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Author Topic: Whats with the democrats?
Ron
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quote:
However, I think Tom's point is that, just because someone is "known for doing something" doesn't mean that he does, in fact, do what he is known for.
Yes, how droll. Then Usama bin Laden is not a terrorist. Jack the Ripper was reallly liked women. Adolph Hitler really liked Jews.

Just because they were "known" for doing something doesn't mean that they do in fact do it. Does anyone else think this sounds just a little ridiculous?

Known means people have seen the errors and have judged for themselves the reputation. Its a little counter intuitive unless you want to ignore all of the evidence already presented on a number of discussions here. Why be blind to the context as it is presented? Why ignore it? In general reputations are fairly well deserved since they reflect an accostomed habit of doing certain things.

Now if you want to claim what is known is not substantiated, then you can make that claim. Otherwise you are seeking exceptions in the general form of habits. An alcoholic that takes avoids a drink one day does not mean he is not an alcoholic.

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WmLambert
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Here let me prove my point. "Oh look, that post by Tom smacks of Mooreism!"

Does this mean that Tom is:

A) tongue-tied?
B) inconsistant? or
C) disinformational?

Surrender now, or wait the requisite year or so, while the dictionary-makers load their ink-pens.

[ September 07, 2004, 06:52 PM: Message edited by: WmLambert ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
An alcoholic that takes avoids a drink one day does not mean he is not an alcoholic.
From my understanding, an alcoholic is always an alcoholic, even if he doesn't ever drink again. Neh?
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Everard
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"However, I think Tom's point is that, just because someone is "known for doing something" doesn't mean that he does, in fact, do what he is known for.
Yes, how droll. Then Usama bin Laden is not a terrorist. Jack the Ripper was reallly liked women. Adolph Hitler really liked Jews."

Ron, did I say its ALWAYS true that someone who is known for something does not do that something? No, and thats not what Tom is saying either.

Its KNOWn among a good half the country that Bush is a liar, war mongerer, religious fanatic, destroying the economy, etc... does that mean he, in fact, fits that profile?

No, it doesn't. Just as, just because Kerry is "known for flip-flopping" doesn't make it true that he's a flip-flopper.

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Ron
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I think the back pedaling by Kerry supporters in order to explain his many "dual" decisions reflects flip flopping. The most recent being his desire to reduce military in Europe (just a few months ago) and now criticizing the president for it.

Moore has already been proved a liar in a number of discussions here.

While you might want to ignore those very same discussions what you end up doing is only reducing your crediblity while blithely saying "I don't see any lies" or "I don't see any flip flops". Its the typical cynicism of those who are bankrupt in their ideas and look to small things in order to take the focus away from the overall truth of the matter. Did Kerry change his mind in midstream? Did Moore offer purposefully misleading information? The answer says more about the intellectual honesty of the respondent than it does of Moore and Kerry.

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Everard
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"ere let me prove my point. "Oh look, that post by Tom smacks of Mooreism!"

Does this mean that Tom is:

A) tongue-tied?
B) inconsistant? or
C) disinformational?

Surrender now, or wait the requisite year or so, while the dictionary-makers load their ink-pens.

Does it mean, though, that Moore is ANY of those things?

No, it just means its POPULAR to say that he DOEs do them... and popularity has nothing to do with accuracy.

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Ron
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Sorry Everard it is not KNOWN by half the country. It is fervently wished for by an extremist left minority. A very big difference.
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Ron
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If you can point at substantial short comings, then you have something, but if its the same general "I (or someone else) feel that way so it must be true" then you really can't argue the point coherently.
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Everard
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"Sorry Everard it is not KNOWN by half the country. It is fervently wished for by an extremist left minority. A very big difference."

FIrst off the "extremist left minority" statement is incorrect. Its a very large chunk of people voting against Bush this fall.

Secondly, it is known that Bush is a liar, war mongerer, etc. in exactly the same way it is known that Kerry is a flip-flopper.

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TomDavidson
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"Just because they were "known" for doing something doesn't mean that they do in fact do it. Does anyone else think this sounds just a little ridiculous?"

No, not really. Unless, of course, you think the media is always fair, accurate, and honest.

Gerald Ford is "known" for falling down a lot. Ronald Reagan is "known" for being forgetful and sleepy. Michael Jackson is "known" for being a child molester and a weirdo, and OJ Simpson is "known" for being a murderer who got off.

Are any of these true? Are they all true? Are they, in some cases, half-truths inflated by the media?

Bush is "known" for being stupid. Kerry is "known" for changing his mind regularly. Both these images are in fact deliberate manipulations of the media instigated by their opposition, who benefits hugely if these generic labels became what the candidate is "known" for.

Do you REALLY want to get into this argument with me? Because it seems like a losing proposition.

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Ron
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I suppose the question comes down to "Does Tom slander those he feels are fringe groups?"


An interesting answer here
quote:

Dagone: Then why do you do that ("slander the fringe") so often?


Tom: Because, as I pointed out, it's more effective. Years of responding to, say, Pix and Baldar with "now, that's a distortion and you know it" have proved useless and easily ignored. I think the Bush campaign team has demonstrated that the best way to "win" an argument like this is to go on the attack, to point out weakness and hypocrisy rather than seeking common ground.

Unfortunately, at this stage, winning the argument is more important than suffering through four more years of pseudo-conservative foolishness. I HATE that we've come to this, but I think we've been shown that maintaining the high ground in the modern political climate pretty much guarantees a loss.

But, anyway, back to the topic....

In short, Tom believes that it is ok to slander anyone that he views as fringe (which basically seems to be anyone he disagrees with). I suppose the question of character becomes optional for Tom.

If Tom found information that would disprove his point, if he found information that would make him wrong? Would he share it? In his view, its one big war and no rules exist. Being like the enemy is the only plausible view, morality and character are nothing more than quaint concepts set aside for what he believes is right. This is the left that calls Bush a liar.

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TomDavidson
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Let me also point out that the creation of labels like these is precisely one of the most toxic and effective tools used by campaign planners, and is IMO one of the things directly responsible for the acrimonious tone of recent political discourse. The idea that Ron and Wm aren't even willing to acknowledge that their terms are propagandistic in nature, rather than simply explanatory/definitional, seems to me to represent either a willful refusal to fairly consider their own methods and/or a general inability to recognize spin.

----

*grin* Ron, it's amusing that you brought that up. I was waiting for it, precisely because it's completely IRRELEVANT to this conversation and therefore fits your modus operandi perfectly. [Smile] Please explain, if you would, how the question of whether the terms "Kerryism," "Mooreism," and "Bushism" are in fact correct and accurate has somehow turned into the question of whether or not I believe it's right to slander someone I don't agree with. (Note, by the way, that you misrepresent my argument by wording it that way, but I'll let that slide since it's not the actual topic.)

[ September 07, 2004, 07:12 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Ron
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Hate to tell you Tom, I will, if I find information that counters my view, share it, as I have done in the past. Its because I want to defend my ideals, but not at the cost of my character.
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TomDavidson
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"Hate to tell you Tom, I will, if I find information that counters my view, share it, as I have done in the past."

I recall that you've done it all of once, Ron. [Smile] And since you did it about something that you said at the time that you didn't particularly care about in the first place, and which you were only arguing about for the sake of arguing with me, and since I in fact told you what the information was and roughly where to find it (even though you didn't believe me), and since I already thanked you for it, you don't get any extra points. *grin*

[ September 07, 2004, 07:15 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Ron
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Sure go ahead and call me dishonest. Its your only tool after all. The last refuge for someone caught speaking honestly about their own willingness to use falsehoods?
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TomDavidson
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Where did I call you dishonest, Ron?
My point -- and I'll repeat this, because you appear to be having a conversation with someone else on this thread whose posts are only visible to you -- is that merely knowing what someone means by a term like "Kerryism" does not in fact mean that one agrees with the application of the term.

-----

It's also worth noting that there's a fair distinction to be drawn between "slandering the fringe" -- something that you and many other conservatives do on here as a matter of course, by the way; it's a shame you aren't willing to admit it -- and actual dishonesty.

[ September 07, 2004, 07:19 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Ron
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The insinuation you use if fairly clear and it is dishonest to deny it. But hey, nothing unexpected right?
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TomDavidson
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No, seriously, what are you saying I'm insinuating? In fact, I've only made one comment about your character in all the above posts, and it was a pretty straightforward comment with no insinuation included. If you're referring to my saying that you were trying to change the subject from a clearly losing argument, as you always do, by resorting to a nitpicky personal attack, I didn't insinuate it at all; I came out and said it. That's what you're doing. Nor is it dishonest; I think you KNOW that I know that's what you're doing, which is why I've made a point of reiterating my point every time I reply.

(Note: my point, despite Ron's digressions, continues to be this: recognizing what someone intends by a term does not constitute acceptance of the accuracy of the term.)

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jouissance
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i know what a kerryism is

it is when you are against nation building and then are for it.

it is when you are for less government spending and then for more government spending.

it is when you drink a lot and then refuse to drink at all.

flip flopping.

i got it, right?

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Ron
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Just so I can get it right Tom and understand the "situational ethics" you use for forums like this. Do you consider Ron Lambert, William, myself and others to be extremists?

Are we to assume then that your repsonses may be dishonest or slanderous because of your view of people like myself, or Ron Lambert or William?

I mean, just so everyone here knows that being slanderous is an option for you when it comes to dealing with people you choose to find or label as extremists.

After all, those are the parameters you have set.

[ September 07, 2004, 08:33 PM: Message edited by: Ron ]

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TomDavidson
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Ron, you really, REALLY don't have to prove me right.

Look, if you want to create a separate thread in which you discuss whether I feel entitled or required to treat some members of Ornery with disrespect due to their possibly extremist political viewpoints, go ahead (or drop me an E-mail on the issue, if you don't think that our personal conversations are of sufficient interest to the board at large.) But please stop trying to distract people from the point being discussed here -- which is that, of course, the comprehension of a term as it is used does not constitute acceptance of the validity of the term or its application.

[ September 07, 2004, 09:06 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Ron
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No distraction, we all know that threads often wander far and wide. It does make me wonder why you are so desperate to keep this thread on tract when you haven't been so conspicuous in doing so in the past.

Its really just a simple question.

Since you have decided that there will be times and people you consider extremists. How are we to know when you are being honest and when you are being false? You have stated that you will be false, you will slander, because you feel it is the right thing to do. I only want to know when you are going to do it, and who will you be dishonest to?

I think most people, myself and Lambert, regardless of our opinions, attempt to provide what we see as an honest straightforward assessment. I think Tom that you have decided that such things are only an option for the like minded.

As has been said:

Dagone: Then why do you do that ("slander the fringe") so often?


Tom: Because, as I pointed out, it's more effective. Years of responding to, say, Pix and Baldar with "now, that's a distortion and you know it" have proved useless and easily ignored. I think the Bush campaign team has demonstrated that the best way to "win" an argument like this is to go on the attack, to point out weakness and hypocrisy rather than seeking common ground.


I assume you don't deny that you can and will use slander and dishonesty when you feel it is ok on these forums. Or are you somehow retaining your dishonesty exclusively for Hatrack?

It will help ALL of us guage just how seriously to take what you say. I mean if you tend towards dishonesty, how much credibility can you really have?

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Ron Lambert
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Thanks, DonaldD. I guess you can tell Ron and me apart by our Member #.

As for Bushisms, we all know they are making a positive contibution to the jobs market by keeping so many standup comics employed.

As for Kerryisms (or being Kerryish, the way I prefer to say it), there is a characteristic of John Kerry that seems to be his most outstanding characteristic, and bath thongs embody it. Nobody, democrat or republican, fails to recognize what it means instantly.

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
I couldn't care less whether Bush tried to justify it to the American public one way or the other, we meted out a justice Saddam and his henchmen had deserved for a LONG time. He did what was practical.
This would be fine if Bush were a dictator. The fact is, he misled the public, people wouldn't have supported his "real" reasons, and he deserves to be voted out, IMO. But we can disagree there.

quote:
You concede that Afghanistan is coming along nicely considering the time frame?
No, I just didn't address it. Ironically, I think if we had any hope of making this whole nation building thing work, it was in Afghanistan, but we blew it. We had legitimacy there in the eyes of most of the world, and we had the resources to keep the peace and build enough real infrastructure that we could have earned a real mid-east ally. Instead, I think we abandoned the country to go after who we REALLY wanted (Iraq).
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/global-deployments.htm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3575420.stm
http://washingtontimes.com/national/20040802-123610-9057r.htm

quote:
Our presence in Iraq gave Qaddafi a chance to re-enter the international community, and he decided to sieze it, in the meantime trading away his WMD's.
This has been implied many times to have been a causal relationship, but it seems to me Libya must have made this decision well before we toppled Sadaam. Anyone got any proof (links) one way or the other?

quote:
VERY different situation. Can't even apply the same logic, except that via their relationship with the Soviet Union they were able to trade THEIR WMD's away for a promise that the US wouldn't invade.
Iran has a very different domestic climate and the people in power are not Fidel Castros and they don't have a superpower backing them up.

Yeah, but idea (as I interpret it) is that a free Iraq will pressure surrounding countries to reform, like Syria and the Saudis. History showed the opposite with communist expansion:

"Ironically, the United States got into the Vietnam War because of a
domino theory in which one state would fall to communism, leading
another state to fall, and so forth. With more foresight the United
States should have realized that the game in East Asia was more like
checkers than dominoes, and the US might have stayed out. The checkerboard
pattern based on "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" is an old
tradition of geopolitics that helps us to make useful predictions in an
anarchic situation."
From Joseph S. Nye, Jr. Harvard University _Understanding
International
Conflict. Second edition 1997__ Pg. 28.
(sorry, no web link)

Basically, instead of forming a huge bloc, the communist states had alternating security arrangements. First the Sino-Soviet split, then Vietnam allies with the Soviets, creating hostility with the old enemy China. The USSR and Yugoslavia are oppossed, yet Cuba falls under the soviet sphere. Classic checkerboard, happens throughout history. The bloc theory was obviously wrong, and I see the neo-con strategic argument for a democratic Iraq being the same idea. I think it neighbors are more likely to be hostile than to fall in step. All this talk about how a democracy in the region will open the floodgates ignores a very important fact: there IS a democracy in the region, and its not real popular with the neighbors.
Adam

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TomDavidson
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"As for Kerryisms (or being Kerryish, the way I prefer to say it), there is a characteristic of John Kerry that seems to be his most outstanding characteristic...."

See, this is exactly what I'm objecting to, RonL. You're taking a deliberate caricature put forward as a Republican talking point and saying that the caricature is commonly accepted reality. The insidious thing about this is that the caricature can BECOME commonly accepted (although not necessarily any more real) if people don't point out when this is being done, merely through repetition. Remember the whole "Al Gore is a wooden, lying braggart" bit? What about "Dole is old and stodgy?" Or "Dan Quayle can't spell potato?"

Kerry isn't a "flip-flopper;" that's an image that's been created for him by people attempting to sully his reputation and avoid discussing substantive differences between the candidates. By promoting these cheap, easy soundbytes, we make it considerably harder to really discuss the candidates on their merits.

Remember how angry you were about the media using the word "quagmire" prematurely to discuss our invasion of Iraq? Your argument at that time, IIRC, was that it was NOT a quagmire, but that the media could -- by repetition -- get the public to accept that it WAS a quagmire; you felt compelled, I remember, to fight this assault on truth and accuracy.

The idea that a malapropism is a "Bushism," or the Iraq War is a "quagmire," or Kerry is a "flip-flopper:" these are all designed to narrow the public's focus on a single unflattering aspect, generally something with a tiny kernel of truth to it (or else it wouldn't be at all effective), while distracting them from the larger picture.

(Edit: OtherRon, I'd be happy to answer your questions in another thread. Feel free to start one, or E-mail me if you don't think the board is interested.)

[ September 07, 2004, 10:41 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Richard Dey
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I tend to toss things that amuse me into a pile I try to get back to but rarely do. One piece has grabbed my attention for the 3rd time, however:

Zinsmeister, Karl (‘Z’): “Dem de la Crème” in The Wall Street Journal; 2004.09.02 A12, an opinion piece on the reällocation of voter sympathies for our two major parties: Democrat (‘D’) and Republican (‘R’) and Party (‘P’). Zinsmeister demonstrates neatly with figures what we lowly voters have long-since realized:

Americans have realligned themselves politically over the last century. Today, the RP is of the center while DP is of the extreme top and bottom, left and right, whatever.

It’s been a long time since Harry S Truman or Jimmy Hoffa represented D core values; even Jimmy was a millionaire and Bubba was a Rhodes scholar. It’s been a long time since Eisenhower and Nixon represented R core values.

Here is the shift as Z sees it, with my snide comments:

R: ethnics (FL Cubans, blacks fleeing north, NY Russian Jews, SE Asians), hayseeds, evangelicals, (Dixiecrats and Mexicrats moving upwards and north), cops, construction workers (not to be confused with deconstructionists or social constructionists), homemakers (the female ones), and veterans have been moving D-->R.

D: financiers, academics, heiresses, media barons, net-bubble millionaires, lawyers, (ultra-income) brokers, entertainers R-->D.

“Once upon a time, America’s distaste for elitism translated easily into a distrust for conservatism. But today, with country-club Republicans having been swept aside by Nascar Republicans, there is nothing undemocratic about American conservatism. Among elites, it is now liberalism that is the dominant creed.” Z, op cit.

Sam’l Huntington (Harv., pol. sci.) studied a dozen elites (1974-2000): civil servants, lawyers, clerics, military officers, tinsel-tawdry moghuls, union leaders, non-profit and biz execs, media chieftains, and discovered that they were 2X-3X more liberal than the general public (biz bos and military officers quickly excluded). High-school grads and college grads are now heavily R while grammar-school grads and advanced-degree grads are heavily D.
***
Z extrapolates the data to suggest that the DP is of the extremes whilst the RP is of the center. This is where I detest the DP: it always was the know-it-alls with their ethical codes telling the know-nothings how to live; now this formula is working for the RP and its moral majority!

Z demonstrates what we already know: conservative Ds have hijacked the RP while liberal Ds (led by social constructionists, deconstructionists, and postmodernists) have hijacked the DP! And it helps explain how left over leftists have been left holding the D bag. We’ll see that it is easily refilled with money.
The black left has long since been explained, though a major R blunder and loss a century and more ago. The gay left can be easily explained as well: R has become everything gay people want to escape from: propriety; they want to move R (they are, after all, an elite in the traditional sense) but R policy caters to their nouveau bourgeois. The big change has been housewives moving D-->R (they tend to in wartime).

The wonder is that the RP has found its center again; the wonder is that the DP’s Diversity policy has never jelled. Surely the Ds' abandonment of labor, unions, farmers, the military, and other traditional support groups, and its embracement of immigrants and “diversity” is not complete (particularly as immigrants now are an incalculable risk), but then D policy can never be complete. As traditional Ds ride American success upwards, they become Rs; when they become the bored and guilty rich they become Ds again.

It is “becoming harder by the day to take Democrats seriously as the party of the common man.” - Daniel Henninger -

Lawyers are the biggest contributors to the political parties: Since July, lawyers have given $112M to the DP while “the entire oil and gas industry” has donated only $15M (presumably US$).

Kerry himself, indeed, will become the richest US president (actually and relatively) if ever elected. In fact, the Ds have pulled in “much more money” than the Rs have since spring. Z notes
that a single cocktail party in the Hamptons drew Kerry $3,000,000.

As Z puts it: “… the old way of thinking about US politics — little-guy Democrats vs. wealthy Republicans — is about as accurate and relevant today as a 1930 weather forecast. New fronts have moved in. Expect some major squalls ahead.”

The problem with the DP as I see it is the same as the problem with the RP. Their brains don’t match their hearts (and, thus, the need for hoopla, hyperbole, and the gross insincereties of the DNC and the RNC). The DP isn’t really liberal (can you really have a 'beer blast' at the KK in Hyannisport?); it’s intellectually elitist and bossyboose. The RP isn’t moderate because it’s centrist; it’s moralizingly elitist (can you really have a 'cocktail party' on WTX ranch?).

We still have political parties trying to set the social agenda; the DP has chosen left-over-leftist French deconstructionism while the RP has chosen left-over-rightest Hebrew testamentalism. Both are foreign.

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Ron Lambert
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Leave it to Tom to maintain that Kerry is not a flip-flopper. Just because you can find a reasonable excuse for one or two of his reversals of course, that does not alter the fact that he changes his mind MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE about major isssues, AND he repeatedly tailors his positions to appeal to whichever crowd he happens to be addressing--like when he told that crowd in a southern state, that if he were a resident of their state, he would vote in favor of the constitutional ban on gay marriages too. He may have had his fingers crossed behind his back, and he may have qualified it by saying "if," but distorting his apparent position that much is pandering, and contributes to his reputation as a flip-flopper.

By contrast--very stark contrast--everyone nods their heads and acknowledges the truth when you point out that you know where President Bush stands--he sticks to his position, even if it is unpopular. "You know where I stand," Bush said during his acceptance speech, and that alone is a major difference between him and Kerry. Bush does not keep reinventing himself every three days.

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Everard
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"By contrast--very stark contrast--everyone nods their heads and acknowledges the truth when you point out that you know where President Bush stands--he sticks to his position, even if it is unpopular."

Interesting. So Bush hasn't flip-flopped on nation building, hasn't flip-flopped on government spending, hasn't flip-flopped on our ability to win the war on terror, etc?

" that does not alter the fact that he changes his mind MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE about major isssues,"

Again, interesting... you have proof that Kerry has changed his mind, not only on one or two issues, but more often then anyone else in the world? Because, thats what you just said...

People also nod sagely when you say that Bush is a war mongerer and a liar. Doesn't make it true, any more then it is true that Bush doesn't change his mind. Nor is it necessarily true that Kerry changes his mind more then any other politician, or even most politicians.

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TomDavidson
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"that does not alter the fact that he changes his mind MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE about major isssues"

*blink* More than anyone else? Seriously? How is this documented?

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