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Wednesday: Foxhole Liberals

My mom called me the other day.  She was visiting my brother in AZ over Easter and as the conversation wrapped up, she told me cheerily, “I’m going to one of those tea party thingies!”  Knowing my mom’s susceptibility to Republican messaging, I warned her, “You know, those thingies are mostly about anti-tax stuff.  You have to be really careful.”  I’m relieved to discover that there is quite a bit of anger directed at the financial industry at them as well but, still, I worry.

My mom bought into the whole uber pro-life, pro-war, anti-liberal message of the Bush era.  For eight long years, we could barely be in one another’s presence without wanting to kill each other.  In the past couple years, she kind of came out of the trance.  Last year, I got her to vote for Hillary.

Now, the reason I mention this is because my mom is a Democrat who has traditionally voted for Republicans over social issues.  It’s her religious background that lures her into their camp every single time.  And she mostly goes along with their program except that when I made her do her political compass a couple of years ago, it turned out that she was more liberal than I was.  She didn’t believe it at first until I pointed out to her but she likes a lot of liberal ideas, social justice and social security and medicare and all that.  She’d claw your eyes out before she’d let you take her VA benefits away.

I suspect that there are a lot more people out there who in the next couple of years are going to discover their inner liberal.  After all, it’s one thing to rail about deadbeats on unemployment when times are good.  It’s quite another thing to be ON the unemployment line, realizing you haven’t done anything wrong but that the wealthy shareholders of your company preferred a juicier dividend to your wage slavery.  And SCHIP shouldn’t be given to people who have jobs, except when those jobs suddenly no longer cover the costs of living.  And social security privatization can probably be postponed until the next century or at least until after my generation dies.

There is nothing that will concentrate the mind so keenly as poverty.  The Great Depression featured many such conversion stories.  The farmers of the dust bowl who were sometimes reduced to eating nettles and saw their children melt away due to malutrition didn’t all start out as fans of FDR.  But they started to see the sense of his WPA programs and his soil conservation projects.  The perpetually poor of the Tennessee Valley weren’t all pinko commies, but after the TVA brought power and light to Appalachia, Democrats were able to capture their hearts.  We might not all like the byzantine rules and restrictions of a union shop, but really, how many of us want to go back to the days when we were paid third world wages, had our children working with us and had no benefits?  That wasn’t so long ago.  My own grandfather, who was born in 1912, was forced to leave school in eighth grade so he could earn his keep.  12 years old and he was already doing a man’s work. Do we really want to chuck all of that because a few unions have overreached?

The powers that be have spent close to a generation spreading a message of begrudgery.  They’ve directed our attention down onto the person below us.  If we weren’t getting a bigger piece of the pie, it’s because of the welfare queen or the quota system or the uneducated lazy poor.  But now there are two classes in America, the wealthy, well connected who control the money, and everyone else.  Now, the rich are looking down at that everyone else and complaining that they have to share their hard earned wealth with us in the form of taxes.  WE are the new welfare queens to them.  The ‘everyone else’ category contain a lot of people, both educated and uneducated, union and professional, Democrat and Republican.  That everyone else is the new working class and it contains all of the people who do not pull down million dollar bonuses each year or have their wealth socked away in offshore bank accounts.  That everyone else are all equally vulnerable to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and we are starting to figure it out and cast our attention up instead of down in the food chain.

That social safety net doesn’t look so bad now that we’re all sitting in the same foxhole, does it?  There’s nothing wrong with getting rich with your own efforts but gambling away someone else’s money suddenly isn’t so virtuous anymore, is it?  Maybe we should have elected more women because countries that have more women in office tend to have fewer social problems.  And really, are the proscriptions against gay marriage that important when we’re all struggling to keep our heads above water?

Keep it in mind as you watch the tea party phenomenon develop.  There is an opportunity out there to turn this country on its head for the persons who seize it.  And it won’t be long before Americans all over the country demand more of their government to do something.  Liberalism may become the next new religion for Republicans too.

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211 Responses

  1. ” There is an opportunity out there to turn this country on its head for the persons who seize it.” Let it be PUMA!! C’mon let’s do it!

    I liked your previous post BTW.

    • I think it’s even bigger than PUMA. It’s palpable. However this grassroots energy pushes the pendulum, I’m hoping election reform is one of the results.

  2. OFF topic… WTF is going on out there?!?

    Freddie’s Acting CFO Found Dead

    * Article
    * Comments (8)

    more in Business »

    David Kellermann, the acting chief financial officer of Freddie Mac, was found dead at his home Wednesday morning in what broadcast reports said was an apparent suicide.

    WUSA-TV and WTOP Radio reported that David Kellermann was found dead in his Northern Virginia home. The 41-year-old Kellermann …

    • Whoa! That’s not good. I hope it’s not a sign of things to come.

    • This ought to please the “eat the rich” crowd.

      Everyone needs to stop vilifying “groups” of people outside of their own artificially defined group and start behaving like decent human beings toward one another, work together as a country or we are doomed.

      • poplicola,

        I don’t think anyone here is pleased to see a tragedy happen to anyone. We are going to see a lot more of this kind of thing if the economy continues to go south.

        I’m not sure why you’re so sensitive about this particular point, but I can’t imagine that any of us here would turn away wealthy liberals who care about restoring our constitutional rights and advocating social justice. Plenty of wealthy people believe in those things too, and no one here has said they don’t.

        It’s really OK to laugh about a funny article in New York Magazine. It doesn’t mean you hate everyone in some “group.” I don’t even hate the people who were quoted in the article. They are just headed for some problems in their lives and if they open their minds and hearts they will learn and grow from them. If they stay stuck in the greed they were saying is good, then they won’t.

        • It’s also a relief to me when the person who commits suicide doesn’t take a lot of other people (including young children) with him as in the MD incidents.

        • It’s not how much money they have that’s the issue. The Clintons are very wealthy. FDR was very wealthy.

          It’s the selfishness and greed, or lack thereof. It’s how you use the money and power.

          Great post, RD. That to me has always been the essential issue, above all else. Poverty causes more suffering than anything else – health, relationships, so much more. And the only way Repubs get elected is to distract people from their real positions on economics.

    • I am quite sure all of my tin foil apparatus at home is buzzing 😉

    • Was it a real suicide or was he “suicided?”

      {Sorry for the tinfoil so early in the morning}

      • I wonder that — if it wasn’t the equivalent of the old Roman “sending him his sword” with the strong implication that he should use it on himself.

  3. oh geez my tin foil is all screwed up this a.m.
    posted the *suicide* link on the wrong thread.

  4. I’m trying to find a box for my tinfoil hat at the moment.

    We move to the new house in 2 weeks, and I’ve been procrastinating over packing. I HATE packing. It sucks. I have too much crap. I don’t wanna do it. I don’t WAAANNNNAAAAA. Can I just throw everything I own on the curb and start over?


    • WMCB, I am an expert on moving… I have done it so many times, not enough hands to count them anymore.

      The essential trick is not to pack anything you have not used in more than a year. That include books, kitchen ustensils, medications, clothes and EVERYTHING you got in the basement or the garage. If you follow that rule and sell the left over, you’ll should cut your packing by 20-30% and get enough money for buying back the things you sold and might need again down the road.

      • I am 48 years old, and have moved 28 times. I know how to do it, I just don’t want to! LOL!

        • Got that… I facing another one myself. I have no idea how people who live all their life in one place or two function. I think it’s a DNA thing. Unable or unwilling to stay put. My score 49/18.

    • here’s a chant to help you pack:

      when in doubt throw it OUT!
      when in doubt throw it OUT!

      repeat as needed..

  5. WMCB I just moved and it SUCKS!. I have been moving for two weeks. Unpacking and organizing is worse than packing.

    Now, back on topic, RD comments that her mother is in truth a liberal. I have met so many people from the South that are liberals, but think they are Republicans. I know, I know, this happened in the 60’s and they are just following thier parents beliefs, but it is funny when you quiz them and they learn. EGADS, they are bleeding heart liberals.

    • I even meet people like that around here in liberal country. So many Americans are really unsophisticated about politics. They just watch TV and buy into popular narratives.

      • To be fair, I also know plenty of thoughtless unquestioning unsophisticated liberals. I’m a big fan of critical thinking.

    • Okay, I have to go shower and go out to get some boxes. I wish my sisters could come down and help like last time (they are 1000 miles away from me now). Because very loud music and tequila and sisters makes it ever so much more palatable – despite the fact that one eventually finds the spatulas in a box with the DVD’s, and a bra in the crockpot.

      Small price, I say.

      • One time I thrust a favorite homemade batik in with a bottle of bleach…ugh.

        (Yes it did leak)

      • WMCB, I hope you are not leaving Central Texas!

        • Nope, just moving across town. Hubby and I have had 2 grown kids plus a grandbaby move back in with us in the past year and needed more space for the sanity of all.

  6. Let’s see what CNBC etc have to say about Kellerman being suddenly POOF!

    Yesterday I was watching CNBC and saw Howard Dean and what transpired made me what to scream…

    The Financial Filter: How CNBC Handles Howard Dean vs. Susan Boyle


  7. Back on topic:

    Buh . . . buh . . . but Tea Parties are GOP astroturf!!

    Only tools of the Republican party go to Tea Parties!

    We shouldn’t associate with anyone who isn’t a liberal former Democrat pure-bred PUMA cuz we might catch cooties from them!!!

    (Koresh forbid we actually engage in any honest discussions with anyone who doesn’t already agree with us – our ideological beliefs are so weak they will crumble in the face of their superior intellects)

    • Wait a minute, myiq. Are you a GOP infiltrator?

    • Don’t worry myiq.

      Republicans are swell as long as they hate Obama. At least that’s the vibe I get here sometimes.

      • IMHO~ after this past year democrats have lost any moral high ground they had to continue to indulge in republican bashing.

      • Nah. They are just not teh evuhl. A lot of them are simply regular working stiffs who want some solutions, and would like to talk about what those solutions might be.

      • If you’re getting that vibe from any of the writers at TC, your radar is screwy.

        • BB

          It’s not. Believe me, it’s not. I’ve just avoided to make a big deal out of any such post or any comment.

          Who get’s a worse treatment here? People like BTD who defended Hillary during and after the primaries but voted for Obama or People on the Right who made a living (and still do) trashing the Clintons and everything we Liberal stand for?


          • MABlue, you don’t seem to distinguish between republican voters and the GOP power structure. They are not the same thing.

            By that reasoning, every conservative in the country has the right to associate you with Obama, Pelosi, bloviating Keith O and race-baiting Garafalo, and pronounce every liberal in the country a moron, liar, cheater, and idiot.

            See how that works when you make sweeping assumptions about people?

          • I’d have to say BTD but only because we don’t spend much time talking about Richard Mellon Scaife or David Brock (who is now on “our” side)

          • Take a look at this thread-a number of us were saying they like BTD. use ctrl-F to find BTD.



            DancingOpossum, on April 7th, 2009 at 10:24 am Said:


            Talk Left is still worth reading if you stay FAR FAR away from Jeralyn’s posts. BTD never drank the Kool-Aid and was always, in his own words “at best a tepid supporter” of BO. He has been on his case from day one. Several PUMAs comment at his posts and there’s no flaming as long as it’s civil.

            Kat5, on April 7th, 2009 at 1:47 pm Said:

            I’ve made my peace with BTD. He concentrates on the substantive stuff, while Jeralyn tap dances through hre own strange universe. Recently, BTD has been very critical of O moves (and non-moves).

          • I don’t know. I haven’t thought about BTD for months. I have to say I was disappointed in his reasons for supporting Obama. It seemed a bit facile and self- fulfilling but I can remember offering him a cross posting spot here when he was suffering through Jeralyn’s Obot worship. Apparently, we weren’t to be taken seriously by the likes of BTD.
            Obama is the POTUS whether we like it or not. Mostly not. But only because everything we said about him has proven to be true. Right now, I have to forget about Obama. He’s owned by the people who paid for his campaign and he’s not going to change. Unless we can get Congress to pit pressure on him. That’s where I’m pinnin my hopes.
            But there are still stupid Obote out there. I don’t consider BTD one of them. Seems to me that he and Jane Hamsher and others should be reaching out to us. They haven’t.
            OTOH, there are plenty of Republicans and fence straddlers who need to hear a different message than one of “those damn liberals are going to raise my taxes”. That’s where we come in and we’d better hurry. Are you with us?

          • Seriously? Tell us what you’re talking about or shut up about it. I’m getting sick of generalized accusations that melt away at direct confrontation.

            I’m not going to fall into the trap of defending myself against baseless attacks. But, I’m NOT going to sit here and read slams against this site that aren’t backed up by a single quote or example.

            I’m leaving your comment her so you can see this warning: The next time it happens it’s going in the spam filter. Get that? Give us citations or stop insulting us.

          • MABlue,

            You’ve been invited to post at The Confluence. If you have concerns, then put them in to a post and respond to comments. You have been doing a lot of hinting around lately without coming out and saying what you mean.

            Some of us have a very long history with BTD, including me. We laugh at him in a good-natured way. Sure he “defended” Hillary, but he backed Obama all the way in the primaries. He attacked puma repeatedly . He isn’t in any position to now be complaining about Obama. He already knew what Obama was and supported him anyway.

            Furthermore, BTD is not a liberal. He is center right. He doesn’t even support social security or univeral health care.

            I repeat, if you have something to say, say it and quit beating around the bush. Write a post and then face the music.

          • I don’t generally speak up about these things, but I agree with those who say — write a post already and face the music. Enough with coming to TC and constantly dropping these comments that this blog is so terribly disappointing to you.

            It seems that TC is graciously offering you a platform. Why not use it instead of checking in periodically to scold us?

          • BTD did just as much trashing of the PUMA position during the primaries. He went so far as to call the people here irrelevant.

            If you treat other people’s position with scorn, then you should be prepared to have your position treated in a similar fashion. Particularly, when the position you held blows up in your face. BTD voted for Obama. He did so because it was the easy way out. It was easier to back the media based candidate even if you had problems with many of his positions or behaviors. It was easier to convince himself that all the candidates were interchangeable, even when they weren’t(even when others tried to point out they weren’t). BTD doesn’t get to whine about buyer’s remorse. He bought the product. He should have picked up a warranty or actually listened to those of us who cautioned him about the return policy.

      • Considering that many members of my family are Republicans I have to say that I don’t consider it a crime to belong to the GOP.

        I also have a son that’s an Obot.

        But just because I know that they are all good-hearted, intelligent people doesn’t mean I agree with them.

      • MABlue said: “Republicans are swell as long as they hate Obama. At least that’s the vibe I get here sometimes.”

        That’s a loaded comment. Why is it that MABlue’s comments always seem “off”, as if he/she is angry at The Confluence?

        In my opinion, some Republicans are perfectly swell–I’ve met many who are–just not all, particularly those fundie types.

        • Most Republicans in the Northeast are fine.

          (OK that’s my “arrogant” East Coast “elite” bias”)

          • well I live in the south with some really nice folks who happen to be republican…… and BTW many of those republican folks were just as sick and tired of Bush as I was…. and many of them were ready willing and able to vote for Hillary.

            Broad brush strokes often splatter the painter as well.

      • Personallyy my vibe is that after seeing how little the labels matter, I no longer care if you call yourself a cheese sandwich. I wish people weren’t so invested in introducing themselves as “an X.”

        The Republican party had been latched onto by the five billionaires who run the planet forty-some-odd years ago, and they got sucked dry. Were their core valuers really those of the Republican party? Who knows — they became that the way that the infection from a mosquito leaks into its host.

        Well, they drained the host until it’s a dried-out husk of its former self, and they found another one. They killed its auxiliary support system (the Clintons) in order to make it completely dependent on them instead, and have latched on. The feeding cycle has begun. In five years, the Democrats will be the party of the rich and privileged. Who gives a damn what the label is? It’s just the same five billionaires rebranding themselves. The REAL power boundaries in this country are between rich and poor; the party labels have ABSOLUTELY ZERO to do with that. ZERO.

        Call yourself a Democrat. Call yourself a disaffected (insert name here). Call yourself a Republican. Call yourself a “socially liberal Republican.” Call yourself a goddamned hot fudge sundae. I DON’T CARE. Action items, agreed-upon activities and goals. That is ALL THAT MATTERS. I don’t CARE what’s written on the box, what’s INSIDE?

    • myiq, it always boggles my mind that liberals who will advocate the wisdom of talking to our enemies, and the value of diplomacy, and will wax eloquent on the fact that one has to TALK honestly even with countries we disagree with, and understand where they are coming from….. suddenly have a conniption fit over the idea that one could have a conversation with everyday republicans that are one’s own neighbors, and love this country as well as you do.

      Um, if you can’t even do that with your coworker, it’s the height of hubris to think you can do it with the big bad world.

      • That is what is confusing me. What is wrong with talking to people, listening to what they have to say? I know what my values are, and talking to someone with different ideas isn’t going to suddenly warp my values. Maybe the people who worry about that lack a clear sense of self or something.

        • Either that, or they are terribly “concerned” that the rest of us are mindless morons who can’t think for ourselves, and take it upon themselves to “protect” us poor dears from being led astray.

          Which is really, really insulting on a fundamental level.

          • Yes, I agree. It’s very insulting.

          • Dekurking to say that I totally agree. The tone of that arguement really has been bugging me.

          • It’s ego and dogmatism, and it doesn’t matter whether it comes from the Left or Right–it’s still narrow and rigid. True strength is not reactive, because it is not threatened. You can fight for what you believe in without destroying the other. MLK Jr., Ghandi et. al.

            MABlue: I have commented on this before–last time with some force–because there is an insistence on your point of view that is judgmental. You are not just stating your opinion, but condemning the rest of us for not sharing your view of what The Confluence is or should be or something. Last time I said, this is RD’s blog–if she has a problem with it, she has the perogative to decide, not you. You keep poking at us, and you are going to get a response.

            Not to say I do not appreciate many of your comments and contributions. Why do we all have to be a liberal as you define it? And no, I will not join you in condemning all Republicans. That boat sailed last year. See Jeanine Garafalo for a recent example of inanity on both sides.

        • I heard enough filth out of the mouths of self-described “liberals” this past year that I’m prepared to hear wisdom out of the mouth of a self-described “conservative.” Those old labels proved themselves garbage, and I no longer turn my ears on or off depending on who calls themselves what. I heard enough good little lib-ruhls spewing the filthy language of hate, so just because you use that word to define yourself, you can no longer expect a free pass from me. And if you don’t, you no longer draw the “go directly to jail” card.

      • excellent point WMCB. Liberals are supposed to stand for openness and tolerance–at least until you mention Sarah Palin.

    • so are you planning on chatising the GOP folok lurking that aren’t participating in the conversation too or are you just chatising the folks from the liberal side of the aisle?

      I’m going to say this one more time, there is nothing wrong with being afraid of the unfamiliar. It’s normal. Furthermore,I suspect that being branded ” Godless commie, hippie liberals” may have been just as painful as, I don’t know being branded an “uneducated Appalachian racist.” How many people who called you an uneducated racist are you having enlightened discussions with? While I have no problem with engaging in dialogue with people from all walks of life, I have no intention of doing so at a rally where I need to compete with a person with a megaphone hollering “no more taxes”(The TEA acronym actually stands for TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY.) I prefer to engage folks in everyday life rather than at sokme random event anyway.

      You are certainly entitled to feel differently. ( Isn’t America great?) By the way, belittling my position won’t change it.(If that were the case I would have actually voted for Obama because my position was belittled from that camp quite often)

  8. On the other hand I have always believed that I was very liberal. I have now found that I am more centrist than anything and that I am and always have been a fiscal conservative. I have also always been relatively poor. Looking down was a short peek.

    I have now grown used to being an Independent and a centrist and finding that gets me pretty much attacked from both sides at times.

    I now find that there are good ideas coming from the left and the right. Now understand, I am talking about people on the left and right. Not politicians. They pretty much suck so far as I’m concerned on both sides of the aisle.

    • Well said, KM. I am very liberal, but I have found that many of the Democratic politicians who claim to be liberal are not. They are mostly just out for what they can get. Talking to real people–friends, family, and neighbors–is different.

      • Maybe it’s because my family was split R and D when I was growing up. Maternal side R and paternal side D. I ended up being a D and voted that way most of my life.

        But whenever other D’s held forth on the evil ways of the Rs the hair on the back of my neck would stand up. My Maternal Grandparents were both Republicans to the day they died. Two kinder, gentler more decent folks you would never hope to meet. Raised a family of 8 through the depression with nothing but their two hands and guts. Evil? Wrongheaded?

        On the other side was my Irish Catholic paternal side and they were fairly far left. But also kind, decent people.

        I refuse to allow the media, the political parties, or anyone else make me believe any of those good people are or were bad.

        Misguided? Sometimes. Goddess knows I was when I voted for some pretty useless politicians just cause they had a “D” after their name.

        I’m glad I’m older and wiser now. Well, I’m glad I’m wiser.

        • I had a similar upbringing. My Irish Catholic mother was a Blue Dog Southern democrat and my Scottish protestant dad a moderate republican., but from Andover Mass so by MABlue’s criteria, he was acceptable. They saw eye to eye politically more often than not., and were also good, decent people. Because of coming of age during a time of political turbulance, I am more liberal than either on social issues, but not too far off on fiscal matters. (In other words, if we must spend money, let’s do it to benefit the populace).

    • I’m very liberal still, and very feminist. It’s just that I’m finding out that the other people who wore that label weren’t.

      I consider liberalism to be about challenging the power of the corporate media and not believing everything you see on TV. I consider feminism to be about supporting other women, period. Lately, the brand for those two words has become “protest corruption because my side didn’t do it first” and “rape is fine as long as it keeps women I don’t like in line.”

      That’s what sickens me, and that’s what keeps me from reacting the way I used to to those words. So Joe or Jane Voter calls themselves a liberal or conservative. Um, excuse me, but so what?

  9. Back before the election we had some conservative GOP types commenting here fairly often – some of them kept calling Obama a socialist.

    I kept telling them that if I believed that I was MORE inclined to vote for him, not less.

    • I wouldn’t be more inclined, but that’s me. I am no fan of socialism, because I see clearly its downside. On the other hand, I see the downside of unrestrained capitalism, too.

      My biggest beef with idealogues on either the right or the left is the seeming insistence that “their way” would produce all good, with virtually no bad attached. It’s bullshit, IMO. Red pony, Blue pony, doesn’t matter, it’s still selling a pony – when the truth is governing is hard, and complicated, and EVERY decision in life or politics is a trade-off on some level. My approach is “Look for what the trade-off is, then make a reasoned decision as to whether it’s worth the upside.”

      Opinions are going to vary on what upside is worth what downside. And that’s fine – I can have a conversation with people who want to argue that.

    • Exactly….they were giving Barry too much credit lol!

    • I told them I didn’t recognize him from the meetings…

  10. To

    WMCB, on April 22nd, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I have serious problems with those who keep sending bozos like James Inhoffe to the Senate
    who voted for Tom Coburn after everything that came out
    who put Tom Delay in a position of leadership
    who admire Ann Coulter
    who pledge allegiance to Rush Limbaugh
    who replace Thurgood Marshall with Clarence Thomas

    I could keep going until Kingdom comes.

    How many Liberals seriously care about whatever Garofalo has to say?

    • Well now, since most of my Republican relatives are residents of Oklahoma you must have serious problems with my family.

    • I have serious problems with those who keep sending bozos like Nancy Pelosi to the Senate

      who voted for Barack Obama after everything that came out
      who put Rahm Emanuel in a position of leadership
      who admire misogynist Keith Olberman
      who pledge allegiance to Markos Moulitsas

      See how that works? Broad brushes get you covered in shit-paint, too.

      • Amen. I have serious problems with John F. Kerry. Does that make me a right wing nut? No. It makes me someone with a brain and the ability to use it.

      • The current crop of Republicans, especially the leadership and people who follow them religiously is vile, no matter how much you try to downplay it.

        I dislike KO and Kos at least as much as you do, so yoiu’re not gonna get an argument about me on that one.
        Obama may not be who we wanted but are you gonna compare him to Cheney?
        Republicans gave us Bush twice and vilified us for 8 years.
        Rahm Emanuel vs Karl Rove?

        I have to say you put me in a tough spot because to defend people I absolutely do not like.

        • “Obama may not be who we wanted but are you gonna compare him to Cheney?”

          Maybe…. What’s going on in his secret meetings with Bankers? Why prioritize their issues in a way so similar to Cheney prioritizing the concerns of Energy CEOs?

          I’m all for Obama if he can shove through something real for us on Health Care. And you’re never going to hear me refer to him with cute nicknames.

          But, when he (or his stand-ins) aren’t standing up for us, I’m going to yell just as loudly as my parents did when LBJ escalated the Viet Nam war after running as the peace candidate.

          If that = Republican to you, I can’t change that. But, it doesn’t mean that at all to me.

        • You’re still making sweeping generalizations.

          Nobody here is defending the current GOP leadership, but we are resisting your attempts to caricature all Republicans as stupid and/or evil.

          Neither party has a monopoly on virtue or vice

        • MaBlue, I really don’t think you see the blindness here. You reserve to yourself the right to not be associated with the vilest elements of your party, but will not allow ordinary republican voters that same right.

          And yes, I think Obama is just as bad as Cheney. Torture? FISA? Election fraud? Backroom deals with financiers/oil barons? Sound familiar?

          • Obama is not as bad as Cheney. Gimme a break.

            Again you put me in a position of defending Obama but I don’t have the energy. He is simply not as bad as that evil creature Dick Cheney.

        • But you still aren’t providing examples of posters or regular commenters “downplaying” the vileness Republican leadership, unless you are equating downplaying with a lack of focus on the republican leadership.

          I see a lot of the commenters and posters have been explaining their disagreements with BTD, but I think one thing that BTD and the posters on this site have in common is that they recognize that, right now at least, the Republican leadership is pretty irrelevant at the moment as far as national politics are concerned, and that a better use of one’s time is to focus on the Democratic leadership and put pressure on them to step it up.

          If you personally only like websites that have a quota on “the Republican leadership is evil” posts, I know there are many out there you can read. But just because this site does not focus on having such posts doesn’t mean they are fans of the Republican leadership. At least that’s not the impression I have ever gotten from this site, and I read it often.

        • Why would we compare Obama to Cheney? One is President, the other was vice president. Will I compare him to George W Bush? Sure. Particularly when it is an accurate portrayal of his policy positions on stuff like FISA, torture, or providing taxpayer income to corporate cronies that feathered his nest at election time.

        • Um, excuse me MABlue, but self-labelled DEMOCRATS were the ones who spent last year slipping me e-mails about lighting my c*nt on fire because I was a r*cist b*tch.

          Okay, so whose side am I supposed to be on again … ?

          • Janis

            I kinda agree with you in a broader sense: We just don’t put the garbage under the carpet and say everything is fine.

            I still haven’t made piece with the people who viciously attacked us, Hillary supporters during the primaries. For example I still can’t go on dkos.

            In the same sense, I don’t think Republiocans are suddenly fine just because I’m unhappy about some of the things the current administration does.

          • You’re painting with that broad brush again.

            Which Republicans are you talking about?

            Bush, Cheney and Delay, or my relatives?

            And please provide citations to where we said Republicans were fine because we’re unhappy with Obama.

          • You “kinda agree with me” in a “broader sense” that I should be a little annoyed at people saying that to me? Oh, thanks for your generosity.

            I’m not saying “Republicans” are fine. I’m saying that I DON’T CARE what they call themselves. You aren’t just missing the point, you’re actively avoiding it.

            The labels mean NOTHING. Ignore them. Listen to the words coming out of people’s mouths. If you are still talking about “Republicans,” “Democrats,” “conservatives,” or “liberals” as if those words will give you the slightest indication of anything useful about that person, you are rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

        • I would absolutely compare Axelrod to Rove. That’s why we often call him Axelrove. They used voter manipulation, suppression and intimidation–how is that different from Rove? They used corporate funds to astroturf in the name of a grass roots movement, overtook caucus sites, mastered the art of propaganda to bamboozle the public–how is any of it different? Oh, I know, because they are violating civil rights (the means) to help the People (the end) right? I call b.s. on that.

        • You don’t have to Like someone to defend them, you just have to believe they have a right to exist and to have their own opinion and to do what they want so long as they don’t hurt anyone.

          I wasn’t defending Sarah Palin from sexist attacks because I’m such a huge fan of her policies (although they were far less offensive than they were widely reputed to be). I did it because she was being attacked on unfair grounds. Generalizations about all republicans being racist selfish idiots are similarly unfair. I’m queer a good portion of socially conservative folks think I’m less than human. They have the right to think that. They just don’t have any right to attack me on that basis.

      • Sorry to take this slightly OT but IMO, the same folks who gave us Bush gave us Obama. Republicans and Independents and first time voters helped Obama win. If the Republicans had actually come out and supported their candidate we wouldn’t have the Big Zero in office.

    • I’m not a poster or a regular commenter, but I am a liberal in MA and don’t recollect the posters or regular commenters on this site writing anything approving of Tom Coburn, Tom Delay, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, or Clarence Thomas.

      Before moving on to your Kingdom, could you provide some links showing where such approval for those individuals was demonstrated?

    • I care about the media having some sense of proportion and about returning some civility to the public discourse. If you don’t like that, deal with it.

      • I would pay for a civil discourse.

        However civil discourse is not a one-way street. Moreover, just like Joseph Cannon wrote about a couple of people who need to apologize from the primaries, I think there are also some of our opponents who at least need to show us that they are ready for a serious dialogue.

        I don’t think our common denominator should only be the discontent about some of the policies of the current administration.

        • Don’t let exercising care (because you are afraid they will demonize you and your positions as they have done in the past) interfere with progressing though MABlue.

          Yes, in the past there have been many who have been scornful of “liberals”. If we keep living in the past (when we were called names)though we can’t move forward.

          One side of our ideology has embraced the name calling and jettisoned principles like fairness and tolerance. We aren’t that half. We move forward in hopes that some of our conservative brethern will join us in calling for an end to the 30 second soundbite and uncivil discourse.

    • So that makes them ALL bad???

      Garofalo is a TOOL and gives Liberals, Progressives, and FAUXgressives even, a bad name…

    • You just completely contradicted yourself. You conflate ALL Republicans with those examples above, but no liberals are associated with Garafalo? Do you see how biased that is?

  11. Dammit!!!

    There are so many comments I’d like to reply to but the “Reply” function is disabled.

  12. MABlue said 10.15am

    >i>People on the Right who made a living (and still do) trashing the Clintons and everything we Liberal stand for?

    Who are these mysterious people who get good treatment from TC????

    • There have been a couple of “approving” links to such sites here.

      I think a couple of days ago, a regular commenter actually liked to the the American Spectator here. Yikes!!!

      • I linked to the National Enquirer before – they were reporting that John Edwards had been caught with his hand in the nookie jar.

        They were correct.

        • My Dad found a way to control his migraine headaches in the National Enquirer in 1974 — he saw a little headline on the cover while he was standing in line at the grocery store and bought the issue on the off chance it would work.

          It did.

      • Not everyone is sophisticated enough to recognize the slant of every publication. I didn’t see that link, but if you’re suggesting we have to police every single comment for political correctness, then you do it. We do a lot of work here and we do it gratis. Lately we’ve been having a lot of folks telling us what to do, how to feel, and what and how to think.

        The Confluence was started to be a *confluence* not a delta, as RD wrote recently. We have tried to be open to people who are new to politics, who are feeling their way, as well as people who are politically sophisticated. As RD says, many people can be educated. We want to be inclusive rather than exclusive.

        I think our history of rooting out trolls of the left and right in the past year shows that we are anyone’s patsies or fools.

      • (nodding) We’ve had authors link and discuss articles from a wide range of websites. I’m not sure what your point is. I would think that the place to discuss your concerns would be either on that post (where presumably the author would be around to reply) or on an Open Thread with links to the post in question.

        You still aren’t giving us citations (links) or any specific complaint. Are you seriously saying that there is no context where it’s appropriate to link to conservative sites?

        • KB:

          Conservative site in general are not the problem.

          However, some of them had such a terrible, horrible history with us that it’s hard for me to embrace them even when they agree with me.

          That’s why I was so annoyed during the primaries to see “Liberals” who supported Obama suddenly embrace the likes of Andrew Sullivan just because he had horrible things to say about Hillary Clinton. It seemed like just hating Hillary was enough for them.

          • There is a qualitative difference between linking to a news report (however badly slanted) and an opinion piece.

            I used to reflexively reject anything associated with FOX News, but during the primaries they gave Hilary the fairest coverage.

            If you want to dispute the facts that are presented then do so, but ad hominem arguments are a logical fallacy.

          • Well then why didn’t you argue it on the merits in the post where the link occurred at the time, rather than wait until now and then try to generalize regarding the views expressed by the website as a whole?

          • MABlue,

            There’s a logical fallacy deep in your comments today but I can’t remember the name.

            NO AUTHOR on this site has ever embraced Andrew Sullivan.

            I’m telling you for the LAST TIME that this must stop. Give us citations or stop making these accusations.

          • Saying, “This person has a valid point on this particular issue” is not the same as “embracing”. However, you seem to insist that it is for the right (though of course not for the left). So if you agree with Keith Olberman on any particular statement he has made, you are “embracing” him, and thus to be viewed as a supporter of misogyny? That’s ridiculous! But you persist in insisting on those terms (for THEM, not for YOU.)

            Why must EVERYTHING always be viewed in those polarizing terms? Why must voters and citizens be categorized and shoved into one box or the other, and if they don’t fit, well, lop off an arm or two and ignore that leg hanging out?

      • Since you are not providing examples, I can only guess that you may be referring to a link I made to “The American Prospect.” Not “The American Spectator.”

        This conversation is sounding eerily familiar. Please MABlue, do be specific. You are a regular and important voice here. People do want to be fair in responding to you.

      • You get so freaked out by these “links.” Why are you so threatened? It is not common, and if one of those sources are linked, it is almost always because it is relevant to the discussion. If you don’t want to support it, don’t use the link–it’s that simple.

  13. Terrific post RD

    There’s the old saying ” a conservative is a liberal. who got mugged” But it can also be said that ” a liberal is a conservative who got sick or lost a job”

  14. “I suspect that there are a lot more people out there who in the next couple of years are going to discover their inner liberal.”

    Hmmm, I see the exact opposite happening. I see a backlash against liberalism brewing. It worries me. But there are some good conservative principles, so perhaps we’ll wind the best the two views have to offer? That would be great, a united population that gets together to hold their government accountable.

    I think so much is lost because people hide behind labels. I don’t think Bush was an example of conservatism and I sure don’t think Obama is a liberal, but that’s the message people take away.

    • yttik,
      Anything is possible but, if Liberals can find a voice and speak up ( and deliver universal health care for example) for working people we could come out of this VERY strong.

    • I actually agree with you. The Democrats in charge are being packaged as liberals. If their policy positions and plans do not succeed in putting people back to work and putting us on the “right track”, I suspect that the pendulum will swing back to the GOP. People, in particular, see rampant spending and are not going to be happy if they don’t see value in giving the money to the government to improve their lives. The GOP has been successful in exploiting this(see TEA parties).

    • I agree. I think the likes of Gingrich et. al. are lusting for the opportunity to pounce on BO’s bumbling attempts to lead. They will use his inability to take a principled stand, even if it is unpopular, and drive it through until it get results that people can experience in their own lives, and then support–like the examples re: FDR above. Obama is waffling all over the place, and because of that, there is more likelihood that little will be accomplished, except driving up the deficit. That will leave an opening for a pendulum swing to the other extreme in 2010 and/or 2012. Sigh, can we have Hillary back now? The situation just cries out for a strong, clear leader.

    • That’s what I fear too. A backlash.

    • I agree. It could work out that way. Or we could end up with a populace that is convinced that Obama is doing what the Liberals want.

  15. KB, dk, myiq.

    Maybe I need to re-read what I’m writing because you have all in part misunderstood what I wrote. I think I get my analogies all wrong today because you are reacting to things I’m citing as bad example to follow.

    • Write it all down in a short essay and then post it on the front page.

    • You also had the bad timing to show up today saying things similar to stuff being said about us elsewhere.

      • I don’t think I visit any site that trashes TC because I’m still considering myself a Conflucian.

        I have been here pretty much since day one when the most exciting post were the “Hillary Clinton Cocktails”.

      • I don’t know where my first response went.

        I don’t visit ANY blog that trashes The Confluence because I still consider myself a Conflucian. I was here pretty much from the start and I have a soft spot for the place.

        Sometimes I just wonder what’s going on.

  16. One think I learned last year was that for too many years the voters of this country have been caught in the Partisan Trap

    Party labels are used to divide and conquer us.


    • Wasn’t that an argument for standing up for liberal principles, and not just accepting party labels?

      • Yes it was.

        Are you implying I am not standing up for liberal principles?

        • I didn’t imply anything. But, I don’t understand just what that reference was supposed to illustrate.

          • It was supposed to illustrate that party labels are used to divide and conquer us.

            When we shun, caricature and/or mock anyone with the wrong lbael it makes discussion impossible.

          • That’s not what I got from the post, but that’s just me. I thought it was about standing up for what you believe in, regardless of what labels are applied.

          • Am I not standing up for what I believe in?

          • Why do you keep trying to put words in my mouth, myiq? Are you standing up for what you believe in? Only you can answer that, and only you asked it.

          • I’m trying to figure out what you mean when you keep referring to standing up for principles as if I’m not doing that.

  17. KB:

    I think you too need to carefully read what I’m writing:

    That’s why I was so annoyed during the primaries to see “Liberals” who supported Obama suddenly embrace the likes of Andrew Sullivan just because he had horrible things to say about Hillary Clinton. It seemed like just hating Hillary was enough for them.

    Here is your response:

    NO AUTHOR on this site has ever embraced Andrew Sullivan.

    I’m telling you for the LAST TIME that this must stop. Give us citations or stop making these accusations

    No author supported Obama during the primaries, so what are you screaming at me and giving me ultimata for?

  18. Liberalism is the “opiate” of the people.

  19. I feel completely played by both parties….whatever the fine sounding rhetoric, you wind up with Barry on one hand and the GOP will wind up with Jeb or Petraeus on the other….IMO they will shove Palin to the side after she brings the crowd. While I don’t agree with Palin on social issues, she at least follows the rule of law….The powers that be demand a criminal be on top of the ticket they install. Be it Bush or Barry, the party is irrelevant at this point….but yes, I do think one of Barry’s jobs is to discredit the liberal brand and revamp the post Bush 2 GOP…. and he’s doing a heck of a job!

  20. I just spent over an hour downloading a gigantic file. Leaned over to run it and hit the wrong key: Poof! it was gone. Just that fast. Now I’ve got to spend another whole hour downloading it again.

    (This has been an unsolicited complaint)

  21. “Begrudgery”!

    What a perfect word. I am so stealing that!

  22. I spend a lot of time reading stuff on winger blogs. One thing that is very obvious is that most of them don’t have a clue what liberals believe – they see us as caricatures

    But even though I don’t agree with their conclusions on issues their motives and goals are similar to ours.

    They don’t advocate corruption, greed or bigotry.

    • But even though I don’t agree with their conclusions on issues their motives and goals are similar to ours.


      Don’t we actually believe in opposite things? I’m not talking about ethics and virtues but about government policies.

      • I’m talking about ethics and virtues.

        That’s what’s called “common ground”

        • The difference between us and them IS about government policies.

          Ethics and virtues are… ethics and virtues. Every decent human being stands for these. That’s (or that should be) the common ground of the human race.

          In politics that should be a given.

          What are you doing with a virtuous Republican who destroys Unions, reduces the size of government “until he can drown it in a bathtub”, gives us free market?

          • I’m trying to convert him to liberalism based on our shared values.

            What are you suggesting I do with him?

          • The idea is to work toward convincing them that unions aren’t evil and that government can be a positive. The idea is to find common ground and discuss your differences(in some cases the difference may be more negliglible then you first thought).

            Yes, you will not convince everyone. You only need to convince a margin of them though to effect change.

            Most people are not black and white in terms of ideology. Think of it this way, the majority oppose abortion. That being said, the number of people who would outlaw it goes down significantly when the person was a victim of rape or incest. It goes down even further when the life of the mother would be forfeit to continue a pregnancy. It might go down even more when you start classifying birth control as abortion. The trick is to narrow down the differences.

            Are there going to be areas we disagree? Sure. Then again, liberals often have trouble agreeing on solutions(Just look at our primary if you want to see a working example of that). Just because we don’t agree on solutions doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to find common ground, not when it means a stalemate and the country continues in status quo.

            I understand why it is difficult to embrace differences. It’s much easier to talk to people who are similar. That being said, the country can not move forward until we bring back respecting and discussing our differences instead of mocking and belittling them. By engaging people, we put a face on liberalism. It isn’t as easy to call a 12 year veteran, mother of 4, a “a Godless baby killing commie hippie” as it is to poke at some faceless person you’ve created piecemeal out of positions and 30 second soundbites.

          • MABlue: What are you doing with a virtuous Republican who destroys Unions, reduces the size of government “until he can drown it in a bathtub”, gives us free market?

            You tend to caricature and generalize ALL Republicans in the same way right wingers caricature “liberals.” Is there no common ground in your view? No people that overlap? That’s a very absolutist p.o.v.

          • My dad is a hardcore conservative, but decades of arguing with me (among others) seem to have made an impact- he supports universal health care (on financial as well as moral grounds), and he is mostly willing to live and let live with “the queers.” It was appealing to his sense of fairness that did it.

        • Myiq @ 12:02

          But he’s ethical and virtuous. There’s your common ground only he’s shredding what you believe in.

          I suggest you ferociously combat him on the political arena.

          • Should I do this by mocking, jeering and misrepresenting his beliefs? Or should I engage him in debate?

            Should I listen to him, try to understand him, and direct my arguments to him as effectively as possible, or should I just call him names?

            Should I have faith that my beliefs will prevail in the marketplace of ideas or should I seek a monopoly??

          • There may come a point and time when there will be let the better argument win moment.

            That being said, we have to get past the 30 second sound bites and caricatures to create a fair environment for that moment.

            The thought is that if we do not dismiss what they say and mock them for their beliefs, they will respond in kind.

            Yeah I know, that theory hasn’t panned out thus far. I reserve the right to continue to try though until we achieve success. It’s better to try and fail with principles intact(principles such as respect and tolerance) Then again, that’s where the liberal schism was this time around. There were those of us that believed we were taking a principled stand by not voting for the guy who cheated to achieve a win and those who felt it was more important to win at any cost.

        • To

          cwaltz, on April 22nd, 2009 at 12:28 pm

          I see that you’ve made a similar argument before.

          You seriously think there hasn’t been discussions about all these differences? Nobody say we shouldn’t talk to or listen to people who disagree with us. We do it all the time even in our families and try to persuade those who are persuadable.

          However, if the opposition (and yes there’s always one) does something silly, we can and I will mock them mercilessly.

          • However, if the opposition (and yes there’s always one) does something silly, we can and I will mock them mercilessly.

            I don’t see anyone saying that shouldn’t be done. What we are saying is to make a distinction between politicians/megaphones and the People. They are not the same thing. It’s fine to mock some of the blowhards spouting crap at the teaparties. What’s not fine is to imply anyone who went is a racist fundie mouthbreather who deserves to be caricatured and mocked.

            One of the things I loved most about Hillary and Bill is that they got that, better than any candidates in my lifetime. They ripped into the GOP, and their policies, nonstop. But I never, not once, heard either of them talk down to or even appear to sneer at The People, right or left. Ever.

          • Too many times “doing something silly” means they didn’t agree with my position.

            and YES, I seriously believe that the majority of the country has not engaged in a serious discussion on policy differences. Most of them rely on Hannity or OReilly to define “liberalism” or Olbermann or Maddow to tell them what “conservatives” think. Do you honestly believe they do an adequate job representing the two sides(I think they caricaturize the constituency they disagree with)?

          • I speak mostly about the Republican party as institution and people who adhere to its principles.

            For reasons I can get into, these guys just make me sick. Hey Obots make me sick too.

            My main problem really with people who have the illusion that Republicans are suddenly our friends just because they too are unhappy with the current administration. But they will be unhappy with ANY Dem administration.

            So I think we have to take a deep breath before embracing them.

          • And what if “your side” does something “silly?” Then you turn a blind eye?

            The Republicans stole an election. So did the Democrats. And it was the same five rich assholes pulling the strings both times, I have NO doubt.

            So can we all just drop the “their side” and “my side” horseshit? There is one side — the rich assholes who run things. We’re not in that club. That should be in your rhetorical cross-hairs.

            For want of a better way of putting it, you do not get what the correct definition of “the opposition” is, MABlue.

          • Again, you write about people “embracing” people whom you perceive to be your opposition. Could you please provide actual specifics (i.e. links) to situations where you have seen this on this site.

            I have liberal values, and I have never been concerned about the issue you seem to be describing, so I really wish you could offer some very specific examples of what you mean.

            I still feel (and again, perhaps you are not stating your true position clearly enough) that your real problem is that this site does not devote sufficient time, in your opinion, to mocking the Republican leadership and those who voted for them. If that’s the case, you should just say that. Where I think you go wrong is in equating that lack of emphasis with an embrace of Republican misdeeds. Just saying that one equals the other makes no sense. If you have specific examples that you think proves it in this case, I think you need to cite them with links.

    • I just noticed that reading the comments on John Ziegler’s blog. It freaked me out. It was like being invisible and hearing what people really think of you. Not flattering. And only true enough to sting.

      • Yeah, you read a sentence that starts “Liberals believe . . .” and then it talks about something no liberal I know believes.

  23. Myiq, I asked what was the point of your reference because I wanted to know what the point of your reference was. Asked and answered. Whatever you imagine my motives to be, is just that. Your imagination.

    • I wasn’t imagining anything, I was asking what your point of reference was.

      • Shall we really go around again on this? I thought the post was about standing up for one’s principles. You seemed to be suggesting something else. Doe si doe.

  24. [The ‘everyone else’ category contain a lot of people, both educated and uneducated, union and professional, Democrat and Republican. That everyone else is the new working class and it contains all of the people who do not pull down million dollar bonuses each year or have their wealth socked away in offshore bank accounts. That everyone else are all equally vulnerable to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and we are starting to figure it out and cast our attention up instead of down in the food chain.]

    I’m hoping the tea parties are more about the “everyone else” category. I did not pay close attention to the tea party events, but what did appeal to me was this notion that we are ALL sick of the oligarchical, corporate control in both parties. I am still honing my political compass with all of these revelations and changes, but the reason Hillary really appealed to me is because she embodies the FDR principles, but she is also pragmatic. A big tent really requires careful balance and a skilled leader.

    Large amounts of money poured into bureaucracies (controlled by people who are vulnerable to special interest forces and self-interest) are not always reliable and need oversight to prevent the Fannie/Freddie kind of debacle we have seen. That is coupled with the Darwinian Republican approach that allowed for such massive deregulation that there was absolutely no accountability. I hope the tea parties are an opportunity for average Americans to say: I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore! and they do not become infiltrated by GOP ratf*ckers who just want to co-opt the theatrical opportunity for their own avaricious ends. Now that I write this, I see that what I am hoping they are is a version of the PUMA message 🙂

    We will see…

  25. cwaltz Im posted a link for you where we discussed Obama v Cheny

    Janis I have a reply for you in the same thread.

    It’s 7pm here. I have to step out but will be back to enjoy the discussion.

    Don’t have too much fun without me.

    • And your reply not only missed the point but actively ducked it. Dude, you can’t pretend you’re not eating a shit sandwich just because you wrote “filet mignon” on it with a Sharpie. And you can’t make me turn aside from a gourmet meal by sticking a label on it that says “puke.”

      You have two choices: you can:

      1) get the point and stop trying to make me and everyone else here pretend that the old “us and them” definitions means anything, or
      2) STFU.

      You remind me of the stories I’ve heard of the old English village split in half by a river between the north bank and the south bank. And everyone on the south bank hated everyone on the north bank because thirteen hundred years ago, they didn’t warn them when the Vikings came. You are bandying worthless labels that mean nothing. If you must do that, do it quietly.

      • You miss my point entirely and I should STFU?

        • If you expect to get me on your “side” or turn me against anyone else based on an outdated, useless label, then you might as well, because I’m not going to be listening.

          • Oh don’t worry. As long as I am on my side, I’m perfectly fine.

            I don’t want you to turn against anybody and I don’t care.

            Only don’t ask me to STFU because I avoid to communicate with people I normally agree with on such terms. I reserve that for people I can’t stand or to those who force me to respond in kind.

            We can disagree but don’t be disagreeable because I can be too, and the discourse will degenerate very fast.

    • I also posted a reply where I linked an article. Cheney’s credibility wasn’t the only one who was questioned by Hillary.

      I also am not of the opinion that I need to embrace an either or position. The world isn’t black or white. I embrace the grey.

      If I believe Dick Cheney and the policy positions he represented were bad for the country, I can still believe that Barack Obama and the policy positions he represents are also bad for the country. Ironically enough, his “democratic” policy position on FISA is the exact same as Cheney’s “republican” position(which is that he can spy on you without your knowledge and keep it a secret indefinitely). This all goes back to what everyone is trying to say, labels are no longer adequate or necessarily relevant. The diametrically opposing viewpoints from the upper echelon are not diametrically opposite at all(the end result is the same regardless of who is running the show with the only difference being bit players.) Both sides at the bottom, regardless of the ideological label they wear (left or right, liberal, or conservative) have been duped into a power structure that no longer exists to provide for the common good of the majority. We either suck it up and accept it or band together to shake that power structure.

      • That’s correct but many of us are unhappy with the Obama administration because we don’t think he’s Liberal enough. In fact many people will settle for less conservative.

        Overall, I’m talking about the prevailing ideology. I never said anyone who ever voted Republican or had a conversation with one is as evil as the leaders of the movement.

        • No, but you said that “people” here at his website are “embracing” the “opposition” and then fail to provide any links to support that statement.

          You have written repeatedly that you think we are all misunderstanding you. May I gently recommend you consider the thought that it’s not that people are misunderstanding you, but that either 1) you are having trouble expressing the point you are trying to make or 2) you are not going to get people to engage with you they way you want them to unless you provide specific examples (i.e. links from the history of this website) as opposed to generalizations.

          I really don’t mean to sound hostile or anything; it really is just a suggestion.

          • dk:

            I wrote a couple of lines about why I don’t like Republicans and you asked me for links about people here who do.

            I think you should consider reading the post properly. I didn’t bother to respond to some of your replies b/c it was pointless.

        • I try to speak directly to problems I see with issues and policy in Obama and his administration. I refute the fact he is a liberal because I see the power structure painting him as a liberal so that they can take advantage of the next pendulum swing(by refuting him as a liberal I seek to interrupt that swing). More and more folks are waking up to the fact that there is a status quo regardless of the political party in power.

  26. Something I took away from this last election year: It’s not that I’m not a Democrat or a liberal, it’s that the Democratic Party isn’t. It is the Party that lost its way. Not me. I still believe in the same principles I believed in before the election. Except that I now realize that the most productive vote I can cast is a vote for the woman candidate, regardless of the letter beside her name.

    • Yep. Anything else really is just deck chairs on the Titanic.

      What I’d like to see is people not putting labels on themselves and then going into places with chips on their shoulders looking for a fight. “I’m a LIBERAL, and I think … ” Who cares? “Well, speaking as a CONSERVATIVE … ”

      “I’m a REPUBLICAN, and I … ” Whatever. “I’ve always been a DEMOCRAT and … ” Yeah, tell me something useful.

      Seriously. I will no longer assume kinship with anyone based on their label, and I will no longer be told who to consider an enemy based on a label, either. What. Do. You. THINK. Labels no longer tell me anything useful.

      That’s a big part of why I’m so big on picking a goal and then parcelling out action items. Do I give a crap whether a co-worker is a vegetarian or not? No, I give a crap whether he or she has moved on the action items that came up in our last meeting. We need that attitude here. Even PUMA is more of a rallying cry than a label that tells me anything useful.

      STFU about what you ARE and tell me what you DO.

    • Hey, here’s an idea. I’m not saying PUMAs should do this, the Confluence should do this, or anyone in particular should do this. I’m just floating it as something that someone else here may be interested in.

      How did Emily’s List get started? Hypothetically speaking :-), how does one start up an organization that funnels money to candidates?

      I would love it if someone somewhere started an organization that says, “We fund women candidates. ALL WOMEN candidates. We don’t care what you call yourself. You can worship Karl Marx or think Margaret Thatcher is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Pro-choice, anti-choice, wev. WE DON’T CARE. We fund women, period.”

      What would be involved in that?

      Again, I don’t give a crap if “PUMAs” do this, I’m not saying that the Confluence should do this, I’m not saying anyone else here “should” agree with me. I’m asking people what would be involved, and saying that if they are so inclined to move in this direction, I’d be up for a “what-if” type of discussion.

      • I don’t know what would be involved, but I love the idea. Keep us posted, because when I have some spare cash, I’d donate…

  27. Riverdaughter said:

    And really, are the proscriptions against gay marriage that important when we’re all struggling to keep our heads above water?

    Well if you consider this a liberal or progressive blog they should be. But if that’s no biggie then neither are feminist issues.

    And those VA benefits…is your Mom a disabled vet or widow of one? If a widow, she shouldn’t really get them. After all, she wasn’t the veteran, right?

    This is a slippery slope you’re getting on and lots of things can be thrown by the wayside, but then you are playing around with the basic ideas we believe(d) in.

    • Fredster, I think you are misunderstanding what RD is saying.

      She is implying that some people who were actively anti-gay marriage when the economy was good may, when the economy gets rough, stop fighting against gay marriage because they will realize that in the grand scheme of things it really shouldn’t matter to them that gay people can marry. In other words, they will drop their opposition to gay marriage.

    • Not RD, but I don’t think that’s what she’s saying. I read it as, people tend to stop caring about their opposition to stuff like this when the economy heads south. Not that anyone SHOULD stop caring about it as a social justice thing, but that those of us who do want to see it will stop getting such vehement opposition, because the people who once cast their opposition as a fundamental part of their identity will stop acting like it’ll make the Earth crack in half when they start losing their houses.

      (Oh, as an aside: note the spelling on that. LOSE. LOSE. ONE O, PEOPLE.)

    • I think you are overreacting. You misunderstood her point. Riverdaughter meant that people would stop caring about their opposition to some issues when there are facing poverty. There is really no need to be rude.

  28. dk: I wasn’t sure. I read it twice cuz I thought: “is she really writing that”?

    I know she’s got economic worries of her own (and how ’bout you with all the cuts Bobby is proposing in edu? That’ s another topic I know) and that she was rationalizing on her own.

    If I misread or misunderstood mea culpa. Like I said I read it twice because it kinda caught my attention.

    • Read it again Fredster-it reads exactly like dk says.

      RD is not talking about herself, she is talking about people like her mom, who are liberal on some issues but because of their religious evangelical tendencies, may be against gay marriage. Those kinda people may end up getting off their high horse if the economy tanks.

  29. Late to the show, I know. But liberalism won’t become a religion for Republicans so long as “progressives” are tied to liberalism.

    • gqmartinez!!!! 🙂

    • What is the difference between Liberalism and Progressivism?

      • Courage

        Liberals aren’t afraid to admit who they are and what they believe.

        • Thanks for the reply. They basically are the same.

          • Progressives are ex republicans who can’t get power in their own party, so they come to our side and always want to soft pedal our issues like democracy, misogyny, homophobia, and run dirty campaigns of distraction, empty visuals and soundbytes and personal destruction, basically. Power, not principle.

          • Yes, too many ex-repubs in the “Progressive” movement. All looking for quick power and money.

      • Progressives think that sliding over in bed every time Hubby pushes will pay off someday, instead of leaving you hanging on the edge of the bed ten years later wondering how the hell you ended up all the way over there.

        Or at least it seems that way most times.

        Again: AFAIC, call yourself a cheese sandwich. Wev.

    • It could be liberalism under another name.

    • It depends on who you’re talking about. I don’t believe this country is republican because Americans are rabid ideological conservatives or stupid. I believe it’s because democrats fail to present an alternative, fail to articulate what they believe in, fail to represent their beliefs in practice, and treat people like they have communicable diseases. Our values have support out there, but when we yell about the stupid unwashed masses voting against their
      Interests and then turn around and govern like repubs–how do we expect to build support? No wonder half the country is too cynical and beaten down to vote. We need to represent and stop hair splitting about which bad option is clearly worse if only those rubes weren’t so dumb. The fault isn’t theirs.

  30. “Liberalism may become the next new religion for Republicans too.”

    Or fascism.

  31. This is a wonderful piece, RD,
    says it all…

    Funny but the big issue this time around is going to be the economy–not Vietnam, but one never knows?

    I heard the strangest ad the other day on the radio in a store, RD & Co– it was about getting your drivers license or something if you enlisted and not if you didn’t –it was about service? the site was like sss dot gov — I didn’t go look– but? Apparently you can’t get a student loan anymore without voluntary service?

    My friends son?

    Doesn’t drive — I never knew why but — maybe because he is that age?

    Funny thing how times have changed — we, the pumas are the real liberals. It was the times we lived in? Hmmm.

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