March 11, 2005

Meeting Bloggers

It's late, I got nothin', and I need to get some sleep. But I met this guy - Asher Abrams - for coffee today and he wrote a post about it for those of you who are interested in that sort of thing.

Asher isn't the most stereotypical person around. He joined the Marines, fought in the 1991 Gulf War, came home, moved to San Francisco, joined and actually volunteered for the Green Party, voted for Ralph Nader twice, moved to Portland, then voted for Bush in 2004. He has long hair, glasses, and a beard, and he likes to wear Bush/Cheney buttons while shopping at Whole Foods. 9-11 made him a more complicated person than he already was, and naturally we got along great.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at March 11, 2005 01:13 AM
Comments

He's the one who sent me the Rabbi Zaslow essays I told you about.

He is now an absentee member of the NY Metro Liberal Hawks Movie and Dining Group.

Posted by: Yehudit at March 11, 2005 01:31 AM

Whoa...there's a New York Metro Liberal Hawks Movie and Dining Group?! If and when I end up moving to New York in a couple years, if the group is still around, I want in in the worst way!

Posted by: Grant McEntire at March 11, 2005 01:43 AM

How about this...

joined and actually volunteered for the Green Party, voted for Nader twice, Jewish, gay, long hair, multiple earrings, pierced nose, pierced nipples, belly button ring standing on the floor of the Republican Convention cheering on Zell Miller wearing Bush/Cheney buttons before voting for Bush in 2004.

Yep, that's my brother who leaped with me off the silly wagon of knee-jerk liberalism.

Posted by: Joseph (formerly Samuel) at March 11, 2005 06:30 AM

"And as the protesters in Lebanon have shown, there's power in numbers. So I'm looking forward to that meeting with Portland's pro-freedom, pro-Bush liberals.
All three of us."

LOL. I especially appreciated the anecdote about the 'date'who stomped off in a huff upon learning that a mutant 'Bush-supporter'was sitting down for dinner with her.The nice thing though was she did leave $20.00,so it was not a complete loss.
Thanks for the post.Now I have another 'sympatico' internet place to visit.

Posted by: dougf at March 11, 2005 06:52 AM

To this day, the only overtly hostile reaction I've gotten was from the woman (an anthropology professor, no less!) who walked out on a date, flinging twenty dollars on the table and proclaiming, "I don't eat with people who vote for Bush!"

So can we put this myth of Liberal tolerance to rest already? It's become such a joke.

Posted by: Carlos at March 11, 2005 07:02 AM

I still haven't found a "liberal hawk" blog. Checking out Asher's blog, Yehudit's blog, all their links, I find myself reading the writings of satisfied Republicans, save for their opposition to some of the evangelical Christian political agenda. Barely a murmur of protest about the Republican agenda of whoring for corporations and the wealthy, bankrupting the public sector, dismantling the safety net, reducing social mobility...

I don't mind reading things written by conservatives, but let's call a spade a spade.

Posted by: at March 11, 2005 07:08 AM

Speaking of other bloggers, you really should blogroll Dennis the Peasant. He's found his voice, and it's great.

Posted by: Phil Smith at March 11, 2005 07:08 AM

So can we put this myth of Liberal tolerance to rest already? It's become such a joke.

The professor-getting-up-and-leaving-the-table was pretty clearly described as "the only overtly hostile reaction" Asher has gotten from liberals who found out he was a Bush supporter. But of course, it's more fun to pretend that ALL liberals are equal to the worst liberals.

Posted by: Stephen Silver at March 11, 2005 07:38 AM

Joseph formerly Samuel,

Yup, your brother's got me beat.

Michael, thanks for the link!

Posted by: Asher Abrams - Dreams Into Lightning at March 11, 2005 07:51 AM

it's more fun to pretend that ALL liberals are equal to the worst liberals.
I've began to separate liberals from lefties. I must say, though, that the lefties are the loud ones and so they stand out. Liberals must be looked for.

But I proudly lump all lefties together.

Posted by: Ron at March 11, 2005 07:52 AM

Bingo, Ron!

Posted by: Asher Abrams - Dreams Into Lightning at March 11, 2005 08:05 AM

The anthropology prof walking out was nothing. Check Sptimes.com for story about disgruntled Tampa Democrat, described as a Web designer and a "laid back guy" who chased down the woman with two kids in an SUV displaying a Bush/Cheney bumpersticker. The Myth of Liberal Tolerance disintegrates into political road rage.

Posted by: Zacek at March 11, 2005 08:09 AM

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."
-- President Kennedy.

"It is in the interest of both parties not to give a chance to those who shed the blood of nations for their limited personal interest and obedience to the gang of the White House. This war earns millions of dollars for big companies, whether those who manufacture weapons or those involved in reconstruction, such as Halliburton ..."
--Osama bin Laden

"I did not leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me."
-- President Reagan.

Posted by: Your Moment of Zen at March 11, 2005 08:15 AM

I must say, though, that the lefties are the loud ones and so they stand out. Liberals must be looked for.

Liberals are the functional equivalent of the moderate muslim. They are afraid to challenge the Leftists that have hijacked their party, and they get mad when they're called anti-American. But if they challenged the Leftists in their midst, we wouldn't accuse them of being anti-American. But they can't challenge the Leftists because they're afraid of being called heretics, just like moderate muslims are afraid of being fatwad. The parallels are almost identical.

Posted by: Carlos at March 11, 2005 08:34 AM

Stephen Silver,

Good point. Let's not commit the fallacy of composition. Nevertheless, I have found that there is a substantial number of Liberals who act in such ways even if it is a minority.

Anonymous poster,

Barely a murmur of protest about the Republican agenda of whoring for corporations and the wealthy, bankrupting the public sector, dismantling the safety net, reducing social mobility...

Maybe it is because these liberals live in reality. It is easy to turn one's opponent into a monster to not have to deal with his ideas.

Posted by: JBP at March 11, 2005 08:42 AM

I was the unsigned one above, ranting about the rest of the Republican agenda.

Asher -- is it fair to say you've become a two-issue voter -- with those two issues being killing Arab terrorists and protecting the Jewish state? That those issues trump everything else until...whenever.

Or is it more that your respect for Republicans on these two issues has allowed your formerly closed Naderite mind to open up on other issues to the wisdom of the the party that values "principled individuals and inclusive organizations...tolerance and responsibility...[and] unity born of diversity". Issues like the new bankruptcy law -- nearly unanimously supported by Republicans and about to be signed into law by President Bush -- that will make it almost impossible for families impoverished by catastrophic medical expenses due to a lack of health insurance to declare bankruptcy? Is this your idea of "responsible change, progress, and human rights"?

Posted by: markus rose at March 11, 2005 09:11 AM

Liberals are the functional equivalent of the moderate muslim. They are afraid to challenge the Leftists

Is MJT afraid to challenge the Leftists? Is Asher? Is Jeff Jarvis? Am I?

Posted by: Stephen Silver at March 11, 2005 09:17 AM

It would be nice if liberal hawks in the blue states could have some way of quickly identifying each other, so they could see that they’re not alone. Buttons and t-shirts are one idea. Cowboy hats :-) ?

Some members of our NYC liberal hawks group wore pro-Bush buttons before the election – and the response was surprising. They didn’t get too much abuse, but they did find that a lot of people walked up to them and said (usually quietly) "I agree with you."

I think there are a lot of liberal hawks in the blue states who support the idea of fighting terrorism using military means, but they don’t like Bush & his administration. Bush t-shirts and buttons may not strike a sympathetic chord with that group, but something anti-loony-left like this might. (I wish I could find these for sale on the net.)

Whoa...there's a New York Metro Liberal Hawks Movie and Dining Group?! If and when I end up moving to New York in a couple years, if the group is still around, I want in in the worst way!

Grant – Great - Judith has more about the Liberal Hawks movie and dining group here.

Posted by: mary at March 11, 2005 09:36 AM

Excuse me, Markus, but I work in the area of insolvency, and the new bankruptcy law will do no such thing as you describe. All this screaming about "debt peonage" is hysterical, absurd and partisan. This thread is not the forum to go into detail, but I can offer reasonable assurance that the S.256 is not the equivalent of burning down the orphanage.

Posted by: Zacek at March 11, 2005 09:53 AM

My early background was so pervasively Democrat that I endured a sort of existential crisis after learning that my grade school teacher might be a Republican. This rumor shocked me to the very core of my being. She seemed to be such a nice person. How could this be? I try not to discuss politics with my own mother so as not to hurt her feelings.

Some of you are voting Republican only because of the war of terror. Sadly, you think that the Democratic Party has the better responses pertaining to poverty, the environment, and a host of other issues. Keep studying and you will eventually change your mind. Is there any issue, though, where the Democratic Party has the clear advantage? Yes, if you are pro-abortion and pro-gay sex. You will ultimately have to decide if these issues trump everything else.

I am utterly convinced, for example, that the United States would be at least 20% wealthier today, if in the last 40 years, the Democrats had less influence over economic matters. Their ideological emphasis on sharing the pie instead of making the pie bigger for everyone is just plain stupid. Regularly visiting bloggers Jane Galt and Arnold Kling is highly recommend.

Posted by: David Thomson at March 11, 2005 10:19 AM

Zacek -- S. 256 is morally bankrupt. The New Republic explains why, and why it is particularly important for those who would pull the party away from hardcore leftism to stand up to the credit card companies:

"As Paul Krugman pointed out today, the bill makes no exceptions for families wiped out by medical expenses (which make up more than half of all bankruptcies) or for bankruptcy cases involving active-duty soldiers, yet it leaves any number of loopholes in place for large corporations. The political imagery here so obviously benefits anyone who'd oppose the bill you're left to conclude that the only way a congressman could possibly support it is through a craven and reflexive willingness to do the bidding of big business.

But, even worse than that, support for the bill by Democratic moderates betrays a striking obliviousness to the most important debate underway within the Democratic Party. Moderate Democrats have been under assault from grassroots liberals lately for selling out Democratic values in their rush to appease conservative interests. I normally think this criticism is highly misplaced, and that moderates have exactly the right instincts when it comes to social issues and foreign policy, even most economic issues. But in this case the moderates proved the liberals' point for them, which could set back the cause of moderates within the party for months, if not years. It really is a colossal, inexcusable mistake."

http://tnr.com/etc.mhtml?pid=2584

Posted by: markus rose at March 11, 2005 10:21 AM

Markus, I haven't read TNR piece you note, but I read Krugman in NYT, and conclude he doesn't know what he's talking about.

The way to "stand up to the credit card companies" is to limit rates they can charge to subprime customers and put limits on their mail solicitations; that is direct, tinkering with the bankruptcy code is indirect, and grandstanding by introducing amendments that have no chance of passing, merely to make political hay by pointing out what the bill doesn't include, serves no real useful purpose.

Families "wiped out" by medical expenses may still qualify for Chapter 7 discharge which will eliminate their debt, depending on household income, and even if channeled into a repayment, will probably be able to pay off debts a quarter on the dollar. Uninsured medical expenses, in my experience, are a major factor in household insolvencies but to allocate more than half of all bankruptcies to this is erroneous and hyperbolic. I do not believe facts support this statement.

Under current law, there is no standard applied to determine a debtor's ability to pay. None. This law uses Allowable Standard as currently used by the IRS. One could argue that this is not a fair or flexible standard, but this argument entails offering an alternative, and I have not heard any critic of this bill offer such alternative, or argue why no standard to determine ability to pay shold be applied.

Regarding what moderate Democrats do nor don't do, well, I could not care less.

I could amplify further but out of respect to Michael Totten's bandwidth, I'd rather no.

Posted by: Zacek at March 11, 2005 10:45 AM

Steve Silver, the problem Liberals who challenge Lefties run into is they get tarred as closet Republicans. (Hi Markus!) Effectively, the Deaniacs are denying hawkish liberals the benefits of party affiliation.

That strategy by the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party is both rude and stupid. The Dean and Kos Krew is pissing away (and pissing off) intellectual firepower that by inclination would be with them on the domestic issues. (And let's face it, for Democrats domestic issues are where they have home court advantage.)

Now, for those who think of Democrats as only slightly less offensive than Republicans, that's no big deal. They can keep voting for the embalmed body of Ralph Nader for President for the next 50 years and feel really good about themselves. But the people who think FDR and JFK had basically the right ideas don't end up with much in the way of voting options, and that is probably a bad thing for the country as a whole.

Here's a hint, would-be Libs: if the intellectual heavy lifters in the middle didn't have to spend time and words slapping down objectively pro-fascist neo-isolationist cant, they might actually turn their attention (and maybe the attention of Middle America) to issues you supposedly socially sensitive types really care about.

Posted by: Mark Poling at March 11, 2005 10:54 AM

Zacek -- I agree that this isn't the place to get into the details of the bill.

But it would be more honest if those who support the Republican agenda, excepting gay rights and abortion rights, or are at the very least indifferent to it, stopped calling themselves "liberal hawks" and started calling themselves "socially liberal Republicans."

Posted by: at March 11, 2005 10:55 AM

That was me above.

Mark Poling --
"Liberals who challenge Lefties run into is they get tarred as closet Republicans. (Hi Markus!) Effectively, the Deaniacs are denying hawkish liberals the benefits of party affiliation."

No, I'm an anti-Deaniac, and a moderate on a whole bunch of issues. My problem is not with real "hawkish liberals" like most of the writers at the New Republic, but with ex-liberals masquerading as "liberal hawks" who only disagree with the Republicans on matters of style and on a couple of social issues.

Posted by: markus rose at March 11, 2005 11:03 AM

Markus,

Assuming you wrote the anonymous post above this one, do you have any objection to "Independent"? I do hope that you don't, but I will continue to use it to describe myself in any case.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at March 11, 2005 11:05 AM

Markus,

Next time you leave a comment, select the "Remember personal info" box and you won't accidentally leave any more anonymous comments.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at March 11, 2005 11:06 AM

Who are you calling embalmed? I may dress like some one about to be buried by the state, but I am very much alive.

Posted by: Ralph Nader at March 11, 2005 11:06 AM

Is MJT afraid to challenge the Leftists? Is Asher? Is Jeff Jarvis? Am I?

Stephen,

No. But who are you in the Dem party? Nobody.

Posted by: Carlos at March 11, 2005 11:09 AM

MJT -- I have no problem with independents like yourself. My comments are an expression of the frustration I feel toward "liberal hawks" -- whom I tend to agree with on some key issues -- who seem indifferent to the other issues that I care a lot about. There's just not too many "scoop Jackson" liberals around, if there ever were.

Posted by: markus rose at March 11, 2005 11:45 AM

I am proud to call myself a Liberal Suburban Republican, but since I am also Jewish I'm afraid I have been somewhat precluded from doing so. (Though I did change political affiliation) Having been called pejoratively over and over again a dreaded neo-con by even longtime friends, family, and former political allies, I have decided to wear it as a badge of honor. I switched to Republican because the order of importance in the public policy I support has been turned on it's head. Democrats will not in my lifetime have a large enough support base to support true hawkish foreign policy (not their phoney "I support the troops" rhetorical one that is suberviant to the UN). Another issue is their is not only much more anti-Semitism on the left, there exists anti-Semitism among leftist Jews. I find none among Jews on the right. Anti-Semitism is bad enough, coming from Jews I absolutely loathe.

So in a nutshell, yes arguing on the margins of fiscal and social policy has come to seem rather petty and silly in light of the larger problems going on in the world. If Republicans in the mean time happen to win me over on other policies then blame the Democrats for having been so silly as to close or open the door (however you view it), I am indeed a heretic and heretics often find themselves taking options they would have never have before dreamed of.

To those who like to claim they know what conservative and liberal is these days good luck. The policies of JFK were more conservative then Bush's are today on almost all counts. In the context of the world the policies of both parties are very liberal so the terms have become divisive and pejorative. The Democrats to me has become the party of defending the status quo, I'll let that mean whatever people may wish it to mean for themselves, I know what it means to me, but I must say the Democrats have become the "new reactionaries" as far as I am concerned.

To Asher Abrams I thank you for your Military service, and thank you for your thoughtful politics, my brother will be elated.

Posted by: Joseph (formerly Samuel) at March 11, 2005 11:55 AM

Joseph --
A debate on social security, or education, or the right to organize, or environmental regulation,between someone like Grover Norquist, an influential Republican whose extreme views have become mainstream, and, say, Hillary Clinton, is about a hell of a lot more than "the margins of fiscal and social policy." It is an existential argument about who we are and what kind of a society we want to live in.

Posted by: markus rose at March 11, 2005 12:08 PM

“Democrats will not in my lifetime have a large enough support base to support true hawkish foreign policy (not their phoney "I support the troops" rhetorical one that is suberviant to the UN).”

I have repeatedly asserted that the national Democratic Party died on November 2, 2004. It remains a viable entity only in statewide and local elections. The odds are extremely remote that the far Left can ever be marginalized. They hold the veto over that party’s presidential nominee. John Kerry, the compromise choice, is perhaps the most liberal senator in Washington---and never hesitates to suck up to the Old Europeans.

“Another issue is their is not only much more anti-Semitism on the left, there exists anti-Semitism among leftist Jews. I find none among Jews on the right. Anti-Semitism is bad enough, coming from Jews I absolutely loathe.”

I am also convinced that at least 1/3 of those who hold the veto power over the Democratic Party are hostile toward Israel---and consider that country guilty of fascism and exploitation of the Palestinian masses. Michael Totten rightfully asked me for evidence to support my opinion. Regrettably, I had no hard empirical data to offer. Why is this? I strongly suspect that the polling organizations are mostly run by liberals who are fearful of what they will find out. If the truth comes out---the number of Jewish-Americans joining the Republican Party will increase significantly.

Posted by: David Thomson at March 11, 2005 12:24 PM

David Thomson: I have repeatedly asserted that the national Democratic Party died on November 2, 2004.

Some people thought the Republican Party died November 2, 1992. There was an equal amount of evidence for that as there is for what you're saying now.

Remember what happened in 1994?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at March 11, 2005 12:37 PM

Markus, in the end it is crap compared to the WOT. Clinton was Republican-lite, Bush is triangulating in reverse. The partisan crap blows it all out of proportion. If you choose to put such issues front and center then fine, I don't. Hillary as we speak is "moving to the center" I had been a Democrat my whole life, in fact I am the first Republican ever in my family, I know the stomach the party has for the WOT fight I value... very little. The Democrats made a big mistake when they kissed away the South, they lost a critical mass of Sam Nunn type hawks that helped keep the Scoop Jackson Democrats warm. Scoop Jackson followers are now Republicans. They are on the verge of losing most of the hawkish Jews. If you saw the WOT as I do you wouldn't waste your time with arguing such because I was a liberal Jew that threw hundreds of thousands of dollars (at least) at liberal candidates for years, I live in Washington and know people, you have no idea what the decision was for be and still is.

To me the issue is black/white. If you saw it as I did then you wouldn't be questioning it in the terms you do, obviously you don't see it the same. I am not saying you aren't a hawk but by comparison you can't be as much of one because your political example between Hillary and Norver wouldn't even come close to being a political point of any weight or consequence if you were. It either isn't as high on your list or your support of the WOT is defined differently.

Posted by: Joseph (formerly Samuel) at March 11, 2005 12:45 PM

I agree that the most liberal (or left, if you wish) wing of the party is very influential in choosing Prez nominees, but we are a culture that responds to charismatic individuals. I think the alleged "veto" that the left holds over the nominating process would prove a paper tiger in the face of a smart, charismatic candidate who would challenge the Dean wing, in public, on its assumptions about foreign policy and the use of American power. Arguments are there to be made; unfortunately, we have been stuck with low-key people like Lieberman to make them!

Posted by: Gene at March 11, 2005 12:47 PM

It would be nice if liberal hawks in the blue states could have some way of quickly identifying each other ...

I'm a libertarian hawk in California. Do I count? Please, please, please? I wanna button.

Posted by: Achillea at March 11, 2005 01:48 PM

“Some people thought the Republican Party died November 2, 1992. There was an equal amount of evidence for that as there is for what you're saying now.

Remember what happened in 1994?”

Wow, you are really missing the boat. The Republicans of 1994 were never suspected of being weak on defense. There was never any suggestions that the quasi-pacifists had captured the party. This is the number one issue. All the others are of secondary importance. In other words, the Democrats fail to deliver on the foremost responsibility of government. No, the Republicans were never in this much trouble.

"Arguments are there to be made; unfortunately, we have been stuck with low-key people like Lieberman to make them!"

Do you have any other fantasies that you might wish to share with us? I also use to believe in the Easter Bunny. Shucks, I even occasionally day dream that Shaq O'Neal will beg me for mercy on the basketball court. By the way, Joseph Lieberman may very well have to switch to the Republican Party before the elections of 2006.

Posted by: David Thomson at March 11, 2005 02:01 PM

The Dem party died on 9/10.

Posted by: Carlos at March 11, 2005 02:06 PM

Hey, Carlos, Dave, get a room.

Posted by: FC at March 11, 2005 02:10 PM

David Thomson

I doubt Joe Lieberman will become a Republican as he has the approval of over 2/3's of the Republicans and 2/3's of the Democrats in his home Democratic state of Connecticut. Let me remind you in 2004 as I earlier said I switched to the Republican Party so I am saying what I am saying by observation.

The Democratic Party is nowhere near dead, there are plenty of people out their to keep it alive, in fact the Republican's majority is very thin, I am not saying it won't expand, but if you think 1994 would have happened without the help of a tin eared Clinton and his wife's hubris you are greatly mistaken. Many things are predictable, some aspects of political trends are predictable, the increase and decrease of support in a party can be somewhat predictable but very difficult to guarantee, the death of the Democratic Party is as Rumsfield might say certainly "not knowable."

I don't have the time at the moment to get into it too deeply, but there is historical context to put to this but quite frankly I even feel silly addressing this as it seems a waste of time but just thought I'd put in my two cense. I'll simply say that at a minimum a new viable Party must arise to take it's place and it isn't out there. The last viable political party to die was the Whigs, it was replaced by the Republican Party. A minimum of two viable parties is natural to our political system, when a third true viable alternative develops to replace one of the other two then I'll listen, until then I view your statement as at best a hope or guess.

Posted by: Joseph (formerly Samuel) at March 11, 2005 02:25 PM

The Dems got 48% of the vote in November with an extremely weak presidential candidate. To call them "dead" is ludicrous.

And you keep saying this, David, and it's still wrong: the radical left does NOT hold a veto over who the nominee is. If they did, they wouldn't have allowed Kerry to be the nominee. And if Kerry was their "compromise" candidate, then they must not be so "radical" after all, because radicals don't compromise.

Posted by: Stephen Silver at March 11, 2005 02:58 PM

Stephen almost makes a good point about John Kerry as the Dem choice, but I think that has more to do with how the Dem primaries are set up than it does with radicals willing to compromise. If the first caucus wasn't in Iowa but instead in California or New York, Howard Dean would have been the choice with Al Sharpton as runner up. Middle America, the people you Leftists love to hate, is the ony thing that keeps the Democrats viable.

Posted by: Carlos at March 11, 2005 03:03 PM

The Dems got 48% of the vote in November with an extremely weak presidential candidate. To call them "dead" is ludicrous.--Steven S.

And the other candidates thrown up by a moribund organization were world-beaters? I know it's been a long time since November,but I do recall Kerry being thought of as the best of a bad lot(which he was,actually).Remember the Democratic swoons over John Edwards(aka John Who?).He certainly wore well,did he not?
48% of the vote when favoured and supported by virtually all the print media, ALL 3 TV networks,1 decaying cable news channel,oh and I almost forgot --- the rest of the WORLD,is NOT a good showing.Factor in a dubious economy,a contentious war,a controversial President with a controversial agenda,and 48% can easily be construed as absolutely pathetic,and a high-water mark for a declining political force.There are no guarantees in politics,but I would double down,in a NY minute, against the Democrats making a comeback any time soon.
Time will tell,but methinks they are in deep,deep,doo-doo,and are running short of hip-waders.

Posted by: dougf at March 11, 2005 03:44 PM

In what way were Dean's policies or the man himself radical?

Posted by: novakant at March 11, 2005 03:52 PM

“The Dems got 48% of the vote in November with an extremely weak presidential candidate. To call them "dead" is ludicrous.”

The MSM helped John Kerry to keep it close. If they had not, President Bush would have won by an 8 1/2 point margin. That was their last hurrah. Never again will they posses this sort of power.

Do you want to see the real face of today’s national Democratic Party? You should consider visiting the Daily Kos:

http://www.dailykos.com/

He is one of the powers behind the throne. The man runs a low overhead operation---and pulls in the big bucks. Liberal Democrats suck up to him for this very reason. It is virtually impossible to marginalize Kos. The Republicans were never threatened with such nonsense in 1994.

"In what way were Dean's policies or the man himself radical?"

I almost forgot about Howard Dean. Yup, he will sure help the Democratic Party with the swing voters. This is similar to the Republicans possibly picking Pat Buchanan as their party chairman.

Posted by: David Thomson at March 11, 2005 04:10 PM

"It's late, I got nothin'..."

FWIW Michael - you've got some good cyber-friends :-)

Posted by: Caroline at March 11, 2005 04:30 PM

In what way were Dean's policies or the man himself radical?

case in point.

Because he appeals to the moonbat vote, which is only a small segment of the population.

Posted by: Carlos at March 11, 2005 04:46 PM

Steve Silver, the problem Liberals who challenge Lefties run into is they get tarred as closet Republicans. (Hi Markus!) Effectively, the Deaniacs are denying hawkish liberals the benefits of party affiliation.

Y'know, there isn't anything that says liberals have to be Democrats- there were liberal Republicans, once.

I would dearly love to see the Liberal wing of the Republican party resurrected.

.....

Some people thought the Republican Party died November 2, 1992. -MJT

Because they lost the White House to a President who only got a plurality of the popular vote? Ridiculous.

There was an equal amount of evidence for that as there is for what you're saying now.

...Not really. Losing the WH to a candidate who won in the Electoral College doesn't qualify in and of itself, granted. But subsequently losing the Senate, and having their minority positions in the Senate and the House shrink in the midterms, followed by a Presidential election where they lost to the same candidate (who managed to get an outright majority this time), and shrank their minority positions in Congress even more... well, it starts to look like Democrats who hope '06 will be their '94 are grasping at straws. Especially considering the 'big ideas' thing- in '94, the R's had their 'big idea', the Contract with America. In '05, the D's big idea seems to be that Iraq is a disaster.... that is somehow inspiring people all over the middle east to protest for democratic reform.

I don't see that being a winning idea in '06. Or '08. Or '10.

...

Remember the Democratic swoons over John Edwards(aka John Who?).He certainly wore well,did he not?

I'm not a D, but he gave me the impression of being Dan Quayle without the experience, y'know?

Posted by: rosignol at March 11, 2005 05:07 PM

Funny how nobody is willing or able to spell out why Dean is such a radical - maybe because he ain't?

Posted by: novakant at March 11, 2005 05:12 PM

Bush is a credible commander in chief. Democrats are NOT. Thus, the present advantage. But as the focus shifts away from Iraq and 9/11 and terrorism, as it inevitably will, particularly if the Bush policies are as successful as supporters think they will be, then the focus will turn to other issues.

And the Republican agenda on those issues is NOT popular. Case in point, the way the Bush Social Security abolition plan is going down in flames, and hurting Bush as it does so, taking down to a 48% overall approval rating: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/national/AP-Bush-AP-Poll.html?.

Posted by: markus rose at March 11, 2005 05:14 PM

Okay - PUI - I admit it. It's Friday night after all.

But I think that part of the problem here re "liberals" vs "conservatives" (which historically and roughly maps onto to "Democrats vs Republicans" - are you guys still debating that? :-)), is that the liberals have ALREADY WON the debate! As someone way up the thread pointed out (PUI remember - which means incapable of scrolling back up that far to cut and past) - JFK, the darling of the baby-boomer liberals, was actually quite far to the right of today's conservatives. A Roman Catholic president! Abortion was illegal. Even contraception was largely unavailable. Of course there was no gay marriage or stem stem research, The Civil Rights Act hadn't even been passed. By today's standards the world circa 1963 was extremely conservative (fascist even!). Yet the same folks who decry the "fascist" state under Bush circa 2000+, still apparently view the Kennedy era (Camelot!) with reverance. What is wrong with this picture?

I would venture to say that what is wrong with this picture is a failure to recognize that the "liberals" have already won! Can we actually go any farther to the left without hurtling off a cliff?

We're standing at the edge of the cliff already. Frankly "multiculturalism" represents the edge of the cliff. Given all the confusion over political labels these days, I have (temporarily) decided to label myself...

LIBERAL ENOUGH!

That means that I endorse the societal changes that have been fought under the banner of "liberalism" for the past several decades but ENOUGH! Liberalism has reached its logical ends.

So maybe that actually makes me a conservative now? Because I want to conserve the gains made by liberalism over the past 30 years (i.e. stopping short of heading over a cliff)?

I'm not sure that my formulation is wrong. Because the farther to the left of (historic) "liberalism" people try to go - the farther to the RIGHT they seem to be heading! Like a big circle! Isn't that what's happening? Peole continuing to head so far to the left of liberalism that they're "joining at the top of the circle" as it were - with the far far right. Now we have the Aryan Nation - along with the political left - expressing solidarity with Islamic jihad!

To continue to call myself a liberal - it seems that I have to jump off the merry-go-round at some point. What is that point? Maybe we've already passed it! Of course, since it will go back around I reckon I get a second chance to make my leap even if I am confused this time (assuming I am lucky enough to live that long.)

Posted by: Caroline at March 11, 2005 05:17 PM

Markus: "But as the focus shifts away from Iraq and 9/11 and terrorism, as it inevitably will, particularly if the Bush policies are as successful as supporters think they will be, then the focus will turn to other issues."

Markus - dream on. In your lifetime if we're both lucky. Like I said - multiculturalism is the edge of the cliff. And I don't see any scenario in the near future that will lead to the Dems leading the sheep away from the edge of the cliff. In fact, your whole post to me demonstrates much of the current problem in the Dem party. You seem to think the WOT (let's dispense with that label and call it a counter-jihad war or something) - is a temporary inconvenience - and when all this silliness is over, we'll get back to the serious business of social justice and designing the perfect welfare state or whatever. (Definitely don't want to put words in your mouth here as I take you to be a moderate) - but I think the Dem party is completely failing to understand that their own indulgence of "multiculturalism" (Bush's sorry excuse must lie with the corporate profits stemming from illegal immigration) - is failing to address the problem at its source. It ain't going away anytime soon is what I'm saying. And in the meantime it seems to me that the Dems are in complete denial of the problem.

Posted by: Caroline at March 11, 2005 05:49 PM

Novakant,

The short answer is because he appeals to you moonbats, isn't that enough?

The long answer is because he's a gentrified post-modernist, a 60's utopianist. Yet even the Howard Dean types have been sobered by the realities of the 70's, 80's and 90's. You Lefties have suffered frightful defeats, like the disintegration of the drug-addled, violence-ridden hippie movement, and the political and geo-political triumphs of Ronald Reagan, or the world-wide ascendacy of free-market capitalist economics (even your commie friends is China and Russia have become capitalists), and the agonizing failure of the 'heaven-on-earth' Lefists nation-states of Eastern Europe -- once hopeful experiments in social and economic "egalitarianism" decaying into repressive totalitarian oligarchies and economic basket cases.

And so what have the radical Lefties done? They changed their name to "progressive" and became a new American bourgeois class trying to combine their 60's counter culture utopianism with the the good ol fashion upward mobility of regular Americans. Gentrification with a twist.

I think it was Mark Steyn who commented that Lefties have retreated to what he calls "small ideas" -- expressed in a politics of petty political correctness and goodness.

Yet the Howard Dean Lefties have no problem taking advantage of this great country's great capitalistic system to make a good living and make tons of money. And they enjoy the many privileges that come with being an American capitalist as long as those privileges primarily benefit them.

But sadly, as a result of an ironic values transmutation, you Lefties still embrace that 60's-style countercultural, oppositionist stance against the traditional symbols of capitalistic wealth and achievement. You champion an alternative culture "openness,", "tolerance," "caring" (notice the quotes) and renounce the alleged greed and selfishness of traditional American life.

And because of this counterculture "caring," you are the good guys; and any groups who oppose you are the "bad guys." And to be a "good guy" you have to tow arbitrary political correctnetss and goodness based on a rigid, small-minded dogma of accepted speech, thought and behavior as described by the self-righteous Lefty intelligentsia.

In the world of the radical Left (such as Howard Dean), it's not the consequences of behavior that counts, but only appearances. "Goodness" means you have to slavishly mimic political correct speech and thought, regardless of their actual impact. Thus your dogmatic insistence on increased spending by government on your welfare state targeted at marginal social groups, even if the consequences of this "compassion" is an increasing apathy, lack of initiative, family breakdown, and social anarchy in the lives of those targeted. You're still the "good guys."

How warped do you have to be to condemn, for instance, cigarette smoking as a "selfish," self-destructive act that requires ever-increasing government regulation -- while at the same time championing the freedom of the spiritual-minded and adventurous to search for fulfillment and alternative wisdom through smoking dope or imbibing all kinds of mind-altering drugs? It's only possible in the mind of the radical Leftist post-modernist. Like Howard Dean.

rant over

Posted by: Carlos at March 11, 2005 06:00 PM

I confess, I like openness, tolerance and caring and despise excesses of greed and selfishness, while not being averse to life's material pleasures - so crucify me. That's enough to make me a radical in your book? Go on, you can pull that stuff from the Bible if you wish, by your standards Jesus was a radical pinko commie.

This discussion, as well as the whole partisan blahblahblah in general, would really benefit if people could simply spell out what policies they support and why and then have a fight over the issues instead of resorting to ridiculous, vacuous and tiresome name calling. You don't have a clue who I am or what I do, yet you draw far-reaching conclusions about my affiliations, my lifestyle and most laughably my stance on smoking - get a grip.

Posted by: novakant at March 11, 2005 06:19 PM

Carlos - you may not have heard of this guy but his critique of leftism is completely and utterly devastating (his voice is one of the few out there to analyze the left's pathology from a psychiatric perspective). You have touched on many of his points even if you haven't heard of him. He has a string of very long articles at a site called "The Laissez Faire Electronic Times". Here is one article:

Robert Kocher

His articles are so long that I print them out and read them on the bus. Nevertheless, he appears to be a rare voice of sanity. He's obviously a voice from the right - I'm just not sure how far to the right. Let's just say that the guy is a real hard-headed realist and leave it at that.

Posted by: Caroline at March 11, 2005 06:29 PM

"Whoa...there's a New York Metro Liberal Hawks Movie and Dining Group?! If and when I end up moving to New York in a couple years, if the group is still around, I want in in the worst way!"

Start your own, Grant. That's what I did.

Posted by: Yehudit at March 11, 2005 07:03 PM

"I find myself reading the writings of satisfied Republicans, save for their opposition to some of the evangelical Christian political agenda. "

Yo! Watch who you're calling a Republican!

Posted by: Yehudit at March 11, 2005 07:04 PM

Carlos,

Not every liberal laments the demise of the hippie movement, believe me. How many hippies do you think live in the blue city of Chicago, for instance?

And if you really think Howard Dean is a radical leftist, what on earth are you going to call the likes of Noam Chomsky? Save the verbal ammunition for when you really need it. If you set aside Howard Dean's anti-war bloviating, he's a centrist and always has been. (His fan base isn't, but he himself is.)

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at March 11, 2005 07:13 PM

Michael:

And if you really think Howard Dean is a radical leftist, what on earth are you going to call the likes of Noam Chomsky? Save the verbal ammunition for when you really need it. If you set aside Howard Dean's anti-war bloviating, he's a centrist and always has been. (His fan base isn't, but he himself is.)

He took his 30 pieces of silver of his own free will. If anything, that makes Dean worse than Chomsky, whose pathology isn't so obviously opportunistic. (Not to mention strategically and tactically idiotic. Hillary, PLEASE have a talk with Howard, if you care at all about the Democratic Party.)

Posted by: Mark Poling at March 11, 2005 07:29 PM

"... he likes to wear Bush/Cheney buttons while shopping at Whole Foods. 9-11 made him a more complicated person than he already was, and naturally we got along great."

Oh, how I loveth thee, Michael! :)

Marc S. Lamb (former MJT detractor)

Posted by: Marc Lamb at March 11, 2005 08:16 PM

Howard Dean isn't a radical. He is however tempermentally unsuited to national office. Walter Lippmna had it right (paraphrasing) the most important element in a leader isn't intellect, but temperment.

Those who think a candidate is nothing more than a collection of his position on issues don't properly value personal issues like resilience, character, resolve, courage, determination, ambition, duplicitousness, cleverness etc.

America voters value (positively or negatively) personal traits highly.

Posted by: spc67 at March 11, 2005 08:55 PM

Save the verbal ammunition for when you really need it.

LOL! Indeed I should. I just felt a rant coming on and couldn't help myself.

Posted by: Carlos at March 11, 2005 10:04 PM

Michael,

Another born and raised in the Pacific Northwest guy here. I think this might interest you.

Bay Area Hawk

Fri, 11 Mar 2005 23:12:15 -0800 (PST)
From: "Warren Windrem" View Contact Details
Subject: Re: Join Me in Welcoming Howard Dean to the DNC!
To: "Rep. Nancy Pelosi"


Dear Rep Pelosi,

If I had to pick one guy who was most responsible for driving me out or the Democratic Party and into the arms of the Republicans, it would be Howard Dean. Welcome him to the DNC? I'd just as soon welcome Noam Chomsky, the late Edward Said, or Ward Churchill, or Juan "Israel is always wrong" Cole, or Leroi What's His Name, former "Poet Laureate of New Jersey" ("The Jews didn't show up for work on 9/11, 'cause they were in on the secret-the CIA/Mossad did it!), or the Middle Eastern Studies Department of Columbia University, or the Chairwoman of the Duke University Middle Eastern Studies Department ("Let's boycot the International Gay Pride Celebration in Tel Aviv-we don't want to give any encouragement to the International Zionist Conspiracy!), or Representative Cynthia McKinney, or her Jew bashing (not just Israeli bashing, but in your face Jew bashing) daddy.
Hey, normally, my being a Democrat would be a lead pipe cinch. Pro choice? Check! Pro Gay Marriage? Check! Pro women's rights, whatever that is these days? Check! Do I have a pro Democratic voting record? Check! (voted for Jimmy Carter twice, Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton twice, and even, God help me, Al Gore!).
But the promiscuous, intellectually and morally slutty Anti-War Movement ("We don't care how bloodthirsty the Palestinian Extremist anti-war speaker is, he's a bastard, but he's our bastard" attitude) has driven me out. Now Howard Dean probably doesn't share all of the above views, but he certainly has legitimized them, and that makes him totally unacceptable to me.
I turn 57 day after tomorrow. Back in the 50's and 60's, I rejected Bull Connor, Orville Faubus, George Wallace, the White Citizen's Council, the Ku Klux Klan, and all the other people who murdered Condi Rice's childhood friend in the Birmingham church bombing of nineteen sixty something or other. The Civil Rights Movements more than anything else drew me out of my Goldwater Conservative family into the Democratic Party for a generation (at least 35 years, anyway.) Too bad the No-Enemies-on-the-Left anti war crazies are driving me right back to the Republican Party, isn't it?
You want me back? It will take a Sister Soulja speech straight to the black heart of the anti-war left. I suppose Hillary Clinton looks promising that way; she seems to have lowered the shouting on the abortion debate (interestingly enough, I personally would have been okay with a take no prisoners pro-choice position, but pragmatic compromise there is okay by me). I do feel sorry for you; as a San Francisco politician, you have to take the Neo-Stalinist idiots down at 24th & Mission (A.N.S.W.E.R.), and the disgraceful Medea Benjamin, and that Israel Bashing lady that runs a women's shelter on city funding somewhere in S.F. (No coverage of THAT story in the Comical, I had to read that story in the Baltimore Sun-maybe your dad can sent you a clipping) and makes life miserable for Jewish employees and clients, you have to take them seriously. Fortunately, I don't, and I'm free to associate with people who, however much they might disagree with me on Social Security "reform", or taxation policy, or Supreme Court appointments, or reproductive rights, or bankrupcy legislation, at least they share my abhorence of racism and Israel bashing, and Jew bashing.
Yeah, yeah, don't tell me, I know, I know, his wife and teenaged kids are Jewish, so I shouldn't worry. Do you rememember the question some network guy (Tom Brokaw?) asked Michael Dukakis in 1988? "Governor, if some man raped/murdered (I forget which, it was 17 years ago) your wife, what would your reaction be?" Okay, here's my question for Howard Dean, and all you people who think he's okay: "Governor Dean, speaking as the husband of a Jewish spouse and the father of Jewish children, what is your emotional reaction when you see some old line neo-stalinist geek or some don't-know-any-better young protester carrying a sign that says, "Zionism is Racism", or "Smash the State of Israel"?
When I hear the Democratic party addressing my concerns in that area, we can talk about contributing money, and not one nano-second earlier.

Warren S. Windrem
184 13th Street, Apt # 451
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 763-2207
wswindrem@yahoo.com

P.S. I am ethnicly Scotch-Irish/WASP, from a Presbyterian family background, raised in at that time predominately liberal Protestant Olympia, Washington (yes, sigh, the home of "Let's burn the Israeli flag" Corrie What's Her Name). I don't belong to ADL, I don't dynamite abortion clinics, if I should ever be so lucky as to be invited to the wedding of a gay or lesbian friend, I would be honored to attend (I've lived in the Bay Area since 1976, almost 30 years, and I hold the typical gay tolerant attitudes). I didn't grow up in Brooklyn, Queens, or North Jersey; I'd be happy to see the Israelis abandon most, if not all of the West Bank Settlements (BUT NOT THE WALL-a perfectly legitimate defensive measure against inexcusable murder). If you guys want to insult would be liberals like me by endorsing Howard Dean, go ahead. Even here in the Bay Area, there are more pro-war liberals than you think, even if the Comical, and Medea Benjamin, and Tom Meyer would never admit it.


Rep. Nancy Pelosi" wrote:

Contribute Now


Dear Warren,

On Saturday we elected a great Democrat as the chairman of our Party -- Howard Dean. Governor Dean has used the power of technology, the force of his personality, and the depth of his ideals to energize the grassroots, and bring more people into the political process.

I have seen Howard Dean's campaign strengths firsthand as he traveled across the country for House Democrats -- organizing voters and raising money. I have seen people who have stood in driving rain for hours to hear his message. We all thank Governor Dean for his enthusiasm and support for our candidates.

This is a critical time for our Party.

https://secure.dccc.org/default.aspx?id=welcome

Governor Dean joins the DCCC's new Chairman Rahm Emanuel as a pair of visionaries who are already working quickly to reform our party and refine our message.

Our new Chairmen need you on board. The 2006 elections have already begun. We need the support of loyal Democrats like you to continue in our fight.

Please renew your support in the DCCC today.

https://secure.dccc.org/default.aspx?id=welcome

Democrats are shaking up the status quo, reaching outside the Beltway for ideas and direction, and striving to strengthen the bonds with the great citizens of this country. We will restore a government that protects the interests of the people against the massive special interests that would use government to gouge them - rather than the other way around. You want real reform, and we will bring it to you. But we can only do it with your help.

https://secure.dccc.org/default.aspx?id=welcome

We will fight together, and together we will prevail!

Sincerely,


Nancy Pelosi


Posted by: Warren Windrem at March 12, 2005 12:09 AM

Michael,

Another born and raised in the Pacific Northwest guy here. I think this might interest you.

Bay Area Hawk

Fri, 11 Mar 2005 23:12:15 -0800 (PST)
From: "Warren Windrem" View Contact Details
Subject: Re: Join Me in Welcoming Howard Dean to the DNC!
To: "Rep. Nancy Pelosi"


Dear Rep Pelosi,

If I had to pick one guy who was most responsible for driving me out or the Democratic Party and into the arms of the Republicans, it would be Howard Dean. Welcome him to the DNC? I'd just as soon welcome Noam Chomsky, the late Edward Said, or Ward Churchill, or Juan "Israel is always wrong" Cole, or Leroi What's His Name, former "Poet Laureate of New Jersey" ("The Jews didn't show up for work on 9/11, 'cause they were in on the secret-the CIA/Mossad did it!), or the Middle Eastern Studies Department of Columbia University, or the Chairwoman of the Duke University Middle Eastern Studies Department ("Let's boycot the International Gay Pride Celebration in Tel Aviv-we don't want to give any encouragement to the International Zionist Conspiracy!), or Representative Cynthia McKinney, or her Jew bashing (not just Israeli bashing, but in your face Jew bashing) daddy.
Hey, normally, my being a Democrat would be a lead pipe cinch. Pro choice? Check! Pro Gay Marriage? Check! Pro women's rights, whatever that is these days? Check! Do I have a pro Democratic voting record? Check! (voted for Jimmy Carter twice, Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton twice, and even, God help me, Al Gore!).
But the promiscuous, intellectually and morally slutty Anti-War Movement ("We don't care how bloodthirsty the Palestinian Extremist anti-war speaker is, he's a bastard, but he's our bastard" attitude) has driven me out. Now Howard Dean probably doesn't share all of the above views, but he certainly has legitimized them, and that makes him totally unacceptable to me.
I turn 57 day after tomorrow. Back in the 50's and 60's, I rejected Bull Connor, Orville Faubus, George Wallace, the White Citizen's Council, the Ku Klux Klan, and all the other people who murdered Condi Rice's childhood friend in the Birmingham church bombing of nineteen sixty something or other. The Civil Rights Movements more than anything else drew me out of my Goldwater Conservative family into the Democratic Party for a generation (at least 35 years, anyway.) Too bad the No-Enemies-on-the-Left anti war crazies are driving me right back to the Republican Party, isn't it?
You want me back? It will take a Sister Soulja speech straight to the black heart of the anti-war left. I suppose Hillary Clinton looks promising that way; she seems to have lowered the shouting on the abortion debate (interestingly enough, I personally would have been okay with a take no prisoners pro-choice position, but pragmatic compromise there is okay by me). I do feel sorry for you; as a San Francisco politician, you have to take the Neo-Stalinist idiots down at 24th & Mission (A.N.S.W.E.R.), and the disgraceful Medea Benjamin, and that Israel Bashing lady that runs a women's shelter on city funding somewhere in S.F. (No coverage of THAT story in the Comical, I had to read that story in the Baltimore Sun-maybe your dad can sent you a clipping) and makes life miserable for Jewish employees and clients, you have to take them seriously. Fortunately, I don't, and I'm free to associate with people who, however much they might disagree with me on Social Security "reform", or taxation policy, or Supreme Court appointments, or reproductive rights, or bankrupcy legislation, at least they share my abhorence of racism and Israel bashing, and Jew bashing.
Yeah, yeah, don't tell me, I know, I know, his wife and teenaged kids are Jewish, so I shouldn't worry. Do you rememember the question some network guy (Tom Brokaw?) asked Michael Dukakis in 1988? "Governor, if some man raped/murdered (I forget which, it was 17 years ago) your wife, what would your reaction be?" Okay, here's my question for Howard Dean, and all you people who think he's okay: "Governor Dean, speaking as the husband of a Jewish spouse and the father of Jewish children, what is your emotional reaction when you see some old line neo-stalinist geek or some don't-know-any-better young protester carrying a sign that says, "Zionism is Racism", or "Smash the State of Israel"?
When I hear the Democratic party addressing my concerns in that area, we can talk about contributing money, and not one nano-second earlier.

Warren S. Windrem
184 13th Street, Apt # 451
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 763-2207
wswindrem@yahoo.com

P.S. I am ethnicly Scotch-Irish/WASP, from a Presbyterian family background, raised in at that time predominately liberal Protestant Olympia, Washington (yes, sigh, the home of "Let's burn the Israeli flag" Corrie What's Her Name). I don't belong to ADL, I don't dynamite abortion clinics, if I should ever be so lucky as to be invited to the wedding of a gay or lesbian friend, I would be honored to attend (I've lived in the Bay Area since 1976, almost 30 years, and I hold the typical gay tolerant attitudes). I didn't grow up in Brooklyn, Queens, or North Jersey; I'd be happy to see the Israelis abandon most, if not all of the West Bank Settlements (BUT NOT THE WALL-a perfectly legitimate defensive measure against inexcusable murder). If you guys want to insult would be liberals like me by endorsing Howard Dean, go ahead. Even here in the Bay Area, there are more pro-war liberals than you think, even if the Comical, and Medea Benjamin, and Tom Meyer would never admit it.


Rep. Nancy Pelosi" wrote:

Contribute Now


Dear Warren,

On Saturday we elected a great Democrat as the chairman of our Party -- Howard Dean. Governor Dean has used the power of technology, the force of his personality, and the depth of his ideals to energize the grassroots, and bring more people into the political process.

I have seen Howard Dean's campaign strengths firsthand as he traveled across the country for House Democrats -- organizing voters and raising money. I have seen people who have stood in driving rain for hours to hear his message. We all thank Governor Dean for his enthusiasm and support for our candidates.

This is a critical time for our Party.

https://secure.dccc.org/default.aspx?id=welcome

Governor Dean joins the DCCC's new Chairman Rahm Emanuel as a pair of visionaries who are already working quickly to reform our party and refine our message.

Our new Chairmen need you on board. The 2006 elections have already begun. We need the support of loyal Democrats like you to continue in our fight.

Please renew your support in the DCCC today.

https://secure.dccc.org/default.aspx?id=welcome

Democrats are shaking up the status quo, reaching outside the Beltway for ideas and direction, and striving to strengthen the bonds with the great citizens of this country. We will restore a government that protects the interests of the people against the massive special interests that would use government to gouge them - rather than the other way around. You want real reform, and we will bring it to you. But we can only do it with your help.

https://secure.dccc.org/default.aspx?id=welcome

We will fight together, and together we will prevail!

Sincerely,


Nancy Pelosi


Posted by: Warren Windrem at March 12, 2005 12:10 AM

Michael,

Another born and raised in the Pacific Northwest guy here. I think this might interest you.

Bay Area Hawk

Fri, 11 Mar 2005 23:12:15 -0800 (PST)
From: "Warren Windrem" View Contact Details
Subject: Re: Join Me in Welcoming Howard Dean to the DNC!
To: "Rep. Nancy Pelosi"


Dear Rep Pelosi,

If I had to pick one guy who was most responsible for driving me out or the Democratic Party and into the arms of the Republicans, it would be Howard Dean. Welcome him to the DNC? I'd just as soon welcome Noam Chomsky, the late Edward Said, or Ward Churchill, or Juan "Israel is always wrong" Cole, or Leroi What's His Name, former "Poet Laureate of New Jersey" ("The Jews didn't show up for work on 9/11, 'cause they were in on the secret-the CIA/Mossad did it!), or the Middle Eastern Studies Department of Columbia University, or the Chairwoman of the Duke University Middle Eastern Studies Department ("Let's boycot the International Gay Pride Celebration in Tel Aviv-we don't want to give any encouragement to the International Zionist Conspiracy!), or Representative Cynthia McKinney, or her Jew bashing (not just Israeli bashing, but in your face Jew bashing) daddy.
Hey, normally, my being a Democrat would be a lead pipe cinch. Pro choice? Check! Pro Gay Marriage? Check! Pro women's rights, whatever that is these days? Check! Do I have a pro Democratic voting record? Check! (voted for Jimmy Carter twice, Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton twice, and even, God help me, Al Gore!).
But the promiscuous, intellectually and morally slutty Anti-War Movement ("We don't care how bloodthirsty the Palestinian Extremist anti-war speaker is, he's a bastard, but he's our bastard" attitude) has driven me out. Now Howard Dean probably doesn't share all of the above views, but he certainly has legitimized them, and that makes him totally unacceptable to me.
I turn 57 day after tomorrow. Back in the 50's and 60's, I rejected Bull Connor, Orville Faubus, George Wallace, the White Citizen's Council, the Ku Klux Klan, and all the other people who murdered Condi Rice's childhood friend in the Birmingham church bombing of nineteen sixty something or other. The Civil Rights Movements more than anything else drew me out of my Goldwater Conservative family into the Democratic Party for a generation (at least 35 years, anyway.) Too bad the No-Enemies-on-the-Left anti war crazies are driving me right back to the Republican Party, isn't it?
You want me back? It will take a Sister Soulja speech straight to the black heart of the anti-war left. I suppose Hillary Clinton looks promising that way; she seems to have lowered the shouting on the abortion debate (interestingly enough, I personally would have been okay with a take no prisoners pro-choice position, but pragmatic compromise there is okay by me). I do feel sorry for you; as a San Francisco politician, you have to take the Neo-Stalinist idiots down at 24th & Mission (A.N.S.W.E.R.), and the disgraceful Medea Benjamin, and that Israel Bashing lady that runs a women's shelter on city funding somewhere in S.F. (No coverage of THAT story in the Comical, I had to read that story in the Baltimore Sun-maybe your dad can sent you a clipping) and makes life miserable for Jewish employees and clients, you have to take them seriously. Fortunately, I don't, and I'm free to associate with people who, however much they might disagree with me on Social Security "reform", or taxation policy, or Supreme Court appointments, or reproductive rights, or bankrupcy legislation, at least they share my abhorence of racism and Israel bashing, and Jew bashing.
Yeah, yeah, don't tell me, I know, I know, his wife and teenaged kids are Jewish, so I shouldn't worry. Do you rememember the question some network guy (Tom Brokaw?) asked Michael Dukakis in 1988? "Governor, if some man raped/murdered (I forget which, it was 17 years ago) your wife, what would your reaction be?" Okay, here's my question for Howard Dean, and all you people who think he's okay: "Governor Dean, speaking as the husband of a Jewish spouse and the father of Jewish children, what is your emotional reaction when you see some old line neo-stalinist geek or some don't-know-any-better young protester carrying a sign that says, "Zionism is Racism", or "Smash the State of Israel"?
When I hear the Democratic party addressing my concerns in that area, we can talk about contributing money, and not one nano-second earlier.

Warren S. Windrem
184 13th Street, Apt # 451
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 763-2207
wswindrem@yahoo.com

P.S. I am ethnicly Scotch-Irish/WASP, from a Presbyterian family background, raised in at that time predominately liberal Protestant Olympia, Washington (yes, sigh, the home of "Let's burn the Israeli flag" Corrie What's Her Name). I don't belong to ADL, I don't dynamite abortion clinics, if I should ever be so lucky as to be invited to the wedding of a gay or lesbian friend, I would be honored to attend (I've lived in the Bay Area since 1976, almost 30 years, and I hold the typical gay tolerant attitudes). I didn't grow up in Brooklyn, Queens, or North Jersey; I'd be happy to see the Israelis abandon most, if not all of the West Bank Settlements (BUT NOT THE WALL-a perfectly legitimate defensive measure against inexcusable murder). If you guys want to insult would be liberals like me by endorsing Howard Dean, go ahead. Even here in the Bay Area, there are more pro-war liberals than you think, even if the Comical, and Medea Benjamin, and Tom Meyer would never admit it.


Rep. Nancy Pelosi" wrote:

Contribute Now


Dear Warren,

On Saturday we elected a great Democrat as the chairman of our Party -- Howard Dean. Governor Dean has used the power of technology, the force of his personality, and the depth of his ideals to energize the grassroots, and bring more people into the political process.

I have seen Howard Dean's campaign strengths firsthand as he traveled across the country for House Democrats -- organizing voters and raising money. I have seen people who have stood in driving rain for hours to hear his message. We all thank Governor Dean for his enthusiasm and support for our candidates.

This is a critical time for our Party.

https://secure.dccc.org/default.aspx?id=welcome

Governor Dean joins the DCCC's new Chairman Rahm Emanuel as a pair of visionaries who are already working quickly to reform our party and refine our message.

Our new Chairmen need you on board. The 2006 elections have already begun. We need the support of loyal Democrats like you to continue in our fight.

Please renew your support in the DCCC today.

https://secure.dccc.org/default.aspx?id=welcome

Democrats are shaking up the status quo, reaching outside the Beltway for ideas and direction, and striving to strengthen the bonds with the great citizens of this country. We will restore a government that protects the interests of the people against the massive special interests that would use government to gouge them - rather than the other way around. You want real reform, and we will bring it to you. But we can only do it with your help.

https://secure.dccc.org/default.aspx?id=welcome

We will fight together, and together we will prevail!

Sincerely,


Nancy Pelosi


Posted by: Warren Windrem at March 12, 2005 12:10 AM

Sorry about the triple post. Some software glitch-please feel free to delete 2 out of the 3

Warren Windrem

Posted by: Warren Windrem at March 12, 2005 12:58 AM

His articles are so long that I print them out and read them on the bus.

I do that with MJT's articles.

Posted by: Stephen Silver at March 12, 2005 02:44 AM

And if you really think Howard Dean is a radical leftist, what on earth are you going to call the likes of Noam Chomsky?

Deranged.

I hear he's taken to describing himself as a "Libertarian Socialist" lately. IMO, that's not possible short of multiple personality disorder.

Posted by: rosignol at March 12, 2005 04:24 AM

Michael

He got long hair and a beard?

Okay, so when you gonna get a proper beard rather that compromise you got on your face? ;-)

I saw a bloke with a full Karl Marx style beard and long hair the other day - in Hong Kong. European.

That looked really incongruous (nicely so) - particularly in HK!

Posted by: Benjamin at March 12, 2005 05:39 AM

Libertarian socialism is perfectly possible - if you look at the history of socialism - basically you got your left anarchism in there.

Posted by: Benjamin at March 12, 2005 05:42 AM

I hope Nancy Pelosi is right in her optimism. But almost everybody knows that Dean was a "one issue" candidate--the war. So was Kerry--George Bush. You can't recycle one-issue politicians over and over, because times change and the one-issue people don't.

Sadly for my side, the Democratic leadership has the appearance of having become purely oppositional and without vision. Ms. Pelosi certainly communicates well on paper. I fear her actions tell a different story.

Posted by: Bob Frank at March 12, 2005 06:37 AM

PELOSI: Democrats are shaking up the status quo, reaching outside the Beltway for ideas and direction,

hehehe, pure comedy.

Posted by: Carlos at March 12, 2005 06:41 AM

BTW, sad news:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/news/story/0,11711,1436142,00.html

Posted by: Benjamin at March 12, 2005 07:42 AM

Libertarian socialism is perfectly possible - if you look at the history of socialism - basically you got your left anarchism in there.

Then you don't understand libertarianism.

Posted by: Court at March 12, 2005 12:15 PM

"But it would be more honest if those who support the Republican agenda, excepting gay rights and abortion rights, or are at the very least indifferent to it, stopped calling themselves "liberal hawks" and started calling themselves "socially liberal Republicans.""

Any liberal and/or Democrat who takes this approach must have little interest in regaining any meaningful power any time soon. I'm sure Ken Mehlman would wholeheartedly agree with your suggestion. Not so sure why you would want to agree with him.

Carlos,

Please do me a favor. Whenever you're about to write a sentence containing the phrase "you x", such as "you people" or "you leftists", think of how well that goes over when someone makes claims in this way about you.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at March 12, 2005 03:47 PM

Ged,

I'll grant you it isn't pretty, but are you saying generalizations aren't a valid form of argumentation?

What bothers me is that people think exceptions make the rule, instead of the other way around.

Posted by: Carlos at March 12, 2005 04:44 PM

I'll amend my former statement a bit. I do enjoy hanging out with Republicans these days. NYC Republicans do tend to be more liberal than I imagine most of the party is, so that's a factor. But they are also fun witty passionate and smart. All the Dems I know look and sound like tired aging hippies or young bohemian posers, and they. Have. No. New. Ideas. BORING!

But I have never had a party alliegance and don't intend to start now, and I am not interested in local Republican politics like some I know. In the mayoral race, I'm going to vote for whoever matches the largest number of my issues, without having too big a negative on other issues. That's how I have always voted.

Posted by: Yehudit at March 12, 2005 08:36 PM

"I'll grant you it isn't pretty, but are you saying generalizations aren't a valid form of argumentation?"

Without some pretty solid sociological data, and I have yet to see any coming from your direction, the validity of generalizations in argumentation eclipses only their effectiveness.

"What bothers me is that people think exceptions make the rule, instead of the other way around."

Sounds like a good definition of generalization itself, and confirms my suspicion that you indeed are bothered by them. So are we.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at March 12, 2005 08:55 PM

"All the Dems I know look and sound like tired aging hippies or young bohemian posers, and they."

Well, I know a lot of Dems/Libs like Markus who are just trying to make sense of a world they are convinced has gone crazy. It's never easy to convince someone who thinks you're crazy that you're not, but I hate to just write them off. And if they do happen to win back power, it could get ugly in their present state.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at March 12, 2005 08:59 PM

Without some pretty solid sociological data, and I have yet to see any coming from your direction, the validity of generalizations in argumentation eclipses only their effectiveness.

Ged,

if you want some "solid sociological data", go read a journal. This is a blog. The rest of your sentence doesn't even make sense. You seem to be saying generalizations are both valid and effective, but I doubt you meant to say that.

Generalizations are a valid and effective form of argumentation. It's as old as speech itself. Yet attempting to debunk a generalization with exceptions, is not only poor argumentation, but illogical.

So if you don't agree with me as to whether a particular generalization is accurate, valid, or true, then speak up and tell me why or why not. But don't bother with exceptions to the rule if you're doing it to debunk the rule. And don't pester me with lessons on how to argue properly.

Posted by: Carlos at March 12, 2005 09:38 PM

Yehudit said it. The Democrats are out of ideas. The late Democrat Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said as much over 20 years ago. Take, for example, the current opposition to personal Social Security accounts. No one can deny there are inevitable demographic problems with Social Security. But the Democrat response has not been to offer a viable alternative to personal accounts, but instead to energize the AARP thugs and hit Congress with a blizzard of angry e-mails and calls, with added support from their lapdogs in the old guard "mainstream" media. I wonder how many of AARP crowd today were hippies in the 60s ? And I wonder how much of their current political behavior can be explained by the 1960s infatuation with social engineering ( Great Society, etc ) ? Support for personal Social Security accounts increases as you go from older to younger people.

Democrats are also partly victims of their own successes - Medicare, Medicaid, minimum wage laws, unemployment benefits, student loans, and the like are now accepted as important if not vital, even by many Republicans. These programs have ameliorated the more glaring problems which energized Democrats in the past. We still have the issue of health care affordability, but for the most part, the federal government has done about all it can realisitically do in terms of big projects which would improve living conditions in a major way. Virtually all economists agree that you cannot tax above a certain level without turning the entire economy into a canabalistic downward spiral ( see France for example ). "The era of big government is over" - Bill Clinton. So what is a Democrat to do ?

Democrats cannot propose any contructive ideas, because to do so would alienate the very interest groups ( AARP, teacher unions, etc) that they depend on for votes. So, by default, Republcians become the party of ideas. Democrats are no longer a party with a philosophy. They are merely a collection of interest groups who depend directly or indirectly on goverment programs, many of which are outdated if not obsolete and downright destructive. So the Democrats are trapped. And I do not see a way out for them. If they regain control of Congress or the presidency in their present state, it will be a result of a Republican screw-up, not because they have superior ideas.

Posted by: freeguy at March 12, 2005 10:11 PM

And yes, of course, Bush is a big government Republican, and I find it disgusting. But it is still true the the primary advocates and constituencies for larger government and social engineering reside in the Democrat Party. If Democrats become the party of small government I will start voting Democrat. And I have a bridge to sell you . ;-)

Posted by: freeguy at March 12, 2005 10:22 PM

David Thomson:

"By the way, Joseph Lieberman may very well have to switch to the Republican Party before the elections of 2006."

I bet you $500 that he won't.

Posted by: Gary Rosen at March 13, 2005 12:44 AM

I agree Gary. I can't see Lieberman leaving his party. But what was that buzz about Bush offering him some post?? It seems to have died down, which leads me to believe Joe turned it down, whatever it was.

Posted by: Yehudit at March 13, 2005 03:19 AM

"The rest of your sentence doesn't even make sense. You seem to be saying generalizations are both valid and effective, but I doubt you meant to say that."

Sigh. Too clever by half, I see. Their validity only eclipses their effectiveness means they are entirely ineffective but might occasionally be valid. An exaggeration to be sure to accentuate the point.

You routinely take isolated data points and contruct generalizations from them. Folks are not so much seeking to refute your generalizations with exceptions as pointing out that your data points could just as easily be exceptions themselves.

Judging by my experience, I do tend to find some of your generalizations to be valid. Unless you do some more homework to back them up, however, you will have difficulty convincing anyone who does not already agree with you.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at March 13, 2005 05:55 AM

"If Democrats become the party of small government I will start voting Democrat. And I have a bridge to sell you"

Stranger things have happened. Reagan started out as a Democrat. The Republican party changed, because it had to, to welcome folks like him.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at March 13, 2005 05:58 AM

You routinely take isolated data points and contruct generalizations from them.

Ged,

Guess what you just did. You just made a generalization. And a poor generalization it must be, as I doubt you can show me the "data points" to back it up.

Posted by: Carlos at March 13, 2005 06:33 AM

Carlos,

You caught me.

= )

I actually thought of it as I was writing the post, and thought maybe I could slide it by you. Oh well, it's a common human failing from which I'm apparently not immune, and I'm too lazy to go back and compile the necessary data points.

Just something to consider...

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at March 13, 2005 10:40 AM

>>>I actually thought of it as I was writing the post, and thought maybe I could slide it by you.

hahaha!

you gambled, you lost.

But at least you show humility. That's why I like you Ged. You're a humble guy.

Posted by: Carlos at March 13, 2005 06:48 PM

“David Thomson:

"By the way, Joseph Lieberman may very well have to switch to the Republican Party before the elections of 2006."
I bet you $500 that he won't.”

I’m a wimp who hesitates to put his money on the line. Nonetheless, I did find the following blog via the National Review:

“The biggest problem for Lieberman in any potential primary campaign is that a great deal of these people are Democrats. Playing around with Professor Robert Vanderbei's maps shows that not only are there a great deal of people, but that the people who live near Connecticut compromise a bastion of Democratic voters. The following map is a sliding partisan scale (blue to red) with the vertical axis representing population density.”

http://www.swingstateproject.com/2005/03/lieberman_dlc_b.html

Is Joseph Lieberman’s US Senate seat safe in Connecticut? Well, let’s put this way: the radical Left is out to destroy him. Will he ultimately decide it’s not worth the struggle?

Posted by: David Thomson at March 13, 2005 09:46 PM

and he likes to wear Bush/Cheney buttons while shopping at Whole Foods.

Just imagining a hippy wearing Bush/Cheney buttons in a Whole Foods in Portland is making me laugh out loud!
:-)

Posted by: at March 13, 2005 10:21 PM

and he likes to wear Bush/Cheney buttons while shopping at Whole Foods.

Just imagining a hippy wearing Bush/Cheney buttons in a Whole Foods in Portland is making me laugh out loud!
:-)

Posted by: Mike at March 13, 2005 10:25 PM

Hah - sort of O/T but not entirely, given previous discussions here:

At frontpagemag today, Horowitz tries to reclaim the term "liberal" from the "left":

defining the left

"For the interested, the term “liberal” was hijacked from actual liberals a generation ago. One can see this for oneself by taking the career of John F. Kennedy as a point of reference. Kennedy became a liberal icon at the beginning of the Sixties, before the left gained the ability to define (and re-define) the political spectrum for the rest of us. Kennedy's politics -- militant anti-Communism, hawkish defense policies and tax-cut agendas are indistinguishable from the politics of the 80s conservative Ronald Reagan (he was even weak on Civil Rights). In the 60s, Hubert Humphrey was also recognized as “liberal.” But he, too, was an anti-Communist liberal (as any liberal worthy of the name would have to be). This made him an enemy of the left -- the same left which everyone refers to as "liberals" today.

So in 1968, the left set out to organize his electoral defeat and end his political career. They labeled him a “cold war liberal,” which meant to them no liberal at all, and organized a riot at the Democratic Party convention that nominated him for President. In those very years, Norman Podhoretz, the editor of the (then) liberal magazine Commentary had begun dissociating himself himself from the “New Left” because of its support for America’s Communist adversaries, and because the Democratic Party which after Humphrey's defeat and fall came under the leadership George McGovern (a man who never met a Communist enemy he would go to war with). In other words, the Democratic Party appeared to Podhoretz to be joining the leftist camp.

Podhoretz thought of himself as a liberal and, as he describes in Breaking Ranks, fought fiercely to keep the label for himself and those like him who were reacting against the leftwing turn of the Democratic Party. It was the Democratic Party's betrayal of liberalism (its embrace of racial preferences, its appeasement of the Communist enemy) that made Podhoretz support the Republican Ronald Reagan. But socialists like Dissent editor Michael Harrington would have none of this. Harrington coined the term “neo-conservative” to identify and villify liberals like Podhoretz, Jeanne Kirkpatrick and other Democrats disillusioned with their increasingly leftwing party. If Podhoretz could be labeled a neo-conservative, then leftists like Harrington could be called "liberals.""

Posted by: Caroline at March 14, 2005 04:12 AM

David Thomson -- Lieberman will be a U.S. Senator from Connecticut as long as he wants to be. The DSCC and Connecticut Democratic Party will see to it that he never has a serious primary opponent. And the Connecticut Republicans are unlikely to put up a strong candidate against him -- his opponent in 2000, the legendary Phil Giordano, is currently serving a thirty plus year sentence on child molestation charges.

You may very well be right about the far left hating Lieberman, but contrary to what you think, the far left does not have much influence in the national Democratic party.

Caroline -- there's some misstatements in your last post: Harrington was never the editor of Dissent, Podhoretz doesn't think of himself as a liberal, or even a neo-conservative, anymore. (He thinks of himself as a plain 'ol conservative.)

You are right about the Left demonizing Hubert Humphrey. What you, and certainly David Horowitz, ignore though, is the fact that Humphrey, and Scoop Jackson, were traditional, FDR, big-government liberals in every respect, and this would have put them sharply at odds with today's neo-conservatives. The only group that I know of that reflects Humphrey and Jackson's political perspective today is the official U.S. representative to the Socialist International, the tiny Social Democrats USA. Their website contains some interesting documents on this battle between the Left (or "new politics" as it was called) and old-style liberalism.
socialdemocrats.org

Posted by: markus rose at March 14, 2005 10:22 AM

Markus - It may not have been clear from my post but those 3 paragraphs were all quotes from David Horowitz. If Harrington wasn't the editor of Dissent I am sure Horowitz would want to know about it and as for Podheretz, Horowitz was evidently referring to something Podheretz himself had written. Given Horowitz's own history I do tend to cut him a little slack regarding the history of liberalism and conservatism (and leftism) in American politics. Honestly, though, what do I know? Pre 9/11 I spent most of my spare time in a dark room. Now I spend it trying to educate myself on the real world.

Horowitz's article does, however, speak to a larger issue about which many folks seem to be confused (including many posters at this site, myself included)- namely the distinction between liberal, left, and conservative. One lesson I take from the article is that as the liberals moved farther and farther to the left, the left appropriated the label "liberal", thus forcing heretofore moderate liberals to define themselves as conservatives - or "neo-conservatives" as it were. That's a dirty word now, in case it escaped anyone's notice. Meanwhile, it appears to leave many real "liberals" in the ME, for example, confused. They are "liberals" having common goals with (neo) conservatives in the US?! I wonder how it would change the political landscape if liberals actually reclaimed the term liberal? Then they wouldn't be able to use the dirty word "neo-con". The liberals are usually the good guys, right?

As several posters (myself included!) have noted above - in essence - the liberals have already achieved most of their aims from the past 30 years on the American political scene (socially - e.g. abortion, women's rights and gay rights - as well as from a socialistic perspective - the long list of government entitlements, for example). In other words, haven't the liberals basically won the debate? Isn't that why they are forced farther and farther into a corner of defending more and more indefensible fringe entitlements (including multiculturalism - even if that includes the basically fascistic ideology of Islam - merely because it represents the Other - and open-mindedness demands that we tolerate it?). And incidentally - have you heard about the battle by transgender/transexual folks to have us ALL use unisex restrooms ala Ally McBeal because said folks are uncomfortable having to choose between male and female restrooms? If Bush is basically a neo-con - how can you say that the neo-cons oppose traditional big-governement? In what sense is Bush a "conservative" from any historical perspective? Doesn't the fact that anyone would call him a conservative demonstrate that the historical goals of liberalism have become normative?

But aren't the terms "liberal" and conservative" relative terms after all? If liberal roughly means "open/broad-minded"/"innovative" - or something like that - then aren't conservatives by definition folks trying to put a brake on that "progressiveness", to keep it within some sane limits? In other words, "liberals" keep pushing to the edge and "conservatives keep pulling them back"? In exploring this issue I find Lawrence Auster at amnation.com to be a very sane voice worth reading. He talks endlessly about the "unprincipled exception" as it applies to the logic of liberalism. (I think he has discontinued comments recently but his older posts about the unprincipled exception (which allowed comments) are well worth reading). In reading his posts, however, I don't see any absolute definitions of liberalism vs conservatism. I merely see the two terms defined in relationship to eachother.

Frankly - I don't really care which term applies to me. I do, however, care about the social meanings of these terms and how their social (i.e. value laden) meanings actually impact real-world perceptions, thus giving an advantage to one or the other side of the political spectrum. Because the realtive advantages given to either side (even if based on words) have very real world consequences.

Posted by: Caroline at March 14, 2005 04:48 PM

We live in an ironic world, Caroline, where important words seldom mean what they say. Progressives don't believe in progress (at least of the technical and scientific kind), liberals don't believe in liberty, and conservatives don't want to conserve the environment and many of our social values.

I suppose we could come up with some new labels - libertarian hawks and safety-net doves or something - but they'd be de-valued soon enough anyway by politicians wanting it both ways.

It sure is fun to wear a Bush/Cheney hat to the Portland Farmers' Market, however.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at March 14, 2005 04:54 PM

Richard - "We live in an ironic world, Caroline, where important words seldom mean what they say. Progressives don't believe in progress (at least of the technical and scientific kind), liberals don't believe in liberty, and conservatives don't want to conserve the environment and many of our social values."

You're a smart man Richard. You're right that conservatives don't want to conserve the environment. Ironically the "progressives" are actually the "conservatives" on that score. Funny thought.

I do still hold out hope that the "liberals" want to preserve "liberty". I just feel that those who actually want to preserve liberty need to hold on fiercely to that label and not concede an inch to the other side (the left) that actually stands for tyrrany.

I might take issue with you, however, on the notion that "conservatives" don't want to preserve our social values. How so? On brief examination (admittedly very brief) the idea that conservatives want to hold onto our (traditional)social values does seem to be true.

Posted by: Caroline at March 14, 2005 05:08 PM

You're right that conservatives don't want to conserve the environment. Ironically the "progressives" are actually the "conservatives" on that score.

Wrong. It's just that conservatives don't believe the sky is falling down. A pretty good example of what I mean is how in the 70's during the whole Alaska pipeline hoopla, the environmental crazies would rant and rave about how it would result in the extinction of the caribou population, etc. Today we know that the caribou population has increased by five times, and that they actually LIKE the pipeline because they keep warm by it in the deep of winter.

Not to say the enviro-crazies don't serve their purpose, but we just don't believe all the hype that's all.

Posted by: Carlos at March 14, 2005 05:18 PM

But Carlos - it's still fair to say the conservatives like yourself are a little more reckless on that score - pushing us closer to the edge of the cliff as it were - while the "progressives" are saying HOLD BACK! Don't rush! Doesn't that make the "progressives" the environmental "conservatives"?

OK - getting a bit of a headache now with the quotations marks and all. But doesn't the basic idea still hold? i.e. that the traditional labels are reversed on that score?

And hopefully you can understand the conservative impulse on the part of the progressives vis a vis the environment? (head spinning now :-))

Posted by: Caroline at March 14, 2005 05:34 PM

But doesn't the basic idea still hold? i.e. that the traditional labels are reversed on that score?

I understand and agree that the labels don't always fit. Like calling present-day conservatives "reactionary" when the only reactionaries I see are on the Left. Or calling the Left "progressive" when their progress days are all but over, except for gay marriage. That's it. That's all they have to "progress" to, gay marriage. No wonder they cling to the notion with such a fervor.

Posted by: Carlos at March 14, 2005 05:41 PM

Carlos: "Or calling the Left "progressive" when their progress days are all but over, except for gay marriage. That's it. That's all they have to "progress" to, gay marriage."

Yup. In fact they're heading backwards - back to the far right, in the name of progress. Something malevolent and sick is afoot. No doubt. I have to conclude that they are simply bored out of their effing minds. They have met the limits of affluence and they are still empty inside - apparently not having realized that once given frreedom - one's own personal fulfillment is still in one's own hands and not the responsibility of the state. No imagined human utopia can ever fill that hole. And who are the greatest champions of the political left? The affluent. It's just not enough for them to have the kind of freedom that human beings have ever imagined plus a square meal 3 times daily pretty much guaranteed. They want more to fill the endless hole. And they are quite prepared to sacrifice western civilization to feed that endless hole. Yuk. Don't get me going on it.

Posted by: Caroline at March 14, 2005 05:53 PM

No doubt. I have to conclude that they are simply bored out of their effing minds.

hehehe. That's funny. I just pictured them chilling out at a coffee house with latte in hand wracking their brains for the next "cause." And that's how they keep filling that void. Poor guys, they've just about reached the end point of their ideological evolution. Fukuyama's "end of history." There's plenty of injustice in non-western countries that could keep them busy and fulfilled, but somehow I doubt they have the stomach to criticize the little brown folk. Oh well, what's next? Bestiality perhaps? It's anybody's guess.

Posted by: Carlos at March 14, 2005 06:09 PM

Carlos: "hehehe. That's funny. I just pictured them chilling out at a coffee house with latte in hand wracking their brains for the next "cause"

Yeah - it would actually be kinda funny if they weren't so effing dangerous. And I mean that - in all seriousness. In other words, they ain't so effing funny anymore.

Posted by: Caroline at March 14, 2005 06:57 PM

In fact they're heading backwards - back to the far right, in the name of progress.

Hey, do you have an email address I can contact you at? Mine's listed above, if you're not thrilled about publishing it.

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Kimmitt - are you talking to me? If so - I checked out your blog but didn't see an email address.

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Ooh, yeah, still getting things together there. Try the link below.

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