the least likely to be on the agenda for a hypothetical Democratic Congress, IMO.

Posted by: eotinb on May 9, 2006 at 2:18 AM | PERMALINK

And that is the whole point. You nailed it.

The right wing and the DLCers branded everyone who was against the Iraq war (i.e. the netroots) as antiwar peacenik greenpeace "radicals." That label bled through to the whole liberal sphere. The moderates and centrists are trying to shake off the radical branding and therefore have to distance themselves from the netroots.

Until the liberal world realizes that being against the Iraq war isn't such a radical position, that's where we are.

Posted by: Libby Sosume's faithless, wicked self on May 9, 2006 at 2:20 AM | PERMALINK

That Mr. Chait thinks that Grover Norquist is more open to dissent than, say, Atrios, would be hilarious were it not for the fact that he is being dead serious.

If you read between the lines, it seems that Mr. Chait'r real aim is to push back on the characterization of TNR as the Joe Lieberman Weekly.

His main complaint seems to be that even though TNR agrees with the liberals 80% of the time, the big bad lefty blogs continue to denigrate his employer.

Well if you are nice to me 99 times and you kick my balls the 100th time I meet you, I sure as hell will forget the prior niceties.

TNR columnists supported the Iraq war 100% and characterized the opponents as un-serious about security. Now that they have been proved utterly wrong, those who were right have all the right to call them on it.

Posted by: lib on May 9, 2006 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

Of course we'll regularly click through to someone like Atrios, we won't typically click through to your friends like Marshall Wittman and Ann Althouse.

Posted by: jerry on May 9, 2006 at 2:22 AM | PERMALINK

But if there's any radicalism here, or even a tendency to drift in that direction, I sure don't see it.

Of course YOU woudn't see it Kevin. But that's because you're part of the New Left. Your list of policies that the New Leftists must accept is just another example of the Stalinistic/Marxist aesthetic of the New Left. You constantly attack those who disagree with you because of your paranoia that anyone who disagrees with you must be destroyed. Your constant praise of Stephen Colbert's performance is also a example of ignoring his total lack of humor and artistic humor and instead praising him because you agree with his left wing viewpoints. It is your total lack of intellectual rationale because of your need for power above all else that makes you and the rest of New Left like Atrios and Kos radical and dangerous.

Posted by: Al on May 9, 2006 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

Teehee!

Posted by: Don/GOP/Al on May 9, 2006 at 2:28 AM | PERMALINK

"is suggestive of a tendency to move in more radical directions over time"

sure sounds a lot like "weapons of mass destruction related program activities".

Posted by: weak on May 9, 2006 at 2:32 AM | PERMALINK

Looks like Al is slipping, or else his minders are getting late with their paychecks. Five earnest poster beat him to the punch! Maybe translating those RNC talking points into Al-drivel isnt as fun as it once was.

Posted by: troglodyte on May 9, 2006 at 2:32 AM | PERMALINK

this is the story that you don't want to miss.....

http://xymphora.blogspot.com/

Posted by: albertchampion on May 9, 2006 at 2:35 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

The problem has never been that the blogs on the left have been radical (far from it, in fact). The real problem is that the news media, especially the TV news media, behaves like courtiers in a tyranny rather than a fourth estate. They are willing to (mildly) criticize a lack of decorum, but otherwise consider any honest critique of the administration as rudeness at best and open subversion at worst. As it stands any policy position not from the far right is labeled, "radical".
This change in the media began at least as far back as the Carter administration and the uncritical treatment of base charecter assassination of Democrats, especially those on Pres. Carter himself. Over the years, the press has become increasingly cowed by well-financed right-wing pressure groups that attack critical analysis of vapid slander. Add to this the gelding of the FCC and rampant mergers resulting in a few powerful right-wing interests controlling nearly all news broadcasting and a majority of print news that occurred during the 80's and 90's and today's political climate is unsurprising.
It's been a long slow 30 year process that brought us from the media of election '76 and today's sycophants.

Posted by: joe on May 9, 2006 at 2:54 AM | PERMALINK

Streamline government, fix the taxes and prepare the nation for Bush's stagflation, that's enough.

If you put all those details in the platform, you will be screwed.

Even just reading that list, I think, Oh God. you guys never learn. Your candidate will be out there checking off this or that item on the list everytime he/she speaks to some special group. Gore did that, against his better judgement.

Posted by: Matt on May 9, 2006 at 3:00 AM | PERMALINK

Al,

You can't recognize a Stalinist policy even when it comes up and kicks you in the balls. What the hell do you think the indefinate detainment of enemies of the state as defined exclusively by the executive is?

Posted by: joe on May 9, 2006 at 3:01 AM | PERMALINK

Atrios weighs in with a short list of stuff that he thinks most lefty bloggers agree on. Since I know most of you guys won't click through to read it even if I ask really nicely...

Kevin,

You can get them to click through, but it won't happen by telling them he has "a short list of stuff that he thinks most lefty bloggers agree on."

What you need the link to say is, "Atrios has a really funny picture," and end the post there.

Posted by: Swopa on May 9, 2006 at 3:01 AM | PERMALINK

Consider paper ballots:

Hillary: We need to protect the right to vote, we need to beware the dangers of electronic ballots, be certain, be vigilant, use paper ballots.

McCain: A laser printer cost $200

Posted by: Matt on May 9, 2006 at 3:14 AM | PERMALINK

Hey! What makes you think he wasn't serious when he said "Imprison Jeff Goldstein for crimes against humanity for his neverending stupidity"? ;)

Posted by: SJ on May 9, 2006 at 3:43 AM | PERMALINK

I'd add:

- Increase funding for education at all levels.
- Implement immigration amnesty program and make INS processes more efficient.
- Campaign finance reform
- Lobbying reform

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on May 9, 2006 at 3:44 AM | PERMALINK

"obviously, details matter." Geez, ya think?

I can make proposals like that:

"Eliminate poverty." (obviously, the devil is in the details on this one)

See how easy it is?

Go for it. Work up some details. Put all the tax increases, business-killers, indexing of wages to inflation, the "to hell with religion" stuff, and all the rest up in some form of "Contract" and have the Democrats run on it in 2006 and 2008. Then when you pick up your jaws again after the elections, you can go back to inventing Diebold conspiracies.

There is nothing on that list that couldn't have been written in 1969.

I know why foreign policy was left out. The Left had nothing in 2004, they've got nothing now, and they won't have anything in the future. Unless you call "appeasement and surrender" a foreign policy.

Posted by: tbrosz on May 9, 2006 at 3:58 AM | PERMALINK

The problem with "increase funding" for x,y,z is that nothing will be inceased if progresive tax rates are raised. That was the whole discovery that Cato made about the conservatives, and that we have stated over and over.

Under the Dem tax scheme, government growth will drop to 3%, or even less, in real terms. Very little increase in anything will occur. You can change the priorities a little, but the paltry expansion in government you need will put most programs, including defense, on a slim, efficient budget.


Posted by: Matt on May 9, 2006 at 3:59 AM | PERMALINK

The would-be Grover Norquists of the left fashion themselves as shrewd political tacticians. In fact, the conservative activists have been able to move the political center toward them in large part because they understood the difference between someone who agrees with them 80 percent of the time and someone who agrees with them 0 percent of the time.


Baloney. Conservatives have been targeting moderates like Specter for years and scaring them into behaving. The GOP didn't become a reactionary party by letting guys like Specter roam off the reservation without suffering any consequences. Maybe Chait doesn't like this tactic, but he can't deny that this is what they do.

And who isn't able to see gradations or play well with others? The blogosphere supported Kerry and Hackett.

At the same time, Chait was bashing a moderate like Howard Dean and even had a Dean-o-Phobe blog that consistently warned people of the danger of his nomination. (Mission accomplished!)

The only danger of extremism in this country right now comes from the Right -- and Chait still wants to play his triangulating games -- because the lib blogosphere is "suggestive of a tendency to move in more radical directions over time."

F--- him.

Posted by: Carl on May 9, 2006 at 4:00 AM | PERMALINK

Love letter from Heaven!!

Sexy rule is Love and Peace, and no border.
So we are asshole bro!!

Enjoy human life!!

I love motherfuck?!

Posted by: Hell---o!! on May 9, 2006 at 4:01 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks Bro!!

You bastard?!

totatpptaka agjog oajaljgjflhjflafjfafhfahaflhflhaflahfhfahalfhlafhflhlaghalfjjlahglalagag

Posted by: God on May 9, 2006 at 4:02 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps it's just that the center of gravity in American politics has been moved so far to the right that any suggestion that government can provide useful answers to social and economic problems is automatically considered to be radicalism.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on May 9, 2006 at 4:03 AM | PERMALINK

I don't think I see any radicalism, but I do see some bad ideas (indexing an inflation driver to inflation seems a little sketchy).

I see a lot of ideas that won't do what democrats think they will do, and that will probably make things worse, not better. I see democrats using these ideas to sell a lot of bad policy. Devil is in the details.

Posted by: aaron on May 9, 2006 at 4:40 AM | PERMALINK

This is just another senseless pissing match in the blogosphere.

I hadn't even heard about it until now, but if it comes to putting Chait in his place, he better be careful before he makes it a point for less prominent but through progressives to put him in his place.

Posted by: Jimm on May 9, 2006 at 4:47 AM | PERMALINK

Um, more thorough, and far more surgical.

Posted by: Jimm on May 9, 2006 at 4:48 AM | PERMALINK

Not Radical, bareley liberal. All good points I think, but lacking even the mushy grandness (I mean that in the best way) of liberal thought. alot of this is just nuts and bolt scleaning up the poop from the last few years.

Posted by: URK on May 9, 2006 at 4:56 AM | PERMALINK

How's this for progressive:

Flat tax rate for income. Another flat tax rate for investment income. And a standarad deduction of the per capita GDP for every individual, applied only to non-investment income.

Businesses have no dedutions, so hiring people is the only way to get a tax advantage.

Posted by: aaron on May 9, 2006 at 5:06 AM | PERMALINK

Or, screw the flat tax shit. Just no dedutions except for a per captia GDP deduction for each individual.

Posted by: aaron on May 9, 2006 at 5:16 AM | PERMALINK

It seems that both sides talk around each other, and that's probably due to both of their occasional dishonesty.

Calling left blogistan "fanatics" betrays Chait's point that idealogoically, there really isn't more than a thin slice of (government) cheese between TNR/DLC types and the great blogging proletariat. But if Chait is unwilling to acknowledge that even guys like Atrios aren't particularly different from him & his set, then the Atrions, in their attempt to portray TNR, the DLC & other likeminded compatriots as 5th columnists for the most trivial of infractions are just as unwilling.

I find the latest riff over Ana Marie Cox quite telling. Here's a woman, a former blogger alumni, anti-war, hates Chris Hitchens & the "decent left" types etc. She makes the (fatal) mistake of admitting that neither she, nor her Husband found Stephen Colbert funny and this alone seemed to be legitimate enough reason to excommunicate her. I don't care what you say, but the type of mentality that produces such an outcome is not rational nor reasonable.

Posted by: Dustin on May 9, 2006 at 6:19 AM | PERMALINK

Chait is clearly nursing grievances about the left blogosphere's attitude toward the New Republic. He feels that he and many other TNR writers have been misjudged because the magazine isn't 100% against Bush and his war.

The problem is that TNR betrayed its readers. Its editorial line provided ideological and political cover ("even the liberal New Republic") for the worst abuses of the Bush administration--the warmongering and the torture.

I still read every New Republic article I can get my hands on via Lexis-Nexis and free on their website. But I will not turn over even $20 for a subscription (the pitiful cut rate they're offering to get readers back) as long as the magazine's editors refuse to apologize to its readers for getting it so flagrantly wrong for so long. It's a small statement that I make despite the high quality of most of the magazine's writers--Judis, Chait, Lizza, Cohn, among others. The magazine as an institution bears responsibility for the war, and it's refusal to admit the mistake is unforgivable.

Posted by: Frances on May 9, 2006 at 6:57 AM | PERMALINK

Notice what we are doing folks. We are establishing a set of baseline common goals. Thanks to Atrois, Chait and Drumn.

Those common goals or issues are not radical, or even really very liberal. They make good sense.

Now would somebody tell me what the fight is all about? Better yet, how do we turn the national conversation to those goals?

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 9, 2006 at 7:14 AM | PERMALINK

Notice what we are doing folks. We are establishing a set of baseline common goals.

by the circular firing-squad method.

Posted by: cleek on May 9, 2006 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

POINTLESS to list the 'reasonable' domestic intentions of the left, new left, left left - whatever. It's all about foreign policy and posture. If elections were only about reasonable dometic policy the democracts - if they could keep Pelosi's mouth shut - would win hands down, which they may do anyway [athough they need to tread very lightly when it comes to god and sex]. It's the war, stupid, not just the present one, but the ones that will surely be coming: if you look weak in relation to that [as dems always manage to do] it will strike a primitive, visceral chord in the psyche of most Americans which will turn your sweet harmony of resasonable left wing policy into a discordant cry in the alley. Most of the blogsphere left fails to recognise that the coming elections are winable because George Bush has been such a miserable failure and NOT because middle America has woken from a bad dream, looked in the mirror and seen Bobby Kennedy staring back at them. If Bush wasn't such a complete idiot the republicans would have weilded 9/11 like a hammer and beaten the left into oblivion. Hillary seems to understand this. McCain certainly does. Kos and his ilk do not.

Posted by: saintsimon on May 9, 2006 at 8:04 AM | PERMALINK

by the circular firing-squad method. cleek on May 9, 2006 at 7:54 AM

Whatever works.

Actually the circular firing squad has something to do with the natural competition between the old media types over at TNR and the new media folk like Atrois. Both are trying to carve out market share. In so doing both have to give the bulk of we readers a reason for sticking with them. One way to do that is to demonize the other guy's target audience. What reasonable soul wants to read the insanity that is the DailyKos? What person wanting change wants to hang out with the status quo losers at TNR or in the DLC? The truth is there is more than enough room in the left blogsphere for both Atrois and Talking Points Memo.

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 9, 2006 at 8:07 AM | PERMALINK

Richard Cohen is crying in his milk about being
verbally assaulted in thousands of e-mails ('the digital lynch mob' is after him). He really has gone off is rocker. To be sure, this is just the beginning of the end for Bush apologists like Cohen.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/08/AR2006050801323.html

Posted by: david on May 9, 2006 at 8:08 AM | PERMALINK

Abolish gerrymandering.

Abollish the Electoral College.

Posted by: xtalguy on May 9, 2006 at 8:09 AM | PERMALINK

I'm going to reiterate my position that the progressive core values that draw together the two halves of the left-center coalition that is the Democratic Party are primarily economic issues, often dealing with distributive justice.

If we remove gay marriage (which sticks out like a sore thumb), that's pretty much the list right there. This doesn't mean that progressive views on social issues are not valuable, just that they generally aren't among the core beliefs that pull together Democratic voters and aren't central to energizing our base (although they can be valuable in energizing single-issue voters).

Posted by: Anthony on May 9, 2006 at 8:15 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you unwittingly point out the flaw in the entire plan. As a moderate, I could support most of your recommendations. But without a strong postion on defense, candidates who support this plan could never get my vote!

Posted by: egf on May 9, 2006 at 8:15 AM | PERMALINK

Pretty good list but wrong on #6.

Yes, there are a lots of pro life progressives like myself. Fine on abolishing abstinence only education and yes for lots of contraception. How about equal parity with Viagra. But, we are sick of pregnancy being our *problem.* Pro choice tells me that being pregnant is a problem if you want to succeed. It is the worst type of sexism. "Get rid of the baby, Honey, if you want to play in the Boy's world."

Posted by: ELR on May 9, 2006 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

And what saintsimon said.

Posted by: aaron on May 9, 2006 at 8:32 AM | PERMALINK

On the contemporary scene, the radicalism is entirely on the right--mainstream right-wing politics has many fascistic, corporatist, oligarchic, and theocratic elements. And, again, I emphasize, these are MAINSTREAM.

The so-called radicalism that actually exists on the right is a highly energized, angry, and extremely frustrated ANTI-fascism.

The fact that self-styled moderates don't get this is really outrageous.

Posted by: mondo dentro on May 9, 2006 at 8:33 AM | PERMALINK

Let us face it, blogs are highly critical of republicans. The question is, are they right? For right now, yes they are. It is simply that the republicans really are this bad.

R2K

Posted by: Alex on May 9, 2006 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

What about stop selling off public lands and start protecting the environment, fully fund national parks and protect endangered wildlife?

Posted by: Nancy on May 9, 2006 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

Pro-reproductive rights, getting rid of abstinence-only education, improving education about and access to contraception including the morning after pill, and supporting choice.

What the hell does Kevin mean by "choice"? Does he mean, perchance, abortion rights?

When even lefty bloggers like Kevin are too squeamish to utter the "a" word, you know the conservative fantasy of overturning Roe has long since ceased to be a mere fantasy.

Posted by: Viv on May 9, 2006 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

"is suggestive of a tendency to move in more radical directions over time."

hmmm.... That sounds an awful ot like:
"dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities..."

Posted by: paul on May 9, 2006 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

Bring back the Clinton-era rule on disallowing felons from doing business with the US government.

Posted by: Andy on May 9, 2006 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

I know why foreign policy was left out. The Left had nothing in 2004, they've got nothing now, and they won't have anything in the future. Unless you call "appeasement and surrender" a foreign policy.

Hey, tbrosz, Ah have yer foreign policy right chere in ma pants! Fucking dickweed.

Posted by: Baldrick on May 9, 2006 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

Reduce corporate giveaways..'

' Reduce'!?

Que?

Wtf are 'corporate giveaways'(!) in a free market society?
That stinks of national socialism. Oh and where are the black holes in the budget?

( The pentagon stupid. The pentagon is Sovietized country in its own right )

Whoever you vote for Gerry Mander will get in but I support Tweedledee and Tweedledrum in '08.
I'm a moron and I approved this mess.

Posted by: professor rat on May 9, 2006 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Atrios misses the point. It's not a question of whether the bloggers believe in anything or agree on liberal or semi-liberal positions. It's whether they spend any time pushing those policies. They don't. They spend most of their time attacking Bush (who deserves it), attacking people with the temerity to disagree with them (who don't always deserve it), and focusing on political campaigns. That focus might be good and it might bad -- that's a judgment call, and frankly I couldn't care one way or the other. But Kevin is absolutely right: they devote the least amount of time to actually arguing policy.

Don't believe me? Check out Eschaton right now, for example. Since Sunday, he's posted two items that could marginally be considered about policy -- and only marginally. That's one more than he's posted about Tom Cruise.

Posted by: Fred App on May 9, 2006 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

I think it is a shame that the word "radical" has such negative connotations. To me, it is often the case that the moderate position is the least defensible. Policies reflect worldviews. It is often the case that if you hold world view 1, then policy A is best, and if you hold world view 2, then policy B is best. Policy C, which is a "moderate" compromise between A and B, might make no sense in any world view.

Concrete example: Bush's drug plan. It makes no sense from the point of view of those who believe in national healthcare, and it makes no sense from the point of view of those who believe the government should keep out of healthcare.

Another example: Outlawing abortion except in the case of rape or incest. That makes no sense from the pro-choice perspective, and it also makes no sense from a right-to-life perspective.

To generate your own examples, just see whatever policies Bush is in favor of, in just about any area of government: environment, education, foreign policy...

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on May 9, 2006 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah! Chait is so right.

The repub blogs like milkin and national review coroner routinely publish policy treatises and welcome notes for the moderates everyday. No dem basing there. no siree.

Posted by: lib on May 9, 2006 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

The left blogosphere is not radical in a policy sense. We are radically opposed to accepting rightwing or centrist bullshit. That's what we're radical about. And we don't care so much about decorum -- we're much more concerned with substance.

Posted by: The Fool on May 9, 2006 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

A few important ones were left off the list:

*push for more social engineering in schools, especially multicultural curriculum and mandatory acceptance of homosexuality

*impeach Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Negroponte

*transfer all prisoners at Guantanamo to federal prisons in the US and appoint them Public Defenders

*engage in diplomatic talks with Iran, thereby giving them more time to develop their nuclear program

*announce we will pull out our Iraq troops by the end of 2006, thereby breaking faith with the Iraqi people and emboldening the unsurgents to 'hang on' until we leave.

Posted by: Paddy Whack on May 9, 2006 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: "Go for it. Work up some details. Put all the tax increases, business-killers, indexing of wages to inflation, the "to hell with religion" stuff, and all the rest up in some form of "Contract" and have the Democrats run on it in 2006 and 2008. Then when you pick up your jaws again after the elections, you can go back to inventing Diebold conspiracies. . . . There is nothing on that list that couldn't have been written in 1969."

Some of it by Nixon. Which tells you how much the country's drifted since then, given that a surprising number of his (noncriminal) actions (and more broadly, basic governing assumption) would now be considered raging leftism. (Obviously others would be insanely idealistic for that time, like gay marriage, and others reach back much further, like ballot issues.)

But tbrosz, I'm curious.

Certainly the absence of foreign policy is striking, though I think it's also indicative of how badly the current administration has messed up, as well as the party's internal conflicts over positioning. I can't see how killing faith-based funding is equivalent to "to hell with religion stuff" - we're seeing the very kind of conflicts and problems that fbf opponents warned us about; I doubt the vast majority of folks have any problem with the pre-existing system of federal funding - although it would certainly be spun like that and picked up by people prepared by 'War on Christmas and Christians' rhetoric to accept it. And it's always possible that Bush will so poison the reputation of the Republican party that all we would have to do is run minimalist time for a change campaigns, where real specifics risk small losses of votes . .

But I'm getting distracted. I'm curiosus - what isyour response to these (admitedly vague) policy proposals - especially the non-tax/wage ones? (Minimum wage increases, I'd definitely go for; CPI indexing, well, that's another story . . .)

Posted by: Dan S. on May 9, 2006 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

Leave the states alone on issues like medical marijuana. Generally move towards "more decriminalization" of drugs, though the details complicated there too.

In my opinion the second sentence harms the chances of the first. Those opposed to medical marijuana want to obfuscate the issue and claim that this is a slippery slope towards general decriminalization.

I admit my own bias, I support limited medical marijuana but not a broad move towards decriminalization. These are separate although closely related issues - keep them separate especially if you want to portray these positions as not radical.

Allowing States to regulate Medicine including Medical Marijuana is not only not radical but in some ways conservative in its respect of Federalism (Personally I think respecting Federalism can be liberal as well as conservative although most people associate Federalism with conservatives. Of course the GOP has demonstrated convincingly that the principle of Federalism has no real content for them other than as a political tool to pursue other ends when convenient and to be completely ignored when not in areas such as medical marijuana).

Whether or not you believe drug decriminalization is "radical" I suspect that most Americans believe that it is. In any case, if you dont buy my argument of leaving out decriminalization then at least be consistent in framing and instead of saying move generally towards decriminalization write:

Leave the states alone on issues like medical marijuana. Generally move towards leaving the states alone on issues how they want to criminalize drug use by their citizens altogether.

Universal Healthcare unfortunately is considered radical by most Americans although it shouldnt be. Radical or not, America needs a move in this direction although it is true as you say the devil is in the details.

The take on the Medicare Modernization Act is interesting. The MMA is a complete and total disaster and puting Medicare in charge is unlikely to fix it, but I get the gist of the message and agree that a big part of the problem is this gerry rigged complex system of for profit insurance companies basically being in charged. Worth including a statement of allowing the government to negotiate for prices in a mannar analagous to the highly successful Veterans Administration drug purchase program.

Posted by: Catch22 on May 9, 2006 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

Many of the policy choices listed are not part of any coherent framework but do speak of a sort of tolerance almost libertarian worldview. I suggest that the real dividing line is class warfare. For the last 30 years the rich have been winning through "tax reform", "welfare reform", "reduced government regulation", "free trade" "bankruptcy reform" etc. The rich have done this by demonizing tolerance, engaging in cultural wars, controlling the media and generally having a better public relations plan than the middle and lower classes. Foreign policy in large part is driven by the same interests which is why we are bogged down in Iraq, rattling sabers at Venezuala, and Bin Laden is running around continuing to incite terrorism. Capitalism is like fire, extremely useful to people--indeed where would we be without it- but with the potential to destroy everything if allowed to run unchecked until it burns itself out. IMHO we are very close to the burning itself out phase right now.

Posted by: terry on May 9, 2006 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

Iraq will always be problematic for Dems because Bush is Commander in Chief until 2009. It does not matter what Dems say because Bush trumps them. All Dems can agree that much more OVERSIGHT of Bush is needed for the war and just about everything else.

Posted by: bakho on May 9, 2006 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

The reason the Right thinks that the Left doesn't tolerate dissent is because the Right simply either doesn't know what the word "tolerate" means (it doesn't mean "don't criticize or insult the opposing point of view" despite conservative claims to the contrary) or they've conveniently redefined the word (not an uncommon occurrence for conservatives) to mean something different which then allows them to use it as a criticism (in other words, they construct a strawman).

Hint to conservatives: intolerance of other viewpoints would involve censuring those viewpoints from being presented and/or denying those posting such viewpoints access.

Not happening.

Quit lying.

Posted by: Advocate for God on May 9, 2006 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz, I'll cut you a deal. I'll agree that "The Left" doesn't have a coherent foreign policy, if you admit that neither the Republican Party, nor the President, nor the conservative movement has a foreign policy anymore.

That is, unless you consider "staying the course" in Iraq and loudly doing nothing everywhere else to be a foreign policy.

Posted by: ajl on May 9, 2006 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney: When was the last Democratic Convention where a pro-life platform was allowed to be debated?

When was the last Republican convention where a pro-tax platform was allowed to be debated?

When was the last Boy Scout convention where homosexuality was allowed to be debated?

When was the last Catholic convention where Muslim beliefs were allowed to be debated?

Again, you are trying to redefine 'tolerance' and limit the circumstances in which we consider its application in order to create a strawman to knock down.

More, typical dishonest claptrap from a conservative.

Sorry if that sounds 'intolerant' under your convoluted and self-serving definition of 'tolerance'.

Posted by: Advocate for God on May 9, 2006 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

. They don't [push policies]. They spend most of their time attacking Bush (who deserves it), attacking people with the temerity to disagree with them (who don't always deserve it), and focusing on political campaigns.

The left blogosphere is not radical in a policy sense. We are radically opposed to accepting rightwing or centrist bullshit.

This makes a lot of sense, at least for this general region of the left blogosphere. I mean, social psych 101 would suggest that throwing all us angry lefties together would end up with us past the European left, but these proposals are almost centrist. It would seem that much of the energy goes into fighting the general rightward current (maybe pulling some folks back to slight leftyness, at best), and talking trash about the Bush administration. Ok, and constructing a overarching narrative critique of said administration. Which, given the nature of the regime, seems to be shifting Left Blogistan almost into a kind of conservatism, in the very broadest and most fundamental sense.

All the folks in a tizzy about our bad manners and incivility should be very, very happy. After all, you don't worry so much when the drums are beating as when they stop and it goes all quiet . . . too quiet . . .

Anyway, this is why I've thought for some time we should have a Blogging Day Without Bush (and the Bush administration).


Posted by: Dan S. on May 9, 2006 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

Matt:

Last time I was at an ATM, I noticed it was a Diebold machine.

And it had no problem spitting out a receipt.

Posted by: Librul on May 9, 2006 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

I think the real issue is being ignored here. I'm a former Republican, finally driven from my party by the criminality and incompetence of the current party "leadership". I don't much like the Dems because they aren't taking advantage of the stupidity and low polls, but that doesn't mean I'm dumb enough to vote Republican again. What the Dems are willing to do in legislation and policy isn't exactly what I want, but I can live with it.

The issue in the blogoshere is the way in which a certain group of lefty bloggers, most notably Atrios and Kos, are drawing up political enemies lists and attacking people for being insufficiently loyal to their interpretation of what the left should be. When I read the attack on Wonkette, what stood out for me was the way Atrios attacked her for *not being Blue*, i.e., for being an apostate. Kos's frontal assault on Sen. Clinton makes me wish I lived in new York so I could vote FOR her. Want a clue, kids? I *liked* what the Clintons did for America, especially after the last six years of Bush.

I read the comments in this blog and see the same. I see people going after Kevin personally because he doesn't say things or think things you guys want to hear. I think Kevin is pretty darn sensible most of the time, and the way you turn disagreements into ad hominem attacks on him, frankly, sounds just like the wackos on the right who have destroyed the Republicans.

I agree more than not with the list Kevin posted. I am revolted by the voices in the blogosphere. You sound just like the people you oppose

Posted by: fercryinoutloud on May 9, 2006 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Well, Cheney, maybe it's just that Democrats choose to draw the line at compromising on something that's very important to them - a woman's right to choose whether to bear a child.

Just as you Republicans draw the line at compromising on what's most important to you - lowering taxes for rich people.

Posted by: kc on May 9, 2006 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney: All of those would be "intolerant" according to YOUR definition, not mine.

Uh, no they wouldn't, anymore than prohibiting Kerry to get up during the President's State of the Union speech and start propounding his own ideas would be.

It is not "intolerant" to prohibit people from inserting their opinion anywhere and anytime they want, which is what you implied from your question.

The question is not whether pro-life speakers are allowed to speak at the convention, but whether they are prohibited from being in the party as the result of speaking in open forums about their beliefs - they are not.

Your deliberate use of a closed forum, closed by its nature just as a particular speech is, to compare to an open forum such as a blog, is the strawman and you once again exhibit your dishonesty.

None of the examples are examples of intolerance anymore than refusing to let one interrupt another's speech on pro-life to intermittently spout your pro-choice would be an example of intolerance - but you are trying to make it just such an example.

No Democrat has been censured for expressing pro-life views.

Reid is a leading example.

As I said, you either don't understand the word or you deliberately misuse it for dishonest reasons.

Posted by: Advocate for God on May 9, 2006 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

Tell you what, Cheney, when you stop bathing with your brother, come back here and we'll have a discussion.

Posted by: kc on May 9, 2006 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz.

First clean up your own house. Get a real foreign policy. Get real domestic policies. Throw out the thieves and the bribery takers from your party. Seek some professional help for your delusions and the voices that continue to feed you bullshit. Take courses in ethics and morality and logic from the local community college.

Then I will be happy to comply with your instructions to do this and that.

Posted by: nut on May 9, 2006 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

I don't think I see any radicalism, but I do see some bad ideas (indexing an inflation driver to inflation seems a little sketchy).

The minimum wage link to inflation is pretty non-existent.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on May 9, 2006 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

ELR, while I do think that a lot of the louder pro-choice voices hem and haw over the difficulty of pregnancy, I think it is fair to say that if you are pregnant and don't want to be, that's a problem. If the government is standing in the way of you preventing the pregnancy that you don't want to carry, it's a problem. And, for that matter, off the top of my head I can think of two major feminist bloggers who actually have children (one was a teen mother, in fact) and still make their views on abortion rights clear - Lauren formerly of Feministe and Bitch, PhD. If abortion is an issue that affects women, it's an issue that affects mothers.

Posted by: Sara on May 9, 2006 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

But, we are sick of pregnancy being our *problem.* Pro choice tells me that being pregnant is a problem if you want to succeed. It is the worst type of sexism. "Get rid of the baby, Honey, if you want to play in the Boy's world."

it's not 'our' problem. there are specific women with specific circumstances who know better than you whether or not they can handle a pregnancy and a new child. likewise, 'we' are not saying "Get rid of the baby, honey." what 'we' are saying, "It's your choice whether or not to continue a pregnancy." you are equating pro-choice with anti-child and pro-abortion attitudes, and i find it deeply insulting.

Posted by: spacebaby on May 9, 2006 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Ouch, Paddy Whack - talk about giving a dog a bone!
Posted by: Cheney

Not really. A laundry-list of strawmen from a senseless troll is not painful.

Posted by: ckelly on May 9, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

I think it is a shame that the word "radical" has such negative connotations. To me, it is often the case that the moderate position is the least defensible. Policies reflect worldviews. It is often the case that if you hold world view 1, then policy A is best, and if you hold world view 2, then policy B is best. Policy C, which is a "moderate" compromise between A and B, might make no sense in any world view.

Philosophically that's true, but practically, not so much. To use your own example of only allowing abortions in the case of rape or incest, it's logically inconsistent, but it's a compromise. Both sides get what they want (assuming it actually becomes the rule instead of just a new jumping-off point to push the status quo even further right): the anti-abortion side reduces the number of abortions by a lot, while the pro-choice side still preserves the availability of abortions for those who need it the most. That might be acceptable for both sides, so they can get on with their lives.

At least, that method might be on other issues, though it obviously wouldn't be on this one. And it's a position I don't happen to hold. But complaining about centrism being unprincipled is missing the point it's not supposed to be principles, it's supposed to work. Whether or not it does is the question, of course.

Posted by: Cyrus on May 9, 2006 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

Well, to sum up what lots of folks are saying, it's a difference of rhetoric, not policy. I don't have many policy differences with Kos or Atrios. I think I'd probably like them in person.

But they use the "inflammatory voice" that is so common to email and electronic written communication. If you heard them talk, they would give a different impression.

Now, some folks like that voice. These are the same folks that take Kevin to task for being to milquetoasty. But I'm a milquetoast, too.

In the following sense: I almost never allow any expression of contempt to make it past the "Post" button. I'm happy to criticize ideas or actions or statements, but not people. Condemn the offense, not the perpetrator.

Just like Rush found an audience saying things that the dittoheads thought to themselves, so have Koz and Atrios, I think.

Posted by: Doctor Jay on May 9, 2006 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

Good job, Jason ... [blah blah blah] ...

charlie, hush. be quiet. the adults are trying to have a conversation about values. this is an insanity-free zone.

Posted by: spacebaby on May 9, 2006 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney (Charlie) obsesses over abortion...again. Why am I not surprised?

Posted by: ckelly on May 9, 2006 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney (Charlie) obsesses over abortion...again. Why am I not surprised?

it's just an extension of his obsession with other people's sex lives. he is just as obsessed with emergency contraceptives, birth control, sex education, pornograpy, and homosexuality. any culture war issues that has anything remotely to do with genital stimulation is guaranteed to attract him. which means he probably has a very dirty mind.

Posted by: spacebaby on May 9, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney, I guess, like your name sake, you are delusional or just sadly ignorant.

LOL Jason - pro-life Democrats are "welcome" about as often as the lepered - the proof is in the pudding. If you can seriously equate the number of pro-life Democrats on the national level (name more than two) with pro-choice GOP (I can name a dozen off the top of my head), then you are more delusional than even I thought. - Cheney

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2006_05/008769.php#882344

From the Democrats for Life All Star Pro-Life Democrats (in order by state):

Sen. Mark Pryor (AR)
Rep. Marion Barry (AR)
Sen. Zell Miller (GA)
Rep. Jim Marshall (GA)
Rep. Jerry Costello(IL)
Rep. William Lipinski(IL)
Rep. Ken Lucas (KY)
Rep. Chris John (LA)
Rep. Dale Kildee (MI)
Rep. Bart Stupak (MI)
Rep. Jim Oberstar (MN)
Rep. Collin Peterson (MN)
Rep. Ike Skelton (MO)
Rep. Gene Taylor (MS)
Sen. John Breaux (LA)
Rep. Mike McIntyre (NC)
Sen. Ben Nelson (NE)
Sen. Harry Reid (NV)
Rep. Mike McNulty (NY)
Rep. Tim Ryan (OH)
Rep. Mike Doyle (PA)
Rep. Tim Holden (PA)
Rep. Paul Kanjorski (PA)
Rep. John Murtha (PA)
Rep. Jim Langevin (RI)
Rep. Lincoln Davis (TN)
Rep. Solomon Ortiz (TX)
Rep. Charlie Stenholm (TX)
Rep. Alan Mollohan (WV)
Rep. Nick Rahall (WV)

For a more recent list see: http://www.democratsforlife.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=63&Itemid=0

The highest ranking Pro-Life Democrat is Senator Harry Reid, how about pro-choice GOP? Believing these days a pro-choice Republican could be elected the GOP leader would be delusional thinking.

You seem to confuse the fact that most Democrats are pro-choice with the conclusion that Pro-Life Democrats are "lepered." The fact is that it is an important issue for many Democrats and such opposition to individual choice and liberty and support of using government power and criminal sanctions to force a woman to have a baby often comes with other postions not consistent with many Democrats beliefs. However, the evidence supports the conclusion that Democrats are far more tolerant than most of the GOP, after all its the so called pro-life position that abortion is murder, who wants to elect a murderer if thats what you truly believe and what does it say about your moral flexibility if you dont oppose what you claim to be murder?

Posted by: Catch22 on May 9, 2006 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

The minimum wage link to inflation is pretty non-existent.

That's true, the minimum wage link to anything is pretty non-existent.

Posted by: aaron on May 9, 2006 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

NcCullagh makes good points:

"Policy C, which is a "moderate" compromise between A and B, might make no sense in any world view."

But, we are learning a lot about government and there are linear examples between the two.

Take healthcare. If the Dems said, step one is to regulate the insurance plans offered today into three or four different "grades", then for a few hundred million, you greatlty simplify the system we have, make it easier to doctors to decide which plans they accept, and after a couple of years you can look at wat is happening and decide whether government needs to subsidize particularly low grades of insurance.

Same with education, rather then destroy a generation of children with billions and a standardized single certificate, why not offer a lower grade certificate and let the children add on optional math, automechanics, science, history or other bonus certificates. Doing this would have cost a few hundred million, saved children from government and accomplished most of what we wanted.

Posted by: Matt on May 9, 2006 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Except, of course, the number of jobs at and below minimum wage.

Posted by: aaron on May 9, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

One very important issue that I never see mentioned on any potential Democratic agenda is for Congress to override the executive order that the administration used to seal and prevent the release of previous presidential records, and to insist on strict adherence to the Freedom of Information Act.

Let's shine a light on what's being done in our name.

Posted by: Slideguy on May 9, 2006 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

[...] LOL - I could examine each "pro-life" voting record from Senators down to City Council too [...]

ssshhhhhhhh. hush now.

Posted by: spacebaby on May 9, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

It's a busy morning and I apologise because I haven't been able to read all of the comments above. I just want to throw in my $.02 worth:

This list sucks. If this is the best the liberal world can come up with, we're doomed.

Matt is right: "Streamline government, fix the taxes and prepare the nation for Bush's stagflation, that's enough."

tbrosz is right: "There is nothing on that list that couldn't have been written in 1969."

I had a long conversation on Sunday with two gifted 16-year olds. One is studying economics, the other military history. They had better proposals than this. Their proposals started with four assumptions: 1) The long term strategic threat is China, 2) our economy is addicted to cheap oil, 3) global climate change will destabilize existing nation states, and 4) the world has been gone too long without a major conflict for too long so unless we figure out how to avoid such a conflict, it is Sarajevo, 1914, for us.

So, first, they reasoned, we need to restore our historic alliance with Europe and we need to develop a strong alliance with India. If we can get those two blocks on our side, we can stand up to China. We also need to ameliorate our ties with South & Central America. We don't want to be distracted by threats in our hemisphere. They thought we could do that by repairing our ties to Mexico.

But everything depends on the US developing alternative and sustainable sources of energy and smoothing the transition to those alternative sources of energy. If we remain addicted to oil, then we remain enmeshed in the ME, vulnerable to Russia, Nigeria and Venezuela and overstretched trying to secure oil sources. If we don't lead on addressing the causes and consequences of global climate change, we exacerabate the problems.

Posted by: PTate in MN on May 9, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

This list should be non-negotiable. It's not radical enough to necessitate or allow for compromise.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on May 9, 2006 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

"But if there's any radicalism here, or even a tendency to drift in that direction, I sure don't see it."

Wow...this speaks volumes.

Lets see if anyone can guess what may be considered radical within this list?

Posted by: Fitz on May 9, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

...the only thing I care about is the perception among the American voters...
Posted by: Cheney

This pretty much sums up the mindset of the GOP, trolls, the wingnuts, the Religious Right, the RNC, the Bush administration...

Pathetic really.

Posted by: ckelly on May 9, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Real lobbying reform.

And I mean serious neutering bordering on elimination. And public financing of Congressional elections. That in itself would help with the lobbying.

Posted by: Mr Furious on May 9, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Pro life Democrats: Well, let's see--Mayor Daley of Chicago, Former Senator John Breaux, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, soon to take wingnut Ricky Santorum's seat. Check out Senator Ben Nelson, Represenative Jim Oberstar, Representative Jim Langevin (that's three, and they're all in the Congress and they're all Democrats--what do you need? Most people can't even name their own Congressman or Congresswoman.)

Don't forget Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, currently the highest-ranking Democrat in government, is pro-life.

Posted by: Stefan on May 9, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Pro choice tells me that being pregnant is a problem if you want to succeed. It is the worst type of sexism. "Get rid of the baby, Honey, if you want to play in the Boy's world."

Point #14: "Improve access to daycare and other pro-family policies"

A move that -along with other policies such as an increased minimum wage and other measures to decrease economic insecurity, if effective - almost certainly would decrease abortion rates.

But more generally, I'm really sorry that's the message you're heard. Beyond the excellent points above - not 'get rid of the baby,' but 'it's your choice - we're making sure you have that option - realistically, there are many aspects of abortion that are really just an extension of the long-term movement towards control over fertility, family planning, fewer children, in order to provide better for everyone in the family, rather than being overwhelmed with mouths to feed. The path to the middle class has been built on the nonexistance of many potential offspring. (The anti-contraception crusaders are trying, utimately and perhaps unknowingly, to roll this back.) It might even be argued that many people don't make it out of poverty to some (relatively small) degree because they have markedly different views on family planning - although I don't really agree.

We can buffer this sort of necessity with a generous safety net, but only to some extent. Unless, of course, you're willing to make Europe look like a bunch of pinch-fisted family-hating Scrooges and fundamentally transform the US into some sort of mistyeyed utopia - which I'm all for but have to admit is probably impractical right now . . .

I'm not sure what you would want to hear, honestly? 'Have the baby, honey (you have to, it's the law?), but there won't be any consequences? Daddy will take care of everything? Ha ha, now you have to deal with the consequences, you wench? Um . . .what?

Cheney "Do you think there is ANY cognitive dissonance when it comes to "parental notification" vs. "pro-family"?

Just don't shoot me in the face and I'll say whatever you want!

Seriously? Not very much, at best. There are various reasons, and I'd love to hear somebody smarter than I and with a good philosophy background explain why this is the case. My take? The fancier version is that 'the family' is also composed of individuals with sometimes competing aims and even rights, all of which matter; not merely a monolithic unit or a strict hierarchy (God->Bush-Dad->Mom->Kids, to be a bit snarky). Simple version? We're better at dealing with reality. (We are part of the growing reality-based coalition, after all!) Given functioning families, there is a certain percentage of teens who would go under the radar, but also many who would notify their families their own selves. Compulsory parental notification would serve some teens who would get support they'd otherwise avoid, but you'd also end up with teens who keep silent and end up with late term abortions or unwanted kids (or worse, like trying to self-induce abortions). There are also the cases where there's a very good reason that the girl is not notifying her family, which is that we sadly can't assume functioning famililes as a given- whether it would place her in physical or related danger, or because a member of the family is the father. Beyond the strictly practical, there's a sliding scale of it-being-her-decision. A 12 year old, well, we recognize that she's not equipped to make many decisions. A 17 year old . . . it's a lot less clear. Since we can't go on a case by case basis . . .

Oh, and by the way - there are a lot fewer radical Christian cleric-panderers in the Democratic Party than the GOP has business-oriented seculars. Is that because we specifically, intolerantly drove them out?

Posted by: Dan S. on May 9, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Al:

> ... the Stalinistic/Marxist aesthetic ... "

Stalinist/Marxist *aesthetic*? You mean like ... Socialist
Realism? Like Shoshtakovich, harmonizing Georgian folk tunes
(but not too much like Aaron Copland), cranking out scores for
propaganda movies and writing "The March of the Secret Police"
in the middle of doing your serious, subversive symphonic stuff?

Or do you mean more like Theodor Adorno, championing Shoenberg's
12-tone system over the bourgeois carnival pastiche aesthetic of
Stravinsky's Russian primitivism -- and falsifying the dates of
music history to argue for a dialectical progression, including
ever more notes into the scale until "dodecaphonic democracy"?

Or do you mean that you wouldn't know what "aesthetics" were
if Martha Stewart shoved a designer dildo up your ass? :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on May 9, 2006 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

On the Iraq issues, Leftists should demand the prosecution of war crimes against the leaders in the Bush administration: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice and a couple of the enabling generals. We should not treat these war criminals any differently than we treated the Nazis, except no death penalty.

Posted by: Powerpuff on May 9, 2006 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

The Left had nothing in 2004, they've got nothing now, and they won't have anything in the future. Unless you call "appeasement and surrender" a foreign policy.

You're a tedious and small person.

Posted by: BB on May 9, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

"Lets see if anyone can guess what may be considered radical within this list?"

Radical? Gay marriage. And not for an increasing number of Americans, specifically - and tellingly - younger ones.
____

"Many of the policy choices listed are not part of any coherent framework but do speak of a sort of tolerance almost libertarian worldview. I suggest that the real dividing line is class warfare"

But that is a coherent framework. And in this case we're defending lower and middle class folks, not to mention the ideas of social mobility and equal opportunities . . .

_____

"I'm a former Republican, finally driven from my party by the criminality and incompetence of the current party "leadership". I don't much like the Dems because they aren't taking advantage of the stupidity and low polls, but that doesn't mean I'm dumb enough to vote Republican again. What the Dems are willing to do in legislation and policy isn't exactly what I want, but I can live with it."

Everything else aside, we're glad to have you on our side - that is, the side fighting for (relatively!) noncriminal, competent government. Why the Republicans are trying to force out everyone with a brain and/or a heart, I don't entirely understand

But we're off to see the Wizard . . .

PTate - are they Orson Scott Card fans, by any chance?


Posted by: Dan S. on May 9, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

I think the Democratic theme on foreign policy should be "A Return to Normalcy."

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on May 9, 2006 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Repeal the estate tax repeal.
Raise the cap on wages covered by FICA taxes.
Simplify and increase the progressivity of the tax code

How about we cut to the chase,
and just say it outloud:

WE NEED TO TAX THE RICH.

Posted by: koreyel on May 9, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

As much as I support gay rights, I also think that America isn't quite ready yet for a nationalized right of gay marriage.

I'd argue the way to go is to assure that the rights secured by civil unions are at full legal parity with those of marriage.

Gay marriage will eventually happen ... but I think it'd be counterproductive to push it before young people -- who seem to have little to no problem with it -- get into positions of social power as they mature.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on May 9, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

The Left had nothing in 2004, they've got nothing now, and they won't have anything in the future. Unless you call "appeasement and surrender" a foreign policy.

I usually end up regretting this, but here goes:

Please tell me what constitutes "serious" foreign policy. And be aware that your answer had better compare favorably to PTate's post at 11:02. If you can't beat two 16-year-olds, then we're taking away your Darth Vader helmet.

Posted by: craigie on May 9, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Dan S.:

But I'm getting distracted. I'm curious - what is your response to these (admitedly vague) policy proposals - especially the non-tax/wage ones? (Minimum wage increases, I'd definitely go for; CPI indexing, well, that's another story . . .)

You'll notice on that list that there's a lot about increasing taxes. There's not much about reducing the size and waste in government.

Start by doing something about spending.

Right now, as I write this, some Republicans in Washington are trying to reform things like earmarks, transparency, and other ways that crap gets added to almost every spending bill that goes through Congress. They are mostly being slapped down, and, I'm sorry to say, by other Republicans. Yeah, Trent, I'm talking about YOU. Both parties are pigging out big time.

Bush needs to frigging VETO something. It will be about five years too late, but at least it will be a start.

Actually, some of the things on that list are not bad ideas.

Leave the states alone on issues like medical marijuana.

How about leaving the states alone on a LOT of issues? Wages, drug laws, abortion, education, highways, etc. etc. But that's a whole other story.

The War on Drugs, like the War on Poverty, long ago stopped being more help than hindrance. I have never seen any rational reason why alcohol and marijuana should be treated any differently under the law. Prohibit them both, or legalize both.

Paper ballots? Sure. I think a better idea is just having a printed optically-readable ballot card that pops out of an electronic voting machine. The card goes into a normal ballot box at the voting site. If everyone's happy with the electronic results, the boxes get stored like regular ballot boxes and collect spiderwebs. If not, you can do an optical, or even manual recount. You get the easy voting, the instant results everyone demands, and the backup options. How hard could this be?

I'd have no trouble with the FICA cap going up. I'd have no trouble with means-testing benefits, either.

Atrios' list isn't bad for coming right off the cuff. It's a lot more informative than simply writing "open thread" over and over again...

Posted by: tbrosz on May 9, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

I must note here that liberals do get hung up on process issues (framing etc.) and when they wake up from that utterly futile exercise, they buckle up to write Ph. D. theses on policy issues.

None of this wins elections. It's a good device for Republicans to constantly accuse you of being bereft of concrete solutions, but it is equally bad for the democrats to make any attempts to respond to these charges.

Kos and Atrios and their ilk have it exactly right. Democratic party would not exist without a set of basic core principles (not necessarily concretely enshrined a neat little document) and so the point is to do what it takes to win the elections rather than to constantly try to reconfigure your ideology. Forget about the WATBs and wankers like Chait and Cohen and Klein.

Posted by: lib on May 9, 2006 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

There's not much about reducing the size and waste in government.

... says a little man who vehemently supports a party which raised the national debt by $2.6 trillion over the past 5 years.

Small and Tedious. That's your new name.

Posted by: BB on May 9, 2006 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Radical? Gay marriage. And not for an increasing number of Americans, specifically - and tellingly - younger ones.

Increasing numbers dont disqualify something as radical.

On the Iraq issues, Leftists should demand the prosecution of war crimes against the leaders in the Bush administration: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice and a couple of the enabling generals. We should not treat these war criminals any differently than we treated the Nazis
That strikes me as radical.
Don't forget Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, currently the highest-ranking Democrat in government, is pro-life.
Yes, the new prominence of pro-lifers within the Democratic Party is interesting. I dont think its an accident. As a practical matter though, they dont vote to confirm conservative judges. Pro-lifers know this.

Posted by: Fitz on May 9, 2006 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz:

Before we tackle the size of government, earmarks, transparency, etc. -- we need to re-equitize the tax structure.

Once hyperwealthy people have an equivalent stake in fending off government waste, they'll petition their Republican legislators accordingly.

Now, with a bifurcating income structure that's eviscerating the middle class -- it's all just a dog and pony show.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on May 9, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it's not personal frustration. I actually really enjoy mixing it up, and oddly enough I enjoy being personally attacked as well. But the disposition of the left blogosphere toward TNR is suggestive of its paranoid mentality. They cannot see gradations. They cannot see differences between individuals within an institution. (This is the same problem with their unrelenting hostility toward the DLC, some of whose members are much more liberal than others.) The lefty blogosphere is simply unable to process the fact that TNR has published lots of extremely sharp attacks on Bush, and lots of genuinely liberal commentary, from the very beginning. That stuff is 80 percent of the political commentary we publish. They disagree with the other 20 percent, and they should. The problem is that they have no mental category for an institution that agrees with them 80 percent of the time.

Geebus!

A fatalist epitaph for poor Jon Chait and his TNR career.

If a magazine loses it's readership and thus closes it's door - whining about how all those readers just did get you, and that the readers just don't understand your position is another example of an oxymoron.

Excuse me, Chait, are you stupid or something?

Perhaps it's closer to the truth that whatever Chait was marketing just wasn't a sellable commodity to liberals in general, end of story.

Perhaps liberal understood the DLC better than did Chait. Not to dispair too much dear Chait, simply send your resume off to the NRO - I'm certain they can see all those "gradations" that those lefty-liberal, sub-class citizens of blogosphere have failed to see all this time.

Only a word of caution Chait - Bush's poll numbers are at 31% and so many people just don't see NRO's position any better that do all those blind, silly, sub-class citizens of the left blogosphere. IN other words, Al From's words that "that isn't how people feel about Bush" simply isn't true. Perhaps Chait should come to terms with that aspect of politic today if he wants to sell anything he writes.

Posted by: Cheryl on May 9, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Bob - beautiful, beautiful reply to Al.

"I think the Democratic theme on foreign policy should be "A Return to Normalcy."

Forget nostrums! We want normalcy!

Although frankly, it's Bush who's always seemed like a failed Harding to me . . .* That Bush makes Harding look like a giant of governance - oh, dear. I mean, a few tempests in a Teapot Dome aside, Harding at least respected the Constitution! (They may tie in terms of public speaking, though . . .)

I like the idea overall, though, for foreign and domestic policy. Perhaps 'Putting the Adults Back in Charge'?

* It's rather interesting to wonder what an America that elected President Cox** in 1920 might look like. We probably would have still had the Great Depression . . .

** No cracks about how we did, just in 1992 . .

Posted by: Dan S. on May 9, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: I'd say the big difference between the lefty blogsphere and the Congressional Dems, the DLC, or whoever on these issues, is that the blogsphere believes in taking a stand.

All we want, domestically, is for the Dems to stand up and fight for the things they supposedly have been for all along. That's all.

And there's where the Dems fall short. What fraction of the Dems in Congress could you get to co-sponsor the same increase in the CAFE standards that the Dems tried to pass in 1990? We already know how many Dems went along with the GOP's bankruptcy 'reform,' and have voted for estate tax repeal in the past. Etcetera.

Posted by: RT on May 9, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

A lot of Republicans are criminals because they can't get what they want legally. A lot of "radical lefties" are just people who want to see the law enforced.

Marijuana is a good example. If the FDA had even played by their own rules (the published public ones that is) pot would have been legalized long ago. All the legalizers are saying is, apply the rule of law.

And that's really what they should be saying. Forget the details, what we really want is a rule of law, and honest audits to get rid of the grafters.

Most Democrats don't have some big plan for the future because they believe in democracy. In a well-run democracy you don't need to get exactly what you want, what is good enough for most of the people is probably good enough for you.

And that's why the Republicans are working so hard to keep people from voting- they know that in a real democracy they would be toast.

It may not help us now, but it is a fact that democracy has been a fairly relentless trend over the past three centuries, and the chances are pretty good that eventually we will also have it in America. But we may have to go 'extreme' on their Republican ass to get it.

Posted by: serial catowner on May 9, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

And eliminate corporate personhood.

Posted by: cld on May 9, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Right now, as I write this, some Republicans in Washington are trying to reform things like earmarks, transparency, and other ways that crap gets added to almost every spending bill that goes through Congress. They are mostly being slapped down, and, I'm sorry to say, by other Republicans. Yeah, Trent, I'm talking about YOU. Both parties are pigging out big time.

Neat. You start out by - correctly - identifying the party of earmarks and special funding, and then somehow end up by saying it's about both parties. It isn't. It's about the party in power. When the good guys were in charge, there was a budget surplus. It took your clowns about a year to ignite that in a bonfire of corporate welfare and unaffordable tax cuts.

Bush needs to frigging VETO something. It will be about five years too late, but at least it will be a start.

Why should he veto anything, when he can just declare what the law really means after the fact? Or just declare that he's not bound by it?

For the party of law and order, you guys don't seem much exercised by the lack of it from your glorious leader.

Posted by: craigie on May 9, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Long menus don't make for great restaurants. Deciding on the theme and key priorities is what matters. I suggest, Theme: "Public interest before private privilege."

Posted by: jen on May 9, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

The biggest difference between Chait / TNRO / DLC , etc. and Atrois, Kevin, Kos and others is not whether or not they agree with certain policy descriptions as summarized above, but whether or not they support efforts to actually do something about them.

Chait, TNRO, and the DLC always come up with a laundry list of excuses why NOT to fight for certain issues. We shouldn't look weak on national defense! Domestic spying is a loser issue! etc.

In contrast Kevin, Atrois, Kos are trying to fight on certain issues - and take seriously the task to change people's minds in order to make that happen.

That's the essential difference between the two sides of the debate - those who say, yes, philosophically agree and those who are trying to argue the case and make change happen.

And one more difference - TNRO destroyed its credibility through a series of mistakes. And is now only being propped up by rich benefactors. So it certainly appears that they're being paid to undermine the progressive side. As is the DLC.

Posted by: Samuel Knight on May 9, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, there are a lots of pro-life progressives like myself. Fine on abolishing abstinence-only education and yes for lots of contraception. How about equal parity with Viagra. But, we are sick of pregnancy being our "problem." Pro-choice tells me that being pregnant is a problem if you want to succeed. It is the worst type of sexism. "Get rid of the baby, honey, if you want to play in the boys' world."

Posted by: ELR on May 9, 2006 at 8:16 AM

Someone after my own heart. Emphasize the sex education and contraception part of the debate and leave abortion out of it; make the issue irrelevant. Focus on progressive economic issues and stay out of the cultural sandtraps.

And for all my fellow Democrats who point out the many pro-life Dems out there, a question: Could any of them seriously mount a presidential campaign? Didn't think so, either.

You could have the most progressive Democrat out there, but if he or she is opposed to abortion, most Dem-oriented fundraising groups won't give them the time of day. I dare to say that Emily's List would support a moderate to conservative male over a progressive female if the male supports abortion rights and the female doesn't.

Posted by: Vincent on May 9, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

The damn constitution is burning like the Chicago fire and we have a bunch of folks arguing pro choice v pro life. Well I choose to save the lives of our servicemen and women and of the civilians in Iraq. I also choose to give those folks who are born a chance to be well educated, to grow up and live if they choose to work hard. I also am for square in favor of giving corrupt politicians an opportunity to live in prison if they choose to take bribes. There I am both pro life and pro choice. Put that in your single issue pipes and smoke it.

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 9, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Let me clarify that Emily's List of course only gives money to female candidates who support abortion rights. I should have stated that it would likely not fund a progressive woman who opposes abortion in a primary against a moderate-to-conservative male who does. Oopsie.

Posted by: Vincent on May 9, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Theme: "Public interest before private privilege."
I like it, but - we're talking for general consumption? - lots of folks might prefer the latter to the former without realizing that they're screwing themselves for a sackful of fairy gold.

"Getting back on track."

Ok, not that great, but given that the first thing that popped into my head was 'Democrats: Friends with Benefits . . .'

______________

"And eliminate corporate personhood."

Now that's genuinely radical, if (at least to a limited degree) a very good idea.

Posted by: Dan S. on May 9, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I believe that people who oppose gay marriage rights should be forced into a gay marriage. That's a fairly radical idea that's not accepted by the left mainstream.

But no left-blog has censored my posts or kickbanned me for saying so.

I've been banned from rightwing blogs for criticising Bush for not killing enough ay-rabs. (especially one in particular).

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on May 9, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

cld:

Well, that idea is about 100 years too late, unfortunately.
Corporate "personhood" exists to spread risk and limit personal
liability. It's way too useful for jumpstarting enterprises that
individuals wouldn't otherwise take a risk on. Consider the royal
patent grants that corporations grew out of. If a sea venture failed
(and often they did), who would risk others if the sponsors had to
absorb all the costs personally?

I don't mean to sound like a corporate apologist. I friggin' detest
corporate culture, which is homogenizing the globe and creating the
cultural animosity that fuels, e.g., Islamic jihad.

But as an element for a broad-based political platform, repealing
corporate personhood is simply a non-starter.

I mean -- capitalism sucks. But what's the alternative --
mercaltilism? Anarcho-syndicalism? A command economy?

A lot of socially righteous and fair-minded Democrats are also
businesspeople and entrepreneurs.

Clinton had the right take on this: It's not about eliminating the
opportunity to get rich through the fruit of your labor. It's about
spreading that opportunity around.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on May 9, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Chait, TNRO, and the DLC always come up with a laundry list of excuses why NOT to fight for certain issues. We shouldn't look weak on national defense! Domestic spying is a loser issue! etc.

Well said.

Posted by: Powerpuff on May 9, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

mercaltilism = mercantilism

Posted by: rmck1 on May 9, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

It's a cliche at this point and I'm not necessarily suggesting the Dems adopt it again -- but it's still (courtesy of Clinton in '92) a damn good one:

Putting People First.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on May 9, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

While we're putting stuff on our wishlist:

Big vote here for transparency in government.

Roll back that SC eminent domain decision.

Get rid of the Patriot Act.

Purge political appointees from all branches of government. Hire people on the basis of merit and competency, not political leanings.

Scale back the war on drugs, invest more money in drug rehab.

All privatized prisons should be bought out and returned to government control.

Posted by: Librul on May 9, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

It's not Iraq per say. Its the corruption, dishonesty, personal power mongering at the expense of the public, and destruction of people property and wealth associated with just about every aspect of the Bush administration. That's what drives the "left" blogs.

IRAQ? hardly Iraq is just a symptom of the larger problem - nakedly arrogant in your face bad governement and bad media coverage of same. Can't get simpler than that.

The left blogsphere does everything Colbert did in his routine at the press club, point to the crimes and those who committed the crimes and those who abet those who committed the crimes in the lack of coverage. Notice he never mentioned the first movers the people with the actual agenda, just the actors and their water carriers.

Society needs truth telling to survive. The left blogs are the only plave that is occuring at least for the last 6+ years. As the mainstream media lying has increased the need for truth drives traffic to the "left" blogsphere.

Where would you have been Kevin if you and people like you who didn't buy the Bush National Guard lies didn't research the facts and talk about them. The societal need to unmask that lie made your carreer. How easily you forget!!! IRAQ? Please!!!

Posted by: patience on May 9, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

"The Republican Party - protecting America from flying robots made in New Zealand..."

Ooh, ooh, we have to get some!! 'The Democratic Party: Now with flying invincible Kiwi robot army! Talk about a theme!

(Much better than: Helping America Help Itself . . .)

" but the prospect that suicide bombers and hijackers could be made redundant by flying robots is a real one,"

See - a classic case of technological innovation boosting productivity! But what happens to the out-of-work suicide bombers and hijackers? Maybe they should unionize now while there's still time . . .

"Well, I believe that people who oppose gay marriage rights should be forced into a gay marriage"

Reality show! Reality show!

More seriously:
"Well, that idea is about 100 years too late, unfortunately. Corporate "personhood" exists to spread risk and limit personal liability. It's way too useful for jumpstarting enterprises that individuals wouldn't otherwise take a risk o"

Which is why I support limited rollback of corporate personhood. Risk reduction is appropriate and necessary - it just went overboard, in ways that threaten real, actual people. Maybe corporate pethood.

More radical fun
Non-human animal personhood.
Legal standing for ecosystems and/or individual species. It's more or less been proposed before.

Posted by: Dan S. on May 9, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Exactly!

Here is a comment I put in Chait Plank discussion on this:

Lets get real and call a spade a spade. What all you "centrists" and "Liberal hawks" really mean is those of us who were right about Iraq from day 1. The definition of left-right is all about that one issue.

Calling the blogsphere the loony left is absurd when you look at the broad spectrum of policies. If Howard Dean is far left on economics then Truman was an outright communist.

It has basically become this:

Loony Left: against the war from day 1 (Dean, Gore, Daily Kos et al)

Left: supported the war but now realize it was a mistake (Kerry, Edwards, Bloggers like Ygleias)

Centrists: Supported the war, blame the execution "It was Rumsfeld's fault" (TNR, Andrew Sullivan, Hillary, McCain, etc.)

I'm not sure where you put Joe L who not only supported the war, but continues to trumpet the Bush party line and argues that it is going well. Insane?

Posted by: Eric on May 9, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

There is nothing on that list that couldn't have been written in 1969.
And the the right has been holding America back since Nixon's victory in 68. Sometimes with Republican congressmen, sometimes with conservative "ideas".

I know why foreign policy was left out. The Left had nothing in 2004, they've got nothing now, and they won't have anything in the future. Unless you call "appeasement and surrender" a foreign policy.

Hummm. How's that new American Century working out for you tbroz? Which country do we do next, huh, Iran? North Korea? Syria? Why not all three?
I know, I know let's destroy the international system we set up after WWII that got us through the Cold War and kept the peace between the Great Powers and just buy enough military stuff so we can intimidate our ennemies and stay number one, yeah just arm up so much that no one will dare even look at us. Oh wait you mean Star Wars won't stop a container nuke? And the Crusader SP Howitzer ain't so good at insurgency fighting? Huh? And uh we're borrowing foreigers money to pay for our military spending. Gee Wiz that don't seem too stategically sound.

Idiotic idologies and the dummies who beleive in them are in no position to throw stones at their ideological opponents. You have ZERO credibility.

Why don't you take a walk down to Walter Reed and look at all your fine handywork, you damn deluded fool.


Posted by: tbrosz on May 9, 2006 at 3:58 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Nemesis on May 9, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a way to sell this -- create another list that I could support so the Dems can look moderate:

1) arrest Bush and send him to The Hague

2) reinstitute the tax code as it existed in the 50s -- Republicans like nostalgia, so they won't object to a 90% top rate, right?

3) cut the defense budget by two-thirds -- we already spend more money than the next 32 countries combined. This frees up $300 billion a year and eliminates the deficit.

4) did I mention arresting Bush and sending him to The Hague?

5) nationalize the oil industry -- oh, and the electrical and gas industries, too.

6) Tax all churches as businesses.

Is that radical enough? Now, how does Kevin's list look now?

Posted by: Dicksknee on May 9, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney: LOL - I could examine each "pro-life" voting record from Senators down to City Council too - my point is that on a "national" level, the only thing I care about is the perception among the American voters at least is that GOP is much more tolerant of pro-choicers than vice versa. I wish I could stay and discuss some more, but I have to go. See you all after November ; )

The perceptions of a dishonest and single-issue man aren't worth squat.

And if you think the November election is going to be a referendum on which party is more tolerate of the minority opinion vis-a-vis abortion, you are just stupid beyond belief.

Posted by: Advocate for God on May 9, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

PTate, I was glad to see what you had written. Too bad everyone is so worried about the stupid things Cheney writes. I would like to see further discussion about these kinds of things, Kevin.

Posted by: kgb on May 9, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney: P.S. Advocate for (false) god - in case you already forgot it, here's YOUR definition again:

Since you denied me access to post my opinion in the middle of your post, you have shown intolerance.

That is an application of YOUR false interpretation of my definition.

It is a sadly dishonest interpretation, but it is yours nonetheless.

Take possession of it and be proud.

LOL!

;-)

:-|

:-o

Posted by: Advocate for God on May 9, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney: Can't even name two, can you?

Wasn't asked to do so.

Proving once again your propensity for misrepresenting the positions of others.

But, then, we know that misrepresentation, defamation, and lying are all acceptable strategeries (sic) for conservatives who whine about the absence of values in society while exhibiting none themselves.

Posted by: Advocate for God on May 9, 2006 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Slideguy at 10:58: "Let's shine a light on what's being done in our name."

Honesty, openness, and transparency in government. That's the platform I'd vote for.

Posted by: mark on May 9, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

DanS:"PTate - are they Orson Scott Card fans, by any chance?"

Of course! They love World of Warcraft and Risk as well! :)

Really, these young men are 16, and they seem to be thinking more about the future (rather than rehashing past battles) than most who have posted on this thread. What does that tell us about the current state of political philosophy--Republican AND Democratic--in the US?

Ron Byers: "The damn constitution is burning like the Chicago fire and we have a bunch of folks arguing pro choice v pro life."

Amen. The shape this thread took was telling. Immediately it zoned in on the abortion debate, fueled by Cheney. And the medical use of marijuana flickered in and out--what is this but the 60s "legalize drugs" deathwish dressed up as compassion?

Some posters have talked about returning to normalcy. I wish! Bushco policies HAVE succeeded in starving the Beast. The first thing we have to do is keep the Beast from dying. The danger facing the Democratic party right now is that Bushco is at ~32%. People are ready for change: They are crying for mercy. But that is not the same as an opportunity to implement an agenda that makes many Americans suspicious and that just looks like a variation on"tax & spend"? We are facing an era of environment catastrophe, oil depletion and international destablization and we don't have a lot of options or time.

The worst President in history and this list starts with the bankruptcy bill and ends with gay marriage?

Posted by: PTate in MN on May 9, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

"The Republican Party - protecting America from flying robots made in New Zealand..."

You know... This is damn serious stuff. This technique is one I have not though of (or read in a Tom Clancey novel)

I'm glad someone is looking into this!
(the Democrats would probably have the U.N. file a resolution against the concept)

Posted by: Fitz on May 9, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Dicksknee"...create another list that I could support so the Dems can look moderate..."

A very creative suggestion! Let people see what REAL extremes would be. The Dems used to look reasonable because the Communists held the radical left during the Cold War. Even Republicans had to pretend to care about the common man back then.

But doesn't the threat, the alternate approach, have to come from outside the US? Will we just end up with (Gore v Bush) v Nader?

Still, *sigh*, I dream about the day when Bushco are marched off to the Hague for their war crimes.

Posted by: PTate in Mn on May 9, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Stalinist/Marxist *aesthetic*? You mean like ...Shoshtakovich

I have learned to appreciate his symphonies the last few years, and now consider Shostakovich to be the best Russian composer this side of Borodin.

Dicksknee nails it.

1) The long term strategic threat is China,...and 4) the world has been gone too long without a major conflict for too long so unless we figure out how to avoid such a conflict, it is Sarajevo, 1914, for us.

China is threatened by the US, not vice versa, and making this a number one issue of 'informed' young people is Wolfowitz scary. I think Henry C. K. Liu's article is very informative.

World wars are not like business cycles. A world wide conflagratioin is not historically inevitable, but the people of democracies must take responsibility for their government's actions and stop relying on nationalism to inform them on how to deal with conflict.

Posted by: Powerpuff on May 9, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

bob,

Corporate personhood is the root of all evil. These things aren't human, they're immortal. They accumulate power in society exponentially.

I'm not saying do away with corporations, just any legal status they may have that mirrors human rights or rights of citizenship. As it is they have no social responsibility except to their own increase of power. It's just parasitism. The way corporations are allowed to exist in society has to be reconstructed from the ground up.

In fact, this is the best point Democrats can make over the next few election cycles. It attacks the Republican heart. There is no reason why any and all corporate participation in politics cannot be criminalized.

If we attack them on this point alone we don't need to speak about any other. Everything else will fall in place behind that point.

Posted by: cld on May 9, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Powerpuff:""China is threatened by the US, not vice versa, and making this a number one issue of 'informed' young people is Wolfowitz scary"

Well, EVERYONE is threatened by the US these days. I--and these young men--would agree that "a world wide conflagration is not historically inevitable. The policies they were generating were specifically intended to prevent such an outcome.

But, perhaps it is naive to imagine that a nation with 1.2 billion people, an economy run amok, a huge military, a communist government and a history of aggression is just a big pussy cat scared by mean old US?

These two young men were at least thinking long-term and strategically and trying to anticipate and head off possible threats.

Posted by: PTate in MN on May 9, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

When TNR and liberals like them admit they were completely, fantastically, and insanely wrong on Iraq and apologize for their bad judgement and demonization of war critics, maybe we can start the reconciliation. Until then, forget about it.

Look at Matt Yglesis - he was pro-war but humbly admitted his mistakes and is now viewed favorably by most of the left blogosphere.

It really is that simple.

Posted by: sohei on May 9, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Still, *sigh*, I dream about the day when Bushco are marched off to the Hague for their war crimes.

Keep dreaming. He's all but ended the EU and UN. The Hague had zero credibility BEFORE Milosovich. At this time we have a totally divided Europe without a single strong leader. Chirac is done. Blair is done. Merkel heads a divided government as does the new PM in Italy. Western Europe is in disarray and will remain unled through the end of the decade. The UN is buried under scandals and unable to cope with any series issues anywhere. Kyoto is a joke about to embarrass all signees. They can't do nothing about the killing in Darfour or anywhere else as they've proven repeatedly.

What George has done more effectively than aything else is destroy this liberal dream of a world government with a world court. The great lsson of Colin Powells high-minded diplomacy was to never turn your backs on the French and Germans. You think the Europeans hate Americans? Any conservative will tell you the Europeans are dead to them. Think this is an environment to advance a world court? Think the fact John Roberts and Sam Alito both expressed their contempt for using international law had anything to go with their nominations?

The UN will continue to exist only because it's easier than getting rid of them. They are and will remain powerless. The EU will continue to exist but only as an economic union. They cannot advance the proposed constitution nor muster the political will to change it and make it acceptable. It's not impossible the current economic stagnation will cause the Eastern Europeans, eyeing the more prosperous Asians, to withdraw from the EU to eliminate the economic weight of bureaucracy.

Say goodbye to the Europe and the Hague you were hoping for. GWB has been a disaster. Of the 7 free trade agreements he's signed, and the 17 currently under negotiation, none are with Europe and trade with Asia is surging. We've reduced military counts by 90% including all combat troops. We are reducing our State Dept presence substantially as well.

I'm not quite sure who, aside from American liberals, has any confidence in Europe these days.

Posted by: rdw on May 9, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

"Of course! They love World of Warcraft and Risk as well! :)"

Civilization whatever-we're-up-to also, I hope!

"Really, these young men are 16, and they seem to be thinking more about the future (rather than rehashing past battles) than most who have posted on this thread. "

But that's their job, for better and worse. They're 16! It's all future. You have to start pretty early to have past political battles to rehash at this point. I certainly don't mean to disparage them: their proposals #1-3 sound quite good, and #4 - well, I don't think history works quite like that, but it's the kind of idea you come up with when you're a bright teenager, and frankly, it works well enough rule of thumbwise . . .

They're fresh, but they're not veterans. We need to build more barracks . . . : )

" The first thing we have to do is keep the Beast from dying. . . . People are ready for change . . .But that is not the same as an opportunity to implement an agenda that makes many Americans suspicious and that just looks like a variation on"tax & spend"? We are facing an era of environment catastrophe, oil depletion and international destablization and we don't have a lot of options or time."

I don't disagree. To be fair, this was more, I thought, a general list of nice policies we might all support than a first 100 days (or even 4 years) agenda. That's a somewhat different matter. Well, Animals?

Posted by: Dan S. on May 9, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

When Bush starts a war of aggression, that's a good thing. I love seeing dead people - especially if they aren't white like me. But you know, if he were to declare war on France that would be good too. Except that they have nuclear weapons too and that I might discover that Europe can actually fight back. Never mind.

Posted by: rdw on May 9, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Forget the bollocks, read this.

Ice-Capped Roof of World Turns to Desert
Scientists warn of ecological catastrophe across Asia as glaciers melt and continent's great rivers dry up
by Geoffrey Lean
May 7, 2006
The Independent/UK

Global warming is rapidly melting the ice-bound roof of the world, and turning it into desert, leading scientists have revealed.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences - the country's top scientific body - has announced that the glaciers of the Tibetan plateau are vanishing so fast that they will be reduced by 50 per cent every decade. Each year enough water permanently melts from them to fill the entire Yellow River.

They added that the vast environmental changes brought about by the process will increase droughts and sandstorms over the rest of the country, and devastate many of the world's greatest rivers, in what experts warn will be an "ecological catastrophe".

The plateau, says the academy, has a staggering 46,298 glaciers, covering almost 60,000 square miles. At an average height of 13,000 feet above sea level, they make up the largest area of ice outside the polar regions, nearly a sixth of the world's total.

The glaciers have been receding over the past four decades, as the world has gradually warmed up, but the process has now accelerated alarmingly. Average temperatures in Tibet have risen by 2 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 20 years, causing the glaciers to shrink by 7 per cent a year, which means that they will halve every 10 years.

Prof Dong Guangrong, speaking for the academy - after a study analysing data from 680 weather stations scattered across the country - said that the rising temperatures would thaw out the tundra of the plateau, turning it into desert.

He added: "The melting glaciers will ultimately trigger more droughts, expand desertification and increase sand storms." The water running off the plateau is increasing soil erosion and so allowing the deserts to spread.

Sandstorms, blowing in from the degraded land, are already plaguing the country. So far this year, 13 of them have hit northern China, including Beijing. Three weeks ago one storm swept across an eighth of the vast country and even reached Korea and Japan. On the way, it dumped a mind-boggling 336,000 tons of dust on the capital, causing dangerous air pollution.

The rising temperatures are also endangering the newly built world's highest railway, which is due to go into operation this summer. They threaten to melt the permafrost under the tracks of the 1.7bn Tibetan railway, constructed to link the area with China's northwestern Qinghai province.

Perhaps worst of all, the melting threatens to disrupt water supplies over much of Asia. Many of the continent's greatest rivers - including the Yangtze, the Indus, the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, the Mekong and the Yellow River - rise on the plateau.

In China alone, 300 million people depend on water from the glaciers for their survival. Yet the plateau is drying up, threatening to escalate an already dire situation across the country. Already 400 cities are short of water; in 100 of them - including Beijing - the shortages are becoming critical.

Even hopes that the melting glaciers might provide a temporary respite, by increasing the amount of water flowing off the plateau - have been dashed. For most of the water is evaporating before it reaches the people that need it - again because of the rising temperatures brought by global warning.

Yao Tandong, head of the academy's Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Research Institute, summed it up. "The full-scale glacier shrinkage in the plateau regions will eventually lead to an ecological catastrophe," he said.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on May 9, 2006 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

What a good start, especially paper ballots.

How about an absolute ceiling on what any candidate may spend on getting elected, --- as in most parliamentary (real? up-to-date?) democracies.

How about a register of all monies cash or in kind, received by members of Congress, (and appointed officials until we bring the constitution up-to-date and become a democracy and parliamentary and no longer George III Copycat.) from whatever source and for whatever purpose?

Where healthcare is concerned, how about starting by making members of Congress buy their own, since they are not strictly employees. Someone wrote a beautiful post a while ago, here on your blog I think, Kevin, about how Medic-whatsit and the VA systems together make an excellent platform for a universal system. Then all we need is some Dutch or Germans to run it.

Restore FDR's Utilities legislation PRONTO and just watch what happens!

Posted by: maunga on May 9, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: I'm not quite sure who, aside from American liberals, has any confidence in Europe these days.

I'm sure that no one but conservative buffoons has confidence in Bush these days.

31% approval rating.

A mere three points from Carterland.

The biggest drop in popularity since Truman.

The greatest waste of a high approval rating and sympathy for America ever.

Bush 43: A legacy of . . .

shame . . .

corruption . . .

torture . . .

murder . . .

incompetence . . .

dishonesty . . .

hatred . . .

bigotry . . .

racism . . .

international outlawry . . .

and self-centered, egomaniacal partisanship.

Be a useful lemming, rdw, and walk into the ocean and drown yourself.

Posted by: Advocate for God on May 9, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

"Universal Healthcare unfortunately is considered radical by most Americans although it shouldnt be."

Liberals and conservatives have a lot in common.

Let me explain what is going to happen.

First, we raise progressive rates to the lever they should be, fine.

Then we propose nationalizing healthcare. The problem, right away is that big companies look at the tax rates of their highest executives, and they think, can we do a better job with health care than forking over this money to government? They decide yes, because their tax rates are now 50-60%, not 40% So their money is better spent in the corporation than in government.

So they reduce return on investment and plow that money back into corporate healthcare. They now have better healthcare for the workers, their tax rates have gone down to a lower bracket, they own the healthcare system, the workers have better healthcare than the average and the unions come out against healthcare.

I am telling you, and the economists are starting to figure this out, when folks pay their exact share for government, that is when their return on investment is closer to their tax rate, they keep the money and do it themselves. When their return on investment is greater than their tax rate, they have government do it.

You are making making the same bad assumptions the Reagan conservatives have made.


Posted by: Matt on May 9, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

One thing I need to point out and I'm sure it's been pointed out above, is that the vast majority of the left blogosphere are not pacifists and too often the TNR/DLC/LIEberman types try to paint them that way. They're not, just anti the stupid-FUBAR'd-Iraq War

Posted by: MNPundit on May 9, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK


Why doesn't rdw get in to Star Wars? It's a lot more refreshing and less strenuous than trying to reconcile Republican talking points with life on Earth.

And, not just Star Wars! There's a lot of great stuff out there. X-Files, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, the Marvel Universe. All of it incredibly more fun and a part of the real world that he too can enjoy.

Posted by: cld on May 9, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

cld at 3:51 has me in tears!

Posted by: shortstop on May 9, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

These two young men were at least thinking long-term and strategically and trying to anticipate and head off possible threats.

I appreciate that.

I am worried that a US strategy to destabilize China will be used in the name of nationalism, and that young people will consider it rational in order to keep the US in a mythical number one status.

Posted by: Powerpuff on May 9, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

aaron 4:40 am said:
I don't think I see any radicalism, but I do see some bad ideas (indexing an inflation driver to inflation seems a little sketchy).

LMAO
Oh yes I forgot the minimum wage, the root of all evil. I am so sick of the tired old, asinine ideas of minimum wage closes business, minimum wage hurts the poor, minimum wage will end all investment, and now we have minimum wage drives inflation??? What a f'in hoot. Sorry we all know that if you set minimum wage at $20/hr it won't work but a fair minimum wage is not going to make entrepreneurs bury their money in the back yard and having the wage keep up with cost of living is not going to drive run away inflation.

Posted by: bushburner on May 9, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Powerpuff: "I am worried that a US strategy to destabilize China will be used in the name of nationalism"

Indeed. A worthy concern. After five years of Bushco, we are all jumpy about jingoism.

The goal is to find that balance of power at which we do not cause others to feel exploited or threatened while remaining sufficiently strong that others will not exploit or threaten us.

Ingoring Iraq, Chavez in Venezuela is arming the civilians to protect the nation against the American invasion he is sure will occur. Now THAT is a sign of how unbalanced American policy is at the present time.

Posted by: PTate in MN on May 9, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist: "The full-scale glacier shrinkage in the plateau regions will eventually lead to an ecological catastrophe..."

Pretty damn scary stuff. It has taken five years for Americans to figure out what a catastrophe Bushco is. How long before they recognize and are willing to start dealing with the environmental catastrophe which threatens our very survival.

Posted by: PTAte in MN on May 9, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

I see dissent in the blogosphere all the time. It seems though that people complain all the time when they see disagreement, because they confuse it with infighting.

There's no reason we can't come up with different, or the same ideas, and still work together.

...Like the spouses thing. Why can't they just get a visa easily, and then work for citizenship on their own? IE, they have it if they do the steps, otherwise they're just here on a visa. That way its their choice, and not tied to the success or failure of their marriage.

Posted by: Crissa on May 9, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

PTate in MN: Ingoring Iraq, Chavez in Venezuela is arming the civilians to protect the nation against the American invasion he is sure will occur. Now THAT is a sign of how unbalanced American policy is at the present time.

Actually, I think that it is a sign of how unbalanced Hugo Chavez is at this time.

Your comment is also a sign of a certain kind of American liberalism: foreign crazies are always more supportable than elected American governments. South America has a history of allowing "populist" governments to accrete dictatorial powers; it is a sort of indigenous governmental style that occures independent of what the US does in support or opposition to particular governments. Hugo Chavez is in this tradition; he has used his elected powers to stack the government in his favor (way more extreme than the current Republican dominance in the US), and he is expropriating private property (farmland and oil infrastructure) in the name of the people; he is driving Venezuela deeper into poverty and away from democracy. He is doing all that on his own initiative, and the initiative of his supporters. Yet in all this you think is unbalance is a result of Bush.

I am sure that Bush could do better (well, almost certain, but probably to little real effect), but Hugo Chavez is a problem made in Venezuela, by Venezuelans. He is no more a creation of Bush than Castro is a creation of Eisenhower/Kennedy/Johnson/Nixon/Ford/Carter
/Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Buah.

Posted by: republicrat on May 9, 2006 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

republicrat: "Your comment is also a sign of a certain kind of American liberalism: foreign crazies are always more supportable than elected American governments."

Well, this is a garbage statement.

Of course, every liberal is blame-America-first, and Chavez--like every recent "enemy" of the US--is crazy. Gee shucks, we are just an innocent democratic nation trying to live and let live in the world.

Does Chavez just hate our freedom?

Posted by: PTAte in MN on May 9, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

" He is no more a creation of Bush than Castro is a creation of Eisenhower/Kennedy/ . . ."

Although Castro is in part a creation of American foreign policy - just from the first rather than the second part of the last century.

What the Americas might look like if we had genuinely nurtured democracy and some degree of economic fairness in the region over the last century - well, if wishes were horses, the world's entire prepubescent girl population would have five each.

Posted by: Dan S. on May 9, 2006 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

Hugo Chavez is a great man. He has done more for the Venezuelan people than any other Venezuealan leader in 150-200 years. Transferring a small bit of his country's wealth to education and healthcare will make Venezuela a prosperous country, which is why Republicrats dislike him and why they attempted to replace him with an operative.

Posted by: Powerpuff on May 9, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

Join the campaign for progressive legislation http://buyblue.biz


Please do not buy products from these Republican contributors.

The Republican Party appears weak and vulnerable at the cash registers of the companies that give money to the Republican Party.

Stop buying products from these Republican contributors and tell others as well to stop. Thank you.

Dell Computers, Walmart, Wendy's, Outback Steak House, Dominos Pizza, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Eckerd, CVS and Walgreens, Curves for women health clubs, General Electric and Exxon/Mobil.


Send this set of demands to the speaker of the house, the senate majority leader and to each CEO of the corporations listed below.

Tell others to send this too.


A progressive agenda for America.


I demand that the Republican Party hold a press conference and accede to these demands. Until such a press conference happens and the legislation and/or actions gets passed I will boycott products from Republican contributors Dell Computers, Walmart, Wendy's, Outback Steak House, Dominos Pizza, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Eckerd, CVS and Walgreens, Curves for women health clubs, General Electric and Exxon/Mobil.

I demand that congress pass legislation ending the war in Iraq and withdraw the troops and arrange with the United Nations to replace US troops with UN troops to defend Iraq until The Iraqi army can defend Iraq.

I demand that the Republican party end their aggressive and hateful action to end a woman's right to choose abortion or not.


I demand that the Republican party end their aggressive and hateful action to harrass immigrants to this country.

I demand that the Congress of the United states and the president of the United States enact a law to increase the minimum wage to TEN dollars an hour and also to extend unemployment benefits to a year or more for all people whose unemployment benefits expired after 6 months even though they still seek work.

I demand that the Congress of the United States to not privatize social security benefits in any form including taking a percentage of the social security tax and placing it in private accounts. People can already create their own pensions with money after taxes in the private sector.

I demand that the congress make all of a person's earned income taxable for social security FICA tax purposes and remove the 88,000 dollar taxable income limit. This will make social security solvent for many years to come.

I demand the congress increase the payroll tax in order to make social security solvent as well.

I demand congress and the president enact a prescription drug benefit under Medicare Part B which covers 80 percent of medication cost, with no extra premium, no extra deductibles, no means test and no coverage gaps, and no penalties for signing up in a succeeding year.

I demand congress repeal the faulty Medicare law HR 1 / S 1 passed by congress in Nov 2003.

I demand congress enact single payer universal health insurance for every citizen as minimum coverage.

I demand that congress and the president enact universal vote by mail throughout the 50 states of the United States of America with paper ballots easy to fill out and difficult to change or invalidate by Republican Party officials. This will prevent Republicans from vote suppression by skin color and political party which happened electronically and in person in the 2000 and 2004 elections.

I demand that congress and the president enact that civil servants on every state payroll keep track of voter registrations and vote counting of mail in votes in each precinct and not companies such as Choicepoint. We need to take the Republican Party out of the business of keeping track of voter registration and counting votes.

I demand that congress and the president ban the secretary of state in each of the 50 states from engaging in politics especially acting as a campaign official for a presidential campaign.

I demand congress enact legislation protecting private pensions from corporations deliberately declaring bankruptcy or ending pensions outright.

Posted by: www.buyblue.biz on May 9, 2006 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

republicrat, let me ask you a serious question.

How many countries has Hugo Chavez invaded?

Posted by: heavy on May 9, 2006 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

republicrat: Your comment is also a sign of a certain kind of American liberalism: foreign crazies are always more supportable than elected American governments.

Your comment is a sign of a certain kind of American conservatism which lies about American liberalism and its various components and which adopts and supports the principles of democracy only when it serves their own selfish purposes.

At least Chavez hasn't illegally invaded a foreign country on pretext and lies, killed hundreds of thousands of innocents in pursuit of a dishonest and corrupt foreign policy, and emboldened terrorists by embracing their methods and philogophy.

Bush has.

So, who is the crazy here?

It's Bush.

So, it's really "foreign democratically-elected leaders are more supportable than domestic crazed tyrants who obtained their leadership through election fraud, criminal conduct, lies, and coverups.

If Hitler were alive, a Republican (which no doubt he would have been), and president, you would be supporting him, republicrat, even to the point of defending concentration camps, torture, and the illegal, unilateral invasion of other countries.

In fact, Hitler is alive and well and doing all those things; he merely changed his name to Bush.

Posted by: Advocate for God on May 10, 2006 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

So nothing or very trivial points in the platform on the following:

1. The Global War on Terrorism

2. Securing America's Borders against ILLEGAL Aliens

3. Coming up with an overall independent Energy Policy

Just the same old Pro-Socialist, Anti-Business bullshit we've seen from the current clowns that represent the new Left in this country. Then you sprinkle in the same old Bushitler crap in the comments, stir and you get? Nothing much really. Nothing at all.

Posted by: Mike on May 10, 2006 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sure that no one but conservative buffoons has confidence in Bush these days.

Since it's the conservatives calling the shots that's all that matters.

It means nothing that Europe or other parts of the world are unhappy with the US. It doesn't change or effect a single thing. Our economy will still be one of the great wonders of the modern world and our military, already the most dominant in history, grows stronger each year.

It does matter what people think of Europe. They have nothing but history. What influence that gets them is waning. The security council seats held by France and England will be combined into one EU seat while India, Japan and Brazil will be added. Even then the UN will still be both inept and useless. At some point the nast majority of world governments will be true democracies and we can consider a true world court.

Until then this half-assed effort in the Hague is pitiful. If and when it does happen the world court will not be in Europe. In fact, by the time the US could possibly be ready for such a step, and NOTHING happens without the US, Western Europe could be living under Islamic law. The 3 large Asian nations with security council seats will demand any world court be in Asia.

Posted by: rdw on May 10, 2006 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Why doesn't rdw get in to Star Wars?

Betcha Jacques is looking for a piece of that action! The Iranians now have missles that can reach Paris. That announcment was all for European ears. Ole Jacques and pals best be careful how they treat their Islamic immigrants. The Iranians will be more than happy to negotiate for any issues on their behalf.

Posted by: rdw on May 10, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

As a lifelong Republican voter, I can say that if this is the agenda of the left, I can agree with about 2/3 of it. Democrats only have to tone down the rhetoric to get someone like me to vote for them. I thought Bill Clinton was an excellent president, and I thought the same of his 2 predecessors, Reagan and George HW Bush. I suppose I'm the current (and opposite) equivilant of the "Regan Democrats" of 1980 and 1984. I respect Hillary Clinton and will probably vote for her unless she is running against Guliani or McCain, who hold closer to my views.

Note: I haven't read any of the comments above, and I don't know how to work spellchecker on a blog. I'm just offering you my thoughts if you want to see how you can get a guy like me to vote Democrat:

On the agenda, here's my (I think moderate Republican) take:


Undo the bankruptcy bill enacted by this administration - (I never liked the new bankrupcty bill).


Repeal the estate tax repeal (Carnege said that he who dies rich dies discraced). However, we should not discourage savings by saying that the money you worked hard to leave behind belongs to the government,not your children or husband or wife.

Increase the minimum wage and index it to the CPI (I studied economics in college, and I always thought that a mimimum wage (within reason, not $40 an hour for unskilled labor) was desirable, even though economic principles are against this. I also think that all public sector and minimum wage laws should be indexed to the CPI. It's only fair.


Universal health care (obviously the devil is in the details on this one) (I haven't mentioned before, but I live in London, and have done so for the last 5 years. I don't want a Universal health care plan imposed on America, if it means UK style socialised medicine. Imagine if your health care was administrated by the DMV. I know a few doctors here, and they are dedicated, but they are beaurocrats. Remember, 80% of the world's medical innovations come from the USA. If we adopt socialised medicine, all medical innovation will come to a grinding halt.

That said, we could force all citizens to purchase insurance, like they do in Germany and France, but is government coercion really the answer?


Increase CAFE standards. Some other environment-related regulation (I agree 100%, as long as they don't crush the working class.)


Pro-reproductive rights, getting rid of abstinence-only education, improving education about and access to contraception including the morning after pill, and supporting choice. On the last one there's probably some disagreement around the edges (parental notification, for example), but otherwise. (I agree totally, as long as we can all agree that abortion is undesirable, and that there are hundreds of thousands of families that would love to adobpt children)


Simplify and increase the progressivity of the tax code (Agree on the first part. On the second part, the US has one of the most progressive tax codes on the planet. In the UK (where I live), the highest tax rate is 40%, but you reach that at about 25,000($50,000). I believe you don't reach this level in America until you earn 6 figures. In the US, currently, most taxes are paid by the very rich, while in the UK, everyone has to shell out. I recently read, sorry no notation, that the average family in the US pays about 8% in taxes. The average family in Europe pays much more, as much as 40%


Kill faith-based funding. Certainly kill federal funding of anything that engages in religious discrimination. (Churches should not be discrimiated against simply because of their ideas. If the Catholic Charities are as good or better than the Red Cross in eliminating African hunger, they should be allowed to do so. No humanitarian cause should be thwarted because the people who espouse them happen to be Christian, Moslem, or Hindu.
Reduce corporate giveaways


Have Medicare run the Medicare drug plan (I don't understand this, please email me @ juliolopez95376@yahoo.com ) if anyone wants to clarify.


Force companies to stop underfunding their pensions. Change corporate bankruptcy law to put workers and retirees at the head of the line with respect to their pensions.
(I agree that workers and retirees should be at the head of the line, but defined benefits has now just about bankrupted GM and Ford. How would you "Force" them to undertake this?
Leave the states alone on issues like medical marijuana. Generally move towards "more decriminalization" of drugs, though the details complicated there too.


Paper ballots (Agreed 100%)


Improve access to daycare and other pro-family policies. Obiously details matter. (Agreed)


Raise the cap on wages covered by FICA taxes.


Marriage rights for all, which includes "gay marriage" and quicker transition to citizenship for the foreign spouses of citizens.(Agreed). Let me also add that Canada has a points system of allowing immigrants to come to Canada. They put special emphasis on those that contribute to their society by either being highly educated or willing to invest large sums of money in their economy. I know Canadian Immigration Laws sound racist to American ears, but it has done Canada well. And isn't Canada the ne plus ultra of the Left in North America?

Julio Lopez


Posted by: julio on May 10, 2006 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

As a lifelong Republican voter, I can say that if this is the agenda of the left, I can agree with about 2/3 of it. Democrats only have to tone down the rhetoric to get someone like me to vote for them. I thought Bill Clinton was an excellent president, and I thought the same of his 2 predecessors, Reagan and George HW Bush. I suppose I'm the current (and opposite) equivilant of the "Regan Democrats" of 1980 and 1984. I respect Hillary Clinton and will probably vote for her unless she is running against Guliani or McCain, who hold closer to my views.

Note: I haven't read any of the comments above, and I don't know how to work spellchecker on a blog. I'm just offering you my thoughts if you want to see how you can get a guy like me to vote Democrat:

On the agenda, here's my (I think moderate Republican) take:


Undo the bankruptcy bill enacted by this administration - (I never liked the new bankrupcty bill).


Repeal the estate tax repeal (Carnege said that he who dies rich dies discraced). However, we should not discourage savings by saying that the money you worked hard to leave behind belongs to the government,not your children or husband or wife.

Increase the minimum wage and index it to the CPI (I studied economics in college, and I always thought that a mimimum wage (within reason, not $40 an hour for unskilled labor) was desirable, even though economic principles are against this. I also think that all public sector and minimum wage laws should be indexed to the CPI. It's only fair.


Universal health care (obviously the devil is in the details on this one) (I haven't mentioned before, but I live in London, and have done so for the last 5 years. I don't want a Universal health care plan imposed on America, if it means UK style socialised medicine. Imagine if your health care was administrated by the DMV. I know a few doctors here, and they are dedicated, but they are beaurocrats. Remember, 80% of the world's medical innovations come from the USA. If we adopt socialised medicine, all medical innovation will come to a grinding halt.

That said, we could force all citizens to purchase insurance, like they do in Germany and France, but is government coercion really the answer?


Increase CAFE standards. Some other environment-related regulation (I agree 100%, as long as they don't crush the working class.)


Pro-reproductive rights, getting rid of abstinence-only education, improving education about and access to contraception including the morning after pill, and supporting choice. On the last one there's probably some disagreement around the edges (parental notification, for example), but otherwise. (I agree totally, as long as we can all agree that abortion is undesirable, and that there are hundreds of thousands of families that would love to adobpt children)


Simplify and increase the progressivity of the tax code (Agree on the first part. On the second part, the US has one of the most progressive tax codes on the planet. In the UK (where I live), the highest tax rate is 40%, but you reach that at about 25,000($50,000). I believe you don't reach this level in America until you earn 6 figures. In the US, currently, most taxes are paid by the very rich, while in the UK, everyone has to shell out. I recently read, sorry no notation, that the average family in the US pays about 8% in taxes. The average family in Europe pays much more, as much as 40%


Kill faith-based funding. Certainly kill federal funding of anything that engages in religious discrimination. (Churches should not be discrimiated against simply because of their ideas. If the Catholic Charities are as good or better than the Red Cross in eliminating African hunger, they should be allowed to do so. No humanitarian cause should be thwarted because the people who espouse them happen to be Christian, Moslem, or Hindu.
Reduce corporate giveaways


Have Medicare run the Medicare drug plan (I don't understand this, please email me @ juliolopez95376@yahoo.com ) if anyone wants to clarify.


Force companies to stop underfunding their pensions. Change corporate bankruptcy law to put workers and retirees at the head of the line with respect to their pensions.
(I agree that workers and retirees should be at the head of the line, but defined benefits has now just about bankrupted GM and Ford. How would you "Force" them to undertake this?
Leave the states alone on issues like medical marijuana. Generally move towards "more decriminalization" of drugs, though the details complicated there too.


Paper ballots (Agreed 100%)


Improve access to daycare and other pro-family policies. Obiously details matter. (Agreed)


Raise the cap on wages covered by FICA taxes.


Marriage rights for all, which includes "gay marriage" and quicker transition to citizenship for the foreign spouses of citizens.(Agreed). Let me also add that Canada has a points system of allowing immigrants to come to Canada. They put special emphasis on those that contribute to their society by either being highly educated or willing to invest large sums of money in their economy. I know Canadian Immigration Laws sound racist to American ears, but it has done Canada well. And isn't Canada the ne plus ultra of the Left in North America?

Julio Lopez


Posted by: julio on May 10, 2006 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: Paris Brandy on May 12, 2006 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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