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Reflections from Election Day in Texas

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President Barack Obama. Not the words which most Republicans had hoped to hear on election night, but a reality most could see coming. The failures of the Republican Party to rein in its excesses, stick to its principles and pursue positive policies over opportunistic self-interest played as large a role in winning Obama the White House as his rousing oratory and grassroots organizing skills.

While McCain did win Texas, he won by a smaller margin than any recent Republican presidential contender and his nationwide results were respectable, but not really close enough to ever raise much hope as the evening wore on. As the map of states won and lost became clear, it was a reminder of how strongly the nation remains divided along geographic lines, with the west and south resisting Obama's message of change and the northeast and Pacific coast firmly behind him.

I spent much of my day handing out flyers for our local Republican candidates and talking to voters outside of our precinct polling spot. I wasn't alone. Some teenage Democrats were there with me, promoting Congressional candidate Larry Joe Doherty, best known for having turned his judicial experience into several seasons hosting the television courtroom reality show Texas Justice.

I found myself in the peculiar situation of promoting Republican candidates while being reluctant to enthusiastically endorse the party establishment. I took the tack of emphasizing local candidates with a strong reputation for supporting reform and individual liberty, trying to push the message that our local party is different from the national GOP and lay some groundwork for the new and better Republican Party of the future. While I can't take too much personal credit for the outcome of the election, I did have the consolation of seeing the TV Judge lose to our Republican incumbent, who won over a lot of voters by staunchly opposing the government's recent massive bailout of irresponsible banks.

Turnout in our precinct was surprisingly low. Apparently about 47% of the registered voters had voted early, reducing election day crowds. Poll workers reported some short lines early in the morning and at the end of the day, but basically crowds were small and there was little waiting. When I showed up after lunch there was no wait at all. Voting on the electronic ballot machines was quick and efficient, marred only by the inability to get a detailed printed record of my vote.

We had a poll watcher there from VoteRescue sitting outside the building with a sign and table, asking for reports of voting problems, but no one bothered her because everything went like clockwork. Seeing the VoteRescue table there did raise the question in my mind of how many other tables like that were set up around the country, and how much of a role just seeing someone soliciting complaints plays in creating the perception that there should be voting irregularities, and generating complaints just by existing and planting the idea in people's heads.

Our experience was quite different from some of the unpleasant stories which filtered in during the day from other parts of the country of voter suppression and intimidation, especially in some of the northern cities where turnout was very high. In Philadelphia the Black Panthers had members posted at the polls to keep Republican voters away. Widespread problems with malfunctioning voting machines were reported in Detroit. In Chicago there were reports of problems with voter intimidation and faulty equipment. The phone bank at watchdog group Election Protection received more than 50,000 calls about voting problems during the day.

With an unambiguous result at the end of the day, which no small irregularities are going to be able to change, the kinds of outraged complaints and widespread lawsuits which characterized the 2000 and 2004 elections seem pretty unlikely, except in some local races where the occasional disgruntled TV comedian can't accept defeat.

In his acceptance speech to a massive crowd at Grant Park in Chicago, President-Elect Obama offered a conciliatory message to the nation, including his opponents. It has to have been reassuring for Republicans who listened to the speech that Obama sounded an awful lot like a Republican, saying "Let's remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity." He went on to quote founding Republican Abraham Lincoln's wise words: "We are not enemies, but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection." Later he sounded almost like a Republican himself, saying: "To those who would tear the world down, we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security, we will support you."

Obama offered reassurance and the hand of shared patriotism and reconciliation. Nonetheless, there are still a lot of worried conservatives, with concern focusing not just on Obama, but on the radicals in Congress and the Senate who may be given a free hand to set policy under a left-friendly administration.

Many see Obama's economic proposals as guaranteed to drive us from temporary crisis to long-term depression. A typical commenter on Free Republic expressed his panic, saying "I just pulled my investments and retirement funds out of the stock market tonight. I suggest every one else do it; the next month is going to be the worst economic collapse in Western civilization history." Conservative Blogcritics writer S. J. Reidhead saw positives in the negatives, commenting that "There is a silver lining. When the economy goes completely south, and Obama pushes us into another 'Great Depression' when he gets finished with the Democrats they are going to be relegated to the same status the GOP had under (Franklin) Roosevelt." She also expressed the enthusiasm which many Republicans who were displeased by McCain feel towards Sarah Palin, declaring: "I've already dedicated myself to Palin 2012! I think she is the best hope for the GOP."

Here in Central Texas, Republican holdouts who are willing to admit they swam against the tide for Obama are just hoping that the damage which one-party rule in Washington can do in four years is limited and that our state government can play some role in protecting us from the excesses of Democrats run wild. We know that an assault is planned on some of the most basic elements of our Bill of Rights and that free speech and property rights and economic liberty are at risk, but we are not afraid to stand firm in defense of the ideals which our forefathers fought for and which still form the core of our national identity. The coming years of adversity will help us build a new and better party dedicated to the principles of individual liberty and personal responsibility.

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About Dave Nalle

  • Zedd

    Dave,

    The Republicans can rebuild if they become a party of the goal oriented. This is the most cross cultural, universal trait of the successful. Pettiness, googoo eyed patriotism and other emotional concepts need to be set aside. You have to redefine who the Reps really are. Sell the party as a place for those with aspirations and have a REAL formula for helping people reach them. You will have a crossover like you’ve never seen one. Keep the message simple and enough with the judging everyone. Mind your own business and focus on building an America that can sustain the determined.

    Right now Reps seem mean, dense, petty, and without a plan.

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

    Zedd, as usual you display gross ignorance about Republicans and what they believe and who they are. Talk about judging everyone – you’re the past master.

    I agree that republicans need a plan, but it needs to be based n principles, not some opportunistic goal or power grab.

    Dave

  • Zedd

    Did you read my post?

    The fake principles that Reps are now known to “stand for” ARE the failed opportunistic grab for power that they need to move away from. The mean, divisive ideas have killed this party and turned it into a gathering of the superstitious, bitter, vacuous and ga ga.

    What you keep missing is that I vote Republican a lot. I did not however in this election. The party is no longer a party. I don’t see any real goals. I also vote Libertarian. Only voted for one this time around…. I keep telling you this and you seem to choose to ignore it and put me into the simple category of Republican hater. I suppose it makes your world neat and tidy. I’m not so can we move on. Regardless of the party, what is intolerable in my eyes is meaninglessness; wasting my fervor and commitment, my desire to succeed in my short lifespan. Republicans have been playing, pretending to be earnest just to grab power. If you still haven’t caught on to that, it is you who has a misguided understanding of the Republicans and are part of the problem. You can’t fix something if you don’t know what ails it.

    The Reps DO need to change. Right now they don’t know WHO they are. My thinking is that a relevant party that addresses a huge vacancy today AND is conservative would be a party of aspirations. In the past the conservative message got foggy because of the use of vague symbolism. Saying you want to ensure the American dream is less clear than being a party that clears the path for your aspirations.

    You see if you want to win in the future, know that you HAVE to get minorities on board. Immigrants like clear ideas. They didn’t grow up on MGM so they don’t get all fuzzy inside when the imagery is invoked. They came here because they thought America was PRAGMATIC. They know propaganda. They can smell it a mile away. The Reps have to walk away from their addiction to manipulative concepts. Also, there are more conservative Black people than liberal ones. Talk about aspirations, everyone will get it. Saying you support those who work hard is LOADED. It really says that there are lazy Americans out there. Reagan threw Blacks under the bus to get ahead and created a false notion that we don’t want to work, that we don’t work hard. So you need to walk away from labeling (us against them) and just focus on creating a path for success.

    You’ve got to get the youth vote. For those in my generation and younger, we are inspired by simple ideas that work. Don’t forget gen X is the tech generation. We want to know, “what does it do”, bottom line. We were also raised with commercials being a part of entertainment. We can spot a P.R. job a mile away. Walk away from the habit of propaganda. It’s stale.

    I’m not sure if you are saying that loving the flag is a principle or “family values” is a principle. For a lot of people Dave, those concepts are vague and don’t make their world and their lives better. People will love America for being smart and providing them opportunity. They don’t have to commit to a flag. They will be proud of the fact that America is a great place and will be proud of it as a whole, swinging the flag to demonstrate their pride.

    By the way, I know just as much about Republicans as I do Democrats. There is no mystery. Reps are not a secret society. You do know that we get to look up any information we want to and read to our hearts content? Yep, we can. Amazing right? I’m guessing you are still stuck on that silly idea that the Reps are not represented accurately in the media and are misunderstood. Wake up, THAT was a political ploy to get the media to back off. It worked. “Media bias” was among the first talking points. It seems as if it is you who doesn’t know Republicans.

    Republicans have been claiming to be about aspirations and they haven’t done anything that supports that.

  • MDE

    “In Philadelphia the Black Panthers had members posted at the polls to keep Republican voters away.”

    The propagandist’s rimshot.

    Your fact-check department needs work: the evidence that Nalle presents to support his claim doesn’t. Libel against the Panther organization is inappropriate in a ‘respectable’ online magazine.

    Mark

  • Shark

    Re: Nalle vs facts

    Dear MDE,

    After November 4, 2008, NOTHING NALLE SAYS MATTERS ANYMORE.

    His level of desperation is only matched by his level of marginalization.

    Thanks, George!

    xxoo
    s

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

    Zedd, I wonder if you have ever even read anything I’ve written. Your new comment expresses just as much reliance on stereotypes and ill-informed assumptions as your first one.

    I’m sure you do know just about as much about Republicans as Democrats – just about nothing.

    And Mark, I linked to a video news article. Perhaps you didn’t view the video. The report is what it is. If the BPP has a problem with it they can take it up with the source. I’m just passing it on, as many other news outlets did with little hesitation.

    Dave

  • MDE

    I suggest that all readers view the video of the news report-as any fact checking editor should have done prior to publication-and decide whether or not Nalle legitimately draws his conclusion about the involvement of the Panther organization. Clearly, the behavior of an individual does not implicate the BPP.

    This is much like Nalle’s erroneous report of a mugging by an Obamamaniac that he posted before the election.

    Mark

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    To all, about Dave –

    I found myself in the peculiar situation of promoting Republican candidates while being reluctant to enthusiastically endorse the party establishment.

    People, it takes courage and honesty to admit that publicly, especially considering the position Dave holds in this particular section of BC. While I may strongly disagree with him on most things, he’s earned my respect.

    That said, back to the fray –

    Dave –

    You’ve got ONE report of Black Panther intimidation of voters at ONE precinct in the nation. ONE. Do you want me to list the Republican voter suppression efforts (again) that resulted in the disenfranchisement of (at a minimum) tens of thousands of voters? Again, your evidence of election wrongdoing by Democrats is STILL less than ONE-HUNDREDTH of that which was done by Republicans and their supporters.

  • Zedd

    Dave,

    Again, you miss it. The day of focusing on good come backs and attacks versus content is gone. Don’t be a dinosaur my friend. Let’s discuss substance and maybe we can rebuild the Republicans and make this country a better place. Jabbing is not political discourse.

    Try.

    You yourself acknowledge that the Reps are dead. You yourself acknowledge that the religious right has high jacked the party and sent it down the wrong path. Now focus on solutions. That’s what my post was about. It wasn’t about Democrats being right. It wasn’t about YOU. It was about the future for the Reps. FOCUS.

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


    You’ve got ONE report of Black Panther intimidation of voters at ONE precinct in the nation. ONE. Do you want me to list the Republican voter suppression efforts (again) that resulted in the disenfranchisement of (at a minimum) tens of thousands of voters? Again, your evidence of election wrongdoing by Democrats is STILL less than ONE-HUNDREDTH of that which was done by Republicans and their supporters.

    Glenn, read it again. I’ve got multiple examples of problems at the polls from both sides. The Black Panther one was just particularly eyecatching. The others I reference were more mundane and involved problems for both Republicans and Democrats. Nothing partisan about it, just laying out that there were problems.

    As for your supposed tens of thousands of examples of Republican ‘vote suppression’, spare me. Insisting that people present ID and be registered to vote is not vote suppression. It’s the law. Even caging lists are legal, and in some cases actually necessary.

    And Zedd, it’s just straight out arrogant to try to lecture me or anyone on the GOP when you’ve been so openly hostile to it in all your comments here. You don’t have standing to give a relevant opinion on the subject.

    Dave

  • Lee Richards

    Dave says, “It’s just straight out arrogant to try to lecture me or anyone on the GOP when you’ve been so openly hostile to it in all your comments here. You don’t have standing to give a relevant opinion on the subject.”

    HIS stock in trade on BC is lecturing against ideas, opinions, groups and individuals that he is “openly hostile to in all his comments here.” The list is practically endless.

    Of course, that double standard is OK–his brilliant analysis could never be arrogant or irrelevant or without standing, no matter how openly hostile or doctrinaire-driven.

    He really thinks he alone gets to decide which opinions are relevant to everyone else, to hold, express, read, or consider. Being so close-minded is the kiss of death to clear thinking and worthwhile writing.

    Someone so wrapped up in himself makes a very small and dull package.

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

    Oh please, Lee. As posters and commenters go here on BC I’m the picture of openmindedness. The fact that I don’t always agree with you doesn’t mean I’m wrong, and I at least consider what others have to say.

    I have no power to determine what other people think of each others opinions. I just give my observations and you can take them or leave them as you choose for exactly what they are worth – one person’s opinions.

    Dave

  • bliffle

    Dave has been outed so many times as a republican party hack that this makes one laugh.

  • Zedd

    Dave,

    Again, this dialogue isn’t about YOU.

    We are supposed to be discussing politics. A critique of the political system is pivotal in ensuring good governance. You keep taking things personally. You are not the Republican party. You didn’t set it up to be as it is. I have criticized it because I want it to be better so that our potential as a country and as individuals is enhanced. FOCUS. We are trying to get back to solutions instead of the irrelevant discourse that has hijacked our senses. Will you join us?

    Whenever you are ready we can resume.

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

    Ah, Zedd and Bliffle. You can always count on them to make it personal.

    Zedd, I didn’t take discussion off track. There’s an article here. Read it. Maybe discuss it.

    I’ll start another thread for your general bashing of the GOP if you like.

    Dave

  • Les Slater

    Zedd,

    Dave is too intelligent to believe most of the crap he posts here. He admitted recently that he sometimes plays ‘the Devil’s advocate’. He’s also good at distorting what others say.

    Les

  • Zedd

    Les,

    I used to think so.

    I think he’s stuck. He’s played this role for so long he doesn’t know how to stop. He thinks playing the role is actually creating change. He misses that he is stalling progress.

    Dave,

    Your article was about how the Reps are loosing ground, in essence, or did I miss something? I addressed how they can regain it.

  • zingzing

    “it’s just straight out arrogant to try to lecture me or anyone on the GOP when you’ve been so openly hostile to it in all your comments here. You don’t have standing to give a relevant opinion on the subject.”

    can you really say such a thing on an open forum? well, of course you can say it, but does it really matter? and zedd is certainly no worse than you are, yet you get your opinion heard and responded to. you should consider doing the same. you’ve been looking “straight out arrogant” for the past few weeks, and i hope you cut it out.

    “As posters and commenters go here on BC I’m the picture of openmindedness.”

    oh, come on. that’s ridiculous. you’re better than, say, bambi, and you do have some opinions i can agree with, but you’re stubborn and you’re pretty well set in your ways and you never accept when you’ve made a mistake. then again, you have your own definitions for things, so maybe that’s part of being openminded in your book…

    “I’ll start another thread for your general bashing of the GOP if you like.”

    in case you haven’t figured it out yet, many of us here (and a majority of the country) DON’T REALLY LIKE THE GOP. we don’t have much nice to say about it. it’s been a destructive force in this country and its run by (and populated by) some really disgusting people. there may be some good values tucked deep within the republican party platform, but they’ve been perverted and distorted by the more reprehensible views until they’re unrecognizable or invisible.

    so you write anything about the gop, it’s going to get a little bashed by those on our side. the beating the gop is taking in this thread is pretty light, especially in light of the last few weeks.

  • Zedd

    “I’m with Clavos and Philip. We just need to start an “Original Values Republican Party” or something like that and quietly replace the current one. And let’s take a Bull Moose as the symbol.

    Dave”

    Yeah, but if the same mindless people join it, simply because the Reps couldn’t win, nothing will really change except that we will have two parties of the vacuous.

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

    Zedd, the idea would be to organize the good republicans and push the bad ones out of the way.

    But you know, the ‘good’ republicans still aren’t going to agree with you or believe in anything like the same things you believe in.

    Dave

  • Cindy D

    Dave!

    For god’s sake! Theodore Roosevelt had “socialist” leanings!

    Will your new party promote socialized medicine and attack big business too?

    Dave? Are you sure you are okay? This whole election thing gotten to you, has it?

  • Baronius

    Hey, I’ve got an idea! Let’s talk about Dave some more. And then Dave can talk about us talking about Dave, and we’ll all really get to the root of the issue.

    You might not like the religious right, Dave, but you can win with us. Republican turnout was low, but it wasn’t because the religious right is so alienating. It’s because we didn’t show up. With us on board, the Republican Party gets wins. Without us, the party can get 46%.

    Your goals are compatible with the religious right’s. We want strict constructionist judges and we oppose political correctness in schools. We oppose Islamic extremism and defend Israel. We don’t trust government.

    Maybe you can build a coalition with Liberty Republicans, athiests, environmentalists, and anti-Masons or something, but I don’t see it happening. Try to build a coalition without social conservatives and you’ll end up having to compromise a lot more of your positions than you had to with us. You’ll also probably win the same states as McCain did, except for the South and the West.

    We’re not kooks, but we’re portrayed as kooks. We’ve got a lousy public image. That’s really the only baggage that we bring to the coalition. Every group in the Republican coalition has to contend with media bias. Don’t fall for media bias by believing that we’re all crazed theocrats. Don’t fall for the media’s recommendation that the party should move to the middle, because they’re not just talking about stem cells. They mean taxes, affirmative action, and everything else.

  • Cindy D

    Baronius,

    With us on board, the Republican Party gets wins. Without us, the party can get 46%.

    Are you implying that the religious right did not vote McCain/Palin?

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

    Your goals are compatible with the religious right’s. We want strict constructionist judges and we oppose political correctness in schools. We oppose Islamic extremism and defend Israel. We don’t trust government.

    If that were the extent of the beliefs of the religious right then I’d be okay with them. But it’s not. They also believe in denying civil rights to homosexuals, breaking down the constitutional separation of church and state, and the imposition of religious morality in law.

    If a new, more focused GOP can win even 40% of the vote without social conservatives, that’s quite sufficient to take a number of seats in congress and the senate and have a major say in presidential elections. Social conservatives can come along if they are willing to recognize the basics of individual liberty or they can drift more and more to the extreme right and end up in an alliance with Ron Paul and the Aryans.

    Dave

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

    “As posters and commenters go here on BC I’m the picture of openmindedness.”

    WTF?

    Dave is clearly channelling somebody else there…

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

    It’s all relative, Christopher. I’m at least willing to listen to and consider other viewpoints. The recently victorious Obamistas are displaying a particularly obnoxious self-righteousness which admits to no challenges.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    dave, just last week you were refusing to talk to people if they were too left wing for you.

    and i wouldn’t use the term “obnoxious…” i’d say “snarky.”

    and, really, for the first time in about 10 years, we on the left have a major victory on our hands. forgive us if we’re a little… happy. it’s only been 3 days.

  • Baronius

    Dave, the number of evangelicals who oppose the separation of church and state is trivial. It’s funny that we conservatives generally know enough to not believe the media’s analysis, but we trust what they say about us (or our factions). But let’s say that there’s a sizable percentage of people who believe everything you do about economics, taxes, and foreign policy, and also want to install a President/Pope. You’d still be better served by forming a coalition with them on all matters but one. A minority party is ill-served by pushing people out of the tent.

    Cindy, the polling is ambiguous about evangelical support of McCain/Palin. I see that you included Palin’s name there, and I’m sure she did help him in turnout, although that help came late. Too late to contribute many funds or volunteer hours. Certainly, turnout among usual Republican voters was down. Previously-unregistered black evangelicals came out to vote for Obama, which helps to mask weakness in self-professed evangelical Republican turnout. It’ll take a while to sort this data out.

  • Zedd

    Dave,

    What do I believe in?

    BTW are you alright? I know it’s Friday. Did you get an early start on the sauce? Is it the election?

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

    Baronius, there seem to be two kinds of religious republicans, and I’m fine with working with the ones who are willing to work with others. But there’s a significant element who will not work with anyone who does not conform to their beliefs. They are moral absolutists who are usually single issue voters and are unwilling to compromise on anything. There’s just no way to work with them.

    So I’m find with a coalition which involves religious conservatives, but not if they’re inflexible fanatics. If I’m willing to compromise on gay marriage and accept civil unions as an alternative, I expect them to give up on banning gay marriage and settle for civil unions too. Same with abortion. I’ll support limits on abortion even in the 2nd trimester, but if they can’t accept at least some level of legal abortion, I’ve got no use for them.

    For me things like abortion and gay marriage are just issues. For many religious people they are holy causes. I can’t form a political alliance with people who put fanatically held religious beliefs ahead of all other issues.

    Dave

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    Insisting that people present ID and be registered to vote is not vote suppression. It’s the law. Even caging lists are legal, and in some cases actually necessary.

    1 – I NEVER complained about ‘requiring ID’. I don’t have a problem with that.

    2 – ‘Caging lists’ are STRICTLY ILLEGAL.

    The clause in the National Voting Rights Act of 1993 (NVRA) which prohibits purging caged voters off the voting rolls is:

    Pursuant to the NVRA, a voter may not be removed from the voters list unless (1) the voter has requested removal; (2) state law requires removal by reason of criminal conviction or mental capacity; (3) the voter has confirmed in writing that he has moved outside the jurisdiction maintaining the specific voter list, or (4) the voter both (a) has failed to respond to a cancellation notice issued pursuant to the NVRA and (b) has not voted or appeared to vote in the two federal general elections following the date of notice.

    And in addition to the plethora of caging by the RNC and allies are the voter registration fraud by Republican groups (but NOT by ACORN, because ACORN pointed out the suspect registrations) and the attempts to get Democratic voters to vote in different districts or on different days.

    Dave, as was stated above, you may well be just playing “devil’s advocate”…because you have NO ammunition here. The wrongdoing was almost completely by the RNC and allies thereof.

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

    Glenn, your own quote from the NVRA clearly supports caging lists as they have been used in recent elections. The lists used fulfill either requirement 2 or requirement 4 or both.

    As for Republican voter registration fraud, I know of one conviction of one individual. That’s it. This would be as compared to dozens of ACORN workers cut loose by their bosses to take the fall for them and convicted in multiple states.

    You can try to rewrite history all you want – I suppose that’s your right as one of the victors. But I’m going to stay here and stand up for the truth nonetheless.

    Dave

  • Lee Richards

    # 30:

    Dave, you’ve got to stop being so reasonable;you’ll destroy your image.

    “fanatically held religious beliefs” of some that are hard to compromise with–

    1.) MY religious belief is better then YOUR secular opinion,

    2.) It gives me insights superior to your non-religious ones, and therefore

    3.) I think I have the right to decide moral and social issues for you.

  • Baronius

    Dave, I’m not asking you to form a coalition with Mike Huckabee, who favors big government and a religious social agenda. But it sounds like you’ve got a whole nose-cutting face-spiting thing happening. I could be misreading you though.

    The fact is, pro-lifers volunteer for phone banks. They volunteer with a fervor that’s, um, I can’t think of a good word for it but I’m sure there is one. In politics, you don’t usually get offers of enthusiastic support for 85% of your agenda. That’s worth a little culture shock and exasperation.

  • pablo

    Poor Davey, I almost want to shed a tear for the hack………..not really :)

  • Baronius

    Dave, I just read the article about American socialism. I’m tellin’ ya dude, if the country is thinking in these terms, we better start forming alliances with anyone remotely conservative.

    I actually don’t think the US is ideologically sliding into socialism, but in the current national mood, with next Congress and administration, the US could make a lot of mistakes before we get our heads together.

  • bliffle

    Baronius: Just because of a couple cross burnings…

    “We’re not kooks, but we’re portrayed as kooks. We’ve got a lousy public image”

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

    I actually don’t think the US is ideologically sliding into socialism, but in the current national mood, with next Congress and administration, the US could make a lot of mistakes before we get our heads together.

    The irony is that we have so many negative examples of the failure of socialist systems around the world. You would think that we could pay attention to them and avoid those pitfalls. When France, of all places, lowered their overall tax burden so that were left alone with Japan at the top of the overtaxed list, that ought to have been an alarm bell to wake us up, but I’m afraid it’s gone unnoticed by the left.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    In the context of the entire library of Dave Nalle’s articles, this one stands out for its low-key tone and relative reasonableness.

    I think even he would have to admit that in the comments section, especially in the months leading up to the election, he was anything but low-key or reasonable, and tried to lend credence to nearly every anti-Obama angle coming from the McCain-Palin ticket – some of them remarkably slimy, unproven, irrelevant. It may take a while for the memory – and aroma – of those postings to fade.

    But I genuinely believe that the paranoia and nervousness many on the right, including Dave, are promulgating about the ‘radicals’ in the Democratic Congress and what they will be doing to the Constitution in concert with President Obama, is utter fantasy.

    I believe that for the most part the Dems will chart a centrist course, by necessity. Now, my “centrist” may indeed be Dave’s “dangerous socialist.” But I don’t think so. I think if he keeps an open mind he’ll be very pleasantly surprised in the months to come.

    It is interesting that both the left and right accuse each other of betraying the Constitution.

    The left points to the Bush-Cheney power grab for the executive branch, and many of the questionable policies adopted in the name of the so-called “War on Terror.”

    The right’s fears seem to center on guns, taxes, and the minor sideshow called the Fairness Doctrine.

    Prediction: Obama will do nothing – nothing – regarding gun policy, at least any time soon. And even if the Fairness Doctrine is made law [I think it’s way down the priority list], the effects will be minimal to zero. [Otherwise it will be successfully challenged in court.]

    And the most ‘extreme’ thing in his tax policy is to let the top rates return to their Clinton-era levels for high earners. As someone pointed out, is the line between a 34% and 39% top rate really the demarcation of capitalism and socialism? Jeez.

  • Zedd

    You guys are simply nuts. Is it your fantacy to fight against evil or some huge, bad guy, oh or maybe the dark side? What are you talking about? You are nuts. Let it go. It ain’t all that. You all are really paranoid.

    You still haven’t stopped your talk radio addiction have you?

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

    I suggest that all readers view the video of the news report-as any fact checking editor should have done prior to publication-and decide whether or not Nalle legitimately draws his conclusion about the involvement of the Panther organization. Clearly, the behavior of an individual does not implicate the BPP.

    I suggest that all viewers view that video too. And then I suggest that you read the detailed coverage from the Philadelphia Inquirer. And then read this article in which the head of the BPP in Philadelphia ackqnowledges that they were posted there.

    And note the facts that MDE gets wrong in his comment. There were in fact TWO panthers there. One was armed and made to leave by the police. There is video and there are eyewitness accounts of all of this. And the BPP was in fact involved, aware and admits their involvement.

    So if we had a fact checking editor he would have confirmed my information.

    Do you have the honesty and integrity for an apology, MDE?

    Dave

  • Mark Eden

    A bit of preemptive work here, Dave?

    The fact still remains that your article as published with its source did not support your incendiary claim – pure propaganda.

    By the way – the link above indicates that it took until Friday for the BPP to get its story straight. So – did the leadership send the guys?

    I would be happy to apologize were I wrong.

    Mark

  • Mark Eden

    For example – I’m sorry that I said one rather than two as turns out to be the case.

    Mark

  • zingzing

    dave: “The irony is that we have so many negative examples of the failure of socialist systems around the world. You would think that we could pay attention to them and avoid those pitfalls. […] but I’m afraid it’s gone unnoticed by the left.”

    yes, because we’re all screaming for SOCIALISM! SOCIALISM! that’s why we all live in america, which destroyed the largest socialistic economy in the world (at the time) less than 20 years ago! you know, we just decided, hey, we’re gonna take this country over–we like a challenge. let’s take on america! capitalism is now dead, in less than 20 years! we have done it! we are the destroyers of your way of life! while you were looking outward to the soviets and the iraq oil fields, we were working silently! and now it is our day!

    you see how foolish this is dave?

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

    The fact still remains that your article as published with its source did not support your incendiary claim – pure propaganda.

    My claim was only that there have been more problems in the polls in other states than in Texas, that’s it. And the Black Panther example was just one of several I provided, from both sides of the political perspective.

    And note that I wrote the reference within 24 hours of the incident before more details had come out.

    By the way – the link above indicates that it took until Friday for the BPP to get its story straight. So – did the leadership send the guys?

    By the amount of ass covering they’re doing I’d guess yes.

    I would be happy to apologize were I wrong.

    Or if your ego could allow you to admit that you overreacted.

    Dave

  • Mark Eden

    hogwash

    Your claim was: “In Philadelphia the Black Panthers had members posted at the polls to keep Republican voters away.”

    You shouldn’t take my criticism so personal-like. Imagine if you had done your due diligence and called ‘em up for an early response. It would almost have been a scoop!

    Mark

  • Clavos

    Isn’t the article labeled OPINION?”

    As are 90% of the submissions published here?

  • Mark Eden

    Hi Clavos. It is not OK to pass off bogus/unsubstantiated statements of fact in opinion pieces.

    You, an editor, should know this.

    Mark

  • Clavos

    Near as I can tell, Mark, the only error in Dave’s original sentence is the presence of the letter “s” after “poll,” which easily (for all you knew when you first read it) could have been as innocuous as a typo, since there were in fact, a couple of BP’s at one of the polls (as reported by the MSM), his basic fact was not erroneous.

    Mountain out of a molehill.

    As to what I should or shouldn’t know as an Assistant Editor: you may think you know what my responsibilities in that capacity are, but judging from your comment, you’d be wrong.

  • Mark Eden

    Clavos, there are any number of ways that Dave could have made that sentence true. He didn’t. He chose to propagandize as he is wont to do.

    And I’m not talking about your responsibilities in my comment above – just what you ought to know as a online magazine editor.

    Mark

  • Clavos

    And I’m not talking about your responsibilities in my comment above – just what you ought to know as a online magazine editor.

    Knowing what my responsibilities are would, of course, define my job, which in turn would define what I need to know to perform the job. For all you know, an assistant politics editor is only required to sweep the virtual office floors twice a day, and keep the virtual coffee machine full.

    Again, I saw no evidence in this instance of “passing off bogus/unsubstantiated statements of fact in opinion pieces,” except in the very unimportant point of plural versus singular polls.

    And, once more: It’s not a news article, it’s an opinion article.

  • Mark Eden

    Whatever. I can see that we are going to get along famously!

    Oh – and if you guys feel that you have a conflict of interest editing my opinion piece on this topic when you get to it, maybe you should pass it on to someone else.

    Mark

    (In the interest of disclosure: I’ve sent troll off seeking more anarchic venues for communicating the ineffable. I intend to hang around here avoiding the comments section as much as I can and writing some articles.)

  • Clavos

    I intend to hang around here avoiding the comments section as much as I can and writing some articles.

    Wonderful! Always good to have new perspectives.

    Be sure your your facts are accurate. :)

  • Mark Eden

    You betcha! And when I do make a mistake – which I am sure I will now and again – I’ll happily admit it.

  • Clavos

    Good for you, Champ.

  • Mark Eden

    ‘Champ’?

  • Mark Eden

    And in keeping with my promise to admit error:

    I am told by Lisa M that BC is not committed to honest journalism (though not in those words exactly) and, essentially, that propagandizing and embedding bogus statements of fact in opinion pieces here in the politics section is fine.

    Go figure. Needless to say, my article suggesting ways that BC could behave more like a legitimate member of the fourth estate will not be appearing.

    Mark

  • http://blogcritics.org Lisa McKay

    Damn right not in those words exactly, Mark, but by all means feel free to distort the essence of my email.

  • Mark Eden

    Sorry Lisa – I didn’t want to quote you exactly.

    What would you say the essence of you e-mail was? How am I to interpret, “…Nowhere have we claimed to have a “journalistic focus”, as you put it, nor do we consider ourselves to be a source of unbiased news reporting.” & “We don’t require our writers — who are primarily bloggers, not professional journalists — to be fair and balanced when they are writing opinion pieces. We do require them to do their homework and back up statements of fact with links to sources. How they choose to interpret those facts is up to them.”

    I truly have been suffering under a misconception of BC’s mission and where management wants to take it.

    Mark

  • Mark Eden

    I have dug up a news story about a woman who beat up her husband. My storyline will be: Amazons Run Amok Across the Country

    There has to be some good satire in all of this.

    Mark

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

    Mark, I don’t understand your problem. It doesn’t require a great deal of time to be spent at Blogcritics without readily perceiving it to be exactly what it is.

    It doesn’t have a staff in the normal sense of the word and you seem to be speaking from an old school newspaper perspective rather than understanding what Blogcritics is doing.

    Bring back troll.

  • http://blogcritics.org Lisa McKay

    Mark, if you have mistaken BC for a primary news source, then you have indeed been suffering under a misconception. We have never presented ourselves as such. Our politics writers write opinion pieces, many of which are exceptionally well-researched, nearly all of which are written from a particular point of view (or bias, if you prefer). We have a very active community of commenters who don’t hesitate to call bullshit when they disagree with something. This is the blogosphere, not the New York Times — what part of that don’t you understand?

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

    Additionally, why would I want to be part of the largely corrupt fourth estate when I’m already part of the fifth? Wake up!

  • Mark Eden

    Sorry Chris, troll was based on rude personal attacks. I only gave up the bridge routine way back when in the name of comity (based on an argument that I had with Alienboy) — which was a mistake. As troll I have to do far too much self-editing. Besides, I’m tired of trying to write without commas.

    Lisa, your right. There is lots of good stuff here. And lots of bullshit propaganda.

  • irene wagner

    I shall miss troll.
    I can understand his wanting to write articles after limiting himself to aphorisms for so long.

  • Mark Eden

    irene, if I find a venue for troll where he can cut loose I’ll let you know.

    Mark

  • irene wagner

    Succinctly: but how?

  • irene wagner

    People can always cut loose wherever they please if they don’t care about the consequences.

  • Clavos

    mark/troll,

    much as i hate to admit it you fooled me

  • irene wagner

    Yes, clavos once said troll = bambeneck.

  • Clavos

    When did I say that, Irene? I don’t recall saying it.

  • irene wagner

    I guess we could do an advanced google search on the comments. The reason your comment sticks in my mind was thereafter, I always thought troll was bambeneck, too, because I figured you knew both of them better than I did.

  • irene wagner

    Lawd have mercy. I have gotten this thread WAAAY off track.

    Yes, I was in Texas on election day once, too. It was Austin 2000. Later that week, I saw a pickup with “Hang THIS chad” spray painted on the rear view windown.

  • Clavos

    I must have been facetious or sarcastic–I’ve never actually thought they were one and the same.

  • Mark Eden

    (I cannot believe that I wrote ‘your’ rather than ‘you’re’ in #64. Mental Mush)

    irene – watch the sky for a sign.

    And for some bizarre reason I do care about the consequences of cutting loose on several of the fragile egos around here despite the fact that they are the ones most deserving.

    Mark

  • irene wagner

    Consider that kind of cutting surgery, troll. One day a liberated ego may come back to thank you.

    Your ! going to have to get used to that sort of thing now that you’ve moved to paragraph mode, mark. An inveterate sky watcher, I know the sacred writings say, “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin…”

    Well Christopher Rose, there’s your cue.

  • Clavos

    ¡Hijo!

    What will we do without a bridge?