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Comments

  1. Q.E.D says

    Not with a little schadenfreude, I mocked Romney’s naked contempt for half the population on FB, Twitter etc pointing out how difficult it is to get elected when you have called half the electorate worthless spongers.

    My more conservative friends started whinging about why the media aren’t talking about the “serious, substantive issues”

    Then I found this: Mitt’s mum in a campaign advert explaining that Mitt’s dad was on welfare because he was given a chance in this great country.

    My conservative mates are going to be crying a river

  2. Ichthyic says

    I think Romney is still running for Twit of the Year instead of PoTUS.

    He probably got confused about what he was actually running for during the Republican Primary season.

  3. says

    Even Ann Romney can’t save Mitt from himself. And she’s beginning to look a little weary while trying to do so.

    “We, uh, use Ann sparingly right now so that people don’t get tired of her,” was another queasy comment Mitt Romney made at his now-infamous Florida fundraiser. Judging from Ann Romney’s interview last night with a Colorado television station, she’s the one getting tired. Trotted out to make the pitch, once again, to women voters, she was also wearily obliged to defend him — and not very convincingly — on comments that suggested he’s written off the vast majority of women in this country….

    Excerpt above is from Salon. Interview can be viewed here:
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/zekejmiller/ann-romney-mitt-doesnt-disdain-the-poor

    The Romney campaign must have thought Ann’s weak defense was too weak for public viewing. They removed the video from the official Romney account. Other sources had to be found and posted for viewers.

  4. says

    I’m a republican (wow, that feels like announcing in front of an MADD meeting that I’m an alcoholic), but absolutely loathe everything about what the party has become. Romney, in picking Ryan, making the “47% statement” and sounding like an idiot with respect foreing affairs lately (i.e. Libya, Isreal-Palestine peace process) has really cemented things for me. Admittedly, given that he seems to be a pretty devout Mormon and I’m a fervent atheist, I had already made up my mind on the guy… But these latest gaffes don’t help. If interested in my anti-Mitt-the-Mormon rant, here is the link to a post I put up a few weeks back: http://beerlovingatheist.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/under-the-banner-of-bullshit-a-rant-on-mormonism-and-religion-in-general/

  5. doubtthat says

    beerlovingatheist: just join the Democrats. It will hurt at first, but our nation’s only really chance is to first demolish the Republican Party, then the Democratic Party can split into factions based on the liberal-conservative divide.

    The only fact-base critiques of Obama come from the left. He really is a quite conservative president (with a few exceptions, like LGBT issues), so you sane Republicans need to congeal around that wing of the Party and we lefties can criticize from our end.

  6. Ichthyic says

    , but absolutely loathe everything about what the party has become.

    seconded…

    why, exactly, are you a republican then? Seems a pertinent question.

  7. Beatrice says

    I’m a republican (wow, that feels like announcing in front of an MADD meeting that I’m an alcoholic), but absolutely loathe everything about what the party has become.

    Then why are you a republican? People generally don’t identify with groups they loathe. Especially when identifying as a member of said group benefits the group and rises the amount of harm they can inflict (if you usually vote republican [which I guess you do because I don’t understand why you would call yourself a republican otherwise]).

  8. autumn says

    What really gets my cheese is when I listen to a bunch of working-class people rail against the mistreatment of workers, the high cost of health care, jobs flowing overseas, and other diseases openly lobbied for by the republicans; the follow-up comment is almost always, “It’s that damn socialist president from Kenya!”

    I am surrounded by folks eagerly telling the executioner where to strike them, then blaming the sword. (Poor analogy, but you get the idea.)

  9. fastlane says

    Here in WA, they don’t ask for party affiliation when registering to vote. It was an odd thing. I was prepared to switch to (D) for the first time in my life (in KS, even most dems stayed registered as (R) just to vote in the (R) primaries….).

  10. Ichthyic says

    I’m genuinely curious…

    what will people do if Mitt does indeed get elected?

    I myself was absolutely positive in Nov 2000 that Al Gore would be our next PoTUS.

    …and that W could never EVER get relected in Nov 2003…

    finally convinced me it was time to abandon ship.

    If Mitt gets elected, what will you do?

    again, just really curious, not judging, or even remotely saying what one SHOULD do.

  11. doubtthat says

    “If Mitt gets elected, what will you do?”

    Be pissed. Mourn for my country because the economy will recover over the next 4 years (unless we go the England route and start engaging in contractionary policies, which is a very real possibility), so 2016 Mitt will be babbling about how he fixed the economy, are you better off than…

    It’s going to be bad, but I survived 2 terms of Dubya. The 2000 forever disabused me of the notion that the presidency doesn’t really matter. I was tired of Clinton’s triangulation and conservatism and an economy that largely benefited the wealthy (boy, if 2000 me could have seen what was coming), so I didn’t have much of an emotional reaction to that debacle, save for fury at the election being stolen.

    2004 was terrible. I disliked Kerry, but worked on the campaign. I knew that we were in deep, deep shit with another 4 years of Bush, so I was incredibly angry and depressed when he won.

    This one might be worse. If this Romney campaign wins on a platform of bullshit (you didn’t build that), total bullshit (Obama destroyed the work requirement), and fucking nuclear bullshit (here’s my tax plan…), we are truly in for some hurtin’.

    Of course, I won’t be personally affected: I’m a lawyer, I’m white, I’m a dude, Romney is essentially running a campaign in the hope that folks like me will just decide to tell everyone else to fuck off (though the people he really cares about are orders of magnitude above me in terms of income and wealth).

    That’s a long way of saying that we’ve been through worse and if Mitt wins I’ll just keep fighting the good fight and hope the pendulum swings back sooner rather than later.

  12. says

    I like doubthat’s approach… If I were to switch parties, it would be to this end.

    To Ichthyic and Beatrice: I’m a republican because I really like elephants. Kidding… I’m a republican because I generally beleive in small government, fiscal conservatism and, all things being equal, beleive in limited social and foreing intervention; however, the current lot of republicans, especially since W., have done exactly the opposite. (In this sense, I’m somewhat aligned w/ Ron Paul’s beleifs, although not as extreme…e.g. getting rid of dept. of education). Further, I loathe the religious right wing of the party and believe all that they stand for, namely the opression of homoesexuals, limiting of reproductive rights, etc., is despicable. I do NOT beleive, however, that these are actually republican principles as defined for most of history… They happened to be aligned with the party these days, but nothing about them says “small governement.” Quite the opposite in fact. Largely because of this fanatical wing of the party, I’ve voted almost exclusively democratic, with rare exceptions, in the past 10-12 yrs. I even did some campainging for Obama.

    I remain a republican because I beleive that eventually these outdated ideas will go away… And an increasing number of my republican friends are trying to do the same. I sort of think that by staying a republican, I can better help some of my fallen comrades out of the dark ages. I’m also not willing to adopt an entirely democratic approach and beleive that a lot of social programs, while well intentioned, just dont work. We need more science, logic and skepticism on both sides of the isle.

    Sorry this was so long, but it’s a rather nuanced answer! Labels genrerally suck,, but if you want, for simplicity, you can call me a socially liberal, fiscally conservative libertarian. ;)

  13. Ichthyic says

    Ichthyic, WTF can anybody do?

    well, that’s a good question.

    are you sure you can think of nothing?

    I don’t want to put ideas in your head, but there are a lot of ways to react.

    (unless we go the England route and start engaging in contractionary policies, which is a very real possibility)

    actually, from what I can see, that has BEEN the reaction post 2008, which is why recovery has been so slow in coming.

  14. Ichthyic says

    I sort of think that by staying a republican, I can better help some of my fallen comrades out of the dark ages.

    you really believe that?

    really?

    have you managed to convince anyone actually close to you?

    I bloody tried, and can’t recall making a dent, not even with my own father.

  15. says

    Hmm… not so much. I did, however, convince one “birther” friend that he was being a racist idiot… Well, to be fair, his change of heart was delayed. He had to be in TN for work and met some other birthers. So, seing them and considering the arguments I shared, he decided to change his mind and admitted it was all repressed racist crap. As for convincing republicans to be rational, don’t give up on us all so easily. I know a lot seem dumb, but there are rational folks out there, I promise.

  16. Ichthyic says

    The people who have the economic freedom to “do something” are mostly Romney supporters.

    by number, most Romney supporters are economically middle class and poor class, that have become convinced by lies that republicans support their best interests.

    been that way since at least Reagan.

    convince them they’ve been lied to, and you’ve won.

    yes, I know it ain’t easy, but think about it:

    if approached from this angle, how WOULD you go about contributing to that end?

    Karl Rove managed to convince nearly the entire state of Texas that democrats had been lying to them, and that republicans actually represented their interests better.

    took him less than 10 years to accomplish that.

    if it’s an issue of economic power, have you contacted people with the “economic freedom” to act? have you spoken with them about how to use their money to change things?

    again, not here to judge; hell, I fled because I thought the problem insurmountable myself. But, this doesn’t mean that solutions are inconceivable either. I could also be wrong, and the problem is NOT insurmountable.

    In fact, one of the reasons I came here to NZ was to examine the issue on a smaller, more manageable scale.

  17. echidna says

    beerlovingatheist:

    beleive that a lot of social programs, while well intentioned, just dont work.

    Details? I suspect that if you compare a non-optimal social program (such as education) with the alternative (no education), you would prefer the non-optimal program.

    Which party do you think would currently even try to improve living conditions for the entire population of the country? Which party has more people interested in enriching themselves at the expense of the country?

    Ideology doesn’t matter anywhere near as much as what happens on the ground.

    Passively or actively allowing “screw-the-poor” Romney to become president is either stupid or evil (in my view). You don’t sound stupid or evil, just caught in an idealised identity that doesn’t fit reality.

  18. Ichthyic says

    Hmm… not so much.

    Have you ever wondered if changing parties might actually be a convincing argument in and of itself?

  19. Ichthyic says

    beleive that a lot of social programs, while well intentioned, just dont work.

    OK.

    pick any one of these progams.

    examine the history of it, the reasons for forming it, and the problems that exist with it.

    now, propose a good alternative.

    when you’ve done that, come back and tell us about it?

  20. Pyra says

    I’m not sure what the point of the question Ichthyic is leading to. I’m scraping by on a couple bucks over minimum wage, trying to get a car again, trying to establish myself now that I’ve stabilized on my treatments for my mental illnesses. I’m trying to get into a state college to better myself and my future. I will continue to fight for my own and my kids’ future with school and with pushing thoughts into the people around me that are willing to listen to me. But I’m in a deeply troubling area of the nation. People see my fair skin and they tell me exactly what they are truly thinking about our president. It is all racist. From something as petty as wishing the next president rips out the basketball court to saying, “That’s what you get when you have a black president” in response to talking about the shit state of job seeking. I will focus on raising my two kids to fight this system and to think more carefully about the people who don’t look like them and their plights. I can’t move. I have 2 kids who should be able to see their family and whom I want to raise. I don’t have a huge wad of dough to move to another country. I’ll have to ride it out the way I did the 8 years of hell with Bush.

  21. says

    You’re right, I think switching would be convincing; however, at the moment, I’d rather be able to vote against Tea Party candidates and other irational republicans in primaries. Had a candidate like a John Huntsman been selected by the GOP, I’d be in a different position than I am now with Romney. Also, per my comments above, I’d still need to square up my beliefs on small government and fiscal conservatism with the traditional Democratic platform.

    For the record, I really do beleive that labels are pretty awful… To loosely quote Star Wars (Obi Won to Anakin I think), “only the Sith see things in extremes.” (Oh yeah, I went to Star Wars!) Nuance is a beautiful thing.

  22. says

    Ichythic… All due respect, I’m not really in the mood to spend my evening writing about alternatives to social programs. Some work great, some don’t… to beleive otherwise is niave. I’ll leave this research to you, as I’ve got better things to do with my time. If you’re actually suggesting that it would be impossible to name one ineffective social program, then I’m worried that you’re exhibiting what all of us on here loathe: blind faith (in your case, in the Dems). I’m not getting paid to propose legislation to reform inadequate social programs, so I’m going to just let this one go. If you’d like to conclude that I havent looked at them or don’t know what I’m talking about, then feel free… but the truth is, there is a lot of nuance out there, and to assume none could be fixed , or no republican has offerd a single good idea to do so, is simply wrong.

  23. Ichthyic says

    I’m not sure what the point of the question Ichthyic is leading to.

    despite my responses, it actually wasn’t meant to lead to anything.

    I just was genuinely curious.

  24. Ichthyic says

    I’ll leave this research to you, as I’ve got better things to do with my time.

    this suggests strongly that you have never actually examined why any of these programs exist, so may we have your permission then to dismiss your opinion on them as ignorant and uninformed?

    kthxbye.

  25. says

    Ichthyic… Feel free to dismiss what you want. I disagree that my comment suggests anything other than what I said (i.e. better things to do with my time.) No need to trust me on that, however… I’m sure at this point you and I are the only ones even reading this silly argument.

    Echidna: I’m with you on the part about “what happens on the ground” being more important, which is why I’ve been voting Democratic for the last 10+ yrs.

  26. echidna says

    Echidna: I’m with you on the part about “what happens on the ground” being more important, which is why I’ve been voting Democratic for the last 10+ yrs.

    A Republican who votes Dem. I guess that party registration locks you into an identity that may not actually fit.

  27. Ichthyic says

    I’m sure at this point you and I are the only ones even reading this silly argument.

    an area we probably agree on :)

  28. echidna says

    I’m sure at this point you and I are the only ones even reading this silly argument.

    an area we probably agree on :)

    Hey, am I so invisible?

  29. says

    Lol… Good point echidna, sorry to dismiss you! To answer your question, best to read above under comment #18 for why I’m still an evil republican ;). Cliffs notes is yes, current description of a republican does not fit me, but I’m hopeful we can change.

  30. says

    back later, meetings downtown

    To take your logic, am I to assume that we can now dismiss your opinions as ignorant and uninformed?

    I don’t actually think that by the way. But, for the record, this was never a debate about social programs, and to engage in one would send us down a really big rabbit hole that I’m not interested enough to go down right now… Not incapable of going down. To assume that is unfair.

    Just for the record.

  31. kreativekaos says

    Ichthyic,.. at #13 you mentioned being convinced it was time to ‘abandon ship’.
    By that you mean…. abandoning regular political parties?…expatriation?

  32. echidna says

    Cliffs notes is yes, current description of a republican does not fit me, but I’m hopeful we can change.

    For the record, I’ve read all the comments in the thread, including your #18, and I’m intrigued by your stance, as it seems to be based on wishful thinking more than anything else.

    The repubs have constantly been changing, as have the democrats. If you do a rough track of the Republican stance towards the spectrum of people from rich to poor, from the time of the formation of the party to now, just think about the broad direction of the changes. It is pretty consistent, from championing the humanity of lowest rung of society (the slaves) to treating the working poor as scum. You are longing for the Republican party of the distant past, giving the party support (even if only by your identification) that they no longer deserve. And this support is hurting your country.
    You aren’t be the only one to feel betrayed by your own party.

    Let me quote from David Brooks (NYT) conversation with Gail Collins:

    David: Speaking of things that got under my skin, there were Mitt Romney’s fund-raiser comments, as you may have heard. My official reaction was in my column this week, but underneath I couldn’t help thinking about the visits I’ve made to community colleges around the country. These schools are attended by people whose families are often on food stamps and public assistance. When they get out, many of them won’t be making enough money to pay income tax. Yet if you look at how they live — long bus rides, endless studying, full or part-time jobs on the side, complicated family issues — do we really want to call them society’s freeloaders? It’s just offensive and detached from reality.

    My own view: the US has a structural problem with the minimum wage combined with healthcare being practically only available through employment. Until the minimum wage is raised, your society is set up to have a permanent underclass of people who are obliged to work to even get basic health care, but not sufficient access to food and housing.

  33. M Groesbeck says

    @ beerlover —

    Let me get this straight:

    You’re into “small government”, so you support a party which has (for over 30 years) promoted authoritarian intervention to keep the theocrats and plutocrats in power.

    (Then again, you bring up “fiscal conservatism”, which has never meant anything other than absolute, brutal, bloody rule by and for the rich, so go figure.)

    You believe in (if I’m parsing your prose correctly) “limited social intervention”: so you oppose anything resembling support for equality of opportunity unless it’s brought in at a slower-than-glacial pace; that’s certainly mainstream for the GOP. On top of that, “limited social intervention” is a reluctance to do anything which might threaten cis-white-straight-male supremacy, so I suppose again that would count as “conservative”.

    Someone who professes to “loathe the religious right wing” might re-evaluate now that the religious right has gone all-in for the pro-capitalist “prosperity gospel” schtick; “the wealthy are by definition morally superior” is basically the one-sentence summary of both the fiscal-conservative and (contemporary) right-wing religious position.

    “Small government” is, of course, a fake position. Or, at the very least, a deliberately misleading one: “small” in the sense of number of possible functions of government (establishing and enforcing a supernaturalist/theist model of private property, enforcing contracts, maintaining the power of the wealthy over everyone else) rather than a description of the size and coercive power supported by “small-government” conservative ideology (i.e. fucking insanely immense).

  34. says

    Ichthy:

    If Mitt gets elected, what will you do?

    Throw up, probably.

    I’m being completely serious.

    Will I consider leaving? Unless the Republicans take the Senate and the presidency, I highly doubt it. But if they manage to do that, whether or not I stay in the US will largely depend on if this latest War on Women bullshit maintains momentum (or escalates) and the likelihood that I (and my future daughter) will have any rights at all.

    Honestly, I’m angry. And scared. But I’m also tired. I don’t want to fight the same battles that my mother and grandmother fought. If this shit doesn’t stop, I may have to see if any of my Canadian relatives would be willing to take in the Darkheart family.

  35. says

    Echidna and M Grosebeck… You’ve both read FAR too much into my comments above and inferred a lot about me that seems to based more on your preconceived definition of the word “republican” than on what my actual views happen to be. Perhaps my mistake here was with identifying myself with any political party whatsoever. The minute someone does that these days, others purport to know everything about him. All I was attempting to do was make a harmless comment about what my political affiliation happens to be on my voter registration card… But I, like I would hope is the case for everyone here, am not defined by 100% of the views of a single political party. My views are much more complex and nuanced than that.

    To attempt to reply to all of your inferences about me above would take me a really really long time, so I’m going to be lazy and go to bed now…all I would leave you with is following: Try not to vent all of your anti-republican views on every “republican” you meet, or else you might risk alienating them all and being perceived as far too rigid in your beleifs.

  36. says

    I should clarify with respect to Echidna…. You didn’t mischaracterize my views as badly as M Grosebeck, sorry for lumping you in there. As for me lending some credence to republicans simply by being one on my voter registration, I disagree. It’s hard to change a party when you can’t vote in its primaries, to take the most obvious example.

  37. M, Supreme Anarch of the Queer Illuminati says

    When “Republican” is effectively defined as affiliation with a particular entity, it’s rather disingenous to insist that one’s identification with that label is completely independent of every aspect of the ideology of the group. Basically, if you’re not a theocrat and/or plutocrat, calling yourself a “republican” in the U.S. is entirely without content (and entirely misleading). Identifying yourself with such dishonest shibboleths as “small government”, “fiscal conservative” and “limited social intervention” (all of which have specific meaning in U.S. political discourse) while trying to distance yourself from the actual content of the ideology you claim is enormously dishonest at best.

  38. John Morales says

    [meta]

    beerlovingatheist:

    Perhaps my mistake here was with identifying myself with any political party whatsoever. The minute someone does that these days, others purport to know everything about him.

    It’s pretty clear that one who identifies with some particular political party perforce shares its values.

    Perhaps my mistake here was with identifying myself with any political party whatsoever.
    […]
    To attempt to reply to all of your inferences about me above would take me a really really long time, so I’m going to be lazy and go to bed now…all I would leave you with is following: Try not to vent all of your anti-republican views on every “republican” you meet, or else you might risk alienating them all and being perceived as far too rigid in your beleifs.

    So, you identify as republican and are alienated by anti-republican views yet ascribing you republican views is somehow unwarranted, because you’re only a “republican”, and risks alienating both “republicans” and republicans? ;)

    (Such cogency!)

  39. echidna says

    beerlovingatheist, thanks for winding back the charge of mischaracterisation. But now I’m intrigued by this:

    You didn’t mischaracterize my views as badly as M Grosebeck,

    If you return to this thread, I would really be interested in what mischaracterisations you feel I did make.

  40. says

    I’m neither theocrat nor plutocrat. Nor did I distance myself from “every” republican ideology. And to read so much into “limited social intervention” as to infer that I would be against anything threatening “white male supremacy” is far more dishonest and disingenuous. This exact debate is a symptom of a whole lot that’s wrong with American politics!

  41. bybelknap says

    “…your society is set up to have a permanent underclass of people who are obliged to work to even get basic health care, but not sufficient access to food and housing.”

    It’s called Capitalism. It works great. For the Capitalist.

  42. says

    Echnida, sorry, didn’t see your last post until just now… You didn’t mischaracterize me at all as far as I can tell. I must have inadvertently wrapped you up with the comment prior… Sorry about that.

    John, very amusing wordplay there, but I think if taken in context my larger comment makes sense and is quite cogent. My point was simply that someone far more republican than I in terms of voting history and ideology would become even more entrenched, and not convinced, with the rhetoric here. I was urging nuance and listening, rather than jumping to conclusions. Issues are much more gray than they are black and white… Nuance good, tribal mentality bad!

    Jeez… Thought crowd tonight guys! And I’m voting for Obama!!

  43. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    I’m a republican (wow, that feels like announcing in front of an MADD meeting that I’m an alcoholic), but absolutely loathe everything about what the party has become.

    You’ve already got a lot of responses, but the thing is, many of us were either Republicans at one point or are descended from Republicans. In my case it was my parents that left the gop and became Democrats (and in my father’s case, at least for one election, socialist). The thing is, there was a time in US history when the Republican Party represented the best, most progressive side of the country. Unfortunately, that began to end in 1865, and since then they’ve gone through a slow steady slog rightward. Of course there were exceptions along the way, and until FDR came along they were often preferable to the Democrats, but really since Lincoln was killed sensible people have been coming to the realization that being a Republican is hardship that one must struggle to overcome.

    Granted, being a Democrat is often only marginally better, but given the choices in the US, it’s really the only choice.

  44. unclefrogy says

    I find all labels are some what misleading and inadequate and confining except for things like this chair & uncle frogy which are specific things different from other similar things.
    You beer drinker make very little sense the joke did not work for me at all maybe cut down on the beer.
    Nixon in some areas was to the left of modern democrats.
    The conservative party has been co-opted by big business and big money and uses the right wing religious to win elections.
    They give them only those things that do not hurt their bottom line no more.
    It makes no difference what party you list on the forms it is how you vote that counts.
    There is no party today that mirrors my political desires, none, so I vote the closest one.
    I ain’t going any place no matter who wins hell I lived through Tricky Dick! In a perverse desire on my part I hope the Mitt and the conservatives win so I can watch them utterly fail to usher in the magically produced prosperity they blather about.

    Something though really gravels me. It is this complaint that the social programs don’t work.
    It is pretty hard for any of them to succeed when none have ever had enough money and the rest of the conservative programs, enacted laws and policies actively work against the common good of the common working people.

    If anyone doubts that they could work to make for a prosperous stable country take a look at Germany.

    uncle frogy

  45. erikthebassist says

    Oh dear I’m afraid you’ve stepped in it beerlovingatheist, can I call you bla for short?

    My comments are not in bold. The rest are yours:

    Ichythic… All due respect, (please ignore the fact that from here on out I’m going to be a pompous ass) I’m not really in the mood to spend my evening writing about alternatives to social programs. (I’m not prepared to defend anything I said I believe in) Some work great, some don’t… to believe otherwise is niave. (Thank you captain obvious) I’ll leave this research to you, as I’ve got better things to do with my time. (than spend a minute defending the things I believe in) If you’re actually suggesting that it would be impossible to name one ineffective social program (xe wasn’t, xe asked for an example to see if xe might be able to ascertain what it is you deem successful or unsuccessful) then I’m worried that you’re exhibiting what all of us on here loathe: blind faith (in your case, in the Dems). I’m not getting paid to propose legislation to reform inadequate social programs, (so for the third time, I’m not prepared to defend anything I said I believe in!) so I’m going to just let this one go. If you’d like to conclude that I havent looked at them or don’t know what I’m talking about, then feel free… (Concluded) but the truth is, there is a lot of nuance out there, and to assume none could be fixed , or no republican has offerd a single good idea to do so, is simply wrong. (Thanks again captain obvious).

  46. says

    Erik you are a broken record who is trying to engage in a debate when there isn’t one any longer… You are also litigating something that was now, like 30 comments ago. I guess you’re right, I’ve never explored a single social program or considered ways it might be fixed. And thanks for annointing me a Captian! Sometimes the obvious needs to be stated, especially when people seem to be making incorrect generalizations. Note that my origininal comment was me agreeing to the original premise of Romney being a moron. Man, I guess a lot of people on here really like creating arguments… Have you nothing better to do? I guess I’m as much to blame given that I’m entertaining your post with a response…but I’m going to make this my last because now I really do need to get some sleep! Feel free to bash me all you want if it makes you feel better!

  47. erikthebassist says

    30 comments isn’t a lot of time here. This isn’t a drive by conversation at a cocktail party, it’s a blog where people exchange ideas and engage in debate.

    You can hate rmoney and still be wrong about a lot of things, and by the looks of it, you are. I wasn’t trying to engage you at all, just point out how daft your commentary was, and remains.

  48. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    @beerlovingatheist:

    Coming late to the party, but it occurs to me that your compatriots in the GOP would consider you a RINO, and not really a Repub at all. Given your comments on this thread, I would consider you much closer to a somewhat conservative Dem. I would urge you to remember the quote given a number of times by party changers in both directions: I didn’t leave the party, the party left me.

    In this case, voting for less right-wing Repubs is not going to be effective. I would say that leaving the party entirely (by you and others of like mind) will do one of two things. First, it might motivate the GOP to realize that they are alienating their former members and cause them to change (at which point you might conceivably return). This is, I believe, what happened to the Dems after a number of electoral losses a few decades back, and caused them to swing to the right. Second, losing many members might leave the Repubs so right-wing and so reduced in numbers that they become irrelevant and therefore spur the development of a new party – that would be more in touch with reality.

    Finally, a pedantry pet peeve: believe, not beleive”.

  49. says

    Well thanks so much for setting me straight then…sorry I’m wrong about so much and my commentary is so daft. Way to go you for pointing it out! Funny thing though… As you and others correctly pointed out, I didnt think I even presented any specific ideas!! Seems like much of this is simply argument for arguments sake. Oh well. Good night all.

  50. Ichthyic says

    …back.

    with sniny new ‘puter in tow. gonna take some time to get used to using a real keyboard again, and this 24″ monitor is actually also taking some time to get used to. black on white text seems a bit smudgy to me. I tried the “clear text” option in windows; helped a bit, but was wondering if anybody else using 24″ or bigger LED has run across some better contrast filters for black on white text?

    bear with while I relearn how to use one of these things…

    itmt:

    (Icthyic: Back-reading posts I see you high-tailed it to New Zealand. Probably good move.)

    it’s had its ups and downs, to be sure. I have few regrets though, and would do it again.

    If Mitt gets elected, what will you do?

    Throw up, probably.

    I’m being completely serious.

    when W was elected, we went on a pub crawl to drown our sorrows.

    when he was re-elected… we figured there were no sorrows left to drown. no pub crawl. stomachs were too ill to take any alcohol.

    if I was still there, and Mitt ends up being Pres? I can’t even fathom how I would feel about that, considering W caused me to bug out of there.

    Honestly, I’m angry. And scared. But I’m also tired. I don’t want to fight the same battles that my mother and grandmother fought.

    don’t forget the same battles against authoritarianism people fought for much of the entire last century as well. We appear to be fighting that again now, too. and yes, I fought those, and the battles for conservation/environment. and watched all my work get completely washed by things like single amendments to bills that thousands of people had worked years to get to the floor for a vote. Too tired to fight against such a huge ocean of ignorance on top of the standard political machinations I finally was getting used to.

    I’m more than happy to snipe from the sidelines now, and work with a much more manageable, if still broken, system here in NZ.

    I may even lose some of my cynicism if I can make real progress here.

    *tough crowd…

    yes, it is. very. they will challenge you on EVERYTHING. Probably why this is where I spend most of my time.

    if you don’t care to be challenged a lot, and have to defend your thinking and opinions, then this likely isn’t a good place for you. If you stick around, I think you’ll find it worthwhile.

    advice:

    -don’t take people vehemently attacking your ideas TOO personally. A good defense is what causes the claws to retract here, not whinging about the fact that you are being mauled. Tough skin is a requirement.

    -sometimes you will think yourself right, or being misinterpreted, but unable to make yourself clear. DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. if you think people are not getting what you are saying, don’t just keep pushing. BACK OFF. take a breath, and come back later. re-read what you wrote and the responses, and see if you can think of another way to communicate your idea. if you can’t, just leave it alone. not all battles of communication are winnable here.

    -don’t feel guilty when you inevitably fail to follow this advice, or even your own advice. apologize if asked to, and move on.

    -feel free to make enemies here. sometimes debates with people you most disagree with are the most intellectually stimulating, and despite what you hear from the uninformed, this place is about as far from an echo chamber as you can get on a single blog.

    -and lastly, I speak only for myself, and everything I just said can be completely ignored and learned the hard way. That’s the way most folks do it anyway, and they all survived… or they didn’t.

  51. echidna says

    Beerlovingatheist:

    My point was simply that someone far more republican than I in terms of voting history and ideology would become even more entrenched, and not convinced, with the rhetoric here

    and

    Man, I guess a lot of people on here really like creating arguments…

    I think you may have misunderstood the nature of the crowd here. This is a scientifically-minded atheist crowd, generally concerned with social justice issues as well. What you are seeing as “creating arguments” is actually the natural response to seeing an argument that is inconsistent.

    In my case, I can’t quite see the logic of your argument that you are a Republican, but vote Democrat, and believe you can do the greatest good for the US by remaining Republican. It appears inconsistent. The parts about small government and less-than-optimal social programs seem to be more like rationalisations than reasons.

    If something seems inconsistent, that’s a sign that something is wrong, perhaps my understanding of your position, perhaps yours. Asking questions is likely to bring the source of the inconsistency to light. Regardless of where the inconsistency is, someone is going to learn something.

  52. sharoncrawford says

    We moved to Canada at the beginning of 2004. No regrets. Or at least none of significance.

  53. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag, and carrying a cross – and its path will be smoothed by a bunch of idiots gabbling about “nuance”.

  54. Ichthyic says

    getting my shit together enough to take the GREs.

    ah yeah, I remember that. almost the most stressful test I ever took.

    but you know what?

    It PALES in comparison to your orals exam.

    muhahahahaha!

    :)

  55. David Marjanović says

    beerlovingatheist: just join the Democrats. It will hurt at first, but our nation’s only really chance is to first demolish the Republican Party, then the Democratic Party can split into factions based on the liberal-conservative divide.

    The only fact-base critiques of Obama come from the left. He really is a quite conservative president (with a few exceptions, like LGBT issues), so you sane Republicans need to congeal around that wing of the Party and we lefties can criticize from our end.

    Actually, on LGBT issues, what I know about Obama would fit very comfortably into most European conservative parties. (Today, not 30 years ago, but still.)

    Here in WA, they don’t ask for party affiliation when registering to vote. It was an odd thing.

    Odd?

    It’s a fucking scandal of fucking international proportions that most Americans are asked for a party affiliation when registering to vote. For fuck’s sake, the vote must be secret; it should be illegal to tell the bureaucracy how you’re probably going to vote!

    The problem with primaries is solved in other countries by having the parties be membership organizations, you know, with membership fees and such. You don’t simply become a party member by claiming that you are one.

    If Mitt gets elected, what will you do?

    Protest in front of the US embassy about voter suppression and/or votes that weren’t counted*, while evacuating as many Pharyngulites as I can afford?

    * You know how Captain Unelected “won” both times.

    I’m also not willing to adopt an entirely democratic approach and beleive that a lot of social programs, while well intentioned, just dont work.

    “Don’t work” in general, or only “don’t work” in the US? Because I wonder much you know about what has worked elsewhere.

    You’re right, I think switching would be convincing; however, at the moment, I’d rather be able to vote against Tea Party candidates and other irational republicans in primaries. Had a candidate like a John Huntsman been selected by the GOP, I’d be in a different position than I am now with Romney.

    Heh. You know why Huntsman didn’t win the primaries? Because almost all of the rational people had already left the GOP at that point. The Republican Party practically is the Tea Party now. There’s no point in staying that I can see.

    “only the Sith see things in extremes.”

    Only the Sith think in absolutes. And Wan, not Won.

  56. says

    Perhaps my mistake here was with identifying myself with any political party whatsoever. The minute someone does that these days, others purport to know everything about him.

    Going to throw in my two cents here too. Here is the thing, if someone religious came in here, proclaiming that, somehow, the 90% of people who are religious don’t “represent” their religion, because their own church isn’t, “like that”, we would eviscerate them for it, yet you want your political stance, in the face of a party that, at best, might contain some stealth Democrats (in the same sense that the Dems contained Stealth Republicans, who jumped ship the moment the Tea Party showed up and a black man got elected), to be accepted as nothing at all like the same thing?

    I won’t even go into how social programs are usually broken because of a lot of bloody stupidity, ranging from stolen money, personal theories about how to solve the problems, instead of evidence and facts, or anything else that is wrong with them (the same sort of things that derailed progress in new teaching methods for education, while at the same time robbing schools pockets, and pushing for more and more ideological/experimental bullshit, instead of working methods), or the fact that both sides are guilty, in different ways, if pulling this crap. All I will say is, you can’t blame the ship for sinking itself, when you have one idiot drilling holes in the bottom, and another bailing water “into” the boat.

    As for Republicans.. People should have seen it coming, right from the beginning. The only arguments ever given by Democrats, even back when they where the asshole party, was, “We want to be different than you.” The Republicans where always more religious/traditionalist, and, at one time, the “understanding” of that was social justice, not, “Keep your hands off my theocratic/dictatorial ambitions!” Its inevitable that, so long as the belief in tradition held, that the result was going to be, at some point, a direct conflict between trying to maintain a strict idea about how the world should work, and how the world **does** work. It doesn’t help when, as turned out to be the case, it transitioned, more and more, due to the traditionalist views, and obsession with the “truth” of what religious leaders say to them, into something easily duped by liars and con men (but, its hardly a surprise).

    No, I think the party was doomed from the beginning. There was no way it could hold onto “some” traditions, and not eventually be both conned into supporting atrocious nonsense, as a result of those things being “traditional”, and/or eventually run aground on the reality that what it wanted to be true, simply wasn’t. And, virtually everything, from the delusion that there is nothing happening in Europe that isn’t either bad, or irrelevant to our problems, to hyper religiousness, to numerous contradictory assertions about what the “right” way to think, act, live, etc. is, and so on, that is held by the party, which can be called rational. And, there is not one single Republican I have ever seen, who was at all semi-rational, who shouldn’t have either a) given up and helped for a new party, and/or b) didn’t house some other gibberish position, which kept them attached to the party, purely due to agreement, or presumed agreement, on that one single subject.

    No one wants ineffective government. That is what I think “small” means, its what nearly all of them seem to mean, when talking about it, only, the usual method to “solve” the problem is to cut what ever isn’t working to shreds, or reduce funding, without fixing anything. No one looks at the process and asks, “Why the hell is it so complicated, or inefficient, and what could be done to really fix it?”, they just slash budgets, consolidate programs/agencies, then wonder why the result ends up worse than what they started with. That isn’t “small”, its “broken”, and its usually only solved by making it “big” again. And, it pisses me off when ever I hear “small government”, since it almost always seems, in reality, to mean the same thing as, “small business”, which is just a nonsense legal definition, not a real thing.

    Foreign policy.. Sigh.. No party in the history of the US, at any time, hasn’t had its fingers in shit they shouldn’t have. Most of the policy has, almost all the time, been driven by paranoia and fear, and nearly all of our worst damned mistakes are “directly” related to those things. The Republicans don’t even claim to want to limit such intervention now. Sure, they want to cut of interventions that are effective, like social programs, help to impoverished people, and other things, most of which, when they go wrong, do so because other foreign nations, or the Vatican, are undermining the effort. But, in reality, they have no problem going Red Dawn on the rest of the world, i.e., using bullshit patriotism, paranoia, and delusions of our superiority, to engender wars, do supremely stupid assed things, which make matters even worse, and, because its religious, support some of the most insane people on the planet, in their attempts to “Christify” the planet, and piss even more people off in the process. In other words, they have no intention of being “limited” in foreign intervention. On the contrary, when they do intervene, they literally seem to believe that the most effective method of doing so is to be a bull in a china shop.

    As for limited social intervention.. Maybe you want to try Libertarians? Or do you mean social programs, in which case… sigh… In any case, nearly everyone trying to screw me over economically and socially right now seems to be Republican. Hell, its even the Republicans that, at the last “negotiation” for contracts flat out said, “I don’t see the problem that you are going to be paid minimum wage from now on, because you don’t count at all, but its horrible that my pay scale has been capped lower again!” I don’t see a whole lot of support for my rights, or values, or choices, or even survival, from your “party”. I am sure that has changed since.. as someone else put it, 1865, but you have a long way to crawl out of the pit, before the party can claim to have regained anything from having dug the hole in the first place imho.

    And, don’t even get me started on “fiscal conservatism”, that is a complete lot of BS. When it serves them, they will, and always have, spent stupid amounts on useless pet projects. When ever something useless, pointless, or just geared purely towards supporters, comes up, they have plenty of money, the moment its basic research, or school funding, or anything else, they can’t find the money (maybe because they, like in my city, spent it on a million dollars of rusted metal and rocks, to hang flags from, instead of funding the bus service…) In any case, neither party is “fiscally” responsible. But, one is sloppy about spending money, because they would rather throw money at something broken, too often, than fix it. The other side.. Would rather just gut it all, then throw all the money at something else, which doesn’t even address the problems that what they gutted was intended to fix. Its like watching two parents argue over whether they should keep sending their kid to piano lessons, when the kid is tone deaf, while one parent argues for doing something more useful with the money (i.e., buying themselves golf clubs), while the other one just things they need a more expensive piano teacher (or possibly piano). Either way, the child is the one getting screwed, and nothing they are doing is “responsible”. But, I would still argue that one of them, how ever misguided, is at least thinking of the damn kid, not their golf game.

  57. Ichthyic says

    , what I know about Obama would fit very comfortably into most European conservative parties. (Today, not 30 years ago, but still.)

    question:

    Has Europe followed the conservative trend in a similar fashion to the US over the last 30 years, from your perspective?

    is it driven by similar things (top down pushbutton politics appealing to authoritarian personalities, for example), or is it entirely different, you think?

  58. Ichthyic says

    All I will say is, you can’t blame the ship for sinking itself, when you have one idiot drilling holes in the bottom, and another bailing water “into” the boat.

    someday, somewhere, I’m going to reuse that.

  59. says

    I disagree with David here .

    Excepting the countries which already have achieved marriage equality in Europe (Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden), let’s have a look at the EU member nations. Note

    – civil unions have become acceptable in many European countries, but many conservative parties still remain opposed to full marriage equality. The conservative parties of the UK, Ireland and Luxembourg are exceptions rather the norm (by “conservative party”, I’ve usually selected the biggest party right-of-centre. I’m aware that these parties are not always fully equivalent)

    Austria: the civil union has been celebrated in the press as a great concession by the conservative party. So, no dice here (though David can correct me) link)
    Bulgaria: Only one party with 5 seats even supports Sofia pride.
    Croatia: Croatia may introduce civil unions. Conservative opposition staunchly opposed to that link
    Cyprus the right-leaning Democratic Rally Party is opposed to same-sex marriage. (link
    Czech Republic: in 2006, civil unions were finally introduced, overriding a veto of the conservative president. Most MPs of his party had opposed the measure.
    Estonia: Right-wing parties have stated their opposition to same-sex marriage.
    Finland: The National Coalition Party in 2010 voted to support same-sex marriage. (link). However, the relatively small Christian Democratic Party seems to have caused the five-party coalition to table the issue for now. (link)
    France: France might achieve marriage equality soon. Nonetheless, the UMP remains opposed (link)
    Germany: Germany’s conservatives are opposed to full marriage equality. 11 conservative MPs recently signing a letter in support does not change that fact.
    Greece: In Greece, ND is opposed to marriage equality ( link )
    Hungary: the 2012 constitution explicitly bans gay marriage and does not protect LGBT people from discrimination. Need I say more?
    Ireland: here, Fine Gael does support marriage equality. link
    Italy here even a left-leaning party, the Partito Democratico, narrowly voted against marriage equality. (link). Naturally, the right-leaning Popolo della libertà is opposed (link
    Latvia: also introduced a same-sex marriage ban (link)
    Lithuania: same-sex marriage has been banned since 1992, only some MPs from left-leaning parties have expressed support for marriage equality.
    Luxembourg the ruling Christian Social Party is considering legalising same-sex marriage (link
    Malta: Malta’s conservative govt has announced it would propose a registered partnership law, but nothing has happened so far. Meanwhile, public support for gay marriage is reported to be at 60%.
    Poland The Civic Platform wants to introduce civil union, which is rejected by the right-wing Law and Order Party. But no same-sex marriage on the table. (link)
    Rumania no Rumanian party supports same-sex marriage.
    Slovakia on September 19, the ruling Social Democratic Party announced it would vote against the registered partnership proposal (I’d assume conservative parties would all the more be opposed)
    Slovenia in 2011, same-sex marriage was introduced against the will of the now ruling Slovenian Democratic Party, a centre-right party. Tragically, a referendum in 2012 annulled the law, reverting back to the 2006 law allowing civil unions. (link)
    United Kingdom: this is also a case where the Conservative Party does support it. (However, AFAIK, in the UK civil unions pretty much do have the same rights and privileges as marriages)

  60. says

    (A version without links, as the one with links is stuck in moderation)

    I disagree with David here .

    Excepting the countries which already have achieved marriage equality in Europe (Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden), let’s have a look at the EU member nations. Note

    – civil unions have become acceptable in many European countries, but many conservative parties still remain opposed to full marriage equality. The conservative parties of the UK, Ireland and Luxembourg are exceptions rather the norm (by “conservative party”, I’ve usually selected the biggest party right-of-centre. I’m aware that these parties are not always fully equivalent)

    Austria: the civil union has been celebrated in the press as a great concession by the conservative party. So, no dice here (though David can correct me) link)
    Bulgaria: Only one party with 5 seats even supports Sofia pride.
    Croatia: Croatia may introduce civil unions. Conservative opposition staunchly opposed to that link
    Cyprus the right-leaning Democratic Rally Party is opposed to same-sex marriage. (link
    Czech Republic: in 2006, civil unions were finally introduced, overriding a veto of the conservative president. Most MPs of his party had opposed the measure.
    Estonia: Right-wing parties have stated their opposition to same-sex marriage.
    Finland: The National Coalition Party in 2010 voted to support same-sex marriage. (link). However, the relatively small Christian Democratic Party seems to have caused the five-party coalition to table the issue for now. (link)
    France: France might achieve marriage equality soon. Nonetheless, the UMP remains opposed (link)
    Germany: Germany’s conservatives are opposed to full marriage equality. 11 conservative MPs recently signing a letter in support does not change that fact.
    Greece: In Greece, ND is opposed to marriage equality ( link )
    Hungary: the 2012 constitution explicitly bans gay marriage and does not protect LGBT people from discrimination. Need I say more?
    Ireland: here, Fine Gael does support marriage equality. link
    Italy here even a left-leaning party, the Partito Democratico, narrowly voted against marriage equality. (link). Naturally, the right-leaning Popolo della libertà is opposed (link
    Latvia: also introduced a same-sex marriage ban (link)
    Lithuania: same-sex marriage has been banned since 1992, only some MPs from left-leaning parties have expressed support for marriage equality.
    Luxembourg the ruling Christian Social Party is considering legalising same-sex marriage (link
    Malta: Malta’s conservative govt has announced it would propose a registered partnership law, but nothing has happened so far. Meanwhile, public support for gay marriage is reported to be at 60%.
    Poland The Civic Platform wants to introduce civil union, which is rejected by the right-wing Law and Order Party. But no same-sex marriage on the table. (link)
    Rumania no Rumanian party supports same-sex marriage.
    Slovakia on September 19, the ruling Social Democratic Party announced it would vote against the registered partnership proposal (I’d assume conservative parties would all the more be opposed)
    Slovenia in 2011, same-sex marriage was introduced against the will of the now ruling Slovenian Democratic Party, a centre-right party. Tragically, a referendum in 2012 annulled the law, reverting back to the 2006 law allowing civil unions. (link)
    United Kingdom: this is also a case where the Conservative Party does support it. (However, AFAIK, in the UK civil unions pretty much do have the same rights and privileges as marriages)