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It’s Time for the GOP to Take a Look Back and Move Forward

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Today the Republican Party is at a crossroads. It faces the choice of continuing down a path of failed leadership and forgotten principles, or taking the hard and rutted road back to its beginnings. The party was founded to restore the values of our founding fathers in a time when those values had been forgotten.

Today as in 1854, the political system has fallen into the hands of greedy and ambitious leaders who disregard the rights of the people and promote ideas which are fundamentally un-American because they see them as a route to greater political power and control. The forces of special interests, sectionalism, bureaucratic indifference and institutionalized oppression are stronger than ever before. They will not be stopped unless the Republican Party remembers its purpose and stands up against them.

From its very first platform, the Republican Party has been dedicated to the ideals of the Founding Fathers as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the enlightenment belief that all men have an inalienable right to life, liberty, and property. Although it has occasionally lost sight of those ideals, eventually core values reassert themselves and new leaders of vision set the party back on the right course.

The party was formed in 1854 in an era when the existing parties had strayed too far from the original republican values on which the nation was formed. The new party embraced the ideals of the founding fathers with the goal of securing liberty for those held in slavery and obtaining equality for all members of society.

Through the years the Republican Party has taken the lead on the great moral issues of the times:

  • In the Platform of 1860 the party made opposition to slavery a national issue for the first time and expressed clear support for the rights of workers and industry.
  • In the Platform of 1876 the Republican Party became the first US political party to endorse equal rights and universal suffrage for women.
  • In the Platform of 1892 the Republicans became the first US political party to endorse universal suffrage and access to the polls to Americans of all races.
  • In the Platform of 1896 the Republican Party first declared its dedication to fiscally responsible government.
  • In the Platform of 1900 the Republicans were the first US political party to take a clear stand in opposition to racial discrimination.

During the early 1900s the Republican party also led the way in opposition to monopolies, in passing child labor laws, workplace safety regulation, and establishing reasonable working hours. The Republican party was also the first party to propose national policies for resource management and conservation. And almost from the moment the 16th Amendment made an income tax legal, the Republican party worked to minimize the tax burden, hold down federal spending, and institute fairer and more limited taxes. By the 1950s the Republican Party had taken the lead in applying federal pressure to implement desegregation and equality in the southern states.

The differences between the Republican and Democratic parties of the modern era were clear as early as 1908 when the Republican Party platform clearly delineated the differences between the two parties, which are still strikingly apparent today:

The present tendencies of the two parties are even more marked by inherent differences. The trend of Democracy is toward socialism, while the Republican party stands for a wise and regulated individualism. Socialism would destroy wealth, Republicanism would prevent its abuse. Socialism would give to each an equal right to take; Republicanism would give to each an equal right to earn. Socialism would offer an equality of possession which would soon leave no one anything to possess, Republicanism would give equality of opportunity which would assure to each his share of a constantly increasing sum of possessions. In line with this tendency the Democratic party of to-day believes in Government ownership, while the Republican party believes in Government regulation. Ultimately Democracy would have the nation own the people, while Republicanism would have the people own the nation.

That description of the Democrats is as accurate today as it was 100 years ago, and the same Republican principles are just as valid today as they were then. Some may have forgotten the history of the party, but defending individual liberty by standing firm in the face of socialism and statism remain at the core of what makes the GOP unique.

The Republican party was born in freedom, and even in the darkest days of racial strife, that dedication to freedom and equality for all Americans regardless of race, creed, religion or lifestyle remained central to the beliefs of the GOP. The party has always dedicated itself to the ideal of the responsible individual citizen being allowed to live life in his own way without unnecessary interference from government. This principle was expressed clearly in the Republican platform of 1964:

Every person has the right to govern himself, to fix his own goals, and to make his own way with a minimum of governmental interference.

This idea of the sovereign individual goes hand in hand with an understanding that government has a legitimate, but limited, role to protect the rights and welfare of the people and to be answerable to the people for its actions. This was expressed clearly in the 1964 Platform:

It is for government to foster and maintain an environment of freedom encouraging every individual to develop to the fullest his God-given powers of mind, heart and body; and, beyond this, government should undertake only needful things, rightly of public concern, which the citizen cannot himself accomplish.

This platform from 40 years ago, written in a time of great national challenge and under the clear-eyed guidance of Senator Barry Goldwater, expresses better than almost any other document the fundamental beliefs of the party, including the principles of individual liberty, but also the importance of the Constitution in protecting that liberty:

Within our Republic the Federal Government should act only in areas where it has Constitutional authority to act, and then only in respect to proven needs where individuals and local or state governments will not or cannot adequately perform. Great power, whether governmental or private, political or economic, must be so checked, balanced and restrained and, where necessary, so dispersed as to prevent it from becoming a threat to freedom any place in the land.

Perhaps most unique in that document was an awareness which seems to be forgotten today, that not only do individuals have responsibility for their actions, but that there is a greater responsibility invested in the government through the social contract to do right by its citizens:

It is a high mission of government to help assure equal opportunity for all, affording every citizen an equal chance at the starting line but never determining who is to win or lose. But government must also reflect the nation's compassionate concern for those who are unable, through no fault of their own, to provide adequately for themselves.

The high ideals of Republicanism also extend to the behavior of politicians and how they use the sacred trust invested in them by the people:

Government must be restrained in its demands upon and its use of the resources of the people, remembering that it is not the creator but the steward of the wealth it uses; that its goals must ever discipline its means; and that service to all the people, never to selfish or partisan ends, must be the abiding purpose of men entrusted with public power.

Today it seems as if the Republican party and many of its leaders have lost their way. Yet the basic values of the party have not changed, though some seem to have forgotten what it has meant to be a Republican for the last 150 years. In the generation since Goldwater reasserted the core values of the party, the lure of power and greed and opportunism has been stronger than ever. This isn't the first time that this has happened. In the late 19th century the party suffered a similar identity crisis, turning away from core values of liberty towards corporatism and arrogant complacency. Fortuitously, Teddy Roosevelt set the party back on track, and though the leadership foundered in the aftermath of the Depression, Eisenhower and Goldwater were there to set the party on what should have been an ideal course by the 1960s. Yet Goldwater's defeat and the rise of socialism in the 1960s followed by the failures of the Nixon era produced a generation of leaders who have been willing to sacrifice principle for votes no matter what unsavory compromises that required. Leaders like Roosevelt and Goldwater understood that it was better to be right and lose an election than to win at any cost, because the price of such a corrupt victory is invariably too high.

This problem has been compounded by an invasion of the GOP by disaffected southern Democrats who were driven away from their party when its northern wing embraced civil rights under Kennedy and Johnson and the policies of the party became increasingly socially progressive and dominated by northern issues. As the Republicans struggled to retain their identity, this influx of angry bigots and religious zealots gave power at the polls at the cost of compromises on fundamental principles which had sustained the party for a hundred years. They were followed by strong-defense Democrats whose imperialist ambitions didn't fit with the post-Vietnam pacifism of the Democratic Party. Both of these groups brought with them beliefs which were alien to the Republican tradition, including a belief in a strong federal government, an expansionist foreign policy, a bizarre moralistic agenda, a big dose of intolerance and a willingness to sacrifice the rights of individuals in pursuit of their political objectives. Accepting these outsiders was an act of desperation which put the integrity of the party at risk in order to hold on to political power.

Now we are paying the price for compromises which have left the party disunified with no ideological center, our history forgotten and our future uncertain. The weakness of our current generation of leaders and the harm they have done to the party with foolish alliances and venal servility to every bulging purse has to end in the new millenium. We must commit ourselves to lead where our leaders have failed and to retrieve the party from the cesspit of corruption. The GOP must reaffirm an absolute commitment to the idea of true Republican government which serves the people and does not rule over the people, and of restoring a nation dedicated to preserving the liberty of every individual equally and absolutely.

This may mean purging the party of corrupt leaders and unsound ideas so that we can restore fundamental values. We need to remember that big government, corruption, and trying to run people's lives are the politics of the Democrats and we should never try to be like them. If this means giving up some power for a few years then we should accept that. We are not worthy to lead the country until we are Republicans again and can earn back the trust and respect of the people. It would be better to be a minority party and the conscience of the nation as we were when the party was born in 1854 than to carry on as an insult to the memories of Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Goldwater.

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About Dave Nalle

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Dave,

    I know you’ve been a history prof and all. I originally went to university to teach history. While American history was not my forté, I did learn a considerable amount of the history of the State (and City) of New York, and, given that my father was a card carrying socialist and labor activist in his lifetime, a considerable amount of material on the labor movements in Europe as compared to America.

    On the GOP, you missed a huge issue that has faded all the nice things you wrote about it into insignificance. After the Civil War, the GOP was taken over by the vast moneyed interests who made a fortune on the industrialization of the US in the latter half of the 19th Century, people whose fortunes were kick-started by war production during the Civil War. These are the people whose descendants form the oil and banking interests who control your country, and who have solidified that control using the Federal Reserve System and the CFR.

    This is not some wild conspiracy theory. The Federal Reserve Bank is a consortium of private interests who control the American banking system, and the CFR is a think tank devoted to protecting the interests of the major monopolists who emerged in early 20th Century America. Until Barry Goldwater got nominated in 1964, the GOP was the private preserve of these people, known until that time as “Main Street Republicans.”

    The oil and banking interests who control your control your nation will not be dislodged without a fight – and I do not mean a lot of shouting over who controls the ballot box or electoral posts either.

    Your wakeup call, well meaning as it is, will be ignored. The only people who might be able to personify that wake-up call are Ron Paul or Senator Brownback, and frankly, one or two lousy politicians are not going to dislodge thousands of people with real economic power in your nation.

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

    On the GOP, you missed a huge issue that has faded all the nice things you wrote about it into insignificance. After the Civil War, the GOP was taken over by the vast moneyed interests who made a fortune on the industrialization of the US in the latter half of the 19th Century, people whose fortunes were kick-started by war production during the Civil War. These are the people whose descendants form the oil and banking interests who control your country, and who have solidified that control using the Federal Reserve System and the CFR.

    The party was funded and founded by the people who made fortunes in the first phase of the industrial revolution prior to the civil war. They are the ‘secret six’ and other northeastern industrialists who backed John Brown and the Free Soil Party and eventually the Republican Party. So the involvement of business and industry in the party was really a continuation of something which had been part of the party all along.

    The marriage between business interests and liberalism on which the GOP has always been based makes perfect sense. It is to the benefit of business to create an evironment of individual liberty and an open, highly mobile society. The idea of ‘Free Labor’ – a dynamic and competitive labor market – was central to the party from the very beginning and even included in its first party slogan. It was the addition of the labor/business alliance to the party which made it viable on a national level.

    This is not some wild conspiracy theory. The Federal Reserve Bank is a consortium of private interests who control the American banking system, and the CFR is a think tank devoted to protecting the interests of the major monopolists who emerged in early 20th Century America.

    You’re right on the Fed. The CFR is a bit more complex and less sinister than you suggest. It really is much more of a think tank than a power group. But regardless, why does what you say make either of those organizations inherently undesirable? Who better to run the economy than a consortium of banks with government oversight?

    Until Barry Goldwater got nominated in 1964, the GOP was the private preserve of these people, known until that time as “Main Street Republicans.”

    Main Street, of course, standing for the working middle class entrepreneurs who most represent the values of the nation and of the party. This is a bad thing?

    The only people who might be able to personify that wake-up call are Ron Paul or Senator Brownback, and frankly, one or two lousy politicians are not going to dislodge thousands of people with real economic power in your nation.

    I don’t see much value in Brownback and Paul isn’t all that viable. But I don’t agree with you on where the problem lies, so that’s okay. It’s not the businesses which are the problem, it’s the politicians and the people who elect them and who run the party. Things need to be changed on a much more basic level, starting with what the people expect and demand from their leaders.

    Dave

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    This is a relevant and reasoned article. It’s a pity that because of partisanship and self-interest it will fall on so many deaf ears.

    Both parties have willingly prostituted themselves;Republicans have strayed the most, because they have departed so far from their avowed principles and deserted their historic purpose.

    A member of my family is the Director of Development of an international non-profit organization. He has worked with various members of Congress for two decades, including a number of Republicans. In his opinion, having observed them at work up close and personal, many of those in office have only one qualification that allows them to be elected and re-elected:they have the ability to raise sufficient money.
    That’s it. Not principles, character, experience, or intellect. They win because they can get the money to buy elections.

    I believe Republican reform should start with fiscal resonsibility, a return to traditional party principles and values, disavowal of the religious extremists, and advocating term limits in Congress. Being a career politician and making a fortune out of public service is the antithesis of Republicanism. And so is wasting money like water and meddling in every aspect of our personal lives.

    As Eisenhower said, the middle of the road is better than the gutter on the far left or far right.

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

    Mostly I wanted to just lay out exactly what the record of the GOP really is over its history. If the party were to adopt any of its platforms on which it ran prior to 1968 and run on that platform and take it seriously, it would earn back a lot of legitimacy.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Dave has written this article before, most recently in July [“The Tradition of Liberty and the Republican Party”]. I am glad he took the time in this iteration to discuss the influx of Southern segregationists and extreme social conservatives into the GOP from the mid-sixties onward. Possibly my own criticisms of the July article helped guide this correction.

    Rerun or not, this is a good article, except for two very large flaws and one major omission:

    1. It assumes that all the changes in the two parties in the last 4 decades have not changed their fundamental qualities. But of course they have!

    We have to deal in the reality of who the party leaders and candidates are. Neither Bush II, Cheney, nor any of the 3 frontrunners in the GOP presidential contest are ‘pure’ GOP libertarians of the kind Dave envisions. [For that matter, neither were Nixon, Ford or Bush I; maybe you could make a case for Reagan.]

    So where is this magical reversion to form going to come from? More likely from a third party than the GOP itself.

    2. The other, and worse, flaw is that Dave is articulate and well-reasoned about many things in the article – but not about Democrats. He continues his irrational campaign of slander against them.

    Again, you have to judge the party by its leaders and elected officials: Pelosi, Dean, Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Gore, Frank, Biden, etc. If you try to apply this outrageous sentence to all those individuals, you realize that Dave is simply partisan: “…big government, corruption, and trying to run people’s lives are the politics of the Democrats”.

    It ignores the pro-business moderates who have a large role in the party; and it ignores many of the congressmen and senators newly elected in 2006 from more conservative districts. We need to deal with the reality of actual individuals, not tar everyone with the same tired old brush.

    3. Finally, Dave’s pronouncements on the two parties ignore possibly the most important, long-lasting effect of which group controls the White House: the appointment of judges and Supreme Court justices. Does Dave think Scalia, Thomas and Roberts represent anything close to his GOP ideal? Would he classify Ginsburg and Breyer as two of the ‘enemies of freedom,’ as he has often painted the Dems?

    This kind of bashing and labeling is at best limiting and at worst destructive.

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

    Dave has written this article before, most recently in July [“The Tradition of Liberty and the Republican Party”].

    Urk. Forgot I had previously released that earlier version of the article. I’ve had it sitting around for ages doing periodic revisions.

    I am glad he took the time in this iteration to discuss the influx of Southern segregationists and extreme social conservatives into the GOP from the mid-sixties onward. Possibly my own criticisms of the July article helped guide this correction.

    I’ve always had an issue with those invaders and I hope I wasn’t too subtle in mentioning the Neocons as well.

    Rerun or not, this is a good article, except for two very large flaws and one major omission:

    1. It assumes that all the changes in the two parties in the last 4 decades have not changed their fundamental qualities. But of course they have!

    Of course they have, and not for the better. That’s a lot of what I talk about in the last few paragraphs, the negative changes in the GOP, but my conclusion is that the party can still remove those influences even if it means splitting the party. As for the Democrats, that’s an even scarier prospect. If you look back at the quote from the GOP platform of 1908 they had already identified the Democrats for exactly what they had turned into 100 years ago, and since then they have only gone deeper into socialism and statism.

    We have to deal in the reality of who the party leaders and candidates are. Neither Bush II, Cheney, nor any of the 3 frontrunners in the GOP presidential contest are ‘pure’ GOP libertarians of the kind Dave envisions. [For that matter, neither were Nixon, Ford or Bush I; maybe you could make a case for Reagan.]

    I sure hope you didn’t get the idea I thought any of these guys were the embodiment of the Republican ideal from this article.

    So where is this magical reversion to form going to come from? More likely from a third party than the GOP itself.

    I think a crushing defeat in 2008 would lead to a split in the party which would make a purification possible.

    2. The other, and worse, flaw is that Dave is articulate and well-reasoned about many things in the article – but not about Democrats. He continues his irrational campaign of slander against them.

    Also known as just telling the simple truth. Why is it that when I say things just as bad about the GOP in the last 40 years in this article that’s all believable, but when I say the same things about Democrats it’s irrational slander?

    Again, you have to judge the party by its leaders and elected officials: Pelosi, Dean, Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Gore, Frank, Biden, etc.

    A list which includes several of the most dangerous, corrupt and socialistic autocrats in America today.

    If you try to apply this outrageous sentence to all those individuals, you realize that Dave is simply partisan:

    I can make a list of some good and some bad Republicans too. The fact that some Democrats like Gore and Frank aren’t completely corrupt and power mad doesn’t redeem the party as a whole.

    “…big government, corruption, and trying to run people’s lives are the politics of the Democrats”.

    Just the truth as it has been for more than 100 years.

    It ignores the pro-business moderates who have a large role in the party; and it ignores many of the congressmen and senators newly elected in 2006 from more conservative districts. We need to deal with the reality of actual individuals, not tar everyone with the same tired old brush.

    These reasonable folks aren’t running the party any more than Christie Whitman or Ron Paul is running the GOP.

    3. Finally, Dave’s pronouncements on the two parties ignore possibly the most important, long-lasting effect of which group controls the White House: the appointment of judges and Supreme Court justices. Does Dave think Scalia, Thomas and Roberts represent anything close to his GOP ideal? Would he classify Ginsburg and Breyer as two of the ‘enemies of freedom,’ as he has often painted the Dems?

    I rather like Thomas and Roberts. I’m neutral on Breyer and I think Ginsberg and Scalia go too far in their opposite directions. I submit that a real libertarian judge would NEVER have made it through the confirmation process. If the religious right didn’t sink him on abortion or related issues the democrats would have rejected him out of pure terror.

    Dave

    This kind of bashing and labeling is at best limiting and at worst destructive.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    We can probably agree that much of the status quo is uninspiring. Foreign policy has distorted some of the traditional party distinctions during the past 6 years as well.

    But is HRC, the wife of the man who proclaimed that “the era of big government is over,” really likely to be a radical, destructive statist as president? I think she knows she has too much to lose if she moves too far in that direction.

    And your other female bete noire, Nancy Pelosi, is constantly criticized by her left flank for not going far enough on anything. Both of these women are proceeding cautiously and skillfully and they are over-criticized and underrated by many.

  • Lumpy

    Hilary is a fascist in democrats clothing. Elect her and when shows her true colors it will be too late.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Yeah yeah yeah, Lumpy, and you base this eloquent opinion on what, exactly? Zero evidence, just your gut contempt for her. This is as good a reason as any for me to vote for her.

  • bliffle

    “…big government, corruption, and trying to run people’s lives are the politics of the Democrats”.

    All politicians want to do those things. Just look at the current crop of maniacs in this “Republican” government.

    But these guys have actually grabbed the power to do it. And a lot of titular republicans (even here on BC; lawdy, lawdy) have cheered them on.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    from the Article

    “They will not be stopped unless the Republican Party remembers its purpose and stands up against them.”

    bullshit, show your Proof…it’s an Opinion, but is stated as a unproven Fact and used as an axion for the article’s thesis…hence, bullshit

    “That description of the Democrats is as accurate today as it was 100 years ago, and the same Republican principles are just as valid today as they were then.”

    more bullshit..again , show your Proof…but again, it’s fine for the purposes of rhetoric , since the Article is clearly marked Opinion…

    yet again, for the purposes of debate and discussion, this is also used as an unproven axiom for the thesis

    “Within our Republic the Federal Government should act only in areas where it has Constitutional authority to act, and then only in respect to proven needs where individuals and local or state governments will not or cannot adequately perform. Great power, whether governmental or private, political or economic, must be so checked, balanced and restrained and, where necessary, so dispersed as to prevent it from becoming a threat to freedom any place in the land.”

    this one is Quoted for Truth…Goldwater had some solid Thoughts on the topic…what’s missing here is the Recognition that since he uttered those words, the GOP, ESPECIALLY between 2000 and 2007, have violated those Principles time and time again

    just to show i’m trying to be as fair as possible , i’ll end with this one….
    “Today it seems as if the Republican party and many of its leaders have lost their way.”

    Quoted for Truth

    better to stick to whatever the Author is trying to do to reform from within the GOP, and stop the pure partisan swinging at the Opposition…

    imo, to do so might win more allies than create enemies

    your mileage may vary…

    Excelsior?

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

    Gonzo, like it says at the head of the article it’s Opinion, even if there’s some nice solid history in there too.

    What you miss – as usual – is that I’m just as critical in the article of the GOP as I am of the Democrats, but you only object to the criticism of the Democrats. Anything bad I say about the GOP is just fine and correct. But the fact is that BOTH parties are corrupt and misguided in the ways I specify for each, and the fact that you don’t recognize the flaws in your party of choice makes you the one who’s partisan here.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    Handy, I don’t think the Republican ideal judge upholds Republican policies. The majority of the GOP doesn’t want judges to make rulings based on any political agenda. Even the religious zealots that Dave fears so much. Sure, there are some activist conservative judges and some people who favor them. But if you look at Scalia’s opinions, for example, you’ll see positions based on a legal reading. That’s all we want, a fair fight. You may also notice that the recent “conservative” courts regularly rule for and against corporations, the military, and the White House.

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

    Baronius, there are definitely some in the GOP who would like judges to make decisions on a couple of issues on non-constitutional grounds, especially when it comes to prayer in schools and abortion. But on the whole on most issues Republicans are right in thinking that if decisions were made on the Constitution as written they would tend to fall in line with what most Republicans want.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    @ #12 – do you actually read my Comments, or just cut and paste a smear reply with my name on it?

    either that or you are being deliberately obtuse and trying to rile me up to generate some traffic

    i don’t like to think that you are deliberately lying when you say… “What you miss – as usual – is that I’m just as critical in the article of the GOP as I am of the Democrats, but you only object to the criticism of the Democrats. Anything bad I say about the GOP is just fine and correct. But the fact is that BOTH parties are corrupt and misguided in the ways I specify for each, and the fact that you don’t recognize the flaws in your party of choice makes you the one who’s partisan here.”

    and here’s why it’s a pure fucking Lie…did i or did i not put in your usage of the Goldwater quote and state that i also thought it was completely Truthful, as well as your usage of it?

    sorry if i wasn’t clear enough in stating that much of what you said of the GOP from 40 or 100 years ago is completely correct and admirable…here i had thought that showing my support for your use of Goldwater, and his Quote sums up quite well much of the finest in the GOP history/platform

    you appear to have completely missed that in your rush to cast aspersions, and in so doing take what is 3/4 of a damn fine Article and flush it down to the level of JoM or mr

    you also appear to have forgotten my own bashing of Dems , and the fact that while i have gone after this Administration in an Article or two…i NEVER paint the entire GOP with broad brush stroke, rather i speak about specific individuals or actions that i disagree with as opposed to the bullshit generality about the Dems which i Quoted in my comment…

    my problem is not with you correctly stating the accomplishments the GOP has achieved in it’s history, but the unfounded cheap shots you take at the opposition rather than sticking to the factual portions of your thesis…which i mostly agree with…i hit on both, what i thought was good and what i thought was shit

    it’s called Critique, one would think an editor of this site would “get it”

    but there you have it…again, i’ll gladly leave it to the Readers to decide who is the pure partisan…

    Excelsior?

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

    Gonzo, again, you don’t get my point. My criticism of the dems is just as true and factual as my criticism of the GOP. Until you can acknowledge that fact I am likely to continue to call you partisan.

    I realize you’ve said a few bad things about the Democrats before, but so long as you continue to excuse their massive ideologically based failings you’re just not looking at them with honest eyes.

    You just don’t judge democrats and republicans by the same standards. You’re hardly alone in that, so accept and admit it and don’t take it so personally when I point it out.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    “I realize you’ve said a few bad things about the Democrats before, but so long as you continue to excuse their massive ideologically based failings you’re just not looking at them with honest eyes.”

    again, pure bullshit..nice how you now claim you can read my Mind, especially since the entirety of my typings here on BC belie your assertion

    “You just don’t judge democrats and republicans by the same standards. You’re hardly alone in that, so accept and admit it and don’t take it so personally when I point it out.”

    MORE bullshit…show yer fucking Proof

    just because you make a claim loudly does NOT make it Truth…example: anyone die in Iraq today?

    fucking pathetic, imo

    Excelsior?

  • Lumpy

    I have’t really been looking but I’ve seen nothing but attacks on republicans based solely on the fact that they are republicans from u in the comments gonzo.

    I can’t say if u have a double standard because i’ve never seen u say anything good or bad about the dems.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    Lumpy…read the link in my previous comment…and i fucking DEFY you to show me ANY quote from me EVER that makes a blanket statement about the Republicans as a generic whole and NOT something very specific about well defined actions by Individuals or a sub-grouping which i also define specifically (example, showing the PNAC charter members signatory list form their own website in 1997 to demonstrate which Administration officials were neocons)

    so sorry, Lumpy…again until you show proof…i call bullshit

    go ahead, prove me wrong…but you can’t even be bothered to look at a link 3 comments before yours to an entire Article of me slamming Dems for fucking up

    and that’s the thing…NO double standards from me here..i’m VERY careful about that….i also DEFY you or Vox to find a Quote of me praising Dems in a generic fashion…hell, tough to find me giving ANY political representative my *thumbs up*…like i gave Goldwater right in this Thread

    nice try “Lumpy”…but pure bullshit…go ahead, prove me wrong…i have shown my Proofs, let’s see yours

    otherwise it’s just more of the same, bullshit allegations with no basis in Reality…

    Excelsior?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Dave’s answer to those of us who find his overheated criticism of Democrats objectionable is always “I’m just stating the simple truth.” No, you’re not. You are just restating your own bias.

    I am a Democrat. I am not an ‘enemy of freedom’ and wouldn’t vote for anyone I believed to be an ‘enemy of freedom’ ‘making war on our basic rights.’ You’re stating an opinion, in hyperbolic language, not stating truth, not citing facts. And you don’t make it more true by repeating it over and over.

    I’m more interested in problem-solving than in ideology. There is no such thing as a ‘pure’ capitalist/libertarian government, nor a ‘pure’ socialist state. Even the most capitalist European government is further left than any Democratic president would be. Yet European countries are still democracies, still free.

    Yes, most Dems are more open to federal government solutions than most Republicans are. But to twist and distort this, making it sound like a ‘war’ on basic tenets of democracy and freedom, is genuinely offensive to those of us on the left who believe very strongly in democracy and freedom.

    Bottom line: You are far more ideological than you are willing to admit.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    “I’m more interested in problem-solving than in ideology”

    /golfclap

    best…line….of…the…week, imo

    but wasted on those who can only feel good about the results of their choices by tearing down any dissent to those choices

    i would dearly love to live to see the day when the two Parties break up into their component constituencies…the finest of the GOP taking up the Principles of folks like Goldwater, the best of the Dems getting all Kennedy/FDR….REAL discussion and debate meant to find Answers and Solutions rather than the momentary “victory” of winning the next election

    but that would take folks being adults about shit, like admitting when they have been proven wrong…rather than just shrieking distractions and deprecations of their opposition

    good luck with that, i guess…

    Excelsior?

  • Clavos

    gonzo,

    What’s a “golfclap??”

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    polite applause…

    taken from the flick “Men at Work”

    used in Unix geek fashion as a chat command

    next Question, please…

    Excelsior?

  • Clavos

    Got it.

    Didn’t know the movie connection, but had figured it had to be at least quiet applause.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    @ #24 – be really worried if i start using…

    /mosh

    heh

    Excelsior?

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

    rather than just shrieking distractions and deprecations of their opposition

    Says the chief shrieker.

    Look, sure I have ideology. Who doesn’t. My ideology is clear and hardly hidden. I believe in the greatest freedom for individuals possible with a minimal government primarily focused on protecting the rights and safety of individuals and providing those few services which cannot be effectively provided by other means. Simple.

    Then there’s the real world, where all sorts of forces work against the kind of simple, equitable system I believe in. To me the inimical forces seem to break down into two sorts of threats, those which are deliberate and intentional and promoted by people who are ideologically opposed to liberty and those which are more inadvertent, resulting from the actions of people who may believe in liberty but who are venal and corrupt and allow things to go wrong because they are self-serving or just don’t care.

    I guess I run into problems with people like Gonzo who profess to believe in many of the same things which I do, but who focus all their attention on the venal and corrupt while ignoring the ideologically dangerous. This seems like a terrible mistake to me and I assume it comes from some sort of partisanship, because otherwise it’s awfully hard to explain.

    Corruption, incompetence and political ambition seem to me like a recurring but managable problem, while the efforts of those who want to do away with our basic principles of government seem much more dangerous and hard to reverse if they are successful.

    Yet European countries are still democracies, still free.

    And I would argue that when the government maintains police whose job is specifically to arrest people for working overtime the society is no longer free.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    wasn’t talking about, to to you, Vox…

    but it’s awfully cute to have such a rabid fanboi

    Excelsior?

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

    I was just picking up from where you attacked me on another thread, gonzer.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    Whew!

    That’s pretty heavy!

    Heh…

    Not knowing much about heavy metal, watching that video I felt “Perdido.”

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    for #29 – “Drifting”

    for Vox – “attacked”?

    lmgdao

    you will know if i ever *attack* by the visit to the emergency room…you, Vox , are not worth the effort

    Excelsior?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    sorry…forgot to touch on a point…

    Vox sez – “while the efforts of those who want to do away with our basic principles of government seem much more dangerous and hard to reverse if they are successful.”

    the differences are exemplified in that i think the evidence has shown the last seven years (with pre-emptive war, warrantless wiretaps and some other Issues) have done a lot of tangible damage to those “basic principles of government” than the conspiracy theorist unproven assertions made about the opposing Party

    do i want Hillary as POTUS…ummm, no

    i actually don’t have ANY dog in this current election Hunt…none have Impressed me yet

    i may not have someone i would like to vote for, but i am certain there is always someone i will be happy to vote against

    nuff said…

    Excelsior?

  • Clavos

    Wow!!

    Andy Mckee is WAY cool!

    Thanks, gonzo.

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

    I hate it when I write a lovely response and then accidentally close the browser window. I’ll try to write it up again in short form.

    the differences are exemplified in that i think the evidence has shown the last seven years (with pre-emptive war, warrantless wiretaps and some other Issues) have done a lot of tangible damage to those “basic principles of government”

    All of this stuff you’re so concerned about has been done under rogue executive authority. It’s all reactive, special circumstance, cobbled together opportunism. That gives it zero permanence. It ends the moment Bush steps out of office if the next president doesn’t choose to follow in his footsteps, and if anything it’s likely to lead to a negative reaction which will ultimately limit executive authority or cause future presidents to tread lightly. It has no permanent presence in law whatsoever. Making it your primary focus is like going after jaywalkers while ignoring the armed robbery going on at the corner store.

    What you should be worried about is the laws like PATRIOT and REAL ID which have strong bipartisan support and which take away our rights by law and with the enthusiastic backing of lawmakers of both parties. They are the model for what is to come in the future. There’s some hope that Bush’s Supreme Court nominees will strike some of this stuff down, of course. But my bet is that there’s more to come.

    than the conspiracy theorist unproven assertions made about the opposing Party

    In case you’ve forgotten, the opposing party has a documented record of beliefs and past performance in government for us to work from, and the picture ain’t pretty.

    i may not have someone i would like to vote for, but i am certain there is always someone i will be happy to vote against

    On that we can agree. We’re always picking the lesser of two evils. What worries me is that you don’t seem to be able to tell that evil written into law is much more dangerous than evil practiced as a limited aberation.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    you should stick to reading what i type, and not trying to mindread

    just because i didn’t list PATRIOT and a host of other bits of bullshit passed this millenium doesn’t mean i’m not VERY concerned with them…as anyone who has read my typings around here would most likely be Aware of…

    it’s interesting that Vox sez – “In case you’ve forgotten, the opposing party has a documented record of beliefs and past performance in government for us to work from, and the picture ain’t pretty.”

    right after trying to sell – “It’s all reactive, special circumstance, cobbled together opportunism. That gives it zero permanence. It ends the moment Bush steps out of office if the next president doesn’t choose to follow in his footsteps, and if anything it’s likely to lead to a negative reaction which will ultimately limit executive authority or cause future presidents to tread lightly.”

    tell the dead soldiers it has no “permanence”

    and you are in complete denial if you put baseless Faith in – ” There’s some hope that Bush’s Supreme Court nominees will strike some of this stuff down, of course.”

    they will most likely uphold everything W did, as well as everything they can to advance the Agenda of their partisan Ideology…i’d like to give Roberts the benefit of the Doubt…but i wouldn’t bet a nickel on it

    you see, i consider the past 7 years indicative and informative of the present GOP stance/platform/policy

    and while i don’t find much i trust about the Dems, i sure as fuck don’t buy into the tin foil hat conspiracy theorist shyte about some kind of secret socialist plan…

    thinking the Dems are “socialists” is just about as false as thinking the GOP are “fascist”…both claims utterly ridiculous

    so, unless some Candidate pops up that fulfills my basic Criteria for wanting to give them my Vote…i will most likely just go by voting AGAINST the policies and track record of the last 7 years, which i consider harmful to our Republic, and dangerous to “We the People” in many ways

    i’m not willing nor able to set aside the Facts of the current Administration, or the GOP leadership in House and Senate, and some of the Democrats for their Responsibility or Culpability…for all the claims that it has no “permanence”

    like watching the upcoming fight over FISA, with W wanting to make certain the telecoms can’t ever be held legally liable …there’s more…like the Fact that Reid is possibly the worst Senate leader in History..at least ineffectual and incompetent…Pelosi is fucked as well…neither can control even their own caucus much less the Floor

    i’ll stick with reacting to the known and proven over the conspiracy and speculative

    your mileage may vary…

    Excelsior?

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

    just because i didn’t list PATRIOT and a host of other bits of bullshit passed this millenium doesn’t mean i’m not VERY concerned with them…as anyone who has read my typings around here would most likely be Aware of…

    It’s not unreasonable to conclude that the things you actually mention are the things you’re most concerned about, and they all center around Bush.

    tell the dead soldiers it has no “permanence”

    What a weak, cheap and totally dishonest response.


    they will most likely uphold everything W did, as well as everything they can to advance the Agenda of their partisan Ideology…i’d like to give Roberts the benefit of the Doubt…but i wouldn’t bet a nickel on it

    As someone pointed out on another thread, judges appointed by the GOP tend to be ideological but not partisan, and since that ideology is strict adherence to the Constitution, that ought to give us some hope.

    you see, i consider the past 7 years indicative and informative of the present GOP stance/platform/policy

    Despite every indication that such is not the case. See, this is why I call you ‘partisan’ so often. You assume that Bush IS the GOP, when the diversity of the party has been amply demonstrated in the defections from his camp and the diversity of the presidential lineup.

    and while i don’t find much i trust about the Dems, i sure as fuck don’t buy into the tin foil hat conspiracy theorist shyte about some kind of secret socialist plan…

    It’s hardly a conspiracy theory when they write it into their party platform and trumpet it accross the media and the internet. Conspiracies are secret, remember.

    thinking the Dems are “socialists” is just about as false as thinking the GOP are “fascist”…both claims utterly ridiculous

    Not sure I exactly called them ‘socialists’ though they are certainly more socialistic than the GOP.

    so, unless some Candidate pops up that fulfills my basic Criteria for wanting to give them my Vote…i will most likely just go by voting AGAINST the policies and track record of the last 7 years, which i consider harmful to our Republic, and dangerous to “We the People” in many ways

    So you gleefully leap out of the frying pan into the fire.

    i’m not willing nor able to set aside the Facts of the current Administration, or the GOP leadership in House and Senate, and some of the Democrats for their Responsibility or Culpability…for all the claims that it has no “permanence”.

    So you’d rather hold an irrational grudge against a whole party because of the actions of a small faction than try to find a way to put the nation on the right course.

    like watching the upcoming fight over FISA, with W wanting to make certain the telecoms can’t ever be held legally liable

    You’ve got to respect the man for that, don’t you.

    …there’s more…like the Fact that Reid is possibly the worst Senate leader in History..at least ineffectual and incompetent…Pelosi is fucked as well…neither can control even their own caucus much less the Floor

    And thank god for that given some of the beliefs Pelosi has espoused in the past. Reid is just a nonentity.

    i’ll stick with reacting to the known and proven over the conspiracy and speculative

    Speculative only to those who don’t read the papers, listen to the debates or have any awareness of history.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    well now…

    this is one of the main points of demarcation right here – “Despite every indication that such is not the case. See, this is why I call you ‘partisan’ so often. You assume that Bush IS the GOP, when the diversity of the party has been amply demonstrated in the defections from his camp and the diversity of the presidential lineup.”

    did you miss where i say i also hold the GOP leaders in the House and Senate as well as some of the Dems responsible for their aiding and abetting the shyte that this Administration has perpetrated?

    you must have missed it…look over it again, and you might see the difference between what i typed and what you “thought”

    as for the rest, the Record, even in this thread alone, speaks for itself

    Excelsior?

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

    No, I didn’t miss it, gonzo. You added it as an afterthought from what I could tell. Your focus – the first target you aimed at – was and always is Bush.

    And yes, the record is quite obvious.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    the “added it as an afterthought” is just more of your delusional attempts at mind reading

    all the words i type belong there

    at least we Agree it’s obvious…

    Excelsior?

  • troll

    gonzo said: *thinking the Dems are “socialists” is just about as false as thinking the GOP are “fascist”…both claims utterly ridiculous*

    ridiculous as truth so often is…even when packed in excelsior

  • troll

    the problem with voting ‘against’ is that your vote ends up counted ‘for’

    now a boycott on the other hand…..

  • bliffle

    A problem with the republican party is that it has a natural attraction for the Royalists who would like to put the King back on his throne. The Real Unitary Executive, if you will.

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

    Except that it’s the GOP which has pushed for term limits more than any other party, and I know of no one who wants to keep any of our presidents around for any longer than we have to.

    Dave

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

    For that matter, we didn’t elect Jimmy Carter as our ambassador to the world for life. Why won’t he just go away?

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Cheap shot, Dave.

    Let me assure you that the world does not view Carter as representative of the US.

    That honor, unfortunately, goes to George W Bush.

  • Clavos

    Either one’s a lousy rep.

    Another cheap shot, Doc, but I speak from direct personal knowledge. I knew him personally (and not just a quick meeting; we were both part of a committee that worked on an Atlanta festival when he was governor).

    I knew Rosalind, too; she was on the same committee. She is (or was) great, but there’s something sort of creepy about him; he’s SO goody two shoes he made my skin crawl.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Another cheap shot (since we’re taking them):

    Yeah, there admittedly is something weird about a guy with that many teeth who isn’t Mormon…

  • justoneman

    News Flash Holly Wood

    Jimmy Carter will be playing Goober (NOT Gomer) in the remake of Mayberry RFD…

    JOM

  • REMF

    “I knew Rosalind, too; she was on the same committee. She is (or was) great, but there’s something sort of creepy about him; he’s SO goody two shoes he made my skin crawl.”

    But had he massacred 109 infants, women, children and old men in ‘Nam, you’d be more comfortable with him…?

  • Martin Lav

    As long as he didn’t smile when he did it.

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