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Tilting at Windmills

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November 29, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

THE REPUBLICAN BASE....Last night Joe Klein sat in on one of Frank Luntz's focus group sessions for the Republican debate. It was one of those deals where each participant got a "dial" that allowed them to register instant approval or disapproval of what each candidate said. Klein's report:

In the next segment — the debate between Romney and Mike Huckabee over Huckabee's college scholarships for the deserving children of illegal immigrants — I noticed something really distressing: When Huckabee said, "After all, these are children of God," the dials plummeted. And that happened time and again through the evening: Any time any candidate proposed doing anything nice for anyone poor, the dials plummeted (30s).

The other big loser: John McCain saying we shouldn't torture people. In fact, it was an even bigger loser. It turns out that the only thing these GOP voters hated more than helping the poor was being told that it's wrong to torture people.

Ladies and gentlemen, your Republican base.

Kevin Drum 10:04 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (138)

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Comments

Living in NC (the land of Jesse Helms) I can echo that Kevin is correct - this is the republican base!

Posted by: Asheville on November 29, 2007 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

It's why Mitt Romney is making such a nitwit of himself; it actually plays well to these numbskulls.

May they suffer the consequences of the policies they endorse.

Posted by: Chocolate Thunder on November 29, 2007 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

It's Republican fake toughness, beating up on people who can't fight back.

Posted by: jimbo on November 29, 2007 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, this is them, in their unvarnished beauty. The rest is just window dressing.

Posted by: Kenji on November 29, 2007 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

Republican success derives from playing to the base emotions of the masses: greed, hate, fear, violence, and sex (homosexuality, Clinton's impeachment), and so on.

And all the while they've been dragging Christianity through the sewers with them, such that all of these evil vices are very nearly synonomous with Christianity. (You could also hear these people booing answers that dared to hint at charity, compassion, the rule of law, and the Constitution)

The most frightening part is that these "values" of viciousness are held by at least 30% of the American populace. Probably more.

Who wants to take the over/under on the survival of this nation at two generations?

"Electrolytes. It's what plants crave"

Posted by: Augustus on November 29, 2007 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

Don't let any third-party smartass tell you any different. These people have different values than we do. The Joe Kleins of the world get all teary-eyed over thoughts of a new Reaganesque GOP, but the Republican base is filled with people who hate helping their fellow man and are so paralyzed with fear of terrorism that they will gladly trade away our American freedoms from security against the dark Muslim horde.

These are the stakes!

Posted by: Andrew on November 29, 2007 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

I gave up trying to live with them a long time ago. So many hateful and intellectually narrow people, they are a distressing lot.

Posted by: Keith G on November 29, 2007 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, wah wah, liberals.

If it meant saving the lives of American citizens, of course the President would torture poor people.

That's a canard anyway. When a terrorist decides to enter the battlespace and engage our troops, be it in Kenosha, Baghdad, Burbank or Shit Holler, Kentucky, that terrorist gives up materialism and enters the world of jihad. They might have a toothbrush and a prayer mat, perhaps some gum. And they come at us and come at us until they are stopped. Sometimes, we have to torture them to get them to tell us where they have emplaced in the battlespace items which might injure our troops.

Liberals are against that? My goodness. One would think you were all rooting for our troops to lose.

I agree wholeheartedly with Hucksterbee on the immigration issue--it's a Christian thing to want to help the meek in order to win the favor of the Creator. These people come here to work, and there are puh-lenty of jobs for them, sir. Let's not lose our minds because Lou Crazy Eyes Dobbs doesn't like brown folks.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 29, 2007 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

Sometimes, we have to torture them to get them to tell us where they have emplaced in the battlespace items which might injure our troops.

I'm confident, given a little waterboarding, that you could be compelled to confess to kidnapping the Lindbergh baby right after you shot Lincoln.

Posted by: Augustus on November 29, 2007 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

Sometimes, we have to torture them to get them to tell us where they have emplaced in the battlespace items which might injure our troops.;

We should also torture everyone in the Bush administration until they admit that they knew about 9/11 and failed to do anything, that they conspired with Enron to defraud California of billions of dollars in deliberately manipulated energy prices, that they knew all along Iraq did not have WMDs or any connection to al Qaida, that the $16 billion in cash that was sent to Iraq was actually distributed to Republican campaign contributors, that Bush/Cheney/Libby et al. conspired to out a covert CIA agent and perjure themselves to cover it up, and so on for another 30 impeachable scandals.

Posted by: Augustus on November 29, 2007 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

Seeing the post from Norman Rogers reminded me of the typical republican chicken hawk.

I am a Army veteran and I am reminded that almost none of the republicans I know never served in the military. And the few republicans that have served are not as ignorant as the chicken hawks.

Posted by: Asheville on November 29, 2007 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

"of course the President would torture poor people"

wow - talk about a slip, there Norman

Norman, I'm a US soldier, serving in the reserve component (not currently subject to UCMJ). I expect to be deployed to either OEF or OIF within a year or two. More than that, I'm an officer in a leadership position, responsible for everything that my unit does or fails to do.

You, Norman, and people like you (people who dig for ways to justify torture), are a disgrace, and beneath me and my soldiers. This is true whether you're trolling or sincere. I say this as someone who worries - every day - about my ability to find "battlespace items which might injure our troops".

If I were to lose soldiers because of a failure to prepare or take my job seriously, I don't know how I would live with myself. But I don't know how I would live with myself if I were as fundamentally low of character as you are either.

Posted by: hotrod on November 29, 2007 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

And we should believe what Klein tells us about anything because why? Much less what he says about hanging with Luntz? Digby watched the debates and had a different read.

Maybe what the Joke Line's blog post is all about is the fear of the angry masses served up to him steno out to his readers as easily as anything Hoekstra might say about FISA. What does the Joke Line conclude?

"This level of anger--the topic of my column below--seems likely to be exploited disgracefully by the Republican candidate in the general election campaign, especially if it's Romney. I hope the nativists lose, as they almost always have in American history. But I'm worried that they may not."

All the fancy dials distract the Joke Line like a shiny object glittering in the gutter. When he looks up from Luntz' dials he does not see the audience who applauded McCain and Huckabee but rather a ravenging nativist mob whom the Republicans will use to defeat the weak and unready Dems.

Which is probably just what the folks who want a lot a population beset with economic worries to be - distracted, focused on the trees and not the forest. Imagine if the Joke Line had asked why Romney simply didn't refuse to hire contractors for his mansion who didn't pay their workers a living wage, regardless of their immigration status? Imagine if Huckabee or McCain had asked this.

Lunz played the Joke Line a thousand ways last night. We want to hear it because there's little more fun than hearing the opposition trashed. But we shouldn't confuse trash talk for the game. Why any progressive would think anything that he said bore any relationship to reality is beyond.

Posted by: Pudentilla on November 29, 2007 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

I am a Army veteran and I am reminded that almost none of the republicans I know never served in the military. And the few republicans that have served are not as ignorant as the chicken hawks.

Oh, bah! You've never served in the Army--perhaps in the Salvation Army or the Kiss Army. NOT the US Army, though. They don't take whiners.

The simple fact of the matter is, I went to work for my father after my deferments ran out during the Vietnam War. I was slightly too old--graduating from Princeton in 1965. I was never in jeopardy of being drafted--my father was friends with Nelson Rockefeller and some of his people and had the draft reached out and tried to get me, I had a slot waiting for me in the Connecticut National Guard.

So don't go calling me a "chicken hawk." Had I been in danger of being drafted, I was ready to mount up and go to war, albeit in Groton or perhaps Hartford. Ugh--Hartford.

Norman, I'm a US soldier, serving in the reserve component (not currently subject to UCMJ). I expect to be deployed to either OEF or OIF within a year or two. More than that, I'm an officer in a leadership position, responsible for everything that my unit does or fails to do.

Well, you better put down the bong, duuuude, and get ready to do your part, because General Petraeus needs you frosty, and ready to put rounds down range, sir.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 29, 2007 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

That was one scary poll. Unfortunately, many people I know react the same way to the same degree.

It is worth a trip from Kevin's link over to Joe Klein's blog to read the comments. They are reaming him a well deserved new asshole over his lying article about the RESTORE bill (FISA restoration act.).

Posted by: bob in fla on November 29, 2007 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

First, I am unable to attach much credibility to Joe Klein's judgment of anything, much less his analysis.

Secondly, the focus group. So Frank Luntz, or more likely his production crew, select fourteen folks to push buttons. Faced with such heady responsibilty, I imagine, most of those folks were thinking the whole time during the "debate" of their responsibility to push the button, rather than of what the candidates were actually saying.

Besides fourteen is hardly a valid data sample.

There is also the possibility that Joe Klein, given his demonstrable dishonesty, was never even there. He may have just dreamed the whole thing.

Posted by: Chris Brown on November 29, 2007 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

Hotrod, good to see you. You know you have my respect and admiration, and are the recipient of frequent installments of white light.:)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on November 29, 2007 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Well, you better put down the bong, duuuude, and get ready to do your part, because General Petraeus needs you frosty, and ready to put rounds down range, sir."

troll or not - wow

Posted by: hotrod on November 29, 2007 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

I understand Repubs better than you do - that's why I chose this moniker - so let me add some nuance to your smug view of the meanies. Repubs know that every foot-dragging weasle-word about "the childrens" or "the deserving childrens" means amnesty before a fence for all the undeserving childrens out there too. They want the fence built, and a real ID in effect. Once the fence is built and the ACLU and La Raza and the rest of the illegal support groups are defeated the Repubs will be as generous as anyone else with the squatters and queue-jumpers that are here...but until that day comes they know what the current code words and dog whistles mean.

Posted by: mr insensitive on November 29, 2007 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers,

Get a grip. You need help.

Posted by: Chris on November 29, 2007 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

Repubs know that every foot-dragging weasle-word about "the childrens" or "the deserving childrens" means amnesty before a fence for all the undeserving childrens out there too. They want the fence built, and a real ID in effect. Once the fence is built and the ACLU and La Raza and the rest of the illegal support groups are defeated the Repubs will be as generous as anyone else with the squatters and queue-jumpers that are here...but until that day comes they know what the current code words and dog whistles mean.

You're a liberal plant, moron.

First of all, so-called undocumented workers are here to help grow this economy. Put up fences and criminalize these good people, and the stock market will tank, the housing starts that are helping to keep the economy growing will plummet and thousands of small businesses will shutter themselves and go out of business.

Demonizing immigrants is what the cheap suit crowd in my beloved Republican Party have decided to engage in, since we don't want to hear them prattle on and on about things they don't understand. Hush, your betters have spoken.

Simple demographics, sir. We HAD a great foothold in the Hispanic community. In three election cycles, we had a significant opportunity to bring millions of motivated, family-values and small-business oriented voters into the Republican fold. And dirty shirt wearing buffoons like yourself put a match to all that and burned it up faster than a bone dry mansion in Malibu.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 29, 2007 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, that trademarked Kevin Drum cluelessness.

Assuming Klein isn't lying, the dials might have plummeted because those in the room aren't as dumb as Klein and Huck think they are, and they recognized someone using fake compassion in order to cover up massive illegal activity.

If Klein wants to do something "nice" for poor IllegalAliens, he can first realize that there are billions of people worse off than the country where we get most of our IAs: Mexico. And, he can try and understand that taking 14% of a country's workforce is not a good way to help that country.

Perhaps Kevin Drum should just come right out and make it even easier to discredit him by being as explicit as Klein was.

[Note: WM may edit or delete this comment without notice as they have many past comments.]

Posted by: The annoying LonewackoDotCom on November 29, 2007 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Ah, that trademarked Kevin Drum cluelessness."

ROFL.... Oh, the irony, given the content of the post in which this comment appeared.

Posted by: PaulB on November 29, 2007 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin's post pretends that Huckabee was talking about scholarships for poor people in general, when he was talking specifically about illegal immigrants. IMHO most voters don't want to reward people for breaking the law. That's why the focus group showed disapproval.

Waterboarding is a difficult issue. It certainly meets the definition of "torture," which is outlawed by treaty. However, it does no permanent harm and it's effective at getting people to provide information. Reports I've read say that waterboarding has been used just three times after 9/11. It was used to get information from top al Qaeda terrorist leaders. That information helped prevent more attacks.

I suspect a majority of voters would support doing it again. I suspect that McCain's position is a loser in the general election as well as the Republican primaries.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 29, 2007 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

So I clicked on POST to make sure it appeared on the page. Lo & behold, the slanderous Normie post appears just above mine.

NORMAN - SHUT THE FUCK UP!

Posted by: bob in fla on November 29, 2007 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

Bombs or tax cuts are the only tools the GOP have to solve problems any more. When was the last true diplomat in the Republican Party - Kissinger?

I saw a great bumper sticker today - SATAN IS A REPUBLICAN - kinda says it all, doesn't it?

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on November 29, 2007 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

NORMAN - SHUT THE F#!K UP!

Fine. I picked up the third season of Gilmore Girls on DVD, and that's far more entertaining than trying to explain how the world really works to a bunch of inbred wanna-be Republicans and a slew of mealy-mouthed liberals.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 29, 2007 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

Hey (ignorant of the Constitution) ex-liberal,

Article VI - "...all Treaties made ...under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land..."

Additionally, experienced, professional military folks will tell you that confessions obtained through torture are unreliable. A subject of torture will admit to whatever the torturer demands.

Posted by: Chris Brown on November 29, 2007 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmmm....poor immigrants and foreign "terrorists."

Surely it's a coincidence that both of these groups are non-white, right "sensible" Republicans?

Posted by: CrazyRidesRockets on November 29, 2007 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

Chris, you are correct that treaties are the law of the land, but that fact doesn't contradict the idea that a majority of voters might support waterboarding an al Qaeda leader in order to prevent a terrorist attack.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 29, 2007 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2007/11/waterboarding-i.html

This is really the only post that you need to read concerning torture, provided you read the comments and follow the link as well.

Posted by: hotrod on November 29, 2007 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

Frank Luntz's focus group sessions... where each participant got a "dial" that allowed them to register instant approval or disapproval...

If that's something Luntz set up, someone should have checked the wiring.

Posted by: JS on November 29, 2007 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: a majority of voters might support waterboarding an al Qaeda leader in order to prevent a terrorist attack.

And if confessions obtained under waterboarding were even reliable that might mean something.

Posted by: Harkov311 on November 29, 2007 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

"but that fact doesn't contradict the idea that a majority of voters might support waterboarding an al Qaeda leader in order to prevent a terrorist attack"

So are you a conservative - or a populist? Cause they ain't the same thing, no matter what bottom feeders like Tancredo and Limbaugh think. In fact - they're nearly mutually exclusive.

But congrats on getting that Glenn Reynolds-esque mealy mouth writing technique down.

Posted by: hotrod on November 29, 2007 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

I agree wholeheartedly with Hucksterbee...

Focus, Norm, that's Egbert's schtick.

Posted by: JS on November 29, 2007 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers was too old to serve by graduating in 1965, right when the war was escalating....

Tonight, back in more familiar surroundings in New York, we'd like to sum up our findings in Vietnam, an analysis that must be speculative, personal, subjective. Who won and who lost in the great Tet offensive against the cities? I'm not sure. The Vietcong did not win by a knockout, but neither did we. The referees of history may make it a draw. Another standoff may be coming in the big battles expected south of the Demilitarized Zone. Khesanh could well fall, with a terrible loss in American lives, prestige and morale, and this is a tragedy of our stubbornness there; but the bastion no longer is a key to the rest of the northern regions, and it is doubtful that the American forces can be defeated across the breadth of the DMZ with any substantial loss of ground. Another standoff. On the political front, past performance gives no confidence that the Vietnamese government can cope with its problems, now compounded by the attack on the cities. It may not fall, it may hold on, but it probably won't show the dynamic qualities demanded of this young nation. Another standoff.

We have been too often disappointed by the optimism of the American leaders, both in Vietnam and Washington, to have faith any longer in the silver linings they find in the darkest clouds. They may be right, that Hanoi's winter-spring offensive has been forced by the Communist realization that they could not win the longer war of attrition, and that the Communists hope that any success in the offensive will improve their position for eventual negotiations. It would improve their position, and it would also require our realization, that we should have had all along, that any negotiations must be that -- negotiations, not the dictation of peace terms. For it seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate. This summer's almost certain standoff will either end in real give-and-take negotiations or terrible escalation; and for every means we have to escalate, the enemy can match us, and that applies to invasion of the North, the use of nuclear weapons, or the mere commitment of one hundred, or two hundred, or three hundred thousand more American troops to the battle. And with each escalation, the world comes closer to the brink of cosmic disaster.

To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To suggest we are on the edge of defeat is to yield to unreasonable pessimism. To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion. On the off chance that military and political analysts are right, in the next few months we must test the enemy's intentions, in case this is indeed his last big gasp before negotiations. But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.

This is Walter Cronkite. Good night.

Wow. It's possible that it was due to Norman's cowardice and the cowardice of his entire family undermining our troops in 1968 that Walter Cronkite announced the war was lost.

Thanks Roger Norman, coward and chickenhawk.

Posted by: jerry on November 29, 2007 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

Norman has GOT to be a parody, doesn't he?

As for "Ex-Liberal's" defense of torture, the obvious followup question for anyone who approves of it being used sometimes is: "How often do you think it should be used?" Since virtually every military man who actually has any experience with it thinks it's almost always disastrously counterproductive strategically (in addition to its moral effects) -- for multiple reasons that really shouldn't be that hard to figure out -- the only sensible answer is: "Only in EXTREMELY rare circumstances." And under no circumstances should a single man by himself -- no matter where he is in the chain of command, right up to the Oval Office -- ever be allowed to make that decision by himself with legal impunity. Either we need something like a FISA Court in which a supermajority of judges (appointed by more than one man and more than one political party, please) can pick those very rare situations in which it might be justified -- or else we need to keep it illegal and simply depend on the fact that, in those extremely rare situations where it might be justified, almost no DA would ever indict the torturer, no jury would ever unanimously convict him, and no President would ever fail to pardon him if he WAS convicted.

What the Bushites want is legal freedom to use torture even in situations in which all 12 members of a jury would unanimously agree that it was not justified. The proper response to that is unprintable. (I'll add that if we actually do decide to set up that Permissible Torture Court, we had better CALL it that, instead of resorting to those multisyllabic euphemisms we're all so familiar with by now -- so that we keep in mind exactly what it is we're really doing.)

And as for the American public's attitude toward waterboarding: a Nov. 3 CNN showed the public opposing its use against "suspected terrorists" by 58-40 ( http://www.pollingreport.com/terror.htm ). Supporting torture as an interrogation technique may indeed be a winner in the GOP primaries, but it won't be in the general election -- unless some particularly slick GOP demagogue talks the people into supporting it and the Democrat turns out to be a befuddled mushmouth on the subject. (This is another reason why I hope the Dems nominate Sen. Webb for VP, in order to put some steel in the Presidential nominee's spine on this point.)

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw on November 29, 2007 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

Did the dials go to 11?

Posted by: craigie on November 29, 2007 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin's post pretends that Huckabee was talking about scholarships for poor people in general, when he was talking specifically about illegal immigrants. IMHO most voters don't want to reward people for breaking the law.

ex-liberal's comment pretends he has the reading comprehension of a fourth grader. The comment addresses "college scholarships for the deserving children of illegal immigrants," not undocumented immigrants, themselves. Those children that were born here to undocumented workers haven't done anything illegal, unless there are statutes against things like honor rolls & National Merit Scholars -- which may very well be the case in whatever godforsaken backwater ex-liberal calls home.

Posted by: junebug on November 29, 2007 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

They might have a toothbrush and a prayer mat, perhaps some gum. ... Sometimes, we have to torture them to get them to tell us where they have emplaced in the battlespace items which might injure our troops.

Fucking hilarious. Even funnier that people engaged this as if it were serious.

Posted by: craigie on November 29, 2007 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

I cannot help but wonder how Democratic focus groups would respond to the immigration stimulus. I think the great immigration scare of the early Twenty-first Century is nonpartisan and it scares me.

Posted by: Brojo on November 29, 2007 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

Did the dials go to 11?

Okay - I spit beer on my monitor. Too funny! (And I am, or course, embarrassed that I didn't think of it.)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on November 29, 2007 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

Reports I've read say that waterboarding has been used just three times after 9/11. It was used to get information from top al Qaeda terrorist leaders. That information helped prevent more attacks.

Hahahaha! And reports I've read indicate that you can lose 15 pounds of unsightly fat in only 7 days! You can get $38 million from a widow in Nigeria! And if you wear these clothes and this aftershave, you can have sex with models!

sigh.

Posted by: craigie on November 29, 2007 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

"Norman has GOT to be a parody, doesn't he?"

Probably - no one says things like this -

"So don't go calling me a "chicken hawk." Had I been in danger of being drafted, I was ready to mount up and go to war, albeit in Groton or perhaps Hartford. Ugh--Hartford."

in the context he used.

No one says things like -

"Well, you better put down the bong, duuuude, and get ready to do your part, because General Petraeus needs you frosty, and ready to put rounds down range, sir."

at all. Someone who uses the terms "battlespace" (professional slang) and "needs you frosty" is either really really weird, or working some sort of agenda. Though I've never had a gripe with the anonymity of the web, particularly in as freewheeling of a blog as Kevin's, my contempt for this douchebag is unaffected by whether or not he's a liberal or conservative, troll or honest poster, serviceman or civilian.

Posted by: hotrod on November 29, 2007 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

Gee, Kevin, if you're going to write about Joke Line, you should at least comment about his baseless article about FISA law -- since twice appended -- which appeared in last week's TIME magazine. Apparently, the primary source of his information was Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Looney Tunes).

And Norman Rogers, the fact that you're obviously frustrated with your personal life is really of no concern to me -- but since you claim to be so fabulously wealthy, perhaps you should consider just hiring hookers, instead of marrying them.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii, & currently in Chicago on November 30, 2007 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

Have you ever tortured anyone, Norman? (I mean, other than your prescence here) What did you accomplish? Did you feel patriotic during the process? Did you feel remorse after? Or is your experience subjective/fantasy? And if so, ever considered getting help with your sociopathic tendencies?

Posted by: marydem on November 30, 2007 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

Hold on while I pause the programme--Rory and Jess are having a bit of a spat and I don't want to miss it while I respond to a couple of things.

First, no. I'm not a parody. It's easy to confuse the fact that I don't care what any of you think with the blunt and honest way that I express myself. Blog commenting is a kind of therapy for me, and I have found--after four long years of doing this--that the more open, honest and breath-takingly simple I am, the less likely it will be that one of you turds will turn my words back onto me.

Second, hush. I explained what's what and who's who earlier. Do I need to rehash all of that? Give me a break.

Third, Lorelai is the kind of person who needs a good listener in her life. What I've figured out, after many, many years, is that I'm not a good listener. I promise, in the future, to be a better listener. I promise to continue to be more honest and open. And maybe, as we work all of these issues out together, we'll all learn a little something about the one person we seem to forget when we're blog commenting or shouting at the neighbors or when we're arguing with a convenience store clerk as to whether or not blunt wrapping papers should be subjected to both state and local taxes--yes, that person is ourselves.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 30, 2007 at 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

BG

"You know you have my respect and admiration, and are the recipient of frequent installments of white light.:)"

That's not some sort of Jewish thing, is it? :-)

Don't admire me too much - I drink too much. Too much fornication too, under often questionable circumstances. I need to get hitched and go back to church.

But I appreciate the sentiment :-).

Posted by: hotrod on November 30, 2007 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

Just for the record, I served in the US Army. Second Infantry Division. Not that it really matters, but I felt like stating that fact.

It never ceases to amaze me at how the chicken hawks in our country can not support the military enough to actually serve in it.

Posted by: Asheville on November 30, 2007 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

Well, Norman, if your goal is to be breathtakingly simple, you've succeeded magnificently.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw on November 30, 2007 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

Well, Dahling, I could introduce you to my niece...(Now that's a Jewish thing...)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on November 30, 2007 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

Well, Dahling, I could introduce you to my niece

Does she look anything like Lorelai? I could send bus fare.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 30, 2007 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

Bruce,

I hear what you're saying, and I believe that you're pointed in the right direction, but any form of bureaucratic approved torture in anathema to our values. A couple of reasons for this -

-It inevitably elevates the "bigger badass" to the top of the interrogator heap. The thinkers and the patient get shunted aside.
-Processes tend to evolve that reward, and push for, quick answers.
-Group complicity in the worst of human nature.
-The "ticking time bomb" is bullshit, at least in the Jack Bauer sense (there are exceptions I'll mention in a minute). I'm not privy to Gitmo's inner workings (neither are you, ex-lib), but it's plausible, even very likely, that we've had people in Gitmo and other places that knew things that would save\kill human beings. It's much less plausible that they're knowledge was of such an immediate sort that by the time we captured, processed, and transported that longer term, and more effective, techniques wouldn't be appropriate
-If a bureaucracy can justify torture, it can justify ANYTHING (ask John Yoo)

The only "acceptable" form of torture is a soldier or intelligence officer out on the ends of the earth - convinced that he has a "ticking time bomb" on his hands. This will likely be in the form of a VBIED or something similar - not a Atomic Demolition Munition. The key - that trooper has to take responsibility. If he makes the tough call and gets it right - congratulations - here's your pardon, promotion and\or book deal. If you get it wrong - go to jail. If you misjudge and beat the guy to death, or you torture an innocent local - the only thing your motive is good for is mitigation at the sentencing hearing.

The Bushies don't handle the idea of personal responsibility in lieu of explicit authorization well. Just one more unfortunate aspect of over-lawyering.

Posted by: hotrod on November 30, 2007 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

Rereading the 1237 post, I want to clarify - I don't consider torture "acceptable". I just recognize that the ticking time bomb theory does present the possibility of a real dilemma - but it's a dilemma at the individual moral\ethical level. Trying to apply it at the bureaucratic\policy level has a lot less to do with trying to do the right thing than it does with reactionary politics, fear, and, in the US's case, an incorrect interpretation of the Constitution.

Posted by: hotrod on November 30, 2007 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK

Hotrod,

Just a quick question about the "ticking time bomb theory." I know that you are more knowledgeable in this area than I am, but couldn't the person being tortured just blurt out the wrong answer, just to avoid being tortured (I know this scenario happened in some movie)? So torture isn't that effective anyway because you don't know if you are getting the right answer or not. I am just curious because the "ticking time bomb theory" is the hypothetical most cited by torture apologists.

And thanks for your service.

Posted by: adlsad on November 30, 2007 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK

All,

I know that this post is a bit late, but please do not discount the use of the immigration issue to rile up the Republican base. I just remember the California gubernatorial election in 1994 between Kathleen Brown and Pete Wilson (I just graduated from High School, started college, and was working on my first political campaign). In that election, poll after poll showed support for all the issues that Kathleen Brown supported...all except one. And that was illegal immigration. The Republicans used it as a wedge issue in 1994 (that was the year of proposition 187 - which was later found to be unconstitutional) and it was the only reason Pete Wilson won that election.

Maybe I am just overly pessimistic. But I just have a bad feeling about next year. I just feel that the Republicans are going to use illegal immigration as a wedge issue just like 1994.

Posted by: adlsad on November 30, 2007 at 1:20 AM | PERMALINK

I keep waiting for that inevitable moment when Norman threatens to horsewhip some young'un.
Tonight he disappointed me, sigh. And I made a whole big bowl of popcorn.

Posted by: jprichva on November 30, 2007 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers: "Does she look anything like Lorelai?"

Sorry, Norman Rogers, but the only one that "[looks] anything like Lorelai" placed in today's third race at Hollywood Park.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii, & currently in Chicago on November 30, 2007 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah -- Norm is having his Kong moment, Lorelai is his Ann. Sad to see how a pretty face can make a fool out of such a brave man. That last paragraph of his about becoming a better listener was such a tearjerker. But I'm sure he'll get a grip once he's mailed the DVD back to Netflix.

Posted by: JS on November 30, 2007 at 2:09 AM | PERMALINK

The question isn't why we should punish the innocent who had nothing to do with their parents breaking the law, but why we should reward them. Shouldn't any Dream Act cover the children of bank robbers, serial murderers, rapists, and so forth? Are they not also innocent children of lawbreakers?

The real question is why we are the only country in the world that has a custom of granting citizenship to jackpot babies. There is no Constitutional basis for this. Clearly the authors of the 14th amendment could not have predicted that we would have a president and Senate so corrupt that they would encourage illegal infiltration into our country.

Posted by: Luther on November 30, 2007 at 2:20 AM | PERMALINK

Do you mean 'your Republican base' or 'your base Republican' ?

(pretty much one and the same)

Posted by: snicker-snack on November 30, 2007 at 4:21 AM | PERMALINK

Blog commenting is a kind of therapy for me, and I have found--after four long years of doing this--that the more open, honest and breath-takingly simple I am, the less likely it will be that one of you turds will turn my words back onto me.
Posted by: Norman Rogers

Your form of "therapy" is not working. The staff at the institution you reside at needs to strengthen the dosage of your psychotropic medication.

Posted by: DJ on November 30, 2007 at 7:42 AM | PERMALINK

The PURPOSE of focus groups, particularly those with dial reaction, is simply to measure how people react to what they are hearing, as they hear it: favorable or unfavorable.

The Luntz findings are ABSOLUTELY consistent with every other measure I know of, e.g., Stan Greenberg's polling that finds the word "benefits" is what motivates ferocious objections to illegal immigration.

Pull your collective head out of your ass, folks.

Quinnipiac just did two major polls in Pennsylvania and Ohio, which showed that folks oppose ILLEGAL immigration, and regard it as a bad thing, by huge margins: Ohio voters are 84 - 11 against driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, 61 - 35 percent against a free education to the children of illegal immigrants. In Pennsylvania, it's 81 - 16 against driver's licenses while it's 58 - 37 that children of illegal immigrants should not get a free public education.

For progressives to either deny that this IS what the public thinks or, grudgingly to concede that this is what people believe but it only proves that most Americans are racist, is the epitome of arrogant stooooopidity.

We can do a LOT better than this -- but first, you guys gotta grow up. (Cue Dice and assorted knuckleheads to huff about how smart and self-evidently righteous they are.)

So how come EVERY SINGLE FUCKING POST Kevin makes about "immigration" always frames it as if the ONLY issues that count are the benefits resulting from breaking the law?

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 30, 2007 at 8:03 AM | PERMALINK

From the outside the republican take on immigration comes across as incredibly nasty and hateful. The attitudes you see in this very thread are going to ensure that the republican party doesn't get anywhere near power for a generation or more. Look at California. Wilson had temporary success with immigrant-bashing. Republicans used to be able to win presidential elections in CA and used to be competitive within the state. No more.

Posted by: Marc on November 30, 2007 at 8:33 AM | PERMALINK

Marc,

Image what is going to happen after the Democratic Party collapses and all of those middle class angry private sector white start voting in the Democratic primary. What effects will they have on elections? Remember, they are much better at showing up to the polls than almost any other demographic group.

Posted by: superdestroyer on November 30, 2007 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

The sad demise of the Americanist continues unabated...

(Cue Dice and assorted knuckleheads to huff about how smart and self-evidently righteous they are.)

Nah, you took care of that for us.

The gist of what you're saying, as always, borders on the anti-social and the ludicrous. Is there any reason to parse what you're saying and point out that you're just nuts and totally off base?

-Frank Luntz: serial liar and Republican operative. Regardless of what you think of his methodology, Luntz doesn't do anything that would hurt the Republican Party. His income would disappear.

-Illegal immigrants actually do NOT overwhelm the health care industry at all. The perception that they do is made by, as always, right wing hate purveyors like O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Hannity and center-right kooks like Dobbs and Matthews.

-Path to legalization and citizenship policies make sense. Drivers licenses make sense. In certain urban areas, far too many people drive illegally, and anything that curtails the driving of a vehicle without some form of liability insurance is a public safety issue.

-The overwhelming benefit of having wingnuts go nuts about undocumented workers is that it makes more people vote for the Democratic Party. You can only motivate voters with hate for so long.

If I wanted to get people to be against having Hispanics come to this country to find work, the best way to go about it is to scream about how illegal it is. I'd call it "illegal immigration" and I'd spread all kinds of stories about how evil and awful it is. Here's how I would about getting people to drive slower on the freeways. I'd call it "Murder Death Driving" and I'd spread all kinds of stories about how people are flying through windshields and getting impaled on poles. I'd get some hack to repeat it over and over again on his tinny little TV show. Holy shit, murder death driving killed four nuns and a basket full of puppies today!

Polling means what on an issue with loaded code words? Do you just accept it without questioning it? Most of the people who post here question everything they see or read and do a good job of analyzing what they see. Perhaps that's why you have such a problem when you wander in here, full of piss and vinegar. What does it say about your inability to see past simple poll results--of course people are going to be against something called "illegal" Duh!

When you start to talk reasonably about the issue, this is what the polling does:

The survey found, for example, that 67% would allow illegal immigrants to “apply for a four-year visa… as long as they pay a $5,000 fine, a fee, show a clean work record, and pass a criminal background check.” That, too, is similar to a Rasmussen Reports survey which found 65% support for a compromise proposal allowing illegal aliens a “very long path to citizenship” provided that “the proposal required the aliens to pay fines and learn English” and that the compromise “would truly reduce the number of illegal aliens entering the country.” The proposal, specifically described as a compromise, was said to include “strict employer penalties for hiring illegal aliens, building a barrier along the Mexican border and other steps to significantly reduce the number of illegal aliens entering the United States.”

Despite the presence of loaded buzzwords and all that, you see more and more people getting more and more reasonable about the issue. If a candidate wants the progressive vote, then progressives are going to demand reasonable approaches instead of kneejerk reactions that don't solve problems. That's what's so difficult about courting a progressive voter. They think about things.

In your little way, you simply enable demagogues to take issues into areas they don't need to go in. That's why, on a consistent basis, your analysis of events is rejected wholesale in this forum and that's why nothing you say means anything in the long run. You're just giving us your kneejerk analysis without engaging your brain.

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 30, 2007 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

Bush seeks to pressure Democrats on war funds, stand up to this corrupt sucker and tell him NO, and while your at it bring our troops home.

Posted by: Al on November 30, 2007 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider,

The questions for progressives is how in the next 25 years they plan to lower carbon emissions in the U.S. below 1990 levels while allowing in 25 million more legal immigratns and an equal number of illegal immigrants?

Also, how do they plan to increasing take homepage for the middle class while allowing in 40 million or more immigrants. How do they plan to improve the education system while filling schools with non-english speakers? How can the U.S. create jobs, homes, and transportation infrastructure for 40 million immigrants while lowering carbon emissions? How can the U.S. expand healthcare coverage while adding 40 new million immigrants to the 40 million current immigrants to the roles of taxpayer funded education.

It would be nice if progressives could reconcile their positions of the environment, healthcare and open borders. I just do not see how it works.

It seems to be that the left had decide to support open borders because the Republicans are for closing the borders. It also does not hurt that virtually all of those immigrants will be future Democratic voters will have a huge appetite for government funded benefits.

Posted by: superdestroyer on November 30, 2007 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Image what is going to happen after the Democratic Party collapses and all of those middle class angry private sector white start voting in the Democratic primary.

First of all, how many of them do you think there are?

Second of all, how many of them actually vote? Where's your proof that they are more motivated to vote than any other group? It's actually old people who turn out to vote on specific issues in large numbers. And in a primary? Please. There will not be a massive flood of people who are going to rise up in February and march down to the polling places to somehow punish a Democrat who's running for office in a primary.

Third, the middle class rejection of Republican policies is pretty much a done deal, based on looking at the overwhelmingly low approval ratings of the President, the lack of campaign donations going to Republicans in the House and Senate, and the lackluster enthusiasm for anything this administration tries to do. The middle class is being harmed by the policies of the Republican Party. And they know it. So maybe that's what's going to motivate part of that block you mentioned to do what, exactly? Punish Democrats because they're not Republicans?

Fourth, this election will hinge on what women decide to vote for, and in overwhelming numbers, they ain't gonna pull the lever for the party that denied kids health care, let New Orleans drown and have kept us in a needless war. The "angry white male" is a thing of the past. Sure, a lot of them could tip an election in a close state. But in a national election? Hardly.

Other than being childish and naive, what else do you have to offer?

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 30, 2007 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

pale rider,

From http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/voting/004986.html

In 2004, turnout rates for citizens were 67 percent for non-Hispanic whites, 60 percent for blacks, 44 percent for Asians and 47 percent for Hispanics (of any race).

The over 65 y/o demographic is the whitest demographic in the U.S., so of course it had the highest voter turnout.

Remember, if blacks and hispanics had the same voter turnout as whites, the Republican party would be irrelevant today and the U.S. would be a defacto one party state. However, the incompentence of the Bush Administration along with changing demographics ensure that the Democratic Party will be the only relevant party in the near future.

At that point, middle class private sector whites, the group that votes the highest for Republicans, will have a choice of either voting in the Democratic Primary. yhe only relevant elections, or sitting at home and not voting. My guess, based or prevous history in the old south, is that they will start voting in the Democratic Primaries.

Look at the recent experiences of black Democrats in Mississippi trying to keep middle class whites from voting in the Democratic Primary. Also see how Cynthia McKinney was voted out of office twice.

Posted by: superdestroyer on November 30, 2007 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

The questions for progressives is how in the next 25 years they plan to lower carbon emissions in the U.S. below 1990 levels while allowing in 25 million more legal immigratns and an equal number of illegal immigrants?

You're a crackhead. 25 million? And THEY'RE the reason for climate change? That's a flight of fancy. What, do each and every one of them bring a coal burning furnace and a fifty foot smokestack with them when they sneak into this country? You've made a ludicrous connection between two things that aren't related.

Also, how do they plan to increasing take homepage for the middle class while allowing in 40 million or more immigrants. How do they plan to improve the education system while filling schools with non-english speakers? How can the U.S. create jobs, homes, and transportation infrastructure for 40 million immigrants while lowering carbon emissions? How can the U.S. expand healthcare coverage while adding 40 new million immigrants to the 40 million current immigrants to the roles of taxpayer funded education.

Whoa, son, whoa! 40 million? on top of 40 million? What happened to 25 million? You're completely unhinged. You must be on crystal meth. Slow down, stop tweaking, and ventilate your property. Ease out the side door slowly, and do not make a spark. Watch out for static electricity. None of the numbers you cite add up, none of them make sense, and nothing you state has any basis in fact. Economies grow with population, and public policy is based on that. But what you're beating the drum for is wildly unsubstantiated and insane.

It would be nice if progressives could reconcile their positions of the environment, healthcare and open borders. I just do not see how it works.

Where do those issues intersect with reality? They are furtive attempts by a one-issue group (the we hate brown people group) to try to demand all encompassing short answers to large public policy questions. The first place you start is to quit demonizing poor people. I know this is not going to register with you, but no where on the fact of this Earth can you find a way to blame poor people for every fucking problem there is. In fact, most of the time, poor people aren't the cause of these things. But, most of the time, they're the scapegoat for someone's terrified imagination.

It seems to be that the left had decide to support open borders because the Republicans are for closing the borders. It also does not hurt that virtually all of those immigrants will be future Democratic voters will have a huge appetite for government funded benefits.

Oh, so now we see that you're not really concerned about what's going on, you just don't want there to be a free handout for brown people. Are you afraid someone who's poor might get some help? Are you afraid someone might tackle the issue of poverty and do something to help people who are less fortunate than you? Like create jobs and opportunities for them, like education, health care, and better places to live?

Because if that's what scares you, your nightmares about what's going on are simply the asinine fears of someone who isn't going to be a part of normal human society anyway.

Just drop out now, motherfucker. The world will move on and leave you behind anyway.

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 30, 2007 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

Look at the recent experiences of black Democrats in Mississippi trying to keep middle class whites from voting in the Democratic Primary. Also see how Cynthia McKinney was voted out of office twice.

If you take a pillowcase, and cut out a couple of eyeholes, and decide to join up with forty or fifty like-minded folks, try not to show up with the percale pillowcase that has the flowery patterns. Trust me when I tell you this, the way to make a good impression when you and your friends go off to burn your first cross is to NOT be wearing something that makes you look as stupid as you really are.

I mean, really. The brown and the black people in this country aren't taking anything away from you that you haven't already pissed away by being the stupidest fucking idiot on the planet. Chances are, you weren't going to get rich selling metholated pork rinds out of the back of your Monte Carlo anyway.

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 30, 2007 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

DO tell us, Pale, why "comprehensive immigration reform" cratered in the Senate, losing support every day it was on the floor.

DO tell us why you refer to "calling something illegal" rather than, say, it ACTUALLY being illegal.

Kindly explain why you use the same meme as immigration opponents, blurring the line between legal and illegal.

While you're at it, kindly account for Luntz's role in the Republican takeover of the House in 1994, and the passage of Prop 187 by a solid margin that same year.

THEN -- when you've ever so carefully re-entered the earth's atmosphere -- DO tell us why polling done by Stan Greenberg, Mark Penn, and Peter Brown is consistent with the results from Luntz that you blithely dismiss.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 30, 2007 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

The Americanist, upset at being destroyed again and again by simply explaining why he's wrong, asks:

DO tell us, Pale, why "comprehensive immigration reform" cratered in the Senate, losing support every day it was on the floor.

Trent Lott said it best--talk radio is the problem. Pretty bold statement. But, by and large, the majority in the Senate wanted some form of path to legalization, but the rabid right went thermonuclear and helped kill the deal. Same thing sort of happened with the Dubai ports deal. Had nothing to do with what was actually good policy or what the Senate wanted. They just didn't want to have to deal with the backlash.

DO tell us why you refer to "calling something illegal" rather than, say, it ACTUALLY being illegal.

Murder death driving is illegal, too. Or you could call it speeding. Or you could call it driving with the flow of traffic. Lots of things are illegal. Jaywalking is illegal. Are the cops throwing people through plate glass windows because of it? Are Federal Agents demanding papers at every street corner? But you're being pretty simpleminded today. Of course it's illegal. And if I want to influence people to oppose something, I'm going to give it the worst possible name I can think of. Illegal Murder Fucking Immigration works better.

Kindly explain why you use the same meme as immigration opponents, blurring the line between legal and illegal.

??? Are you taking hits off stupiddestroyer's meth pipe?

While you're at it, kindly account for Luntz's role in the Republican takeover of the House in 1994, and the passage of Prop 187 by a solid margin that same year.

I think I made that point when I stated that he is a proven serial liar and a dishonest partisan hack for the Republican Party.

THEN -- when you've ever so carefully re-entered the earth's atmosphere -- DO tell us why polling done by Stan Greenberg, Mark Penn, and Peter Brown is consistent with the results from Luntz that you blithely dismiss.

I dismiss Luntz because he's a serial liar and dishonest partisan hack. I never addressed any of those other people. That's a projection you made, based on the fact that you're now caught trying to use Luntz--LUNTZ!--of all people to back something up.

Talk about hitching your wagon to a dead horse.

I know, I know. We're all dummies and stooopid and you're here to tell us why. Yawn.

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 30, 2007 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

"I never addressed any of those other people. "

Yeah -- but I did. I cited very specific polling data from Greenberg and Peter Brown, which back up Luntz.

This is yet more proof of your stooopidity, Pale. Get it now?

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 30, 2007 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider,

You may want to review

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/29/AR2007062902092.html

The head of a Mississippi Democratic Party organization illegally suppressed white residents' votes, a federal judge ruled Friday in the first case filed by the Justice Department alleging that whites were subjected to voting discrimination based on their race.

You may also want to review

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynthia_McKinney#2002_primary_defeat

McKinney protested the result in court, claiming that thousands of Republicans, knowing they had no realistic chance of defeating her in the November general election, had voted in the Democratic primary against McKinney in revenge for her anti-Bush administration views and her allegations of possible voter fraud in Florida in the 2000 Presidential Election.

As the Republican party collapses, many former Republicans will begin to vote in the Democratic Primary. Not in 2008 but probably starting in 2012 and definitely by 2016 and later. The two main questions is what will the U.S. be like as a one party state and what effect will the former Republicans have on the Democratic Primaries.

Also, you totally avoided the question of how progressives plan to reconcile open borders, carbon emission reduction, free health care for all, and increasing the standard of living of the middle class. Any economist would tell you that they are competing for the same resources and thus cannot all be accomplished.

Posted by: superdestroyer on November 30, 2007 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, and Americanist? Quit while you're ahead today.

While you're at it, kindly account for Luntz's role in the Republican takeover of the House in 1994, and the passage of Prop 187 by a solid margin that same year.

Media Matters For America--

Discredited Republican pollster Frank Luntz, CEO and president of Luntz Research Companies, made four appearances during MSNBC's coverage of the Democratic (July 28 and July 29) and Republican (September 1 and September 2) National Conventions, touting flawed focus groups in three of his appearances. Not once during any of these appearances did any MSNBC anchor or commentator mention Luntz's partisan Republican ties or questionable ethical standards.

The overall results of Luntz's convention studies were not overtly in favor of either presidential candidate -- the focus groups' results for each convention generally favored each convention's featured party. But three of his four focus groups showed an institutional bias toward President George W. Bush. One Luntz focus group held during the DNC compared Gore 2000 voters to Bush 2000 voters. But he conducted three other groups (one during the DNC and two during the RNC) in which he compared Republicans' reactions to speeches to the combined reactions of Democrats and Independents. Furthermore, during his September 2 appearance on MSNBC, Luntz described those groups as "Republicans" and "Democrats"; but onscreen, they were identified as "GOP" and "Dem/Ind."

On July 28, MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews described Luntz as "a great pollster," but as Media Matters for America has noted, Salon.com reported in 2000 that there is little reason to trust his polls. In 1997, the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) reprimanded Luntz for his polling work on the Republican Party's 1994 Contract with America campaign platform. The Salon.com article described Luntz as "possibly the best example of what we could call the pollster pundit: someone who both purports to scientifically poll the opinions of the public, and then also interpret that data to support his own -- in Luntz's case, conservative -- point of view." Luntz has explained his own methodology as follows: "Say you poll on an environmental issue, and on eight of the 10 questions the numbers are in your favor. Why release the other two? It's like being a lawyer."


Matt Bai--

Lakoff informed his political theories by studying the work of Frank Luntz, the Republican pollster who helped Newt Gingrich formulate the Contract With America in 1994. To Lakoff and his followers, Luntz is the very embodiment of Republican deception. His private memos, many of which fell into the hands of Democrats, explain why. In one recent memo, titled "The 14 Words Never to Use," Luntz urged conservatives to restrict themselves to phrases from what he calls, grandly, the "New American Lexicon." Thus, a smart Republican, in Luntz's view, never advocates "drilling for oil"; he prefers "exploring for energy." He should never criticize the "government," which cleans our streets and pays our firemen; he should attack "Washington," with its ceaseless thirst for taxes and regulations. "We should never use the word outsourcing," Luntz wrote, "because we will then be asked to defend or end the practice of allowing companies to ship American jobs overseas."

In Lakoff's view, not only does Luntz's language twist the facts of his agenda but it also renders facts meaningless by actually reprogramming, through long-term repetition, the neural networks inside our brains. And this is where Lakoff's vision gets a little disturbing. According to Lakoff, Democrats have been wrong to assume that people are rational actors who make their decisions based on facts; in reality, he says, cognitive science has proved that all of us are programmed to respond to the frames that have been embedded deep in our unconscious minds, and if the facts don't fit the frame, our brains simply reject them. Lakoff explained to me that the frames in our brains can be "activated" by the right combination of words and imagery, and only then, once the brain has been unlocked, can we process the facts being thrown at us.

There's tons more, but why bother? I know I'm stoooopid.

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 30, 2007 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

But how many of those people behind the dials do you know, Kevin? Have you ever talked to one of those Republican voters behind the dials?

Posted by: tx bubba on November 30, 2007 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

Also, you totally avoided the question of how progressives plan to reconcile open borders, carbon emission reduction, free health care for all, and increasing the standard of living of the middle class. Any economist would tell you that they are competing for the same resources and thus cannot all be accomplished.

Let's parse this a little more closely--

1. reconcile open borders,
2. carbon emission reduction,
3. free health care for all, and
4. increasing the standard of living of the middle class

You have taken four issues and thrown them together, in a way that dishonestly tries to show that doing ALL of them means we will fail. In reality, we have an entertwined economy that does all of these things and more.

A way to explain this, is to start with an illegal immigrant who has an idea. That idea stems from watching how grass clippings are just dumped into a hole after they've been collected. The illegal immigrant took a class in his school once, sponsored by the Peace Corps, which explained how to use grass clippings as mulch. So the illegal immigrant decides that the grass clippings will be used as mulch in planters on the flat rooftops of apartment buildings. This creates an opportunity for the company he works for to create green space on rooftops. They don't have to drive across town to dump the clippings in a hole anymore. Not only do they save money by recycling materials, they create new business by tending to the green spaces created on rooftops. Another company in town finds a way to make large planters out of the recycled burned crosses that the local chapter of the KKK, of which you belong, have left all over the place. The company where the illegal immigrant works grows in size and can now afford to purchase health care insurance for a larger number of employees who are able to pay the fines that allow them to get on the path to legalization. As the company becomes more successful in marketing its business to use grass clippings to fertilize green rooftops, the environmental impact of having more and more green rooftops helps reduce carbon emissions means that the once illegal immigrant can now branch out, and move to another city and expand the business he's helped create, becoming an entrepreneur.

Have you fucked off yet? Or did you forget to cut ear holes in that pillowcase?

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 30, 2007 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, you gotta love Digby. She says it better than I can.

-------------------
Only Time Will Tell
by digby

I tend to be a tiny bit of a skeptical sometimes, so I'm always relieved when I see clear evidence that racism plays no part in the immigration debate:

The chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas called Wednesday for state Sen. Denny Altes, R-Fort Smith, to apologize for e-mail comments attributed to the Senate GOP leader by a television station.

[...]

In the e-mail on the television station’s Web site, the message attributed to Altes states that he’s for “sending the illegals back but we know that is impossible.

“ We are where we were with the black folks after the revolutionary war. We can’t send them back and the more we p *** them off the worse it will be in the future. So what do we do,” the e-mail states. “I say the governor needs to try to enforce the law and sign the letter of understanding... and at least we can send the troublemakers back. Sure we are being overrun but we are being outpopulated by the blacks also. What is the answer, only time will tell.”

It's great to be living in a post racist society isn't it?
---------------

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 30, 2007 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider,

A second non-answer and the used of an anecdotal story to boot.

Everyone person who comes to the U.S. generates more carbon than they do in the country they came from. This is especially true for those poor individuals coming from Mexico and Central America. Those individuals require the use of more coal, natural gas, and coal in the U.S.

At the same time that John Edwards is proposing open borders, he is proposing decreasing carbon emissions. The question is how does the U.S. keep form building new powerplants, new transmission lines, and importing more natural gas if the progressives are planning to add tens of million of additional people to the U.S.

John Edwards also talks about two Americans and wants to increase take home pay and living conditions for the middle class. One way of doing this is to increase trade barriers. Of course this will raise the price o many products while giving the benefits to a few groups of workers. Yet, he proposes importing millions of low skilled workers. That means that progressives like John Edwards are proposing to increase prices while decreasing wages. The only people who will benefit are those who face little competition from immigrants such as government workers.

All of the Democratic candidates are proposing universal healthcare with some form of single payer. This means that anyone in the U.S. gets "free" health care. How can the U.S. provide them comprehensive healthcare without raising prices?

Also, can you get through at least one post without profanity?


Posted by: superdestroyer on November 30, 2007 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

> Ladies and gentlemen, your Republican base.
Dont tell me, tell republicans!

Posted by: tr on November 30, 2007 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

cragie,

They might have a toothbrush and a prayer mat, perhaps some gum. ... Sometimes, we have to torture them to get them to tell us where they have emplaced in the battlespace items which might injure our troops.

Fucking hilarious. Even funnier that people engaged this as if it were serious.

You got that right. Personally I think the perhaps some gum is genius.

People, embrace Norman as a parody and you will be entertained and a lot happier! Seriously. You ain't gonna get no satisfaction arguing with him.

Posted by: Tripp on November 30, 2007 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans:


  • Hate those who aren't rich.
  • Hate those who aren't white.
  • Hate those who aren't Christian.
  • Hate those who aren't straight.

All the while they are hypocrites and vultures, grabbing money from the government while whining about others who are actually in need of government help.

Posted by: freelunch on November 30, 2007 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "Ladies and gentlemen, your Republican base."

No excesses of vicious depravity from Republicans will be surprising to those who have read the comments posted by Republicans on this site over the last few years.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 30, 2007 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Yo ho, yo ho, a wingnut's life for me.
We pillage, we plunder, we torture, and loot,
So cut my taxes, yo ho.
We kidnap and ravage and don't give a hoot,
Start a new war, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a wingnut's life for me.
We extort, we pilfer, we filch, and sack,
So cut my taxes, yo ho.
Maraud and embezzle, and even high-jack,
Start a new war, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a wingnut's life for me.
We kindle and char, inflame and ignite,
So cut my taxes, yo ho.
We burn up the city, we're really a fright,
Start a new war, yo ho.

We're rascals, scoundrels, villains, and knaves,
So cut my taxes, yo ho.
We're devils and black sheep, really bad eggs,
Start a new war, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a wingnut's life for me.
We're phonies and liars who don't give a damn
So cut my taxes, yo ho.
Everything we do is really a scam
Start a new war, yo ho.

Posted by: Gay Old Potty on November 30, 2007 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Just when one tries to attach anti-immigration sentiments solely to the right, along comes a self proclaimed "progressive liberal" such as Ed Schultz extolling Tancredo's hateful ad about terrorists and illegals being one and the same. Schultz states that immigration will be the key issue, especially for independents. Of course, Ed is sooo "progressive and liberal" that he opposes abortion and gay marriage.

Fine writing as usual, Pale Rider, but, perhaps if only you were more down to earth and in touch with the hoi polloi and used "cuz" more often? Might help more people feel all warm and fuzzy about your thoughts. Just stated this "cuz"........

Posted by: bert on November 30, 2007 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

A second non-answer and the used of an anecdotal story to boot.

You've been given multiple answers and you refuse to accept them. How is that my problem?

Everyone person who comes to the U.S. generates more carbon than they do in the country they came from. This is especially true for those poor individuals coming from Mexico and Central America. Those individuals require the use of more coal, natural gas, and coal in the U.S.

No, that's not true. A fat person uses more oxygen than a thin person when climbing the stairs. Therefore, the fat person puts more CO2 back into the atmosphere. Illegal immigrants are more likely to be thin than a fat, oversized, overfed and overconsuming American.

At the same time that John Edwards is proposing open borders, he is proposing decreasing carbon emissions. The question is how does the U.S. keep form building new powerplants, new transmission lines, and importing more natural gas if the progressives are planning to add tens of million of additional people to the U.S.

Wow, you linked another series of issues that have nothing to do with one another to a blatant lie about John Edwards. Since we can't reconcile your initial lie, nor can we figure out how to take the disparate ends of the argument you're trying to concoct out of thin air, how do we proceed? Please show me where Edwards said that we want everyone in Mexico to come across the open southern border and live here.

John Edwards also talks about two Americans and wants to increase take home pay and living conditions for the middle class. One way of doing this is to increase trade barriers. Of course this will raise the price o many products while giving the benefits to a few groups of workers. Yet, he proposes importing millions of low skilled workers. That means that progressives like John Edwards are proposing to increase prices while decreasing wages. The only people who will benefit are those who face little competition from immigrants such as government workers.

Sounds like another dishonest attempt to create something that isn't there. You feel that misrepresenting Edwards and what he has proposed allows you to make a point? First of all, Edwards is simply saying that our policies need to start taking care of working Americans. How radical is that? Are you a billionaire? You do realize he's talking about tweakers and hate merchants just like yourself, who are one tornado away from being blown out the side of the trailer court, don't you?

All of the Democratic candidates are proposing universal healthcare with some form of single payer. This means that anyone in the U.S. gets "free" health care. How can the U.S. provide them comprehensive healthcare without raising prices?

How can we keep doing what we're doing? Duh.

Also, can you get through at least one post without profanity?

Clutch those pearls, Minnie Pearl. The fainting couch is over there...

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 30, 2007 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Fine writing as usual, Pale Rider, but, perhaps if only you were more down to earth and in touch with the hoi polloi and used "cuz" more often? Might help more people feel all warm and fuzzy about your thoughts. Just stated this "cuz"........

I always take advice from wingnuts and fuckheads, so thanks. Thanks so much for your kind words and your meaningful suggestions.

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 30, 2007 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers is satire.

Posted by: BlindJoeDeath on November 30, 2007 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

use of the immigration issue to rile up the Republican base

The immigratin issue is not being used to rile up the Republican base. The Rebublican base is already reliably racist. The immigration issue is being used to split moderates, liberals and progressives from supporting the Democratic candidates who are not sufficiently anti-immigrant. There is no immigrant crisis.

The anti-immigrant propaganda themes resonate with so many Americans that it has become a new platitude. This is why even Democratic governors are signing Juan Crow laws allowing for the legal discrimination of people, preventing them from working and even renting housing. When those people turn to crime to support themselves, as they will have to use the black market to survive, their facility for crime will become a self-fulfilling prophecy imposed upon them.

Economists have known for quite some time that immigrants contribute to a growing economy, especially economies with declining birth rates. That is one reason why the US economy has done so well compared to the EU's economy. It is true immigrant labor is exploited by business, but the best way to deal with that is with regulation, not discrimination by origin. What is most alarming is the effect the outlawing of immigrants is going to cause to the overall economy. Just like the response in the early years of the Great Depression was to raise tariffs and stifle foreign trade, which only made the economy worse and increased unemployment, the new Juan Crow regime will have a similar effect.

Many people think businesses that exploit immigrant labor will raise wages to attract non-immigrant labor to fill the vacant positions. I do not think events will turn out that way. Reducing immigration will slow the economy. A slower economy will impoverish more legal residents, who will be forced to become the new migrant labor force. Business is color blind about who it exploits. California growers had no ethical problem expoiting the refugees of the Dust Bowl in the '30's, and they will have no problem exploiting the middle class children economically exiled from gated communities.

It is almost funny. Americans obviously would prefer their children receive good educations and find good careers. What the anti-immigration policies will do, however, is force American born children to replace the unskilled labor, at the same exploitation levels, that the immigrants are now providing. I guess they will deserve it, because the mob usually associated with this kind of racism has become the majority, but it could have been avoided.

Posted by: Brojo on November 30, 2007 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

PR,

Obtuse, as usual? "Cuz" was not directed at you - Read your opponent's missives a little closer. Sooo "folksy"

Posted by: bert on November 30, 2007 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Obtuse, as usual?

No.

Do you have a point? It seems like you're unable to make one without parading around like a jackass this morning.

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 30, 2007 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

most voters don't want to reward people for breaking the law.

Waterboarding is a difficult issue. It certainly meets the definition of "torture," which is outlawed by treaty.

Voters rewarded the criminal Bush in 2004.

That information helped prevent more attacks.

Now you're just making shit up.

Posted by: ckelly on November 30, 2007 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

junebug: You've falled for (yet another) JoeKlein lie. While he might pretend it was "college scholarships for the deserving children of illegal immigrants," a look at the bill shows that it was for "undocumented immigrants, themselves".

It sure is odd how Kevin Drum didn't bother to double-check JoeKlein's statement. Quite odd.

Posted by: The annoying LonewackoDotCom on November 30, 2007 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

John Edwards also talks about two Americans and wants to increase take home pay and living conditions for the middle class. One way of doing this is to increase trade barriers.

The effect of the Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 ...was to reduce world trade in the 1930s to less than one fourth the level of trade that had occurred in the 1920s. Most economists now believe, and it quickly became obvious to many politicians at the time, that the higher tariffs may well have contributed to the depth and length of the Great Depression.

Trade barriers make the middle class a lower class.

Posted by: Brojo on November 30, 2007 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

The modern Republican - scared to death of those nasty immigrants, mean ol' gays, and any old assumed-to-be-guilty without trial Muslim who might end up in their torturing hands - and willing to trade in their civil liberties, worldwide respect for the U.S., and moral standing to try to get that warm and fuzzy feeling back by letting the most ignoble fears guide their political views.

Who would've guessed Democrats would end up being the tough guys?

Posted by: Hops on November 30, 2007 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Its odd how all the Republican can call themselves "pro-American" when they have undermined our standing in the world and seem to hate the Constitution The are "pro law and order" yet desire lawlessness and torture when it comes to fighting terrorists. They are for "less government" yet only want to give it more power. Claim "fiscal responsibility" yet have driven up the national deficit to record levels.
Call themselves "pro-Christian" yet embrace greed and hate in (the very things Jesus denounced) as a central part of their agenda.
Then they have the gaul to call liberals or anyone who doesn't embrace their radical agenda as "anti-American". I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I Just might do both at once!

Posted by: George Arndt on November 30, 2007 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Torture should not be excused because it works. The party of personal responsibility (the Republicans) who advocate torture should just do the torturing but then submit themselves to be judged for the crime of torture. If you commit a crime to prevent a crime then that can be weighed in your judgment. But do not ask a civilized society to change the rules for you now and say that torture is not torture because you are torturing bad people.

Is the moral calculus for torture changed by who is being tortured? Is it one thing to torture someone who you know has information versus torturing someone just to see if they know anything? In either case, I believe the torturer and their commanding superiors must take personal responiblity for inflicting the torture. I do not like the current debate in which we are trying to excuse torture and say that its ok because the circumstances warrant it. Lets simply acknowledge that torture is wrong and that if we torture we will suffer the consequences but we will also get the information.

Republicans want to be able to torture with impunity.

Republicans oppose situational ethics, so they should not be trying to change the ethics of torture by re-defining it. Its embarrassing.

Posted by: Annoying Annoyer on November 30, 2007 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Good for them.

Posted by: Brian on November 30, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Poor ab-Normie thinks himself a Rhine maiden, but he's only an old dwarf Alberich who has gone off the deep end

Posted by: Mike on November 30, 2007 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

"Ladies and gentlemen, your Republican base."

But, according to Very Serious People, Dawkins and Hitchens are rude and wrong to point out that religion is not a source of great morality.

Posted by: Maynard Handley on November 30, 2007 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo, I don't disagree with you on trade barriers or Smoot-Hawley, but can you think of another historical event that might have had some bearing on why trade in the '30s was less than that of the '20s? :)

Posted by: Gus on November 30, 2007 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

Norman, I know you're a parody. A pretty funny one, too. As meta as the Blogs 4 Brownback dude.

Posted by: Gus on November 30, 2007 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Gus, Smoot-Hawley was copied by most of the US' trading partners, which further reduced trade. The reduction in trade reduced economic output and trade was further reduced. It could be argued the '29 stock market crash and subsequent worldwide recession accounted for much of the reduction in trade, but I think those economic historians can only account for such a dramatic decrease of trade on the tariff trade barriers all of the trading partners erected.

I don't think it was the war in Europe either, which didn't start until Hitler invaded Poland in 1939. But maybe you have some other ideas you are not sharing.

Posted by: Brojo on November 30, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

This is my first visit to this blog. It was inspired by the Republican Base item. Most of the people posting here share the belief, it appears, that our nation can improve itself by departing from the path we've taken with King George and his House of Lords. How about we demonstrate our collective intelligence and courtesy by refraining from calling each other stupid? Infighting among those of us who hope to unseat the selfish, hateful leaders we elected will only allow the selfish and hateful to elect another batch like them. Democracy works best when tolerance and cooperation unseat division and conquest, eh? Thank you.

Posted by: Jay Oliver on November 30, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

How about we demonstrate our collective intelligence and courtesy by refraining from calling each other stupid? Posted by: Jay Oliver

Okay there, newbie, what would you have us call people who voted for Bush not once, but twice and, a good number of which, will vote for one of the dregs now running for the Rethug nomination? Intellectually challenged? Clueless? Idiots? Morons? Fucking morons? Pathetic? Stop me when you read one you like.

Posted by: JeffII on November 30, 2007 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

"How about we demonstrate our collective intelligence and courtesy by refraining from calling each other stupid?"

Naaa.

But it's a good question.

Here is why I disagree: one key to any political party or movement is the stuff that folks collectively more or less take for granted. This thread is a good example. It took less than an hour for somebody to post "Why any progressive would think anything that [Frank Luntz] said bore any relationship to reality is beyond..." the pale of civilized thought.

So I noted that on immigration, EVERY current poll agrees with Luntz's results: Greenberg, f'r instance, as solidly Democratic and progressive as you get. Or Peter Brown, an independent from Quinnipiac who found lopsided results FOR legal and AGAINST illegal in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Not ONE poster replied along the lines of "gee, maybe multiple results from different public opinion surveys that show the same pattern means that it is real."

Instead we had Pale hollering that Luntz was nobody, utterly discredited, obviously wrong -- and yet, every other polling result backs him up.

How could that be?

Pale himself showed why he is happy to demonstrate that level of stooopidity in these threads-- it's POPULAR: "That's why, on a consistent basis, your analysis of events is rejected wholesale in this forum and that's why nothing you say means anything in the long run. You're just giving us your kneejerk analysis without engaging your brain."

Riiight, like Frank Luntz wonders what I'm gonna say before he crafts a message that moves votes. Like I'm NOT observing how he actually does it -- for which I get Pale explaining how I'm somehow 'enabling' the bad guys cuz I know how it works.

In real life, I'm happy to work with folks who disagree with me. Hell, that's what politics IS -- the management of disagreement.

But around here, I think it is healthy to feel free to observe that denying reality is stoooopid -- as is habitually insulting overwhelming majorities and the rule of law, viz "The Rebublican base is already reliably racist.... even Democratic governors are signing Juan Crow laws allowing for the legal discrimination of people, preventing them from working..."

Denying the reality of public opinion on these issues, AND insulting folks who believe in the rule of law as "reliably racist".

Serious question, JO: why NOT observe that these two habits are stoooopid?

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 30, 2007 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

(grin) Gotta love Know Nothing Jeff: cuz NOTHING is more surely a route to victory in an election than calling the majorities in prior years "Clueless? Idiots? Morons? Fucking morons? Pathetic?"

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 30, 2007 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK
Quinnipiac just did two major polls in Pennsylvania and Ohio, which showed that folks oppose ILLEGAL immigration, and regard it as a bad thing, by huge margins

You know, no one supports illegal immigration per se, at least as an overt position.

There are several different factions: people who think that the current nominal rules are good but not well enough enforced, people who think that the current rules are based on the wrong premises and should be fundamentally adjusted, people who think that the current rules are based broadly on the right principles but could be adjusted to work more effectively and be more readily enforceable, etc.

None of them, though, think illegal immigration, qua illegal immigration, is good. They differ on exactly what problems they see in it, and how they would correct them. And there are plenty of honest disagreements and productive debates to be had there.

But no one, overtly at least, supports illegal immigration. One could argue that some positions have the effect of exacerbating illegal immigration, and one might even rationally impute that as a motive to some factions based on that, but that doesn't really advance productive discussion if that's all you do. Imputing ulterior motives (though strictly a fallacy) isn't entirely useless in such discussions, but when its all you have it isn't much.

So engage the real issues, for once.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 30, 2007 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK
Riiight, like Frank Luntz wonders what I'm gonna say before he crafts a message that moves votes.

Well, if you were a good lobbyist, he'd have to.

In real life, I'm happy to work with folks who disagree with me.

Do you think that your participation on this board is something that happens only in your imagination, rather than in "real life". Well, certainly what you say here seems detached from reality, so perhaps that explains it.

But around here, I think it is healthy to feel free to observe that denying reality is stoooopid

How is your continuous setting up and attacking strawmen rather than engaging on the actual issues people raise anything but "denying reality"?

Or did you mean to call yourself "stoooopid".

Gotta love Know Nothing Jeff: cuz NOTHING is more surely a route to victory in an election than calling the majorities in prior years "Clueless? Idiots? Morons? Fucking morons? Pathetic?"

Your hypocrisy in, from one post to the next, excusing yourself for acting in a way here that would be impolitic in "real life" and in the next ridiculing another poster for expressing ideas that would be impolitic as part of a political campaign (without any challenge to the validity of the ideas expressed beyond their political impact in a different context than the one in which they were expressed) is breathtaking and yet, for you, all too common.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 30, 2007 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

As I keep noting, Dice, you're simply too stoooopid to be worth engaging.

F'r instance, you make yet another distinction without a difference: "no one supports illegal immigration per se"... in a thread where Pale had objected to "calling it illegal immigration", after which I had wondered why not, yanno, actually note that it IS illegal.

I had noted in this, and other threads, that you object to the morality of the law BY insisting the distinction between legal and illegal doesn't count as much as... well, you never quite say, cuz the fact is, you don't know the law 'tall.

I noted, f'r example, that illegal means EWIs and overstayers. (You rather grandly explained that you didn't object to that clear explanation, but the fact is: you couldn't have made it. You.don't.know.what.you're.talking.about.)

I also noted how legal immigration works: USC spouses, kids, parents and siblings, LPR spouses and kids, employers, the lottery. (I've added the distinction with refugees and asylees, just for clarity. Your 'response' to this was the bizarre and ultimately fascist idea that "the government" invites people, which is yet another instance why I've concluded you're stooopid, and not simply ignorant. You're gonna have your ass handed to you as a lawyer, yanno.)

I've also pointed to Congress' failure to deliver what it promises.

So -- what "illegal" means, how "legal" works, and how it fails.

So WTF cred do you hallucinate you have on distinctions you cannot make, cuz you're either ignorant or stoooopid or both?

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 30, 2007 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

So WTF cred do you hallucinate you have on distinctions you cannot make, cuz you're either ignorant or stoooopid or both?

And yet, one could ask the same question of you. What credibility do you have when we, as a collective group, consistently engage your ideas, tear them down in systematic function, and utterly reject your ideas because they are flip, unrealistic, and rattled off like you are dictating to a non-existent secretary?

Instead we had Pale hollering that Luntz was nobody, utterly discredited, obviously wrong -- and yet, every other polling result backs him up.

You can't demonstrate that it does; I posted clear cut examples of how Luntz has been discredited as a pollster.

YOU cling to Luntz because that's the untenable position you started with; when he was exposed for what he is, which is a Republican hack who uses manipulated methodology, you wrapped him around your neck, falsely linked him to other pollsters who might do credible work without posting THEIR methodology and THEIR results in concert with his, and you let him pull you down as if you had a millstone around your neck.

What pearl-clutching, fainting-couch idiot thinks you can get through the day without name calling? The Americanist reveals, every single time, how his frustrating lack of honesty, self-awareness and analytical capability runs amok in public.

I'm certainly not capable of detaching myself enough to just let him shit all over the place and soil the rugs. Idiocy is here to be challenged, not tolerated or accepted.

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 30, 2007 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK
As I keep noting, Dice, you're simply too stoooopid to be worth engaging.

Apparently, you think that of everyone here, since while you are full of grandstanding and insults, you never actually engage.

F'r instance, you make yet another distinction without a difference: "no one supports illegal immigration per se"... in a thread where Pale had objected to "calling it illegal immigration", after which I had wondered why not, yanno, actually note that it IS illegal.

And yet again you fail to make an important distinction with a difference: there is an enormous difference between objecting to the label "illegal immigration" and supporting illegal immigration. The two have no necessary relationship, nor is there anything in Pale Rider's comments doing the former that indicates an intent to do the latter.

I had noted in this, and other threads, that you object to the morality of the law BY insisting the distinction between legal and illegal doesn't count as much as... well, you never quite say, cuz the fact is, you don't know the law 'tall.

You are mistaken on two points here: less importantly, in your (typically insulting) explanation for why I supposedly haven't explained the distinction, and, more importantly, in the oturight lie that I haven't explained the distinction I think is important.

I've rather explicitly said that the most important distinction (both in moral terms and policy terms) is between would-be immigrants who are categorically undesirable (for which I've explicitly said that the current classes of people who are prohibited entry regardless of sponsorship, etc., excluding those who are barred only for prior illegal entry, are, though perhaps not ideal, a decent first approximation), and those who are not personally undesirable (or, phrased another way, those who are personally acceptable.)

I've also expressed that a secondary, also important, distinction exists within the "personally acceptable" class between, on the one hand, would-be immigrants with connections to the US (again, taking the existing family-based sponsorship classes as a decent first-order approximation both of that group and priorities within it), and, on the other hand, those that lack such connections but who are still not personally undesirable.

I've argued further that our immigration policy ought to:

  1. Allow "personally acceptable" immigrants to enter legally without hard numerical limits, with soft limits which can be bypassed with fee payments instead. This based on the principal that restrictions on personally acceptable immigrants serve primarily to mitigate costs imposed by the scale of immigration, and imposing fees to mitigate those costs is more effective than hard limits

  2. Calibrate the costs for supernumerary immigrants so that those that are more desirable (in higher priority classes) pay a lower fee as supernumerary immigrants; while those that are in the lowest, least-attached class (for which all immigrants would be supernumerary) pay the highest fees
  3. Be enforced more strictly to ensure that the personally undesirable are kept out, which would be more politically viable if those personally acceptable were not as limited as they are now

I've also suggested other tweaks to the current system, such as, in the quotas which would remain transformed into soft rather than hard caps, abandoning nation-based limits that are poorly aligned with demand and which increase the burden to immigrate from the countries with the highest demand both within and without the current preference categories, so as to reduce the incentive for personally acceptable immigrants in existing preference categories to enter unlawfully.

I noted, f'r example, that illegal means EWIs and overstayers. (You rather grandly explained that you didn't object to that clear explanation, but the fact is: you couldn't have made it.

I couldn't have? In fact, I have noted that "illegals" include those who have entered illegally and those that have overstayed visas more than once in prior discussions of this issue, including ones that you participated in. So this isn't merely an arrogant and false assumption, its an outright lie. But hardly unique among your insults in being such a lie.

Your 'response' to this was the bizarre and ultimately fascist idea that "the government" invites people, which is yet another instance why I've concluded you're stooopid, and not simply ignorant

Its factual that the government invites people, and that some of those invitations (i.e., the ones requiring an individual sponsor) are also dependent on an individual invitation, which is what I stated. You may call that idea "fascist", but if you believe that (rather than just using it as a gratuitous, unconsidered insult), your issue is with the law, not with me.

People are not free to invite whoever they want, they can invite who the government has allowed them to invite, and the government invites people that do not have particular individual sponsors as well. This is fact, whether or not you consider it "fascist".

(Now, personally, I don't think this is fascist, and I support this aspect of the status quo system in outline, though I've suggest a number of tweaks to details of the status quo system, such as which categories should be "limited" -- though, as noted, I would have all the limits be soft -- and how the quotas should be aligned between nations of origin -- that is, I've suggested that they should be universal, rather than nation-specific, with the possible exception of retaining a diversity lottery.)


I've also pointed to Congress' failure to deliver what it promises.

You've pointed to lots of things. You haven't, however, made any coherent point with all that pointing, and in particular you haven't made any coherent argument for what should be done. You've mostly made unfocussed rants that combined random facts about the process with lies about what others in the discussion here have said and insults directed at others here, with no coherent thesis or argument.

So WTF cred do you hallucinate you have

Unlike you, I don't try to claim my personal authority as the basis for my arguments here. They stand on the strength of the reasoning and/or evidence presented.

So, if you want to debate, do so. But debate on the issues, not irrelevancies.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 30, 2007 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

"there is an enormous difference between objecting to the label "illegal immigration" and supporting illegal immigration."

QED.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 30, 2007 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

"there is an enormous difference between objecting to the label "illegal immigration" and supporting illegal immigration."
QED.

Uh, no. You don't get to call QED. You haven't accomplished anything.

cmdicely spells out a detailed reasoning and a detailed plan--you try to call QED and run because you can't answer a basic assessment of why you're inconsistent and wrong.

Here's where you go wildly off the mark into kneejerk reaction territory--you have a hangup about the term illegal immigration. Good for you. It's proof you can't think for yourself. Is it illegal? Of course it is. But it's an illegality that has a certain level of tolerance in this country, comparable to "murder death driving" as I explained by using speeding as an example. Both will get you in trouble. Both go on every day in this country. The fact of the matter is, we try to enforce speeding laws and we try to enforce immigration laws.

What you have been suckered into, by the display of your unnatural and unnerving attraction to Luntz and the term "illegal," is this notion that you can win in American politics by letting the Right wing define something with a loaded term and basically cede the issue to them.

Demonizing poor people is what throwing around "illegal immigration" is all about. It's a ploy, a trick, a deception and a deceit I refuse to accept. There's no fucking way I'm ever going to accept having Republicans tell me poor people are "the problem" in this society. There's no fucking way I'm abandoning that fight and letting them have a free pass on that issue. I believe, passionately, that there is a real problem with poverty in this country and the LAST people who can be trusted to address it are the Republicans.

I've said it before and I'll say it again--the war in Iraq is a massive transfer of wealth from social programs to the defense industry. And if you latch on to the illegal immigration debate in your usual uninformed and kneejerk way, you'll buy into this ridiculous notion that poor people are the problem. They are not the problem. Massive spending on defense programs that do nothing to defend this country robs us of the chance to give people health care, job training and jobs programs.

Case in point--infrastructure spending. Money that could be spent shoring up this country's infrastructure is going to Iraq at a 1 billion dollar a week clip. You want to see people rise out of property--spend a billion a week rebuilding the infrastructure throughout this country and you'll see jobs and jobs and more jobs for legal and illegal immigrants.

Enact cmdicely's proposals and put people on a path to citizenship, you build a better country.

What part of that don't you understand? No comprende, senor?

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 30, 2007 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

And it's not "illegal immigration."

As a 20+ year member of the Border Patrol explained to me last year, it's actually "human migration" and the realists at that agency know they can't actually stop it with fences, patrols and Republican rhetoric. Policies in the US and Mexico (really, all of Latin America) could curtail it significantly, but there is no way to stop human migration.

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 30, 2007 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

LOL -- man, you guys are just... precious.

Dice says, why, nobody defends "illegal immigration, per se"... except, well, HIM, cuz... well, it must be because Dice is just so well-informed about the law. You know, where the GOVERNMENT invites people.

And Pale, well -- it's not "illegal", it's "human".

Go on, tell us more. Show us about how.... thoroughly, you guys have thought all this through.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 30, 2007 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

And Pale, well -- it's not "illegal", it's "human".

Yes, it is. And it's not my problem you got caught on the wrong side of the issue and humiliated.

So where's the substance? Operating without facts again?

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 30, 2007 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

If The Americanist is as good as he claims to be figuring out how to win the votes of the people, he should try using some of those smarts here, where I don't think he's making many friends.

And I say that even though I don't completely disagree with him on this subject. Cockfight aside, this discussion got sidetracked into semantics a bit too much IMO.

Immigration is a curious issue, where businesses and the rich are on the same side (pro) as many liberals. Most of the people though, both Republicans and Democrats, are against -- regardless of what you call it.

Pale, I understand seeing these immigrants as poor people who need help. And I'm for it too. But what are you proposing regarding those who will be coming in in the future: (a) Open the gates to all comers? (b) Make it hard to cross the border but keep those who brave the bullets successfully? The former seems unrealistic to me, and the latter seems crazy. I'm curious what your thoughts are on that.

Posted by: JS on November 30, 2007 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

Pale, I understand seeing these immigrants as poor people who need help. And I'm for it too. But what are you proposing regarding those who will be coming in in the future: (a) Open the gates to all comers? (b) Make it hard to cross the border but keep those who brave the bullets successfully? The former seems unrealistic to me, and the latter seems crazy. I'm curious what your thoughts are on that.

You don't get my thoughts. For you to throw out the allegedly "crazy" idea of 'brave the bullets successfully' shows you don't have the slightest notion of honestly debating the issue. I guess if you can't kill brown people in Iraq why not kill them on the banks of the Rio Grande, right?

There is no such thing as a closed border. The border between China and North Korea, for example, is a heavily patrolled and militarized border between the two countries, and anyone crossing from one side to the other can be killed without so much as a second thought. And yet, people cross it all the time.

If you're poor, starving and you can't take it anymore, there is no border in the world that's going to stop you.

If you do something about the poor and starving part, you have a much better chance of making it so a bunch of war porn fetish enthusiasts like yourself won't have to volunteer to swap out the barrels on that .50 cal and empty a few belts into the shadows.

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 30, 2007 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

I take it that what you were trying to say was (a).

Have fun with the Americanist Pale -- you were made for each other.

Posted by: JS on December 1, 2007 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

Have fun with the Americanist Pale -- you were made for each other.

Have fun finding a butt buddy who will help you hunt down and kill brown people.

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 1, 2007 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

jimbo: It's Republican fake toughness, beating up on people who can't fight back.


and....in any case where someone does fight back..

its evident that...

gop: we can dish it out...but we can't really take it..

Posted by: mr. irony on December 1, 2007 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

ex: you are correct that treaties are the law of the land, but that fact doesn't contradict the idea that a majority of voters might support waterboarding an al Qaeda leader in order to prevent a terrorist attack.


so a bare majority for torture matters..

but not for...

troops coming home..60% of Americans favor withdrawing U.S. forces, a new high, while just 9% favor increasing troop levels. - ABC News/Wash. Post 11/6/07

up or down votes in congress...By a 2-to-1 margin, those who see little accomplishment in Congress's first 9-months blame the inaction on Bush and the GOP more than on the majority Democrats. - Wash. Post-ABC News polls 9/30/07

.not attacking iran.. Oppose air strikes on Iran - 62%......Oppose ground invasion in Iran - 73....Want no military action against Iran - 70% - Opinion Research 11/8/07


how's that working out?

Every traditional indicator of election forecasting - from public opinion polls and issue resonance to candidate recruitment - suggests that congressional Democrats have just as much going for them in 2008 as they had in 2006, if not more.

In fact, it's now dawning on members of both parties that a Democratic sweep is the inescapable "morning line" assumption going into the 2008 campaign season.

The biggest factor working in the Democrats' favor "continues to be that they are not the Republicans."

- CQ Politics 11/26/07

Posted by: mr. irony on December 1, 2007 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

LOL -- like I keep saying, it's what folks take for granted that is so revealing. (Which is why I'm purposely provocative here.)

Dice insists there is, so!, a difference between regarding the law as immoral and condoning illegal immigration. Pale explains that it's not "illegal" immigration, it's just "human" immigration -- and it's unstoppable.

Bullshit.

We're not talking about a few dozen people, at most, who manage to get across the DMZ into South Korea. We're talking about hundreds of thousands of people who cross the Sonoran Desert into the United States because if they tried to enter in the legal way, they would not be allowed because they are not INVITED. So they break the law -- which Pale regards as inevitable (cuz he's ignorant), and Dice regards as a higher morality (cuz he's stooopid).

We're talking about CLARITY.

The effective ways to deal with illegal immigration are at the border and the worksite, not the clinic and the classroom. Roughly half of the illegally resident population entered legally, and didn't leave when they were required (and as they had agreed).

By refusing to focus on the obvious facts that 1) illegal is BAD, period, full stop, we all agree, and 2) it's not about the border, but the worksite, folks like Dice and Pale -- and all the rest of you who are enablers of such bullshit -- give the game away to the bad guys.

Pale simply thinks the law should be ignored. In a word, he's nuts.

Dice wants to preen his ignorant self-righteousness. In a word, he's a fool.

Both the folks who cross the border AND those who overstay illegally are primarily motivated by jobs. THAT IS WRONG AND AGAINST OUR INTERESTS AND WE SHOULD STOP EXCUSING IT.

If he was smart (which we keep demonstrating he ain't), this is where Dice would make a useful distinction between Pale and himself. Pale thinks what's called 'economic migration' is a force of nature that cannot be prevented anymore than gravity. He's wrong, but it IS a distinct point of view.

It's one of the peculiarities of progressives that we can't seem to FOCUS on particular points of view, establish that they are right or wrong, useful or useless, and then make the decisions indicated.

Dice contributes to this here, and sorta exemplifies it more broadly (which is why I beat hell out of him, cuz that is pretty much his ONLY utility: he reliably demonstrates something worth defeating): in the immigration debate, faithbased organizations constantly mumble that we should 'welcome the stranger', and that there is nothing wrong with a guy who breaks the law to get a job paying more here than he could get back in Oaxaca, AS IF that is the moral equivalent of a wife who breaks the law to sleep in the same country as her LEGAL immigrant husband.

Another useful distinction that is lost on you assholes: and, puh-leeze, Dice, spare us your hallucinations about the per-country ceilings. You don't know how legal immigration works, let's stick with the simpler stuff, like 'illegal is bad'.

We've known for a very long time how to stop illegal hiring. It's not about a document, cuz any document somebody can make, somebody else can fake. The effective approach is the private sector model: for one thing, people enthusiastically cooperate with identity protections when they see that as in their interest -- which it IS, of course. (One of the astonishing blind spots in the progressive approach to immigration is how blithely folks excuse Mexican criminals stealing the identities of US citizens born in Puerto Rico.)

For another, there are very sophisticated and extremely effective private sector approaches to identifying imposter fraud -- I got a phone call one Sunday morning from Mastercard, asking if I had just spent a couple hundred dollars on cigarettes at two 7-11s, which was my first clue my wallet had been stolen from my house the night before.

You can walk through the entire immigration debate like that, step by step, and find simple sensible fixes which are politically viable even with the right wing crazies on the loose: but NOT if all you have to work with is the stoooopidity and ignorance on the left typified by Pale and Dice.

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 1, 2007 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

"Have fun finding a butt buddy"-- Pale Rider

You know, I generally agree with you, Pale, but do you ever bother to sit back and figure out why when you're really pissed off, the homo-baiting just gushes out?

Posted by: jprichva on December 1, 2007 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK


These focus group results present quite a commentary on the nature of some (many?) of those in the Republican base.

And what a group of presidential candidates! All support a backward policy against gays in the military, some would end the income tax, most support unregulated gun ownership, most oppose sensible policies on illegal immigration, and one won’t condemn waterboarding.

Do they think we need all those guns to protect against the threat of gay marriage?

www.altara.blogspot.com

Posted by: altara on December 1, 2007 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

The migration routes from what we call Mexico to what we call the American Southwest are thousands of years old. It wasn't until European illegal immigrants came to the Western Hemisphere and created an illegitimate government that those historical migration routes became entangled in legal argument. The legal argument is used as a cover for dehumanizing indigenous people that the European immigrant descendants do not wish to share the world with.

Posted by: Brojo on December 1, 2007 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK
Dice says, why, nobody defends "illegal immigration, per se"... except, well, HIM

Er, no. I say no one defends illegal immigration qua illegal immigration, not that no one but me does so.

There is a difference between thinking that the best, most moral, and most practical way of addressing the problems related to illegal immigration is substantial reform of the law governing immigration and supporting continued illegal immigration.

There is a difference between recognizing that the law is fundamentally broken, not merely poorly enforced, and that therefore the solution is fundamental reform of the law, on the one hand, and supporting breaking the law on the other.

Are you incapable of reading, of telling the truth, or both?

Posted by: cmdicely on December 1, 2007 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

"The migration routes from what we call Mexico to what we call the American Southwest are thousands of years old."

Dayum -- in my youth, I'd have wanted some of whatever YOU'RE smoking.

1) There were no "migration routes" from Mexico north to the Southwest, or anyplace else for that matter, thousands of years ago. There were some extremely low traffic trails and trade routes, but most of that went along the rivers and couldn't have involved more than a few hundred people a year, virtually none of whom were "migrants": they traded obsidian, turquoise and copper in an annual volume that wouldn't fill a modern panel truck.

2) The older "migration route" was North to South, and went only one way. There is NO evidence -- none, zip, zero -- of any significant movement of people back North. The further south you go in this hemisphere, the older the organized societies, is as good an archeological and anthropological rule as any we know. Thus, the Incas were older than the Aztec (and possibly even older than the Maya) found by Cortez and Pizarro around 1520, all of 'em older than the Mississippi moundbuilders observed by Coronado around 1540. It is possible that there were whole civilizations in the Amazon that have left no record, but it is unlikely that they were newer than the Maya and there is no evidence whatsoever that they moved folks north.

3) It is one of those astonishing pieces of bullshit that progressives of a certain level of stooopidity and arrogance like to drag out, to claim that Europeans coming to the Americas were "illegal migrants". Um -- whose law?

NONE of the fabled "500 Nations" of North America, f'r instance, had anything REMOTELY like a rule of law that encompassed the possibility of the displacement that happened to them. You can only call what the Europeans did "illegal" if you don't understand what "law" is, AND if you have no clue what constitutes human progress.

It's the oldest frigging pattern in history, f'r crying out loud: the Israelites moved in on the Midianites and Canaanites; the Japanese, the Ainu; the Celts started somewhere near Kazakstan, so far as anybody can tell, and wound up in Ireland before leaping the Atlantic. Hell, if you're gonna complain about human mobility, why not bitch that we all left Africa?

4) The key to recognizing human progress is CITIZENSHIP. It's not who lives in a particular territory; it's whether the people who live there are free and rule themselves, AND whether and how that community sustains itself -- if and how someone can join and BELONG.

The 500 nations of North America, f'r instance, manifestly could not include the tidal wave of Europeans who crossed the Atlantic, if only because they died of diseases that the Celts, among others, had brought from the steppes in all those thousands of years hanging around horses and cows and pigs and sheep, which the locals didn't do here.

In this country, "We, the People" have created a unique and invaluable dynamic: the Ellis Island model. "They" become "us", and who "we" are, changes and expands to include them -- so long as they have been INVITED, and obey our laws.

It never ceases to amaze me the bullshit progressives will claim to believe rather than recognize the power and beauty of the dynamic that makes us America.

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 1, 2007 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

(snort!) Generally speaking, Dice, I've concluded that you wouldn't know a good argument if it knocked you down, sat on your chest, and ate a Philly cheesesteak.

You simply don't know what you're talking about -- and when confronted with the REALITY of it, you seek to engage in pretty pointless distraction that pretty much serves only to demonstrate the stooopidity masked by your ignorance.

I already covered illegal immigration. You got nothing.

And, in fact, we've been over legal immigration: US citizens invite spouses, kids, parents and siblings; legal permanent residents invite spouses and kids; employers sponsor workers for green cards (there's also a lottery, 'nuff said).

Dice has had literally nothing useful to say on the subj., about which he gets huffy. Why? Cuz he doesn't HAVE anything but huff.

A f'r instance: the per-country ceilings don't do what Dice thinks they do, and his impractical to the point of hallucination scheme about 'em wouldn't solve the REAL problems of the system.

To illustrate: Dice wonders breathlessly, why shouldn't we have, um, "soft" per-country caps? Yeah, that's it -- instead of UNIFORMLY TREATING ALL NATIONS THE SAME IN THE CATEGORIES SUBJECT TO NUMERICAL LIMIT (which is what "caps" mean), Dice sez... how about we make 'em "soft"?

To which the only intelligent response (other than silence, I suppose) would be: WTF are you talking about?

Reality check: there are at least 1.5 million spouses and kids of legal permanent residents waiting in line for LEGAL immigration. Folks get into that category more or less like this -- a guy gets his green card, then gets married, and discovers that immigration law does not respect immigrant marriages.

The MINIMUM wait in this category is now roughly 5 years. But for Mexico, it is 7 years.

Dice's ignorance explains that the problem to be solved here is that folks from Mexico have to wait two years longer, not that EVERYBODY has to wait 5 years too long.

To her credit, Senator Clinton proposed to fix this in the Senate debate this summer -- and no, she didn't consult Dice, so far as I know, cuz she didn't propose HIS solution. (Cue Dice to say something stooopid in a personal attack to distract from the frigging subject: immigration, and immigration politics, and dumbass progressives like him. Remember the point of the thread is that stoooopid progressives like Dice and Pale and Brojo have managed to turn a wedge issue that divides Republicans into one where a large majority of Americans are against the good guys.)

But (I say it again cuz it emphasizes Dice's utter stoooopidity), I had pointed out that this real example illuminates why Dice is typical of a certain progressive delusion: he likes to preen in his moral mirror that the law is immoral, and should be changed.

But he doesn't bother to understand the law, still less the politics of fixing it in which he epitomizes a major obstacle: stoooopid progressives.

So I noted where a smarter guy than him would have made a distinction between himself and Pale, much less Brojo: folks like Dice talking bogus morality "constantly mumble that we should 'welcome the stranger', and that there is nothing wrong with a guy who breaks the law to get a job paying more here than he could get back in Oaxaca, AS IF that is the moral equivalent of a wife who breaks the law to sleep in the same country as her LEGAL immigrant husband."

Too real for you, asshole? Kindly show us where you reject Brojo's hallucinations and Pale's bullshit, quote the powerful and unrelenting arguments you've made that ILLEGAL HIRING IS WRONG AND MUST BE STOPPED.

Did you whack Pale for saying that it impossible?

Did you tell him that HIS approach is immoral? I think not -- your moral mirror cannot be kept clean, cuz then: you just might SEE.

Do use quotes, to show us how far ahead of the curve you are.

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 1, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Yet it seems to me that cmdicely did make a concrete proposal (Nov. 30 8:08PM). In summary, I think he said:

1. Rationalize and expand legal immigration.
2. Enforce "more strictly" measures against illegal immigration "to ensure that the personally undesirable are kept out".

The Am. seems to have problems with the details of #1, but is the above a fair summary of cmdicely's proposal? And, if so, is this not compatible with what the polls seem to be saying that the majority wants?

(Don't tell Pale though that cmdicely talked about enforcing "more strictly" measures against illegals to keep them out -- or he might blow his remaining gasket).

Posted by: JS on December 1, 2007 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

To the extent those are proposals (which ain't very far) that is an accurate summation of what Dice "thinks" -- sorta like observing that breaking wind is like conversation, if you think it over. (Which pretty much summarizes Dice's intellectual depth.)

It isn't possible to "rationalize and expand legal immigration..." without some understanding of what it IS. Dice's posts show the opposite.

He doesn't understand it.

The notion of ensuring "that the personally undesirable are kept out...", besides being a thundering non sequitur, gets to the problem progressives have regarding BOTH legal and illegal immigration.

Legal immigration: It's none of Dice's fucking business whom I choose to marry. If as a US citizen I choose to marry a foreigner of whom he disapproves, neither he nor the US government (whom he hallucinates "invites" immigrants) has any say in the marriage -- and BECAUSE I am a US citizen, my wife gets to come here and live with me. It is NOT legit for the government to tell me to choose between my marriage and my country. "We, the People" never gave government that authority -- and, after all, the government's "just powers are derived from the consent of the governed."

Dice is simply full of shit.

The ways in which immigrants are invited (see upthread) are precisely on that model: US citizens and legal immigrants invite family, employers sponsor workers. That's it. If you don't know how that works (as Dice manifestly does not, with his bizarre idea that the "government" invites immigrants), you can't talk sensibly about "rationalizing" it, much less increasing the #s.

Illegal immigration: Dice's notion of the law against illegal immigration applying to those who are "personally undesireable" is the epitome of of progressive bullshit.

I've known lots of folks who entered without inspection who were wonderful people. So what? They broke the law.

Ah, but Dice thinks the law itself is immoral, and Pale thinks Mexicans paying human smugglers (ever see what they do to the women in those canyons, asshole?) is impossible to resist, like gravity.

The POLITICS of this are as obvious as could be.

Americans by overwhelming majorities RESENT the arrogance, ignorance and stooopidity you see in this thread. THIS is the issue on which Democrats could lose next year -- precisely because folks like Dice exemplify a progressive compulsion to shy away from the simple fact that illegal workers are people we do NOT want in America, which is why they are illegal. (But of course, Dice thinks he's too moral to say something so clearly, where in fact he is simply too stoooopid to see it that clear.)

Before we can do anything else, we MUST earn the respect of the public that now looks at Dice and Pale and Brojo -- and agrees with me.

If you can't or won't say "illegal immigration is wrong and must be stopped", you cannot make sense. No caveats or context: it's simple and clear.

Since getting to delivering visas to the spouses and kids of LEGAL immigrants depends on making sense, the failure Dice exemplifies is precisely the obstacle to doing this issue right.

The "personally undesireable" line isn't just stooopid, it's obscenely arrogant. The world surely has 3 billion people who are not "personally undesireable", and at least 40 million of 'em live in Mexico and can WALK here.

How fucking stooopid does this guy have to get before I'm not the only one willing to point it out?

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 1, 2007 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

So "JS" and "Americanist" are joining hands, to start machine gunning brown people as they cross the border?

Fascinating.

When your line of reasoning unravels like a cheap sweater, this is what you get. Morons glom onto other morons and form a grade A clusterfuck.

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 1, 2007 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

(Would be interesting to see how the Democrats would fare in the next election with an immigration platform that was based on the concept of thousand-year-old "human migration" patterns that must be respected.)

I think the Am. is still being unfair to cmdicely, in that the latter's proposal (as I see it) does include rejection of illegal immigration (again, dont't tell Pale this) -- but changes the rules regarding what legal immigration is.

I do have my own questions for cmdicely -- who can't be faulted if he has abandoned this thread. Specifically:

* If the only "undesirables" (cmdicely's term) are the criminals and the insane (I'm guessing, since no exact definition was given) does that not make almost the entire Latin American population "personally acceptable"? And ditto for the entire South American, African, and Asian populations?

* If the only way to limit the number of eligible immigrants (which now must be close to 6 billion) is to impose "fees" -- what kind of fees are we talking? Because if they are very low, won't a good part of the "personally acceptable" 6 billion show up at the border Monday morning? And if they are prohibitive, will that not be seen as capitalist greed, arbitrary selection, etc.? How could poor immigrants pay huge fees? Are entry fees really compatible with the spirit of immigration into the US? So I don't think how this whole thing could work in practice.

And for anyone who may have read this and be wondering, my point in the post that attracted Pale's wrath is that it's hypocritical to have border controls -- of whatever kind -- only to reward those who manage to sneak past them with jobs and legality, but send back the ones who are caught. My point was -- if you are going to have any type of immigration controls, you have to apply them at the employer's site.

Posted by: JS on December 2, 2007 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

In 1994, I did a factfinding tour of the border in Arizona conducted by the Border Patrol. The folks I was with wound up recommending a fundamental change in border strategy, which was implemented because we recommended it. We were kind of a big deal.

They showed us a family from Romania who had been apprehended at the border at about 3 in the morning -- a father, mother, and child -- who had been paying smugglers ever since middle Europe, to wind up in this little holding cell in Nogales. They told us they had spent $30,000 to get that far -- and no farther.

The Border Patrol guys took us out into the criss cross canyons, to show us the real challenge of their jobs. (I don't know how they catch anybody; it's the desert that does the real job.) In one of 'em, walking through the mesquite, we came upon a scene that haunts me: a woman's clothing scattered all over the bushes. The guy who was showing me the routes saw my face, and he explained this happens a lot -- coyotes are criminals, after all.

Hey, Pale? Ya think this is about "joining hands, to start machine gunning brown people as they cross the border?"

Fuck you.

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 2, 2007 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

Is it "safe" to say and identify the Democrat "base" being wrapped up in the form of one each George Soros? If so can somebody in the know give me a list of Who's Who that constitutes the Republican Base? Somebody(s) are holding all the marinette stringsk, so just who are they?

Posted by: Dr. Scott on February 1, 2008 at 12:26 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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