Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 10, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

THE LESSON....Over at TalkLeft, Big Tent Democrat takes me to task for underplaying the lesson of this week's midterm election:

Well, beyond the fact that the fastest growing political group [independents] and the fastest growing minority group [Latinos] broke strongly to the Dems, no big whoop.

Fair enough, actually, so let me add a few more comments about this. (The original post we're discussing is here.)

First, BTD is right about the Latino vote. A swing of 14 percentage points in favor of the Dems is a big deal for two reasons: (a) wooing the Latino vote was a major part of Karl Rove's "realignment" strategy, which has now been pretty thoroughly dashed, and (b) it's likely to be a fairly permanent switch. The immigration extremists have made the Republican Party unpalatable for a lot of Hispanics, and it's likely to stay that way for a while.

On the switch in independent votes, however, I continue to think the jury is still out. Again, there are two reasons. First, a swing of 8 points isn't that big a deal, just barely above the overall nationwide swing of 5 points. Second, independents swing back and forth all the time, and there's no special reason to think this particular swing is permanent. It's obviously good news, but by their very nature independents are centrists, which means this swing will be long-lasting only if Democrats continue to appeal to the center. We'll have to wait and see how that goes.

Finally, I should clarify what I meant when I said "there is no big lesson" from the election. I was focused on demographic groups in that post: Latinos, evangelicals, Midwesterners, soccer moms, NASCAR dads, etc. With the exception of Latinos, who were obviously driven by a specific issue, I didn't see any major shifts in those groups.

However, there's a whole different level of policy analysis that I didn't address and didn't mean to address. Did Dems win because of the war? Because they shifted to the center? Because of an economic populist message? That stuff is all fair game, and I don't yet have any strong opinion on any of it. Based on the very broad nature of the Democratic win, I'd say that any plausible answer has to be something equally broad based (the war is an obvious choice here), but pretty much everything is still on the table.

Kevin Drum 1:12 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (206)

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FRIST!

Posted by: JFD on November 10, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

My spouse, a Pentecostal big box nondenominational sometime zombie, exclaimed it was the war that cost Bush and the Republicans on Wednesday. Even she could see through the homosexual hate the conservatives were trying to use to keep political power.

She still thinks Priest Ted was possessed by Satan though.

Posted by: Hostile on November 10, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Democracy Now's Friday morning show interview four advocacy groups representatives who analyzed the poll numbers for their constituencies (Latino, African American, and two others I forget). The numbers are very interesting especially with respect to those two groups which KD mentions here.

Also interesting is - as Kevin mentions - the independent vote which largely switched from one "side" to the other. Independents do not necessarily have loyalty to Dems or Repubs though. It appears they are voting issues and candidates, and not party.

Could Independents be the vaunted "third party" that has found it so hard to get traction and get organized in this country. Could this be a sort of open source democracy? A democracy at the grass roots that thinks about the issues and votes intelligently, and by not being part of an organized third party that can be extinguished by the organized major parties thus has the ability to swing a vote?

Posted by: AC on November 10, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

I think you also have to remember that not only did the Democrats do better with Hispanics but that Hispanics, blacks, muslims, and Asian are all a growing as percentages of the population that that all of those groups vote overwhelmingly Democratic.

If you have to bet, it is much more likely that the Democratic Party will be the only nationally viable party in 2020 than to believe that the Republicans can make a comeback.

The question for the future should be: How will the US function as a one party state with the Democrats being in control.

Posted by: superdestroyer on November 10, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

I'd -love- to see a post, Kevin, explaining what you think 'the center' is.

Posted by: gussie on November 10, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

All right, if you'd done it once I could have ignored it, but now you're just being goofy.

With the exception of Latinos, who were obviously driven by a specific issue...

I haven't looked at the exit poll data myself, so maybe it says that Latinos overwhelmingly went to vote against draconian immigration policies ahead of all other issues. But come on.

The Latinos I know voted Democratic because they believe in greater access to health care, a higher minimum wage, a significant change in the way we're fighting in Iraq, a need to stop corruption, and just about every other reason that I, a very white male, voted Democratic.

Like I said, I haven't seen the exit polls, so I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt. But it looks like you're claiming all Latinos voted against Republicans solely because of their handling of immigration. That assertion seems horribly short-sighted and, frankly, kind of offensive.

Thanks,
Alex Boekelheide

Posted by: Alex on November 10, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Some people simply realized they had been had. In good faith, these voters trusted Republicans to represent their own strong moral motivations.

So they went to the polls Tuesday and rendered unto Caesar. God doesn't need a political party.

Posted by: olds88 on November 10, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

"Second, independents swing back and forth all the time, and there's no special reason to think this particular swing is permanent. It's obviously good news, but by their very nature independents are centrists, which means this swing will be long-lasting only if Democrats continue to appeal to the center."

Is there any evidence for this? My experience is that self-described independents are just retards like Althouse and the Instafluffer that refuse to acknowledge that they are convervadicks, but that break for thugs 9 times out of 10.

Posted by: jerry on November 10, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

All those factors you mention played a part in the Dem's win; their influence varies I think with both region of the country and obviously with individual reasoning and feelings. On C-SPAN's Washington Journal, after the election, more than one caller from Michigan complained about the economy and said they'd voted Dem in Congress because of that. Callers from the Southeast were almost always talking terror, 9/11 and Iraq. I would suppose that midwesterners and mountain-staters are growing more concerned about the thoroughly un-conservative, authoritarian, big-gov't nature of the current Republican movement. Corruption came up a few times from all over. There's no one answer.

Posted by: richrath on November 10, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

I live in a state where we do not register by political party but 36% of the registered voters identify as independents when polled. But Missouri is exquisitely wierd in oh so many ways.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

In the California 50th district, the Democratic candidate Francine Busby got 45% of the vote, about what she almost always gets. No swing there.

Dems Allen Mollohan and Alcee Hastings both won, and William Jefferson got a plurality, so corruption couldn't have been too important.

As to the Hispanic vote, it is interesting that the Republican House rebelled against Bush/Rove on the immigration/fence issue, so the Hispanic swing should not be blamed on Bush and Rove.

Most of the anti-gay-marriage ammendments passed; the one that was defeated was the one that prohibited civil unions, so the Republican view on this issue more or less prevailed.

In Michigan an ammendment to roll back affirmative action also won, so the Republican view on that prevailed even as Democratic incumbents won re-election.

Interestingly, that happened in the only state that has suffered a net loss of jobs under Bush, which makes the economic rationales perplexing. It's almost as though Michigan voters wanted the failed policies of Michigan adopted nationwide.

Numerous Democratic anti-war candidates were defeated, including Ned Lamont (who got about 2/3 of the Democratic vote) and a slew of veterans.

Casey Jr. and Tester are pro-life and anti-gun control, muting the general Democratic message on those issues.

Californians had no trouble with the Bush budget deficits -- they passed $57 billion in bond issues.

Since California already funds embryonic stem cell research, the only issue in the MO stem-sell research ammendment was whether any embryonic stem cell research would be performed in MO, and the passage of the ammendment mainly benefits one huge research lab near Kansas City.

So, ..., as you say, all explanations are still on the table. Every one has some liabilities as a general explanation.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on November 10, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

What we saw was a liberal revolt.

More precisely, a small government liberals revolt.

Liberals, generally in the middle between the conservatives and libertarians always assume power when the conservatives have government on catastrophic growth path or when the libertarians have shrunk government to the point government is defenseless.

Jefferson was a libertarian who governened as a liberal. Hamilton the traditional conservative, growing government recklessly. Washington the typical liberal.

Liberals, in their time and place, step in because, generally the conservatives are creating a stalinist (or monarchist) state headed to war. This was the battle we had at independence. This battle between liberalism and expansionists, conservative monarchists was 18th century politics.

Bismark was a liberal in his time, proposing loosely alligned small monarchists states and tying up Germany in a set of trade and foreign treaties that forestalled war. He chose a path that sort of "kicks the can" down the road.

This is the common complaint that liberals hear from hysterically frightened conservatives, that we just kick the can down the road. We do, we have to because if liberals are in power it is because conservatives have created some dire catastrophe.

Liberals are generally unbiased about how much or how little government. We want the government we have to work better, and we want to lower or raise the amount of government such that we minimize catastrophe. Pelosi will likely be a liberal that governs as a libertarian. The danger we face is that the massive growth in government by conservatives is likely a catastrophe.

Libertarians have little respect for nationalism, they are by nature internationalists because they put in policies that weaken the state. The Chinese, right now, are governing as libertarians in their environment. Hong Kong is the classical libertariqans state, before takeover.

Uotimately it is liberals that define the state becuase conservative growth in government leads to war, and libertarianism leads to a dimished state. What is left of state power is their precisely because liberals have stepped into the breech somehow. In our history, it was the liberals that prevented the civil war between conservative (monarchists) and libertarians, until Abe Lincoln.

Lincoln was a conservative who tried to govern as a liberal, but failed.
.


Posted by: Matt on November 10, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

I think Kevin was right the other day. the Republicans shot themselves in the feet over and over in the last two years: starting with Bush's attempt to reform Social Security, the Schiavo disaster, the Abramoff scandals, two very public and stupid misplays by Dennis Hastert, resignations of 4 Republican representatives, the unpopular stand on the fence and immigration. Even Republicans were unwilling to come right out and say that they had accomplished anything.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on November 10, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Republican pundits' abrupt insistence on 'governing from the center' is a red herring.

There is no center to be found that involves the present form of the Republican party (or, really, any form of it). They are so alien, parasitic and anti-social the only center that can be found is united against them.

Posted by: cld on November 10, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

I think you're wasting a lot of time trying to analyze what the Democrats did right. People voted Democratic largely because of what Republicans did wrong. I don't believe this points to a major wave of Democrat-love.

If the GOP flips on immigration, and they obviously have reason to now, Hispanics may swing right back. Independents may be growing, but still appear to be a very small voter block.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on November 10, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

KD:"Did Dems win because of the war? Because they shifted to the center? Because of an economic populist message? That stuff is all fair game, and I don't yet have any strong opinion on any of it."

Surely it isn't one thing? The nation has been tottering on 50-50 for some time. All we needed was another 5-10% of the population to get fed up with Republican mismanagement and corruption.

For some it was the lies, the corruption, the bamboozlement.

For some it was the War.

For some it was the cynical manipulation of their deepest values, the gay hypocrisy.

For some, the medicare scam.

For some, the attack on birth control & the legal right to abortion.

For some, the economy.

A couple of percent here, a couple percent there, and we have victory.

Posted by: PTate in MN on November 10, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Question is did that 14 point swing win a few close elections for the Democrat's? Montana is even Virginia? Missouri?

In 2000 the Arab American vote went strong for Bush over Gore because of "family values". In some states like Florida, there weren't many Arab Americans, but enough to overcome to provide a winning margin.

Posted by: Ray Waldren on November 10, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

"Yesterday the God Gap all but disappeared. Americans who attend religious services on a weekly basis voted 51 percent for Republican candidates and 48 percent for Democrats, a statistically meaningless difference." -Amy Sullivan, November 8, New Republic

Posted by: olds88 on November 10, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

This was a national election. It wasn't an interest group election. 5+% of the electorate just decided enough is enough. I really think this election is payback to the Congressional Republicans for failing to provide any kind of oversight. After Katrina it was pretty damn clear to everybody that the Bush administration was fundamentally incompetent. Schaivo convinced lots of people the Republicans were cable television ideologs out of touch with the needs of real citizens. Throw in Iraq, Aberoff, Foley and the rest, and suddenly a lot of people decided it was time to throw congressional Republicans under the bus.

The biggest single result from the election. Last I looked not a single Democrat incumbent lost. Not one.

That reflects a repudiation of the Republican party.

Had Denny Hastert been Speaker of the House and not Speaker of the Republicans there is every reason to believe the Republicans in the house might have survived the election. Had the Republican Senators who lost shown any independence from the Administration, they might not have lost.

I think Lincoln Chaffe (an outstanding public servant, and by all accounts a truly decent man and a fine senator) lost for one reason and one reason only. The folks in his state realized that if he was reelected his first vote would be for the Republicans. That would have meant no oversight of the Administration. No other vote he might take would have mattered.

Posted by: Ron Byers on November 10, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Second, independents swing back and forth all the time, and there's no special reason to think this particular swing is permanent.

This is just silly. No political party should ever consider a block of voters to be "theirs".

Every action in the politics of a democracy is an audition for the next election.

BTW, I've been fighting a bug for a few days and haven't posted for a bit, so allow me:

YI-HAW!!

Democrats: Cleaning up Republican messes since 1932.

Posted by: Keith G on November 10, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

ron,

I think it became a national election because of McCain-Feingold. Since single issue groups are not forbidden form running ad campaigns, it was the national parties that managed most of the campaigns.

In the future, it will become much harder for Republicans to win anything and McCain-Feingold make s it even harder.

Also, the demographic trends are all against the Republicans and all in favor of the Democratic Party. The real question should be is if the Republican can remain viable as the second party if a two party system.

Posted by: superdestroyer on November 10, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

"wooing the Latino vote was a major part of Karl Rove's "realignment" strategy, which has now been pretty thoroughly dashed, and (b) it's likely to be a fairly permanent switch."

Pete Wilson permanently and decisively put the Latinos of California in the Democratic camp in 1994 with prop 192. Instead of learning from this, Republicans made the same mistake nationally this year and certainly alienated Latins from the R party for a generation or more.

Posted by: Happy Dog on November 10, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Matt:

Very very interesting analysis which I've never encountered before. Conservatives lead to war and statism (anti-government conservatism is a relatively new phenomenon and doesn't square with historic conservative authoritarianism) -- libertarians lead to internationalism through a weakened state (the truer home for small-government corporatists than traditional conservatism) -- liberals (the dialectic synthesis) step into the breach and govern as pragmatists, with an appropriately-sized government and an internationalism built on alliances and a world order rather than anarchism of laissez-faire.

I'm really going to have to think long and hard about this perspective.

Thanks for the salutory mental stimulus.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 10, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

If you want to know what is coming down the pike for the national Republican party, look no further than Kansas. The Kansas Republican party is caving in on itself. A moderate and electable Republican can't get on the ballot in the general election because the r^3's (rabid religious right) control the primary process.

What is happening in Kansas is so significant that Kevin dedicated an entire pre-election post to the fact that the Johnson County Sun, a Republican newspaper, was endorsing more Democrats this election than the paper had previously endorsed total in it's 56 year history.

Kansas was the beachhead where the Blue Tsunami came ashore. A Dem AG, a Dem Governor and two of four national congressmen are Dems. Kansas is way more purple than we are next door.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Ron Byers:

And Mr. Chafee may prove to be a nobler public servant still -- if rumors are true that he's planning to switch parties to the Democrats for the lame-duck session :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 10, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

I am a Christian conservative who works in an industry (software) and area (Santa Monica ) containing mostly centrist-liberal to liberal registered Democrats. I surveyed several of my more liberal friends in the days after the election and was pleasantly surprised that they had reached some of the same conclusions I had.

Several points that we seem to be in agreement about.

1. This election represents no ideological shift of the country.
2. The Republicans lost rather than the Democrats winning ( main issues corruption and an unpopular war).
3. The Democrats were not runnning on a new plan but on "We're not Republicans"
4. Democrats won a lot of seats by finding many good centrist candidates to run.

The main conclusion I draw from this.

Liberalism has not made ground amongst the people like conservatism made ground in the 1980's.

It seems in the 1980's an ideological shift in the country came about that was recorded in electoral politics in 1994. Whatever one thinks about the ethics of the people that were elected, the country had embraced a new direction that differed from the liberalism of the 60's - 70's.

Many more people believed in conservative ideas and embraced them. According to my way of thinking what happened is people began to wake up and see that the so-called peace-loving, radical behavior of the 60's and 70's was really just narcissistic immature idealism. The 'Reagan Revolution' wasn't about Reagan so much as about a call back to a more practical conservative viewpoint of life. Reagan simply embodied this ideal in a strong leader.

This 2006 election was not a rejection of that more conservative outlook, but was in part ( leaving out the war for a bit ) a rejection of those who claimed to be part of that revolution, but only used it to line their own pockets while feigning support. ( Abramhoff, Delay, Ralph Reed and the whole bunch )

As a conservative who wants strong ethics practiced I say "good riddance" to the fakers.

But if this election does not represent an ideological shift to liberalism - I think those of you espousing the liberal viewpoint have to consider this.

It can not be doubted that liberalism owns the major output of main stream media and academia by astounding proportions. Yet in spite of this, the results of this election appears that the "liberal" philosophy has not made ground in becoming the thinking of the average American.

Now one can take one or two guesses about why this has happened

1. Liberals are still doing a bad job of educating people about what a good philosophy it really is.
2. People fail to embrace liberalism because it basically is not true, and fails as a philosophy.

I choose 2.

Posted by: John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

superdestroyer

I remember people saying there was a real question whether the Democrats could remain a national party. They did. Don't let this election fool you. If the Republicans can rid themselves of the Turd Blossom Republicans they will be back. Ying and Yang. Nothing wrong with that.

The real questions in my mind center on Fox News and the political televangelists. Both have been hit with some real body blows. Political televangelists seem to cycle. Have they peaked? Is cable news losing its relevance in light of the rise of netroots? Kinda gives us all a reason to continue living just to find out.

Posted by: Ron Byers on November 10, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Ron Byers mentioned that not a single R pickup was made. Here is a link to an interactive map that shows the races. There is not a single bright red state or CD. But check out all that bright blue!

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

A moderate and electable Republican can't get on the ballot in the general election because the r^3's (rabid religious right) control the primary process.

of course. the GOP has decided it lost because it wasn't ideologically pure (see Rush, Hewitt, RedState, et al) - if they were only even more conservative they'd have beat the leather pants off those libertine Dems. nonsense. their problem was not insufficient conservatism, so much as unpopular conservatism combined with overall incompetence and rampant corruption.

Posted by: cleek on November 10, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen,

If even Kansas goes blue, then how does the US function as a "two party state." I believe that the Republicans will implode because there is not political move that they can make that gain them support.

However, will a blue Tsunami end up making national politics look like local politics in DC, New Jersey, or Rhode Island?

Posted by: superdestroyer on November 10, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

wishIwuz2: "...you're wasting a lot of time trying to analyze what the Democrats did right. People voted Democratic largely because of what Republicans did wrong."

I think I agree, in general. However, for their part, the Democrats did mute some of the visceral, talk-radio objections that people have towards Democrats: weak on national defense; big on big government, in favor of gun control, abortion, gays; certain to raise taxes, hostile to Southern rednecks.

Faced with a certain loss, people are more likely to take a gamble. Republican leadership was the cause of certain national and individual losses, so citizens chose to gamble on the Democrats. How could Democratic leadership possibly be worse?

Posted by: PTate in MN on November 10, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Ron Byers mentioned that not a single R pickup was made.

i prefer to phrase it as "not one Democratic incumbent lost his/her seat."

Posted by: cleek on November 10, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

The election was won by the Unrepublicans (i.e., people voted against the Republicans much more than for the Democrats or their ideas and goals). The closest result to a mandate from the election is that the messes left by the Republicans need to be cleaned up. There are not, of course, any clear mandates on which direction to take or how best to clean up the mess (in fact, disagreement on these subjects is extreme).

Posted by: N.Wells on November 10, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

If the Democrats want to cement their advantage with Latino voters, it might not be a bad idea to nominate Bill Richardson for President in 2008. He's Latino, the governor of a state with a significantly Latino population, a former Ambassador to the UN, a former Secretary of Energy, and looks good in a flannel shirt and cowboy boots as well.

Hopefully the Democrats will realize that:

a) JFK and Harding are the only two former senators elected president in the last 100 years (sorry Hillary, Kerry, Bayh, Biden, Edwards, Gore, Feingold, Obama, etc.), although Nixon did serve two years as a Senator from California before becoming Eisenhower's Vice-President.

b) nobody from north of the Mason-Dixon line has been elected President since JFK (LBJ and both Bushes are from Texas, Nixon and Reagan from southern California, Carter from Georgia, and Clinton from Arkansas)

c) except for Bush 41, the last four people elected president have all been governors (Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush 43)
If the Democrats nomimate another northern senator with no charisma in 2008 they will once again lose the presidency.

Hopefully, the Democratic party will learn from its mistakes and nominate a solid midwestern or southern governor. And if people think that this could never happen, remember that Clinton was a complete unknown six months before the primaries started.

Posted by: mfw13 on November 10, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

(b) it's likely to be a fairly permanent switch.


Hogwash. Just like Karl Rove's successes in 2002 and 2004 portended a "permanent realignment" towards Republicans, right?

Look, there are some permanent Republicans and there are some permanent Democrats. But Latinos aren't permanent Democrats now just because they're pissed off at all the illegal immigrant crap Republicans pulled. What do Dems do for them, to make them fervently pro-Democratic? Squat.

A few years down the road, maybe two or four, there'll be some fresh face in the Republican party, who reaches out more to Latinos. And Latinos and others will take a fresh look at this new fellow (or lady), and at the Republicans.

And that's fine. Lots of people are not partisan Democrats or partisan Republicans. Happens all the time.

So I think it's an overreach. (But I admit, I feel very good about the election too).

Posted by: mk on November 10, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Hostile on November 10, 2006 at 1:22 PM:

She still thinks Priest Ted was possessed by Satan though.

Lol...Dinner-time discussions must be real interesting at the Hostile House...

Drum:

I'd say that any plausible answer has to be something equally broad based.

I'd say that you are correct...There wasn't one outstanding issue that caused the Dems' success in this election, but multiple 'trigger events' occurring over the past two years caused a more critical examination of all the GOP's actions, not just their actions on a single issue.

If there is a lesson here, maybe it's that the GOP's poor performance regarding a single issue (say, the invasion and occupation of Iraq or immigration or government accountability, et cetera) may be overlooked come election time, poor overall performance on many issues is too hard to ignore.

Posted by: grape_crush on November 10, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

As I said on the other thread, the no-HS and Hispanic votes indicate that raising the minimum wage is a winner.

Posted by: humble blogger on November 10, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Let's deconstruct what John Hansen wrote and the points he made.

1. This election represents no ideological shift of the country.

Perhaps no dramatic shift occured, but there was indeed an awakening. Turnout was higher in many precincts on Tuesday than it was in the 2004 presidential election. Whether the r^3's want to admit it or not, this was a referendum against them and the policies of the administration that embodies them. A repudiation, a stinging rebuke, a good old-fashioned ass-kicking took place. that silent majority Nixon spoke of ceased being silent on Tuesday.

2. The Republicans lost rather than the Democrats winning ( main issues corruption and an unpopular war).

What is the difference? If one side wind the other loses. I understand the instinct to put some salve on the wound, but this isn't a wound that a balm can assuage. It's a through-and-through.

3. The Democrats were not runnning on a new plan but on "We're not Republicans"

Nancy Pelosi was a determnined and strong leader, and she resisted the prompting to come up with some bullshit marketing plan like the "Contract with America" and by the way, "we're not Republicans" was good enough in a whole lot of cases.

4. Democrats won a lot of seats by finding many good centrist candidates to run.

A lot of those "good centrist Dems" are Dems in the finest tradition. They have a Trumanesque "we take care of our own" bent that will no longer be ignored.

I have been saying this for months. We are not our parents democratic party. We are, however, our Grandparents Democratic Party, and we are going to reclaim the word liberal, too.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "However, there's a whole different level of policy analysis that I didn't address and didn't mean to address. Did Dems win because of the war? Because they shifted to the center? Because of an economic populist message? That stuff is all fair game, and I don't yet have any strong opinion on any of it."

According to all reports on the exit polls, a top issue, if not the top issue, determining voters' choices was corruption.

Voters were sick of the blatant corruption and naked criminality of the Republican Party of Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Tom DeLay, Jack Abramoff, et al.

These people are not and were not "conservatives". They are crooks. They are career corporate criminals and war profiteers, masquerading as "conservative" politicians and promoting a fake, phoney-baloney bullshit pseudo-conservative ideology in order to gain power, rip off the taxpayers and line their pockets and the pockets of their ultra-wealthy white-collar-crook financial backers.

Anyone who ever believed that the Bushes and Cheneys of the world were actually "conservatives" was a dupe, and in the end, even the dupes finally woke up to the fact that they were being bamboozled by a gang of thieves.

The Democrats succeeded in large part by running against the blatant corruption of the Republican Party, and would do well -- not only for their own political fortunes but for the actual good of the country -- to make good on Nancy Pelosi's promise to run a clean, open, transparent, accountable and ethical Congress.

And, through the power of investigation that they will now have, to drag the disgusting reality of the Bush administration's corruption and criminality into the daylight for the entire nation to see.

If there is anything that people of any political persuasion -- liberals, honest conservatives, libertarians and Greens alike -- can and should agree on, it is the absolute necessity of clean, open, transparent, accountable and ethical government.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 10, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't get the memo. Where are the trolls or even the Trools?

Posted by: R.L. on November 10, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Nancy Pelosi was a determnined and strong leader, and she resisted the prompting to come up with some bullshit marketing plan like the "Contract with America" and by the way, "we're not Republicans" was good enough in a whole lot of cases.

GC - you can "deconstruct" what I say but please make intelligent statements.

Nancy Pelosi was not a strong leader with regards to this election. She was conspicuously absent during the campaign. Accept this as true or respond with a list of "Pelosi has a full day stumping for Webb, Tester and McCaskill" articles that I seemed to miss.

Posted by: John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Global,

Didn't two moderates join the Kansas State Board of Education?

Had to laugh here in Oregon - Ron Saxton, the Pub for Guv, used his money from Labor Day until two weeks before the election to run negative ads only against the sitting Democratic Governor.
However, once endorsed by the Oregonian and closing to almost even in the polls, he changed his tactic to one of appearing himself and saying "Hey, I don't like what is going on in Washington, either".
The tide turned and he lost by almost 7 percentage points. So did the reversal mean that many people said, "Oh yeah, he is one of them"?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on November 10, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

What, exactly, do you define as "the center" of American politics? The term implies that there is a linear range, or maybe a spherical range. What evidence exists to suggest that this is applicable or helpful in understanding the various ideologies, beliefs and policy positions?

Take abortion rights, for example. When a substantial minority of the country believes that abortion is murder and that outlawing all abortions is the Number One political priority and one that overrides all other political considerations, what position is "the center?"

When one party states that there shall be no estate tax (more properly understood as the estate AND gift tax), what is "the center" position on allowing realized income to go untaxed for people of great wealth?

Posted by: James E. Powell on November 10, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

She stayed out of the fray and it was a brilliant strategy.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

I'd say that the voting public responds to events like an aircraft carrier responds to steering commands....very slowly. At least from the perspective of those hyper-engaged with politics such as bloggers, pundits, and political junkies in general. I think your first instincts were correct, Kevin, and this was a simple "country headed in the wrong direction" decision, and analyzing it deeper than that is an exercise in futility, unless you just enjoy that kind of thing.

Posted by: Del Capslock on November 10, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

The Democrats succeeded in large part by running against the blatant corruption of the Republican Party, and would do well -- not only for their own political fortunes but for the actual good of the country -- to make good on Nancy Pelosi's promise to run a clean, open, transparent, accountable and ethical Congress.

Agreed.

Posted by: John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen wrote: This election represents no ideological shift of the country.

Neither did the theft of the 2000 election by George W. Bush. That didn't stop him and his gang of career corporate criminals and war profiteers from asserting a nonexistent "mandate" and ramming through a so-called "conservative agenda" which was actually not "conservative" at all, but simply a monumental crime spree, nor did it stop them from misleading America into an illegal war of unprovoked aggression based on sickening lies, for the purpose (as Bush recently admitted to Rush Limbaugh) of seizing control of Iraq's oil reserves by their oil company cronies, at the cost of the mass murder of tens of thousands of innocent people.

Most Americans are not "ideological". They want good effective government and they want their tax dollars to be carefully and effectively spent on things that make America a better place to live.

The fake, phony, corporate-funded "conservatism" of Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Fox News, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter was never anything but a scam and a fraud, a front for massive criminality and corporate totalitarianism, and now it is history, and those dupes who still adhere to it, like John Hansen, are dinosaurs who are rapidly becoming extinct.


Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 10, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Where are the trolls or even the Trools?

they're stuck in the older threads.

don't worry, CharlieThomasChuckJefferyTrolly will be up here soon enough. maybe he'll bring Civility Jay and Grandpa Norman with him.

Posted by: cleek on November 10, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

She stayed out of the fray and it was a brilliant strategy.

You can believe this if you want but I think much more obvious reason is that she stayed away because she did not want to ruin the chances for centrist candidates to take republican areas.

Posted by: John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Just as September 11, 2001 informed every vote in 2002 and 2004, so the image of Katrina informed 2006. Everything that was said and done by politicians and pundits was measured against the image of our people left to drown. I know there are many reasons voters reconsidered the direction the country is going. The war, the torture, the loss of civil rights, and many others. I do not think you can discount how sharply Katrina brought home to people the callous disregard of the welfare of the people that was demonstrated by this administration and its minions of mendacity.

Posted by: thebewilderness on November 10, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

However, there's a whole different level of policy analysis that I didn't address and didn't mean to address. Did Dems win because of the war? Because they shifted to the center? Because of an economic populist message?

Right, and Im not up to such analysis today. But a couple of personal opinions.

One, it seems that sometimes things have to be really bad before the U.S. voters wake up and make a change. Anyone halfway paying attention should have known in 2004 not to vote for Bush and the more ideological and corrupt Republicans, but those folks were re-elected. We have paid dearly, morally and monetarily. And I dont understand except to guess that so many citizens are not paying attention.

Two, I think the President of the United States has too much power. We should think seriously about changes that will make it easier to hold the President accountable. I realize this is tough one to conceive and implement, but consider that the Bush administration could have done to Iran what they did to Iraq. They could have killed three time as many Iraqis. They could have bombed North Korea. They could have attacked anybody, justifying it with huge lies. That is not acceptable to me.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on November 10, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Just ask yourself tea leaves and entrails reading pundits: if the war had gone the way Cheney had hoped it'd go would the Dems have won? Big fat no there. If those silly Iraqi elections a year ago had actually produced something vaguely resembling stability would the Dems have won? Possibly but very unlikely. If two weeks before the election a well placed JDAM had redecorated the inside of a cave with little bits and pieces of Osama would the Dems have won? Possibly the house in a nail biter, but not the senate.

Any election analysis attempted without keeping above in mind is a waste of time.

Posted by: saintsimon on November 10, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen: " Liberalism has not made ground amongst the people like conservatism made ground in the 1980's."

I don't think that conservatism made ground in the 1980s nor do I think liberalism made such headway in the 1960s and 70s.

An alternate hypothesis is that the majority of Americans aren't very interested in ideology. One might say that Americans went along with liberal ideology during the depression & WW2 and the Eisenhower years because it was pragmatic and helpful. It worked. America got out of the depression. America won the war. Eisenhower, though Republican, led from this pragmatic, non-ideological center.

During the 60s, Americans continued to support liberal leadership because it continued to work. But the defeat in Vietnam began to sour people on "liberalism." The boffo oil crisis and hostage situation during Jimmy Carter's time made people decide that liberalism wasn't delivering the goods.

So Americans began to vote for the conservative alternative, and that worked for them, more or less, for twenty years or so. People stick with what works. But now, we're losing another war, corruption is rampant and the economy is confused. Conservatism is no longer delivering the goods. People are switching.

As long as the Democrats do a half decent job of governing, as long as the Democrats deliver the goods, people will continue to vote Democratic. When the day comes that the Dems screw up, we'll see people vote Republican again. But I think we have 25 years of Democratic leadership ahead.

Posted by: PTate in MN on November 10, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen,

Hate to inform you, but Major Tom ran 3rd in the lst at Churchill Downs this morning - It was a $15,000 Maiden Claimer affair.

However, on election day at CD, Rove completly out of the money for the 6th or 7th time - He remains a maiden - That race was won by Special Interest.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on November 10, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen,

Hate to inform you, but Major Tom ran 3rd in the lst at Churchill Downs this morning - It was a $15,000 Maiden Claimer affair.

However, on election day at CD, Rove completely ran out of the money for the 6th or 7th time - He remains a maiden - That race was won by Special Interest.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on November 10, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Secular Animist nails it at 2:32. His point about corruption explains why the alliance between churchgoers and the Republican party has weakened just enough to allow some of those voters to observe many other issues (war, taxes, Katrina) more honestly.

The phony sacred Republican vestments are beginning to tatter, and the wads of cash are becoming more visible underneath.

Posted by: olds88 on November 10, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

I think Lincoln Chaffe (an outstanding public servant, and by all accounts a truly decent man and a fine senator) lost for one reason and one reason only. The folks in his state realized that if he was reelected his first vote would be for the Republicans.

Right, and thats why I have quit voting for Republicans until I see a significant change in the way they hold their leadership accountable. Moderate Republicans need to assert themselves.

Many people like to emphasize the so-called chaotic nature of the Democratic party. Conservative ideologues use the word spineless. But I see the Republican party today as spineless. They treat their leaders like Daddy, scared to oppose them or hold them accountable. They are the ones who rolled over for Bush, not the Democrats.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on November 10, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Hate to inform you, but Major Tom ran 3rd in the lst at Churchill Downs this morning.

He's at the track? He was supposed to be in Gross Anatomy this morning! You mean that while I was trying to keep my eyes open during the Cell Bio presentation, he was at the track. He is in so much trouble when he gets home this afternoon...

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

I don't just choose to believe that John Hansen, the analysis bears it out.

Bush is a polarizing figure. He appeared in Topeka to stump for Ryun and Boyda got the bump.

The right was castigating her and her "San Francisco Values" (one marriage, by all accounts a happy one, and five children) and had she responded, the polarity might have gone both ways.

So yes, it was brilliant strategy to just hunker down and let the perfect srorm blow itself out.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Thats right GC. Accountability. Practice makes perfect.

Now, lets ignore calls for so-called good sportsmanship, and hold Bush accountable. A few professional, legitimate, overdue investigations.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on November 10, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

The issues in this election were competence, competence, competence.

People have ideological leanings but are quite willing to vote for candidates who look like leaders and can get the job done. Republicans have shown no ability to govern effectively at any level or on any issue.

Bad policies poorly executed. You don't need to be a policy wonk to see this level of dysfunction.

Posted by: jb on November 10, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

It was Big Tuesday, a great surf with perfect waves. It was UP, man! Here in my beach shack in blue Oregon it seemed obvious everything was breaking right for the Dems because the GOP don't surf. Kevin is spot on, as the Brits say. My GOP neighbors seemed disgusted that they had been fooled by Bush. At the American Legion bar there were tables of war critics and angry veterans. Gone were the mini-flags flapping from truck aerials and SUVs. It was a numerically modest but strong increase of disgust and disappointment with everything GOP the past two years. Will it last? It's up to the Dems. Surf's up, dudes!

Posted by: buddy66 on November 10, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

An alternate hypothesis is that the majority of Americans aren't very interested in ideology

I would say a majority of Americans aren't very interested in articulating their idology. They don't analyze how they make decisions they just make them.

Nevertheless they base their decisions in an underlying ideology which even if they can't put it into words, significantly effects their lifestyle choices.

I don't think a lot more people today embrace liberal principals. I think conservatism is still the ascendant philosophy even if people can not put it into words. The failure of the republicans is that they did not implement this philosophy correctly.

Posted by: John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

The issues in this election were competence, competence, competence.

People have ideological leanings but are quite willing to vote for candidates who look like leaders and can get the job done. Republicans have shown no ability to govern effectively at any level or on any issue.

Bad policies poorly executed. You don't need to be a policy wonk to see this level of dysfunction.

Posted by: jb on November 10, 2006 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK
...but by their very nature independents are centrists,...

Not really. Being poorly matched with the ideology of either major party doesn't make you a centrists; independents can be centrists, they can be equally liberal or conservative to the mainstream of either major party on the issues that divide the major parties, but be "off to the side" because they have a number of key issues that neither major party addresses at all, so that they are only particularly motivated to vote when the issues that divide the major parties become more important to them, either because the major parties move farther apart or circumstances bring those issues into sharper immediate relevance. They can also be far out to either extreme beyond the major parties, and thus only motivated to have a strong preference between the major parties when the contrast between the majors is enhanced by one or the other major party seeming more extreme. Lots of other possibilities, as well. The idea that of a unidimensional political spectrum on which the two major parties are the extreme poles and therefore "independents" are necessarily "centrists" is wrong in a whole lot of ways.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 10, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

The hackneyed liberal/conservative paradigm (with moderates in the middle) just does not explain American politics. American conservatives are just too severe and the liberals are everyone who opposes them. You could not imagine British Tories demanding that the Prime Minister have rights as a unitary executive. They would be loath to make a political alliance with a fundamentalist religious movement. You could not imagine them storming around Britain burning with nationalist fervor. They have certainly not produced people like Abramoff , Norquist, Cheney, Ralph Reed, Dobson and George Bush.

What we have is an authentic authoritarian political movement. They are thuggish, hypocritical, arrogant and nationalistic. They are cronies who want nothing more than total power. Their entire agenda is about religious and economic orthodoxy. They are prepared to use subterfuge and even violence to maintain it. They are made of fear and self-righteousness.

Opposed to this, the so-called liberals, are just people who are not authoritarians. They do not demand allegiance to any one orthodoxy. These liberals are called relativistic because they accept opposing views. For authoritarians there are no legitimate alternative points of view. Liberals are called socialists because they want some kind of mixed capitalist economic model with risk-sharing and not orthodox Manchester Capitalism. For American authoritarians Manchester Capitalism is an orthodoxy without alternative. If the same personalities were in Russia a decade ago it would be communism. Because liberals are merely patriots who what to cooperate with other nations in the world and not strident nationalists they are called traitors. For the authoritarians America is not a nation with apple pie and baseball, but a religion.

Revolutionary leaders, no matter the ideology or cause, are likely authoritarians. The vanguard followers are also likely to have similar personalities. It is not by mistake that many revolutions for liberation end up as oppressive as the regime they overthrew.

America was founded by men who were of much more mild disposition. It was their aim to set up a government that would prevent tyranny of a king or any faction. If you read their writings you are immediately struck with how different they are from the radical authoritarians who now rule the Republican Party. The authoritarians aim to limit the restraint on power provided by the Constitution. Pluralism in any form is their enemy.

Posted by: bellumregio on November 10, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

The right was castigating her and her "San Francisco Values" (one marriage, by all accounts a happy one, and five children) .

The right has never castigated Pelosi for what she practices, but for what she publicly supports.

It is my experience that many liberals practice good values ( not labeling the values as conservative or liberal for a moment ). They have great marriages, insist on obedience from their kids, and do their best to love their neighbour as themselves.

They don't make the leap then that part of their success in life is do to the practice of these values. They are afraid to proscribe what works in their life for someone else.

Posted by: John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

"It can not be doubted that liberalism owns the major output of main stream media"

I can't believe that anyone still believes this, after all the evidence proving it to be garbage.

People fail to embrace liberalism because it basically is not true, and fails as a philosophy.

Liberalism is not a failed philosophy and never will be. Liberalism is what has made America great. Safety nets are a main philosophy of Liberals and a large majority of Americans support them.

When Americans start rejecting Social Security, environmental protections, and minimum wages, just to name a few liberal policies, then people can argue that liberalism is failure.

Posted by: AkaDad on November 10, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Paul Krugman puts it very well, I think:

Here's what I wrote more than three years ago, in the introduction to my column collection "The Great Unraveling": "I have a vision - maybe just a hope - of a great revulsion: a moment in which the American people look at what is happening, realize how their good will and patriotism have been abused, and put a stop to this drive to destroy much of what is best in our country."

At the time, the right was still celebrating the illusion of victory in Iraq, and the bizarre Bush personality cult was still in full flower. But now the great revulsion has arrived.

... I do hope and believe that this election marks the beginning of the end for the conservative movement that has taken over the Republican Party.

In saying that, I'm not calling for or predicting the end of conservatism. There always have been and always will be conservatives on the American political scene. And that's as it should be: a diversity of views is part of what makes democracy vital.

But we may be seeing the downfall of movement conservatism - the potent alliance of wealthy individuals, corporate interests and the religious right that took shape in the 1960s and 1970s. This alliance may once have had something to do with ideas, but it has become mainly a corrupt political machine, and America will be a better place if that machine breaks down.

Why do I want to see movement conservatism crushed? Partly because the movement is fundamentally undemocratic; its leaders don't accept the legitimacy of opposition. Democrats will only become acceptable, declared Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, once they "are comfortable in their minority status." He added, "Any farmer will tell you that certain animals run around and are unpleasant, but when they've been fixed, then they are happy and sedate."

And the determination of the movement to hold on to power at any cost has poisoned our political culture. Just think about the campaign that just ended, with its coded racism, deceptive robo-calls, personal smears, homeless men bused in to hand out deceptive fliers, and more. Not to mention the constant implication that anyone who questions the Bush administration or its policies is very nearly a traitor.

When movement conservatism took it over, the Republican Party ceased to be the party of Dwight Eisenhower and became the party of Karl Rove. The good news is that Karl Rove and the political tendency he represents may both have just self-destructed.

Two years ago, people were talking about permanent right-wing dominance of American politics. But since then the American people have gotten a clearer sense of what rule by movement conservatives means. They've seen the movement take us into an unnecessary war, and botch every aspect of that war. They've seen a great American city left to drown; they've seen corruption reach deep into our political process; they've seen the hypocrisy of those who lecture us on morality.

And they just said no.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 10, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

They don't make the leap then that part of their success in life is do to the practice of these values. They are afraid to proscribe what works in their life for someone else.

One mans fear is another mans respct for diversity, I guess.

Most of us bristle at the notion of other people proscribing their values to us. We just respect other people and the fact that they might have a different set of priorities. We didn't like the attempts by the r^3's to shove their morality down out throats. Why would the right be any more accepting of havign our morality forced on them?

My uncle and his partner have been together over 35 years. If they were allowed to get married, that would not affect my own marriage or threaten yours in any way. It would not change a damned thing except they would have spousal protections; something they are considering with urgency as they age.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

It is my experience that many liberals practice good values

Gee, thanks.
Would you also say that many blacks are hard working?

They don't make the leap then that part of their success in life is do to the practice of these values.

I honestly have no idea what that means.

I think you are trying to be sincere, but what comes across is that you believe "liberal" is a bad word that carries all the baggage that GOP marketing has told you it carries. I could write an essay disagreeing with that, but I'm lazy. And it wouldn't change your mind anyway.

Posted by: craigie on November 10, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

MatthewRMarler on November 10, 2006 at 1:41 PM:

It's almost as though Michigan voters wanted the failed policies of Michigan adopted nationwide.

Hardly. Michigan voters couldn't see much of a difference between DeVos' policy proposals and Dubya's policy positions...and almost no one can call Dubya's implementation of trickle-down economics and promotion of the global economy a glaring success for the average Michigander.

...the Republican view on this issue more or less prevailed.

Considering that measure you are mentioning was supported by the Klu Klux Klan, saying that it matches the 'Republican view' doesn't say a whole lot for Republicans...Not to mention the shenanigans surrounding getting enough signatures to get Proposal 2 on the ballot.

It will be interesting to see if someone pits the ban on programs that give preferential treatment to groups or individuals based on their race, gender, color against the Proposal 2 from 2004, which banned gay marriage in Michigan...the language limits the proposal to 'public employment, education or contracting purposes', but it seems to me that there is a logical disconnect between approving the government's preferential treatment for straight couples while disapproving the government's preferential treatment for women and minorities.

Should make for an interesting debate if it occurs.

Posted by: grape_crush on November 10, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen wrote: I don't think a lot more people today embrace liberal principals. I think conservatism is still the ascendant philosophy even if people can not put it into words. The failure of the republicans is that they did not implement this philosophy correctly.

First of all, your comments make it quite clear to me that your notions of "conservatism" and "liberalism" are one-dimensional cartoon comic book stereotypes that have no relation to reality. "Liberals" don't actually live their values because they love their children? What a load of bullshit.

Secondly, anyone who ever believed for a moment that the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, George H. W. Bush, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Karl Rove, Tom DeLay et al was guided by "conservative philosophy" or any "philosophy" at all other than greed-driven criminality and a totalitarian lust for absolute power is at best a gullible idiot.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 10, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

How the hell have they managed to demonize a political philosophy that is rooted in the concept of liberty and dates to the enlightenment and the age of reason? How did liberty fall from grace?

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 3:10 PM:

I think conservatism is still the ascendant philosophy even if people can not put it into words.

Lol...Shorter John Hansen: 'Conservatism' is whatever a person thinks it is.

Posted by: grape_crush on November 10, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

SA

Just curious -
Is there any true conservative in national government who you think is a principled individual ? You seem too intelligent to believe conservative = greedy crook. Who amongst the current republicans do you believe is a good man or woman?

Posted by: John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

The 'Reagan Revolution' wasn't about Reagan so much as about a call back to a more practical conservative viewpoint of life. Reagan simply embodied this ideal in a strong leader.

Well, having lived through the 60s and 70s, I have a rather different view than that of John Hanson. You make it way too complicated John.

The overriding issues in those days were the Vietnam War and Civil Rights. Many people and politicians were against Civil Rights, including Reagan. Do you realize that Reagan publicly opposed every piece of specific civil rights legislation to come down the pike? He, and his self-called conservative brethren, always found an excuse to oppose. Black people took note and voted against Reagan 9 to 1 when he finally won the nomination and ran for President. But boy the self-called conservatives flock to the Republican Party.

Many people opposed the Vietnam War, thought it was a bad idea, thought Vietnam was no threat. Others, like Reagan, liked the Vietnam War, thought it was a great idea. Such folks tended to call themselves conservative and label anti-Vietnam War folks as liberals, radicals, etc..

You use the word practical. Yep, back in those days many folks who opposed Civil Rights found every proposed solution impractical, i.e., looney. Guys like William Rehnquist wrote memos pointing out that white folks would never accept crazy ideas like school integration. And opponents of the Vietnam War were naive and/or unpatriotic.

So, thanks John for taking us back to the good old days when great leaders like Ronald Reagan finally straightened us all out. We owe guys like him and GWB a great debt. Also, known as the national debt. Thanks.


Posted by: little ole jim from red country on November 10, 2006 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Who amongst the current republicans do you believe is a good man or woman?

I know one, but she is in Missouri politics. Her name is Sarah Steelman and she is our State Treasurer. She essentially announced her intent to mount a primary challenge against Matt Blunt for the governor's mansion in 2008 during his innaugural address.

If she defeats him in the primary and then faces Jay Nixon in the general, there is no bad outcome for the citizens of this state if that scenario plays out.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

Who amongst the current republicans do you believe is a good man or woman?

at one time, i thought McCain was honorable. after years of watching him smooch Bush's rosebud, no matter how many times Bush shat upon him, i lost that opinion.

Posted by: cleek on November 10, 2006 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

How the hell have they managed to demonize a political philosophy that is rooted in the concept of liberty and dates to the enlightenment and the age of reason? How did liberty fall from grace?

GC -

If this is a sincere question and not merely rhetorical, I invite you to go visit

http://www.dennisprager.com.

Dennis Prager is a conservative commentator who considers himself a liberal in the tradition of JFK. A former Democrat, he claims that the party left him, not he the party.

You might disagree, but at least give his site a look. Because he is a much better writer, he can better express how classical liberalism - which "...is rooted in the concept of liberty and dates to the enlightenment and the age of reason..." , has now become the unprincipled server of special interest groups.

Posted by: John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 3:53 PM:

Is there any true conservative in national government who you think is a principled individual?

Back at ya, John...Is there an individual in national government that could be considered a 'true conservative' ?

Posted by: grape_crush on November 10, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

How the hell have they managed to demonize a political philosophy that is rooted in the concept of liberty and dates to the enlightenment and the age of reason? How did liberty fall from grace?

Because they believe in all of the above, so long as all of the above is restricted to their own group. Remember, for some that does not include women, certain races of people, and many other groups which they reserve to right to define on an ad hoc basis.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on November 10, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

you mean this Dennis Prager:

    Perhaps the most important argument against same-sex marriage is that once society honors same-sex sex as it does man-woman sex, there will inevitably be a major increase in same-sex sex. People do sexually (as in other areas) what society allows and especially what it honors.

?

Posted by: cleek on November 10, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Oy. I'm a godless Jew. I know from Dennis Prager.

The difference between him and me is that I am willing to fight for my party and take it back from the feckless and useless appeasers.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen:

Classical liberalism is laissez-faire economics coupled with civil lihertarianism and an internationalist foreign policy. Its analogue in European politics would be the Liberal parties and not Labour.

Democrats who embrace getting back to it are often called neoliberals. Clinton's strong embrace of free trade and welfare reform makes him a classic "Third Way" politician in this regard.

But people like Dennis Prager who sentimentalize the old Democratic Party of Truman and JFK tend to be either one of two things -- cranky Libertarians without the strength of their convictions to go all out with it, or else liberal hawks who believe that America has a duty to stand firm in the world against alien ideologies.

Since there are many aspects of these two philosoophical tendencies that are mutually contradictory, this is actually sort of silly.

The Democratic Party of Truman and JFK was as rife with machine politics, corruption and special interest assuagement as any majoritarian political bloc, and hardly had a pure singular philosophy that somehow got corrupted later.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 10, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

has now become the unprincipled server of special interest groups.

Does it hurt, having that huge beam in your eye?

Posted by: craigie on November 10, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist

John Hanson can't help it. It is clear that he hasn't given much thought to either liberalism or conservatism. I am not sure he can give us either a definition or a good example of a "liberal." I am equally sure he is unable to give us a good working definition or a good example of a "conservative"

John Hanson, people come in all stripes and with all kinds of beliefs. The "liberals" you hate don't really exist because no one believes in or lives the full set of valuse you assign to "liberals." The same for the "conservatives" you embrace.

Posted by: Ron Byers on November 10, 2006 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Or should I say, one man's special interest group is another man's freedom fighter?

Posted by: craigie on November 10, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Uh-oh, my bad.

I didn't realize Dennis Praeger is a WorldNetDaily contributor.

That would make him a social conservative ideologue who romanticizes about the Truman and Kennedy Years not so much because he supports some sort of pure, uncorrupted notion of liberal ideology -- but only because those eras occured before the Sexual Revolution :)

Although, you'll admit, JFK was a bit ahead of his time in that regard :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 10, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen wrote: Because he is a much better writer, he can better express how classical liberalism - which "...is rooted in the concept of liberty and dates to the enlightenment and the age of reason..." , has now become the unprincipled server of special interest groups.

Oh, yes. All those "liberal special interest groups." Like wage-earning workers. Like family farmers. Like teachers. Like women. Like children and old people. Like policemen and firefighters. Like any Americans of other-than-western-European descent.

And completely unlike the "ordinary folks" whose interests are championed by the Republican Party -- hereditary billionaires.

John Hansen wrote: Is there any true conservative in national government who you think is a principled individual?

Bill Clinton was a true conservative. Among other things, he practiced fiscal discipline, submitted balanced budgets to the Congress, and actually reduced the size of the federal government, unlike either Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush. Also unlike Richard Nixon, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, he didn't try to expand the powers of the federal government to totalitarian extremes.

John Hansen wrote: Who amongst the current republicans do you believe is a good man or woman?

Lincoln Chafee seems like a decent sort.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 10, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Back at ya, John...Is there an individual in national government that could be considered a 'true conservative' ?

Rick Santorum comes to mind immediately. William Rhenquist, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts and Sam Alito too. Tom Coburn probably some others if I wanted to spend more time thinking.

GWB is not a 'true' conservative.

But, since its politics, its hard to tell who is sincere and who is just putting on an act to get votes. I have to admit Tom Delay had me fooled.

Posted by: John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

As one of those independents that broke your way this election, I just have a few comments...

My vote (and I suspect other independents as well) is ALWAYS IN PLAY. I gave the Dems a chance this election because of the GOP's general incompetence and lack of desire to actually govern. I got tired of the partisan games and the cheap political stunts of the Repubs.

Make no mistake - I didn't necessarily vote Dem because I think they have clear solutions to the problems this country faces. Truthfully, I think both parties are sticking their heads in the sand when it comes to the make or break issues, such as:

*The impending retirement of the baby boom generation and entitlements. I have not heard either party responsibly address this. How are we going to pay for all the goodies the Dems are promising? How is the vast block of seniors going to be supported in a country that is mountains of red ink and refuses to tax itself? Dems act like the system will just take care of itself and the GOP wants every person for themselves. They don't want to face the inevitable choice of either raising taxes significantly or cutting entitlements significantly (and they may have to do both).

*The Federal Debt- Not just the deficit, but the debt itself. The reason we are in this fix isn't just Bush's stupid tax cuts (obviously, it played a part), but it's because we simply can't stop ourselves from spending. Dems want to spend on social programs while the GOP wants to spend on the military. Meanwhile the debt just grows and grows.

Gore actually had the right idea back in 2000 when he said we have to pay down the debt. Don't you know that a good number of liberals criticized him for this?

I don't like the idea of being in debt to any nation, because it handicaps us and puts us at their mercy.

*Finally, the US role in the world. Both parties are wedded to the idea that US values are superior and that the US should have access to all the resources (namely oil). The main cause of anti americanism is a result of the rest of world objecting to this state of affairs. Our cultural values are not necessarily superior. If Pakistan feels that women should wear veils in public, who are we to tell them they are wrong? Likewise, if a country wants to experiement with socialism, it is none of our business.

On a closing note, this independent has been quite amused at the chest thumping on the left and the glum faces on the right. This country is on a slow slide to being a second rate power, and some folks think this is a damn football game, where if one side 'wins' they gloat while the losers swear payback. Simply amazing. Sometimes I think the Founders were correct in their dislike of what they called factions (political parties).

Remember, independents are watching Dems very carefully, and if they show the same BS the GOP pulled with the endless investigations and other time wasting partisan nonsense, we can just as easily swing away from you.

Posted by: Free Thinker on November 10, 2006 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

Since there are many aspects of these two philosoophical tendencies that are mutually contradictory, this is actually sort of silly.

Oh yeah, all these labels get real silly real fast. Thats why people who are good at problem-solving tend not to be the same folks who are so fond of applying labels to themselves, much less to other people.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on November 10, 2006 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Chuck Hagel is another honorable Republican with principles and he doesn't just preach them, he practices them. If he ran for the highest office, I would support him whole heartedly. I would work for his campaign. I would cross the ticket so fast your head would swim. The Dems would have to nominate the messiah for me to go against Hagel.

Also, I am still today Nancy Kassebaum's biggest fan. I have even forgiven Jack Danforth for Clarence Thomas (spit).

When the other side invokes Truman, FDR and Stevens I tend to respond with "What the hell have you done to honor the memory of Alf Landon?"

You will not be surprised at how many look at me and say "Who?"

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen wrote: Who amongst the current republicans do you believe is a good man or woman?

Lincoln Chafee seems like a decent sort.

This is a feckless answer. He just is the farthest left republican. It would be the same as me saying - "I think Joe Lieberman seems decent."

Do you think that any current conservatives in government are decent people?

Posted by: John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum should take heart: Bush, Mexico, and the Democrats are collaborating to get their plan. That plan will be perceived around the world as a massive amnesty, and will encourage millions of illegal aliens to come here. It will also be perceived by the vast majority of Americans as an amnesty once they see what it does. Perhaps once they see the effects it will be the Democrats that will become the permanent minority party, winning only on parts of either coast.

And, what Kevin Drum is basically saying is that we should turn a blind eye to illegal activity as long as one race benefits from and supports that activity. And, he's saying that we should allow one race to dictate our immigration policies, no matter what the majority of Americans think. In some areas, this race-based policy will lead to one race dictating the entire political structure, with only members of that race being effectively eligible for political office.

Happy Dog says: Pete Wilson permanently and decisively put the Latinos of California in the Democratic camp in 1994 with prop 192.

Here are the actual facts on Proposition 187. (Note that Democrats colluded with Mexico to help block that proposition which was passed by a large majority of voters.) See also About half of Arizona Hispanics voted for official English proposition.

mfw13 says: If the Democrats want to cement their advantage with Latino voters, it might not be a bad idea to nominate Bill Richardson for President in 2008.

Here's a quote from Richardson:

"These are changing political times where our basic and programs are being attacked. Illegal and legal immigration unfairly attacked. We have to band together and that means Latinos in Florida, Cuban-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, South Americans - we have to network better - we have to be more politically minded - we have to put aside party and think of ourselves as Latinos, as Hispanics, more than we have in the past."

Ethnic nationalism, aided and abetted by useful idiots like Kevin Drum.

-- Illegal immigration

Posted by: TLB on November 10, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

"independents swing back and forth all the time, and there's no special reason to think this particular swing is permanent."

well duh! water is wet. The whole point of being independent is that you are not wedded to a party and pick your poison at the time of any particular vote. An independent that always voted republican or democratic wouldn't be independent - they'd be a republican of democrat.
.

Posted by: pluege on November 10, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

I have to admit Tom Delay had me fooled.

Ok, great insight, you can run with that. I admit that at one time Richard Nixon had me fooled. Now, I try to pay a little closer attention.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on November 10, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

Do you think that any current conservatives in government are decent people?

Asked and answered.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Rick Santorum comes to mind immediately.

That's it, we're done here.

Posted by: craigie on November 10, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Rick Santorum comes to mind immediately.

Oh good Ford.

I am completely without speech.

This is no mean feat.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK


Bill Clinton was a true conservative. Among other things, he practiced fiscal discipline, submitted balanced budgets to the Congress, and actually reduced the size of the federal government, unlike either Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush. Also unlike Richard Nixon, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, he didn't try to expand the powers of the federal government to totalitarian extremes.

Um, in all fairness, as much as I agree with what you are saying, Clinton was no saint when came to civil liberties. Who do you think signed the Effective Antiterrorism and Death Penalty Act of 1996 into law? Some of the provisions were precursors of the Patriot Act later on. Also, the militarization of our society continued under Clinton. We actually had more foriegn interventions under Clinton than we did Bush, believe it or not (although for entirely different reasons). Haiti. Yugoslavia. Somalia (even though that started under Bush I).

Additionally, Clinton only achieved a balanced budget in tandem with a GOP congress. I know it is heresy to say that here, but it's the truth. Compromise forced the two sides to actually do something about it. During the 1993-94 period with unified Dem control, balancing the budget wasn't even on the Dem Congress radar screen. It only became an issue after 1995.

As much as I hate to say that, I have to be intellectually honest about it.

Posted by: Free Thinker on November 10, 2006 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

As much as I hate to say that, I have to be intellectually honest about it.

Who let you in here?

I'm glad they did, but the doorman was on break.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

http://www.truthcaucus.com/2006/11/04/david-brooks-on-rick-santorum

Posted by: John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Free Thinker; Have you met Red State Mike? You would like him.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

I place such stock in the world according to Brooks.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Do I have to come over here and post what Orthodox Judism has to say about homosexuals?

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Rick Santorum is a Fox News conservative--a man with a rigid and authoritarian social ideology.

Since I don't have time to provide you with a deep analysis of the Supreme Court Justices you name, I will simply say that each of those justices differs from the others on a variety of issues. They all have conservative elements in their judical philosophies, but none is a "true" conservative. Ruth Bader Ginsberg is probably more "conservative" on some issues than anybody you name.

Tom Coburn is an almost classic Southern Conservative. He is authoritarian in the extreme. He is more than willing to legislate government window peeping. He is forsqare for using government to legislate morality. Which is significantly different from a Western Conservative most of whom insist the government leave them alone when they are in their bedrooms. A good example of a traditional Western Conservative might be Sandra Day O'Connor, or maybe Berry Goldwater. Neither of them would approve of the kind of window peeping social conservativism embraced by Tom Coburn.

Tom Coburn is almost unique among southern conservatives in that he is also a fiscal conservative.

Posted by: Ron Byers on November 10, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

John Hanson. You havent yourself articulated what you think is a good conservative. Youve cited a few example (people), including Rick Santorum. After citing Santorum, you really badly need to explain yourself. You need to define the politics of a good conservative.

If you like Santorum and were fooled by DeLay, I can only guess that you emphasize the social issues near and dear to the heart of Evangelicals, e.g., oppose same sex marriage and possibly civil unions, oppose abortion rights, obsessed by pledge of allegiance in schools, religious symbols in the public square, etc.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on November 10, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton also signed the Defense of Marriage Act, remember?

Posted by: Jeffery on November 10, 2006 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen wrote: This is a feckless answer. [Lincoln Chafee] just is the farthest left republican. It would be the same as me saying - "I think Joe Lieberman seems decent." Do you think that any current conservatives in government are decent people?

What you asked was, "Who amongst the current republicans do you believe is a good man or woman?" and Chafee is among the current Republicans. I don't think he is very "far left", unless you define "far left" as not being a rubberstamp for Bush.

Representative Ron Paul of Texas is a Republican who is a self-proclaimed Libertarian. He appears to be a principled conservative in a true sense of the word -- not merely a bought-and-paid-for, phoney-baloney "conservative" shill and ass-kisser of the ultra-rich corporate elites -- and does seem to be a decent sort as far as I know. He is not a crook and he doesn't engage in the Nazi-like hate-mongering propaganda typical of many present day Republicans (again, as far as I know). He was among the most outspoken opponents of Bush's illegal war of unprovoked aggression against Iraq, and if I recall correctly, in the run-up to the war made some joint statements or appearances with Ohio's Democratic Representative (and 2004 presidential primary candidate) Dennis Kucinich, who is a principled liberal pacifist, in opposition to the war. I don't know how he fared in this election.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 10, 2006 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

Um, in all fairness, as much as I agree with what you are saying, Clinton was no saint when came to civil liberties. Who do you think signed the Effective Antiterrorism and Death Penalty Act of 1996 into law?

A fat lot of good it did the United States of America to have Bill Amateur Hour Pants Down in charge of defending our nation from attack. The provision you cite didn't really do anything about terrorism, now did it? Oh, there was that thing with the Millenium, but really, what was that? It was a minimum wage worker doing their job at the border, nothing more.

Had Clinton actually done something as evil as you suggest, would this nation have been attacked? Would we have a bevy of liberals who somberly tell us that they can still see the hole in the ground where the World Trade Center stood? No, of course not.

One can attack Clinton, but one better do it the correct way. The man fouled a carpet with his emissions and made a fat girl blush. And he did nothing to defend America.

Last time I checked, George W Bush was doing an amazing job of defending this country, and look where it got him--the liberals have been lying for five years because they want terrorists to knock down the capitalist infrastructure of this country and liberals want to understand Muslims and live in the stone age with them.

It's so much easier when we tell the truth, eh, liberals? Your uncle Norman is watching you, thanks to his contacts at the Justice Department. I hear your thoughts, your dreams and your hopes and all I have to do is pull the strings and the puppet dances, back and forth, back and forth.

And you wonder why I'm in charge around here. John Hanson, you may step back--I'll handle this.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 10, 2006 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Free Thinker: were you alive and sentient when Clinton passed his budgets? You think he passed them in tandem with a Republican Cogress? Wow.

The most important budget, by far (like all Presidents), was his first budget which set the stage for all his subsequent budgets. It passed without a single Republican vote. They werent even players.

Or, are you talking about Newt back-down-to-Clinton-every-time Gingrich. No, I think Clinton budgets were his own.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on November 10, 2006 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Free Thinker wrote: As much as I hate to say that, I have to be intellectually honest about it.

Everything you say about Clinton is correct and your intellectual honesty -- actually, just plain honesty -- is admirable. I assure you that I am not a Clinton worshipper and there was much that he did that I was unhappy with at the time and still am.

Nonetheless, I still think that he was essentially a Southern conservative Democrat, and was in fact the "compassionate conservative" that GW Bush pretended to be in the 2000 campaign.

And I think that in all the respects that I mentioned and that you commented on, his policies and actions were more in accord with something resembling a genuine "conservative" governing philosopy with regard to civil liberties, foreign policy and fiscal policy than was the case with any of the supposedly "conservative" Republican presidents from Nixon through GW Bush.

The whole manufactured right-wing notion that Bill and Hillary Clinton were far-left liberals was and is bullshit.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 10, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 4:22 PM:

GWB is not a 'true' conservative...Rick Santorum comes to mind immediately.

"I agree with the president a vast majority of the time. When I agree with him, I say it." (Rick Santorum - Sep 2006)

As for the others you mentioned, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for, say, Scalia to strictly interpret the Constitution and remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegience...

Posted by: grape_crush on November 10, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

During the 1993-94 period with unified Dem control, balancing the budget wasn't even on the Dem Congress radar screen.

Actually the Dems passed a deficit reduction act in 1993. Not one Republican voted for it, and many claimed that it would lead to a recession.

Posted by: AkaDad on November 10, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

I am both a social and fiscal conservative. What's hard to understand about that?

Posted by: John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

The Norman Rogers parody is hilarious.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 10, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

The Norman Rogers parody is hilarious.

Especially if you remember the real Norman Rogers.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

John Hanson:

Why do you think it's more appropriate for the government to regulate the private conduct of individuals than the public conduct of corporations?

Why do you propose more freedom in the economic spehere than you do in the private sphere?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 10, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

During the 1993-94 period with unified Dem control, balancing the budget wasn't even on the Dem Congress radar screen.

This is not correct. Clinton, like Carter before him, had balancing the budget as an important campaign plank when he ran for President. Like Carter before him, his budgets were well-received by mainstream financial institutions and the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office as fairly honest, reasonable budgets that used legitimate numbers and projections.

You absolutely cannot claim such for the budgets submitted by recent Republican Presidents.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on November 10, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Not to respond to an off topic tangent but-

As for the others you mentioned, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for, say, Scalia to strictly interpret the Constitution and remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegience..."

The fact that "under God" was added by a dictate of Congress (1954) and was required to be said in public schools means it comes much closer to truly violating the first amendment than any of the other ridiculous first amendment breeches proposed. I would assume that Scalia would not regard "Under God" as "...respecting the establishment of religion...", athough I have never read any opinion of his on the subject.

Posted by: John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers on November 10, 2006 at 4:57 PM:

George W Bush was doing an amazing job of defending this country..

...and then he ran out of quarters to put in the Missle Command videogame at the arcade.

Your uncle Norman is watching you..

So please take your hands out of your pants, Normie...That's gross and creepy...

Fun caricature, 'tho...Kudos to whoever's writing this version of Normie. Just be careful not to overdo it to the point it becomes annoying.

Posted by: grape_crush on November 10, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen wrote: I am both a social and fiscal conservative. What's hard to understand about that?

As others have pointed out in response to Free Thinker's comments, the Clinton administration and the Democrats in Congress in the early 1990s practiced -- in spite of Republican resistance -- fiscal conservatism that led to balanced budgets, while George W. Bush and the Republican Congress -- like Ronald Reagan before him -- have engaged in gross fiscal irresponsibility that has driven the country into debt and undermined the financial stability of the nation.

So, as a "fiscal conservative", you are presumably glad that the party with a clear record of responsible, fiscally conservative governance has taken back control of the Congress from the party with a clear record of fiscal irresponsibility.

And as to "social conservatism", the term is an oxymoron, since there is nothing whatever "conservative" about using the power of the State to force your preferred social behaviours or values on those who don't share them. E.g., bans on same-sex marriage are the very antithesis of principled conservative governance.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 10, 2006 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

So, do you think Santorum, Scalia, Rehnquist, and the others you admire agree with you post regarding "under God". If (and I) can see this so easily, why can't they?

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on November 10, 2006 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Socially authoritarian would be more honest.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen wrote: I would assume that Scalia would not regard "Under God" as "...respecting the establishment of religion...", athough I have never read any opinion of his on the subject.

Scalia has written that government derives its power from God and that democracy has had an "unfortunate tendency" to obscure this fact. Scalia is a blatant theocrat.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 10, 2006 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

Why do you think it's more appropriate for the government to regulate the private conduct of individuals than the public conduct of corporations?

Why do you propose more freedom in the economic spehere than you do in the private sphere?

Bob,

I really tried to answer these but found I was beginning an essay. Could you please narrow the scope a bit and I will try again.

Posted by: John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Why do you propose more freedom in the economic spehere than you do in the private sphere?

I fail to see a feasible way to narrow the scope of this question. Post the essay. We are mostly college grads with above average readign skills.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen: "classical liberalism - which "...is rooted in the concept of liberty and dates to the enlightenment and the age of reason..." , has now become the unprincipled server of special interest groups."

Unlike modern conservatism which has never been unprincipled server of special interest groups???

Jeepers, this is classic in-group/out-group social cognition: you define liberalism (the outgroup) by some hypothetical extremist crazies, but our living, breathing, reigning unprincipled manifestation of special interest group conservatism, Bushco, is excluded as not REAL conservatives.

It is no wonder you are confused. You can't see the log in your own eye because you are so busy complaining about the mote in the liberal eye.

The liberals on this thread are trying to tell you that the "unprincipled servers of special interest groups" on the liberal side are no more liberal than the "unprincipled server of special interest groups," GWB, is conservative.

Posted by: PTate in MN on November 10, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

I fail to see a feasible way to narrow the scope of this question. Post the essay. We are mostly college grads with above average readign skills.

Oh? And I'm the parody?

You shits wouldn't know parody if it shook your hand while biting you in the ass.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 10, 2006 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen wrote: I really tried to answer these but found I was beginning an essay.

If you really cannot simply and directly answer the question of why you think that economic behavior should never be regulated at all by government, regardless of how harmful such behavior may be to others, while at the same time you think government should have unlimited power to regulate the personal and private conduct of the most intimate behaviors of individuals -- e.g. in the privacy of their own bedrooms -- no matter how harmless to others such behavior may be, then your claims to have some sort of "principled" philosophy, "conservative" or otherwise, are not very credible.

Rather, you present the impression of being just another muddle-headed devotee of fake, phony Rush Limbaugh / Fox News "conservatism", with no real principles, just an incoherent jumble of fears, prejudices, and received beliefs in corporate-manufactured right-wing bogeymen.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 10, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers wrote: Oh? And I'm the parody?

Based on your previous post, you are either a parody, or a drunken asshole. Which is it?

I don't really care.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 10, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Why do you think it's more appropriate for the government to regulate the private conduct of individuals than the public conduct of corporations?

Why do you propose more freedom in the economic spehere than you do in the private sphere?

I don't actually think I put more emphasis on freedom in either sphere. Since I believe government tends to be oppressive, I think that one ought to err on the side of limited government. Nevertheless there is a need for government to sometimes trample on the rights of the individual corporation or person in order to preserve the rights of the society.

It seems to me that modern liberalism by its desire to redistribute wealth in a way that it thinks is "fair" must necessarily trample on the economic rights of many.

So I don't think I emphasize the rights in the corporate or economic sphere over the private sphere, I just think that there should be less economic oversight than liberalism postulates.

On the flip side, I think there is such a thing as a society's resposibility to make moral judgements and pass moral laws. This makes me prone to pass more laws against individual behavior than a liberal would.

In both cases, its not that I favor public over private or economic over social, but its that I favor different amount of government intervention in the area than liberalism would. Is that clear?

Posted by: John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

GC-

I didn't refuse to post an essay because I doubt your ability to read and comprehend. Most of you have shown yourselves to be quite intelligent.

I just did not want to take the time to write a lot seeing I also have to do my real job.

Posted by: John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

I think I get it. Intervention is okay so long as your ox doesn't get gored.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Based on your previous post, you are either a parody, or a drunken asshole. Which is it?

I'm a Libertarian, you cannot injure or kill me, and that's all that matters.

This endless loop discussion you all have going on with the dishonest and confused Mr. Hanson--you do realize that the man is about as conservative as, oh, I don't know--Lincoln Chaffee in a Barnes & Noble on Lesbian Poetry Night, do you not?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 10, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Other great predictions.

Phyllis Schafley crooned over and over that if the ERA passed, there would be UniSex bathrooms throughout the land.

Well, she helped stop the ERA and, how many of you have visited a UniSex bathroom of late.

They are indeed all over the land.

And sixty years ago, Ike stood up to the Isrealis, the British and the French when he told them to take their hands off the Suez Canal. This was prior to his re-election bid and he was told that it would cost him Jewish votes. Ike never blinked and was re-elected. Of course, that was when the Republican Party was still the party of Lincoln. Too many Schafleys, Birchers, Bigots and plain gangsters have completely changed the party I belonged to prior to 1964. That party will never return. The new party would be more comfortable at Meyer Lansky's Havana Hotel of old. However, who could be able to differentiate among the prostitutes, extortionists and killers and the delegates?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on November 10, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

I chalk it up to the Second Law of Thermodynamics - Without a constant input of energy, things fall apart.

In particular, the GOP has been able to hold on to its majority by having a fairly strong hold on the agenda, and being able to flood the populace with its talking points during the fall election season. This year, the Republicans could not get traction for their talking points, either because they did not have them (Iraq - once "stay the course" vs. "cut and run" was abandoned, they had nothing left to say) or they were drowned out in the noise (Foley, Abramoff, general corruption and, in the last week, pro-DEM horserace).

Posted by: Ephus on November 10, 2006 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

That the Israelis British and French all wanted Nasser dead was part of that canal nastiness too. Ike does get props for Seuz. A times of London piece by Matthew Paris recently called the Iraq war the "biggest forein policy cock-up since Suez."

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

I think I get it. Intervention is okay so long as your ox doesn't get gored

Huh? where did I mention that I had any personal stake in anything?

Posted by: John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen wrote: It seems to me that modern liberalism by its desire to redistribute wealth in a way that it thinks is "fair" must necessarily trample on the economic rights of many.

So I don't think I emphasize the rights in the corporate or economic sphere over the private sphere, I just think that there should be less economic oversight than liberalism postulates.

Hold on -- the "economic oversight" that actual, non-straw-man liberalism postulates is mandating that drug companies provide safe and effective remedies, that manufactuers provide a reasonably safe work environment, that companies not dump their wastes in the environment we all share, that nuclear energy be run in a manner that mitigates the very obvious risks, that business that use public resources like forests do so responsibly, that companies not deny Americans equal opportunity, etc. etc.

In short, government protects the rights of American citizens from the harm powerful organizations -- corporations -- may visit upon them. (If corporations have a "right" to clear-cut forest on public land for a mere pittance, dump carcinogenic slag in public waterways, operate nuclear power plants on the cheap or run sweatshops with mangling machinery, then those are "rights" that damn well ought to be "trampled"!)

I fail to see where "redistribut[ing] wealth" factors into it. Perhaps you can enlighten us. Your use of that phrase does, however, tend to support SecularAnimist's analysis. I'm afriad.

Posted by: Gregory on November 10, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 5:15 PM

..although I have never read any opinion of his on the subject.

Here ya go!

At a Religious Freedom Day rally in January 2003, the conservative Scalia reportedly said any changes to the pledge should be done "democratically," through the legislatures, not the courts. He also reportedly said removing references to God from public forums would be "contrary to our whole tradition."

Oh! and this too, which is the reason why he was asked to recuse himself from the Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow case.

Since there seems to be some confusion among conservatives regarding what 'conservatism' is, let me put it in a nutshell:

- There are social conservatives who want to establish their religious values into the laws and practices of this country. "Family values!"
- There are governmental conservatives driven by fiscal responsibility, a healthy military, usable foreign policy, and accountability. "Git rid of government waste! Strong defense!"
- There are libertarian conservatives who value small or no government involvement in everyday life. "Stay out of my bedroom!"
- There are capitalist conservatives who advocate for the supremacy of (mostly) unfettered economic markets. "Money is good!"

And there's blends and overlapping of each kind, along with plenty of conflicts.

Posted by: grape_crush on November 10, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

I just did not want to take the time to write a lot seeing I also have to do my real job.

Ah, you let your mouth write a check your butt couldn't cash. Now you're sounding like a conservative.

Posted by: Gregory on November 10, 2006 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

Huh? where did I mention that I had any personal stake in anything?

Since everyone has a personal stake in everything at some level, it is a given.

Lets take gay marriage as an example. I have read comments you have posted in the pass. You seem to be of the opinion that if my uncles could wed it would be the downfall of society. you have no dog in this fight, apparently, or you would not be so willing to discriminate agbainst approximately 10% of the population.

Since you posess no uterus of your own it is easy to be against a woman's right to choose.


Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps the most critical thing which needs to happen, and which may have happened this election, is the death and burial of the strawman-to-beat-all-strawmen the concept of the "60's liberal" as an all-purpose perjorative.

It is too easy by half to point to an image of a pot-smoking, rioting, school administration building occupying 20 year old, going to college on his or her parent's hard earned money, who thinks being a member of the Weather Underground would simply be the second coolest thing other than getting to be Keith Richards for a day.

That "liberal" never existed as any significant percentage of the population, yet, its now been at least 10 to 15 years of traction on this strawman.

Despite Clinton's actual election (and this was a guy who actually grew up in the 1960's) you would think that God knows what would happen if a "liberal" ever got elected.

The fact that Al Gore, the dweebiest guy in perhaps the entire history of the United States, lost an election because some number of people would not vote for a "liberal" really is kind of funny when you think about it.

Well, the thing is, we now know exactly what we get when you have an all-conservative all-star Federal government, and its not very pretty. Let's run down what actually happened, shall we?

1. Waste of taxpayer dollars. The Democratic program has not even been dreamed of which can hold a candle to the amount of money that can be flushed down the toilet on military spending gone wrong.

2. Limited government. Yeah, really limited, when a special bill is passed to intervene in the middle of a family tragedy that happens to make the evening news.

3. The gap between the lip service paid to the voters who would send every brown person out of the country on a rail and what actually is proposed (which is of course, the gap between "nothing" and the lip service.

4. Finally, American has now had a very good look at what its like to let the party who believes government is a joke be in charge of the government. Its kind of like those days where some elementary school kid gets to be principal for a day, except for the fact that the Republicans got to screw up the best government in the history of the world, for real, for six years.

Posted by: hank on November 10, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

Back later. I need to acknowledge to my students taht I received their emailed term paper rough drafts.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

GC -

Since you posess no uterus of your own it is easy to be against a woman's right to choose.

This is an unfair argument. Do you exempt me from the right to have an opinion on abortion because I am not female?

I *try* to make my decisions and judgments independent of my interest. Like most human beings, I fail sometimes. You can choose not to believe this, but to just posit this without personally knowing me and trying to discern my character from my admittedly clumsy writing is not fair.

Posted by: John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

Globe:

I love debates and discussions about core principles of political philosophy the best -- and I consider John Hansen a particularly high level specimen of our usual opponents here -- so this is great for me :)

First thing, there are a lot of weeds in this discussion we need to clear away from both sides. Stop thinking of "liberal" and "conservative" the way they're usually defined, because they make no sense. Standard liberals and standard conservatives are both amalgams of different strains of political philosophy which are not remotely consistent. Libertarians are consistent -- but they aren't conservative. Populists are consistent -- but they aren't liberal. Let's first define terms:

Conservatism is a political philosophy built on a strong regard for the past. It tends to respect hierarchy, a clearly defined and immutable order in nature and has a deeep respect for the limits of an inherently flawed human nature. Historically, it has allied itself with monarchy, aristocracy, tradition and established churches and the economic status quo -- but it isn't synonymous with them, either.

Liberalism is the countervailing force that, conversely, looks to the future. It has a deep resepct for egalitarianism founded on natural rights, sees nature as an interweaving of contexts, of suhject and environment, and sees "human nature" -- while not perfectly malleable -- to a large degree as the product of historical and social construction. Historically, it has allied itself with monarchical overthrow (such as our own Revolution), the rising merchant and working classes, the forces of broad public learning (especially in the sciences) which problematize tradition, charismatic emerging churches and economic progress -- but it isn't synonymous to any one of them, either.

Modern conservatives are an amalgam of conservative views on social issues and liberal views on economic issues.

Modern liberals are an amalgam of liberal views on social issues and liberal goals on economic issues enacted through the conservative means of a strong state.

Modern Libertarians are classically liberal on both economic and social issues.

Modern populists are classically conservative on social issues and, like modern liberals, use the conservative means of a strong state to attain the liberal ends of economic fairness.

And that's it in a nutshell.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 10, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

John Hanson

You do realize that unlike every human being, every corporation is an economic tool created by some government. They are all created for the precise purpose of sheltering the members of some group of people from individual liability when something the group does goes wrong. Without government, corporations cease to exist. Why shouldn't government oversee the activities of the economic tools it creates? For all practical purposes the government is the corporation's god.

If some group of business people are going to ask for the protection of the state when they ask for a corporate charter, why should they be surprised that the state asks the business people follow rules created by the state. Why shouldn't those rules protect individuals from exploitation by the group seeking corporate protection.

Posted by: Ron Byers on November 10, 2006 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

Bob,

Thanks for the scholarly analysis. I appreciate the history lesson. Now how does the PC anti-first amendment ( e.g. speech codes on campuses) , pro illegal immigration, pro affirmative action, pro state dependency side of liberalism fit in.

Please note I have purposely listed what many here would consider straw men, but a lot of conservative talk radio consists of finding examples of people who actually promote these issues and publicizing them.

Posted by: John Hansen on November 10, 2006 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

We are mostly college grads with above average readign skills.

Our typign, however, is not so hot.

Posted by: craigie on November 10, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen wrote: "Please note I have purposely listed what many here would consider straw men, but a lot of conservative talk radio consists of finding examples of people who actually promote these issues and publicizing them."

A lot of conservative talk radio consists of lying to gullible dupes like you.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 10, 2006 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

The problem is with absolute liberty. The rights of man were never conceived to be without limit, which would be anarchy. A more brutal fate than absolute tyranny. The question for French and English liberal philosophers, in the broadest sense, has been how much liberty was necessary for a man to be a man and not a slave. The right to property is a sacred and ancient right in liberal thinking. But like all other rights it is subject to coercion. How much or how little is subject to debate.

There is a long history to be told here. Something that quite distinguishes English-speaking countries. The story of radical economic and moral individualism. A belief that the state could, and should, be reduced to an industrial machine that facilitates the natural order of atomized men. A long history that goes from industrial Manchester to Herbert Spencer (the man who gave us Every man has freedom to do all that he wills, provided he infringes not the equal freedom of any other man and Survival of the Fittest) to anti-socialists like Ayn Rand, the Austrians, Milton Friedman and Margaret Thatcher (And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families.).

Posted by: bellumregio on November 10, 2006 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

Bob, Globe might be a little offended at having liberalism explained to her. Remember, her screen name is a hat tip to Hume, after all.

Posted by: Joyfully Subversive on November 10, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers wrote: "I'm a Libertarian, you cannot injure or kill me, and that's all that matters."

Oh, so you are both a parody and a drunken asshole.

As a "Libertarian", you have posted numerous comments on this site expressing your vehement opposition to the Bush administration's gross and egregiously unconstitutional abuses and expansions of executive power and infringements on fundamental liberties, right?

Wrong.

You've done nothing but lick Bush's boots and whine about "Democrats" and "liberals" who opposed Bush's totalitarianism.

You are not only a (self-)parody and a drunken asshole, you are a pretentious phony.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 10, 2006 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

Confusing - Did Jim's Big Ego write his hit song about the trools on this site, or Shrub? The song seems to fit soooooooo many.

And, yes, you could add "drunken" to it.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on November 10, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

John Hanson

By now you must realize that the writers on this blog don't have much regard for talk radio. More importantly, some of the posters are pretty well educated and have well considered positions on the issues. Some of the rest of us work hard to keep up.

Thank you for your posts on this thread. They are much appreciated.

Posted by: Ron Byers on November 10, 2006 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

Since when does "libertarian" equate with "immortal" and before the election, wasn't one of the Normans making the same claim about but proclaiming "I am a Republican and you can not injure or kill me?"

Posted by: Joyfully Subversive on November 10, 2006 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen:

> Thanks for the scholarly analysis. I appreciate the history lesson.

Now watch Norman call both of us morons :)

> Now how does the PC anti-first amendment (e.g. speech codes on
> campuses),

Okay, I'm pretty civil libertarian, but I'll play devil's advocate
here. Free speech has never been an absolute right. You aren't
allowed to yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater, there are laws against
slander and libel, and the courts recognize "fighting words" -- speech
so inflammatory it causes a visceral reaction and shuts down thought.

On a campus, the idea is to promote a climate where the free
exchange of ideas can take place. If you have a bunch of frat
boys hanging out on the quad and tossing racial slurs at minority
students (or any number of other examples of what might be called
"hate speech"), you set up a climate of intimidation. Should women
at work submit to a barrage of sexual innuendo from their superiors
on behalf of free speech rights? Nobody believes so. Verbal
harrassment is still harrassment. If somebody gets directly
in front of my face and loudly curses me off in a hostile and
threatening way, that's not free speech -- legally, that's assault.

Now -- can campus speech codes be pushed too far? Of course. Many of
them have not withstood constitutional challenges. All I'm saying is
that there most definitely is a counterargument to the First Amendment
purist position. I'd probably agree with the SCOTUS decisions here.

> pro illegal immigration,

That's truly a straw man. Nobody's "pro-illegal immigration"
per se; the problem is that we have a big country with huge borders
and coastlines, and the question becomes how much of our freedoms
do we want to cede to the state for the sake of stopping the inflow
of illegals -- and how economically difficult should we make it for
the companies who employ illegals. Note your position here flatly
contradicts your above position in favor of full-out free speech
rights. That's a classically liberal position; an anti-illegal
alien position is classically conservative and/or populist.

> pro affirmative action,

You'd use the same analysis you'd use for hate speech. Sometimes
limiting the rights of individuals serves a larger purpose by making
it fairer for more people. If racism didn't still linger in America,
there would obviously be no need for racial preferences of any kind.
But sadly it still does (Does "macaca" ring a bell? "Harold, call
me?") So as long as it does, society has an obligation to mitigate
some of the effects for the sake of helping to erode this legacy.

Can AA programs go too far? Absolutely. Crude quota systems have
been rejected, as they should. But it's not a simple question,
either. We're still not at the point yet where people are judged
by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

When that moment arrives, AA will have served its useful purpose.

> pro state dependency side of liberalism fit in.

People aren't naturally fair. The strong few tend to lord it over
the many weak. Philosophically pure conservatives see this as part
of the natural order of things; liberals see it as a social flaw that
can be ameliorated. All liberal democracies accept the latter premise.

You have to understand, John, that from a really long-wave historical
perspective, liberalism beat out conservatism three centuries ago.

> Please note I have purposely listed what many here
> would consider straw men, but a lot of conservative
> talk radio consists of finding examples of people who
> actually promote these issues and publicizing them.

Of course. And I'm glad to see that you recognize how talk radio
works to invent the concrete existence of these phony straw men.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 10, 2006 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Joyfully Subversive:

Oh, I wasn't intending in any way to patronize Globe about this stuff, to be sure.

I wrote it for John Hansen. Sorry if I didn't make it more apparent in context.

And not only a hat tip to David Hume -- but to Immanuel Kant and the Kingdom of Ends, too :)

Let's never forget his incredibly influential essay Perpetual Peace, where he proposed for the first time an international community of member nations. A proto-League of Nations back in the late 1700s.

The European Fascists reacted against that essay for decades.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 10, 2006 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

I have to take a swing at affirmative action because it is hardly ever discussed in what I think is the proper context.

There is really no room for argument that for an extended period of decades, the Federal, state and local governments not only did nothing to prevent discrimination, discrimination was legally enforced.

Everything from segregated schools, a segregated military, discrimination in hiring, discrimination in admissions to higher education, it was across the board.

Now, fortunately, a consensus emerged that this was not right. At that point, society, acting through its governmental entities of elected representatives, and, because we are a common law country, its judges, faced a decision. Let's assume for purposes of this discusssion that the decision had to be made in, say 1966, although that oversimplifys it a bit.

The options were:

(1) Do nothing. Its enough for government to not actively promote discrimination, if individuals continue to discriminate, its not the problem of government.

(2) Pay money. If a number of citizens have been damaged, pay them. How much difference is there between the fact that an African American was denied quality education and discriminated against in his employment history, so therefore his family should be paid $X (representing what he would have made absent such state-sponsored discrimination), and a man who should be paid $X because of an injury caused by a faulty county-owned bus?

(3) Adopt laws which are in their nature remedial. Affirmative Action programs are a remedy.

It is of course, ridiculous to argue that Affirmative Action laws discriminate. They better damn well discriminate, otherwise what use are they?

The real question, which I hardly ever see discussed, is when will this remedy have run its course? Its analytically sloppy IMO, to argue that there is a need for AA laws as long as there is discrimination in society. There is always going to be some level of discrimination in society, the question is when has the government provided a sufficient remedy for its own discriminatory past?

I'm 46, and I'm probably still benefiting from the fact that, as far as I can tell, my white parents spent their 20's building their careers in a stacked deck era when a significant number of people who would have been their competition were being relegaed to janitorial status.

Faced with this reality, its kind of hard to argue against the remedy of affirmative action is it not?

Posted by: hank on November 10, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen: Please note I have purposely listed what many here would consider straw men, but a lot of conservative talk radio consists of finding examples of people who actually promote these issues and publicizing them.

And that's the point. In my obviously not unbiased opinion, most conservative pundits (not just talk radio hosts) spend a lot of time on straw man or trivial issues. Alternatively, they spout slogans ("a rising tide lifts all boats") or talk in vague generalities about philosophical principles. Meanwhile, they avoid hard facts and numbers about important laws and policies.

PC anti-first amendment ( e.g. speech codes on campuses)

Bad stuff. Laws and/or campus rules against assault of harassment already protect people against serious problems. So how many "liberal" politicians do you know that actually support these?

pro illegal immigration

Yup, many "liberal" politicians are pretty bad about this, conflating enforcement of entirely reasonable immigration laws with bigotry and xenophobia. As for "conservatives" you have a choice between rabid authoritarians who want to make it a felony, and the Bush style "we gotta get them some cheap labor visas". No consistency there.

pro affirmative action

Generally I'm opposed to it, except in extreme cases. In practice it has little or no effect on my life. Who cares?

pro state dependency

Way too broad a statement to have any meaning. The only people truly opposed to state dependency are anarchists.

On the economic side, does "pro state dependency" include laws that shield owners from liability (the essence of incorporation), or bankruptcy laws that shield lenders from the consequences of making risky loans?

For a good examination of how "conservatives" believe in rugged individualism only for the non-wealthy, see The Conservative Nanny State.

Posted by: alex on November 10, 2006 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

General:

Affirmative action? Moms Mabley didn't need affirmative action. Moms Mabley told white people where to stick it and I loved her for it. That Wanda Sykes wouldn't have a career right now if it wasn't for Moms, you know. I had a point to make but I lost it--this happens from time to time, but so long as we're still talking about me, it's alright.

The Joyless Smurfette:

Since when does "libertarian" equate with "immortal" and before the election, wasn't one of the Normans making the same claim about but proclaiming "I am a Republican and you can not injure or kill me?"

Well, you cannot kill me, and no where did I claim to be the Republican Party. I am a Libertarian, and someone may or may not have been spoofing or impersonating me; this happens all the time around here and what do you want me to do about it?

Smurfette, you need a man to keep you from being lonely and confused about things. How are you going to reconcile the fact that, while you bicker with me, your armpits go unshaven and your grasp of the topic escapes you like a kitten with too much catnip? Clean up, toots, and find yourself a partner to ride in this thing called life. It will help you and your non-existent sense of humor, capiche?

The Bickering Twit:

The strong few tend to lord it over the many weak. Philosophically pure conservatives see this as part of the natural order of things; liberals see it as a social flaw that can be ameliorated. All liberal democracies accept the latter premise.

Bah! What a load of shit to be spewing on a Friday night. I have an excuse as to why I can't go anywhere this evening--a bloody monitoring device around my left ankle. Now I know how poor Martha felt. But know this--I am one of the strong few and it is only by my good graces that I let you have your opiates so that you don't rise up, en masse, against the state. Why do you think episodic television exists in the first place? Advertising revenue? NO! It exists in the 24 week format to keep you numbskulls from paying attention. The strong will always keep the weak in line--this is embedded into the DNA code of all living things on this planet. It is why there is a wolf pack in the first place. Your uncle Norman is an alpha wolf--never forget that, or you'll be nipped and bitten about the ears. I have made myself entirely by living my life as an alpha wolf, and you are all sheep to me.

Now, fuck off and watch a little Walker, Texas Ranger. That will teach you character, integrity and gritty common sense--all things which you lack.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 10, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

NORMAN !

An ankle bracelet? Really? That's *adorable*. Does it chafe? Do you use ointment? Did they prevent you from using the more common salves because they might interfere with the GPS antenna?

Oh *do* tell us about how you managed to get yourself sprung, ol' sport. I will taunt you about this until I wrest a good story out of you at last :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 10, 2006 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers wrote: "I am a Libertarian ..."

No, you are not a Libertarian. You are a pretentious phony.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 10, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers: never forget that, or you'll be nipped and bitten about the ears

I'm only half afraid.

Posted by: Vincent van Gogh on November 10, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist:

Though I was a doubter at first, I think the evidence has been steadily mounting that ol' Norman is a spoof. I don't think several people are picking up the Norman torch; his persona still seems pretty consistent from when he first showed up again a few weeks ago (despite the blatant lie about not being a Republican during the election -- I think that's part of the Norman-is-never-wrong schtik); now I'm wracking my brain trying to imagine who it could be ...

Some people insist it's Pale; I dunno. The conjoined dash style is the same, but I still have my doubts. Pale's anger is too real, and his belief in issues seems too genuine. You'd need a really finely-honed sense of the absurd to do Norman -- a full-tilt asshole 93% of the time with just a few touches around the edges, like the "hair system" he's so vain about. But lately with all the prison talk and shitting his couch, he's opening up into a turf I can imagine Pale mining ...

What argues against Norman being a parody by a liberal regular here (as opposed to a genuine conservative just having fun with our worst fears about rich people) is that he did argue pretty tenaciously during the election, with a fair degree of quotes and links. Why would a spoofer go to all that trouble to make a political case he doesn't believe in?

So I'm torn. I'm still not quite ready to believe Norm's a parody the way it's conclusive that "Jeffery" (heh) is Chuckles ...

Which is part of why it's so amusing to try to draw him out of his, umm, shell :)

Hey Norman -- you enjoy the way I talk about you as if you were a praying mantis pinned down with needles on a corkboard with an eye dropper hovering dangerously over your thoractic region? :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 10, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

rmck, you remind me that even in mid November, there are always liberal gnats to be swatted with verve and gusto. I explained my reason for staying home tonight; what's yours? No friends to give your carless, license-revoked self a ride to the shot-and-a-beer bar where you make the pretty girls run screaming by slurring "hegemonic tautology" thirty-seven times in a row apropros of nothing?

No, sir, you will not get the story of my release, and I'll tell you why. Under the terms of the settlement currently being negotiated between my lawyer and the local gentlemen in blue, I am forbidden from speaking publicly of the details of my release. Suffice it to say that succumbing to a little police brutality, which I admit I didn't mind as much as I let on, can quickly recoup the largish funds dropped that day on the ingrate homeless I hired for campaign-enhancing purposes. That's right--a bloody nose and two cracked ribs later, I'm back in the black. Ha, ha!

And you liberals wonder why you cut such a pitiful rug on the political dance floor.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 10, 2006 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Norman -- you enjoy the way I talk about you as if you were a praying mantis pinned down with needles on a corkboard with an eye dropper hovering dangerously over your thoractic region? :)

More than you know or are capable of discerning, old man. Is there no end to this amateur hour? I beg you liberals for a worthier challenge that rmck1 is mounting. There's nothing on TCM tonight. Anyone? Anyone?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 10, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

Norman:

So let me get this straight (if "straight" is the word I want):

The police paid you the cost of your "campaign disbursments" to let them beat you up without you pressing charges ...

Where's Geraldo Rivera when you need him most, eh? :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 10, 2006 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

A drunken asshole and a pretentious phony walk into a bar.

The bartender says, "Hi Norman."

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 10, 2006 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

John Hansen:

"Thanks for the scholarly analysis. I appreciate the history lesson. Now how does the PC anti-first amendment ( e.g. speech codes on campuses) , pro illegal immigration, pro affirmative action, pro state dependency side of liberalism fit in."

Sorry for the long reply, but I want to address each of these issues.

Speech codes on campus: I won't deny that some people who call themselves liberals have attempted to, and succeeded in, censoring conservative speech. The recent riotous behavior at Columbia is a case in point, and I would prefer that the students had expressed their viewpoints in ways other than shouting and pushing.

BUT I am all in favor of political correctness, as I define it, which is consideration of others in public speeches. In other words, if a given word or phrase is known to be historically offensive to a certain group, why is there any necessity of using the offensive term? There was no reason for George Allen to have called the young man of Indian ethnic origin a macaca, for example. Basic rule of thumb here is: when in doubt, DON'T SAY IT.

Pro-illegal immigration: most of us liberals realize that illegals wouldn't be here were it not for utterly reprehensible economic policies in Mexico and other countries; plus the willingness of businesses in this country to hire said illegals. Mass deportation, building of walls, etc., do NOTHING to address the underlying problems and will not stop illegal immigration.

Also, the idea that illegals are massively using health services is not true. They do use ERs sometimes, but only when they're really really sick. They tend to rely upon curanderos and curanderas and other resources within their own communities, because if they use ERs they can get caught and deported. Same for using other social resources.

I would like to see greater means for admitting immigrants legally, and enforcement of laws against hiring illegals, and leaning upon Mexico to the extent we can, to clean up its act.

Affirmative action: some sort of strict quota system based upon arbitrary criteria, NO. However, the mantra often heard is that "less qualified" applicants are being admitted or hired over "more qualified".

First, when looking at student applicants or job applicants, you have to be sure that your criteria really are relevant. For instance, there was a flap about firefighters some years back, because many fire departments required that an applicant be capable of running 500 feet with a heavy hose and some other equipment, which disqualified almost all females. But modern firefighters are almost always able to park closer to fires, and have equipment to play out the hoses. Moreover, smaller team members are sometimes needed to slip into small spaces for rescue work, for instance. So a diverse team sizewise is the best.

Medical students. Are MCATs and grades the only criteria which should be considered? No, they predict to some extent success in medical school, but are of limited relevance in predicting who will be a good doctor. Character and personality are probably more important but hard to measure.

I have been an interviewer for medical student applicants at the University of Arizona College of Medicine for about 10 years. The UofA College of Medicine looks at MCATs and undergraduate grades, of course. But the part I and other similar interviewers play is to try to get to know the applicants in other ways.

We look at what sorts of exposure they have to medicine such as volunteering in clinics, shadowing physicians, etc. Do they have a lot of volunteering experience in general? Do they do things for their community? Have they done things which show leadership or good teamwork? How do they come across in the interview situation? What are their families like?

The Admissions Committee also looks at their economic backgrounds. Someone who has had to work one or two jobs, and perhaps provide care for an elderly or sick relative, while still going to school and doing volunteer work, whose grades and MCATs are slightly lower than someone else who has done none of the other things, may get preference. Is that so bad?

This College of Medicine also looks for candidates who have had significant exposure to other cultures, either being ethnically part of those, or having lived and worked with them. We recognize that in this time with increasing numbers of people from all over the world, understanding that there are cultural differences, and even better, ability to speak other languages, are huge plusses in physicians (and other health team members). Is this so bad?

Pro state dependency: we liberals believe in giving others a helping hand, hoping that they can then stand on their own. We also recognize that some people are incapable of this.

I have no problem with religious organizations also helping here, and indeed have worked through my church in a soup kitchen. But the scope of the problem is such that some governmental aid is also necessary.

Has that aid always worked the way we wanted? No, but what we need to do is look at ways of better targetting aid, not abandoning the idea altogether. After all, Jesus said, "Even as you do unto the least of these, so do you also unto me".

Posted by: Wolfdaughter on November 10, 2006 at 8:26 PM | PERMALINK

Well, when I called for Dumbocrat reinforcements, I had in mind someone less witless than Secular Hamhand. NEXT!

And you liberals wonder why I Riverdance all over your every post.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 10, 2006 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK


Who let you in here? I'm glad they did, but the doorman was on break.

Actually, the Dems who were more than happy to get my vote on Tuesday let me in, thank you very much.

As for Red State Mike, I really don't give a damn about 'red states' or 'blue states'. I call it as I see it. I think this partisan crap is why this country is in the mess it's in.

I still feel that deficit reduction was not the main emphasis at the time (I admit that not on the radar screen was a bit much). Clinton may have wanted to balance the budget, but that was not the chief concern of the Congress at the time. And like it not, the balanced budget took place under divided government.

Now I fully realize that the groundwork of this was laid in 1990 and 1993 with the budget deals both Bush I and Clinton made with the Congress. But it was not a major priority as opposed to health care.

If you have a problem with independents, fine. Just say so. I didn't realize the tent was so small.

Posted by: Free Thinker on November 10, 2006 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

No, quite the opposite. I'm pretty independent myself. I consider myself a small-ell libertarian and big-Dee Democrat. I meant that post in exactly the opposite vein you took it. I'm glad to have you and your ideas on board, and I hope the Dems keep you.

Posted by: Joyfully Subversive on November 10, 2006 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

Huh. Joy was the last person on this computer in the lab. That was from me, Free Thinker. I got here through a coworker who left the PA site up a couple of years ago when we did shift change. If she had time to lurk and post, I have a quiet evening in the blood bank, hopefully.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

As for Red State Mike, I happen to like the guy. He brings something to the debate other than name-calling and invective.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

Some people insist it's Pale; I dunno. The conjoined dash style is the same, but I still have my doubts. Pale's anger is too real, and his belief in issues seems too genuine. You'd need a really finely-honed sense of the absurd to do Norman -- a full-tilt asshole 93% of the time with just a few touches around the edges, like the "hair system" he's so vain about. But lately with all the prison talk and shitting his couch, he's opening up into a turf I can imagine Pale mining ...

Well, here we fucking go again--rickmick the genius is psychoanalyzing people again when he should be sucking his thumb and blinking his eyes to signal that it's time to change his pooopy pants.

rickmick--no one cares. You couldn't figure shit out if someone drew you a roadmap and gave you a 200 page manual, titled, rickmick: this is how you figure shit out.

[disclaimer: my rule now is, I take one shot at rickmick per thread and then I don't respond to the seven or eight hysterical things he writes in reply. He carries water and shills for people Jon Corzine like a bitch who's just stuck his nose up someone's ass for a quarter. This avoids a flame war, which is what we need to have with these fucking trolls so we can restore a tiny bit of equillibrium around here--last time I fucking checked, the Republican Party had just had its ass kicked and they were running from the subpoena power of the Congress like little bitches.]

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 10, 2006 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

Globe,

You asked me to check out something at your blog--I went there to see what it was and I couldn't remember what it was.

Your site is looking great--I think this would be a good time to put up the link to your site because, as a regular, I can specifically ask you to post the link to your site and you, as a regular, well, you can do whatever ya want.

Howdy folks, where'd John Hansen come from? Looks like a dweeb to me.

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 10, 2006 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

It was the post about Desert Crossings and the necessity for war games, since you were actually there. Here is the link.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

Globe:

Yeah, there are a bunch of conservos that I've always enjoyed debating with -- even if they're always at risk of being troll-baited. Here's my list:

Red State Mike
republicrat
minion of rove
Trashhauler
Steve White
Chicounsel
sportsfan79

This is not an exhaustive list. Nor do I mean that none of these folks have produced obnoxiously trollish arguments from time to time. Most of them, in fact, have. But what they all share in common is a tendency not to lead with their chins, to keep the ad-hom down and the civility up.

Notice I'm not including some of the more passive-aggressive members of the para-trolletariat (Scotian's immortal for coining that) -- the ones who remain civil while assuming bogus premises and regurgitating the talking points. Ex-liberal, for instance, doesn't make the cut. Nor would tbrosz if he were around for essentially the same reasons -- and minion only made it by the skin of his pixels.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 10, 2006 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider:

Nope. Nothing about your rhetorical style would suggest you'd be spoofing Norman.

Way too humorless.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 10, 2006 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider:

Besides which, Pale, you wouldn't last three rounds in a flamewar with me and you bloody well know it.

Unlike yours, my repetoire is a tad more extensive than sixth-grade insults :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 10, 2006 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

You know how long I waited to find a suitable post to use a photo of a Titan launching? Ages!!!

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider:

John Hansen isn't a bad sort. He's not a jerk by any means, and he doesn't drop in enough to be called a troll. I should've included him on my list, in fact.

But he *is* a pretty hardcore religious conservative and ideological Republican. So resistance to his views -- especially on gay marriage -- tends to be quite appropriately fierce.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 10, 2006 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

I find him frustrating and arrogant, myself. All the sanctimony one can stand in one persona.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

Oh sheesh -- the gay marriage debate with zoe? That was pretty insufferable.

Somebody like John -- who has a religious foundation for the belief that men and women are inherently unequal -- is going to veritably define insufferable sanctimony. There's no way to carry that brief otherwise.

But as a debater, I didn't think he was a dick, is all. He was as respectful as his ideas could allow him to be.

Now if it was Chuckles carrying that water ...

That's the difference.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 10, 2006 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK


RMCK1: Hey Norman -- you enjoy the way I talk about you as if you were a praying mantis pinned down with needles on a corkboard with an eye dropper hovering dangerously over your thoractic region? :)

I can't speak for Norman, but for myself...no.
Regarding your enjoyment of it, I think there might be some persons of a scientific bent who wish they could, at least figuratively, pin your dissected brain to a corkboard for the purpose of finding out why.

Others (you among them, I suppose) believe they know already--and have the justifications to prove it. Likewise, insults directed toward me may be substituted for proof. And, as a last refuge, humor may be claimed. Yes, our laughter will betray us.


Posted by: jayarbee on November 10, 2006 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

RMCK1: Hey Norman -- you enjoy the way I talk about you as if you were a praying mantis pinned down with needles on a corkboard with an eye dropper hovering dangerously over your thoractic region? :)

Oh, please continue. It's like watching a monkey light dynamite and wonder what all the fuss is about.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 10, 2006 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, *Norman* That was funny.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 10, 2006 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

Norman is completely hysterical. My favorite satirist on this site, by far.

The only two questions seem to be: Is Norman ...

1) A liberal who's writing the most dead-scabrous satire of an Evil, Obscenely Wealthy, Old-Money Republican imaginable? or ...

2) An arrogant conservative who initially came to bloviate about the election and pushed his persona increasingly over-the-top because he decided he liked the attention?

I honestly don't know which.

I tell you, though. If Norman is indeed written by a regular, I'd sure like to know who it is just to congratulate the hell out of this person. S/he needs, like, a writer's award :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 10, 2006 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

Sometimes one reads mendacity on this site.
Sometimes one reads intelligent thought.
Sometimes one reads humor.
And sometimes the hubris of some simply oozes back through your screen.

The debate ended Tuesday. Exchange e-mail when you wish to print tomes of your own, so very precious and special, thoughts.

Pale, your steed is still a magnificent charger. See you in the sports pages.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on November 10, 2006 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

I honestly don't understand where Pale gets his rep for being a good debater.

All the guy seems to do is chuck really childish insuts and make very broad, sentimentally-driven points.

I mean it's not like the guy's ... cmdicely or anything :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 10, 2006 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

I honestly don't understand

Stop right there, boyo. Now you're getting it.

(Hi there, jayarbee.)

Posted by: shortstop on November 11, 2006 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

grape_crush: Considering that measure you are mentioning was supported by the Klu Klux Klan, saying that it matches the 'Republican view' doesn't say a whole lot for Republicans...

My point was different. I pointed out that a Republican-leaning measure passed in the same electorate that re-elected two Democrats. Any explanation for that can't be simple, but has to be complex.

When minimum wage raises pass and same-sex marriage bans also pass, it isn't any simple game of "more conservatives stayed home" or "voters tired of the Republican corruption", however true those statements may be. I think it's more a matter of the swing voters choosing liberal on some issues, conservative on other issues, and so on. In PA they replaced a conservative Republican with a conservative Democrat.

It is interesting that no Democratic incumbent lost. But the clearly anti-war Democrats like Ned Lamont and Tammy Duckworth (a quite compelling candidate) lost -- Lamont by a wide margin and Duckworth by a narrow margin.

In CA, both Feinstein (for senate) and Busby (for House) emphasized bringing the troops home from Iraq -- Feinstein won handily and Busby lost by 10%. Hunter, who has emphasized winning in Iraq, was re-elected by a substantial margin.

With Alan Mollohan and Alcee Hastings winning re-election, I don't know how anyonc can claim with a straight face that corruption mattered. With Byrd winning re-election, who can claim that there was a revolt against pork?

In all the close races, swing voters swung toward the Democrats. Even in the TN senate race, the Democratic candidate came closer than any Democrat has for a long time.

I split my votes: some for Reps, some for Dems. So I am thinking that other swing voters more or less split their loyalties, and in the close elections swung toward the Dems for diverse reasons.

but I made one of the least accurate forecasts here, so I obviously don't know anything.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on November 11, 2006 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

But the clearly anti-war Democrats like Ned Lamont and Tammy Duckworth (a quite compelling candidate) lost -- Lamont by a wide margin and Duckworth by a narrow margin.

Only took 72 hours for this to become the commonly accepted non-wisdom, didn't it?

Yawnnn...oh, man, storms make me sleepy...this thunderstorm and the perfect Republican storm. Night, my little cabbages.

Posted by: shortstop on November 11, 2006 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

With Alan Mollohan and Alcee Hastings winning re-election, I don't know how anyonc can claim with a straight face that corruption mattered.

I don't know how anyone can claim with a straight face, as you have at least twice today, that the admittedly reprehensible trio of Mollohan, Hastings and Jefferson even remotely equates with the institutionalized, enormous-scale corruption of K Street, Abramoff, DeLay, Cunningham, Ney, etc. ... not to mention the missing moneybags in Iraq, Halliburton, the office of faith-based initiatives, the power-protecting coverup in the Foley case ... do we need to go on?

Corruption mattered. And it was very clear to Americans who was ear-deep in almost all of it. Jefferson won't survive the runoff and with luck Hastings and Mollohan will be off to jail soon. You've still got six years of housecleaning to do on your side of the aisle, though ... the part the voters didn't do for you.

Posted by: Lurlene Wallace on November 11, 2006 at 1:08 AM | PERMALINK

> Now you're getting it.

Thanks, shortstop. Very kind of you to say so.

But in this particular case, I really don't think I am.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 11, 2006 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

But in this particular case, I really don't think I am.

I think rmck1 is completely correct--I have debated Pale Rider and I don't see what all the fuss is about. For one thing, he cannot post hyperlinks--a sign of a fraud and a charlatan. In the second place, what is with all of those insults? Can't the man admit he is beaten and acknowledge that his opponent has actually made a point? I don't condone insulting people at all--I do it because I enjoy making people squirm. And in the third place, well, let's keep this about me, shall we? I am the best debater on the blog. I have bested every liberal and not a few of my fellow conservatives.

Libertarians are persecuted, you know. We must have the debating skills of a powerful academic, the street smarts of a pimp without a gun and the bravery of a lion.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 11, 2006 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

Norman:

I said you were a hysterical satirist.

I hardly lauded your *cough* forensic skills.

I don't believe you've actually ever made a point that didn't degenerate into rank hyperbole, or stuck to the subject, or rose above the central purpose of glorifying your bad, bad self.

Which is why I think that "you" are either a parody or a sociopath.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on November 11, 2006 at 2:09 AM | PERMALINK

Or a parody of a sociopath.

Posted by: Global Citizen on November 11, 2006 at 2:13 AM | PERMALINK

there is an unsettling realization creeping up on me.perhaps it is being too judgemental but i feel that a very large proportion of our fellow citizens are either cretins or knaves. the dems got on average ONLY 5% more votes.how much dishonesty and criminality do Americans need to see before they can bring themselves to return the good guys with a REAL landslide??

Posted by: ulysses on November 11, 2006 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know if this true for the 2004 House exits (and I suspect it isn't, but I'm underversed in exit polling methodology), but I know the 2004 Presidential exits overrepresented Hispanic support for the Republicans by oversampling Miami (i.e. capturing a lot of the historically Republican Cuban vote), meaning that it's possible that in addition to immigration weighing heavy on the minds of Latino voters nationwide, we might actually be seeing a smaller switch from the last election (especially in terms of what the punditry are saying on the MSM, since that "analysis" seems to be based on comparing exits from the last presidential race to this year's House exits).

Posted by: Molly on November 11, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know if this true for the 2004 House exits (and I suspect it isn't, but I'm underversed in exit polling methodology), but I know the 2004 Presidential exits overrepresented Hispanic support for the Republicans by oversampling Miami (i.e. capturing a lot of the historically Republican Cuban vote), meaning that it's possible that in addition to immigration weighing heavy on the minds of Latino voters nationwide, we might actually be seeing a smaller switch from the last election (especially in terms of what the punditry are saying on the MSM, since that "analysis" seems to be based on comparing exits from the last presidential race to this year's House exits).

Posted by: Molly on November 11, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

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