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October 04, 2004

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Agreed.

I contributed to DeMint in the past because I supported his views on trade; he gets nothing more from me, however. I don't expect the Republican party to be pro-gay marriage (though I am); I do expect them not to nominate bigots, however.

(A more passionate -- and, unfortunately, typo-laden -- opinion is posted on the Redstate donate-to-DeMint thread.)

Nice post on Red State von...

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Scrolled down and found your comment, Von: excellent. (The rest of the thread's kinda depressing after reading DeMint's comments: sorry no one else felt like you did.)

I'm still supporting DeMint. If you want an explanation why, it's here.

And please, don't let's pretend that the GOP enjoys a monopoly on this brand of stupidity. Counterexamples upon request.

If it was one dumb comment said to get votes, it would be despicable.

If it's what Jim DeMint genuinely believes - that discrimination against gays and lesbians ought to be enshrined in law - then I have to ask:

If he'd made the same comment about Catholics - the government should not endorse Catholicism and "folks teaching in school need to represent our values" and therefore "he would not require teachers to admit to being Catholic, but if they were 'openly Catholic, I do not think that they should be teaching at public schools' - would you regard it simply as "one dumb comment"?

If you would then oppose him, why do you regard discrimination against gays and lesbians as less important than discrimination on the grounds of religion?

What enjoys explicit Constitutional protection, Jesurgislac? What doesn't?

By the way, you are speaking to the man who thinks that religion deserves the same scrutiny as any other ideology or belief system. FYI.

What enjoys explicit Constitutional protection, Jesurgislac? What doesn't?

That doesn't answer my question. Are you going to answer it?

Yeah, it does, actually. Since 100% of exchanges with you on all topics culminate in you bawling "bigot," you'll excuse me for not fully engaging.

Yeah, it does, actually.

No, it doesn't, actually. But I guess you're not going to, and somehow I'm not surprised.

Jesurgislac: If it's what Jim DeMint genuinely believes - that discrimination against gays and lesbians ought to be enshrined in law - then I have to ask:

He's already on the record as supporting certain forms of legal discrimination against gays and lesbians. I'm more curious if he has stated clearly what forms of discrimination he would not support?

The constitutional question doesn't settle the moral question. Slavery & Jim Crow were once constitutional but were never moral. (Not trying to draw a comparison; those are just the most obvious examples that spring to mind of "immoral but constitutional.")

In a way Constitutional protection of religion cuts the other way, because it's clearly unconstitutional for schools to fire teachers on the basis of religion. Whereas if the balance on the Supreme Court shifts &/or if the marriage amendment passed and led to a general conclusion that the equal protection clause allowed discrimination based on sexual orientation, it'd be constitutional for schools to fire teachers on the basis of sexual orientation.

Therefore, a Senator has much more power to harm people based on their sexual orientation than on their Catholicism. He's also more likely to succeed at this in the current political climate.

(And of course the Senator can definitely vote to continue to allow private employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.)

I guess you'd could argue that being in favor of religious discrimination shows an ignorance of the Constitution that supporting sexual orientation discrimination does not. That's kind of a reach, though.

Disagreement with the your preferred understanding of the Constitution does not constitute ignorance, Katherine. Mormon history rather supports my view.

And please, let me know when the United States Senate shows itself apt to release homosexual school teachers from public service.

Now if we're talking moral arguments against discrimination most people agree that you should not discriminate based on:
1) something that a person has no power to change, or
2) something so fundamental to someone's identity or conscience that the person should not be made to change it.

So:
1) I think sexual orientation is harder to change than religion.
2) I think sexual orientation is just as fundamental to one's identity as religion.
3) I do not see any immorality in being gay.
4) Therefore, I think it is wrong to try to force people to try to change their sexual orientation (or to be celibate if not).
5) Therefore, I think it is wrong to give people lower legal status because of their sexual orientation.

I'm pretty sure, though not certain, that you disagree with me about one of those steps. I don't know which one it is, though.

I have a question:

Although I'm probably warmer and fuzzier on the issue than DeMint-types, I'd vote for him, if I lived in South Carolina. But I don't, so I won't:

For you liberal types, Is there any position that someone can honorably take against a homosexual-oriented issue?

As it stands now, I'm juss thinkin' where I stand:

1. Decriminalize sodomy? For
2. Expand federal civil rights to include gays? On fence (could be persuaded either way)
3. Permit gay adoptions? For (in limited cases)
4. Legalize gay marriage? Against
5. Civil unions? For
6. Expand Hate crimes to include gays? Against (bad idea in general)
7. Forbid gay teachers? Against

If I wuz a politician in South Carolina, I guess I'd have to talk in vague sweepin' terms, that we are ALL created in God's image, with innate dignity, and this means ALL people, no exceptions, even disfavored groups, because we ALL have a moral duty to include ALL people in the American dream..... I guess stuff like dat.

That be my 2 cents.


"And please, don't let's pretend that the GOP enjoys a monopoly on this brand of stupidity."

I don't believe anyone made that contention, although I'd bet you anything you like that the GOP is the market leader in this particular brand of stupidity.

There are a couple of ways to go. You could either decide that this sort of explicit bigotry is an inextricable component of Jim Demint, and then weigh his positives vs this defect, or you could see it as an opporunity to educate Jim. Maybe he's mistaken about the beliefs of his constituents and supporters. Maybe it's an opportunity for him to be a leader.

I'm curious, is there a candidate that is either pro-life AND pro-gay or pro-abortion AND anti-gay. I realize that there are _people_ who are, but I'm wondering if any candidate has taken either of these positions. I ask realizing that it is possible to fudge these positions, but I'd be interested in any clear or relatively clear examples.

RedState, as I've expressed before, is largely a collective of shrieking, bigoted yahoos, and deserves no more attention than Little Green Footballs. I would like to believe they represent nothing more than the lunatic fringe, but sadly, their representatives dominate the Republican Party right now. When an actual conservative party exists again in this country - one that isn't going to try to tell me how to live my life and define my family - let me know. Until then, I'm voting and donating to their opponents until either sane Republicans take control or their twisted little hatefest goes the way of the Whigs.

Navy Davy: If I wuz a politician in South Carolina, I guess I'd have to talk in vague sweepin' terms, that we are ALL created in God's image, with innate dignity, and this means ALL people, no exceptions, even disfavored groups, because we ALL have a moral duty to include ALL people in the American dream..... I guess stuff like dat

And that would be a respectable choice to make, in my view. All politicians have to make compromises - and especially in their speech patterns. ;-)

Navy Davy, why, oh why, should some Americans get rights that others don't? Why should heterosexuals get to marry - once, twice, as many times as they want to, while homosexuals are denied a civil marriage certificate? Why should gays only be given the chance to adopt in "limited cases"? The standard objection to hate crimes legislation is that no one should be given special treatment. Why should straight Americans be given special treatment?

"He's already on the record as supporting certain forms of legal discrimination against gays and lesbians."

Funny how that could be easily applied to Bill Clinton and get a somewhat different reaction from the liberals on this board.

I'm specifically thinking of the "Defense of Marriage Act" and the atrocious but totally within Presidential control "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy.

Either you totally misunderstood what I just wrote or I totally misunderstood what you wrote when you said that religion "enjoys explicit Constitutional protection."

I was agreeing with you: the Constitution is clearer about religious discrimination than sexual orientation discrimination.

Do you think there's a plausible argument that you can Constitutionally discriminate against Catholic schoolteachers? I can certainly believe there was discrimination against Mormons and the courts did allowed it, but I don't think that made it constitutional to do so anymore than the Court's acquiescence in segregation made that constitutional.
Is the issue that I should have said "contempt for the Constitution" or "a willingness to violate the Constitution" rather than "ignorance of the Constitution"? Okay, sure, whatever.

Why should heterosexuals get to marry - once, twice, as many times as they want to, while homosexuals are denied a civil marriage certificate?

Because otherwise civilisation will be destroyed. We've been over this!

Navy
I'm one of those crazy left centrists who think the government shouldn't be in the "marriage" business at all - gay or straight. It should only oversee civil contracts. "Marriage" is under the purview of religious organizations.
In essence the government only got involved in "marriage" originally to keep women from becoming property owners and then, as times changed, to allow women to become property owners (flaky and inconcise - yes but not far from the mark).
Let religions oversee the spiritual bond. Let the courts oversee the civil one.

Sebastian, Clinton clearly wanted to lift the ban on gays in the military and chickened out. It wasn't admirable, but it's hardly comparable to DeMint.

You know what I think of DOMA. The Democrats are for the most part pathetic on gay marriage and gay rights in general, but there is no question that the Republicans are worse, and you know that very well. Forced to choose, I'll take the best that lack all conviction over the worst full of passionate intensity.

"I'm curious, is there a candidate that is either pro-life AND pro-gay or pro-abortion AND anti-gay."

Depends on how you define the terms, but the most common Democratic position is to be pro-choice and support DOMA and oppose gay marriage. Some Democratic candidates--I believe Herseth and Tenenbaum, but I may be mistaken--support both Roe and the FMA.

The other combination is very rare in a political candidate. My Massachusetts state rep., Tim Toomey, is the only one I know of. There are probably other state representatives as well, but I don't know about anyone in Congress.

RedState, as I've expressed before, is largely a collective of shrieking, bigoted yahoos....

So very true.

Look what you've become, Moe.

By the way, I think this church agrees with me.

I answer the right, Honorable Ironfish Lung in my own, inimitable style:

Navy Davy, why, oh why, should some Americans get rights that others don't?

Well, it happens all the time. Examples:

1. 34-year old Americans have no right to run for Prez
2. 17-year old Americans have no right to vote.
3. Gay Americans have no right to serve openly in the military (Remember when Clinton signed "don't ask, don't tell:))
4. 64-year old Americans have no right to Medi-Care bens.
5. Male Americans have no right to marry other Male Americans.
6. Military Americans lose certain First Amendment rights, while wearin' the uniform.
7. Female Americans have the right to reject a marriage proposal from someone based on race and religion.
8. Male Americans have no right to avoid the military draft, whereas Female Americans do have the right to avoid such draft.

I could go on. But, you get the point, my ingenuous young friend:)

Why should heterosexuals get to marry - once, twice, as many times as they want to, while homosexuals are denied a civil marriage certificate?

Because there isn't a right to gay marriage in the Constiution, and men have been exclusively marryin' women, for, like, 3 million years.

Why should gays only be given the chance to adopt in "limited cases"?

Because there are circumstances, where orphans have it so rough, that the adoption of two committed loving devoted gay parents, is preferable to the status quo.

However, adoption by a married couple, mom & dad, is probably better for the kid, in general.

The standard objection to hate crimes legislation is that no one should be given special treatment. Why should straight Americans be given special treatment?

I would abolish all hate crime legislation, 'cuz it's bogus. So, I wouldn't want to further this extend this bogusity to my Gay American brethren.

Of course, beating up a gay person, because he is gay is despicable. So, I'd be in favor of publically beating up the culprit in that circumstance.

How's dat?

Sebastian Holsclaw: I'm specifically thinking of the "Defense of Marriage Act" and the atrocious but totally within Presidential control "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy.

Agreed - two instances where Bill Clinton failed to do the right thing. He failed to veto the "Defense of Marriage Act" (though, if we're doing party politics, who voted the 15 nays?), and he failed to push through his promise to an end to anti-gay discharges in the military.

And if Don't Ask Don't Tell is an issue that matters to you:

Among Republicans, the 1996 primary saw attacks on candidate Steve Forbes for his support for ending the policy. In the 2000 primary both Senator John McCain, a retired Naval aviator, and George W. Bush stated their support for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

During the 2000 Democratic presidential primary both of the frontrunners, Vice President Al Gore and Senator Bill Bradley, publicly called for the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell," although Gore had never previously voiced opposition to the policy while serving under Clinton. Similarly all of the Democratic candidates in the 2004 primary have attacked the policy, including Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, a Vietnam veteran who voted against it in 1993, and Representative Richard Gephardt, who originally voted in favor of the policy. (cite)

Back twenty years ago, I knew half a dozen people who were in the military and who had promising careers - and who were all, discreetly, gay. Not one of them is in the military now - all of them were discharged for being gay, usually after some truly unpleasant and disgusting investigation of what they would have preferred to keep private. I've never considered this fair or right - and I've frequently thought it remarkably stupid and short-sighted of the Pentagon to prefer discrimination.

Woah, there.

First, for L.J.'s benefit, I happen to be the mythical guy who's pro-life (with some exceptions) and pro-gay marriage. Moe is another member of the mythos.

As for "shrieking, bigoted yahoos," two thoughts

1. The posting rules do not permit gross generalizations like this, because they are (a) invariably incorrect (b) stupid and (c) really, really rude to 2.5 of your hosts: Sebastian, Moe, and .5 of von. Quit it now. (There's a sometime exception to this rule for LGF, but only because Charles Johnson is insufferably idiotic.)

2. I repeat what I posted on Tacitus:

Don't use my criticism of DeMint as a suggestion [that I criticize RedState as well]. RedState is doing good, honest work. I have, and will continue to, support it.

There will be differences among Republicans and Republican-leaners (I count myself in the latter group) -- and some will be quite severe. But make no mistake: I have more in common on the issues with the typical RedState poster than I do with the typical Daily Kos poster. You mistake me if you draw from my criticism of DeMint on this specific issue a larger criticism of RedState.

As for DeMint: Stupidity is one thing. I can live with some stupidity (heck, I somehow live with myself). Wrong, however, is something quite different. DeMint was wrong.

Red State supports a bigot? Who'd have thunk it?

Next, you'll be telling New Republic Online believes adjusting real income numbers for inflation is just liberal chicanery.

I think the difference between Clinton and DeMint is about having the power to do what you profess. Clinton had the power to end the ban against gays in the military but did not. Therefore it wasn't that important to him. DeMint, even if elected to the Senate, will not have the power (or be able to contribute to power able) to ban gays from teaching.

I do not choose to support DeMint. But I do think it is silly for gay people to give so much credit to a man who had the power to change things for them, and chose to sell out their interests, while castigating a man who openly professes to dislike their interests, but who cannot change them.

I've seen an interesting parallel discussion in California circles about Gov. Schwarzenegger's position. Most other gay people I know castigate him for his gay marriage position even though it is indistinguishable from Clinton's.

Clinton had the power to end the ban against gays in the military but did not. Therefore it wasn't that important to him.

So has George W. Bush had the power to end the ban against gays in the military - but not only has he not done so, he's supported it. Therefore, as you support George W. Bush, ending the ban against gays in the military is clearly not that important to you.

I do think it is silly for gay people to even consider supporting a man who has the power to change things for them, and chose to sell out their interests... would you agree, Sebastian?

Sebastian?
"Clinton had the power to end the ban against gays in the military but did not."

You're joking, right?

Unless you mean right after Clinton had the power to completely change our healthcare laws, he had the power to end the ban against gays in the military.

Because there isn't a right to gay marriage in the Constiution,

There isn't a right to straight marriage in the Constitution either, as I'm sure you're aware.

and men have been exclusively marryin' women, for, like, 3 million years.

A lot of people have been doing a lot of things for a long time. Is this supposed to be an argument of some sort?

BTW, I am pro-life and pro-gay marriage. Which makes me more pro-gay marriage than most elected Democrats including Kerry.

As for "Don't Ask Don't Tell" I think the entire ban in any form is idiotic. I just find it silly that so many Democrats can absolutely count on gay support while they do nothing but lip service for the things that gay activists profess to want. (Yes I see the crude pun. But the phrase is accurate and not worth avoiding the pun for.)

"Unless you mean right after Clinton had the power to completely change our healthcare laws, he had the power to end the ban against gays in the military."

No, he did in fact have the right to end the ban against gays in the military by Executive Order. Unless I am wrong, the same is not true of healthcare laws.

"Funny how that could be easily applied to Bill Clinton and get a somewhat different reaction from the liberals on this board."

Tweet. 20 yards.

"men have been exclusively marryin' women, for, like, 3 million years."

Er. . no. There hasn't been marriage for 3 million years. The only way you could argue in this direction is to say that among all the varied coupling and relationshiping that has gone on in the history of humanity, only the ones with one man and one woman were really 'marriage', which is, as I'm sure you know, completely circular. Also, humans owned other humans as property for a very long time, but eventually we decided this didn't square with our ideals, so we stopped it.

"Because there are circumstances, where orphans have it so rough, that the adoption of two committed loving devoted gay parents, is preferable to the status quo."

How bad would it have to be to make it a net positive to justify the horrors of being adopted by a gay couple? Would physical abuse be necessary? Extreme deprivation? Maybe ongoing torture?

Me, I think living in an orphanage or children's home at all is far and away bad enough.

I did say largely shrieking, bigoted yahoos. I'll note, Von, that I haven't seen much of you or Moe posting at RedState lately (granted, Moe's had more important things to do) and I usually read Sebastian's posts here - I like the company better. But the typical RedStater is of a tone fairly alien to the Republicans here at ObWi.

I would offer that to critique another blog's tone and/or sanity isn't automatically grossly offensive - hell, most take it for granted that Charles Johnson is barking mad - especially a blog that overwhelmingly praised Zell Miller's lunatic call to state-worship. I don't see it violates posting rules to say, "that place sounds crazy."

I would also suggest that to critique the Republican party as it stands today does not indict every Republican in America. It suggests that for those Republicans who are true conservatives - who do not support the notion of a religious, militaristic, fundamentally Statist government - the modern GOP does not represent you.

Hi Von, I hasten to add that I wanted examples of 'candidates', not 'people' so no slight was intended. As Katherine observes, the first example of pro-life AND pro-gay is certainly more common than the second of pro-abortion AND anti-gay. Moving away from the question of whether DeMint is stupid or craven, when we look at this as a simple question of population and where society is heading, I think this points out that more movement on the acceptance of gays in society is inevitable, yet abortion is less so. (I would add that I'm a basically pro-choice type)

It was my understanding that one train of thought among Republicans was that as Hispanics were often polled as anti-gay, this position was pitched as a logically demographic one. I also recall some discussions that an anti-gay pitch was a wedge issue for African-Americans. Setting aside any questions of what people really think, I wonder if anyone has any thoughts on that.

As for "Don't Ask Don't Tell" I think the entire ban in any form is idiotic. I just find it silly that so many Democrats can absolutely count on gay support while they do nothing but lip service for the things that gay activists profess to want.

Isn't it even more silly, though, that Republicans can count on any gay support...?

Seriously, Sebastian, if you support the Republican party despite its wholehearted support for DOMA, "Don't Ask Don't Tell", and the Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, you surely have not a leg to stand on when you complain about other gays supporting the Democratic party despite its often less than wholehearted opposition to DOMA, "Don't Ask Don't Tell", and the Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

I don't profess that gay issues are on the top of my list of voting issues--quite the contrary to many of my compatriots.

"I just find it silly that so many Democrats can absolutely count on gay support while they do nothing but lip service for the things that gay activists profess to want."

Maybe they're aware of the alternative. You don't have to be very principled to be more principled than the GOP on this.

I don't profess that gay issues are on the top of my list of voting issues--quite the contrary to many of my compatriots.

But if gay issues were at the top of your list of voting issues, would you be voting for George W. Bush? Somehow I doubt it.

Not that I'm saying they should be - that's your decision. I'm just saying - Democratic representatives tend not to be that good, but they also tend to be way better than the Republican alternative.

And please, let me know when the United States Senate shows itself apt to release homosexual school teachers from public service.

A little slippery here, Tacitus. The Senate won't because there would be enough opposition to stop it, not to mention that hiring and firing teachers is typically a local government function.

But I think a large number of Senate Republicans, and the Administration, would gladly do so. After all, these are people who are so bigoted that they fire Arabic language translators who happen to be gay. I guess the "gay agenda" is more frightening to them than terrorism.

And lets not forget the Senate's power to confirm judges who might be inclined to favor Jim Demint's values over silly notions like Equal Protection.

Sebastian
Are you too young to remember the political climate Clinton was working in?
Sadly, "don't ask don't tell" was a first down in a long drive toward the goal.
Shows how far from the goal we were. Are.

How bad would it have to be to make it a net positive to justify the horrors of being adopted by a gay couple? Would physical abuse be necessary? Extreme deprivation? Maybe ongoing torture?
Me, I think living in an orphanage or children's home at all is far and away bad enough.

If I (or my spouse) dies, the children will be raised by the parent they still have. If a US gay couple has kids together and one of them dies, the other might loose the children completely if (s)he is not the biological parent. The children would loose both parents, because partners cannot adopt the children of their partner.

Btw; research here shows no difference between kids with gay and kids with heterosexual parents - and that includes sexual preferences of the kids (though not mentioned here that seems to be another point people are afraid of).

from About.com
"When President Clinton was running for office, the Department of Defense (DOD) had a policy (which was based upon Article 125 of the UCMJ), which *PROHITIED* homosexuals from serving in the military. If one was even suspected to be homosexual (whether or not they were actively engaging in homosexual conduct), they were investigated, and (if determined to be homosexual) discharged. Sometimes they were court-martialed. Often, they received Article 15s along with their discharge.

Clinton promised (as a campaign promise) to eliminate the restrictions about homosexuals serving in the military. When he was elected to office, he set about trying to make this happen, by drafting an Executive Order which would have ordered the Secretary of Defense to eliminate the policy.

This worried the members of Congress who introduced legislation which would have made the DOD policy into Federal Law, that Clinton (nor any other President) would not be able to over-ride. It was very clear that not only did Congress have enough votes to pass the law, but they had enough votes to over-ride any possible Presidential veto.

Clinton was now between a rock and a hard place. If he tried to enact an Executive Order, Congress would pass their legislation, and he could not afford (politically) to have his first veto over-ridden by Congress.

So, the negotiations began, which ultimately resulted in Clinton issuing an Executive Order for the Current "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. In exchange, Congress dropped the legislation which would have made a federal law, forever forbidding homosexuals to serve."

I don't profess that gay issues are on the top of my list of voting issues--quite the contrary to many of my compatriots.

Why not? What I've never understood is how otherwise intelligent, caring people can overlook discrimination or bigotry. To my mind, it's a fundamental issue.

If a candidate advocated a return to segregation, I'm fairly certain most in this forum would condemn that candidate. Yet, it seems there are a fair amount who would be willing to overlook institutionalized bigotry against people based on their sexual preference.

Carsick: Thanks for the blurb on DADT. I recognize and appreciate the political realities confronting our last democratically-elected President but there are times when you have to stand fast in the box and take one for the team.

By the way, his tax plan is loony too.

Jadegold,
in your first at-bat? (g)

Sorry, Navy, I'm late to the party on this. Since you asked:

For you liberal types, Is there any position that someone can honorably take against a homosexual-oriented issue?

If you are against gay marriage, you are welcome to find a religious denomination and a congregation who do not endorse or perform gay marriages within their church.

You are welcome (though I will dispute you on this) to try to extract the word "marriage" from the contract of civil marriage. Any attempt to do so must apply equally to heterosexual unions as homosexual ones. However, if you agree a civil contract entered into by a heterosexual couple, currently referred to as a "marriage" does no damage to your religious union, which you also call a "marriage," then I would find it difficult to accept an argument from you that the same civil contract when entered into by a homosexual couple causes your religious union any damage. I will dispute you on this because I was wed in a civil ceremony and I enjoy the rights that accompany that status... including being able to refer to my status as "married."

You are not welcome to restrict other denominations or congregations from offering the sacrament of marriage to members of their congregation. That such denominations and congregations exist seems to be a missing element in this debate.

"It was very clear that not only did Congress have enough votes to pass the law, but they had enough votes to over-ride any possible Presidential veto."

I dispute that the defenders of the DOD policy had a 2/3 majority in both houses. The Democrats were a majority in the Senate at the time and they were going to overrule Clinton's first veto? Please. I'm not that naive and neither are you. Clinton took the path of least resistance. It let him pretend to be a hero while not changing the policy.

BTW if they could get a 2/3 majority, what does that say about a large number of allegedly pro-gay Democrats? Perhaps you should argue that Clinton adopted "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" because it would have revealed too many Democratic hypocrites who were happy with gay support if they never had to worry about voting for it Congress? Or was Clinton too much of a political ingenue to have thought of that?

Either way, Democrats are the pro-gay party in name but not deed.

You are not welcome to restrict other denominations or congregations from offering the sacrament of marriage to members of their congregation. That such denominations and congregations exist seems to be a missing element in this debate.

For clarity's sake, the above refers to offering the sacrament to heterosexual and homosexual couples.

Trivia: Over 10% of past US presidents belonged to religious denominations that now endorse gay marriage.

i'm late to this party too. and after reading this thread, i still can't figure out what the federal republican party stands for.

devolution of power to the states? not any more, we see "convenient federalism" instead.

free trade? explain textile, steel and shrimp tariffs.

pay-as-you-go budgetary policy? snicker.

isolationism? not so much.

smaller federal government? nope.

interventionist social conservatism, at home and abroad? AHA. now i see.

it's odd -- for years republicans have been lecturing democrats about the failure of govt intervention in social problems. they were largely right. And yet, having achieved their twin goals of capturing power and moving democrats away from 1960-70s notions of welfare, the republican party seems determined to repeat the dems mistakes, but on an even larger scale.

go figure.

Francis

Sebastian: Either way, Democrats are the pro-gay party in name but not deed.

While the Republicans are the anti-gay party in both name and deed. So I'm still not sure where you're coming from criticizing gay activists for supporting a party that gives at least lip service to being pro-gay, when the alternative is supporting a party that gives rather more than lip service to being anti-gay.

Sebastian: "The Democrats were a majority in the Senate at the time and they were going to overrule Clinton's first veto? Please. I'm not that naive and neither are you."

Actually, they might very well have. I have no idea whatsoever how old you are, and thus whether you remember the politics of 1993, but basically: in addition to their normal fractiousness, the Democrats in Congress had gotten very used to not having a President in their own party, and thus to thinking of their role as fighting discrete rear-guard actions to prevent Presidents from doing (what they saw as) too much damage. Since they were also the only Democrats in federal institutions, they had also had no one behind whom they had needed to rally, so they were out of practice on that. And a lot of them saw Clinton as a sort of upstart. So they were abundantly willing to go against him, and did, on a whole slew of issues. On this one in particular, more or less everyone saw Clinton's having promised to allow gays to serve as being right on the merits but a political disaster, and would have been totally willing to bail.

Remember the BTU tax that was dismembered by the Senate Energy Committee? GATT and NAFTA, which Clinton passed (iirc) with more Republican support than Democratic? His budget proposal, which went down to the wire before passing with one vote?

Serious party discipline is a GOP thing. Democrats defect constantly, and would have done in this case, especially since the uniformed military had basically said, over our dead bodies.

fdl,

They stand for nothing but power. They cater to selfishness, bigotry, and religious idiocy. They mistake belligerence for toughness. They have no compunction about doing or saying anything that helps them maintain power.

I know it is against the rules here to criticize "Republicans" en masse, because that includes people who do not endorse torture, bigotry, and the like. OK. But why exactly are these people Republicans? What is the appeal of the gang of thugs and morons who run today's Republican Party? And is there anything that is so offensive, so disgusting, that it would cause these individuals to abandon their support, despite agreeing with Bush on some other issues? Apparently not.

I don't understand, but I fear for the country.

in your first at-bat? (g)

Yeah, sometimes. Sometimes you just have to dig in and take the pain.

If you really think about it, Clinton would've been better off taking the whack of having a veto overridden.

The Senate won't because....hiring and firing teachers is typically a local government function.

Oh, thanks, Bernard. Exactly.

But I think a large number of Senate Republicans, and the Administration, would gladly do so.

Eh. I worked in the Administration. My corner of it? Not really anti-gay. You are free to demonize as you wish.

After all, these are people who are so bigoted that they fire Arabic language translators who happen to be gay.

I regret to inform you, Bernard, that neither the Administration nor Senate Republicans administer the United States military's personnel policies. Which, in this case, were implemented by one Bill Clinton.

Gromit, no doubt Jim DeMint may fail to adhere to your Constitutional interpretations.

Fascinating, really. Most Republicans I know can understand why a person might be a Democrat. Not terrifically hard, after all -- just wrong. So many Democrats, by contrast, have an increasingly difficult time grasping why one might be a Republican. The blinding power of hate. A pity.

Serious party discipline is a GOP thing. Democrats defect constantly, and would have done in this case, especially since the uniformed military had basically said, over our dead bodies.

This is where Clinton erred badly; he asked. And he got the predictable answer. BTW, the military said 'over our dead bodies' when Truman was considering desegregating the military in the aftermath of WWII.

Jadegold, you definitely have a point, but hindsight is 20/20. As Senator Chafee is coming to realize, eh?

(assuming I didn't propitiate the HTML gods sufficiently, the link is to the 4 oct NYTimes article about Chafee)

LJ: I'm on the fence WRT Chaffee--seems to me he's hedging his bets being a GOP Senator in very Dem state. Chaffee should bail; not play the Pollyanna-ish game of Colin Powell.

So many Democrats, by contrast, have an increasingly difficult time grasping why one might be a Republican.

It's not that I find it difficult to understand why Republicans want to be Republicans. It's that I find it difficult to understand why people who claim to profess Republican values want to support someone like George W. Bush.

(Or, indeed, why anyone not a bigot would want to support someone like Jim DeMint.)

As you say, the blinding power of hate - but given that I witnessed blind hate being whipped up against each Democratic candidate who looked like being the Democratic nominee in the months before Kerry was finally the clear front runner, I think you're mistaken which side of the fence the blind hate is coming from. (Those "purple heart" band-aids at the RNC? Only blind hate could have missed how insulting they were to every wounded veteran.)

Opposition to George W. Bush is pretty clear-sighted and based on what he's actually done and not done, said and not said: opposition to John Kerry seems to be based on more fantasy and fear than fact.

Understood, jadegold and I not trying to tag you with anything. It's just that while there might be general agreement as to Clinton doing a Truman on the military, I think there were a lot of people who felt that Clinton could not take a firm stance because of the questions of military service and such.

Tac wrote:
" So many Democrats, by contrast, have an increasingly difficult time grasping why one might be a Republican. The blinding power of hate."

I think a lot of dems have a difficult time grasping why someone might be supporting this particular Republican at this particular time. There is a difference.

It's that I find it difficult to understand why people who claim to profess Republican values want to support someone like George W. Bush.

As opposed to whom, exactly? I've had this conversation a million times with fellow conservatives. Is either candidate really one of us? Certainly not. Which one is most like us? That's pretty easy.

(Or, indeed, why anyone not a bigot would want to support someone like Jim DeMint.)

You historically have a hard time seeing how someone disagreeing with you is not a bigot. See my link above on this very question.

....I witnessed blind hate being whipped up against each Democratic candidate....

Nah. You really didn't. Derision, sure. Hate? Not so much of that. Certainly not compared to what Dems have in store for the President.

(Those "purple heart" band-aids at the RNC? Only blind hate could have missed how insulting they were to every wounded veteran.)

Feh. Let this veteran assure you that they were no more than a moronic prank, and certainly not insulting to every wounded veteran.

Opposition to George W. Bush is pretty clear-sighted and based on what he's actually done and not done, said and not said: opposition to John Kerry seems to be based on more fantasy and fear than fact.

Oh, QED. Indeed.

Bernard Yomtov, I won't tell you to go read the Posting Rules, because it's clear that you have; you apparently just don't care. I find that damned offensive. Don't you DARE deliberately violate the rules again.

Moe

Who is bitterly resentful of the lost time it took to calm down sufficiently to post on this. I have things to DO here, people. Real-life things. I don't have time to regulate comment threads.

As opposed to whom, exactly? I've had this conversation a million times with fellow conservatives. Is either candidate really one of us? Certainly not. Which one is most like us? That's pretty easy.

Well, if you really think you're most like George W. Bush, I have to say I think you're wrong - and that, believe it or not, is a compliment. You have, IMO, far more in common with John Kerry. And that's a reluctant, but an honest, compliment.

Oh, QED. Indeed.

Indeed. Republicans who I've been reading keep coming up with arguments about why they're not supporting Kerry - yet they're rarely, if ever, founded in what Kerry's actually done. Further, Republicans whO I've been reading, appear really reluctant to set up the same set of standards for Kerry as for Bush, and judge both candidates by those standards. (Sebastian is doing something similar in this thread when he criticizes Clinton for "Don't Ask Don't Tell", even though it was a compromise virtually forced on Clinton, but won't criticize Bush even though Bush has had the same power as Clinton had to stop gay-related discharges from the military - and Bush supports "DADT".)

not hate. deep, bitter and profound contempt.

we live in such a beautiful wonderful country. we provide a political, intellectual, economic and ecological environment that is the envy of the world. we have dreamt so big that we sent men to the moon!

and yet.

so many of us see the present leader as a contemptible little man. he is squandering the country's financial future, treating allies with contempt, and involving us in dangerous foreign entanglements with little indication of how to win, or what "winning" even means. for lawyers, he has shown contempt for the rule of law, now even seeking a law to legitimize, retroactively, outsourced torture. for enviros, he has shown that he is the captive of industry. for advocates of gay rights, he has shown a willingness to inject evangelical religious values into his management of the state. on labor, he seeks to deny possibly millions of salaried workers overtime benefits, without even doing the studies to determine who will be adversely affected. his grand scheme to fix soaring health care costs is "tort reform", which is administration-speak for denying pain&suffering damages to patients injured by negligence. and so forth.

no hatred, just contempt, richly deserved.

but feel free, please, to think we are blinded by hatred. it serves exactly to prove the point of liberals -- that it is the republican party that has lost its vision. contemptuous attitudes like yours do wonders for democratic party recruiting.

Francis

Moe, I'm confused about your take on Bernard's comment, who I think is accusing the Republican leadership of various things (not a violation) while explicitly saying Republicans are not guilty; and asking how the latter can support the former (not a violation). Maybe it's a dumb question since of course the latter either disagree re the former or think the badness of the alternative trumps - but it seems like a within-bounds if blunter-than-I'd-ask one.

Anyway, you've signed up for a tough job.

Francis, you go ahead and show me a single person who became a Democrat because a Republican loathed the bilious haters of your party.

I'll wait.

Republicans who I've been reading keep coming up with arguments about why they're not supporting Kerry - yet they're rarely, if ever, founded in what Kerry's actually done.

Except for all the arguments based upon his thirty+ years of public life, eh?

And is there anything that is so offensive, so disgusting, that it would cause these individuals to abandon their support, despite agreeing with Bush on some other issues? Apparently not.

rilkefan, I am a registered Republican who plans to vote Republican in the upcoming election (meaninglessly: I live in a solid Blue State). That accusation applies to me, as if I would continue to support the party if it came out in favor of, say, ritual cannibalism or child rape (two items that I would fairly call offensive or disgusting - I can come up with others that would be more likely, mind you, but I'm not the one who made the first wild accusations). Such accusations are against the Posting Rules. As Bernard Yomtov well knew, and deliberately ignored.

Moe

I regret to inform you, Bernard, that neither the Administration nor Senate Republicans administer the United States military's personnel policies. Which, in this case, were implemented by one Bill Clinton.

Unstuff your shirt, Tacitus, and quit being a pompous ass.

Let's see. Implemented by Clinton were they, through executive order? Then they could be changed by Bush, couldn't they, if he valued having translators above pandering to the likes of DeMint and his supporters. But he doesn't.

You worked in the Administration? I'm impressed. Not anti-gay? You are deluded. Does an Administration that is not anti-gay push the FMA?

Blinding power of hate? Yes. I hate torturers and those who provide them legal justifications andsupport. You want them in power. I hate those who claim the President is an absolute ruler, unanswerable to any court. You don't. Fine. We have our differences. I do understand how someone can be a Republican. What I don't understand is how anyone with the tiniest sense of justice or morality can support the Republican Party as it exists today. So huff and puff and posture all you want. If you think DeMint and his like belong in the Senate you are a dangerous fool.

Moe, I see your point - that part was indeed unacceptable.

Hey Bernard, tone it down please - re your 9:32 too - I'd suggest an apology for the ad homs for that matter. I can't imagine how a reasonable pro-gay person could vote for DeMint over a responsible Democrat either, but apparently people who contribute here do, so just accept it, take a walk around the block if need be, and post civilly. I'd dislike you to get banned.

Moe,

I did not intend to wilfully violate the rules, but I knew I was coming close. Here is what I am asking.

It seems to me that at some point a politician, or a party, can take a position that is so loathesome that it automatically disqualifies him or it from further support, whatever we think about any other issue. In my mind the Republican Party in terms of its leadership has long since passed that point.

Now, I'm no conservative, so you can question my biases if you like. But it seems to me that whenever one of these issues comes up here the response from Republicans is that they disagree on the particular matter. OK, but we're not usually talking about fine points of environmental or tax policy. We're talking about the rights of gay citizens, we're talking about torture. In other words we're discussing fundamental questions about what kind of society we want to have. And on these issues the Republican Party, as represented by its leaders, takes revolting positions.

So the question I am asking is this: at what point do you say that regardless of your agreement with Republican positions on many issues - taxes, education, Social Security, whatever - there are simply some positions that are so awful that the party forfeits your support? Does it really take cannibalism, or child rape, or are there lesser offenses that would do it?

You're angry? Well, me too. I see a party that has gone seriously off the rails, and yet still manages to command the support of apparently intelligent people. It boggles me. I honestly do not understand. Republican officeholders, with some exceptions, seem to be a collection of thugs, buffoons, bigots, and morons. What am I missing?

"Look what you've become, Moe."

This guy TacitusTrevinoJosh has put so much work into being eloquent and here we have it all diminished in a small, crabbed cheap shot. Iron Lungfish can speak for himself.

The way I understand it from some time back when Tacitus the site was not diluted and left foundering by the proprietor's move to the partisan Redstate (nothing wrong with that; lots of rhetoric there is the partisan mirror image of Iron Lungfish) is that there are two moral universes; one for Tactitus and a few others (Jim Demint comes to mind) and one for everyone else.

These universes have peculiar properties in that my moderate position on abortion (just an example) puts me in one universe wherein if a woman needs a medical emergency abortion her doctor can be transported through the membrane between the universes to be executed in Trevino's (Tom Coburn's) universe, but the membrane is impervious the other way with the exception of the little trapdoor down there in the corner just in case somebody in Trevino's universe needs to cross over for an emergency abortion in my universe.

I don't know. I offer recipes to Moe as peace offerings; the other universe has nothing left but cheap shots.

Yet another appropriation of my universe.

P.S. Clinton, like Moe, had to pragmatically please two moral universes, as configured by the moralistic. Hence the triangle.

P.P.S. Department of Education. Abolished. As long as Tacitus gets that he can handle some s---head thoughts regarding gay teachers from Demint. Yet more triangulation.


John, it's going to get worse before it gets better. The blogosphere seems akin to the pot of slowly heating water and we are like the frogs. Get set for a long 4 weeks...

OK. Moe gets an apology for my suggestion that there is nothing that would cause him to abandon his support for the Republican Party. That's unfair.

Tacitus, however gets no apology. If he wants one, which I doubt, let him begin by changing his absurdly unjustified oh-so-superior tone. Meanwhile, I retract not a word of that post.

John Thullen,

Even if you object to Tacitus's tone or feel he is otherwise misbehaving, and even if his identity is thinly veiled at this point, it is a breach of etiquette to put a name on a pseudonymous blogger. I think an apology is in order.

I have to agree with Gromit if there had been a singular identity involved, though I did think the purpose was to link posts on Redstate made under one name to another. I think that is fair, though still not quite sure.

"I see a party that has gone seriously off the rails, and yet still manages to command the support of apparently intelligent people. It boggles me. I honestly do not understand."

Then I suggest that you - all of you with this problem - stop, restart from zero and re-examine your primary assumptions. Because this isn't my problem; it's yours, and I can't fix it for you.

Moe

PS: And, actually, you WILL apologize to Tacitus. He is as much a guest here as you are, and I don't CARE what problem that you might have with him; take it elsewhere.

Apology for that particular is pending.

Trevino is well known as Tacitus, unless the ruse is merely coy. The third name was used several times in diaries at either Tacitus or Redstate. By Timmy, if I'm not mistaken. When does this stuff become public knowledge?

O. K. Apology offered. I only resent his cheap shot being cheaper than mine.

I'm not well versed in the etiquette of this medium. No kidding. It's odd that Dan Rather can go by his own name and screw up in his own name, but those who take him down for it can't be held accountable in their own names.

Odd, that. What do we think we are? A Greek chorus?

John Thullen hereby apologizes.

I agree that it is wrong to use someone's name when that person has posted under a handle. Someone did it to me, and I did not appreciate it, despite the fact that it is extremely easy to figure out the boring truth about me. Those of use who post anonymously have our reasons. If you choose to disregard our wishes, you are assuming that those reasons, whatever they may be, are such that you can decide to ignore them. That's wrong, and it's wrong even if the person has previously identified himself elsewhere. All we know is that he has not chosen to use it here, and we should respect that.

I would also respectfully ask people to cool down a bit. I ask this not because I want anyone here to lose, or to fail to express, either the depth of their concern about either party or their questions; but for a few other reasons. First, there are posting rules, and we need to enforce them. We do not want this to reach the point where we have to. Second, while I don't actually know any of you in real life (at least, I don't think I do), pretty much everyone here is a basically decent person, and they deserve to be treated with respect. Third, as a matter of tactics (see my Brooks post), no one on either side is likely to change anyone's mind if we do not treat them with respect. And finally, we are all going to have not just to live with one another, but also to function together as citizens, after this election, and none of us needs to make it any harder. Each of us no doubt has his or her own views about who exactly is doing the most to make it harder, but none of that relieves any of us of the responsibility to do our best not to join them.

If anyone, on either side, thinks that I am recommending just somehow rolling over, I disagree. We can argue hard -- that's what we do here -- without losing our grip on civility. And we need to trust one another enough to believe it's not impossible that our arguments can prevail, if they deserve to; and also to believe that ugly tactics will not, in the last analysis, prevail.

PS: And, actually, you WILL apologize to Tacitus. He is as much a guest here as you are, and I don't CARE what problem that you might have with him; take it elsewhere.

Great, now I'm shouting. (Rubbing forehead) Look, Bernard, we'll downgrade that from a (rude) order to a strong suggestion - but, people, please stop sticking knives in each other. (blatant attempt at guilt) I ask you, and my dentist asks you: I'm apparently grinding my teeth these days...

"Even if you object to Tacitus's tone or feel he is otherwise misbehaving, and even if his identity is thinly veiled at this point, it is a breach of etiquette to put a name on a pseudonymous blogger. I think an apology is in order."

I don't think Tacitus can complain - he once used Billmon's real name during an argument at Whiskey Bar which lessened my opinion of all concerned. Still, it's nice to observe the niceties.

Just a humorous interlude before the apologies get completely out of hand. This thread reminds of the scene in "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer" in which everyone gets ticked off (including Myrna Loy, of all people) and starts slamming doors as they leave in a snit. A guy is trying to play chess while all of this is going on and he eventually throws over the chess pieces and slams a door himself on the way out.

Moe's that guy, as long as I get to be the Cary Grant character.

Is either candidate really one of us?

Point one, there are more than two candidates. Point two, you can write in whoever you would like. You have made you choice based on an "us versus them" view of the world. Not surprising.

You historically have a hard time seeing how someone disagreeing with you is not a bigot. See my link above on this very question.

Your actions go beyond disagreeing with someone. Redstate is funding a bigot. Redstate is begging others to provide money to enable a bigot to profess his bigotry (and, quite probably, profiting financially from doing so). Redstate is advocating putting a bigot in a position of great power. These are actions redstate is taking, and they are morally wrong. And if I am not incorrect, you are implicated in these actions.

These actions, if successful, will lead to greater bigotry in the world.

All facts you seem to be unwilling to face.

Nah. You really didn't. Derision, sure. Hate? Not so much of that

An argument missing its evidence.

Certainly not compared to what Dems have in store for the President.

And now you receive the Karnak award. Being unable to make your argument with historical facts (in fact completely ignoring the inarguable facts of the Clinton years vs. the Bush years), you resort to the Time Machine gambit. Well done.

Feh. Let this veteran assure you that they were no more than a moronic prank, and certainly not insulting to every wounded veteran.

More arguments minus evidence.


Hilzoy is the Myrna Loy character.

And, she's right.

Jim Demint was not a character in that movie.

Edward's outrage is on the money, and nothing is this thread blunts his point.

Trevino is well known as Tacitus, unless the ruse is merely coy. The third name was used several times in diaries at either Tacitus or Redstate.

If you mean the "Josh" in "TacitusTrevinoJosh", then no, it wasn't. I have the username "Josh" at both Tacitus and RedState, and I assure you I'm not Tacitus. (Although we do share a first name.)

Wow. This has been an interesting thread. Let's try and give Moe a break, yes?

I'm not following the Jim/Inez race closely, so I can't evaluate Tacitus' contention that Inez would be worse than Jim-minus-his-homophobia...but I think one of the concerns about voting sin omeone with DeMint's ideas because he has other, better, more noble ideas is that if we keep making that exception, soon there *might* be enough Santorums and DeMints and Coburns to change Federal law -- and because that brand of Republican supports things like Constitutional change over states rights for "morality" issues, we know they would actively attempt such changes.

So you say, "yeah, DeMint is wrong on this point, but he'll be right on lots of others" and you may be correct -- but while he's fighting for a balanced budget, he'll also be meeting with all those who seek to legislate their view of moral behavior, and how many of *them* will we have elected for the same reasons we elected DeMint?

Too wordy, but I hope the point somehow comes across.

Josh:

I was referring to something different in the diaries, if memory serves.

But, since I was wrong to bring it up in the first place, yours is the last word.

Jeez, I'm really confused now. Are the articles posted by Trevxxx at Redstate by Tacixxx or not? I thought that the WSJ article iirc had a picture and a name, but googling doesn't bring it up. And who is Jxxx? I add the x's so as to lower google visibility.

I agree that a person's privacy should be respected in most cases (except mary rosh's), but if that person says, well, I challenge you to find something that I've said that contradicts what I'm now arguing for, I think things get a bit fuzzier.

A few points.

1) Thullen's first post on this thread -- incomprehensible. Please translate.

2) My name is not a secret. If it were, you wouldn't know it. So thanks to Gromit, but no worries there.

3) Billmon's real name, address, and employer are public knowledge because, like a fool, he wrote hatemail to one of his many, many, many bete noirs from a non-pseudonymous e-mail account.

4) Bernard doesn't like my tone: tough, kid.

Finally, felixrayman makes a few points of his own, viz.:

Redstate is begging others to provide money to enable a bigot to profess his bigotry (and, quite probably, profiting financially from doing so).

Of course, these are terribly bad and ignorant points. The issue of a profit for RS from the DeMint donations is wholly absurd. Were we financially linked to the campaign, we would have to reveal it; in any case, clicking on the donations links reveals a website controlled by the DeMint campaign, not Red State. This much ought to be obvious.

As for "provid[ing] money to enable a bigot to profess his bigotry," this too is simply evidence of Felix failing to read. We are providing him money to advocate tax reform, free trade, Republican independent-mindedness, pro-life legislation and Social Security privatization. Nowhere do you see our exhortation to fund Jim DeMint so gays won't teach. This is both because (as has been stated) we disagree with this, and because he cannot do anything about that. Curious, that.

Felix is outraged(!) that Red State would choose to stick with its endorsement of DeMint. Let us consider what DeMint has done: he has expressed a point of view that he cannot possibly implement, the net negative effect of which is to offend Edward and assorted others, and make me cringe in embarrassment for a bit. This, then, is the worst condemnation we can find for Jim DeMint.

Meanwhile, Felix and millions of other Democrats in the United States will on 2 November pull the lever for a man who, in his debut in public life, expressed a point of view which was implemented, the net negative effect of which was to abandon millions of Indochinese to slaughter, enslavement and exile. This, then, is the worst condemnation we can find for John Kerry.

Note the outrage gap. Truly, facts you seem to be unwilling to face.

"3) Billmon's real name, address, and employer are public knowledge because, like a fool, he wrote hatemail to one of his many, many, many bete noirs from a non-pseudonymous e-mail account."

If I send a mail to someone offlist, that makes information about who I am public knowledge? Let me go disable my SMTP settings...

E-mail is fair game. Particularly if you're doing your best to be unpleasant.

And who is Jxxx? I add the x's so as to lower google visibility.

I'm just this guy, you know? (Tacitus and Trevino are the same guy: Josh Trevino. Neither one is me.)

Oh please oh please let's not refight the Vietnam war. I was there, I am dying to take exception to Tacitus' last point, but I won't. I need to practice strength of will in any case. This will be my little exercise.

The issue of a profit for RS from the DeMint donations is wholly absurd

"Advertise on RedState", the link says. Something is absurd. Not anything I wrote, however.

We are providing him money to....

Implement his agenda. And bigotry is part of his agenda. Redstate is doing what it can to provide those funds. Redstate is responsible for what it helps to fund. There is no moral way to weasel out of that, try as you some people have and will.

he has expressed a point of view that he cannot possibly implement

To implement that point of view he needs help. Yours and others. So far, he has yours.

I'll submit to hilzoy's wishes about refighting the Vietnam war, although mostly because your posts in the past have betrayed somewhat of a lack of knowledge on the subject.

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