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August 16, 2006

Comments

Bob

This harks back to the extreme divisiveness of the current political climate. It has been concerning me for over 15 years now. Now, it may be just my imperfect memory and personal perspective, but a large chunk of it seems to have originated back when the USSR fell over. Suddenly there was no Great Enemy anymore, and the conservatives seemed to turn their ire upon the liberals. Suddenly the word liberal became a bad word, and meant as an insult. Suddenly, if you disagreed with the most extreme end of the conservative thought mode you were labeled as unpatriotic, unamerican, even a traitor. They seemed to need an Enemy, and decided if they couldn't have one outside the US, they'd find one inside. This only got stronger when they managed to gain control of the whole gov't. It got stronger again when we went into Iraq. Again, this is my own memories and perspective, and not intended to be infallible or error free. Ok...is that enough qualification of my comments? I suppose we'll see.

Bev

Excellent observation, imo, Bob.
John, I'm thrilled to find out you're alive.

csm

Bob, I think the origins of the right wing hatred of liberalism go back even further - to Ronald Reagan. He was the one who turned liberalism into a four-letter word and the right lapped it up.

You are probably correct, though, that the fall of the Soviet Union exacerbated the tendency to view liberals as the enemy instead of as partners with a different point of view.

And welcome back, John!

csm

Bob, I think the origins of the right wing hatred of liberalism go back even further - to Ronald Reagan. He was the one who turned liberalism into a four-letter word and the right lapped it up.

You are probably correct, though, that the fall of the Soviet Union exacerbated the tendency to view liberals as the enemy instead of as partners with a different point of view.

And welcome back, John!

BAWDYSCOT

I am in total agreement with what everyone is saying, but I would like to add (going a little further back in our history)this country is on the end of a pendulum. Does anyone remember the '60's and 70's when being called a "conservative" was a dirty word? I was a little on the young side(I am 45)at the time, but starting with Goldwater, being a "hard line" conservative was political death. Going back even farther, if you were left-leaning you were a Red(Communist) even if you weren't. I personally think we are on the cusp of this pendulum swinging back from the conservative brink(thank goodness) and are heading the other way. I don't know how many times I have said to myself, man, this all reminds me of the 60's(from TV commercials to activist groups). I believe most Americans are centrist in nature and have a heathly skepticism of whomever is in power at the time. Maybe this is the reason our system works so well. I would like to add, in my more mature outlook of today, not everything which took place in the 60's and 70's was necessarily good for our society, but much of what was espoused at that time was worthwhile(Civil Rights for ALL, the lesson of Vietnam, which I see, we are still trying to digest and the flowering of the Arts). I just hope as we take this ineveitable turn to the left we have history in mind as a teacher.

Welcome back, John. I hope you think we have done an admirable job in trying to keep this going.

leaf

The two factions of the GOP, the populists more concerned with traditional social/moral issues like abortion rights, immigration, in some cases opposition of free trade agreements, and the libertarian/business wing were held together by the Cold War.

Seems pragmatic that they chose a common scapegoat - liberals and Democrats - to focus on in the aftermath, otherwise the party would splinter.

I doubt this happened as a result of any "Master Plan," however, to remain viable as a party the GOP needed a new message and it clearly has resonated for awhile - at least until they chose the latest knucklehead as President.

Welcome back, john

Gene

“And it goes beyond President Bush. He did after all win reelection. He marginally expanded his congressional majorities. In the rough and tumble of the political moment, the fight needs to be taken to the president and his party. But we also need a more probing consideration of the forces that have made all this possible.”

I think John (BTW, Welcome Back) was actually referring to the comments of DN rather than Josh. Josh’s comments above are well though out not to mention somewhat accurate. Liberal has become no more of a dirty word than conservative, socialist, anything “neo”, zealot or religious. These stereotypes were brought about more by media than politics….namely the availability of the blogosphere and the desire of Hollywood to interject their political opinion into their products. Murphy brown seems to be the pioneer in this endeavor especially against conservatives and religion. One cannot discount Limbaugh’s influence on the Liberal and democrats.

Bottom line here, attempting to blame Bush for this culture of hate and intolerance is short sighted. Such comments are more a reflection of abhorrence for Bush than fact. No doubt, liberals detest him and therefore the nation is divided. Clinton, as well, was despised by Republicans and conservatives alike for his destruction of respect for a position that at one time was held in high regard. We have come to a crossroads that will test our resilience. Will the DNC and GOP both admit to their failures regarding our culture of hate and the attack upon freedom and democracy by radical terrorist? Regrettably, I can’t see it happening.

These parties actually suppose they are the resolution and much to my bewilderment many of the faithful followers blindly procure what the talking heads are selling. Self-preservation dictates that the party sell themselves as the hope and future of our nation and those who would think and act on their own accord must be abolished in order to close ranks and protect the party ideology. Liberman is a good example of this policy. I see hope as the poll numbers for democrats and republicans remain in a quagmire of mediocrity that leaves our political assailants scrambling to enhance the party image.

Joe, welcome to the Independent movement. Your thoughtfulness and conscious are a welcome addition. If your influence dictates, bring McCain and Rudy into the fold as well.

BAWDYSCOT

Gene,

I think you have come up with some good points. I also think if we could get a candidate in 2008 who would have the platform of a uniter instead of a fighter, they could be a lock as I think much of the public is at their wits end with all of the political fighting. Of course, the staunch party loyalists will not budge, but that is not where the end result of the next presidential election lies. I know Bush tried to sell himself as a uniter, but he just wanted to get elected and said just about anything to get in, good handlers though in the beginning(compassionate conservitism, et al).

Bob

Eventually it all goes back to the old tribal mindset, us versus them, the clan vs the outsiders. I'm sorry, but it bothers me when our country, for whatever reasons, and from whatever direction, begins treating its own fellow countrymen as 'them'. I am closing in a bit on 50 myself, though still a little more than 2 years to go. Yes I recall the 60's and 70's, and I agree that not everything about them was good. Nor was everything about any time or period all good or all bad. Personally I've long thought that having just two parties was a bad idea, too limiting a political structure for what this country is supposed to be. However it seems that human psychology is such that 2 are all that can really be handled. Us vs Them again. More than one Them seems to be an alien concept, I'm afraid. There are, however layers of Us vs Them, all the way from me vs you, to me vs the world.

BAWDYSCOT

I could be wrong, but I am willing to venture a guess most democratic based societies have more than two viable political parties. This mostly ends up as coalitions between groups which must then compromise which is still where we have our problems ourselves now.

Jeff

indeed Bawdy...and welcome back john. and gene...way to finally say something that didn't make me want to rip into you. cheers all!

most democratic societies do have multi-parties. ours is broken in many places...from the 2 crappy choices we have (christian right or christian left) to the archaic electoral college we still use, we need reform. thats the only thing the two parties agree on, though...keeping the two party system alive. and it seems difficult to topple this theocratic oligarchy because they continue to prevent any other party from obtaining enough money to even get on the ballot...much less compete.

Mike

Polarity in the two party system we have been captured in as a nation elicits the right vs. left scenerio. History tells us that the conservatives were the Democrats (e.g. Dixiecrats)... but maybe our definition of conservative, liberal, right and left politically by definition have changed? Conservatives of the fifties were generally racist and anti-communist, and anti-welfare, a Main Street perspective then. A liberal was someone who "felt" racism was inhumane, welfare was a work in progress (LBJ's OEO in the early 60's). The Protestant Ethic loomed much larger in the fifties... Today we have a polarity based on issues such as abortion, ethical profit making, corporate socialism vs welfare for individuals, and a preditory society preying on the working class, etc. We fight over values and at the same time wage war on 3rd world nations and take employees pensions and health care away after they retire... the high moral ground is fought over on the political football field, yet the game "seems" fixed. Maybe it is time we moved to a system that is not dependant on the D's and R's as the game players and referees. Libertarians, Green Party, etc. any would be a breathe of fresh air.

fcc

In this brave new world (not really) our pro-choice friends must be having a field day. Just look at all the options Americans have today when it comes to choosing an enemy.

Hezbollah
Al Qaeda
N Korea
Iran
Lebanon
Syria
Iraq
Israel
Russia
China
President Bush
Republicans
Democrats
Liberals
Centrist
Liberman
Conservatives
Neo-________
Christian Right

Bush seems to be the frontrunner. The choices are many and the reasons even more abundant. Its just a matter of where your loyalties and priorities lie.

Da Troot

I suppose we'll have to wait yet another election cycle for all those "Scoop Jackson Democrats" to come roaring back in and give us a Democratic Party that does not consistently root against America.

On the bright side, it is now official: Democrats are not merely confused patriots, so blinded by their hatred for President Bush that they cannot see their way to supporting any aspect of the war on terrorism. Would that they were mere opportunistic traitors!

As some have been trying to tell you, Democrats don't oppose the war on terrorism because they hate Bush: They hate Bush because he is fighting the war on terrorism. They would hate him for fighting terrorists even if he had a "D" after his name. They would hate Bernie Sanders if he were fighting a war on terrorism. In the past three decades, there have been more legitimate sightings of Big Foot than of "Scoop Jackson Democrats."

That's why Hillary Clinton has anti-war protestors howling at her public events. That's why she has drawn an anti-war primary opponent, Jonathan Tasini, who appears to believe that Israel is a terrorist state. If those rumors I've been hearing about a Hezbollah/Hamas/DNC merger are true, we might be in for a slightly longer fight.

In the recent Democratic primary, Connecticut Democrats dumped Joe Lieberman, an 18-year incumbent, because he supports the war on terrorism. This is the same Joe Lieberman who voted against all the Bush tax cuts, against banning same-sex marriage, against banning partial-birth abortion, against the confirmation of Judge Alito, against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and in favor of the Kyoto accords. Oh yes, this was also the same Joe Lieberman who was the Democrats' own vice presidential candidate six years ago.

Despite all this, Connecticut Democrats preferred stalwart anti-war candidate Ned Lamont, great-nephew of Corliss Lamont, WASP plutocrat fund-raiser for Stalin. Lamont's main political asset is that he is a walking, breathing argument in favor of a massive inheritance tax. His plan for fighting the terrorists is to enact a single-payer government health plan and universal pre-K education programs. His goal is to unite the "cut" and "run" wings of his party into one glorious coalition.

The Democrats can hold it in for a few years, but eventually the McGovernite face of the Democratic Party reappears.

Lamont declared victory surrounded by Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Kim Gandy of the fanatically pro-abortion group known euphemistically as the "National Organization for Women."

Congresswoman Maxine Waters had parachuted into Connecticut earlier in the week to campaign against Lieberman because he once expressed reservations about affirmative action, without which she would not have a job that didn't involve wearing a paper hat. Waters also considers Joe "soft" on the issue of the CIA inventing crack cocaine and AIDS to kill all the black people in America.

Gandy's support for Lamont must have been a particularly bitter pill for Lieberman to swallow, inasmuch as he has long belonged to the world's smallest organization solely to satisfy bloodthirsty feminists like Gandy -- Orthodox Jews for Partial-Birth Abortion. (OJFPBA has just slightly more members than GBRFC, "Gay Black Republicans for Choice.")

To give you a snapshot of today's Democratic Party, in 2004, pollster Scott Rasmussen asked likely voters if they believed America was generally a fair and decent country and whether they believed the world would be a better place if more countries were like America.

Republicans agreed that America is generally fair and decent, 83 percent to 7 percent. Eighty-one percent agreed that the world would be a better place if more countries were like the United States.

By contrast, Democrats were nearly split, with only 46 percent agreeing that America is generally a fair and decent country, and with 37 percent saying America is not a generally fair and decent country. Only 48 percent of Democrats said they thought that the world would be a better place if more countries were like the United States.

Democrats constantly complain that the nation has never been so divided, but consider that half of them think the statement that America is a good country is a divisive remark.

So remember: When you vote Democratic, you're saying NO to mindless patriotism. This country isn't so great!

The free world, which is rapidly boiling down to us and Israel, is under savage attack. Treason is rampant in the country. True, Democrats hate Bush, but they would hate anybody who fights the war on terrorism. It is a hostile world, and there is now a real question about the will of the American people to survive.

Jan-san

John's back! *Dances*

Not much to add here, but Gene's made excellent points about the Independant party system. I'd be hard to unite the whole country, but if someone tried on '08, it would gradually get easier...

Gene

"Now, the latest poll shows Lieberman at 49 percent, Lamont at 38 percent and Schlesinger at 4 percent. But Poll Director Douglas Schwartz stresses that those numbers only scratch the surface of how voters really feel about this race.
"Lamont needs to be concerned because he has actually negative favorability right now statewide," said Quinnipiac Poll Director Douglas Schwartz. "He's popular among Democrats, but he's not doing well among Republicans and independents."


Wow! if Joe becomes Independent and defeats the very party that ousted him, that will be a serious blow to the DNC. The DNC failed to realize that one of Joe's greatest assets was his ability to unite the political adversaries on major issues. If Joe pulls this off, this could lead to other candidtes who have grown weary of the political game to leave their party to run as an Independent candidate.

BAWDYSCOT

Da Troot,

I agree with your general assessment of the Democrats, but I would also put forward the idea the Republicans have had enough time in control of things to have made a significant difference, but have failed miserably. They spend like the Democrats, they are just as culpable in our current political divide and in the President's case, have trampled all over the Constitiution and in the Congress' case given the President the green light for the trampling and our last line of defense, the Supreme Court, has and will continue to give Bush the big "ole" when it comes to the Constitution. Republicans and Democrats are NOT the answer. I keep saying this, but deadlock is the best alternative we have at the moment, at least until our political saviour can be found.

BAWDYSCOT

Gene,

We can only hope. Anything to take some wind out of the ruling parties sails will be the best for this great country. If nothing else maybe the Reps and Dems will take notice.

John

Thanks, everyone, for keeping the blog up. School is busy right now.

John

Da Troot--


Are you really Ann Coulter?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ucac/20060810/cm_ucac/bigfootscoopjacksondemocratsandothermyths

Sigh... its sooo easy to catch plagiarism with google...

Jeff

haha. good catch, john!

da trooth, you have any of your own ideas to add...or are you just going to cut and paste ideas from the internet?

BAWDYSCOT

Jeff,

It is so much easier to use someone else's words. I am sorry I answered him/her.

csm

I actually kinda enjoy reading Da Troot's postings and finding out who originally wrote it. Whoever is using that moniker has a history of doing this so we all should be ready for it whenver Da Troot posts.

Anyway, I think all the Joe Lieberman talk has been amusing, at best. Especially when Republicans foam at the mouth over the way Dems have treated him. This is amusing because Reps are doing the same think to Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island (see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/13/AR2006041301917.html) - Chafee isn't Republican enough so he is being challenged in the primary. If Reps were consistent they'd shut the hell up about Lieberman while they are doing the same thing to one of thier own incumbents.

Bev

"I keep saying this,"
(my point exactly)
"but deadlock is the best alternative we have at the moment..."
How sad.
"...at least until our political saviour can be found."
Please read what a mockery the GOP is making of the third party candidate in PA. Then check your encyclopedia to see how many times in our history a third party candidate has won. Then enjoy rooting for the Podunk Curleyques in the Superbowl this fall.

For the soothsayer:
May 2, 2006 - Quinnipiac
Lieberman 65%
Lamont 19%

fcc

Strom Thurmond, a write in candidate. How long did that old curmudgeon serve in Washington? Senator Harry Byrd Jr. of Virginia, left the Democratic Party and was re-elected as an independent. Senator James Buckley was elected while a member of the Conservative Party of New York. Numerous governors. NY Jets won Super bowl III and the US hockey teame knocked of the Soviets in 1980, oh and the '69 Mets.

I like how Joe responded:

"Backus said Lieberman ``is going to face a tremendous amount of pressure to drop out of this race.''
Lieberman promised he would resist that pressure. ``Yes, I'm a proud Democrat, but I'm more devoted to my state and my country than I am to my party,'' he said in the NBC interview."
"I'm fed up with all the partisanship in Washington that stops us from getting anything done.''

How refreshing and who couldn't support a man who values country over a poltical party. Bawdy, Gene, Da Troot and all other Independents, don't believe the hype that we can't break the death grip the two party system has on the nation. We need thinkers, not politcal robots who vote for an R or D (Listen to "THE WALL") Joe has the name, the prominence (former VP candidate)and the experience (18 years) that a third party would need to gain some prominience.
Joe

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