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August 31, 2004


Three words for you, Von: "Bait and switch."

In 2000, I figured that, since the Bush campaign had (by design, I think) given me the impression that he'd govern as a moderate, and he just squeaked through the election, President Bush would govern more as a moderate than as a conservative.

I certainly didn't expect the sort of President who'd try to run as far to the right as quickly as he did.

Like the wise man said, fool me once, won't get fooled again.

von, preach it brother.

In 2000, I was all ready to cast my first vote ever for a Republican. (I couldn't bring myself to vote in 1988, when the choice was Bush Sr & Dukakis.) But then the crazies in the party kicked the life out of John McCain. (Heck, even my mother voted for John McCain--in the NH primary--and she's a rabid lefty!) The guy had my deepest respect when he took on the right wing of his own party, the same clowns to whom Bush is now beholden.

But we didn't get John McCain, so I never did get to vote Republican. And now, dammit, I've got to choose between the proven incompetent and my 4th choice democratic candidate. (Behind Dean, Edwards, and Lieberman!)

And in such a year, the Libertarian Party managed to nominate an unemployed wacko. (Yes, yes, it's the LP after all. But still, they really had a chance this year...)

Don't pay attention to what they say; they'll say whatever they think they need to say to get your vote. Look at what they do:

Worst job record since Hoover. Deficits as far as the eye can see. Poverty increasing. Iraq is out of control. Afghanistan is back to the warlords. No Osama.

It ain't pretty.

I'm sorry, but anyone who believes that God wants him to alter the constitution to make one tenth of Americans official second-class citizens gets no tolerance from me. The Republican party platform denies any protections to gay couples - as the FMA was intended to. Throw the hateful bastard out.

Liberal Republican? Look, I have alot of respect for you Von, so thanks. If you can conceive of the notion of a Liberal Republican my self-description of a Conservative Socialist begins to have purchase. I'm for market-driven communism and secular Judeo-Christianity. Come be with me in the Democratic Party. The place the confused go to vote.

There is no "compassion" in Bush's Conservatism... This face put on is a poll driven farce that marked the last election and does not have any reality in what would be advanced by this administration in another 4 year stint... To pull in the needed independents you need to put up moderates as the face of your party as the Extreme right sits in the background pulling the strings... Both Gulliani and McCain are fooling themselves if they think that after 4 more years of Bush the GOP is going to turn to them as presidential candidates...

I can conceive of many things, Fabius. Crystal spheres, the Earth supported by an endless stack of turtles, and, yes, a liberal Republican. (There was a time the words had meaning.)

von, you might want to take a look at this article in Slate today. William Saletan is in the same boat with you and here's the view last night at the RNC from his keyboard.

In politics you are known by the friends you keep. And I challenge anyone to find the equivalent in the Democratic party of "man-on-dog" Santorum and "Soros drug money" Hastert.

I think the democrats, both federally and here in California, have way too many elected members who essentially believe that money grows on trees. I'd love to be a liberal republican.

but these days . . . eeww. I abhor (a) the substance of every major policy action out of the federal republican party (iraq, budget deficits, the medicare amendmet); (b) their contempt for process (Gitmo); and (c) their utter disrespect for simple truth (today, Hastert).


I wish the neocons would shake loose the shackles of the moral majority.

Republicans went very wrong when they threw their support at Bush instead of McCain.

Fabius: I'm for market-driven communism and secular Judeo-Christianity.

Strangely, that's somewhat close to my political position. Insofar as I accept labelling :)

von: and, yes, a liberal Republican. (There was a time the words had meaning.)

Ah, the past tense. And it's gonna get a whole lot more past if you and yours don't do something, von.

"But doing right by the Republic shouldn't be an easy thing."

Don't you think doing right by the Republic demands more than looking for soothing words? I'd recommend going by actions, and resting on first principles.

Is there anything more important than open, honest government and meaningful representation?

As a more substansive response:

There are policy stances I agree with and stances I disagree with in either major party. I could comfortably call myself either a Republican or a Democrat (or a Libertarian, if they'd shower more), based on the issues, with the intent of fixing whatever I disagreed with from the inside. I couldn't be a Texas Republican, mind you. . but a Washington Republican would be right fine.

Given that, I make my party decision based on which organization I am more likely able to fix from the inside, and which one governs best while I'm fixing it.

The media slickness and organization of the Republicans galls me. The insanely orchestrated talking points, the bevy of daily and weekly calls to keep people on-message, the wilful divorce between tactics and honesty. The governing style is ridiculously secretive (twice now I've seen cases where organizations under this administration have redacted recommendations for fewer redactions. They don't want you to know things and they don't want you to know that you could even know things) and non-interactive.

By comparison, the Democrats are chaotic rubes, and I like them that way.

So my recommendation is to listen to the speeches and give some though to whether this is an organization that's interested in what you have to say, in which you have even the remotest chance of fixing what you disagree with, and which will govern the country honestly and well.

Thanks for the advice, all.

A couple words more: Supreme Court.

A Kerry Admin can only get moderates through the Senate. A Bush Admin, with what would surely be a strong (albeit < 60) Rep. Senate, is going to be pushed hard by the RR to go with agenda-driven appointees.

You said it, Von. You're a sucker.

You said it, Von. You're a sucker.

Wow, von, you're getting hit from all sides today. I guess that's what you get for trying to stay open-minded.

Wow, von, you're getting hit from all sides today. I guess that's what you get for trying to stay open-minded.

What you're saying is that von should ignore the evidence of the past four years and rely instead on a few speeches and phrases to decide how Bush is likely to act if re-elected. Why should he do this? Why should anyone? The convention is, as everyone admits, a smokescreen of moderate images and words concealing a very conservative agenda. If you endorse the agenda, fine, vote for Bush. But if you don't, and you fall for the smokescreen, you're a sucker.

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