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April 08, 2011

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Planned Parenthood. That's all that needs to be said, I think.

***Can't take the stupid much longer....***

Shutdown but only a short one for the moment. No budget after that but another emrgency extension. Boehner will fall before the end of May, felled by the TeaParty.

"Sheer Spleen and Inertia" would be a good name for a band.

Yes. Planned Parenthood is right. This is not about the budget, or it would be addressing a whole lot more expenditures than it does, and it would address revenues as well. This is about ideology.

The Tea-o-P firmly believe that some woman, somewhere, is getting away with having sex without consequences and must be stopped.

And hey, anything to do to stop that one poor person from living the life of Riley *undeservedly* on $670 per month is pure bonus.

The libertarians in the Tea Party are planning to be the leaders of the neo-feudal state, and the Beckazoids and Limbites will be their loyal lackeys.

Since I don't want the Democrats to cave in, I guess that puts me in the position of "hoping" for a shut-down, which is not the case.

I would like to hope that, in event of a shut-down, more Americans see the GOP for what it is - a true rebirth of the Confederacy, devoted to destroying the legitimate government of the country - but that's about as likely as the Democrats holding firm.

For me, personally: stand firm, make them shut it down.

But then I'm well off and a government shutdown (which, of course, will simply be a partial shutdown, as I doubt our military will suddenly stand down) won't harm me. So easy for me to go all Dubya and say Bring It On.

Nice to see, btw, that there appears to be a liberal counter to the Ryan plan (that actually looks a bit like the one I drew up in the "missing the point" thread. ~22% of GDP in taxes, fer instance. Now the Dems need to back it and fight for it so that an eventual compromise solution (now or later) isn't mostly Ryan's plan with some of the nastier things mitigated.

Planned Parenthood may be the excuse. But the reason that it will likely happen is that, their "support the troops" rhetoric notwithstanding, the Tea Party types don't actually care that a lot of military families will take a big financial hit (and, since pay-day loans will be required, a permanent one).

The only thing that might motivate the Tea Party and their supporters in Congress to rethink the joys of a "government shutdown" is if Social Security checks were included among the things that wouldn't get paid. (Or a "medical costs incurred during the shutdown will not be eligible for Medicare payment; full costs will be paid by the patient" policy.) That would actually bring the pain home and make it personal for a lot of them. Unfortunately, it appears that Social Security checks will go out on time.

Personally, I would limit what still gets paid to interest on the debt. That gets an exception because defaulting on it would cause a huge increase in the cost of Federal government borrowing for a long time to come. And we really, really can't afford to let that happen.

Let me clarify that I don't want a situation where Social Security checks don't get sent out. Just one where it is made abundantly clear up front that they wouldn't, and couldn't, be. Prevention being the best cure -- even for insanity.

What Murder Inc. wants in the way of riders:

http://www.ombwatch.org/files/budget/OMB_Watch-HR1_Policy_Riders.pdf

Guns, too. Quartered in women's vaginas.

The only thing that might motivate the Tea Party and their supporters in Congress to rethink the joys of a "government shutdown" is if Social Security checks were included among the things that wouldn't get paid. [...] Unfortunately, it appears that Social Security checks will go out on time.

I was wondering about that, wj -- thanks for clarifying. It just confirms that "shutdown" is a highly deceptive way of describing what might happen, precisely because of exceptions like this. And this plays directly into the hands of the know-nothings, for whom a "government shutdown" means that at worst some poor schmuck's vacation in Yellowstone gets ruined.

Maureen: The Tea-o-P firmly believe that some woman, somewhere, is getting away with having sex without consequences and must be stopped.

Pin-pon. This, ladies and gentlemen, is conservative reproductive politics in a nutshell. If Republicans actually cared about reducing abortions, they'd be pushing to give Planned Parenthood a massive tax cut and funding prenatal care and family planning services.

They don't. The so-called "right to life" movement is a fraud. It's about shaming sluts, punishing people for having unapproved sex, and making it as hard as possible for women to thrive independently outside of narrowly-defined gender roles. It has always been thus.

russell: My money says they won't actually want to shut it down, but they'll fail to make a deal happen due to sheer spleen and inertia.

This, for the most part. I think the majority of elected Republicans are relatively sane and sensible enough to understand that a government shutdown won't just hurt a lot of people, but will also hurt them politically the way it did when they did it to Clinton. But the teabagger minority has no incentive to compromise or cut a deal--none at all. To fringe anti-government jihadists like them, shutting down the government is a good thing--and this is allowing them to hold the country hostage in order to extort concessions that they know are so unpopular they would never be passed on their own merits.

So it doesn't really matter what Boehner or the more (again, relatively) sensible Republicans in Congress want. The inmates are running the asylum, they have sufficient numbers to prevent anything from happening by stamping their feet and whining "NO!" and they want a shutdown.

It's despicable. It is tantamount to economic terrorism and they need to be held accountable. The best way we can do this is to make sure that after 2012 this freak show never holds elected office again.

"The best way we can do this is to make sure that after 2012 this freak show never holds elected office again."

Why wait?

John Kyl just said on the Senate floor that 90% of what Planned Parenthood does is provide abortions.

Pardon me if I don't want to counter lying, stupid filth like Kyl with the facts. Besides, he probably can't cut and paste either.

See, Amezuki, we could ramp up a fairly rapid response, (a few weeks) across the country by setting up guillotines, firing squads, and machete crews in major metropolitan areas, airports, rural courthouses and outside FOX News and have this infestation pretty well cleaned up way before 2012.

That's the only get-out-the-vote demonstration this Republican Beast will end up understanding.

I don't want to counter lying, stupid filth like Kyl with the facts.

If I was going to guess, I'd say Kyl has no idea what proportion of Planned Parenthood's budget goes to funding abortions.

Somebody put a piece of paper in front of him, and he read it. Or, perhaps more likely, he just made up some stuff off of the top of his head.

Who knows, it could be true. Right?

My watch says 3:22 EST and nobody's budging. Or rather, the Dems have already met the Republican's drop dead figure on the numbers, and now we're all just waiting for folks on the dexter side to stop stamping their feet and holding their breath until they turn blue.

If they can hold their breath for another eight and a half hours, turn out the lights.

Your money is always safe on speen and inertia.

Speen?

Is that what happens when the Right spins its spleen tomorrow?

Countme: I'm sure some of that is hyperbole for effect, because that's always been your style. But to whatever extent it's not... I can't get on board with that.

It's not that I dispute the idea that theirs is a dangerous, malignant, anti-democratic movement. It is, and the fact that Republicans are not a monolithic bloc of crazy jackholes is by now beside the point: the crazies are setting the agenda for the party, and they obviously don't care what kind of damage they do in the process of "taking their country back".

After years of eliminationist rhetoric and outright violence from the right, I'm under no illusions about what a nontrivial portion of the Republican base would do to gays, women and liberals if they had the chance and thought they could get away with it.

But there is a line, and it is the last line that separates us from them.

I am willing to fight tooth and nail if I have to. If one of these teabagger cowards brings the fight to my home and puts my family in danger, I will put them down.

If these armchair revolutionaries decide they can't win electorally and engage in actual armed insurrection against the duly elected government of the United States, then we can start talking about who goes up against the wall.

Until then, though, it is dangerous talk that accomplishes nothing other than making that kind of confrontation incrementally more likely. I can't support it and I'm not comfortable seeing it here, no matter how enraged I get at their sociopathic, nihilistic assault on this country.

If we are to actually deserve to prevail over these dangerous lunatics in the long run, we need to be better than that.

I can't get on board with that.

Yeah, no guillotines, firing squads, or machetes, please. We been listening to ten years of watering the tree of liberty, 2nd Amendment solutions, two-by-four remedies for protestors, etc.

Ai yi yi. Enough already.

Misspellings, however, are fair game.

With that said, I am open to the idea of forcing them to watch Velvet Goldmine and the Star Wars Christmas Special on a loop.

I'm pretty sure that violates at least one of the Geneva conventions, though.

I'm pretty sure that violates at least one of the Geneva conventions, though.

Not unless it causes pain equal to organ failure or death, dude.

We do have standards.

Maybe Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park? Geneva who?

Well said, Amezuki at 3:33 pm.

I would favor appealing to the better angels of their and our natures, but I'm in no way hopeful of success, especially since each iteration of this sociopathic velociraptor Confederacy since 1980 grows more sadistic, vicious, and murderous in their policy prescriptions each time around.

I'm no Lincoln (yeah, no kidding) and neither do I want to be, because looked what happened to him, and anyone else who tries to take on this noxious strain in the American population.

But he ended up, after that stirring rhetoric in the First Inaugural, matching their true malignant natures and worse.

Because he had to.

I believe it will come to that again in this country.

"It's despicable. It is tantamount to economic terrorism and they need to be held accountable. The best way we can do this is to make sure that after 2012 this freak show never holds elected office again."

Absolutely. But when reason prevails (barely) for a couple of years, everybody forgets just how freakish things can be.

Countme: I would favor appealing to the better angels of their and our natures, but I'm in no way hopeful of success, especially since each iteration of this sociopathic velociraptor Confederacy since 1980 grows more sadistic, vicious, and murderous in their policy prescriptions each time around.

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. --Robert Heinlein, writing for Lazarus Long in Time Enough for Love

Heinlein wrote a lot of things that were utter nonsense--but this isn't one of them. A lot of these people don't have a "better nature". Some of them are exactly as venal and cruel as they seem.

The problem is that they are elected. They care about continuing to get re-elected. So how do we appeal to their self-interest?

By making what they're doing as politically toxic as possible. Look at what Republicans have spent the last three decades doing: they've more or less successfully turned "liberal" into an epithet, a label from which liberal politicians shy and run away. They should be proud of what they are, of the legacy they bear, but they've given in to fear and allowed the GOP to turn their name into a killing word.

As long as there are no consequences for holding the country hostage to an ideological agenda, undermining civil rights, committing electoral fraud and voter supprression, and embracing ignorance and hate... they will continue to do all of those things because they work.

I don't have a magic strategy or policy prescription that will make that happen. I wish I did.

But that is what needs to happen.

But he ended up, after that stirring rhetoric in the First Inaugural, matching their true malignant natures and worse.

Because he had to.

I believe it will come to that again in this country.

And if the 101st Chairborne ever wages open war on this country, if the lunatics vying for control of the Republican Party try to secede from or nullify the Union--it will. And they will lose.

In the meantime, we need to make their brand of politics so toxic to the American people that it becomes electoral suicide--we need to, in other words, make it in their self-interest to not be complete douchebags. We need to make their knee-jerk dishonesty, hostage tactics and assault on women's and minority rights as toxic as being a member of the KKK.

That is how we will defeat and destroy them: when they have to change in order to be electable.

You'd think you could at least get Congress to follow the Oregon State Legislature in getting rickrolled.

Explanation.

Rob,

Nice to see, btw, that there appears to be a liberal counter to the Ryan plan (that actually looks a bit like the one I drew up in the "missing the point" thread. ~22% of GDP in taxes, fer instance.

Where might this plan be found?

Office-holding teabaggers are "complete douchebags" because they were voted into office by ... well, take your pick:

1)"The American people", who must like douchebags; or
2)The douchebags who call themselves "the TEA party".

Politicians are craven panderers to the electorate. In a democracy, that's not a bad thing. A government of the people, by the people, and for the people SHOULD be douchebaggy if that's what the majority of "the people" want.

I am second to none in my contempt for the teabaggers in Congress, but I don't for a minute forget that it's (some of) our fellow citizens who voted them into office. It's those "fellow citizens" who we need to shame and ridicule, if we want "defeat and destroy" the politicians they vote for.

Of course, that requires that we talk to and about those "fellow citizens" with a bit less civility than ObWi's posting rules permit.

--TP

TP,

It's not the wingnuts we need to convince, because we can't, and wiping the spittle off one's face is not pleasant. It's the mushy middle. It doesn't help that our elected Dems are, for the most part, in the mushy middle. Worse, many on the hectoring left are too busy fighting each other.

The latest I hear is there will be a deal sans the stupid EPA and Planned Parenthood riders, but it will require Dem votes in the House to get passage. So what did our brilliant negotiators do? Offer more cuts. Now ask yourself....how many MORE times shall we be taken to the brink by these nutballs?

My Democratic Party Leadership: Beyond stupid. Hey, Mr. President! How's that Bush Tax Cut Extension surrender working out for you?

Sheesh.

But there is a line, and it is the last line that separates us from them.

I am reminded of that famous line from "Pogo".

What separates us from them is they are winning. The real question is why?

"What separates us from them is they are winning. The real question is why?"

I am not sure, based on what I see happening that the Republicans are winning.

If a budget gets passed with Planned Parenthood and the EPA funded then I believe the Democrats will have "won".

Last year they made the political calculation that it was in their best interest to not raise taxes OR make any cuts to specific programs so they didn't pass a budget at all. This political calculation rested on the assumption that a Republican dominated Congress would demand the "Bush" tax cuts be extended and that many popular programs would be cut.

The Democrats recognized that this was the only way to begin to tackle the deficit problem but didn't want any SPECIFIC cuts to have to deal with in the next election, and they knew the Republicans would have to come up with the cuts once they had control of the House.

And, voila, here it is. Every cut is now a stone around the Republicans neck, the tax cut extension is the Republicans fault and the Democrats have no responsibility for the financial state of the country or any of the programs that have been, or will be, cut. Paul Ryan will have "forced" them into those cuts.

Excellent politics. Now whether WE are winning depends oon who you want to define as we. The American people probably not so much.

Interesting analysis, Dobie, but it seems to boil down to this: the Dems' devious electoral scheme in 2010 was to win by losing.

I'm not saying you're wrong, but I don't share your high opinion of the cleverness of congressional Democrats.

--TP

If a budget gets passed with Planned Parenthood and the EPA funded then I believe the Democrats will have "won".

That's an interesting bar. I wasn't aware that total defunding of the EPA was on the table, I thought the R's just wanted to prevent them from doing anything remotely related to climate change.

At any rate, hooray, by your standards it appears the Democrats won. And only $38.5B was cut from the remainder of this fiscal year's budget.

If compromise now means giving the other side more than it demanded in the first place and then being rejected for not going far enough, we will have to redefine unconditional surrender too.
---
An interesting observation on Rachel's show: unlike 1994 this time the GOP in Congress has no face that is universally recognised. Last time it was Bill vs. Newt and it ended with the blame firmly on the amphib. This time around the only person involved that everyone knows is Big O.
One might add that last time Fox had not yet taken control of the henhouse that is the MSM. So, this time the cards look to be stacked far more in favor of the GOP/TP.
My prediction still stands that Boehner will be gone as Speaker before the end of May for being a 'weakling compromiser'.

TP,

My assessment is based on the Democrats recognition that they were going to lose the House, no matter what. This has been their response to that reality.

Hartmut,

I don't see this as the Dems giving te Reps more than they asked for. The House budget had 61B in cuts, the Dems picked out the things that were ideologically important for them to defend and defended them loudly.

The Dems, however, also know we need to cut much more to make any difference so they are fine with 31 or 38 as long as they are perceived as fighting for the right things to save. They accomplished that yesterday in the back and forth on Planned Parenthood and still didn't get anywhere near 61B.

Good day for Democrats, not horrible for Republicans, no one hit a home run.

The deal is $78.5B below Obama's original 2011 budget, and $6.5B below Boehner's initial counterproposal.

All in the eye of the beholder, dude.

As far as I'm concerned, once the Bush tax cuts were extended it was all a fiscal clown show anyway. None of these guys are all that serious about balancing the budget, and balancing the budget is an insane goal in the first place in the middle of a national and worldwide recession / borderline depression.

The Republicans however have laser-like clarity that they want LOWER TAXES, period, full stop, and let the chips fall where they may.

The fun will all start up again when they get into the 2012 numbers.

Well russell, you are talking about facts, I was talking about politics.

Besides, neither Obama nor Boehner(by himself) create a budget for the US. The House does that. Pretty much every Presidents budget has been DOA as long as I can remember. So that isn't even a good starting point because they know that.

And, yes, this is all prelude to 2012.

Besides, neither Obama nor Boehner(by himself) create a budget for the US. The House does that

All true.

Although I'd say the original House budget, down what, $61B, was more or less a political shot across the bow akin to the President's initial budget request. In other words, more an opening position, and less a serious statement about what the numbers should be.

As you say, politics.

Long story short, the lights are on, which IMO is actually a good thing. We'll see what happens when they pick up the 2012 numbers.

fellas,

Our political elite just threw 500,000 people out on the street. The hostage taking has just begun.

The fun starts sooner than the 2012 budget.

Kay Bailey Hutchinson told CNN the debt ceiling confrontation will be Armageddon.

How many strategic retreats does it take to ensure victory? The history of the Obama administrations may well provide the answer.

John Kyl just said on the Senate floor that 90% of what Planned Parenthood does is provide abortions

An update: today his office explains that his remarks were "not intended to be a factual statement".

OK then! At least that's been cleared up.

I used to be disgusted. Now I try to be amused.

If a budget gets passed with Planned Parenthood and the EPA funded then I believe the Democrats will have "won".

That there are quotes around the word 'won' is noted. But the Dems didn't win (or 'win') anything. A government shutdown is an embarrassing, stupid, counterproductive, stunt. But a short one might have been better than what we got, which is pretty large cuts in spending at the wrong time on the wrong things. From the GOP POV, the shutdown threat worked pretty well; if they didn't get their maximal demands met - and, like any non-idiot negotiator, surely didn't expect to do - they got quite a lot. So, on to the debt ceiling crisis.

"on the wrong things."

I have no idea whether I agree with this or not. I keep seeing numbers with no details.

2)The douchebags who call themselves "the TEA party".
I feel compelled to point out that there is no such thing as a single "TEA party," that there are thousands of organizations small and large, at least a couple or more million members, of considerably disparate views, with widely different degrees of identification, I could point to a lot of polls, but this would be better as a post, but the bottom line is that wild generalizations like this are as useful as "2)The douchebags who call themselves "[liberals/leftists/democrats]" and that it's not exactly in the spirit or letter of the Posting Rules about such insulting generalizations.

Not to be a tightass about it, and everyone gets to vent, but it really is a very wild generalization, and in fact there are plenty of Tea Party types whom we on the left need to convince that our ideas are more on their side than what they hear from the Republicans, and the idea is to win elections, and the way to do that is to persuade, not to insult.

Just a thought, even if it seems a bit wet blankety.

[...] Last year [Congressional Democratic leadership] made the political calculation that it was in their best interest to not raise taxes OR make any cuts to specific programs so they didn't pass a budget at all. This political calculation rested on the assumption that a Republican dominated Congress would demand the "Bush" tax cuts be extended and that many popular programs would be cut.

The Democrats recognized that this was the only way to begin to tackle the deficit problem but didn't want any SPECIFIC cuts to have to deal with in the next election, and they knew the Republicans would have to come up with the cuts once they had control of the House.

And, voila, here it is. Every cut is now a stone around the Republicans neck, the tax cut extension is the Republicans fault and the Democrats have no responsibility for the financial state of the country or any of the programs that have been, or will be, cut. Paul Ryan will have "forced" them into those cuts.

I think that's reasonably correct, and I agree with the rest of what both CCDG and Russell said.

As for what Democrats in the House do, everyone always has to keep in mind that members of the House have to be responsive to their own districts, not to the rest of the Democratic party elsewhere, or they wind up not in the House of Representatives in two years. This is a generalization with plenty of caveats that can be attached, but as a generalization it's crucial to remember: everyone in the House has boundaries to work within if they care about re-election, and they vary wildly by district.

Which is also why winning state legislatures and governorships is important at least every ten years in the pre-census period, beyond their own state importance, since redistricting, which varies by method by state, is crucial.

Last year they made the political calculation that it was in their best interest to not raise taxes OR make any cuts to specific programs so they didn't pass a budget at all.

I think that's reasonably correct

Actually I think it's not reasonably correct to say that the Democrats decided it was "in their best interest to not raise taxes".

Last year the Bush tax cuts were supposed to expire. They were supposed to expire because when they were passed it was clear that maintaining them into perpetuity would crush the federal budget with debt.

They were extended, in spite of the fact that the predicted debt load was in fact piling up, and in spite of the fact that even had they expired we would still have historically low top marginal rates.

They were extended, and that was not a Democratic initiative.

What Republicans want, consistently, is lower taxes. Lower taxes, lower taxes, lower taxes, lower taxes, lower taxes. And if that means public services and public life are degraded or diminished, that consequence is somewhere between "too bad" and "that's the point".

There's sort of an article of faith that lower taxes will also cause the economy to expand and net revenue to increase, but if that happens it's sort of gravy. The goal is lower taxes, and the outcomes will be whatever they happen to be.

OT: have the "share this" thingies gone crazy for anyone else? when i hover over one, i get a big chunk of overlayed text, not the little window-ish box i used to get...

Russell,

Obama punted on the tax cuts and got what he could for them because POLITICALLY he decided it was better to have that issue in the 2012 election cycle than to fight it in the lame duck Congress, where he might have won, at huge cost.

Again, these are political calculations based on the outcome of the last election. Like it or not he was setting up 2012 as soon as 2010 became inevitable.

'Last year the Bush tax cuts were supposed to expire. They were supposed to expire because when they were passed it was clear that maintaining them into perpetuity would crush the federal budget with debt.

They were extended, in spite of the fact that the predicted debt load was in fact piling up, and in spite of the fact that even had they expired we would still have historically low top marginal rates.'

IMO Russell is accurate. Democrats use increases in spending as a method of increasing taxes since when increasing taxes is addressed directly it makes getting re-elected more difficult. So now, the debt limit action and the 2012 fiscal year budget will dominate the immediate political future and well into the 2012 election battle.

What makes this interesting for me, personally, is that the right seems to be well-positioned on tax rates (as long as we must have the abominable income tax system that we have) and the left has certainly had things go a lot their way on domestic spending (even though not getting everything they would like).

There's much needed from our leaders: tax reform, spending cuts including reforming entitlements, reductions in defense spending, a sensible energy policy not limited to green energy, are examples. The next 18 months will inform us on how these needs will be met.

a sensible energy policy not limited to green energy

i'd also like to see us reduce our dependence on imported corn.

"But a short one might have been better than what we got, which is pretty large cuts in spending at the wrong time on the wrong things. "

Don't particularly have the time to dispute the "wrong time on the wrong things" bit, but "pretty large"???? A 1.5 trillion dollar deficit, and ten days interest on the national debt is "pretty large"?

It's pretty large, the way pulling out a hankie is deploying a "pretty large parachute" when you're falling to your death from an airplane. Those cuts were a joke.

"They were extended, and that was not a Democratic initiative."

This is completely true.

"There's sort of an article of faith that lower taxes will also cause the economy to expand and net revenue to increase, but if that happens it's sort of gravy. The goal is lower taxes, and the outcomes will be whatever they happen to be."

Yes.

cleek:

OT: have the "share this" thingies gone crazy for anyone else? when i hover over one, i get a big chunk of overlayed text, not the little window-ish box i used to get...
Possibly a browser problem? Not seeing it.

Also classic: try restarting your computer. :-)

If problem persists, write kitty, but kitty may not respond for a couple of days, and then kitty might... have complications, but we'll do what we can.

Posting to open thread might be even better, actually; let others compare notes, crowd-source.

Democrats use increases in spending as a method of increasing taxes

Republicans use tax cuts to increase spending, the 'free lunch' method. Much worse.

Don't particularly have the time to dispute the "wrong time on the wrong things" bit, but "pretty large"????

You are right Brett. I meant 'pretty large' in terms of discretionary spending.

There's much needed from our leaders: tax reform, spending cuts including reforming entitlements, reductions in defense spending, a sensible energy policy not limited to green energy, are examples.

I say what I'm about to say with complete respect, because this list was obviously offered in good faith and from sincere belief in what the important challenges are for the US.

The thing I'm about to say is this: when I read this list, it makes me wonder how we will ever find sufficient common ground and sense of common purpose to deal with what we're going to need to deal with over the next generation or two.

IMO we're in for a serious of really and profoundly rude awakenings, and I don't think we're prepared for them.

when I read this list, it makes me wonder how we will ever find sufficient common ground and sense of common purpose to deal with what we're going to need to deal with over the next generation or two.

What do you mean, 'common ground'? Isn't that socialist talk? With some exceptions, it's the very idea of 'common ground' or common-anything that is what Americans who call themselves 'conservatives' object to, and fundamentally so. Yeah, it's a big problem.

'The thing I'm about to say is this: when I read this list, it makes me wonder how we will ever find sufficient common ground and sense of common purpose to deal with what we're going to need to deal with over the next generation or two.'

'it's the very idea of 'common ground' or common-anything that is what Americans who call themselves 'conservatives' object to, and fundamentally so.'

The list did not need to be long to illustrate the problem. I don't see common ground either and that is not attributable only to 'conservatives'. A 'common purpose' might be to leave our next generations with a governable nation and without common ground IMO that will require compromise.

"....when I read this list, it makes me wonder how we will ever find sufficient common ground and sense of common purpose to deal with..."

The outlook is grim. Currently we have one party that consciously seeks to use the power of government to redistribute income upward and another party that is pretty much OK with the same thing, but advocates doing it a bit more humanely.

And they wonder why folks are mad.

I don't see common ground either and that is not attributable only to 'conservatives'.

I agree. My apologies if my comment seemed like I was trying to make the conservative position the bad guy here, that wasn't my intent.

I think there are a couple of profoundly different understandings of what government is supposed to be about at play.

I disagree profoundly with the conservative position but I recognize that it can be held in good faith and with good intent.

A 'common purpose' might be to leave our next generations with a governable nation

I think that is a worthwhile and practical goal.

and without common ground IMO that will require compromise.

Agreed.

The list did not need to be long to illustrate the problem. I don't see common ground either and that is not attributable only to 'conservatives'.

I was not intending to throw bombs, GOB. I think it's a very serious problem, and it's not the same on both sides. What, exactly, is the essential difference between common ground and common purpose? I do not think that Liberals never make mistakes, are never intolerant, are never reductionist. But what I'm talking about actually *is* a one sided problem, namely that there is a consequentially large cohort of people on the right who don't believe in the very concept of common-anything. That's a problem for Conservatism as well as Liberalism. It's your problem as much as it is mine.

I don't think that the conservative positions on the inter-related topics of the deficit, taxes, goverment services and the budget as made manifest by the policies advocated by Republican politicians are intended for the good of the nation as a whole. Not at all. I think the conservative position is intended to do just what Republican policies are in fact doing: destory the middle class and further impoverish the poor to benefit the top 2%.
There are those who think a benefit will come to themselves by siding with the Republicans on this, but their intentions are't good either. That is, their intentions are good for themselves but only for themselves.

That's how I see it.

A 'common purpose' might be to leave our next generations with a governable nation and without common ground IMO that will require compromise.

If you have a vision of this compromise, I'd like to see it. You don't have to go into any great detail....I'd just like to see what a less extreme version of the total political defeat of my political views looks like.

I'd be more than happy to provide mine upon request, but you'd probably see it in those same terms...utterly unacceptable.

'If you have a vision of this compromise, I'd like to see it. You don't have to go into any great detail....I'd just like to see what a less extreme version of the total political defeat of my political views looks like.'

I'll give you something, but I will not call it a vision but rather a list of some things I would set forth for discussion.

Significant reductions in defense expenditures.

Replace the federal income tax with taxes on land use and natural resource extraction, including any commercial use and pollution and a modest consumption tax(enough to make each consumer know they are in the game).

Coupled with the above tax policy, allow greater latitude in the extraction of our natural resources (develop an energy policy that does this to reduce our dependence on foreign sources.) The link should exist between tax policy and this subject to preserve the health of our environment.

Fix our immigration scenario so that whatever immigration laws we have, the federal government enforces effectively.

Revisit health care and education issues with a focus on reaching some understanding of how any needed government policy involvement should be divided between federal and state levels. Government should not be assumed to be the primary player.

Not an exhaustive list, but plenty to keep our elected officials busy if they would do their job instead of worrying about their self-perceived political careers and the next election.

Put a massive export tax/tariff on fossil fuel! All the talk about drilling at home in order to become independent of foreign oil is a smokescreen. The oil from installations offshore the US flow into the global market, not he domestic (I assume the same happens with the coal from the throw the mountains into the valleys operations). But said production is heavily subsidized/tax-privileged under the pretense that is for domestic consumption/energy independence.

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