December 10th, 2012

I’ve got a question

I’m still relatively new to intense focus on this political game, especially the conservative side of it. So I’m asking you older hands a question: what is it about Republicans that makes them so unable to fight for what they say they believe?

I’m with Bryan Preston on this, and I’m beginning to understand why it is that so many conservatives are so disgusted with what they call “establishment Republicans.”

Oh, I know we’re talking about politicians here, and politicians are out for themselves for the most part, and want to stay in Washington, and suck up to power. But somehow the Democratic politicians seem to hang together and fight—dirty, if necessary—for what they want. The Republicans don’t even fight clean.

Are they really stealth Democrats?

75 Responses to “I’ve got a question”

  1. Richard Aubrey Says:

    I suppose it depends on what “fight” means. Mark Steyn said the republicans thought the election was about jobs, the economy, the deficit, foreign policy. The dems thought it was about free contraceptives. The dems were right. How the repubs would actually “fight” in that arena is a puzzle.
    That said, the repubs once elected seem to think people will like them more if they cave. Perhaps it’s the disproportionate number of lib/progs in the Beltway. Really, you can’t go on forever with people hating you before you feel the need to show you’re not such a bad guy.
    And then there’s the next election and the dems have the free contraception issue locked up….

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    Richard Aubrey: I’m talking about negotiations much more than elections.

  3. Ann Says:

    Not sure the the ability to fight and negotiate is missing from the Republicans’ DNA — think Gingrich versus Clinton back in 1994.

    I think Rich Lowry over at National Review has written that Republicans will get all the blame if we do go over that fiscal cliff.

    Today’s lack of stamina may be due to nothing more than members of the House being skittish about elections in just two years.

  4. LisaM Says:

    Republicans are more honorable and expect to win based on merit. Dems will win by any means necessary. The free-contraceptives / war-on-women meme is a prime example. Republicans (myself included) argued about the 1st Amendment and personal responsibility. Democrats lied about Republicans trying to ban contraceptives and legalize rape.

  5. Ann Says:

    Good piece over at Commentary by Peter Wehner on what’s happening re the fiscal cliff negotiations.

    It’s of the know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em variety.

  6. neo-neocon Says:

    LisaM: I know, but after a while doesn’t it seem as though they should learn not to bring a water pistol to a gun fight?

  7. Hong Says:

    Republicans don’t know or want learn to fight dirty because they are more comfortable using logic and intellect. Knife fights require emotional and negative energy, not the brain. A fact that most are uncomfortable with. Perhaps the gutter mindset that the Dems have honed will succeed in the end. With the exception of Allen West and Bachmann, there are few who will go toe to toe with Dems and they inevitably pay a heavy price since they get no support from establishment Repubs.

  8. KLSmith Says:

    Probably because many of them don’t believe what they say!
    Over the weekend, I heard part of the John Batchelor show with Jim McTague substitute co-hosting. I was entering the room when I heard him say most of his sources in DC tell him that most establishment Republicans are not interested in spending cuts and smaller government. While one could say – duh, I was surprised they don’t seem too concerned with hiding it. You won’t fight for something you don’t believe in (or maybe to be more fair what you think is impossible to achieve.)

  9. davisbr Says:

    How about simply acknowledging that we have a bunch of inept losers at the helm of the party?

    The really, really talented “conservatives” don’t go into government by and large: not enough financial incentive.

    Remember the movie Australia? “Pride’s not power”.

    Money is.

    The talented go into business. More lucrative. Less grief.

    Losers go into politics. C’mon: we all know that in our bones. They’re not the best. They’re the second best at best.

    Unless …they’re driven by some event. Or family. But they don’t gravitate to politics for the money, like our current bunch. Our side has options …the skill set to acquire great wealth without stealing it from someone else.

    Because we drown our young politically speaking, we have very, very few of those types willing to take the plunge.

    Why would they? They’re not stupid, and they have lives. Good ones.

    (We had the rare exception in the last election with Romney …and in California a few years back, Meg Whitman ran: when CA passed her up to elect Guv’ Moonbeam again, that was when I saw the hand-writing on the wall btw, and fled. They were both grade AAA level managers. But it don’t happen often.)

    We need systemic party reform, in a systematic fashion to rid ourselves of what amounts to almost an entire generation of 3rd class politicians with 4th class political skills.

    There’s a vigorous argument to be made that we need to remove the GOP itself, due to legal agreements the Party made that have bound them by law (I’m writing fast: I assume you’ve all been paying attention the last few days, so I’m not taking the time to provide a link). That a “new” party resurrected from their ashes would NOT be bound with.

    The Tea Party activists were the start to this reform, but the brief period of success in 2010 was just a start (I think the story there is they’re concentrating on the local level, but there’s not enough national coordination).

    And they suffered a minor setback in November, when they were unable to deliver (in their defence, that “defeat” should be largely blamed on the ineptitude of the Romney campaign and some plain ol’ bad luck …which I’ve outlined in previous comments on other threads). The losses would have been greater without their participation.

    It will be a hard slog.

    It should probably start at the block level but with an open cell type structure. Yeah, I’m serious: copy the old Cold War sh!t. Google it. It worked. It works. It will work. In the Internet Age, the whole thing can be set up and in place in months.

    It’s extremely hard to “kill”.

    We need managers. Organizers. Activists. Participants. We need establish a registry, and a matrix. We have all this same software crap like everyone does. Use it. Beat them at their own game. Because we actually understand history, we have advantages that can be exploited. We also know that we’re right in the arguments (politically, and culturally). FTW.

    The party incentives would need to be marketable. There’s a certain amount of ruthlessness that needs to be accepted …probably encouraged.

    Don’t play fair. Read Sun Tzu. Now!

    The core coalition is already there. Dissatisfied ex-Republicans. Determined Tea Partiers. Religionists. Libertarians. Paulistas. Palinistas. Mostly natural allies. And very, very motivated …if it’s real.

    I dunno, I’m riffing here.

    We don’t have to take this lying down. “That which does not kill me makes me stronger.” This is America, and we know how this is done. We ain’t dead.

    We might just be ready to be pissed off enough, though.

    The GOP is losing because they’re losers. Time to change.

  10. Jim Nicholas Says:

    I agree with Ann (9:20 pm)–a thoughtful commentary by Peter Wehner.

  11. Steve Says:

    I think the answer is that politicians in DC are chasing money. They need to raise money for campaigns. They are beholden to lobbyists. They stand to profit personally from their connections both while in office (insider trading) and after leaving office (lobbying). This leads inexorably to bigger government. Someone who makes this point in an interesting way is Larry Lessig, a Harvard law prof.

  12. davisbr Says:

    I want to clarify something …that I just understood after posting.

    Traditional 20th century politics has relied upon money for lubrication. That money was to deliver votes though …and until the Constitution is changed, votes are THE base-level way you get elected in this country. Money was the “network infrastructure” if you will …it was the data lines upon which power was transmitted. The two parties were the routers (yeah: Internet meme …I’m a network guy).

    But. It occurs to me …

    There’s another way.

    Because of the Internet, and cell-phones, there is pervasive connectivity. Citizen to citizen, citizen to group. Group to group. Direct. All connected.

    This is potentially MUCH more powerful than “money”.

    How?

    Because …a …let’s call it the Independent Internet Party for giggles.

    Such a party, organized at the block level, in a cell structure, could deliver votes directly during an election. Like-minded people doing like-minded things for like-minded interests.

    To do this prior to this level of connectivity required huge organizations to provide the necessary infrastructure.

    That same kind of infrastructure …that same kind of power …is now just sitting there. Waiting.

    There would need to be MUCH less centralization of power in this kind of organization.

    The MSM would be ENTIRELY neutralized …indeed, they would out of the loop as power brokers.

    Even Big Money would be subservient.

    …because this kind of party could deliver votes without an intermediary.

    Older methods couldn’t stand up: this would be tsunami of direct citizen participation.

    Jeezus.

    Power abhors a vacuum. Use it, or lose it. If we don’t, someone will.

    …play with it.

  13. Ike Says:

    None of those are the correct answer. The genuine reason that the establishment GOP can’t win is because they want to continue ‘business as usual’ with all the perks for Congress-critters of both houses. The candidates for national offices say the things they believe will win them the GOP nomination – they can’t do a Spector after all; too many years in the elephant suits – then their difficulty is that they’re unable to answer the Democrats’ criticisms because the Dems’ reasoning sounds perfectly fine to the GOP boys and girls of the Establishment, but they’re caught because during the primaries they toed what they perceived as being the line required to get the nomination. In short, the only thing the GOP establishment believes in is their own right to be elected to high office. Conservative ideas? All bush-wah, just eye wash to get nominated to them. That’s the real reason: they’re just as bad as the Democrats. No? How about comparing the ‘budget cuts’ between the last Dem budget and the Ryan budget: one percent lower growth in the Federal budget per year for Ryan’s plan than for the Dems’ plan. Not going to make it, with the 40% borrowed spending and nearly $2 trillion in deficits each year that we have now. So, the GOP voters – the ones who are worried about the state of the nation – won’t voted for the ‘country-club Republicans’ of the Bush variety. No mystery, just can’t get elected much without a “free cheese and fans” plan these days. Or so the GOP regulars think.

  14. southpaw Says:

    Ann-
    How soon we forget! For Gingrich’s efforts, he was rewarded by his colleagues with a thorough back-stabbing. They could not wait to get rid of him and replace him with a go- along-get along guy just like Boner- Dennis Hastert, who was remarkably like Boner in his desire to compromise and reach across the aisle, as needed to avert controversy or attracting undue scorn. He wanted to be liked too.
    Neo I will answer you the same as I have in the last several posts about this- the establishment republicans have their spending pet projects and that’s how they play it. As long as the Dems vote for their stuff, they vote for the democrat stuff. While they jabber about excessive spending theyre all too happy to grab the goodies for what gets them votes. That’s how the establishment guys like it, and Boehner is trying like he’ll to get back to the good old days when they stuck together and played the game. Then the Tea Party happened and screwed up his deal.
    Boehner isn’t interested a majority as much as he is in securing his job and the jobs of a few of his buddies. He doesn’t act like a leader, and he isn’t one. He’s negotiating in private with Obama and his team are in the dark.
    Anyway, count me one of the disgusted because the establishment republicans are not, and never considered themselves conservatives. They’re deal makers and big spenders – Boehner will not want to go over the cliff because the cuts will affect defense spending, and that will hurt the establishment guys where they live. They don’t give a rats rear end about hurting a small percentage of taxpayers.
    Ask yourself why we keep hearing from republicans that spending cuts will plunge us into a recession, while at the same time screaming they stand for spending cuts, because wasteful spending is a drag on our economy. Apparently govt spending is both good and bad. They’re full of crap.

  15. thomass Says:

    different thoughts,
    1) we are not as old as the left. Our ‘conservatism’ goes back the WFB… whether we like him or not he started it. Not Burke.
    2) We don’t have the nack for navigating organisations that the left does (and/or more of them score higher in that regard imo)…

    ergo I would argue we never took the republican party over. Our first candidate was probably Goldwater and he got clobbered Palin style.

    Since we dont run the party; we have a bunch of republicans that don’t really believe the program. In some cases they don’t even understand it. Coupled with the left media slant and its easy for them to ‘grow’ in office the longer they are away from their home districts. In this case, the house republicans are not fighting to win. Even the plans they want don’t really cut spending. They just go through the motions. They either don’t care about the deficit or don’t understand it (re: we are getting to the end of the kick the can down the road game).

  16. thomass Says:

    neo-neocon Says:

    “LisaM: I know, but after a while doesn’t it seem as though they should learn not to bring a water pistol to a gun fight?”

    You’d think; but the establishment republicans never learn. The dems have crossed so many procedural and decorum lines in the last four years but the republicans still are showing they get it. As to why; I’m guessing they think their best reelection plan is to not make waves. Also; we attack dems for social programs pointing out that they don’t really want to solve the problems as not doing so is better for them in elections (re: having clients who need them). Somewhat similar with republicans. Winning on issues would take away the issue.

  17. parker Says:

    IMO the problem with the republicans is that too many are RINO. Most are solely interested in reelection and staying inside the beltway. Democrats, for the most part, do no have to worry about reelection (2010 being an exception). Boehner is a perfect example. Once in a while he talks the talk but he rarely walks the walk.

    At most 30% of the republicans in DC are actually fiscal conservatives. In other words 70% are indistinguishable from democrats when push comes to shove.

  18. W Krebs Says:

    I suppose there are a number of factors:

    1. Conservatives don’t form a voting majority in the U.S. Republican leaders live in dread of offending moderates. (who are often rather low information voters, for educational and cultural reasons.)

    2. The fact that the large media outlets will spin essentially every issue against Republicans doesn’t help with point 1.

    3. Republican Congressmen live in Washington and are therefore subject to the subtle blandishments of the capital.

    4. I think there is also an age effect. It takes quite a long time to reach a leadership position in Congress. I think many of the leadership approach issues with views formed 25 or 30 years ago.
    (e.g. Social Security = 3rd rail of American politics)

  19. Rick Penner Says:

    I sympathize with your lack of patience concerning the inability of the GOP to “get up and fight,” but I think –- in your effort to look for “solutions” and to avoid “breast-beating” -– you and others like you are missing something.

    Nearly all of the many proposals by conservatives since the election are shallowly-conceived attempts to immediately run with the professionals when we still need to figure out how to take baby-steps. At the heart of this conundrum is the fact that we conservatives are BAFFLED by what just happened. The truth is we DON’T KNOW WHY. We will never be able to make progress unless we first admit we are facing a black hole of incomprehension.

    My guess is that this confusion is caused by the fact that the culture has shifted somewhat; we don’t “own” the country anymore, it is changing before our very eyes and we don’t know it any longer.

    The election was a surprise to us: this is proof positive that we are out of touch with the culture; we literally don’t know what’s going on.

    I don’t know the answers. But if we conservatives can’t figure out why the world is not as we want it to be -– and is not even the way we see it to be -– then we will continue to lurch around in the dark.

    The liberals have command of the media, the schools, Hollywood, the recording industry, and much of the social spaces. This has had an effect on our society over time.

    We need to listen to people, in detail, again and again, in the places they live and work –- in order to find out what they are thinking. How do they respond to conservative (GOP) ideas? If they don’t comprehend them the way we do -– we need to ask why.

    This is the real work that has to happen before renewal can begin.

  20. Ken Says:

    Neo,

    I think it’s quite simple: professional republicans want the same thing as professional democrats. Those at the top, like those who’ve made it to DC, are the power elite. And quite simply people are always more interested in what benefits them, rather than others, including politicians.

    The power elite, on both sides, want only two things: more money and more power. Republicans in the house and senate only give lip service to small government and low taxes. Anyone with access to google can see the record is clear that they don’t. Professional republicans want higher taxes. Professional republicans want bigger government. Professional republicans want the same thing professional democrats want.

    The only difference between the two party’s politicians is their rhetoric. Both see themselves as rulers and us as subjects.

    And people who fall for politicians’ rhetoric are really only viewing politics as a sporting event, rooting for “their” team. Talk with any republican and they will defend what W did in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as his complete shredding of the constitution, underpinned by the sophistry of John Yoo. Yet hear how they speak of Obama doing exactly the same thing. Talk with any democrat and their reactions will be reversed. You can do this with pretty much any talking point. It’s awful when “their” guy does it, but totally cool when “ours” does.

    The reason professional republicans don’t stand firm on taxes is the same reason professional democrats tripped over themselves to go into Afghanistan and Iraq: professional democrats and professional republicans want the same thing.

    The primary culprit of all our political woes are voters, most of whom want to be Julia. The rest focus not on what politicians do, but only on what politicians say. Politicians do what they do only because we let them.

    You can write me off as a cynic and that’s fine. I’m actually quite jovial and optimistic about life. All I’m saying is that the answer is staring you in the face, you just don’t want to think that it’s not true. I didn’t want to believe it. I made excuses, defended Bush, defended recently Romney (though half heartedly because I still don’t see much difference between him and Obama), but really I knew. I knew they were the same. President Bush Mitt Obama.

    Of course, there are some who stand fast, like Jim DeMint and Ron Paul, but what is 2 out of 435? And the only true conservative that ran for the presidency this past election was Ron Paul. What does it say about Americans that they view Ron Paul nearly universally as a crazy old crank?

  21. Kyndyll Says:

    I agree with what Rick says.

    The other day, my husband remarked – of one of his oldest friends in the world – “I don’t care if we never speak again.” On Facebook, this person posts left-wing garbage so extreme that we can’t figure out how we ever managed to be friends with this person all those years. That same thing is happening to friends and families all over. Now picture what it’s like to be a politician when your’re literally dealing with rabble, who eagerly consume lies.

    Not only are we fighting upstream against media that never has been and certainly isn’t now on our side, we’re confronted with a rapidly evolving social culture which is miles off course to the left, treading on stuff that starts to sound 1917-esque. Yet they are adamant that they are precisely in the middle, the same old middle that’s always been the middle, so it must be the GOP that’s gone to the extreme right. They are not hearing messages to the contrary, nor do they want to.

    As I watched my former friends descend into this weird mania, I gave up even trying to have conversations about topics other than cute puppies. They will not accept even basic common sense. If Obama said that gravity was unfair, they would protest and blame Republicans when something knocked off a table falls on the floor.

    Uultimately they are at war with reality, and even reality itself is not enough to make them stop and think about what they’re supporting. Good luck getting them to listen to “old white Republican guys.”

    So what’s left of the GOP in power is currently in an unwinnable situation. They cannot get the message out. They can’t make a hostile administration – which is perfectly happy to run the ship aground in order to blame them – do what they want, any more than they can make a hostile majority voting population listen to them. The normal rules don’t apply. All they can try to do is stay standing until something shocks the zombie class back into consciousness.

    We live in a time when merely disagreeing with an epically terrible president is “being racist,” a high sin. GOP politicians are trying to communicate to a population which somehow thinks that $200 billion in revenue will matter when you’re running $1.5+ trillion in deficits. They are immune to logic, facts and the truth. What do you do?

  22. Jan of MN Says:

    Democrats fight hard and dirty because they feel justified — because they think their cause is the ultimate good, and anyone opposed is obstructionist. That’s the word a relative used the other day, which suggests that “obstruction” is an end in itself, unrelated to serious actions based on principle. The only reason to battle against the administration, Dems maintain, is racism.

    After converting to conservatism, I was surprised to find that Republicans weren’t the same as conservatives. Most likely they were born Republican, never really thought about what that meant other than it would not feel good to be a Democrat. If you arrive at conservatism in midlife, you’ve thought a lot about it and know why you’ve changed. Establishment Republicans tend not to know how to articulate conservatism, and this is one huge problem.

    Establishment Republicans want to be liked, as most people do. If you’re a politician, continuing in office depends partly on being likeable. We need more “happy warriors”, leaders with the talent to show *why* conservatism produces more effective government on a smaller budget, and *how* that affects every one of us. But that’s not all we need. All of us need to learn how to present the picture of conservatism that inspires us in a way that others can understand and appreciate.

    This timidity about fighting hard is frustrating; I want to grab Boehner by the shoulders and shake him, but I think this will have to be a grassroots effort, and there have to be many others like the commenters here who are bursting with ideas for strategies and tactics to fire up other people. We’re not defeated yet.

  23. blert Says:

    Even at the outset, the natural Republican/Federalist base was land-owning farmers.

    The very philosophy of limited government is consonant with those who, for the most part, can live almost entirely on their own.

    Hence, right trough the Nineteenth Century, America voted Republican — extremely so in the farm states. ( It still does. )

    However, industrialization requires social interdependencies that naturally lead to bigger government.

    Conservatives miss this every time.

    It’s the shape of our modern economy that permitted — reinforced the bent of Wilson and FDR. No man is a better exemplar than Hoover. Weirdly, the SINGLE most influential president WRT the future structure of how America, Inc. should operate gets virtually no ink. FDR, plenty.

    Since 1964 and the Open Borders Act of Kennedy the raw demographic of the nation has been reversed. While Kennedy surely intended to re-balance our polity towards Roman Catholics, himself Irish; this act spun America’s inflow to the south.

    In doing so, it entirely reversed the priorities of Wilson and FDR. It was a watershed for the nation — and especially the Democrat Party.

    For, what had been happening in post-war America was the migration of Democrats out of the big cities into suburbia. The US Census was clear: such voters were switching parties. By merely leaving the one-party-government that is a Democrat Machine, they were exposed to new ideals. They stopped thinking like blue collar wage slaves and like highly taxed salesmen/ real estate agents, et. al.

    The exponential growth of the nation vs the flat portal of immigration meant that the traditional mechanism for stuffing votes into the Democrat Machines was being eroded.

    {

    Detroit is a Democrat Bastion in a state that would be as conservative as Indiana if it were not for the UAW. Due to demographics, Detroit is destined to lose 150,000 souls before the 2030 US Census. It is that aged. They are, almost to a person, solid Democrat votes. Michigan is going to be almost entirely de-industrialized by 2020.

    }

    The economic tension between the world view of the hyper-connected urbanites and the independent-minded suburban voters is starkly evident in the presidential votes, county by county.

    =========

    Conservatives — in their hearts — are physically too far apart to network like Liberals.

    And Democrat Machines are network organisms of the polity.

    Now that the Internet has caught fire…

    Look for everything to cross over:

    Conservatives will now network via the Web.

    Data mining will expose Democrat networks previously unknown to Conservatives.

    It will also permit Conservatives to boycott Democrat money pumps.

    {

    I already try and purchase my Internet purchases to Conservative voting states.

    }

    The power of directed money is staggering. It’s why Microsoft compels all PC manufacturers to install their operating systems — even if the customer doesn’t want them — and they have to be wiped off.

    This practice is flamingly against the Sherman Antitrust Act. The DoJ refuses to prosecute because Microsoft pays off big at K Street — AND — provides the DoJ, itself, with hidden ‘services’ aka spy-ware that violates the 4th Amendment across the desktops and laptops of America.

    In short: Microsoft has jumped into bed with Big Mama. The powers that be rationalize the set-up as being essential to saving America from islamic fanatics and a slew of pederasts.

    ========

    Until Conservatives network across the Internet they will never prevail against Team Big Mama.

    ========

    Big Mama has one crippling weakness in its DNA: it’s a spendthrift. It’s a financial cancer — special interest cells that grow without restraint until they destroy the host.

    ========

    As in our organic bodies, cancer cells have no intention of killing the host. Its death is their death. However, as the frog learnt from the scorpion — it is its nature.

    ========

    Before Barry is evicted the jig will be up. It’s the nature of big boy government.

    It’s what Gonnabee ‘management’ always leads to.

    ========

    Barry intends to take from the Whites and give to the Blacks.

    He intends to evict the Jews and install the muslims.

    His results will be entirely the opposite. But not before a bloodletting that will make him a name for the ages.

    It is his karma.

  24. Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master and Gravitationally Distortive Object Says:

    }}} Are they really stealth Democrats?

    Yes. Yes They Are.

  25. Jan of MN Says:

    Okay, people: here’s how a conservative running for president should sound:

    http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2012/11/27/bill-whittle-conservative/

  26. expat Says:

    I think part of the problem is that conservatives/Republicans do a terrible job of putting issues into a bigger context. WRT the tax rate: 36% vs 39% for people making a million is simply irrelevant to most voters. The problems is the class warfare this battle supports. Is Bill Gates bad because he has so much money, or is he trying to become involved and improve schools and medical care for the poor? When we attack his intentions, we turn people off. We should be saying that we are glad Gates cares and talk with him about the most effective way to improve schools. The class warfare is the problem–not Bill Gates’ money. When we attack him and other wealthy as Obama does, we push them out of the community.

    At the other end, when we spend a lifetime organizing communities to protest, we are teaching the poor only how to raise hell. We aren’t teaching them how to fix up their run-down apartments on a shoestring (as I have done several times) or how to plan and fix nutritious cheap meals for our kids (like my mom did). I was pretty poor as a kid in monetary terms, but I was rich as Romney in terms of the life my parents gave me. I was taught how to do things to make my life better and to help those in my extended family who needed a bit of help. This is what we should be doing for the poor–not looking down on them because they are “deprived” of Anna Wintour-approved clothing. My mom taught me how to sew, and we made much of my wardrobe and the curtains and bedding for my bedroom. There are loads of things parents can do for their kids that don’t cost a fortune. If you live in a city, you can makes regular trips to the library with your kids. Pack some sandwiches and have a little picnic at a park on the way. This is how you teach people to appreciate what they have and give them skills to improve their lives. The government can’t do things for people that increase their happiness and sense of accomplishment. People in families, neighborhoods, and church groups can do this. We don’t need tax money and thousands of bureaucrats to do what we used to do for ourselves. The class warfare is robbing families of their unique strengths.

    I recently saw an article about Ethiopian kids in 2 villages where they had never seen the written word. They were given cheap tablets with some teaching software but no teachers, and soon these kids were teaching their parents to read and speak English. The family connections were not undermined by this project. Parents must have been proud of their kids and happy to share their accomplishments.

    The superdevisive abortion issue should be handled the same way. The laws are what they are now. Why then are lefties pushing for even more? They have diverted attention from what kids should really be doing, which is learn how to build relationships and learn a bit of self control. There is a message going out to the young that uninhibited sex is a necessary part of being cool. What is needed is to get kids to question coolness and who sets the standards. All the sex ed and abortion talk takes attention from teens determining their own values and goals for life. Once again, the government can’t raise kids, yet we keep pretending that more money for sex ed will solve the problem. It won’t; the kids will still be following instead of thinking for themseves.

    Republicans need to present themselves as the party that wants to help people to help themselves because they believe in people’s strength. We need to value all contributions to the society, no matter how humble.

  27. ErisGuy Says:

    what is it about Republicans that makes them so unable to fight for what they say they believe?

    Not everything people know is rational. While the fascist, nazi, and communist states were defeated in the 20th century, the ideas on which they were founded have triumphed completely. Republicans, in so far as they are not socialists themselves, know this. They know they are on the wrong side of history: Chambers knew it, Buckley knew; everyone knows it.

    The knowledge that your beliefs, your people are at the end of their lives makes fighting in hopeless cause wearying and debilitative. In all fights everyone knows which is strong horse. Few can choose to back the weak horse and accept the consequences. At moments of weakness it easier to be obsequious and supine; to make do; to compromise.

  28. texexec Says:

    We have a fundamental problem in this country. It’s the idea that any person above a certain age who can breathe has the right to vote. This means that some gang banger in Los Angeles has the same right to select who governs us as Neo has.

    That’s ridiculous.

    Our founders intended that we should filter out dumb and uninformed voters by requiring them to own property or meet other tests. Later, we filtered out the dumb and uninformed via poll taxes, etc. or simply understood that the dumb and uninformed were too lazy to vote.

    The Democrats have learned how to get the dumb and uninformed to the polling places and the Republicans haven’t. Republicans still believe that America is populated with intelligent, well educated, and informed people who want to preserve this once great country and campaign accordingly.

    The selfish, dumb, and uninformed people who vote now outnumber the intelligent and informed ones.

    As a result, we’re screwed until some catastrophic event forces us to make some fundamental changes to our system.

  29. SteveH Says:

    An establishment republican is a generally decent person who feeds the beast of fiscal insanity through the folly of compromising with it.

  30. Steve Ducharme Says:

    Everything you need to know can be revealed by the spending patterns (and degree of increase in regulatory power) that the republicans exercised the last time they were in total control. If you paid any attention at all calling them dems “light” would be mild in my opinion. All out whores to their handlers would fit the bill much better. Unless there is a tectonic shift in the republican party I’ll never vote for them again. I am now a registered libertarian. Yes I know all the “usual arguments” but I just can’t stomach either party any longer.

  31. thomass Says:

    Steve Ducharme Says:

    “Everything you need to know can be revealed by the spending patterns (and degree of increase in regulatory power) that the republicans exercised the last time they were in total control.”

    Yep….

  32. Roman Says:

    I think that most of the “best” Republicans are not in politics. They are running companies and businesses, both large and small. In northwest Ohio, if someone dares to challange the Dems, they are taken apart. In the 9th district election in 2010, supporters of Marcy Kaptur found a picture of her opponent, who was a WW II re-enactor and was in a Nazi uniform for the part. It was ran in the local paper and made up to be a big deal. Can’t blame some of the leaders of business for not wanting their reputations tarnished by misleading, slanted “journalists” for a elected office.

  33. DNW Says:

    They haven’t figured out how to fight against weak men who fall to the ground screaming that your indifference is killing them.

  34. Sam Random Says:

    I’m a liberal, and I vote Democrat, so perhaps my comments are unwelcome here, and I do apologize if that is the case, but in the spirit of inclusiveness I would just like to say: it’s been really difficult to empathize with conservatives in the last year. I don’t really like being described as the evil bad guy trying to destroy the country, because that’s not who I am, and yet it seems that, for conservatives, I cannot be anything else. Supporting higher tax rates on the top 2% of incomes doesn’t make me a communist, and yet that seems to be the response I get from conservatives I know.

    Maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree here, but honestly, when every little compromise is met with inchoate rage, it makes me think that many conservatives are just unhappy because the world keeps changing, to which I can only respond, yes, the world is changing, and we should think about how to move forward rather than continue to cling to a world that doesn’t exist anymore.

    In any event, I like to think I’m not such a bad guy. I’m trying to do the right thing. I’m not a villain, or a communist, or a terrorist, or a fascist, and I don’t want to be described as such, and that shouldn’t mean that I agree with everything I read on the pajamas media site. And that point seems lost on conservatives these days.

  35. M of Hollywood Says:

    Just wow. Wow to those who ferret out action to build a human society from this rubble in which we find ourselves, symbolized by Detroit, and wow to those who articulate the seeming hopelessness of it–and wow to neo for providing this island in the midst of the babble and the rubble. Gutfeld and Dennis Miller and Bill Whittle are great & good, but to them we cannot actually speak, and speak we must and will: far apart yet networked. Neo, don’t go–we need this place to breathe and re-shape our inner spirit.
    Have you ever been “in love” and been abandoned? You think you will never walk again. That is what we are here, collectively. But we will walk again, better–truer–for the abandonment. We will discover the way, as have these souls in Paraguay http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IfmCMTjABk At the risk of sounding racist, note how these children have picked up and ennobled music of old white guys and made it their own.
    We must not let those who enthrone the cultural coarseners in DC and Hollowood to make us think poorly of ourselves. We desire to allow a world that allows the human soul: this is the fervent aspiration of human kind, the aspiration that we (mistakenly) thought was boldly held by the “GOP.” Ha. Something new will emerge – maybe not in my lifetime, but for life on the planet to go on, it will. There is too much God in us to be extinguished.

  36. Conrad Says:

    Being conservative in this age basically means having to say “no.” The Dems treat government as a massive exercise in dispensing goodies to different groups. Mainly, this largesse comes in the form of direct pecuniary benefits and other programs (e.g., Headstart) that cost the government money. It can also be in the form of using what was intended to be the limited power of government to enact far-reaching social reforms at the request of favored interest groups (e.g., same-sex marriage).

    So, yeah, to be a conservative — to be a TRUE conservative — one must be prepared to say “no, you can’t have that,” and say it over and over again.

    This, of course, is very difficult to do, for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, no politician wants to be the Grinch. Second, even if a politician thinks he is correct in saying no to, say, 200 weeks of unemployment compensation (!), he gets tired of having to explain why voting no is the right policy choice. A third factor is the way media culture — which is biased not only toward the liberal point of view but also the SIMPLISTIC point of view — turns every Grinch-like impulse a conservative politician may have into a potential career-ender. For that reason, it’s very important for conservative politicians who aren’t content to entrench themselves in rock-solid GOP districts not to position themselves as THE most ideologically committed person on the conservative scene. There’s always the temptation to adopt a “moderate” view on an issue or two in order to get the media target off your back. In other words, don’t let yourself become Jesse Helms.

  37. Paul A'Barge Says:

    Republicans are not Conservatives.

    Don’t expect them to be. Expect them to fight like girls and to fail. Why? Because everything that the Left says about Republicans is true: they are the party of Richie Rich, in the game for crony capitalists and big-business and they want lower taxes and increased businesses for the rich and little for the poor.

    GOP, RIP. Good Riddance.

    Long live the Tea Party.

  38. holmes Says:

    I think they’re afraid of the media, but they haven’t adopted any countermeasures to confront that problem. They rightly look to the recently election and the role the media played in propping up President Obama and worry that any problem that results will be pinned on them. They might be right. But I think given that scenario, you move forward and do the right thing anyway and put the pressure on the other side to respond. All of this waiting around and hoping to get rhetorical points in is a loser’s game.

  39. Harold Says:

    I’ve been a conservative/republican since Goldwater.

    Republicans don’t fight because the original DNA came from a group that had settled into 40 years or more of being in second place (dhimmis). As politicians they were happy to have the status and perks and ordinary corruption that being in office brings.

    Intellectually the conservative movement comes largely from William F. Buckley. A brilliant man to whom we all own an enormous debt. BUT he was a very rich intellectual and aristocrat. He accomplished what he needed to in order to launch the movement, demonstrating that conservatism was a truly valid set of ideas and traditions. He wasn’t a street fighter or community organizer though.

    In addition to the Stockholm roots there was also a wing of Northeastern liberal Republicans who dominated the party. Remember before Buckley, Goldwater etc. the party establishment accepted liberal ideas as the valid basis of the party.

    It was Reagan and Newt who moved the party to the right, but the old Stockholm politicians were still in the party. After all that’s what “a big tent” is all about, allowing weak conservatives into the party. And neither Reagan or Newt took over the party so thoroughly that the dhimmi mentality was vanquished.

    Thus we are stuck with establishment Republicans who are terrified to say that Obama is a Marxist; who are terrified to talk about Islam, Sharia and Jihad; who are terrified to talk about the founders and how they set up the country.

    After two election cycles in which the establishment got the candidates they wanted and the candidates and party ran weak, frightened campaigns I think conservatives are right in thinking they’ve been betrayed.

  40. Ken Says:

    Sam Random,

    Supporting higher tax rates on the top 2% of incomes doesn’t make me a communist

    Yes. It does. This is straight class warfare built on jealousy and envy, the very heart and back bone of communism.

    it makes me think that many conservatives are just unhappy because the world keeps changing

    This is the fairy tale “liberals” (modern “liberals” are not liberals at all) tell themselves. Conservatives are unhappy because liberals think it’s reasonable to steal from their political enemies and give to their political friends. And liberals continue to act as if it’s reasonable to ratchet this to ever higher extremes, then laughably claim that conservatives are merely “unhappy because the world keeps changing”. The dishonesty from the left is quite astonishing. You are the very definition of the scum bag left.

    I like to think I’m not such a bad guy

    But of course, you are the very example of “a bad guy”.

    I’m trying to do the right thing

    No you’re not. YOu admitted in your opening paragraph your intention to take from those who have more than you simply because they have more than you. This, by definition, is NOT the “right thing”.

    I’m not a villain, or a communist, or a terrorist, or a fascist

    You’re all of these things. It doesn’t matter what you say. It only matters what you do. In your case, both your words and your actions tell a story of a villian, a communist, a terrorist, and a fascist.

    I don’t want to be described as such

    Then stop acting as such.

    And that point seems lost on conservatives these days.

    Basic human decency is lost on the left who see humans as nothing more than economic cattle to be hearded and harvested for their benefit, rather than seeing that ALL humans have human dignity. That ALL should live free and peacefully without fear that men with guns will show up to their house to take their stuff because evil men like you don’t think they should have that stuff based on nothing more than the irrational emotions of envy and jealousy.

  41. Conrad Says:

    @ Sam Random:

    I believe your opinions are welcome here, even if they are woefully misguided.

    You say it’s the conservatives who can’t grapple with the fact that “the world is changing.” I think the mistake liberals make is in not realizing how many things in the world DON’T change.

    For example, one thing that doesn’t change is the fact that it’s counterproductive for the government to hand out more and more benefits to people. It simply makes the supposed beneficiaries more dependent on government.

    Also, the endless expansion of government just makes government less responsive while encumbering private initiative.

    Higher taxes and regulations leads to lower growth and fewer jobs.

    Projecting weakness abroad invites provocation.

    There are all constants. However, liberals don’t want to believe these concepts still apply. They think that, given the proper choice of elites at the helm of government, an all-powerful federal government can solve all of our problems at home (while a weak American foreign policy will solve our problems abroad).

    Your problem is that you think the world has changed in a way that all of your tired, old solutions will now suddenly succeed where they have invariably failed in the past. It hasn’t, and they won’t.

  42. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately in reaction to the election, the ‘fiscal cliff’ political theater and when asked similar questions, the “tower of babel” responses from conservatives on blogs like this…

    The disparity of conservative opinions, while sharing some agreement, seem to focus on disparate parts of the ‘equation’, which indicates to me a lack of full understanding. A bit like the old saw, where the Buddha is asked the nature of ‘truth’ and he answers that truth is like an elephant and, mankind like blind men who’ve never even heard of an elephant. Led to the elephant but given no clues, each describes it by the part he touches, the elephant’s trunk leads one to jump to the conclusion that an elephant is a kind of ‘snake’ and another, touching one of the legs, says it’s like a tree trunk… etc.

    ”somehow the Democratic politicians seem to hang together and fight—dirty, if necessary—for what they want. The Republicans don’t even fight clean. Are they really stealth Democrats?”

    Well, though it appears that way, not exactly.

    As Ike says about Republicans, “the establishment GOP, can’t win because they want to continue ‘business as usual” They want to do that because the top contributors to the republican party are the wealthy and from big business, who are not ideologues. They are conservatives only in that, for the most part, they wish to conserve the financial system that has rewarded and continues to reward them. But they are not truly advocates of limited government, etc. because conservative principes restrict their financial leverage.

    That lack of ideological commitment on the big donors part, forces top republicans to continuously compromise, incrementally moving the nation further and further to the left because the pressure for change, comes from the left, to move toward the left. While the right, as conservators… are reactive.

    As Jan of MN says, “Democrats fight hard and dirty because they feel justified — because they think their cause is the ultimate good, and anyone opposed is obstructionist.” That applies to the democrats big donors as well, who are leftist/liberal ideologues. Leftists like Soros and “useful liberal fools” like Gates and Buffett.

    What it all boils down to is that the democrat’s big donors support the ideology of the left, while the right’s big donors do not truly support the ideology of the conservative right.

    They do not do so because conservative principles such as limited government are somewhat in conflict with the growth and maintenance of financial leverage. A limited government with open and fairly regulated free markets is a dynamic market, one that stresses opportunity and entrepreneurship. It does not favor the stable, predictable markets that big business and the wealthy prefer.

    To compound the issue, as W Krebs points out, “[Real] Conservatives don’t form a voting majority in the U.S.” so, neither the votes, nor the money (Romney got 80.8% of his contributions from big donors) lead to the Republican leadership holding firm to conservative principles, instead when needed, they compromise.

    That Republican leadership is, for the most part, not corrupt or ‘greedy’ they are simply following the dictates of their party dynamics, as currently constructed.

    So what’s the answer?
    Change the system. The Republican party system that is, by changing the money dynamics.

    davisbr is on to something when he states that, “Because of the Internet, and cell-phones, there is pervasive connectivity. Citizen to citizen, citizen to group. Group to group. Direct. All connected. This is potentially MUCH more powerful than “money”.”

    Yes, votes are more important than money but to some degree, money secures votes because you need money to run a modern campaign.

    But 45 million conservatives all donating just $10.00 = $450. million. Romney raised $366,336,696 from his big donors…

    What we have on our side is the better of the arguments. Logic and reason reside on our side. The left’s argument is entirely emotional, based in juvenile perceptions and counter-productive.

    As we all know, reality is on our side of the argument. But currently, the reality of fund raising is on the side of democrats because the democrat’s big donors and the ideologues of the left and their liberal ‘shock troops’ are all on the same page.

    Until and unless we get those on the right, ‘on the same page’, we will continue to lose elections.

    Getting Republican big donors on the same side will not be accomplished through appeals to emotion and patriotism, nor conservative principles.

    Self-interest and a reality check are the path to persuasion.

    Obama wants to both raise the death tax rates and lower the threshold. He’s starting to go after the wealthy’s assets, not just their income.

    And the US is leading efforts in the UN to create treaties where fleeing the US to escape penurious taxation and seizure of assets will no longer be an option for the wealthy.

    Wealthy republican supporters have a choice; accept and work toward limited government which supports private property or accept that one day in our lifetimes, they’ll have little to donate because our socialist government, in its insatiability to support growing entitlements, has evolved into a communist government in all but name. One that, through its actions and laws, declares that all property belongs to the state.

  43. Steve Ducharme Says:

    To those few of you unabashed lefty democrat feeling schadenfreude on here I have one question. When looking at the below numbers, how much taxation on the “rich” is enough to satisfy you? I’m actually asking a serious question and would be curious to know.

    “According to IRS 2007 data, the richest 1 percent of Americans earned 22 percent of national personal income but paid 40 percent of all personal income taxes. The top 5 percent earned 37 percent and paid 61 percent of personal income tax. The top 10 percent earned 48 percent and paid 71 percent of all personal income taxes. The bottom 50 percent earned 12 percent of personal income but paid just 3 percent of income tax revenues.”

  44. NeoConScum Says:

    The Senate–both sides–has gone from being a pretty impressive body that could hammer out stuff in a clinch-crisis to an Insiders-Let’s Stay Here For LIFE–good old boys & girls sleaze pool. I’d much rather have pre-17th Amendment senators. The hideous crap on the Democrat side is nauseatingly obvious. But, the Republican side ain’t no clear, clean, honorable, pool neither. Lindsay Graham..? Shall I go on??

    It ought(though it would take a literal Act of GOD)to be limited to 2-six year terms. None of this Senator FOREVEEERRRRRRR nonsense. Damn, I just broke my fist slamming it through our study’s drywall and screaming AARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH..!!
    Still attempting to heal from the horrendous events of 5-weeks ago today.

  45. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Sam Random,

    Your presence is not unwelcome. Do not confuse disagreement with demonization.

    It is ironic that you stereotype us, as much as you claim to be stereotyped.

    Conservatives like Ken above are angry because of the fundamental lack of honesty on the left. Not that there isn’t dishonesty on the right, just that it is not the norm on the right, as it has become on the left. I have to say that mostly I agree with him, not about you personally but about the ramifications of what you support.

    “higher tax rates on the top 2% of incomes doesn’t make me a communist”

    Perhaps not but it is theft. The top 1 percent pay an average federal tax rate of 29 percent, taking into account all federal taxes. The middle 20 percent of income earners, the middle class, pays an average federal tax rate of 11.1 percent. The bottom 20 percent of income earners pays an average federal tax rate of 1 percent.

    That can only be justified as ‘fair’ if one posits that it is ‘unfair’ for the top 1-5 % of income earners to even exist. The only economic theory that posits that is communism. You may not be a communist but you are certainly supporting communist theory.

    The world is changing, the question however is if it is changing for the better. In some ways perhaps but liberals engage in intellectual dishonesty when they summarily dismiss valid factual issues raised by conservatives.

    I’m confident that most will be happy to engage you on this site, all we ask is that you are intellectually honest in discussions. It will be a breath of fresh air.

  46. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Neoconscum,

    [Senators] “ought…to be limited to 2-six year terms.”

    No, ONE 8 year term. One year to learn the job and its finer points. 7 years to get something worthwhile done. No lifetime pension. No need for continual fund raising.

    A mandatory vote, up or down on a Balanced Budget Agreement on a yearly basis and a mandatory federal provision that a recall vote of 75% of registered voters results in immediate removal from office, with a new election in 90 days. During that 90 day period, the other state Senator gets to cast two votes.

  47. tillurdizzy Says:

    I agree with davisbr that we just don’t have the best people in the Republican party. So much of reason for the state our country goes back to the media and Hollywood. The lack of objective reporting in the media and demonizing of conservative values by the entertainment industry make it damn near impossible to get truly conservative people elected. The media chooses our candidates in the primaries simply by giving their chosen one a break until the primaries are over (McCain, Romney). Real conservatives get the Sarah Palin treatment – and those who do get elected don’t want that to happen to them. Even Chris Christi seems to be loosing his backbone. It’s a relentless barrage of criticism. Very few can take it for a long time.
    In addition, for Liberals politics is a religion. It’s what they live for. It’s who they are. It’s where their sense of self comes from. The end justifies the means. they are willing to do anything and say anything. See Alinsky.

  48. Sam Random Says:

    I had to laugh at the whole “I’m not a communist!” “Yes, yes you are.” (that’s not a direct quote, just a summary)

    Ken, you don’t know me. If you did, I doubt you would call me a scumbag.

    Conrad and Geoffrey, thanks for the kind words of welcome, they’re appreciated.

    I’ve intermittently read this blog for years now, and despite being a liberal, I’m always impressed neo’s writing.

    That said, I have a couple of things I want to say: 1) I’m really not a communist. Really. My biggest influence is Paul Krugman, and he isn’t a communist either. Amartya Sen, Joseph Stiglitz, Brad Delong – all of them well respected economists who are not communists. Capitalism is fine, and I don’t think we need a nanny state. We shouldn’t expect the market to just take care of everything either though. What I find especially frustrating about this is that I am really, really being honest about that- I can’t agree with conservatives about policy because doing so would make me a liar.
    2) It is not clear to me what conservatives want out of the political system. There are frequent calls to stop spending, to end the expansion of government, but I have a hard time believing that the majority of those who voted for Romney did so because they want to rid themselves of government benefits accruing to themselves. I know veterans who demonize me for saying that the gov’t should spend more who are literally dependent on the same gov’t for medical care. How am I supposed to respond to that? Is it really so wrong to want all Americans to have access to healthcare?

    The thing I can’t wrap my head around is the whole “stealth democrats” concept that neo was talking about. Republican politicians not adhering to strict ideological purity shouldn’t be shocking, nor should it necessarily provoke vitriolic fury.

  49. waltj Says:

    I think these are some good comments, and there’s not just one reason why Republicans cave so easily on so many issues. It’s a combination. And here’s another factor to consider. Instead of looking at the politicians, let’s try looking at us instead. Maybe not all of us on this blog, but in general. How many people call or write their congresscritter or other elected official to tell him, no, sir, I don’t want that tax break that applies exactly to my situation, or no, I don’t want the road paved in front of my subdivision, or yes, I want the fire station in my neighborhood to close because there’s another one 15 minutes away, and my tax bill would be lower if I didn’t have to pay for both of them. Those aren’t the choices that most people make. People as a rule demand that their elected officials bring home the pork, including Republicans. And for the most part, only political junkies (that would be us, admit it) give a rat’s patootie about places like Syria or issues like Kelo (ok, so it was an unelected court that ruled on that case, but elected officials made the original “eminent domain” decision). If we want smaller, cheaper government, that means for us, too. Less pork that benefits us. Fewer subsidies for our pet projects or causes. More paying fair market value for goods and services. But that’s not what our elected representatives generally hear from their constituents. Especially from their constituents who write large checks to their campaigns.

  50. davisbr Says:

    @Sam Random : Dec 11 at 10:03 am
    I’m a liberal, and I vote Democrat, so perhaps my comments are unwelcome here, and I do apologize if that is the case, but in the spirit of inclusiveness I would just like to say: it’s been really difficult to empathize with conservatives in the last year…

    May I say “Pleased to meet you, and welcome”, and your comments certainly are NOT unwelcome. They will be accepted, analyzed and responded to …and – usually – in a detailed and civil fashion.

    Many of us will no doubt provide you with illuminating rebuttals if your comments, as necessary: we do that to each of us, one to another too. We appreciate it: civil argument allows us each to hone our personal and group understanding of issues in a rational manner.

    You should also understand that a great many of us used to be Democrat (hell, I voted for McGovern back in the day lol) in both belief and affiliation (we range from classic northern liberal to blue dog in our history).

    What that means on the practical level of argument …and especially if you are somewhat ungrounded in conservative ideology …is that we intimately understand liberal ideology and arguments and talking points. So don’t be surprised or insulted at the depth of analysis of the comments themselves.

    Again. Welcome to the blog.

  51. liz Says:

    I think we need to start at the bottom – vote local. Get the good conservatives into the city councils and mayor positions. Then, they can move into to the state rep & senator positions. Then, it will be easier to get them into Congress.

    However, these people may still need to be low-keyed until they can move up in the power structure. Notice that the fiscal conservatives got booted off prime committees. That was a shame.

  52. holmes Says:

    Sam,

    You are most welcome as, misguided as you are ( : ) ) you do seem reasonable.

    I know so many liberals who merely want to help people and think government is the way, and usually the only way, to make that happen. The problem is a) there’s no empirical evidence that this approach works and b) we’re out of money (and the rich don’t have enough of it to make it work).

    Read Walter Russel Mead and his commentary on the Blue Model. If this model works, why isn’t it working so well? The two richest and bluest states in the country- New York and California, are bankrupting themselves. So, shifting those costs to everyone else in the nation, like Alabama, doesn’t really make a lot of sense.

    Conservatives are upset because they see the country, yes changing, but for the worse. These things affect the culture. For every ghetto that is built around dependency, I’ll show you a town in Appalachia who experiences the same pathologies due to dependency; a dependency that is directly related to these programs that are supposed to “help.” Now, there’s nothing wrong with helping, but again, limited resources and unlimited needs, combined with a centralized planning unit like government and you get distorted decisions and bad outcomes.

    If all we’re really talking about is “what should the most effective tax rate be?” Then, I would agree, the vitriol you refer to is unnecessary. But that’s certainly not it and actually is either a willful or negligently acquired ignorance of conservatives. I can’t say you’re totally at fault there though if you rely on Krugman the Polemicist for you information (he long ago left behind his analytical economist persona).

    There’s much more, of course. There’s nothing wrong with the desires you have to help people. We disagree mainly on means and the means we’re adopting as antithetical not only to the Constitution, but actually to the outcomes you seek.

    H

  53. neo-neocon Says:

    Sam Random:

    Welcome.

    The “stealth Democrat” thing was a joke.

    And some of my best friends are liberals :-) (in fact, practically all of my best friends are liberals).

    When you ask what conservatives want, not all conservatives are in agreement, of course. The differences between those who come down more on the social conservative side, those who are primarily fiscal conservatives, those who are both, those who are libertarians, those who are isolationist paleocons vs. neocons (and even many disagreements among neocons) are profound.

    However, in general, conservatives are very very interested in preserving liberty, and feel that the more functions that are taken over by the federal government the more liberty is compromised. They believe not only that the federal government is in many instances interested in gaining power over them and interfering with their lives, but that the federal government tends to be bad at social and economic engineering (and inefficient as well), and that much of what it does in that arena has led to even greater problems than before. Conservatives are not anarchists; they acknowledge that a central government has many functions that are necessary, but they’d like to keep that to a minimum, not because they’re cheap or selfish but because they believe that will result in people and a society that are better off in myriad ways.

    That’s a short, very incomplete summary, but there are tons of books on the subject. One of my favorites for liberals to understand where conservatives are coming from is this one by Thomas Sowell.

  54. holmes Says:

    Well put, Neo. I would also add “Road to Serfdom” as a great book to understand conservative fears (sans the idea that we’ll all become Nazis).

  55. carl in atlanta Says:

    Sam Random:

    “I’m not a communist”
    So stipulated, and welcome.

    But do you endorse the following maxim?:

    “From each according to his ability. To each according to his need”.

    Paul Krugman certainly does and he’s not a communist either.

    Socialism is not the same thing as communism. Socialists aren’t evil. They’ve just never learned one key fact of life: Don’t feed the bears!

  56. artfldgr Says:

    what is it about Republicans that makes them so unable to fight for what they say they believe?

    a long while back i explained that in this kind of system, with such media domination, the left chooses who to lose to. ie. they will all work together and collude to destroy a candidate who is real to his values and has no skeletons, but will not work so hard against someone in which they have something on.

    you fight them, they reveal what they have, or manufacture it. and then you have no career, job, future, etc.

    take a look at the past two elections…
    without the public riding honorably, and insuring fairness, anyone who stepped into the ring would be timid. if they took the gloves off, so would the velvet glove come off, and a parade of uncious rabble would appear from the past.

    take a look at what happened to Krystal Ball. even though she is a democrat, you have to pay attention to the differences and how the unequal application of things plays out.

    once you read what she stood for, and you know what progressives work for, you figure out she is a democrat but outside the machine. ie. a dupe who thinks they are what they are, not an insider.

    Ball supported:

    Education reform, including charter schools, using technology, alternative certification of teachers, and paying teachers six figure salaries.

    The 2nd amendment as ensuring individual gun rights (she is an NRA member). Ball has stated that she is “uneasy” about guns in National Parks.

    Supports a lifetime ban on lobbying by former members of Congress, banning lobbyist gifts, increasing disclosure, and establishing a new Independent Ethics Commission to investigate and audit influence by special interests.

    Of Ball’s funding, 72 percent was from out of state donors.

    just read those three… the first one undoes 40 years of reverse progress, and would undo what they wanted (Showing she is not actually part of the whole).

    the second shows she is not part of them either in that she is an NRA member and is not about complete control.

    and she wants to destroy the mill that converts politicians to lobbyists? that certainly is also not the way they go.

    so ultimately, she would have been worse than the republican in the same place as she would have been an opposition person on their side. better to have an opposition person on the other side, and de-legitimize them.

    so they went to work on her. and if you do a bit of research, you can see the horrid horrible dirty pictures that they used to cast her out (and blame the republicans for it despite their control of media)

    basically she went to a party with a man who was a rudolf reindeer with a penis for a nose. and the photos show her making jokes with his nose…

    if you take the time to compare that to a beloved of their side, like barney frank… it becomes clear that they mediate control this way.

    In October 2010, Ball received national attention when photos taken six years earlier emerged showing her at a holiday party dressed as a “naughty Santa” sucking a red dildo attached to her then-husband’s nose.

    Ball admitted the photos depicted her, adding “of course it’s embarrassing, but more than that, I’m pretty angry about it. I think this is incredibly sexist. I think it’s outrageous.”

    In a response article published by The Huffington Post, Ball stated that “[s]ociety has to accept that women of my generation have sexual lives that are going to leak into the public sphere”.

    She also attributed reactions to the photos as due to “this whole idea that female sexuality and serious work are incompatible” and expressed concern that accepting such conduct as part of politics would create a glass ceiling for women in politics.

    she has no idea that the right does not control the media this way. she never compared what she did with her husband (i didnt know that above), at a private party six years prior to her run.

    notice how she takes up the classic victim of patriarchy and so republicans smears. she is incapable of thinking her own side tossed her out as she really wasn’t on their side enough. (she did not carry the party line, but thought to push her different ideas from the party line)

    but go to the history of barney frank, and her point makes no sense… (except that she will think that barney got a ticket for being male).

    now… remember… she played with a plastic penis on the nose of her husband at a private xmas party, and nothing really happened at all. you can see the pics online…

    now compare that to barney

    In 1985 Frank was still closeted. That year he hired Steve Gobie, a male prostitute, for sex, and they became friends more than sexual partners.

    Frank housed Gobie and hired him with personal funds as an aide, housekeeper and driver and paid for his attorney and court-ordered psychiatrist

    In 1987 Frank kicked Gobie out after he was advised by his landlord that Gobie kept escorting despite the support and was doing so in the residence.

    Later that year Gobie’s friends convinced him he had a gay male version of Mayflower Madam, a TV movie they had been watching

    In 1989 Gobie tried to initiate a bidding war for the story between WUSA-TV (Channel 9), the Washington Times, and The Washington Post

    Amid calls for an investigation Frank asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate his relationship “in order to insure that the public record is clear.”

    The Committee found no evidence that Frank had known of or been involved in the alleged illegal activity and dismissed all of Gobie’s more scandalous claims; they recommended a reprimand for Frank using his congressional office to fix 33 of Gobie’s parking tickets and for misstatements of fact in a memorandum relating to Gobie’s criminal probation record.

    Clinton still has a career despite the fact that kids can see a semen stain at the Smithsonian some day..

    barney compromised the state… but got what?

    here is what he got

    In one famous quip he said he was unable to complete his review of the Starr Report detailing President Bill Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky, complaining that it was “too much reading about heterosexual sex”

    In 2004 and again in 2006, a survey of Capitol Hill staffers published in Washingtonian gave Frank the title of the “brainiest”, “funniest”, and “most eloquent” member of the House.

    the difference between him and her, is that he does nothing on his own, and only the party line… so he is very powerful… she decided that she has a personal version of the party line, and so, she is more dangerous than a republican opposition

    its a prudent use of energy and resources…
    you let those you have something on pass, and so have a ticket to their restricted behavior… those who are clean, you use resources on…

    you see… they cant keep out opposition, but they can choose which opposition to allow

    too bad people didnt ask such questions as to principals ofoperation and mechanics years ago.
    [edited for length by n-n]

  57. davisbr Says:

    @Sam Random : Dec 11 at 1:09 pm
    My biggest influence is Paul Krugman, and he isn’t a communist either
    That’s unfortunate. You’ll find Paul Krugman gets short shrift here …he’s well known, and rather uniformly dismissed by the right. This is primarily because his particular brand of economic polemicism is generally distraction from the argument, by either ignoring the data in the field, or simply falsifying it. That’s when he’s actually talking about a subject that he should know something about. Which: not often.

    On the theoretical side, he espouses a twisted Keynesianism – worse than the usual, which is generally just misguided – which is, again, pretty derisively scoffed at by Friedmanites.

    There’s a minor segment of conservatism that actually specializes in de-bunking Krugman point by point: sometimes it can be pretty hilarious.

    And frankly, John Maynard Keynes’ ideas are historically quaint and long since refuted. They didn’t work, they don’t work, they can’t work. We can point you to the relevant theoreticians (who also eat Krugman’s lunch) if you’re deeply interested in the subject.

    Capitalism is fine, and I don’t think we need a nanny state.
    Which makes your core belief system salvageable at least lol. Probably this mild form of conservatism was where many of us started our trek, too.

    We shouldn’t expect the market to just take care of everything either though.
    You won’t find many of us who believe that an absolutely unfettered market is ideal, either. It’s a matter of degree of interference, then, outcome of legislation that has to be balanced though. Intent is totally irrelevant. The counter-argument is a riff on the “Good people do bad things for good reasons” observation.

    Primarily, we’re outcomes focused. We also don’t believe that we should practice the definition of insanity on a policy basis (i.e., the old saw about “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over-and-over and expecting a different result” or some such).

    …I can’t agree with conservatives about policy because doing so would make me a liar.
    Generally, our counter-argument is that you might not understand or even be aware of what our “policy” actually is …which wouldn’t make you a liar. Just …asleep. That’s due to both the “echo chamber effect”, and outright falsification by a dysfunctional Fourth Estate.

    It is not clear to me what conservatives want out of the political system.
    Trust me on this: stick around, and we’ll let you know in detail what we want …and lamentingly, how little we sometimes agree amongst ourselves about what we want. We’re a diverse group, comprised of fractious and sometimes conflicting sub-groups …a mirror of the cultural melting pot, actually.

    There are frequent calls to stop spending, to end the expansion of government, but I have a hard time believing that the majority of those who voted for Romney did so because they want to rid themselves of government benefits accruing to themselves.
    Essential point here: believe it. It’s true. We intimately understand that issue.

    What you may not understand is that we’re equally aware that this down-sizing must be across-the-board, and not targeted.

    The Hydra has grown new heads over generations of Federal mismanagement, and the be-headings will have to be done with surgical niceties in a responsible fashion.

    …but oh yes, we want it beheaded. Even when one of the heads benefits us, personally.

    Is it really so wrong to want all Americans to have access to healthcare?
    It is not only not wrong, it is admirable. MOST OF US would agree that the growth of costs associated with medical care were on an unsustainable path.

    The difference is that we’re positive (it’s not even an argument on this side of the fence) that federal intervention on this level will NOT result in efficiencies.

    It certainly will not. Increasing administrative bureacracy to somehow magically lower medical costs (this is the essence of the idea behind Obamacare) will not result in typical efficiencies of scale (a usual market-based truism) in medical practice. It can’t …not at our civilizations current technological level. Worse, with the costs it unnecessarily introduces and incurs, it will delay, or even entirely block, further development of that technological level.

    …and at the age of most of us, we sit up and take notice of that factoid. We are deeply concerned. And hence, very, very, very angry about it.

    Obamacare is a tired theoretical retread of European socialist health models, only worse, even, than the UK’s NIH (a horror story) …it’s not A solution, let alone the solution. It’s not even a bad parody of a solution.

    What it is, is a tragedy.

    A legislative politically motivated, travesty. It has little-to-nothing to do with health care. It has EVERYTHING to do with power, and vested interest groups.

    It will simply exacerbate the situation, and the result will be a diminution of medical service levels.

    …you might want to wait awhile longer before you bring up a subject that absolutely infuriates conservatives at this level, due to the vast amount of outright lies, distortions, and misinformation by the legislative proponents, and the Democrat operatives, of Obamacare.

    For many of us, that was the final line in the sand. A sort of Rubicon, if you will.

  58. Ken Says:

    Sam Random,

    Ken, you don’t know me. If you did, I doubt you would call me a scumbag.

    Scumbags call for other people’s stuff taken away for no other reason than they have more than others. You explicitly called for it for all the world to see. Ergo, you’re a scumbag.

  59. Steve Ducharme Says:

    @davisbr Bravo! Well said.

  60. thomass Says:

    Harold Says:

    To add to what Harold said about republicans being terrified of.

    They’re not terrified enough of us…

    Democrat pols on the other hand are afraid of their base. Many even think they’re nuts. But they’re afraid enough to do what they think they want.

  61. thomass Says:

    Sam Random Says:

    “2) It is not clear to me what conservatives want out of the political system.”

    Actually I would like my befits cut. Lower SS and Medicare taxes and make them means tested (again). I’ve said this since I was 20.

    Next; get f out of my healthcare. This idea that it should be rationed does not make sense. Of course; the user liberal lie..line is that’s not the idea but of course it is. Its the whole idea behind the accountable care program. Its also stupid on many levels. You don’t have to take from the sick to give to the well in the form of wellness programs (and the illusion of coverage; which is not the same as access to actual care). We don’t redistribute most other things by pulling down top choices for those who want to pay… no 80 inch tv for you; only a 40 so that guy can have a 19… This mentality of forced equality is one of the many sicknesses of the left. It also stymies progress and access by taking the profit out of them.. progress and access that everyone would normally have access to if given basic care (MRI access is not based on wealth as a first come basis… but if you don’t allow the wealthy to pay for more machines there are fewer period).

  62. NeoConScum Says:

    Sam R: Article in today’s WSJ stated that the revenue produced by taxing those Evil Greedy Folks who make above(Gasp)$200K would sustain the current level of Federal spending for 9-calendar days. Like the Branco cartoon today over at Legalinsurrection.com, the SOP result will/would be for small business people to cut their employees. In Obamaland THAT will be blamed on Republicans. In this long ago Lefty-Liberal guy’s value system Mr.Obama is a chronically lying sleaze. Baa-Daa-Bing. Like dat.

    In addition to N-Neocon’s recommendation of the great Dr.Sowell’s,”The Vision of the Anointed”, I’d strongly add his “A Conflict of Visions” and “Intellectuals and Society”. ALSO, I hugely recommend David Mamet’s,”The Secret Knowledge”(2010), a wonderful meditation by the great playwright of his journey out of the Dark Side and into EEeeeeeeeekkKK Neoconservatism.

    Oh, and welcome, Sam.

  63. Paul in Boston Says:

    Sam Random:

    First off, I think you’re misguided rather than evil. I have to deal with this all the time since my wife and her colleagues all range from left to far left. I do think the policies of the Democratic party have very destructive long term consequences.

    “Supporting higher tax rates on the top 2% of incomes doesn’t make me a communist”, “I’m not a villain, or a communist, or a terrorist, or a fascist”

    No, but you’re definitely a socialist with that kind of attitude. (By the way, Fascism and Communism are variants of socialism. Sorry about that but it’s true.) As Madison said in The Federalist, #10, advocating an equal distribution of property is wicked and improper. The entire design of the Constitution was to prevent that kind of assault on private property which arose in many previous attempts at democratic government going back to the ancient Greeks. It’s why we have a republic instead.

    “My biggest influence is Paul Krugman, and he isn’t a communist either. Amartya Sen, Joseph Stiglitz, Brad Delong – all of them well respected economists who are not communists.” All Keynesians, followers of an economic theory that has never worked. It was first tried in the 1930′s, otherwise known as the Great Depression. The 1970′s in the US saw stagflation, which is not even supposed to exist in Keynesian theory. The Japanese had a huge real estate bubble collapse in 1990 that brought their economy to its knees. They’ve been stimulating and building infrastructure ever since, to no avail and slow growth ever since. The 2009 stimulus was supposed to bring us out of the recession. It didn’t and it’s called The Great Recession. The US government has made the stimulus permanent and we have continuing high unemployment and slow growth long after other recessions would have ended.

    “It is not clear to me what conservatives want out of the political system.” As little as possible because we view human nature as immutable and a mixture of good and bad, no different today than the people of the Bible. Government, with its power over us, is dangerous because of this. Because of its control over people’s lives it is subject to what Lord Acton should have said, power attracts the corrupt and the corruptible. Long experience over millennia shows that most governments are inefficient, abusive, and corrupt if not downright dangerous to their citizens. Liberals can’t seem to wrap their head around this fact and somehow believe that this time it will be different. Somehow, this time, human nature won’t assert itself. If you really think that it can be avoided in the US, please explain Detroit, at one time one of the richest cities not just in America but in the world, and now just barely above a third world pest hole.

    The right way to view government is as a service provided by other people. Just because someone is a member of the government makes them neither smart, knowledgeable, nor wise. It certainly doesn’t make them angels. It’s definitely not a charity.

    Government, by its nature, is also a monopoly. Ask yourself, why is a government monopoly good but a private monopoly bad? I can only think of a few functions where a government monopoly is acceptable. The number one is the public safety via a military to protect us from foreign enemies and a police force to protect us from criminals. Beyond that it’s an argument to have.

    “Is it really so wrong to want all Americans to have access to healthcare?” No, but the question is how to achieve that. I’d prefer a country where there is enough wealth that nearly everyone can afford their own care and the poor are taken care of through charity. I certainly don’t want a government monopoly that will be an inefficient wealth and innovation destroying bureaucracy forced on us. One that delivers mediocre care to all but the very wealthy who will provide for themselves. If you want to see where Obamacare will be in twenty years follow the articles in British newspapers on the Liverpool Care Pathway. It won’t be any different here because the behavior of large bureaucracies is the same everywhere, determined by human nature not your humanitarian ideals. Under government health care you will no longer be a patient but a cost center.

  64. southpaw Says:

    Geoffrey Britain. Your first observations about conservative businessmen are IMHO spot on. They aren’t ideologues and prefer government intervention when it benefits their interests, and abhhor it when it works against them. Many companies I deal with who supply components for Windmills, solar, as well as the oil businesses welcome the government subsidies they’ve received for green energy, and have no interest or regrets that it’s cost the taxpayers billions and given next nothing back. They’ve all done very well the last few years, and that’s all that matters.
    The only regrets they have are the subsidies are coming to a screeching halt in 2013. No more taxpayer money.
    Ironically, businesses like oil and gas that can sustain themselves for the time being are being regulated into oblivion, (domestically) and these suppliers such as GE, Siemens, ABB, etc will see big drops in business globally, as everything is going down in the same boat.
    You are quite correct in noting that conservative businessmen – in large industries, are apolitical and will take the money however they can get it. Its a big problem for the conservative movement- as long as government is ready to throw money at them, they’re going to jump on it.

  65. thomass Says:

    Paul in Boston Says:

    “First off, I think you’re misguided rather than evil.”

    Misguided but usually smug. Takes a lot of unfounded confidence to get up and say such silly things (like taxing the 1% their fair share will do anything about the deficit and correct the entitlement crisis)… Brings to mind John Stewart on crossfire. The liberals it was a triumph of ‘partisanship’ (since; you know, he isnt a partisan most of the time…). To anyone listening to what he said he revealed he has no clue what is really going on.. just on his show when he only makes fun of other people he never has to talk about what he thinks… he is a perfect example of the type imo…

  66. tumta Says:

    Great site, but far too many idiots. Perhaps you should moderate the comments? Or perhaps allow us to moderate them with an exclude filter, If you did, I’d expect your comments to get seriously slimmed down.
    Hej!

  67. davisbr Says:

    tumta: She already does …though with a light and very, umm, discriminating – and tasteful – touch. Beware. Her tolerance is vast, but it is not unlimited.

    mirror, mirror, on the wall …

  68. davisbr Says:

    …oh, and hej.

  69. M of Hollywood Says:

    Sam Random: 2 points, ‘n you will see.
    1. You “always come back here” because you like neo’s writing. We “always come back here” because we like each other’s writing–that includes neo. See the difference?
    2. “What’s wrong with wanting a health care system making health care available to all?” NOTHING. But there are many things wrong with just wishing we had a good system expected to be available to all. The first step would have been to lower costs, and that would be FOR ALL.

    See the difference?

    You believe in a top, one, like a God. Many here believe in the all, the many. This is ironic, too, because the left is the “side” that does not believe in God and the right is the “side” that is said to believe in “trickle down.”

    A good starting place to begin to feel (like that?) in your heart the foundation of this country is to read “The Mayflower” by Nathanial Philbrick. As a former left wing radical myself, I think you have to live with the Pilgrims a little bit really to share in the great fuel of liberty. Many of us believe in the human spirit – and believe that “the left” is working towards extinguishing it, which it cannot (of course). Did it extinguish it in the countries where it has tried? No.

  70. artfldgr Says:

    Sam Random “What’s wrong with wanting a health care system making health care available to all?”

    Well…

    whats wrong is what the sentence then implies you have to do to have it. its all assumptions, no basis, and the person spouting it, doesnt generally go beyond the cargo cult surface view to work out “the problem”

    first of all. what is your definition of “available”?

    currently, and since i was a kid, and before, health care was available to all.
    no one was ever prevented from going to a doctor. some might not be able to pay, but it was AVAILABLE

    so are you REALLY talking about availability? or are you talking about another word?

    you figure that out, because as i see it, those who say that, then equate available with USE not just the potential of use, which is what available means in terms of going to a deli for baloney and not a hardware store.

    but without any change to the law, insurance, etc… healthcare is available
    its why so many come over the boarder illegally… we dont even stop non citizens from the availability

    now, there is another word in your sentence…
    and again, what is the intentional meaning of MAKING.
    do you mean to create? or do you mean to force?

    well create dont fit, so i think your saying. lets FORCE The system to be something.

    and now you get to the crux of why what you say is so abhorrent…

    lets imagine your a doctor. you went to school, you decided not to go to the bunga bunga parties on test nights, and you forgoe sleep, relationships, and so on… all to become a doctor. did you then go out and not charge for your services and then take welfare for support? would you?

    now. what if they said… after your done, and you have debt, your going to have to treat people and if you dont, we will put you in prison. if you dont cooperate, we are going to kill you or at least change the direction of your life so seriously it wont resemble anything you ever wanted.

    would you become a doctor? why not?
    after all, if you force doctors to work for welfare, you can now make healthcare available
    you just have to hold guns to the heads of the doctors, and then pretend they will still go to school

    given they get welfare, its easier for some female (who now dominate the schools at 66%) to spread her legs, push out two puppies, and get a three bedroom apartment for them, and go out and play every night for the same money. why work with sick people?

    the terms have different meanings in different contexts.
    in the free market to make something available is to lower costs, produce more, distribute better, etc.
    in state, which produces nothing, the way you make something is to force it – and disregard silly things like physics, economics, psychology, and so on. (king kanute is shaking his head)

    so how would you like this to go? .

    invite the state who inflated medical costs with the MANDATED HMOs…
    to create another law which ignores physics, energy, economics, psychology, etc..
    and so, come up with punishments, and rates, and program the whole thing (ignoring reality)

    and since they want to hold a gun to doctors heads, and there is a shortage,
    what do you think will happen to ACTUAL AVAILABILITY?

    OR would you like the free market to get in? remove HMOs, and go for freemarket competition in insurance across states, and accross countries. loyds would love to get in on it too..
    in this world, the doctor comes up with a cheaper better treatment, he earns a lot and people get better for less…

    but now… i will show you what will happen. your magically a doctor again.
    do you go to the hospital and work and get too little to pay your bills?
    do you keep working and start rationing?
    ie. they come in, but rather than treat them, you give them an aspirin? (its still health care, right?)

    or… do you get a job being a doctor for someone like obama or micheal jackson?
    you get 100k a year.. have only 4 or so patients… benefits, and so on..
    you dont have to fill out forms, you dont have to follow mandates.

    just think of how many doctors 100,000 multimillionaires can suck out of the market!!!
    would you go bankrupt, and figtht for nothing to save patients that voted to enslave you?
    or would you say screw this, and go work for a wealthy guy, earn more, and not bother with those others?

    the problem is that in your sentence, you assume the meaning:
    of MAKE to not be force,
    of health care meaning to cure you not give you an aspirin
    of available meaning you get to use it, not that its available but you cant get it

    now think…
    if it was healthcare (curing) available (you can use it), and they make price lower (economically not by a gun)…

    then why would the people making this great thing, automatically exempt themselves and violate lex rex?
    you remember lex rex? a king and a commoner are subject to the same laws and rights.

    the reason they exempted themselves is that they know what the words actually mean and they dont cherry pick that and not analyse it, and so on. they do so very carefully, as they have people like you too lazy too,and too willing to pick up arms and be their own private unpaid army. till they dont need you any more, then what?

    in case you dont know it. the NCAA laws and the union laws are now dismantline these alternative power bases that put them in place… under NCAA they have totalitarian power and the constitution is neturalized as of this month!!!!!!!!! (to the point where noam chomsky, micheal more, and many other,s realize they can now be put in prison without any recourse and for having lunch with terrorists who are friends.. ie they can now be removed without any right to recourse)

  71. thomass Says:

    davisbr Says:
    December 11th, 2012 at 10:42 pm
    tumta:

    I figured tumta was a spam bot.

  72. neo-neocon Says:

    thomass and davisbr: actually, I don’t think tumta was/is a spambot. Just as some spambots sound like actual people, there are actual people who sound like spambots.

    From where I sit, there are other identifying characteristics that indicate a spambot, information that shows up only on my page and not on the blog itself. That’s how I can usually tell.

  73. davisbr Says:

    Yeah. He used “hej”. So I didn’t figure him to be a spambot, either …Swedish maybe …I was a bit suspicious due to the brevity. I figured the greater liklihood was a troll (but I answered civilly anyways).

  74. obsidian Says:

    There is only one political party in the United States at the national level, republican, democrat and other.
    It could be called the elites party. The ones who are on the team of democrats gets all the jazz and support, it is the popular party. The republican is the punching dummy, the jester, the clown the figurehead of the party people hate. The republicans are the focus of the two minute hate. BUT, make no mistake these people are the same like soap opera stars or wrestling the idea is to put on a good show, bread and circuses are provided for the masses. The elite party gives citizens two wrestlers one a good guy and one a bad guy. They posture, preen and make threats but It’s all fake, most people know this and don’t watch or vote in elections.
    The entire voting process is a Charade.

  75. davisbr Says:

    >>It could be called the elites party.
    bingo

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