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Hollowing Out of the Middle Class is Concomitant With Rising Political Polarization

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Two studies released recently by the Pew Research Center reveal two disturbing trends: as the middle class is being hollowed out by changing economic forces, political polarization is rising.

“The Lost decade of the Middle Class” report reveals the growing economic struggle of the middle class: “Since 2000, the middle class has shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth, and shed some—but by no means all—of its characteristic faith in the future.”

A majority of those interviewed indicated that they believe that it is harder now than it was a decade ago to maintain the middle class standard of living.

Part of the reason for the pessimism is a decade of decline which saw, for the first time since the end of World War II, a fall in mean family incomes, and the hollowing-out of the middle. In 1971, for example, the middle income tier included 61 percent of Americans; by 2011, only 51 percent could keep up with that category.

Where has that 10 percent gone? The upper income tier rose by six percent while the lower income tier increased by four percent.

Those lucky six percent shared in the bonanza of the Bush years: the income pie grew for the upper income bracket by 17 percent. Those who were left behind fared less well: for the middle tier, the pie shrunk by 17 percent–this on top of the wealth loss of 28 percent.

Lackluster jobs numbers and the overall sluggish economy add to the pessimism. Years into the recovery, many in the middle class still feel the bite of the Great Recession. About four in ten (42 percent) reported their financial situation is worse now than it was before the recession. “Of those who say they’re in worse shape, about half (51 percent) say it will take at least five years to recover, including eight percent who predict they will never recover.” A similar percentage feel that they were better off a decade ago.

Though most respondents still believe in hard work as the ticket to a better life and hold out hopes for their children being better off then they are, few hold much hope for the nation as a whole. Only 11 percent of those polled are very optimistic about America’s economic future. The rest have only muted optimism or are outright pessimistic. And many don’t believe that they will have enough assets to last them through retirement.

Who’s at fault for this mess? Most feel that Congress is to blame for their economic woes, but many also lay blame at the door of banks and financial institutions. Large corporations and the Bush administration have also been identified as culprits by respondents . Virtually none of the respondents blame themselves or the middle class.

Significant economic dislocations have political consequences. As societies lose their middle class and become more divided by wealth and income, they tend to become more polarized politically. This phenomenon, as measured by growing partisanship, has indeed been a feature of the American political scene in the last decade.

Another Pew report, “Partisan Polarization Surges in Bush, Obama Years” reveals that the level of political polarization in America has increased to record levels. The report states, “the average partisan gap has nearly doubled over this 25 year period, from 10 percentage points in 1987 to 18 percentage points in the new study.”

The link between growing partisanship, political polarization and the declining economic fortunes of the middle class is not accidental. Political scientists Nolan McCarty, Keith T. Poole and Howard Rosenthal studied the link between income and partisanship in America and found that “polarization of the electorate has increasingly taken place along economic or class lines. Unlike the patterns of the 1950s and 1960s, upper income citizens are more likely to identify with and vote for Republicans than are lower income voters.”

Divisions are largest on issues that affect income redistribution, politics of workplace, social spending and immigration; all bottom line issues that affect the wallet. The reason for these fault lines is simple and ancient: those who have do not want to share with those who don’t.

One of the effects of growing polarization is Congressional gridlock and the perceived ineffectiveness of the federal legislature: growing polarization makes it harder to form political coalitions needed to pass significant legislation at the federal level. And when legislation does pass, it is often heavily partisan, benefitting one segment of society at the expense of others.

This political catatonia can be dangerous when significant policy matters become neglected. Currently the inability of the Congress to act threatens to send the nation over the “fiscal cliff.”

 

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About A. Jurek

A. Jurek is one of the editors at Blogcritics. Contact me at: a.jurek@blogcritics.org
  • Igor

    Good article, Jurek. Direct and to the point: the radical right republican principles of the Bush years have made a radical re-distribution of wealth from the middle-class to the wealthy (don’t even ask what it’s done to the poor and the working poor).

    What is truly amazing is that so many “middle-class” Americans still believe in the self-aggrandizing notions that are at the core of this massive theft. The rich and powerful are under no such illusion: they are quite happy to harvest lost wealth from the naieve and gullible of the middle who imagine (with no justice) that their fortunes are bound up with those of the predatory right.

  • Clav

    A not insignificant portion of the middle class is part of the predatory right.

    Many of them are Democrats in Congress and other high government positions, sucking from the public teat.

    But it’s not fashionable to say so publicly.

  • http://www.lunch.com/JSMaresca-Reviews-1-1.html Dr. Joseph S. Maresca

    The question of how to rebuild the middle class is a function of doing a lot of things. First, the United States needs to rebuild infrastructure. This task alone would produce millions of blue collar jobs throughout the United States. Support for Community Colleges would make education more affordable for millions. Next, we need to reduce substantially entanglements in overseas wars and controversies of every kind. Taxing junk food would provide billions of dollars to support government health insurance programs and reduce costs for the private sector as well. Junk food is an albatross around the heads of the health care system, as well as employers in every sector. Lastly, we need to protect pension funds by limiting investments in risky derivative transactions to preserve the stability of individual retirement accounts, as well as the Stock Market itself.

  • Clav

    Before you can do any of those things, Joseph, you need to rid Congress of all those jackals who exempt themselves from every program they force us into, and strip them of their privileges, including the excessive retirement plans they vote for themselves.

  • Baronius

    Pew’s definition of the middle class bothers me. It may be handy, but it doesn’t seem to have any economic significance. They call anyone earning between 2/3 and twice the national income “middle class”, but what does that tell us? By most definitions, the median income is dropping – but according to Pew’s system, that wouldn’t affect the middle class, as long as everyone fell at the same rate. Pew reports that the middle class is shrinking – but by the looks of their data, that’s because more people are moving into the upper class. There’s nothing wrong with a shrinking middle class if it means that everyone’s joining the upper class. But since we’re using a floating definition of class, you can’t even glean that from it.

    I also have to note that the description of the second study appears to be wrong. It overlooks the second-largest topic of partisan division, and one with the largest change, the environment. The reason for ignoring it appears to be the claim that our political division is caused because “those who have do not want to share with those who don’t”. Yet it’s hard to sort out where the burden of economic regulation would fall.

    Likewise, I notice that the five biggest percentage increases in partisanship were in environment, government scope, immigration, religiousity, and social conservatism. When looked at in that way, it tells a very different picture, not one driven by economics.

  • A

    Brontius,

    The problem is not that everyone is joining the upper income bracket but that there is a breakdown of the middle: some people certainly move up, but others move down. This is highly undesirable for any society.

    The environment measure here means that the rich don’t want to pay for the various environmental projects, that corporations don’t want to bear the cost of changing production to protect environment. So it does measure the class/econ divisions over who will pay for one of the most important issues of our time.

    The classic measure of class division, social safety net spending have widened since the 80s.

  • Igor

    There are many middle-class people who were so vain as to believe that they had joined the upper-class who are now homeless and living in their cars.

  • Clav

    Authoritative data source for that one, Igor?

    In its absence, I call bullshit…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Igor –

    As much as I like to ping on Clav, I have to join him in hoisting that peculiarly brown flag.

  • Baronius

    A – We agree that it’s better when people are able to advance financially, and that unfortunately a lot of people’s financial health has been declining. What I’m questioning is whether this study employs an effective tool for measuring that. Comparing people to a floating average has drawbacks, especially in our current situation, when we’re seeing a widespread decline across the board. Is the distribution around a declining average even meaningful? I don’t see how.

    As I noted, we’re seeing some people move from the middle to the upper class, as this study defines it. Are they gaining in wealth, or are they holding steady as the bottom falls out from under other people? Are there areas in the country or occupations that are seeing an increase? That’s a far more important question, and this study has no way of answering it.

    Likewise, it may be interesting to know what people’s expectation of the future is, or who they blame for economic distress, but it doesn’t shine any light on what their future really will be, or who is to blame.

    On the question of the environment, you should realize how you’ve stacked the deck. You say that the environment is one of the biggest issues of our time, but this study suggests that not everyone sees it that way. You then make the declaration that disinterest in the environment means that “the rich don’t want to pay for the various environmental projects”. Well, you can believe that if you want, but it’s unsupported by anything you’ve given. And how does immigration fall into your rich-versus-poor scenario? One would think that the rich (I assume you mean Republicans) would be in favor of increased immigration, while the poor (Dems?) fear the competition for unskilled labor. But that’s the opposite of what we see. Sort of. Neither party is 100% confident around this issue. That would suggest that it also doesn’t follow your framework.

  • A

    Brontius,

    The study is quite clear that Republicans aren’t interested in environment. “Republicans are most distinguished by their increasingly minimalist views about the role of government and lack of support for environmentalism. ” Why, do you suppose that is? Why are conservatives or Republicans so concerned with size of government?

    Most policy experts and climate scientists see climate change as a serious problem. The study shows that Republicans don’t.

    Also consider another quote from the reporst, this time on imigration “About six-in-ten Democrats (58%) favor greater restrictions on immigration, compared with 84% of Republicans – largely unchanged in recent years.”

  • Glenn Contrarian

    A –

    Republicans are indeed concerned with the size of government…as long as it’s a government agency that they think doesn’t concern them. Abortion concerns them greatly, so they’re all about government enforcement of abortion laws. “Defense” concerns them, so they’re all about shoveling more money to defense contractors. Renewable energy is a signature position of Democrats, so Republicans are all about giving as much government support (read: subsidies) to Big Oil and removing the same from any renewable-energy businesses. And have you seen the Romney campaign’s “promises” that Medicare wasn’t going to be cut at all?

    In other words, it’s not about limited government – it’s about political power and the preservation thereof.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    “Brontius”?

    I like it.

    You should pick that one up and run with it, my conservative Catholic friend. :-)

  • Clav

    …it’s about political power and the preservation thereof.

    As it is with the Democrats. Their enthusiasm for entitlement programs for the poor has little to do with compassion, and everything to do with buying votes and maintaining power.

  • Clav

    …and control; almost forgot the Democratic penchant for control: cf. Joseph Maresca’s calls for punitive taxes on junk food.

  • Zingzing

    Just that simple, eh, clavos? Doesn’t matter if those things actually provide anything. do these things exist only because they garner votes?

  • Brontius

    Republicans want immigration as long as it means lower wages and less employee rights but don’t want immigration if it means the rich have to pay more for a big nanny state that takes care of newcomers.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clav – As it is with the Democrats. Their enthusiasm for entitlement programs for the poor has little to do with compassion, and everything to do with buying votes and maintaining power.

    If that were so, then LBJ wouldn’t have pushed the Civil Rights Act knowing all the while that as soon as he signed it, “we have lost the South for a generation”.

    Be careful of false equivalencies, Clav – while there are many Republicans and Dems out there who are just in it for the power, there’s apparently more Republicans who do what’s best for the party without regard to what’s best for the country – see my initial reply to Dave’s newest article.

  • Clav

    If that were so, then LBJ wouldn’t have pushed the Civil Rights Act knowing all the while that as soon as he signed it, “we have lost the South for a generation”

    Are you saying Southern Blacks vote Republican, Glenn? That would be news to the RNC.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clav –

    Are you truly that ignorant of the demographics of the South? MS is the state with the highest proportion of blacks – it’s at thirty-odd percent. You can see the county-by-county results of the last presidential election where the majority-black counties all went for Obama…yet the state as a whole went strongly for McCain.

    So your reply is pretty weak, friend. LBJ knew we’d lose the South, knew that the Democratic party would lose the electoral votes of the Dixiecrats, knew that this would swing whole elections to the Republicans…and he did it anyway. So much for your “it’s all about power and winning elections in the Democratic party” theory.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Clav –

    Again, be careful of false equivalencies, of approaching political questions with the foregone conclusion that “all political parties are just as bad and corrupt as all the others”…because they’re not. For instance, one party is eager for everyone to vote, whereas the other party doesn’t want everyone to vote and has done their utmost over the past two years to minimize voting by those who are not traditionally part of their own electorate. A great example would be the effort by the Republicans in Ohio to continue having extended voting hours in Ohio except for in the four majority-Democratic counties…and when the Dem elections supervisors of those counties raised hell about it, the Ohio Secretary of State (also a Republican) threatened to fire them. You can read about it here…and wonder to yourself at the hell the GOP and Fox News would be raising if the Dems had tried such an egregious tactic with Republican voters.

  • Baronius

    A – You miss my point.

    You’re saying that (a) by your estimation, immigration and the environment would take money away from Republicans, and (b) Republicans only care about money being taken away from them. You discount about a dozen possibilities there. Rising fuel costs may hurt the poor more, competition with immigrants definitely hurts the poor more. Now, it may even be true that Republicans describe their opposition to immigration and environmental regulation in economic terms, but that doesn’t mean it’s their primary motivation. If Republicans are doing something that’s consistent with freedom and lawfulness, you don’t have to look for an ulterior motive.

    If you don’t mind me phrasing it this way, you’re looking at everything through your narrative. That’s the prerogative of an author, sure, but it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be convincing to someone with a different narrative, and it usually means that you’re going to dismiss possibilities that lie outside your narrative. As I said, your take on these studies fit inside your narrative nicely, but there are a few points that don’t, and you’re ignoring them. That’s the heart of my critique of your article.

    To review my points, I think you’re accepting what is probably a statistical artifact in the first study because it sets up your narrative. You’re discounting the social issues in the second study because it dilutes your narrative, and you’re casting the fiscal issues as driven by bad motives because you don’t see any other reason for your opponents’ position.

  • Clav

    LBJ knew we’d lose the South, knew that the Democratic party would lose the electoral votes of the Dixiecrats…

    The Dems had already lost the Dixiecrats’ votes by the time LBJ wrought his insanity. When they ran Harold Stassen, a liberal, in the 1948 election, they lost 947 delegates’ votes. It wasn’t the Great Society that created the Dixiecrats, it was the Democratic party’s sharp turn to the left after WWII that did that. And you’ve been losing numerous elections ever since — oughta tell ya somethin’

    For instance, one party is eager for everyone to vote…

    You’re quite right, they are, and it’s the democratic party. Why? Because they know that all those people receiving money from the government know that it came from the the democrats.

    I believe they call that buying votes.

  • Baronius

    For instance, one party is eager for everyone to vote…

    Except, you know, about abortion or gay marriage. Or that whole Proposition 13 thing. Good thing politicians are willing to spend money without collecting money, or Prop 13 would have been a real restriction on the size of government.

    Oh, and also, soldiers. Absentee ballots are fine for people when you don’t know if they exist, but the ones who are real can throw a wrench into the gears.

  • A

    Baronius,

    Political scientists Nolan McCarty, Keith T. Poole and Howard Rosenthal studied the link between income and partisanship in America and found that “polarization of the electorate has increasingly taken place along economic or class lines. Unlike the patterns of the 1950s and 1960s, upper income citizens are more likely to identify with and vote for Republicans than are lower income voters.”

    The idea that economic issues of sharing wealth underlie the polarization in the political sphere has been established by such research.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clav –

    Really? You mean the South was NOT a Democratic stronghold prior to the passage of the Civil Rights Act?

    Then please tell us why in the 1956 election, the ONLY states that went Democratic were Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and North and South Carolina.

    Not even what we now think of as the bluest states in the Union – NY, CA, MA, MD, whatever – voted Democratic. ONLY the South – with the exceptions of Louisiana and Tennessee (Texas and Florida are not truly Southern states as most real Southerners will tell you). Somehow I don’t think that they would have voted blue if it hand’t been a Democratic stronghold at the time.

    The 1964 electoral map, on the other hand – the election a mere four months after the passage of the Civil Rights Act – was almost a photographic negative of the 1956 election.

    The facts are against you, Clav – but I know, just as with global warming, all the facts in the world don’t matter if those facts don’t agree with whatever it is you’ve decided to believe…and yet you never wonder why it is that it’s the Republicans and NOT the Democrats who want creationism (but not sex education) taught in schools….

    Oh, and one more thing:

    You’re quite right, they are, and it’s the democratic party. Why? Because they know that all those people receiving money from the government know that it came from the the democrats. I believe they call that buying votes.

    Yes, all those black people are receiving money from the government, hm? Are you now of the opinion that only people of means should be able to vote?

    I see you said NOTHING about the Ohio Republicans having extended voting hours for all NON-Democratic-majority counties….

    I guess as long as it’s YOUR side that’s doing the very, very wrong thing, well, that’s no big deal, as long as it’s your side that wins….

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Um, Baronius –

    Except, you know, about abortion or gay marriage. Or that whole Proposition 13 thing. Good thing politicians are willing to spend money without collecting money, or Prop 13 would have been a real restriction on the size of government.

    Are you thinking I was saying that it was the Democrats who weren’t wanting people to vote? Perhaps you should re-read my comment and check the link I included in the same comment. Oh, I forgot – conservative news outlets don’t mention voter suppression efforts by the Republicans, but are all about the millions and millions of voter-fraud cases foisted upon America by the Democrats…never mind that the total number of documented cases of in-person voter fraud since 2000 is less than twenty.

  • Clav

    Facts are facts, Glenn, and it’s a matter of fact that the Dems began to lose conservative southern voters as soon as they began to field liberal candidates (Stassen in 1948 was one such) and espouse liberal ideas. The erosion began long before LBJ accidentally became president.

  • Clav

    Texas and Florida are not truly Southern states as most real Southerners will tell you).

    Correct. Texas almost isn’t even American; many Texans would secede in a heartbeat, given the chance.

    And you’re also correct that Florida is decidedly not a southern state; in fact, we keep the crackers we need for the low end jobs bottled up in the Panhandle, which everyone knows is really LA — Lower Alabama.

    Are you thinking I was saying that it was the Democrats who weren’t wanting people to vote?

    Not at all. The Dems most definitely DO want everyone to vote — for them, which is why they keep paying them.

  • Baronius

    Glenn, of course I didn’t read your comment. I was replying to the quote of it by Clavos. But I notice that you didn’t respond to the meat of my comment either.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Not at all. The Dems most definitely DO want everyone to vote — for them, which is why they keep paying them.

    Again, are you of the opinion that those who are receiving government benefits like, say, unemployment and social security should not be able to vote? Or widows or women whose husbands have deserted them, should these women also lose the right to vote? Should all those who are receiving government assistance lose the right to vote?

    And if not, why the heck is it ‘okay’ to make it HARDER for them to vote? Hm? Especially since you seem to think that there’s nothing wrong with not allowing majority-Democratic counties to have extended voting hours like majority-Republican counties do?

    Or are you just playing the part of a troll?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Clav –

    The simple fact that the South voted for Adlai Stevenson in 1956 when all the rest of the nation voted for Eisenhower blows away your comment about 1948. Besides, NOT ONE SOUTHERN STATE voted Republican in 1948. The ones that did not vote Democratic voted for the states’-rights ‘Dixiecrat’ party.

    And WHY did the states’-rights ‘Dixiecrat’ party do so well in the 1948 election? Because seven months before the election, Truman had permanently desegregated the military, and the nominee of the states’-rights ‘Dixiecrat’ party was a certain unapologetic segregationist named Strom Thurmond. And in 1952 the South went back to voting for Democrats again even as the rest of the nation went Republican…just like they did in 1956.

    No Southern states went Republican in 1948, Clavos – but several went racist. Or do you still think that Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” twenty years later (where they deliberately courted the “negrophobes of the South) is some kind of urban legend? Is it really that hard for you to put all the pieces of this puzzle together? Here’s a clue – as long as you ignore the pieces that say ‘racism’ on them, you’ll NEVER solve the puzzle – the solution will remain forever out of your reach.

    Facts, Clavos…and to ignore the role that racism has played and continues to play in Southern politics is the height of naivete.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    Except, you know, about abortion or gay marriage. Or that whole Proposition 13 thing. Good thing politicians are willing to spend money without collecting money, or Prop 13 would have been a real restriction on the size of government. Oh, and also, soldiers. Absentee ballots are fine for people when you don’t know if they exist, but the ones who are real can throw a wrench into the gears.

    Would you care to point out a single instance of the Democrats in any recent election (post-Civil Rights Act) trying to pass legislation to suppress the vote?

  • Clav

    Again, are you of the opinion that those who are receiving government benefits like, say, unemployment and social security should not be able to vote?

    You love to read into my (and others’) words the points you want to make, and the hell with what the commenter you’re misquoting said.

    I never said anyone who is a legal US citizen should be excluded from the vote. What I did say was that the Democratic party has been buying the votes of entitlement recipients for decades. You cloak it in high-falutin’ oratory about helping the poor and disadvantaged, but the truth is you discovered long ago that those people vote, and invariably vote for those who pay them.

    Which is all well and good. Vote buying is a long-standing Democratic party tradition; among its most agile practitioners were the Tammany Hall Democratic machine in turn of the century New York and Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley, whose motto was “Vote early. And often.”

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clav –

    I see you’re not exactly defending your claim that LBJ’s decision with the CRA was all about getting the black vote.

    And your comments concerning poor people voting was an attempt to either defend or distract from the GOP’s actions against the majority-Dem counties in Ohio. You haven’t said word one about that one.

    And one more thing – don’t compare the modern Dem party to the Dems of Tammany Hall – you know very well that in those days, the Dems were the conservatives and the Republicans were the liberals.

  • Clav

    I see you’re not exactly defending your claim that LBJ’s decision with the CRA was all about getting the black vote.

    Nothing to defend against; you haven’t offered any proof to the contrary.

    And one more thing – don’t compare the modern Dem party to the Dems of Tammany Hall…the Dems were the conservatives and the Republicans were the liberals.

    And Bill Daley was a Libertarian I suppose?

    Bull. Now you’ll try to tell me that Abe Lincoln was a liberal Democrat.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Nothing to defend against; you haven’t offered any proof to the contrary.

    Ah. The South went from generations of near-solid blue to generations of absolutely solid-red in the space of two elections…and the sitting president at the time of the change identified precisely what was the cause of the change, and the authors of Nixon’s Southern Strategy essentially backed up what LBJ said…

    …but to you, none of that is proof.

    It’s just the same as you are with AGW – it does not matter how much proof you’re shown, you’re not going to agree to it because you’ve made up your mind and no amounts of facts or testimony will change your mind.

    And btw, looking back at #23, Harold Stassen was a Republican, though your comment makes it seem he was a Democrat – but that was a simple oversight on your part because you wouldn’t have knowingly made that kind of mistake.

    And which ‘Bill Daley’ are you referring to?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Clavos –

    Back in the day, the Republicans were very much the liberals and the Democrats very much were the conservatives, when taken in the context of the times. Look back to see who supported Reconstruction and who was against it…and who supported Jim Crow and who was against it. Things change over time.

    But it was not until the passage of the Civil Rights Act that the parties began to irrevocably drift to their current partisan identities.

  • Clav

    Ah. The South went from generations of near-solid blue to generations of absolutely solid-red in the space of two elections…and the sitting president at the time of the change identified precisely what was the cause of the change, and the authors of Nixon’s Southern Strategy essentially backed up what LBJ said…

    …but to you, none of that is proof.

    Proof of what, Glenn? You are (as you always do) trying to distract away from my points by introducing your own — which have absolutely nothing to do with what I was saying — as always.

    You haven’t even addressed my point, much less refuted it.

    Go back and get someone who knows how to read to explain it to you.

    Oh, and my dead uncle who was part of the New York Democratic machine all his life (and was as crooked as any modern democrat — AND as much of a Democrat) would have your body in the East River within hours after hearing you talk like that about his party.

    Sorry,not “Bill” Daley, — Richard. But you knew that.

  • zingzing

    “clav” (what happened to the “os”?), do you think that the dem pols vote purely on what will get them votes? yes? what if what they vote for actually helps people? so they vote for things that will help the small folk, and they get votes… who knew? isn’t that what it’s supposed to be about? why is this a bad thing? yes, they get voted in because their voters think (right or wrong) that their votes for this person will help them. and if it does, they get voted in again. and if it doesn’t anymore, they get voted out.

    that’s great, i think. if a person “makes it” to the point that they think the republican candidate represents their view better, good for them. if that same person sees the good that’s been done, and wishes other people could build themselves towards the same success, they vote for a dem.

    but on the other end, there comes a point when a rich person sees that voting for a dem means a few bucks out of their pocket, where it was doing jack shit for that person or the economy as a whole. but they want it. and that person votes for the politician that favors their pocket. and that politician licks on their pocket, supposedly because they’re “job creators,” a theory that’s been pretty well destroyed given the past decade, but the politician can’t get off that saltlick, because it’s so fucking soothing to them. money does that. corporations as people does that.

    if you want to see pols sucking dick for votes, look at the right. then look at the left. think about who’s after the bigger dick, and what, today, in a this world of corporate personhood, represents “people” or a “person” or the “dick” or “dicks” that can be sucked. for every corporate dick they suck, they suck the dicks of many unknowing people, (and many people called women [whom they seem to hate,] who don’t even have dicks to suck, but are pleasured none-the-less).

    i know there is self-righteousness on the left, but the self-delusion on the right, as if the rest of us didn’t exist or didn’t matter, must be much harder to maintain. i commend you for trying. it’s hard looking like a big old dick all the time, but someone’s gotta try.

    yay, clav! you nickname, you.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clav –

    I haven’t presented any proof? Hm, let me see here – the South voted Democratic for generations – except for one election when uber-racist Strom Thurmond ran with the states’-rights Dixiecrat party (which election came seven months after Truman forcibly integrated the military. The South voted Democratic even when the rest of the nation was voting Republican.

    But when the Dems went whole-hog for Civil Rights, the South flipped over to the Republican side and has remained solidly so ever since…just like both LBJ and Nixon’s advisers said they would.

    But none of this is proof to you.

    It’s just like with AGW – you’ve decided what you want to believe, and no amount of facts, no amount of reality can get you to believe otherwise.

  • Igor

    Clav seems to have adopted Goebbel’s Big Lie technique.

  • http://www.rosedigitalmarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Dunno if Clavos has, but it is clearly a favourite tactic for the utterly corrupt shit that is Mitt Romney.

    How Romney Gets Away With So Many Lies

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I wouldn’t say that Clavos has adopted Goebbel’s technique. I would say that he’s a classic case of what science is showing us, that those of a conservative bent are significantly more likely to reject obvious science or history when they go against what that conservative already has decided to believe.

    That’s why, when it came to Obama’s “hope and change” slogan, the conservatives said, “we’ll take the hope, but you can keep the change”. Conservatives by nature don’t like change (including in the form of science or history) when said change challenges their worldview. Clavos is a wonderful example of this.

  • Clav

    But none of this is proof to you.

    If it’s proof at all, it’s “proof” of the side issue I mentioned above that you always introduce to obfuscate the discussion.

    Originally, I mentioned nothing about how each party has voted historically — I give a rat’s ass about that issue; I didn’t introduce it you did, though I did make the grievous mistake of attempting to answer your point when first introduced; that will never happen again, believe me: I’m tired of your distractions and non sequiturs.

    My original point, and the only one I raised on my own (as opposed to attempting to answer you) was that the Democratic party has, for decades now, been buying the votes of entitlement recipients by throwing ever more enticing benefits at them, particularly in election years. Your most recent example was the particularly idiotic idea of extending benefits to Mexican illegals, but it sure will generate a lot of votes as soon as you enfranchise them!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Do you remember the old saying that every group has used, from football teams to platoons, from small businesses to churches: “We take care of our own”.

    Last I recall, most of us are American citizens. What you call “buying votes”, I call “taking care of our own”. There’s absolutely no reason we should be looking down on the poor with disdain and giving ever more tax breaks to the so-called “job creators” (which they certainly are not). There’s no excuse for the richest nation on the planet to be having hundreds of homeless men, women, and children in every big city just so we can give more tax breaks to the wealthy. There’s excuse for slashing education budgets to give more tax breaks to the wealthy…

    …yet this is what conservatives do.

    Clavos, sure – a certain percentage of the money that goes to our social safety net programs is not spent as it should be…but the vast majority of it is NOT wasted, and is absolutely crucial when there’s no jobs to be had.

    You call it “buying votes” – and the same thing could be said of the billions in subsidies your boys give Big Oil every damned year – I guess that’s the Republican version of “taking care of our own”. Maybe you think it’s more American to let people wallow in poverty without the least bit of assistance available to help them from having to turn to crime just to feed themselves and their families…but I don’t.

    You never did say how many homeless you saw in Italy, standing on the street corners asking for handouts….

  • Clav

    What you call “buying votes”, I call “taking care of our own”.

    If that were the Democratic party’s true intent, fine. But I (and many others) see it as a calculated attempt to buy votes, especially when your party REALLY goes off the deep end and attempts to bring the Mexican and Central American illegals into the fold. They aren’t “our own,” as you so piously put it; they are foreigners — aliens. That’s NOT “taking care of our own,” that’s vote buying. If you were really taking care of your own, you’d throw the mojados out; send ‘em back home, thereby reducing the competition for the homegrown underclass — both for government entitlement programs and for jobs. But of course, that doesn’t gain you any votes, so regular as clockwork, you periodically “magnanimously” and in a “humanitarian” spirit, give ‘em 1) amnesty, then 2) citizenship and finally, 3) the vote! And surprise! Surprise! Who do they invariably vote for? Why those kind, humanitarian folks of the Democratic partay, of course!

    “Taking care of our own,” my ass. If that’s the case, how come the percentage of Americans below the party line remains within a narrow range in the teens to lower twenties of the total population and has done so for decade after decade?

  • Igor

    Pandering for votes? The republicans are WAY ahead of the dems! They have more concentrated payoffs than the democrats. They can quickly inject billions into republican pockets in a short time with huge subsidies and tax breaks and sweetheart contracts, e.g., the fabulous billion dollar contracts settled on Halliburton through KBR.

    An advantage the republicans have is that (once they get a good war going) there is no bar to the amount or the swiftness with which they can send huge amounts to their sponsors, whereas with the dems a guy will have to live to 65 to eke out a tiny little $1000/mo pension. The bigtime republican swindler gets the money quickly in a huge lump sum that he can move offshore to a Cayman account and disappear from the accounting system, a privilege that is denied the typical Social Security recipient.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    You know very well that – with the exception of an end run around the Republicans who were blocking the DREAM act – not only has there been ZERO amnesty, but the Obama administration has deported RECORD numbers of illegal immigrants…

    …which sorta blows away your attempt to blame Obama for ‘bringing Mexican and Central American illegals into the fold’.

    He’s deported RECORD numbers, Clavos, and yet you still try to claim he’s all about welcoming more illegals into America.

    Just another example of “fact-checkers need not apply” when it comes to conservative dogma…and you just provided the proof thereof.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Amen Glenn

  • Clav

    Umm, Glenn: I am blaming the Democrats, not Obama. Once again, you attempt to put words in my mouth to change the subject to the points you want to make. And the Democrats, as you well know, have granted amnesty in the past, beginning with the Hart-Celler Act of 1965. Since then, amnesty has been granted to illegals on a number of occasions, and Republicans have been sponsors on some of these bills as well, though the Republicans do it for access to cheap labor, not votes.

    The Immigration and Reform Control Act (IRCA) Amnesty of 1986 – the “one-time only” blanket amnesty for some 2.8 million illegal aliens.
    Section 245(i) The Amnesty of 1994 – a temporary rolling amnesty for 578,000 illegal aliens.
    Section 245(i) The Extension Amnesty of 1997 – an extension of the rolling amnesty created in 1994.
    The Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) Amnesty of 1997 – an amnesty for nearly one million illegal aliens from Central America.
    The Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act Amnesty (HRIFA) of 1998 – an amnesty for 125,000 illegal aliens from Haiti.
    The Late Amnesty of 2000 – an amnesty for approximately 400,000 illegal aliens who claimed they should have been amnestied under the 1986 IRCA amnesty.
    The LIFE Act Amnesty of 2000 – a reinstatement of the rolling Section 245(i) amnesty to an estimated 900,000 illegal aliens.

    In some cases, as in The Immigration Reform Act of 1986 (sponsorship of which was bipartisan), a single act inexplicably granted residency (and ultimately) citizenship to 2.8 million illegals!

    Regardless of sponsorship, it is obvious that nearly all of the illegals benefited by these bills wind up voting Democratic, which, of course, is why Dems support them.

    And by the way, yesterday you mentioned “taking care of our own” as the Dems’ primary motivation for so enthusiastically supporting and promoting entitlement programs, to which I pointed out how, in one measure of their success (or lack thereof) the overall percentage of the population living below the poverty line has not changed significantly in generations. Think about that. Are entitlement programs helping the poor to rise up on the economic ladder or locking them into poverty? The data would suggest the latter, but again, they are a LOT of voters.

    One last point, Glenn: If you choose to reply to this comment, KINDLY DO NOT READ INTO IT ANYTHING I DIDN’T SAY (and yes, I am shouting — in exasperation).

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Gee, Clavos – spin much?

    “Oh, um, harumph, it’s not Obama, it’s the Democrats, harumph!”

    And what do you lead off with? The REAGAN AMNESTY that REAGAN HIMSELF supported!!!!

    It’s almost like the Byrds’ song: “For every issue, spin, spin, spin, there is an excuse, spin, spin, spin….”

    Clavos, just because you yourself apparently feel no empathy for your fellow man who’s down on his luck, that does NOT mean that other people don’t feel empathy for those who are down on their luck. I recommend that you stop projecting your assumptions of the motives of others. Instead, when you approach an issue, try to look at BOTH sides (or ALL sides) of the issue. See not only what’s wrong with a position, but what’s RIGHT with a position…because in my experience, this is what most conservatives fail to do. Try finding a conservative who allows himself say, “well, Obama’s done this right or that right, but here’s where he was wrong” – such conservatives are scarce as hen’s teeth, as the saying goes.

    And I suggest you go research those post-1986 ‘amnesty’ laws to see if those were mostly for illegal aliens – those who were already here – or whether they were for those who were not here yet, or if they were here, why were they here?

    Look on all sides of the issues, and THEN judge, Clavos. And stay away from the spinning, please.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    NOW, Clavos –

    Look at what you posted above – you use the Reagan Amnesty (he signed it, he owns it), so now let’s take a closer look at the other accusations you made:

    Section 245(i) The Amnesty of 1994 – a temporary rolling amnesty for 578,000 illegal aliens.
    Section 245(i) The Extension Amnesty of 1997 – an extension of the rolling amnesty created in 1994.
    The LIFE Act Amnesty of 2000 – a reinstatement of the rolling Section 245(i) amnesty to an estimated 900,000 illegal aliens.

    Well, gee, why don’t we look at what that terrible, terrrrrrible Article 245(i) ACTUALLY says:

    “Generally, an alien who has failed to maintain his lawful nonimmigrant status may no longer adjust his status to that of a permanent resident.

    As an exception, however, Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides that an out-of-status alien who is the beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition or an application for a labor certification filed on or before April 30, 2001 may still adjust his status to that of a permanent resident after paying the penalty of $1,000.00. The law further requires that if the qualifying petition or labor certification application was filed between January 15, 1998 and April 30, 2001, the alien must have been physically present in the United States as of December 21, 2000.

    According to a memorandum issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, in order to be covered by the law, the qualifying immigrant visa petition or the qualifying application for labor certification must have been “properly filed” and “approvable when filed.” Once the alien meets the requirements for grandfathering under the law, the alien continues to be grandfathered until the alien adjusts status.”

    Oh, wow – that’s really EVIL, anti-American legislation, huh? Even though it only applied to those who were in America LEGALLY to begin with, and who were not lawbreakers (for such would have disqualified them in a heartbeat), well, obviously it was those Democrats who legally brought all those aliens to America and forced all their paperwork to get lost, just so they could be declared illegal and suddenly become Democratic voters. BRILLIANT!

    So let’s look at the next example of EEEEEEEVIL Democratic support of illegal aliens:

    The Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) Amnesty of 1997 – an amnesty for nearly one million illegal aliens from Central America.
    The Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act Amnesty (HRIFA) of 1998 – an amnesty for 125,000 illegal aliens from Haiti.

    So let’s look at what the law ACTUALLY says:

    “Under NACARA, certain individuals who are nationals of Guatemala, El Salvador and certain Eastern European countries can apply for suspension of deportation under pre-Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 rules.

    The following persons are eligible for this form of relief:

    1. Salvadoran nationals who came to the US on or before Sepetember 19, 1990 and who applied for benefits under American Baptist Churches, et al. v. Thornburgh (ABC) before October 31, 1991, or applied for temporary protected status on or before October 31, 1991;

    2. A Guatemalan national who first entered the United States on or before October 1, 1990, and who registered for ABC benefits pursuant to such settlement agreement on or before December 31, 1991;

    3. A Guatemalan or Salvadoran national who filed an application for asylum with the Immigration and Naturalization Service on or before April 1, 1990;

    4. Persons who entered the US before December 31, 1990 who applied for asylum before December 31, 1991 who at the time of entering the US were nationals of the Soviet Union, Russia, any republic of the former Soviet Union, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Albania, East Germany,Yugoslavia, or any state of the former Yugoslavia.

    5. Spouses and minor children of persons eligible in the above categories;

    6. Adult children of the above individuals who have been in the US continuously since October 1, 1990.”

    Yep! More evidence of EEEEEEEEVIL Democrat support of those no-good good-fer-nuthin’ illegal aylee-ins, huh? By the way, whatever was that legal decision way up there in section 1? It was American Baptist Churches, et al. v. Thornburgh (ABC), and it states:


    the U.S. Attorney General and the head of the INS that alleged they violated domestic and international laws when they denied asylum to Salvadorans and Guatemalans fleeing political repression in the 1980s.
    Description
    In the 1980s, approximately 500,000 Salvadorans and Guatemalans fled political repression and violence condoned by their governments and applied for refugee status in the U.S. – the vast majority were denied.
    The lawsuit was filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of eight religious organizations, including the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., the Unitarian Universalist Association, and the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, against the U.S. Attorney General and the head of the INS. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants violated domestic and international laws which require that asylum determinations be made on a non-discriminatory basis without regard to the ideology of the country from which the refugee has fled, and that federal officers protect refugees fleeing conditions of war, persecution and widespread human rights violations. The lawsuit also charged U.S. government officials with interfering with the First Amendment religious rights of sanctuary workers, who have participated in individual and collective acts of resistance by providing “sanctuary” to refugees from those countries. It sought a court declaration that sanctuary is legal under international law and the 1980 Refugee Act.

    See? It was all obviously a part of the Democratic plot, huh? They even fooled the normally strongly-Republican-supporting churches like the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., the Unitarian Universalist Association, and the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church to work their EEEEEEEEVIL Democratic will, huh? See? We even co-opted all the Republican Evangelicals to do what we wanted them to do! BRILLIANT!

    But wait! you say, what about all those illegal aliens from Haiti? That law and the court decision it came from didn’t mention Haiti! Well, here’s the story behind the law:

    “In 1998, advocacy organizations disappointed that Haitians were not one of the groups benefiting from the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act put tremendous pressure on Congress to pass some type of benefit for Haitian refugees living in the US. They were successful, and in December 1998, Congress passed the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act. At the time, there were an estimated 50,000 Haitian refugees in the US, most of whom fled during the political and economic upheaval that followed efforts to recover from four decades of dictatorship.

    The basic criterion for eligibility under HRIFA is that the applicant be a citizen or national of Haiti and have been in the US continuously since December 31, 1995. In addition, the applicant must fall within one of the following five categories:
    orphaned, abandoned, or an unaccompanied minor at the time of entering the US;
    minor orphaned or abandoned after entering the US
    determined to have had a credible fear of persecution and thus, legally permitted to be in the US;
    applied for asylum before December 31, 1995, or
    previously been paroled into the US by US authorities for emergent reasons or for reasons deemed to be in the national interest.”

    Man, those Democrats sure are sneaky! First they put something on the Statue of Liberty about “give us your tired, your poor, your tempest-tossed”, and THEN they put Papa Doc Duvalier in charge in Haiti just so’s they could get the Haitians (and the other illegals from Central America and Eastern Europe) to flee for their lives, apply for asylum, and vote Democratic! BRILLIANT!

    Now, let’s look at the remaining EEEEEEVIL Democratic plot to woo those good-fer-nuthin’ illegal aylee-ins:

    The Late Amnesty of 2000 – an amnesty for approximately 400,000 illegal aliens who claimed they should have been amnestied under the 1986 IRCA amnesty.

    Okay, so howzabout we do something that conservatives don’t normally do, Clavos, like READ about it first before you condemn it!

    “Back in 1987, then President Ronald Reagan signed into law an amnesty program granting many individuals unlawfully in the U.S. an opportunity to gain lawful permanent resident status. Among the requirements, applicants had to prove that they entered the U.S. prior to January 1, 1982 and resided continuously in the U.S. in unlawful status through May 4, 1988. Initial applications were to have been filed with the INS during a 1 year application period ending May 4, 1988.

    Based on the accounts of many intending amnesty applicants during that period, it appears that more than a few INS officials around the country were providing incorrect information to potential applicants regarding their eligibility to claim amnesty benefits. Most commonly, applicants were either discouraged from filing or their applications were outright rejected because of what an INS official may have deemed to be a disqualifying departure during the requisite “continuous residence” period. It was later determined that such feedback from the INS had no basis in law, and as a result, in 1992 and 1993 the above class action lawsuits were brought and thousands of applicants have come forward claiming their eligibility under the 1987 amnesty law. Over the years, various court orders have resulted in class members being allowed to submit their late applications with the INS and for the most part, be granted employment authorization in 1 year increments.”

    Yep! There go those sneaky Democrats again! They had some INS agents go around during the Reagan and Bush presidencies giving wrong info to aliens who qualified under the REAGAN amnesty, all so’s those illegal aliens would suddenly become lifelong Democratic voters! BRILLIANT!

    See, Clavos? You got us! You’ve shown conclusively that in every case, it was the invisible hand of the Democratic Party controlling the judges, the churches, the INS agents, and even Reagan himself!

    BRILLIANT detective work on your part, Clavos! BRILLIANT!

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Glenn, when was the last time you convinced or even successfully corrected Clavos? Facts are only opinions to him unless they were first cleared by the RNC.

    I thought you knew that…

  • Clav

    OK, Glenn. Deny that all the people receiving government aid vote Democrat, go ahead. And deny that at bottom, the principal motivation for the party to do so is they have long since discovered that it gets them votes — lots of votes.

    But they ignore the well-known quotation attributed (probably falsely) to Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee, an18th century Scottish historian and professor:

    “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy…”

    Imagine that! “loose fiscal policy…” Now, why does that sound so familiar?? Hmmmm…

    So no, Glenn, despite your vociferous protestations to the contrary, I do not believe the Dems are altruistic; they do it for the votes — because it works.

    I grant you the participation of the Republicans in showering taxpayer money on the illegals, but that just confirms to me what I’ve thought for some time now: The Republicans are stupid, because they don’t even get the votes in return. But then they’re politicians; stupidity is a job qualification.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Just because an historian makes a claim doesn’t mean that historian is right. For instance, among the nations of the world, what is the longest-lived government? IIRC, it’s Switzerland’s – which is a democracy. Among the major nations of the world, the longest-lived government is that of England – also a democracy.

    Furthermore, what are the most politically-stable governments in the world? Democracies. For all the crap that goes on that you and I see day after day, in the modern world, democracies are the most stable and longest-lived governments.

    And Clavos – just because you might not be altruistic doesn’t mean that no one else is. It doesn’t even mean that no politicians are. What you’re doing here is making assumptions: “all politicians are corrupt, therefore”; “politicians only do that which garners them votes, therefore”; “Democrats are just as bad as Republicans, therefore”…and by doing so you’re putting blinders on yourself. You’re ignoring what’s been going on by assuming that whatever idiotic things the Republican Party has been doing, the Democrats are automatically just as bad…but that is a false equivalency, an assumption that keeps you from seeing the forest because of all the trees that are blocking your view.

    For instance, look at your “loose fiscal policy” claim – tell me, Clavos, have you even bothered to read the fact-checking sites? Heck, even Fox News said that Paul Ryan’s speech last night was “an attempt to set the world record for blatant lies”! And besides, I know you remember how I showed that the Obama administration was the most fiscally-conservative administration since Eisenhower.

    Here’s something to help you, something I learned from my Freemason days that’s served me well over the years: all men generally try to do what they think is the right thing to do. This even applies to politicians, for in their minds, even the corrupt ones justify their actions to themselves by saying “taking this bribe will help me be able to make such-and-such happen, which will be good for the people I represent”. Sure, there will be the occasional sociopath who could care less about his or her constituents, but most of them really do try to do what they think is right for their people. Heck, Clavos, even the Nazis mostly thought that what they were doing was good and right!

    The point I’m getting to is this: try to see all sides of the story before you make a judgment on that story. Leave your preconceived notions at the door and try to see what’s right about what this or that politician says or does.

    Leave your preconceived notions at the door, friend, and realize that most people (not all, of course, but most) – whether bum or preacher or lobbyist or hedge fund manager or politician – really try to do what they think is the right thing to do. There’s at least a little bit of altruism in most of us, including the politicians.

  • Zingzing

    Clavos’ only point is that he’s a cynic, and everyone else is as well. They are also stupid. Everything is made simple by this fact of his. It seems to me (at least on this thread) that whenever it’s pointed out how misinformed or maybe ignorant he is, all he can do is accuse someone of changing the subject. It’s not changing the subject when you’re being corrected for false or misleading statements, it’s just not letting you get away with bullshit.

  • Clav

    I know you remember how I showed that the Obama administration was the most fiscally-conservative administration since Eisenhower.

    You’ve “shown” me a lot of things, Glenn. I’ve bought few of them, and that’s one I haven’t bought.

    As to Faux News showing that Ryan’s speech was “an attempt to set the world record for blatant lies,” I thought you didn’t belie ve anything FOX has to say? How many times have you ridiculed them, called them liars and spinners? Now, they say something you agree with so they’re suddenly good enough to cite? It’s to laugh, Glenn.

    assuming that whatever idiotic things the Republican Party has been doing, the Democrats are automatically just as bad…but that is a false equivalency… Why, Glenn? Because you say so?

    realize that most people (not all, of course, but most) – whether bum or preacher or lobbyist or hedge fund manager or politician – really try to do what they think is the right thing to do. Sorry, Glenn, but my lifetime of experience with other people has taught me that that’s wrong — on a ratio of about 70-30. People are inherently liars, cheats and thieves, and some are downright evil. Why do you think that we are constantly asked in legal proceedings to “swear to tell the truth, etc.”

    Sorry, Glenn, we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

  • Clav

    zing:

    yawn…

  • Clav

    Oh, and Glenn: The UK’s government is a constitutional monarchy.

  • Clav

    It’s not changing the subject when you’re being corrected for false or misleading statements…

    Except, as I repeatedly pointed out, I was being “corrected” for “statements” I hadn’t made. But you can believe what you want to.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    You’ve “shown” me a lot of things, Glenn. I’ve bought few of them, and that’s one I haven’t bought.

    I only showed you the numbers. Feel free to refute them any time you like.

    As to Faux News showing that Ryan’s speech was “an attempt to set the world record for blatant lies,” I thought you didn’t belie ve anything FOX has to say? How many times have you ridiculed them, called them liars and spinners? Now, they say something you agree with so they’re suddenly good enough to cite? It’s to laugh, Glenn.

    I learned a long time ago that when two people (or organizations) of wildly-opposing viewpoints agree on something that is of concern to both of them, that certain something is almost always a hard-and-cold fact.

    Sorry, Glenn, but my lifetime of experience with other people has taught me that that’s wrong — on a ratio of about 70-30. People are inherently liars, cheats and thieves, and some are downright evil. Why do you think that we are constantly asked in legal proceedings to “swear to tell the truth, etc.”

    Then I really, truly pity you. Or did you not really understand what I was saying? I didn’t justify what anyone actually did – see the Nazi reference – but only pointed out that to them, what they were doing was in their eyes good and right at least to some extent. We all have feet of clay, but if you really, truly believe that 70 percent of people are “inherently liars, cheats and thieves”, then I really pity you. That makes for a cold and bitter old age, my friend.

    Oh, and Glenn: The UK’s government is a constitutional monarchy.

    That in practice works as a democracy and has done so for centuries now, as you well know.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Clavos –

    Except, as I repeatedly pointed out, I was being “corrected” for “statements” I hadn’t made.

    Like where the South was already deserting the Democrats in 1948, LBJ only signed the CRA to get the black vote, and the Dems were behind all the amnesty acts since 1986?

  • Clav

    Nonetheless, it’s not the same, because it’s a parliamentary government.

    then I really pity you No need; I’m likely happier than you, but even if I’m not, pity is something I don’t want from anybody, for any reason.

  • Clav

    South was already deserting the Democrats in 1948… Didn’t I point out the Dixiecrats’ in that election? Here’s what wikipedia has to say about the Dixiecrats’ effect on the democratic party during and following the 1948 election: The Dixiecrats began the weakening of the “Solid South” (the Democratic Party’s total control of presidential elections in the South).

    LBJ only signed the CRA to get the black vote,

    What makes you think he had a motive that surpassed that one? What he said? I didn’t and don’t buy it.

    Dems were behind all the amnesty acts since 1986

    I conceded that one. In fact. I pointed out the stupidity of the Republicans in their support of entitlements since, unlike the Dems, they didn’t even get any votes out of their support.

    And it’s interesting to note that the poverty class has remained a fairly constant proportion of the overall population for decades, which would indicate that entitlements do not liberate people from poverty, they lock them into it, at least in part because kill recipients’ ambition and initiative.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Nonetheless, it’s not the same, because it’s a parliamentary government.

    Whether it’s a parliamentary system or a constitutional monarchy or a republic or a commune makes little difference. It disproves the original contention, in #55, that democracies aren’t self-sustaining.

    It looks very much, Clav, as if you’re unwilling to concede the point, and not going about it in a very dignified way…

  • STM

    On republics under constitutions, constitutional monarchies, parliamentary governments, etc etc,

    I think in any discussions today where the word democracy is being used, it’s important for us to think of it in the modern sense – as in modern, liberal democracy, of which the US is but one – rather than in the literal sense, which gives it the meaning it had in ancient Greece.

    Which is an awful long time ago …

    I know a lot of people in the US will rail about the US not being a democracy, rather a republic under a constitution, but in modern English usage, it certainly is a democracy.

    Did Winston Churchill really say that democracy was the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time?

    He was probably right.

    It worries me no end that that no matter who we vote for in this country, we still end up with a government.

  • STM

    And my experience over the years is that the US system and the parliamentary system may be slightly different in form, but being underpinned by rule of law, they are almost identical in function.

    Therein lies the clue … US laws across the board are virtually identical to those in other English-speaking countries.

    Those laws work equally well in a republic under a constitution or a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system.

    The reason for that … they’re all democracies that value certain things above others.

  • Zingzing

    Clavos, you’re getting beat up like a featherwieight in a middleweight ring on this one. Your attacks are flacid, you’re not quite dodging the big hits, and you’ve got too much blood in your eyes to see that you’ve lost it. You’re not even in the right game. Politicians do things for votes?! Oh, no… That’s how politicians keep their job. You make your constituents happy, or happy enough with you so that they vote you in again. How do you do that? You give them what they want, even, and I know this is hard for you to understand, even if it doesn’t directly benefit YOU, but it benefits the nation as a whole, or at least those with less than you. I need no help right now, but I can imagine that I might one day, and there’s no looking to the right for that, so I’ll throw a few dollars in the fund (which the right will probably spend on a war for their buddies), with the thought that if I don’t use it, someone else will be able to pay their bills because we live in a society, not an animalistic winner-takes-all fuckpit. You want to live in the fuckpit, you go right ahead, but don’t drag us all down with you.

  • Clav

    Well, Doc, in the case of the USA, perhaps you’re jumping to conclusions, perhaps there hasn’t been enough time, but we certainly are running out of money fairly rapidly, and even if we take ALL the rich folks’ money, we won’t have enough to stop the hemorrhaging, at least according to some of the economists — the ones who seem to make the most sense to me at least.

    But hey, so what?

    No society lasts forever…

  • Clav

    You want to live in the fuckpit, you go right ahead…

    I already do, zing, and so do you. You just don’t realize it.

  • Zingzing

    Clavos: “What makes you think he had a motive that surpassed that one? What he said? I didn’t and don’t buy it.”

    Because the south wasn’t majority black? Why would he destroy the dems in the south in order to win the minority black vote? Maybe it was the right thing to do, and maybe it was time for it. The dems took one hell of a hit there, voter-wise, and you know it. Nearly half and century later, blacks have gained a lot of political respect down there, but you can bet the first deep south governor to legalize gay marriage will pay a price. one day, it will happen, and I hope you don’t view it as someone or some party trying to win votes, but justice done for someone who didn’t deserve to live in an America where they were less then human. Let the trumpets sound. [brap brap brrraaappp]

  • Zingzing

    Clavos, you live in a fuckpit, I live in awesometown. You cynic. Life is good. I dunno why you’d waste your time in the fuckpit, unless… What goes on in the fuckpit?

  • Clav

    And the poor aren’t being “helped,” they’re being exploited; mosf them are never able to break out because the “help” only perpetuates, it doesn’t liberate.

    I lose every single argument I get into on these threads, zing, I’m not nearly as smart as Glenn and you and especially Igor, if I were I’d be a liberal.

  • Clav

    What goes on in the fuckpit?

    I don’t know, zing I mind my own business and don’t ask…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    I really hope you are happier than I am – but I’m the happiest, most stupidly lucky guy I know. I really am.

    But the happier someone is, generally speaking, the better one feels about most other people. On the other hand, the frog in the pot with the slowly-heating water sees nothing wrong with his situation, either. In my experience, someone who thinks that most people around him or her are not to be trusted, well, that person might think they’re happy and see nothing wrong with their situation…

    …but you see where this is going. I really do hope I’m wrong – I honestly hope you really are happier than I am, because if you are, then you’re living one heck of a happy life, and that is nothing but GOOD.

    And I have never thought for one moment that I am as smart as you are – I don’t make such assumptions. If anything, in some ways I look up to you for your work and life experience and your skill with the written word – remember, you’re the first of three that I’m crediting in my book with helping me to increase my skill at writing. So please don’t tear yourself down even if you’re simply being facetious, for when you do, you’re tearing me down, too.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Clav –

    Whether you’re right or wrong on the issues in this thread, kudos to you for doing your best to hold your own (unsupported) against the rest of us. It ain’t easy when the rest of us are piling on….

  • STM

    Democracy might sometimes – most of the time – get uglier than a hat full of arseholes, but it still requires more than one participant.

    The world would be a shit-boring, go-nowhere joint if we all had the same point of view.

  • Igor

    Hey, Zing. I live in Awesometown, too. Great, ain’t it!?

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Well, Doc, in the case of the USA, perhaps you’re jumping to conclusions, perhaps there hasn’t been enough time

    Hmm. Perhaps a point in favour of your argument is that the USA happens to be one of the world’s oldest democracies despite being such a young nation.

    Although as Stan is fond of pointing out, it gets its notion of government by the people and the rule of law largely from its parent, Britain, whence those who wrote the Constitution could, to a man, trace their ancestry within a generation or two.

    but we certainly are running out of money fairly rapidly

    Money is in essence imaginary, so there’s no danger of running out of it. Resources? Now that’s another thing entirely.

    No society lasts forever…

    Actually, human society will last as long as the species does, which to all intents and purposes is forever as we won’t much care if we’re not here to see its disappearance. Civilizations don’t last forever, that’s true: but very few of them disappear as abruptly as archaeologists and historians sometimes make out. The Roman Empire, for example, didn’t collapse overnight but rather split into two halves, then the western half was absorbed into the political domains of various Germanic tribes while the eastern half became Constantinople, an empire in its own right until it was conquered and supplanted by the Ottomans, another empire. You could, in fact, argue that even the western Roman Empire never truly ended, as its political status and much of its infrastructure was inherited by the Roman Catholic Church. Since most kings deferred to the ultimate authority of the Pope, the Church essentially governed the whole of Western Europe for centuries.

  • Clav

    Your point about “society” vs “civilization” is well taken, Doc, and in particular very apropos to present day America, which has been steadily becoming less and less civilized for about a half century now.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    in particular very apropos to present day America, which has been steadily becoming less and less civilized for about a half century now.

    Indeed. One remarkable uncivilized trait that Americans seem to have is a pathological need to win, which manifested itself on a large scale at the recent Olympics and does so ever increasingly in politics.

    There is certainly a large segment of the population that can’t get its head around the concept that sometimes, your guy loses the election, and is under no obligation to do what you, personally, want.

  • Igor

    Indeed, Dr. D, the ability to lose gracefully is a trait that the Brits imbued in their own rulers (you know, on the playing fields of Eton, where they won the battle of Waterloo, etc.) so that they transitioned into a more modern world. The whole world plays Cricket by British rules, and the whole world plays Cricket (mostly).

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clav –

    Before you and I got off on a tangent, I mentioned how the Republicans had tried to make Democratic counties in Ohio have three days less voting time than Republican counties. You went off on something about how the Dems try to buy votes, but you never did address what happened in Ohio.

    And while you’re at it, you can also address how the Republicans were caught at gerrymandering voting districts in Texas to the point where the 4M(!) extra Hispanics since the last presidential election resulted in zero extra representation of Hispanics in state and federal elections.

  • Clav

    Glenn,

    I don’t know enough about the Ohio issue to comment on it.

    In Re the “extra” 4M Latinos (presumably none of them are from Hispaniola) in TX:

    It would seem there are a limited number of explanations for such a significant increase in the short span of one term:

    1) There has been a massive relocation of the Latino population in other states to TX. Unlikely, and nothing in the press about it.

    2) The Latinos are multiplying at a dizzying rate. Not impossible, but again, unlikely. To my knowledge, there is no evidence to support that theory, so…

    We are left with 3) The rate of illegals arriving, while slowed somewhat by economic conditions in the Colossus of the North, is still impressive. If this is the case, and the additional 4M Latinos are indeed illegals, the fact they have zero representation is a non-issue; they are criminal non-citizens with no right to be here, and their lack of representation is the correct order of things, not a problem; they should, in fact be deported, not “represented.”

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clav –

    First, an apology – I gave you some wrong numbers. The increase in Texas was 4.3M from 2000 to 2010 (ten years, not four), and it was comprised of ‘only’ 65% Hispanics, 13% Blacks, 10% Asians. As is noted by voting wonk Brad Friedman:

    Berman has more details on the specific findings in the ruling, and notes that a lawsuit filed by civil rights groups late last year asserts that “even though Whites’ share of the population declined from 52 percent to 45 percent, they remain the majority in 70 percent of Congressional Districts.” He also notes that the court found “Texas Republicans not only failed to grant new power to minority voters in the state, they also took away vital economic resources from minority Democratic members of Congress.”

    My numbers were quite wrong, but my overall point was right – and a federal district court found that the Republicans in Texas had indeed violated the voting rights of minorities using the following metrics:

    Our analysis follows the Supreme Court’s decision in Arlington Heights, which, as discussed in more detail above, identifies five “subjects of proper inquiry in determining whether racially discriminatory intent existed”: (1) discriminatory impact, (2) historical background, (3) sequence of events leading up to the decision, (4) procedural or substantive deviations from the normal decisionmaking process, and (5) contemporaneous viewpoints expressed by the decisionmakers.

    In a different decision, the courts also blocked the Texas voter ID law for some of the same reasons.

    “There are more UFO and Bigfoot sightings than documented cases of voter impersonation,” quipped one Texas Democrat. Look up the numbers and you’ll see this is quite literally true, since there have been a grand total of ten – TEN! – documented cases of in-person voter fraud since 2000! So why, then, all the hoopla by the Republicans to pass voter-ID laws that would disenfranchise literally hundreds of thousands nationwide? According to U.S. News and World Report:

    …10 percent of all eligible voters and 25 percent of eligible African-American voters do not have government-issued IDs. The homeless, the homebound, returning veterans, the elderly, people of color, and college students are all vulnerable to these new laws. In 2008, 2.2 million were turned away at the polls for lack of a proper ID. We have long had a system in place to identify voters at polls – through address verifications and systems of vouching. Given that we are not a country that requires its citizens to carry government-issued IDs, this is an extreme burden on the electorate

    Hm. Disenfranchising 2.2 MILLION people to stop TEN fraudulent votes? Do you see something wrong with this picture? Or does the fact that the voter-ID laws impact mostly Democratic voters make it all okay with you?

    And when it comes to Ohio, since you said you don’t know much about it, please read about it:

    All of this comes on the heels of the Obama Administration suing to restore Early Voting for all on the last three days before the election, which Republicans are now allowing only active duty military members in Ohio to do, and after previous rulings by Husted resulted in expanded Early Voting hours in Republican-leaning counties, and no expanded Early Voting hours in the largest Democratic-leaning counties.

    The Obama administration had to get involved just to make sure that Democratic-leaning counties had the same opportunity to vote as Republican-leaning counties!!!! You should be greatly offended at this, too, Clav. And if that isn’t enough to tick you off, here’s a comment by Franklin County (Columbus, OH) GOP Chair Doug Preisse to the Columbus Dispatch concerning Ohio’s disparity of voting hours between Republican- and Democratic-leaning counties, by way of The Nation magazine:

    “I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban – read African-American – voter-turnout machine.” Preisse is not some rogue operative but the chairman of the Republican Party in Ohio’s second-largest county and a close adviser to Ohio Governor John Kasich.

    And you really think racism isn’t playing a significant part? The two most important swing states are OH and FL, and Republicans are doing everything they can to hinder voting by those who are more likely to vote Democratic. Is this the kind of America you want to see?

    And here’s some other instances of Republican voter-ID laws and other election rigging that were struck down by the courts.

    I know you don’t think much of Republicans but think much less of Democrats, Clav, but which side is deliberately trying to hinder voting by the people, and which side hinders no one? One side feels it’s okay to hinder the vote, and the other doesn’t. Which side is more worthy to protect our rights as Americans, Clavos?

  • Clav

    Hm. Disenfranchising 2.2 MILLION people to stop TEN fraudulent votes? Do you see something wrong with this picture?

    Not if those 2.2 million are illegal mojados. They don’t and shouldn’t have the right to vote; hell, they don’t even have the right to stay here. And shouldn’t.

  • zingzing

    come on, clavos… you know that these laws affect more than just illegal aliens. i don’t know who you think you’re fooling. yourself, i guess.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clav –

    I trolled a few right-wing sites and found lots of claims of illegal aliens voting, but a near-total dearth of links to anything resembling actual PROOF.

    The closest thing to ‘proof’ was this 2005 report by the Commission on Federal Election Reform, which listed instances of non-citizens who had been registered to vote, and other instances of votes that had been cast by those registered illegally, but the devil was clearly in the details – the blame lay squarely on the third-party voter registration drives where low-level, unsupervised workers were “paid by the piece” to register people to vote. But you know what?

    NOWHERE in the report was there ANY indication that illegal aliens had been registered to vote, much less having voted at all!

    There are many documented cases of people who have voted again and again and again and again – even WWII vets! – who cannot now vote because they not only don’t have the ‘proper ID’ but also canNOT get said ID because they can’t find their birth certificates or whatever. There’s documented cases of blacks who at least could VOTE during the Jim Crow era but canNOT vote now because of these voter ID laws.

    The voter ID laws are a solution to a problem that DOES NOT EXIST and has NOT existed. Why? Because what do illegals want? They want to HIDE. They want to keep their illegality SECRET. They want to fly under the radar – and because of this, they stay from polling places as if such were poison to them. Look back at the report – LEGAL aliens had been registered to vote, but there’s nothing, nada, ZIP about illegal aliens being registered to vote…because they do NOT want to do so! They see it as squarely against their self-interest to do so, and they stay away from voter registration – much less polling places – in droves.

    But wait, I forgot – reality doesn’t matter, huh? All that matters is that the side you don’t like loses, and who gives a damn about how the side that wins goes about it. Is that it?

  • Clav

    Of course I know that, zing. I also know that the Democrats will eagerly give citizenship under amnesty to the illegals, if given half a chance.

    Besides, my comment was a specific answer to a specific question from Glenn.

    Other than that, yeah, I’m trying to fool myself.

    Meh.

  • Clav

    Umm, Glenn,

    I’m talking about granting illegals amnesty, to which I’m totally opposed, because it eventually results in their obtaining citizenship, for which they have no rights. Instead, they should be deported.

    Though I have nothing but verbal, unofficial confirmation of this (but from both sides of the border), I have long believed that the whole illegal phenomenon is facilitated by both governments for their respective convenience. The Mexicans (and Central American countries) get rid of a LOT of otherwise under- or unemployed people who are an enormous drag on their economies, which are none too strong to begin with, and the Gringos get a never-ending supply of cheap, exploitable labor to whom they don’t have to provide any social services except emergency room “health care.”

    However, as they often do, the Gringos shoot themselves in the foot by periodically granting amnesty, which “gives” the illegals rights, which in turn, results in more expensive labor, entitlement to social services, and eventually, citizenship to a group that is already the largest ethnic group in the country and whose arrival here was a criminal act..

    And they vote — Democratic (except for most – but not all – of the Cubans). So the Dems (AND, inexplicably, the Republicans), “compassionately,” support the amnesty idea.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clav –

    I also know that the Democrats will eagerly give citizenship under amnesty to the illegals, if given half a chance.

    So you proof is…You Just Know It. No hard proof, no factual actions by the Dems – except for those who voted for the REAGAN amnesty). It’s simply You Just Know It.

    Clavos, there’s another word to describe unsavory beliefs about other groups of people that fly in the face of actual historical fact: ‘prejudice’. Or, when it comes to most of those who participate in religion, it’s called ‘faith’.

    But in any case, what you think is not backed up by the facts. The really sad thing is, you don’t see anything wrong with it because You Just Know It.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Clavos –

    However, as they often do, the Gringos shoot themselves in the foot by periodically granting amnesty, which “gives” the illegals rights, which in turn, results in more expensive labor, entitlement to social services, and eventually, citizenship to a group that is already the largest ethnic group in the country and whose arrival here was a criminal act..

    And they vote — Democratic (except for most – but not all – of the Cubans). So the Dems (AND, inexplicably, the Republicans), “compassionately,” support the amnesty idea.

    Look at the first sentence, Clavos – at the word ‘periodically’. That denotes “more than once”. Problem is – and as I showed you conclusively – it only happened ONCE, and the ‘continuations’ of which only applied to those to whom it should also have applied at the same time, or those who (through no fault of their own) filed applications which didn’t go through as they should have.

    But it only happened ONCE, and then with the support of and signature by a REPUBLICAN president. But what does Clavos say?

    “Periodically”.

    Your prejudice (or faith) – belief not supported by history or facts – is showing, Clavos.

  • Clav

    1. Immigration and Reform Control Act (IRCA), 1986: A blanket amnesty for over 2.7 million illegal aliens

    2. Section 245(i) Amnesty, 1994: A temporary rolling amnesty for 578,000 illegal aliens

    3. Section 245(i) Extension Amnesty, 1997: An extension of the rolling amnesty created in 1994

    4. Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) Amnesty, 1997: An amnesty for close to one million illegal aliens from Central America

    5. Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act Amnesty (HRIFA), 1998: An amnesty for 125,000 illegal aliens from Haiti

    6. Late Amnesty, 2000: An amnesty for some illegal aliens who claim they should have been amnestied under the 1986 IRCA amnesty, an estimated 400,000 illegal aliens

    7. LIFE Act Amnesty, 2000: A reinstatement of the rolling Section 245(i) amnesty, an estimated 900,000 illegal aliens

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    You obviously didn’t read – or chose not to read – my comment #53, where I addressed every single one of the acts you just listed.

    Go back and READ it…and then get back to me.

  • Clav

    Glenn,

    I read it back when you first put it up. And back then, I conceded hat it wasn’t just Democrats who were allowing criminals to remain in the country, it was Republicans as well. Most notably Mr. Trickle Down himself, Ronnie Raygun.

    So, with that detail out of the way, I reaffirm that, while somebody, either Dem or Repub, was the perp with each of these amnesties, they were nevertheless amnesties, in which people who had originally entered the country illegally were allowed to take up legal residence, despite their criminal status.

    Once again, people who broke the law (i.e. criminals) to get here, not only were not removed summarily from the country, they were rewarded by having their status legalized for no justifiable reason. Not only was this a travesty, it also sent a mesage to people around the world that immigration law in America is enforced arbitrarily and capriciously — and sometimes not at all, thus encouraging millions more to come here at will.

    And, as I mentioned upthread, this whole sordid story also highlights the sheer stupidity of the Republicans, who gained nothing from these amnesties since the former illegals do not vote for Republicans.

  • Zingzing

    No justifiable reason? How about they could contribute to the social systems they were once leeching off? How about it’s cheaper to allow them to become responsible citizens than to jail and prosecute them and send them home? How about the fact that immigrants start small businesses at about twice the rate that citizens do? There’s a ucla study that says amnesty would boost the GDP by more than a trillion dollars over the decade following. no justifiable reason? How about money? What you’re suggesting makes second class citizens out of people who are only searching for a better life. It’s idiotic and cruel, nothing more.

  • Zingzing

    I guess “second class citizens” was a rather foolish phrase to use in this case… But you get the point…

  • Clav

    IF you can believe the UCLA study, and without seeing some opposing viewpoints, I wouldn’t be inclined to give it credence, that’s the only reason you give that resonates with me; I would send them packing — not reward them for being lawbreakers.

  • Zingzing

    All of the reasons I gave were economic. It costs us more to enforce the law than to grant amnesty, and it’s economically advantageous to grant amnesty as well. Your reasoning is based on an self-righteous and arbitrary application of the law (which I’m sure you break in many ways on an average day–it’s nearly impossible not to). I’m not saying open all the borders, but if a person can prove they will be a responsible citizen, we should be open to that. God knows our own natural born citizens aren’t all angels, and they’ve done less to deserve it than someone who spends years trying for something we take for granted.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    So, with that detail out of the way, I reaffirm that, while somebody, either Dem or Repub, was the perp with each of these amnesties, they were nevertheless amnesties, in which people who had originally entered the country illegally were allowed to take up legal residence, despite their criminal status.

    Problem is, you’re still using the plural, which means you might have read it, but you didn’t understand it.

    Why is that so? Because every one of the seven instances you listed was either the Reagan Amnesty or directly related thereto, or concerned aliens who were originally in the country LEGALLY but whose paperwork got lost, or who were political refugees from the Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, the Soviet Union, Cuba, Russia, any republic of the former Soviet Union, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Albania, East Germany, Yugoslavia, or any state of the former Yugoslavia.

    Only ONE of those – the Reagan amnesty – was a true amnesty for run-of-the-mill illegal aliens. All the rest were directly related to aliens who were here legally to begin with who paperwork got lost in the shuffle, or due to political asylum, and if you’ll read closely, much of this happened due to court decisions – not the Congress or the presidency, but the courts.

    Now if you think that if a LEGAL alien should be deported if the government loses his papers, and if you think that we should NOT welcome political refugees and their families, well, sir, then you’ve got what would be in YOUR view a legitimate gripe against the way our government does things. But those did not apply to run-of-the-mill illegal aliens, did they? These were specific actions that applied to targeted individuals. The ONLY general amnesty was the Reagan amnesty.

    Please, Clavos, read, study, and understand the issue before you continue to make accusations that are plainly false.

  • Zingzing

    I wonder what the world would look like if we deported all the right wingers to some continent for them to work their shit they way they want to. Unfortunately, capitalism probably needs some ofe their inhuman ruthlessness in order to function. We’d probably become their slaves if we didn’t mix them into decent society. I suppose it’s ok if they’re appalled by our one culture and afraid of any other culture as long as they don’t seek to enslave us. It’s enough to laugh in their face as they slowly become accepting of what we once accepted as enough.

  • Zingzing

    That “one” culture was a typo.

    Clavos, were you ever a lib?s

  • Zingzing

    -s

  • Zingzing

    iPad sucks. I need to stop typing comments on it.

  • Clav

    Only ONE of those – the Reagan amnesty – was a true amnesty for run-of-the-mill illegal aliens. All the rest were directly related to aliens who were here legally to begin with who paperwork got lost in the shuffle

    That is NOT the case, most came here illegally originally, were granted “legality” (and “paperwork”) by reagan’s idiotic amnesty, but they first came here illegally.

    As for those who came seeking “political asylum:” Currently, The United States only grants such status to Cubans — no one else in this hemisphere. This is the very root of the argument the Haitians present because they are not granted asylum while the Cubans are. The Haitians are repatriated when caught.

    if you think that we should NOT welcome political refugees and their families, well, sir, then you’ve got what would be in YOUR view a legitimate gripe against the way our government does things.

    I do, and for the most part, we don’t, which is part of my argument: we are MUCH more stringent about admitting political refugees than we are about granting amnesty to law breakers who come here simply because they can’t find work at home.

    Our policy is idiotic and totally unfair to those who have life-or-death reasons for leaving their homelands. The numbers admitted for asylum so far in this century have been averaging 50,000 a year (with almost none from Latin America, because they don’t meet the criteria) , far too few for asylum refugees to account for the numbers I cited upthread who have been granted amnesty.

    In 2010 there was a small increase in the number of political refugees with, according to Wikipedia, “A total of 73,293 persons were admitted to the United States as refugees during 2010. The leading countries of nationality for refugee admissions were Iraq (24.6%), Burma (22.8%), Bhutan (16.9%), Somalia (6.7%), Cuba (6.6%), Iran (4.8%), DR Congo (4.3%), Eritrea (3.5%), Vietnam (1.2%) and Ethiopia (0.9%).” Notice that of the refugees (and they are refugees, NOT illegals, who are illegal immigrants, not refugees) admitted in 2010, the ONLY refugees from Latin America were Cubans — no other Lat Am country meets the criteria — not even Chango Chavez’ Venezuela.

  • Clav

    Clavos, were you ever a lib?

    Never. My high school year book’s “look into the future” section had me selling Welch-ade and Birch Beer in a roadside stand 20 years after graduation.

    In 1964, my first year eligible to vote, I was in Basic training at Ft. Gordon GA at election time. I sent away to Florida for an absentee ballot, filled it out, and as the law required, took it to the young (younger than I was!) shavetail 2nd Lt. who was my Company CO for countersignature. He had the balls to open it to see who I was voting for, looked and exclaimed, “You’re voting for Goldwater?? If you vote for Goldwater, you’ll be in Vietnam inside of a year!” And you know what? He was absolutely right, in just under a year, I was on a troopship on my way to Cam Ranh Bay.

    Only…Goldwater lost. Go figure.

  • Zingzing

    Thanks, that gives me hope. One day i might might not not care. I’m selfish, but I hope I’m never proud of it.

  • http://www.rosedigitalmarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos, why are you so wound up about this issue?

    I don’t see why the movement of people to the USA is such a big deal, except in the sense that it is stupendously bad idea to move to an over-regulated quasi-militaristic security dominated state with far too aggressive tax and penal codes…

  • STM

    Igor, the downside of the English being the world’s best losers – and it’s true they are pretty gracious losers and have no desire like the US to come first at everything – is that they are the world’s worst winners.

    They are still banging on about winning the 1966 soccer world cup.

    I can understand them still carrying on about winning world war two, as it formed a huge part of their modern national consciousness, but a soccer tournament?

    Can’t wait for the cricket to start, especially if they give us another pounding …

    Not.

  • STM

    The only saving grace during the recent rugby world cup when Australia got bundled out in the semis is that England got done over as well. Oh, and South Africa.

    I’d have loved to see Wales get on. But unfortunately, that too is fraught as it brings the idiot nationalists and separatists out of the woodwork – and they’re people who don’t realise, like too many Scots and Irish, that 700 year old hatreds now really belong with a bit of flag waving and chanting in the stands at a six nations rugby match, not directed at another country to which they’ve been joined for hundreds of years and to whose people they are today genetically identical and whose basic values they now share.

    One thing I’ll say about Aussies’ supposed hatred of Poms is that doesn’t really exist. Loving to hate on the sporting field is different to actually hating. We recognise them for who and what they are and how that relates to us. Most – I say most – of it’s good.

    The rest of the basis of these arguments is bollocks.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    That is NOT the case, most came here illegally originally, were granted “legality” (and “paperwork”) by reagan’s idiotic amnesty, but they first came here illegally.

    So they, like the rest, WERE directly related to the Reagan amnesty, were declared LEGAL by the Reagan amnesty, and their paperwork got lost. And yet you blame the Democrats for not declaring them illegal after the Reagan administration had already declared them LEGAL! Do you not see how silly, how incredibly wrong it would have been to declare as illegal a group that had already been declared LEGAL, whose subsequent path to citizenship was only stopped because the government lost their paperwork???? They had been declared LEGAL by the Reagan administration, Clavos – to declare them illegal again would be very much like a criminal receiving a presidential pardon, and then putting the person (who was at that point NO LONGER A CRIMINAL) back in prison because some government clerk lost the paperwork!!!!

    As for those who came seeking “political asylum:” Currently, The United States only grants such status to Cubans — no one else in this hemisphere. This is the very root of the argument the Haitians present because they are not granted asylum while the Cubans are. The Haitians are repatriated when caught.

    And the devil’s in the details, huh? That’s why you included the word “currently”. BUT at the time of the COURT decision, the COURT decided that El Salvadorans and the Guatemalans should have the same right to asylum as did nationals of the Soviet Union, Russia, any republic of the former Soviet Union, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Albania, East Germany,Yugoslavia, or any state of the former Yugoslavia. But in YOUR world, I guess that counts as another illegal aylee-in amnesty foisted upon ‘real’ Americans by the Democrats in Congress.

    You also said:

    we are MUCH more stringent about admitting political refugees than we are about granting amnesty to law breakers who come here simply because they can’t find work at home.

    So far, Clavos, I’ve shown – with your help, interestingly enough – that the only TRUE amnesty for illegals was the Reagan amnesty, and all other “amnesties” were either directly related to the Reagan amnesty or largely concerned those who were coming to America for political asylum. But of course in YOUR eyes that’s all obviously a litany of Democratic efforts to bolster our voting base.

    Clavos, I’ve shown you again. And again. And yet again. The only true amnesty for illegals was the Reagan amnesty – he supported it, he signed it, he and the GOP owns it – and all the rest of the “amnesties” you claimed were either directly related to the Reagan amnesty or were for those who were here for political asylum from political tyranny. Yet you’re STILL stuck on blaming the Democrats for granting amnesty to illegal aliens!

    Clavos, on this issue you’re starting to look a bit like Warren – the facts are clearly against you by any objective measure. As I pointed out above, continually making such assumptions about a group of people when you not only have zero proof but the facts also point to pretty much the opposite…the same process of assumption is used by those who are prejudiced or who have “faith” in a religion when both have zero proof for and lots of proof against them.

  • Clav

    As I pointed out above, continually making such assumptions about a group of people when you not only have zero proof but the facts also point to pretty much the opposite

    Glenn, the ONLY point I’ve conceded here is that Reagan effed up and granted the first amnesty; I DO NOT agree that all the subsequent “rolling’ events were in favor of the few from that first one whose “paperwork” was lost (although, since the paperwork was being handled by government employees, it’s not at all surprising that it was mishandled), and you have presented nothing but assertions, not evidence, that ALL the subsequent hundreds of thousands of amnesties dealt ONLY with the dropouts from that original group.

    Again, I’m appalled at the stupidity of reagan in granting that amnesty in the first place; neither he, the Republican party, nor the country had anything to gain by granting millions of criminal, uneducated, unskilled foreigners unearned and undeserved citizenship. Doing so sent an appallingly wrong message to every individual in the world that one could come to America under any circumstances, no matter whether legal or not, and be granted citizenship. Not only was that an open invitation to every criminal and misfit on the planet, it also insulted and cheapened the efforts of those who immigrated by abiding by the rules.

    In former, more intelligent periods of American history, immigration has been much more tightly controlled; not only in terms of sheer numbers, but also in terms of qualifications, including health, education, skills, etc. We need to revert back to that much more sensible kind of immigration policy; it worked much better for the country.

    And whether or not you have been in the past, it’s obvious that the democratic party of today is very much in favor of a lax immigration policy with few, if any, restrictions for admittance.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    I DO NOT agree that all the subsequent “rolling’ events were in favor of the few from that first one whose “paperwork” was lost (although, since the paperwork was being handled by government employees, it’s not at all surprising that it was mishandled), and you have presented nothing but assertions, not evidence, that ALL the subsequent hundreds of thousands of amnesties dealt ONLY with the dropouts from that original group.

    Really? Lets look AGAIN at what the law actually said about that ‘rolling amnesty’:

    “Generally, an alien who has failed to maintain his lawful nonimmigrant status may no longer adjust his status to that of a permanent resident.

    As an exception, however, Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides that an out-of-status alien who is the beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition or an application for a labor certification filed on or before April 30, 2001 may still adjust his status to that of a permanent resident after paying the penalty of $1,000.00. The law further requires that if the qualifying petition or labor certification application was filed between January 15, 1998 and April 30, 2001, the alien must have been physically present in the United States as of December 21, 2000.

    According to a memorandum issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, in order to be covered by the law, the qualifying immigrant visa petition or the qualifying application for labor certification must have been “properly filed” and “approvable when filed.” Once the alien meets the requirements for grandfathering under the law, the alien continues to be grandfathered until the alien adjusts status.”

    Yeah, that really sent the wrong message for America to give a break to those LEGAL immigrants who had dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s who still fell out of status. But they’re all just nogoodnik criminal uneducated unskilled foreigners to you, it seems, and the words “properly filed” and “approvable when filed” don’t mean squat to you.

    And whether or not you have been in the past, it’s obvious that the democratic party of today is very much in favor of a lax immigration policy with few, if any, restrictions for admittance.

    And this belief is based on what FACTS? Especially given the documented fact that Obama has deported RECORD numbers of illegal aliens?

    Your accusation against the Democrats is based not at all upon the actions of the Dems, but entirely upon your belief of what you think the Dems would do. It’s like I keep saying, Clavos, your assumption is simply an assumption, based on the premise that You Just Know It.

  • Clav

    From the official Democratic Party platform:

    Undocumented immigrants within our borders who clear a background check, work hard and pay taxes should have a path to earn full participation in America. We will hasten family reunification for parents and children, husbands and wives, and offer more English-language and civic education classes so immigrants can assume all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

  • Zingzing

    Sounds like a reasonable plank to me. It was good enough for your family and it was good enough for my family once upon a time. They work, they pay their taxes and they aren’t criminals. Why you hound them instead of wall street and rich people? Why pick on the little guy when you’ve got much bigger fish to fry? And your own people as well. You judas. It saddens me. Fucking bully.

  • Clav

    It was good enough for your family and it was good enough for my family once upon a time.

    Whoa, zing. Neither side of my family came here illegally, and I doubt yours did either.

    They work, they pay their taxes and they aren’t criminals.

    They are criminals by virtue of how they got here, by breaking the law.

    Why you hound them instead of wall street and rich people?

    Why you hound rich people? And don’t tell me the usual bullshit about them all being thieves and crooks; you know that’s not true. Those who got their money illegally should be punished to the fullest extent of the law; I’ve never said they shouldn’t and I include the illegal immigrants (Not all immigrants by any means).

    And your own people as well.

    “My own people” are limited to my family and those I call (and who call me) friend. People born in the same country as I are NOT “my own people” unless they fall into one of those two rather exclusive categories.

    “Judas” and “bully,” eh? You need to go to bed and sober up.

  • Zingzing

    “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free,” clavos. That’s what America stood for, and that’s what it should be. It opened its arms to yours and mine, and I find it appalling and hypocritical to deny that to another. My family escaped hunger (on one side) and oppression (on the other). Yours probably escaped something similar. Just because the year or decade or century has changed doesn’t mean that human problems have. We aren’t short on space here yet.

    As for the rich people thing, the average rich person probably cheats more off the American economy than 1000 immigrants. It might be “legal,” but it’s not right. For someone who thinks gov’t is so fucked up, you sure do place a lot of faith in the law. Fuck the law. It’s arbitrary and didn’t apply to you or me. (also, are you american these days? Thought you weren’t… Depends on the argument, I suppose, mr convenience,)

    And as for your bed and sober up bit, you’re not disproving the bully bit. But I think I will go to bed. and I hope you regret your nastiness, as it was unnecessary and cheap. Shame, clavos, shame.

  • Clav

    Shame, clavos, shame.

    Right, zingy, right.

    Yawn.

  • Zingzing

    It’s just a phase you’re going through.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Re: #15 – that, sir, is how to win an argument. Not by “you just know it”, but by showing the goods. And so you proved your point that yes, we do want the tired, poor, and huddled masses to be able to breathe free in America. Note that the line does not say “give us your skilled and educated” – probably because back when the Statue of Liberty was built, most people understood that most immigrants weren’t university grads or journeymen electricians or the like.

    Illegal immigrants are a longstanding bugaboo among many Americans, and if you’ll check, you’ll find that many traditionally Democratic entities wanted illegals to go away, too – such as unions – while other traditionally Republican entities – such as Big Business – didn’t want prosecution of business owners for hiring and exploiting illegals. It’s turned into a huge wedge issue which the conservative side is using by painting all illegals as “they’re all criminals coming to sell drugs, take your jobs and force your kids to speak a different language!”

    While there are illegal immigrants who do that which is wrong here, in my experience the VAST majority of them are good and trustworthy people who are simply trying to make a living and raise a family and do their utmost to stay away from violating the law…and they’re a far cry from the ravenous horde that the GOP would have you believe.