The Art and Irony of Overreach

Wisconsin Governor Walker

(Update: According to several sources it looks as if Walker may be compromising with Democrats on the collective bargaining rights. Presumably the pressure from the threat of recalls is making some Republican Senators reconsider their positions)

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has failed to comprehend the overreach of his authority and the consequential damage it will do to not only Wisconsin, but the Republican Party nationwide. Following the events of the past two weeks, it has become patently obvious that the Governor’s unwavering stance on the details of his budget measure have less to do with balancing the budget than with political maneuvering. His insistence on stripping unions of their collective bargaining rights is a giveaway of his intentions. What Walker stubbornly fails to recognize is that all of this: the protests, the national media attention, and his rapidly declining poll numbers could easily have been avoided had he not doggedly refused to budge on the bargaining rights matter. If he had merely accepted the budget concessions of the unions, this would have been less of an issue. It’s possible that he could still accept the concessions and the protests would likely die down but his persistence to disembowel the unions has already begun to have far broader consequences.

There would still be issues to be addressed, primarily the fallacy of austerity measures. Many have already suggested that Walker’s budget proposal was one of his own making when upon assuming office he arranged for $117 million in corporate tax breaks. Not two months into his Governorship he quickly brought forth the budget proposal under the auspices of fixing the budget shortfall, largely a result of the tax breaks, and that all Wisconsinites must make sacrifices to balance the budget. In short, Governor Walker appears to have manufactured the problem and expects Wisconsinites to pay for it. Austerity means that everyone sacrifices but it is apparent that the sacrifice is intended to be one-sided.

Wisconsin Senator Jon Erpenbach

Both sides of this dispute are ramping up the heat. As Nate Silver points out in his related article, there are already moves to recall Republican legislators and even Walker himself, though that can’t actually happen until he has been in office for one year. Likewise, Republicans have begun the process of recalling the Wisconsin Fourteen, the fourteen Democrats who fled the state to deny Governor Walker a quorum to pass his budget proposal. There is speculation that one of the Fourteen may be put up against Walker in the event of a recall. Most likely Wisconsin Senator Jon Erpenbach.

Governor Walker has explored hunting down the Fourteen and bringing them back in shackles. He is also threatening to begin layoffs of public sector jobs unless the Fourteen return so that his budget bill will pass union restrictions and all. This smacks of a third world dictatorship rather than a democracy.

The Art of War

The Obama administration has been somewhat mute on the matter. They have publicly stated that they are on the side of the working class but the President has backstepped on his campaign promise to “put on a comfortable pair of shoes” and join the picket lines in Madison. The US government cannot realistically get involved in state matters and it would appear the President is taking a page from the Chinese philosopher Sun-Tzu who stated that it is best not to interfere with an enemy that is defeating itself.

This whole fiasco has revealed a greater Republican plan to defeat and disempower the Democrats. Apparently realizing that they could not gain complete control of the congress, the Republican party saw that winning a majority of Governorships, combined with the Citizens United decision, gave them an opportunity to defund Democrats by breaking their number one campaign contributor: unions.

FOX News Commentator Shepard Smith

The media has been somewhat tepid in their coverage as well, although to his credit, Shepard Smith of FOX news was quick to point out the disparity of campaign contributors between corporate interests and union interests. David Frum, former speech writer for George W. Bush (of “Axis of Evil” fame) stated last year that “Republicans originally thought that FOX worked for us (Republican party) and now we’re discovering we work for FOX.”

Indeed, after the prank call to Governor Walker, the entire matrix of Republican power is becoming more transparent after more than thirty years of deception. Republicans are, indeed, the tools of corporate interests and FOX is the PR arm. It appears the George W. Bush’s greatest legacy will have been installing the Supreme Court justices necessary to pass Citizens United.

Given the preponderance of evidence, how is it that the Republican agenda is able to succeed? It relies on the illusion of equal opportunity. In theory, if you support the party, you can become rich too. The problem is that the income disparity coupled with a ten-year moratorium on taxes for the wealthy has created a glaring gap between the wealthy and the middle class. You cannot strike it rich when the rich control everything. And after the self-induced crash of 2008 from overspeculation, the wealthy want the rest of America to bear the burden of their mistakes.

Republicans often complain that this is class warfare, the implication being that the unwashed masses are unfairly rising up to steal their hard-earned and deserved wealth. Well, it is class warfare. But it wasn’t started by the middle class. It is backlash from over thirty years of Republican bilking of the middle class, and General Scott Walker is leading the charge. It appears the middle class has had enough. I suspect the battle has already been won by the People and I think we may see the results at the ballot box come 2012. While those results aren’t yet clear we have the Wisconsin Brigade and the Fourteen to thank for fighting on our behalf.

About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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127 Responses to The Art and Irony of Overreach

  1. Pete G says:

    Naturally, the first obligation of a union is to assist and fight for its members. It occurred to me, however, that the union movement in the US could rise again if all major union banded together and announced their intention to spend say 3% of money/effort on a project that to benefit the working, union and non-union middle-class. Unions would regain popular support, members, and power. Those of you who have seen my prior posts know what I have in mind: Unions should band together and fight for a tax system that is fair to every wage earner … like the one I propose at http://fairsharetaxes.org.

    Combining all forms of taxation, a minimum wage worker can easily pay a tax rate of 40%, four times the rate paid by Warren Buffett on his investment gains. The website shows how the much higher tax rates on wage earners, compared to the wealthy investing class, is unfair, damaging the economy, threatening democracy, and leading to a great deal of suffering, here and worldwide. It proposes plan for comprehensive tax reform.

  2. Monotreme says:

    Sarah Palin on Wisconsin: “Don’t Retreat, Shoot Your Mouth Off”.

    http://bit.ly/h9brvn

  3. Brian says:

    I’ve haven’t seen a state issue cause this much political uproar since Arizona’s immigration laws. Just another example of how much more volatile politics seems to be.

    Oh, and Mardi Gras in New Orleans is probably the best thing I’ve ever done. Everyone of you should go, there is no such thing as too old down there.

  4. Brian says:

    Oh, and finally following you guys on Twitter. Feel free to add me if you want, @DrunkChemGuy

  5. mclever says:

    @Brian

    When my cousin was at Tulane, I visited her for Mardi Gras. That week was one of the best vacations I’ve ever had! Nawlins knows how to throw a party! (And I don’t even drink that much!)

  6. mclever says:

    With regard to the Wisconsin Governor, I wish I could say I’m surprised when the Republicans overreach, but I’m not. Feeding off of our Newt Gingrich column from yesterday, this has seemed to be a trend since at least the 90’s. There was the impeachment of Clinton for prurient reasons rather than a legitimate abuse of executive power and pushing the government shutdown, both under Newt.

    I’m not old enough to remember if this trend of conservative political overreach extends back before that, but it’s been consistent enough throughout my adult life.

  7. Mule Rider says:

    *yawn*

    Another article suggesting the mere sneeze of a Republican/conservative politician will result in the death of the GOP and the conservative movement and subsequent disbursement of all of its members into the political wilderness while the country rallies itself towards utopia with the ascendancy of a liberal/progressive mandate.

    Please notify me when you guys come up with something original. You guys really don’t realize how much you come off like a sad, bitter fringe when everything you say boils down to “everything conservative = bad/evil and everything liberal/progressive = good/right.”

  8. rgbact says:

    MR-

    As Brian noted, the Left thought Arizona turmoil was gonna be a big winner too. They protested and boycotted and called everyone racist Nazis. And at the end of the day, they got shellacked. Sadly, the union will claim victory when Walker backs down and retains their rights….and he fires 3000 teachers instead to save the needed money. Thats was the way Chris Christie put it….the union doesn’t really care about layoffs. Better to save the bennies of the union leadership.

    At least with a balanced budget requirement, tough choices are required. Meanwhile, in DC, politicians dream up ways to kick the can farther down the road.

  9. Mr. Universe says:

    It is what it is, Mule. Would you like for me to notify you when night falls as well?

  10. MR,
    While this may not have national implications (it’s really too early to tell how it will play out elsewhere), it does look like it will have a significant impact on Wisconsin politics. Nate’s article does a good job of illustrating that.

  11. Mule Rider says:

    “Nate’s article does a good job of illustrating that.”

    Yeah, I’m kinda over Nate and don’t put too much stock in what he says anymore. He may have been “ahead of the curve” in 2008 but he proved to be way behind the curve in 2010. Knowing he (and his colleagues) has unbridled hubris but fell flat on his face by turning in a round of less-than-impressive predictions for the ’10 cycle and the fact that he now resides at the NYT, I pretty much consider him irrelevant.

    He shoulda stuck with poker and baseball stats, but from what I was hearing, he was starting to slip in those areas as well. He openly admitted once that there seemed to be fewer donks in the poker games he was playing and his cash flows all but stopped (sounds more like he was the one becoming donkish) and it’s been widely discussed in baseball circles that PECOTA – for all it’s “sophistication” and detail – really isn’t a great predictor of actual performance.

    Come to think of it, maybe he should just stick to blogging and even forget poker and baseball. He does have a knack for being an arrogant POS willing to share his opinion with the public at large, the primary prerequisites for being a blogger.

  12. Justsayin' says:

    It really is too early to tell how 2012 will play out, even though I have my fingers crossed, however, in my neck of the woods a few republicans that I know of, regret their vote in this last election, and swear they won’t make that mistake again. Their regret seems is the new republican govenors are obviously making what was a bad economic situation worse. Their pocketbooks and lively hood are now being assaulted.

  13. Monotreme says:

    MR says:

    You guys really don’t realize how much you come off like a sad, bitter fringe when everything you say boils down to “everything conservative = bad/evil and everything liberal/progressive = good/right.”

    Wow! Why didn’t we think of that? Guys, this would be much simpler and make for much shorter articles that no one will read. We can just post up “conservative = bad/evil and liberal/progressive = good/right” every day and then discuss it. What a great idea, Mule! Thanks!

    Better yet, “four legs good, two legs bad”. That’ll show ‘em.

    Come to think of it, maybe he should just stick to blogging and even forget poker and baseball. He does have a knack for being an arrogant POS willing to share his opinion with the public at large, the primary prerequisites for being a blogger.

    With your many accomplishments in your chosen field, I’m sure you’re in an ideal position to judge others. Especially given the injunction in Matthew 7.

  14. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    rg,

    You do understand you have lost “ALOT” of your cred from the last post. Since you like to speak only in “general” terms, make assertions that you can’t, or refuse to, back up and seem only to be a spouter of RW talking points, your comments will be viewed as lightweight mishmash that we can hear anytime on Faux Noise.

    And we had such high hopes for you as an insightful voice of conservative thought.

    NOT well played.

    All that said, it is an established pattern for a couple of decades now: GOP wins when economy falters by claiming fiscal responsibility, trys to install social agenda, spends like a drunken sailor and cuts taxes for the wealthy and corps. The PRECISE reason the debt is as high as it is now!

    Boring.

  15. Mule,

    Yeah, I’m kinda over Nate and don’t put too much stock in what he says anymore.

    So I gathered. This particular article is still worth the read.

    he proved to be way behind the curve in 2010.

    Yes, he did. Predicting election turnouts a year in advance is hard to do. If you have a particular bias, you’ll be “ahead of the curve” when your bias lines up with public sentiment, and “behind the curve” when it doesn’t. I give him credit for both admitting that he has a natural bias, and working to try to eliminate it.

    He does have a knack for being an arrogant POS willing to share his opinion with the public at large, the primary prerequisites for being a blogger.

    Like me, I suppose.

  16. Mule Rider says:

    “We can just post up “conservative = bad/evil and liberal/progressive = good/right” every day and then discuss it.”

    That’s essentially what happens. Thanks for acknowledging it.

    “With your many accomplishments in your chosen field, I’m sure you’re in an ideal position to judge others.”

    Whether related to my job, my personal financial well-being, or just for grins/giggles, I’ve done a heckuva job the past 6 years predicting housing values, gold/silver prices, and prices for many agricultural goods. I didn’t mean to “judge” Nate per se; just point out that after all of those savvy and sophisticated predictions from 2008 that seemed so out-of-the-box and caused the masses to salivate when they came true, he looked much more human this past cycle when he wasn’t all that special in predicting the House/Senate/Governor’s races. He wasn’t too terrible with his Ssnate and Governor’s picks but he didn’t show anything anybody else didn’t. And his House picks turned out to be pretty bad and he was way behind the curve (and still off 10+ seats) in his final call – yet had the gall to call out Rasmussen who was closer to the final call and picked it much earlier than he had. Anyway, I digress on that matter….

    “Especially given the injunction in Matthew 7.”

    Is it “judging” to simply point out that somebody is human? And that they’re prone to being an arrogant jerk and self-aggrandizement by posting their musings on the Web?

    This goes for everybody, myself included, if you don’t want to be critiqued, keep your thoughts/opinions to yourself (i.e. don’t share them on the Internet for all to see).

  17. Mule,

    That’s essentially what happens.

    I’d like to think that there’s more nuance in many of the articles than that.

    Personally, I’d like to have more conservative voices here. Particularly thoughtful ones with real evidence to back up their assertions.

    But I think we’re hampered to a degree by our pedigree. Fivethirtyeight.com had a liberal bias to it, and so accumulated more liberals than conservatives. It can be difficult for a leopard to change its spots.

  18. rgbact says:

    JS-

    Sounds like what alot of Dems are saying here in IL after Quinn raised taxes 67% on the last day of a lame duck seesion. Anyone thinking there won’t be pain ahead is pretty naive. You’ve gotta choice-higher taxes or screw the public employees. The Dems stand with public employees. We’ll see what politicians survive the coming carnage.

  19. Mule Rider says:

    “Particularly thoughtful ones with real evidence to back up their assertions.”

    This is part of the problem….even though it might not be something you struggle with personally, many of your liberal fellows on here certainly do. When a conservative on here advances a bit of evidence with his argument, it usually isn’t received warmly. I’ve seen shortchain – on multiple occasions – dismiss a link from the Wall Street Journal, Heritage Foundation, or similar publication/think-tank that’s assumed to be conservative-leaning simply because it’s the product of a “right-wing hack job/propaganda machine/etc.” – even when it’s a well laid out argument with data/statistics from someone who appears to have done their homework.

    It’s going to be hard to attract more conservative voices around here when you have so many anti-conservative voices…..that’s why I’ve been limiting my exposure (to you guys) lately and will continue to do so…..there’s only so much of the bashing, nihilism, and anti-conservative rhetoric you can take before you just wanna say, “Eat shit and piss off!” which isn’t a good “argument,” I realize,” but it sure helps blow off steam.

  20. dcpetterson says:

    @rgbact
    You’ve gotta choice-higher taxes or screw the public employees.

    It’s a false choice. Screwing the public employees is A) not the only way to balance state budgets, and B) won’t actually balance most state budgets.

    Screwing the public employees is simply a right-wing wet dream, and they’re using tight budgets as a preposterous excuse to do it.

  21. drfunguy says:

    @MR
    ” I’ve seen shortchain – on multiple occasions – dismiss a link from the Wall Street Journal, Heritage Foundation, or similar publication/think-tank that’s assumed to be conservative-leaning simply because it’s the product of a “right-wing hack job/propaganda machine/etc.” ”
    Kinda like you and the NYT, eh?

  22. dcpetterson says:

    @Mule Rider
    I’ve seen shortchain – on multiple occasions – dismiss a link from the Wall Street Journal, Heritage Foundation, or similar publication/think-tank

    The problem here is that quoting someone else’s opinion is simply more opinion. There is a difference between opinion and fact. If you find a pundit who agrees with you, but also offers no actual data, that doesn’t help your case. If you find an obviously biased source (like Heritage) that spins data and cherry picks what they use, that also doesn’t help your case.

  23. Justsayin' says:

    @rgbact

    Yes indeed we’ll see how this all plays out. Public opinion is always fickle, “we love the dems”, “we love the repubs”, now back to the dems. The question in the next election cycle is going to be “who has your back?”

  24. Mule,

    I’ve seen shortchain – on multiple occasions – dismiss a link from the Wall Street Journal, Heritage Foundation, or similar publication/think-tank that’s assumed to be conservative-leaning simply because it’s the product of a “right-wing hack job/propaganda machine/etc.” – even when it’s a well laid out argument with data/statistics from someone who appears to have done their homework.

    As have I. Personally, I try to avoid using partisan sources because they cherry-pick data in order to support the opinion that they already have. Occasionally, it’s not possible to get the data elsewhere, but we all should be focused on drawing from the non-partisan wells wherever possible.

  25. Mule Rider says:

    “Kinda like you and the NYT, eh?”

    My abhorrence with the NYT lies more with their opinion pieces than anything factual I’ve seen presented there.

    Seriously, you won’t find me casually dismissing a well thought-out argument with supporting facts/figures just because of the source, and that includest the NYT.

    I might say, “I still disagree with the conclusion,” “I’d like to see someone else’s work in that area,” or “I know of data elsewhere that supports a different position” but I won’t just blithely call it balderdash and then accuse it of being a left-wing gutter of propaganda and spin.

  26. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    MR,

    “When a conservative on here advances a bit of evidence with his argument, it usually isn’t received warmly.”

    When a conservative on here advances a bit of evidence with his argument, it is an extreme rarity. Take the example with rgbact on the last post. How do you defend THAT Mule?

    Sadly, THAT is the TYPICAL scenario. Ie.:

    Conservative makes general (RW talking point) statement
    That assertion is challenged and asked for proof
    Challenge, even if they respond, is MORE RW talking points
    Conservative is roundly assailed as weak and laughable.

    When the preponderance of conservative contributors will post cogent arguments, well founded, and able to withstand reasoned challenges, they will be given full credit.

    Minds most probably will not be changed, but I, and I believe most others here, are fully willing to agree to disagree when that occurs. But weak-assed, piss-poor talking points aren’t worth the time it takes to write.

  27. Mule Rider says:

    “The problem here is that quoting someone else’s opinion is simply more opinion.”

    I guess you missed the part where I said he’s dismissed quotes from WSJ/HF/etc. when they clearly laid out FACTS in a well thought-out manner. I’m not talking about op-ed pieces. I’m talking data and figures….ones that don’t agree with his preconceived biases, so he (and some of you others) simply stick your fingers in your ears and go, “Lalalalalalala!!!”

  28. Mule Rider says:

    “If you find an obviously biased source (like Heritage) that spins data and cherry picks what they use, that also doesn’t help your case.”

    This is the attitude right here that’s the problem….care to offer examples/counterevidence showing where Heritage is “spinning” data and “cherry picks” what they use. I’m not saying they never have but you shouldn’t dismiss everything they’ve published as bunk just because very little of it lines up with your preconceived biases. Guess we can add you to the list with shortchain.

    Are Michael and mclever the only two here willing to challenge themselves and openly and honestly listen to alternative schools of thought?

  29. Mule Rider says:

    I especially like the part about Heritage being “obviously biased”….funny that it’s only so “obvious” to a very small minority on the fringe of the political spectrum.

    Guess that’s all that “enlightment” they have in understanding how the world works while us mouth-breathing knuckle-draggers sit around with nary a clue. No wonder those same people tend to be so statist in their outlook….I mean, with all the answers/insight into how the world works, it’s only fair and right that you tell everyone else how they should live. Right?

  30. Mr. Universe says:

    Yeah, I’m kinda over Nate and don’t put too much stock in what he says anymore

    Anymore?! Dude, seriously? You’ve had Nate envy/hatred for as long as I’ve known you and that’s what…three years now?

    But to your point, I tried to convince a certain Texan to join us as a conservative contributor but no luck. And we have a little variety here. Treme does sciency stuff, Michael does wonky number stuff, and filistro always has some shiny new thing to play with. Me and DC are kinda the conspiracy guys {{{we see red people}}}.

    I’d be delighted if somebody presented a credible counterpoint to our liberal perspective but to date, it has rarely happened.

    And anyway, you don’t walk into a grocery store and expect to buy shoes. Liberal is what we do. I’m going to continue dragging as many conservatives kicking and screaming towards utopia because personally, I can’t stomach the alternative.

  31. Mule Rider says:

    “Conservative makes general (RW talking point) statement
    That assertion is challenged and asked for proof
    Challenge, even if they respond, is MORE RW talking points
    Conservative is roundly assailed as weak and laughable.”

    In reality, this is also what happens the majority of the time, though you fail to see it or admit it….

    Liberal makes general (LW talking point) statement
    That assertion is challenged and asked for proof (often meekly, I might add, because of dearth of people around with a differing viewpoint)
    Challenge, even if they respond, is MORE LW talking points
    Liberal is roundly exalted and praised (by the plethora of fellow liberals that abide here) for shouting down those Conservative Idiots with a “fact-based” argument.

    Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

  32. filistro says:

    Sometimes I try to put myself in Muley’s muleshoes and imagine what it would be like. Suppose my favorite place on the Web was a blog where a bunch of conservatives were having smart, sharp, well-informed, debates and I wanted to be part of it and argue with these folks… but every time I advanced a liberal viewpoint it was instantly knocked down by half a dozen people, then stamped into the dirt and jeered at?

    I guess that wouldn’t be much fun. And I’d either have to sharpen up my game or move on. The problem is, I’ll never know because I can’t find any smart, funny conservative site on the Net where liberal voices are welcomed and engaged. At best they’re ignored; more often they’re just banned outright.

    OTOH we want conservative voices here. Some of us even spend time at conservative sites, looking for smart folks who might be enticed to join us and advance a right-wing viewpoint because we enjoy the challenging give-and-take of the argument. But most conservatives don’t seem to want that. They either can’t stand the heat so they leave, or they get abusive and go on nasty rants.

    Conservatives just don’t seem to like opposing views. Getting back to the meat of the thread… despite the fact that conservatives all hate unions, when it comes to political blogs they seem to have a distinct preference for a closed shop.

  33. Monotreme says:

    Mule Rider,

    Liberal makes general (LW talking point) statement
    That assertion is challenged and asked for proof (often meekly, I might add, because of dearth of people around with a differing viewpoint)
    Challenge, even if they respond, is MORE LW talking points
    Liberal is roundly exalted and praised (by the plethora of fellow liberals that abide here) for shouting down those Conservative Idiots with a “fact-based” argument.

    I’m willing to accept your hypothesis as testable.

    If you actually see this sort of thing happening, then feel free to call it what it is at the time it happens.

    Just saying “this happens all the time” is akin to rgbact saying “Secretary Clinton bashes the US alot” and really isn’t a very compelling argument.

    I would truly love to see you call this out when it happens, rather than in some vague, indefinable (and therefore irrefutable) way after the fact.

    Alternatively, since it’s your hypothesis, feel free to dip into our comment archives and find an example of such.

  34. Mule Rider says:

    “Anymore?! Dude, seriously? You’ve had Nate envy/hatred for as long as I’ve known you and that’s what…three years now?”

    Incorrect. I’ve scarcely visited his site since Oct/Nov last year and haven’t commented in much longer than that. I really don’t read much of anything he writes anymore because it’s inconsequential (to me, at least – and I’d argue to most everyone else). Yeah, I gave him shit for the better part of a couple of years but I really don’t follow him anymore and have no desire to start back.

    “But to your point, I tried to convince a certain Texan to join us as a conservative contributor but no luck.”

    Your point? Just because he doesn’t feel like contributing doesn’t mean “liberal thought wins out” or that he (or other conservatives) are cowering in fear. It just seems like there is much more willingness on the part of liberals to start up blogs and bitch about the world as loud as they can….conservatives tend more towards keeping their head down and minding their own business (there are plenty of exceptions to both rules, mind you, and I realize that), but it does kinda fit the stereotype of the lazy, cynical, and unproductive liberal having all the time in the world on his hands to protest and bitch while the hard-working, quietly optimistic, and productive conservative is busy just trying to earn a decent living and live a good life without tearing everyone else down in the process.

    “And we have a little variety here. Treme does sciency stuff, Michael does wonky number stuff, and filistro always has some shiny new thing to play with. Me and DC are kinda the conspiracy guys {{{we see red people}}}.”

    Good for you guys. But your diversity in occupations means little in the way of diversity of worldview. You all are mostly, by and large, statists and that’s how you treat everyday life.

    “I’d be delighted if somebody presented a credible counterpoint to our liberal perspective but to date, it has rarely happened.”

    I’ll go ahead and speak for GROG, rgbact, etc., and say I think we’d be delighted with a credible liberal point/perspective (something other than the standard con = bad/evid, lib = good/right), but it rarely happens.

    “And anyway, you don’t walk into a grocery store and expect to buy shoes. Liberal is what we do. I’m going to continue dragging as many conservatives kicking and screaming towards utopia because personally, I can’t stomach the alternative.”

    And I want no part of your “utopia”….because personally I can’t stomach the idea of what it’ll take to get there. You won’t be dragging me kicking and screaming. Nor about 120 million other Americans.

  35. Mule Rider says:

    “Conservatives just don’t seem to like opposing views.”

    Define “like.” Do you mean like, as in, like, or like, as in like hearing/listening to? Because if it’s the former, I’d argue that it’s not unique to conservatives. Liberals clearly don’t like opposing views either; else they’d adopt them. It’s the basis for why we all have differing viewpoints. We all have views we “like” and some we don’t like. If it’s the latter, that argument is debunked by the very presence of myself, GROG, rgbact, etc. We clearly like hearing opposing views (whether or not they’re substantive is a different debate) and we claim to be conservatives. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be here. I know you say you go sniffing around conservative sites (be it for research or just outright curiousity), but I’d posit you’re more the exception than the rule. Most people (on both sides) tend to prefer echo chambers, and that goes for many of your fellows in here. I think they not only dislike conservative views, they dislike hearing them as well. It goes both ways.

  36. Mule Rider says:

    Lest I be accused of being beat-down with a “fact-based” argument, cowering in fear, and retreating with my tail tucked between my legs, I just wanted to say I need to go and get some work done, so my responses likely end with this one for a few days.

    Have fun yelling at each other or the world….or whomever….

  37. filistro says:

    @Muley… I think they not only dislike conservative views, they dislike hearing them as well. It goes both ways.

    I disagree. I think here we all LOVE arguing with smart conservatives who can debate issues using stats and links, but without getting personal and nasty. I’d be so happy to get a few guys like Rudy, Wally, Jeff, and the other smart conservative voices from 538 to come over here… even though they are relentlessly right-wing in everything they say. (I was also really happy when YOU showed up… remember? :-))

    It’s no fun to sit around debating twelve people who agree with everything you say. Equally, I realize it’s not much fun for those of you who feel like you’re standing all alone against a torrent of dissent. As I say, I’d like to find a balance of voices to make the debate fair and lively… but it’s so much harder to find conservatives who want to debate in depth. (That was the real charm of Nate’s old site… it was really a pretty good balance of right and left.)

    If you can think of a way to get them here, I’d be very grateful.

  38. rgbact says:

    MR-

    Face it. Libs are really good at “rallying the troops” to laugh down a decent conservative argument. Group ridicule makes them feel secure and there’s safety in numbers. Heck, why do you think they love unions? Stand alone and be exposed as a fool—stand together and appear more credible than you are.

    I’m up for a fight though–so don’t be discouraged. I got your back. You have good commentaries.

  39. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    rg,

    . . . to laugh down a decent conservative argument.

    I hope that you don’t think that you have recently made one. Based on actual experience, it is highly doubtful YOU will ever provide such a thing! You can’t, or won’t, even provide a few actual QUOTES (a few out of “alot”) to support an assertion, concerning the current Secretary of State, that YOU made. So how could we expect you to construct an argument, decent or otherwise.

    You are welcome to correct my misgivings simply by providing those quotes. Until then, you may wish to save yourself embarrassment and leave comments about “decent argument” to people that know how to do so.

  40. rgbact says:

    Max-

    I’m not going to provide an essay on every assertion I make–I’ve played that game with MW already. I provided 5 really good examples, one of which you even expounded on. You nicely proved the quote–which you found no problem with and I thought was demeaning to Hillary’s office and an insult to her country. So we disagree. I suspect if I provided further info, you’d have the same opinion, so we’re at an impasse. Please refrain from being the debate police–I’ll provide my arguments as I see fit. You can respond or not. I happen to like brevity. Not everyone provides the arguments the way I like either. I still debate them and do my own research.

  41. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    rg,

    You are mendacious in the extreme. You did NOT provide ANY quotes. (If you wish me to prove your lie, I can go back and copy your “examples” word for word here. Let me know.) I simply dismissed as beneath notice most of your responses. Then I (not you) provided the quote for your #3, gave the reason for doing so and demonstrated a LACK of America “bashing”. (It’s called “the truth”. Perhaps you have a problem with that, it seems) You did little or NO research, simply regurgitated another winger’s blind ideology. (It’s known as a hall of mirrors)

    THREE (3) different people called you on your LACK of proof of that orginal assertion.

    If you don’t like being pulled over by the “debate police” then kindly obey the “rules”. Save yourself the embarrassment and at least TRY to produce a “decent conservative argument”.

    Heretofore, you have failed miserably. You talk a game. Your bluff was called. You did not have the hole cards. You lost the pot. We’ll deal ‘em again. Perhaps the cards will treat you better next time. Try to actually play the cards you’re dealt instead of folding when your bluff gets called.

    But for now, you are just poorer for the previous hand. Your future is up to you.

  42. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    rg,

    My apologies. I said three people called you out in my previous comment. My mistake. Actually, there were FIVE (5).

    Further proof of your ideological mendacity: You said in #3 that Hillary said that Bush v Gore was “corrupt”. Actually, she said “problems”. A vast difference.

    You SHOULD have posted the actual quote, instead of depending on your “Hillary-bashing” colored glasses and you would not have made such a faux pas.

  43. Brian says:

    Personally, I enjoy the discussions here. And even if both sides are dismissing each other, I still like hearing what you guys have to say. Sometimes I’m swayed to the right, although I won’t say as much if I haven’t been contributing. And the discussions here are way better than HuffPo or truebluefreedom.

    Oh, and MR, don’t call us all statists. I just got my nips pierced 2 days ago, if that’s not all about individual freedoms, I don’t know what is. :p

  44. Mr. Universe says:

    @Brian

    Owww!

  45. filistro says:

    @ Mr U… Owww!

    DOUBLE owww!

  46. Mr. Universe says:

    My daughter has tattoos. I can’t wait for the day when my oldest granddaughter asks for her first tat. How ’bout you Brian? ;-)

  47. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Ewwwwww!!!!

    Talk about hijacking a thread!!!!! Can we PLEASE talk nasty about the righties some more? Or even some lefties!

    Or, or ANYTHING else!!!?????!!!!!!

  48. rgbact says:

    Brian-

    Yeah, at least I don’t require a shower like after I read 2 pages of comments on HuffPo. Clearly liberals and conservatives have very different ideas about “obvious facts” which drives the opposing side insane. I accept it. Just different wiring, I guess.

    Has anyone analyzed the history of state recalls? What are they due to typically? Tax hikes or benefit cuts? Or maybe just corruption. Only one I can recall is Gray Davis.

  49. Mr. Universe says:

    @rgb

    RE: recalls

    Might be worth doing an article. We’ll look into it. Thanks

  50. filistro says:

    TPM reports WI Republicans are going wobbly.

    Commenters (and commentators) all seem to agree it’s the recall threats that are doing the trick.

  51. Mr. Universe says:

    @fili

    Ed reported last night that Senator Ellis (R) might swing, too. It only takes three and I suspect the remaining Republicans are in damage control mode.

  52. dcpetterson says:

    @rgbact
    Face it. Libs are really good at “rallying the troops” to laugh down a decent conservative argument.

    Here’s your chance to prove the assertion you and Mule are making.
    Remember yesterday, why you said Secretary Clinton bashes the United States “alot,” and then you refused to offer even one example of her actually doing it?

    Go find three or four quotes, with context and dates, where Secretary Clinton “bashed” the United States. Post them here. Prove that you are able to offer a cogent, fact-based argument. Let’s see what kind of response you actually get. Does it generate an honest discussion on what constitutes “bashing the United States”? Or does it meet with silence or with ridicule?

    Here’s you chance to prove that you conservatives can offer actual facts.

    Oh, and by the way, your counter to the observation of how conservatives act was just simply, “Well, well, well, you do it too! And worse!!” instead of offering a counter-example of actually presenting a reasonable argument that consisted of something other than right wing talking points.

    Instead of merely make “you, too!” countercharges, how about actually proving us wrong by not acting in the ways that were described?

  53. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    dc,

    5-1 says he won’t!

  54. Mainer says:

    rg, Mr. U. not much research actually. I stumbled onto this while poking around yesterday. Read down a bit and there is a pretty good run down on recalls.

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/117501513.html

    Our fair state has no such provision….unfortunately. But the govenors office is at it ginning up the base claiming two Maine groups are circulating such petitions. They are not and have actually read the state constitution which apparently the ever zealous Republican defenders of the constitution forgot to do. We are then stuck with impeachment and with the Republicans narrowly controling both houses that is about as likely to happen as a beach party in Maine this time of year. But I would wager a substantial amount that said control is going to be fleeting for the Republicans. The Dems that are there and some pragmatic Republican moderates (yes we still have some of those) will work to mitigate the worst of the damage and as Bart was so fond of saying it is all about the likely voter……….well 2 months into this circus in our state capitol and it would be hard to find a voting block the new clowns in town have not pissed of or will shortly including a fair number of the nimrods that elected the blowhard we are now stuck with. You want likely voters, angry voters, vindictive voters then wait for this one to play out. Oddest thing is the big winner may well be Olympia Snowe even with a TP primary challenge.

    What

  55. Mr. Universe says:

    @Mainer

    Yeah Michael just sent me that but thanks. It may be a moot point. It looks as though Walker is caving on the collective bargaining thing. Still, interesting to know.

  56. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    dc,

    Odds just went to 7-1.

    rg won’t because he CAN’T! He has neither the facts on his side, nor the ability and capability to do so.

    (Smug look on face as the rg continues to prove himself and Mule WRONG)

  57. mclever says:

    While I see clear overreach by Walker and others, don’t think that will result in the demolition of their party for the foreseeable future. However, I think the drama in Wisconsin (and other states) has had the effect of energizing the liberal base in a way that Obama was never quite capable of accomplishing. In 2008, Obama energized moderate voters (crazy, but true) and got people not normally involved in politics to come out and vote. In 2010, those people and plus a nontrivial number of liberals all stayed home.

    The question is what will happen in 2012. Many liberals have been disillusioned and apathetic for most of Obama’s Presidency, because he hasn’t pushed things as far left as they’d hoped. (I personally think he’s played it about right, but I’m a pragmatic Iowan, not a coastal liberal.) There’ve been a lot of “he’s no better than a Republican” comments thrown around. This unionization debate throws a stark light on that lie and illuminates a plain difference between the agendas of Democrats and Republicans, which may help to motivate those more liberal activists.

    There’s still a long way to go to November 2012, but if this energy is sustained on the left, then the Republicans will have a very difficult election night. Will it “destroy” their party? No. They’ll probably still pull in a healthy number of Congressional seats, Governorships, and other slots, but they’ll probably lose any place where they currently have a narrow majority. Then, we’ll have to wait and see if the Democrats overplay their win or if they work to build on it for the next go-round.

    Oh, and I also gotta admit, that liberals crowing “I win!” in a debate is just as ugly as when conservatives do it, regardless of the merits of the argument. If the argument is good enough, it shouldn’t need the extra cheerleading.

  58. Number Seven says:

    I’ll need better odds if I am to bet on rg. Not even sure 20-1 would get me interested.

  59. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    #7,

    Well, I’m willing to go to unlucky 13-1. Maybe in a day or two.

  60. Mr. Universe says:

    @mclever

    I must concur. Our CIC has the best poker face and is playing it just right. If he had pushed further left, given the resistance already, I don’t think he would’ve accomplished nearly as much as he did.

    I do, however, think Walker has caused some damage to the party that will result in some blowback. People have short memories though. And it’s a long way until 2012. Still plenty of time for things to go wrong.

  61. mclever says:

    @Mr. Universe

    Exactly my thoughts. November 2012 is still a long way off, and the public has the attention span of a gnat. I blame it on Twitter.
    ;-)

  62. Mule Rider says:

    “…prove himself and Mule WRONG)”

    I’d sure like to know what I said that merits being considered “wrong” when I don’t recall taking part in any side of any argument in this thread. Guess it must just be I’m a conservative that happened to be present at some point in this thread….and being a conservative makes me de facto “wrong” even when there are no identifiable statements to actually test and prove as such.

    Why don’t you just stick to yelling out Bart’s name in vain, old man, and pretend you don’t even know me. I know you miss him. You could at least throw a few haymakers his way with success but your attempted takedowns of me have been about as successful as a poodle humping at the hind leg of a Bullmastiff.

  63. Mule Rider says:

    “Our CIC has the best poker face and is playing it just right.”

    That’s been his problem. He’s all about politicking but lacks any substance on actually leading the country. That’s why his presidency will be looked upon as mediocre, at best, in the history books.

  64. rgbact says:

    DC-

    You appear to not be reading my posts. I posted my argument yesterday, it was mostly ignored and rejected, so I’m moving on. I’m not chasing down lib ratholes and I’m not debating what is offensive. I agree to disagree.

    Slowly losing my faith in liberal sanity. Just saw a clip of Ezra Klein, an actual smart lib TV analyst, comparing muslim extremism to Christian kids that shoot people. Oy vey. Wonder if Janet Napolitano needs a deputy.

  65. Monotreme says:

    rgbact says:

    “Hey! Your shoe is untied!”

  66. parksie555 says:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/50826.html

    Here’s the real evidence that no one really knows how the public sector union battles are going to affect the 2012 elections – the politicians are refusing to take sides.

    And I have a feeling Gov. Walker will not back down so easily. My guess is the release of some of the details of the negotiations may not cast the Dems in the best light.

    And as far as a recall vote goes, can the sitting state legislators who refuse to do the job they were elected to do be recalled themselves?

    Food for thought…

  67. Monotreme says:

    @parksie:

    To the best of my understanding, all of the Wisconsin State Senators of either party who are subject to a recall have been targeted (i.e. 8 R and 8 D out of 33 senators total). It’s in the link in Mainer’s 16:28 post.

  68. Mainer says:

    Mclever I said after 2008 we where most likely about to witness the beginning of the end of the Republican party as most of us knew it. That much I think is pretty much evident. I suspect that there will remain a Republican party I just wonder now what it will reflect and what else will show up.

    This state house over reach that seems to be happening all over at the same time sure as dickens seems to have an awful common smell to it. You don’t suppose Boss Hog wrote all them new Repub govs a play book do you? Looks like they all have the same sollutions regardless the state……just what this nation needs is another dozen or so Mississippis.

  69. Mr. Universe says:

    That’s why his presidency will be looked upon as mediocre, at best, in the history books

    Always good for a laugh. History will put this president in the top ten if it hasn’t already. And if you think he doesn’t have substantive solutions it’s obvious you haven’t been paying attention (no surprise).

  70. parksie555 says:

    Thanks ‘Treme & Mainer – good link. Sounds like it could turn into a real circus.

    I suspect there is a lot of behind-the-scenes negotiating going on right now. Too much at stake in this one for both sides.

    Hate to see dopes like Jesse Jackson and Michael Moore getting involved.

  71. mclever says:

    @Mainer

    I’m having a hard time deciding if the political atmosphere really is bringing out the extremes or if it’s just that the Internet makes it easier for certain voices to get attention. Talk radio with planted calls and extremist blogging may make it seem like folks are engaged in a major ideological fight, but the vast majority are probably still indifferent.

    For the past couple of years, with a Democratic President and the Democrats in control of (at least) half of Congress, the extremists on the right have been the ones most energized while the left has been more complacent/apathetic. That’s why we’ve seen the Tea Party and its alleged fiscal conservatism. In any case, it does look like we’re seeing a battle between the social conservatives, the fiscal conservatives, and moderate/libertarian leaning conservatives. I’m not sure yet which will emerge as the new face of the Republican coalition. I think if they go too far with either the fiscal conservatives (read: pro-big business) or social conservatives (white Christian moralists), then they’ll end up alienating growing populations of voters and marginalize themselves for a few years until they readjust.

  72. Mule Rider says:

    “History will put this president in the top ten if it hasn’t already.”

    Lol! You were right with the “always good for a laugh” part. He’s a joke, your inflated and worthless opinion notwithstanding.

    He can’t hold Bill Clinton’s jockstrap, and I don’t know that I’d even consider Slick Willy a top 10er.

    As we heard over and over with Bush, history will not judge this President too kindly. Poor leadership and squandered opportunities.

  73. Mule Rider says:

    Put it this way, even if he is viewed somewhat favorably by the time he leaves office, wait’ll about year 5 of this country after the new health care law has kicked in and see what people think.

  74. Mainer says:

    The papers for 16 recalls have been taken out but that does not mean there will be 16 recall elections. The requirements are fairly stiff and the time frames short. The only Wisc. connection I have is from a big family there and from what he tells me his family is heavily made up of moderate Republicans or Indis. His take is that they are going after fellow Republicans for lieing to them. Don’t know and don’t have a dog in the fight but consider this. Lets say there are a bunch of people there that think the Republicans way over reached and are off on a witch hunt and sold out to big business and the Kochs and say they are successful in getting the required signatures and this goes to a vote and the Republicans just flood the state with industry and Koch money to ensure a win. You think that is going to play well? Every thing they do will be watched this time around and some damned hard questions asked of intent and who they are actually representing. Reporters may actually report because it is a story that will almost write itself.

    Both sides could take some hits but if what my friend says is even marginally correct then it is the Republicans that are feeling like they are in the barrel more than the targeted Dems. Who knows just one second hand piece of info but I found it interesting. I just know I would love to hear the chats between Walker and the other Republicans now that might be worthy of some thing out of Shakespear.

  75. rgbact says:

    Mule-

    Mediocre? Mighty generous. How can he be any worse? 9% UE, $1.6T Deficit, $4 gas, mid east civil war, debt crushing HC plan, denial of jihadists. Can you name his biggest positive?

  76. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    positives:

    Stock market UP 80% from Inauguration Day
    Employment curve positive
    Corporate cash on hand now exceeding $2.5 TRILLION dollars
    Lowest actual taxes paid in over 50 years
    International respect for America at highest level since just after 9/11
    More illegal aliens being deported than ever

    just to name a few

  77. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    oh and #7, odds just went up to 20-1

    (smug in knowledge of the typical RW blogger)

  78. Monotreme says:

    rgbact asks:

    Can you name his biggest positive?

    He doesn’t spout undigested right-wing nutjob talking points.

  79. Mr. Universe says:

    You guys are amazing. The level of denial in here is bigger than an AA meeting. I think your rose coloured glasses need a new prescription.

  80. Monotreme says:

    @Parksie, @Mule Rider,

    I have a fairly lengthy article going up tomorrow, and I’d appreciate it if you could drop by, read it, and make comments on it — positive or negative, I’d just like to get a good discussion going.

  81. Mule Rider says:

    “I’d just like to get a good discussion going.”

    And you think I’m a good candidate for that? I thought I made for a better disruptor than contributor.

    “The level of denial in here is bigger than an AA meeting. ”

    Now you know how we feel. But I at least got a chuckle out of your comment. Glad we’re at least cordial even if we disagree.

  82. rgbact,

    I posted my argument yesterday, it was mostly ignored and rejected, so I’m moving on.

    It was rejected because it was an assertion without substance. And, when pressed to provide substance, you opted not to. You’re free to move on, but you’re sure not scoring any points.

  83. Mule and Mr. U,

    That’s why his presidency will be looked upon as mediocre, at best, in the history books

    History will put this president in the top ten if it hasn’t already.

    History looks at the forest from outside the forest. We are currently inside the forest. Unless one or both of you has developed and is using a time machine, neither of you have a clue how history will look at the Obama Presidency.

  84. mclever,

    I’m having a hard time deciding if the political atmosphere really is bringing out the extremes or if it’s just that the Internet makes it easier for certain voices to get attention.

    Even after interactions with your family? I’d recommend you read (if you haven’t already) Red State, Blue State. It outlines very clearly, and with the sort of data that gets someone like you salivating, how real those extremes are.

  85. Mr. Universe says:

    @Michael

    {{{You’re not supposed to talk about my time machine. Remember our deal? I’m gonna fix that ‘thing’ when you were in high school}}}

  86. rgbact,

    9% UE, $1.6T Deficit, $4 gas, mid east civil war, debt crushing HC plan, denial of jihadists.

    The first two were put in place before he took office. If you were to take your partisan blinders off, you’d know that.
    The third and fourth have absolutely zero to do with him. If you were to take your partisan blinders off, you’d know that, too.
    The fifth doesn’t even make any linguistic sense…at least not unless you really meant to say exactly the opposite of what I sense you really meant to say.
    As for the last…supply the quote. Where and when did he deny that jihadists exist?

  87. Max,

    Corporate cash on hand now exceeding $2.5 TRILLION dollars

    I’d hardly call this a positive.

    Lowest actual taxes paid in over 50 years

    Nor this.

  88. Mr. U,
    Oops! Sorry bout that.

  89. Mule,

    And you think I’m a good candidate for that? I thought I made for a better disruptor than contributor.

    Beggars can’t be choosers… 8-)

  90. rgbact says:

    Max-

    I have the market being up 50%(12,000/8,000). In any event, I’m surprised at the faith people put in the market, when I hear so much from both sides about Wall Street scum and how they shafted everyone. Fool me once…. Hope it lasts. I think we have a battered wife relationship with Wall Street.

  91. Todd Dugdale says:

    Mr. Universe wrote:
    I do, however, think Walker has caused some damage to the party that will result in some blowback. People have short memories though. And it’s a long way until 2012. Still plenty of time for things to go wrong.

    1500 public employees aren’t going to be on the job; that will stick around and remind people on a regular basis up to 2012.

    The gaping hole where Walker’s promised 250k new jobs are supposed to be will also serve to remind voters up to 2012.

    And, however this budget impasse is resolved, the WIGOP will move to enact a social conservative agenda in the remaining session.

    The recall petition drives for the State Senators will be in the news for a while. Just when that dies down, the drive for Walker’s recall will begin.

    Last, but not least, the Republican Presidential primaries and the election campaign itself will assure that Walker will remain a target.

    Polling shows a hard core of Walker support of around 33%, and these people will be in everyone’s faces saying the same old things that everyone either unconditionally buys already or has rejected post-election. The idea of a “silent majority” that supports Walker has been dis-proven by polling, and the voters know it. Walker’s supporters will be the gift that keeps giving on a daily basis, spitting venom at everyone who fails to demonstrate rabid agreement with them.

    The independents are lost to Walker, and the Democrats are energised. This isn’t going away.

  92. rgbact,

    I have the market being up 50%(12,000/8,000).

    It was far closer to 7,000 on Inauguration Day. It dropped slightly in the week following to about 7,050. That makes it about a 70% rise.

    In any event, I’m surprised at the faith people put in the market

    It’s a common metric used for economic health, though I don’t think it’s an especially good one.

  93. mclever says:

    @Michael Weiss

    I recognize that my folks aren’t “average” Republicans, so I try not to project their political attitudes too broadly. They’ve always been very, um, vocal with their opinions.

    I’ve read a lot of material on the whole Red State/Blue State schism, and I think it’s overplayed. I think too many political scientists are over-focused on identity politics and differences between the parties, because that’s what journals want to publish, so those differences are exaggerated. Differences exist, but anyone who’s studied psychology knows that things like alleged brain pattern differences can arise (and change) based on environment. So, someone growing up in a conservative environment may develop certain thought patterns not because they’re genetically programmed to be conservative, but because that’s what they’re taught.

    I don’t deny that the extremes exist. I just wonder if much of the middle has drifted towards those extremes, or if it’s still a big squishy middle with the extremes just yelling a lot louder than before. Is the middle paying attention? Or are they just tuning the screaming out? My own family’s conservative extremism gives me little insight into how the middle views things.

  94. mclever says:

    @Michael Weiss

    History looks at the forest from outside the forest. We are currently inside the forest.

    Exactly. I personally think Obama is doing a decent job, but there’s no way to establish how he stacks up with history until his term is over.

  95. mclever says:

    @Todd Dugdale

    I think it’s pretty clear that the liberal/union outrage in Wisconsin will probably last through the 2012 election season, but I’m not sure how much that will carry to the rest of the country. People tend to get outrage burnout, and the Wisconsin story starts to become “old news” pretty quickly to those moderate/independents in other states that are not directly impacted.

    That’s where it’ll be most interesting to see whether the engagement of liberals lasts. Wisconsinites may keep it going, and may even get a few recalls through. Currently, liberals in other states are showing solidarity with sister protests and other activism. But will that last?

  96. mclever says:

    @rgbact

    Citing Wall Street numbers as a measure of our economic health isn’t the same as showing “faith” in Wall Street. It’s a sign of investor confidence, nothing more or less. High investor confidence tends to correlate well to economic health, though we do have to be wary of “irrational exuberance” once in a while…
    ;-)

  97. mclever says:

    Not to hijack the thread, but it looks like my article regarding the Death Penalty was just a tad early…

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110309/ap_on_re_us/us_death_penalty_illinois

    Governor Pat Quinn plans to abolish the Death Penalty in Illinois. Would this be considered overreach for the Democrat? Or does this seem to fit with what Illinoisans want?

  98. dcpetterson says:

    rgbact, thank you for admitting you have no actual quotes to back up your statements about Secretary Clinton. I appreciate your admission that it was nothing more than an empty partisan talking point with no actual substance, and no actual meaning. It is freeing to realize and admit that you had been duped by the right wing talking point factories, and I’m pleased that you’ve taken that step. Congratulations.

  99. mclever,

    I’ve read a lot of material on the whole Red State/Blue State schism, and I think it’s overplayed.

    So do I. The book is a better read than you think. It will play into things you already know, but will probably add some good stuff you don’t.

  100. mclever,

    Not to hijack the thread…

    Tsk tsk. If there’s more to be said about this (and I think there should be), please take it up over here.

  101. mclever says:

    @Michael

    Glad to move my comment to the other thread. :-)

    I’ll check out Red State, Blue State again. It’s been a while, but I think the library here has a copy.

  102. mclever, you read it already?

  103. Armchair Warlord says:

    rg,

    By that standard FDR was terrible! 1934 was not a good year for America!

    I think his chances for the 1936 elections are very poor – everyone with a brain knows that if we go back to the Republican economic policies of the ’20s the economy will come roaring right back. Not to mention the alarming decrease in public morals with this repeal of Prohibition – why, demon rum will be the death of us all! And putting people back to work with government stimulus spending? Lazy bums, every one of them!

    Mclever,

    I note that defense hawks are not part of this Republican ideological battle – in fact, I don’t feel like the GOP is really interested in my defense hawk interests in the slightest any more and I don’t think they have been for a long time. If the Democratic Party would make more of an effort to appeal to the kind of people who like a strong military and a strong foreign policy they would go a long way. Obama has made a good start at this, but he’s got a lot of work to do to repair Bill Clinton’s damage.

  104. mclever says:

    Michael,

    Assuming you’re referring to Gelman’s “Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Why Americans Vote the Way They Do” from 2008, I read/skimmed it once. However, I’d borrowed it and didn’t get to spend as much time with it as I would have liked. I also was reading a lot of similar (i.e. liberal vs. conservative) papers at the same time, so I’ve got some source confusion where I don’t necessarily remember which things I read from where. I’ve also read his earlier “What’s the matter with Connecticut?” paper. You can get that here. The book seemed to mostly be an expansion of that with more graphs and data.

    (Keep in mind, my spouse is a political scientist/economist, so I get more exposure to this stuff than I’d sometimes like…)

  105. mclever says:

    @Armchair Warlord

    It’s interesting to me to hear you say that you (as a “defense hawk”) feel ignored by the Republican Party. Perhaps you’re being taken for granted? Everyone just assumes that the peaceniks are Dems and the hawks are Republicans, but I know from my friends who are in the military, that not every “hawk” is a Republican. Instead, I think most Democratic “hawks” tend to be more pragmatic about defense than defense spending gluttons.

    I think Bill Clinton represented us with a very strong foreign image–not so much the hothead cowboy, but still a very positive and forceful presence with a lot of respect on the world stage–so most of his “damage” was done on the domestic front with regard to the military. Obama seems to be the very opposite of overreach, so you can probably expect any overtures he makes to the hawks to be measured and deliberate.

  106. mclever,
    Oh, no…that’s not it. I was thinking of The Big Sort. My mistake.

    I forgot about your spouse, so yeah you probably heard it all already. And I also read a ton of similar stuff at the same time, but that one book stood out as the most well-researched of the bunch.

    The angle I found most interesting in The Big Sort was the self-selection one, probably because I was already thinking about that angle before I picked up the book. I’m fascinated by the way that people not only self-select, but that those self-selected groups diverge further and further away from the mean. It’s one reason I want more conservatives around here. I don’t want us to become the left Free Republic.

  107. mclever,

    most of [Clinton's] “damage” was done on the domestic front with regard to the military.

    I’ve heard this accusation before. What exactly did he do that was so damaging?

  108. mclever says:

    @Michael

    Ah! I have not read The Big Sort, though I have read some sociological studies on self-selection…

    I’ll add that to my reading queue.

  109. mclever says:

    @Michael

    Re: Clinton’s image with the military

    Some never forgave Bill Clinton for being a Rhodes Scholar during Vietnam. Some feel he forced DADT on the military. Some just feel that he didn’t respect the troops. (I’m sure there are other things I’m forgetting…) Clinton’s image (justified or not) is that he unconcernedly instituted cuts that hurt the military. Some of the defense cuts actually started under Bush I, if I recall, but some of the cuts and base closures under Clinton were especially painful. Even so, the slimmer budget resulted in a modernization, streamlining, and other innovations that made our military the envy of the world. Clinton produced record levels of recruitment, morale, pay, and retention compared to previous modern administrations.

    Rather than argue the validity of Clinton’s image with the troops, I just accept that many military (and pro-military hawks) feel like Clinton disrespected, devalued, and defunded them. You can’t argue with feelings…

  110. Mr. Universe says:

    I don’t want us to become the left Free Republic.

    What would that be? Free Utopia?

  111. mclever says:

    Freetopia?

  112. rgbact says:

    AW-

    Don’t get me started on FDR. I’ll just say, his success was unique….and puzzling. I know most liberals want Obama to be similarly loved despite the economy–I just don’t see it.

    Interesting perspective on defense hawks. I know Obama has really ramped up defense spending. I would have expected some savings from a smaller Iraq War. Alot of us are sketchy about a Libya involvement too….although I see McCain is gung ho, as usual. I would just ask if you don’t think there are many savings to be had by changing our forces from large armies and big weapons to be a more nimble force? And by closing bases in say Germany or Japan. I would expect a 20% cut in defense to be reasonable long term. Is it? Are there ways to reengineer our defenses in light of changing threats? How can we be hawkish….and cheap?

  113. shortchain says:

    rgbact,

    Having grown up out in Republican territory, the last thing I would want is for Obama to be loved like FDR was. If he had shown up there (a neat trick, as he had died years before I was born), several members of my family would have desperately wanted to shoot him.

    The very mention of his name, until hatred of him was partially displaced by hatred of Johnson, was certain to produce a cascade of profanity.

    Anybody got any WSJ op-ed pieces you want me to sneer at?

  114. Monotreme says:

    Shortchain,

    Same here. My grandfather (who was in the merchant marine during the Great Depression) would drink Old Grand Dad (irony alert!) straight whilst railing on about “Roooosevelt” and socialism.

    More recently, Amity Shlaes has a pretty good book (The Forgotten Man: A New History of The Great Depression) about Roosevelt and his economic missteps during the Great Depression. I don’t agree with everything in it, but it’s an interesting read.

  115. What would that be? Free Utopia?

    Free Democ, I guess.

  116. Number Seven says:

    Looks like Walker has played the end run
    by passing only the union busting elements in the contraversial bill. I guess this wasn’t about balancing the budget after all.

    As Bugs would say, “of course, you realize, this means war”.

  117. Indeed, I can’t help but wonder if Wisconsin will now have to limp along without a budget for the foreseeable future. What’s the impact if that happens?

  118. Number Seven says:

    That is why the 14 heroic Dems need to still stay out of state. If they return, the union busting parts could just be put back into the original bill and then rammed through.

    This is not over yet, not by a long shot.

    BTW, where is Walker’s long form birth certificate, lol.

  119. filistro says:

    @#7… As Bugs would say, “of course, you realize, this means war”

    War, indeed!

    State Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D) released the following statement this evening:

    In thirty minutes, 18 State Senators undid fifty years of civil rights in Wisconsin.

    Their disrespect for the people of Wisconsin and their rights is an outrage that will never be forgotten.

    Tonight, 18 Senate Republicans conspired to take government away from the people.

    Tomorrow we will join the people of Wisconsin in taking back their government.

  120. Mr. Universe says:

    Vive Freetopia!!!

  121. You can all cheer on the revolution. I, for one, am saddened by the whole affair.

  122. Monotreme says:

    I’m with you, Michael. This sort of thing cheapens and coarsens the debate and compromise necessary for a functioning republic.

  123. Todd Dugdale says:

    Well, both of you are certainly entitled to wring your hands and be “saddened”.
    It seems obvious to me that the Republican agenda is nothing more than beating up the Left; not jobs, not deficits, not even “socialism”.

    While the Right pushes us to the margins, you can take some kind of high road and plaintively ask, “Can’t we all just get along?” The answer from the Right is already clear, and it’s not “Yes”.

    This isn’t about “revolution”. It’s about getting off your ass and not being a punching bag for a minority who doesn’t really even believe you should be able to vote.

    It’s about civil rights, and nobody in this country ever won their civil rights by wringing their hands and being “saddened”.

    The “debate”, such as it is, is already “cheapened”. The Right is basically telling everyone outside of their base to shut the hell up and stay out their way. That’s pretty “coarse”, in my view.

  124. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Hey, it’s what the voters of Wisconsin asked for. Top to bottom. From Walker to Johnson to control of both Houses of the legislature.

    The chickens came home to roost. Sad for Wisconsin, but we can hope a lesson learned.

    The good thing is that the GOP blueprint is held up for the whole country to see. Add the actions in the US House, and hopefully, next year the people of Wisconsin and America will reject, wholesale, that blueprint.

    If the lesson is NOT learned, well, it’s a free country. That’s democracy at work.

  125. Mr. Universe says:

    This sort of thing cheapens and coarsens the debate and compromise necessary for a functioning republic

    Functioning republic…Yeah, I think that ship sailed awhile back.

    It makes me sad, too but I’m with Todd on this one.

    I’m really pissed.

  126. Mr. Universe says:

    Max said,

    Hey, it’s what the voters of Wisconsin asked for.

    See, this is what I think is happening; Republicans campaign on what they think the people want and once they’re elected they set about doing everything that would never have gotten them elected in the first place. Charlatans, every single one. Pretty lies. Broken promises. It’s the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

    Now we have some serious buyer’s remorse.

  127. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Mr U,

    To clarify a bit more:

    We have heard for 30 years, the GOP CAMPAIGN about fiscal responsibility. But during those SAME 30 years (1980-2010) of the $11 Trillion increase in the US National Debt from $1 Trillion to $12 Trillion, the GOP President and Congresses oversaw $9.5 Trillion of that.

    At the same time as that was going on, at opportunity after opportunity, the GOP has REDUCED individual liberty (restrictions on womens reproductive rights) and weakened health and safety regulation.

    For some reason, though, many Americans STILL LISTEN when the GOP campaigns, once again, on fiscal responsibility and individuality.

    Denial? Ignorance? Short term memory loss? Whatever the reason, the result is we “inherit the wind”.

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