Exploring the Blue Wall: New Hampshire

New Hampshire appears to have moved solidly behind the Blue Wall. Despite the small number of electoral votes at stake, this is a pretty disturbing development. New Hampshire is not like California or Virginia. The state hasn’t changed much in any demographic category. Losing New Hampshire means that the Republican Party has changed in some very powerful ways. Republicans haven’t so much lost New Hampshire as we’ve lost ourselves.

Over the length of the party’s history it might be difficult to find a more decisively Republican state. Hoover won New Hampshire twice. FDR barely carried the state, even during World War II. Perhaps more clearly than any other state, New Hampshire demonstrates how the Dixiefication of the Republican Party is destroying its ability to compete nationally.

No Republican Presidential nominee has cracked the 50% mark in NH since 1988. Charting the electoral numbers there since the 1970’s exposes, on average, a drift away from the GOP by about a 20-point margin – like putting a hole in a bucket and watching it slowly drain.

Obama won there twice and Kerry beat Bush. Clinton won there both times. NH is a bastion of the older, Hamiltonian strain of conservatism that has been marginalized by the rise of religious fundamentalism and Neo-Confederate economics. The ‘Live Free or Die’ state has not become more Democratic. It has been orphaned.

Of course, the 2010 election stands out as a big Republican win. The GOP’s Senate candidate won a whopping victory, but there was an interesting caveat. The Democratic Governor also won. This distinction is very important to analyzing the meaning of that outcome.

The 2010 Governor’s race and the 2014 election were important to determine whether 2010 represented a change of direction, or an anomalous single-issue election built on Affordable Care Act paranoia. Clearly, it was the latter.

Looking closely at the 2014 results you see a door solidly closing on Republicans. This was a year of remarkable success for Republicans nationwide. It should have been a great year for Republicans in New Hampshire. Enthusiasm and participation among the party base was very high. Meanwhile overall voter turnout in the state was weak, down nearly 25 percentage points from 2012. This was the best electorate New Hampshire Republicans could possibly ask for and it delivered a thumping loss.

Forces influencing the outcome there are slightly different than elsewhere in the country. The electorate in New Hampshire is almost entirely white, with the usual demographic trends largely absent. That’s part of what makes New Hampshire such a signal loss for Republicans.

The main demographic forces at play were education and gender. New Hampshire voters, like voters in many Northeastern states, are far more educated than voters in solidly red states like Indiana or Mississippi. Wherever that is the case, you also tend to get a wider than usual gender gap between the parties. While education and gender provided Democrats with their margin of victory, those demographic factors were present when the state was solidly Republican. They explain the Democrats victory in 2014, but they don’t explain the trend-line.

It is critical to recognize that New Hampshire’s education level, urban/rural split, immigrant and minority populations have changed less over time than perhaps any other region of the country. New Hampshire is the nearest thing to a demographic time capsule that you’ll find in America. In demographic terms this is the same electorate that enthusiastically backed Hoover, Nixon and Reagan. Now they are about 30% more likely to back a Democrat than they were in the ‘70’s. Why?

New Hampshire fosters a political culture of fierce personal independence, an attitude that matches the current Republican agenda on many fiscal and regulatory issues. What doesn’t play in New Hampshire is the radical religious agenda that accompanies Neo-Confederate politics. There aren’t a lot of Southern Baptists in New Hampshire and the white nationalist cultural appeals that drive Republican politics in Texas and Mississippi are an electoral drag.

That drag is becoming too powerful for even moderate Republican candidates to overcome. The party’s 2014 Senate candidate steered clear of controversy on abortion, gay marriage, reproductive issues or any other culture war landmarks. Nevertheless he lost women by a 20-point margin.

Senate candidate Scott Brown could not generate enough distance from the national party. Neither could the party’s candidate for Governor. If Brown couldn’t win with all the structural advantages Republicans enjoyed in the 2014 race, then the tide has turned for the foreseeable future. A political party defined more by Ted Cruz than by Chris Christie will remain too toxic to win in New Hampshire.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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Posted in Election 2016
146 comments on “Exploring the Blue Wall: New Hampshire
  1. […] out of competition for the White House for the indefinite future. I explained that Virginia and New Hampshire were now beyond reach for a Republican nominee. I also explained that Georgia was moving into play […]

  2. […] As usual with Silver, his reasoning is airtight. Trouble comes from the straw men toward which that reasoning is directed. Evidence for the Blue Wall can be found in polling trends. However, the foundations for the Blue Wall’s reasoning are built not from polling assumptions, but from policy, demographics, and institutional factors. This description of New Hampshire’s slide behind the Blue Wall is a nice summary of the logic behind the assessment. […]

  3. Hi
    I thought I would spread a comment from another thread about socialism in Scotland
    Its a repy to a comment about one of the parties being “Business Friendly”

    “Business friendly” is code for “Rich businessman friendly”, despite the two being almost entirely at odds. Business growth is higher under left-wing governments because they encourage reinvestment of profits in wages, R&D and modernisation, rather than allowing a small number of execs and owners to extract all the money as market rent.

    (In the same way that spending is actually often lower under left-wing governments, after an initial burst, because preventative maintenance is much cheaper than crisis management. The right wing does everything by crisis management, because their ideology insists on “saving money” by cutting long-term preventative programs.)

    • goplifer says:

      It’s an interesting idea to which a offer a one-word reply: France.

      • 1mime says:

        I’ll bite, Lifer. Let’s do take a look at France. But, first let’s consider France’s history – beginning as a monarchy and now a Republic with strong socialist leadership (as Albert Einstein famously said, “socialism with a small ‘s'”. France has a huge private sector of small businesses.) The link I’ve posted below is not altogether unflattering but does indicate that the French really “enjoy” life….what price does one put on this? How long can it be sustained as is? That is the question, but the French are going to enjoy every minute of it!

        Anyway, the link does a good job of explaining your one word reply.

        http://about-france.com/geo/french-economy.htm

        A more glowing view is one directed to expats: http://www.expatfocus.com/expatriate-france-government-economy?gclid=CITHk_Dc6cUCFUiGfgod5UsAtw

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        I never quite get why Republicans think that France is a basket case.

        Relatively small country, yet among the 10 largest economies…

        Yes, I read mime’s links. Like other countries France seems to attempt to address their issues in their own way. What’s the problem?

        My friend who was an expat there for several years loved the schools her daughter attended. And the medical system, too.

        Her roughest adjustment? Learning to not work through lunch. Now there’s a problem crying out for a Cruz-ian or Santorium or Paul-ian solution. (Since she’s female, those solutions would probably involve ‘wands’ of some sort.)

        Look inward, Rs. Look inward. You’ve got enough on your plate.

    • 1mime says:

      Excellent analogy, Duncan, and one that history documents. Under Democratic leadership in government, the U.S. economy has been much stronger than under Republican leadership….for precisely the reasons you cite. An “inconvenient truth” as it were, for conservatives to accept.

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamhartung/2012/10/10/want-a-better-economy-history-says-vote-democrat/

    • 1mime says:

      More downside – Pamela Geller was fortunately rebuffed by the D.C. Metro Authority in her quest to place anti-Muslim signs on buses and trains depicting the winning cartoon that provoked shootings in TX. in DC. She needs to be stopped. To avoid running afoul of freedom of speech, the authority had to ban “all issue ads”.

      • Doug says:

        “She needs to be stopped.”

        Why? We’re at a crossroads here. We either succumb to threats or we stand up to assert our freedom of speech. Yes, it sucks that it has to be done this way, but it has to be done. I’m glad there are a few people still willing to stand up for our rights.

      • 1mime says:

        And, you see no other constructive way to stand up for free speech without hurting innocent people? All Muslims aren’t bad just like all people carrying guns aren’t criminals….maybe that’s an analogy you can better relate to.

        Pamela Geller is a sensationalist. If she wants to promote Free Speech, our Constitution offers unlimited avenues that are positive and effective. Run for office; write a weekly blog; write a regular column in the paper; you get the picture. But, when the method one chooses to bring attention to their issue is one that promotes hate and violence, that’s wrong. Il always support people’s right to free speech even Ms. Gellers, but her goals are not pure and her methods are despicable. She does need to be stopped and city after city are calling her bluff. Pretty soon she will lose all credibility and not even be able to buy her way to spreading her anti-Muslim message.

        Strongly disagree with you, Doug.

      • Doug says:

        “And, you see no other constructive way to stand up for free speech without hurting innocent people?”
        Are you aware of which side in this debate is the one killing innocent people? When you attempt to shoot people for drawing cartoons, you can expect armed bikers in response.

        “Pamela Geller is a sensationalist. ”
        Of course she is. That’s how you get attention. Pick a topic…any topic…and the people pushing the boundaries are sensationalists.

        “All Muslims aren’t bad”
        Of course not. Neither are all Christians. But just like Christians, they must not be allowed to force their beliefs everyone else. Muslims are free to worship in this country. They are *not* free to kill people who disagree with them.

      • 1mime says:

        No. I see Pamela Geller for what she really is. She is deliberately provoking violence in order to make her point. We agree that in America there are radical Muslim, just as there are radical fundamentalists. Remember the killing of doctors who were serving the needs of women at abortion clinics? Whether we disagree or not on the choice issue, abortion is legal in America and those doctors were going about their jobs – helping women who came to them. What they weren’t doing was imposing their beliefs on other people in a provocative manner or inciting violence. Who’s wrong here, Doug? I say that Geller is a bully looking for a fight, and I don’t like bullies of any age or gender or ethnicity.

        Nope, you and Geller can cloak this kind of crap in any perfume you choose and it still smells.

  4. RobA says:

    Anyone read the book “what’s wrong with Kansas”?

    Getting a lot of buzz, seems like the topic matter is exactly the stuff we talk about around here.

    Namely the phenomenon of a certain segment of the population (white conservative christians) who routinely vote against their own economic interests as long as the candidate matches their social views.

    Sounds like a good read, wondering if it was worth picking up

    • 1mime says:

      I haven’t read it but I will order it. Here’s an interesting review.

      http://www.tcfrank.com/books/whats-the-matter-with-kansas/

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      I have this book.

      It is frequently brought up in classes on rhetoric, my favorite, scary subject.

      One professor likened rhetoric to a loaded gun in the middle of a table surrounded by people who disagree. Who gets to use the weapon? Are they qualified? Who gets to judge their qualifications? Can it only be used for good? Does it matter?

      Every now and again in rhetoric classes I feel I’m able to glimpse the arc of human history, at least Western human history. Then that arc fades and I’m left grappling with all the issues called out in that Kansas book.

      Rhetoric > philosophy > criticism > logic, pretty much regarded as airy-fairy academic stuff, but more powerful than most of us understand.

    • Creigh says:

      Absolutely worth reading, although Lifer would probably argue that Frank misunderstands Kansan’s interests (Frank’s main point is that Kansans are voting against their own interests, ironically in view of Kansas’ progressive history). Frank is also good on exactly how conservative grassroots activists in Kansas have worked hard to get where they are.

      I’d note a point that Frank misses (despite being a Kansas native). When I drive across Kansas, which I do regularly, I see neat, orderly little towns with well kept houses. Schools are good and unemployment is low. True, wages are low but housing costs are low too. And there’s little evident inequality – one feels that the schoolteacher probably lives next door to the banker.

      Chris Hedges adds an interesting sidelight to this debate. To the extent that stereotypical Kansans do perceive economic oppression, they tend to blame minorities, immigrants, and liberal elites instead of Walmart and Cargill.

      But yes, definitely read the book.

      • 1mime says:

        Interesting thoughts, Creigh, to which I add: the book was written in 2005. Don’t you find that kind of prophetic given the actions Gov. Brownback has taken which have been proven so wrong-headed and STILL the people re-elected him to a second term? When they had a viable, quality alternative? Flashing forward ten years from ’05 shows me a state that basically proves Frank’s point.

      • RobA says:

        Wow, the book was from 2005? I’m jus hearing the buzz lately. I’m guessing it’s because the Kansas debacle currently happening has made it relevent again.

        I had thought it was a new book ABOUT the current debacle.

        I’d love to hear the authors take on what’s going on now.

        I’ll def pick up the book, thanks all.

      • 1mime says:

        Some things never change, Rob.

    • 1mime says:

      That’s interesting, Ob. Couple this with speculation that the census process itself could be changed depending upon the SCOTUS decision on how population is counted, and the “blue wall” advantage could be history.

    • RobA says:

      I think thats a simplistic look. Yes, if just take where things are NOW and extrapolate more people, it could look like a republican advantage.

      But it doesn’t account for things like changing attitudes (there is a strong overall trend towards liberalism, so the people who are republican today can’t just be assumed to be forever), mortality (a disproportionate amount of conservative are old and thus, die off much faster, and they do not appear to passing on their values to their children in near enough numbers to replace them) as well as the natural liberalizeing effect that tends to happen more multicultural societies.

      Considering the crux of the positing is based on increased migration to the south, one could easily imagine this influx liberalize the entire region, as opposed to the newcomers assimilating the souths views. I find it very hard to believe non bigots moving ti the south will suddenly become bigots.

      Much of bigotry comes from surrounding yourself with like people, and filtering your media consumption to include only that which agrees with you.

      It’s why gay rights seems to be in overdrive the past few years. It was a positive feedback loop. When no one knew any gays in real life (or the ones they did know where sterotypical queens) it was easy to ostracize and demonize them as The Other. But as people started coming out in large numbers, we realized that gay people aren’t weirdos that lurk in bathhouseS. They’re our friends, our brothers, our aunts etc. And when that happend, it acted like rocket fuel on the movement.

      So I don’t see it as inevitable that just because more people are moving south, that means more republians

      • 1mime says:

        Rob, good points, but watch the SCOTUS decision on how population is counted for the U.S. Census. That could be a game changer. Believe me, the GOP gnomes are working OT to scheme and finesse every advantage. That’s one thing they’re really good at. Dems, not so much.

      • objv says:

        Rob, It’s interesting to theorize. Colorado has become bluer from the influx of more liberal people. A state like Texas seems to attract more conservatives. My husband is from California and I’m from Ohio. We spent over 20 years living in Texas. From our experience, it seemed that Texas attracted more ambitious people who were willing to move. A large chunk of the kids a grew up with moved from Ohio after college leaving more of the blue collar liberals behind.

        I’m not meaning to say that all the talented people left – just that an appreciable number saw opportunity elsewhere and that it was often in a red state.

      • 1mime says:

        I’m curious about all those talented people who left Ohio…..for better opportunities in “red” states…..last time I looked, Ohio was a majority Republican state. Does that mean all those liberals that were left created so many opportunities that talented people came back? Or, was it something else (-: I mean, why go down with a sinking ship?

        Either way, it is interesting to note that in November of 2015, Ohio voters will have an opportunity to amend the state constitution to establish a bi-partisan redistricting commission. Of course, in the interim, SCOTUS is hearing appeals from CA and AZ on the constitutionality of such commissions vs authority of state legislatures. Gerrymandering has done lots of good things for the GOP of late and these state legislators are not going to give up this sweet opportunity without a fight.

        http://ballotpedia.org/Ohio_Bipartisan_Redistricting_Commission_Amendment_(2015)

      • 1mime says:

        Rob, on the SCOTUS case regarding how population is counted for census purposes, another point I read earlier today is that this will impact urban areas as this is where so many poor live. They have to rely on public transportation so change the census count in these areas and the poor will likely lose what little voice they have.

    • RobA says:

      Or, perhaps these newcomers WILL become republicans, but their influence brings the party much closer to Centre right then it currently is.

      Honestly, with the policies of the current republican patry, I can’t imagine anyone who hasn’t been indoctrinated from birth joining the party as a new member.

  5. Brent Uzzell says:

    And then there is this from Sabato’s Crystal Ball: Democrats currently have a fairly large deficit in the House: The Republican majority is 247-188**, meaning that Democrats would need to win 30 seats next year to take control.

    http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/house-2016-clinton/

    It seems to me Reps are a long way from dead at the national level. I keep hoping for a route. They lost me permanently with Iraq but all my other demographic cohort are getting more radical by the minute – praise the Lord and pass the ammunition – and most of these are highly educated professionals which truly frightens me.

    • 1mime says:

      IMHO, the only chance for a Democratic rout is if SCOTUS rules in favor of King, thereby invalidating federal subsidies for the ACA, thereby removing millions of Americans from health care coverage who may have obtained it for themselves and their families for the first time – without a viable alternative (GOP) . Piss off this many people on something as personal as health coverage and you could then see a rout….Personally, the odds of the GOP shooting themselves in the foot even over the despised ACA, are slim. I think they’d rather go for the whole enchilada of sweeping the three branches of government rather than face the ballot wrath of millions of angry voters. After all, if the GOP sweeps the triumvirate – House,Senate, Presidency (plus they already own a majority of SCOTUS) – they can do whatever they want, especially since the Republican majority would nominate the next justice. Even US Supreme Court Justices have a natural life span even as there are a few who I would love to send to their maker sooner than they’d prefer…..

      I wish someone would put a tail on Roberts and Scalia. Hey, maybe the “fly drone” could do double duty! What do you want to bet that there are some deep backroom conversations going on about what the best ACA option would be for the GOP? After all, one doesn’t have to think back very far to recall the deep backroom conversation the night before Pres Obama took office in which GOP leadership conspired to doing whatever it took to defeat his Presidency. We could use are some of those Tea Party folks from TX who have been following TX Legislators around with cameras and tape…..Now, those folks know how the job is done.

      • Creigh says:

        1mime, the House Republicans will not come up with an ACA solution that Obama will sign. That’s clear. So what they’re left with is to come up with a solution that Obama won’t sign, and then blame Obama, or they might skip the solution part and go straight to blaming Obama. Could go either way.

      • 1mime says:

        I can’t accept that the American People are that stupid to blame Obama. His job will be to make sure they understand that as will Hillary.

      • RobA says:

        Mime, yes it would be interesting to see what would happen if SCOTUS strikes down federal subsidies. It doesn’t appear like republicans are prepared.

        I’m going to make some very broad generalizations here that may or may not be correct. I think that most of the people hurt by that (I. E. Those that lose their subsidies and thus, their insurance) are likely lower class or in/around the poverty level. History shows us this group largely doesn’t vote (the reasons why are an entirely different conversation).

        My guess, however, is if you’ve got a large group of people who don’t vote, one way to ensure that they do so is to take away the only healthcare they’ve ever been able to afford for them and their families, especially when its so close to thw election and the wounds will still bw fresh comw October.

        And while it’s not likely that all 8 million estimated to be priced out of health insurance will vote because of it, it seems logical that a significant percentage will.

        If even 3 million if those 8 million decide to express their displeasure at the ballot, we can be confident the vast majority will vote Republican.

        An extra 3 million votes that didn’t exist in the precious election all against the GOP is essentially the kiss of death.

        It might not play out like this, of course, but the GOP is definitely playing with fire. I see this, at best, as a political wash with no upside and tons of downside foe the GOP.

        If the subsidies are repealed, anybody happy about that was almost certainly a) voting already and b) voting republican. Those people might be HAPPIER to vote GOP, but they still only get one vote.

        I don’t think there’s going to be anyone currently undecided whose going ti say “we’ll, those republicans did their part to fight tyranny by stripping 8 million people of health care over a technicality in the wording of the law, so they’ve got my vote ”

        I think the GOP is being very short sighted on this one.

      • 1mime says:

        Fear and anger are powerful motivators, Rob. Once people have experienced health coverage, they will not go gently into the good night. Nor should they, but their anger and fear have to be channeled. Dems will have their work cut out for them.

        One thing you might be more vigilant about. Although there is hardly GOP consensus at the present time over an ACA replacement, there are two working plans in the wings – one in the House, and one in the Senate. These are substantial enough that they would offer “some” coverage to “existing” ACA participants for a “limited” time period – a “transition” as it were until they could “design their own plan” (which is interesting as they had 8 years under W to do so and didn’t, but that was then, this is now). The theory being that this “carrot” will be perceived as better than nothing to those who would have coverage ended under the ACA, and, if Obama vetoes their plan – however limited it is, they feel they’ll be in a “win-win” situation. After all, “they tried”. In addition, the GOP must offer a “viable” alternative in order to give Scalia and Roberts political cover. These two justices have done the GOP favors on many decisions. It’s only fair that the GOP return the favor – AND – thus let SCOTUS do the deed for them, then they simply throw up their hands with a “wasn’t our fault”.

        Of course, thinking people won’t buy this crap. But, masses of people? With children? With illnesses? Who knows how they will react. I hope it doesn’t come to this but if it does, I pray the Dems will go all out to make this the number one 2016 campaign issue, and I hope it will so roil the political scene that the GOP finally gets payback. They’re due.

        Not that I feel strongly about this or anything (-:

      • RobA says:

        Sorry, typo, I mean “we can be confident that the vast majority will vote democrat”

  6. 1mime says:

    Here’s breaking news that is really positive: (The Hill)

    Cuba was formally dropped from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism on Friday, after more than three decades.
    The move was expected for weeks. President Obama first announced his plans to remove Cuba from the list in mid-April and Congress did nothing to block that action during a 45-day review period.
    Removing Cuba from the list, where it has been included since 1982, paves the way for diplomatic recognition between the two countries and the opening of embassies.
    It’s the latest step in Obama’s push to normalize relations between the two Cold War adversaries.

    The GOP would never initiate normalization of relations with Cuba but at least they are passively allowing it to go forward. Guess that’s the best the GOP can do in the face of utter illogic for more of the same failed foreign policy. Kudos for Pres. Obama. Clap. Clap. Clap.

  7. Brent Uzzell says:

    OK I’m not at all sure I follow Nate’s point but I am very suspicious of the “The Blue Wall”. Nate mentions NH as particularly swingy BTW and white flight to the GOP may not (probably has not) yet have crested especially with Ferguson, Baltimore et al. which would put PA, WI, MI and Ohio seriously in play. WI is especially interesting to me given its history (LaFollet anyone) and Walker’s electoral triumphs.

    Here is Nate’s take on the Blue Wall: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/there-is-no-blue-wall/

    I would appreciate your thoughts.

    • goplifer says:

      I wrote about this in a comment to another post, but Silver is a mathematician. He derives valuable, often incredible insights from polling data. If all you have to work with is polling data, then every election is a snowflake and its contours cannot become evident until a few months out when the polling data solidifies.

      Elections are not snowflakes. And like Sun Tzu said, every battle is won before it is fought. To a greater degree than has been true in our politics for more than a century, our elections are tribal and regional. The candidates and campaigns matter very little. Barring a 9/11 style disruption, 2016 is a done deal.

      If you are looking at the political system in terms of demographics, policies, characters, personalities, and ideological trends stretching across a century or more, then you can already call this election for Hillary. Barring the possibility that she does something hideous – and she might do something hideous, you can call 2020 too. The next election that looks interesting is 2024, but that’s only if there is a major course correction in Republican politics or a third-party emerges to squirrel the deal.

      And by the way, if we get to next June and Silver is calling a different outcome than I am, then its time go with Silver. Until then he won’t have a lot of useful polling data to work with.

      • Doug says:

        lifer, people still do vote for people now and then. Or not like “their” candidate and stay home. Hillary has nothing to offer other than lots of baggage.

        It’s early but I’d be willing to place a little wager if you are.

      • RobA says:

        Doug – Hillary has a lot of baggage, sure. She also offers things like a higher minimum wage, increased social services, and seriousness abkut climate change.

        These things are all important to most millenials.

        What does the GOP have to offer besides bigotry, taking away healthcare ans other social safety nets,tax cuts for the rich and destruction of the middle class?

        People will vote for any Democrat because unless a GOP candidate comes out of the wings (or one of the current ones comes back from the lunatic fringe) the alternative is simply unpalatable.

      • goplifer says:

        ***It’s early but I’d be willing to place a little wager if you are.***

        I already staked my blog on it. What you going to put up?

  8. unarmedandunafraid says:

    Chris – http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/what-the-nebraska-vote-means-for-the-death-penalty-nationally/

    Is this the Republican Party that you envision? A peek at what might be possible. As Anse notes below, strange happenings.

    It seems the Republicans were won over by the relative inefficiencies of the death penalty vs life in prison. For me, it would feel better if their reasoning was based on some moral, life is sacred thing, but I’ll take it.

    Also below there are comments on the merits of needle exchange and decriminalizing drugs. A very practical view is that decriminalizing would be less expensive in all kinds of ways.

    I have always held that most “Liberal” ideas can be argued for on a cost basis. So is there a possibility to get this idea swirling around in the conservative world? Even though as Anse says, “There’s a heavy Social Darwinist strain in the moral framework of American right wing ideology”?

    I would consider voting for a republican that wanted cost effective government that lead to free or low cost childcare, a new course on drugs, a good education for the underclass, etc.

    • 1mime says:

      Isn’t it sad that the only way to “move” the GOP on issues such as this (and many others) is cost. Perish the thought that they might do so because it was more humane. I’m pretty cynical, I know, but for a very good reason.

    • 1mime says:

      Unarmed: “I would consider voting for a republican that wanted cost effective government that lead to free or low cost childcare, a new course on drugs, a good education for the underclass, etc.” Ah, it’s the “etc” that will do you in….things like equality in voting rights, marriage, choice….

      Put all these things together and voila: you have a Democrat without breaking a sweat!

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        1mime – “Put all these things together and voila: you have a Democrat without breaking a sweat!” SSHHH!! :>) But its not because of a silly soft spot in our heart, its just good government.

      • 1mime says:

        Right on, Unarmed!

  9. johngalt says:

    Totally off-topic, but I jus read about a toy that flypusher really, really needs – a fly catching robot!
    http://news.stanford.edu/news/2015/may/flies-robot-inspector-052515.html

    • flypusher says:

      That is really damn cool! But not cheap enough to replace grad students for a while. I definitely would use it for situations where you don’t want to anesthetize your flies, but not for other fly sorting. There is insight to be gaining by sorting and dissecting the old fashioned way.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      Okay, that’s just cool.

      And it recognizes individuals. Don’t tell the NSA.

  10. RobA says:

    Well this is kind of interesting:

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/05/red-state-hiv-epidemic-drug-use-republican-governors-118379_Page2.html#.VWhT4MvMaBY

    More failed republican “social” policies. Rural poor whites are spreading HIV at an alarming rate, mostly because republicans refuse (for some reason) to allow needle exchanges. Maybe it’s the Canadian in me , but wtf are needle exchanges banned for? In Vancouver, they have the infamous InSite where drug users can go and get clean needles, and bring their drugs to a safe, clean space to inject with medical care on site. Crime and overdose deaths went down dramatically. Do republicans seriously think that an opiate addict is going to say “we’ll, can’t get a clean needle, so I guess I won’t do these drugs”? Not saying we need to go as far as InSite but for gods sake man, at least let drug addicts exchange needles for clean ones.

    Repubs are starting to see the light as Mike Pence recently announced a 30 day pilot program where addicts can exchange needles, even though he fought this nationally as a congressman.

    How failed is this policy? NYC, which has a well establish needle exchange program has a population of 15 million or so, and they had just 50 HIV cases due to needle sharing last year. Over in Austin, IN however (the town the article is about) there were 152 new HIV infections from needle use…..in a town of 4,000 people.

    That’s pretty staggering. And if the human and social damage done isn’t enough to make you care – in other words, if you’re republican 😉 – then think abkut how much that is going to cost the state in health costs.

    The strategy needs to shift to harm reduction. Prohibition and incarceration is just not working. It’s unrealistic and unethical.

    • Doug says:

      The government prohibits the purchase of needles. Therefore, clean needles are difficult to obtain. So the government needs to set up a program to provide them for free. Yes, that makes perfect sense.

      Why not just lift the ban on needles?

      • johngalt says:

        Needles are very cheap, Doug. Sure, you could sell them to junkies, though relying on them to make the best decisions is not always the wisest course of action. Vancouver’s successes (and those of other places) has a lot to do with the human element – bringing addicts out of the shadows into safe places where they will not be victimized, can get medical interventions, and can be given information on treatment programs. Compare this to paramedic calls and ambulance trips to the ER and you can see how this would be highly cost-effective.

    • 1mime says:

      Another excellent argument, Rob, but same problem: people who form opinions that ignore fact, are not interested in logi.

      As for: how much that is going to cost the state in health costs (treating HIV) – Red states are doing their dead level best to NOT treat the masses. Why would you think they would change their position for a little thing like HIV?

    • Anse says:

      There’s a heavy Social Darwinist strain in the moral framework of American right wing ideology. Those people who get HIV and can’t afford to get it treated have to die. That’s the way it works. I could maybe take it seriously if there wasn’t always a distinct class element to this mentality. People with money will always be able to sin as much as they want because they can pay the consequences. Morality is really for the poor. If you have to depend on the government to save you, then you better get Jesus and live like a saint.

      • 1mime says:

        Anse, extrapolate on your thought: “People with money will always be able to sin as much as they want because they can (avoid) pay the consequences. Morality is really for the poor.”

        Think of the gender and class bias inherent in the conservative position. Women shouldn’t use contraception – women who choose birth control can’t get insurance to provide it – women get pregnant NO MATTER HOW – cannot avail themselves of legal choice without tremendous difficulty – women proceed with unwanted pregnancies, have children they cannot afford to care for, are criticized for needing welfare – women try to bring their rapists to trial are put on trial themselves…..people with means who have “sinned” (think Duggar, and their ilk) – game the system so their “crime” will prescribe and never be adjudicated – people like Duggar confess their sins after their crime(s) have prescribed avoiding penalty but gaining absolution from their faithful followers….

        See where I’m going with this?

      • RobA says:

        Good insight mime. It is precisely things loke this that people say the GOP is waging a war on women. They’ll deny it, of course, and maybe some of them.believe it. But intent doesn’t really matter nearly as much as result.

        GOP’S got an uphill battle going when they basically start an election cycle with no hope of getting women and minorities in any significant numbers.

      • 1mime says:

        Rob: UNLESS – the GOP is able to get SCOTUS to rule in favor of changing how the US census counts population which would be huge in many states, and rule against states rights in which voting districts were drawn for the 2014 election cycle by independent commissions. This would impact CA and AZ in which Dems would be zoned out by newly drawn districts. After all, conservatives are big proponents of states rights unless they don’t like the rights they choose !

        How is it said? Figures don’t lie but liars often figure?

  11. Anse says:

    Since the topic has shifted here anyway…Nebraska’s “non-partisan” (but pretty conservative and Republican-affiliated) state house overrode their governor’s veto TWICE this week to pass legislation that would not get a nanosecond’s consideration in Texas: they overturned the death penalty, and they opened the door for undocumented immigrants to get drivers’ licenses. Amazing. I wonder what’s in the water up there all of a sudden.

  12. 1mime says:

    Speaking of glass houses…..

    CNN: Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has been indicted on charges of lying to the FBI and evading currency transaction reports.

    Hastert, 73, was the longest-serving Republican Speaker in history, holding the post from January 1999 to November 2006. He retired from Congress in 2007.

    • 1mime says:

      Another piece of interesting news about Lifer’s old “bud”:

      Tuesday morning brought some exciting news for Arizona Democrats, as Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick announced she’d run against veteran GOP Sen. John McCain, who is seeking a sixth term in the Senate. It’s a welcome but unexpected development: Kirkpatrick, who holds a vast, GOP-leaning seat in the state’s northeast, had long been on the DSCC’s wish list but had never spoken publicly about her interest in taking on McCain. Her entry instantly makes this race competitive.

      Another interesting tidbit is that the AZ GOP is presently appealing to SCOTUS to defeat the electoral map drawn in that state by an independent commission. This would kick the re-districting job back to the AZ Legislature where Kirpatrick’s current district would be “shall we say” revised to make it even harder for a Dem to get elected than it was before. She has nothing to lose. McCain’s numbers are poor and the man has served five terms already. Maybe it’s time.

  13. BigWilly says:

    Salon? The unofficial propaganda mouthpiece of the CP-USA? I’d like to note, my source is Wikipedia, that the GOP holds a 79 seat advantage in the House of Representatives and a 4 seat advantage in the Senate.

    Shouldn’t they be more concerned about the extremist next door in Vermont, Barry Sanders? Granted, he’s the most honest man in politics, but he’s the Democrat equivalent of George Lincoln Rockwell.

    It’s probably about time for the party to go on offense, which I’m certain some will find offensive.

    • RobA says:

      America wouldn’t be lucky enough to get Bernie Sanders as Prez. The man’s policies are amazing.

      The GOP majority is due in large part by historically low voter turnout, which invariably favors the GOP. Younger millenials will get engaged for the “big stuff” but not so much in the mid terms (to their huge discredit). One thing the Tea Party types do incredibly well though, is vote.

      And yeah, salon is too partisan for my liking. Every article Is “why the GOP has finally destroyed themselves” etc. All hyperbolic.

      No doubt the current trend in the gop towards the further right is unsustainable and will likely change after the GOP gets crushed in 2016. But i dont like my news with hyperbole or premanufactured opinions.

      Just tell Me what’s going on and let me analyze it myself.

      Salons almost as bad as fox news.

      • fiftyohm says:

        “Lucky to have Bernie Sanders”? “Policies are amazing”? Oh god…

      • RobA says:

        I admit to not being a Sanders protégé. I onky heard about him within the last few months. But I’ve read his policies and I think it’s exactly what America needs.

        He’s the only one talking about the massive wealth inequality. He wants big money out of politics. Reduced defense spending c9mbined with raising taxes on the rich to fund education.

        Seems like 4 out of 4 from where I’m standing.

      • RobA says:

        Oh, and he thinks climate change is a serious risk to the planet and how habitable it is for us, and needs to be addressed sooner rather then later.

        5 for 5.

      • 1mime says:

        Clap. Clap. Way to fight back, Rob.

      • Doug says:

        “He wants big money out of politics.”
        The only way to get big money out of politics is to have a government that can’t give big money favors. Bernie wants *huge* government, which will draw even more big money from people trying to get the favors directed their way.

        “he thinks climate change is a serious risk to the planet and how habitable it is for us”
        And he would be happy to wreck our economy (such as it is) to “fix” it. At some point people are going to realize that the CAGW scare is the biggest mass psychosis in history. Bernie will be one of the last. Even if it were all true, China is in charge of CO2 now. Nothing the U.S. can do would make enough difference to matter.

        No warming for nearly twenty years. The models have been falsified. How long to you keep believing? http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1996.5/plot/rss/from:1996.5/trend

      • 1mime says:

        BoBo, I’m gonna slip this highly OT link in here for ya. Real interesting true story that I didn’t know about. Enjoy!

        http://mashable.com/2015/04/30/uss-recruit/

      • RobA says:

        Doug, the heat in the atmosphere is only a small part of the story. Yes, the atmospheric Temps have stagnated the past 15 years or so.

        That’s because the oceans are absorbing all the heat.

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998.htm
        The oceans are massive heat sinks. Water is an excellent insulator of heat. That’s why when you boil water and then turn off the burner, the water will sTay warm for quite a while. Water retains heat.

        So all that heat is going in the ocean. That doesn’t mean it’s not a problem. For one, warm water will melt ice faster then warm air. And more importantly, the ocean is not an infinite sink. it can only absorb so much heat without it spilling out into the atmosphere. And when it does, it’s going to happen quickly, like a spring under tension suddenly released.

        As the Republicans love to say: “I’m not a scientist”. But I’ll take it a bit further and take that statement to its logical conclusion: “I’m not a climate scientist SO I’ll defer to the people who are”.

        97% of climate scientists agree that CC is real and CC is man made. These are facts.

        http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

        if youre the type to believe that thousands of scientists all over the world are all involved in a staggeringly huge conspiracy to mislead us regualr folks, thwn i doubt theres much anyone can say to change your mind, except that you don’t understand the fundamental nature of science. Science LOVES to be proven wrong. It’s every scientists dream to discover something that goes against the conventional wisdom and change our collective knowledge, the way einsteins relativity changed the way we view the world around us. Not to mention, that 97% figure represents all peer reviewed papers with the hard data included. No personal opinions are needed, the data speaks for itself.

        So on the one hand we have rush Limbaugh and the Koch Bros, with billions and billions in oil assets. On the other hand we have 97% of climate scientists with no money invested and their academic reputations on the line.

        I know which side I’m on.

      • RobA says:

        I should also point out that “wrecking the economy ” is almost certainly not going to happen. I know that’s what Koch Bros tell you (and can you blame them? They have many billions in oil assets). It would CHANGE the economy, and very likely cause a boom in jobs.

        Switching over from fossil fuels to renewable energy would be a massive infrastructure project. Decades long, easily. And one thing we know about infrastructure : it creates jobs. We’ll paying ones.

        Before there was petroleum oil, the main source for lighting your home was whale oil. All the lights on in the entire world at night were from whale oil. The American oil industry was massive. And just like Big Oil tday, people back then could not imagine Big Whale Oil not being the dominant energy provider. And I’m sure that many of them worried that a switch to this new oil would wreck the economy.

        Of course it didn’t happen.

        The fact is, the oil industry is very mature. Mature industries are often automated as much as possible and require relatively little human labour. creating a nation wide renewable energy grid out of whole cloth though? That requires massive human labor. We don’t have any machines to install this capacity.

        A fundamental infrastructure shift to renewable energy, kick started with strong government incentives, would be an incredible job creating machine. High skilled, high paid labor. And you can’t outsource the building of a wind farm in Wisconsin to China.

        Renewable energy jobs could become the new manufacturing jobs in that they are solid, we’ll paid jobs that will greatly strengthen the middle class……with the huge added benefit that these jobs cannot be shipped abroad.

        Can you imagine the capital and work required to do a project as huge as this? It would be a jobs bonanza.

        And while renewable energy projects are very capital intensive, once they are complete the energy is free, freeing up massive amount of capital that would otherwise be spent on energy to fund OTHER infrastructure projects.

        And then there’s that thing about saving the planet and all. No big deal.

      • 1mime says:

        Excellent try, Rob, but climate deniers just aren’t interested in logic.

      • flypusher says:

        Doug, there’s this thing called cheery picking, an intellectual dishonesty which your link does in spades. Refer to Fig 1 of this link for the larger picture:

        http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/03/28/1785461/as-scientists-predicted-global-warming-continues/

        And again we have science countered with conspiracy theory. Let’s critically examine that. For it to hold any water, you have to have thousands of people on board. Thousands and thousands of people, and no one can leak the secret. Even the Mafia couldn’t keep everyone 100% from spilling secrets and this was with threats of very nasty retribution hanging over people’s’ heads. Next we’ll follow the $. The denier side has lots of $. If scientists are truly the intellectual prostitutes you claim they are, surely there’d be a lot more of them on the denier side, wouldn’t there? They’d be like Robert Muller, who took Koch brother funding and did research and concluded that human contribution was all bun………., oops, wait, he concluded just the opposite. Finally ask yourself why the Pentagon, major insurance companies, and even some of the major energy companies are taking this very seriously. They hate America? They love China? They’re in a scam for $? Or maybe they have a whole lot of experience in the business of assessing risk, and they just might know a threat when they see one?

      • Doug says:

        “cheery picked” OK, here’s one from 2000. No 1998 included, no warming. Fifteen years.
        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:2000/plot/rss/from:2000/trend

        A decade ago, the model gods said we’d need at least fifteen years of the “pause” to prove the models wrong. We’re way past that point, so they make up excuses. This is not science.

      • Creigh says:

        Doug, you write “Bernie wants *huge* government.” There’s a lot of folks on the Conservative side who seem to be obsessed with the size of government. On the progressive side, I don’t see people caring about size like that. There are individual programs, and they either improve lives or they don’t. The ACA is about improving lives, not making government bigger. Cutting military spending and prison reform is about improving lives, not making government bigger. Not invading Iran is about improving lives, not making government bigger. Other examples abound. Saying that Sanders, or any progressive “want huge government” strikes me as a lazy argument.

      • 1mime says:

        The false morality of conservatives is appalling. In today’s Houston Chronicle, we learn that the TX Legislature has approved a bill that would require insurance identification cards purchased through the health insurance marketplace under the ACA to bear the letters QHP, for qualified health plan.

        There were many “reasons” floated as to why this “scarlet letter” is needed, but cynics/realists are convinced that the label will be used to deny care to patients with marketplace plans….thus leading to discrimination in the doc’s office. Red states have been fighting to kill the ACA in any way possible, completely ignoring the needs of those in their states who desperately need health care insurance.

        There is NOTHING that I see in the GOP manifest that demonstrates any concern for helping the poor or disabled. Nothing. A civilized society that focuses only on profits and those who generate them is a sick society. I could never be a Republican. I cannot in any way accept the conservative social values that under gird this party.

      • BigWilly says:

        Good God, look at the size of the government on that man!

      • flypusher says:

        So Doug, I say your data set is too small and cite a graph that starts in 1970, and your response is an even SMALLER timeline? Are you even bothering to think here?

        It also hasn’t escaped anyone’s notice that you are dodging all the logic problems with your conspiracy theory.

      • johngalt says:

        Of course the “no warming for the last 15 years” has left us stuck on the hottest overall climate in millennia, but we fixate on the fact that some scientist’s models told us it would be even worse and these predictions were not 100% accurate.

      • BigWilly says:

        Conspiracy? Conspiracy my fat ass! Of course there’s a conspiracy. There are thousands of them. Most are out in the open.

        Eye wide shut, anyone?

      • RobA says:

        JG – no model is 100% accurate. They ARE just models after all.

        Why not “fixate” on the facts? If we look back to 1970, we pretty clearly see a warming trend.

        If the models say that global warming will increase Temps by 1.5 degrees (for example) in 40 years and it “only” increases 1.2 degrees, do we just say “see? They were wrong!! Now we don’t need to d anything to address the issue!!”?

        We do so at our own peril.

      • Doug says:

        Fly, I’m over 50 but the trend of my height since birth shows that I’m still getting taller.

        And no, it’s not a conspiracy. Just politics combined with media that loves a good scare.

      • 1mime says:

        Taller, not smarter, Doug. And, definitely not more humble. But you do have a wicked sense of humor – I’ll give you that!

      • flypusher says:


        Fly, I’m over 50 but the trend of my height since birth shows that I’m still getting taller.”

        Doug, I’m going to ask you nicely to just cut out this kind of crap right now. You may be intending to be funny, but that is downright insulting to the intelligence. You cannot compare human growth to climate change like that. Apples to meteorites.

        “And no, it’s not a conspiracy. Just politics combined with media that loves a good scare.”

        Also no weasling. You were accusing scientists of making things up (“the models have been falsified”) which is the number one worst transgression in science. Given that an overwhelming consensus of scientists in the field support conclusions that you say are made up, you are accusing them too. That is indeed the very stuff of a conspiracy accusation. You can put up or you can retract it, but oh yes, you did say it.

      • Doug says:

        I wish I had time to debate this throughout the day.

        “You cannot compare human growth to climate change like that.”

        I wasn’t. I was comparing trend interpretation and it was a pretty good analogy. Admit it. The trend of actual measurements over the last twenty years probably show I’m shrinking a bit. Go back far enough, I’m still growing. Same with global temperatures over the last 30 years or so. Apples to apples.

        If you want a longer trend:

        A few words from Crichton on consensus:
        Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world.

        In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.

      • flypusher says:

        “I wasn’t. I was comparing trend interpretation and it was a pretty good analogy. Admit it. The trend of actual measurements over the last twenty years probably show I’m shrinking a bit. Go back far enough, I’m still growing. Same with global temperatures over the last 30 years or so. Apples to apples.”

        No Doug, it’s asinine. Since I must explain the obvious to you- human growth, barring some rare pathological condition, always follows a set, genetically programmed pattern. When you are young and in your growth competent phase, the changes in your height can be influences by factors such as growth hormone and nutrition. But once you hit adulthood and those growth plates in your bones fuse- you’re not getting any taller. That pattern has been observed over and over again in human after human. Therefore stopping a trend analysis once that point is reached makes since. So where’s your evidence of an equivalent stopping point where the climate would no longer have the capacity to change in response to gigatons of carbon that has been sequestered out of the carbon cycle for tens of millions of years being put back in? What justification is there for your chosen cut off point other that it makes things look the way you want them to look?

        So much wrong in that rebuttal video, but I’ll give you 2 of the glaring intellectual dishonesties I saw- 1) The y-axis in the original graph is labeled “GLOBAL land temperature anomaly”. Your frantically fast talking dude has his y-axis labeled “GREENLAND DOME, years before present”. We have a word for that sort of thing in science, and that word is “cheating”. 2) He also repeating that tired old bullshit that scientists who accept that human activity can affect climate deny/overlook non-human causes. NO THEY DO NOT. No one denies natural variation- it’s a reason why developing models is complicated and takes time.

        As for Creighton, his shortcomings have been discussed here before. He leaves out a glaringly obvious way a scientific consensus can be reached, that it was reached by all the scientists looking at the data and coming to the same conclusion. An MD does not mean that you know how to interpret research.

      • 1mime says:

        hey, hey Fly!

      • johngalt says:

        “The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.”

        Not usually, no. Darwin isn’t considered great because he broke with consensus. There was already a consensus that living beings were changeable and changing and others had proposed mechanisms, but these were not widely accepted because they were inelegant, unsupported, or implausible. Darwin explained this and his mechanism quickly became the consensus because it was intuitively right. Subsequently, this intuition has been proven many times over.

        Newton (and Leibniz) devised calculus in a void of mathematics. Quantum mechanics is the story of incremental advances punctuated by scientists with profound insights. True consensus breakers are rare.

    • 1mime says:

      Bernie Sanders is an honest man (BW) and his entering the presidential race will elevate the discussion for both parties – if media gives him fair coverage. He has ideas which he has backed up with specific proposals, which may not have broad appeal but which will stimulate debate that we need in America. As Griffen pointed out, the Democratic Party needs to more clearly articulate its platform and what it stands for. I believe in the values of the Democratic Party – its inclusiveness, tolerance, awareness of the needs of the average man and their willingness to support social programs that serve those needs – responsibly. I also believe Dems have a much better record of financial management than they get credit for but get lots of conservative criticism about. The party is not perfect but it’s way ahead of the GOP as it presently is functioning. The extremism of the GOP in social values is just another nail in their coffin from my perspective.

      BW, Wikipedia is a good initial source, but there are many good sources out there, of which Salon is one. Reading more than one source broadens one’s perspective.

      • BigWilly says:

        When you’re in a room with pro-life people being pro-life is, obviously, uncontroversial. I consider myself to be pro-life. Rape, incest, and health of the mother are all qualifications that I would allow for a forced termination of pregnancy. The rape thing that seems to be going around now is probably related, at least tangentially, to the rape qualification.

        Opposition to gay marriage, and the practice of homosexuality in general, is also unextreme among like minds. Advocating violence would be extreme. What I’m seeing from the Dems is a forced conversion of sorts. You are asking for a lot more than “mere” tolerance, and my guess is that the liberals lack of moderation could have some very unfortunate consequences.

        As far as weed goes, I’m staying in. Drugs in general, coupled with the breakdown of the nuclear family, and all the other attendant social liberalism equates quite nicely with Huxley. I mean more than you might realize on the inside of that way of life.

        You know.

        The whole idea of immanent unrest that is being suggested by the right indicates to me that they have every intention of going through with the Kansas plan on a national level.

        Good luck.

      • 1mime says:

        BW, I would like every person who is a citizen of the United States to be able to safely practice and adhere to their personal beliefs on social issues. Party affiliation shouldn’t matter . What I have observed happening is that arch conservatives are not satisfied to be able to hold their own beliefs, instead, they want to utilize Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court as well as state bodies to codify their beliefs. This would, then, preclude me from my rights. I object to that.

        As for the Kansas experiment becoming the national model for fiscal austerity – that is already happening to the detriment of our nation. Fiscal responsibility should not penalize one class to reward another class, particularly when those who benefit are already benefiting.

      • Crogged says:

        Huxley wrote “Brave New World”, not “Bad New World”, and its prophetic ‘reality’ isn’t too far from the scientist proposing sex hotels for our light speed travels in outer space. For all others proposing Bronze Age solutions for our democracy, good f___g luck with that.

      • BigWilly says:

        Don’t suppose you recall the whole “Alpha Male” thing and Al Gore?

      • 1mime says:

        Let me guess: Bernie is the Beta male doing battle with Hil the Alpha female????

        Here’s some fun for ya BW on this subject:

        http://www.oocities.org/capitolhill/lobby/1221/omega_al.htm

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        BW…I’m not sure I’m following you here:

        “The rape thing that seems to be going around now is probably related, at least tangentially, to the rape qualification.”

        Is your point that men are raping women because women can get an abortion if they are raped?

        Linear writing isn’t necessarily your thing, but I’m not sure which way to turn to make that make sense.

        Yep, gay people seem to be asking for something more than tolerance. It is pretty darn uppity of them to want equal rights and equal privileges.

      • BigWilly says:

        Houston-stay-at-Homer, which I shall abbreviate as Dave. Rape is a bad thing. One up and take down seduction. The right way to treat the female. I think we need this book.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Homer – I can’t believe I am saying this, but I understood what Big Willy meant and can amplify.

        So if you have been following the accomplishments of Republican State and local government you know that the one of the few successful Republican programs is limiting abortions by anyway possible.

        Rape, incest, and health of the mother are exceptions that many make for abortions. But the pro-life group do not want exceptions. Some believe that the mother will lie to allow the abortion. So they have to minimize the possibilities of pregnancy in those cases.

        Hence, the awkward statements about rape and pregnancy by various Republican lawmakers.

        If I’m wrong, I’m sure BW will correct me.

      • BigWilly says:

        I might add that the consequent barrage of frat boy date rape articles in major liberal publications and Bill Cosby’s unfortunate demise seem to be linked to the GOP policies.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I might suggest that the barrage of frat boy rapes is a bit more troubling than a barrage of media coverage of said rapes.

        Cosby’s “unfortunate” demise probably is a bit less unfortunate than getting drugged and molested.

      • 1mime says:

        Perish the thought that we lose empathy for Cosby at the expense of those he drugged and raped. Over years. Such a piddling difference, right?

      • BigWilly says:

        You convict on accusation? Hope you never serve on any jury that judges me. Did you miss this article?

        http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/06/business/media/rolling-stone-retracts-article-on-rape-at-university-of-virginia.html?_r=0

      • Crogged says:

        Mr. Cosby’s loud proclamations professing his not wanting to talk about it have me convinced of something.

      • flypusher says:

        Indeed BW, Rolling Stone got it very, very wrong, but exactly what bearing are you thinking that is has on the Cosby situation, which is completely unrelated?? Those accusations about Cosby have been smoldering for a very long time. Why they catch fire now is one if those oddities of this universe. What I find very damning is the fact that he bought off some of his accusers. Those are not the actions of someone innocent, IMO. I think he did it, and I say this as someone with no axe to grind over his political statements and who was entertained by his work. I wish it weren’t so, but there’s just too much smoke for there to be no fire.

      • objv says:

        Mime … Would Bernie Sanders really elevate the discussion? I don’t know much about him but he once wrote this:

        “A woman enjoys intercourse with her man — as she fantasizes being raped by three men simultaneously,”

        I don’t know about you, Mime, but the thought of being raped doesn’t turn me on. Is Sanders really a man that would represent the rights of women when he speculates that they like to fantasize about being abused?

        http://nypost.com/2015/05/29/bernie-sanders-wrote-an-essay-saying-that-women-fantasize-about-rape/

      • 1mime says:

        Ob, I followed your post to the originating Mother Jones link and got the full context of Sander’s essay on “man and woman”…written in the 1960s. If you read the entire article, I think you’ll find he’s trying to “hook” the reader (rather crudely initially for shock value) in his advocacy for strong, independent women. Read it, I think you’ll be surprised and might even agree with his points, however inelegantly parsed at the beginning.

        The entire article is a fascinating profile of a man who has been way down and grown into a much better place. He is “every man” and “his own man”. The reason Sanders will elevate the discussion on the left is exactly why the Tea Party loves Ted Cruz on the right – they both say outrageous things that they passionately believe. Now let me be clear – I cannot abide your man Cruz, and I don’t think Sanders has the gravitas or resume to be President, but I do like many of his positions – and so do many more Americans than you might assume.

        http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/senator-bernie-sanders-policy-platform-presidential-campaign

        Politicians say and do dumb things. It’s just like the stupid decision of Gov. Abbott of TX to send in the TX Rangers to monitor the Jade Helm Navy Seal/Green Beret 7-state exercise. Today’s H. Chronicle reported the numbers that Abbott evidently used to justify his action on Jade Helm: “The Gov received 270 calls, letters and emails, in which more than 50 expressed concerns that stopped short of asking Abbott to stop J.H., and more than 90 were upset at Abbott’s action, saying he disrespected the military and embarrassed the state.” (BTW, TX has over 25 million residents and Abbott acted on the basis of 50 out of 250?)
        Do you think Abbott might like to stuff that decision back into the can? Do you think Sanders might like to stuff that opening paragraph back into the can?

        My point is: people use words conveniently and sometimes carelessly. Politicians are some of the worst. One thing is certain, with Bernie Sanders on the stage, the debate will be engaging, exactly opposite of what will happen on the, uh, well, other stage with everyone trying to “out-right” the last speaker. I can’t wait.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I think if we have gander a scale with the Rolling Stone idiocy on one side and the massive volume of reported rapes (and sadly a larger number of unreported rapes), I’m going to bet on the scale tipping towards the, “dudes need to stop raping” side in a big hurry.

        It takes a interesting perspective to cast shade on an absolutely absurdly large number of sexual assaults in this country because of a horribly reporting Rolling Stone story.

      • objv says:

        Fifty shades of Bernie? Mime, I read the article Bernie wrote before I posted. Can you really condone such tripe? He was definitely going for shock value in his essay, but it was not to elevate women. He was writing a tale of dysfunction in relationships.

        So, yes, he does paint women as fantasizing about rape. If Bernie had been in his teens when he wrote the essay, it would be easier to pass off as adolescent meanderings, but he was 30 – well past the age when he should have know that speculating about women wanting to be raped was inappropriate and demeaning.

      • 1mime says:

        Ob, we are both reading the same article but drawing different conclusions. Hmmm. You know how I feel on womens’ rights and I don’t back up at all. Was the article in good taste? Probably not, but I had a different take entirely on Sanders’ goal for the article. Guess you and I disagree on this even as we most likely agree on most womens’ issues.

      • 1mime says:

        Seriously, Ob, Sanders had just broken up with his wife, was a single parent raising his son, was broke – this piece probably was a desperate attempt to create a story that would raise eyebrows – which, undoubtedly it did. Rape is never a trivial subject, and, as I stated, he probably wishes he had never published it. But I don’t think he reviles women and his record in Congress and in VT support that. Didn’t mean to be flip in my earlier response.

        I still maintain Sanders will add zest and honesty to the debate process which you have to admit, can get pretty boring. With Bernie, it won’t be boring (-:

  14. Griffin says:

    The problem with voting for a “moderate” Republican is that when they finally get voted in they tend not to be so moderate, since they are afraid of facing a run from their right and the GOP leadership increasingly expects party members to stay in line. It makes it hard to take a mild Republican seriously when he might be scared into voting far-right for those reasons, whereas Democrats have much more room to wiggle, as is inherent in a big tent centre party. It’ll take a lot of defeats to change the party, just like during the Gilded Age when the Democrats became the Southern Party and Republicans won every Presidential election with the exception of the more classically liberal Grover Cleveland, who somewhat broke rank with the confederates in the Democratic party.

    What scares me is that without the opposition party having a serious chance of winning anywhere but the South will the Democratic Party just become the go-to party for opportunists who want to win but have no other ideals? A kind of mild “party of power” based more-or-less around political patronage? That seems to be happening in my state of California, I vote Democrat as the lesser of two evils but increasingly it’s just a patronage engine. Unfortunately I’d take mundane corruption over fundamentalism, fantasy economics, conspiracy theories, and random wars any day of the week.

    • flypusher says:

      I agree, political monopolies are bad. At the very least a viable opposition keeps those in power a bit more accountable. But the only thing worse than a Dem monopoly would be a TPGOP monopoly.

    • briandrush says:

      We’ve had a one-party state at the national level before, between the Civil War and the Great Depression. Democrats were as shut out of the White House then as Republicans seem to be now, and for the same reason.

      What happened was that a progressive-conservative dialogue along classic Marxian lines (between capitalist and socialist impulses) developed inside the GOP. The general election wasn’t important, or was rarely important, but the dispute between progressives like Theodore Roosevelt and conservatives like William McKinley within the Republican Party was.

      We’re already seeing something like that emerging within the Democrats. Look at Sanders’ run for the presidency. He’s challenging the corporate-serving “new Democrat” establishment as recognized by Hillary Clinton.

      I suspect this situation is temporary, though, and won’t last as long as the former GOP domination did. With the old-style Southern white vote block dying off and not being replaced by young white people, its ability to rule the GOP can’t last more than another decade or two. At some point the party will be retaken by genuine non-Confederate conservatives (capitalists rather than feudalists), or else it will go the way of the Whigs, the Democrats will split in two, and we’ll have two parties and just maybe a genuinely healthy political climate in this country for the first time ever.

      • 1mime says:

        BR, The problem is the damage that the radical right can do to America in the decade or two that it survives. That’s what worries me. There is plenty of evidence to back up my concern about the intent of the GOP.

    • RobA says:

      I actually think it’s the opposite of what you suggest. Not that moderate repubs become extreme, but that AGOP candidates need to SEEM extreme to win the primary.

      Once that’s done, the “sane” ones (Jeb Bush is the only name I’m drawing here) will likely revert back to what they actually are in the general and during their presidency.

      The actual believers (Cruz, Huckabee etc) have absolutely no shot in any general election anyways, so it’s a moot point.

      Bush is the only GOP candidate i see that has a legitimate shot at the general

      • 1mime says:

        Rob, as much disdain as I hold for Cruz, Perry, and a few others (there are soooo many…)I have more respect for them honestly speaking their minds than I do for Jeb who is flopping all over the place trying to position himself. I could never have confidence in “what” he would stand for if elected. Nope, Jeb goes to the end of the line with a few more double-speak Gopers.

      • johngalt says:

        Really? Cruz is consistent in his positions? He fought long and hard against emergency funding for Hurricane Sandy victims but is first in line at the trough for our flooding in Texas. Yep, that’s a consistent principled stand.

      • 1mime says:

        I said Cruz speaks his mind. He is one of the worst politicians in Congress (or anywhere). I don’t respect him as a person but I do respect him speaking out. He doesn’t understand the word “principled”. It doesn’t surprise me that Cruz is being opportunistic, and he appears to have honed the art of double-speak too, given your example. I gave him too much credit. You are right, JG. I am wrong. He is despicable through and through. But Bush is appearing to have no core and this is just as worrisome as he is probably the leading GOP contender for President.

      • 1mime says:

        I’m on “Cruz patrol” now, JG! Here’s that slanted Salon with a real tart look at the new and improved “redistributionist” Cruz:

        http://www.salon.com/2015/05/30/ted_cruzs_rainy_day_socialism_how_a_right_wing_fanatic_learned_to_stop_worrying_and_love_redistribution/?source=newsletter

        “I might be a little slow on the uptake, but a system in which taxpayer money that’s pooled into a common fund and redistributed fairly to other citizens and states in need… there’s an “-ism“ for that. (And it for sure isn’t “laissez-faire capitalism.”) What do they call it when everyone pays taxes into, say, the treasury of Cruz’s birth nation of Canada and, drawing from those commonly pooled resources, everyone gets free healthcare or federal relief when they need it?
        Ah yes, now I remember. Socialism. Just last month, Cruz discussed socialism at a campaign rally in New Hampshire and he surely embraced it, yes?” (Bob Cesca)

        Said Cruz:

        “The federal government’s role, once the Governor declares a disaster area and makes a request, I am confident that the Texas congressional delegation, Sen. Cornyn and I, and the members of Congress both Republicans and Democrats will stand united as Texans in support of the federal government fulfilling its statutory obligations, and stepping in to respond to this natural disaster.”

        (I love the part where he appeals to a “united” Republican and Democratic response – golly, both sides of Cruz’ mouth are really be working OT….I’m sure Dems will fall all over themselves to help Cruz out – after all, he’s always had their back, right???)

  15. IT says:

    i want the old cloth coat republicans who were fiscally conservative and live-let-live socially. YOu know, the ones who also understood that funding firemen and bridges was a conservative decision. When my father in his 80s decided he could no longer vote Republican, it was clear that the party was gone. And as you wrote a while back re. Mike Kirk, no sensible republican will vote for someone who feels he has to assuage the Tea party. Perhaps its time to reinvigorate the Whigs and bury these extremists.

  16. way2gosassy says:

    Chris, I am sorry for you and others who for some reason think there is something to be salvaged in the Republican Party. Recent events tells me that they are positioning themselves for an even bigger let down in the next election. Mike Huckabee defending an unapologetic and admitted pedophile while extolling his beliefs that a greater danger exists for our children to be abused by the LGBT. Jeb Bush and others who badly stumbled on a simple question on the Iraq war that was a “gimme” when the simplest answer was the one given by Hillary Clinton, “it was a mistake, knowing what we know now”. How damn hard is that? Carly Fiorina, trolling Hillary Clinton had this to say about equal pay, “Ms. Fiorina was only too glad to discuss immigration reform — she criticized President Obama and Mrs. Clinton — and equal pay. “A man can sit in a government office and watch pornography all day long,” and still earn more than a hard-working woman in the same job, she said. Women, she said, were “held to different standards.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/05/27/carly-fiorina-in-an-ambush-of-hillary-clinton-gets-defensive/?src=mv&_r=0

    The rest of the article is pretty revealing as well.

    Then we have Marco Rubio declaring that gay marriage is going to cause the bible to be banned as hate speech or some such nonsense as repeated in Salon “Republican presidential contender and super thirsty guy Marco Rubio is worried that marriage equality is the first slippery step onto a very slippery slope toward labeling the Bible hate speech. Or something.

    “If you think about it, we are at the water’s edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech,” Rubio, who is Catholic, said Tuesday during an interview with the CBN News. “Because today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage you are labeled a homophobe and a hater.”

    “So what’s the next step after that?” he continued. “After they are done going after individuals, the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church is hate speech. And there’s a real and present danger.”

    From Business Insider we have a very fiery exchange between Bobby Jindal and Rand Paul on ISIS,
    “Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) unleashed a furious social media barrage on Wednesday against Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), one of his potential 2016 presidential rivals.

    Jindal fired off six numbered tweets declaring Paul unfit for the presidency due to comments he made earlier in the day about the jihadist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS).

    “It has become impossible to imagine a President Paul defeating Radical Islam and it’s time for the rest of us to say it,” Jindal declared, quoting from a press release on his government website.

    Earlier in the day, Paul gave an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” where he criticized the foreign-policy hawks in his own party for creating chaos in the Middle East. That instability, Paul argued, set the stage for the Islamic State to seize a huge amount of territory in Syria and Iraq.

    “ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately, and most of those arms were snatched up by ISIS,” Paul said. “They created these people.”

    Paul’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider on Jindal’s tweetstorm.”

    These were just a few of today’s most notable exchanges and we have approximately 16 months until the elections. My condolences.

    • Creigh says:

      Way2go, I agree that the Republican Party is completely unsupportable. The few positive impulses by any of the many Presidential contenders are seen as a disqualification by the base. But there’s one quibble I’d have with your critique, and that’s the characterization of Huckabee as defending an unapologetic pedophile. There’s no doubt in my mind that the pedophile in question has apologized and is truly remorseful. I think an article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-drizin/will-mike-huckabees-forgi_b_7429102.html by law professor Steve Drizin gets it right. Huckabee should not be condemned for pointing out that juvenile defendants should be treated differently by the legal system. The question for Huckabee is, does this principle apply to defendants who are not as sympathetic as say, a white Christian TV star?

      • johngalt says:

        “Huckabee should not be condemned for pointing out that juvenile defendants should be treated differently by the legal system. The question for Huckabee is, does this principle apply to defendants who are not as sympathetic as say, a white Christian TV star?”

        No. If Duggar were a black kid from an inner city neighborhood hoping to make it big in entertainment as a rapper, they’d have thrown away the key. Let’s just be honest about that.

      • 1mime says:

        AMEN, JG!

      • RobA says:

        the answer to the question you posit at the end is so laughably obvious Im thinking you must have asked it rhetorically.

        Of course the Huckster would not feel the same way about a black kid. This doesn’t even need ti be asked.

        I should also point out that all the “persecution” and “judging” that the Christian right are going on about over this debacle is completely fake.

        Nobody is clamoring for Duggar to go to jail (like Huckabee and the rest of em.would if he were black). They are simply disgusted by the hypocrisy of a family who held themselves up as the ideal that all others should strive for and they temselves were cimplicit in an underage molestation scandal.

        All people are doing is simoly talking about it. Nobody is outside Josh Duggar s house with pitchforks. People are allowed to condemn criminal actions.

        It should be noted that Jin Bob Duggar himself said that child molesters should be executed during his us senate campaign.

        My guess is he had a certain type of person in mind when he said this and his son was not one of them.

      • flypusher says:

        “Huckabee should not be condemned for pointing out that juvenile defendants should be treated differently by the legal system.”

        Trouble is, this particular offender never faced the legal system, because his family covered it up long enough for the statue of limitations to kick in.

      • 1mime says:

        Sophisticated, wealthier persons learn (via counsel) how to “game” the system. Obviously, that’s what happened here. I have heard it said that pedophilia can never be cured. If this is true, what is the proper place in society for people with this cndition? Not next door to my grandchildren, or in their classrooms…It’s sad, of course, but even more sad is that privileged people can get away with it without consequence. It took years for the Catholic Church to be held accountable for knowingly transferring/overlooking priests who had abused children under their care. Justice is not the same for all people. That is certain.

      • way2gosassy says:

        Creigh, I respect your opinion on the matter and you are certainly more generous in your defense of both of those people than I am. I would suggest that you look into the matter a little further. Huckabee has used his position as Governor to inhibit the Arkansas version of CPS to prevent the investigation of the child molestation. He has had his dirty little fingers all over this and it didn’t start recently.

      • Creigh says:

        Way2go, you’re right that I’m overlooking some details, partly out of ignorance, partly to make a more general point. Governors and presidents – and presidential candidates – should stay out of what is prosecutor’s business, especially if, like Huck, there is a personal relationship. And there absolutely shouldn’t be one rule for Huck’s friends and another for someone else, as you point out. But I can easily imagine a 14 yr old boy doing something like this and regretting it terribly later and further, never doing it again. And I think it is right for the judicial system to consider that possibility and act accordingly. I have few if any illusions that Huck will learn something from this incident, but he might and it would be good if he did.

      • 1mime says:

        Creigh, we all agree that Josh Duggar is one sick individual, but what he did was wrong and it wasn’t a “single” instance. Huckabee was wrong to defend him. May I remind you of the many, many young boys who were molested by priests which was hidden by diocesan leaders
        in the Catholic hierarchy until they could no longer bury the tragic problem. All of us recognize that mistakes happen when one is young, but, not THIS kind of repetitive mistake, and to his own sisters? The hypocrisy of his parents representing themselves and their family as paragons of virtue give religion a bad name. Give me the dysfunctional, but loving normal family any day. At least they don’t hold themselves up on a pedastal.

        It is good Josh repented and was able to go on with a “normal” happy family life. What about those girls he molested? How well have their lives gone?

        http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2015/may/22/josh-duggar-sexual-abuse-19-kids-counting-tlc
        http://religiondispatches.org/josh-duggar-and-the-purity-lie/

    • RobA says:

      Calling the Bible “hate speech” is not really appropriate since we cannot apply modern day litmus tests to ancient texts. The context they were written in was so different the comparison doesn’t hold up.

      That said, anybody who thinks the Bible as an infallible moral compass in today’s world is either an idiot or just hasn’t read it.

      To wIt:

      Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. Because they have cursed their father or mother, their blood will be on their own head

      – Leviticus 20:9

      If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels[a] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her.

      – Deuteronomy 22:28

      However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way

      – Leviticus 25:44

      You are free to pick.and which parts of the Bible are literal and which are allegorical.

      But if yiur ONLY objection to something as fundamental as rights bestowed upon citizens based on who they love is “well, the Bible says so and that’s good enough for me” then you logically must accept ALL of what the Bible says.

      And if you do that, then you also believe that the above passages are how things should be. And if you do that, youre a hateful bigot who doesn’t belong anywhere near 2015.

      • BigWilly says:

        You do realize that the Bible in these passages is quite literal. It is quite literally a record of G-d’s direct interaction with the Hebrew people.

        The New Testament, under which I fall, is much different than the old. I refer you directly to a passage which Pres. Philander was so wont to quote during his ordeal in office in todo

        From the book of John.

        8 1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

        2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

        But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

        9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

        11 “No one, sir,” she said.

        “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

        You’ll see how he clearly upheld the Old Testament law, yet added the New Testament wrinkle of verse 11.

        If you actually read the Bible you might have a different opinion of it.

      • RobA says:

        I’ve read the Bible way too many times to count. Or, more accurately, had it read to me, in the form of hour long family bible studies 5 nights a week until I was 18.

        From your response, you don’t sound like the type of person I was referring too. You sound like you realize that not ALL of the Bible is the infallible word of God, and that we can pick and choose what should be interpreted literally and what I’d a relic from a bygone era.

        I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but am I right to assume you don’t necessarily believe ALL the Bibles teaching (new and old testament) are still valid, right? Like, you don’t think it’s morally acceptable to buy and keep slaves? And you don’t think that raping women I ok as long as you marry them afterwards and pay their father off, right?

        And since any anti gay reference in the Bible is IN the Old testament, I think we can safely assume there is no sound reasoning to discriminate against homosexuals based on biblical reasoning.

      • RobA says:

        Also, I’d be remiss not to point out that a lot of the “well, the old testament was repealed when Jesus died on the cross”

        But that’s not actually a biblical teachiNg. That’s a modern theistic canon that pastors teach but has no source in the bible to support it. In fact, Jesus himself says the opposite in Mathew 5:17

        “Do not think I came to abolish The Law (I. E. The old testament – RobA) or the prophets. Indeed, came not to abolish them but to fulfill them”

        But that’s another debate. I don’t want to get too argumentative because I think a Christian who understands that some things the Old Testament says are no longer valid is definitely not the problem. It’s the faux-literalists (I say ‘faux’ because they’re not REAL literalists, only when it suits their goals. I doubt even ted cruz would say slavery and rape are ok, which he would have to if he were an honest literalist) that are the problem.

        They point to Leviticus and disingenuously wash their hands of their bigotry with a clever little bait and switch. The basically say “hey, look, I’M not a bigot. If it were up to me, gays would be free to marry whoever they want! It’s just that I’m a Christian and, jeez this is awkward, but it says in one verse that gays are wrong, so sorry about that, I have to defer to the Good Book here”. When this is false. They are are not bigoted because the Bible commands it. they are just bigoted, and using a few select passages in the Bible to cover their bigotry.

        A true, honest to god individual who believes that gay marriage is wrong because the Bible says so, also MUST say that slavery is ok, rape is ok (as long as you marry her), that bratty kids should be executed etc.

      • BigWilly says:

        I’ll go with Paul’s teaching regarding human sexuality. We do what we do, but we can be forgiven and we can be free of our sin.

      • EJ says:

        Based on growing up a good little Calvinist child and going to sunday school, here’s what the Bible says on the matter as far as I can make sense of it.

        P ∧ ¬P

        I believe the implications of this are obvious.

      • BigWilly says:

        Perhaps obvious to you, but I would like a further explanation.

      • EJ says:

        That mathematical statement is called the Principle of Explosion, and it applies in most systems of logic that we use. It shows that if you build your argument upon a position which contains internal contradictions, you can derive any statement you like (and its opposite, since that’s also a statement.)

        It is no slur to state that the Bible contradicts itself. It’s not unique in this regard, either; nor does it lose its value merely because it contains contradictions.

        This means that you can find support for any position at all in the Bible. For example, you can find verses which strongly support pacifism. Meanwhile, someone else can find verses which strongly support holy war. Which of you is right? Both of you. You’re both good Christians who’ve read the Bible and are being guided by its wisdom. Neither of you are betraying your faith. Your faith excludes neither reading. The Principle of Explosion states this very firmly.

        This means that, in my opinion, the Bible (and by extension Christianity) is very much like one of those ink blots. A kind and thoughtful person will look at it and find kindness and thoughtfulness therein. A bitter, hateful person will look at it and find bitterness and hate therein. Both are as correct as one another from a theological standpoint. Each of you believes that the other is not acting in a Christian manner, and each of you is right in a way but also wrong in a way. Right because they are breaching “your” reading, but wrong because they are not breaching “their” reading.

        The only way to resolve this is to base morals on the underlying attitudes, so that hateful people are not able to act hatefully even if they manage to find theological justification for it. This requires a very secular morality, though, which is a concept that can be difficult to swallow.

      • BigWilly says:

        I thought about David Foster Wallace when I looked at that equation. I understand the Bible, its history, and its nature. Actually I should make that an “as” statement because it is a process that never began and will never end.

        RobA

        By you’re logic. The projection of self into the Bible yields exactly what you might expect about yourself, n’est pas? The same hatred, condemnation, and cursing becomes love, restoration, and blessing. It also becomes inconsistent, confusing, and contradictory. Qualities I’m sure none of us posses.

        As far as people’s “right” to experience sexual pleasure, I hope you have some limitations. Sex’s basic purpose is basic procreation. It’s only incidental that it’s so enjoyable. Sex is not love.

        Sex is not love. Sex is being used as a tool to keep the masses in a state of constant arousal. This constant arousal is tied in many studies to poor decision making. Rape is a poor decision, but to always blame the male is a typical liberal reaction.

        Really, put your back into it, we can’t “solve” this problem without significant cultural changes. This is the culture y’all are breeding. The objectification of women, their use as playthings etc. Do you think this is authentically conservative or Christian? No, no, no the women are so screwed up today it’s almost impossible for me to communicate with them.

        Thanks for the response. I had no idea what those symbols meant.

    • flypusher says:

      JG, your rapper scenario reminded me of this story:

      http://www.houstonpress.com/music/ask-another-mexican-6587548

      The evidence against Coy in the case of the 9 year old is certainly not as solid as with the 13 year old, but I’m not feeling sorry for him. I do think it is grossly unfair that one serial offender (Coy) had to face a jury, while the other (Duggar) avoided that. I suppose that there is some justice in the possibility that the Duggars lose their TV show, along with their “image”. But they still have all the $ they made, as well as no loss of even a second of freedom for the perv or the people who covered for him.

      • RobA says:

        Yeah, good example.

        Don’t get me wrong, this guy sounds like he’s a child predator (the child fathered by him Is proof that he at least dates 13 y/o when he’s in his twenties, which is wrong) and he belongs in jail. 45 years seems kind unduly harsh, but without knowing what the circumstances are of the cases, hard to say either way.

        One thing is for sure though: if Josh duggar HAD faced trial for this (or any other white, Christian man from a well to do family) and been found guilty there is no way in hell that he’d get anywhere close to 45 years.

        I think thats the crux of the racism in the justice system..I don’t believe that there are massive amounts of innocent people on jail be a use the yr e black and cops needed to pin the rap on someone. The true racism comes in the form of different outcomes for different races. Duggar would likely get no more then 5 years. A Mexican (especially one of those uppity rap guys) loses basically his life.

      • 1mime says:

        But, no justice for the Duggar victims.

      • RobA says:

        No need for justice 1mime. As there main job in life is to act as breeding stock for their husband, virginity is the only worth these women have. Since Duggar left that intact, there was no transgression commited. No need for justice.

      • johngalt says:

        Coy is a criminal who deserves to be in jail. So is Duggar. Is one-out-of-two bad? In this case, yes.

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