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Democrats Continue Their Downward Spiral

(46 posts)

  1. HD

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    'Americans are growing more pessimistic about the economy and the war in Afghanistan, and are losing faith that Democrats have better solutions than Republicans, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

    The results likely foreshadow a poor showing in November's mid-term for Democrats, whose leaders had hoped the public would grow more optimistic about the economy and, as a result, more supportive of the party agenda. Now, despite the weak Republican numbers, the survey shows frustrated voters on the left are less interested than impassioned voters on the right to in the election. '

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704901104575423674269169684.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories

    Posted on August 12, 2010 - 10:56 AM #
  2. Vitalogy

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    "The sour national mood appears all-encompassing and is dragging down ratings for the GOP too, suggesting voters above all are disenchanted with the political establishment in Washington. Just 24% express positive feelings about the Republican Party, a new low in the 21-year history of the Journal's survey."

    Posted on August 12, 2010 - 11:17 AM #
  3. NoParty

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    'Americans are growing more pessimistic about the economy and the war in Afghanistan, and are losing faith that Democrats have better solutions than Republicans, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

    The results likely foreshadow a poor showing in November's mid-term for Democrats.

    Didn't this same thing happen in 2006 when a Republican heavy Congress got thrown out on their collective asses?

    Looks like the Republicans couldn't do any better period.

    Posted on August 12, 2010 - 05:26 PM #
  4. edselehr

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    In the end, what do the Republicans have to offer, besides a rerun of Bush's Greatest (s)Hits? It was only a couple years ago. The public's memory is short, but not that short.

    Posted on August 12, 2010 - 06:24 PM #
  5. I imagine Zealot-Herb hunched over a desktop in a darkened den, gnarled white fingers clumsily pounding out keywords into The Google, searching for links to news stories that purport to agree with his predetermined point of view.

    Unable to convince anyone of anything, he remains old, bitter, and impermeable to reason.

    All the while furtively checking out some gay porn along the way while wracked by a potent combination of self loathing, brought about by mindless religious indoctrination, and sweaty desire.

    Ew?

    Posted on August 12, 2010 - 07:55 PM #
  6. Vitalogy

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    As usual, all elections are local. The massive gains people like Herb are getting a soft-on over are probably not going to happen. Yes, the GOP will gain seats in both houses, but I don't believe they'll gain control of either house. And remember, it takes 60 votes in the Senate to get anything passed these days.

    Posted on August 12, 2010 - 07:59 PM #
  7. HD

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    Edselehr, right now gridlock will be just fine.

    A nice big monkey wrench looks very good about now.

    Posted on August 12, 2010 - 08:45 PM #
  8. edust1958

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    I think it is time to blow up both the parties... those in the progressive camp can have their own party... let's call in the "New Democratic Party"... those in the middle can their own party... let's call it the "Liberal Party"... and those on the far right can have the "Conservative" or maybe the "Heritage" party....

    Oh yes... I've got a better idea... we should let Canada annex us! I believe that the economy there is out performing ours....

    Posted on August 12, 2010 - 09:35 PM #
  9. edselehr

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    Herb, would you be in favor of gridlock if a bill to criminalize all abortions was on the table? I imagine not.

    Just admit it: you don't want gridlock (which paints both parties negatively) - you want obstructionism (which is all the Republicans are interested in right now).

    Posted on August 12, 2010 - 09:41 PM #
  10. missing_kskd

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    Yeah, he said it here once. Nothing else matters. It's in the archives that are lost, or I would just link it.

    Posted on August 12, 2010 - 11:33 PM #
  11. missing_kskd

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    I prefer the Progressives do the work to just become the Democratic party, much like the religious right and wealthy did to the Republican one.

    Given our current civic structure, other parties are not viable at this time.

    Better to take one over than be marginalized.

    Posted on August 12, 2010 - 11:34 PM #
  12. HD

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    'Herb, would you be in favor of gridlock if a bill to criminalize all abortions was on the table?'

    Fair question, Edselehr.

    My response is 'One step at a time.' That's because before you can move forward, it's important to first take things out of reverse.

    And just to be clear, my goal is to promote adoption and other alternatives to abortion.

    But along with promoting adoption and providing aid to needy families, I would also attack the profit motive from dastardly blackhearts by penalizing the butchers, not their wounded and murdered victims.

    Posted on August 13, 2010 - 08:43 AM #
  13. edselehr

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    You've sidestepped the question artfully again, Herb. My last post still stands - you want obstruction of legislation you don't like, not the general slowdown of government through gridlock. You only like less government when government is taking actions you disagree with (which is true of both sides; just don't call it something it isn't)

    Posted on August 13, 2010 - 09:56 AM #
  14. NoParty

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    Edselehr, right now gridlock will be just fine.

    A nice big monkey wrench looks very good about now.

    And look were it got the Dems back before the huge fallout of 2006. Your going to cut your own throats. You want more (R's) out of congress? You keep it up and there will be more (D's) than ever.

    I would like it 50/50 in both House and Senate but it looks like the (R's) are going to roadblock their way out of jobs.

    HD, far leaning righties (tea party) like you are the reason America elected Obama. You make being a Republican dirty with your high and mighty attitude on what you think the Fed's should make people do yet you don't want the Fed's to make you do anything? How is that playing fair? Dirty pool baby.

    Remember how dirty pool got Nixon in trouble? I'm sure you do since he was your favorite President. Reading your posts here makes me think your all about dirty pool.

    Posted on August 13, 2010 - 11:55 AM #
  15. NoParty

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    And just to be clear, my goal is to promote adoption and other alternatives to abortion.

    Where are you going to get the money? Who is going to fund this? The Fed's? So that's okay? If it's a social program you like then it's cool.

    Posted on August 13, 2010 - 11:59 AM #
  16. HD

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    Sorry, NoParty.

    With all due respect, kindly get your facts straight. You are wrong.

    I'm not a tea party member.

    'Where are you going to get the money?'

    Instead of funding abortions, encourage people to choose life.

    And besides the financial cost, the human cost is unacceptably high.

    Women undergoing abortions have higher rates of cancer and psychological distress, as well.

    http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/

    http://www.abortionfacts.com/reardon/after_effects_of_abortion.asp

    Posted on August 13, 2010 - 02:38 PM #
  17. HD

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    Edselehr, I simply take the Declaration of Independence at face value with the words:

    'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.'

    The sentiment of a right to life was stated by our Founding Fathers.

    Posted on August 13, 2010 - 02:50 PM #
  18. And abortion was legal then.

    Posted on August 13, 2010 - 02:58 PM #
  19. Vitalogy

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    So Herb, I take it you fully support same sex marriage? Or do those people fall outside "all men are created equal"?

    Posted on August 13, 2010 - 03:21 PM #
  20. NoParty

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    So HD, it's okay to Federally fund your programs but nobody else's? How are you going to pay for all the kids that nobody wants? You can't force people to adopt just like you can't force people to think like you.

    If I'm to get my facts straight then you HD need to take your own advice. I've seen the garbage you post here and then run and hide.

    Posted on August 13, 2010 - 06:07 PM #
  21. edselehr

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    Are the unborn "men" under the Declaration, Herb? Are women "men"? Are gays and lesbians "men"?

    What about a gay or lesbian fetus? (serious question)

    Just trying to triangulate where you stand on things.

    Posted on August 13, 2010 - 06:40 PM #
  22. HD

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    'Just trying to triangulate where you stand on things.'

    Good question, Edselehr.

    Mankind.

    A right to life is deserved by all innocents.

    Red, yellow, green, black, purple, white, pink...without regard to gender or identity.

    Posted on August 13, 2010 - 08:16 PM #
  23. skeptical

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    Okay, who wants to tell Herb that the aborted fetuses he's trying to save are far more likely to be Democrats than Republicans?

    Posted on August 13, 2010 - 08:33 PM #
  24. edust1958

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    If all men are equal, why does the tax code favor the production of kids? If I choose not to have children (which I haven't by the way) why should I be denied the tax benefits granted to parents with kids? Shouldn't the tax code require more taxes from people who are responsible for more demand for government services?

    Why do I get a tax break if I choose to donate to a charity, including a religious charity? If an American citizen who was also a devout Muslim who also believed that funding an army of warriors to "kill the infidels" was a religious cause, could they sue the U.S. government for denying their tax deduction for contributing to their religious charity?

    Posted on August 13, 2010 - 08:44 PM #
  25. missing_kskd

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    Well, there is a case for having kids is a nation building thing, where we literally make investments in our future.

    IMHO, that once was the case, and I favor it for those reasons. However, given our current state of technology, inability to get along politically, and rapid consumption of lower level energy sources, there are more than enough people.

    Posted on August 13, 2010 - 09:59 PM #
  26. edselehr

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    "innocents"

    You throw that term around a lot, Herb.

    What does it mean exactly? What makes someone "innocent" in your eyes? Give at least three examples beyond unborn fetuses.

    Posted on August 13, 2010 - 10:13 PM #
  27. skeptical

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    The eliminating the tax break for married couples because it isn't legally available to ALL Americans is something that ought to work its way up to the Supreme Court.

    Posted on August 13, 2010 - 10:14 PM #
  28. edust1958

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    I really would like to see the tax structure flatten out to a "head tax"... The cost of providing the services that the administration has been authorized by the legislative branch to provide is $X Million or Billion annually... that amount should be divided by the number of registered voters to an produce a "head tax or fee" that is what each registered voter would need to pay... on top of that there would need to be a interest payment to service the existing national debt with a structured payoff so that it goes away. Before the legislature authorizes more debt, the registered voters would need to be notified. I think if we moved towards that system, there would be quite a bit of downward pressure on government budgets and we would need to make some serious choices about what services we want government to offer.

    Don't like the amount of the tax, rescind your voter registration and pay no "head tax"... you may still need to pay sales tax which you would not have any say in because you chose not to be voter.

    Don't have the money to pay the "head tax"... sorry you aren't contributing enough to the nation and you don't get to vote... soldiers who volunteer but receive no compensation other than room and board get to vote... those who choose to be paid, they would need to pay the "head tax" to vote...

    Posted on August 14, 2010 - 01:52 PM #
  29. missing_kskd

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    That's way too regressive for my blood.

    Posted on August 14, 2010 - 01:56 PM #
  30. edust1958

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    I understand your position missing... I just think that the current system doesn't succeed in connecting people / citizens / voters to the services government provides. Too many people think paying taxes is just like "flushing money down a rat hole"...

    The current economic decline may result in greater engagement by voters. I believe that government at all levels is going to have to make some very difficult choices between programs that would be nice to have (and do serve some of society's general goals) and those that without we would no longer have a country.

    Another way of getting that connection between taxpayers and government services is to put a binding program selection referendum on the tax form. If taxpayers could choose to allocate their tax dollars to program categories... so if 60% of the tax revenue was dedicated to health care, the congress would be bound to write a budget that had 60% of the spending allocated to health care programs... in that way, you get to vote for your desire programs. Overall, I believe that all of the important programs would be funded and taxpayers would feel that they had the opportunity to guide the process.

    Posted on August 14, 2010 - 02:32 PM #
  31. missing_kskd

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    I just think that the current system doesn't succeed in connecting people / citizens / voters to the services government provides.

    Well, we agree 100 percent there. Now that I see where you were headed, I'll say it's an interesting observation.

    Honestly, I think some investment in simple civics advocacy and education would do a lot of damage on the problem. Used to be, we saw some fairly objective civics in the media, and it was taught in our schools.

    That left most people with some core ideas of how the thing works.

    Today, both of those are significantly diminished by both the lack of investment effort, and the rise of both infotainment and Internet many to many media.

    I find having had that background makes it possible to filter through the noise and continue to expand on my core civics, and understand where money goes, how it works and why. No expert, but I know I punch well above my weight class.

    Recently, I've struck up some conversations with new friends I've met here. They are 20 somethings, and many of them don't have that core perspective. I know it because of the questions they ask, and the things they say. Been wanting to post about it here and on Dkos, like I have with the Politics Cube and other core ideas, but just haven't yet.

    The generations coming up are very different. This always happens, and isn't a bad thing, but it's notable. How they get information and the level of connectedness they live with are very different from many who are older.

    I'm a Gen X er. I've some younger friends who are Gen Y, and everybody else is "new generation" to me, because of where I'm at on the age curve. I think that's a constant, and nothing negative either.

    We had (gen x) a clear connection to the pre-Reagan policies, and many of us enjoyed public school and media that framed up the basics in clear terms. Was boring, but then again, it was pervasive enough to soak in. Many things seen and heard then didn't matter then, but I have them to go back to after watching where we are today. It's still possible, though getting more difficult to talk to people pre-Reagan too.

    Sorry to ramble...

    I think the escalation of the economic issues absolutely will get more people engaged. Whether or not that's a good thing, like it has been in the past, is something I remain seriously concerned about. I am not entirely sure our national discourse operates in a way that is functional enough to actually foster debate and some reasonable democracy.

    The reason for this is the current media environment allows for a lot of self-selection --way more than anybody else that came before got, and that means people can settle into some ideological niche, and remain largely free of contrary, or just differing opinion.

    Secondly, the brutal economics in play for average Americans right now has made many of us poor in terms of time. Having that basic wealth we used to have was the foundation of civics. These things are fun for people like us, who care, know one another, and who are entertained and educated well enough to come here to talk.

    For most people that's just not FUN, and they don't see it as necessary either, largely because eating and keeping a place to live is a much higher priority. This, coupled with Citizens United really is a game changer as much as the Internet is, and that's being constantly threatened too.

    I really like your tax form idea. IMHO, that's got the side effect of being totally pervasive. Everybody will talk about it, and that's often difficult to achieve, unless it's some national disaster, or it's got enough controversy to attract the mono-media. (seems we can't do multiple things well in media anymore)

    Since we've got Internet now, giving people some more granular and direct control has a lot of appeal. Of course, that can be abused too, but anything can. The question is will it be, and will too many of us get sucked into that?

    I can imagine public schools, for example, being one of those check boxes, and some really ugly advocacy gets paid for by the wealthy, nobody checks the box, we see disaster, and end up with vouchers and an effective end to public school. Not sure what I think of allowing those kind of feed back loops. Not closed to it, just concerned about the end game product and whether or not it operates too fast, or too dynamically.

    Finally, in every election there are enough people sitting on the sidelines to decide it for the better. How can we get those people involved? I'm not talking partisan here. Of course that leans Democratic Party. No question.

    But, a look back at elections lost and won and the product of those reveals we would be in significantly better shape today, if people actually did just spend the time (very small amount of time) required to do the very basic civics.

    I believe the parties, with all their flaws, would be pressured to better conform to serving us more than the money, if those people sitting at home, suddenly were not, because our law is written such that votes actually do trump dollars. This is why all the de-regulation of media has harmed us. Votes do trump dollars, but only when the votes are actually cast, and the civics are actually done.

    It's worth noting the imbalance in priority on so many things too. We see welfare abuse, for example, as something just horrible that is costing us a ton! Well, how can it, given the very small slice of the tax dollar it impacts? Despite that, we have people out there advocating we seriously reduce the overall value of our government, just to bring that "important" issue into check.

    Colorado Springs is the result of that, and is something nobody really wants, but they won't know it, until they have to live it as those people currently are.

    I highlight a few positions here, not to derail the thread, but to connect the dots between basic civics and how well our society is performing for us.

    How to fix this kind of dilemma??

    So far, my favorite way is mandatory civic service. Do it from age 18 to 20 or 21, with a very few narrow exceptions.

    Some exceptions might be, physical limitations, or disease, valued educational path, such as demonstrating that one is on track to be a doctor. Others might be, military service, or family needs. Say a father dies, mother needs the help, son takes the father role, working and dealing with younger siblings, perhaps with a subsidy, so that makes sense with some limited service, rather than no service at all.

    The benefit of this is some time to make sure the civics get done, and we get a lot of value from the labor pool, able to do lots of stuff that efforts like the CCC used to do.

    Other things like being trapped in low end jobs, or failing out of college, due to imaturity, crime, drugs, etc... would be improved by the years of service.

    I did National Guard service out of high school, and it made a huge difference in my basic life skills and deportment. Honestly, I would recommend this to many unemployed and struggling youths right now. Of course, having only a military option is not appropriate for lots of people, and I get that, but the idea of service doesn't have to be military, or even super nationalistic. It's just got to be productive and useful to both the society, and those that serve.

    As a nation, we have time and able bodies. What we don't have is a ton of dollars anymore, because we sent the means of production out of the nation, inflated the value of one thing after another to compensate for it, and are now just kind of stuck in this wierd place where we know we need to build and invest, but nobody can really figure out how to do that, and preserve some of the existing economic dynamics.

    I personally would surrender the "free markets" and return to constrained, or regulated capitalism like many European nations are doing, but I understand that's highly toxic to both corporate America, and enough of us to pose a problem. The rub is we have to do something, as the current state of things, as well as the projections for the next 10 years are completely unacceptable.

    Maybe some service, and a return to real civics would show us what that is. We sure as hell are not going to get it from the talking heads, and the current state of the coin operated congress isn't going to get it done either, largely because the big companies are not unhappy enough to give material changes any real consideration.

    Doing our civics can get us the answers though. I do absolutely believe that, where I also believe there absolutely are good answers, new answers even. The current environment just isn't all that good at building the political will to get after them, as we have in the past.

    Posted on August 14, 2010 - 03:18 PM #
  32. edust1958

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    Nice discussion contribution, missing. I agree with you about the lack of education and the challenge of time constraints eroding the civic participation. I received my American civics education in Canada in the early to mid 1970's.

    The Internet may allow the civic discussion to move into a forum that is less time constrained. It does lack some of the personality that face-to-face discussion has. I prefer face-to-face if we are going to solve the big problems... maybe this is an elephant we are going to have to carve up and eat in small bites.

    The lack of face-to-face discussion promotes that uglier side, the negative type of discourse that I wouldn't even honor with the term discussion. We see it here and elsewhere when arguments that are incredibly skewed are thrown over the fence like a hand grenade.

    How do you get those who play politics like it is a sport to actually participate in what should be a meaningful discussion that guides the development of the community?

    Posted on August 14, 2010 - 05:26 PM #
  33. missing_kskd

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    Yeah, that is the question for sure. And even when we do face to face, bad things happen. People get worried about that, and avoid the discussion. It doesn't have to be that way though.

    I had a most interesting experience a while back. A person I interact with, but don't really know personally, is on the right on a lot of things. Persona of good character though. Not a nut-bag. That's easy to see.

    We got sucked into health care discussion, which he's totally concerned about, and we had a talk. His distrust of government bumped up against my clear evidence of private insurers exploitation with no value, and there we were, both more or less not happy about it.

    Took about an hour. At the end of it, he said I was one of the first "left" people he had talked to, who listened and engaged him in the conversation without it getting personal. I replied, that I liked him, so why do that?

    The product of that is we enjoy a little civics discussion when nobody is looking now.

    I think that's part of it. Leading by example.

    Long ago, here on this site, when I joined, I and a few others here decided to raise the bar. It was not a decision as much as it was a few of us just decided to be excellent to one another, and we had actual questions.

    (some of those I actually have answers to now, where I didn't then)

    At that time, I got e-mails to that effect, and some comments were made here about raising the bar, and it being a good thing.

    I've never written about that here until now. I think doing that is part of the answer too.

    Clearly we get into the crap, but not always, and that's good. Thom Hartman does this kind of thing too, and so does Rachael Maddow. Both of them are stellar examples of how to do civics --our part of civics which is real discourse of value, leading to votes of value.

    (where there isn't discourse of value, I submit the votes are not of that much value)

    So, that's one way. Lead by example, and hope it's catchy.

    I think another way is to have the community hold events where this is necessary to do, and reward those people who do show up. We discussed good education --civics education as one of those ways too, and service, and you put taxes out there.

    Great question! Wonder what other ways and means (which is what some of our discussion was so far) people can think of?

    Posted on August 15, 2010 - 09:25 AM #
  34. NoParty

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    So in a nutshell if it's only innocent life in America HD is down with it. But if it's innocent life in Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan then forget it!

    HD, is one true Christian

    Posted on August 15, 2010 - 10:56 AM #
  35. skeptical

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    I think the word "Christian" is being redefined these days -- pretty soon its gonna have a wholly negative connotation and moderates will start using something more upbeat like "Jesus People".

    Posted on August 16, 2010 - 01:21 AM #
  36. There's a reason the word (Christian) increasingly has a negative connotation. One often associated with gleeful ignorance, hypocrisy, and hateful rhetoric designed to create inaccurate and false representations of “them” and “us”.

    People like Zealot-Herb are driving that fear wagon.

    The bleating of “Christian persecution” or in the delightfully silly parlance of Herbert, “faith bigotry” is a right wing meme ungrounded in rationality.

    I, and the provable majority of others, take no issue with your believing whatever you wish. It’s only when you want to enforce your belief structure on others that you will encounter resistance.

    Your right to believe and do as you wish stops at the point it begins to interfere with my choices to do the same.

    Abortion is only one such issue. Don’t want one, Herbert? Then don’t get one. The fact you feel you have the right to enforce that opinion on another is indicative of your mindset in all things. This is to say narrow, rigid, and lacking in basic empathy. I find your insane ramblings to have more in common with an extreme Islamic mullah than Jesus.

    The Zealot-Herb definition of being a good Christian only extends to those of the same mindset, color, creed, sexual orientation, and political ideology.

    Posted on August 16, 2010 - 09:28 AM #
  37. HD

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    'Don’t want one, Herbert? Then don’t get one. The fact you feel you have the right to enforce that opinion on another is indicative of your mindset in all things. This is to say narrow, rigid, and lacking in basic empathy.'

    That's what was once said about slavery.

    Don't want a slave? Don't have one yourself, but leave others alone who wish to.

    We fought a civil war over that one.

    Posted on August 16, 2010 - 09:50 AM #
  38. So, you want to have a civil war over abortion? If you have not already done so, please the following link. It may open your eyes a bit.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/11/world/americas/11argentina.html

    Posted on August 16, 2010 - 10:04 AM #
  39. Vitalogy

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    Slavery and abortion are non-comparables.

    Posted on August 16, 2010 - 10:15 AM #
  40. Intellectual fail, Herbert.

    Posted on August 16, 2010 - 01:15 PM #
  41. NoParty

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    The fact you feel you have the right to enforce that opinion on another is indicative of your mindset in all things.

    Like the way you do?

    Posted on August 16, 2010 - 03:01 PM #
  42. Intellectual fail, part deux.

    Your question is substantively pointless and misleading and betrays a basic lack of understanding regarding the content of the post as a whole.

    In simpler terms, in deference to you, my viewpoints do not force you (or anyone) to say or do anything. They simply require you to respect that right in others. Such a requirement is onerous only to those seeking to enforce their ideology upon another, unwillingly.

    I.e. Given an opportunity Zealot-Herb, the like minded, and his defenders (you?) would happily enact legislation in line with their own ideology that prevents others from making their own choices.

    Posted on August 16, 2010 - 03:38 PM #
  43. HD

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    'Given an opportunity Zealot-Herb, the like minded, and his defenders (you?) would happily enact legislation in line with their own ideology that prevents others from making their own choices.'

    Oh, like not legalizing dangerous drugs and prostitution? Better check with many of your fellow democrats on that. Plenty of them would disagree with you. You might find some Libertarians who would buy it, though.

    Posted on August 16, 2010 - 03:42 PM #
  44. NoParty

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    The fact you feel you have the right to enforce that opinion on another is indicative of your mindset in all things.

    Like the way you do?

    Posted on August 16, 2010 - 03:46 PM #
  45. Computer trouble?

    Posted on August 16, 2010 - 03:55 PM #
  46. NoParty

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    Nope!

    It's working perfectly!

    Posted on August 16, 2010 - 03:57 PM #

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