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Societal Failure, Voter Despair and a Small Ray of Hope

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As may be clear from my recent article about Al Gore, I’m getting pretty desperate for some alternative to the Hillary Clinton juggernaut in 2008. That I’m willing to draft Gore and accept his mediocrity and ecopimping shows just how desperate I am. But recent developments have offered me another faint hope which might be closer to my heart and better for the country as a whole than a Gore presidency. Ron Paul is turning into a real candidate.

Previously, I’ve been skeptical about Paul’s candidacy for a number of reasons, from his fanatical lunatic fringe followers, to his lack of charisma and rhetorical skills, to his naive and unrealistic foreign policy, to his very un-libertarian views on religion and government. I did campaign for Paul and voted for him as a Libertarian in 1988, but since that time his performance as a Republican didn’t inspire me with confidence. I’ve been particularly bothered by his inability to write realistic and passable legislation and his ongoing wrongheaded position on issues like abortion and school prayer. It’s not enough to just vote ‘no’ on every piece of legislation, and I don’t want to see prayer in school or postings of the ten commandments. Plus, looming over it all, was the fact that I just didn’t have confidence in Paul’s ability to raise money, gather support and run a viable national campaign.

To be fair, there’s no candidate with whom i agree 100% on every issue, and no matter who I end up supporting, I’m going to have to put up with some positions I really don’t like to get good positions on other issues which I think are important. Who among us, regardless of party, isn’t in the same situation? Can you honestly say there’s a candidate who you think is utterly flawless and will do everything you want in office and nothing you don’t like?

It does get discouraging. The candidates with all the money and all the press coverage and the backing of party insiders often seem to be the absolute worst choices. The top democrats are making ridiculous promises and the top Republicans seem to have nothing new to say at all. They’ve all sold their souls to special interests, most of which I have fundamental disagreements with. I don’t want a president who’s more loyal to unions or oil companies or military contractors or Jesus or the UN than he is to the voters the taxpayers and the constitution.

Everyone is frustrated and many are ready to just give up and stick their heads in the sand. How can we have so many candidates and have them running for months more than usual, and yet have them be so generally unsatisfactory? It seems like a failure of not just the parties and the system, but of our entire society. The relatively decent candidates are languishing at 1% in the polls while the biggest liars and panderers have enormous leads in fundraising and popular support.

The key to getting media exposure and being able to present yourself to the public is having lots of money, and it seems to be very hard to get that money without selling out to special interests. Candidates end up running campaigns designed not to offend wealthy backers rather than to promote a coherent plan for the country’s future. Candidates with actual ideas and principles get ignored by the media, raise no money and end up desperately trying to score a few points in the debates before they inevitably get sent home as also-rans. It’s a terribly discouraging situation for a voter who wants to be able to pick a candidate he can live with and hope that he has some chance of winning.

As the campaign goes on and on and on, the gaps in fundraising and popular support between the top tier candidates and their minor league competitors gets larger and larger and it becomes more and more difficult for the lesser candidates to raise money and they eventually have to drop out. None have dropped out yet, but expect them to start falling like snowflakes in the winter.

In all of this depressing struggle of venality, raw ambition and inadequacy, there does seem to be a small ray of hope in the latest fundraising figures. While everyone but the very top contenders filed quarterly reports this week which showed fundraising well below expectations, Ron Paul suprised everyone by raising so much money that it puts him neck and neck with some of the big boys. While he wasn’t in the same league as Giuliani ($16 million), Clinton ($27 million) or Obama ($20 million), his $5.3 million put him ahead of most of the Republican field and was a huge increase from his previous total of only $3 million. Unlike leading candidates including Mitt Romney and John McCain, Paul’s total went up substantially from the previous quarter while their fundraising efforts seem to be losing steam. Perhaps even more significantly, Paul has spent very little of his money so far, and has no campaign debt, so he has more actual money on hand than candidates who have raised much more on paper. Perhaps most impressive was Paul’s online fundraising campaign which brought in $1 million in the last week of the quarter.

Paul’s strong showing was such a shock to the news media that they actually gave him some decent coverage, including reports on his fundraising accomplishments from http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN03273615″>Reuters, http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2007/10/02/politics/horserace/entry3319636.shtml
“>CBS News
and the generally hostile

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • http://dontdreambig.blogspot.com Ron

    I couldn’t agree with you more; very well put. I just wrote an article on my blog about the knowledge I’ve gained about Ron Paul in the past few months. Initially my reaction was, “who is this guy?”, but now has been replaced by a feeling that he might really be on to something.

    You mentioned in your article “[c]an you honestly say there’s a candidate who you think is utterly flawless …”. My response would be, can we truly expect anyone to be flawless? Or have the exact points of view we have about how to run the country? I do understand this is for POTUS, but I think it it would be foolhardy to think anyone will be perfect.

    We need to find a candidate who is principled and of consistent character, and wanting to work in the best interests of the American people. I think Ron Paul could be a very intriguing candidate from the Republican side.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Paul should drop out of the Republican race and run as an independent, or as a Libertarian. I believe that will help increase the chances of a Democratic win, although that’s not necessarily the reason I’m suggesting it. He’s more of an independent than any sort of traditional two-party-system candidate, and more likely to make a splash as such, once the free exposure of debates is over with. Possibly after New Hampshire this is what he’ll do.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Dave,

    I understand your desparation. While I am obviously in Clinton’s camp, that’s not to say I am wildly enthusiastic about her. As I noted, she has disappointed me as regards her lack of support for the gay community, and her initial support for the Iraq war amongst other things. But, also, as I’ve noted, I don’t believe that she will be a bad president. I know that seems to come down to the old “lesser of evils” approach to choosing which candidate to support. Guilty as charged.

    I could not, though, in good conscience support Paul. He may be a man of integrity, and that’s a good thing. I don’t know how well it will play in DC, though. I know he’s been in Congress for a number of years, but the presidency is another animal. He might find operating within the Washington mine field at that level teacherous going at best. As you’ve noted, his record at writing successful legislation is spotty at best. Can he maintain his supposed unflappable integrity in the face of the pressures that will certainly come to bear on the next president? It may well be necessary for any president to succeed, he or she must have a bit of larceny in his or her soul.

    The deal breaker for me, though, is his position on abortion and his too strong connection with his religion. As an atheist, I don’t look upon that as a plus. I haven’t seen specifically where he stands on gay marriage/civil unions, but I can guess. Personally, the thought of another protestant fundamentalist in the White House is more than I can stand.

    On another note, I loved McCain’s pronouncement the other day about prefering a christian as president. As Jon Stewart said, looking back at our current and former presidents, that would include only ALL of them. Of course the question – an absurd one given the tenor of the times (like, that’s going to happen) – could McCain accept a Muslim as president. Of course then McCain, in order to be PC, backed up and said that, yes, he could accept a Muslim president as long as he (or she, presumably) was fair and impartial, yada, yada, yada…

    You seem to be desparately grasping at straws – also looking for the lesser of your perceived evils. Good luck with that (You know of course, I don’t mean that.)

    Baritone

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

    Perhaps you can tell all this to the MSM, who consistently assume Ron doesn’t have a cat in hell’s chance at winning the keys to the White House and knows it himself.

    I’m put in mind of Carter in ’76, who came from nowhere to win…

    …And all right, perhaps that didn’t work out too well. But let’s face it: a Paul presidency (or a Hillary one, for that matter) can’t possibly be as scary as your latest profile pic – !

    😉

  • Jack T

    Unfortunately it took segregationist Governor Wallace to reveal the truth that “there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between” Republicans and Democrats. The Democrats willingly went along with the War in Iraq, suspension of Habeas Corpus, detaining protesters, banning books like “America Deceived’ from Amazon, stealing private lands (Kelo decision), warrant-less wiretapping and refusing to investigate 9/11 properly. They are both guilty of treason.
    Support Dr. Ron Paul and save this great country.
    Last link (before Google Books bends to gov’t Will and drops the title):
    America Deceived (book)

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

    And here’s some food for thought for everyone:

    Given the perceived dearth of good candidates – either declared, possible or feasible – if you could pick any eligible American – any at all – as your nominee for Chief Executive, who would it be? Who would make a des. pres.?

    (Caveat: nominating any member of the Bush family will disqualify you immediately.)

  • gonzo marx

    George Carlin/Jon Stewart!

    you could slip Lewis Black into either slot if needs be

    there’s the real Freak Power ticket…

    how bad could they be?

    Excelsior?

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Gonzo,

    I’d LOVE to hear Louis Black’s “fireside chats.” That’d be a hoot. Of course, you should be considered as long as you retain the use Gonzo as your actual name. Having a president named Gonzo would be great.

    B-tone

  • http://www.myspace.com/yewneakh Paul

    Thank you for that well-thought-out article. And even moreso, thank you for the reconsideration on Ron Paul!

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

    Paul should drop out of the Republican race and run as an independent, or as a Libertarian. I believe that will help increase the chances of a Democratic win, although that’s not necessarily the reason I’m suggesting it. He’s more of an independent than any sort of traditional two-party-system candidate, and more likely to make a splash as such, once the free exposure of debates is over with. Possibly after New Hampshire this is what he’ll do.

    That would almost certainly doom him to having no chance of winning, so I’d advise against it. He needs the GOP party funds to run an effective final campaign. Perhaps he could go independent or Libertarian after getting elected.

    Dave

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

    Given the perceived dearth of good candidates – either declared, possible or feasible – if you could pick any eligible American – any at all – as your nominee for Chief Executive, who would it be? Who would make a des. pres.?

    That’s an easy one. Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina. He’s like Ron Paul but with charisma, political savvy and a willingness to be practical on issues where Paul is inflexible.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    Antonin Scalia

  • bliffle

    The repubs seem to be backing away from The War, while the dems seem to be embracing it! How odd. Maybe that’s why Bush/Cheney are doing nothing to help repubs get elected.

    Hersh quoted in Huffington

    When George Bush and Dick Cheney talk about their plans to bomb Iran, they are told “You can’t do it, because every Republican is going to be defeated”–that’s what a Republican former intelligence official told legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh. “But,” the former official went on, “Cheney doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the Republican worries, and neither does the President.”

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

    As Bush has pointed out, unless a candidate is totally irrational, their position on the war is going to change the moment they get their first White House security briefing.

    I suggest that you read Jim Dunnigan’s article Iraq, the Facts on the Ground. Dunnigan’s conclusions based on his years of experience, inside sources and acknowledged expertise in the field may not resonate with you, but past experience suggests that Dunnigan is almost always right.

    Dave

  • bliffle

    The electoral debacle we face in 2008 is a direct result of the contrived Bush election in 2000 and the severely partisan atmosphere they’ve encouraged and exploited ever since.

    Is there anyone in the two crowds who is good enough to save the situation? Doesn’t look like it to me. Seems like we’ll have to go back in the direction of decreasing presidential powers.

  • bliffle

    “As Bush has pointed out, unless a candidate is totally irrational, their position on the war is going to change the moment they get their first White House security briefing.”

    I think the dem candidates have already had that briefing. But I think the nature of the briefing is quite different. That the purpose was to pressure them into adopting Bush/Cheney policies. Not on the merits, but on pressure and threat.

    If Bush REALLY had something that would convince people he could have trotted it out publicly long ago. But in a sealed room with your favorite arm-twisters in attendance you can browbeat a person into almost anything.

    Remember, LBJ was so good at that kind of close-quarters manipulation that he bragged that he could end the Vietnam War overnight if he could just get Ho Chi Minh in a senate caucus room alone.

  • GoRonPaul

    Most people don’t realise how badly in shape the US has become.

    1) Foreign policy is a mess.

    2) The economy is a mess. Government lies on inflation. Astronomical national debt. A consumption driven economy losing it’s ability to borrow for further consumption. A nosediving currency. A collapsing housing bubble that was caused by irresponsible monetary policy and government backed mortgage securities that made them look much safer than they really are.

    3) Big government has lost touch with the people and is doing more harm than good. High taxes destroying the US’s ability to compete productive nations. The North American Union – who voted for that?

    The Ron Paul supporters I’ve met tend to be more aware of these dire issues that the US faces and when you look at the root cause of this issues it is the US government. The rest of the herd’s only source of information is the main stream media that seems blissfully unaware of all of these issues. It’s more concerned with the welfare of Britney Spears than this nation!!! It’s astounding!

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

    I think the dem candidates have already had that briefing. But I think the nature of the briefing is quite different.

    Yes, but you’ve demonstrated more than a few times a total disconnect from reality and a sadly typical leftist ignorance of basic facts.

    That there is more than meets the eye to the situation in the middle east is so obvious that only those who are woefully uninformed or deliberately ignoring reality for political reasons remain in denial at this point.

    Dave

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    It’s pretty much always the libs who are uninformed and the cons who are on top of everything. It is presumed that if you don’t hate and mistrust pretty much everybody that you are an uninformed bleeding heart liberal. What a crock!

    B-tone

  • stuttle

    With this country over 9 TRILLION dollars in debt, Ron Paul needs to win for us to avoid bankruptcy!

  • justoneman

    Let me make a prediction…write it down morons!

    Hillary will be defeated by a greater margin than the last 4 presidential elections. Just as the Dumbs went wild for G(wh)ore, Kerry, Dean all losers the average American can’t stand!

    As election day nears people will think more about her annoying cackle, fugly face and her “stand by your man” debacle…on election day the REAL voters, NOT the morons who gave her all that money, will either not show up or vote for “anyone else” but her…

    “And it shall come to pass”
    JOM

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Me: “Paul should drop out of the Republican race and run as an independent, or as a Libertarian.”

    Dave: “That would almost certainly doom him to having no chance of winning, so I’d advise against it.”

    He has no chance of winning anyway, and I think you probably agree with me about that, your article notwithstanding. But he might be able to add some spice to the debate, a la Wallace, Perot and to a lesser extent, Nader. This spice may not be very palatable to me or to others, but it doesn’t hurt to have maverick voices.

    But Mr. Paul, like Messrs. Wallace, Perot, and Nader, will never be a major-party nominee, and will never be president. That’s not really the point of his running, is it, if we keep our conversations grounded in reality rather than far-out fantasyland?

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

    Sorry, you’re just wrong, Handy. I ran for office as a Libertarian and got the highest percentage of any libertarian running that election. If I had drawn those votes plus the people who voted straight republican ticket I would have won the election. As It was I was soundly defeated.

    Paul may not have much of a chance, but it’s not even worth the effort if he doesn’t have the core 33% of the voters who will vote Republican no matter who the nominee is and all the money the party can raise for him.

    dave

  • http://worldwidenewsreport Dr. Joe Frazier

    When God Wants Something Done, He Always Gives It To ONE PERSON To Do — a Abraham, a Moses, a Peter, a Paul, a John, a David, a Gideon, a Mary. Had you noticed??? One Person, Committed To A Goal, Is All God Needs To Change The World!!! He’s done it many times. And if history turns many more pages, He’ll surely do it again. At the very least, You and God Together Can Change Your World!!! Ron Paul 2008!!! Dr. Joe Frazier – WorldWide News Report

  • http://www.RonPaul2008.com Dr. Joe Frazier

    Dave Nalle: This was a very good article & well thought-out… Thank you very much your honesty, Dr. Joe Frazier – WorldWide News Report

  • Baronius

    Dr. Joe, you’ve got to realize that your comment #24 terrified even me, a Christian conservative lifelong Republican with libertarian sympathies.

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

    JOM, you’re starting to sound like Arch Conservative, but without the finesse and politeness.

  • justoneman

    Gee thanks Dread…I guess all my hard work is starting to pay off…

    JOM

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    JOM,

    In your dreams!

  • bliffle

    Dave sez: “Yes, but you’ve demonstrated more than a few times a total disconnect from reality and a sadly typical leftist ignorance of basic facts.”

    How stupid. Any person who judges issues independently will sometimes make a judgement contrary to the True Believer Zealots of the left or right and thereby be condemned for his temerity.

    On the other hand, if one adopts a partisan attitude and always supports one side or the other one doesn’t have to think anymore. It’s the lazy persons choice and that’s apparently what Nalle does.

  • bliffle

    The silliness of this tautology seems to come naturally to the pen of Mssr. Nalle:

    “That there is more than meets the eye to the situation in the middle east is so obvious that only those who are woefully uninformed or deliberately ignoring reality for political reasons remain in denial at this point.”

    What’s the point? One can assert this about ANYONE!

    How trite!

    In the end, writer Nalle, have you no shame?

  • REMF

    “I ran for office as a Libertarian and got the highest percentage of any libertarian running that election.”

    You left out that you were the ONLY libertarian running that election.

  • bliffle

    “With this country over 9 TRILLION dollars in debt, Ron Paul needs to win for us to avoid bankruptcy!”

    This technique used to work, back in the days when drunken dems would have a big spending party and then the next day Responsible Republicans would come in and balance the budget and find ways to get some federal money.

    But now the reps are bigger drunkards than the dems!

    It’s really too late for a sober parent to solve the problems jointly agreed on by both sets of drunkards.

    We’re already over-leveraged: there’s $550trillion of US extrinsic paper value based on only $45trillion of intrinsic capital value.

    It’s all done ‘on margin’, just like in 1929.

    Rather than a plodding traditional caretaker conservative (like Herbert Hoover, content to stand aside and deny reality), we probably require the services of a dashing entrepeneur to develop new modes of business and new vitalities (like, gasp! FDR, who saved capitalism).

  • Cindy D

    “JOM-First of all, you’re just full of shit. You obviously didn’t comprehend anything I wrote and you’re offering opinions without any knowledge whatsoever.”

    How’s that?

  • REMF

    “Yes, but you’ve demonstrated…a sadly typical leftist ignorance of basic facts.”

    Yes, those ignorant leftists are far worse than those overbearing, know-it-all rightists…

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Cindy,

    ha,ha

  • Lumpy

    MCH, champion of ignorance. Makes sense to me. After all in his world ‘ignorance is strength’.

    As for the ignorance of the left, it comes from deliberately avoiding or pathologically denying facts which would challenge their worldview.

  • A.K. Smith

    Interesting piece, Dave. It’s nice to know that you have kept an open mind on his process. I understand why you think there is more to the war than we are allowed to know. I used to believe that our leaders had some special knowledge, if not exactly wisdom, and gave them the benefit of the doubt. Then I ran into two fellows named Johnson and Nixon. Lying sacks of spittle from the get go, who lied to us to get us into a war, then to stay in one. And now that they are both dead and buried, come to find out that they lied and knew they were lying at every step. Every war in my lifetime has begun with a lie. And like relationships, no good one can start that way. I seriously doubt that GWB and Dick Cheney have any special knowledge that would change my mind because if they did, they’d have broadcast it by now. They can’t even think of a good follow up lie to augment the initial ones. They’ve dropped the very real ball in Afghanistan, and concentrated on a mostly unrelated war because they thought it was one they could easily win. Why should anyone trust people who have fouled up those two situations so badly. That’s why I appreciate Dr. Paul. He recognized nonsense from the beginning. He never kowtows to power. He seeks no glory. He says the most basic of things. Stick to the laws that govern us, the government and the people. And in the end, that is the most basic thing we should ever expect from our leaders. Want a different result from Dr. Paul? Then change the law.

  • http://www.RonPaul2008.com Dr. Joe Frazier

    Baronius
    Dr. Joe, you’ve got to realize that your comment #24 terrified even me, a Christian conservative lifelong Republican with libertarian sympathies.

    If this Terrified You Then You Must Open Your Eyes – Do Not Think For A Minute That It Is Not Possible That God May Have Groomed Dr. Ron Paul To Deliver Us From The Evils We Are Facing!!! Do You Think That ALL Of This Is Happening Out Of Thin Air??? I Don’t Think Soooo!!! Maybe You Are Watching A Miracle – Let’s See…
    When God Wants Something Done, He Always Gives It To ONE PERSON To Do — a Abraham, a Moses, a Peter, a Paul, a John, a David, a Gideon, a Mary. Had you noticed??? One Person, Committed To A Goal, Is All God Needs To Change The World!!! He’s done it many times. And if history turns many more pages, He’ll surely do it again. At the very least, You and God Together Can Change Your World!!! Dr. Joe Frazier – WorldWide News Report

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “The relatively decent candidates are languishing at 1% in the polls”

    Ain’t that the truth. Duncan Hunter and Joe Biden are two of the most experienced and credible candidates running right now. And, guess what? Neither one has a shot in hell of actually winning their party’s nomination… :-/

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “None have dropped out yet”

    Tommy Thompson did. But you’re forgiven for forgetting his…forgettable candidacy…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “There are Democrats and independents in large numbers who want to vote for Paul because he’s the most prominent candidate with an absolute opposition to the Iraq War”

    This is the great irony of the Ron Paul campaign. I agree with the guy on about 99% of the issues, except for Iraq. Yet, his opposition to the war in Iraq (and he’s the only Republican to oppose it) is what is generating all this independent and Democrat support.

    So, on the one hand, Paul fails an important litmus test for me, by wanting to pull out of Iraq immediately. On the other hand, I agree with him more than any other candidate on just about everything else.

    Hmmm. I really am ambivalent about all of this.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    So did Tom Vilsack. How soon we forget.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Paul should drop out of the Republican race and run as an independent, or as a Libertarian. I believe that will help increase the chances of a Democratic win, although that’s not necessarily the reason I’m suggesting it.”

    I think it’s actually pretty likely that Paul will do exactly that. But I believe an independent or Libertarian candidacy by Ron Paul has the potential to harm the Democrat candidate more than the GOP candidate, because he’s likely to be the only candidate on the ballot in November who wants ALL the troops out of Iraq ASAP. Therefore, he will could end up getting a lot more votes from the Left than the Right.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “The deal breaker for me, though, is his position on abortion and his too strong connection with his religion. As an atheist, I don’t look upon that as a plus.”

    Atheist voters are a small minority, and they really don’t vote for Republicans or Libertarians anyway. No offense, but your refusal as an atheist to vote for a Christian candidate means almost nothing when one takes national demographics into account.

    Democrats wrapped up the secular Left vote a long time ago. But it hasn’t helped them much in seven of the last ten Presidential elections…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Given the perceived dearth of good candidates – either declared, possible or feasible – if you could pick any eligible American – any at all – as your nominee for Chief Executive, who would it be? Who would make a des. pres.?

    Jeb Bush!

    (Caveat: nominating any member of the Bush family will disqualify you immediately.)

    Awww…

    Okay, Dick Cheney!

    [ducks]

    Seriously, how about Larry Craig?

    [runs away, sobbing…]

    Ah, screw it – Pat Buchanan…

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

    So, on the one hand, Paul fails an important litmus test for me, by wanting to pull out of Iraq immediately. On the other hand, I agree with him more than any other candidate on just about everything else.

    RJ, my problem with Paul is that I don’t like his stand on the War in Iraq – or at least on the general issue of national defense – and I also don’t like his position on separation of church and state and abortion.

    Contrary to what you say in a later comment, there are a LOT of atheist republicans, just as there are a lot of gay republicans. Both groups just think that those particular issues are secondary to issues like civil rights, small government and low taxation.

    So the point is that I can put up with Paul’s bad points because his good points outweigh them, and that’s about the best you can hope for from a candidate in this field.

    Dave

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    I never intimated that the “atheist” vote was apt to have an impact on the election. I was simply stating my position. No politician in his or her right mind is going to openly pander to the atheist/agnostic voter.

    At any rate, it’s not a question of whether to vote for a christian. What other choices are there? Any Buddhists running?

    Hillary certainly claims to be a christian, as does every other candidate. My position has to do with the relative importance, or how much play a candidate’s faith gets in their campaign. Or, more importantly, for me, where they stand on the social/moral issues of the day.
    Frankly, none of the candidates including Clinton are where I would like to see them in this regard. But, as most everyone here has indicated, one must take what one can get. None of us are apt to get the whole pie, but a piece, or two, or three is better than none, which is what I got from Bush.

    B-tone

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    I still like Quayle. He’da man!

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

    RJ, don’t hold back. Why not nominate David Duke?

    Or (heavens forfend) JustOneMan…

  • http://pleasestopstampingonmyhead.blogspot.com/ Colin

    I can’t track it down now but there is a chap going round on myspace canvassing for the number of signatures (you’ll have to excuse my ignorance of American electoral law) he needs to run as an independent third candidate.

    Big Bill Clinton was interviewed in the Guardian yesterday (guardian.co.uk) talking about his probable/possible future role as a roving saviour of America’s international reputation – a job he says Hillary would like to involve others (“Republican ex-presidents” included, wouldn’t Bush Senior be an ironic appointment) in so doing.

  • moonraven

    WHY are you desperate, Dave?

    Since when are folks like you even a teeny weeny bit concerned about what happens in the world?

    I simply do not believe a word of it.

  • Franklin

    I don’t understand why anyone cares about these small sample national polls before the first primary. Kerry was polling less than 5% nationally at this time in 2003, Clinton was polling less than 5% nationally at this time in 1991 and Carter was polling less than 5% nationally in 1975. If the pre-primary national polls have consistently been meaningless in the past, why would anyone pay attention to them now?

    Even though I’m pro-choice and don’t agree with Paul on the immigration issue, I won’t argue that his positions and voting record are 100% Constitutional. It seems from reading anti-Paul comments in various places that Paul haters either don’t understand the Constitution or disagree with it. If Paul when the nomination, it will be the first time in my lifetime that there would be a major party candidate who was actually a good choice instead of just the lesser of two evils.

  • REMF

    “So, on the one hand, Paul fails an important litmus test for me, by wanting to pull out of Iraq immediately.”
    – RJ Elliott

    So Paul agrees with the vets on the “Veterans Against the Iraq War” web site. Cool.

  • Lumpy

    LOL. Veterans against the war. I saw some figures on them recently. Apparently the group includes only a tiny number of iraq war vets and almost none who served in combat. It’s basically a bunch of fat old hippy handwringers.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    And most of the folks supporting the war wouldn’t know one end of a rifle from the other. Of course, there is no need for something so crass as weapons in the upper reaches of corporate towers (so long as all the entrances and the lobby are armed to the teeth. Can’t let any riff raff in, after all.

    B-tone

  • bliffle

    “Lumpy [URL]

    LOL. Veterans against the war. I saw some figures on them recently.”

    Where?

    Could you share, please?

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

    It’s true…not one vote has yet been cast, so anything still goes at this point.

    Edwards/Obama vs. Huckabee/Rice?

    Gore/Obama vs. Romney/Paul?

    Obama/Franken vs. Giuliani/Dennis Miller?

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

    I won’t argue that his positions and voting record are 100% Constitutional.

    Paul’s positions are basically constitutional, but he uses the constitution as a way of avoiding addressing certain issues. One of the best examples of this is abortion, where rather than taking a stand on the issue he says it is a states rights issue under the constitution, which is true, but is a cheap way not to have to defend his real pro-life beliefs.

    He’s also just wrong on the school prayer issue. In that instance his position is NOT constitutional in any sense.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    Dr. Joe, you misunderstand me. I’m not saying that your comment is wrong; I’m saying that it sounds scary.

    A mainstream campaign needs to create fervor, but an outsider campaign needs to appear mainstream. You can see the difficult transition in the Obama campaign. Screaming crowds aren’t enough. The campaign has to look confident and presidential. I don’t know how much time Paul has to make that transformation.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Contrary to what you say in a later comment, there are a LOT of atheist republicans, just as there are a lot of gay republicans.”

    Well, I’m an agnostic Republican. Does that count? :-/

    Paul’s position on Church v. State doesn’t bother me, and I generally support his position on abortion. But the Iraq issue is, like, kinda friggin’ huge in this election. So I don’t know if I could support Ron Paul in the primaries.

    But in the general election, as the Republican nominee, against Hillary Rodham Clinton? I’d be selling shit on eBay just to raise cash to donate to him… :-/

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “RJ, don’t hold back. Why not nominate David Duke?”

    Awww, c’mon. “Pitchfork” Pat Buchanan isn’t a Klansman. Hell, you probably agree with him on more issues than you’d like to admit: He opposed the Iraq War, he opposes military action against Iran, he’s against US militarism in general, he supports unionism, opposes “free” trade agreements, opposes deficit spending and the trade deficit, etc.

    Buchanan was calling for strong measures to combat illegal immigration like 15 years ago. And he was called a lunatic for this, especially his proposal to build a fence along the Rio Grande back when he ran for President in 1992. Now, such a proposal has been passed by the Congress, signed by the President, and is supported by the vast majority of the American people.

    So he’s got foresight, too! And he was publicly opposing the war in Iraq before the Left got organized against it.

    Say what you will, he’s been a serious political player for almost four decades now. He’s been willing to break ranks with the GOP on principle time and time again.

    And unlike Democrat Senator Robert Byrd, he’s never been in the Klan. And unlike Democrat Senator Teddy Kennedy, he’s never killed anybody. 😉

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Edwards/Obama vs. Huckabee/Rice?

    Possible, but unlikely.

    Gore/Obama vs. Romney/Paul?

    Possible, but very unlikely.

    Obama/Franken vs. Giuliani/Dennis Miller?

    I know you’re being funny here, but this is impossible. Franken is currently running for a Senate seat that he (scarily) could win. He would never be picked for VP, and probably wouldn’t accept anyway. Dennis Miller adds absolutely nothing to a GOP ticket, so there is no way Rudy would pick him.

    A much more realistic scenario:

    Hillary-Richardson vs. Guiliani-Huckabee. Now that would be a fight to the finish between four highly capable and competent individuals…

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    I hear Mondale’s numbers in the polls are surging

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Heh…

    Mondale lost 49 states in 1984, and lost a Senate race in a Blue state in 2002. Mondale should consider himself lucky that MoveOn.org hasn’t beheaded him yet.

  • Clavos

    Mondale’s still alive???

    Here’s an interesting quote from Wikipedia’s bio of Mondale. It refers to his abbreviated race (replacing the deceased Paul Wellstone 5 days before the election) against Norm Coleman, which he narrowly lost, and which marked his political death:

    “By losing in Minnesota, Mondale is one of very few politicians who have held office and subsequently lost an election in every state.”

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    RJ

    “Contrary to what you say in a later comment, there are a LOT of atheist republicans, just as there are a lot of gay republicans.”

    Somehow, I can’t see the Reps counting on the atheist/gay vote to carry them back to the White House. I don’t know what you mean by “a lot.” Demographically, there are relatively few gays or aheists anywhere in the country. There are probably a few fiscally conservative gays and/or atheists who align themselves with the Reps, but conservative positions against gays, and the influx of religious fundamentalists into the the main stream of Rep politics makes it hard to imagine that a significant percentage of either gays, atheists or even agnostics can stomach mingling with those who pretty much hate them across the board.

    B-tone

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Dave,

    Maybe you can conjure a Gore/Paul or Paul/Gore ticket?

    B-tone

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

    There are probably a few fiscally conservative gays and/or atheists who align themselves with the Reps, but conservative positions against gays, and the influx of religious fundamentalists into the the main stream of Rep politics makes it hard to imagine that a significant percentage of either gays, atheists or even agnostics can stomach mingling with those who pretty much hate them across the board.

    It’s all a matter of priorities. If you consider things like a strong defense and cutting taxes and protecting US sovereignty to be more important than gay rights or religious issues then the GOP may be attractive despite not being perfect.

    The Log Cabin Republicans are one of the largest issue groups in the GOP, second only to anti-tax and pro-life groups. I don’t have exact membership figures for them, but they do have chapters in almost every state and their membership certainly numbers in the thousands.

    As for atheists and agnostics, very few Republican leaders actually endorse policies which they would object to. The pro-life position on abortion isn’t necessarily even a religious issue, it’s more an issue of when you think life begins, and plenty of atheists still think fetuses at some stage of development are alive. The other major issue would be prayer in schools and even most religious republicans don’t support that. The actual loony fundamentalist segment within the GOP is really pretty small – smaller than the Catholic segment within the Democratic Party.

    Dave

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

    Dave, they may be small in number, but they make a lot of ugly noise. Perhaps you are not including Limbaugh/Coulter/O’Reilly and their loudmouth supporters/ventriloquist-dummies on here in the ‘loony fundamentalist’ segment. But they use a lot of the same rhetoric, and get agitated (or more accurately, pretend to get agitated) about many of the same issues.

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

    See, Handy, there’s your basic problem in a nutshell. You trot out 3 names from the media, but the truth is that they aren’t the people who are the problem. Limbaugh, Colter and O’Reilly aren’t driven by the agenda of the religious right. They could care less about gay rights or abortion except insofar as it gets them support.

    The people whose prejudices they are merely echoing are as you point out a small but vocal minority, certainly not more numerous than gays and atheist/agnostics in the party. They’re just less willing to compromise and make deals.

    Dave

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    So Dave,

    You’re suggesting that a significant number, perhaps even a majority of gays, agnostics and atheists are in fact conservative republicans? You spend a great deal of time realing out statistics from who knows what sources. However, in this matter what you are suggesting Dave, is ludicrous. Above, I acknowledged the possibility of a relatively small # of fiscally conservative gays, atheists and agnositics, just as with African Americans and other ethnic minorities, who may well align themselves with Reps and vote accordingly.

    But, I can assure you that an overwhelming majority of all of the above factions, especially gays, agnostics and atheists are largely repulsed by much of the conservative agenda. To suggest otherwise is laughable. To characterize the Log Cabin Reps as a large or influential group is a stretch at best. They have been around since the late 1970s originally dubbed the Lincoln Club, but have had little impact on party positions, especially on the national level. They have enjoyed a bit more success on the state and local level, especially in California where they originated.

    I am a member of two national atheist organizations and they each report that only about 5% of their respective memberships identify themselves as Republicans or otherwise politically conservative.

    You also underestimate the numbers and the power of the christian fundamentalist theocratic movement which I have written about in previous posts here at BC. You casually characterize them as “kooks,” but it is those very kooks who got your man in the White House in the first place. Perhaps your attitude toward them should be a sign to them as to how much they are held in disdain by the Republican party. It is truly disingenuous. Should they break away from the party, in the event Rudy gets the nomination, Reps will play hell competing with whoever the Dems install as their candidate.

    B-tone

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Another Nalle article grasping at straws – this time at the hope that Ron Paul can do what nobody else can against the entire array of the CFR tentacles in the American government, and the banking and oil interests that fund it, to boot.

    Even if there are elections, and even if Ron Paul gets elected – two big IFS, anything he will do or attempt to do will be too little, too late. Much like King Josiah of the ancient kingdom of Judah, whose righteousness delayed the destruction of his kingdom until after he died.

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

    Thank you, Dave, for helping me find ‘my problem in a nutshell.’ I’ve been searching all these years!

    The rightwing loudmouths may well not be sincere about the issues they pick [I’ve said this all along]. But whether you think they speak for the GOP or not, and whether the ‘loony fundamentalists’ accept them as spokesmen or not, a lot of the same things come out of their mouths. And it distorts the whole political discussion in this country, far more than the so-called ‘liberal’ MSM they would like people to believe they are countering.

  • Irene Wagner

    Those listing one of the armed forces as an employer gave 76% of a total $1.2 million to GOP congressional and presidential candidates in 2002, and 23% to Dems. In 2007, those listing one of the armed forces as an employer gave 59% of a total $200,000 to the GOP and 40% to Dems.

    The trend of military donations is shifting toward the Dem side, with the Republicans still maintaining an edge–but the Republican who *is* favored is Ron Paul, with $19.3K from donors who listed one of the armed forces as an employer. (Mccain got $18.5K.)

    Here a source, there a source. Everywhere a source, source.

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

    You’re suggesting that a significant number, perhaps even a majority of gays, agnostics and atheists are in fact conservative republicans?

    I don’t believe I said anything about majorities, but such people do in fact exist in significant numbers. Check the stats on church attendance among Republicans. Check how many in the polls support civil unions. The numbers aren’t that far from the numbers for Democrats.

    You spend a great deal of time realing out statistics from who knows what sources. However, in this matter what you are suggesting Dave, is ludicrous.

    No, your suggestion that I said a majority is ludicrous. My suggestion is merely a good common sense assessment of the facts.

    Above, I acknowledged the possibility of a relatively small # of fiscally conservative gays, atheists and agnositics, just as with African Americans and other ethnic minorities, who may well align themselves with Reps and vote accordingly.

    Then all we disagree on is what ‘relatively small’ means and whether the also relatively small number of christian extremists is inevitably going to always be more influential in the GOP than the other interest groups.

    But, I can assure you that an overwhelming majority of all of the above factions, especially gays, agnostics and atheists are largely repulsed by much of the conservative agenda.

    Baritone, you and the other leftists don’t actually get to define the ‘conservative’ much less Republican agenda for us. You also don’t get to decide whether various interest groups can’t also have common interests with Republicans. There is nothing in the core values of the GOP which should not be appealing to agnostics and blacks. As for gays and full-on atheists, me being one of the later, like anyone else picking a political allegiance we have to decide whether the negatives of the party and the people in it are better or worse than the positives. And whether you choose to believe it or not, for more of us than you’re willing to accept the balance comes down on the side of the Republican Party.

    This is not to say that it isn’t hard to be a Republican, especially if you’re gay. There’s no particular prejudice against atheists or agnostics or blacks in the GOP, but there is an anti-gay element in the party, I’ll acknowledge that. But don’t you see that if gays who really do face some challenges in the party are still attracted in enough numbers to organize nationwide and in almost all the states and number in the thousands, there must be SOMETHING that draws them?

    To suggest otherwise is laughable. To characterize the Log Cabin Reps as a large or influential group is a stretch at best. They have been around since the late 1970s originally dubbed the Lincoln Club, but have had little impact on party positions, especially on the national level. They have enjoyed a bit more success on the state and local level, especially in California where they originated.

    Then you’re terribly ill-informed. They are the public face of a much larger body of closeted Republicans who are very influential, not just in elective office, but also behind the scenes as party operatives and strategists.

    I am a member of two national atheist organizations and they each report that only about 5% of their respective memberships identify themselves as Republicans or otherwise politically conservative.

    All that proves is that atheists who are militant enough to join an atheist group don’t want to have anything to do with Christians or a party where they play a role. I bet if you polled your groups and asked them how they felt about christians you’d find them extremely antagonistic towards christians regardless of creed or sect. A lot of atheists follow the Ohare tradition of being as fanatically anti-christian as some christians are anti-gay.

    You also underestimate the numbers and the power of the christian fundamentalist theocratic movement which I have written about in previous posts here at BC. You casually characterize them as “kooks,” but it is those very kooks who got your man in the White House in the first place.

    Then they are fools and dupes as well as kooks. We’re talking about a man who won’t come within 5 miles of a pro-choice rally and who supports civil unions. He doesn’t exactly broadcast their agenda for them.

    Perhaps your attitude toward them should be a sign to them as to how much they are held in disdain by the Republican party.

    It certainly should.

    It is truly disingenuous. Should they break away from the party, in the event Rudy gets the nomination, Reps will play hell competing with whoever the Dems install as their candidate.

    Not if Rudy, backed by a party which is purged of the worst of the religious zealots, can take the party back to its basic values and draw a hell of a lot of independent and even democrat votes as a result. I can tell that this is exactly what scares you.

    One of the reasons why I sometimes think Rudy is a desirable candidate despite his shortcomings on a number of issues is that he WILL force the split in the GOP which I think is inevitable. Speeding it up wouldn’t be a bad thing.

    The problem I see here is that you’re projecting your prejudices onto the GOP. It’s not as monolithic or as suffused with evil as you seem to think it is. I have no idea where you get these ideas from. I’d like to think you were a little brighter than to fall for the cheap demonization of Republicans that gets spewed out constantly by the extreme, activist left.

    If you’re rational enough to be an atheist then you ought to be rational enough to figure out that most of the stuff you’ve been told to believe about Republicans is bullshit. But maybe you’re one of those people who takes to atheism as if it were essentially a religion and rationalism has nothing to do with it.

    Dave

  • Doug Hunter

    I vote republican and I fit into the categories in question. Groups inside the Rep party often aren’t as vocal. The left and their compatriots in the democratic party have that whole angry, protesting, outraged, revolution thing wrapped up.

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

    RJ, #62:

    Damn, wasn’t concentrating. I thought you said Pat Robertson. Always get those two mixed up…

    I actually quite like Buchanan, for all his sledgehammer-meet-nut approach to the immigration issue.

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

    Constitutional question:

    Bill Clinton can’t run for president because he’s already served two terms, but can he run for vice-president?

    Could there possibly be a Clinton/Clinton ticket…?

    [Earth shakes as all conservative BC commenters fall off chairs simultaneously]

  • http://pleasestopstampingonmyhead.blogspot.com/ Colin

    Dustin Hoffman will star!

  • Nancy

    Oh dear gawd…what a thought-!

  • Nancy

    I think I’m going to write in Robin Williams. Why not? He played a perfectly viable candidate; he can’t do any worse than the current occupant of the WH. And at least he could write his own jokes.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    In answer to the possibility of a Clinton/Clinton ticket, I believe the answer is no, because then Bill would be first in line for the presidency should Hillary be unable to carry out the job owing to, oh, I don’t know, being dead or experiencing extreme hot flashes, or whatever. I don’t believe Bill can retake the oval office under any circumstance short of being the only person left alive. But, maybe not.

    B-tone

  • moonraven

    From reading this nonsense it is clear that in a REPRESENTATIVE democracy, for you folks to get the government you deserve, the next president will be: George W Bush–who will put a coup along with Dick Buttwipe Cheney to avoid elections in the name of a new demolition of the nhow two tallest buildings in NYC.

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

    “The left and their compatriots in the democratic party have that whole angry, protesting, outraged, revolution thing wrapped up.

    Ridiculous. What about talk radio? And there are no equivalents for Coulter/Limbaugh/O’Reilly on the left. The one that comes closest, Keith Olbermann, uses humor to slice and dice the humor-free windbag O’Reilly. But he gets a much smaller audience, even though he has a much better, more imaginative program.

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

    Handy, you don’t think that John Stewart and Stephen Colbert have a bigger national audience than Limbaugh?

    Dave

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Could there possibly be a Clinton/Clinton ticket…?”

    Maybe, maybe not. I’m thinking not.

    But they wouldn’t win anyway. The MSM would be highly critical of such a move, the GOP would raise a hundred million dollars overnight, and the activist Leftists would bolt and do the third party thing in 2008.

    No dice.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “The left and their compatriots in the democratic party have that whole angry, protesting, outraged, revolution thing wrapped up.

    Ridiculous. What about talk radio?

    Talk radio listeners don’t riot.

    And there are no equivalents for Coulter/Limbaugh/O’Reilly on the left.

    Well, they tried with Air anti-America. But no one would listen to the inane drivel, so that failed…

    The one that comes closest, Keith Olbermann, uses humor to slice and dice the humor-free windbag O’Reilly. But he gets a much smaller audience, even though he has a much better, more imaginative program.

    If it’s so much better, why does no one watch it? ;-P

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “you don’t think that John Stewart and Stephen Colbert have a bigger national audience than Limbaugh?”

    No. Not even close. Even though the MSM praises them endlessly and has made them into pseudo-folk heroes, Limbaugh has millions more listeners than those two clowns have viewers. Combined.

  • bliffle

    Ron Pauls day is gone, for the simple reason that the past 7 years of unlettered extremism by Bush have created such a hazardous situation that it will require a Big Policy to solve the problems, and Paul is a small policy guy.

    He would have been good in 2000, or even 2004.

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

    RJ, to your points in #88:

    No, talk radio listeners don’t riot. They yell their outrage to themselves in the cocooned safety of their cars.

    Last time I checked, Air America was still broadcasting in hundreds of markets and on satellite radio and is available on iTunes. It has new owners and appears to have put its bankruptcy troubles behind it.

    Olbermann has a smaller audience than Limbarf because he’s on cable. Talk radio is free-to-air.

  • troll

    Lord…?

    it’s me…if you can spare a moment please protect us from Big Policy

  • moonraven

    Big Policy has already reamed out your asses to the point where it would take wheelbarrels full of dollars to stuff them.

    Welcome to the BIG POlICY MAKERS that brought YOU the Reichstag Fire and 9/11: Adolf Hitler and Dick Cheney.

    I am flushing you guys into the abyss of history even as I type.

    Better luck next lifetime.

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

    Stewart has one of the highest rated shows on cable and Limbaugh is limited to a radio audience. I find it hard to believe Stewart doesn’t reach more people. Hell, i TiVo Stewart every day and haven’t listened to Limbaugh in months.

    Dave

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

    Jon Stewart also has more wit in his pinkie fingernail than Rush Limbaugh has displayed in the entire history of his program. But I consider Stewart an entertainer more than a partisan commentator. Certainly he gets plenty of laughs, and scores genuinely effective points, at the expense of Bush. But the show satirizes other news programs, pop culture, and even the occasional Democrat too. And it consists primarily of scripted comedy sketches.

    Although Limbaugh and Coulter might wish they were comedians, they are too rarely [ever?] actually funny enough to qualify.

    And PS lotsa old folks [even older than me!] watch Bill O’Reilly and the rest of Fox, accounting for more than half their audience. Olbermann and certainly Stewart are watched by far more people under 40.

  • Clavos

    “Although Limbaugh and Coulter might wish they were comedians…”

    I don’t think Limbaugh is even trying to be funny, that’s not his schtick.

    Coulter, on the other hand, has a rapier sharp, vicious wit which I often find very funny, but if yer a lefty ya ain’t gonna like it.

    Chacun à son goût….

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Dave,

    “No, your suggestion that I said a majority is ludicrous. My suggestion is merely a good common sense assessment of the facts.”

    The word “majority” does not appear in your comment. But the tenor of the relevent statements in your comment suggest you are talking about big numbers. Do you in fact imagine that gays and/or atheists/agnostics will in the forseeable future carry more weight within the republican party than the christian right? We would be living in a far different world than we now do for such a sea change to take place.

    Not sure where it was that I attempted to “define” either conservative or republican agendas. It is simply my observation that the conservative/republican agenda is not gay or atheist friendly. If I were you, I wouldn’t count on the gay/atheist vote to carry the day for the GOP next year.

    It’s a big country. People come in all stripes. It is difficult to imagine what any gay, atheist or agnostic could find on the conservative side of the fence that serves their needs. That some do, I don’t dispute. Perhaps they are just as mis-guided as the christian “kooks” you hold in such disdain.

    Do you suppose Rove and his boys sit around and chuckle at what dupes the christers were to fall for their bullshit? Seems more likely now, doesn’t it?

    “They are the public face of a much larger body of closeted Republicans who are very influential…”

    Now you’re giving us the inside poop on the “closeted” gay demographic? Where does such data exist? Have they formed a support group? Perhaps their titular head is Rep. Larry “Wide Stance” Craig. Are these “influential” in the closet reps working toward a “gay plank” in the Rep platform coming out of next year’s national convention?

    “All that proves is that atheists who are militant enough to join an atheist group don’t want to have anything to do with Christians or a party where they play a role. I bet if you polled your groups and asked them how they felt about christians you’d find them extremely antagonistic towards christians regardless of creed or sect. A lot of atheists follow the Ohare tradition of being as fanatically anti-christian as some christians are anti-gay.”

    You are audacious Dave, if nothing else. Militant atheists? Yes, both of the groups I am connected with are armed to the teeth. We have set in motion a midnight raid on the Coors family compound in Colorado wherein we intend to kill two birds with one stone. We should be able to rid ourselves of some major looney christers and at the same time get our hands on some serious brewskies. Then we intend to fan out and take out as many mega-churches as possible before the beer runs out.

    Militant atheists? Does one have to be “militant” to join a group? Should we then assume that all church members are militant? Or is that only reserveed for atheists and maybe the right wing, nut job, para-military assholes?

    We “don’t want to have anything to do with christians or a party where they play a role?” That pretty much takes us out of politics altogether, wouldn’t you say? Or are you assuming the Dems are not christians? I have a right wing fundamentalist niece who believes just that. Reps are christians, Dems are the minions of satan. Her preacher told her so. It must be true. Where do you suppose he got that idea?

    Are atheists antagonistic toward christians? I would guess so given that their faith, and our lack of it is at the crux of our differences. The fact is that while there is certainly a great deal of palpable, open hostility against gays amongst christians, on the whole gays are far more accepted within our society than are atheists. You don’t see any TV shows like “Atheist Eye for the Godly Guy” now do you? The fact is that most gays are christian or “believers” of one kind or other, many of whom fear and despise non-believers right along with religious straights.

    “Then they are fools and dupes as well as kooks. We’re talking about a man who won’t come within 5 miles of a pro-choice rally and who supports civil unions. He doesn’t exactly broadcast their agenda for them.”

    What? Is this Bush you’re talking about? That the sitting president would not attend a “pro-choice” rally or any other such gathering except for those designed with the specific purpose of electioneering and/or fund raising, is hardly news. And remember, this is a man whose father said that atheists should not be considered as citizens. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

    “Not if Rudy, backed by a party which is purged of the worst of the religious zealots, can take the party back to its basic values and draw a hell of a lot of independent and even democrat votes as a result. I can tell that this is exactly what scares you.”

    The republican party as it is currently constructed stands on three legs: 1. The fiscal conservatives. 2. The international conservatives. 3. The social/moral conservatives. Remove any one of those legs, and the whole thing falls into the dust. And I’m not talking about religious “kooks.” I am talking about the millions of voters who, in good faith (no pun intended,) jumped on the Bush/Cheney bandwagon in the belief that their concerns regarding abortion, gay marriage, prayer in school, evolution vs so called “intelligent design” among other issues would be given high priority by the Reps. While some of their expectations were met, now, if Rudy gets the nomination, they fear that their agenda will get buried for the sake of winning the election. Should they revolt, that important supportive leg will be gone. No, I am not “scared” by Rudy or any of the possible Rep standard bearers.

    “Cheap demonizing of republicans?” How dastardly of me. No such things have ever passed your lips regarding Dems or liberals, though, have they? You’ve always been a staunch believer in even handedness and fair play, right? That your spewing of venom toward lefties and Dems does not rise to the level of “cheap demonizing” is that, in your mind, its all true.

    I have come to what I accept as a very rational view of Republicans and conservatives. I have not responded simply to what I’ve “been told to believe about Republicans.” I have listened to the words, and considered the actions taken by most republicans pretty much since Tricky Dick set the tone. It’s pretty much been down hill since.

    I do not consider atheism as anything like a religion. I am in that regard pretty much a loner. I carry memberships in a couple of representative organizations primarily for information rather than active participation. You are, in this regard making more assumptions than you accuse me of.

    All sides tend to demonize the others. It’s the nature of the beast. We are required to “hate” our enemies, whether it’s the Nazis, the Commies, the opposition party, or the cross town football team our high school is playing on Friday night.

    A lot of trash is talked. A lot of charges are made. Most are probably untrue. But in the question of liberals versus conservatives, here, now in the U.S., there is a wide gap between our basic world views. We believe as we believe. In that, we tend to disrespect the other’s beliefs. Perhaps it’s in our genes. By and large conservatives see things in black and white. Liberals acknowledge the gray. I doubt that any bridges which may have been built between us in years past, that have since been brought down, can ever be rebuilt. Perhaps with time. Probably not.

    B-tone

  • REMF

    “Coulter, on the other hand, has a rapier sharp, vicious wit which I often find very funny…”

    No, sorry, Coulter is not funny. Just another loud-mouthed, phony righty.

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

    Do you in fact imagine that gays and/or atheists/agnostics will in the forseeable future carry more weight within the republican party than the christian right? We would be living in a far different world than we now do for such a sea change to take place.

    Hardly. There are lots of moderate Republicans who are accepting of both the religious right and the gays/atheists/agnostics and anyone else who shares their core values. The key thing being that for most Republicans the core values have nothing to do with how you feel about jesus or who you have sex with. Those are secondary considerations for most and only primary issues for small factions. Most Republicans are united by a belief in limited government, fiscal responsibility and a relatively strong national defense. None of those things have anything to do with jesus or who you have sex with.

    It’s a big country. People come in all stripes. It is difficult to imagine what any gay, atheist or agnostic could find on the conservative side of the fence that serves their needs. That some do, I don’t dispute.

    But you clearly are unable to understand why so many republicans do hold these beliefs which you think are inherently incompatible with the values of the party. If they are IN the party and you are outside of it and they hold those values and you can’t understand why, then perhaps the failure is in your undersanding and not in them.

    Now you’re giving us the inside poop on the “closeted” gay demographic? Where does such data exist? Have they formed a support group? Perhaps their titular head is Rep. Larry “Wide Stance” Craig. Are these “influential” in the closet reps working toward a “gay plank” in the Rep platform coming out of next year’s national convention?

    I wish they were coming out. I wrote an article a while back about the problems created by the fact that they are closeted. But you bring up Larry Craig. He’s a good example. He’s hardly alone. Remember Mark Foley? Gov. Jim McGreevey? Congressman Michael Huffington?

    And those are just a fraction of the ones who’ve been exposed. Far more are still in the closet like Charlie Crist who’s running for Governor of Florida in 2008.

    As for gay issues in the party platform, in 1996 Bob Dole met with Log Cabin Republicans, included their (fairly limited) demands in his platform and received their endorsement. They also had a featured speaker at the convention that year.

    Militant atheists? Does one have to be “militant” to join a group?

    The only atheist groups I’ve ever been involved in have had agendas which I would term militant, such as actively working to restrict public prayer and religious indoctrination in schools – both issues I agree with them on. I’m not familiar with atheist ‘congregations’ like those in Christian churches and the only reason I’ve gotten together with other atheists is for political purposes.

    Reps are christians, Dems are the minions of satan. Her preacher told her so. It must be true. Where do you suppose he got that idea?

    From the Bible, I imagine. Like it or not, the Bible clearly does condemn homosexuality and abortion and many other things which most Democrats support.

    on the whole gays are far more accepted within our society than are atheists. You don’t see any TV shows like “Atheist Eye for the Godly Guy” now do you?

    You seem to have this backwards. Atheists/agnostics are so common place as to not be interesting. Gays get attention because they’re intriguing and unusual. No one really cares about atheists. They lack entertainment value.

    The fact is that most gays are christian or “believers” of one kind or other, many of whom fear and despise non-believers right along with religious straights.

    I’d dispute this in two ways. First, nominal Christians are barely a majority in our society, and the percentage has got to be lower among gays for all the obvious reasons, so I’d guess that less than half of all gays are actively christian. Second, most christians are not radical fundamentalists and don’t hate non-christians on principle.

    The republican party as it is currently constructed stands on three legs: 1. The fiscal conservatives. 2. The international conservatives. 3. The social/moral conservatives.

    It’s a good bit more complex than that. I’m not sure what ‘international conservatives’ are, and you’re leaving out major groups like the strong defense conservatives, the constitutionalists, the corporatists and free traders.

    Remove any one of those legs, and the whole thing falls into the dust.

    They’re not legs and the party is not a table. They’re interest groups and they go where their best interests are. Take one away and the character of the party might change, but it doesn’t mean the party goes away.

    And I’m not talking about religious “kooks.” I am talking about the millions of voters who, in good faith (no pun intended,) jumped on the Bush/Cheney bandwagon in the belief that their concerns regarding abortion, gay marriage, prayer in school, evolution vs so called “intelligent design” among other issues would be given high priority by the Reps.

    You’re talking about a tiny group of people here. They’re vocal, but they’re a numerically small group. The key thing is that they can be counted on to turn out when more moderate voters are less reliable.

    Nonetheless, the vast majority of Republican voters – many of whom are registered as independents – voted that way primarily because of other key issues that the GOP runs on like tax cuts, national defense and individual liberty, or because they were just scared of what the democrats would do if they got into power.

    While some of their expectations were met

    Very damned few of them by my count.

    now, if Rudy gets the nomination, they fear that their agenda will get buried for the sake of winning the election. Should they revolt, that important supportive leg will be gone. No, I am not “scared” by Rudy or any of the possible Rep standard bearers.

    What you don’t get here is that if the GOP stops catering to the religious right, then it gains more independent votes and a lot of crossover democrat votes. If Rudy gets nominated it hurts Hillary Clinton’s support enormously because even a lot of Democrats don’t like her. And in the end, unless they make a protest vote, those religious conservatives are going to vote for Rudy because any alternative is even worse for them.

    “Cheap demonizing of republicans?” How dastardly of me. No such things have ever passed your lips regarding Dems or liberals,

    Find one place where I have ever said anything negative about liberals. The democratic partty as it now exists has nothing to do with liberalism. Like a lot of Republicans I’m all for liberalism.

    though, have they? You’ve always been a staunch believer in even handedness and fair play, right?

    That’s what liberalism is all about.

    That your spewing of venom toward lefties and Dems does not rise to the level of “cheap demonizing” is that, in your mind, its all true.

    In the specific instances which I cite whatever I say is likely to be true, yes. Find where I’ve said that the Democratic Party or all of its members as a group are evil or where I’ve condemned them all generically.

    I have come to what I accept as a very rational view of Republicans and conservatives.

    Except that it is fundamentally NOT rational.

    I have not responded simply to what I’ve “been told to believe about Republicans.” I have listened to the words, and considered the actions taken by most republicans pretty much since Tricky Dick set the tone. It’s pretty much been down hill since.

    You have chosen to focus on the actions and beliefs of a few Republicans and extend your disdain for them to the entire party.

    But in the question of liberals versus conservatives, here, now in the U.S., there is a wide gap between our basic world views.

    Liberalism and conservatism are not opposites. Liberalism is the opposite of autocracy as much as anything and conservatism is the opposite of progressivism. The problem with the democratic party is that it believes in progressivism and autocracy.

    By and large conservatives see things in black and white. Liberals acknowledge the gray.

    I find this distinction largely meaningless. Ideologues see things in black and white regardless of their political philosophy and realists see things in shades of gray. There are plenty of folks on the right who have complex views of the world and plenty of folks on the left who see a strict good/evil dichotomy. The Democrats have just as many single issue voters as the Republicans do. Those folks on both sides are a large part of the problem.

    Dave

  • bliffle

    “As Bush has pointed out, unless a candidate is totally irrational, their position on the war is going to change the moment they get their first White House security briefing.”

    Nonsense.

    If the White House had such good info reserved for their Secret Security briefings they should reveal them to the public. No harm could result from revealing these things since The Enemy already knows them.

    No, this is the kind of argument that’s used when you have a small target audience of people who come with few intellectual resources with which to refute them. This is the kind of argument you use when you sequester a targeted person in a room without staff and bombard with indirect threats.

    In fact, if the administration really had such convincing arguments they would certainly bring them out to recruit public support.

    They don’t because of the danger of being exposed as frauds and liars, like the famous yellow-cake and mushroom cloud and WMD incidents.

    Their arguments simply won’t stand the light of day.

  • bliffle

    Dave writes many words, but one looks in vain for anything worth reading.

  • Clavos

    “No, sorry, Coulter is not funny. Just another loud-mouthed, phony righty.”

    Fair enough, emmy.

    But, as a “loud-mouthed, phony righty,” myself, I find her funny; which of course is my right as a free American citizen, just as it’s yours to say she’s not funny.

  • http://www.getting-your-ex-back.com Christopher Rose

    US politics is so provincial. It’s a tragedy that the current political landscape of one of the greatest nations on Earth is so narrowly defined.

  • Clavos

    Not if that’s the way we want it, eh?

  • http://www.getting-your-ex-back.com Christopher Rose

    Is it your opinion that is what the US population wants? Not that wanting it that way changes anything about my statement.

  • bliffle

    “…the current political landscape … is so narrowly defined.”

    Narrowly defined by the administration and their bully boys in the mainstream media.

    Championed by those with a vested interest in the power and money.

    Accepted by the thoughtless.

  • moonraven

    Chris,

    Take the collective IQ and world experience of the folks who regularly visit this site and so you see why the political landscape in the US is limited to the area immediately surrounding the anus of the current asshole in the Oval Office.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Stewart has one of the highest rated shows on cable and Limbaugh is limited to a radio audience. I find it hard to believe Stewart doesn’t reach more people.

    From here:

    “As of 2005, Arbitron ratings indicate that the Rush Limbaugh Show has a minimum weekly audience of 13.5 million listeners, making it the largest radio talk show audience in the United States. Such high ratings have been a consistent hallmark of his show.”

    From here:

    “According to Nielsen Media Research, the nightly audience for “The Daily Show” averages about 1.6 million, while “The Colbert Report” attracts an average of 1.2 million.”

    1.6 million per night X 5 nights per week = 8 million weekly for Stewart. Far fewer than Rush Limbaugh.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    to comment 98…I guess that’s as opposed to someone like you…a loud mouthed phony lefty???

    Thought so…where were you to defend Petreaus? Talk about a phony! But then again, he’s just another career man… and we all know what MCH/REMF thinks about career military types.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • Baronius

    Christopher, you’ve laid down a challenge, so back it up. What do you think the US should be talking about? What countries should we model ourselves upon?

  • moonraven

    I will throw in my two cents before Chris does:

    The US should be talking about:

    1. Impeachment and imprisonment for Bush and Cheney and imprisonment for Rove, Gonzales, and Rumsfeld. For starters.

    2. Overriding Bush’s veto of the bill to expand children’s health care.

    3. Getting the fuck out of Iraq before Jan. 1, 2008.

    4. Closing the great shame of Guatanamo.

    5. Reinstating habeas corpus and overturning all federal laws passed since 2000.

    6. Stopping construction of the Berlin wall on the southern border of the US. It will not stop immigrants, and is a waste of YOUR tax dollars.

    7. Stopping all financial assistance to Israel that is more than that provided to the palestinians.

    8. Cancelling ALL intereference–via USAID, CIA, NED or any other subversive organization that spends YOUR tax dollars to undermine democracy in the Third World.

    9. Stopping all threats to make war on other countries for their natural resources.

    10. And TODAY, you should be talking about what it means that it is the 40th anniversary of the murder of Che Guevara at the hands of the CIA!

    As for what countries you should be modeling yourselves after–who the fuck cares?

  • Baronius

    I was talking to Christopher.

  • moonraven

    I don’t give a fuck. This is a public forum. You want to feel him up, or what?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    RJ shows off his math skills and pop culture insight:
    “1.6 million per night X 5 nights per week = 8 million weekly for Stewart. Far fewer than Rush Limbaugh.”

    More people watch Dancing with the Stars than The Sopranos too. And more people went to see Night at the Museum than The Departed. Britney Spears probably outsells Bruce Springsteen. Possibly you think this means that the more popular item in each category is the better one. In which case, you have neatly proven exactly how perceptive you actually are.

    I could add that more people voted for Al Gore than W in 2000, but I guess I would be spoiling my own point that way.

    The real difference in the Limbaugh and Stewart numbers is network radio vs. cable TV. Cable channels always get smaller ratings. A lot more people watch the nightly news on any one of the ABC, NBC, and CBS 6:30 newscasts than on Fox, CNN, and Jon Stewart combined.

    PS Try watching The Daily Show, and tell me it ain’t brilliant. If you actually believe Limbaugh is superior, I’d say you deserve him.

    PPS This is not a compliment.

  • moonraven

    Sorry, but there is NOTHING brilliant in the US media.

    You shot yur post to hell with that self-congratulatory jingoism.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    MR, you can watch lots of Stewart on YouTube. If you haven’t seen him before, check him out. I think you would appreciate the deft satire.

  • Clavos

    He IS brilliant. But, I’m a redneck and a rightwinger, so I don’t like most of his POVs, and thus don’t enjoy the brilliance.

    But I watch. It’s always good to know what your enemy is up to.

  • Lumpy

    Moonraven. As a political refugee you’ve given up the right to have anyone pay attention to your opinion on US policy.

    As for the great ratings debate, arenlt those nu.mbers hourly, meaning that for comparison Stewart’s ought to be doubled and Limbaugh’s divided by 3?

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Dave,

    I suppose we both may be getting a bit tired of this, but I’ll give it one more salvo. I’ll likely give you the opportunity to have the last word if you choose to do so. This is my last shot.

    To hear you tell it, there really is no need for the Dems at all. The GOP is just the best place to be in the whole world. It’s all things to all people. Totally accepting and ecumenical in the best sense. I’ll wait to sign up though until more evidence comes to light.

    I am just a dumbass I guess. I truly see no good reason why any lower to middle class working people, persons of color, gays, atheists or agnostics would align themselves with the republican party. The republican party has nothing for these people. It serves only big business, big military and more recently, big religion to the detriment of those noted above. Their welfare is of little concern by the power brokers in the party.

    A major “coming out” of closeted reps would certainly be a hoot. It ain’t gonna happen. Not anytime soon. These people remain closeted in the very justifiable fear that it would mean political suicide.

    The fact that most of the atheist groups have agendas that work against religious proclivities hardly renders them militant. I know nothing of atheist “congregations” either. Perhaps they exist, but not around where I live.

    Actually, the bible says nothing specific regarding abortion to my knowledge. Certainly, I think there is some allusion to killing being a bad thing, but then one must acknowledge all the footnotes to that one which excuses all kinds of “killing” even mass murder for the glory of god. Abortion is barely a blip on the screen compared to the killing of the already born throughout human history. The bible also condemns the mingling of linen and wool.(Death to all makers, purveyors and users of lindsey-woolsey.) I don’t think the preachers are spending much time on that one. You don’t imagine that the political climate during the past two presidential campaigns had anything to do with the heightened focus on gays, abortion, etc. Those hot button issues became sizzling did they not? Again, without them, Bush would have never taken on the mantle of the presidency.

    You say “Atheists and agnostics are so common place as to not be interesting.” There is certainly nothing “commonplace” about atheists and agnostics. That they are not interesting as regards the entertainment industry, I won’t dispute. However, prior to the resurgence of fundamental christianity, there were instances of primary characters in TV shows and theatrical films who were depicted as having no faith or at least serious doubts as regards the existence of a god. This rarely happens not unless the character ultimately sees the light sometime before the credits roll or they pay the ultimate penalty for their failure to do so.

    The fact that many non-closeted gays are generally well respected within their communities, operating successfully in various businesses, the arts and in education is testament to their greater acceptance in society than atheists. A number of atheists and agnostics likely hold similar positions, but relatively few are as open about their belief, or lack thereof, again, justifiably.

    “Nominal christians (whatever that means) are barely a majority in our society.” ?? Do you mean in the entire world? No more than around 15% of America’s population consider themselves to have no religion and even fewer identify themselves as non-believers. Around 85% of the nearly three hundred million Americans are “believers” of one kind or another. Collectively, all religions other than christianity make up no more than 8% to 10% of all those believers in the U.S. What does that leave? That means nearly two hundred and thirty million Americans are christians. Is that representative of a “bare majority?”

    Gays are no less believers, and the greatest majority of gay believers are christians. Many are members of mainstream christian denominations albeit more often those of a more liberal bent – that is not fundamentalist, evangelical or charismatic.

    Just a note concerning the aforementioned “liberal denominations.” Many such organizations are losing membership to the generally much stricter fundamental sects such as the SBC and others – the “mega-churches” that have been popping up like mushrooms all around the country. While these huge churches started their development back in the 1960s and 70s, the great surge took off in the mid 90s and continues to this day fed by the flames of conservatism.

    “You’re talking about a tiny group of people here.”

    Here we go. Approximately 26% of white Americans identify themselves as fundamental, born again christians. The number rises to 30% to 35% when including all ethnic minorities. That is around one hundred and five million people. As we’ve both noted, large numbers of these people have become politically active in recent years. Of those who claim to be members or otherwise aligned with one of the two major parties, no more than 6% to 8% claim to be democrats or otherwise aligned with the democratic party.

    As of 2004 (the latest figures I could find) there were approximately 55 million registered republicans in the country. So of the remaining 80 plus million fundamentalist christians, your saying that only a “tiny group” of these people remain in the party? Give me a break. Also, a number of catholics have also switched their allegiance from the Dems to the Reps owing largely to the abortion issue. There is actually a significant number of “fundamental” catholics who are now in the republican camp.

    Even if Rudy gets the nomination, it does not necessarily follow that the party will abandon the religious right and their concerns. Just because Rudy is not against abortion, that does not mean that the party will follow suit. Assuming that, many of the moderates and independents will still balk at voting Rep regardless of the possibly greater appeal of Rudy over his current competition.

    “In the specific instances which I cite whatever I say is likely to be true, yes.”

    Man, you’re something. No doubts emanating from your little corner of the world are there? As I said before, you are nothing if not audacious.

    Moving on. I have chosen to respond to the actions and beliefs of a few republicans who happen to be by and large the chosen standard bearers and spokespersons of the party. I have not demonized “all” republicans, but I DO hold them collectively responsible for their chosen leadership. Bush and company didn’t get to the White House by magic.

    Conservatism: The inclination, especially in politics, to maintain the existing or traditional order.

    Liberalism: A political system or tendency opposed to centralization and absolutism.

    Autocracy: Government by a single person having unlimited power; despotism.

    So you believe that Dems seek to govern thru a “single person,” a despot “having unlimited power?” Really! Tell me just how such a system could be in any manner, progressive? As Balkie, would have said on Perfect Strangers,” “Get out of town!”

    There remains a wide gap between the right and left. Never the twain shall meet?

    The floor is yours, Dave.

    B-tone

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

    I suppose we both may be getting a bit tired of this, but I’ll give it one more salvo.

    It does get tiring, but perhaps we’re accomplishing something, I don’t know.

    To hear you tell it, there really is no need for the Dems at all.

    Hell no. I just want the populist Democrats of Andrew Jackson back, Democrats with principles and some patriotism and a program for the country which has something positive to offer.

    The GOP is just the best place to be in the whole world. It’s all things to all people. Totally accepting and ecumenical in the best sense. I’ll wait to sign up though until more evidence comes to light.

    I don’t think I suggested anything like this. It’s a political party with all the inherent limitations.

    I am just a dumbass I guess. I truly see no good reason why any lower to middle class working people, persons of color, gays, atheists or agnostics would align themselves with the republican party.

    And yet they do. As I said before, if they place certain values ahead of others then they will gravitate to the party which represents those values. You just seem not to see the values that the GOP represents. Even the party of greed and business which you think that is the whole scope of the party has a legitimate appeal to people of any background who want to succeed and become wealthy – even the middle class who are on the threshold where they know that pro-business, pro-entrepreneur policies and espcially low taxes can help move them up economically.

    The republican party has nothing for these people. It serves only big business, big military and more recently, big religion to the detriment of those noted above. Their welfare is of little concern by the power brokers in the party.

    See, you just don’t understand what the GOP is about at all. Your description is one formed by your antipathy towards the party without considering how others might see it. In fact, the GOP is the party of treating everyone exactly the same. It operates on the assumption that broad policies which are good for individuals are good for ALL individuals whether they are CEOs or laborers. It operates on the belief that all people want to live their lives, work hard, advance themselves and do it with minimal government interference. And the truth which you cannot grasp is that this is TRUE of many people who you think should want government handouts and special assistance.

    What you don’t get and may never get is that the GOP has a positive message. It offers opportunity and expects the best from people and that’s very appealing to people who want to be treated like adults and live up to their potential.

    Actually, the bible says nothing specific regarding abortion to my knowledge.

    It does talk extensively about life beginning at conception. Means nothing at all to me, but there’s plenty there to support the pro-life whackos.

    The bible also condemns the mingling of linen and wool.(Death to all makers, purveyors and users of lindsey-woolsey.) I don’t think the preachers are spending much time on that one.

    You clearly don’t know a lot of Menonites.

    You don’t imagine that the political climate during the past two presidential campaigns had anything to do with the heightened focus on gays, abortion, etc. Those hot button issues became sizzling did they not? Again, without them, Bush would have never taken on the mantle of the presidency.

    Bush promised tax cuts and got elected. He delivered tax cuts and got elected again. He didn’t do much of anything on those other issues you think make so much difference.

    However, prior to the resurgence of fundamental christianity, there were instances of primary characters in TV shows and theatrical films who were depicted as having no faith or at least serious doubts as regards the existence of a god. This rarely happens not unless the character ultimately sees the light sometime before the credits roll or they pay the ultimate penalty for their failure to do so.

    You must not watch an awful lot of TV or else you’re watching nothing but CBS shows for old folks. Isn’t the number one show right now House? Well, he’s an atheist and on tonight’s episode he killed himself in order to confirm there was no afterlife and ended up still an atheist.

    The fact that many non-closeted gays are generally well respected within their communities, operating successfully in various businesses, the arts and in education is testament to their greater acceptance in society than atheists. A number of atheists and agnostics likely hold similar positions, but relatively few are as open about their belief, or lack thereof, again, justifiably.

    You’ve got some sort of weird atheist persecution complex. Where on earth do you live that this is true? I live in rural Texas on the fucking buckle of the bible belt. I’m serving my second term as president of the local Lions Club and everyone knows I’m at least not a practicing Christian, and one of our past presidents was gay. We’ve got three ministers and a couple of deacons in the club. I haven’t been stoned yet.

    “Nominal christians (whatever that means) are barely a majority in our society.” ?? Do you mean in the entire world? No more than around 15% of America’s population consider themselves to have no religion and even fewer identify themselves as non-believers. Around 85% of the nearly three hundred million Americans are “believers” of one kind or another. Collectively, all religions other than christianity make up no more than 8% to 10% of all those believers in the U.S. What does that leave? That means nearly two hundred and thirty million Americans are christians. Is that representative of a “bare majority?”

    When a pollster calls up and asks if you believe in god it’s easy to say yes. Ever checked the figures for actual church attendance? That’s a real measure of commitment to faith. Only 38% of Americans go to weekly church services according to an ABC Poll.

    And BTW, atheists are more numerous in the country than gays are. About 11% of the population polled admits to not believing in god.

    Gays are no less believers, and the greatest majority of gay believers are christians. Many are members of mainstream christian denominations albeit more often those of a more liberal bent – that is not fundamentalist, evangelical or charismatic.

    And since those who are strongly Christian vote republican by almost a 2:1 margin, that suggests that a lot of religious gays are Republicans.

    Here we go. Approximately 26% of white Americans identify themselves as fundamental, born again christians. The number rises to 30% to 35% when including all ethnic minorities. That is around one hundred and five million people.

    Of whom only a small percentage actually vote, and of whom a smaller unknwon percentage vote on purely religious lines. It’s a mistake to assume that being a fundamentalist automatically means that you’re also anti-gay and trying to impose a religious agenda on the country.

    As of 2004 (the latest figures I could find) there were approximately 55 million registered republicans in the country. So of the remaining 80 plus million fundamentalist christians, your saying that only a “tiny group” of these people remain in the party?

    The tiny group is those who let religious issues dictate their votes above anything else, the real fanatics.

    You ought to read this article from the Times. It’s old, but the basic issues it raises are still valid.

    Even if Rudy gets the nomination, it does not necessarily follow that the party will abandon the religious right and their concerns.

    Of course not, but it does mean that they won’t be given undue influence. They’ll be tolerated just like the gay republicans and the anti-war republicans. It’s a big tent.

    Just because Rudy is not against abortion, that does not mean that the party will follow suit. Assuming that, many of the moderates and independents will still balk at voting Rep regardless of the possibly greater appeal of Rudy over his current competition.

    In the past moderates and independents have swung a bit more towards republicans than democrats with far less moderate candidates than Rudy (46% Bush to 42% Kerry in 2004). It’s pretty reasonable to assume that with him as the nominee the swing towards the GOP will increase.

    There’s a huge and fascinating poll on the independent vote from the Washington Post (PDF). I’m not done digesting it yet, but I think it may hold the answer to how the election is likely to come out.

    I have chosen to respond to the actions and beliefs of a few republicans who happen to be by and large the chosen standard bearers and spokespersons of the party. I have not demonized “all” republicans,

    By who you choose to respond to and who you choose to ignore you DO make a statement of what you think the GOP is all about, incorrect though you may be.

    Conservatism: The inclination, especially in politics, to maintain the existing or traditional order.

    Liberalism: A political system or tendency opposed to centralization and absolutism.

    You can see how these two are in no way opposed or really related to each other.

    Autocracy: Government by a single person having unlimited power; despotism.

    So you believe that Dems seek to govern thru a “single person,” a despot “having unlimited power?”

    No, I was flailing around for the right word and got the letter ‘A’ in my head and it being 4am couldn’t quite come up with the right one. Thanks for helping me out. ‘Absolutism’ was the word I was looking for, and it does form a perfect counterpoint to Liberalism and seems characteristic of the Democrats who want to impose the will of certain groups on everyone regardless of the rights of individuals.

    So in overly simple terms, I’d call the Democrats Absolutist/Progressive and the Republicans Liberal/Conservative.

    You’d probably disagree.

    Dave

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

    Well, I, for one, don’t disagree.

    I also think it would be tremendous fun to add two new parties to the mix:

    1. The Conservative Republican Socialist Party
    2. The Rainbow Fundamentalist Christian Democrats

    Wind ’em up and watch ’em go…

  • moonraven

    Lumpy,

    Sorry, Cahrlie, I have given up NO rights as a US citizen whatsoever.

    I will be in the US next week–where I will be PAID, again, by folks who choose to know the truth about US foreign policy.

    When they start paying asholes like YOU, I will be concerned.

  • http://rapturenutballs.blogspot.com Baritone

    Moon is apparently adept at biting the hand that feeds.

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

    MR, you’re paid by people who choose to see US foreign policy in a specific way and they pay you because you tell them what they want to hear. They have zero interest in the truth and you provide just the kind of skewed version of reality they eat up with a spoon.

    The bad news for you is that I think America may be starting to wake up and realize that the real enemy isn’t just the terrorists and agents of oppression around the world, but it’s also the elitist swine of the international progressive movements and NGOs who encourage and enable oppression with their well-intentioned meddling idiocy.

    Tranzis – the people who’d rather give you a free meal than freedom.

    Dave

  • http://www.getting-your-ex-back.com Christopher Rose

    Words of wisdom from a self proclaimed elitist: “the elitist swine of the international progressive movements and NGOs who encourage and enable oppression with their well-intentioned meddling idiocy”. Huh?

  • bliffle

    “The bad news for you is that I think…the real enemy … the elitist swine of the international progressive movements and NGOs”

    It’s the Enemy Within!

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

    Christopher, haven’t we already been over how my former monicker flew completely over the heads of the unsubtle readers for whom the intentional irony was utterly mystifying?

    But I’m glad to see you guys agreeing with me on any terms.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    It’s when you start spouting over-the-top nonsense like ‘international progressive elitist swine’ – and calling Democrats ‘enemies of freedom’ – that those of us who might at least meet you in the middle when you’re being sensible are tempted just to roll our eyes, give up and walk away.

    Don’t worry, not a chance of that. But how can anyone argue with such hyperbolic gobbledygook? It’s just foolish and totally unnecessary.

  • troll

    such ‘gobbledygook’ serves a dual purpose – catharsis for Dave and Big Lie propaganda imprinting for the rest of us

  • bliffle

    One might surmise that Dave gets compensated by the word, not by the penurious BC but by some mysterious Gray Eminence.

    We can only guess at it’s nature.

  • moonraven

    Baritone is also envious: Nowehere is it written that I can’t bite anybody’s ass I want–whether they pay me to do it or not.

  • Baronius

    Dave, the word you’re probably looking for is “statism”. It’s a great word to describe that mindset. I don’t know why it never caught on here, but in Europe, “etatism” is a pretty common political word.

    I don’t think that “liberal” and “conservative” carry any clear meanings any more. When we talk about Reagan’s conservative revolution, or the liberal thought police, we’ve redefined things too much.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “Nowhere is it written that I can’t bite anybody’s ass I want–whether they pay me to do it or not.”

    Hmm….

    When a woman (or man, for that matter) gets paid to bite someone’s ass, s/he is generally called a prostitute. When he/she offers to do so without financial compensation, s/he is called a “volunteer.” Baritone, you should feel honored….;o))

    …not that you have to take up the offer, of course…

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

    It’s when you start spouting over-the-top nonsense like ‘international progressive elitist swine’ – and calling Democrats ‘enemies of freedom’ – that those of us who might at least meet you in the middle when you’re being sensible are tempted just to roll our eyes, give up and walk away.

    Sometimes I forget how completely oblivious the innocent pawns of the left are to the larger context of the movements they get sucked into supporting.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    When other people write grandiose sentences like that, Dave calls them ‘delusional conspiracy theorists.’ His own large-scale pronouncements, on the contrary, are presented simply as the truth – to which no one but he is granted access, of course. He gets it piped in directly to his compound, apparently, from where I can only imagine.

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

    Handy, I’m hardly alone in noticing these things. The key difference is that what I’m concerned about is not some vast secret conspiracy, but a movement which operates mostly in the open with full transparency and a self-righteous pride in its accomplishments.

    Dave

  • Lumpy

    Moonraven. This is a serious question. What is wrong with u? Are u under the care of a mental health professional?

  • moonraven

    What’s wrong with ME? Hey, I don’t support murder and mayhem all over the planet like you prickless wonders do.

    I didn’t vote for Bush.

    I didn’t take away your basic civil rights.

    Yet YOU murdered 90 million of MY people.

    Keep asking that question, asshole–as I flush all you gringos down the toilet into the abyss of history.

  • Clavos

    “Yet YOU murdered 90 million of MY people.”

    Horseshit, hysterical one.

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

    I wonder how lumpy found the time to murder all those people. He’s a hard worker, I guess.

    Dave