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GOP torn between Evangelical Talibans and Country Club elite

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The Country Club Republicans, whose God is money, are getting fed up with the Evangelical Talibans in their party. First they got embarrassed when Frist and DeLay sucked up to the Evangelicals over Terri Schiavo, and made the Republican Party look like a bunch of intrusive meddlers into the nation’s private family affairs.

The Country Club Republicans don’t mind using the Evangelical Talibans as their “useful idiots” when it comes to election time, like the Dems don’t mind using their own useful idiots, the African-American voting bloc, for election purposes either. But now that the Country Club Republicans find the Evangelical Talibans driving almost the entire agenda of their party, they’re starting to gag.

No wonder some reason-based Republicans went behind the backs of faith-based Frist and DeLay to strike a deal with the Dems to nuke the nuclear option that was going to nuke the filibuster. And one day after Frist lost control of his caucus, fifty Republican House members defied Bush’s promised veto over stem cell research, his latest sop to the Evangelical Talibans. (After all, stem cell research can help millions of suffering Americans. For example, diabetes afflicts 18m Americans, because of the crappy food they eat at McDonalds. Many are children. Diabetes cost us $132 billion in 2002, one of of every 10 bucks spent on healthcare. 213,000 people will die of it this year. Stem cell research might supply a cure. Try telling the nation Jesus doesn’t want to cure diabetes. When religion tries to stop science, science always wins.)

The Country Club Republicans are gagging on another sop to the Evangelical Talibans, the undiplomatic bully John Bolton. His ride to the UN is getting bumpy. Meanwhile, Bush is still pushing for social security “reform” (translation: he wants to destroy it), which nobody is dumb enough to buy.

What are the Country Club Republicans to do? They had a winner in Bush, because he combines a silver spoon in his mouth with an Evangelical Taliban dick up his ass. But his faith-based robber-baron ideological platform has left the Republicans with nothing reason-based to run on, come the next election. Besides, the war issue is turning against them. 57% of Americans think the Iraq War wasn’t worth it, and their numbers will increase.

The only good guy the Republicans have left to run for president is John McCain, but since he’s a donkey in elephant costume, he’ll get creamed by any real donkey. The Democrats, on the other hand, have a full slate of appealing candidates, from Hillary and Edwards on down.

The Country Club Republicans correctly fear they might lose elections for the next 20 years, unless they manage to squeeze the Evangelical Talibans out of their posteriors. But those Talibans are way past the sphincter of the Republican Party, and firmly lodged in their prostates. Watch the Republican Party begin to roam the political wilderness soon. The Evangelical Talibans will go down in history as having screwed the Republican Party into oblivion. Don’t think oblivion can’t happen to the Republicans. Look what happened to the Tories in the U.K. They once ruled under Margaret Thatcher, and now they’re a desperate, powerless minority with no chance of ever ruling again. Just like the Republican Party will be.

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About Adam Ash

  • http://convex.myblogsite.com Convex

    nice imagery! All sadly too true….

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Your posts here are certainly ‘colorful’ in their imagery. I happen to enjoy your posts immensely, because you hit timely topics with a refreshing perspective.

    I’ve been saying for awhile that the Republicans let the evangelical fox run around in the hen house for awhile and now can’t catch him anymore, and they’re losing all their chickens.

    I hope your prediction for the future comes true.

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    Three comments:

    1. Comparing evangelicals to the Taliban weakens the force of your argument. It would be like a conservative calling all leftists “pinko commies.” Neither piece of name-calling is intellectually creditable.

    2. Given the rate of electoral victories that Republicans have been piling up (presidential, senatorial, congressional, gubernatorial), and given that even Democrats are attempting to triangulate the “values vote,” it seems that evangelicals–the best exemplar of values voters–are more mainstream than your Taliban imagery would suggest. You might wish for Republicans to lose, but history isn’t on your side. Nor are demographics. Red states are going to continue picking up congressional districts well into the foreseeable future.

    3. I’d be careful about calling African American voters the “useful idiots” of the Democratic party. It borders on racism. And, once those voters realize that secular Democrats are just using them, they may shift their votes to the Republicans, where their intelligence will not be insulted. If that begins to happen in even minute amounts, chances of Democrats gaining power become even slimmer.

  • Eric Olsen

    AA, or is it Country Club Talibans and Evangelical Elite?

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Adam, you know as well as I do that there are many facets to evangelicism that are oppressive to those who do not adhere to the faith. Trying to rewrite historical documents, creationism in the public school system, attempts to intrude on a woman’s decisions regarding her own body are just some of the ways they seek to impose their values upon others. So while they might not be as oppressive as the Taliban, no firing squads, oppression is still oppression and there are millions of Americans who would agree with your comparison.

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    George:
    1. Hey, I’m saying the Dem leaders treat the African-American vote as their “useful idiots” (because they don’t give much in return for their vote); I’m NOT saying African-Americans are. In fact, I think African-Americans might think about starting a third party; they’d rule if they had the swing vote between the Republicans and the Dems. They could keep both parties honest.
    2. Listen, since Conservatives have turned Liberal into a dirty word, I see nothing wrong in attaching Taliban to Evangelical — especially to separate the Evangelicals who want to oppress us with their gay-hating oppression from those Evangelicals who don’t.

  • http://www.randem.net/ Randem

    Excellent points, Adam, and all the easier to read when peppered with your colorful humor.

    However, I’m driven to comment not because of your blog post, but because of your comments on the villification of the word “liberal”. I agree wholeheartedly, and I think the time has come for the “rest” (I dare not say left, because even the middle is attacked by the today’s right) of us to fight back.

    Why don’t we center in on a term they endear themselves to, and strike back? Say, for instance, those of us who are NOT in the radical fundamentalist evangelical Taliban make a point of villifying the flat-earth loving name “conservatist”?

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    I don’t think Bolton has much to do with a religious right-libertarian split in the GOP. He’s favored by the most hawkish members of both parties, and mostly scares everyone else.

  • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

    All too often I read posts that criticize and lampoon politicans without offering a viable solution. If I wanted to find out “politicans are total lamers” I would go down to Blockbuster and rent an Oliver Stone movie.

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    Adam:

    Thank you for the clarification.

    But what does it say about the integrity of the secular left that they are willing to use African American voters in such a way? And if African American voters formed a third party, that would devastate Democratic electoral power, wouldn’t it?

    Also, in my first point, I argued that calling all people on the Left “pinko commies” is as intellectually shabby as calling evangelicals Taliban. Evidently, you think the former justifies the latter. You may live in the land of adolescent tu quoque, but civilized political debate surely requires an adult rhetoric.

    And if calling evangelicals “Taliban” is okay by you, what words of criticism do you reserve for the real Taliban? I have a problem with some voices on the far left who call center-right voters “facists.” If they use that kind of language for center-right voters, what language is left for real Nazis?

    And, finally, your use of the word “oppress” for both Taliban and evangelicals is, in my opinion, a nasty piece of equivocation. (And the same applies to Steve S’s comment.) What conservatives try to do through legislative means can hardly be compared with what the Taliban tried to accomplish at the point of a gun–except, evidently, in your rather sloppy reasoning.

    George

  • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

    How is John Edwards a viable candidate? The only reason he ran for president was because he saw the polls and was losing in the race for his senatorial spot, took a chance and said “aw, heck, I’ll go on the Daily Show and announce my candidacy because then I’ll be popular” and it worked. I haven’t heard one idea he’s had and now he works at a law school.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    What evangelicals try to do through legislative means is to continue the demonization and misrepresentation of gay people to the point where our gay youth suicide rate is 5 times the national average and our self-esteem is so low that many of us engage in self destructive behavior that impacts all of society. What evangelicals want to do is shut down all our organizations that address the bullying of gay youth, they want to shut down all medical establishments that help a person deal with their orientation in an intolerant world (unless that medical help involves conversion). What evangelicals want to do, is create/maintain a government that provides them with benefits, rights and privileges while they try to rewrite the U.S. Constitution to exclude the innocent children of gay families from having the same societal structural support. Evangelicals are against any type of recognition of our relationships, creating situations where people cannot visit their dying loved ones in hospitals or have their estates ripped apart by greedy relatives who utilize the law to dissolve relationships built over decades.

    With their evangelicising and demonizing of gay people, they have created an intolerant environment where people lash out and attack gay people, born out of fear of the sermon, and as I blogged here in the last few weeks, due to this conservative movement in this country, the FBI reports that hate crimes against gay people are rising to record levels.

    Evangelicals might not carry pistols now, but they preach to those who carry baseball bats, and they preach the demonization of our families. Having to live under their constant assault, I know a great many of us do consider them to be the equivalent of Nazi’s and the Taliban.

    They certainly have strayed from the teachings of Jesus, to say the least.

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    Steve:

    “What evangelicals try to do through legislative means is to continue the demonization and misrepresentation of gay people….”

    That’s a pretty interesting statement, for it implies that evangelicals are only seeking to maintain the current status quo. I will make explicit what is implicit in your statement. At no point in American history prior to the past few years have gay relationships been considered on equal footing with heterosexual marriage, either religiously, socially, or legally. And this has been because of a general social consensus regarding the impropriety of gay marriage. What is interesting about that social consensus is that it has been broad-based: encompassing evangelicals and Catholics, Republicans and Democrats, and members of all classes. What is even more amazing about this social consensus is how potent it still is. Remember, even Democratic senators voted for the Defense of Marriage Act. Other than Massachusetts, no state that I know of has passed into law through ordinary legislative means a bill authorizing gay marriage. In other words, direct all the venom and spleen against evangelicals that you want to, but opposition to gay marriage comes from far more sources than just evangelicals.

    You write, “our self-esteem is so low that many of us engage in self destructive behavior that impacts all of society.” My self esteem does not rest on what others think of me; I’m not sure why the self esteem of members of the gay community rests on how others view them. Indeed, a self esteem that rests on others’ opinions of you is hardly “self” esteem. Also, does low self esteem lead all gay youth to act in self-destructive ways, or only some. Doesn’t personal choice and responsibility enter the picture at some point.

    As for violence against members of the gay community, that must stop. Period. It is wrong. Period. And, as you correctly point out, it is unchristlike. Period.

    As for you insistence on comparing evangelicals with the Taliban and Nazis. It is beneath contempt. Period.

  • http://livejournal.com/~rmwilliamsjr richard williams

    wow. pretty much all name calling, i wonder if there is any real information to be gained from reading this?
    i’ll go to the customer reviews at amazon, since this review says zero about the contents or arguments contained in the book. i’s wish that reviews actually talked about the item being reviewed rather than the reviewers rant about how he feels about the people involved.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Regardless of the merit of the post – it is not meant to be a review of the book.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    George, you would do well to remember that not everyone on this planet shares your perspective.

    Religion reaches across all facets of humanity, the Democrats, the Republicans, all races, genders and orientations too.

    The demonization and misrepresentation of gay people, which you acknowledge exists rather than deny, takes place from the pulpit of many faiths. It’s a free country, they can do that, as much as I, a baptized gay Christian might disagree with it, it is what it is. It is the evangelicals though, who seek to take it out of the pulpit and put it into law for all of society, it’s they who are the impetus. The sheep will always follow the shepard.

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    Steve:

    Thanks for your reply! I apologize if I have written anything that contributes to the demonization and misrepresentation of gay people. I guess what I so strongly reacted to is what I perceived to be your demonization and misrepresentation of evangelicals. As an evangelical, who attends church with gays, lesbians, and transgender folk, I would never think of hurting anyone.

    By the same token, absent some compelling argument to the contrary, I believe that neither faith nor reason compels me to accept the propriety of gay marriage. And, if opinion polls are to be believed, neither do a majority of Americans, whatever their religious faith or political persuasion might be. To argue that evangelicals are solely responsible for opposition to gay marriage is a factual error.

    And to argue that evangelicals tout court are responsible for violence against gays and lesbians is underdetermined by the evidence. The last time I checked, the killers of Matthew Shepard were not members of good standing in any church. Indeed, I have extensive experience in evangelical churches, and I have never heard anyone promote, condone, or sanction violence against gays and lesbians. Do evangelical preachers call homosexual behavior a sin? Yes. But they call lots of behavior sins, and I haven’t seen any violence against adulterers, cohabitators, gamblers, or any other category of “sinful” behavior.

    And if merely calling a behavior sinful ineluctably leads to violence, then given the rhetoric some members of the gay community direct against evangelicals, you’d expect to see an outburst of hate crimes against church members. But you don’t. Why? Because calling someone a sinner doesn’t necessarily lead to committing violence against that person. In other words, what you call “the fear of the sermon” in an earlier post does not explain the prevalence of hate crimes against gays and lesbians. Scratch the surface of those crimes, and I’ll bet that you find young single males with criminal histories and little or no religious commitment committing the vast majority of them. That, if I remember correctly, is the profile of Matthew Shepard’s killers.

    As a fellow Christian, I want to thank you for reminding me that not all share my opinion. And if I have given offense through my manner of expression, I apologize.

    George

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    An amusing article, if nothing else. The GOP is a lot more diverse these days than country clubbers vs. talibanesque fundies. You’re forgetting the large and growing grassroots, working and middle class Republicans who are just fed up with taxes upon taxes and mostly want to be left alone to make enough money to join a country club somewhere down the line.

    As for John Bolton, despite his many shortcomings, he doesn’t appear to be primarily religiously motivated. He may be supported by people from the religious right, but he’s not one of them, and there’s no indication that he’s alienating any but the most moderate of the traditional Republicans.

    Good bitter, sneering tone, though.

    Dave

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    I believe that neither faith nor reason compels me to accept the propriety of gay marriage.

    That is fine. You do not have to accept the propriety of gay marriage. The majority of Americans don’t have to accept it into their daily lives either. However they cannot vote away my civil liberties and equal access to the benefits, rights and privileges of civil marriage. You as an individual, don’t have to accept gay marriage, you have no right to set up a federal government that follows your religious views, even if you are in the majority. In a democracy, the rights and liberties of the minority are supposed to be protected from the prejudices of the majority. Giving me equality from the government requires no endorsement from you.

    To argue that evangelicals are solely responsible for opposition to gay marriage is a factual error.

    There are many people of faith, in the moderate to liberal field who oppose gay marriage but are against rewriting historical documents permanently denying our families the structural support that other families take for granted. Maybe all evangelicals don’t support the Amendment, but of those that do, most all are evangelicals.

    I haven’t seen any violence against adulterers, cohabitators, gamblers, or any other category of “sinful” behavior.

    Because for generations, they weren’t portrayed as predators.

    Scratch the surface of those crimes, and I’ll bet that you find young single males with criminal histories and little or no religious commitment committing the vast majority of them. That, if I remember correctly, is the profile of Matthew Shepard’s killers.

    When you study most homophobic violent people, what you find is sexual confusion. Sexual confusion and an inability to deal with an intolerant world. Evangelicals are a primary source of intolerance, and it trickles out into the world.

    You aren’t offensive, but I do think you cannot see the effects of evangelicism entirely. I will end up being the offensive one, because I will always call it as I see it. I will not lie.

    There are many good Christians out there. The greatest man of character I have ever known was my childhood priest. I am not anti-religion and I do not want individuals to have to coincide their faith with acceptance of me, if they do not want to. That is the bitter pill I must swallow. But I am an equal in society, and civil society must treat me as such, and that is the bitter pill evangelicals must swallow.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Adulterers get killed all the time for their exploits – just not by “the government.”

  • http://www.viewpointjournal.com David Flanagan

    I think your post is an interesting one, mainly because it highlights the vast gulf that lies between most Americans and the hard left. First of all, you and other liberals should figure out whether or not the Bush Administration and the Republican Party are all in lock-step driving the country towards fascism or we are just on the verge of tearing ourselves apart because of our vast intra-party differences.

    Your theory seems to be that the GOP is on the brink of the abyss, simply because a staunch Republican decided to write a book expressing her disagreements with her party. Arguments which, by the way, are well made and which have been widely debated for years within the GOP, I might add.

    Let me also make note of the fact that when a member of the DNC, Zell Miller, wrote a book expressing disagreements with HIS party, Democratic leaders in Washington and party supporters began a blistering attack upon him, saying that he was not REALLY a Democrat. Have you heard of any such attacks upon Ms. Todd Whitman? I haven’t, though I have heard her as a guest on many conservative radio shows, where she was treated with the utmost respect despite major disagreements with some of her arguments.

    Secondly, what the hard left continually ignores is the fact that conservatives in general and Republicans in particular have long been a big tent party. We have so many intra-party debates going on, I don’t even know where to begin. There are traditional Reagan Conservatives, Neocons, Theocons, moderates, Log Cabin Republicans, etc., etc.

    Really, I think what you are expressing in your post here is the dream of every bitter liberal, that somehow that party that has managed to win almost every election since 1994 would somehow tear itself apart. For sure, Democrats have been unable to engineer the kinds of victories that the DNC is so desperate to see, and right now, your new chairman, Howard Dean, is just trying to appeal to the Democratic base, while our chair, Ken Mehlmann, is actively pursuing votes among the DNC’s traditional base.

    Yes, Republicans have their issues, their flaws, and have made their mistakes. One of those mistakes was trusting Harry Reid to keep his word regarding the use of the filibuster.

    But then, that battle is not over.

    David

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    What about the whole RINO movement, dude. That pretty much refutes most of what you just stated.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    What RINO movement? It’s a term nouveau-republican extremists like to throw at old-style Republicans to piss them off. Anyone who uses it is ignorant of the core beliefs of the party and labels themselves as the ones out of step with everyone else.

    Dave

  • http://www.viewpointjournal.com David Flanagan

    How so Eric?

    David

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    You’d like to think so Dave, but the truth is that the RINO-hunters are in charge and living large. They almost knocked Specter out of the GOP primaries with a more conservative candidate who would have likely lost in the Pennsylvania Senate Race last year. They’ve targeted a number of “non-believers” out there, etc.

    I sense a Love It or Leave It attitude in GOP-land that will only be healed by someone like John McCain.

  • http://www.viewpointjournal.com David Flanagan

    Eric,

    Do you forget the fact that Specter kept his job with President Bush’s support? What does that tell you about our “love it or leave it” attitude?

    David

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Bush was forced to back Specter against his inclination — he knew that the primary challenger would likely lose the seat to the Democrats.

    And MANY people in the GOP have a love it or leave it attitude: about their/your party, and about the United States… in other words, there’s only one way to think, and if you don’t think it, get the F out of Dodge.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Yes, there are folks who are big on party loyalty, but there is no clear absolute party agenda they all agree on. Specter gets a lot of flack because he doesn’t have clear principles and doesn’t seem motivated to back any of the usual Republican causes. It’s not even that he’s too liberal, he’s just too inconsistent and unreliable. That earns him criticism from all over the party.

    Dave

  • http://www.communistvampires.com Thomas M. Sipos

    I don’t think you can divide the GOP or conservatism into only two camps. I’d divide them as follows:

    (1) Neocons. The real power in the driver’s seat. They want war & empire, and they’re getting it. They like big government and deficit spending. Very pro-Israel. Includes some Big Oil interests.

    (2) Moderates. What some call RINOs. What you call Country Club. They also include some Big Oil interests, but moderates want cooperation with other nations.

    (3) Social Conservatives. What you call Taliban. Very opposed to abortion and gay marriage. Very pro-Israel. They have no power and get only a bone now and then. So the GOP made much noise over Terry Schiavo? Big deal.

    (4) Libertarians. The GOP is screwing them big time. Libertarians want peace, foreign non-intervention, civil liberties, and less government spending, but they’re not even getting the occassional symbolic bone. At most, they get empty rhetoric.

    (5) Traditionalists. Aka Paleo-Conservatives. Many voted for Perot or Buchanan. Some care about abortion, but many do not. They’re mainly concerned about national sovereignty and America First. Hence, they oppose foreign wars, foreign aid, immigration, and free trade.

    The Libertarians were my branch, until Bush drove me from the GOP and I went whole hog for the Libertarian Party.

  • Nancy

    Adam, I too love your imagery, and hope with all my heart what you say & predict comes true. Nothing is more amusing and gratifying than watching non-moderate conservatives of varying sects trying to take each other out.

  • Maurice

    Adam –

    are all of us black people (I’ve never been to Africa so I’m not African-American!) idiots? Are we only idiots if we voted Democrat? You probably thought I would be too lazy to respond to your post.

    BTW is this a white-site only?

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    If Christine Todd Whitman had stood up at the Democratic National Convention and denounced Bush in the spittle-spraying way Zell Miller did, with some of the most personal attacks I’d heard outside talk radio (followed by the adrenaline-infused, I’d challenge you to a duel statement off-stage) – I think Ms. Whitman would not be invited on these shows.

    Agreed?

    The two are not the same.

  • http://vthappenings.blogspot.com/ Lightning

    Notice as soon as Maurice said something, nobody has posted?

    I’m sure Adam’s intent was not to make a racist comment. But it can easily be seen as a racist comment by somebody who has had to deal with racism in some way shape or form. (Not that I know that you’ve had to deal with racism first hand Maurice)

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Right — Whitman and Miller are worlds apart. Whitman is a proud, moderate Republican who tried and failed to protect the environment at the EPA. Conservation, of course, is a tradition that dates back to Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt, but more and more we’re seeing a Republican Establishment that doesn’t really square with even the days of the Reagan Revolution.

    The prevailing power these days is Big Government Conservatism (light on the compassion, thanks), hawkish and at times arrogant on foreign policy, in the pocket of Big Business (you name the Business, this government likes it), and, at least in rhetoric, on the side of religious conservatives.

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    to Maurice..
    i am willing to be Adam just forgot to put the phrase in “quotes” as he did when referring to the Republican side..using the phrase as Irony..

    as for this being any kind of “-only” site..ummmm….no

    no one around here cares if you say you are white/black/brown/red/yellow/purple/polka dotted or plaid…

    so , post away and share your thinking..
    welcome to Blogcritics…

    Excelsior!

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    Maurice,
    I think the Dems take the Black vote for granted, and have done little lately to earn it. In that sense, they treat the Black vote as though they are their “useful idiots,” the way the Republicans under Reagan found the Evangelical Talibans to be “useful idiots,” except now these idiots appear to be running the party. I think if a serious new Black leader emerged, somebody like say Malcolm X, instead of the very witty showman Al Sharpton, Black voters could emerge as an important swing vote between the Dems and the Republicans. Or, within the Democratic Party itself, as a serious voting bloc who could push burning issues like poverty, the shitty public education that inner-city blacks have to put up with, and health insurance onto the national agenda — and make sure they are seriously addressed.
    Along with Gonzo Marx, I say welcome. Post away.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Maurice has been here along time. He’s not new. But what the heck – welcome anew. ;-)

  • Shark

    heh. Adam gets the Shark Award!

    PS: re: certain terms

    Faith-based initiative — two planes hitting the Twin Towers.

    Yer welcome!

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    In response to Steve S. (#19 above).

    You wrote: “However they cannot vote away my civil liberties and equal access to the benefits, rights and privileges of civil marriage.” Yes, Steve, they can. Or rather, they don’t have to. Under the current law of the land, with the notable exception of Massachusetts, gays and lesbians do not have any civil liberty to marry, nor do they have equal access to the benefits, rights, and privileges of civil marriage. You may wish that they did, and you may argue that some natural law confers on them the right to do so, but as a matter of positive law, they do not have the rights and equal access that you assert. Evangelicals and other opponents of same-sex marriage, as I posted earlier, are defending the status quo, not attempting to change the law.

    Actually, let me be more precise: Evangelicals are attempting to codify the legal status quo as a way to prohibit judges from interpreting marriage codes in novel ways. This is the point of all those state constitutional amendments that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. However justifiable their cause, gays and lesbians are asserting a novel interpretation of the Constitution, not to mention attempting a revolution in society’s understanding of marriage. They may be right, but they cannot merely assert their rights in the face of the history of our marriage laws.

    You wrote: “You as an individual, don’t have to accept gay marriage, you have no right to set up a federal government that follows your religious views, even if you are in the majority.” First, while religion plays a role in my opposition to same-sex marriage, it does not play the only role. Much of my opposition to same-sex marriage comes from the way in which its advocates attempt an end-run around legislative process by appealing to courts to interpret state constiutions and the Federal Constiution in historically novel ways. Also, I am impressed by social science evidence (from Scandinavia, mostly) that suggests that civil legalization of same-sex partnerships correlates—note: not causes!—instability in opposite-sex partnerships. In other words, it seems that acceptance of gay marriage typically correlates statistically with the decline of the marriage institution. Third, why shouldn’t my religion play a role in the way that I think about politics? I believe that God prohibited perjury, theft, and murder. Can I not vote for legislators who want to punish those crimes merely because I’m doing so out of a religious motivation? And why should religion—which is really type of worldview or ideology—be disadvantaged in the public square? If libertarians, Marxists, social democrats, and utilitarians can vote their consciences and on the basis of their ideologies, why not me?

    You wrote: ” In a democracy, the rights and liberties of the minority are supposed to be protected from the prejudices of the majority.” True enough, at least when the Constitution makes clear what majorities are to be protected and how. (The 14th Amendment is the textbook example here.). And in cases where the Constitution does not speak—as in the case of same-sex marriage—the legislative process becomes probative, especially the process of amending the state and federal constiutions. Advocates of same-sex marriage are not even trying to win legislatively, whereas opponents of it are working overtime legislatively. In a democracy, the people express their will through their law-making bodies, not through their courts. On controversial cases where the Constitution is silent, why should the people be governed by a small coterie of judges rather than by their elected representatives?

    You wrote: “When you study most homophobic violent people, what you find is sexual confusion. Sexual confusion and an inability to deal with an intolerant world. Evangelicals are a primary source of intolerance, and it trickles out into the world.” I take this as a concession that the people who violently attack gay people are not evangelicals. Surely you do not mean to suggest that evangelicals are responsible for the criminal behaviors of people who are not evangelicals merely because they preach that homosexuality is morally wrong. This is as absurd as saying that Nat Hentoff (a secular, left-wing, pro-life writer for the Village Voice) is morally responsible for the actions of abortion clinic bombings because he opposes abortion. If you want to blame evangelicals for homophobic violence, you’ll need to make a better argument than you’re making, Steve.

    You write: “But I am an equal in society, and civil society must treat me as such, and that is the bitter pill evangelicals must swallow.” Yes, you are an equal in society, but absent the law, your equality does not give you the right to assert novel legal privileges. After all, a Mormon polygamist has equality before the law, but that equality does not give him the right to assert a civil right to marriage. Indeed, in 1879, the Supreme Court upheld Congress’s Morrill Act, which outlawed bigamy, against a First Amendment Challenge by a Utah Mormon named George Reynolds. Utah was not accepted into the Union until 1896, when, among other things, it promised to prohibit polygamy. Notice the legal precedent: A person in a minority group (i.e., polygamists) who asserted a First Amendment protection against a duly enacted law (the Morrill Act) lost. In other words, you can assert a constitutional right to gay marriage, but as of today, neither the legal precedents nor even current legislation is on your side.

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    David:
    “I think your post is an interesting one, mainly because it highlights the vast gulf that lies between most Americans and the hard left. First of all, you and other liberals should figure out whether or not the Bush Administration and the Republican Party are all in lock-step driving the country towards fascism or we are just on the verge of tearing ourselves apart because of our vast intra-party differences.”

    I don’t think the GOP will ever drive us to fascism. Nor do I think of myself as “hard left,” whatever that means in your weird Manichean view of the world.

    But I do think the Bush administration does not represent the best of the GOP. John McCain does. In fact, McCain would make a better President than many Democrats I can think of. I’d vote for him. There’d be no difference between him and Kerry as President.

    The Bush administration, however, represents the meanest, greediest side of the GOP. Who’d have thunk the GOP could come up with such a bunch? Between their meanness and incompetence, they’ve landed many turds in our laps, enough to make them the shittiest U.S. administration in history. A short list:

    1. They’ve cut taxes for the rich when the nation is at war.
    2. They’ve put us in vast debt to China and Japan.
    3. They had one necessary war, against the Taliban, but screwed everything up with an unnecessary war against Iraq which they sold to us under a lie, and have now landed us in a mess to the point that nobody knows what the fuck we’re doing there besides enriching Halliburton and Bechtel.
    4. They’ve spread hate against gays.
    5. They’ve left 3rd-world women unprotected because of anti-condom policies.
    5. They’re screwing up the environment worse than any administration ever.
    6. They’ve handed the country wholesale over to Big Business (not that the Dems would’ve done this all that differently).
    7. They’ve turned us from a moral leader of the world into the moral skunk of the world.

    The Bush Administration won their election on hate and fear. Compassionate conservative – say what? As I wrote before, Bush has a silver spoon in his mouth and an Evangelical Taliban dick up his ass — a combination which by itself could lead to fascism. Fortunately, the GOP is better than that, although they’re being such assholes at moment, one sometimes wonders. It’s time for them, and for you, if you’re a good Republican, to wake up, and realize how much you’ve shat on your own country. The Terri Schiavo fracas showed not only the GOP, but also the Dems, as a bunch of suck-up jerks who for an extra vote would drink the vomit of the Evangelical Talibans all night long like it was Budweiser.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>are all of us black people (I’ve never been to Africa so I’m not African-American!) idiots? Are we only idiots if we voted Democrat? You probably thought I would be too lazy to respond to your post.<<

    Anyone who votes against their own self-interest is an idiot. That would apply to almost anyone who votes Democrat, but especially to minorities who continue to vote for the party which gives with one hand while it takes with the other.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    That’s about the most crackpot statement I’ve seen you posit yet, Dave.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    You didn’t write this to me, but I have to respond.

    >>But I do think the Bush administration does not represent the best of the GOP. John McCain does.< <

    I tend to agree with you on this. McCain is a bit flaky, but he is part of the traditional GOP. There are better representatives of this faction who I hope will become as outspoken as McCain in the next couple of years.

    >> In fact, McCain would make a better President than many Democrats I can think of. I’d vote for him. There’d be no difference between him and Kerry as President.< <

    There you're most likely wrong. McCain would be less beholden to special interests and much more effective in dealing with the War on Terror. He also would take a responsible course in dealing with social security, which Kerry certainly wouldn't.

    >>The Bush administration, however, represents the meanest, greediest side of the GOP. Who’d have thunk the GOP could come up with such a bunch? Between their meanness and incompetence, they’ve landed many turds in our laps, enough to make them the shittiest U.S. administration in history.< <

    Now there's an ill-informed opinion. We could easily come up with a much more corrupt, incompetent and greed-driven bunch. The current administration is middle of the road in most ways. They're definitely far too left for many Republicans.

    >> A short list:

    1. They’ve cut taxes for the rich when the nation is at war. < <

    No, they've cut taxes for everyone because the economy needed a boost after 9/11 and it worked brilliantly. If you bother to actually look into the tax cut, as a percentage it cuts taxes on the poor the most.

    >>2. They’ve put us in vast debt to China and Japan.< <

    No, they increased the national debt. They have no control over who buys the notes, and it doesn't just include China and Japan. Other smart investors are involved as well.

    >>3. They had one necessary war, against the Taliban, but screwed everything up with an unnecessary war against Iraq which they sold to us under a lie, and have now landed us in a mess to the point that nobody knows what the fuck we’re doing there besides enriching Halliburton and Bechtel.< <

    This is by far a proven fact. The war in Iraq has been more successful than your masters choose to tell you, and the overall outcome for the middle east still looks very positive.

    >>4. They’ve spread hate against gays.< <

    The administration and Bush have had zero role in this. Bush expressed support for a natonal civil union law which is quite a step forward.

    >>5. They’ve left 3rd-world women unprotected because of anti-condom policies.< <

    The Catholic Church is the chief villain in this, not the US. US support for international condom programs actually stopped during the Clinton administration.

    >>5. They’re screwing up the environment worse than any administration ever.< <

    I hear this a lot, but in fact, the EPA is still enforcing the same rules they did under Clinton and very little has been rolled back. Not passing new environmental regulations is not the same as repealing old ones.

    >>6. They’ve handed the country wholesale over to Big Business (not that the Dems would’ve done this all that differently).< <

    And this is bad, why?

    >>7. They’ve turned us from a moral leader of the world into the moral skunk of the world. < <

    There's an unfounded opinion if I ever heard one. Most of the resentment of the US is based out of guilt and feelings of inadequacy that other countries have because they either can't or won't take responsibility for solving problems like the War on Terror.

    >>The Bush Administration won their election on hate and fear.<<

    Odd, all the hate and fearmongering I see has been coming from the Democrats.

    Anyway, I see how strong your hatred of Bush is. It’s a common problem among the ignorant on the extreme left. I could take it a lot more seriously if it was based on fact rather than something you were told to think with no personal knowledge or analysis involved.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    That’s about the most crackpot statement I’ve seen you posit yet, Dave.

    Damn! I spoke too soon…

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Under the current law of the land, with the notable exception of Massachusetts, gays and lesbians do not have any civil liberty to marry, nor do they have equal access to the benefits, rights, and privileges of civil marriage.

    George, existing laws get struck down as unconstitutional all the time. Just because something is the status quo does not mean it is Just or in line with the principles of Democracy.

    as a matter of positive law, they do not have the rights and equal access that you assert.

    Yes, this is the line of reasoning we fight in the courts. And this line of reasoning we easily defeat. You are trying to justify that some people who you religiously disagree with are not entitled to equality. It’s an argument we have always won.

    Evangelicals and other opponents of same-sex marriage, as I posted earlier, are defending the status quo, not attempting to change the law.

    Within 30 years, certainly within the lifetimes of our children, history will present these evangelicals as the same as those who fought desegregation. Separate drinking fountains were once status quo.

    Evangelicals are attempting to codify the legal status quo as a way to prohibit judges from interpreting marriage codes in novel ways.

    This is because evangelicals cannot comprehend the difference between a religious marriage and a civic one. The rest of us get it.

    However justifiable their cause, gays and lesbians are asserting a novel interpretation of the Constitution, not to mention attempting a revolution in society’s understanding of marriage. They may be right, but they cannot merely assert their rights in the face of the history of our marriage laws.

    We ARE right. And we have no alternative but to assert our rights in the face of history. We face discrimination, violence and oppression. We do NOT say, ‘we will quietly sit by and continue on while you all attempt to work out your bigotry’.

    Much of my opposition to same-sex marriage comes from the way in which its advocates attempt an end-run around legislative process by appealing to courts to interpret state constiutions and the Federal Constiution in historically novel ways.

    Have you read any judicial ruling on marriage? Marriage is a PUBLIC institution. You can keep women out of golf clubs if the golf club is private, but you cannot keep a woman out of a public institution. The same principle applies to marriage.

    Marriage is a huge cultural institution, it has benefits, rights, privileges, and it has an enormously important place in society. Setting aside the concept of marriage and just looking at it as ‘an institution’, the exclusion of some people from it is tantamount to ostracization and separatism. Doesn’t fit in well with Lady Liberty.

    Also, I am impressed by social science evidence (from Scandinavia, mostly) that suggests that civil legalization of same-sex partnerships correlates—note: not causes!—instability in opposite-sex partnerships. In other words, it seems that acceptance of gay marriage typically correlates statistically with the decline of the marriage institution.

    So you want to deny me equality because if you give it to me, those who have it will appreciate it less? And you want me to accept that reasoning?

    At this link, look at the third item down, titled “Will Providing Marriage Rights to Same-Sex Couples Undermine Heterosexual Marriage? Evidence from Scandinavia and the Netherlands”

    then before you dismiss the report as biased, look at the resources used to accumulate their data. Non-biased data.

    I believe that God prohibited perjury, theft, and murder. Can I not vote for legislators who want to punish those crimes merely because I’m doing so out of a religious motivation?

    Yes, because all those are crimes that harm another. In case you haven’t heard, my love is NOT A CRIME.

    And why should religion—which is really type of worldview or ideology—be disadvantaged in the public square? If libertarians, Marxists, social democrats, and utilitarians can vote their consciences and on the basis of their ideologies, why not me?

    You can vote whatever you want. But items of discrimination and prejudice and oppression are never supposed to be put to a vote to begin with. Equality should not be open for voting.

    In a democracy, the people express their will through their law-making bodies, not through their courts. On controversial cases where the Constitution is silent, why should the people be governed by a small coterie of judges rather than by their elected representatives?

    Except when it involves proven oppression, George. Should desegregation have been put to a vote? Honestly. And if it was, what would America be like today? Seriously.

    If you want to blame evangelicals for homophobic violence, you’ll need to make a better argument than you’re making, Steve.

    No, if I wanted to convince YOU that evangelicals are to blame for homophobic violence, then I would need to make a better argument. However I cannot convince you of anything so it is a waste of my time to try. Those of us who have been at the receiving end of a baseball bat, George, know the biblical quotes thrown our way with each blow.

    Yes, you are an equal in society, but absent the law, your equality does not give you the right to assert novel legal privileges.

    No, no. A law will allow a spouse to cosign on a form (let’s say a loan) in order to increase the chances of getting that loan. If I cannot get married then I am denied the equal opportunity to get that loan as opposed to another individual with the same income. That is not a novel legal privilege, that is discrimination.

    After all, a Mormon polygamist has equality before the law, but that equality does not give him the right to assert a civil right to marriage.

    Polygamy has been historically shown to be oppressive to women. That is why it was outlawed. A gay couple is two consenting adults. Polygamy has been proven to harm. Being gay has not.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>Polygamy has been historically shown to be oppressive to women. That is why it was outlawed. A gay couple is two consenting adults. Polygamy has been proven to harm. Being gay has not.<<

    Polygamy is still a voluntary arrangement, and if we’re going to have things like Covenant Marriage then I don’t see how we can continue to prohibit polygamy. There’s no rational support for it.

    Dave

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Dave, personally I am not against polygamy. I do not think society or the government should play favorites in regards to recognizing adult relationships as long as all individuals are consenting.

    In a ‘true’ polygamy relationship (i.e. devoid of Mormonism), it is more likely for all individuals to be treated fairly in the relationship. Surprise, surprise, when you introduce religion into it (the tenets of Mormonism, at least back in the day), that is when the polygamy gets oppressive to the woman. And in those cases polygamy was quite often not voluntary. Most marriages are arranged.

  • Nancy

    As opposed to the current GOP, which simply takes -and takes -and takes – but only from those not of the billionaire class. Thank you, Adam, for somewhat crystalizing for me what I’ve been trying to put my finger on: why I loathe Bush & Co. Not because he’s Republican – actually, I don’t think he is. I don’t know what he actually is – probably an Oligarch with strong Fascistic tendencies – but he sure as hell ain’t a good Republican. He’s mean-spirited and self-serving in a way I’ve seldom seen in previous presidents, except Nixon. He certainly doesn’t have the goodwill of Reagan or the breadth of spirit of Ford. To quote Twain, ‘he has an original nastiness that beats original sin’, and he surrounds himself with hordes of people as small & mean & nasty as he is. I agree w/Adam: there are far, far better Republicans out there, who are far more representative of the party; unfortunately, the current grinches in charge of the GOP shot down McCain when he did run, and will probably do so again, to keep their power bunker intact.

  • Nancy

    Who did Bush cut taxes for, Dave? Sure as hell not for me: I ended up paying this year, for the first time in years; and I’m NOT earning in the upper, or even middle, brackets. So if I, making a very modest salary which puts me squarely in the lower middle class, ended up paying, then who got the tax cut? The father of a co-worker, who owns a dozen rental properties, has a beach house, a mountain cabin, and a few million in stocks. HE got a BIG tax break this year – for the first time in years. At my expense, and the expense of other working class people like me. Don’t you ever independently evaluate anything the Bushies tell you, Dave, or do you just knee-jerk swallow it whole? I wonder, because you frequently seem to be totally clueless or absent of any knowledge of anything but mindless praise and support for anything this administration does.

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    Steve S.: I see that, as usual, we are going around and around on this issue without going anywhere. For you, equality means that you have the Constitutional right to marry anyone you want to. Neither the text or history of the Constitution support that assertion, of course. A man does not have a Constitutional right to marry two or more women at the same time. An underaged person does not have the right to marry another without his/her parents’ consent. A son does not have the right to marry his mother, nor a sister her brother. Etc., etc., etc. In other words, under the law as it stands—as you seem to admit—you do not have a legal right to marry a same-sex partner. Do you have a moral right? Perhaps. You seem to assert that you have a moral right because you love that person. But so does the polygamous man, the underage child, the son, and the sister in my examples above. Each loves the person he or she wants to marry. You say you have no problem with polygamy. I take it, then, that you have no problem with the other cases I mention? After all, there is no non-arbitrary way to differentiate your case from that of the others. If your love should allow you to marry whomever you choose, then so should their love. And so, it seems, despite our disagreements, we agree one one point: The logic of allowing same-sex marriage opens the door to polygamy and incestuous marriages. I think that’s a bad thing and an undesirable policy outcome. At least with regard to same-sex marriage and polygamy, you evidently do not. Is my opposition to those kinds of marriages religious in orientation. Yes, to a certain extent. But then again, I’m opposed to polygamy because it results in the inferior status of women in the home, not to mention putting a drain on social welfare services, which polygamous families draw on for survival. And I’m opposed to incestuous marriages—even if consented to by adults—because it affirms and promotes the sexualization of parent-child relationships, among other things. I’ll check on the link you provided. I may have misstated what I thought I knew about the Scandinavian experience. George

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    For you, equality means that you have the Constitutional right to marry anyone you want to.

    No. For me equality means equal access to all the benefits, rights and privileges that marriage offers. It means my relationship has an equal standing in society, (i.e. in terms of business, insurance, banks, medical field, etc.).

    But it does not have to mean that you, the individual approve of it. I never claimed that the Constitution gives me a right to marry, I have always claimed that the Constitution gives me all that you all have bestowed upon the institution.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    I take it, then, that you have no problem with the other cases I mention? After all, there is no non-arbitrary way to differentiate your case from that of the others.

    There is no non-arbitrary way to differentiate a mother/son relationship from that of YOURS not mine. Not unless the mother has a penis.

    we agree one one point: The logic of allowing same-sex marriage opens the door to polygamy and incestuous marriages.

    LOL! Go back and point out where I said that!

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    I said: I never claimed that the Constitution gives me a right to marry, I have always claimed that the Constitution gives me all that you all have bestowed upon the institution.

    Let me rephrase this. I have said I have a right to marry many times, but what I am talking about is being entitled to all that marriage entails. Whenever someone says ‘The Constitution does not SAY anything about marriage.’ the answer is always ‘duh’.

    My daughter deserves all the societal support for her family as the next child. Rationalize to me how Jesus would side with you on that one.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>Who did Bush cut taxes for, Dave?< <

    Taxes were cut about 2% accross the board, so everyone. Poorer people particularly benefited from higher personal exemptions, child credits and an increase in the cut off below which no tax is paid.

    >> Sure as hell not for me: I ended up paying this year, for the first time in years; and I’m NOT earning in the upper, or even middle, brackets. < <

    Nonetheless, your rate was cut by 2%, even if you ended up paying more. Not being familiar with your personal circumstances I can't guess what you did that might have raised your total tax. If you want to send me your tax form I'll tell you why you paid more this year when you shouldn't necessarily have.

    >>So if I, making a very modest salary which puts me squarely in the lower middle class, ended up paying, then who got the tax cut? < <

    Well, people earning under around $30,000 a year really did well, but everyone else should have benefitted about the same.

    >>The father of a co-worker, who owns a dozen rental properties, has a beach house, a mountain cabin, and a few million in stocks. HE got a BIG tax break this year< <

    No, he got the same basic income tax break you did, it just adds up to more money because it's a percentage and 2% of a lot of money is more than 2% of a little money. He may also have benefitted from changes in capital gains and some other taxes which don't apply to you in the first place.

    >> – for the first time in years. At my expense, and the expense of other working class people like me. < <

    You weren't charged more to make up for his tax cut. The deficit went up instead. That's not necessarily a good thing, but you're not losing out in the short run, and in the long run a high deficit probably hurts the wealthy more than the poor.

    >>Don’t you ever independently evaluate anything the Bushies tell you, Dave, or do you just knee-jerk swallow it whole?< <

    Actually Nancy, I don't listen to anything the administration is telling me - we don't talk. I just look for the truth and try to use it to counter misconceptions when I see them.

    >> I wonder, because you frequently seem to be totally clueless or absent of any knowledge of anything but mindless praise and support for anything this administration does.<<

    I don’t think you’ll find me praising the administration much if you actually read what I write. I’m not particularly partisan. My only agenda is the truth. If it seems I’m defending the administration that’s because they get lied about more than most.

    I mean come on, in this post you’re spouting the Democrat talking points position on taxes, and it’s just fundamentally not true. How seriously can we take you?

    Dave

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    Steve:

    I checked out the link you provided to the report by M. V. Lee Badgett. I am unconvinced for the reasons stated by Stanley Kurtz in his response to Badgett (http://www.nationalreview.com/kurtz/kurtz200407210936.asp).

    Re: #51: “For me equality means equal access to all the benefits, rights and privileges that marriage offers. It means my relationship has an equal standing in society, (i.e. in terms of business, insurance, banks, medical field, etc.).” Does this mean that non-married people (straight or gay) are not equal members of society because they do not participate in the “benefits, rights and privileges that marriage offers”? And, it goes without saying, you already have access to all the benefits, rights, and privileges the state confers on marriage if you marry a member of the opposite sex.

    Re: #52: No non-arbitrary way to distinguish my marriage to my wife from that of a son’s marriage to his mother? How about consanguinity? How about DNA? Sure biology is nonarbitrary. And by the way, biology seems to be a non-arbitrary reason for distinguishing between marriage and same-sex relationships. Heterosexual relationships are evolutionarily adaptive. Homosexual relationships are not. Regarding my statement about “the logic of allowing same-sex marriages,” you’re right. You did not state it. I infered our agreement on this point from what some things you wrote. So, instead of infering it any longer, let me ask you straight up: Does the logic of allowing same-sex marriage open the door to polygamy and incestuous marriages (between consenting adults)? If not, why not?

    Re: #53: What do you mean by societal support? As I conservative, II usually distinguish between society and the state. If you mean that society should treat your daughter with love and respect. If you mean that the state should give you all the benefits, rights, and privileges of marriage, then I disagree. Regarding Jesus, check out Matthew 19.4-6: “‘Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh”? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.'” This passage is our only indication of who Jesus thought should be able to marry.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>we agree one one point: The logic of allowing same-sex marriage opens the door to polygamy and incestuous marriages.

    LOL! Go back and point out where I said that!<<

    Yeah, that was me, not Steve. Try to keep us straight – or at least me straight.

    Dave

  • Maurice

    Nancy,

    did you make more than $25,400?

    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0106989.html

  • Nancy

    Yeah, but not by much more, and the area where I live is #2 for living expenses in the US. Trust me, I took all the deductions & credits I’m entitled to. I spent 8 years as an IRS agent, so I’m familiar w/tax returns ;)

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Then it sounds like you should be paying almost nothing in taxes, Nancy. This would certainly reduce the benefits for you of any tax cuts.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    Also, 2% of a small income is a pittance. It isn’t going to inspire anyone to run right out and stimulate the ecomony, and it isn’t going to help pay the bills, either. It’s almost a smarmy insult: here, we’re throwing you 2%; have fun. It only adds up to real money when you’re rich. Or to put it another way, if you make $1 mill a year, and you have a car repair that costs you $1,000, that’s .001 of your income. No biggie. If I have a car repair costing $1,000 – that’s 4% – a proportionately huger sum – of my income. Somehow the disproportionate thing seems to have escaped Fearless Leader, as does the insult. But nobody ever did accuse him of sensitivity or superior comprehension.

  • Nancy

    Oops: that’s “economy”. Sorry.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Of course, the several hundred dollar rebate you got should have been much more significant to you than the 2% cut.

    The reason the cut is a percentage is that doing it that way is fair and equitable and easy to manage. It’s not president Bush’s fault that your income is low, and the tax code already more than adequately shields you from excessive taxation.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    Rebate? You mean the $160 or so? Yeah, big whoop. Thanks, W, for your largesse. White of you. As for being his fault my income is low, no, I suppose not unless you count the fact that he helped ship my original job (and a lot of other peoples) out of country. Thanks, W, for looking after American interests. White of you.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    The exportation of jobs began long before Bush became president and he has done nothing to facilitate it. Clinton signed NAFTA, not Bush, and that’s about the only piece of relevant legislation at issue. Outsourcing of high tech jobs is an ongoing process which the president has little role in controlling.

    As for the $160 (how did you get so little, btw) I only bring it up as an example of how the math of all this works. The 2% is meaningless to you, but good for those with higher incomes. The $160 is more meaningful to you than it would be to them because it’s a much higher percentage of your income than it would be of theirs.

    Of course, with a low income, what really matters to you are the deductions and exemptions, which result in you paying virtually no tax at all. So in fact, as a percentage of income the actual tax you pay is a tiny single digit percentage, while the tax paid by the wealthy is a percentage maybe 10x or more as great. How would you like to pay over 30% of your income in tax instead of the tiny amount you pay now?

    Dave

  • Nancy

    ‘Zat so? then huccome I paid almost 3x what my coworker’s rich father paid? How come I pay in taxes not too much less than some very, very wealthy people I’ve met? 30%? They’re the lucky ones, because elsewhere they’d be paying a helluva lot more. Thanks to W, they get big tax breaks they don’t need. Or deserve.

  • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Steve Forbes. Flat tax. Fair & balanced. Enough said.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Yes, I can agree that we’re all lucky to live in America and have low taxes compared to most of the other nations in the world.

    As for your co-worker’s rich father, I can’t say for sure why he pays less than you do. My guess would be that he’s retired, living off of income from investments rather than salary, and that those investments are in a form where tax was paid on the money before it was invested and the income from the investment is therefore tax-free. If that’s the case, then it’s not that he’s paying less tax than you are, it’s that he paid his tax years ago and is now reaping the rewards of his frugality and hard work.

    If he does work, then my best guess is that he’s self-employed or owns a small business and has debts and obligations which allow him to write off a lot of his tax burden while retaining a reasonable income, and he’s probably sheltering some of it in a pension plan. In this case, it’s not that he’s making so much more money than you are, it’s that he has better cash-flow and more capacity for protecting his money from taxation. This balances out the rapacious rate of taxation which the money he can’t shelter is subjected to if you’re a small business or self-employed, as well as the risk which he is always facing because he depends on a small business for his income.

    There are a lot of people who make a lot of money and seem not to be paying as much as you think they should in taxes, but when you look into it, it’s often the case that they’re paying plenty, just not in the obvious ways that those with simpler tax returns are used to.

    Dave

  • Maurice

    Nancy #63

    ‘White of you’

  • Bennett

    I’m with you Maurice. WTF planet do folks live on where they say shit like that? What does it really mean?

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    If you visit the recent immigration thread here and see how she paints all illegals there with the same broad brush, this comment of hers should be not surprising at all.

    We can tell you what it means, but then again you really already know.

  • Nancy

    I apologize; I was under the impression it meant something other than the way I meant it – along the lines of, “well, isn’t that just too nice of you.” Apologies again. Please excuse & forgive me. I really didn’t mean to be vile.