Friday, September 15, 2006

How Could Anyone Still Vote Republican?

How can it not bother your average American Republican leaning voter that the Congress chooses which bills it will take up depending on what is politically advantageous to them? It is appalling that with all the important work left undone by this Congress that they would give up completely on accomplishing anything meaningful and instead pass puff legislation that they think will win them votes. It’s not as if there isn’t enough to do, hell, New Orleans is still in shambles over a year after hurricane Katrina, how about spending some time on that? And how can Republican voters sit idly by while this President further erodes any moral authority we may have left by pushing legislation that allows for the torture of prisoners? When will the Republican rank and file turn on their party that has abandoned all sense of decency, honor and responsibility?

At this point, I don’t even care that the biggest factor that may motivate Republican voters to stay home on Election Day is the fiscal irresponsibility of the current GOP led Congress and this Republican President. If illegal wars, lying to Congress and the American people, spying on American citizens without cause or warrant, torturing prisoners in violation of Geneva Conventions, political payback that includes exposing undercover CIA agents working on nuclear proliferation, walking away from an American city that was destroyed by a hurricane and failing to implement even the most basic security measures at our ports are not enough, then by all means, boot these thugs out of office because they’ve been irresponsible with our tax dollars. For me it doesn’t even make the short list of the worst things they’ve done, but whatever gets them out of office sooner rather than latter is fine by me. Then the real work of convincing Democrats that we are serious can begin. Liberals haven’t done a great job of holding the Democrats’ feet to the fire in the past, but let’s hope this time is different. Democrats taking over Congress in November will merely be the beginning of the fight to right this country, even they will provide significant resistance to what the people really need and want.

And at this point, Democrats taking over even one chamber of Congress is a big IF. The public selling of GOP control is on and cable news is working diligently to prop up this President and boost the moral of Republicans. Last night on Hardball, Chris Matthews and his rabid protégé Nora O’Donnell spent nearly 20 minutes talking about Bush’s surging poll numbers, Cheney’s “amazing” political abilities and the masterful playing of the news cycle by the Republicans. Of course, all the while they dished out Republican talking points of the Democrats being “confused” and “without a message”. The voters may be ready to toss the bums out, but if the media can successfully tie the anger at the GOP with anger toward incumbents, nothing much will change. In order to keep control of Congress, the GOP will need Chris Matthews, Nora O’Donnell and the rest of the press lapdogs to push the “pox on both your houses” meme. If you’ve noticed the phrase being bandied about occasionally, brace yourself, I have a feeling it will be repeated ad nauseam until November.

32 Comments:

Anonymous lester said...

they had to guys from the DLC on NPR the other day. I had anotherpost about this sorry to be redundent. but republicans care about one thing: immigration. dems, even these guys who were from the DLC, are obstinate in their refusal to even put one moment of time and or thought into the issue. It WILL be the deciding factor in this election. Why liberals aren't jumping all over it is a mystery. big business doesn't vote with them anyway. so it's more of a hurdle for republicans in that sense.

and if they DON'T have a tough stand on immigration they should SAY SO, not hem and haw with 70's era talking points about oppurtunity and society or whatever.

basically, the still extant Bob Shrum side of the democrats will prove they are not ready for prime time. just my 2 cents

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Josh said...

I don't have much confidence in the Democrats. It seems that with all of this administration's fuckups the Dems would be in a much better position then they are now.

I blame the lack of original ideas and themes, or, rather, the failure for their original ideas and themes to catch on with the public. If you ask someone on the street what the Democrats would do if elected this fall probably would not be able to tell you. I place alot of blame for this on the media, but the Democratic leadership has to take some, too.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Let me see. LGND speaks of Republicans and how they're putting forward a mess of pompous legislation to score points back home and how the mainstream media is pumping the joys of voting Republican with fake facts and biased commentary and... What?

Lester says Immigration will be the big issue. What? Who says so? This sounds like nonsense to me. Only rabid rightwingers care about people of colour coming to the USA by any other means than in chains in the hold of a ship.

In Canada, the number one place of origin of new immigrants is Afghanistan. This is followed by Lebanon. Gosh! I wonder why? Maybe is the American Armed Forces weren't leveling homes in far away places, people wouldn't need to move. I hear the yahoos running for Gov of Texas are complaining about those Immigrants from New Orleans, too.

Frankly, I think Free Trade, Globalization, or Westernization or whatever you call it, ought to be rejected by every developing country until the West allow the Free Movement of People as well. Watch the Protectionist Laws hit the legislatures then. America wants sweat shops, but not in their own neighbourhoods. I say, let people live whereever they want and the world's economic problems will end overnight.

And Josh wants to blame the Democrats for being smeared by a biased media and a well-financed Republican dirty tricks machine. Yes, and Hilary shouldn't be wearing those provocative dresses either. She's just asking for it. Bring on the Burqas for Democrats.

As LGND pointed out, and one can easily find documented on Media Matters for America, liberal Democratic and even moderate Democratic ideas are being dismissed, ignored, or denied by the Mainstream Media. Don't blame the victim. And don't even suggest the victim has to accept some of the blame for actually discussing issues out loud as if --Heaven forbid!-- they weren't coming for the Almight Lord Himself.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I can't find a reference for this online, but I definitely recall reading after the 2004 presidential election that about 20% of those who voted to re-elect Bush were pro-choice on abortion -- that issue being a proxy for liberal social views in general. That is, something like 25 million people with basically liberal views on most social issues held their noses and voted for Bush because they didn't feel they could trust Kerry to be tough enough on the terrorist threat. A liberal Democrat with tough views on foreign policy and the military would probably have won the presidency in a landslide. The outcome of the 2008 election will hinge on whether or not Democrats are willing to learn that lesson.

I once spent about a year volunteering as a pro-choice escort at our local abortion clinic. All the other volunteers I met there had generally left-of-center political views and were very concerned about women's rights. All of them agreed with me that Islam (whose dismal record on women's rights they knew very well) is a huge threat. I don't know whether any of them voted for Bush for that reason, but in the case of at least a couple of them, it's not hard to imagine.

Lester's point about illegal immigration is also a good one. On this issue, the left as a whole has disgracefully failed the American worker. The pro-illegal-immigration stance is innately pro-big-business and anti-worker. It's no surprise that Bush favors a lax policy on illegal aliens and amnesty for them. It's disgusting that so many Democrats agree with him. If the House Republicans are the only ones who stand with the American worker on this issue, then I support the House Republicans.

4:29 PM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

LGND , sorry to blunt but you sound like you are whining.

One of my favorite stories is about two buddhists who arrive at a river. An old woman wheedles her way onto the elder buddhist's back to cross the river. All the way across she complains: about him going too slow, about him getting her too close to the water, about him being too unstable. As soon as they reach the other side, the old woman leaps off the elder buddhist's back and shags it on down the road without a thank you or by your leave. The two buddhists continue on their way for several miles until the younger buddhist cannot control himself any longer and he blurts out: "How could you keep quiet as she scolded you when you were doing her a favor? How could you let her berate you without chastising her for her ingratitude?" The older buddhist pauses and looks at the younger and says: "I put that old woman down an hour ago. When will you?"

Every time I read about the Democratic message, I read what they don't like about Bush. What programs are the Dems pushing? All I hear are topics, no programs. Only 60 days left until the election and only elusive topics.

Congress itself has been AWOL for five years now. The Democratic platform even longer. It is time to seriously consider third party candidates. They can do no worse than the major parties.

I want to hear a Democrat state clearly and unequivocally: Look you got three choices to pay for healthcare: business, government or you. We say government.

I want to hear a Democrat state clearly and unequivocally: Look
the people who got us into this mess in Iraq are not the people who will get us out.

I want to hear a Democrat state clearly and unequivocally: Look we are going to seal this border and keep out the drugs, the terrorists, and the illegals.

My advice is to vote for third party candidates in every local election. That will give the two groups something to think about in 2008 for the national issues.

6:40 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Kindlingman, have you just outted yourself as a Republican?

The Democratic Party has been in opposition for 5 years --12 years in the House. In a parliamentary democracy, that's what an opposition party does, opposes.

If anyone thinks the Republicans are better on national security than the Democrats, they ought to read a few books on military strategy or ask why so many officers in the Pentagon are unhappy with Bush. Bush has taken a page right out of Hitler's strategy. He's put his "6th Army" in his "Stalingrad" and told his Generals he'll settle for nothing less than Victory.

As for the rest of the issues the mainstream media won't discuss. And how about that FCC burning its own report on media concentration, eh? Democrats don't pitch things in Black & White, or Either/Or. Immigration, universal healthcare, national security, the domestic economy, and foreign relations are all more complex than the Sunday School lessons we've been fed by Bush & Cheney.

As for the bizarre advice of voting for only Third Parties. Well, I guess you'll be wearing your Michael Moore mask this Halloween and chanting, "A pox on both your Houses!" This is, of course, the position taken by the conservative biased media. It's how Bush won in 2000 and it's meant to coverup Bush's failings by claiming there's no alternative.

I repeat LGND's question: "How can anyone still vote Republican?" The answer, I'm afraid, comes from the great American P T Barnum: "There's a Sucker born every minute."

8:10 PM  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Obviously the government has handled some aspects of the war ineptly, notably the occupation of Iraq, for which no realistic planning was done. Still, when the country (and in fact the whole civilized world) is under threat, people will vote for the leader who fights badly over the one they suspect won't fight at all.

I suspect that the Beslan massacre, which happened two months before the 2004 election, played a substantial role in Bush's re-election. It reminded people of what the Islamist barbarians are capable of. People could easily picture a similar attack happening at their own kids' school. And they asked themselves which candidate would be best at preventing such a thing from happening.

As the Romans used to say about their enemies, "Oderint dum metuant" -- let them hate, so long as they fear. We can't make the Islamists like us. They will never like us, not unless we surrender and become an Islamic society ourselves. But we can make them afraid of us. Bush had shown that when America is hit, he hits back. Not in a well-thought-out way, not even necessarily against the most relevant targets, but he hits back. Islamists know that if they carry out a massacre on US soil, interests which they care about are likely to suffer as a consequence. Kerry might have done the same. But there was too much suspicion that instead he would respond with meaningless fiddle-faddling at the US Security Council or some such nonsense. No terrorist would be deterred by that.

I really want to see moderates get back control of the government. The thought of another President beholden to the Christian Right having four more years to make Supreme Court appointments, for example, terrifies me. But that's exactly why liberals need to UNDERSTAND why people vote Republican and deal with those concerns, instead of just dismissing them as stupid or crazy. If they keep doing that, we will keep on having a Republican-dominated government. That's far too high a price to pay for taking the easy path of self-indulgent, contemptuous rhetoric.

5:23 AM  
Anonymous lester said...

david- you are proving my point. you think the discussion of illegal immigration is beneath you. the republicans don't. the democrats need those votes.

the fact that you are against globalism and free trade and FOR illegal immigration shows you haven't thought about the issue at all, other than knee jerk 90'
s type political correct slogans.

"Lester says Immigration will be the big issue. What? Who says so? This sounds like nonsense to me. Only rabid rightwingers care about people of colour coming to the USA by any other means than in chains in the hold of a ship."

the Dems shold use that as their slogan. seriously, what sells in canada doesn't sell here. we're for winning not whining

7:29 AM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

David,
I am a moderate. When I comment at rightwing blogs, I am excoriated for being liberal and when I comment at leftwing blogs, I am accused of being Republican.

I am of the view that mature, sound thinking, and reasoning adults need to be in charge. Sadly, I think we are missing that piece in this Administration.

I agree with Infidel's tone and message and would add this: In marketing your products you must differentiate yourself from your competition. It does you no good to say: "We are not McDonald's." You must say : "We are Subway and we have submarine sandwiches."

It is not enough for Dems to say "We are not Republicans."

7:29 AM  
Anonymous david said...

I don't think the alQaeda terrorists fear America or Bush. The President gave his macho taunt "Bring it on!" And the Muslim resistance did.

There is no "war" on terror. Terror is a crime. And the vigilantes who want to take the terror to the terrorists only create more terror. And frankly, it's the Americans who are more frightened than the Arabs. Try talking to a Lebanese to get what I mean.

If the school massacre in Russia helped elect Bush, that's a sad commentary on America's tabloid mentality. They also forget that a Chechnyan peace had already been established through "fiddle-faddling" and Putin broke it to prove he was macho.

There are school massacres in America all the time. There's Waco and the Oklahoma bombings. And the NRA will quickly step in to defend the 2nd Amendment and to insist it's not necessary to have a domestic "war on terror".

Kindlingman, Infidel753, and Lester all have to read Thomas Frank's "What's the Matter with Kansas?" America has gone Mediaeval. And instead of thinking in terms of rational thought and measured actions, it calls for Crusades against Infidels. Stop lynching the Muslim world!

It doesn't help to hear supposedly progressive democrats talking like Pope Benedict. Read from the Bible Numbers 31. When this chapter is read to average American, the actions of God & Moses are defended by two thirds. But substitute Allah & Mohammed and 90% call it barbaric and proof that the Middle East must be subdued.

Terrorism is the whining old woman on America's back. When are you going to get over it? 9/11 was five years ago. America is now busy murdering, raping, & pillaging in the Muslim World. Are you safer? Are you less frightened? Do you feel morally superior?

8:18 AM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

David,
It is clear to me that you have decided that America is your personal enemy. Have you told it so?
Are you looking for the rightwing monster-under-the-bed? Is 'absence of evidence' not 'evidence of absence' for Infidel, Lester, and I? None of us are rightwing warmongers and Crusaders. Can you not tell the difference?

9:38 AM  
Anonymous david said...

Don't you read your own words, kindlingman? How can you say you, Lester, and Infidel753 aren't rightwing warmongers when you clamour for tougher security, a crackdown on immigration, unilateral foreign policy, and pre-emptive war? If it walks like a neo-con and talks like a neo-con, it is a neo-con.

Do I think America is my personal enemy? No, that's a pretty hilarious question. When did you, kindlingman, come to identify yourself with America? You don't speak for the Nation. It's this monolithic stereotyping of America, Islam, Europe, etc. that has paralyzed the political thought in America. All your so-called moderate positions are actually Republican talking points.

Prof Anna Simons opinion that democracy wouldn't work in the Middle East seems to me very convenient. We see Bill O'Reilly thumping his chest and calling for a new Saddam to bring order to Iraq. The Professor is there to legitimize America imposing dicatorships. Again, it's the racist attitude that they're different from us.

I actually love what LGND has to say. I fear I may talk too much on her blog, but she's seldom said anything I disagree with. What I find odd are these pseudo-democrats who embrace the Fox stereotype of what a liberal is. The problem with American discourse is that there is so much accepted dogma that fresh and original ideas are dismissed as crazy or impractical. But as an outsider looking into the American experiment, all I can do is scratch my head and exclaim, "What you dismiss as crazy & impractical are standard in the rest of the Developed Word."

11:25 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Messenger said...

Great post as usual, LGND.

I'd like to offer a little personal insight which some of you may or may not agree with though.

I'm pleased that citizens and pundits alike have finally awakened to the deceptive policies put into practice by Dubya.

They've resulted in much death and destruction for not only our own soldiers but many innocent Islamic civilians the past five years.

However, Olbermann and the media are only speaking up now because they know Republican poll ratings are so low. They're trying to salvage their reputations and boost public regard for themselves by offering alternative viewpoints which reflect disdain for the media and one party politics in general. It's a shame K Street politicians haven't realized this yet either.

People shouldn't taken them seriously. Nothing will change if all they do is continue to talk about foreigh policy failures rather than the many domestic crisis which Americans face.

For example, senior citizens have been impacted by a disasterous Medicare prescription plan enacted into law on behalf of the pharmacutical lobby. It leaves a huge gap in coverage known as the "Dougnut Hole" which requires seniors to pay full price once they exceed $2000 in costs.

Recently, "The Campaign For America's Future," initiated an online campaign to pressure Congress to resolve the problem so seniors won't be burdened with unfair costs for their drugs. It includes an Email drive and a contest with You Tube to submit the best video illustrating the problems seniors face.

Visit the link here: Doughnut Hole

This concern and others such as standing up for women's equality will do more to drive people to the polls in November than dwelling on war and terrorism. Those are important concerns but what people want most is to force Congress to resolve their domestic pocket book issues.

For more on how women have been abused by this Administration and Congress read my latest Column, What Do Women Want ?

Don't fall into the trap set by Bush, Cheney, Rove Rumsfeld and the corporate media which is to keep the public discussing Iraq and terrorism.

Show them you won't play their game and force them to address the domestic needs of Americans.

As Always,
Cosmic

12:00 PM  
Anonymous lester said...

dave- but with your empty sloganeering you are HURTING the liberal cause. IN fact, I'll bet some here think you are a right wing plant.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous lester said...

here's a great thread at DU

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=102&topic_id=2513358&mesg_id=2513358

I think the "grass roots" of both parties get it. but neither of the establishments do.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Of course I'm a right-winger. It's so obvious. All right-wingers volunteer for abortion-clinic defense, fear further conservative Supreme Court appointments, believe liberal society is worth defending aginst religious fanatics whether Christian or Muslim, oppose the brutalization of women in backward theocratic cultures, want to protect American workers from having their wages driven down to Third World levels, and actually care about figuring out the most EFFECTIVE way of getting the Christian Right away from the levers of political power.

Hello! It's BUSH who favors amnesty for illegal aliens and no serious border enforcement. At the risk of sounding Marxist (which I certainly am not), illegal immigration serves the class interests of the rich and the upper middle class -- which predominantly vote Republican. And you, David, seem to agree with him! You right-winger! :-)

The claim that only rightists care about national security and stopping illegal immigration is one that Karl Rove would be happy to endorse.

It's not racist to argue that democracy works better in some cultures than others. Different cultures inculcate radically different attitudes and values. That's what MAKES them different cultures. And those attitudes and values do affect how well democracy, and all kinds of other things, can take root in a given culture.

Racism is a very ugly and evil thing. I don't like to see the word cheapened by throwing it around carelessly where it does not apply.

2:47 PM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

Dave, your own words tell me that you do not know the difference between moderates and right wing.
LGND, thanks for allowing me to comment.

6:02 PM  
Anonymous david said...

I do apologize to Infidel753. However, I do not see Abortion Rights as either a liberal or a conservative issue. It's an issue of conscience and is seen as such in Canada.

I speak of immigration and what I hear you say is "illegal immigration". Guest Workers are not immigrants; they're indentured slaves. A genuine open immigration policy would actually improve the domestic economy.

I live in one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world. I don't take charges of racism lightly. But this invented term of Islamo-fascism is bigoted if not racist. Suddenly America has dozens of ersatz experts on this new Yellow Peril and Rupert Murdoch is yelling, "Just provide me with the intellectual justification and I'll provide the war!"

How curious that an American who must act as security escort to women seeking an abortion in America thinks their country has the moral authority to invade other countries on issues of women's rights! Women had more rights under Saddam than they do under the American occupation.

I suppose, Kindlingman, you're right that I don't know the difference between an American moderate and the American rightwing. In Canada, our conservatives are to the left of your moderates. I find American political thought to be boxed in and unable to move forward. Liberals have allowed the Right to define them and that has killed them.

I'll post less to LGND's blog, but I think she's the one worth reading. She's more genuinely liberal than the lot of you. May I recommend the following from the London Review of Books: The Strange Death of Liberal America

9:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Messenger said...

Everyone is welcome to post at my Blog.

In fact, Kindlingman and myself have been engaged in a respectful exchange of opinions the past several days over whether gender laws will encroach on the 1st Admendment Right guaranteed to religion.

However, I'm not suggesting you abandon LGND for my site as I admire her daily thoughts and positions on issues which are always two steps ahead of the corporate media.

I'm not a daily blogger but choose to address two subjects per month which I feel are relevant to current events.

Stop by anytime and share your thoughts but just remember LGND is pretty astute herself.

Peace,
Cosmic

9:28 PM  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

The subject under discussion WAS illegal immigration, which is a separate issue from immigration in general. Every country has the right to determine the rules under which it will allow people from outside to settle there, if at all. People who immigrate in accordance with those rules should be accepted since those are the rules the country itself had established. People who enter in violation of those rules are criminals and cannot claim any rights.

Comparing illegal aliens with slaves is an insult to all the real slaves who used to be held in the US and (much more recently) in the Islamic world. American slaves, or their ancestors, were abducted and brought here by force. No matter how bad their situation, they were forbidden to leave. Illegal aliens sneak into the country when we don't want them to, and if any illegal alien feels his situation here is intolerable, the US authorities would be delighted to assist him in returning to his homeland.

Open borders might improve the economy for those who are already prosperous and would see the prices of many goods and services plummet as cheap labor became plentiful. It would be a disaster for less-skilled American workers. More to the point, like every other country, we have the right to restrict immigration in whatever way we choose, for whatever reasons we choose, and to enforce our decisions. The vast majority of Americans favor limiting immigration.

I do not think that our "country has the moral authority to invade other countries on issues of women's rights". You're assuming things. I believe the Iraq invasion was justified on the whole, but the human rights situation under Saddam, ghastly as it was, was not the main reason. Still, it might interest the women who survived the Saddam regime's rape rooms, or who failed to survive the various mass slaughters of Kurds and Shiites, to hear that they had more rights then than they do now.

Sadly, the situation of women will probably always be dismal by our standards in any Muslim country, even a democracy. It's inherent in the culture, and that doesn't change just because the form of government changes.

Getting back to the US, which is more important, winning elections or buttressing one's sense of ideological purity by constructing a definition of "right-wing" which would include 85% of the population?

Democrats would indeed be well served by talking about issues other than Islamic terrorism. There are many domestic issues where the Bush administration's policies have been flatly wrong and also at odds with the views of most of the public (Bush's support for de-facto amnesty for illegal aliens is one of them). But it's important not to be seen as running away from the terrorism issue or claiming it doesn't exist (so what were 9-11, Beslan, the London bombing, etc. -- mass hypnosis?). That will just make tens of millions in the "sensible center" hold their noses and vote Republican once again.

4:40 AM  
Anonymous lester said...

david- your country is a thin strip of population on the border with our country. obviously if you had a muslim country or some other third wourld country on your southern border you'd have big big problems. this is just to say that your politically correct "death of america" business is not useful. in your country it is considered intelligent. here it's considered annoying. read "conscience of a conservative" by barry goldwater and come back with something that we can use.

6:37 AM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

I've been enjoying this conversation, I don't want any of you to think that you are commenting "too much", I think a vigorous discussion is always worthwhile and I'm pleased if I can provide a jumping off point.

And David, hang in there, you are providing a relevant and interesting counter (one I tend to agree with) to the fear based reactions of even self proclaimed liberals in this country to the constant drum beat of terrorism, immigration and imaginary threats like "islamo-fascism". The Bush administration understands very well that if you can distract the public, give them a clear villain to blame for the problems they face, then they won't notice who's really stealing their money, limiting their freedom and benefiting most from a public afraid of "others".

It's disheartening to hear liberals and moderates fall victim to right wing talking points. This is not a holy war, and when we engage as if it is, we play right into the Bush administrations hands, because that is a fight they can win. If they can win the hearts and minds of the American people on this single issue, they will continue to control the levers of power.

Fear is a powerful motivator, but the fear is manufactured and not at all relevant to our daily lives. Driving a car poses more of a threat to our personal safety than terrorism. That is the truth, but it's not very exciting nor would it benefit the rich and powerful in this country to exploit. I am NOT afraid of terrorism, I'm afraid of what freedoms I may lose because too many people in this country are.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Well, then, I guess my question is answered. Terrorism is nothing to fear, so 9-11 and all the other attacks really were just mass hypnosis, or at least the deaths of thousands of people were nothing to get worked up about. Liberals do care more about maintaining their ideological purity than about dealing with the problems that actually exist for real people in the real world. Anyone who is willing to confront the difficulties and complexities of dealing with the world as it actually is, is just "falling victim to Republican talking points". Anyone who is willing to face the real world is, by definition, a Republican.

Congratulations. If you could actually succeed in convincing the country that this is what the left stands for, you would guarantee 80%-to-20% Republican landslides in every election from now until the day when the left wakes up and begins to claw its way back out from this ideological fantasy world.

7:09 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Dear LGND, thanks for the encouragement. I really do like your posts. They're a beacon of hope in the foggy bottom of Democratic doublespeak.

Infidel753, terrorism is real. But it's a crime, not a plague or a politcal movement or some new racial trait. Bush is not facing up to the complexities of the real world, he's slipping in to the Sunday School stereotypes of Heathens vs. Christian Martyrs. It's racist and stupid and it's going to destroy America.

An Islamic terrorist group blew up a tourist spot in Bali. Did this prove that Muslims are "evil and inhuman"? NO. Indonesia is a Muslim country and they were shocked by the crime. Did the government, also mostly Muslim, approve of this crime? NO. They caught the criminals and put them in jail. And yet Americans want to label all these Muslims as innately aggressive and unworthy to sit at the table of civilization.

There are Islamic terrorists in southern Thailand, but they come from three provinces which are 80% Musliim and were once an independent country. Chechnya had the misfortune of being a Russian province instead of a Soviet Republic. Otherwise it would be a free nation. Stalin once packed off all the people of Chechnya to Siberia! An early example of ethnic cleansing. The terrorists who seized the Moscow theatre and the Belsen school wanted to hold those people for ransom. But Putin, like Bush, no longer talks with the terrorists.

Honour Killings do occur in Muslim countries, though they are crimes. They also occur in India and Latin America too. The last estimate I can find from the UN said 5000 women died in what could be called "honour killings" for that year. That also included the USA. It's important to note more than 3 women a day in America die at the hands of their partners.

The "phoney war" on terror --the terror is real, it's the war that's fake-- is needed to keep the neo-con con game going. Bush is doing to America what Ken Lay & friends did to Enron shareholders and California. It's a Ponzi scheme. Bush failed to secure Afghanistan. He illegally invaded Iraq to find what? WMD? He whistled while Israel bombed all of Lebanon --not just Hezbollah bases. And now he'd like to take on Iran. Unfortunately, as with Enron, this house of cards will collapse suddenly and leave America in an economic mess greater than the Great Depression.

It will then be up to people like LGND to pick up the pieces. And what then of the fair weather Democrats who think winning is the only thing? They'll be there blaming the faithful for not having made a more convincing case, for not having told them they were wrong.

8:24 PM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

Infidel753--I'm not denying that terrorism exists, nor am I saying that what happened on 9/11 was "nothing to get worked up about". By reducing my position to fit into that kind of ridiculous black or white, right or wrong, evil or divine world view, you, my friend are the one ignoring the reality that this is a complicated issue. We must understand that there are reasons for the rampant anti-Americanism that is sweeping the globe that have little to do with who we worship or that we exist.

I believe that getting at the root causes of terrorism (economic disparity, alienation, being on the receiving end of imperial aggression), going after terrorist, securing our homeland as best we can and engaging diplomatically with the rest of the world are all critical to our survival, but "rooting them out" by means of extraordinary rendition, secret prisons, torture, death squads and illegal invasions of sovereign nations based on manufactured evidence and flat out lies are making us less safe. So too is the inability of Americans to discuss honestly our part in why 9/11 happened. It doesn't excuse those that perpetrated the crime to ask how (if at all) we helped create them, and just because some of us are willing to look at the why, doesn't mean we don't want those responsible to rot in a cell for the rest of their lives.

As for my position leading to Democratic losses in future elections, I'm not at all interested in Democrats that will use the lever of fear to continue down this same road, so if they lose by engaging in the debate on Bush's terms, then we're better off anyway. I hate to see any thinking person engage in the debate on the false premise of "we have to be tough on terrorism" as if that means we must follow the path charted by GWB and "fight them there so we don't have to fight them here" because that's just so much crap.

Are there people that hate us and want to do us harm? Of course there are. The question is not do they exist, the question is, how best do we solve the problem in a way that creates security for this country while tackling the root causes that create such hate. I can guarantee you that dropping bombs on civilians, opening up conquered lands to American corporate interests, gaining control of and exploiting the natural resources that fall outside of our borders and instilling fear of and hatred for "others" is not going to help make the world a better place and it sure as hell isn't going to make us safer.

9:46 PM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

Sorry to comment again but I must.
19 hijackers in airplanes and flying them into buildings is not a crime.
Suicide bombers are not crimes.
Bombing discos is not a crime. Placing your boat laden with explosives next to an American warship and blowing it up is not a crime.
Blowing up the barracks of Marines is not a crime. Blowing up an American embassy is not a crime.

Stealing candy is a crime; muggings are crimes; rapes are crimes. Embezzlement, murder, theft, fraud, drug running, and a whole host of other things are crimes.

Blowing stuff up is beyond a crime.

I do not understand why people fail to discriminate crimes from acts of war. I know that acts of war are tried in criminal courts in all civilized countries but the acts themselves are not crimes, they are attacks on institutions and innocents for political gain or to make a political statement.

And to David's comment: ("I'll post less to LGND's blog, but I think she's the one worth reading. She's more genuinely liberal than the lot of you.") Being liberal is not an aspiration for me. Nor is being conservative. I end up being moderate because both camps continue to be extreme.

I think we should understand that people want to kill us. They have said so and they control the means and the timing of our deaths. We would be foolish not to protect ourselves and not to seek them out before they strike.
Thanks again for allowing me to comment.

3:25 AM  
Anonymous david said...

kindlingman, if destroying the WTC wasn't a crime but an act of war, what would a war crime be? Or is that an oxymoron to you?

In Italy, the Sicilian Mafia blow up people all the time. They are crimes. Not acts of war. War requires a nation state. 19 Saudis belonging to a fanatical sect looks more like a criminal organization to me. (And I'm sure the Italians would like you to learn more about Operation Gladio.)

Sir Peter Ustinov once said, "Terrorism is the war of the poor; and war is the terrorism of the rich." It is evidence of Bush's hypocrisy that he considers the insurgents to be "unlawful combatants", but thinks it's only unfortunate "collateral damage" when American forces kill innocent civilians.

The bombing carried out by Timothy McVeigh was a crime. Ted Kaczynski's bombings were also considered crimes. If we called these political acts of war, the USA would not be able to execute them. The rules of war are intended to absolve individuals from criminal responsibility. Indeed, that's why the USA refuses to sign on to the International Criminal Court; America fears that some of its so-called 'acts of war' might be declared 'crimes'. Nay, even 'war crimes'.

7:27 AM  
Anonymous lester said...

lgnd- but I think you are throwing the baby our with the bathwater. I am probably actually to the left of many here on terrorism and palestine/ israel issue. but my criticism is that the democrats don't seem to have ANY osition on immigration. they act like it's beneath them. if they have that attitude they won't get the votes they need to win.

and on terror, with the exception of jim webb, john murtha and a few others theres not a clear alternative.

My overall point is if liberals are going to retreat to political correctness instead of educating themselves about these issues and developing tangible positions on them, then I won't vote liberal

11:58 AM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

My last comment on this post.
It is not necessary to attack a nation state to be at war. Tribal warfare is just one example. However, when you attack the nation state, it is war regardless if you are the Mafia, Timothy McVeigh, or Grandma Moses.
One should not trivialize war to be 'only' a criminal activity. It understates the scope and the purpose for war which is the domination and destruction of others.

Ask the Italian government if they are at war with the Mafia and they will tell you yes. It is war not for political control but for criminal activity. If I were in Italy and the judges were blown up, as they have been the last five years, I would declare the Mafia a terrorist organization and take them out. Their purpose is to terrorize any and all opponents to their criminal activity. Good enough for me to direct the efforts of the government to capture or kill and destroy the organization.
I am on the side of the innocent victims. I believe that efforts should be made to protect the innocents from harm and, when necessary, to do that offensively as well as defensively. The role of government is to protect its citizens from both foreign and domestic enemies. Both types.

If one cannot tell the difference between a criminal and an insurgent or a terrorist, one should not wield the sword. Our role as citizens is to make sure that we elect people who do know the difference. If the people we elect are 'extremely left' they will mistake a terrorist for a citizen, if they are 'extremely right' they will mistake a citizen for a terrorist. I do not accept either condition.

Thanks again for allowing me to post.

5:37 PM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

Lester--I agree with you up to a point about immigration. I do think that illegal immigration is a big issue for many voters and I do see that Democrats are missing a huge opportunity by refusing to engage on the issue in a real and honest way. Perhaps if the Democrats hadn't helped in weakening the labor movement, they'd have a better idea of where they should be on the issue of illegal immigration.

A guest worker program is a nightmare for several reasons. One, it will only help grow an under under-class in this country that will breed contempt and anger in the long run. Two, it undermines labor in this country and will further drive wages down. Democrats should be for opening up our borders to allow for more immigration while simultaneously strengthening unions that will allow for immigrants to participate in the labor movement to ensure fair and livable wages for all people. Now that is a position that sits in stark contrast to what the GOP wants, mainly to have their cake and eat it too.

The GOP has a conflict, they must satisfy big business's need for cheap labor while playing on the fear that they have instilled in their base of illegal immigrants that are "taking American jobs and stealing our tax dollars through the use of public services". The Democrats could win this issue if they could come to terms with the fact that they should have but one constituency, those who work, play by the rules and deserve a shot at the American dream, whether they are born here or migrate here looking for a better life.

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

someone needs to tell the people who voted this administration in that that make them war criminals too

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

immigration...

business interests that seem to be running the country these days...

seems to me its in their best interest to have lots of illegal imigrats arround...they cant vote ...cant complain about poor wages and working conditions..

its painfully obvious that making it illegal to hire undocumented immigrants is the only solution to this problem.

2:05 PM  

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