Friday, November 07, 2008

THE U.S.S. REPUBLICAN

gurgle ... gurgle ... gurgle ...

58 comments:

Geoff Schutt said...

Okay, gurgle gurgle gurgle -- now spit it out. Purge yourself of the gurgle. Enough said.

Geoff Schutt said...

as the Republicans are doing, I should add.

Geoff Schutt said...

I should further add, in the "nicest, non-partisan, reach-across-the-aisle (eventually) way." Now I'm done. (gurgle)

Geoff Schutt said...

okay, the gurgle is still alive, somehow. Who put the stopper in the gurgle-hole?

what they really need is a maverick to come along and and and ....

Oh.

(think I'm finished now, finally)

Geoff Schutt said...

I think I'm past the point of having anything intelligent to say here. So, if you need to purge my comments, Erin, feel free.

The fading gurgle is a like a bump in the night ... still a bit scary.

Velvet Fog said...

Dude.

Anonymous said...

And the band played on...

"Nearer, My God to Thee"
by Sarah F. Adams, 1805-1848

1. Nearer, my God to Thee,
Nearer to Thee.
E'en though it be a cross
That raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be.
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee.

RJ

Erin O'Brien said...

These here politics is a beastie to quit!

Now I got me some work to do ...

Zen Wizard said...

The lessons the GOP should learn are:

1) Don't be corrupt a la Delay,

2) Don't pander to the extreme fringe of the party a la the Palin pick.

I am not naive enough to believe that either of those lessons were learned.

The GOP needs to stay off the golf course trips (paid by lobbyists) and focus on building a better republic for the citizens like we send both parties to Washington to do.

C'mon, GOP get out of the pockets of lobbyists and scale your lifestyle down so you can just live off your salary! You will feel way better and still have a job in two years.

Anonymous said...

Rest assured, they will be back. They're like herpes that way; you can never truly get rid of them.

Anonymous said...

Valtrex.

RJ

philbilly said...

Just saw a GOP punditwonk yammering about how he is desperately searching for persons of color to run for anything anywhere...

Yegads!,could this be a clue?

The Party of Lincoln, shame, shame.

philbilly said...

When I was a kid, guys like Karl Rove got beat up.

Regularly.

Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't gonna say anything but I can't help myself. Has Hoosier Boy been seen in these parts lately?

RJ

Erin O'Brien said...

In response to your comment RJ, I have tapped the good Mr. Hoosier on the shoulder, although I've no idea if he'll accept my invitation to dance.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps he's feeling BLUE. (Rimshot)

RJ

Amy L. Hanna said...

~ Sarah FROWWWWNS ... ~
(Sorry, H&O)

I'm buying RJ a drink! Cheers!!!

deangc said...

They are starting to turn on each other.

This is a Good Thing.

Hal Hussein Perry said...

They're touting the hockey mom as a front runner in '12.

No scheist!

Anonymous said...

Gee, I'm shocked. A post saying the Republicans are in the crapper. And from CBS, no less, the network of Dan "Courage" Rather. You know, the guy they basically fired for less than accurate reporting (Bush's Air National Guard record). Now there's a network I can trust.

My take is that changes in control of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches go in cycles. That's what's happened here. The Dems will have their turn. If they screw it up (and I think they will), the American people will have the opportunity to vote them out of office and elect someone else, be they a Republican or from some other party.

There's no doubt that Bush and crew have harmed the Republican party. This being said, I've no doubt that enterprising Republicans are saying "this too shall pass." We will learn from this and move on, as I'm sure the Democrats did in 2000 and 2004, and also 1994.

BTW, the German word for shit is scheisse, not scheist. Just sayin' ...

Al
TRAG

jonas said...

Al, you have a point.
Back in 2000, and then again in 2004, our fair VT was rife with anti-Bush/republican rhetoric. The things I heard from self-described liberals and democrats (hate, basically) made me very sad and afraid for the future of politics in this country.

But more pragmatically, it occurred to me that the Dems/Left was really propping itself up for great disappointment by pinning the woes of the country on Bush et al. That is, life was terrible because of the right, so clearly the left was the solution. Well, here's the problem with that: that's alot of crap to fix. Can any single group or person fix it all that easily? It seems like the "its all their fault" attitude places a HUGE burden on whatever side or whichever person comes in to clean up.

As much as I think Obama is the correct choice this election, he cannot fix everything...not in four years, and probably not in eight. Nor can a given Congress. It's going to take alot more work from many, many more people. Right, Left, Up, Down, Middle, Diagonal.

Bush and co. didn't single-handedly get us where we are. WE DID. YOU. ME. EVERYONE. We need to collectively get our shit together and stop pointing fingers. Red, Blue...stupid divide. Wastes time, wastes energy.

Anyway, you get the point. Al, yours is a good one too: this ain't the last shift we've seen.

Erin O'Brien said...

Okay Al, I'll speak your language, using Republican sources and links.


Here's some "enterprising Republicans" for you--from Fox News. They also think the GOP's in trouble. But no worries, it's nothing that drill-baby-drill and English-as-the-national-language can't fix.

Now please go back to the article I've linked in this post, read the whole thing, and tell me exactly why you think it isn't good reporting.

Lastly and further to Jonas's comment, here's some advice for you:

"I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited." --John McCain, 2008 Presidential concession speech.

Harry Finch said...

We have the political system we have because the founders recognized that men are fools that tend to ignore their better angels once given power. I have no doubt the Democrats will someday fall, but let's hope they have a few good years before then.

Jonas, most of what you heard from your pals in Vermont (me included) was anger, not hate. I will concede that some folks we worked with spewed the most incredible bile. I thought Bush was a jackass but I never considered him evil. And I always thought the argument that the proof of his stupidity was in his pronunciation of nuclear was, in truth, proof of his accusers' blockheadedness (you know how sloppy my own language can become - but then, I never thought I should be President).

No president and his party are to blame for all a nation's woes. But he - and they - are responsible for them.

If there is one thing we can blame Bush and his team at HorseShit Inc. for, it's their mindless, almost callous, pursuit of the Conservative Utopia. Heaven on earth will never exist, Left or Right. What astonishes me is that in my short 55 years we've needed to prove that fact over and over.

FDR didn't fix everything. But he tried, and in that effort he managed to convey to the American people that he cared about them. That is why he was loved and kept getting re-elected. People hung in there with him because they believed he cared.

I don't expect Obama will fix everything. I expect some more unpleasantness, more humiliation (re: Afghanistan). My great faith in Obama is that he has the intelligence and self-awareness to guess that sometimes that inner voice speaking to him just might be the fool that lives in every man.

You know our buddy, Rich H at work, Jonas? I can't tell you how many times he and I have shared how lucky we feel that we won't have to live in the world the next generation is inheriting. This week that's been washed out of us, at least temporarily. Two bitter liberal old farts in Vermont are thinking there's hope for the world yet.

I welcome the return of the Republican Party, albeit a slightly different version. I believe in the perfectability of man, yet I know I'm doomed if someone out there fails to articulate the dangers of such belief. My faith in the government's power to do good needs to be tempered by another's faith that it is an agent of corruption. I may be an atheist but I sure don't want to live in a world with nothing but atheists.

Ms OB, what am I rambling on about?

hoosierboy said...

Sorry interwebz Buddies I did not know you missed me so much. I could not come to comment 'cause I am working extra hard to make some money to pay the higher taxes coming my way hahahaha.

As others have said before, these things go in circles. Compare this to 1964 and note the Repubs gained seats in '66 and won the Presidency in '68. It looked like the Dems were down and out in '98 and 2000, yet here we are.

Before anyone can get too gloaty, a couple of percentage points is not a mandate. This country is still split down the middle. Nearly half the country voted against Obama. I rather think more than half the country voted against Bush. That is the way things are.

If Pelosi and her buddies move to the left, instituting massive socil programs, cutting defese drastically, the Fairness Doctrine and going after the guns -- you will see a quick lurch back to the right. The country wants to be governed from the middle.

An answer to where the Repubs went wrong is easy -- They need to again be the party of low taxes and small government. The party of little government interference in our lives -- that includes our private lives and if they do that all will be right in old HB's world in 2 - 4 years.

Much of the poulace are idiots (than goodness not here) and they will quickly blame Obama and the Dems if the economy goes where inductry experts predict over the next 12-14 months. Remember a lot changes in time. Both Bushes had unbelievable approval ratings early in their administrations and ended low. So did Truman.

Erin O'Brien said...

Harry: you were discussing my beauty and intelligence.

HB: Just send me your $$ baby. I need to buy some patchouli-scented oil for my dreadlocks.

jonas said...

Let me see if I can put this another way (and to restate Harry's point): no one has all the answers. Moreover, even if they did, doesn't mean they'll act on the good ones. As much faith as we need ourselves, we can't be fooled into having too much faith in ourselves.

HF, I really wish the crap I used to hear was only from a couple of uptight spazes as the office. But, it wasn't. People really like to use the current administration as their stirrup for mounting their moral (and "intellectual") high horse. That's vanity in a thinly and dangerously veiled disguise.

Allow me to quote a pretty famous philosopher, Charles Taylor:

"...there is no reason not to think of the goods we are trying to define and criticize as universal, provided we afford the same status to those of other societies we are trying to understand. This does not mean of course that all our, or all their, supposed goods will turn out at the end of the day to be defensible as such; just that we don't start with a preshrunk moral universe in which we take as given that their goods having nothing to say to us or perhaps ours to them."

Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity, Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 1989. P.62.

Anonymous said...

Erin,

I never said it wasn't good reporting. It was the source of it that wasn't surprising in the least to me.

Also, I don't disagree that this is a difficult time for Republicans. I observe things and read the news just like everyone posting here does (I think and hope). And yes, I've watched Fox News (as well as CNN, MSNBC, etc.) and they're all saying the same things for the most part about the Republican Party.

As far as supporting Obama, etc., I've supported every president, regardless of party and my personal positions all my life. I won't lie and say it was a pleasure to serve under Bill Clinton - it wasn't (for me, anyway). But serve I did and did so faithfully and honorably (or so they tell me).

If I were called upon to serve in an Obama administration (highly unlikely) I would do so and do as good a job as I could. The same follows for any other endeavor I embark on. Duty to country outweighs partisan issues any day in my book. It's too bad not everyone in this country feels that way as well.

Before I came up to Vermont I was part of a group trying to bring a co-op to Fayetteville, NC. Everyone else in the group was (and remain) very liberal in their social and political views. I was the lone conservative/Republican. Yet we got along fine and worked towards a common goal without acrimony. It is possible in this country to do things like that. Our problem is that too many of our elected representatives become so dogmatic in their thinking (particularly after multiple terms) that they can't see the forest for the trees most of the time. And they also know that in order to stay in office with all the trappings it brings, they have to bring home the bacon to their constituents. This leads to pork barrel politics, where what is good at the local level isn't good at the national level for any number of reasons. Nonsense like this is what gets us in trouble most of the time if you ask me.

As I've said, the Dems have it all now, and they have no excuses. If they screw it up, I believe we will see a huge turn back to the right. It will be an entertaining four years, for me at least.

Al
TRAG
In the liberal hell that is Vermont

momentofchoice said...

Al, yea, but you get to have fresh maple syrup.
(S)wine here, despite the google moniker.

All good points made in the comment section, so I won't add to it. One thing: I think the days of the "landslide" a la Reagan '84 are forever gone. I think a 53%-46% win can be probably called a neo-mandate. I don't ever expect to see a Reagan-Mondale trouncing. In any case, good points made all around above me.

bill said...

Harry, I sure wouldn't mind a world full of atheists, religion seems to cause more conflicts than anything else, most of the problems in the Middle East come to mind, IMHO he biggest problems with the Republican party stem from the fact that the religious fundies have a stranglehold on it.
I myself outgrew religion before I was 10 years old, fortunately for me my parents didn't poison my thinking with religious folly.
Not trying to offend, but I inevitably do just by stating my opinion.

Harry Finch said...

Al - I'm not so sure about the liberal hell that is Vermont when we keep re-electing the "affordability" Republican governor and the anti-choice Republican Lieutenant Governor. We like balanced budgets, fair play and common decency. If you don't eff-up, you get to keep your job, Democrat or Republican (this is a bit of a fanciful over-generalization, but I'll stick to it).

From the Civil War on we were devoted to the Republican Party, but only so long as it remained the party of Lincoln. Still, Republican presidential candidates carried the state in '80, '84 and '88.

Certainly, there have demographic changes that partially explain Vermont's swing to left of center. But I think it is as valid to say that Vermont didn't swing at all and that the Republican Party darted right of right.

And you have to recognize that Vermont is not some isolated island of liberal blue. Have you looked at a political map of the Northeast lately?

Now Jonas, your point is well taken, and I must admit it was a challenge maintaining my objectivity over the last eight years. Being the superlative human being we both know I am (a shame that so few others recognize it), I think I made a decent job of it. There were many, many internal bullshit checks. You are correct, there were many who, using your metaphor, employed Bush as a stirrup for mounting their high horse. But here's the hitch: what a magnificent stirrup George Bush has been. Some men have the ability to bring out the worst in people. Bush is remarkably gifted in this regard. Couple that with the objective fact of his disasterous presidency and, well...he just made some of us crazy. He was the wrong man at the wrong time.

One more thing about Vermont: we have the best public radio and the worst transportation infrastructure. Is that liberal hell or conservative hell?

Ms OB, somehow you got some Vermont groupies. Thank you for tolerating us.

Erin O'Brien said...

This is a great comment thread. Exactly how they should play out between different party members.

Of course, I am right all of the time.

Anonymous said...

Harry,

I've talked to many Vermonters (and those who've moved here from elsewhere) since I've here, and I've learned a few things.

One person told me that most of the folks that are liberal here are transplants from other places who already had liberal viewpoints. I can't tell you how many folks I've talked to here that aren't from Vermont initially. Most are from the midwest (or so it seems).

I've also met (so far) two people from my home state of Ohio that live here that are very liberal. One is a woman who works in the Vermont statehouse, who told that anywhere else in the country, Republicans here would be termed liberal. In other words, even though they're with the Republican party they're far more liberal than Republicans in other states.

Another person told me that as you noted, Vermont was a Red state up until about 20 years ago. According to this person (a Vermont native) this is when the transplants began coming here and becoming active in any number of fields, politics being one of them. This, according to this person is when the shift to the left began. Whether the shift of the Republican party to the right had anything to do with Vermont's shift to the left is open for discussion.

And yes, I know most of the Northeast is liberal/Democrat. It doesn't make it any less of a liberal hell for me personally.

I agree the transportation infrastructure leaves a lot to be desired. That and parking (try finding anyplace to park without getting a ticket or having to move your vehicle every two hours in Montpelier during the week - good luck). As I don't generally listen to public radio, that is less of a concern for me.

Al
TRAG

Anonymous said...

For those concerned about an increase in taxes and the high cost of living, I hear the GOP is offering clothes for a family of five at a good price.

I invoke a sports analogy for this "not a mandate" balony. A WIN IS A WIN! Dems have the presidency and the legislature. I say hard to the left and full speed ahead, kinda like a NASCAR race.

RJ

Erin O'Brien said...

Something Finch said above--about the perception that FDR truly cared about Americans--that was one of Bush's biggest troubles.

Remember this infamous photo of Bush gazing out at the Katrina wreckage? That was one glaring example, but everything nuanced thing about the man screamed that he had no genuine compassion.

And that is one thing I believe Obama has.

I also have to say that calling the Nov. 4 election a narrow victory for dems is just tripe to me. The GOP took a full-throttle drubbing.

jonas said...

A few things....

Bill: Your point is one I've heard my whole life, and especially in liberal/secular strongholds like VT. And it is one I vehemently deny. Religion does not do anything!!!, people do things. People act, people decide, people "cause all the wars." Not religion. Saying otherwise is a small step from liberating people from their responsibilities.

HF: Yes, in virtually all cases, Bush has been a terrible President. Poor decisions, mostly regarding those he chose with whom he surrounded himself. The opposite of that trend should be Obama's 1st priority.

Here's the thing about the antis (of anything, really): in the last 8 years, those many many voice against the current administration did little more than bitch and Monday-morning quarterback. Who acted for change? What difference did they make? All that energy use for making and selling "Not my President" bumper stickers? Seriously? What the hell good does that do anyone? Yeah yeah, the voice of decent. Congrats.

The energy wasted on verbally abusing the winning side was absurd. Al's take is one to which we should pay more attention: if your candidate doesn't win, bitching doesn't change the score. Work for change. For eight years, people complained. Now what? Actually going to help out? I really do hope more people get involved. Sadly, I think our national apathy will dominate, and any shortcoming of the new administration will be easy fodder for those for whom the shoe is now on the other foot.

Anonymous said...

Wow.

I'm glad I made a point that resonated with someone here.

Thanks Jonas.

Al
TRAG

jonas said...

Al,

No President, no Congress, no Supreme Court, no mayor, no city council will please all peoples, all of the time. Someone will always leave an election less happy than before the final vote's been counted. Nonetheless, we owe it to ourselves and each other to make the best with what we have. Now, I think we did the right thing this time around. But, in order to take advantage of the opportunity presented to us, we need to smarten up and work harder at making this a better place to be. It would be a damn shame if people kicked back and rested, believing this election to be some sort of panacea. Yes, it is historic. It is monumental, in many ways. But it order that this election fulfill its own promise, everyone needs to pitch in. And it's an attitude like Al's that actually makes me think we might have a chance.

Harry Finch said...

Jonas - I'm sorry to see you so dismissive of free speech. Complaining and bitching is part of the political process, and often it is only part to which the "masses" have easy access. And if you recall, over the last eight years the exercise of the right to free speech was not without some - perceived, I'll grant you - risk. Phones were tapped, emails were monitored, due process was circumvented. On a small scale perhaps, but all you need for a shiver to go down your spine is to see one citizen denied his civil rights.

In 2003, if you opposed the Iraq invasion you were villified, you were an appeaser. God, what a fun time that was.

Working for positive change(or "pitching in") within the existing political environment is a fine concept as long as those in power welcome it. The Bush Administration had no interest in anyone who did not totally share their world vision. They tolerated no dissent, invited no alternative input, accepted only the intelligence that suited them, and essentially (I stress essentially) stated that anyone who was not in line with their thinking was at least unpatriotic, if not a terrorist sympathizer. The Unitary Executive Theory if taken to it's logical conclusion, as expanded by Bush, could have made it illegal to disagree with him.

So really, bitching has been a vital, if not somewhat unperilous, activity.

But actually, "pitching in" has been going on. Howard Dean risked his reputation and his chairmanship of the DNC by fighting for his 50 State Strategy. Americans have participated in a presidential campaign that lasted two years. Thousands of volunteers knocked on doors and worked at phone banks. Millions of us paid attention, studied the candidates, engaged in the national conversation.

Because, in some way, that's all politics is: a conversation. The conversation in the first decade of this century has been rough and raw. We cajole, we flatter, we argue, we bitch, we praise, we lie, we piss each other off, we destroy friendships, we build new ones. We're human beings: we've got tongues in our mouths and funny ideas in our heads. We're all talk and that's all we'll ever be.

jonas said...

Don't misread me: there are more ways than one to 'pitch in.' I find Al's point important that even if we don't like the government, we can still do our part. But, it's equally important to pitch in for change, for a different view. Like I said, a lame bumper sticker voicing somewhat childish dissent ("not my president"...oh no?) is not helping change in any real sense. Sure, argue grass-roots all you want. But really help would be working for a campaign of the opposition, or starting a blog, or getting on a radio show, etc., etc. I mean actually getting off your ass and getting involved. Yes, conversation is good, and it's a start. But so much of what you and I both heard stopped there. And this is not a 1st Amendment issue, not in the least. It more about the implicit right in this country to be lazy.

My point is this: dissent is fine. We all know what the Founders thought of it. I just argue that sitting back and pointing fingers at the government you don't like (whatever its incarnation at the time) isn't the kind of dissent they had in mind. Anyone can point out a problem. That's the easy part...

And I think good ol' Dean probably didn't get enough credit for pushing political organization in the direction that helped lead Obama to the White House. Point for you on that one...as much as I'd rather not give Dean credit for much.

However, I disagree that politics is no more than a conversation. It starts, and hopefully ends there. But, in between...if people care like they say they do, shouldn't it be more than a conversation?

Harry Finch said...

For Jonas and Bill on the topic of religion...

I cannot agree with you, Jonas, that religion does not do anything. You may as well say a fifth of Jim Beam for breakfast won't make you an unsafe driver during the morning commute to work. In fact, I think equating alcoholism with religion is nearly quite apt. Though it's true that alcohol consumption in moderation produces a pleasant sensation, heightens your intellectual prowess, enlarges your natural wit, and magnifies your sexual attractiveness; religion, in small doses, does no harm and leaves one with lifelong fond memories of co-ed church youth camps.

Bill, I would not want that world of nothing but atheists. If there were only atheists then Man would become God, and during the 20th century we saw what hell that brings.

I came across a couple quotes this evening I would like to share.

From Gialorenzo Bernini: "Better a bad Catholic than a good heretic." (such sane advise during an inquisition)

From John Banville: "Given the world that he created, it would be an impiety against God to believe in him."

And now my friends, as that double dose of NiteQuil begins to kick in (I have been quite ill lately; Jonas - remember those coughing fits I used to get?) I will sign off before I begin discussing universal love and the miracle of coconuts. Erin, my dear, my dearest, my one true Ohio love: you have been kind and generous to me today; and if I were still a golfer I would name my five-wood after you.

Harry Finch said...

For God's sake, Jonas, here I am trying to score a buzz off over-the-counter cold medications, and you want to keep talking politics.

Here's a Sarah Vowell line: "Along with voting, jury duty, and paying taxes, goofing off is one of the central obligations of American citizenship."

Now don't forget how much I love you, buddy. And remind your wife how fond I am of her, too. If you tell her of the miracle of coconuts tonight, make sure she knows you heard it from me first.

jonas said...

Ah, HF...how I miss our time together. Its a "vatted" scotch tonight for me, as I work to articulate the importance of understanding the stratification of Muslim holiday celebration.

I'm not joking.

Nice to hear you chime in on religion. In theory, a subject about which I'm supposed to know something...

I may not tell the special lady-friend about the coconuts, but I will tell her friends. I know you can appreciate that.

Erin, rest assured, HF's naming threat is really only about a golf club, really.

Alas, I fear some of my previous comments sound more dire than intended. I'm a bit more optimistic than it may seem. There's this apparently inborn faith in humanity I can't quite seem to shake, despite years of higher education which should generally lead one down the opposite road.

Or maybe its the scotch/bourbon and heavy metal. Either way....

Harry Finch said...

The five-wood is the Boy Scout Oath of golf clubs.

Hemingway was wrong that every story, taken to it's true conclusion, ends with death. It ends with a five-wood.

In the beginning God created heaven and the five-wood. - Book of Genesis, King James Version

How many five-woods gild the lapses of time! - John Keats

I am as strong as a five-wood and you may use me to the limit. - Theodore Roosevelt

France has lost a battle. But France has not lost the five-wood. - Charles DeGaulle

Art is unthinkable without risk and five-woods. - Boris Pasternak

God takes special care of drunks and five-woods. - Otto Von Bismarck

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and five-woods, signifying double-bogies. -W.S.

Erin O'Brien said...

I'm a five wood. This means something.

To me, religion is many things. It is arguably the most powerful tool and the most dangerous weapon ever wielded by man. That it is fueled by belief--a phenomenon void of physical property--is a concept so singular, I cannot articulate it.

Anonymous said...

High Five! Five Wood. Classic.

Honorable Mention: Patchouli scented dreadlock oil.

RJ

Bill said...

Jonas and Harry, good points from the both of you, I'm not so sure about the Man becoming God thing, but I suppose an ignorant populace could cause that to happen.
I just have an inherent distrust of religion, for many reasons, I am a skeptic and embrace science, more often than not this clashes with the religious view on almost every subject.
This discussion is awesome, I will readily admit to much ignorance on political issues, I'm just a simple guy who bends wrenches for a living, I love it when people can have a reasonable debate on this subject without all the rhetoric and gnashing of teeth, I can learn from it, that is very rare these days, I hope to see more of it. Have a great Sunday!

Harry Finch said...

Bill the Wrench Bender!

What a magnificent title. Surely wrench-bending is no simple matter (there's a joke to had here about wrench-bending versus wench-bending, but I don't know what it is).

I share your skepticism. All I'm saying is I don't want to live in a world where everyone thinks as I do. My wife lives in a world where 50% of the inhabitants think like me, and I can't help but notice that she always has her bags packed.

jonas said...

Bill,

My apologies if I sounded a bit harsh. My concern is this: more there are more more people of faith, than not. LOT and LOTS more. So, whether or not we believe, it's imperative to understand that people do believe, and its even better to understand a bit of what they believe. So, when I hear people say things like "religion causes all bad things," I get nervous. Often, such attitude is accompanied by a general ignorance about religion, faith, etc. Thus, I find such uninformed critique worth very little. Not saying that's you, just letting you know why I jumped on you like that. Again, sorry...it's one of the few things to which my radar is constantly attuned.

As it happens, I was at a panel discussion just yesterday on politics and religion. Specifically, looking at Obama and how Islam was used against him during the campaign, whether he'd have been elected if a Muslim, etc. Good stuff.

Anywho, always happy to throw down on religion. Maybe our lovely hostess will open that can of worms and let us have at it.

jonas said...

Oops, stupid terrible typing skills. That should read: "My concern is this: there are more more people of faith, than not."

Bill said...

No offense taken at all, hopefully I didn't offend you either, I'm not a religious scholar by any stretch, but I'm not totally ignorant either.
I try to not be an intolerant ass about my view of religion, but sometimes I come across that way, it's not my intent, but it's difficult not to offend a person of faith with my lack of it.

jonas said...

Bill,

No no, no offense taken. This is all good stuff.

Bill said...

Yes, good stuff indeed!

hoosierboy said...

Now I am sick of your insults, name-calling and disgusting rude behavior this site hosts. If any of you (and oh how I'd like to do some name-calling myself) have something to say to me, you can come over to my site and face me yourself. I'm sick of watching you people marinate in your own feces.

Now then, let the snorting and back-slapping congratulations begin: Y'all done run off a rightie!!

Erin O'Brien said...

To those who might still be following this thread: HB's comment is an exact replica of part of a comment I left on his site (I think they call that plagiarism), except for the last word. If you were to read my whole comment over there, you'd see that I was referencing one of several actual insults I fielded.

I don't think anyone here has insulted or done any cross name-calling, which is why his comment is so nonsensical.

In any event, there's the story. Hope I saved you a trip over to his place.

jonas said...

I'm still following. Here's the thing: for all of those predicting that the country will become a cease pool of socialism and taxes on the middle class, where were you to predict (and therefore stop) the following: one giant clusterfuck of a war (or, two), the FEMA shitshow in NOLA, the raping a pillaging by the housing/financial markets, the record profits of oil companies while we pay extra, etc, etc.

Get the point? Who of us knows jack shit about jack shit? If you can really know what a President will do, we should all hold you personally responsible for the failings of the least popular President in history. But, we don't. We can't know the future. So, why don't we all relax a bit, and see what shakes out. Basically wishing for failure in order to be right in retrospect is just sad, and...if I may, kinda unAmerican. This is still your team, your country. Take a page from some of the Republican leaders (not the least of whom is McCain) who says "let's work together."

I didn't vote for Bush. But he was always my President.

hoosierboy said...

No one is rooting against anyone. I hope all works out the best because like most of you I love my country. I find it amusing that so many Democrats are all calling for civilized commentary when we have seen unbelievable levels of hatred and vitriol against Bush for eight years(read any post on the DU or Kos if you disagree). The charges leveled at Governor Palin are even worse. I do not think you will find reporters questioning the parentage of President Obama's children.

It is not unpatriotic or hating or guesswork to comment on a stated policy. The Obama team has stated they will rescind the Executive order that allows drilling for natural gas and oil in Utah. I believe that will lead to higher prices and further dependence on foreign oil. That is not speculation on what the next president may or may not do. It is what he says he is going to do on day one. You can disagree with my conclusions, but to paint the actual words of the man as speculation is dishonest at best. And yes, Prsident Obama has said he will raise taxes on businesses. Again, I am not sure how I am out of line when I quote the man.

If that is wishing for failure, then I guess free speech is really dead in this country.

Erin, if you do not think some tasteless comments have been directed at Conservatives, Republicans and me in past comments, you need to go back and read some of your old posts. Sometimes I was lumped in with the whole, that is life. It is not personal. Usually I recognized the jabs for what they were -- just pokes to get a response. This is just a hobby for me and I spend most of my time lurking around. I welcome amyone to come to my site and say their opinion, some things I agree some I do not.

If you do not want me to comment further, say the word or ban me. If you do not want me to read anymore, that would make me sad. I enjoy your site and have for a long time, but its your world.

jonas said...

HB,

Since you're in large part responding to me, let me get back to you....

Yes, Obama has said he's going to do something. No debate there. But, how can we have any real way of anticipating the effects? Between now and when any given policy goes into affect, 1,001 different things could change the reality of the world. For instance, Bush said he would "go anywhere and everywhere" to hunt terrorists. Ok, so did we correctly anticipate how that one played out? Hell, I was partially in favor of that too...but it's hard to argue it went as planned.

Wishing for failure is suggesting that just because any given politician doens't subscribe to a particular ideal means we're all doomed.

Listen, I know there are tens of millions of people who think we picked the wrong guy. I get that. But, tens of millions also think we picked the wrong guy for the last 8 years...and history is on their side.

HB, if you've read my posts, you know I agree with you re: the hate directed at the Right. I think its wrong, and frankly antithetical to Democrat/Left ideals. People should know and act better.

Yes, the stuff directed at Palin has been pretty low. Agreed. Nonetheless, I feel insulted (even as a non-Rep) that she was on that ticket. We all deserve better.

Don't go anywhere. This group needs you. You're fighting an uphill battle against this crowd, but no one gets hurt, so its ok. This crowd, like any other, shouldn't let themselves believe they corner the market on truth.

Anonymous said...

"This crowd, like any other, shouldn't let themselves believe they corner the market on truth."

That sir we can agree on...and I mean that from either side of the aisle.

hoosierboy