Monday, January 23, 2006

Blog Shoutout to: Molly Ivins

We don’t normally do the national political discussion here.  Heaven knows there are enough other places to get that stuff around the internets.  But we did want to point you democrats out there to this article by Molly Ivins. (Molly Ivins, “Not. Backing. Hilary.” 01/20/06, Creator’s Syndicate)

We like it, and would humbly suggest that it has significant local implications as well.  

If you’re scoring at home, we’re not sure, but we believe that Ivins got as least some of her numbers in the fifth graf from this poll.  (Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, “Beyond Red and Blue,” 05/10//05)


Dawg Corleone said...

Interesting piece, but reflective of a vein that runs deep on both sides of the aisle: advice from the unaccountable.

It's easy for Ivins to say: Run Hard Left. She's not running for anything.

Those who are realize the votes are in the middle.

Ivins is talking the Great Left Wing Echo Chamber.

And doing so on a day when conservatives are winning in, of all places, Canada.

I would respectfully suggest that thoughtful Dems truly interested in the future of their party should do some reading (as I've done recently) on the demise of the Whig Party.

The lesson to be learned: there's no law that says we must always have a Democrat party.

Anonymous said...

Didn't the Whigs predate the modern Democratic Party?


in Canada, while the Conservatives will be controlling a significant minority government, the Liberals (and their allied parties) took 52% of the vote. I guess Canada's conservative movements are just like ours, they get fewer votes than the left, but claim a mandate.

Dawg Corleone said...

Well, I tried. So much for constructive criticism. I'll just go back to the You Guys Don't Get It Mode, and get ready to open another big can come November. Seems like you'd get tired of losing.

Jmac said...

I don't know if I'd call it 'constructive criticism' my friend. Typically few things 'constructive' come from you. Narrow-minded and simplistic? Sure ... that we've come to expect.

The Liberals will win back the prime minister's seat in Canada, most likely in the next election. This particular election seems more like a referendum on the exisiting government, rather than a massive ideological shift. Same thing happened in Great Britain earlier - Tony Blair's unpopular decision to support the War in Iraq is what almost doomed him, not a broad rejection of his more liberal policies, which are rather embraced in that country.

Plus, the fall of the Whig Party doesn't have much to do with anything these days. The Democratic Party is stumbling about some, just as the Republican Party did from the 1930s on through the 1970s. Politics works in cycles and at some point everything will shift back around again.

Should Democrats be smarter and run better campaigns? Of course! Both Publius and I have argued that all along. And while I don't think a hard left turn will do anything to benefit the party - except fire up a small, but dedicated base - I also think flocking to candidates, such as Hillary Clinton or Joe Lieberman, who are overly careful with their wordings and positions, isn't the way to build success either.

But your suggestion, Corleone, is one that always has puzzled me ... which is simply 'be more conservative.' Well, gee, that doesn't seem like the best course of action for a progressive political party. It would be like telling conservatives to 'be more liberal' if the shoe was on the other foot.

What does work is nominating smart and likeable candidates, promoting a positive agenda and vision for the community/state/country/world, pointing out the clear differences between the competing parties, and running a good field operation during a campaign. And this works for both parties, methinks.

Fishplate said...

I know it's because that's the way it is, but why does "be less conservative" = "be more progressive"?

I always thought progressive had a broader this another word that's been highjacked by an agenda?

hillary said...

Wouldn't the etymologies of the two words indicate their opposition?

hillary said...

(Sidebar: Y'all have issues with spelling the name Hillary correctly, dontcha? Duff = one L. Brown & Clinton = two L's.)

Ned said...

Do you want us to be more conservative or more neo-conservative? Because fighting pre-emptive wars and spending money out the ass doesn't seem very conservative. Spying on Americans doesn't seem to be conservative either.

Are there specific parts of conservatism that we should adopt? I really would like to know what is so great about conservatism, other than it makes it easy to win elections because churches tell their constituents how to think and vote.

Also, is there a specific era of conservatism that would be best for us to follow? Would pre-revolution conservatism serve us well? How about the style of conservatism before the civil war? How about the period afterwards? Is 1950's conservatism good? 1980's is the best?

Fishplate said...

But, HilLary, the two are not mutually exclusive. Are they?

Dawg Corleone said...

Boy...a lot of whistling past the graveyard here.

I support the Low Taxation Kill the Terrorists brand of conservatism currently favored by voters in America and abroad.

When's the last time the Grab Ankle Appease the Terrorists Left won an election anywhere?

Oh. That's right.


Ned said...

But killing terrorists costs lots of money? How can you afford to kill lots of terrorists(and innocent bystanders, which for some reason happens to make more terrorists) without raising taxes?

Also, how is the hunt for Osama Bin Laden going? We beat the Japanese and the Germans in less time than it has taken us to find 1 person hiding in a cave.

Pick one or the other, you can't have both. Or you could always go and kill the terrorists yourself if you would like. There are tons of recruiters who would love to talk to you about opportunities to use your conservatism to take out the enemy!

Dawg Corleone said...

Wish I could go. Age prohibits. I'd go tomorrow, if I could. Instead, I'll gladly work and pay taxes to support those who do go. Just take my defense contribution out of the pile of money currently set aside to give to crack whores.

His most recent recitation of Democratic talking points notwithstanding, I don't rule out the possibility that OBL is dead. If not, he's cleary not in a position to do us much harm as he might like. I'm sure he'd rather have sent bombs; instead, he sent a tape.

Jmac said...

Gosh ... and what political affiliation was the president when we beat the Japanese and Germans? Began with a 'D' I think ...

But, seriously, can we drop the entire the left appeases the terrorists bit? I know it requires a minimal amount of thinking, thus meaning you don't have to articulate a clear counter-argument, but it is sadly untrue.

Listen, if anyone - anyone - said we should simply quit fighting the terrorists and let them have at it over there, I'd say that was a foolish foreign policy idea. But how does saying 'you know, I don't think things are really going along that smoothly in Afghanistan and Iraq' translate into 'please don't hurt us ... take our land and children, please!'? Last time I checked, it didn't and all it meant was perhaps we should find a more effective way to continue the War on Terror.

Ned said...

How old are you? You can enlist up to age 40. I don't know how much money we have in the crack whore fund, but I have a feeling it is quite small compared to the defense budget.

I'm glad that you think OBL is dead. Too bad we don't have any proof and Iraq is still a shithole. That country is headed towards a civil war more and more everyday. Lots of Sunnis are turning up dead in Shia neighborhoods and Shia turn up dead in Sunni neighborhoods, mostly by a single shot to the back of the head.

Of course, none of this terrorism bullshit would exist if Bush were paying attention in 2001 instead of talking about tax cuts and sending out 300 dollar checks and taking vacations all the damn time.

Dawg Corleone said...

Yeah, 'cause terrorism never happened before 9/11. Terrorists didn't hit the WTC, they didn't bomb our warships, they didn't blow up embassies, probably because they knew the previous administration would have no hesitations about going after their asses. Why, if anyone had so much as given WJC a clean shot at OBL, we know he'd have taken him.

You folks on the Left aren't afraid W's plan for Iraq won't work; you're afraid it will. You're rooting for the civil war (which probably won't happen and if it did would be very short and very one sided). You're rooting for American failure, because you perceive it as Republican failure and as something that would be good for your party.

The Republicans are fighting the terrorists while you're fighting the Republicans, and if you somehow still believe the electorate doesn't see that then wait til November and they'll show you--again.

Ned said...

Hey dawg, you never said if you were older than 40! Please tell me you are, otherwise I'll call that recruiter ASAP! I work with a decorated Marine who served in Iraq during Desert Storm and I am sure he can introduce you to the right people so you can be there on the front lines stopping terrorists!!!

I am not rooting for failure, I am rooting for getting this shit over with. We should have never gone into Iraq at all because it is just creating more terrorism. I don't see how you can win a war if you are just making more enemies and every soldier costs us hundreds of thousands of dollars just to train, and then it takes even more money and equipment to send them to Iraq where they get killed with super cheap IEDs and suicide bombers who seem to be in endless supply.

We could focus on making America safe by knowing who is in our country and staying out of countries were we aren't liked.

But don't act like voters in 2004 went to vote for Bush to stop terrorists, the big issue was Gay Marriage. We are in debt and soldiers are dying every day, but the issue that was most important to a lot of voters was "stopping fags from getting married."

I'd be happy if W's plan worked. I'd be happy if any of his plans he has had in the 5 years he has been in office have worked. The only one that worked was the 300 dollar check plan, but that was a surplus from the previous government and I can't help but think that the surplus could have done a lot to prevent terrorism before 9/11 if he had been paying attention.

hillary said...

But don't act like voters in 2004 went to vote for Bush to stop terrorists, the big issue was Gay Marriage. I sort of wish it were that simple. The fact is, the constant focus on terrorism as the evil above all evils makes people scared all the time, and since they were scared, they voted for the monkey who beat his chest slightly louder.

Dawg Corleone said...

I'm older than 40. And I reject the notion that we are "creating more terrorists." To say that you'd have to know two things: (1) How many terrorists there were to begin with, and (2) How many there are now. If you know either of those things, I have some friends at the CIA who'd like to talk to you.

Besides, it's patently absurd on its face. No one suggested during World War II that killing Nazis created them, or that Yankees who killed Rebels in the Civil War were creating more Confederates. The "creating more terrorists" claptrap is a talking point that for some reason resonates with the My Entire Car Is Filled With Lefty Bumper Stickers crowd, but really with no one else.

Jmac said...

OK, this whole conversation is descending into the absurd.

Of course, none of this terrorism bullshit would exist if Bush were paying attention in 2001 instead of talking about tax cuts and sending out 300 dollar checks and taking vacations all the damn time..

While I have strong disagreements with Bush's tax policy, to suggest if he had merely paid more attention we would have stopped 9/11 is just patently false. The terrorists were determined and we were not ... no matter how many warnings any president could have received. It was an awful, horrific day, but the blame lays solely on the shoulders of the bastards steering those planes into the Towers ... and no one individual here at home.

Likewise, to suggest we're not at least playing some role in fostering the growth of terrorists or those with anti-American sentiments is wrongheaded too. I'm not saying we should back down in the fight against terrorism, but invasions and war lead to strong resentments ... just take a look at the current Iraqi insurgency.

Fishplate said...

I just love the way Molly Ivins begets controversy. At least she's good for something...To her credit, she finally wrote a column that has a part with which I can agree, though I wonder how much her figures (and the poll behind them) depend on the ignorance of those questioned.

And, I wonder if there's a correlation between age and Liberalism...

Dawg Corleone said...

Winston Churchill--the greatest Westerner of the 20th century--purportedly said that if you're not a liberal at age 20 you don't have a heart, and that if you're not a conservative at age 40 you don't have a brain.

Jmac said...

Since we're playing the quote game ...

The Democrats seem to be basically nicer people, but they have demonstrated time and again that they have the management skills of celery. They're the kind of people who'd stop to help you change a flat, but would somehow manage to set your car on fire. I would be reluctant to entrust them with a Cuisinart, let alone the economy. The Republicans, on the other hand, would know how to fix your tire, but they wouldn't bother to stop because they'd want to be on time for Ugly Pants Night at the country club.
- Dave Berry

I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends ... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.
- Adlai Stevenson

Anonymous said...

if you're not a conservative at age 40 you don't have a brain
...again, he probably didn't have neoconservatism in mind.

Publius said...

"...though I wonder how much her figures (and the poll behind them)depend on the ignorance of those questioned."

Well, in my personal opinion, I'll vouch for the credibility of the poll itself. The Pew center is a pretty highly-respected organization, and I think their methodology is sound. I would trust a Pew poll before I trusted most others, even reputable firms like Gallup and Roper, or in the political sphere, Celinda Lake or Cooper Secrest. Not that there's anything wrong with those firms - they all have good reputations, and deservedly so.

As far as the ignorance of the interviewees is concerned, I'm sure that the Pew pollsters didn't go into the minutuae of policy and the ensuing policy ramifications on each issue, but, a 10 page white paper on each issue as background is not really the point of the poll. From reading the questions, I think that they were fair, and gave a decent overview of what the American people are thinking. Besides, there's an equivalency issue too. If you think that the respondents answered the questions out of ignorance, then they're probably going to take that same ignorance into the voting booth. For what it's worth, though, I think the American people are a lot smarter than most politicians give them credit for being.

But, seriously, don't take my word for it. Unlike a lot of polls, Pew published all of the questions and methodology along with the poll. I'd encourage everyone out there to please take a look at the link I posted to the poll. I think you'll find the nine typologies to be especially interesting.

Dawg Corleone said...

Top this one, from P.J. O'Rourke...

I have only one firm belief about the American political system, and that is this: God is a Republican and Santa Claus is a Democrat.

God is an elderly or, at any rate, middle-aged mate, a stern fellow, patriarchal rather than paternal and a great believer in rules and regulations. He holds men strictly accountable for their actions. He has little apparent concern for the material well-being of the disadvantaged. He is politically connected, socially powerful and holds the mortgage on literally everything in the world. God is difficult. God is unsentimental. It is very hard to get into God's heavenly country club.

Santa Claus is another matter. He's cute. He's nonthreatening. He's always cheerful. And he loves animals. He may know who's been naughty and who's been nice, but he never does anything about it. He gives everyone everything they want without thought of a quid pro quo. He works hard for charities, and he's famously generous to the poor. Santa Claus is preferable to God in every way but one: There is no such thing as Santa Claus.

Jmac said...

Now, now ... ole Mr. O'Rourke is no partisan hack ...

The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it.