Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

June 6, 2006

HE'S SPOKEN 'REPEATEDLY,' BUT NOT 'LATELY'....As part of the White House's drive to impress the religious right with talk about the Federal Marriage Amendment, Press Secretary Tony Snow sat down with Focus on the Family's James Dobson for an interview yesterday, which was aired today. Snow insisted that the president is not a Johnny-come-lately to the issue.

During that interview, however, Dobson pointedly asked Snow about tough allegations being raised in some conservative circles that the president had announced his support for MPA only for political reasons.

"This is an issue on which George W. Bush has been very clear over the years -- and he's spoken repeatedly about it," Snow told Dobson.

That's about half-true. Searching through White House transcripts, I found that in 2004, Bush mentioned his support for a constitutional amendment "defining and protecting marriage as a union of a man and a woman" in public speeches over 100 times. In 2005? Zero. In 2006, before this past weekend's radio address? Zero.

In other words, Bush has spoken about the amendment "repeatedly" -- but only when he needed to use his base to get a second term.

E. J. Dionne wrote today that the GOP "thinks its base of social conservatives is a nest of dummies who have no memories and respond like bulls whenever red flags are waved in their faces." Sounds about right.

Note to the religious right: are you going to take this lying down? After all you've done for the GOP? It sounds like these guys just take you for granted and only call when they want money or foot soldiers. I say you teach them a lesson -- leave the Republicans behind and form your own party that won't compromise and won't ignore the issues you really care about, only to hold half-hearted votes before an election. If not, GOP leaders will just assume they can string you along without consequences. You don't want that do you?

Steve Benen 2:14 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (87)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

leave the Republicans behind and form your own party

Yes, by all means, form your own party....


in Botswana.

Posted by: ckelly on June 6, 2006 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Hee. What a friend they have in Jesus. But not in George W. Bush.

Posted by: shortstop on June 6, 2006 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

"In other words, Bush has spoken about the amendment "repeatedly" -- but only when he needed to use his base to get a second term."

Republican base = suckers!

Ha-ha! [/muntz]

Posted by: Tom DC/VA on June 6, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Um, I'd like to think the religio-social conservatives will rise to that bait, but can we really expect to be that lucky? Ah well, a girl can dream.

Posted by: Adoannie on June 6, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

E. J. Dionne wrote today that the GOP "thinks its base of social conservatives is a nest of dummies who have no memories and respond like bulls whenever red flags are waved in their faces."

Well, but the GOP can be forgiven for thinking that, since that's exactly how the Republican base has been behaving for lo, these many years. These idiots are way cheap dates; you don't even have to buy them dinner first.

Posted by: shortstop on June 6, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

These idiots are way cheap dates; you don't even have to buy them dinner first.

Tax cuts that don't really benefit them, some gratuitous gay-bashing, a little rah-rah exploitation of the military---yeah, a Tijuana brothel requires more of its elected representatives.

Posted by: haha on June 6, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Good work, Steve. Is this the phrase you searched at the WH site: "defining and protecting marriage as a union of a man and a woman"? Or did you search other phrases/terms as well?

Posted by: smintheus on June 6, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Note to the religious right: are you going to take this lying down? After all you've done for the GOP? It sounds like these guys just take you for granted and only call when they want money or foot soldiers.

Replace "religious right" with "african-americans" and "GOP" with "democrats" and you'll have two true statements.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 6, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Replace "religious right" with "african-americans" and "GOP" with "democrats" and you'll have two true statements.

Mike, could you name the specific pieces of federal legislation or proposed constitutional amendments--as specific, say, as DOMA or FMA--which Democrats have repeatedly promised the black community and then utterly failed to pursue?

Posted by: shortstop on June 6, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Bend over and show me your red spot Mike.

Posted by: Jesus loves Mike on June 6, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

While I'm sure a religious right party would be great for us in the short term, perhaps not having a sizeable party devoted entirely to establishing a theocracy (snide comments about the GOP aside) is a good thing . . .

Posted by: Jeremy on June 6, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

so the natural question is, why all of a sudden now? oh yeah, i just saw the next entry: "ELECTION/PRIMARY DAY IN EIGHT STATES."

i wonder if there might be any sort of connection...

Posted by: astro on June 6, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

George Bush does not govern for political reasons, he follows what's in his heart. Everyone knows this. God tells him what to do. Apparently, God only cares about marriage in even numbered years. Who are we, mere mortals, to question the Word of God? hmm?

Posted by: northzax on June 6, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Mike, could you name the specific pieces of federal legislation or proposed constitutional amendments--as specific, say, as DOMA or FMA--which Democrats have repeatedly promised the black community and then utterly failed to pursue?

No, just a general take-it-for-grantedness that is inevitable when one group pretty much is solely identified with one party.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 6, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Mikey boy, I'm next.

Posted by: Dubya on June 6, 2006 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

The problem is that their extremist nutcases hold obedience to be one of their core virtues. So the Birchers or the Fundies might vent steam but in the end they always fall in line.

Whereas our extremist nutcases go vote for Nader and hand victory to the other guy.

Posted by: S Ra on June 6, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, by all means, form your own party....


in Botswana.

No, not in Botswana please. It's the most functional Southern African country there is, in spite of a 36% HIV rate. And Botswana is really trying to deal with HIV in an intelligent way, too, even though it's a highly Catholic country. Last thing they need is a bunch of fundies dropping in.

Posted by: quietann on June 6, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

... the GOP 'thinks its base of social conservatives is a nest of dummies who have no memories and respond like bulls whenever red flags are waved in their faces.'

To echo what shortstop said, the GOP has no reason not to think this is so. For 25 years now, they've been faithfully trooping to the polls with the idea that this latest set of GOP candidates will "do something" about all the abortion and sex out there. They're perpetually disappointed, but they keep coming right back. And as a red-state resident I can assure you that there's no sign of that changing.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on June 6, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

I think the new religious party thing would make life better for us all in a number of ways.

Posted by: American Citizen on June 6, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Whereas our extremist nutcases go vote for Nader and hand victory to the other guy.

Perot?

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 6, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Replace "religious right" with "african-americans" and "GOP" with "democrats" and you'll have two true statements.

Mike is certainly right that there are times when african-american issues have taken a back seat to other considerations within the Democratic Party. I think one of the more contentious issues would be gun-control. Generally you'll find that black politicians from urban areas with high-crime rates are very pro-gun control, but the Democratic Party has not always had a lot success moving legislation forward that the black politicians would deem real and effective change in terms of gun control.

But I'm not sure that what the GOP does with gay marriage is the political equivalent of gun control for democrats. What the GOP does seems to be wholly motivated by political expediency, and thus pretty cynical. For example why a constitutional ammendment? It just smacks of political grand-standing that has no intention of changing policy. Rather just checking off a box prior to the elections: "gay-bashing." Check. Next up? American English.

Posted by: cyntax on June 6, 2006 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Alek
To echo what shortstop said, the GOP has no reason not to think this is so. For 25 years now, they've been faithfully trooping to the polls with the idea that this latest set of GOP candidates will "do something" about all the abortion and sex out there.

The key is how many of them vote? How many are mobilized? Same goes for the dems. You want to win an election, and the easiest votes are the base. But you have to drag a few other from the other side. The extremists from both sides remind me of people that don't realize what they think is their natural musk is just plain BO to others.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 6, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Is this the phrase you searched at the WH site: "defining and protecting marriage as a union of a man and a woman"? Or did you search other phrases/terms as well?

Good question. I searched for a handful of phrases, including "Federal Marriage Amendment" and "Marriage Protection Amendment," which were less successful. I eventually found that when the president talked about the effort, he emphasized his belief about "marriage" being between "a man and a woman." Because those are the phrases Bush used most, that's what I used for my search.

Posted by: Steve Benen on June 6, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike is exaggerating (to put it kindly) but I can think of one place recently where the Dems have let down blacks very severely: free and fair elections.

Posted by: EmmaAnne on June 6, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike admits outright that he can't actually point to any examples, but feels okay just throwing the point out there without any facts because - well, it just is.

Mike, the AA community votes Democratic, in part, because the Democrats have demonstrated a greater concern for the working people of the United States. The Republicans, not so much. They vote Democratic, in part, because the Democrats have demonstrated little tolerance for racism in their ranks. The Republicans, not so much. They vote Democratic, in part, because they have seen that Democratic positions in Congress aren't just granted to improve the visibility of tokens. The Republicans, not so much.


Shorter heavy
- back up your assertions or STFU.

Posted by: heavy on June 6, 2006 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

EmmaJane
Red State Mike is exaggerating (to put it kindly)

There is often more "truth" in a caricature than in a plain photo.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 6, 2006 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

Is this the phrase you searched at the WH site: "defining and protecting marriage as a union of a man and a woman"? Or did you search other phrases/terms as well?

Because those are the phrases Bush used most, that's what I used for my search.

PWND.

Posted by: ChrisS on June 6, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

There is often more "truth" in a caricature than in a plain photo.

Absolutely, but what you're calling a caricature was actually a lazy, vague, unsupported analogy. Try harder next time.

Posted by: shortstop on June 6, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Of course they know it's a ploy.

And they thing Bush is a GENIUS for manipulating them with this ploy, because by using this ploy, he can get more Republicans elected, which will get their agenda served (wash, rinse, repeat).

I wonder what they will think when the Senate and House are 100% Republican, and they still keep bringing up the "evil threat of abortion and gay marriage" before every election.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on June 6, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Steve,

What you said is pretty close to the mark. The turth is that there are at least four major political groupings in the United States:

socially conservative, economically conservative
socially conservative, economically liberal
socially liberal, economically conservative
socially liberal, economically liberal

The problem is that because of the two-party, winner-take all system, these four strains of thought have been forced into only two major political parties.

That is why there is always so much internal strain within both the Democratic and Republican parties...because both have to appeal to a fairly diverse set of voters in order to win elections.

Posted by: mfw13 on June 6, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Every now and again I get the idea that Republicans all sat down and read Orwell's 1984 and thought the government there was a dang good idea.

War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.

To which RSM adds:
"There is often more "truth" in a caricature than in a plain photo."

Truth is a Lie.

Yep, modern Republicans to a "T".

Posted by: Nindid on June 6, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

BTW: DJIA

What was that about "biggest economic growth in 20 years"?

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on June 6, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Is it me, or did Red State Mike just call 19% of the 1992 U.S. electorate "extremist nutcases"?

Additionally, see Fair Vote's Analysis of the race:

Perot's vote totals in themselves likely did not cause Clinton to win. Even if all of these states had shifted to Bush and none of Bush's victories had been reversed (as seems plausible, in fact, as Bush won by less than 5% only in states that a Republican in a close election could expect to carry, particularly before some of the partisan shifts that took place later in the 1990s - Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Dakota and Virginia), Clinton still would have won the electoral college vote, by 281 to 257. But such a result obviously would have made the race a good deal closer.

Posted by: S Ra on June 6, 2006 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

There is often more "truth" in a caricature than in a plain photo

false. a caricature is a distorition which exaggerates superficial appearances at the expense of the more-complex reality in order to emphasize things that interest the caricaturist and amuse the audience. the only truth in a caricature is in the mind of the beholder.

Posted by: cleek on June 6, 2006 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

heavy
Mike, the AA community votes Democratic, in part, because the Democrats have demonstrated a greater concern for the working people of the United States. The Republicans, not so much.

Oh Christ, spare me the campaign speech. Like I don't work two jobs already? Or know lots of dual income families that lean conservative? GMAFB.

They vote Democratic, in part, because the Democrats have demonstrated little tolerance for racism in their ranks. The Republicans, not so much. They vote Democratic, in part, because they have seen that Democratic positions in Congress aren't just granted to improve the visibility of tokens. The Republicans, not so much.

Yea, like the AA community has thrived while sitting in the hip pocket of the democrats. The heighth of stupidity is the do the same thing each time (AA vote democrat) and expect a different outcome.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 6, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

false. a caricature is a distorition which exaggerates superficial appearances at the expense of the more-complex reality in order to emphasize things that interest the caricaturist and amuse the audience. the only truth in a caricature is in the mind of the beholder.

Wrong. a caricature is a picture that contains all of the needles and less of the hay, thereby improving its signal to noise ratio.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 6, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Better yet, the religious right should complete their takeover of the GOP and eject the apostate country club conservatives, the big business republicans and all those not completely enthusiastic about enshrining a theocracy in the USA. Let the Southern Baptists have the GOP and let them have the electoral votes of old Confederacy but fight them every where else.

Posted by: rk on June 6, 2006 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder what they will think when the Senate and House are 100% Republican, and they still keep bringing up the "evil threat of abortion and gay marriage" before every election.

Gosh, who first brought up abortions and gay marriages in the first place? What on earth did we argue about before they were the pissing contest du jour?

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 6, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Mike, could you name the specific pieces of federal legislation or proposed constitutional amendments--as specific, say, as DOMA or FMA--which Democrats have repeatedly promised the black community and then utterly failed to pursue?

Er, not only did the GOP "pursue" DOMA, it passed it--and Democratic President Bill Clinton then signed it into law and then bragged about it on Christian radio. And obviously the GOP is also pursuing the FMA.

Posted by: GOP on June 6, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

I think the current status of the GOP is evidence that their coalition is on very shaky ground. They reached this position by promising the moon to the fundamentalist wing, while running stealth campaigns to the general public to mask their extreme policies.

Unfortunatly for them, they are now stuck between alienating regular Americans with crazy stunts like like the ghoulish Terry Schivo debacle or upsetting their evangelical base by not doing crazy things like that.

The only hope they have is if they can somehow start a new war between now and election day without it seeming like it is their fault.

Fool me once.... and all that.

Posted by: nindid on June 6, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

"I remain opposed to same-sex marriage. I believe marriage is an institution for the union of a man and a woman. This has been my long-standing position, and it is not being reviewed or reconsidered."
--Democratic President Bill Clinton, in an interview in The Advocate, June 1996.

What a hate-filled fundamentalist bigot Bill Clinton is!

Posted by: GOP on June 6, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Note to the religious right: are you going to take this lying down? After all you've done for the GOP? It sounds like these guys just take you for granted and only call when they want money or foot soldiers. I say you teach them a lesson -- leave the Republicans behind and form your own party that won't compromise and won't ignore the issues you really care about, only to hold half-hearted votes before an election.

that would mostly work to the advantage of the political left, wouldn't it? Of course you'd say something like that if you really dislike and disrespect the right, wouldn't you?

Posted by: republicrat on June 6, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Check out the signal to noise ratio of this caricature.

And I've got dibs before Dubya and Mary.

Bend over Mike-- NOW!

Posted by: Dick (the man of the White House) on June 6, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

a caricature is a picture that contains all of the needles and less of the hay

false. a caricature contains only what caricaturist decides he wants to include.

Posted by: cleek on June 6, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

a caricature is a picture that contains all of the needles and less of the hay

false. a caricature contains only what caricaturist decides he wants to include.

You just agreed with me.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 6, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

The ultimate sign of winger desperation is when they start quoting Bill Clinton, or saying "Bill Clinton did it too!"

Translated into submarine talk, this is the same as yelling "Dive! Dive! Dive!"

It is ironic. The right villified Clinton while he was in office over his positions on gays -- heck, they built a whole political movement on it! But now, when having arguments over this proposed Constitutional amendment, they fling quotes like that out showing he was... what? A moderate or conservative on the issue?

Either way, doesn't that show them to be a bunch of lying, disengenuous, say-anything (*&#$#### or what?

-- Bokonon

Posted by: Bokonon on June 6, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

RSM,

No, actually, the statement you quote doesn't agree with you; it disagrees. Rather, it points out that while your statement may be a possible result (if the caricaturist is both perceptive and well intentioned), it is just as possible for a caricature to contain all hay and no needles, either because the caricaturist missed the salient point, or because they had the intention of obscuring it.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 6, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

RSM: Gosh, who first brought up abortions and gay marriages in the first place?

The religious right.

====================

RSM and Will Allen must be related, what with all their "goshes" and inanity.

Maybe "gosh" is just the new word-of-the-week in conservativeland.

The extremists from both sides remind me of people that don't realize what they think is their natural musk is just plain BO to others.

And RSM should know, as he clearly believes what he says he thinks is natural musk rather than BO.

Posted by: Advocate for God on June 6, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely
Rather, it points out that while your statement may be a possible result (if the caricaturist is both perceptive and well intentioned), it is just as possible for a caricature to contain all hay and no needles, either because the caricaturist missed the salient point, or because they had the intention of obscuring it.

Well, this is an excursion, but I am assuming that when someone sends someone else a picture (caricature or 5 MB digital) they are sending a signal or "telling a story". The caricature (CAVEAT! If well-drawn!) does so better by accentuating the point and removing the unnecessary.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 6, 2006 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

The ultimate sign of winger desperation is when they start quoting Bill Clinton, or saying "Bill Clinton did it too!"

No, it's called pointing out the hypocrisy of the democrats. Easy pickings. Low hanging fruit (said Monica).

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 6, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

The problem is that your hatred of 'theocons' and 'fundies' is not shared to any significant extent by the America people.

For several generations we have seen Americans vote with their feet and their moving vans for the superior quality of life in red state, fundamentalist America. You see, apparently people who may not go to church themselves enjoy the positive cultural environment that is created when people who do go to church make the rules. It is no accident that the only Democratic presidential candidates that America has been able to stomach touted themselves as church-going Southern fundamentalists, as people whose values were well out of the mainstream of the Democratic Party.

Posted by: Charles Warren on June 6, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

RSM: No, it's called pointing out the hypocrisy of the democrats.

It would only be hypocrisy if Dems supported Clinton's actions.

Merely saying Clinton did it too proves nothing about Democratic hypocrisy.

Maybe about Clinton's hypocrisy, if you can show Clinton saying something different now, but not about Democratic hypocrisy.

It's easy pickings to point out your exaggerated and flawed logic as you desperately attempt to smear the left.

Posted by: Advocate for God on June 6, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

No, Red State Mike, it is not about the Democrats. What it is really about showing your own party's moral bankruptcy and complete lack of intelligible principles, other than the ruthless pursuit and accumulation of power.

When in doubt, attack and confuse and divide. Thanks for illustrating my point so well.

But it works good, right? Problem is, if the rubes eventually catch on to the GOP's mountebank act, they will come for you some night with pitchforks and torches.

So keep chanting "Monica Lewinsky! Monica Lewinsky! Gays! Gays!" Chant louder. See if it works this time.

Posted by: Bokonon on June 6, 2006 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Charles Warren wrote:

For several generations we have seen Americans vote with their feet and their moving vans for the superior quality of life in red state, fundamentalist America.

Charles... I hate to tell you this, but it is called "going where the jobs are." Since the southland has been eagerly luring jobs out of the northern states with low labor costs, cheap land, pliant environmental standards, anti-union policies, and sometimes outright corporate welfare in the form of tax breaks, incentives, etc. Essentially, playing the third world nation card and draining the north's economy.

The sneering about your moral superiority may stop as China, Mexico and India play the same card, and the economic gains trickle away. Will that be God's judgement when it does? Or the fault of the liberals? Activist judges, perhaps?

-- Bokonon

Posted by: Bokonon on June 6, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

You just agreed with me.

hardly. stating the obvious fact that a caricature is one person's exaggerated cherry picking of superficial appearances is in now way agreeing that "There is often more "truth" in a caricature than in a plain photo".

here's a caricature of what you said at 5:26:

    Well, I am ass. When someone sends someone a cat, they are sending a signal or "telling a story". The cat (CAT!) does better by pointing.

look at all the pretty needles I found! i'd say that captures the truth in your statement far better than any accurate transcription ever could!

Posted by: cleek on June 6, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

Charles Warren: For several generations we have seen Americans vote with their feet and their moving vans for the superior quality of life in red state, fundamentalist America. You see, apparently people who may not go to church themselves enjoy the positive cultural environment that is created when people who do go to church make the rules.

Hey, it's the quality of life in a "red state" canard. Haven't seen that bugaboo in awhile; let's poke with a stick and see what we get.

By what Mr. Warren are you measuring this "superior quality of life" of which you speak?

Divorce rates? Nope. Texas is higher than Massachusetts.

Education? Nope. Texas has less high school grads and less college grads.

Teen pregnancy? Nope again. Oddly the red states which are anti-abortion (and anti-sex education) also have higher teen pregnancy rates.

On the plus side the taxes are lower in red states, but then they get more money from the Fedral Government. That must be what you mean by superior quality of life: my taxes are paying for your roads.

I guess you have point Mr. Warren.

Posted by: cyntax on June 6, 2006 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

Osama_Been_Forgotten wrote: "What was that about 'biggest economic growth in 20 years'?"

Actually, it wasn't, of course. rdw, as usual, got it wrong. You have to go all the way back to ... wait for it ... Clinton ... to see economic growth even better. Not to mention that growth under Clinton was far more balanced and benefited far more of the population. Not that facts have ever bothered rdw or his ilk.

Posted by: PaulB on June 6, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

Chuckles, our resident clown, wrote: "Next?"

ROFL.... Is that really the best you've got? How can there be a "next" when you haven't even found a "first?"

Posted by: PaulB on June 6, 2006 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Wow... that settles it. If Scott McClellan said it, it must be true.

Right?

Or is this just another case where this administration uses a torrent of words to confuse, divide and mislead BOTH its opponents AND its supporters, while pursuing its real objectives on a separate track?

Posted by: Bokonon on June 6, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

Hint to Cheney: McClellan speaking is not Bush speaking. Quit lying, especially so obviously.

It may reflect Bush's thoughts.

The statements may be attributable to Bush vicariously, as in vicarious liability.

But it isn't Bush actually speaking.

Posted by: Advocate for God on June 6, 2006 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Cheney --

Sorry I didn't post for six minutes. Guess since I left the tangled logic in your comment unrebutted for more than 5 minutes, I've defaulted on my right to debate you. Those are the rules, after all.

Really sorry about that. I know you were looking forward to a couple more fun-filled rounds of enlightening discourse. I was looking forward to convincing you that by focusing on what Scott McClellan did or did not say, you are missing the bigger point here, but ... I messed up. Sorry.

But then again ... if you call yourself "Cheney," there is a pretty high probability that you selected your thoughts years ago. Or had them selected for you, like computer programming.

Posted by: Bokonon on June 6, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

I guess in cyntax-world quality of life is measured by exactly four metrics, divorce rate, high school grade and graduation rate, and teen pregnancy rate.

Thank goodness that world exists only in his imagination.

Posted by: GOP on June 6, 2006 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

I guess in cyntax-world quality of life is measured by exactly four metrics, divorce rate, high school grade and graduation rate, and teen pregnancy rate.

Thank goodness that world exists only in his imagination.

Please, don't be so simplistic; those are just four examples and a few of them (teen pregnancy, divorce rate) should be important to such a morally superior party as the GOP.

But hey GOP, since you're on the line, what are some of the metrics you'd like to measure this by? Murder rates? Education? Income?

Certainly quality of life is more than just any collection of metrics but it would interesting to hear what's important to you.

Posted by: cyntax on June 6, 2006 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

boko,

The ultimate sign of winger desperation is when they start quoting Bill Clinton, or saying "Bill Clinton did it too!"

Ignoring their own clear double standards is a typical example left-wing lunacy.

But now, when having arguments over this proposed Constitutional amendment, they fling quotes like that out showing [Bill Clinton] was... what?

Not just "was." Was and is. As you would describe him were he a Republican taking the exact same position: an evil, hate-filled, homophobic fundamentalist bigot.

Posted by: GOP on June 6, 2006 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK
Well, this is an excursion, but I am assuming that when someone sends someone else a picture (caricature or 5 MB digital) they are sending a signal or "telling a story". The caricature (CAVEAT! If well-drawn!) does so better by accentuating the point and removing the unnecessary.

You caveat in this "excursion" isn't (as I've alerady noted) the only one that should be applied (and your "telling a story" excuse for abandoning connection with reality conflicts with the "truth" claim with which you started this discussion of caricature), and even the application of that caveat illustrates why my post and the one that you claimed agreed with you in fact do not agree with your earlier claim that caricature is, rather than can be, "more needle and less hay".

Posted by: cmdicely on June 6, 2006 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

cyntax,

Please, don't be so simplistic; those are just four examples

Brilliant. Now just document the hundreds of other socieconomic characteristics that affect quality of life, and you might have a shadow of a beginning of an outline of an actual argument.

Only not even then. You may prefer to live in a sclerotic, declining, overtaxed, overregulated, high-unemployment northern state--because, hey, at least the teen pregnancy rate is low!--but apparently other Americans don't.

Posted by: GOP on June 6, 2006 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

Charlie posting as "Cheney" quoted Bush: ... Because marriage is a sacred institution ...

If, indeed, marriage is a "sacred" institution, then it is an "establishment of religion" and under the US Constitution the Congress may make no law regarding it. If you believe that marriage is "sacred" and you want to ban same-sex marriage, then you need to repeal the First Amendment.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on June 6, 2006 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

GOP, Cheney --

Once again, you are deliberately trying to bury the point in a flurry of postings. And then claim victory because nobody is flinging postings up as fast.

The point isn't what this President SAYS -- that is almost worthless. It is what he DOES.

And I repeat -- the issue here is not Chappaquidick, or "liberal hypocrisy," or Monica Lewinsky, or Bill Clinton, or Jimmy-Carter-got-attacked-by-a-bunny-rabbit. Correct the knee jerk reaction. Stop the diversions. This is an issue about whether George W. Bush and the GOP really intend this constitution amendment seriously or not.

OR -- could it be -- that they are laughing up their sleeves at party loyalists like yourselves, who carry their water and defend their backs?

Is that painful to think about? That these guys may have complete contempt for the party base?

Posted by: Bokonon on June 6, 2006 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

Don P, posting as "GOP", wrote: I guess in cyntax-world quality of life is measured by exactly four metrics, divorce rate, high school grade and graduation rate, and teen pregnancy rate [...] You may prefer to live in a sclerotic, declining, overtaxed, overregulated, high-unemployment northern state--because, hey, at least the teen pregnancy rate is low!

This is a perfect example of the sort of belligerent bullshit that Don P is well known for.

Here's what Charles Warren wrote, that cyntax was responding to: "For several generations we have seen Americans vote with their feet and their moving vans for the superior quality of life in red state, fundamentalist America. You see, apparently people who may not go to church themselves enjoy the positive cultural environment that is created when people who do go to church make the rules."

cyntax responded to Warren's claim that when "fundamentalists" who "do go to church make the rules" the result is a "positive cultural environment."

cyntax responded directly to Warren's claim by asserting that that "red states" (e.g. Texas) have higher divorce rates, fewer high school and college graduates, and higher rates of teen pregnancy than "blue states" (e.g. Massachusetts).

cyntax's rebuttal goes directly to Warren's claims about a "positive cultural environment" and even more directly to the specific attributes of a "positive cultural environment" that "fundamentalists who do go to church" typically claim to espouse, e.g. marital fidelity, the sanctity of the family, youthful chastity and abstinence, etc.

Whereas Don P's use of the adjectives "sclerotic" and "declining" is mere empty insult and his unsupported assertions that "blue states" are "overtaxed, overregulated, high-unemployment" states is completely irrelevant.

As usual, Don P has nothing to offer but belligerence and bullshit and his neurotic compulsion to impress himself with his ability to waste people's time with his pointless nonsense.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on June 6, 2006 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely
and your "telling a story" excuse for abandoning connection with reality...

Strawman alert

Telling a story does not mean telling a lie or untruth or a fiction here. Telling a story = providing a narrative, explaining a postion, etc.

Posted by: red state mike on June 6, 2006 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike: ... a caricature is a picture that contains all of the needles and less of the hay, thereby improving its signal to noise ratio.

The thing is, a real person's real visage contains multiple "signals". A caricature selects one or some of those signals, and amplifies them through exaggeration. So the caricaturist is making choices about which information is "signal" and which information is "noise" and those choices are reflected in the caricature. That's why different caricaturists' drawings of the same person are likely to be entirely different.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on June 6, 2006 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

GOP: Brilliant. Now just document the hundreds of other socieconomic characteristics that affect quality of life, and you might have a shadow of a beginning of an outline of an actual argument.

Why must we have a complete and total catalog of all indices imaginable before we try to get a picture of the superiority you assert exists in red states? If it's so obviously true, there must be some indices that are important to you and that you (or for that matter Charles Warren) can cite.

An unsubstantiated claim is made, and then, rather than try to put some meat to it and back it up, you just raise the hysteria level of your rhetoric.

GOP, think about what's important to your quality of life as you define it, and then tell me what some socio-economic indicators are that represent your quality of life. I truly am curious to hear what they are.

BTW-- Thanks SecularAnimist for schleping through GOP's antics while I was away from the keyboard.

Posted by: cyntax on June 6, 2006 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

You know, perhaps Democrats could make inroads with evangelicals by playing up economic and social justice and equality (and that's as much class-based as it is race- or gender-based). They won't do so by blithely and smugly saying, "We (or our 'blue' states) are better than you (or your 'red' states)."

Posted by: Vincent on June 6, 2006 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

Vincent: You know, perhaps Democrats could make inroads with evangelicals by playing up economic and social justice and equality (and that's as much class-based as it is race- or gender-based). They won't do so by blithely and smugly saying, "We (or our 'blue' states) are better than you (or your 'red' states)."

That's a good observation, and you may want to double check this, but I believe it was Charles Warren posting at 5:37PM who first brought up the Red State/Blue State dichotomy in terms of quality of life. His point being that: "Americans vote with their feet and their moving vans for the superior quality of life in red state, fundamentalist America. You see, apparently people who may not go to church themselves enjoy the positive cultural environment that is created when people who do go to church make the rules."

Posted by: cyntax on June 6, 2006 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

The Democrats have been trying to make inroads with evangelical voters for... oh, I dunno. Ever since the GOP started stripping them off the party back in the 1970's.

The Democrats are STILL trying to appeal to them on economics, social justice et al, but the last several presidential elections (as well as many congressional elections, state elections et al) show that right now, abortion and gay rights and cultural issues (like, ahem, the flag-burning amendment) often trump all the other considerations.

It isn't a matter of the Dems. being condescenting or not reaching out. It is more a matter of their appeals being explicitly rejected, and an increasingly partisan and politicized evangelical leadership marching in the opposite direction.

Trust me. I currently live in Colorado, and used to live in Virginia. I know of what I speak when it comes to the power of the Religious Right, and their leaders' direct meddling in politics -- right down to telling their followers who to vote for.

-- Bokonon

Posted by: Bokonon on June 6, 2006 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

"...leave the Republicans behind and form your own party.."

Then lock yourself in a fence and shut up, all of you, about some guy in a beard named Muhammed, and his cross, who lived 2,000 years ago.

Posted by: Matt on June 6, 2006 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

Vincent: "You know, perhaps Democrats could make inroads with evangelicals ..."

... first by taking firm control of Congress, and then by stripping many of these so-called "Evangelical Christian Churches" of their tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status for injecting themselves so blatantly into the temporal world of partisan politics, in obvious violation of federal law.

Grab 'em firmly by their fiscal short hairs, and their true-believin' hearts and minds will surely follow.

Only then will they perhaps come to respect the testament of Jesus Christ, who taught us:

"For what shall it profit a man, that he should gain the world but lose his soul?" (Matthew 16:26)

"If anyone desires to be first, he must be the last of all, and must serve all." (Mark 9:35)

But then, most of these evangelicals don't really respect the living Jesus, do they? They don't understand either his parables or his Sermon on the Mount, because his lessons aren't laid out for them in stark black-and-white terms like most of the Old Testament, and don't necessarily provide them with easy right-or-wrong answers. Jesus' parable about the Good Samaritan gives most of them a headache.

Just like the Pharisees of old, they much prefer their Jesus reduced to mere icon, dead and nailed up on the cross -- or nearly dead and thrown off a bridge, like in Mel Gibson's recent film Passion of the Christ.

They'll have none of this wimpy and pansy-assed "Judge not, lest ye be judged" stuff. Nope, give them that ol' time fire-and-brimstone, where they can comfort themselves as earthly vessels to carry out God's final judgment and wrath upon the pagans and non-believers.

And what an amazing and divine coincidence, that what God wants is also exactly what they desire. To quote Dana Carvey's Church Lady: "How con-veee-nient!"

I say to Hell with them. Those who wear their faith on their sleeves do so because there is no more room in their own hearts, and I'll no longer compromise my own principles to accommodate such religious bigotry. Since they so earnestly desire a confrontation, then let them bring it on, and let us be ready to meet the challenge.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on June 7, 2006 at 1:50 AM | PERMALINK

Once you get out of a blue city or a blue state for that matter, you enter a world in which it is safe to give strangers the benefit of a doubt. A world in which you can actually safely forget to lock your car door or even your front door. A world in which a group of teenagers is nothing to be afraid of. A world in which there are non MTV-based moral rules, not anarchy posing as "tolerance". That is why the birthrate of red America is so much higher than that of blue America. If you are young and single and just want to hang out blue America is for you. If you want to build a family in a place so safe that children can actually be innocent instead of the 8-30 with no stops in between children you see so often in blue cities, then red America is for you.

Bokonon, you said that the Democrats have tried to reach out to evangelicals but been rebuffed. Well, I would point out that the people who are the Christian Right today were the children and grandchildren of New Deal Democrats and the great grandchildren of William Jennings Bryan Populists. In 1972 the Democratic Party made the decision to jettison what was left of its New Deal base and become the party of academia, Hollywood, and the New Left (hardly places where traditional religion is regarded with any respect). The Democratic Party treated evangelical voters like a high school kid treats his old friends when he wants to suck up to the cool clique. It joked with the cools about the stupid 'theocons' and 'fundies' who believed in the 'Flying Spaghetti Monster'. The evangelicals saw and understood. They understood that the agenda of the ACLU to eradicate Christianity from American public life is just what the activist wing of the Democratic Party would do if it had the power. They understood that the treatment meeted out to the Boy Scouts for their 'bigoted' belief that matching gay men with young boys is playing with fire is what the activist wing of the Democratic Party has in mind for Christian churches that oppose gay marriage. They understood that cultural issues come first to this Democratic Party and the Party of the New Deal is no more.

Economic justice ? Isn't the Democratic Party championing an immigration agenda that will drive poor black and white low to semi skilled native born Americans clear out of the work force ? So who is looking out for evangelical voters here ? Tom Tancredo or Teddy Kennedy ?

Posted by: Charles Warren on June 7, 2006 at 8:08 AM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist
The thing is, a real person's real visage contains multiple "signals". A caricature selects one or some of those signals, and amplifies them through exaggeration. So the caricaturist is making choices about which information is "signal" and which information is "noise" and those choices are reflected in the caricature. That's why different caricaturists' drawings of the same person are likely to be entirely different.

Exactly.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 7, 2006 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

E. J. Dionne wrote today that the GOP "thinks its base of social conservatives is a nest of dummies who have no memories and respond like bulls whenever red flags are waved in their faces".

Unbelievable that Dionne be a professional writer. That sentence should be taken out and shot.

Posted by: Oberon on June 7, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Charles --

You are correct -- the culture war issues you raise are precisely the sort of issues that have split the Democrats into fragments and built up the modern GOP. They are also the reason why the modern GOP increasingly makes no sense -- since the party currently melds big government social conservative Dixiecrats with small government social libertarians, etc., all held together with a thin glue of common resentments and enemies on the other side (Ted Kennedy, Jane Fonda, gay Scout leaders, etc.) In fact, in its heterodoxy and divides, the GOP increasingly looks like the old pre-1972 Democrats.

So far as alienation and abuse, the anecdotes you mention is largely true -- but it is mild compared to the stuff I see dished out upon the Democrats and the left every day -- again, as the sort of glue that holds the GOP together, since defining the enemy is easier than defining what the party actually wants to do in power.

And then there is the extremism. Such as earnest conversations about whether people who aren't "saved" should be allowed to vote at all, or establishing the death penalty for abortion doctors, or whether it is justifiable homicide to kill liberal politicians who support abortion rights (!), or whether the people in New Orleans had it coming for their sins (!) ... or the tactics of gradually establishing Biblical law as the law of the nation. Don't say it doesn't happen -- I've been there in the room when these discussions have taken place.

It is all a bit extreme. And pretty toxic. In fact, it often feels like a right-wing mirror image of the conspiracies and secret agendas that the GOP constantly says exist among the liberals and Democrats. Except it is more radical.

By the way: you would be making a mistake if you think that I am a raving loony partisan Democrat. I am a moderate Republican that has been gradually forced out of the party for my pro-choice views. With a smirk, I've been told that I am free to vote for the candidates chosen by my betters, but that I am not welcome at the table. What am I going to do, after all... vote for the Democrats?

Well, yes, maybe.

So ... don't preach to me about wicked, mean Democrats excluding people and showing contempt for other views. The contempt and poo-flinging is not only mutual, but it is going on internally inside the GOP.

-- Bokonon

Posted by: Bokonon on June 7, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

"Once you get out of a blue city or a blue state for that matter, you enter a world in which it is safe to give strangers the benefit of a doubt..."

And blah, and blah, and blah.

As a Southerner famously said, "you can't fix stupid."

Posted by: brewmn on June 7, 2006 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds like the old psychological ploy "Let's you and him fight!" Who knows? Maybe it'll work.

Posted by: Howard on June 7, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, Bokonon, there is tremendous bad blood between most Christians and the Democratic Party. But the Democratic Party is completely to blame for that.

Around 1970 both network television and the Democratic Party decided that they wanted to side with the cools in the cultural civil war raging across America. Network dumped the shows that appealed to older, non-urban viewers ("Beverly Hillbillies", "Gomer Pyle", "Mayberry RFD", etc). The Democratic Party dumped older, non-urban, non-college educated voters.

After the McGovern disaster, the new Democratic Party realized a problem. There was no Democratic majority without blue collar Joe Sixpack or Bubba and they had been run out. So since the voters were so backwards as to make the wrong choices, well, they had to have the right choices imposed upon them.

The Democratic party made the decision, executed by the ACLU which Christians are well aware is the activist element of the Democratic Party, that they would bypass democratic consent of the governed to use the judiciary to impose secularist, mandarin, cultural elite policies upon America. Had the Democratic party not used such an arrogant, elitist, condescending policy to get their wish list (Roe v Wade, abolition of the death penalty, busing, Title IX, the systematic dismantling of any vestige of Christianity from American public life, the abolition of all community obscenity laws at one stroke which created the entire X rated film industry, etc), had they cleanly worked through the democratic process, Christian Americans might be disposed to trust or respect them. Instead mandarin elite Democrats colluded with mandarin elite judges to turn their values into 'rights' to be given the force of law.

It is ridiculous to believe that all some Democrat has to do is quote some scripture and Christians will forget that this is the party of the ACLU. This is the party that intends to use the judiciary and the power of the state to enact cultural revolution from above.

And that is why your side couldn't stop Alito. The worst you could throw at him was, "He'll reverse Roe v Wade !!!" Well, that was a bad decision. It should have been left to the voters instead of mandarins trying to impose Massachusetts values on the rest of the country. We're not the ones trying to use the judiciary to impose our values on the country. You are. We can win elections on the strength of our values. We don't have to hide what we really believe in on election day the way Kerry, that consummate Europeanized American Ivy League cultural liberal, had to pretend he was opposed to gay marriage.

Posted by: Charles Warren on June 7, 2006 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

"The cools." Priceless! Where do you live, there, Charles Warren?

Posted by: Pat on June 7, 2006 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

Title IX?

Posted by: Pat on June 7, 2006 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

Chuckles Warren: And that is why your side couldn't stop Alito.

Gee, and why couldn't your side stop Ginsberg.

This is the party that intends to use the judiciary and the power of the state to enact cultural revolution from above.

Laughable.

We're not the ones trying to use the judiciary to impose our values on the country.

Yes, you are.

You pass laws imposing moral values that you expect the judiciary to uphold when you want to send people to prison for violating those moral values.

You are truly pathetic in your dishonesty and hypocrisy.

We don't have to hide what we really believe in on election day . . .

Then why did you?

Yes, Bokonon, there is tremendous bad blood between most Christians and the Democratic Party.

No, dimwit, there is bad blood between a small segment of Christian fascists and the Democratic Party.


Posted by: Advocate for God on June 9, 2006 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly