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GOP Obstruction Goes Unnoticed—and Unpunished

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Posted on Nov 18, 2009
AP / Manuel Balce Ceneta

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., right, accompanied by Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington.

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

Normal human beings—let’s call them real Americans—cannot understand why, 10 months after President Obama’s inauguration, Congress is still tied down in a procedural torture chamber trying to pass the health care bill Obama promised in his campaign.

Last year, the voters gave him the largest popular vote margin won by a presidential candidate in 20 years. They gave Democrats their largest Senate majority since 1976 and their largest House majority since 1992.

Obama didn’t just offer bromides about hope and change. He made quite specific pledges. You’d think that the newly empowered Democrats would want to deliver quickly.

But what do real Americans see? On health care, they read about this or that Democratic senator prepared to bring action to a screeching halt out of displeasure with some aspect of the proposal. They first hear that a bill will pass by Thanksgiving, and then learn it might not get a final vote until after the New Year.

Is it any wonder that Congress has miserable approval ratings? Is it surprising that independents, who want their government to solve a few problems, are becoming impatient with the current majority?

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Democrats in the Senate—the House is not the problem—need to have a long chat with themselves and decide whether they want to engage in an act of collective suicide.

But it’s also time to start paying attention to how Republicans, with Machiavellian brilliance, have hit upon what might be called the Beltway-at-Rush-Hour Strategy, aimed at snarling legislative traffic to a standstill so Democrats have no hope of reaching the next exit.

We know what happens when drivers just sit there when they’re supposed to be moving. They get grumpy, irascible and start turning on each other, which is exactly what Democrats are doing now.

Republicans know one other thing: Practically nobody is noticing their delay-to-kill strategy. Who wants to discuss legislative procedure when there’s so much fun and profit in psychoanalyzing Sarah Palin?

Yet there was a small break in the Curtain of Obstruction this week when Republican senators unashamedly ate every word they had spoken when George W. Bush was in power about the horrors of filibustering nominees for federal judgeships. On Tuesday, a majority of Republicans tried to block a vote on the appointment of David F. Hamilton, a rather moderate jurist, to a federal appeals court.

Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama explained the GOP’s about-face by saying: “I think the rules have changed.”

That was actually a helpful comment, because the Republicans have changed the rules on Senate action up and down the line. Hamilton’s case is just the one instance that finally got a little play.

Thankfully, this filibuster failed because some Republicans were embarrassed by it. But Republican delaying tactics have made Obama far too wary about judicial nominations for fear of controversy. He is well behind his predecessor in filling vacancies, a shameful capitulation to obstruction. There’s also the fact that the nomination of Christopher Schroeder as head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy, which helps to vet judges, is snarled—guess where?—in the Senate.

Republicans are using the filibuster to stall action even on bills that most of them support. Remember: The rule is to keep Democrats from ever reaching the exit.

As of last Monday, the Senate majority had filed 58 cloture motions requiring 32 recorded votes. One of the more outrageous cases involved an extension in unemployment benefits, a no-brainer in light of the dismal economy. The bill ultimately cleared the Senate earlier this month 98-0—yes, that is a zero.

The vote came only after the Republicans launched three filibusters against the bill and also tried to lard it with unrelated amendments, delaying passage by nearly a month. And you wonder why it’s so hard to pass health care?

Defenders of the Senate always say the Founders envisioned it as a deliberative body that would cool the passions of the House. But Sessions unintentionally blew the whistle on how what’s happening now has nothing to do with the Founders’ design.

The rules have changed. The extraconstitutional filibuster is being used by the minority, with extraordinary success, to make the majority look foolish, ineffectual and incompetent. By using Republican obstructionism as a vehicle for forcing through their own narrow agendas, supposedly moderate Democratic senators will only make themselves complicit in this humiliation.

E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is ejdionne(at)washpost.com.
   
© 2009, Washington Post Writers Group


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By samosamo, December 5, 2009 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

By pbr90, December 5 at 12:49 pm

Succinctly to the point, discouragingly so.

Report this

By pbr90, December 5, 2009 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

Never taught about fascism, Americans don’t understand it, and cannot explain it. An obligation of any democracy might be to teach it in its most simplest term - the absence of choice - and the means to remove choice by the persons who hold power to do so.

Americans understand no choice, or only one choice. They understand force, coercion, intimidation, and bribery whose object is to impose that unanimity of one choice. Since America is all about diversity, fascism should never be a problem but is it?

Unanimity is not possible without popularity, bribery, intimidation, or force. What Americans choose would probably be popularity; controlling propaganda and corruption then becomes the only job for Americans to remain free, and democracy to remain vital.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 4, 2009 at 12:10 am Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man, December 1 at 3:56 pm #

ThomasG,

Re: False frame

Your attempts at misdirection are clever, however, I’m sure you understand how and where you fell flat.

If I may?  Try an honest approach with people.
*******************************************************

Honesty? You don’t know the meaning of the word. Since you call everyone who disagrees with you or challenges your false “facts” dishonest, it is evident that your definition of “honesty” is “anyone who agrees with me and accepts my drivel at face value without questioning it, even when it is BLATANTLY false to any person with a brain.”

Sorry, kid, but that is simply NOT the definition of honesty.

Report this

By ardee, December 1, 2009 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

If I may?  Try an honest approach with people.

I know I shouldnt, but…this from perhaps the single most dishonest poster here….A veritable legend in his own mind.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, December 1, 2009 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

ThomasG,

Re: False frame

Your attempts at misdirection are clever, however, I’m sure you understand how and where you fell flat.

If I may?  Try an honest approach with people.

Report this
ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, November 28, 2009 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man, November 22 at 3:26 pm,

This was the answer to your so called simple question:

By ThomasG, November 20 at 12:37 pm #

GRYM, November 20 at 12:03pm, & GRYM, Nov. 20 at 11:54am,

“Your post is a false frame setting up contention as equivalent between an individual and a group, as a corporate body.”

“Should contention for undeserved merit warrant patient merit for the unworthy?”

“The false frame that you set up was unworthy; if you want an answer, reframe your question so that it is equivalent with like values.”

******************

If I asked you to answer the question, “Do you still beat your wife?”  Would you answer Yes or No?  The answer to this type of a question is that the question is falsely framed.  The frame of the question “Do you still beat your wife?” is that you have beaten your wife in the past, if you answer No,——and that you have beaten your wife in the past and continue to do so at the present time, if you answer Yes.  Therefore, the frame to the question is FALSE, because the question is itself designed to present a predetermined conclusion that you do beat your wife, by the person framing and asking the question.

If I asked you, “Do you beat your wife”, you could answer Yes or No, and the question would not be a false frame.

Questions that are falsely framed are generally asked disingenuously for political purpose and are not questions of merit that deserve an answer, other than that the question is an intentionally rhetorically false frame intended to lead to an intentionally rhetorically false answer.

I have taken the time to explain this process to you because you are most likely parroting what you have heard from others without understanding.

If you want an answer on the merit of a question, ask a question with merit.

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By samosamo, November 27, 2009 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

By ardee, November 27 at 11:12 am

‘life of its own…’  yeah,  as baron frankenstein exclaimed ‘its alive, its alive!’

Agribusiness under any guise or disguise or name or moniker is one of those
huge blights on this planet that are responsible for the horrid situation existing
on this planet where the ‘unfettered’ growth of the human species is close to
7,000,000,000 people all bred to enrich just a few very unscrupulous and very
very greedy people who don’t give a rat’s ass about any of those
7,000,000,000 people but they aren’t the only ones as the concern, in my area
of the country at least, about eating fish from the rivers and lakes are also
contaminated by the paper mills and the pollutants they dump are just those minute contaminants measured in parts per million, billion, trillion just to make those poisons seem rather benign harmless but as small as it seems it still enough for warnings to be issued about consuming fish caught in polluted rivers and lakes.

But as with the rise of diabetes coming along about the same time or just a
little after the start of the agricultural age, other unheard of maladies inflicting
life all over the planet have followed the rise of the industrial age which for me
presents a correlation that is just too hard to ignore just exactly what the
pollutants could be and are doing in the life species on this planet and it is no
small wonder that the cost and availability of instruments to measure the levels
of ‘exotic’ substances to get a better picture of the affects from those
substances is a barrier these agri/industrial businesses support to maintain the
lack of real information.

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By ardee, November 27, 2009 at 7:12 am Link to this comment

samosamo, November 27 at 2:41 am

Apparently this topic has a life of its own….

Fortunately, River caught fish are safe to eat, though there are recommendations about safely eating Bay caught Sturgeon and Striped Bass only once a month.

In the rivers we are finding the hatcheries producing less and less fertilized eggs each year, and destroying many such rather than shipping them to rivers in dire need of a refreshed population. The reason is , as it always seems to be, the money generated by agribusiness.

The large farms ( rice crops generate billions each year and are water intensive)do not want valuable salmon standing in the way of unlimited use of that water. Thus the once prolific and wonderful salmon is endangered, not because of habitat change ( though that plays a small part of course) but because it satnds in the way of said billions.

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By samosamo, November 26, 2009 at 10:41 pm Link to this comment

Yeah, this may have gotten off topic but I would never eat fish from around here
where I Iive because it may just be the most polluted waters there is because of
the ‘unfettered’ way industry is allowed to pollute to reduce the ever so sacred
costs that polluting incurs and I do love to fish but I just cannot eat those catches.

Shame, as fishing is just another activity that keeps a hominid in touch with
nature that is so disparately missing from the human psych.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 26, 2009 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

.Ever hit a gold ball off a vine covered statue of Bhudda?
****************************************************

Nope.  And I don’t feel the least bit deprived because of it!

Now, again with that cooler full of Sam Adams on a hot day…fishing could be great.  Might even catch dinner….

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By ed_tru_lib, November 26, 2009 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment

Inherit-Bashful was other dwarf.

Samosamo-I fish but not that often & never have for salmon. I buy salmon at Whole Foods or Trader Joes that says “Alaska wild caught.” For what I’m paying I sure as hell hope its really that.

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By ardee, November 26, 2009 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

Last off topic comment , I promise.

I mean, if you travel with a golfer you hear: “oh, Wow! We are in (Istanbul, Tahiti, Tokyo, Singapore, Capetown, Nice, Oahu). LET’ GO PLAY GOLF!”  Just stay home.

You fail to understand that the addition of snakes, elephants, monkeys or alligators make golf a different game….Ever hit a gold ball off a vine covered statue of Bhudda?

As for the fishing, the way you describe it does sound like a way to relax (have you got a case of Sam in the cooler?) as long as you don’t give a damn if you actually CATCH a fish!

There have been times, especially in the drowsiness of a 95º afternoon, when a bite would be an unnecessary distraction…..

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By Inherit The Wind, November 26, 2009 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

ardee, November 26 at 8:40 am #

Inherit The Wind, November 25 at 11:33 pm #

I used to like to fish, but actually I just find it boring now.  However golf is boring, too, and I’ve never even WANTED to play that, so fishing has an edge in my mind (assuming you actually EAT what you catch).

Having just disparaged my two favorite recreational activities in one post I stand up for both activities….It is said the a day spent fishing doesnt count against your lifespan, but I think a day spent golfing counts double, so it all evens out.

I find fishing to be an almost spiritual pastime, surrounded by beauty, eagles, heron and hawks circling above, beaver and otter swimming by, deer and the occasional bobcat coming down to the river to drink all contribute to that serenity for me. I do eat much of what I catch, but I also catch and release quite often, current limits are one salmon in possession, two steelhead (hatchery fish only), thus one continues to catch and release.

Golfing is an acquired taste I think, and does wonders for ones vocabulary and blood pressure too….wink

That third dwarf was named Sleazy, wasnt he?
********************************************

Wow!  I hit a grand slam!  I always see golf as a legal addictive drug—but nobody treats compulsive golfers like compulsive gamblers or so-called “sex-addicts”.  I mean, if you travel with a golfer you hear: “oh, Wow! We are in (Istanbul, Tahiti, Tokyo, Singapore, Capetown, Nice, Oahu). LET’ GO PLAY GOLF!”  Just stay home.

As for the fishing, the way you describe it does sound like a way to relax (have you got a case of Sam in the cooler?) as long as you don’t give a damn if you actually CATCH a fish!  My brother knew a guy who would go out fishing with a six-pack every weekend…until his daughter discovered he never actually put a hook on his line! (”..and if you ever tell your mother you are DEAD!”)

“That third dwarf was named Sleazy, wasnt he? “
Get Thee behind me, Satan! (not going there smile )

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By ardee, November 26, 2009 at 4:40 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, November 25 at 11:33 pm #

I used to like to fish, but actually I just find it boring now.  However golf is boring, too, and I’ve never even WANTED to play that, so fishing has an edge in my mind (assuming you actually EAT what you catch).

Having just disparaged my two favorite recreational activities in one post I stand up for both activities….It is said the a day spent fishing doesnt count against your lifespan, but I think a day spent golfing counts double, so it all evens out.

I find fishing to be an almost spiritual pastime, surrounded by beauty, eagles, heron and hawks circling above, beaver and otter swimming by, deer and the occasional bobcat coming down to the river to drink all contribute to that serenity for me. I do eat much of what I catch, but I also catch and release quite often, current limits are one salmon in possession, two steelhead (hatchery fish only), thus one continues to catch and release.

Golfing is an acquired taste I think, and does wonders for ones vocabulary and blood pressure too….wink

That third dwarf was named Sleazy, wasnt he?

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 25, 2009 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

I used to like to fish, but actually I just find it boring now.  However golf is boring, too, and I’ve never even WANTED to play that, so fishing has an edge in my mind (assuming you actually EAT what you catch).

Ardee—you’re gonna have to catch a lot more fish to pay for THAT hobby—at least you don’t have a $40,000 fishing boat to do it in as well!

Now which of the 7 does DK resemble..Sneezy? Sleepy? Not Happy, Doc, Grumpy or even Dopey.  Who was the 7th?

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By ed_tru_lib, November 25, 2009 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

Nice to find an interesting place to post, with some people with good taste in fish, and even a chance to observe an almost extinct species, the rare cluelesus nadernutuss. Yup think I’ll stick around for awhile. Inherit you got me on the “santa’s” elves, but hey Snow White’s dwarfs deserve a little respect too. And I’ve always thought the world of Kucinich but if you refer back to my original post, for several reasons, all of which involve electability,  he ain’t never gonna be president, and one of those reasons is DEFINITELY appearance lol. Accordingly a vote for him, if at the expense of an electable Democrat, is not only wasted, but FOOLISHLY wasted.

Btw Inherit, sure Palin didn’t have time to screw up Alaska salmon…YET. If Ralphie sees a chance to do for her in 2012 what he did for Bush in 2000, geez Carrie Prejean could be our next secretary of the interior, and its going to be hard to find a salmon, or pretty much anything left alive, in either the Pacific OR Atlantic.

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By ardee, November 25, 2009 at 6:00 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, November 24 at 9:32 pm #

Farm raised Salmon is poison…..The fish has more pollutants than any wild fish. Never eat such crap…Restaurants that feature wild salmon are happy to specify such, and charge for the privilege.

I , myself, am addicted to fishing, and have been my entire life thus do not eat any fish I havent caught…and such a bargain too:

Salmon rod….$280
fishing reel..$250
braided line..$50
guide service.$200
total…......$780

Salmon weighs, on average 25 lbs. Do the math…

Of course much of the cost is one time thus I attempt a bit of humor.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 24, 2009 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

Well, the few times I’ve been in Alaska I’ve eaten the local salmon and enjoyed it.  When the label says “Alaskan Salmon” in the store, I enjoy it.
But when I eat salmon and I get an unpleasant physical reaction and..,TMI, that’s Atlantic or farm-raised salmon.

No, Edu, I don’t think Ardee would be picked out of a crowd, even with the “bird” on his finger—he might be mistaken for Nelson Rockefeller!  Nor did I mention Santa’s elves, just the Keebler ones and Snow White’s dwarfs….BUT if you REALLY want to go that way…...Dennis Kucinich looks like one of the elves, too!

Report this

By samosamo, November 24, 2009 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

This is the thing, it takes 2 to tango, so to speak, and this Machiavellian
brilliance is in reality the tango that both gops and dems dance together to sort
of put up an appearance of 2 opposing sides when they are actually both the
same, corporate BS so this GOP obstructionism is actually congressional
corporate OBSTRUCTIONISM.

By ed_tru_lib, November 24 at 6:58 pm

How do you and ITW know you are eating whatever kind of salmon it is you
both eat, surely not by reading a label, I hope or do both of you catch your own
salmon?

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By ardee, November 24, 2009 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

Pacific to be sure…Caught in the Sacramento River, at Butte City. Fresh, still silver, fought like the dickens and will be a grand addition to our Thanksgiving feast.

As to your new found friend,ed_tru_lib, November 24 at 6:58 pm. He’ll be able to pick me out of the crowd because Ill be the one holding my arm up finger extended, facing his direction. This guy is a disruptor only and has added nothing whatever to these proceedings…Pity. Im sure he’ll wander on eventually.

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By ed_tru_lib, November 24, 2009 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

Inherit—can’t say I much appreciate your insulting those cute Keebler elves by comparing them to THOSE far less earthly creatures.  And to slam Santa’s helpers, after all the valuable services they provide—My God???!!! And to think YOU took ME to task for being abusive here.

Actually, and a little more seriously, it is strange the way adherents to a stupid, counter-productive point of view do tend to look/dress/sound alike. And the dumber the cause, the more like clones they seem. For instance even if we knew what he/she looked like, I doubt we’d be able to pick our buddy ardee out of a Nader rally, even with the crowd as small as it would be.

Oh and btw-couldn’t agree more about Atlantic vs Pacific salmon, and wild caught Alaska is the BEST, especially a nice Sockeye roast cooked slow on a charcoal grill.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 24, 2009 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

ardee, November 24 at 3:15 pm #

Inherit The Wind, November 24 at 9:22 am #

I thought I made perfectly clear my problems with you criticisms of Nader’s candidacies. Perhaps you might reread them.

Ive nothing more to add…Gotta clean the Salmon I caught yesterday….
*****************************************

Hope it’s Pacific Salmon.  That stuff from our side, the Atlantic, is inedible.  I won’t touch it unless it’s wild Pacific or Alaskan Salmon (one thing Sarah Palin wasn’t able to f*** up what how good the Alaskan salmon is !)

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By ardee, November 24, 2009 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, November 24 at 9:22 am #

I thought I made perfectly clear my problems with you criticisms of Nader’s candidacies. Perhaps you might reread them.

Ive nothing more to add…Gotta clean the Salmon I caught yesterday….

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 24, 2009 at 5:22 am Link to this comment

Ardee:

What is your problem? I disagree with you about Nader.  I don’t advocate blocking Nader from running or any such fascist approach.

I am attempting to PERSUADE, not force or intimidate.  You don’t accept my arguments, that’s fine. Lots of people don’t like my arguments, especially when they get too close to home. 

But you are like my friend trying to persuade me to watch a movie again that I already saw and disliked—another viewing isn’t going to make me like it.

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By ardee, November 24, 2009 at 4:53 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, November 23 at 8:39 am

Methinks thou doth protesteth overmuch…..There is a major difference between accepting that criticism of any candidate is normal and the stuff you post about this candidate in particular. You do not castigate him for his actions, for his politics, for his platform, but for the imaginary results of his candidacy.

You claim to be campaigning against a Nader candidacy, yet you post the same silly “spoiler” stuff that has been exposed and destroyed many times already. What you do, actually, is make a case for the continuation of a sick and incurable ( my opinion) two party system. You are an advocate of the status quo,nothing more and certainly nothing less.

There is nothing wrong with you holding such an opinion of course, but you must believe there is or you wouldnt try and disguise it as something other than what it is…..

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By Inherit The Wind, November 23, 2009 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

Why do so many of these obstructionist GOPers look either like the Keebler elves or Snow White’s Seven Dwarfs?

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, November 23, 2009 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

The difference between Palin and Buchanan is immense.  Buck is intelligent, savvy, educated (in both the college and TRUE knowledge sense of the word) and Palin is sneaky, ignorant and mean.

In one sense, this makes Buchanan far more dangerous, but in another, it makes Palin far more dangerous.  Buchanan is like a super aggressive driver, who’ll run you over.  Palin is like a blind driver who doesn’t know she’s blind even when she runs you over.

But Buchanan, for all his insidiousness, has a working, logical brain that DOES occasionally bend to reality, rather than dogma.  Palin doesn’t.

Saying Buchanan is more qualified to be President than Palin is like saying he’s the smartest bear in the zoo—and she’s the dumbest.  Still don’t want either in the White House unless it’s as a guest.

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By ed_tru_lib, November 23, 2009 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

Inherit-thanks for your responses and input, both of which I’m in pretty well complete agreement with, except ironically perhaps, for your characterization of the Nader of the 60’s and 70’s. Ralph was much more than a savvy lawyer whose heart was (then anyway lol) in the right place. “Unsafe At Any Speed” was the 60’s equivalent of “Silent Spring” in the 50’s. A major, pioneering step toward the exposing and control (one can dream) of public suffering at the hands of corporate greed. Ralph was inspirational in his message and his character/personality-about as complete a definition of a leader as any. In high school and later I knew future NHL hall-of-famer Kenny Dryden, who was already playing pro hockey in the early 70’s while attending law school, and was also the chief Nader’s Raider (remember that term? SIGH) in eastern Canada. It was easy to see how inspirational, not to mindless lemming/lefty-versions of teabaggers, but to truly fine people, Nader could be….THEN. All the more reason for our anger and disappointment about him now.

Hulk-agree with your entire post. Buchanan is the LAST person I’d want to give the impression I have the least admiration for. My whole point is-if a Pat Buchanan can show more patriotism, wisdom, and class than someone, by TRULY sticking to his principles, how much lower could that person sink?
And how much more a disgrace to their former accomplishments could they become? Who would have any respect for such a person, much less vote for them for President. OH…lol.. yeah I think we know. But of course as Inherit notes, that is their right, just like all the guys in “Jackass” exercised, and with much more interesting and worthwhile results.

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By Hulk2008, November 23, 2009 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

To ed_tru_lib:

  Keep your pseudo-charity. 
Mr. Buchanan’s brand of oddball “patriotism” is thoroughly flawed by xenophobia e.g. his outright hatred of immigrants.  Both Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader have been candidates and received support over a span of many years.  How many times has Pat run a campaign ?  How many times was he elected ? He makes an interesting foil for Eleanor Clift and the other token libs that McLaughlin brings on his talk show.  But Pat has never been a seriously competetive candidate.   
    I will admit that Buchanan’s credentials far exceed those of Palin.  But the fact that Pat drools all over his Hartz-Schaffner-Marks suits when Sarah is mentioned makes him immediately disqualified.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 23, 2009 at 4:39 am Link to this comment

Ardee:
Ralph Nader has a perfect Constitutional and legal right to run for President.  Nobody is challenging that.  His supporters have the same rights to believe he is the only one who can save us.

And I have the same Constitutional and legal right to castigate him for his actions. Neither I nor anybody here believes Nader did anything illegal or should be legally barred from taking the actions he followed. 

That’s not the point and it never has been.

But, by the same token, by putting himself into several Presidential campaigns, he is open to the same slings and arrows as EVERY candidate is.  As you have the right to vote for Nader and defend him, I have the right to attack his choices and attempt to convince people NOT to vote for Nader.

Your position is based on your inferences about Mr. Nader.  I happen to think those inferences are faulty.  That is a matter of opinion on both our parts.

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By ardee, November 23, 2009 at 3:26 am Link to this comment

But the guy who ran for President seemed like a different guy, one I couldn’t admire, who had it IN HIS POWER to prevent Bush and neo-cons from coming to power and didn’t use that.  He had his moment and he made his choice.  I hope he’s happy with it.

I wonder at your characterization of Nader here, ITW. As one who voted three times for Ralph Nader, as one who read his position papers, listened to his speeches, understood that he was compelled to run after meeting with Gore, being refused a meeting with Bush, and failing to get essential changes or additions to either Party’s platform, I see Nader as growing politically.

You have noted your activist past, I have mentioned my own on several occasions, one that began with a Ban the Bomb demonstration as a young Freshman in Michigan so many decades ago. Are you able to ignore your duty to your nation, I think not, neither is Ralph Nader.

Castigating someone for seeing his duty to his nation, for exercising his Constitutional right to run for office in order to help save his country from the creeping fascism that overtakes our process and does so much damage to the country and to the world, is a cheap shot and far beneath you. Putting forth silly stuff to show that Nader was “spoiler” actually is an anti-democratic position in fact. It was not up to Nader to assure Gore won, it was up to Gore himself, and he failed miserably.

Of all the candidates for office I believed Nader made the most sense, thus I voted for him. That is my duty as I perceive it to be. The position you take, and others with less maturity or even sense adhere to, is a false one. Noone owns my vote but me.

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By drbhelthi, November 23, 2009 at 3:06 am Link to this comment

Interesting indeed.  Since the republican and
democratic parties were overtaken by the few
remaining entourage from Operation Paperclip, NAZIs,
false-zionists, their offspring, CIA reps and their
stolen-USA-dollar bribees, how can there be
disagreement on the alleged “health package”? 

Perhaps real Americans, not brown-nosers of either of the above, are demanding their right to represent the American citizenry.  The US citizenry.  Real Americans.  Not the folk that, similar to NAZIs after WWII, were snuck over the border into the USA to overtake the internal workings via fraud, bribery and scapegoating.  Nor the peon pimps, illegally misused to flood welfare and healthcare rolls, in order to bankrupt the USA even faster.

Perhaps some elected Americans are tired of being
treated like excrement about to be flushed.  Perhaps they are not the treasonists behind 9-11 and the genocide of residents of oil-rich, east European lands, and the needless slaughter of thousands of American boys and girls in the “US military” machine.  American youth misused as fodder by certain general officers, behaving like little monkeys for the NAZI DC machine, instead of like “Americans,” self-respecting “Officers” in the US ARMY, AIR FORCE and MARINES.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 22, 2009 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

Anyway Inherit-I have to basically agree with you. I responded in kind to a silly and insignifigant…oh hell why call him anything more than a nader supporter-what else could be more insulting?
********************************************

Yes, that would have been more appropriate.  Yeah, I remember the 60’s, going to DC for anti Viet Nam war demonstrations, the murders of SO many political figures….in addition to JFK, RFK and MLK, there were:
Medgar Evers
Malcolm X
Schwerner
Cheney
Goodman
Viola Liusa
George Lincoln Rockwell
and many others.

I remember Nader as a tough, no-compromise consumer’s lawyer, like Consumer’s Reports.

But the guy who ran for President seemed like a different guy, one I couldn’t admire, who had it IN HIS POWER to prevent Bush and neo-cons from coming to power and didn’t use that.  He had his moment and he made his choice.  I hope he’s happy with it.

George Washington, Nelson Mandela and Juan Carlos all had a choice. All chose democracy and freedom over personal power.  Nader chose ego and pretended to himself it was “principle”.  He could have made a positive difference.  Instead he made a negative one. This is where Ardee, whom I respect, violently disagree.

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By ed_tru_lib, November 22, 2009 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind, and ohh Ardee-as I guessed from how you already sounded emotionally you’re obviously too young to remember the 60’s & 70’s (or from your last comments probably the 90’s lol). Ralph Nader wasn’t just once smarter or less selfish-he was a true patriot and American hero, who set out to accomplish important things, accomplished them, and looked for his next means of helping America and his fellow humans.
Nader of 2000 was someone I can well understand you admiring-a silly, selfish, utterly self-centered punk, who would rather give the country Dick Cheney as de facto president than miss a chance for a few more weeks in the limelight.
Even Inherit, and perhaps even ardee, though I doubt ardee would have the maturity to admit it, should admit that given the tone of his previous post, I may have sounded like an asshole, but was at least responding to the way you had chosen to continue the discussion. Moreover, once again you did not have the brains/guts/whatever to actually respond to my two key, and indisputable points: that Gore would have won NH regardless of whatever he had failed to win anywhere else, and that nothing sounds sillier than Nader lemmings whining about Ralphie’s “rights” when it means Karl Rove is largely going to be running the country.
As for my “opinion” that Gore’s the better man and leader, gee lets check out just what they’ve both been doing in the last 9 years. Ralph has had a failed book, and book tour that made Palin’s already look like a howling success, and been a talking head a few times on the few tv shows that would bother to have him. oh yeah, and he actually tried to get a chance to do to Kerry what he did to Gore (and all the rest of us) and only stopped when he saw what a joke and utter asshole he was then, and finally, perceived as, by pretty much everyone (but I bet not YOU ardee). And whats Al been up to? Well…let’s see…he won an Academy Award for a documentary film that actually changed some minds, and, oh yeah, won the Nobel Peace Prize. Yup I sho nuff don’t know what I’m talking about stating my “opinion” that Gore is/was the better leader and man.
Anyway Inherit-I have to basically agree with you. I responded in kind to a silly and insignifigant…oh hell why call him anything more than a nader supporter-what else could be more insulting?

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By Inherit The Wind, November 22, 2009 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

ed_tru_lib:

While I agree with your views on Nader, I find your way of presenting it about Ardee to be despicable.  Ardee and I have argued over this many times.  He’s wrong (which is his right, just like Nader) but he’s not an @$$hole—and there are plenty here at TD.

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By Go Right Young Man, November 22, 2009 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

ThomasG,

I asked a simply question. Which parts of this paragraph do you disagree with?

“A worker certainly does something which is contrary to the spirit of community if he acts entirely on his own initiative and puts forward exaggerated demands without taking the common good into consideration or the maintenance of the national economic structure. But an industrialist also acts against the spirit of the community if he adopts inhuman methods of exploitation and misuses the working forces of the nation to make millions unjustly for himself from the sweat of the workers. He has no right to call himself ‘national’ and no right to talk of a community, for he is only an unscrupulous egoist who sows the seeds of social discontent and provokes a spirit of conflict which sooner or later must be injurious to the interests of the country.”

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By ardee, November 22, 2009 at 4:44 am Link to this comment

ed_tru_lib, November 22 at 3:57 am

You are merely an insignificant troll and thus unworthy of further reading or response…bye now child, have fun in your sandbox…oh wait,that’s a litter box!

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By ed_tru_lib, November 21, 2009 at 11:57 pm Link to this comment

O ardee you poor pathetic punk-
Of course Nader has the right to run. He also has the right to jump off a building-doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Or come to think of it maybe it is, especially if he takes mindless lefty scum like you with him. The problem was he took all the rest of us too. The vote margin in New Hampshire was a fact, fool, not an opinion. No matter what Gore did or didn’t do, or wudda cudda shudda done-the fact you whiny assholes can’t accept is, if nader had shown Buchanan’s class, Gore wins; end of story.
Listen Douchebag-having a good president is more important than worrying about an asshole’s “right to run” You have the right to crawl naked over ground glass, and apparently you’d exercise it if nader asked you to. Come to think of it, that’s something I could agree with him and you on.

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By ardee, November 21, 2009 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

ed_tru_lib, November 21 at 11:38 am #

Oh Ardee (sigh)
Like all diehard leftyloons who even with the benefit of hindsight still can’t deal with reality, and still can’t accept what true liberals, progressives, and other assorted sane people knew then, as well as now—-Gore wasn’t just infinitely preferable to Bush, he was infinitely preferable to NADER

Oh ed_tru_lib, you have a problem with holding your own opinion far too close and thus giving no shrift to the opinions of others. We are a nation of 300 Million you might understand, and, among that multitude there are bound to be folks who disagree with your writ large and in stone opinions. For me (get it jackass), Ralph Nader made the most sense.

Your facts are no such thing, they are your opinions. Your refusal to consider Ralph Nader’s right to run for office speaks volumes about your closed mindedness and very little about the horrible campaign that cost Al Gore the election. If you want to blame somebody, blame Donna Brazile.

Further, if you wish to comment like an asshole, with dimishment of the author rather than addressing the post in question, you should expect a similar response from me.

Gore failed to even carry his own state fool! Should any further responses from you contain the rudeness you just demonstrated I will quickly add you to the large wastebasket I keep here for the dolts who think they know it all and are contemptuous of those who dare disagree.

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By ed_tru_lib, November 21, 2009 at 7:38 am Link to this comment

Oh Ardee (sigh)
Like all diehard leftyloons who even with the benefit of hindsight still can’t deal with reality, and still can’t accept what true liberals, progressives, and other assorted sane people knew then, as well as now—-Gore wasn’t just infinitely preferable to Bush, he was infinitely preferable to NADER. But, be that as it may, you still use the same trite and formulaic excuses for defending Nader, including avoidance of Inconvenient Truths. 
I notice you didn’t even mention New Hampshire. One would have to live in a Nadernut/Palinesque fantasy land to not KNOW, that if Nader had cared less about the rights of his supporters, and didn’t want to see them as curtailed as they have been after 8 years of the Cheney/Rove Presidency Ralph gave us, or frankly if he had an ounce of class, he would have openly accepted what he clearly knew-that he lived on planet earth, that he had no chance to win but every chance to get Bush elected, and at least made the announcement that Buchanan did: if you’re not going to vote for me, vote for Gore(though of course Pat didn’t say Gore)

What a crock to keep blabbering about Gore’s “failed” or “weak” campaign. We’ve known the reality for 8 years now-Gore would have won New Hampshire and the white house. No one would have ever worried about “butterfly ballots” or heard of a “hanging chad”; we would have long since had a better environment, better health insurance, and a better country and world, and who knows how many lives saved in and out of the military. Nader hardly left his house when he was the Green party candidate in 1996. 2000 would likely have been the same until he saw his chance, when for whatever reason the media pounced on promoting him like he was Britney Spears’ boyfriend. Nader embraced this mutually beneficial chance to massage his ego 1 last time,  and then the 2000 left equivalent of the 2009 teabaggers and townhall lunatics came crawling out of the woodwork to follow and do what they were told, in defiance of reality, or, frankly, sanity.

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By ardee, November 21, 2009 at 5:26 am Link to this comment

ed_tru_lib, November 20 at 8:53 pm

My goodness, still expounding trite and formulaic excuses for the horrible campaign of Albert Gore.

The bottom line here is that you use Nader as a scapegoat, for what purpose only you yourself can explain. I am, frankly disinterested in your reasons. Here’s the bottom line for you/ The Constitution of these United States assures Ralph Nader of his right to run for office, any office. Nader, and many of us as well, found damn little difference between the policies of the two parties. I agreed with Nader that neither Party would bring our shared agenda to the fore, thus, in order to make public that agenda, Nader ran.

To hold such a callow position , that any candidate is obligated to withdraw, for any reason, is simply childishness.

Ralph’s Fault?

Was Ralph Nader (or the 3,072,000 people who voted for him) responsible for Gore’s poor showing at the polls? Many of Gore’s supporters have said so. Many of them continue to blame Nader for every ill the country is now suffering and inflicting.

Initially, you might think they are right (never mind that Gore in fact got 540,000 more votes than Bush did nationwide, that his support in polls was declining though Nader’s was not rising, that there were “spoiler” candidates on the right as well, that tens of millions of registered Democrats didn’t even vote, that Florida illegally threw 70,000 people, mostly African-Americans, off the voting rolls, that ballots were so confusingly designed that Pat Buchanan won in Jewish districts, that the counting of votes in Florida was stopped by the Supreme Court, or . . . ). For example, a majority of Florida’s 97,000 votes for Nader might have gone to Gore who then might have won that state’s electoral votes and the presidency. Had just 600 Nader voters (or voters for Browne, Buchanan, McReynolds, Hagelin, Phillips, Moorehead, or Harris—or Bush) voted instead for Gore, it might have overridden the rampant corruption of the vote in Florida, making up for Gore’s loss of his and Clinton’s home states and Democratic stronghold West Virginia.

Democrats who voted for Bush ought to be considered here, too. According to exit polls (no longer available at CNN.com), 13% of Florida Democrats voted for Bush—that’s more than 150,000—while only 8% of Republicans voted for Gore. Almost equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans voted for Nader.

In other states where Nader votes appear to have had a negative impact on Gore’s numbers, exit polls show that 3 to 12 times as many Democrats voted for Bush as for Nader. In New Mexico, like Florida a late-called race, 16% of Democrats voted for Bush.

Only in Oregon can it be claimed that Nader adversely affected Gore’s showing. There, only 10% of Democrats voted for Bush, not so much greater than the 6% of Republicans who voted for Gore. And Nader got, respectively, 3% and 1% of their votes.

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By ThomasG, November 21, 2009 at 5:10 am Link to this comment

AmericanMuser, November 21 at 1:08 am,

If you think that the 20% minority of your so called “Middle America” has problems, how do you think the 70% Majority Common Population of the United States is faring?  It is alright though, even if we are all unemployed, homeless and hungry, we still have our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness with freedom and justice for all——Right?

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By AmericanMuser, November 20, 2009 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

Did you see the Republican move a couple days ago to obstruct the credit card rate freeze legislation authored by Sen. Chris Dodd?  This certainly doesn’t rise to the level of importance that healthcare does, but it hits every person in the pocket.

Republicans shamelessly thwarted efforts to help Middle America by freezing credit card interest rates on existing balances.  At a time when people in this country are literally going hungry and without work, Republicans had the chutzpah to throw Middle America under the bus and instead line the pockets of credit card companies.  Oy gevalt . . .

I understand the great plight suffered by credit card companies.  The gravy train with biscuit wheels that they’ve been riding for years will soon be coming to an end.  However, if they are looking for sympathy from Middle America, they can find it in the dictionary, somewhere between “shit” and “syphilis.”

As you may recall, especially if you’re an insomniac and have needed something on the nightstand to help you sleep, the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act enacted in May, prevents arbitrary interest rate, fee and finance charge increases on a consumer’s existing balance.

In response, credit card companies have been hiking credit card interest rates to 30% in a last ditch effort to take advantage of consumers before all of the CARD Act’s provisions take effect.

To stem the hiking of fees on Middle America, Dodd’s bill would have sped up some of the provisions in the CARD Act, which don’t take effect until February or August of 2010.  But yesterday Senator Thad Cochran (R., Miss.) objected to the measure, and it only takes one senator to block a unanimous consent request in the Senate.

This missive has nothing to do with the fact that consumers have a responsibility to spend within their means and to pay what they owe, and everything to do with the fact that the credit card industry has a responsibility to deal with consumers honestly.  There is nothing honest about what credit card companies are doing to consumers with these rate increases and fees, which are simply usury and legalized extortion.

Middle America is already frustrated with the political Left and Right for not providing relief on pocketbook issues, and this gets the peasants one step closer to grabbing their pitchforks.  If you’re keeping score, let the record reflect that in keeping with its tradition of whoring for big business, Republicans have once again chosen big business over Middle America.

A. Muser
http://americanmuser.wordpress.com
http://twitter.com/AmericanMuser

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By ed_tru_lib, November 20, 2009 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

To Hulk2008
Nice try-well not really but i’m feeling charitable-Hulk—Bush defeated Gore in New Hampshire by less than 1100 votes; Ralphie-boy pulled about 100,000. I mean really now-do you beleive for a second that if Nader had shown the equivalent of Buchanan’s (DEAR GOD of ALL people’s) class and patriotism in basically withdrawing and semi-endorsing that flaming lefty (in his mind, or so he said) Bush, and nadertraitor had done the same for the infinitely preferable Gore, that AT LEAST 1100 NH Nader voters wouldn’t have instead voted for Gore??? Florida, ancient history, and hanging chads wouldn’t have mattered—NH would have given Gore 271 electoral votes, and Jeb Bush might still be governor lol.
Also buddy, when I say “better Palin,” I’m referring to Nader’s ego and unspeakable selfishness and treason to all he (and those of us old enough to have been there and loved him for it, then) once stood, many times alone, for. He’s the one who doesn’t care if a Bush/Cheney/Palin gets elected as long as he has a few more seconds in the sun. A man who “sticks to his tenets” Hulk??? PUHHLEEZE-the Nader of the last decade is as much an utterly artificial media creation as Paris Hilton, without Paris’ good looks or moral/intellectual substance. At least Kucinich, like Paris and Pat, has kept working for a living.

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By AT, November 20, 2009 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Does the GOP ‘s obstruction still go unnoticed?. Get this: The great senator from Utah, Robert Bennett, perhaps near the end of an illutrious career full of surprise, like trying to slip in unnoticed 5 free billions or (is it 50 ) to the nuclear industry at your expense. NOw , he’s being challenged by other obstructionists from his own party because he’s not being conservative enough.And dont forget the other Gop senator from that same great state, the great Liberal Senator Urinn Hatch who is sponsoring a health care bill that will attract Democrats(if you can’t beat them, join them).Always in the last minute, when the outcome is decided, he pulled a Mormon surprise ( it surprises no one except himself) and later on vote against it.! Brilliant.

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By mandinka, November 20, 2009 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

Dionne is again a day late and a dollar short. He’s covering ancient history in the electorate non of barak or congresses initiatives have public support. Time to cut their losses and listening to the liberal loons and start paying attention to the electorate

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By Go Right Young Man, November 20, 2009 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

ThomasG,

I asked a very simply question. You will either answer or you will not. LOL…...

Which parts of the paragraph do you disagree with?

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By Michael Calder, November 20, 2009 at 9:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“I know that there are those who oppose all these moves as they opposed social security, much as they opposed a ban on child labor, and more recently in the Senate, medical care for the elderly.  This country would still be in the dark ages economically if we permitted these opponents of progress and defenders of special privoleges to veto every forward move.” JFK     jfkcia.com

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By ThomasG, November 20, 2009 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

GRYM, November 20 at 12:03pm, & GRYM, Nov. 20 at 11:54am,

Your post is a false frame setting up contention as equivalent between an individual and a group, as a corporate body.

Should contention for undeserved merit warrant patient merit for the unworthy?

The false frame that you set up was unworthy; if you want an answer, reframe your question so that it is equivalent with like values.

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By Hulk2008, November 20, 2009 at 8:28 am Link to this comment

To Ed_tru_lib:
  A minor correction is required to your ad hominem rant: 
  Pat Buchanan’s withdrawal notwithstanding, the Supreme Court “gave” the 2000 election to W, not Ralph Nader.  In fact, had progressives gotten reforms earlier to the Florida election process, there would have been no hanging chad or butterfly ballot situation there.  Florida and Texas and other right-wing-nut havens continue to use voting machinery that Herman Hollarith would have tossed out in 1900 - NOT because of cost but because the old junk is easier to hack. 
    The ballot was basically fixed in advance - remember the call from W to Gore remarking “My brother assures me…” etc.  Kerry got a similar pre-shafting in Ohio in spite of being a vapid candidate. 
    My penchant for being both a fiscal conservative and a social liberal makes me far from being either a lefty or a loonie.  A budget that allows paying for 187 useless F-22 fighters and research into polar bear reproduction but disallows universal healthcare contradicts all my principles.  In my own home I forestall buying a giant HDTV so I can have electricity and insurance.   
    Similarly, my preference for candidates who stick to their tenets instead of constantly collapsing even before the conflict is met would bar me from accepting someone like Palin outright (she has been labeled as a quitter and a liar by members of her own party).

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By ThomasG, November 20, 2009 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

RdV, Nov. 20 at 11:46am,

What Right-Winger are you addressing on this thread?

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By Go Right Young Man, November 20, 2009 at 8:03 am Link to this comment

ThomasG, November 20 at 11:23 am

Last post should have read:

LOL….I’m sorry BUT that is complete and total crap. You’ve ducked the question.

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By Go Right Young Man, November 20, 2009 at 7:54 am Link to this comment

ThomasG, November 20 at 11:23 am

LOL….I’m sorry about that is complete and total crap. You’ve ducked the question.

I was hoping for an honest dialog.

Good luck to you.

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By RdV, November 20, 2009 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

Aside from your tired free market talking points defending a totally discredited system now in it’s death throes from unbridled deregulation, a mixed system served us well in the past and seems to be working fine for the social democracies of the world.
  The fact that you falsely represent the consensus of Americans as more wingnut than progressive—when actually the majority supports single payer, wants out of Afghanistan, wants the US to participate in climate change initiatives, indicates how bankrupt your lie is.

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By ThomasG, November 20, 2009 at 7:23 am Link to this comment

GRYM, November 20 at 1:03am,

The question in your post is a false frame, because you are comparing the actions of an individual to the corporate actions of an employer.

This false frame difference is the same as the American ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with freedom and justice for all, which are all subjective tropes that do not have the same quality, degree and meaning for the different classes and cultures within the United States.

When you say “spirit of community” as a subjective trope and then use that subjective trope to frame an equivalence between individual behavior and collective behavior of a corporation, the frame is false.

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By bogi666, November 20, 2009 at 6:09 am Link to this comment

Ardee, I think the Republicans can do what they want even with a smaller majority is their solidarity and that they can easily bribe the Blue dog Democrats to vote with them. They make more with bribery with a GOP president and/or Republican congress in control. This is what makes sense to me.

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By Ed_tru_lib, November 19, 2009 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Hulk 2008 and the usual gang of Truthdig leftyloons:
Unbelievable-you’re still talking about “leaders” like Kucinich-nice guy with a good heart who’s capable of getting about 6 votes on his best day, and NADER???!!!-the eternal egomaniac who gave us Bush/Cheney by not having Pat Buchanan’s class and patriotism and essentially withdrawing when he saw he could cause the preferable (to him and the rest of us) other candidate to lose, and who is STILL around trying to drum up support deserving of being taken seriously by someone NOT in the media, for 2012. Hey better we have President Palin, just like President Cheney in 2000, than Ralphie feel more forgotten than a sober Britney Spears.
If Obama knew he could count on true progressive support he would be ready to show the spine he already has, but doesn’t want to lose the next election, because of 3-4% of the vote applauding him now, but abandoning him for some leftyfreakChris Hedges clone when it means Palin wins.

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By Go Right Young Man, November 19, 2009 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment

ThomasG,

Which specific parts in the below paragraph would you disagree with?

A worker certainly does something which is contrary to the spirit of community if he acts entirely on his own initiative and puts forward exaggerated demands without taking the common good into consideration or the maintenance of the national economic structure. But an industrialist also acts against the spirit of the community if he adopts inhuman methods of exploitation and misuses the working forces of the nation to make millions unjustly for himself from the sweat of the workers. He has no right to call himself ‘national’ and no right to talk of a community, for he is only an unscrupulous egoist who sows the seeds of social discontent and provokes a spirit of conflict which
sooner or later must be injurious to the interests of the country.

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By Go Right Young Man, November 19, 2009 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment

ThomasG, - “With socialized capitalism both capital and the revenue stream of capital would go to the social institutions that were institutionalized as repositories of socialized capital, banks established to hold and allocate capital for the means of production and distribution and receive the revenue stream from allotted capital to businesses both large and small”...

-

It all sounds great. It sounds wonderful. Now can you show me a working, viable, example of this theory?

If you like I can direct you to the speeches and writings of Adolf Hitler. He very much believed in this same socio-economic theory.

I also understand that you did not author the paragraph you shared here. Would you be kind enough to direct me to the original author?

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By ThomasG, November 19, 2009 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment

GRYM, Nov.19 at 8:28pm,

All wealth is created by capital used in businesses engaging in free enterprise and it is irrelevant to businesses engaging in free enterprise whether or not the capital they use in their businesses to create revenue streams and markets is privatized capital or socialized capital.

With privatized capital, the capitalists owning the privatized capital reaps obscene benefit as a revenue stream of privatized capital and the management, salaried intellectual workers and engineers, as well as hourly paid employees, receive compensation for their work as employees.

With socialized capitalism both capital and the revenue stream of capital would go to the social institutions that were institutionalized as repositories of socialized capital, banks established to hold and allocate capital for the means of production and distribution and receive the revenue stream from allotted capital to businesses both large and small; aside from capital allocated, socialized ownership of capital, and receipt of the revenue stream of capital by the banking institution established by socialized capitalism for this purpose, management and employees would work and receive pay in the same way that is customarily done by privatized capitalism, and privatized ownership would still exist for everything other than capital, assets that provide a revenue stream.

Your point about the majority of millionaires would be irrelevant to socialized capitalism because those who are presently capitalists would be working for compensation as employees and consumers, rather than private capitalists.

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By Go Right Young Man, November 19, 2009 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

ThomasG,

The majority of wealth, the vast majority of all new jobs created, the majority of millionaires in the United States is due to the small and medium business’ (private capitalists).

The vast majority of millionaires in the United States are plumbers, electricians, drug store owners and meat market operators.

Those are the facts in contrast to the myths “progressives” harp on.

It pleases me to know that the nation leans, by more than half, Right of center. Not toward the fringe, socialist, Left.

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By ThomasG, November 19, 2009 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

GRYM, Nov.19 at 6:15pm,

It is time for American Socialism to socialize privatized Capitalism, so that American Society can get the benefit of Capitalism, socialized Capitalism, and socialized Capitalism can provide benefit to American Society as a whole, rather than just a few private capitalists cyclically reanimating ZOMBIE Capitalism for their own greedy benefit.

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By Go Right Young Man, November 19, 2009 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

I can’t agree with all Mr. Dionne has opined. There is no mistaking the fact that several moderate and conservative democrats are revolting against an expanding socialized government.

My best wishes and support go out to all republicans and democrats fighting against the agenda of Reid, Pelosi and Obama.

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By melpol, November 19, 2009 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

Once a healthcare bill is passed and signed by the president, 40 thousand soldiers
will be on their way. Senators from states that supply weapons to our troops got
down with the program only after being assured of a troop buildup in
Afghanistan. Its a give and take world.

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By Hulk2008, November 19, 2009 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

To cmarcusparr:

  Amen !!

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By cmarcusparr, November 19, 2009 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

The country is owned by corporations, and the people (the idiots; those who would stand in line for hours to have Sarah Palin sign a book that she had ghost written) are manipulated by the corporate-controlled media. Take a good look at the men (Sessions, McConnell, and Alexander) in the picture. They don’t work for you. They work for the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, the financial institutions, and oil. Did you actually believe they had your best interests in mind?

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By donnasaggia, November 19, 2009 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

“Obama didn’t just offer bromides about hope and change. He made quite specific pledges.” Which he then proceeded to break once he was elected. Where were those C-Span negotiations with Big Pharma and Big Insurance? Where was single payer? Obama betrayed.

Democrats in the House are “not the problem”—wrong. Dems in the House are the biggest problem. It was the House that gave us Stupak. That will become an additional problem in the Senate and in the conference committee.

Overall, the Democrats in the House and Senate are sinking this bill because they could have passed everything the people wanted without the Republicans. Now we will get stuck with a healthcare system where the insurance companies continue to raise premiums, since there is no competitive alternative in only a weak public option, and millions will be held hostage to these crooks. Meanwhile the U.S. Congress and the president enjoy the best health care the taxpayers’ money can buy.

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By Hulk2008, November 19, 2009 at 11:50 am Link to this comment

The Democratic Party has a built-in inferiority complex.  When they do get a majority, they do a Waynes-World “we’re not worthy” routine.  They would like to play dirty; but when they do, they collectively feel bad about it.  Moreover, they are not really a “party” - they are a gaggle - a noisy, boisterous, motley assemblage of disparate parts - they totally lack any collective sense of themselves or their purpose ..... other than to get elected, of course. 
    If the Dems truly followed a central theme or heart, Ralph Nader or Dennis Kucinich would have been their champion and maybe even President long ago.  But unlike the Repugs, they would rather just pander left, right, and center and just kick the ball down the road a bit - and get elected.  As Pogo said “We has met the enemy, and they is us.” 
    Instead of constantly phonying up some centrist crap, the Dems should just develop a spine.
    They should declare “OK, we are the left-leaning liberals you say we are - and here is what we are GOING to do, whether the obstructionists like it or not - including kicking obstructionist rules to the curb.”  Let’s get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, kick tail on Pakistan a bit, and put our citizens back to work, along with reasonable, effective low-cost health care dictated TO the insurance companies and pharma instead of BY them.  Kick the banker-boys out of power along with their cronies, leaving the bonuses and TARP at the door.  And, by the way, here’s the sensible, low-cost, job-producing way we will clean up the earth - whether fat cat industrialists like it or not.

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By Mary Ann McNeely, November 19, 2009 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

Am I supposed to give two craps any longer about the Republicans and the Democrats?  Back in the ‘60’s, George Wallace (of all people!) said, “There ain’t a dime’s worth of difference between the Republicans and the Democrats.”  Oh, how very very true.

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By myxzptlk, November 19, 2009 at 11:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can’t prove it, of course, but the only explanation that makes sense to me is
that both Dems and Reps are playing their roles, as assigned by their common
masters - Reps as unprincipled, obstructionist “small government” a-holes,
and Dems as divided, feckless, but well-meaning “big government” patsies.

The key words here are “common masters” - this arrangement only works if
both “sides” stay in their prescribed boxes.

Our political geniuses tell us that the reason the Democrats are the way they
are is because they’re a big-tent party, with divided allegiances.  There are two
reasons to view that as the BS it is: 

(1) The Republicans gained their majority with a coalition of economic elites,
religious fundamentalists, and traditional conservatives, but never had any
problem ramming their corporatist agenda forward.

(2) The Democrats are doing everything *except* serving the interests of their
coalition members, and in fact, have pushed forward legislation that serves the
interests of the same corporatists that the Republicans back.

Any deviation from this arrangement is just playing around the edges.  Yes,
there are a few principled players on each side, but that’s just the allowed
margin of window dressing.

Our system is totally gamed from the top, period.

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By anaman51, November 19, 2009 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

For decades the Democrats have prided themselves for being the party that claimed the moral high ground as the Republicans used every dirty trick in the book to gain election to offices across the land. After the election was over the Dems would announce how fair they had been, and how dirty the Republicans were. They would announce this as they conceded the race. The lesson is this: Being above reproach in terms of principles is of no use if you didn’t gain the office. They haven’t learned it yet.

Meanwhile, the well-oiled Republican Machine goes on cranking out the slurs, the damning rumors, the innuendo and the outright lies that win elections in this country. They’ve learned that the voting public is as dumb as a sack of hammers, and they treat us accordingly.

This has been their favorite tactic since Jimmy Carter was defeated for having had the bad sense to order up our finest military rescue unit to save our hostages, only to discover that helicopters don’t work well when their moving parts get full of sand. Since that time, Democratic contenders have lost races by means of carefully timed lies uttered by political action committees. The American public was somehow convinced that John Kerry, a decorated veteran of Vietnam, was responsible for his own wound and the death of his comrades, and used the occasion to hoodwink the award process into giving him a medal for it. Shame on you, gullible public!

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By malakyah, November 19, 2009 at 11:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Step up the pressure on these truly un-Americans polictians. They are ‘old’ men with old ideas .Protect the wealthy, all their Ploices are the same leaning towards the wealthy..why do un-wealthy American support them? I guess it’s a White Thing’

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By CJ, November 19, 2009 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

I surely hope this bit of healthcare-reform fraud is beaten back. (Kucinich did well to vote “nay” in the House. Dennis might have been President but Obama was prettier and a smoother talker. As well as opportunity for demonstration of identity politics. Next?)

The Cowards Party is just that—cowardly—in both Chambers, certainly incapable of passing any even remotely progressive legislation. On the contrary, they’ve collectively become almost as reactionary as their Liar counterparts. As they too, along with Liars counterparts, are paid hacks, though one could maintain the Cowards are even more hypocritical because they do appear to maintain some minimal grasp on and of earthly reality. (And a handful like Kucinich are not cowardly, unlike, say, Obama and both Clintons. While Liars just lie and lie, forever with the fibbing, forever oblivious to earthly reality, forever yet more class-bound than their cowardly counterparts. Again, with one or two exceptions, though I cannot understand why Bernie doesn’t kick up more fuss.

(For example of depths to which liars will stoop: Just this morning I espied Mitch McConnell standing before about three feet (six thousand pages) of healthcare bill when in reality two thousand pages would pile up to about one foot of standard copy paper. CNN made no mention of obvious stunt.)

I agree with Crowely below about getting rid of the Senate though would not stop there. Get rid of the House too. And the presidency and supremes. Madison believed the Senate a “necessary fence” against the passions of the general public and members of the House (?), while Washington regarded the Senate as a kind of air conditioner. Course back then Senators were appointed. Not that subjecting the Senate to popular election seems to have made any difference. As all know, the Senate is where minority (by state) can wind up ruling any given day, filibusters or no filibusters.

“Minority” in reality being out-and-out owners, mega-shareholders, et al. of similar ilk. The actual role of the Senate is preservation of wealth and means to same for the very few. A “necessary fence” against serious “redistribution,” the dirtiest word in capitalist “democracy.”

We maintain this bizarre notion that shareholders “earn” their wealth, are somehow “deserving” of what they actually merely steal. Since “to earn” is regarded as the same as “to risk.” Well, one thing for Buffett to “risk” $100 million, another for one of us to risk a few hundred ones. The Founders were aristocrats actually terrified of “the people.” Which is why Paine stands out among fearful dads who drew up foundational documents. And then suckered farmers into fighting the most bourgeois revolution in history.

Indeed, let us be rid of fatuous, overblown egos ensconced in long worn-out institutions from where they’re forever falsely claiming to give a crap for “The Common Man” Paine actually did champion. (We’re told we must go to war right after blowback that is product of decades of fucking up foreign relations. Then bodies are given all due phony respect as they’re dumped at Arlington.) The U.S. part of the Americas never underwent the social revolution essential to the coming to rule by each for each at the same time as in the common interest. Believe it or not we actually could get by without multinationals and high finance so beloved by our governors. Most particularly without those that manufacturer gunpoint means to empire.

Might have to sacrifice a few goodies, but well worth that price when real-deal freedom is at stake. (Along with physical well-being one might add.) Certainly, we need freedom FROM Orwellian cowards and liars whatever transpires after procuring that freedom. That would be a “risk” seriously worth the trouble to take. Or, we can continue each to dream of one day becoming one of the elite, as selfishness remains our central Orwellian ethic.

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By Carl, November 19, 2009 at 9:26 am Link to this comment

What does Truthout print propaganda garbage from the WashPost? The Dems in the Senate are also sponsored by corporations who oppose what most Dems on the street want. The solution is to do nothing and blame the Republicans.

In reality, rules and filibusters are complete BS. Its all a ruse. CHANGE THE DAMN RULES! But if they did that they’d have no more excuses. If the Majority leader gathers 50 Democratic Senators in a room and they agree to change a rule or vote yes on a bill, that is a majority and change is made and the bill is forwarded or rules changed.

The Republicans will scream, but they can do nothing, they have no police force. The only one who could refuse is President, but how could the executive branch say that something done by 51 Senators is improper, and why would Obama?

Its time for Dems to tell Pelosi and her con men that the U.S. Constitution does not require more than a majority vote, so the blame the Republicans game is BS. If Pelosi can’t muster 51 votes, its time for a new majority leader.

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By MarthaA, November 19, 2009 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

The people need to remove the increasingly irrelevant and servile Democrats, because the Democratic Party is the only party of the TWO that is for the people, the Common Majority.  The controlling Elite Capitalist of the Republican Party will never allow that party to be a benefit to the Common Majority, whereas the Democratic Party can be overtaken and redone to support representation of the Common Majority, if enough people decide to remove the DLC Republican-lite leadership and make the party really represent the Common Majority.

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By RdV, November 19, 2009 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

More of the usual partisan apologies for the usual cowardice and capitulation?
 
Like the old story about the scorpion promising not to sting—it is what Republicans do.
  Truth is, if the Democrats chose to they could grind the Right into the dirt—because they don’t seem to have any problem ignoring, if not marginalizing and scorning real progressives in their own ranks.
  Democrats pander to the same corporate power structure as the Right does, but they are compromised because their traditional role requires them to put up a facade that they represent and speak to the public interest. Republicans suffer no ethical quandry which leaves them in a position to manipulate the increasingly irrelevant and servile Democrats.

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By Paul_GA, November 19, 2009 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

Actually, I like gridlock, because as the old saying goes, “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the Legislature is in session”. And, Mr. Dionne, I believe in total withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan (from everywhere, in fact) and ending the military-industrial complex; I suppose that makes me not a “real American” in your view?

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By MarthaA, November 19, 2009 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

Something is wrong with this picture.

What happened to the Nuclear Option that was used when the Republicans had control? 

When Republicans were in control they threatened to change the rules of the Senate and eliminate the filibuster if the Democrats didn’t kowtow, now the Nuclear Option should be being used by the Democrats to change the rules and it would behoove the Democrats to do so, if enough of them actually represent the political Left, and if they don’t, it is high time they be kicked out of the Senate, because they are playing games with peoples lives.

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By bogi666, November 19, 2009 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

Knowing that it cannot prevail in honest elections the GOP strategy is to have fraudulent elections, while lecturing the rest of the world to have honest elections incidentally, and obstructionism to prevent majority rule. This is achieved through bribery, lies, hubris and disdain for the citizens of the USA.

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By Ouroborus, November 19, 2009 at 5:36 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, November 19 at 8:40 am #

I can move my lips as you speak.  wink

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By Inherit The Wind, November 19, 2009 at 4:40 am Link to this comment

The solution is for Reid to USE the power of majority rule as a club.  “Jeff, you want us to keep funding that base in Alabama? Cut the crap or we cut the base from the budget and move it to, say, Mary Landrieux’s state.  Lieberman: You want your committee chairs? You ONLY get to keep them if you support our cloture votes!”

That’s what the Re-thugs did when THEY ran things—the one thing they did right was twist arms to get legislation passed.

And…when the dems held up the WORST Bush nominations, Cheney, as President of the Senate threatened to rule on an up-or-down vote until the Dems caved.  Let Biden do the same damn thing.

You can’t work with these people.  They are nothing but the political equivalent of terrorists and they need to be given the equivalent political treatment: Isolate and dis-enfranchise them.

How many Americans do these 40 senators represent? 30%, max?  With the exception of Texas, they ALL come from these incredibly tiny population states, some with less than a million people. Many Dems come from huge pop states: Cali, NY, Penn, Ill, Flor, Ohio and represent that VAST majority of Americans.

Jeff Sessions, Mitch McConnell and James Inhofe represent the very worst that Republicans can be.

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By GEM_in_Orange, November 19, 2009 at 3:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Or go back to the requirement of 3/5 OF THOSE PRESENT.  That would require the old-style filibuster where every Republican would have to be on the floor of the Senate in order to prevent cloture.

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By ardee, November 19, 2009 at 3:26 am Link to this comment

Whewn the Republicans ruled the Legislature they had a smaller majority than does the Democratic Party today. Yet then, as now, the GOP seems to run the place. What, exactly, does this say about the Democrats, or about a system in which the wishes of the people are secondary?

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By Filler Crowley, November 19, 2009 at 1:40 am Link to this comment

Kill the filibuster, or at least do what Lieberman suggested in 1994: steadily decrease the number of votes needed to invoke cloture for each motion, from 60 at first, to 57, then 54, then finally 51.

But probably the best solution is just to abolish the Senate. A man can dream!

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