What the Hell is a Moderate Anyway?

I enjoy reading political writers who have both a sense of humor and ask thought provoking questions.  When I read this brief piece by booman, it resonated with me.

What constitutes moderation in Democratic politics? Which policies of mainstream Democrats are simply unacceptable to South Dakotans, for example? I think these are questions that need to be empirically tested. South Dakota clearly preferred Mitt Romney to Barack Obama, but it isn’t entirely clear why they felt that way. While Republicans absolutely dominate on the local level, the Democrats have done very well in recent years on the federal Senate/House level. Why is that?

These same dynamics have played out in North Dakota and Montana, where Democrats have over performed in Senate contests. Senators like Max Baucus, Jon Tester, Byron Dorgan, Kent Conrad, Tim Johnson, and Tom Daschle have certainly been frustrating at times, but it’s hard to find all that much commonality between them in terms of their apostasy from the party platform. I suppose they have probably been less environmentally friendly than your average Democrat. They’ve been cozy with the banking and credit card industries. They’ve been a bit more socially conservative than their peers.

If I had to name something really out of whack, it’s been their obsession with the deficit. Because the other stuff is easily explainable by the fact that they represent sparsely-populated states with a lot of mining and financial services activity and not much religious or ethnic diversity, their love of austerity sticks out.

Opposition to big spending seems to be a requirement in these northern plains states. Is that the key ingredient for success? Or is it possible to use a different playbook? How much of a role does personality play? Jon Tester and Max Baucus don’t seem much alike but they both have success. Kent Conrad struck me as quite a bit more conservative than Byron Dorgan, who could be quite openly partisan at times.

I understand the urge to find a candidate who is seen as moderate, but I can’t pinpoint what moderate really means.

I’m working with a group trying to find a congressional candidate to support who will run against our very conservative congressman here.  The last time we came close to beating him was in 2008 and we had a pretty progressive candidate who barely lost.  In 2010 the same candidate lost by a larger percentage.  And 2012 was awful.  We lost by 25 or 30 percentage points I think, but we’re not sure if it was from redistricting or because of a new and relatively unknown candidate.   Both worked against us of course, but which played the larger part?

We’re a very conservative district, perhaps even more so now, and so I’ve been arguing for a more moderate candidate but I think I’m being out voted.  It’s a pretty liberal group so they want the most progressive candidate we can find.

One of the aspects of politics today that I’ve been fascinated watching is the apparent growing split in the Republican Party between the more ideologically driven members of the base or Tea Party and more traditional or moderate conservatives.  As I’m sure everyone has already heard Bob Dole had a few things to say about today’s Republican Party.

“Reagan couldn’t have made it. Certainly, Nixon couldn’t have made it because he had ideas,” he pointed out. “I just consider myself a Republican, none of this hyphenated stuff. I was a mainstream conservative Republican. It seems to be almost unreal that we can’t get together on a budget or legislation,” Dole said, comparing today’s Congress unfavorably with the institution in which he served for decades. “We weren’t perfect by a long shot, but at least we got our work done.”

Another example, of course, would be John McCain’s criticism of the small group of Senators who appear to be blocking budget negotiations.

I consider myself a moderate on some issues and a progressive on others but I’d still rather be represented by a Democrat than a Republican so I’m willing to compromise a bit.

It’s funny, when Kevin picked the name for this blog, I told him I wasn’t a moderate but now I’m not so sure what that even means or if it matters.

I’m also wondering if any of the conservatives here worry about the same things I do.   Are they being too driven by the base, or political purity, when they might have a better chance at winning more elections if the moderates, or more traditional members of the party had a little more influence?  Or is winning with moderates some sort of cop out?

134 Responses

  1. I just found this interview with Larry Sabato on the same subject. Here’s part of it.

    Asking Larry Sabato: Whatever happened to political moderates?

    Joseph F. Cotto: This is a very polarized time in American politics. Why do you think that moderate policies and politicians have become so maligned?

    Dr. Larry Sabato: Moderates aren’t maligned so much as ignored by the activists in both parties. For better or worse, we’ve developed a conservative Republican party and a liberal Democratic party. The good part of it is that voters have a clear choice. The bad part is that it is increasingly difficult to bridge the gap and forge compromises. And our system of divided government requires compromise because only rarely, in the modern day, does one party have enough strength across the board to get its way without some help from the other party.

    Cotto: It has been said that hardline politics are more prevalent on the right than on the left. Do you agree with this idea?

    Dr. Sabato: Not really. I’m fortunate to have good contacts across the ideological spectrum in both parties. A substantial majority are reasonable people who are patriotic and well informed. But a minority on both the right and left seem hell-bent on having it their own way, refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of any arguments made by the other side.

    Cotto: Over the last several years, it seems that many on both ends of the political spectrum have become attracted to extreme ideologies. In your opinion, is there an underlying reason for this?

    Dr. Sabato: Difficult economic times and unpopular wars encourage this, as they have throughout American history. Both conditions have been present in recent years. If we have a long stretch of peace and prosperity sometime in the future, I suspect things will calm down.

    http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/conscience-realist/2013/may/16/asking-larry-sabato-whatever-happened-political-mo/

    Not sure I agree with all the “both sides do it” leveling of the playing field, but I’m hoping his last answer is right.

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    • lms:

      Not sure I agree with all the “both sides do it” leveling of the playing field…

      Me neither. The left is way more guilty. 🙂

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  2. Here’s another interesting piece from last year’s primary season that wonders how moderate became a dirty word in politics.

    After hearing this during the primary campaign this author wondered what was going on.

    Two of the candidates in the Republican primaries — Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum — have used the word regularly to assail one of their opponents, Mitt Romney.

    “Massachusetts moderate,” Gingrich has said of Romney, over and over, with unmistakable derision.

    Santorum has called Romney a “mushy moderate,” and has said that delegates at an open Republican convention “are not going to nominate a moderate Massachusetts governor.”

    So what’s going on here? In search of an answer, I turned not to Ovid or Aristotle, but to Cal Thomas, the conservative columnist and commentator whose love of language is as passionate as his interest in politics.

    Thomas is resolute in his conservative beliefs, but he has always shown a willingness to at least listen to the other side. He and liberal Bob Beckel write a regular column for USA Today called “Common Ground,” where they seek to find precisely that: a meeting place where ideas helpful to America may be worked out.

    So, Cal: What exactly does “moderate” mean as it is being used in the present political free-for-all?

    “In today’s vernacular,” Thomas said, ” ‘moderate’ has come to mean that you have no fixed principles, that everything can be negotiated away because all that matters is ‘the deal.’ ”

    He continued:

    ” ‘Moderate’ has also come to mean liberal on taxation, regulation and the social issues.”

    We were conducting our conversation by e-mail, so I couldn’t see his face as he typed the next sentence. But, knowing his long understanding of politics and the people who practice it, I have a feeling he was smiling. Of “moderate,” he wrote:

    “It is a label that means whatever the person applying it wants it to mean.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/01/opinion/greene-moderate

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  3. The problem, if there is one, is that all the DINOs and RINOs have been hunted to extinction. ‘Conservative Democrat’ is a term that was heard frequently not too long ago. And while ‘liberal Republican’ is more oxymoronic there were the ‘Rockefeller Republicans’. The recent defections of Charlie Crist and Lincoln Chafee may be a trend towards the Democrats operating as a big-tent party while Republicans entrench rightward.

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  4. Scott

    The left is way more guilty

    I don’t think it’s even close, the right takes the prize. Do you think there’s something wrong with being a moderate?

    I spent a lot of time during the health care debate objecting to the Blue Dogs and Blanche Lincoln………………….OMG, and yet I consider myself a moderate in some things.

    I think it’s an interesting question. Who here are the moderates? I doubt anyone would call me one but I think Mark and Kevin fit the bill. I wonder how they view themselves.

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    • lms:

      I don’t think it’s even close…

      I don’t, either.

      Do you think there’s something wrong with being a moderate?

      Well, I think it goes without saying – it is pretty much a tautology – that I think there is something wrong with any position that doesn’t agree with my own. But there is nothing especially wrong with being a moderate. Although being a moderate is of course relative, and I think a lot of people who I would not consider particularly moderate fancy themselves to be just that.

      Who here are the moderates?

      I’ll pass…I’ve offended too many people already.

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      • What policies might those be?

        Read the linked article. Klein lists the individual health care mandate, cap-and-trade carbon emissions and stimulus spending.

        I fully expect a No True Scotsman rebuttal that none of these were conservative positions to begin with. But they were all advocated by Republicans of some stripe at some point. Which does support the thesis of epistemic closure and rightward drift going on.

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        • yello:

          Klein lists the individual health care mandate, cap-and-trade carbon emissions and stimulus spending.

          The first two simply help make my point. The mere fact that we are even seriously discussing socialized medicine and the idea that carbon is a pollutant that needs to be controlled by government regulation shows how far left national politics has moved. The notion that the R’s have moved drastically from the thinking of, say, Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan on these issues is just not supportable in any way, I don’t think.

          On the third, there may be some measure of a point. “We are all Keynesians now” is definitely no longer true. Friedman and Hayek have had a significant influence on conservative economics, and have indeed moved the right away from the previous status quo.

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  5. Yello

    The recent defections of Charlie Crist and Lincoln Chafee may be a trend towards the Democrats operating as a big-tent party while Republicans entrench rightward.

    I hope so.

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  6. “I’m also wondering if any of the conservatives here worry about the same things I do. Are they being too driven by the base, or political purity, when they might have a better chance at winning more elections if the moderates, or more traditional members of the party had a little more influence? Or is winning with moderates some sort of cop out?”

    I’d take Bill Bolling over Ken Cuccinelli any day, but I don’t view that as a cop out. I actually think he’s better on policy as well.

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  7. Ezra Klein describes this phenomenon:

    Over the last few years, the Republican Party has been retreating from policy ground they once held and salting the earth after them. This has coincided with, and perhaps even been driven by, the Democratic Party pushing into policy positions they once rejected as overly conservative. The result is that the range of policies you can hold and still be a Republican is much narrower than it was in, say, 2005. That’s left a lot of once-Republican wonks without an obvious political home.
    {snip}
    If you imagine a policy spectrum that that goes from 1-10 in which 1 is the most liberal policy, 10 is the most conservative policy, and 5 is that middle zone that used to hold both moderate Democrats and Republicans, the basic shape of American politics today is that the Obama administration can and will get Democrats to agree to anything ranging from 1 to 7.5 and Republicans will reject anything that’s not an 8, 9, or 10.
    {snip}
    This, by the way, is why I’m down on the terms “liberal” and “conservative” or “left” and “right” in today’s Washington. Too often, the terms are used as shorthand for “person who mostly agrees with Democrats” and “person who mostly agrees with Republicans.” If Gingrich or Romney in 2005 could be counted as a liberal today, something has gone wrong in the way we’re labeling the political spectrum.

    The Overton Window has shifted sharply rightward in the past decade or so. A former moderate Republican is now a flaming liberal for wanting things like universal health care.

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    • yello (from Klein):

      Over the last few years, the Republican Party has been retreating from policy ground they once held and salting the earth after them.

      What policies might those be?

      There are several policies that Dems, or at least a sizeable portion of them, once held not too long ago, which they no longer hold. Opposition to gay marriage and opposition to legal abortions come immediately to mind. But of course it is the right that has moved radically.

      I have made this case before, but I continue to think that this perpetually-claimed but never-substantiated move to the right by the R’s is nothing more than a left-wing propaganda myth. I don’t see how anyone can look at the arc of politics, and the policies that have been implemented – with the acquiescence of the R’s – over the last, say, 100 years and conclude that the party has moved to the right. It is very clear to me that our politics, including that of the R’s, has moved to the left, not to the right. As I have said before, I think the thoughts of people on the left are skewed in that they always view current left-wing policy preferences as historically normative. Hence, for example, when the R’s oppose the D’s attempts to legalize gay marriage, they are perceived has being radically to the right, despite the fact that a barely 15 years ago DOMA passed with large majorities of both parties and the signature of the D president at the time, and despite the fact that even our current D president officially opposed gay marriage right up until this year.

      It is a classic case of left-wing projection…they move further to the left (progress!), find themselves further removed from the right, and then proclaim that right is becoming even more radically right.

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  8. This piece in the LA Times raised the same issue last year.

    The political moderate, a disappearing breed
    Moderate politicians are being pushed aside, particularly in the GOP, in a partisan environment that frustrates many voters, even as most of them gravitate to the sharply partisan candidates.

    The decline of moderates is one element in an increasingly partisan environment that has left many voters frustrated, even as the majority of them gravitate to the sharply partisan candidates. The decline has been seen in both parties but more notably, of late, among Republicans.

    “People are too partisan,” said Charles Lussier, a New Hampshire independent who longs for a day when he will see people post yard signs supporting both Republican and Democratic candidates. “We’ve become like children in the playground, it’s us against them.”

    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/oct/22/nation/la-na-republican-moderates-20121022

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  9. I am (literally) a card-carrying RINO but I self-identify as a Radical Moderate:

    http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4070/5129762013_ddb669ae12.jpgRadical Moderate

    That I do so at a Jon Stewart rally may be undercutting my position a little.

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  10. jnc, I know Bolling is a Republican, is he considered more moderate? I’m not too familiar with him.

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  11. Bolling essentially withdrew from the governor race when Cuccinelli orchestrated a convention instead of a primary. He was easily far more moderate than The Cooch but that could be said of about anybody except E. W. Jackson.

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  12. I was never a Republican although I have voted across party lines occasionally. As a registered wimpy, wishy-washy Independent since 1972, I could become a “radical moderate”. That sounds much more assertive.

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  13. That convention in VA may give those positions to Democrats.

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  14. Of the ones left standing, I would classify everyone except Scott and me as moderates. And if you take a look at the avatars up on the left, I think you’ll find that the ones who have self-moderated themselves into not contributing are mainly on the left-ish side, which should tell you something about where the blog has moved.

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    • Mich:

      Of the ones left standing, I would classify everyone except Scott and me as moderates.

      This is what I mean when I said it was relative. As libertarians, jnc and nova advocate for all kinds of things that, in our current politics, are “extreme”. (Flat tax, anyone?) McWing self-classifies as a Tea-partier. And I actually agree with them on most things. But somehow they get classified as moderates and I am not. I wonder which policy preferences I have which make me a non-moderate but them moderates. (BTW…I agree that I am not. But I wouldn’t classify them, or almost anyone else here, as a moderate.)

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  15. I have made this case before, but I continue to think that this perpetually-claimed but never-substantiated move to the right by the R’s is nothing more than a left-wing propaganda myth

    Dude, you have not been paying attention to politics! Hmm, let’s see. Paul Broun (GA). Virginia Foxx (NC), Ken Cucchinelli (sp? VA). Mike Lee (UT). Mitt Romney (Who Knows? Too Many Homes). Louie Gohmert (TX).

    You are so wrong.

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    • Mich:

      You are so wrong.

      Maybe, but simply listing names does not substantiate the charge. I think you have to show that positions commonly held throughout the party now are a drastic departure from positions commonly held in the past. Like, for example, the drastic reversal of the D’s on gay marriage.

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  16. I’ll pass…I’ve offended too many people already.

    Cop out.

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  17. But somehow they get classified as moderates and I am not.

    Because you are never, ever, ever wrong about anything and anyone who disagrees with you is.

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    • Mich:

      Because you are never, ever, ever wrong about anything and anyone who disagrees with you is.

      Again, I think it is pretty much a tautology to say that I think anyone who disagrees with me is wrong. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t think what I think. This is true for pretty much everyone, whether they admit it or not. Including moderates. I also don’t think being politically moderate has anything to do with thinking one is right and others are wrong in a blog debate. I think it has more to do with the positions once takes in those debates.

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  18. Like, for example, the drastic reversal of the D’s on gay marriage.

    Kinda the very basic definition of the difference between conservative and liberal politics, wouldn’t you say? Conservatives want to, well, conserve the way things are. Liberals are willing to be open to change.

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    • Mich:

      Conservatives want to, well, conserve the way things are. Liberals are willing to be open to change.

      I wouldn’t put it in precisely those terms, but essentially yes. It is the very nature of progressives to move away from the status quo. Hence it seems absurd to me when liberals accuse conservative of having a radically moving politics, while pretending that they themselves are advocating from a position long established in history.

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  19. Well, I think it goes without saying – it is pretty much a tautology – that I think there is something wrong with any position that doesn’t agree with my own.

    Only one person on the highway is ever driving the exact perfect speed and that is yourself. Everybody else is a crazed lunatic or a helpless sluggard.

    I have a much narrower definition of moderate. I consider jnc, nova, McWing and Scott to all be hard-right albeit of slightly different flavors which I sometimes find inscrutable to an outsider. Mark-in-Austin is the moderate I aspire to be. I fear that the travesties of the Dubya Administration and being married to a school teacher in Maryland for fifteen years have radicalized me leftward further than I am comfortable. I realize I must appear nearly Cesar Chavez pinko to the assembled conservatives here but I know plenty of people further to the left than me.

    Didn’t we all take a quiz that revealed us all to be unrepentant libertarians?

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  20. scott

    never-substantiated move to the right by the R’s is nothing more than a left-wing propaganda myth

    That doesn’t make sense to me when we have so many Republicans or former Republicans complaining about the lack of a legislative agenda or willingness to compromise from their own party. Are all these so called RINO’s/moderates buying into left-wing propaganda. I don’t believe that.

    Also, I don’t think gay marriage is a good example of what you’re claiming. I agree it’s a move to the left by both Dems and even moderates and Republicans over the past 20 years, but I don’t think it was driven by either political party but rather as a civil rights issue driven by the public. Democrats are moving more quickly than R’s but that’s not very unusual.

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  21. the idea that carbon is a pollutant

    Are you saying that uncontrolled burning of fossil fuels has no externalities vis-a-vis the climate? Does AGW exist and if so what should be done about it? Is there a market-based solution? And wouldn’t cap-and-trade be one variety of it?

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  22. we are even seriously discussing socialized medicine

    We are? The individual mandate, which was the conservative rebuttal to an employer mandate with public option, was putatively the market-based solution to avoiding free-riders on the current system. Does the phrase ‘Romneycare’ ring a bell?

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    • yello:

      Does the phrase ‘Romneycare’ ring a bell?

      Of course. And again you help make my point. You are aware of the general political climate in Massachusetts I assume. It is not conservative. The idea that the person responsible for implementing Romneycare in MA could win the presidential nomination of the Republican party is hardly an indication that the party is moving radically to the right. I really don’t understand how this can be at all reasonably disputed.

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  23. Again, I think it is pretty much a tautology to say that I think anyone who disagrees with me is wrong.

    The difference is that you are not open to discussion. You have to prove that you are right, no matter what. That is the position that you take in debates, and it is why this blog isn’t even a debating board any longer.

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    • Mich:

      The difference is that you are not open to discussion.

      Sure I am. But it is not as though we are discussing things I have never thought about before, so it shouldn’t come as a shock that it would be difficult to alter my thinking. I don’t think I am any more set in my thinking than anyone else here. I think the only thing that really distinguishes me is that I am less likely than most to give up trying to make my case. Hence my avatar. In that sense I guess I am more open to discussion than most…I don’t give up so easily on them.

      …and it is why this blog isn’t even a debating board any longer.

      It is in some respects flattering to think I alone hold such power over ATiM, but I am skeptical.

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    • Michigoose:

      In response to your comment to Scott “The difference is that you are not open to discussion. You have to prove that you are right, no matter what. That is the position that you take in debates, and it is why this blog isn’t even a debating board any longer.”

      While I haven’t posted much at all and while I have a college education and I am 57, I had hoped to see some really good debates on ATiM. I found ATiM about a year ago and immediately became a fan and a follower. I have spent way too much of my time in life doing nothing other than worrying about taking care of my own; my kids and my parents in their later years, than to worry about all the politics.

      But over the past decade or so I have wanted to, and finally had the time, learn more about our politics, policies, etc. ATiM seemed to be a good source for me to learn as I immediately noticed posters from all different parties/views.

      However, it seemed to turn rather quickly, with folks dropping out, leaving not a lot of debating going on. IMHO, I honestly agree that the “debating” began to be overrun by “I will make you believe my way and there’s nothing you can say or do to change that”.

      That is not debating. In my case, since I am wanting to learn, I want to hear ALL sides of any issue. I may have been raised a democrat, but I am extremely open to ALL points of view. I was also raised by a very racist man, but I am in no way racist either.

      I am an open, empty book, waiting to be filled with knowledge, so I can make my own decisions based on all I have learned. I’m not learning when the debates aren’t really debates,but rather, I’m right/you’re wrong… heck, I can find that anywhere online. Guess I’m looking for more “facts” and not “opinions”.

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  24. I’m a radical. I understand that my beliefs will never be enacted. My goal is to always primary Republicans from the right to keep those serving as scared and amenable to me as possible. I’d literally rather lose Delaware and Nevada for example, to keep The Maine sisters in line.

    I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with moderates, nor do I think there is anything inherently virtuous about it either.

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  25. And again you help make my point

    And again you try to prove your point without rebutting his:

    The individual mandate, which was the conservative rebuttal to an employer mandate with public option, was putatively the market-based solution to avoiding free-riders on the current system.

    Which makes my point.

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    • Mich:

      And again you try to prove your point without rebutting his:

      Actually, I thought I did. The very existence of proposals regarding government “mandates” shows how far to the left our national politics has moved from historically conservative notions.

      I am reminded of a previous instance in which I had this same conversation. Someone (yello? Mike? I can’t remember) presented an R congressman who had previously voted in favor of banning incandescent light bulbs, but had later come out against the ban, as an example of how R’s were moving radically to the right of their historical norms. The problem with this, of course, is that it was the original position that was a departure from historically conservative norms. It was not the norm itself.

      If the left gains political power, and people on the right attempt to blunt radical left-wing ideas by proposing ideas that are less radical but conceivably acceptable to those in power, it doesn’t make sense to me to then take view those attempts as the “norm” for the right, and thus present what has been historically conservative positions as somehow outrageously radical and beyond what conservatives have ever done before.

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  26. It is in some respects flattering to think I alone hold such power over ATiM, but I am skeptical.

    Again, I draw your attention to the people who are no longer commenting. It would seem that I am almost the only fool left here.

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    • Mich:

      It would seem that I am almost the only fool left here.

      There seems to be several of us “fools” around today, including one who has recently returned, despite my presence.

      I’m pretty sure qb didn’t leave because of me, but if you have relevant information on others, I am happy to hear it.

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  27. I just thought of something, even the “radical” (love it McWing) conservatives here aren’t exactly staunch conservatives on some issues, such as abortion. I understand you think the states should decide abortion laws but I think many of you actually approve of (edit) abortion in much more liberal instances than some of your conservative brethren. I don’t think you necessarily agree with some of the laws the “right-wing” legislatures are trying to pass. Hasn’t your party, in those states at least moved to the right, away from you?

    And what about immigration? I’ve heard both McWing and Scott advocate for open borders and yet there’s a lot of concern the House won’t even pass the moderate bill coming out of the Senate. Isn’t that an example of a party that’s moved pretty far to the right?

    I’m not even sure some of you technically oppose same-sex marriage. Again, I suspect it’s a state issue to you but do you actually oppose it on religious or other philosophical grounds? I hear a lot of Republicans doing that………………opposing it vehemently even. Wouldn’t they be to the right of you then?

    I doubt you guys are buying into left-wing propaganda, so what exactly is going on?

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  28. OH and everyone… is there a test you can take, a real test, that helps you determine if you are a republican, democrat, independent, moderate of any. etc?

    Like I said, I was raised D… but don’t always agree…. agree with some R… I’m all over… would love to take a test.

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  29. The free rider phenomenon is a result of federal law isn’t it? In that ER’s have to treat all comers?

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    • The free rider phenomenon is a result of federal law isn’t it? In that ER’s have to treat all comers?

      Passed under the socialist regime of one Ronald Reagan, IIRC.

      An enforceable individual mandate is necessary if universal coverage is not provided by either the government of employers to prevent market-timing of insurance purchasing by individuals. These are all the logical consequences of the approach.

      Personally, the Michael Moore (I am further destroying my ‘moderate’ cred by citing him) movie Sicko convinced me of the inherent superiority of the single-payer model whether the health care providers are government employed (British NHS) or privately employed (Canada). I am not opposed to German or Israel method of non-profit non-governmental insurers but even those are far more ‘liberal’ than the half-measures of Obamacare.

      Is there a market-based solution that provides coverage to the working poor other than “Don’t get sick”? Some combination of private catastrophic coverage and health savings accounts perhaps? If there is, it is not being touted by the current opponents of the ACA.

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  30. Just a FYI Geanie, some of us are attempting to re-boot ATiM. Wish us luck and stick around, maybe you’ll find what you’re looking for. We sure welcome your participation.

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  31. Scott, your continual contention that the Republican party hasn’t moved right is wearing damned thin. Prove it hasn’t. Based on state and federal legislative bills, prove it.

    You can’t.

    God damn it, this is exactly why this blog has become “Scott’s Blog.”

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    • Mich:

      Scott, your continual contention that the Republican party hasn’t moved right is wearing damned thin. Prove it hasn’t.

      I can’t prove a negative. All I can do is point out that the positions they generally hold today are the same positions that were held by conservative standard bearers in history like Reagan or Goldwater. And I can point out how it has been the Dems that have moved from their historical policy positions, which I have tried to do. Again, maybe you can detail some policy positions that you see as a drastic departure from what republicans were advocating in Goldwater or Reagan’s time.

      God damn it, this is exactly why this blog has become “Scott’s Blog.”

      Someone else is going to have to help me out here. jnc, Mark, yello…is there something about what I have said here today that is out of line and merits the above response?

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  32. Oh I’m sticking around… if nothing else, at least ATiM is quite interesting… especially the disagreements LOL

    And I would post more if I could keep with with all of you. There is a HUGE difference in my knowledge of politics and yours. I live in Oklahoma and have no political background of any kind. Started my life as one of the ranks of the poor. Worked hard to move up so my kids started their lives in the ranks of the lower-middle class. Now we are all striving to stay in the middle-middle class. The economic bust along with off-shoring of jobs has put a dent in our progress, but we are persistent.

    From what I have gathered here about each of you are that you are very involved in politics, most live in or near main political arenas, have educational backgrounds for law and/or politics/economics…. well, just know a lot more than I do.

    That’s good because I can learn from you. At least I hope I can.

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  33. Why is Universal coverage a good thing?

    Like

    • OH OH, I want to answer this one LOL

      It’s a good thing because whether you, or anyone else, believes it or not, we are supposed to look out for one another.. as human beings, we should.

      Health issues can strike anyone at anytime, many are born with health issues, some may be known at birth, others may not be known until much later.

      Health issues don’t pick sides, they don’t hit someone based on their incomes or statures. Health issues are kind of like our Oklahoma tornadoes… you can try to avoid them all you want, but if you’re in it’s path, then you’re gonna get hit and there’s nothing you can do about it. That’s what insurance has been for.

      Since most healthcare insurance has been employer provided, and sadly since so many have lost their jobs due to various reasons, such as job out-sourcing, or the 2008 economic crisis, etc, the number of uninsured has risen greatly… I’m one of those.

      We, as a Nation, have 2 choices. We can either turn a blind eye to the medical needs of those in our communities, let them suffer, let them needlessly die, let them lose everything they have…. or…. we can work out a plan so that we don’t watch loved ones suffer, watch loved ones needlessly die, watch loved ones lose everything they worked for.

      I take the healthcare issue quite personally. I had insurance for decades and decades for myself and my family… and used it very very little, even compared to everyone else I know… not one child of mine ever even had a broken bone.

      Then as time has gone on and I have learned I have birth defects… I was a premie… the fact I was born at home had something to do with unknowing. Anyway, I did not know I was born with my knees out of alignment until I had began running for exercise… have had 4 knee surgeries. I was born with my spinal column too small… that’s the biggie right now.

      Now what would I prefer to do??? Hmmm… I can go along with those who think Universal healthcare is not good and just do my best to live with my defected spine since I can’t afford it and I evidently didn’t do what I should have all my life or I would be able to afford it. Problem is, every move I make I am risking becoming a paraplegic or having a stroke or heart attack… all I need is to make the right move and the right nerve(s) or artery(s) be pinched and that’s that. And I can live this way under excruciating pain as time moves on.

      Or. I could partake in a Universal healthcare program and hopefully either at least receive the shots to temporarily reduce the compression and relieve the pain… or actually get the surgery I need to fix permanently.

      Please tell me Wingnut…. would you be willing to assist me in paying for a Universal Healthcare program so I can receive treatment, or, would you simply have no problem with sitting back, knowing about me and my health issue, and telling me sorry, it’s just how it works.

      I prefer we all be able to receive medical treatment. It just doesn’t seem humane otherwise.

      Like

  34. Also, if Scott thinks he is right, shouldnt he support his position? is he supposed to occasionally pretend to change his mind?

    Like

  35. is he supposed to occasionally pretend to change his mind?

    Oh, please. Is only one side right? Perhaps those of us who are foolish enough to be liberals could have a chance at making a point.

    Like

  36. McWing: That is exactly my point.

    Nobody. Nobody is allowed to be right except Scott and those who agree with him.

    Like

  37. And, yeah, I don’t give up that easily.

    Like

  38. Why is Universal coverage a good thing?

    It’s the unspoken assumption. If it isn’t, nothing needs to be done and it’s ice floes for everybody.

    The argument for universal coverage can be made from a public health perspective. Having uninsured people running around with TB is bad for even those covered with the best insurance. Otherwise you just have to resort to pleas for compassion to limit human suffering, an approach traditionally unmoving to doctrinaire libertarians who see all misfortune as poor personal planning.

    Even Dickensian England had public health services although in many cases the cure was worse than the disease.

    Like

  39. Again, maybe you can detail some policy positions that you see as a drastic departure from what republicans were advocating in Goldwater or Reagan’s time.

    Golly. See VA, PA, ND, SD, KS, (just off the top of my head) about abortion rights.

    Almost any state in re gun control.

    Like

    • Mich:

      Golly. See VA, PA, ND, SD, KS, (just off the top of my head) about abortion rights.

      Nationally speaking, the position of the Republican party has always been to oppose legal abortion, ever since Roe was first decided. Current R opposition to legal abortion is neither new nor radical.

      Almost any state in re gun control.

      I am not aware of any gun control laws that are opposed by R’s today but were supported by R’s in, say, 1964 or 1980. Which ones do you have in mind?

      Like

  40. yello…is there something about what I have said here today that is out of line and merits the above response?

    Scott,
    Since you asked, I will violate how I’ve interpreted the ATiM rules against personal attacks and suggest that it has never been your views (which aren’t that much different from other conservative posters) but your tone and attitude. It’s very hard to define what is off-putting but it is recognizable and distinctive. But I’m a First Amendment Absolutist and feel you have every right to be a dogmatic pedant.

    Like

    • yello:

      I will violate how I’ve interpreted the ATiM rules against personal attacks and suggest that it has never been your views (which aren’t that much different from other conservative posters) but your tone and attitude.

      Can you give me an example of something I have written today to Mich that typifies this tone and attitude? I have actually been quite consciously trying to be polite, reasonable, and not respond or react to what I think are pretty clear provocations. But seemingly I have failed, and I have no idea how.

      Like

  41. Scott: I defy you to find one post where you’ve ever said “you’re right”.

    Like

    • Mich:

      Scott: I defy you to find one post where you’ve ever said “you’re right”.

      Not in precisely those words, but just today I acknowledged that yello/Klein had a point on “stimulus”:

      On the third, there may be some measure of a point. “We are all Keynesians now” is definitely no longer true. Friedman and Hayek have had a significant influence on conservative economics, and have indeed moved the right away from the previous status quo.

      Like

  42. “lmsinca, on May 30, 2013 at 11:23 am said:

    jnc, I know Bolling is a Republican, is he considered more moderate? I’m not too familiar with him.”

    Yes, he’s a classic businessman Republican. He’s also got the old party loyalty stand in line mentality. He was Lt Governor under Kaine and opted to run for reelection as Lt Governor rather than have a fight with McDonnell for the gubernatorial nomination in 2009. Sort of the old Roman Cursus honorum approach.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cursus_honorum

    Needless to say, Cuccinelli doesn’t have the same wait his turn approach.

    Also Bolling sided with the Democrats when the Republicans in the Senate tried to sneak through a redistricting proposal while one Democratic State Senator was attending President Obama’s 2013 inauguration. The Virginia State Senate is tied 50/50 with the Lt. Governor casting the deciding vote.

    “Virginia Lt. Gov. Told State Senate GOP They Were On Their Own With Redistricting ‘Dirty Trick’”

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/01/bill-bolling-virginia-redistricting.php

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/va-politics/va-republicans-move-on-redistricting-draws-criticism/2013/01/22/f7645ee8-64b9-11e2-9e1b-07db1d2ccd5b_print.html

    Like

  43. All I can do is point out that the positions they generally hold today are the same positions that were held by conservative standard bearers in history like Reagan or Goldwater.

    However, the views of Goldwater and Reagan were never those of the entirety of the Republican Party. Nelson Rockefeller, Gerald Ford (remember wage and price controls, or were they Nixon?), Bob Dole, and dozens of other now-shunned RINOs were far more moderate standard bearers. By saying that the extreme right has not changed does not negate the fact that the mean has shifted.

    Like

  44. Nationally speaking

    Oh, for flippin’ god. You’re right. You’re always right.

    And you wonder why ATiM may be dying.

    Like

  45. ” I found ATiM about a year ago and immediately became a fan and a follower. ”

    If you get a chance, I would suggest checking out the very earliest archives. You may find them of interest.

    Like

  46. Reducing everything to first principles as a debating method is what libertarians are famous for starting with Ayn Rand herself. No assumption is allowed to stand unchallenged.

    Scott can be just as dogmatic and reductionist in his discussions with me over bank reform. That’s not a problem as long as you don’t feel a need to come to some sort of agreement or consensus.

    It’s easy enough to just leave things with

    “I hear what you are saying, but I still don’t buy it”.

    I would however note that if one is going to accuse Scott of “coping out” when he shows some posting discretion, later accusations of excessive belligerence are misplaced.

    Like

  47. jnc, I can see why you’d like him. So he’s out then, because of the lack of a primary? Am I understanding that right? We’ve never, to my knowledge done a nominating convention here rather than a primary. Could he run as an Independent and win?

    Thanks for the info and good for him on the redistricting stand.

    Like

  48. Can you give me an example

    Perhaps the first one would to be to say, “Michi, what have I done to provoke you?” rather than to go through third persons.

    Your tone is to minimize women. Your attitude is to minimize women. Whether or not you really mean to do that I have no idea, but that is what comes shining through to. . .

    Women

    Like

    • Mich:

      Perhaps the first one would to be to say, “Michi, what have I done to provoke you?” rather than to go through third persons.

      Given that it is pretty clear you were pissed at me already, I was simply looking for an uninvolved party to give me a semi-objective opinion.

      Your tone is to minimize women. Your attitude is to minimize women.

      I truly don’t see how this is the case. I think perhaps if you stop searching for a reason to be offended, you will probably stop finding a reason to be offended.

      Like

  49. Uh jnc, I think you might be giving Scott’s secret away there. 🙂

    Reducing everything to first principles as a debating method is what libertarians are famous for starting with Ayn Rand herself. No assumption is allowed to stand unchallenged.

    Like

  50. Quotes cherry-picked and taken completely out of context from the 1956 Republican Platform:

    We shall continue vigorously to support the United Nations.

    Further reductions in taxes with particular consideration for low and middle income families.

    Republican action created the Department of Health, Education and Welfare as the first new Federal department in 40 years, to raise the continuing consideration of these problems for the first time to the highest council of Government, the President’s Cabinet.

    Republican leadership has enlarged Federal assistance for construction of hospitals, emphasizing low-cost care of chronic diseases and the special problems of older persons, and increased Federal aid for medical care of the needy.

    We demand once again, despite the reluctance of the Democrat 84th Congress, Federal assistance to help build facilities to train more physicians and scientists.

    We have supported measures that have made more housing available than ever before in history, reduced urban slums in local-federal partnership, stimulated record home ownership, and authorized additional low-rent public housing.

    Benefits of Social Security have been extended to farm families. Programs of loans and grants for farm families hit by flood and drought have been made operative.

    To continue and expand the Republican-sponsored school milk program, to encourage further use of the school lunch program now benefiting 11 million children, and to foster improved nutritional levels;

    We will vigorously promote, as we have in the past, a non-political career service under the merit system which will attract and retain able servants of the people. Many gains in this field, notably pay increases and a host of new benefits, have been achieved in their behalf in less than four years.

    I defy the current Republican Party to re-affirm any of these statements.

    Like

    • Y’all have had a busy day.

      My dad was an Ike R, YJ.

      I mainly agree with JNC that when Scott reduces an argument in a way that I find has changed the discussion to one of assumed axioms I often end up in extended disagreement with him because I don’t assume the same axioms he does and both of us try to make that clear. I usually don’t take it personally. Probably have never taken it personally. Scott purpots to be a moral absolutist and I purport to be a relativist. Scott says that rights, correctly understood, cannot be in conflict, I say that to avoid conflict rights must be prioritized and the methodology of prioritization is situational. So we may agree that the federal gummint is too intrusive in, say, public education, but I am willing to entertain some [less than we have] intrusion, because of our differing approaches.

      I had my [for me] most telling disagreement with George when he announced he was for open borders.

      I am not a fan of the health care law but I no longer believe that market forces are at work in health care delivery. So I would prefer the German-Swiss model of regulated private care. I actually think each state should go for its own model, because eventually the states that do it best would prosper from the business climate good health care would create. This would be analogous to the prosperity that educational/research centers like Austin and Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill and Madison and Palo Alto generate. And one size fits all is usually sucky in a country this big.

      So I have no home in a political party. Our conservative R Land Commissioner is a great land commissioner – I always back him. Our conservative R governor is a featherweight and an enemy of the University of Texas and I vote in the R primary against him and then vote D against him. I voted for W for governor in ’98. I voted for BHO in 2008 and Gary Johnson in 2012. I will still vote the candidate and not the party. I actually think both parties are only interested in maintaining or taking power and market themselves accordingly, at least at the national level. Local politics, which affect our lives directly, are a different animal. I vote for the smart Rs and the Ds for school board against the creationist Rs.

      I now vote D more than R. I am one click left of Kevin and two clicks left of Brent, as far as I can tell. Even in the Clinton Admin, which was friendly to big biz, Ds were not truly friendly to small biz. I wish Ds were more friendly to small biz. I honestly think labor unions still keep Ds from pursuing policies friendly to small biz. I am probably two clicks right of YJ. And because I am a relativist who does not know everything, I CAN be persuaded here. And have been.

      Like

    • yello:

      With regard to the 1956 platform, rather than go through point by point (which I started but it was getting too unwieldy and long) suffice it to say that I think you would have a difficult time actually demonstrating that the modern R party has departed substantially from those points. Just to take the first, the R’s “vigorous” support for the UN, even apart from the fact that the infant UN of 1956 was hardly the organization that it has become today making the comparison somewhat of an apples and oranges one, still most R’s of today actually support the continued existence of and US participation in the UN, even if they would not characterize such support as “vigorous”. (As an aside, US hostility towards the UN really manifested itself back in the 1980s when congress began refusing to authorize payment of US dues, so yet again we see that this supposedly recent and radical move has actually existed for quite some time.)

      I think the same is true for most of the rest of your list. Certainly there are party members who would oppose many of the things on the list, as there always have been, but I think the notion that they are representative of the party as a whole can’t be supported by anything that the party has actually done with its power…much to my disappointment in many instances. Would that the party was as “radical” as liberals claim it is.

      Like

  51. No assumption is allowed to stand unchallenged.

    If Scott were a Libertarian I might be able to buy that. But he isn’t, and he doesn’t debate he just changes the subject and goes down rabbit holes.

    Like

    • Mich:

      If Scott were a Libertarian I might be able to buy that. But he isn’t,…

      Philosophically speaking I am actually very much a libertarian. In practice I am less so primarily because I do not want the perfect to be the enemy of the good. In short, I am practical.

      Like

  52. Very Nice Yello !

    Like

  53. Can you give me an example of something I have written today to Mich that typifies this tone and attitude?

    I have actually been quite consciously trying to be polite, reasonable, and not respond or react to what I think are pretty clear provocations. But seemingly I have failed, and I have no idea how.

    Done. And done.

    Like

    • yello:

      Done.

      Unfortunately, since what you cited was said to you, not Mich, and it came after the apparent offense, it isn’t all that helpful. But thanks for trying.

      Like

  54. I would however note that if one is going to accuse Scott of “coping out” when he shows some posting discretion, later accusations of excessive belligerence are misplaced.

    Because he’s trying to pretend that he’s never been belligerant before??

    Like

  55. “lmsinca, on May 30, 2013 at 2:45 pm said: Edit Comment

    jnc, I can see why you’d like him. So he’s out then, because of the lack of a primary? Am I understanding that right? We’ve never, to my knowledge done a nominating convention here rather than a primary. Could he run as an Independent and win?

    Thanks for the info and good for him on the redistricting stand.”

    Yes, Ken Cuccinelli was able to engineer a change from a primary to a convention for the nominating process effectively giving himself the nomination. I view this as cheating.

    Bolling toyed around with an independent run, but basically abandoned the idea due to fundraising requirements and the likely hood of a victory given that the most likely result would be to split the Republican vote.

    Like

    • I view this as cheating.

      Most people would. A candidate getting to chose the method of selection is such an obvious conflict if interest I still don’t see how he pulled it off.

      But then again, Rick Scott in Florida keeps proposing draconian drug testing policies which directly benefit him financially. Even Tammany Hall had sense of propriety.

      Like

  56. I truly don’t see how this is the case.

    That much is obvious. I’m going to go do some weeding in my back yard. I guess this is what is called “self moderating” without giving up ATiM for being dead.

    But you might give a little thought to my comment about the fact that you always have to be right.

    Like

  57. “A candidate getting to chose the method of selection is such an obvious conflict if interest I still don’t see how he pulled it off.”

    He got the party activists to do it for him. However, karma being what it is that also resulted in his Lt. Governor running mate.

    Like

    • However, karma being what it is that also resulted in his Lt. Governor running mate.

      It’s only karma if Cooch loses. But I do safely predict the Republicans losing their tie-breaking vote in the State Senate. There will be a lot of ticket splitting.

      Like

  58. “Perhaps the first one would to be to say, “Michi, what have I done to provoke you?” rather than to go through third persons.”

    I call bullshit on this.

    J,

    I wonder how’d that platform would compare to one From Coolidges time? Touché. Who was it it that launched Eisenhower anyway? I think it was Roosevelt or somebody:-)

    Like

  59. “ScottC, on May 30, 2013 at 3:08 pm said:

    Your tone is to minimize women. Your attitude is to minimize women.

    I truly don’t see how this is the case. I think perhaps if you stop searching for a reason to be offended, you will probably stop finding a reason to be offended.”

    I’ll give my answer. Scott takes the exact same tone with me with regards to banking debates, so it’s not a conscious effort to minimize women but if the subject is abortion or any of the other policy issues that are usually categorized as “women’s issues” vs a more neutral issue like economics, the same tone will come across as minimizing women when one speaker is a male and the other is a female.

    Hence my usual avoidance of these discussions.

    Like

  60. Unfortunately, since what you cited was said to you, not Mich, and it came after the apparent offense, it isn’t all that helpful. But thanks for trying.

    Self-awareness really, truly, is not your strong suit. Not a criticism, just an observation.

    Like

    • yello:

      Self-awareness really, truly, is not your strong suit.

      Perhaps not. But helpfulness seems not to be yours. I’ve been trying in vain not to cause a problem here today, and I asked you in all sincerity what I said that justifies Mich’s reaction to me today. I am still none the wiser after you cryptically quoted back to me the very post asking for your help.

      I have to admit that if I have been somehow out of line today in my responses to Mich and she was justifiably provoked by me, I am truly at a loss as to how to behave here.

      Like

      • I’ve been trying in vain not to cause a problem here today, and I asked you in all sincerity what I said that justifies Mich’s reaction to me today.

        I said before that it was tough to define but I will try. First, I can’t speak for michi but I agree with her that it was a bit disingenuous for you to drag in character witnesses. Second, it was unlikely to have been a single remark solely directed towards her but a fabric of previous interactions.

        My particular cryptic reposting was to highlight an example of your “Who, me?” response that comes of as both unctuous and arrogant at times. Others have mentioned your tendency to devolve all discussions to oddly phrased assumptions and definitions counter to their traditional meaning. (I am actually amused that the stated topic for this post is bait for classic ATiM hair-splitting on what is a moderate but few have risen to the challenge.) Perhaps most Scott-ish is the tendency to pursue a line of cross-examination well past its point of diminishing returns in delineating points of view solely to score forensic debating points, but you are not totally unique among ATiMers in that practice.

        In the particular case today, you were trying to make the case (I think) that conservative have not gone further right but that liberals have gone further and further left. It’s a concept I had not previously considered and it has some validity. However, the remark “The notion that the R’s have moved drastically from the thinking of, say, Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan on these issues is just not supportable in any way, I don’t think.” even with the qualifier is dismissive of any opposing view having any validity at all. While as you state, the concept that one must think one’s own opinions are correct is self-evident, the idea that other people’s opposing ideas are totally indefensible is arrogant at best and sometimes deeply offensive.

        And as for the Holy Grail, women’s reproductive rights issues, women bear the brunt of most costs emotionally and physically of pregnancy so discussion of the topic by men often comes off as patronizing in the definition most evocative of its Latin roots. Discretion is the better part of valor which leads to my last thought.

        The observation about lack of self-awareness by me was an epipheny. While not totally analogous, much of the humor of The Big Bang Theory TV show is from the socially inept Sheldon Cooper being totally oblivious to the reaction he gets from his overly blunt but often accurate observations. His frequent punchline rejoinder is “But it’s true.” That is not always the point.

        I genuinely hope this has been more helpful than my previous quasi-glib meta-response.

        Like

        • yello:

          Thanks. Just one thing. While it may have been unwise/unfair of me to invite you or others to help me out, I assure you I was not being disingenuous.

          BTW, I will respond to your citing of the various R platforms a bit later, but in short I don’t think it is as obvious that the current R party is opposed to as many of those things as you seem to think.

          Like

  61. Who was it it that launched Eisenhower anyway?

    Eisenhower was THE Original Gangsta Republican In Name Only.

    Like

  62. jnc

    the same tone will come across as minimizing women when one speaker is a male and the other is a female

    Are you referring to that happening here or is it something you’ve observed elsewhere as well. I’m not implying anything just curious about your experience with this.

    Like

  63. I wonder how’d that platform would compare to one From Coolidges time?

    Goldwater was the 1964 nominee wasn’t he?

    —enlargement of employment opportunities for urban and rural citizens, with emphasis on training programs to equip them with needed skills; improved job information and placement services; and research and extension services channeled toward helping rural people improve their opportunities;

    —tax credits and other methods of assistance to help needy senior citizens meet the costs of medical and hospital insurance;

    —a strong, sound system of Social Security, with improved benefits to our people;

    —continued Federal support for a sound research program aimed at both the prevention and cure of diseases, and intensified efforts to secure prompt and effective application of the results of research. This will include emphasis on mental illness, drug addiction, alcoholism, cancer, heart disease and other diseases of increasing incidence;

    —full implementation and faithful execution of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and all other civil rights statutes, to assure equal rights and opportunities guaranteed by the Constitution to every citizen;

    —improvements of civil rights statutes adequate to changing needs of our times;

    —such additional administrative or legislative actions as may be required to end the denial, for whatever unlawful reason, of the right to vote;

    —immigration legislation seeking to re-unite families and continuation of the “Fair Share” Refugee Program;

    —continued opposition to discrimination based on race, creed, national origin or sex. We recognize that the elimination of any such discrimination is a matter of heart, conscience, and education, as well as of equal rights under law.

    In all such programs, where Federal initiative is properly involved to relieve or prevent misfortune or meet overpowering need, it will be the Republican way to move promptly and energetically, and wherever possible to provide assistance of a kind enabling the individual to gain or regain the capability to make his own way and to have a fair chance to achieve his own goals

    —to continue the advancement of education on all levels, through such programs as selective aid to higher education, strengthened State and local tax resources, including tax credits for college education, while resisting the Democratic efforts which endanger local control of schools;

    —full protection of the integrity of the career governmental services, military and civilian, coupled with adequate pay scales;

    —a wide-ranging reform of other Congressional procedures, including the provision of adequate professional staff assistance for the minority membership on Congressional Committees, to insure that the power and prestige of Congress remain adequate to the needs of the times;

    we will improve the efficiency and coordination of the foreign service, and provide adequate allowance for foreign service personnel.

    What a commie!

    Like

  64. My question at 1:44 got lost in the shuffle I think. I wouldn’t mind an answer if someone’s game. I’m trying to figure out if the conservatives here are really as conservative as their party on a few issues. And if not, wouldn’t it mean that in these instances the Republican Party is to the right of them and perhaps a lot of other conservatives, moderate or not.

    Like

    • lms:

      I’m trying to figure out if the conservatives here are really as conservative as their party on a few issues.

      We could get a little bit hung up on terms here…are libertarian positions in principle to the left or the right of conservative positions? But to avoid that, I’ll just assume that if I am further away from the R’s than the D’s on something, that is to the left of R’s, and if I am further from the D’s than the R’s, then that is to the right of the R’s. Since I am philosophically a libertarian, I think that I fall both to the right and the left of what are official Republican positions. For example, I am probably to the right of the Republican position on things like Social Security, because I think it should be mostly phased out, while R’s continue to support it in principle. I am probably also to the right of them on federal regulation…I would have even fewer than R’s as a party would be satisfied with. But as you know I am to the left of most R’s on things like abortion (although not on Roe), and I am also to the left on things like drug legalization.

      Hope that is responsive.

      Like

  65. “lmsinca, on May 30, 2013 at 3:30 pm said:
    jnc

    the same tone will come across as minimizing women when one speaker is a male and the other is a female

    Are you referring to that happening here or is it something you’ve observed elsewhere as well. I’m not implying anything just curious about your experience with this.”

    I’m referring to ATiM and the whole women’s issues discussions which in my mind is when things started to unravel in terms of people leaving. Some topics aren’t particularly well suited to semi-anonymous Internet forums.

    Like

  66. This post correct?

    “I doubt you guys are buying into left-wing propaganda, so what exactly is going on?”

    In my case as I posted on PL a little while ago it’s hard to walk the line between the redisributionist Democratic party on the left and the moral minority in the Republican party on the right.

    Usually I end up siding with the Republicans because the redistribution affects me personally moreso than the social issues, but it’s hard to walk the line as a libertarian.

    Like

  67. jnc

    Yeah, that’s what I thought. I keep wondering if we could redo that discussion and do it better, all of us. I’ve had a few since that went better but they weren’t quite so involved.

    It’s too bad it resulted in such discord.

    Like

  68. Nixon the RINO ran for the first time on these issues:

    Correction of defects in the Welfare and Pension Plans Disclosure Act to protect employees’ and beneficiaries’ interests.

    Upward revision in amount and extended coverage of the minimum wage to several million more workers.

    Strengthening the unemployment insurance system and extension of its benefits.

    Needed federal judgeships, appointed on the basis of the highest qualifications and without limitation to a single political party, should be created to expedite administration of justice in federal courts.

    Extension of the federal student loan program and graduate fellowship program.

    Consideration of means through tax laws to help offset tuition costs.

    We believe the federal roles in research to be in the area of ( 1 ) basic research which industry cannot be reasonably expected to pursue, and (2) applied research in fields of prime national concern such as national defense, exploration and use of space, public health, and better common use of all natural resources, both human and physical.

    Federal authority to identify, after appropriate hearings, air pollution problems and to recommend proposed solutions.

    The annual number of immigrants we accept be at least doubled.

    Again, I defy any current Republican to endorse these policies.

    Like

  69. If I can throw in my $.02 defense of Scott here, he is a direct New Yorker (even if he lives in New Canaan). And people who spent their careers on a trading floor are even more direct. As a midwesterner, it took some getting used to.

    As far as LMS, I didn’t see (and still don’t see) your post. But where I part company with my party:

    FWIW, I am to the left of both parties on immigration – we have a major demographic issue and the single best thing to prevent us from turning into Japan is more immigration. So, I depart from my party in a big way on that issue.

    I have no use for the Religious right and what they stand for. But that is easy, because I am not a religious person to begin with.

    I think we are ending two wars, and as an ex-military guy, I think we have been using our active duty personnel to do something that they should not be doing. Soldiers should fight wars, kick ass, and get out.

    I don’t have an issue with gay marriage or abortion, so the puts me at odds with my party.

    But, I am a fervent believed in free markets, economic growth, and freedom from an overweening nanny state. And IMO, the Democrats have it wrong on these 3 issues. I am not “anti-regulation”, but I do believe that regulation requires input from the regulated, and this administration has drafted regulations in the dark because they have been so afraid of regulatory capture.

    So, put it this way – the issues I care deepest about, I agree with the Republicans. The issues I don’t care all that much about, I agree with Democrats.

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  70. if I have been somehow out of line today in my responses to Mich and she was justifiably provoked by me, I am truly at a loss as to how to behave here.

    Starting by admitting that there is, possibly, another side to an argument would be good.

    And not needing to always, always, always be right and have the last word would also be good.

    Sometimes you’re wrong, or just not as informed as someone else on a specific subject. That is not a character failing.

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  71. Scott, yes it’s true, libertarianism confuses everything and I’d thought of that already when I posed my question. My point is really just that there are areas where the R party is to the right of conservative/libertarians. And then we need to examine if some of this difference in viewpoint or philosophy is from movement to the right or just that some issues lend themselves to moderation from libertarian types but not conservatives or vice versa. Does that sound right?

    I think yello made some good points about past platforms, and I made the point that I find it doubtful that “left-wing propaganda” has influenced old school moderate or traditional Republicans to the extent they now believe the party has left them and moved right. There have been quite a few of them over the last several years and they can’t all be wrong.

    I mean when we have Republicans, not libertarians, such as Nixon, Eisenhower, Bush, McCain, Romney, and many others supporting policies in immigration, health care, environmental protection, and others that are essentially DOA in the HoR or even the Senate of today I don’t know what else you can call it.

    Sure, it’s not across the board, but when the Senate of today uses the filibuster more than any time in recent history or won’t even allow debate to proceed on a budget because they want a guarantee regarding the debt ceiling up front and everyone is convinced the bi-partisan immigration bill will never pass the House, I think it’s safe to say, on some of these issues at least, that they’ve taken the government with them to the right.

    I think you made some good points also but to claim that the perception is a manufactured product of “left-wing propaganda” is a real stretch.

    I don’t know if you saw my comment above at 1:11 regarding some of this but I also think my point regarding same sex marriage has some merit as a counter to your leftward shift. Obviously it is such but it was more of a grass roots movement forcing the issue and D’s moving first.

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    • lms:

      My point is really just that there are areas where the R party is to the right of conservative/libertarians.

      Of course. But I don’t think that is distinct to the R party. The D party is to the left of many liberals in some areas. For example, on abortion D policy is to support Roe, which means in effect legal late term abortions, yet I know that you and many others do not actually support such a policy. So the party is to your left. That, BTW, is undoubtedly due to a leftward movement in the party, as there used to be lots of D’s who opposed legal abortion altogether, much less late term abortions. Yet for some reason the focus is always on movement by the R’S, which I honestly don’t think has moved nearly as much as the D’s have. (In fact I would argue that on the whole and as a matter of actual, implemented policy the R’s have actually been pulled to the left by the leftward movement of the D’s and the country as a whole, not to the right.) And, BTW, that the D’s have moved left makes intuitive sense to me too for exactly the reason Mich articulated earlier today…it is in the nature of liberalism not to conserve the status quo.

      So really the constant drone from Obama, from D politicos, and from the media about how the R’s have been radicalized and moved away from traditional conservatism strikes me as nothing more than a blatant political and propaganda strategy aimed at de-legitimizing a political opposition.

      There have been quite a few of them over the last several years and they can’t all be wrong.

      I wonder if whatever movement that has occurred is notably out of the ordinary given historic norms. That is to say, has there been an inordinate number of party shifts relative to other moments in history when a big shift in the political make-up of the government has occurred? I don’t know the answer to that.

      Sure, it’s not across the board, but when the Senate of today uses the filibuster more than any time in recent history or won’t even allow debate to proceed on a budget because they want a guarantee regarding the debt ceiling up front and everyone is convinced the bi-partisan immigration bill will never pass the House, I think it’s safe to say, on some of these issues at least, that they’ve taken the government with them to the right.

      It seems to me the proper measure of whether the government has moved to the right or not is the policies/legislation it has implemented. Failure to enact liberal laws does not suggest to me a move to the right. (The repeal of liberal laws might, but how often do we see any laws actually repealed?)

      The question I would ask…what legislation has been implemented in the last, say, 25 years that you think is a movement to the right of where the nation was before the legislation was implemented? I can think of a few possibilities, mostly to do with economics like perhaps the repeal of some financial regulations like Glass-Steagall, and maybe some changes in labor laws (although there have been plenty of additional laws that have brought us in the other direction). But with regard to social issues I can’t really think of any, and with regard to the relationship between the states and the federal government, I think we have been on a constant trend to the left for basically 100 years now.

      Like

  72. Brent, you don’t see the post at the top of this comment thread? I thought your statement about what you value was an important one. It explains to me why some of the men here aren’t as outraged as some of the rest of us about abortion policy, same sex marriage, etc. I think I agree with you on immigration policy but only if you’re not going quite as far as McWing and Scott on open borders. I’d like to know more about your views and theirs actually.

    Anyway, thanks everyone for commenting on my first post in a little over five months. I’ve been around off and on but have been laying low, thinking about things and avoiding conflict. I’m back though, hopefully a little improved version of the old Lulu. 😉 And I learned a lot today so thanks.

    Like

  73. Geanie,

    I meant to acknowledge your comment supporting universal health care earlier and got sidetracked by so many different discussions going on at the same time. I’d like to say I agree with you on many of the issues you raised and

    I take the healthcare issue quite personally

    is the same for me. It was the singular issue that first brought me to the comment board of “Who Runs Gov” four years ago now. Any time you want to talk about the issue I’ll listen and respond.

    Like

  74. Lms,

    I believe that our borders should be open and anyone who comes here should be given citizenship should they want it. We need the growth in population to fuel a expanding economy.

    Like

  75. McWing, I think I knew that much but what about details, full rights of citizenship on day one, any language or other pre-requisites, and what about things like healthcare and other benefits, that sort of thing? Aren’t you afraid of swamping the systems, such as education, housing and what not?

    I agree we need a much looser immigration policy but I think there should still be some rules and control of the influx that might ensue. Aren’t you worried the border states may not be able to handle the volume?

    Like

  76. I am actually amused that the stated topic for this post is bait for classic ATiM hair-splitting on what is a moderate but few have risen to the challenge.

    I’ll give it a try. A moderate seeks balance. A moderate realizes that both sides have a point. A moderate tries to do the greatest amount of good for the least cost.

    I have taken hits before because pragmatism is not ideologically pure and traceable to consistent first principles. But few things are.

    As for ‘liberal’ versus ‘conservative’, I used to be very pro-military when our biggest threat was communism but since the collapse of the Soviet Union, our large military has has become a tool too expensive not to use which has gotten us in a lot of trouble.

    I believe in responsible government spend which doesn’t necessarily mean balanced budgets. Government spending should be on products or services not adequately met by the private sector. National parks have a poor return on investment.

    More and more I find that education and health care do not belong in the private sector because the profit motives are too intangible to be monetized correctly.

    I find it funny that so many people describe themselves politically as fiscally conservative but socially liberal but hardly ever the obverse. Find me the Big Government Conservative who thinks we should have federally funded halfway houses for pregnant teenagers.

    Whenever anyone says its the principle, not the money, it’s the money. Objectivism is so popular because it puts a philosophical sheen on greed and selfishness.

    I better quit before I start sounding like Steve Martin.

    Like

    • yello:

      Objectivism is so popular because it puts a philosophical sheen on greed and selfishness.

      By what measure do you think objectivism is popular?

      My guess is that the vast majority of people have never even heard of objectivism much less are attracted to it, and it is actually understood by even fewer, in particular anyone who is either attracted to it or repelled by it because they think it justifies “greed and selfishness” (at least as those terms are commonly understood).

      Like

  77. Scott, you lost me here.

    strikes me as nothing more than a blatant political and propaganda strategy aimed at de-legitimizing a political opposition.

    Capitalizing on a right ward swing or a movement or even a lie from a political opponent doesn’t inherently mean the claim is illegitimate. It only means you capitalized on it.

    I don’t know the answer to that..

    Sounds like a project.

    Failure to enact liberal laws does not suggest to me a move to the right.

    Would failure to enact conservative laws that are supported by liberals suggest a move to the right?

    Like

    • lms:

      Capitalizing on a right ward swing or a movement or even a lie from a political opponent doesn’t inherently mean the claim is illegitimate.

      I agree. I just dispute that there has been a significant right-ward swing.

      Would failure to enact conservative laws that are supported by liberals suggest a move to the right?

      I assume that by “conservative laws” you mean laws proposed by a Republican. In that case, I would say no, not necessarily. It would depend upon whether the law itself was out of sync with traditional American conservatism.

      Like

  78. still most R’s of today actually support the continued existence of and US participation in the UN, even if they would not characterize such support as “vigorous”

    Really? It would be lukewarm at best. Contempt for the United Nations and international cooperation of any sort is pretty much an article of faith in many conservative corners nowadays. Quick Google searches reveal this and this. Not even the direct appeal of Bob Dole could save an innocuous UN treaty from the paranoia of the more conspiracy minded conservatives.

    You can play No True Scotsman all you want, but the current hatred of the UN goes beyond the Agenda 21-Black Helicopter crowd. The appointment of John Bolton to the UN was itself an open insult to the organization. At best, the UN is occasionally seen by conservatives as a necessary fig-leaf for justifying unilateral action. We invaded Afghanistan under UN action but abandoned it for Iraq when it became apparent that UN sanctioning of a US invasion was not going to be forthcoming.

    Like

    • A comparison of Ike’s platform and WMR’s would be telling.

      It would reveal the rightward shift in the R Party, which is not necessarily inconsistent with Scott’s other notion that the Ds have become more socially liberal. In 1956, both parties were run by moderates and Cold Warriors. They split on labor union politics. From outside the USA, there was not much to differentiate Ike from JFK from Dirksen from LBJ. The Ds controlled Congress from 1933-80 and the Rs had to go along to get along, as well.

      Now the Rs have moved right and the Ds have lost their former southern and conservative base, and thus have moved left. Admittedly, WJC and BHO are not to McGovern’s left, but he was crushed. Congress is up for grabs every two years now and it makes no sense for the out party to cooperate if it can win in two years. No sense from a purely power position, that is. Good government requires the majority party to propose and the minority party to criticize and offer amendments, or in extreme cases, to thwart. What we now have is not good government but lapsed government that threatens to devolve into UK style post war turnabouts every couple of years, with the minority party simply thwarting the majority and biding its time until the next biennial election.

      Not pretty.

      Like

      • mark:

        A comparison of Ike’s platform and WMR’s would be telling.

        I am dubious about how telling it really would be. Platforms reflect the circumstances of the time in which they are issued, and so differences in platforms may well be more reflective of differing circumstances than with differing political attitudes towards similar circumstances. For example, a platform in 1956 which doesn’t think to mention things like gay marriage or abortion or DODT would be different from a 2012 platform that thought it very important to mention these issues, but that difference could quite easily reflect a reaction against a leftward movement in national politics rather than a rightward shift in party politics. Likewise a 1956 platform that expresses strong support for an existing program like Social Security would look superficially quite different from a later platform that calls for SS to be modified or restructured, but that difference may again be more a function of accrued knowledge about changing demographics and what has happened with SS in the intervening years rather than a change in political attitude towards the program itself. I think one would need to identify specific policies that govern similar contexts at different times and show that the party had adopted differing political stances at the two different times in order to claim the party had moved one way or the other.

        I think it is definitely true that Goldwater was further right than Ike, and that Reagan was further right than Nixon. Both Ike and Nixon were slightly right leaning moderates. But I really don’t see how it can be plausibly claimed that today’s R party has moved radically right from either Reagan or Goldwater. The last 3 R presidential candidates have in succession each been less right leaning than the last, culminating most recently in an R candidate that actually implemented Obamacare before Obama did! How can it be that a party that nominates these people is considered more radically right than the party that nominated Reagan or Goldwater? I just don’t get it.

        Like

        • Mark:

          BTW, on this:

          Congress is up for grabs every two years now and it makes no sense for the out party to cooperate if it can win in two years. No sense from a purely power position, that is.

          I think you are right about that. And it is this more than a drastic change in political outlook that has driven politics recently. Where I disagree with you is that this is bad for “good governance”. I think good governance at the federal level is small governance, and grid-lock/obstruction is good for small governance. The overweening nanny state that we already have owes much of its existence to the congressional dominance of the D’s during the mid 1900s and Republican accommodation of it. Would that we had a little more gridlock/obstruction back then.

          Like

        • Would that we had a little more gridlock/obstruction back then.

          The issue is as you have phrased it, a relative one and not an absolute. The right amount of government is some government, not no government. IF the people elect Rs, R principles should be given a chance because the people asked for them. Their excesses can only be checked by the Ds that were elected, as well, acting as loyal opposition. The power politics and the two year swings destroy the sense of the “loyal opposition” but create a sense of “Wait til its my turn, Bubba” in its place.

          We moderates do not see, for instance, debt ceiling debates as being anything but destructive, from either out party.

          I think the Sequester, otoh, was a perfectly fine moderate idea. While I hoped it would force a serious budget examination, which it did not, it was about the best mechanism for doing so a moderate could have envisioned.

          Like

        • Mark:

          The right amount of government is some government, not no government.

          Agreed. I don’t know a single person who wants no government. The dispute is always over how much “some” is, and what type (federal, state, local) it will be.

          IF the people elect Rs, R principles should be given a chance because the people asked for them.

          Given a chance by who? Those in the minority? But they are there precisely because “the people” who elected them rejected the principles of the majority.

          To me this is precisely the problem with political power becoming more and more concentrated at the federal level. The notion of “the people” acting through government takes on less and less meaning. When nearly half of the voters voted against the guy who ends up with power, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to view “the people” as a single entity with a single desire. And it makes even less sense to me when more those same people end up voting into other offices politicians whose views are diametrically opposed the other guy they elected. When “the people” elect a Republican house and a Democratic Senate, I confess I have no idea what “the people” want, even if the notion of “the people” having a single, definable desire did make sense to me.

          The power politics and the two year swings destroy the sense of the “loyal opposition” but create a sense of “Wait til its my turn, Bubba” in its place.

          Isn’t this, though, what “the people” are asking for if they keep voting this way? And if they want it, shouldn’t they get it?

          If it is the case that our current politics is more polarized and contentious than in the past, I think it is at least in part due to the fact that the fed is increasingly trying to force a one-size-fits-all solution to perceived problems onto more and more aspects of an America people that is actually quite diverse in terms of its political wants and desires. And I think that it is the political left much more than the political right that wants that to be the case.

          Like

        • When “the people” elect a Republican house and a Democratic Senate, I confess I have no idea what “the people” want,

          Agreed.

          I don’t agree with the notion of diametrical opposition on most issues, however. I think that is manufactured on the left and the right. And in the press, for sport.

          In that context, simply going back to regular order would prove an advantage. We will not see regular order the way we saw it in the past because of the high cost of campaigns and the perpetual nature of them.

          I don’t have a solution to that.

          And I agree that the desire to federalize domestic issues is more pronounced in the D Party. It is also alive in the R Party. Once a legislator gets elected s/he wants to do something for someone, best case being the CD or state represented or the actual national interest, and worst case being for her husband or for himself.

          Like

        • mark:

          Once a legislator gets elected s/he wants to do something for someone,

          Yup. Another reason why I think politics as a lifetime profession is a bad thing.

          Like

        • I think, tentatively, that to get more scutwork and committee work out of these folks we elect, we would have to combine term limits with public financing of their campaigns, so they did not go in dependent on a sugar daddy, and so there was no incentive to build a war chest. I don’t mean to preclude private financing, just minimize its role below the level of dependency creation.

          This could be a topic for a post, couldn’t it? I nominate JNC to write the post.

          Like

    • yello:

      Contempt for the United Nations and international cooperation of any sort is pretty much an article of faith in many conservative corners nowadays.

      Lots of things wrong here, but the important point is that we have to look at what Republicans actually do, not what conservatives think, and the fact is that from 1995 thru 2007 the R’s controlled both houses of congress and for 6 of those years they controlled the presidency too. Yet at no point did they attempt to withdraw from the UN nor did they cease supporting it. And, again, this is despite the fact that the UN of 2000 was not even close to having the same character as an organization as the UN in its infancy of 1956.

      You can play No True Scotsman all you want…

      I haven’t done any such thing. I have been discussing what R’s as a party actually do. At no point have I talked about what a “real” republican would do.

      We invaded Afghanistan under UN action but abandoned it for Iraq when it became apparent that UN sanctioning of a US invasion was not going to be forthcoming.

      Yes, but support for the UN does not mean giving up national sovereignty. I find it hard to believe that if, in 1956, the US found its perceived self-interest in conflict with a UN security council majority, the R party would side with UN efforts to stop the US from acting on that self-interest rather than electing to act independently of the UN.

      Like

  79. Lms,

    I’d give citizenship on day one, also, I wouldn’t have any language requirement though I would not publish anything official in anything other than English. A common language is important, IMO. And since I think the welfare state will collapse anyway, sure, let them have at it, though I dont think that is why the overwhelming number of immigrants come here, for welfare. I, perhaps naively, think they come here to live and work in a society who’s governent interferes in their lives less than where they came from. Also, they’ll be paying taxes, so the schools will be funded adequately. I hope the parents demand English only/immersion for their kids, to give them a fighting chance once they hit the working world. I don’t think the border states will be swamped, people move to where there are jobs, immigrants are no different.

    Like

  80. Thanks for the clarifications McWing, I think you might love the people on our southern border as much as I do. I’ll have to think about your terms and try to figure out if it’s feasible your way. I’m not convinced yet but am intrigued.

    I wonder what Mark’s objections were………………I think he mentioned you two disagreed. I might be leaning your way but I think I need to do some research.

    Like

    • LMS – I am for need based immigration. I think we should permit immigrants with talent and skill to come here and apply for citizenship after five years. I think we should allow many more immigrants in toto than we do now. But I want them to actually learn American history and become acculturated and be fluent in English before they take their oath of citizenship. I want their knowing and proud allegiance to our country. And I don’t want extended family reunification – I want it limited to spouse and minor children.

      I agree with George that immigrants are our lifeblood. But without selectivity, I believe we can get blood poisoning.

      Like

  81. Thanks Mark, I would have agreed with you yesterday, and still might, but I am intrigued by McWing’s ideas. One thing I do know is that whatever passes this year, if something passes, won’t be even close to either one of your suggestions. Too bad.

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  82. Scott

    I just dispute that there has been a significant right-ward swing.

    Think about the 2010 election and the number of Tea Party candidates who won and the number of states where R’s have gained total control of the state because of the Tea Party. Then think about the number of former and current R’s who’ve complained about the shift in the party and then think about our very own Tea Party member’s comment here just yesterday.

    From McWing

    I’m a radical. I understand that my beliefs will never be enacted. My goal is to always primary Republicans from the right to keep those serving as scared and amenable to me as possible.

    There’s nothing wrong with any of it, it’s the goal of a subset of the Party, and they’re free to attempt to pull the party to the right. In some ways that’s their entire point of being. And so when D’s and even R’s comment that the R’s have shifted rightward, and there is proof within the party itself that it’s a goal, and nearly all legislation is being blocked, I don’t think you can call it “left-wing propaganda” and get away with it. Some of the legislation being blocked has been offered up by Republicans in the past, regardless of the time in history, by the way, which complicates your position even more.

    It would depend upon whether the law itself was out of sync with traditional American conservatism.

    When a party can’t take yes for an answer I think it more or less proves they won’t even accept or vote on legislation or even appointments that traditionally would have had at least some bi-partisan support. The budget negotiations, or should I say lack of them, going on in the Senate right now are the perfect example. Cruz, Paul and even Rubio ( I think) are holding the negotiations hostage for a previously unheard of demand.

    If the Tea Party has been successful in keeping other Republicans “scared and amenable”, I don’t think you can blame D’s for some kind of propaganda campaign.

    You said yourself,

    an R candidate that actually implemented Obamacare before Obama did

    and it’s even similar in ways to the compromise recommended by a conservative think tank as a compromise during the Clinton years. I understand the distinction you’re trying to make here, that’s it’s actually to the left of what most conservatives want, but you can’t deny it has been supported by conservatives in the past.

    Like

  83. Hey all, I’m out for the day. I’ve been taking Fridays off for the last couple of months as a sort of forced semi-retirement. If we don’t start somewhere we’ll be working forever…………….hahaha

    Happy Friday!

    Like

    • lms:

      Hey all, I’m out for the day. I’ve been taking Fridays off for the last couple of months as a sort of forced semi-retirement.

      I took today off too, but that just means I can post more, not less.

      Like

  84. Utah’s legislature is getting more moderate.

    Many Utah conservatives blamed defeat last year on what they called the “Hatch effect.”

    Sen. Orrin Hatch spent millions to recruit new people to party caucuses to oust the tea partyers and other conservatives who, as state Republican Convention delegates, had dumped Sen. Bob Bennett in 2010.

    It seems the RINOs are fighting back.

    Like

  85. Is the desire for more moderation in the GOP really a desire to make them more amenable to enacting progressive legislation?

    Like

    • McWing:

      Is the desire for more moderation in the GOP really a desire to make them more amenable to enacting progressive legislation?

      I certainly think so. It seems almost tautological to me. I desire a more moderate Democratic party, by which I mean one that is closer to, and more amenable to enacting, my own politics. And that is what I hear when I hear cries for a more moderate GOP. Especially when coming from people like Obama and other obviously partisan D’s who have their own progressive agenda.

      Like

  86. “markinaustin, on May 31, 2013 at 8:10 am said:

    I think the Sequester, otoh, was a perfectly fine moderate idea. While I hoped it would force a serious budget examination, which it did not, it was about the best mechanism for doing so a moderate could have envisioned.”

    Per Robert Reich, the sequester borders on treason.

    “The Tea Party’s Plot Is On The Verge Of Treason
    Robert Reich 2 March 2013 3:47 AM ”

    http://au.businessinsider.com/none-dare-call-it-treason-2013-2

    I’ll put that up against any hysterical rants by Bachmann any day.

    Like

  87. Any chance of moving to the new thread? Tough to navigate on the IPhone while driving.

    Like

    • Mark (moving thread for Mcwing’s safety):

      BTW, on this:

      And I agree that the desire to federalize domestic issues is more pronounced in the D Party. It is also alive in the R Party.

      Yes, it is alive in the R party…more and more each year. Yet another indication to me that the R’s are actually trending left, not right.

      Like

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