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What is a "Leftist"?

Posted Tuesday, February 8, 2011, at 12:05 PM

What is a "leftist"? This term has been used more and more frequently over the last few years. The Arizona assassin was labeled, early, a leftist by those who took offense to the idea that he may have been lead to his crime by eliminationist rhetoric from the right. As the weeks and months pass it appears that everyone that did any labeling, whether calling his actions a result of the rhetoric of the right (which I was very much guilty of) or simply calling him a leftist because of what some of his supposed former "friends" posted on Twitter, were wrong. The question that remains, however is, "What is a leftist"?

If you are reading this particular blog to see my answer as to what is a leftist you might as well stop reading at this point. I have not got a clue as to what a leftist is or what qualities make a person a leftist. The term itself is so vague that when I did a search for who first coined the term "leftist" the only answer I could find was "Someone in 1924". It leaves a lot to the imagination.

That's the funny thing about anyone on the left side of the political spectrum. If you ask someone from the right side what a liberal is or what is the definition of a liberal, you are not going to get many answers (well any answers that actually are factual). Mostly you will get slanderous answers, or opinions, or what that person has been told to believe a liberal is or what it is meant to be liberal.

I used to think that a "leftist" was anyone that was on the true liberal side of the spectrum. Lately, though, I am left (no pun intended) to believe that a "leftist" is anyone left of the far right end of the spectrum. This of course includes those who are fiscally but not socially conservative, socially but not fiscally conservative, moderates, and then the entire left side of the spectrum.

The truth is, in this country, you will find a very low minority of Americans that are either liberally fiscal and socially or conservative fiscal and socially. Combined they are a very low number, but for some reason they get the most play in the news cycles. Why? They are the loudest. It really is that simple.

I can not speak for conservatives, they do a fine enough job on here, but it is hard for me to take some (note I said some not all, not half, not most, but some) conservatives serious when they call for civil debates and then proceed to call anyone they see as a liberal every name in the book. They have in the past said that liberals had made Obama into a deity, though they were the only ones actually saying it. I can not speak for any other liberals but I can speak for myself. Obama is not a deity. He is human, and like all humans the world round he has his faults. This particular group also loves to throw around the idea that liberalism is a disease. Like I said, however, if pressed to define liberalism, they often can not. So the question is, how can they decide that something is a disease when they can not even describe or define it?

I know that I will be asked (or demanded) to define conservatism. Truth is, there are so many different facets of conservatism it is hard to lock down a simple definition.

However, I did do a search, and the closest I could find that would fit a simple definition is that conservatism is a political ideology that adheres to traditions and promotes keeping traditional roles (whether it be family, state, church, etc) as they have been.

Ronald Reagan famously said that he believed "the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism" which of course leads to the question, "What is Libertarianism".

I have been often accused to not knowing or interchanging the terms Republican with Conservative. I admit I have done this in past. It is not something that I do purposefully, but growing up, watching the news, paying attention to politics I came to understand that if you were talking about a conservative you were also talking about a Republican and vice versa. That has been completely thrown out over the last ten years or so. There are Republicans that are so "liberal" now that they are called RINOs. The same can be said about "conservative" Democrats being called DINOs.

It does make me wonder, though, if the 1980s Ronald Reagan were still alive today and were running for President would he even be considered a conservative or a RINO. My money is with RINO. He may have been socially conservative but as a president he was very much fiscally liberal.

Back to leftist though, I do not have the answer as to what a leftist actually is. I just know that it is one of hundreds of nicknames given to people by people who believe them to be liberals.

Allow me to say this in closing. The Founding Fathers do not belong to any one group. They do not belong to the TEA Party, they do not belong to the Republicans, or the Democrats. They do not belong to the conservatives or liberals or "leftists". They belong to all of us. Our history is a shared history and one that we can all belong to.


"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."

John Adams, in Defense of the British Soldiers on trial for the Boston Massacre, December 4, 1770


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

obvious, can you please post some evidence to back up your claim? To me it's just a made up term.

"a leftist is one devoid of any knowledge of history"

So people who make up history as they go (Palin, Bachmann, Rand Paul, Limbaugh, O'Reilly) in your opinion can be labeled as leftist? That's good to know.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Feb 9, 2011, at 12:10 PM

So, from this point forward I am not going to talk or discuss those people who think that it is all fun and games when they use their eliminationist rhetoric for all to see. Just a few of the people that will no longer appear in my blog are Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Bill O'Reilly. Their words and actions over the last few years have lead to innocent people being killed. Their rhetoric over the last few years have been the final straw that have lead unbalanced people to take actions that they probably would not have without that rhetoric.

post by Michael 01/09/11

It's fairly interesting that Sarah Palin, who apparently does not like being thrust into the spotlight, has come out and said that a supposed boycott of her in the social networking world was actually good because now she can't be blamed for the uprising in Egypt. Swing and a miss.

post by Michael 01/31/11

They wont go away.........They wont go away...........They wont go away!!!!!!! arrrrrrggggghhhhhhhhh

-- Posted by doodle bug on Wed, Feb 9, 2011, at 2:04 PM

Nice one doodle. those damn voices must be driving make crazy! Meds is probably the best answer. Heck the government can supply them. It's there job you know.

-- Posted by remington81 on Wed, Feb 9, 2011, at 8:37 PM

To me a leftist is someone who believes that individuals are not responsible, for their actions, their livelihoods, their children, their success or lack of it. People, in their minds, are helpless to stand against the adversities of a normal life.

It naturally follows that the leftist then believes in government solutions to all of life's problems; the true salvation for us all lies with an all-seeing, all-knowing, omnipresent government. This is the road our nation is on, and it leads nowhere good.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Wed, Feb 9, 2011, at 11:00 PM

LEFTIST

Because 'liberal' is nearly always associated with the left or leftists, here is the definition of a leftist:

left›ist (lef'tist), n. 1. a member of the political Left or a person sympathetic to its views. --adj. 2. of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or advocated by the political Left. Also, Left'ist. [1920-25; left¹ + -ist] --left'ism, n .

That's it -- the entire definition.

-- Posted by Keda46 on Wed, Feb 9, 2011, at 11:50 PM

So, obvious, does that mean that you are abandoning your own definition since your definition could also describe those on the right and the left?

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 10:47 AM

Boomer, your definition really seems to be nothing more than your biases towards those you believe fit your definition. In other words, by your definition anything that you perceive to be wrong in this country can neatly be blamed on only one type of person and that is the mysterious "leftist".

Care to offer any real world examples?

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 10:49 AM

Keda, your textbook definition would work fine, if the term "leftist" were actually being used in the way today. When "leftist" was first uttered nearly 90 years ago it fit that definition perfectly. Today, though, people have made up their own connotations of what "leftist" actually means that anyone from any political stripe can be labeled as a "leftist". Take obvious' definition for example; most of his definition has no true real world examples to work with (I'm sure he could make up some but they wouldn't be real world) but when he throws in the "devoid of any knowledge of history" his term now runs the gambit of all political stripes.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 10:53 AM

Boomer, just a little more analysis on your definition of "leftist" if I may:

"To me a leftist is someone who believes that individuals are not responsible, for their actions, their livelihoods, their children, their success or lack of it. People, in their minds, are helpless to stand against the adversities of a normal life."

To me the people that you are describing here are the supposed welfare kings and queens around the United States. Here's a fun little fact. Most people that are indeed on welfare are typically not political. Of course, the picture you paint, while depressing and probably enough to make any person mad is actually a description of a minority of people in the United States.

"It naturally follows that the leftist then believes in government solutions to all of life's problems; the true salvation for us all lies with an all-seeing, all-knowing, omnipresent government. This is the road our nation is on, and it leads nowhere good."

I'm probably going to get in trouble for those because around here I am not supposed to discuss the decade of the 2000s but what you are describing fits perfectly to the Bush Administration and the Republican led Congress of post-9/11 America. This is the group that gave us Homeland Security, warrantless tapping, and the Patriot Act (you know, the foundations of and all-seeing, all-knowing, omnipresent government?). So are you now saying that the Bush White House and the Republican led Congress were all "leftists"?

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 11:06 AM

To me a leftist can be defined as a person that believes that people are unable to make their own decisions regarding life and liberty. Therefore, there needs to be a government program to "fix" the issue.

Take Social Security, if left on its own and participation was optional, it would not be a viable program (as if it is now). The original intent was to pay into a program your whole life to be able to "retire" with an income to provide for yourself and enjoy the last years of your life. What has transpired since??? A program that is no longer a separate fund, but has been brought into the general fund, the income is now being taxed because the government has been irresponsible with spending and needed more money, and you are forced (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=455&invol=252) to be included in this program because it could not be sustained otherwise.

As a conservative, I believe that the consequences of my actions are my own responsibility. I believe that I can make a better decision for my own life than a government entity. However because I am forced to send money into Social Security, I am losing out on an opportunity to invest that money into my own retirement plan. I do not want to continue "investing" into a pyramid scheme that is social security. Most likely, one who pays into social security will not get all the money they paid in because they die and their families don't get the money either... and at what age will retirement be? 65?, 70?, 72?, 75?, 80+?

While this is just a small speck of what I would consider being a liberal means, it is probably one of the biggest difference between a conservative and liberal.

Liberalism: an idea so good, it has to be mandatory. ~Andrew Wilkow

-- Posted by proudconservative on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 4:37 PM

Michael, you asked for real life examples. OK.

(1) I know a guy who is an alcoholic. The government has decided this (alcoholism, drug addiction, etc) is a disability. So he receives a disability payment from the government and lives in rent free apartment. He drinks for a living, as required by the government (sort of). If the government got out of the way, he would be required to be more responsible, but alas, the leftists have not allowed that.

(2) If you murder, rape, or kidnap someone it's a capital crime. But the leftists don't want anyone to be responsible for their actions, and be executed for their crimes. Just put them up for life in a prison, as if that's more humane.

(3) If you become pregnant and don't want to be a parent, leftists don't think you should be responsible for your child. You can get an abortion, legally, and leftists would even like you to have it paid for by the government. You should not even be responsible for the cost of the abortion, let alone be responsible for children produced by having sex with people who won't support either you or the child. If it feels good, just do it.

(4) If you get sick and don't have insurance or the ability to pay for health care, the leftists believe the rest of us should pay for it. Hey, and no need to bother with an appointment, just go on down the local Emergancy Room and get treatment, free of charge. You shouldn't have to be responsible for providing for your own health care costs.

(5) If you don't have a cell phone, you don't have to be responsible to come up with the cash to buy one and pay that monthly bill. The leftists have it arranged for the government to give you a free cell phone.

(6) If your parents were not responsible and never saved any money to send you to college, not to worry. The leftists have arranged for the government to pay for your tuition and college living costs so you don't have to be responsible for those either.

(7) If you run a bank and are irresponsible in lending to folks who are not credit worthy (i.e. the home mortgage debacle), then you should not suffer for that. The leftists arranged for a government bail out of those bankers. Take a risk and win, you keep the profits; if you lose, shove it off on the taxpayers through the government.

No more time, I have a job and responsibilities.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 7:01 PM

Actually Boomer I asked you for real world examples, instead you gave me examples based on your biases and beliefs.

(1)He drinks for a living as the government (sort of) requires? I know you said this was a friend of yours, but it sounds to me that it isn't the government that is forcing him to do anything but rather he is making the choice to continue drinking so he can continue living rent free. That is his personal decision not the government's and how you fit that to be a leftist is beyond me.

(2)"But the leftists don't want anyone to be responsible for their actions, and be executed for their crimes." That seems to be straight from your mindset and I am assuming you believe in an eye for an eye., Have you ever asked a "leftist" why they don't believe in the death penalty, or are you just assuming that they don't believe that a person should pay for their crime? Personally, I don't support the death penalty because it prevents nothing. I have to say, though, that putting someone to death because the rape or kidnap a person isn't exactly making them pay for their crime it's just plain overkill.

(3)This is one of the flat out biggest lies ever perpetrated by the anti-choice people. There is no proof that anyone that supports choice believes this way, yet you have no issues pushing it as if it were true. I personally hate abortions, but it is the woman's choice not mine as to what she does. There are better options such as adoptions, but the plain fact is simply legalizing abortions will not go away. Of course, you naturally leave out incest and rape (which clearly do not meet the crude line "If it feels good do it")

(4)Oh boy, Boomer, just, oh boy. People going to the ER because they can't afford insurance and us having to pay for it is nothing new. It isn't some brand new phenomenom that just suddenly popped up. What these so-called "leftists" want is for everyone to have insurance so they don't have to wait until they are so sick that they have to go to the ER. We pay the bill either way. Paying it on the front end is a heck of a lot cheaper than the back end. To this point, do you consider every single Republican that is taking government insurance right now to be a "leftist"? Every single one of them that voted down all Americans getting insurance are taking the very insurance that would have been offered. Also, the original plan was a public option. If you didn't want the insurance you could opt out. Now, thanks to the mandate (that has been championed for 40 years by such noted "leftists" as Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush, and Bob Dole) you have to take insurance or be faced with a fine.

(5)I know nothing of this government funded cell phone, you will have to enlighten me.

(6)They are called grants, they have been around for years and has nothing with parents not saving money. It has to do with underprivileged children getting a chance to go to college where before they would have to just go out and get a job and be stuck for the rest of their lives. Maybe that's the America you dream of where the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. Not to mention Pell grants are one of the most popular government programs in existence right now.

(7)I guess I need to remind you that the bank bailout occurred under President Bush and not Obama. It was championed by Bush and passed overwhelmingly in both Houses. So are they all "leftists"?

I am getting a rather good idea of what you believe a "leftist" to be, anyone that has ever worked for the government, at least according to your examples.

Again, though I am wanting real world examples not just myths and your beliefs as what a "leftist" is.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 7:36 PM

Why, proudconservative, do you believe Social Security is as bad as it is? You simply blame "leftists" but considering every administration (representing both parties) and just about every Congress (again representing both parties) since it's inception has taken money out of it for other areas or just because. In this scenario, just as with Boomer, you are then saying that anyone who has ever held political office is a "leftist".

If Social Security is left alone, there won't be an issues with it for at least 30-35 years. That hardly sounds like there are problems with it.

Here's my question, proud, since you dislike Social Security so much, does that mean you are not going to take it once you hit retirement (that is of course if those "leftist" Republicans will stop playing with the retirement age)?

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 7:41 PM

Michael, I didn't say the alcoholic was a friend, but I know he deserves God's grace as much as I do. The Bible is loaded with exhortations to work, to be prudent, to save for the future, to be responsible, and to love your neighbor as yourself. The Lord wants us to be responsible.

There are Republicans who are leftists, too! Lots of them. We are drowning in leftists and leftist programs and ideas, from both sides of the aisle. You seem more interested in playing some kind of blame game than actually discussing the topic of your article. Leftist.

Just because something is not new or very popular does not mean it's not a leftist program, or that the government is rewarding folks for not being responsible.

I, too, am Pro Choice. Choose to be responsible in your life, in sexual activity, in your finances, in your use of drugs and alcohol, in saving for your education, in paying for your health care, and paying for your mistakes.

While I don't think abortion needs to be illegal, I also don't think the government should pay for it, making it easier to be irresponsible. I also believe abortion is murder, plain and simple, for the convenience of the parents. My children are a lot of things, but I would never call them convenient. Loveable, inspiring, beautiful, important, intelligent, and much more, yes. Not convenient. Providing for them requires work and dedication, and it is our parental duty, not the government's.

I paid for my own college education. My parents did not pay for it, and neither did the government. I worked for it, and so did my wife.

Your article was about who is a leftist. Bush and the Democratic Congress bailing out the banks was truly leftist, rewarding the foolish and irresponsible. I am a libertarian (a liberal in the classical sense as were the Founding Fathers). I believe in freedom, freedom to succeed or to fail without government intervention. If you fail, so be it; don't expect to be bailed out. If you succed, you should not be punished through the tax code for doing so.

Americans need to stand like men and be responsible for their lives, not grovel for government handouts. When people don't need to work to get what they want, they don't do it.

I think you believe in equality of outcomes. I believe in equality of opportunity. There is an enormous philosphical chasm between the two.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 9:19 PM

Free cell phone site. Another in the ever-longer list of entitlements. Free stuff is never free. Just a distortion of reality.

http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michi...

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Thu, Feb 10, 2011, at 9:31 PM

Mike,

I am blaming a leftist for the creation of the program that tramples over the rights of the citizens by forcing them to comply with submitting part of their income to a fund that is basically a pyramid scheme. This scheme was concocted by F.D.R in 1935 as part of his "New Deal". While you are correct that administrations from both parties have used the funds generated, it was a leftist that created it.

If you think that I should give up my rights to receive the money that I paid into because I oppose it you are more naive than I thought. By the time I retire if my wages stays the same, I will have unwillingly paid over $200,000 into the social security system. I am entitled to that money, however much I disagree with the program.

You stated: "If Social Security is left alone, there won't be an issues with it for at least 30-35 years. That hardly sounds like there are problems with it."

This was taken directly from a social security statement... "In 2015 we will begin paying more in benefits than we collect in taxes. Without changes, in 2037 the Social Security Trust Fund will be able to pay only about 78 cents for each dollar of scheduled benefits.* We need to resolve these issues soon to make sure Social Security continues to provide a foundation of protection for future generations."

I plan on retiring in about 40 years. Based on this information, I will not be able to get all the money back that I am entitled to. Let's do some simple math; if I am entitled to $2,000 per month when I retire at age 70, I would have to live to 170 to get all the $200,000 that I am entitled to, and that doesn't include interest owed. So do you really think that Social Security is a great deal?

As a person on the left... do you feel the government can make a better decision regarding your life then you can?

-- Posted by proudconservative on Fri, Feb 11, 2011, at 1:40 PM

Ok... I just realized where my math went wrong... I guess I was typing faster then I was thinking... 8.3 years is all it would take to recover the $200,000, assuming that is without 50+ years of compounding interest.

But even with this new information, Social Security is still a losing proposition if one lives over their life's expectancy. What if you fail to live the 8 years??? That money, which is yours, now becomes the governments without them having to continue to pay to your family.

I still do not like Social Security and I want out.

-- Posted by proudconservative on Fri, Feb 11, 2011, at 4:27 PM

"There are Republicans who are leftists, too! Lots of them. We are drowning in leftists and leftist programs and ideas, from both sides of the aisle. You seem more interested in playing some kind of blame game than actually discussing the topic of your article. Leftist."

First of all you are the one playing the blame game, blaming everyone who doe not fit into your beliefs for what's wrong in society. The first part of your statement confirms that you believe that anyone who does anything that doesn't fit your beliefs is a leftist. This also means that you do not have a true definition of what a leftist is, which is what I asked in my post.

"Bush and the Democratic Congress bailing out the banks was truly leftist, rewarding the foolish and irresponsible."

Apparently you believe that no Republicans voted for the bailout? Just in the House alone 91 Republicans voted for it, BUT 63 Democrats voted against it.

I guess my sticking point is who all you include in your definition of what a "leftist" is.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Feb 11, 2011, at 4:56 PM

I don't believe I ever said the government funded phone wasn't true I said I had never heard of, now I have had.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Feb 11, 2011, at 4:57 PM

Here's something of interest. A dictator just fell in Egypt without US involvement. The people demanded change and they are getting it, for better or worse, and it didn't take the United States sending troops in to do it.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Feb 11, 2011, at 5:11 PM

The Congress when Bush II was president was controlled by the Democratic party. I know lots of Republicans voted for it, and they are all leftists. You keep pushing a Republican versus Democratic agenda or something. I keep saying who I believe to be a leftist, and I judge them by their actions, not by their political party. Right now the differences between the two major political parties is hardly worth mentioning.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Fri, Feb 11, 2011, at 7:36 PM

With Bilbos recent rambling, it might be easy to forget whats really important.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/file/oreill...

-- Posted by Damu on Fri, Feb 11, 2011, at 8:58 PM

you just need to make more money to lessen the percentage of tax to social security.

-- Posted by president obama on Sat, Feb 12, 2011, at 7:28 AM

Boomer, I am not pushing anything. It is obviously clear that to you anyone that does not prescribe to your way of thinking is a "leftist" which constitutes over half of Americans.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sat, Feb 12, 2011, at 1:11 PM

Leftists, deflecting and juking and jiving but not addressing any defintions. HMMMMMMMMMMMM....

-- Posted by captainobvious on Fri, Feb 11, 2011, at 11:26 PM

Funny, for someone who can only give their opinion on what they believe a "leftist" is, instead of actually defining ... oh, wait, you're calling Boomer a "leftist".

Everyone's a "leftist" now. That does make sense since Fox News just declared that all Americans you want liberty and democracy as Marxists (which is, the last time I checked, everyone).

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sat, Feb 12, 2011, at 1:13 PM

So, Boomer, I guess Obama no longer fits your definition as a "leftist" since he has announced huge cuts to Pell Grants, which is number 6 on your list of what you define as a "leftist".

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sun, Feb 13, 2011, at 3:56 PM

@captainobvious.

"A leftist can also be summed up as jealous of success and envious of those who reside in Cuba and China."

I love it. Ha. I was just speaking with my wife the other night about how sick I was of hearing about how great China is and how horribly terrible the U.S. is on the National Blog Networks. It disgusts me, move there already.

Thanks for the good laugh.

-- Posted by cplcac on Mon, Feb 14, 2011, at 4:48 AM

@boomer

...someone who believes that individuals are not responsible, for their actions, their livelihoods, their children, their success or lack of it. People, in their minds, are helpless to stand against the adversities of a normal life.

... believes in government solutions to all of life's problems; the true salvation for us all lies with an all-seeing, all-knowing, omnipresent government. This is the road our nation is on, and it leads nowhere good.

Very well spoken. I believe it all started when the American hand-out system began...in so many areas and reserves.

-- Posted by cplcac on Mon, Feb 14, 2011, at 4:53 AM

"I believe it all started when the American hand-out system began...in so many areas and reserves."

So you believe the problems of our nation started in the 1780s, cplcac?

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Feb 16, 2011, at 6:27 AM

If every individual taxpayer in the US was taxed on their income at 100%, the additional taxes would not close the deficit in the president's budget for this 2011 year. If that does not frighten you, you're not paying attention. Forget taxing those over $250K in income; there's not enough money anywhere to pay for all these entitlements.

President Obama's proposed cuts to the budget amount 3% of the total, a mere drop in the deficit bucket. By the same token the Republicans propose cutting only $100 billion out of the $3 trillion budget--it will take much more courage than that to save our nation. They are all leftist socialists at heart.

For those who have read George Orwell's Animal Farm, we are at the stage where the horse is sick and dying while the pig and his associates live the high life in the house stolen from the farmer. Very hard times are coming.

Mike, I hope you take a hard look at what is really happening in Egypt. The military took over the government in a coup and ousted Mubarak. They then dissolved Parliament, and forcibly removed all demonstrators from the streets. No time table given for elections, rigged or not. The people will end up with less freedom, not more.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Wed, Feb 16, 2011, at 4:41 PM

Mr. Hendricks, Ronald Reagan, as he PRACTICED (not as he preached), would be accurately described in today's terms as neither a conservative nor a RINO, but as a neocon - pretty much the backbone, the old boys network, of the current GOP leadership.

I admire Reagan for talking a good game, and for standing up to the Soviet Union, but that's pretty much it.

You asked, "What is Libertarianism?"

Do you know the answer?

-- Posted by Owen McPhillips on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 5:49 AM

Cutting the budget Boomer does not take courage. It takes intelligence. There are ways to cut budget without costing jobs. Proposing 100 billion dollars in cuts to the budget but only those provisions which they do not political believe in is not courage in any stretch of the imagination. Of course, you forget, that large majority of the 3 trillion dollar deficit is not from the Obama administration.

As for Egypt I believe your facts, as of now, are wrong. There was no true military coup. The people took to the streets wanting Mubarak gone. Once it became apparent that he would not willingly leave office, then the military stepped in.

There is a timetable on elections. The elections that were to take place later this year are still, for the moment, going to take place. Instead of being scared about what could happen in a worst case scenario be hopeful about what could happen in a semi-good (at the least) scenario. Unlike what has been declared there is no caliphate about to take hold in the Middle East.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 5:27 PM

It takes time for democracies to take shape. After ten years there was probably hardly anyone in the world that believed the United States would make it twenty. Look at this old girl now.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 5:30 PM

"It takes time for democracies to take shape. After ten years there was probably hardly anyone in the world that believed the United States would make it twenty. Look at this old girl now."

Yes, indeed - look at it now. Definitely a democracy. (as illustrated by two wolves and a lamb, voting on what's for dinner)

.....but it started out as a REPUBLIC...

-- Posted by Owen McPhillips on Thu, Feb 17, 2011, at 11:00 PM

The United States in it's current form has always been a representative democracy.

It started out as a Republic in name only. Historians and politicians (today and in 1788) have never agreed on a full definition of Republic. Even the accepted definition:

A republic is a state under a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, retain supreme control over the government.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic

is extremely vague. The government as set up in the Constitution is a representative democracy.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Feb 18, 2011, at 11:06 AM

The method by which we select our representatives is democracy.

The Constitution, the document by which they must (theoretically) abide, spells out very clearly what the federal government may do.....and no more. And then it goes on to spell out, equally clearly, what the federal government must NOT do. This rule of law, as opposed to rule by majority, is what makes it a republic, as opposed to a democracy.

You didn't learn this in all your years of schooling?

-- Posted by Owen McPhillips on Fri, Feb 18, 2011, at 5:17 PM

"The method by which we select our representatives is democracy"

That would be a textbook definition of representative democracy.

What you have described is what is called a constitutional republic, this should not be confused with the other term republic. They are not one in the same and should not be treated as such. A republic is one that which (as I have already defined) the people or a significant portion retain supreme control over the government. We do not have that here and we never have. A constitutional republic is a state, where the head of state and other officials are representatives of the people and must govern according to existing constitutional law that limits the government's power over all of its citizens. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutio... That is what we have.

"You didn't learn this in all your years of schooling?"

I had expected more than childish insults out of you Owen I guess I was expecting too much.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sat, Feb 19, 2011, at 11:38 AM

Here's some pretty funny political satire I ran across.

I agree totally on politics and things grinding to a hault in Washington. In fact I would suggest that it's hate radio and Faux News that's at the root of the problem with this country today. In the old days, your average Cro-Magnon conservative would crawl out of his bourgeois cave in the suburbs every morning and give a friendly wave to his progressive neighbor, who was out of work but enjoying the day relaxing in his hammock. He'd catch the bus to his job, put in an 8 hour shift, then shuffle home with the portion of his paycheck the benevolent government allowed him to keep. He'd wave to his lib neighbor - still in his hammock - and prepare to do some yardwork. He still enjoyed yardwork, despite the 95 cents per foot Lawn Modification Fee paid each year and the 50 cents a gallon gas tax to provide free landscaping and hammocks for his unemployed neighbor, or the fact that he had to hock his lawnmower due to the aforementioned taxes. Although he was expected to pay property tax on all of his land, he was only allowed to make improvements on 10% of it - pending environmental reviews and $200 in permits. So our complacent conservative would drop to his knees and prepare to scissor clip the remaining two blades of grass he was still legally permitted to cut, when a man from the Bureau of Lawn Management would appear and slap him with a $500 fine for damaging the breeding grounds of the endangered three-toed lawn frog, which lived about 15 miles away but needed a 50 mile radius of undeveloped land or else it got really cranky. He'd also get nailed with a $200 fine for allowing his lawn to grow too long, a $150 fine for leaving his garage door open, plus a $25 sin tax on the scissors to keep his disadvantaged neighbor supplied with those fruity ***tails with the tiny umbrellas in them. The con might get a little miffed. Perhaps he would even feel the urge to complain. But then his neighbor would chide him for being selfish and greedy. "Have you no compassion, you heartless repug?" he'd ask. So, our cro-mag con would quietly resign himself to paying his fair share. He'd drink a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon and pass out on the floor of his cave until it was time to obediently catch the bus back to work again. Voila! Democracy! Then along came conservative talk radio and Fox News. Our cro-mag con now flicks on his little Hate Box and hears Rush Limbaugh bloviating about how the city of Santa Monica is imposing a new Eyebrow Tax to build wheelchair ramps next to dumpsters so handicapped homeless people can dine in style. He hears Sean Hannity yammering about a new Spam Tax in Seattle to fund free gender modification surgery for Sen. Patty Murray. The repug begins to get the idea he's not alone, that there are others out there who share his political views and delusional ideas. He starts asking questions. He gets involved in politics. He buys an SUV and joins conservative hate groups like the Rotary Club and the Catholic Church. He demands lower taxes and less wasteful government spending - the exact opposite of what our Founding Fathers intended. He may even begin to read subversive literature from reknowned fascists like Ayn Rand and Barry Goldwater. Previously unable to string two coherent ideas together, our cro-mag conservative Republican now revels in arguing with us - not with knowledge bestowed upon him by brilliant UC Berkeley professors, progressive Democrat politicians, or the New York Times, but with little soundbites of hate injected into his puny primitive brain by a right-wing demagogue of choice. Desensitized by the trademark animalistic violence of the conservative media, he no longer listens to the calming, soothing wisdom of his progressive neighbor. Instead, he knocks the poor man out of his government-issued hammock, calls him "lazy", and tells him to "get a job". If he gets really ambitious he might start writing letters to the editor, participating in internet discussion boards or starting up his own blog to spew his narrow minded hatefulness. From there, it's only a hop, skip and a goosestep to blowing up abortion clinics for Jesus. Because of a conservative media, America is more divided than ever. The level of political discourse has never been lower, thanks to the actual participation of conservatives. Sadly, until the hatemongering Rush Limbaughs and Bill O'Reilly's of the airwaves are silenced, we will continue to inch closer to the brink of a fascist slave state. That's not the democracy my ancestors fled to Canada to avoid fighting for. That's not the America I want to live in.

-- Posted by posture on Mon, Feb 21, 2011, at 5:57 PM

Captainobvious, read it again it is some very good political satire. The guy who wrote it is far right and an expert in satirical humor.

-- Posted by posture on Tue, Feb 22, 2011, at 6:37 AM

Once again obvious you are biting so hard on the bit to attack anyone you see as a liberal that you go after someone who posts an obvious (judging by your name I would have thought you would have caught that) satirical humor writing.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Feb 22, 2011, at 8:53 AM

"That is the first time I have done that."

You can't be serious, obvious. Your posts are full of attacks on anyone you see as a liberal or a "leftist". Do you honestly believe anyone will be foolish enough to think you are being honest when you say you have never attacked someone you view as liberal? Really?

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Feb 22, 2011, at 9:09 AM

Actually, obvious I never said that you are just flat out lying at this point:

Once again obvious you are biting so hard on the bit to attack anyone you see as a liberal that you go after someone who posts an obvious (judging by your name I would have thought you would have caught that) satirical humor writing.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Feb 22, 2011, at 8:53 AM

"That is the first time I have done that."

You can't be serious, obvious. Your posts are full of attacks on anyone you see as a liberal or a "leftist". Do you honestly believe anyone will be foolish enough to think you are being honest when you say you have never attacked someone you view as liberal? Really?

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Tue, Feb 22, 2011, at 9:09 AM

No where in either of those posts do I state what you claim I did. You attack liberals every chance you get, you get caught in a lie and your only recourse is to either lie again or question my English skills.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Wed, Feb 23, 2011, at 12:06 PM


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