Humpty Dumpty and the Conservatives

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master, that’s all.”

Dana Milbank reports on the death of the Congressional conservative.

Milbank was taken to task by a reader who claimed that Lisa Murkowski was “the most liberal . . . Republican Senator west of Maine and considerably to the left of most of her constituents” and invited him to check her lifetime American Conservative Union rating . So, he took the reader up on the offer. While he was at it, he checked the ratings of Murkowski L (70.2%) and Bennett (83.6%) vs Republican leadership of years past.

Failing the Bennett test at under 83.6% were, well, almost all of the Republican leaders of the past 40 years who served in Congress.

So, what is a conservative?


About Monotreme

Monotreme is an unabashedly liberal dog lover, writer, and former scientist who now teaches at a University in an almost-square state out West somewhere. http://www.logarchism.com | http://www.sevendeadlysynapses.com
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82 Responses to Humpty Dumpty and the Conservatives

  1. shrinkers says:

    One begins to think that anyone to the left of John Birch is a RINO.

  2. filistro says:

    So, what is a conservative? I feel qualified to answer this because I am a student of Freepers, who are nothing if not “conservative.” (Just ASK them!)Here are the 10 requirements to be considered a “true conservative” by the Republican base. I will try to list them in descending order of importance.1.) a strong and overtly public Christian faith2.) intense “patriotism” bordering on jingoism3.)a manic obsession with guns4.) a pure, white-hot hatred for lib’ruls, and for anybody (especially politicians) who have any truck with lib’ruls5.) a dislike and suspicion of the Other… meaning anybody who is not white, Christian, and a resident of “real America” which is a nebulous region confined to the South plus various mid-western and northern states that do not touch the ocean 6.) a fervent anti-abortion stance7.) a mistrust (usually expressed by jeering mockery) of education and science8.) a general denigration of women, except for women who are willing and able to loudly give voice to 4(above)9.) a loathing of “government”10.) a hatred of paying taxes(Note that old-style “fiscal conservatism” barely makes the top ten.)That may seem harsh, but in this new, super-purified era of the Republican party, I honestly can’t see a right-wing politician distancing him/herself from any of these tenets and still being successful. This is not your father’s Republican party.

  3. shrinkers says:

    I fondly recall an argument I had with a winger on the old FiveThirtyEight about Teddy Roosevelt. Trying to convince this person that TR created the National Park Service and was the origin of the “two chickens in every pot” meme, and insisted that Americans should be, at minimum, paid a “living wage.”I truly don’t think “fascist” is too harsh a term for modern “conservatives.”

  4. filistro says:

    I think there are still a lot of the old-style, sensible, fiscally conservative Republicans within the party… and they are appalled by the noisy, know-nothing rabble that’s taken over the clubhouse.They are mostly in denial… smart, decent guys like our Jeff who was uspet weith me for saying the Freepers are the Republican base. These long-time party faithful are embarrassed by the company they now keep.But where are they going to go? Right now they’re scotch-taped to the clown car.However… just wait till they get threatened with Sarah Palin as their candidate. That, I think, will be a bridge too far even for the old loyalists. And then the huge crack-up will begin. It will be the crash heard round the world. Mountains will crumble, and continents will re-align. It will be SO entertaining to watch.

  5. shrinkers says:

    filistro, I think you’re right. The strategy of opposing everything — and painting the Dems in general (and Obama in particular) as irredeemably evil) is going to bite them. They have made it impossible to compromise, impossible to govern, impossible to actually do anything in the interests of the country.Perhaps some Republicans will realize the extent of the horror they have created — when everyone who tries to actually accomplish anything is driven out of the party.There may be a third party created, in 2012 or 2014. It will be a centrist Republican party. And Bart and the TeaFOXers will call them the RINO party.If they’re smart, they’ll embrace that. We’ll have a donkey, and elephant, and a rinoceros. And maybe, someday, it’ll be a donkey and a rinoceros, and an irrelephant.

  6. filistro says:

    irrelephant!You KNEW I’d love that, didn’t you :-)Pat Buchanan was just saying the same thing on McLaughlin Group. He sees the GOP winning the house and the civil war beginning immediately as Teapers howl for CUTS CUTS CUTS… and sensible Republicans try to oppose the madness and preserve any chance of re-election in 2012.It’s one thing to campaign on slicing spending down to the bone. It’s quite another actually trying to DO it in the real world that exists outside fevered Teaper fantasies of 1776.It will be fun to watch, all right.

  7. dr_funguy says:

    I don’t think that Teddy exactly created the National Park Service since the Act of Congress establishing said was not passed until 1916 or so.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Park_Service

  8. shrinkers says:

    Language is my guitar. Words are the notes. Sometimes I play a bit off-key.———-It’s really serious when Pat Buchanan is predicting internal war within the Republican Party. The Teaper successes (as large or small as they are) may be their undoing.

  9. filistro says:

    The platform of the actual Rhinoceros Party.My favorite has always been “as an energy-saving measure, putting rear wheels on cars that are larger than the front wheels, so vehicles will always be going downhill.”The Rhino Party ran actual candidates in Canadian elections for years, campaigning on this platform and even taking part in debates (you can imagine how hilarious this was.)Eventually they disbanded when they terrified themselves by almost getting elected in several ridings.

  10. filistro says:

    I’m also fond of this Rhino platform plank:* adopting the British system of driving on the left; this was to be gradually phased in over five years with large trucks and tractors first, then buses, eventually including small cars and bicycles last

  11. shrinkers says:

    LOL!I recall you previously talking about the Rhinoceroses. (Rhinoceri? Rhinocerim? Rhinosauruses? Rhinox?)I don’t know for sure if it is wonderful, or frightening, when a joke becomes America’s greatest hope.

  12. shrinkers says:

    http://mobile.latimes.com/wap/news/text.jsp?sid=294&nid=24354202&cid=16689&scid=-1&ith=0&title=BusinessWall Street took some bad employment statistics as a good omen, sending the Dow Jones industrial average above 11,000 for the first time since May.Other market indexes also gained as optimism among investors arose from the perversely upbeat belief that the bad jobs situation would force the Federal Reserve to take steps to stimulate the economy further.”This is a case in which bad news is actually good news,” said Sam Stovall, the chief investment strategist at Standard & Poor’s. “If things don’t look as if they are healing on their own, the market now is expecting an additional stimulus offered by the Federal Reserve or perhaps even by Congress.”…Underneath the headline loss of 95,000 jobs there was some hopeful news in the uptick in private-sector jobs — the ninth straight month of increases …Investors have realized the Republican idea that we should do nothing, and let the magical Free Market fix the world — doesn’t work.A second stimulus? That is what Wall Street wants?? Don’t tell Bart…

  13. Realist says:

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”This higlights much about the overall tone of political discussion today.The purpose of words is to communicate. In order to do so successfully, both the speaker and the listener must agree upon linguistic rules, which includes the definition of words. Otherwise, the spoken word “green” is heard as “purple.” At least, heard as “purple” from the perspective of the speaker.When political spinners attempt to redefine words such that they mean different things to people of different political stripes, the result is an inability to communicate outside the party. This ultimately makes compromise impossible, because there cannot be common ground without common language. It becomes a fundamental breakdown of civility, and eventually of civilization.

  14. Jeff says:

    @filistro:Your list of necessary conservative qualities obviously contains some truth, but one should always be dubious about the outcome when somebody on the other side tries to define you.Taking your list: Christian faith and anti-abortion are closely linked. A significant part of the base is Christian, so that’s a positive if you’re running in a GOP primary, but probably not in a Dem primary. But saying Christian faith is part of a litmus test is just plain wrong, just as it would be wrong to say that all Democrats are irreligious. As for abortion, some conservatives describe “abortion” as the only holy sacrament recognized by the Dem’s. I think there may be more tolerance in Republican ranks for pro-choice, than in the Dem ranks for pro-life. Rural areas tend to be Republican. Guns make sense there. And if you live in a dangerous urban area, owning a weapon also makes sense.Your obsessive belief that R’s are unique in being “distrustful” of the “Other” is absurd. For example, Obama has no concept of life outside of insulated academia, and his observation about rural people in “flyover country” was quite scathing. Pots shouldn’t call kettles black. Hatred for lib’ruls? How many lib’ruls on here profess their love for conservatives?Mistrust of education and science? We have our Kansas school board, you have your Wiccans, Al Gores, and loony Earth-Firsters. Nutcases abound everywhere.Denigration of women? I don’t know whether this is absurd, ignorant, or deliberately insulting. Loathing of “government” and hatred for taxes? I loath and despise the fact that I live under an overweening bureaucracy that has made observing the rules virtually impossible, because the rules are so many, so complex, so contradictory, and change so often that with the best of intentions, if you try to run a business, you ARE breaking some or many laws, no matter how hard you try. And I hate paying the taxes to support that bureaucracy. I live in one of the few towns in California with a decent school system. We don’t need the County office of Education, the State office of Education, and the Federal Department of Education, each setting nonsensical rules, and taking huge sums of money that should go to classrooms.filistro, I honestly believe you’re an intelligent woman, but you’ve spent way too much time studying the lunatic fringe and deciding that they represent the whole. If I believed for one minute that the freepers represented the Republican party, I’d be pulling the “D” lever (more likely, the “L” lever). I wish you would buy and read a few issues of the Weekly Standard, or listen to Rush Limbaugh rather than Glenn Beck. The first mark of intolerance and bigotry is making the assumption that the “Others” are monolithic. I try not to go there with the left, you should try not to go there with the right.

  15. Jeff says:

    (Checking conservative ratings of Murkowski L (70.2%) and Bennett (83.6%) vs Republican leadership of years past.Failing the Bennett test at under 83.6% were, well, almost all of the Republican leaders of the past 40 years who served in Congress.============Well, duh!Bennett and Murkowski weren’t defeated because they were insufficiently conservative, but because they were spenders. And Murkowski was never all that popular (appointed by her father).There’s been a change in focus in the GOP, and one of the big issues now is the size and scope of government. The Dem’s also had a change of focus in 2006, and ran Joe Lieberman out of the party as a result. He was always a down-the-line liberal, but got crosswise with the base on Iraq.The Lieberman example is entirely analogous to the Murkowski and Bennett examples.

  16. shiloh says:

    @JeffreyObama has no concept of life outside of insulated academia~~~~~Indeed, Obama having grown up in Indonesia/Hawaii and was a community organizer in Chicago, truly the acme of hoity-toity high society, eh.Jeffrey, did you read Obama’s books as surely you are talking about cheney/bush er silver spoon elites!Yea, anyone w/a name Barack Hussein Obama has got to be insulated. !@#$%^&*Jeffrey needs a spin cycle filter 😉 for his ad nauseam nonsense!>Hatred for lib’ruls? How many lib’ruls on here profess their love for conservatives?~~~~~There are idiotic/nonsensical deflections … and then there are Jeffrey’s non sequiturs, eh.btw, can think of only 2/3 progressive politicians that I like a lot.>Represent hell, the freepers are the Rep party!>hmm, listen to Rush Limbaugh rather than Glenn Beck. Beck is a bat shit crazy delusional charlatan … whereas Limbaugh is a self-loathing, narcissistic, self-aware, race baiting/stoking the fire bigot!And your point is ?!?>absurd, ignorant, or deliberately insulting. pot/kettle indeed …take care, blessings

  17. filistro says:

    Jeff, I read the Weekly Standard. I’ve read not just William Kristol but Irving Kristol. I’ve even read Leo Strauss…. so (unlike most people who use the term) I know what the actual definition of “neoconservative” is. I read National Review Online every day. I’m familiar with the thinking of Jonah, Rich and K-Lo. I obviously know more about your own party than you do, as you seem serenely oblivious to what has happened to it in the past few years. The writers and thinkers in the sensible wing of the GOP are not oblivious… they’re alarmed by the upsurge of moral absolutism and extremism in their party and are struggling (in vain) to counteract it.You want me to listen to Rush Limbaugh? The fat blathering egotist who called the President of the United States a “jackass” this week on his radio show?Sorry. I have better things to do with my time.

  18. shortchain says:

    Jeff,I’ll back shiloh on asking the question as to how the blazes you get, as received knowledge, “Obama has no concept of life outside of insulated academia”.I note that you have repeatedly justified your political opinions by drawing on your own experiences, as if they, as filtered through your biases, represented ground truth. Here’s a clue: those of us who have kicked (or been kicked) around a lot may have different experiences and have drawn different conclusions from them. You should, perhaps, try to listen a little harder to the other side. Many of us have a breadth of life experience which puts to shame that of the typical conservative, born into comfort, if not affluence, weaned in a traditional, supportive family, raised in the shelter of the suburbs, and given a protective send-off through college and early adulthood.There are conservatives whose opinions are worth listening to. I generally find Ramesh Ponneru has some insight (on subjects excluding abortion, on which he appears to have monomania), for example. I once had an extensive email discussion with him, and we reached agreement on a surprising array of issues. Unfortunately, he’s vastly outnumbered by the empty-headed wave currently overtaking the conservative ranks (think Sarah Palin, for an example).I’m willing to develop definitions and discuss issues with any person who has thought even moderately long and fairly hard about the matters of the day, but I find most modern “conservative” people are:a) woefully misinformed or profoundly ignorant. They know very little, objectively speaking, and either ignore or have never learned a lot of facts which would, if absorbed, change their views on a lot of subjects.b) uneducated (which I distinguish from being “ignorant”, as it isn’t necessary to be educated to be knowledgeable — although it certainly doesn’t hurt) and, here’s the kicker, distrustful of those with more education than they, themselves, were able to master. This leads to a reaction, of a “sour grapes” type, which causes a “rejection of expertise” syndrome, which is, in the end, self-defeating.Rush Limbaugh? The man who cannot speak for more than ten seconds without uttering a falsehood? How shall I put this gently? He is not a source of information which will help correct either of the mentioned shortcomings of conservatives. He’ll just make it worse.

  19. dr_funguy says:

    @JeffYou really want people to get their opinion of conservatives from Rush?”You can either Obama and the Democrats or America. You can’t have both.” “Barack Imam Hoover Obama” The guy is so full of lies, bile and vitriol that he personally embodies point 4 above.Has Limbaugh ever made a serious policy proposal?

  20. shiloh says:

    @shortchainThis leads to a reaction, of a “sour grapes” type, which causes a “rejection of expertise” syndrome, which is, in the end, self-defeating.~~~~~Again, this is why voting for McGovern in ’72 was so useful/educational lol as it showed me political reality at an early age. Whereas winger trolls like Bartles came of age during Reagan thinkin’ Reps should always be in charge regardless of how bad they screw the pooch ie cheney/bush.Indeed, most sour grape conservative trolls who frequent liberal blogs after a crushing defeat ie 2008 are disingenuously sarcastic, whining, moaning/groaning childish sore losers!Much like hypocritical, self-medicated, crazed bigot, 24/7 cry me a river Limbaugh …

  21. shortchain says:

    shiloh,– fellow voter for McGovern here. It was the first presidential election I could vote in. Canvassed for him, which depressed the hell out of me, watched the national party leave him to twist and turn in the wind — why I now support candidates, not the party.

  22. Jean says:

    shortchain,re: a) woefully misinformed or profoundly ignorant. They know very little, objectively speaking, and either ignore or have never learned a lot of facts which would, if absorbed, change their views on a lot of subjects.Illustrating your point, yesterday I got the following email from a teaper friend:”Coming tax hikes! Your insurance will be INCOME on your W2s! One of the surprises we’ll find come next year is what follows — a little surprise that 99% of us had no idea was included in the “new and improved” healthcare legislation… those who backed this administration will be astonished! Starting in 2011 (next year, folks) your W2 tax form sent by your employer will be increased to show the value of whatever health insurance you are given by your company. It does not matter if that’s a private concern or governmental body of some sort. If you’re retired? So what . . . your gross will go up by the amount of the insurance you get. You will be required to pay taxes on a large sum of money that you have never seen. Take your tax form and see what $15,000 or $20,000 additional gross income does to your tax debt. That’s what you’ll pay next year.This is how the government is going to buy insurance for the 15% that don’t have insurance. Not believing this? Here is a research of the summaries…On page 25 of 29: TITLE IX REVENUE PROVISIONS-SUBTITLE A: REVENUE OFFSET PROVISIONS (sec. 9001, as modified by sec 10901) Sec 9002 requires employers to include in the W2 form of each employee the aggregate cost of applicable employer sponsored group health coverage that is excludable from the employers gross income”I replied:If the teapers want to continue quoting congressional bills and legal documents, they may want to take a few law classes in order to understand what they are reading. The language you reference says nothing more than your W2 form will have a section that lists the amount the employer contributes that is, as the document states, “excludable from the employee’s gross income”. How does text that clearly states that it is “excludable” extrapolate to mean something that is taxed? What about the word “excludable” do teapers not understand? This says only that the excludable health care costs are to be included on the W2 form; that information is already included on most employee’s paycheck stubs. Where do you see it says that this “excludable” amount is to be included in the employee’s gross income or taxed?No response from the teaper, but that is not unusual. They are not interested in facts or objective evidence.

  23. Jeff says:

    shortchain wrote: I’ll back shiloh on asking the question as to how the blazes you get, as received knowledge, “Obama has no concept of life outside of insulated academia”.I note that you have repeatedly justified your political opinions by drawing on your own experiences, as if they, as filtered through your biases, represented ground truth. Here’s a clue: those of us who have kicked (or been kicked) around a lot may have different experiences and have drawn different conclusions from them. You should, perhaps, try to listen a little harder to the other side.” ===I actually do listen to the other side. I read liberal newspapers, live in a liberal town in the most liberal region of the country, worked in an institution that was even more liberal than the area, and participate on this site. How many of the liberals on this site have spent any extensive time in conservative, rural America, predominately listen to conservative media, and have many conservative friends?======And yes, I will admit I have been fortunate in life. I was born into a solid, loving, middle class family, received a good education, and am of above-average intelligence. I’m quite aware I had advantages that other didn’t. I have two Ivy League degrees; my wife, three. I believe we are able to recognize the limits, as well as the advantages, of being educated in elite institutions, and of the people who spend their careers there. And, most of my working career has been in front-line positions, amongst blue collar and union people in manufacturing, warehousing, trucking, before going into education. As for Obama — I admit to over-stating the case when I said he had no idea of life outside of insulated academia. I should have said he doesn’t have a very good idea about everyday, average, working Americans in the private sector, where I’ve spent my entire career.Why do I say this? The time he spent living outside the country, while certainly broadening, didn’t give him much of an exposure to typical working Americans. He went to elite schools (Punahoe, in Hawaii, may possibly be the most elite secondary school in the US). Ivy League education? Working as a professor at the U of Chicago? That pretty much leaves his years as a community organizer. And whatever the merits of that type of work (and I applaud people who devote part of their lives to non-profit work), it doesn’t really give you much of an exposure to the issues facing Joe the Plumber, or Sally the mid-level marketing manager whose department is facing layoffs. I don’t believe he’s ever had to look at his bank account and wonder how he’s going to make payroll, or sit at a desk and try to figure out the latest government regulation. His orientation is writing regulations, not complying with them.He would be a terrific university president. I’m not sure he has the background and life experience to truly understand middle America.

  24. Jeff says:

    shiloh said: “Limbaugh is self-loathing, narcissistic, self-aware …”=========You’re welcome to your opinion, but it’s rather hard to imagine somebody being all three of the above simultaneously. Seems internally contradictory, like a “ponderous star ballerina” or “flying pig.” But please don’t beat around the bush… What do you REALLY think about Limbaugh?

  25. Jeff says:

    filistro said:”I obviously know more about your own party than you do, as you seem serenely oblivious to what has happened to it in the past few years. The writers and thinkers in the sensible wing of the GOP are not oblivious… they’re alarmed by the upsurge of moral absolutism and extremism in their party and are struggling (in vain) to counteract it.”============Much as I respect your comments, I’m not sure I’m willing to accept either definitions or conclusions about my party and philosophy from somebody who belongs to the other side. I’m far from oblivious, and quite well aware that my party and movement have seen an influx from what I consider to be the lunatic fringe, IN ADDITION to newly awakened, reasonable people with similar concerns. I’m quite well aware there are people in my party, some of which are candidates this year, for whom I would not vote. That is completely and totally different from concluding that the party and movement have been “taken over” by the lunatic fringe. Yes, there is a struggle going on, just as years ago the Democratic party had a struggle with the “New Left.” The Progressive movement in the first part of the century had its share of crazies, and first tried to take over the Republicans (Roosevelt 1), then were subsumed by the Democrats (Roosevelt 2). “Movements” almost by definition contain more than their share of fringe characters and ideas, but also invigorate and rejuvinate. Yes, there is a struggle for the soul of the Republican party. If it ends up being taken over by freepers and religious fanatics, I won’t be a Republican. If it changes from the party of pork (Tom DeLay) and fundamentalism (Huckaby) and know-nothing’s (Palin) into the party of Scott Brown and Mitch Daniels and Chris Christie and Paul Ryan, then that will be very different. Back in the 1850’s, there was a party called the “Know-Nothings.” You can think of them as similar to the Tea Party, and certainly at least as influential. “Reasonable” people like you (and I hope you’ll agree to include me) were appalled by them.The Republican Party was also formed in that period, and in 1860 merged the industrialists of the North with the Know-Nothings, and produced one of our greatest Presidents, and a party that was both conservative and progressive, and which led the way to the “American Century.”Instead of trying to tar all Republicans with the same brush, you should be cheering on the responsible members of the right. And I think you would be surprised to know just how many of us there are…..

  26. Jeff says:

    filistro said: “Jeff, I read the Weekly Standard. I’ve read not just William Kristol but Irving Kristol. I’ve even read Leo Strauss…. so (unlike most people who use the term) I know what the actual definition of “neoconservative” is. I read National Review Online every day. I’m familiar with the thinking of Jonah, Rich and K-Lo.”============Damned if I know who you mean by K-Lo…That being said, what do you think about these different voices? Do you think the Weekly Standard is nothing but uneducated, uncultured yahoo’s? Could you respect (not agree with, but respect) such conservative voices? Just curious….

  27. Mainer says:

    I think Limbaugh should be taken out and shot along with some others of his lot…….there how is that for bush beating. Unfortunatly I do not hold Karl Rove in that high of a regard and would proscribe some thing less dignified and humane for what he has done to the American system…. there is that blunt enough Jeff?

  28. shiloh says:

    @JeffreyAs for Obama — I admit to over-stating the case~~~~~~~~~~Like Bartles, Jeffrey is a winger troll at a progressive blog mainly to shout above the crowd his ad nauseam, nonsensical, hyperbole winger spin.Which begs the question:What is he and Bartles trying to accomplish here? Other than comic relief for liberals. :)Thanx!>Re: Jeffrey’s hard to imagine Limbaugh being self-loathing, narcissistic, self-awareself-loathing: Self-hatred, self-loathing, also sometimes autophobia refers to an extreme dislike of oneself, or being angry at oneself. ie he’s been married (4) times and is a drug addict!narcissistic: Narcissism is the personality trait of egotism, vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness.Self-aware: ie Limbaugh knows exactly what he’s saying and doing ie a flat out, stoking the flames, disingenuous, fear monger, hate speak bigot!>Indeed, quite elementary lol and easy to explain as Limbaugh is a multifaceted, troubled scumbag.>Imagine there’s no heaven. It’s easy if you try …Jeffrey, if you can’t figure out open book Limbaugh, you’re either delusional or an idiot. We’ll let you decide.take care, blessings

  29. filistro says:

    @Jeff: Damned if I know who you mean by K-Lo… That being said, what do you think about these different voices? Do you think the Weekly Standard is nothing but uneducated, uncultured yahoo’s? Could you respect (not agree with, but respect) such conservative voices? K-Lo is the right’s pet name for Kathryn Jean Lopez, an editor at NRO. I like the Weekly Standard. I’d rather read National Review than HuffPo. And I respect sincerity, intelligence and good intent wherever I find it… (otherwise, why would I spend so much time talking to YOU? ;-)I loathe neoconservatism, which I consider a dangerous, malignant ideology designed by cynical and manipulative people… (and probably more left-leaning than right, except for foreign policy.)

  30. Monotreme says:

    Jonah Goldberg (editor-in-chief of National Review Online) is also an excellent writer.I used to like reading Kathleen Parker’s columns. Now that she’s sold out, it remains to be seen what will become of her.Rod Dreher is also a voice from the Right that I read and respect greatly.

  31. shortchain says:

    Jeff,You don’t absorb the reality by reading newspapers. You don’t absorb it by workplace environment. These are too easy to filter through your bias.As for “How many of the liberals on this site have spent any extensive time in conservative, rural America, predominately listen to conservative media, and have many conservative friends?” — well, I grew up partially in the inner city and partially on a subsistence farm in the further reaches of the prairie. My grandfather ran for office as a conservative Republican. They were Wesleyan Methodist. You don’t know what conservative means until you’ve lived in an environment like that.As for “listening to the conservative media” — forget it. I’d rather be well-informed than propagandized. I note, however, that, for all your supposed understanding and familiarity with “liberal” issues, you don’t appear to be very well informed about them. Just an impression.Friends? Hell, the predominant politics of my family is conservative. When you’ve got conservative family, you don’t need conservative friends.

  32. Monotreme says:

    Jeff said:Taking your list: Christian faith and anti-abortion are closely linked.I disagree, Jeff. I know plenty of Christians, and there’s a range of views on abortion.Rather, I’d say that Filistro’s #6 and #7 are linked:6.) a fervent anti-abortion stance7.) a mistrust (usually expressed by jeering mockery) of education and scienceAnyone who knows and understands the science knows that there is no bright line between “non-life” and “life”. There is simply no moment in time that a fetus becomes “alive”. Rather, there is a gradual progression away from a “non-human” state to a “human” state. That’s the scientific fact, whether fundamentalist Christians want to accept it or not.For example, we have this exchange from the Utah Legislature last year:Before HB200 cleared the chamber in a 53-15 vote, Minority Leader David Litvack, D-Salt Lake City, unsuccessfully attempted to amend the bill to delete language he believed to be flat-out false, referring to viewing the heartbeat of a fetus at three weeks.”It is not medically accurate,” Litvack said. “It’s not possible. It does not exist.”Litvack read from a physician’s e-mail that said you could expect to see embryonic cardiac activity at about six weeks from the woman’s last period.Rep. Carl Wimmer, the bill’s sponsor, disputed Litvack’s claim.”There are arguments on both sides of the issue,” Wimmer, R-Herriman, said.[Source] [Also published in Feb 6 2010 Salt Lake Tribune, which is now behind a firewall.]That’s not about Christian faith, Jeff. That’s about denying the existence and veracity of scientific facts.

  33. Jeff says:

    @shiloh:Interesting combination of characteristics. An egotistical, narcissistic, vain, and conceited person who hates himself? And coupled with being self-aware? Just not sure how one can think they’re superior and yet hate one’s self….As realist said earlier in this thread:”The purpose of words is to communicate. In order to do so successfully, both the speaker and the listener must agree upon linguistic rules, which includes the definition of words. Otherwise, the spoken word “green” is heard as “purple.” At least, heard as “purple” from the perspective of the speaker.When political spinners attempt to redefine words such that they mean different things to people of different political stripes, the result is an inability to communicate outside the party. This ultimately makes compromise impossible, because there cannot be common ground without common language. It becomes a fundamental breakdown of civility, and eventually of civilization.”===========There are times when I believe you deliberately chose words in a conscious “breakdown of civility.”

  34. Jeff says:

    @jean:”Starting in 2011 (next year, folks) your W2 tax form sent by your employer will be increased to show the value of whatever health insurance you are given by your company.”=============Actually, this is one of the elements in Obamacare that I think is good. Most people have no idea as to how much their employer pays for benefits, and why their net income doesn’t increase as fast as they would like (because some is going to HC). I’ll even go a step further — I’d gross up the paycheck to include the employer’s portion of social security.And if this is a step towards actually taxing the value of HC insurance (ideally the amount over a minimum threshold), I’ll also support that. It might equalize things between the fat cats who get Cadillac policies, and the average guy.I hope you’re amazed — a winger speaking approvingly about part of Obamacare….

  35. Jeff says:

    Monotreme said: Anyone who knows and understands the science knows that there is no bright line between “non-life” and “life”. There is simply no moment in time that a fetus becomes “alive”. Rather, there is a gradual progression away from a “non-human” state to a “human” state. That’s the scientific fact, whether fundamentalist Christians want to accept it or not.========== I totally agree. There is a progression, not a bright line. A fertilized embryo is hardly the same as a new-born baby!But please don’t take the most extreme position possible as your case to criticize. Straw man arguments aren’t very productive.Do you think abortion of a 9 month old fetus, which all tests show to be in perfect health, in a mother who is in labor, is appropriate? Do you think that it would be unreasonable and “unscientific” to call this infanticide?Or if this is OK, how about 3 minutes later, after the child has emerged from the birth canal and is fully out of the womb? Would killing that be infanticide? If not, what has changed on that “progression” in three minutes?Do you think there is ANY point in the nine months between gestation and birth where an objection to abortion is “denying the existence and veracity of scientific facts?”

  36. Jeff says:

    Oh, and one clarification. I consider myself “pro-choice (with limits).”

  37. Monotreme says:

    The bill passed the Utah House 53-15, Jeff. Hardly a “straw man”.In fact, the partial birth abortion objection you raise is the straw man here. I don’t know of a physician – and I know plenty – who would even consider killing a viable fetus (i.e. an infant past 22 weeks or so) without some clear and present danger to the mother.So, to answer your question directly, I should think viability (let’s say 20 weeks, which is the midpoint of pregnancy, just for simplicity’s sake) would be a pretty good starting point. If a fetus is beyond 20 weeks, then I’d say it would have to be a choice between the mother’s life and the baby’s.

  38. Monotreme says:

    Here is an article which describes how “partial birth abortion” became the Straw Man it is today.http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5168163

  39. shiloh says:

    @JeffreyAs realist said earlier in this thread:”The purpose of words is to communicate. In order to do so successfully, both the speaker and the listener must agree upon linguistic rules, which includes the definition of words. Otherwise, the spoken word “green” is heard as “purple.” At least, heard as “purple” from the perspective of the speaker.When political spinners attempt to redefine words such that they mean different things to people of different political stripes, the result is an inability to communicate outside the party. This ultimately makes compromise impossible, because there cannot be common ground without common language. It becomes a fundamental breakdown of civility, and eventually of civilization.”There are times when I believe you deliberately chose words in a conscious “breakdown of civility.”>Your obsessive belief that R’s are unique in being “distrustful” of the “Other” is absurd. For example, Obama has no concept of life outside of insulated academia, and his observation about rural people in “flyover country” was quite scathing. Pots shouldn’t call kettles black.Mistrust of education and science? We have our Kansas school board, you have your Wiccans, Al Gores, and loony Earth-Firsters. Nutcases abound everywhere.Denigration of women? I don’t know whether this is absurd, ignorant, or deliberately insulting. I wish you would buy and read a few issues of the Weekly Standard, or listen to Rush Limbaugh rather than Glenn Beck. >Well, duh!~~~~~Indeed as Jeffrey obviously has a wonderful economy with words, I look forward to his next syllable with great eagerness. :)>btw, Denigration of women? I don’t know whether this is absurd, ignorant, or deliberately insulting.and thenand thenand then he says to filistro:Much as I respect your comments>You see Jeffrey, there’s the conservative at liberal blogs conundrum lol.One minute, you’re denigrating a progressive poster … and the next you’re sayin’ how much you respect said poster.>Whereas yes, I’m sarcastic while telling everyone on this board the reality er truth re: politics, but at least I’m consistent B) never going out of my way w/song and dance deflections, red herrings er nonsensical, inane rationalizations.>Indeed, it’s amazing how this young, bi-racial, African/American elitist ~ w/no background and life experience to truly understand middle America ever got (((69.5 million))) voters to vote for him, eh. (7.5) million more than cheney/bush in 2004.(((Imagine))) 😉 if he had ever truly connected w/the voters how many votes he would have got. lol>btw, many presidents didn’t have an economic background, or had to meet a payroll, or were lacking in yada yada yada as this is why presidents have a cabinet and advisers, eh. ;)It truly is hilarious how often conservative wingers contradict themselves at liberal blogs!take care, blessings

  40. Monotreme says:

    I believe that St. Ronald’s meeting a payroll when the wagon train was stuck in Death Valley and was completely out of money was one of the miracles that was used to justify his beatification.

  41. shiloh says:

    I believe that St. Ronald’s meeting a payroll when the wagon train was stuck in Death Valley and was completely out of money …Mentioned recently that I admired John Wayne, Charlton Heston and Tom Selleck ie conservatives in Hollywood who buck the system as it were.Coincidentally 😉 used to watch Death Valley Days religiously 🙂 hosted by Reagan in the mid ’60s ~ sponsored by “20-Mule Team Borax”, I digress.Interesting concept Reagan Democrats and my theories as to:1) Carter/Mondale were god awful president/candidate(s), so they got more Dem voters by default.2) Reagan was a former Dem and head of that Communist group! the Screen Actors Guild GASP! 😉 so a lot of voters perceived ~ how bad can this flip/flopper be lol as he used to be a Democrat.3) Bonzo was soooo lovable! :)ok, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad …>and continuing the theme of hilarious winger trolls … when conservatives compare Reagan w/mama grizzley. :DYea, a (2) term governor of CA w/a lipstick on a pig quitter from AK pop. 700k.hmmpalin/o’donnell 2012 ~ Hey, unwed mothers and 40ish virgins are already on board …

  42. shiloh says:

    so Reagan got more Dem voters by defaultcarry on

  43. Monotreme says:

    As long as we’re discussing Presidents who once met a payroll, I’m wondering who the last one who met that criterion was.

  44. shortchain says:

    Monotreme,That would be Jimmy Carter, peanut farmer.

  45. Monotreme says:

    @shortchain:Precisely.

  46. Jean says:

    Jeff,re: I’ll even go a step further — I’d gross up the paycheck to include the employer’s portion of social security.And if this is a step towards actually taxing the value of HC insurance (ideally the amount over a minimum threshold), I’ll also support that. It might equalize things between the fat cats who get Cadillac policies, and the average guy.Employee paycheck have an equal social security deduction – the same amount as their employer contributes. So I don’t understand why you would feel that the employer’s 1/2 of social security liability should be added to the employee’s gross pay. The employee has already paid their half.Paycheck stubs of most employees working for large corporations has, for many years, detailed the amount of the employee’s contribution towards their health insurance coverage, as well as detailing the company’s contribution to the employee’s health insurance coverage.

  47. shiloh says:

    Carter was also the last president who actually went to church on a regular basis and was a true believer.Whereas Reagan, Bush41 & 43 were the great pretenders …Soooo, all you evangelicals and business folk out there, religious acuity er devotion to god and business acumen have nothing to do w/being a good president.So it shall be written, so it shall be done!

  48. Jeff says:

    shiloh said:btw, many presidents didn’t have an economic background, or had to meet a payroll, or were lacking in yada yada yada as this is why presidents have a cabinet and advisers, eh.==========True, very true. So perhaps you might name one or two people in the current Cabinet who actually do have a business background? Anybody in the cabinet who has ever made a payroll? Anybody in the cabinet who has ever received a paycheck that wasn’t from government or a non-profit? I’ll give you Salazar, who was a rancher. Who else?

  49. Jeff says:

    monotreme said:”I don’t know of a physician – and I know plenty – who would even consider killing a viable fetus (i.e. an infant past 22 weeks or so) without some clear and present danger to the mother.So, to answer your question directly, I should think viability (let’s say 20 weeks, which is the midpoint of pregnancy, just for simplicity’s sake) would be a pretty good starting point. If a fetus is beyond 20 weeks, then I’d say it would have to be a choice between the mother’s life and the baby’s.===========Works for me. Probably works for much of the pro-life right. Probably doesn’t work for most of the pro-choice left. I recall Barbara Boxer going on the attack 6 years ago because her opponent wanted to ban partial birth abortions. Boxer said nothing about “life of the mother” but instead framed it as “infringing on the right to abortion.”Of course, Boxer is a perennial contender for the title of dumbest Senator. (Don’t call me ma’am, General — call me Senator. I worked hard for that title….).

  50. shiloh says:

    Again, for the umpteenth time re: abortion. Reps don’t ever want to overturn Roe v. Wade as they want to keep it as a wedge issue for fund raising ie the Reps are total hypocrites who have for many years played the Evangelicals for the gullible fools that they are.Re: Running a business, one of the pluses in Obama’s favor during the 2008 campaign was how well he ran his own presidential campaign. Which many say was the best in American history and oh the irony he is African/American as he now lives in The White House, which was built by African/American slaves. Oh the horror for teabaggers like Bartles!I digress.Re: Jeffrey’s current cabinet payroll deflection, I’ll use another deflection ie Bill Gates and Warren Buffett both endorsed Obama for president.Which begs the question, who actually handles a companies payroll. The CEO, usually never depending on the company size. CFO, no ’cause by definition if a co. is large enough to have a CFO, he delegates his authority on down the chain.hmm, delegation of authority, what a concept. Remember Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling and their out of the loop excuse lol.Much like Reagan and Bush41 also excelled at being out of the loop 24/7. ;)OK, enough deflections, just wanted Jeffrey to know I can be quite good at ad nauseam deflections my own self!btw, it’s always best to answer an inane deflection w/another deflection or just ignore it altogether. Political Debate 101. The answer a question w/another question concept. :)>Re: Of course, Boxer is a perennial contender for the title of dumbest Senator. (Don’t call me ma’am, General — call me Senator. I worked hard for that title….).Disregarding Jeffrey’s inane non-documented generalization, one may call Boxer rude and boorish, but Jeffrey is going to have to explain to all of us how that incident was relevant re: her intelligence.Although Jeffrey’s post may reflect on his own intelligence, eh.Just sayin’take care, blessings

  51. shortchain says:

    Re: Dumbest SenatorThere’s some stiff competition Boxer would have to overcome for the title. Inhofe, DeMint, Sessions, McCain, Scott Brown, and Enzi just for starters.Frankly, the above-mentioned are out of her league, due to the Republican methodology for picking their politicians from the class of people who are, demonstrably, dumber than they are.The GOP voters are, after all, the folks who gave us the folks like Santorum, Larry Pressler (the guy who got lost leaving a hearing room and tried to hide in the cloakroom), Abdnor (who admitted, in a press conference that he didn’t know how he would vote on a bill because “he hadn’t been told yet”).Of course, all such records are in grave danger with the current crop of Tea Party candidates (which, BTW, says something about the current generation of GOP voters).

  52. Monotreme says:

    Bunning..

  53. filistro says:

    No contest. It’s INHOFE. Ding ding, we have a winner!Inhofe on climate change: “Much of the debate over global warming is predicated on fear, rather than science. Global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” (A rhetorical flourish he recently expanded on by likening climate change theories to “Nazi propaganda.”)At the Abu Ghraib hearings.. “What I am most outraged by is the outrage. The men in these prisons, that all the do-gooders are so upset about… these prisoners wake up every morning giving thanks to Allah that Saddam Hussein is not still in charge of these prisons.” On the global imperative: “We must never forget that many around the globe are denied the basic rights we enjoy as Americans. If we are to continue enjoying these privileges and freedoms we must accept our mission of expanding democracy around the globe.”On the rule of law: “A country’s adhering to the rule of law does not mean that its citizens will not do bad things.”Really… it’s a slam dunk.

  54. mclever says:

    Jeff, You called yourself “pro-choice (with exceptions)”, which pretty much defines all pro-choicers, depending what those “exceptions” are. Your suggestion that any pro-lifer would accept any abortions prior to the 20-week line confuses me, so perhaps I misunderstood you. Most pro-lifers want NO abortions ever. Some will allow the rape/incest exemptions, but I’ve run into increasingly more who don’t even want to allow that, because if God has seen fit to bless a woman with a child, then she shouldn’t take the place of God in undoing His will (or similar sentiments).Furthermore, you seem to say that pro-choice people wouldn’t accept Monotreme’s 20-week line, which suggests that you do not understand the majority pro-choice position. Most pro-choicers want unrestricted abortion access during the first trimester only (which is less than the 20-weeks that Monotreme proposed), and then only to save the mother’s life after that. The 20-week line would be more liberal than most pro-choicers actually want. I don’t know if the “correct” line is at 14 weeks or 16 weeks or 20 weeks, but I definitely agree that there should be a line after which abortion is no longer an unrestricted option, and the choice becomes one between “carry to full term” or “C-section premie”. The problem with the line being at 14 weeks, is what to do when the mother’s life is at risk during weeks 15-21 when the fetus isn’t yet viable for premature birth. That’s the gap during which so-called “partial birth” abortions sometimes occur, because after that, the doctor will just deliver the baby if possible.

  55. mclever says:

    Jeff, regarding liberals who’ve lived on the Conservative side of the fence…I grew up in a rural, midwest community where everyone was God-fearing, righteous folk. Think corn fields, apple pie, and a church on every street corner. My parents are both deeply religious. My grandmother was a missionary in China (chased out under gunfire during the Communist takeover), one brother is a preacher/writer, the other brother is in the Army, and my sister attended seminary. I listened to Rush Limbaugh and Steve Fisher (local arch-conservative host who’s to the right of Limbaugh) every day with my mother until I went away to school. The local paper is more conservative than the National Review, but that didn’t stop my parents from complaining about its “liberal lies”. In school, I was almost always the most conservative of my friends…Then, I moved to Texas, in suburban Dallas where there’s something wrong with you if you’re not in church on Sunday. Low taxes and Clinton=evil were embraced as the 11th and 12th commandments. I found my moderate self being vilified and cursed as being a damn liberal. (Something I’d certainly never been called before!) Politics were preached from most of the pulpits, so I had to do some hunting before I found a church that wasn’t openly advocating for the Christian Coalition every Sunday. (I strongly disagree with mixing politics and faith. God isn’t a Democrat or a Republican. If a preacher tries to tell me how to vote, I find myself a new spiritual leader, even if I agree.)One of my best friends is a micro-biologist with multiple PhDs, and she’s also a devout 7-day creationist and fervently anti-evolution. She sees no contradiction in this. I also have hyper-conservative, fundamentalist Christian friends in Texas with whom I frequently engage in animated debate over a wide-ranging slew of topics. We occasionally surprise ourselves when we find something upon which we agree, but most of the rest of the time it’s friendly disagreement over almost anything political. Because I like to play devil’s advocate, I can usually get these friends to expound rather eloquently on their own views. I used to read/watch conservative news sources on a regular basis, but I confess that I’ve significantly reduced my exposure in recent years. I’ve lost track of where some of the more intelligent thinkers ended up, and I have a knee-jerk reaction against overt propaganda, such as what currently passes as “news” in most hyper-political sources today. (I won’t read Kos or HuffPo either.) After Texas, I briefly lived in Southern California. As conservative as Orange County was, the people there are nowhere near the fervency of the fundamentalism that I found in Texas. Democrats in Texas would have been comfortable in the OC… I recently moved back to my midwest roots in small-town Iowa. I don’t claim to know all about things, but I’ve certainly seen my fair share of both political extremes.:-)

  56. mclever says:

    When a comment disappears into “moderation”, how does it get freed??Jeff has another comment waiting from me…

  57. filistro says:

    @mclever : When a comment disappears into “moderation”, how does it get freed??Nobody knows. It’s a cosmic mystery. Nobody knows what triggers the moderation function, where the posts go, or how to get them back.Sometimes they get caught in some hideous underwater device called the “spam filter” and our brave platypus is able to swim way, way down there and free them. Mostly they just vanish.I believe when one of our deep space explorers reaches a planet circling Alpha Centauri, it will find our moderated messages. They will be enshrined in crystal capsules, and the Alpha Centaurians will worship them as messages from the Gods.

  58. mclever says:

    Many thanks to the platypus for freeing my long-lost missive. I really didn’t want to retype it!;-)When our explorers reach Alpha Centauri and reveal the true source of the encapsulated missives, will they be greeted as angels or derided as deceptive devils?

  59. filistro says:

    When our explorers reach Alpha Centauri and reveal the true source of the encapsulated missives, will they be greeted as angels or derided as deceptive devils?I suspect they will probably be greeted as Angles.(Ohttp://WWW.. don’t hurt me folks, I’m only the warm-up act!!!)

  60. mclever says:

    There are angels in your anglesThere’s a low moon caught in your tanglesThere’s a ticking at the sillThere’s a purr of a pigeon to break the still of dayDecemberists Song🙂

  61. filistro says:

    mclever… that was a lovely link.Thank you.

  62. Monotreme says:

    The Decemberists have two of my all-time favorite political songs:Sixteen Military Wives…which is a rare case of the video being even better than the song. America declares war on Luxembourg.Valerie Plame

  63. filistro says:

    They remind me of Canada’s “Barenaked Ladies.” Snowman is especially poignant.

  64. shiloh says:

    Let the record show Jeffrey has totally disappeared from this thread as I’m sure 😉 he’s fervently researching the intelligence, or lack thereof, of current U.S. senators …

  65. Jeff says:

    mcclever –I haven’t seen too many “pro-choice” politicians saying there should be a line at 14 or 20 or whatever number of weeks, just as there aren’t too many pro-lifers who would settle for much more than rape/incest. That’s why there’s such a battle royal over “partial birth” (which we agree is extremely rare).My point — and I guess I didn’t make it very well — is that I think there is room for a compromise that the average voter would accept. Unfortunately, both sides have whipped up passion so much that any compromise is seen as surrender — and that’s the way the attack ads would be framed.I’ve never like Roe v. Wade because I think that if it had been left to the states, we’d have a wide range of solutions and the issue wouldn’t have turned into the third rail of politics. This is an intensely personal issue — for the woman contemplating the abortion, and for people who are troubled by the morality of destroying a viable fetus. I think very few women treat the decision lightly, and I think very few “pro-lifers” aren’t sympathetic to the choice that many of those women face. And I absolutely hate that we have made this a screaming political issue.

  66. Jeff says:

    mclever wrote:When a comment disappears into “moderation”, how does it get freed??=======Aarrrggghhhh And now I’m going into “moderation” also.Two responses are lost. I’m testing to see if writing the word “abortion” does it.

  67. Jeff says:

    Re: Of course, Boxer is a perennial contender for the title of dumbest Senator. (Don’t call me ma’am, General — call me Senator. I worked hard for that title….).shiloh said: Disregarding Jeffrey’s inane non-documented generalization, one may call Boxer rude and boorish, but Jeffrey is going to have to explain to all of us how that incident was relevant re: her intelligence.=============Disregarding your more or less childish and snide comments that do little to show much thought, it would appear to me that Boxer’s comment demonstrated that she may not have been aware that for the military, the prescribed form of addressing a superior is “Sir” or “Ma’am.” One would think that someone serving on the Armed Services Committee might understand that.And if she did understand, but just needed the constant reminder of her position by being called “senator,” then she’s both dumb and insensitive, and arrogant as hell.

  68. shiloh says:

    @JeffreyRe: abortion, no as it’s been used many times in this thread, eh.As a rule, it’s really, really long posts that get moderated for whatever reason.btw, my 6:22 PM post was exactly 3,000 characters. :)carry on

  69. filistro says:

    @ Jeff… And if she did understand, but just needed the constant reminder of her position by being called “senator,” then she’s both dumb and insensitive, and arrogant as hell.Or just maybe she’s been treated as “just a woman” once too often by the arrogant males on the right, and simply wanted the record to reflect her rank rather than her gender?

  70. filistro says:

    shiloh, you must quit biting Jeff’s ankles.Remember… if we don’t treat him nicely, it’s always possible the gods could take him away and give us a winger who’s much, much worse.I wouldn’t trade Jeff for a dozen MiddPointMen… with a couple of Rudys thrown in…

  71. shiloh says:

    @JeffreyAnd if she did understand, but just needed the constant reminder of her position by being called “senator,” then she’s both dumb and insensitive, and arrogant as hell.~~~~~Jeffrey, we already know you hate/despise most Dem politicians, especially Obama, Boxer et al. No need for reinforcement! ;)As I could post ad nauseam similar situations re: Rep dumb and insensitive, and arrogant as hell. anecdotal circumstances concerning Rep politicians, but that would be redundant.Interesting you first choose to address me after many others in this thread also made you look like a complete idiot re: stupid senators. lolI’m truly honored I have your 24/7 attention. :)take care, blessings

  72. filistro says:

    Re: moderation:My current theory is the moderator robot counts individual characters per person on a given thread, and if you go over the limit it starts bumping you. I find I’m most likely to get zapped when posting both frequently and at length. (Something I tend to do frequently… and at length :-)And for some reason it’s always the REALLY LONG LABORIOUS posts that get zapped. (I’m such a dreadful typist :-(Perhaps the robot is really a malign and sadistic entity?

  73. shiloh says:

    @filistroI wouldn’t trade Jeff for a dozen MidPointMen… with a couple of Rudys thrown in…~~~~~~~~~~lol fili as the expression: damned w/faint praise was my immediate first thought.Just sayin’ 😉

  74. filistro says:

    shiloh… LOL :-)The way I look at it… we already have Bart…. and the Lord has promised we won’t be burdened beyond what we’re able to bear 😉

  75. Jeff says:

    shortchain said:I find most modern “conservative” people are:a) woefully misinformed or profoundly ignorant. They know very little, objectively speaking, and either ignore or have never learned a lot of facts which would, if absorbed, change their views on a lot of subjects.b) uneducated (which I distinguish from being “ignorant”, as it isn’t necessary to be educated to be knowledgeable — although it certainly doesn’t hurt) and, here’s the kicker, distrustful of those with more education than they, themselves, were able to master. ================I assume I fit in to your first category, because I certainly don’t qualify for category b.Concerning category a: On most things, the facts are fairly straightforward and generally accepted. Drive without a seatbelt at 80mph and if you hit a wall, you’re probably going to learn some basic facts about physics.On controversial political issues, there are many “facts.” Some are not seriously disputed, for example, last week’s unemployment numbers. In many cases, the MEANING of the facts is open for argument. Often, there is no agreement as to which “facts” are the most critical. And all too often, opinions are portrayed as facts.I’ve long been a believer in the “Law of Unintended Consequences” when trying to predict the result of changes to highly complex systems. Sometimes tinkering makes things better, but at least equally often things get worse. Basically, most of politics is trying to make predictions. “If we do X to healthcare, Y will result.” Different sides pick their facts, their interpretation of the facts, and draw different conclusions as to the probably outcome. And sometimes we can come to the same conclusion as to the likely outcome, and differ as to whether it’s good or bad. For example, there is a valid argument to be made that the HC bill will lead to government control of health care. Some will think that is a desirable outcome, others won’t. To me, arguing politics is a bit like sex, and one of my reasons for coming here is that I am not of the majority opinion. A political web site where everybody has the same opinion would be like having sex with yourself — it may be better than the alternative, but still not very satisfying. Parenthetically, that’s one reason why I find shiloh so very non-constructive, in that he doesn’t seem to care very much about why people think differently, but instead gets his jollies out of puerile insults. It’s too bad, because interacting with others is so much more satisfying than masturbation. Unfortunately, the tendency when discussing politics is to huddle with the people who agree with you, and conclude that the other side is either evil, stupid, or uneducated (and often all of the above). (And I can’t resist saying this….) it also deprives you of the opportunity to screw the other side while making them enjoy it …. 🙂

  76. shiloh says:

    @filistroThe way I look at it… we already have Bart…. and the Lord has promised we won’t be burdened beyond what we’re able to bear~~~~~~~~~~lol as again, (1) or 100 winger trolls at a progressive blog ain’t nothing but a thing.Mentioned previously at a Current Affairs political forum I used to frequent after the 2006 election, many conservatives disappeared, go figure 😉 and after the 2008 election they all disappeared! 🙂If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!Whereas liberals never go away, come rain or come shine. America, love it or leave it ~ You’re either w/us or against us notwithstanding!>>>Did I mention progressives never retreat. 🙂

  77. filistro says:

    @Jeff.. And I can’t resist saying this….) it also deprives you of the opportunity to screw the other side while making them enjoy it …. LOL!! All I can say is… it’s been good for me… :-)And now I’m heading off to Thanksgiving dinner. I’ll be back later… but (after a serious tryptophan overload) much too mellow and sleepy for any virtual hanky-panky.

  78. shiloh says:

    Unfortunately, the tendency when discussing politics is to huddle with the people who agree with you, and conclude that the other side is either evil, stupid, or uneducated (and often all of the above).~~~~~Actually Jeffrey, at the old blog I frequently disagreed w/other liberals as that what progressives do ie argue amongst themselves.Whereas conservatives fall in line like robots …>Needless to say, it’s a lot more fun being a liberal. 🙂

  79. shortchain says:

    Actually, Jeff, I would fit you into neither category a) nor b), strictly speaking. There’s always wiggle room in “most modern “conservative” people” to put the people who are not ignorant or delusional, at least not most of the time, and also not uneducated.Sadly, such people are a small minority in the modern conservative ranks.We could discuss our respective cognitive shortcomings, but today is Sunday, and I really don’t want to go into anybody’s shortcomings today. Some other time.

  80. Jean says:

    shiloh,re: Again, for the umpteenth time re: abortion. Reps don’t ever want to overturn Roe v. Wade as they want to keep it as a wedge issue for fund raising ie the Reps are total hypocrites who have for many years played the Evangelicals for the gullible fools that they are.—-Exactly. The Republican party leadership and politicians prefer that pro-choice remains the law of the land because it is far easier to raise money and votes to “overturn” something than to maintain the status quo.And Republican leadership and politicians know that they can rally the base because abortion is legal. If abortion was ever outlawed a couple things would happen that the pro-life leaders and politicians would not want:1) They would no longer be rallying to change – but rather to maintain the status quo – that is great short-term but long-term it is difficult to maintain excitement to keep things as they are.2) They are worried about the 18-40 female vote. There are a couple of generations of women in this country who have no experience of a time when the choice to have an abortion was not even a possibility – abortion was illegal. These women are “pro-life” in that having an abortion may not be their first choice, depending on their individual circumstances, but strongly believe it is THEIR decision to make. They have a choice. If that right was taken away – these women would turn out in huge numbers to get that right back.

  81. mclever says:

    Jean, I have to agree about women 18-40. I am friends with many (genrally apolitical) women in that age group, and you have described their attitude perfectly. They are “pro-life” in that they don’t like abortions, but they feel strongly that it should be their CHOICE whether or not to have one.I worry that there seems to be some confusion about what the pro-choice position is. Because these women have never lived in a time when abortion was illegal, they assume that it’s always a matter of personal choice. They think the question is one of pro-abortion vs. pro-life, rather than one of making sure the choice remains legal. (Witness Bristol Palin’s, “It was my choice!” comment when asked about her own pregnancy.)

  82. Jean says:

    mcclever,re: I worry that there seems to be some confusion about what the pro-choice position is.The main confusion I see is the right-wing – both the Republican party and the teapers – are confused, seeing stats saying that more and more women are pro-life, but never looking deeper nor asking follow-up questions to determine what each woman considers “pro-life”. Most women’s understanding is not the same as the right-wing narrow definition. We are ALL pro-life.

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