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The Party of Ideas vs. the Party of Obstruction

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 11:03 pm - January 20, 2006.
Filed under: Bush-hatred,Liberals,Ronald Reagan

As the day on which we celebrate the quarter-century anniversary of the Gipper’s inaugural draws to a close, I reflect on a speech Hugh posts that Presidential Advisor Karl Rove delivered to the Winter Meeting of the Republican National Committee (RNC). That good and sage man noted how the GOP has, within the last 40 years, “gone from a minority party with little influence to one that is broad and inclusive, self-assured and optimistic, forward-leaning and dominant.

It is entirely fitting that Rove delivered this speech on this day for he focused on the notion that GOP “success springs from our ideas.” For it was under Gipper’s leadership, that ours became the party of ideas. Disparaged by his critics (many of whom similarly disparage the incumbent Republican president) as an intellectual lightweight, Ronald Reagan was a man of ideas who read widely. He studied political philosophy and economics and filled his early speeches, many of which he wrote on his own, with references to our founders and other great thinkers, men who had a vision of the role of government and the institutions needed to protect our freedom and promote our national security.

Let us hope that as we recall Ronald Reagan’s inaugural, we bear in mind that his ideas — and his leadership — helped bring our party back to life after nearly five decades in the minority. And to make sure we don’t return to our minority statuts, our party’s current leaders need to hold to Reagan’s vision and so recover from recent setbacks. If House Republicans took heed of that vision, a vision which helped inspire the Contract with America, the series of policy proposals which helped bring them to power now nearly twelve years ago, they might not now be facing the troubles they are facing. It is a good sign that at least two of those up for House Majority Leader have referenced ideas near and dear to Reagan’s heart in their campaigns. They, like Rove, recognize that ours is a party of ideas.

Contrast Ronald Reagan’s vision, as Rove does, with Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid’s boast last month to a partisan audience. His party, he claimed, had “killed the Patriot Act.” That is, he did not boast of new programs Senate Democrats were promoting, but of one they had obstructed. (And one which has helped make our country more secure.) While he joined other leaders of his party Wednesday in proposing an ethics reform package to address recent lobbying scandals in the nation’s capital, he rebuffed the efforts of a Democratic Senator who put forward “proposal on “‘ethics reform’” . . . that could be bi-partisan:”

Reid told this person that this was the wrong time to be engaged in construtive (sic) “reform” proposals with the other side. He said that this was the time to draw a line and to show how “our side” differed dramatically from “their side.”

Unlike Ronald Reagan who always sought common ground with his ideological adversaries, Harry Reid wishes to focus on differences. As Polipundit‘s Lorie Byrd (one of my sources for this link) puts it: “The Democrat leadership is more concerned with making Bush look bad than in finding solutions.”

With Harry Reid killing the Patriot Act, with his minions helping him organize Senate Democrats to vote en masse against the confirmation of Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi uniting “House Democrats to oppose many of the president’s initiatives, even those that some once supported,” the Democrats have become the party of obstruction. The successors of such great men as Hubert Humphrey and Bobby Kennedy, men who had ideas (albeit not ones that I share) for improving our nation, have no positive vision, only scorn for the incumbent president of the United States.

Let today’s anniversary remind House Republicans of how much our party has accomplished when we were the party of ideas so that we can get enact policies in line with the Gipper’s great vision. This way, come November, the American people will better see the contrast between the party of Ronald Reagan and that of Harry Reid. Between a party which has a vision of a better America — and puts forward policy proposals to help get us there — and one which seethes with contempt for the President of the United States — and does everything possible to prevent his proposals from being enacted. Between a party of hope and one of hate.

While other conservative bloggers have marked the day, let us hope that our elected officials do as well.

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com

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57 Comments

  1. The Republicans used to accuse the Democrats as being a party of “tax and spend” liberals. As far as I can tell, the Republicans have done the Democrats one better: they are (and certainly have been since Saint Reagan took over) the party of “borrow and spend more” liberals.

    I don’t mind that. We have no children who’ll have to pay off Bush’s borrowing. We want our tax rate cuts.

    Comment by raj — January 21, 2006 @ 5:40 am - January 21, 2006

  2. The Republicans used to accuse the Democrats as being a party of “tax and spend” liberals. As far as I can tell, the Republicans have done the Democrats one better:

    You’re right about that — though what you’re missing (or ignoring) is how many of us are furious about it. Ever heard of the Club for Growth?

    Comment by rightwingprof — January 21, 2006 @ 10:16 am - January 21, 2006

  3. rightwingprof — January 21, 2006 @ 10:16 am – January 21, 2006

    You’re right about that — though what you’re missing (or ignoring) is how many of us are furious about it.

    Apparently not enough Republican “conservatives” are furious about it to make a dent in the Republican “borrow and spend” liberalism (my term). They (Republican “conservatives”) use their “conservative” public relations label to seduce enough people to vote for them.

    Ever heard of the Club for Growth?

    Of course. It is another of those “conservative” operations–this time run by former Cato Institute apparatchick Stephen Moore that is pushing for reducing tax rates on corporations and reducing regulations that would inhibit corporations from polluting the environment–which would allow them to poison the rest of us.

    BTW, the Cato Institute claims to be libertarian, but it really isn’t. That is just a marketing scam. They used to be libertarian, but they haven’t been libertarian for a while.

    Comment by raj — January 21, 2006 @ 1:24 pm - January 21, 2006

  4. Raj, you should look at some of the conservative blogs, especially the big ones, which have faulted the president for not holding the line on spending. Even Hannity has taken the president to task for that.

    That said, you, like so many critics of this blog, use our posts not as an opportunity to take issue with the points we raise, but as an excuse to attack the GOP for some other item of particular concern to you. In this case, while you’re wrong about most conservatives, you do point to a flaw in the president’s policies.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 21, 2006 @ 1:32 pm - January 21, 2006

  5. GayPatriotWest — January 21, 2006 @ 1:32 pm – January 21, 2006

    You appear to misunderstand. I don’t criticize this blog. I criticize some of the inconsistencies that I see between statements on the blog–more than a few of which I see to be misperceptions–and facts as I see them. Sometimes I use harsh rhetoric, but, so what? In the late 1990s, I was criticizing Clinton rather heavily on other web sites (most of which are not in business any more), but Clinton is not in office any more, so it is not particularly interesting to prattle on about him. I knew early on that Clinton was a snake-oil salesman–that was a US Southernism and most of my relatives were from the US South–and never voted for him.

    If you don’t want your misperceptions–as I see them–to be critiqued, please let me know. If you merely want to sit around and reinforce your misperceptions, let me know.

    I don’t pay attention to O’Reilly or Hannity, or conservative blogs, for that matter, on the issue of gov’t spending under Republicans. (I don’t know where Hannity came from, but O’Reilly was a failed “journalist” from channel 7 here in Boston. He got himself a gig on Faux News, where he can yell “shut up.” Big deal.) They can complain all they want about government spending, but they obviously have little impact on the self-described conservative Republicans in Congress or even at the state level. Both RR and GWBush increased government spending markedly–that is beyond dispute. And they both did so via borrowing. And the voters–most of whom declaim themselves to be conservative. Who are you to say that they are not?

    Finally, you seem to be conflating “Republican” with “conservative.” What is the basis for that conflation? Because Republican candidates run around calling themselves “conservatives”? We were in Cincinnati a few years ago when Gov. Bob Taft was running for re-election, and I was struck by the fact that he–son or grandson of Mr. Conservative Republican Senator Robert Taft of Ohio in the 1930s and 1940s–was touting how much his administration had been spending. That’s conservative? Give me a break–I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. That’s the same Bob Taft who has recently been convicted of various crimes.

    Even here in MA, Republican Gov. Mitt “the snitt” Romney is proposing to increase state gov’t spending, while he has been running around the country bashing the state of which he is the titular governor. Romney is actually a cypher in state politics. He ruined the Republican party here in MA in the 2004. Despite having spent millions of dollars to try to get more Republicans elected to the statehouse, he ended up with a net gain of minus-five. He doesn’t have nearly enough Republicans in the statehouse to sustain a veto. Even Republican Bill Weld–who was elected governor in 1990–had enough Republicans in the state senate to sustain a veto.

    I’m sorry to tell you, but Republicans are not conservative. They’re “gimmes” (“give me”) just like the liberals that they decry.

    Comment by raj — January 21, 2006 @ 2:50 pm - January 21, 2006

  6. Thanks for proving that gays can be stupid, shallow, ignorant, and just plain mean. It is simply not possible to prove that Democrats “have no ideas” If you choose NOT to seek them out, I don’t imagine that you’ll see them. You are a hollow, hollow man. Republicans want to kill you. Nothing you do will make them love you.

    Comment by David Howe — January 21, 2006 @ 3:56 pm - January 21, 2006

  7. thanks for the Saturday laugh, David. Who said I wanted Republicans to love me? (Media claims about an intolerant party notwithstanding, nearly all the Republicans to whom I have come out (as a gay man) have welcomed me into the GOP.) Your claim Republicans want to kill me shows that you, like Harry Reid, are more consumed with hatred of the GOP than in actual putting forward positive policy proposals. You’re not interested in seeing the party as it is, but as you (falsely) believe it to be.

    You accuse me of being “stupid, shallow, ignorant, and just plain mean,” yet quote me on something I didn’t say. And like many of my critics, your comment is more filled with insults than arguments (or facts). You claim I do not seek out Democratic ideas, yet you who are so eager to define me as hollow, don’t bother to show that I’m wrong by showing the positive proposals Democrats have advanced.

    If the Democrats do have ideas, please let me know what they are — and how they are working to advance them. Lately, their rhetoric has focused more on bashing President Bush than in countering his proposals by offering policies of their own — and then in the manner of democracy, working together to effect some sort of compromise as President Clinton did ten years ago on welfare reform.

    While Harry Reid and his Democrats may offer a proposal for lobbying reform, his unwillingness to work on this in a bipartisan manner (on this issue) undermines the seriousness of his proposal.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 21, 2006 @ 4:34 pm - January 21, 2006

  8. This is America not Canada, GPW. A liberal can’t speak what’s really on their mind in this country and expect to get elected again. Better to focus on another’s weaknesses and hope the compliant media continues never to ask you about your own.

    Comment by VinceTN — January 21, 2006 @ 5:28 pm - January 21, 2006

  9. I don’t think the Democrats are a party without ideas. They are a party that has decided not to grandstand on those ideas. That is their fault and also their peril. They have a vision of where they want America to go and how they want to fix these things. When I talk to friends who are Democrats they articulate those positions fairly well. However I’d be hard pressed to find these positions in the media, theirs or otherwise. They seem to be spending all of their energy both attacking Bush and the GOP, as any opposition party is bound to do to some degree, and also churning out books to counter things like “Treason: Liberal blah blah” or “Deliver Us from Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism” (emphasis mine).

    As far as graciously playing second fiddle and handing all of their best legislative ideas over to the majority party, that’s just not going to happen. The GOP did the same thing as the minority party to a lesser degree, partly because they weren’t shut out as much as Democrats and moderate Republicans have been shutout by the current congression leadership. Still, they held on to their cards until they came to power in 1994. There was nothing to stop them proposing The Contract With America in 1988 or 1992, when those ideas had already peaked in the conservative circles. Instead they ran defense against an out of control Demcrate controlled legislative and executive branch that tried to ram through congress their agenda without dissent (sound familiar). They used that obstructionism and the promise of cleaning up government as a platform to gain power in 1994 (again, sound familiar). Once it was clear they were going to clean up in the 1994 elections, a mere six weeks before the actual election, they put out their concrete ideas. It would be prudent for Democrats to do the same.

    As it is, it looks like 2006 could be another 2002, with Rove and the GOP playing politics with the war on terror angle, although this time not questioning whether the Democrats were treasonous or unpatriotic. It will be interesting to see if the Democrats can turn this into their 1994. Somehow, I doubt they will, so I’m still holding out hope the moderate Republicans can take power with the latest corruption cleanup.

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — January 21, 2006 @ 5:38 pm - January 21, 2006

  10. Actually, the reason the Democrats don’t like to talk about their ideas is that tax increases, increasing the power of government bureaucracies, left-wing activist courts, government usurpation of property rights, job-0killing environmental extremism, unlimited union power, surrender to terrorists, and unlimited kowtowing to grievance-based minority groups are not popular among mainstrean voters.

    Comment by V the K — January 21, 2006 @ 6:46 pm - January 21, 2006

  11. I mean, Democrats talk about their ideas the way a closet case talks about his “girlfriend.” As in. “Oh, sure, I have a girlfried. Yeah, I totally bang her every night. Her name is … um, Belinda… Yeah, Belinda. She’s… um… a model. Yeah, that’s right, a model, and um, she’s got really huge tits. But, um, you can’t meet her right now because she’s in … um, Sweden. Doing an IKEA spread. But, she is totally hot.”

    Comment by V the K — January 21, 2006 @ 6:53 pm - January 21, 2006

  12. VK,

    Neither are out of control deficits, record discretionary spending on pork barrel projects, increasing the power of government beaucracies a la GOP plans, right-wing activist courts, government handouts to big businesses, unregulated industrial pollution, unlimited power in the hands of industrialists and kowtowing to right wing religious groups…somehow the GOP find other things to talk about at election time. Of course, that over simplification of GOP ideas is equal to yours on Democrats ideas.

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — January 21, 2006 @ 6:57 pm - January 21, 2006

  13. VK…I know you’re being coy with those last two posts. I’m just a bit frustrated with this project that I’m stuck home trying to finish. Sorry if I took it a little too seriously 🙂

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — January 21, 2006 @ 7:06 pm - January 21, 2006

  14. I think Mr. Moderate pretty much nails it in #9 about the Dems. The Democrats may well have ideas, but they have chosen instead to focus on Bush-bashing. Like him, I have been “hard pressed to find these positions in the media, theirs or otherwise.

    I disagree, however, with moderate Republicans being shut out by the leadership. In the years after Reagan, Mr. Moderate is right, the congressional GOP did not offer an alternative agenda, though some Republicans, led by then-back bencher New Gingrich did offer a number of proposals.

    They did run a good defense operation until the early ’90s, but it’s wrong to say that would have cleaned up without the Contract with America. That had been in the works for some time. In fact, while no one can ever prove this, I don’t think the GOP would have took control of Congress that year without the Contract.

    I kind of agree with your his last paragraph though. 2006 could be another 2002 especially if the Republicans come up with a credible Senate candidate in Florida. Like Mr. Moderate, I doubt the Democrats will come up with an alternative agenda because their rhetoric reflects a discontent with W, but not a positive means to make them more contented.

    Though by picking new Virginia Governor Kaine to deliver the response to the President’s State of the Union, Democrats show some sign of recognizing they need to hide their current leadership if they want to win.

    Good comment, Mr. M. And one which generates the kind of discussion I hope this post would.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 21, 2006 @ 7:11 pm - January 21, 2006

  15. The thing is, when Republicans get fat, lazy, and stupid as they have been for the previous few election cycles, they tend to drift to the center, which is partly why we’ve gotten so much bloat and pork out of recent Congresses (but most of the reason is because President Crazybucks asked for ridiculous amounts of social spending).

    When Republicans get scared, they usually return to their conservative base… especially during mid-term elections when turning out the base is so critical. Hopefully, this will lead to support for spending restraint, permanent tax reform, and action on illegal immigration and border security.

    Comment by V the K — January 21, 2006 @ 10:12 pm - January 21, 2006

  16. Mr.M:

    “They have a vision of where they want America to go and how they want to fix these things. When I talk to friends who are Democrats they articulate those positions fairly well.”

    Please share.

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — January 21, 2006 @ 11:43 pm - January 21, 2006

  17. ColoradoPatriot,

    I’m not a Democrat so you’ll have to ask them. I recall the conversations I’ve had with them, and I also remember thinking to myself, “why don’t they put out their message on these matters more prominently in the national media.” However like the positions of most people with whom I converse with but don’t share their positions or affiliations, I couldn’t give you specifics of their position or ideas.

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — January 22, 2006 @ 12:34 am - January 22, 2006

  18. #1

    Since when do libs give a single solitary damn about children? The libtards gave the finger to “the children” last year when they refused to have Socialist Stupidity fixed.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 22, 2006 @ 12:44 am - January 22, 2006

  19. 18: Don’t forget that the it was both Democrats and Republicans who rebuked Bush on making changes to / privatizing Social Security.

    Also, why do you make a blanket, non-sensical statements about liberals not caring about children? If you want to comment on a specific case, then fine. The state of FL has lost children from their welfare program with Jeb Bush as a governer. In New York City just last week, a child was murdered by her parents even after it was clear there should have been ACS intervention long before it happened and NYC has a republican mayor at the helm. Would it be fair then to say that Republicans don’t care about kids?

    Comment by Kevin — January 22, 2006 @ 1:35 am - January 22, 2006

  20. #19

    Who was it that obstructed the Socialist Stupidity issue last year? Further, who was it who invalidated their own Hyde Park Agreement? And what alternative have we received from the liberals?

    In New York City just last week, a child was murdered by her parents even after it was clear there should have been ACS intervention long before it happened and NYC has a republican mayor at the helm.

    And the union folks who actually run the joint who investigated the matter concluded that they had no problem with the way the case was handled. So I think it’s fair to say that at least those liberal fucktards could care less.

    Would it be fair then to say that Republicans don’t care about kids?

    Perhaps if Jeb declared that he was satisfied with the way the case was handled as in the case you mentioned.

    But then you’re changing the subject. The liberals, with their words and deeds, gave the finger to future retirees. You can’t sit there and whine about a pending collapse of Socialist Stupidity, then claim that nothing’s wrong with it, then obstruct any attempts to fix it all the while offering no plans of their own.

    And since you can change the subject, so can I.

    Liberals whining about the doom of Socialist Stupidity, then claim there’s nothing wrong with it is right up there with whining about an imminant threat from Iraq and then claim that there never was one. Worse still, they run around claiming that those who are trying to fix things are liars.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 22, 2006 @ 5:46 am - January 22, 2006

  21. There used to be a concept known as “critical thinking.” It’s not logic, but uses some of reason’s higher objectives to attain consensus. Critical thinking is the very thing this blog tends to lack. There’s a kind of black/white, good/evil, absolute/relative, conservative/liberal, etc. mindset. If GWB does it, then it’s conservative, good, absolute, white, etc., but if it is something GWB opposes, well then, it’s just the opposite.

    The irony is that this blog is anything BUT conservative. It’s an unabashed apologist for almost everything GWB does. Oh, I suppose you probably would prefer that he didn’t treat gays as second-class citizens, and maybe he’s a little heavy-handed when it comes to the largess of government spending.

    But there’s no criticism of GWB’s deceit in his warmongering, his appointment of cronies, his efforts to imperialize the presidency, to engage in illegal activities, his rendition of prisoners and denying Americans their right to habeas corpus, a speedy trial, humane conditions, and generally civilized treatment. There’s similarly no critique of GWB’s federalization of education, his persistent cutbacks in spending for the needy, his generous support of corporate welfare, a Medicare program to reward the pharmaceutical and insurance companies for their political support on the backs of the elderly and poor, subsidies for his oil company buddies, politicalization of the FDA, etc., without limit.

    True conservatives find all of the above repugnant. When honest conservatives call GWB to task for his counter-conservative agenda you simply dismiss them as “liberals,” as though the “liberal” appellation is evidence of malfeasance, rather than the true inheritance of the American Founders and their experiment. GWB, against all scholarly advice, continues to act as though the presidency is above the law, a notion no genuine conservative would find palatable.

    Over the past months, I’ve tried to read your screeds without laughing at its inherent contradictions, but I’ve come to realize that your posts are anything but “conservative” by any meaningful use of that word. That’s why for the longest time I thought this blog was a farce/satire. Instead, I’ve discovered that you’re to the reactionary Right what Michael Moore is a caricature of the progressive Left. You’re essentially an apologist for GWB come heaven or hell, with the latter consequence most in evidence.

    A gay sitcom calls GWB’s policies “fantasy island.” Fantastically absurd would probably be closer. But I wish you would have the integrity to realize GWB is anything but “conservative” in ordinary language. He’s a big-government, imperialist president, who continues to pile up the national debt beyond all our comprehensions. A more accurate appellation would be that GWB is a plutocrat for, by, and of other plutocrats. Just the massive over-billing by Cheney’s former Halliburton should be causing everyone to pause in disbelief. If robbing the poor to pay the rich is your idea of “conservative,” then genuine conservatives like Barry Goldwater, von Hayek, Mises, Oakshott, Burke, et alia, make the appellation absurd.

    A final thought: My notion of “conservatism” has always included the notion of sovereign states and the merit of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Consitution as giving the federal government very limited powers, the rest to be retained by the people. But GWB’s attorneys general have fought States’ rights every step of the way. Distribution of medical marijuana approved by plebiscite in numerous states, and opposing the right to die in Oregon, are NOT Republican values, and they aren’t conservative, either.

    Comment by Stephen — January 22, 2006 @ 5:56 am - January 22, 2006

  22. Funny stuff. Let’s see:

    and reducing regulations that would inhibit corporations from polluting the environment–which would allow them to poison the rest of us.

    And yet we still manage a lower percentage rate than some of those countries who claim to care more than we do because they signed the Kyoto disaster. Many of those signators aren’t even going to make their 2010 deadline. How many trees were killed to make the trash for them to sign?

    a snake-oil salesman–that was a US Southernism

    Snake oil is actually Chinese and snake oil salesmen were mostly out west. I’m willing to bet the ass clowns who sold you the Big Dig, which all of us are paying for, could be considered snake oil salesman. Kennedy & F.You Kerry in particular.

    If you don’t want your misperceptions–as I see them–to be critiqued, please let me know. If you merely want to sit around and reinforce your misperceptions, let me know.

    Speaking for myself, we don’t want our “misperceptions” critiqued by such an arrogant prick.

    Both RR and GWBush increased government spending markedly–that is beyond dispute.

    Regan gave us about 25 years of prosperity, despite Clinton’s recession. THAT is beyond dispute.

    Next!

    #6
    It is simply not possible to prove that Democrats “have no ideas” If you choose NOT to seek them out,

    Oh. So the liberals don’t have to share any of their ideas of the people, you know, the voters? I guess it’s sorta like F.You Kerry referring the debate moderator (Bob Schieffer?) to his website for answers to questions. If they were proud of their ideas and not embarrassed by them, they would be making sure the public knew what they were.
    Telling folks “I have ideas, but you’re going to have to do some work to find out what they are” ain’t gonna get you elected.

    It’s interesting to note that as major a subject as Iraq is, the libs aren’t going to have an official position on it this year.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 22, 2006 @ 6:21 am - January 22, 2006

  23. Shoot. I forgot to close my bold text.

    Time for bed.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 22, 2006 @ 6:21 am - January 22, 2006

  24. Stephen — January 22, 2006 @ 5:56 am – January 22, 2006

    Instead, I’ve discovered that you’re to the reactionary Right what Michael Moore is a caricature of the progressive Left.

    I agree with most of this post, but I’m going to defend Michael Moore. I’ve seen two of his movies, Roger & Me and Fahrenheit 9/11, and it appears that he has a consistent world-view. His world-view is essentially economic class warfare. You might not agree with his world-view, but for those of us who grew up during the Vietnam War and saw people who could not afford to get into college and get draft deferments get drafted and shipped off to Vietnam, Moore’s “economic class warfare” theme is not irrational.

    Just how many children of congressmen have volunteered for service in the present-day US military, much less have been sent over to Iraq? If you actually watched F9/11 to the end, you would know.

    Comment by raj — January 22, 2006 @ 7:07 am - January 22, 2006

  25. ThatGayConservative — January 22, 2006 @ 6:21 am – January 22, 2006

    Snake oil is actually Chinese and snake oil salesmen were mostly out west.

    From Wikipedia:

    Snake oil is a Traditional Chinese medicine used for joint pain. However, the most common usage of the words is as derogatory term for medicines to imply that they are fake, fraudulent, and usually ineffective. The expression is also applied metaphorically to any product with exaggerated marketing but questionable or unverifiable quality — such as bogus cryptography (see fraud in cryptography)

    More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snake_oil

    Given that my relatives were from Virginia and Georgia, and I heard the term from them, I would suspect that the derogatory usage of the term made it east.

    Going up a bit:

    And yet we still manage a lower percentage rate…

    The logical fallacy of “relative deprivation.” Your point being, what? And provide some citations, please.

    Regan (sic) gave us about 25 years of prosperity, despite Clinton’s recession. THAT is beyond dispute

    Actually, it is not beyond dispute. What is beyond dispute is that there are business cycles, and Reagan was the beneficiary of an upswing following the rather sharp shocks during the oil boycotts of 1973 and 1979. Reagan started from a relatively low level, so it didn’t take much for there to be a relatively large percentage increase in economic activity in the US. Reagan’s 1982 tax rate reductions were rather substantial, but they were quickly followed by rather substantial rate increases in subsequent years, followed by a rather substantial tax rate increase by GHWBush in 1990 or 1991.

    St. Reagan had a Republican majority in the US Senate during the first six years of his presidency. Nonetheless, federal government spending increased every year. If Republicans really wanted to rein in gov’t spending, they could have. They didn’t.

    Believe what you want about Republican “conservatism.” I don’t believe any of it. They are nothing more than “borrow & spend” liberals.

    Comment by raj — January 22, 2006 @ 7:10 am - January 22, 2006

  26. It isn’t so much that the dems don’t have any ideas, they just don’t have new ideas, all of their ideas are their old ideas that didn’t work, they just say those ideas would work better, if they had more funding (code word for raise taxes).

    Comment by just me — January 22, 2006 @ 9:06 am - January 22, 2006

  27. Let’s not also forget that it is thanks to Democrat Obstructionism that I get to have 12.6% of my income confiscated for the rest of my working life to pay into a retirement scheme that will be bankrupt before I reach retirement. Thank you, Democrats! Thank you so bloody much!

    Comment by V the K — January 22, 2006 @ 10:02 am - January 22, 2006

  28. Some great posts here. Much of my experience with gay folks on message boards is that they are pretty far left, and when I comment, no matter what I say, they let me have it. Most of it is a bashing of GWB and Israel.

    I think Reagan only had 2 years of a GOP Senate, not 6. Probably 84-86.

    While not bashing Bush 43, the left is interested in Tax and Spend politics that would dwarf the current big spending GOP congress. Notice that when the big ticket GOP programs are put forth the Dems think not enough is being spent.

    Dems have ideas. They include a weaker military, increased taxes and many more social programs, socialized medicine, enviro wacko policies, and the politics of social economics…..I’ll stop here.

    As a former member of the Dem party, they pay lip service to all supporting coalition members, including gays. With the Christian right, I think gays no where they stand. With the left, they say they like you, but you should see the reaction by party members at a Dem party meeting when the gay club gets up to speak. They all sigh and roll their eyes.

    Comment by Rick — January 22, 2006 @ 12:20 pm - January 22, 2006

  29. Oh, Stephen, Stephen, Stephen, you repeatedly call my posts screeds and yet trot out the usual leftist tripe to criticize me, yet it seems you’re more like me on an Angeleno stuck in traffic behind disrespectful drivers than a serious critic. Your comments include the same angry rants every time and you rarely, if at all, reference the post to which you attach them — or arguments I have expressed either on this blog or elsewhere.

    So, I just roll my eyes and smile and hope you somehow find the attention you seek. Because your comments increasingly seem to be projects of your inner demons rather than expressions of honest disagreement.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 22, 2006 @ 12:41 pm - January 22, 2006

  30. And Rick in #28, the Gipper had 6 years of a GOP Senate from 1980-86.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 22, 2006 @ 12:42 pm - January 22, 2006

  31. another delusional post…at least this site is consistent with its pathetic stance.

    the republican party is now the ANTI-PRIVACY party. they want to tell women what to do with their bodies, they want to tell people who they can marry, they want to tell people when and how to die and they see no problem with spying on each other.

    give it up; the republican party is a filthy organization which has abandoned its core concept of financial conservatism. bush has proven, over and over and over, what a traitor he is to the party’s ideals and it’s true…he is THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER. anyone who backs him and/or the republican nightmare is a fool or an idiot.

    take a hint: reject this charltan and the republican party while you still have a bit of dignity.

    Comment by rightiswrong — January 22, 2006 @ 1:16 pm - January 22, 2006

  32. Rightiswong in #31, if you think my post so “delusional,” please show me exactly how it is so. Instead, you fill your comment with angry insults, neglecting not only facts and arguments, but also references to the post to which you attach it.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 22, 2006 @ 2:02 pm - January 22, 2006

  33. Post #29 PROVES my point. No rebuttal, not a single one, because GPW can’t. Everything I wrote is true, which is why there is no rebuttal. GP and GPW aren’t “conservative” by ANY standard, they’re simply apologists for one of the worst presidents in our history. Why two queer dudes would be so eager to defend GWB’s anti-conservative, anti-gay agenda is baffling. For once, though, GPW didn’t accuse me of being “liberal,” because nothing I wrote resembles anything of the kind. So, progress can be made, and not yelping the mantra “liberal” at everyone who finds GWB repugnant is at least a first step. But what it will take to waken these two dudes from their love affair with the anti-conservative, imperialist GWB seems elusive. At least REAL gay conservatives like Andrew Sullivan, Jonathan Rauch, Dale Carpenter, etc., see the REAL GWB for who he really is, not the idealized one these two dudes have concocted. Enlightenment will come, but alas much too late to minimize GWB’s destruction of conservatism and Amerika.

    Comment by Stephen — January 22, 2006 @ 4:13 pm - January 22, 2006

  34. I’ll share these comments by a moderate:

    “1590 days since 9/11 and Osama still has not been brought to justice, nor (as Dubya used to say) has justice been brought to him.

    Friendly leaders have been undemocratically installed in Iraq and Afghanistan under the guise of democracy.

    The Bush Administration has unconstitutionally asserted that Dubya is at the “zenith” of his executive power.

    He has used that unchecked, unbalanced, unconstitutional power to allow torture, secret detentions, and warrantless wiretaps.

    Unsurprisingly, these undemocratic, unconstitutional acts have not helped defeat the terrorist threat, but have exacerbated it.

    Killing or capturing bin Laden immediately after 9/11 might have sent a strong message and severely disrupted the terrorist network.

    Now, if we ever do get bin Laden, it will be four or more years too late.”

    So why is the U.S. in Iraq?

    Comment by Stephen — January 22, 2006 @ 4:23 pm - January 22, 2006

  35. Stephen, why should I take time from my busy schedule to rebut your points when you don’t take the time to rebut my points–those in the post to which you attach your comments?

    By your own logic, you are incapable of responding to my points and so prove them.

    Calling Andrew Sullivan a conservative is like calling professional ex-gay John Paulk gay. It’s using a term which references each man’s past to describe his present.

    And your constant string of insults helps prove the point of my post. Many on the left are more obsessed with attacking President Bush and conservatives than taking issue with our arguments and offering alternatives of their own.

    Thanks, Stephen, for helping prove my point. Once again, you make my day.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 22, 2006 @ 4:59 pm - January 22, 2006

  36. you’re either ignorant or an idiot to think the republican party is good for this country. face facts moron.

    Comment by rightiswrong — January 22, 2006 @ 5:20 pm - January 22, 2006

  37. Gosh, how my critics make my task so much easier. I note how many on the left prefer insults to arguments and they reply by calling me an “idiot” and “moron.”

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 22, 2006 @ 5:35 pm - January 22, 2006

  38. #36

    Sorry. Liberal lying points and ignorant hatred does not constitute as facts.

    Now the liberal position of turning over our national security to other countries while fighting for terrorist rights clearly disqualifies the left as “good for this country”.
    That and their Neo socialist desires.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 22, 2006 @ 9:52 pm - January 22, 2006

  39. Trying to argue with Stephen is like trying to argue with a parrot.

    He couldn’t make an original point, or provide substantive response, if you put 5000 Volts through him.

    Comment by V the K — January 22, 2006 @ 10:08 pm - January 22, 2006

  40. Actually, it’s easy. Ask Stephen to explain why he bashes Bush for raising social spending, then one sentence later bashes him for cutting it. For instance, he bashes Bush for increasing Medicare spending and adding a prescription drug benefit, but then bashes him for cutting benefits to the poor and elderly. Nothing but incoherent babble centered only on an attempt to make his irrational hatred of Bush palatable.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 23, 2006 @ 1:14 am - January 23, 2006

  41. And it’s not just conservatives these guys get mad it. They get mad at Washington Post reporters who report that Democrats were invovled in the Abramoff scandal.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 23, 2006 @ 1:21 am - January 23, 2006

  42. GayPatriotWest — January 22, 2006 @ 12:42 pm – January 22, 2006

    …the Gipper had 6 years of a GOP Senate from 1980-86

    Minor nit: St Reagan had 6 years of a GOP Senate from Jan 1981 to Jan 1987.

    Going up a bit, referring to social security privatization, you might have been able to get that in the mid- to late-1990s, but now? Not likely In the mid- to late-1990s, the stock market was rising markedly. In the last couple of years, it had fallen off sharply. Recently it has been rising again (although on Friday it had a relatively large sell-off), but it still hasn’t reached the high-point in the late 1990s. And apparently people tend to forget the rather substantial stock market crash in 1987. Social security privatization largely lost in the crash of ’87, and was buried in the selloff in the early part of this century.

    Comment by raj — January 23, 2006 @ 2:34 am - January 23, 2006

  43. Regarding Stephen — January 22, 2006 @ 4:13 pm – January 22, 2006

    At least REAL gay conservatives like…Dale Carpenter, etc., see the REAL GWB for who he really is, not the idealized one these two dudes have concocted.

    Dale Carpenter isn’t a gay conservative, he’s a gay Republican. A couple of months prior to the Nov 2002 election he published an article in the gay Texas Triangle entitled “What Is A Gay Republican To Do?” (For some reason, it is not archived at IndeGayForum.Org although some of his other columns are.) He went through the usual litany of complaining about the Republican Party and their policies and then concludes–voila!–vote Republican. It was ridiculous.

    BTW, you might be well advised to avoid the German spelling for America, unless you are quoting a German source–which I sometimes do. The implication is clear, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s petty.

    Comment by raj — January 23, 2006 @ 2:38 am - January 23, 2006

  44. North Dallas Thirty — January 23, 2006 @ 1:14 am – January 23, 2006

    I don’t know why Stephen posts what he posts regarding Bush. I bash the GWBush administration for its bait&switch: its borrow&spend liberalism after having campaigned as conservatives. Of course, it should have been clear from Reagan days that the vast majority of the people who call themselves conservatives don’t really want smaller government, so I wasn’t really surprised by Tom “Bug-Killer” DeLay’s mohair subsidy in the late 1990s, or GWBush’s corporate subsidies–more than a few of which went to agri-business–since he took office. Subsidies are nothing more than welfare by a different name.

    Comment by raj — January 23, 2006 @ 2:39 am - January 23, 2006

  45. Well, raj, while you’re rhetoric in #44 may be harsher than mine, I do agree with you about the president’s failure to hold the line on spending. Perhaps, under new leadership, House Republicans will return to the ideas with which Ronald Reagan and his followers in 1994 used to help our party rise to power.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 23, 2006 @ 3:04 pm - January 23, 2006

  46. GayPatriotWest — January 23, 2006 @ 3:04 pm – January 23, 2006

    …Perhaps, under new leadership, House Republicans will return to the ideas with which Ronald Reagan and his followers in 1994 used to help our party rise to power….

    Just to remind you, St. Reagan signed an expansive abortion rights bill while he was governor of California–and this was prior to Roe vs. Wade. St. Reagan also signed one of the early “no-fault divorce” laws while he was governor of California.

    As president, St. Reagan largely initiated the “borrow and spend” strategy, which showed that Republicans really don’t believe in smaller government. They wanted government subsidies–welfare–redirected to what they believe are their constituencies.

    Republicans took over congress in 1994 for two reasons. One, Clinton was a snake-oil salesman. Two, Newt Gingrich’s public relations program regarding the “contract with america.” Gingrich never had any intention that the “contract” would be implemented, and only one of the ten proposals ever was, and that was a minor issue regarding chairmanship of House committees. But it was a good public relations program, and that was all it was ever intended to be.

    Comment by raj — January 23, 2006 @ 4:44 pm - January 23, 2006

  47. Raj,

    Reagan also evolved in regards to his views on many things, that happens to a lot of us. I was pro choice in college and pretty liberal, after graduation, and having babies, my liberalness left me, and it took only the first pregnancy to realize what a horror abortion was.

    So my point is people do change, if you dug up my opinions from my college days, and tried to pin them on me now, you would be way off base.

    Comment by Just Me — January 23, 2006 @ 6:16 pm - January 23, 2006

  48. I love that “face the facts moron” comment. Just more of the sensitive and tolerant remarks by the left. I guess you can say that when you come from a political movement that prides itself on being smarter than everyone else.

    Comment by Rick — January 23, 2006 @ 8:47 pm - January 23, 2006

  49. When Reagan was president, he had to deal with a Democratic House for all eight years. In order to get the increases in military spending he thought necessary (& has been proven right by history) to win the Cold War, he compromised with Tip O’Neill’s Democrats. As a result he was not able to hold the line on domestic spending as much as he would liked.

    The current Republican president does not have the same excuse his predecessor had as he has had a Republican-majority Congress for the better part of his Administration. That is why we need conservative leadership in the House and for the president to show the same backbone he shows on world affairs on domestic spending.

    Please note that I fixed some errors in this comment when I returned to my own computer and thus deleted the additional comments noting the original errors here.

    Comment by Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest) — January 23, 2006 @ 8:49 pm - January 23, 2006

  50. To GPW, Raj et al,

    Not to stick my finger in a hornet’s nest, but a look at the current US fiscal situation is not all doom and gloom. While government spending may be out of control, the actual deficit has been shrinking for the past two years. Increased tax receipts, due to an expanding economy, have narrowed the difference between what the government spends and what it gets.

    In addition, the percentage of total debt as compared to GDP for 2005 is lower than expected and is still roughly the same as the average under the Clinton administration.

    Comment by John — January 23, 2006 @ 9:11 pm - January 23, 2006

  51. Good points, John but we still need to cut the budget,

    Dan

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 24, 2006 @ 2:09 am - January 24, 2006

  52. It’s kind of funny that people like Stephen, who can rant endlessly about Republican spending, never mention that the main criticism of Democrats is that Republicans don’t spend enough, and in fact, went into hysterics over a very modest amount of spending restraint in December ($40 Billion in reductions over 5 years, during which the government will spend over $12 Trillion dollars. In other words, Democrats were screaming ‘apocalypse’ over a 0.3% reduction in growth).

    I agree we have to get spending under control, but I think we have a much better chance of getting it by holding Republicans’ feet to the fire on spending then electing a bunch of liberal democrats who want vast expansions of government spending in every area except the one that matters: National Defense.

    Comment by V the K — January 24, 2006 @ 9:51 am - January 24, 2006

  53. Just Me — January 23, 2006 @ 6:16 pm – January 23, 2006

    It is true that peoples’ views tend to evolve over time, but Reagan was not exactly a young man when he was governor of California and signed the no-fault divorce bill and the bill expanding abortion rights. If he had changed his views between having been a college student and a middle-aged man, I would give him some slack. But, on the other hand, I don’t particularly care what he did while he was governor of California.

    But my point is different–there is no particular evidence that he changed his views, yet the people who fawn over him seem to have ignored these issues, as well as the fact that, as president he expanded the budget markedly based on a borrow&spend strategy.

    Comment by raj — January 24, 2006 @ 1:32 pm - January 24, 2006

  54. John — January 23, 2006 @ 9:11 pm – January 23, 2006

    Not to stick my finger in a hornet’s nest, but a look at the current US fiscal situation is not all doom and gloom. While government spending may be out of control, the actual deficit has been shrinking for the past two years.

    I don’t know what you are referring to (your text file is quite lengthy and doesn’t fit onto my screen width-wise) but it is fairly clear from the first screen of your text file that the deficit for “prior year” (I assume it’s FY2004) was US$318.5 billion, and the cumulative deficit for the first three months of the “current year” (I assume that its FY2005) US$119.3 billion. (It’s evident by comparing the last three columns on the right, receipts, outlays and deficit/surplus, that if the number in the rightmost column is positive, it indicates a deficit.) I wouldn’t consider that much of an improvement. Or are you referring to something else in that file?

    Comment by raj — January 24, 2006 @ 1:36 pm - January 24, 2006

  55. Raj,
    The data in the chart is for FY 2005 and the first 3 months of FY 2006. If you plot the rolling 12 month totals of both amounts, you see that the difference between federal receipts and outlays has been shrinking for almost two years(for previous FYs see this pdf file). Lower deficits mean lower debt. I always see that as an improvement.

    Comment by John — January 25, 2006 @ 12:15 am - January 25, 2006

  56. Lower deficits are good. Lower spending would be better.

    If we ditched the prescription drug giveaway, all the pork in the highway bill, and reduced ag subsidies and education spending to Clinton-Era levels, the deficit would be even smaller.

    Comment by V the K — January 25, 2006 @ 5:44 am - January 25, 2006

  57. I am doing a debate in my Multicultural literature class. Do you think that celebrites should be held at a higher moral standard than the general public? Please let me know as soon as possible.

    Thank You

    Comment by Naomi Kimbrough — November 14, 2006 @ 10:11 am - November 14, 2006

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