Keeping the Crazies In Check

One of the ways the GOP has managed to maintain power lately is by harnessing the voting power of the crazies and using it to their advantage through various ‘wedge’ issues in the cultural wars. An easy way to get the homophobic bigot vote is to put up some proposals ‘defending marriage’ and, Voila!, a certain segment of the society will vote for you despite anything else you do (although truth be told, I don’t recall any Democrats running on a pro-gay marriage ticket). Aside from the silliness of the idea that marriage needs to be defended (really- marriage is so good and so strong even the gays want it!), you get away from this by dressing up these proposals that are clearly limited to limiting the rights of a certain segment of society by ‘defending’ some ‘traditional value.’ Noble cowards, indeed.

In fact, it was the blatant pandering to the lunatic wing of the religious right (for the wingnuts, I am able to understand that all religious people are not the religious right, and that not all of the religious right is insane- distinctions, cool things, really) that made it so distasteful is that the GOP response was CLEARLY for little more than partisan political reasons. it was simply catering to the wet dream of the Priests for Life and the rest of the rabid fringe- damn near everyone else was appalled by the behavior of DeLay et. al. calling poor Judge George Greer an ‘activist’ and making this statement:

“Mrs. Schiavo’s death is a moral poverty and a legal tragedy. This loss happened because our legal system did not protect the people who need protection most, and that will change. The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior, but not today. Today we grieve, we pray, and we hope to God this fate never befalls another. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Schindlers and with Terri Schiavo’s friends in this time of deep sorrow.”

As to whether DeLay actually gave a shit about Terri Schiavo, I have my doubts. On the other hand, he clearly cares about the base, so he is willing to throw them a meaty bone whenever he can. The problem is, it appears that years of rhetoric can have a substantial impact on the behavior of the less balanced:

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she and former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor have been the targets of death threats from the “irrational fringe” of society, people apparently spurred by Republican criticism of the high court.

Ginsburg revealed in a speech in South Africa last month that she and O’Connor were threatened a year ago by someone who called on the Internet for the immediate “patriotic” killing of the justices.

Security concerns among judges have been growing.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter joked earlier this year that Justice John Paul Stevens should be poisoned. Over the past few months O’Connor has complained that criticism, mainly by Republicans, has threatened judicial independence to deal with difficult issues like gay marriage.

Worry is not limited to the Supreme Court. Three quarters of the nation’s 2,200 federal judges have asked for government-paid home security systems, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said this week.

Ginsburg said the Web threat was apparently prompted by legislation in Congress, filed by Republicans, that would bar judges from relying on foreign laws or court decisions.

“It is disquieting that they have attracted sizable support. And one not-so-small concern – they fuel the irrational fringe,” she said in a speech posted online by the court earlier this month and first reported Wednesday by LegalTimes.com.

The obvious talking points response to this is that “Tom DeLay and those like him are not responsible for what a few random crazies might do,” and in all fairness, that is technically correct. If someone were to murder a judge, Tom DeLay and those like him would not be to blame. They would, however, be responsible for years of irresponsible and self-serving rhetoric- rhetoric that is driving me away from the party I have been a member of for 22 years.

(h/t TMV)






146 replies
  1. 1
    Al Maviva says:

    I’m wondering why you didn’t leave when Rush Limbaugh caused the Oklahoma City bombing.

  2. 2
    jcricket says:

    The whole “culture of life” BS is not going to stop with Schiavo and banning abortion. The GOP can’t win elections without firing up the lunatic fringe right-wingers to gain a percentage point or two. And then once the Republicans win, that fringe expects “their due” and are very vocal about it.
    Being beholden to those people is what leads to politicizing the FDA (no Plan B OTC, despite it being safe), politicizing science (e.g. quashing reports on global warming, gutting EPA regulations because of bogus industry studies etc.).

    Now the GOP is going after Birth Control. And here I thought liberals were supposed to be the “nanny-state” party.

    It really is no wonder support for Bush and (by proxy) the GOP is dropping rapidly, across every demographic group.

    What shocks me is that the extreme rhetoric and warnings from Powerline, Malkin, Dobson, Falwell, etc. of immiment doom for America’s way of life are really accurate, if you substitute the words “Republican” or “Conservative” everywhere you see “Democrat” and “Liberal”.

  3. 3
    RSA says:

    Tom DeLay and those like him are not responsible for what a few random crazies might do.

    Of course, you’re right, this is technically correct. It suggests the corrollary that Islamic leaders and people in general are not responsible for what a few random crazies might do. Think the Republican base is buying that?

  4. 4
    Cyrus says:

    The obvious talking points response to this is that “Tom DeLay and those like him are not responsible for what a few random crazies might do,” and in all fairness, that is technically correct. If someone were to murder a judge, Tom DeLay and those like him would not be to blame.

    They would not and should not be legally liable, but it seems to me that they would have some of the blame in a moral, ethical sense. Not the whole thing, obviously, but a non-trivial amount. If a politician makes a career out of demonizing and dehumanizing the people obstructing his agenda and some day someone actually pulls the trigger, the politician would feel guilty about that if he’s sane and even borderline empathatic.

    Tom DeLay, by contrast, would probably issue a statement that could be interpreted as “they asked for it”.

    A propos of nothing, can anyone here figure out pre-Academy French? “De loi” would be “of the law” or just “legal”, and a lot of older French names have a y where the modern word has an i… ironic if true. What would that make his middle name, Not?

  5. 5
    jg says:

    Just because we couldn’t convict him of being an accomplice in the murder doesn’t mean he and the other guy, Coulter, aren’t responsible.

    Its good to see your eyes are opening again but I can’t help seeing a future ‘they hate the troops’ moment that will undo all of it.

  6. 6

    Higgens wrote:

    I’m wondering why you didn’t leave when Rush Limbaugh caused the Oklahoma City bombing.

    I’m not sure Rush Limbaugh was as much responsible for that than G. Gordon Liddy and several other commentators calling Federal Agents Jack-booted Thugs, and hyping up the Waco tragedy.

    Of course, you’re right, this is technically correct. It suggests the corrollary that Islamic leaders and people in general are not responsible for what a few random crazies might do. Think the Republican base is buying that?

    Good point, RSA.

  7. 7
    Andrew says:

    So I’m a big supporter of free speech, and I think Nazi’s should be able to say that they hate Jews and that the world would be a better place without them and march down the street with Nazi flags, and vice versa, but when someone calls for the murder of a particular person, it seems to me that this crosses the line.

    Coulter should not be held responsible in any way if some nutjob goes and kills a judge, even if they were completely inspired by her. However, calling for a Supreme Court Justice to be assassinated is certainly sedition, much like it is illegal to call for the assasination of the president.

  8. 8
    Pb says:

    The obvious talking points response to this is that “Tom DeLay and those like him are not responsible for what a few random crazies might do,” and in all fairness, that is technically correct. If someone were to murder a judge, Tom DeLay and those like him would not be to blame.

    Can anyone make death threats and get away with it, or just Tom Delay?

    “The judges need to be intimidated. They need to uphold the Constitution. (If they don’t behave) we’re going to go after them in a big way.” — Tom Delay, 9/14/97

    Seems like he has a history here. But he’s still not responsible for what someone else might do, acting on his suggestions, right…

    “As I was listening to it, I was hoping deep inside that the leadership in Iran and other people who really have the U.S. not in their best interests, were not listening because of the terrible, terrible signal it sends.” — Bill Frist

    Tom Delay is just wrong. He is flat wrong. He is dead wrong. As I was listening to it, I was hoping deep inside that the random crazies and other people who really have the U.S. not in their best interests, were not listening because of the terrible, terrible signal it sends.

    Back me up here, Fristie!

  9. 9
    Andrew says:

    Of course, if Coulter talks directly with anyone who goes and kills a judge, then there is a strong case to be made for seditious conspiracy, which carries a federal sentence of 20 years or so.

  10. 10
    SeesThroughIt says:

    The whole “culture of life” BS is not going to stop with Schiavo and banning abortion. The GOP can’t win elections without firing up the lunatic fringe right-wingers to gain a percentage point or two.

    This is true–the current GOP is very, very, very good at harnessing single-issue voters, and with the single phrase “culture of life,”–which we all know is a complete crock of shit–they’ve been able to capture anti-choicers, anti-birth control types, and various other nuts. John put out the example of gay marriage, which is a perfect example. First, the GOP makes people terrified of gays and/or reminds them that they don’t like gays, then they say, “We will protect you from the pink menace!” Done and done.

    However, this article is somewhat encouraging. It seems evangelicals who actually take the teachings of Jesus seriously–you know, compassion for the poor, equality, all that stuff (as opposed to right-wing douchebags who just cherry-pick the Bible for quotes to support their preconceived prejudices)–are starting to get sick of being fed bullshit issues like gay marriage and the nonexistant war on Christmas and are peeling away from the GOP. Some are starting to talk to Democrats and, surprise surprise, find that they see more eye-to-eye with Democrats on the issues that actually matter. Take this quote, for example:

    They [Democrats] even found common ground on abortion when [evangelical Christian] Brinson, who is very pro-life, explained that he was more interested in lowering abortion rates by preventing unwanted pregnancies than in using the issue to score political points.

    More evangelicals like this, please, and far fewer Dobsonites, and we could actually make some progress.

    Also, excellent point, RSA.

  11. 11
    mark says:

    The obvious talking points response to this is that “Tom DeLay and those like him are not responsible for what a few random crazies might do,” and in all fairness, that is technically correct.

    Gee, next you’ll be telling us that the liberal media and treasonous democrats aren’t responsible for the failure in Iraq. /snark off

  12. 12
    cmh says:

    I hear you. I’ve been a moderate republican since I could vote 17 years ago. I was worried about the fringe then. I am a christian but that is a personal matter that I try to keep separate from my politics. I viewed the born-again evangelical upswing at that time as problematic and possibly leading to politicized groups that were reminiscent of the Handmaid’s Tale. Of course we aren’t anywhere near that but that movie lingered in my mind about one aspect of the republican party I knew that I did not like. Anti Birth control jeez… you know people [boink] for fun with no intention of making a life like it or not.

  13. 13
    KC says:

    Good post John. I remember when Senator Cornyn said something like he understood why some judges were being threatened and/or why some ended up dead. I thought that was truly disgusting. There are plenty of court rulings I don’t like; however, for a US Senator to go out and discuss threats against judges off the cuff is pretty irresponsible. Honestly, it’s downright scary too.

  14. 14
    Brian says:

    Good post, John.

    As has happened with the Democrats, the fringe has become representative of the GOP, and to make matters worse, Bush behaves in ways that aren’t recognizable as being conservative. With Iraq, I’m finishing the book “Assassin’s Gate”, and as a result am coming around to realize that much of what the Left has said about the war’s execution is correct. (To be fair, the book’s author makes some points in favor of the war, but it generally is very negative of Rummy and the administration.)

    I will continue identifying as a conservative, but I too shake my head at the GOP’s leadership, and will make a jum to Independent or Democrat if things don’t change for the better. Three more years of Bush is a long time. The Dem’s can take the House this year, but not with shenanigans like those of Feingold this week…..it’ll only embolden the GOP base if that rhetoric keeps up, rhetoric that is equally self-serving.

    American political leadership these days is shameful.

  15. 15
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    The GOP has become the white party in America, and as such has carefully woven into their message all the resentmants and fears white people have about those who are not like them. Blacks, hispanics, immigrants, gays, hedonists in general, just about anything that doesn’t fit in with their poky Opie notions of what life is all about.

    In this way the Republican Party has taken the role that at one time was fulfilled by conservative Democrats, particularly southern ones. George Wallace, Lester Maddox, Strom Thurmond, all Democrats, at least in the beginning.

    Here in Southen California the American Independence Party (started by George Wallace back in the late 60x) began running candidates for various offices under the rubric “Secure Our Borders.” A blantantly anti-Hispanic initiative that would involve rounding up Hispanics and “sending them back to where they came from.” And wouldn’t you know it, the Republicans here are now running on it as well. Which makes sense in a way. They can’t run on their achievements, so why not pick up the axe handles and run against powerless minortities?

    It really is time to strip the facade from the Grand Old White Peoples Party. They have become the party of hate and slick bogotry, and they need to be held responsible for the things that they advocate.

  16. 16
    jg says:

    I will continue identifying as a conservative, but I too shake my head at the GOP’s leadership, and will make a jum to Independent or Democrat if things don’t change for the better.

    There’s no need to panic Brian. LOL. Stay a republican and just vote democrat until they snap back to reality. The republican party isn’t dead, just kidnapped. We can win it back.

    With Iraq, I’m finishing the book “Assassin’s Gate”, and as a result am coming around to realize that much of what the Left has said about the war’s execution is correct. (To be fair, the book’s author makes some points in favor of the war, but it generally is very negative of Rummy and the administration.)

    Yes there are many positives about the war in Iraq but the negatives far outweigh them and because of that the war shouldn’t have been started. just as a warning though. As a fellow former war supporter who came to realized the futility of this war and the outright incompetence of its execution you need to realize you will now be branded as a left wing liberal hippie pot smoker. The minute you show the slightest dissent you are immediately ostricised, there is no middle ground. Independant thought is not allowed. For an example just look at the way this blog is portrayed on other right wing blogs just because John isn’t a complete an utter suckup to Bush.

  17. 17
    Brian says:

    The GOP has become the white party in America, and as such has carefully woven into their message all the resentmants and fears white people have about those who are not like them. Blacks, hispanics, immigrants, gays, hedonists in general, just about anything that doesn’t fit in with their poky Opie notions of what life is all about.

    Paddy, do you really believe this? I would not be a member of a party that was like this, and I don’t think that it is. Your comment is sterotypical, for sure, but do you really think this is the GOP? C’mon.

  18. 18
    Matt says:

    They [Democrats] even found common ground on abortion when [evangelical Christian] Brinson, who is very pro-life, explained that he was more interested in lowering abortion rates by preventing unwanted pregnancies than in using the issue to score political points.

    Yeah, I think eventually people will be driven away from the wingnut’s vision of sexuality, where the only people having sex are wealthy, married, heterosexual christian couples, and they’re only doing it to make babies anyway. It’s one thing to agree with their position on abortion, but it’s another to swallow their sexual ideal–not only do they not want you to have an abortion, they also don’t want you using birth control, and, for that matter, they don’t even really want you to know what birth control is, because you shouldn’t be having sex anyway, and, hey! stop masturbating too!

  19. 19
    jg says:

    Your comment is sterotypical, for sure, but do you really think this is the GOP? C’mon.

    There is an undercurrent of hatred in this country, non-americans are taking over and being given rights that supercede the rights of native born americans. The country is being turned over to them, its because of liberals and hippies ans stuff. The GOP shapes their message to give these people the impression they can find like minded people in the republican party. Its a way of attaining and keeping power. The republican party isn’t racist but its message gives comfort to racists. The GOP isn’t anti-gay but its defending marriage message attracts the fag haters. Its strong borders message attracts the anti-immigrant people. Its anti-welfare message attracts those who rail about their tax dollars going to n****rs who are lazy and don’t want to work. I grew up in South Boston Mass, a famously racist town so I ‘ve heard these people scream about minorities and blame democrats, then they vote for the guys who are actually doing nothing to improve their lives.

    Apologies to anyone offended by my use of the N word above. But I can’t make the point without speaking as one of them, which I once was.

  20. 20
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Brian: Yes, I do. And I honestly cannot understand how this cannot be evident to you. The GOP has been using racially/anti-gay tinged wedge issues for years. The old language of bigotry is not used, but the inferences are there.

    You’d have to be nearly blind not to see it.

  21. 21
    SeesThroughIt says:

    American political leadership these days is shameful.

    Amen to that, Brian.

    And if I may hurl pie into the sky for a moment…it seems like we’re at a good place to start thinking about a viable third party. Moderate Republicans are pretty damn disenchanted with the GOP. A lot of Democrats are fed up with the Democratic party’s incompetence, and there’s no shortage of people like me who never liked either party anyway. With so much extremism taking center stage, couldn’t moderates just band together and form the Moderate Party and start, slowly but surely, picking up seats? In theory, yes. But then again, as long as I’m dreaming, I’d like a 25th Anniversary Lamborghini Countach waiting for me when I get home.

  22. 22
    Matt says:

    I ‘ve heard these people scream about minorities and blame democrats, then they vote for the guys who are actually doing nothing to improve their lives.

    What was that book? What’s the matter with Kansas? or something along those lines?

  23. 23
    RonB says:

    I will continue identifying as a conservative, but I too shake my head at the GOP’s leadership, and will make a jum to Independent or Democrat if things don’t change for the better.

    Whatwhatwhat? This can’t be the same Brian who was having a spaz attack a few days ago here, is it?

  24. 24
    jg says:

    Never read it. Heard of it though. Wasn’t it called “What’s teh Matter With America’ when it was sold in Europe?

  25. 25
    Jim Allen says:

    [R]hetoric that is driving me away from the party I have been a member of for 22 years.

    John, I think you ought to get out of the breakdown lane and pick up speed with that drive. Just as so many “Reagan Democrats”, said they didn’t leave the party, the party left them, ‘your’ Republican Party no longer exists and you’re left with being a RINO. Time to cut the cord; you don’t have to be a Democrat, but I don’t understand how you can stay, even nominally, with this band of thugs, idiots and criminals.

  26. 26
    DecidedFenceSitter says:

    With the mention of What’s the matter with Kansas, I’d like to bring up this Slacktivist.

    While it didn’t say anything new to me. It explains Kansas.

  27. 27
    Mike in SLO says:

    Amen SeesThroughIt!

    I’ve been saying for years both parties have deserted the center where the vast majority of Americans really are, but every time you mention a third party you’re immediatley struck down as it can never happen–they’re too entrenched, you’ll be throwing your vote away, look what happended in 2000, blah blah blah. I don’t know… 3 more years of this Administration could conceivably change that as more and more moderates and true conservatives feel betrayed by the GOP and more and more progressives feel betrayed by the Democrats. And to those who say it can never happen, I say one thing: Where are the Whigs now?

  28. 28
    Brian says:

    Whatwhatwhat? This can’t be the same Brian who was having a spaz attack a few days ago here, is it?

    Yes, it’s me. One and the same.

    I am a fierce defender of certain principles or foreign policy strategies of the GOP, but I am being worn out by this administration and the “conservatives” in Congress. They even refuse to put spending limits in the new budget. They’re irresponsible, and slightly unhinged.

    Paddy, I guess we’ll have to disagree on your point about the nature of the GOP. I’m pro gay marriage, pro abortion, racially “sensitive”, and all that. I live in SoCal, so maybe it comes more naturally that a conservative counterpart in, say, Arkansas. But in general, I doubt that the GOP is any more racist/sexist/homophobic than the Democratic party. They’re “intolerant” in their own way, and pander in their own way. For instance, in CA a couple years ago, a gay marriage proposition failed by a huge margin; a sign that when people, Dem’s and conservatives, pull back the voting booth curtain, they vote other than how they speak publicly.

    The most likely way I will go by ’08 is to register as Independent. I like SeeThroughIt’s idea of a 3rd party, but it is a long shot. Always has been. But with both parties lately, it feels like the wheels are coming off this country. The polarization, the insane rhetoric, the pandering at the expense of honest debate, the unwillingness to debate, the soundbites, the lack of backbone, the manipulation, the money…..it’s so ugly.

  29. 29
    SeesThroughIt says:

    [a third-party] is a long shot. Always has been. But with both parties lately, it feels like the wheels are coming off this country. The polarization, the insane rhetoric, the pandering at the expense of honest debate, the unwillingness to debate, the soundbites, the lack of backbone, the manipulation, the money…..it’s so ugly.

    I couldn’t agree more. Both sides seem ever so willing to cut off the nose to spite the face, which would be fine if they just wanted to do it to themselves, but they’re doing it to everybody else in the country by proxy. The inmates are running the asylum, sad to say.

    I’d really like to see a third party emerge. I think that would be nothing but good for America right now. But I agree that the reality is that’s a pretty damn unlikely scenario. Not impossible, certainly, and like I said initially, now seems like a ripe opportunity to take advantage of disenchantment on both sides, band all those folks together, and channel that into something positive…but if you want to see Rs and Ds actually put aside their differences and work together on something, you’ll see it happen when they all realize a third party would be a real threat to their jobs.

  30. 30
    Ancient Purple says:

    Your comment is sterotypical, for sure, but do you really think this is the GOP?

    Perhaps not in the mind of the “average” conservative, but certainly the GOP has done nothing to distance itself from many things that Paddy mentioned.

    Pat Robertson says “crazy thing #_____” and there is almost universal silence from the GOP members who pander to his base for votes.

    Jerry Falwell says “stupid thing #_____” and there is little, if any, mention of it by GOP members who pander to his base for votes.

    Mann Colter calls Arabs and Muslims “ragheads” and very few people in the GOP condemned her. Most just nervously laughed and said, “Oh, that Ann.

    The GOP uses the “gay marriage” boogeyman at every turn in order to scare people into believing that if you vote for any Democrat, your pastor will be forced at gunpoint to perform marriages between a man and his dog.

    Ricky Santorum says that Griswold should be overturned and there wasn’t a peep out of the GOP leadership in saying he is off his rocker.

    Etc. Etc. Etc.

    If you don’t want people to think the GOP is racist, homophobic, anti-sex, etc. then pressure the leadership to distance itself from the likes of Dobson, Coulter, Falwell, Robertson, Santorum and the like.

  31. 31
    dagon says:

    jg:

    There’s no need to panic Brian. LOL. Stay a republican and just vote democrat until they snap back to reality. The republican party isn’t dead, just kidnapped. We can win it back.

    –how about forget this republican vs. democrat farm team bullshit altogether? it is this strick adherence to party over practice that has gotten us into this mess in the first place and it is what enables these bastards to ignore the will of their constituents time and time again.

    personally, i strive to be agnostic in all things. it’s an eye-opener. it allows you to realize that despite all propaganda, bill clinton was a fairly successful centrist conservative president who pissed off a lot of liberals and that george bush may very well be presiding over the most corrupt administration in this nation’s history.

    peace

  32. 32
    TM Cleaver says:

    If I might point out, there is a decided difference between a “conservative” and a “right winger.” It’s interesting to read the comments of the good conservatives posted here – you continue to demonstrate yourselves the decent and honorable and thoughtful people you are.

    In 1933 the good German conservatives were unable to distinguish between “conservative” and “right winger,” and by the time they had it figured out in 1943, it was too late to avoid the results.

    You guys would do yourselves good if you started refusing to let the right wing use the word “conservative” to describe themselves. “Radical revolutionary” – which is what the far right is – is as far from “conservative” as “conservative” is from “communist.”

    You may find it necessary to vote “progressive” as the best defense of “conservative” available. The loonies aren’t you, and it’s time you stopped standing on the curb averting your eyes while these thugs are kicking everything you believe in into the gutter.

  33. 33
    RonB says:

    Brian, nice to make your acquaintance, from one ex-true believer to another.

  34. 34
    Davebo says:

    Look John,

    I understand you being upset with Goldstein, but do you really think calling him a crazy that needs to be kept in the closet is the best approach?

    How about if you engage him in a frank discussion concerning what you see as the problems the GOP faces.

    I’m sure he’d be willing to discuss your concerns in the mature manner we’ve all come to expect from the guy….

  35. 35
    Perry Como says:

    Debt ceiling has been raised to $9 trillion. That’s $9,000,000,000,000. Around $30,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States. Yay small government!

  36. 36
    Davebo says:

    Perry,

    A fifty percent increase in our debt ceiling in five years.

    Mission Accomplished.

  37. 37
    Krista says:

    The horrible thing is that the rhetoric and attitudes of Delay, Frist, Coulter, Limbaugh and the like, have really emboldened those fringe players who see bombing abortion clinics as “God’s work”, and who are delusional enough to call for the assassination of SC Justices. It creates a chilling effect, and could possibly deter those who would fight for your civil liberties, because they fear for their life.

  38. 38
    Marcus Wellby says:

    but every time you mention a third party you’re immediatley struck down as it can never happen

    I am all for 3rd parties! The last time a viable 3rd party was in the race (Perot) we ended up with a great conservative president (Clinton).

  39. 39
    VidaLoca says:

    Brian —

    I think Paddy’s making a good point, and there’s more to it than this:

    But in general, I doubt that the GOP is any more racist/sexist/homophobic than the Democratic party. They’re “intolerant” in their own way, and pander in their own way.

    Since labor-intensive commercial agriculture became a big part of the economy in the Colonies, and certainly since the end of the Civil War, it’s been possible to be a white person in the US and believe, no matter how downtrodden you might be economically or powerless you might be politically, that you were at least better off than some “other” (defined most commonly in terms of race, less so in terms or nationality or gender) who you believed to be threatening your tenuous station in life. Legalized discrimination enforced this view, by making it seem that there was something exalted about being in the majority: when someone is discriminated against, somebody else is discriminated for.

    Political parties have succeeded in exploiting this view. The Democrats, from the 1880’s to the early 1970’s, consolidated their position natinally by enforcing Jim Crow in the South. Thurmond, Wallace, Maddox, Faubus, Bilbo, Eastland — they made careers out of sending coded messages to their base, who were the active and passive supporters of the Klan.
    That all ended with Nixon’s “Southern Strategy”: the GOP picked up where the Democrats left off, and now they ride the wedge issues to power by doing the same thing only now they rely not on the Klan but on the radicalized religious fundamentalists.

    Sure, you’re right — taken as a individual people, Democrats are just as intolerant as Republicans. They can be pandered to in their own way, and the parties are highly sensitive to the best ways of doing so [well you can argue that the Dems have lost their sensitivity to anything but that’s another discussion]. However, Paddy’s point gets at a method of rule to which, as the people who are being abused by this system, we should be paying attention

  40. 40
    McNulty says:

    So when every justice that went in favor of Bush during the 2000 election decision needed added security in the days and weeks after that due to the death threats they were receiving, can we blame Jesse Jackson and Alan Dershowitz and Julian Bond and all sorts of other left-wing kooks for that?

    When a NY Post reporter needed a bodyguard and had to work from home because rhetoric from Al Sharpton caused him to receive death threats, and other non-lethal threats such as “if i see you on the street, i’ll break yo muthafuckin neck”, should we blame Sharpton?

    The answer to both questions is no, but I’ll anxiously await links showing any of you chronically offended lefties condemning that.

  41. 41
    Davebo says:

    McNulty,

    It might be helpful if you established any of these claims as fact.

    Did the Supreme Court Justice require additional security after the Bush/Gore decision? I don’t recall hearing anything about that but I’d be happy to read what you have.

    Who is this NY Post reporter you are referring to? Beats me, never heard of it.

    And still haven’t.

  42. 42
    Rome Again says:

    Brian said:

    I will continue identifying as a conservative, but I too shake my head at the GOP’s leadership, and will make a jum to Independent or Democrat if things don’t change for the better. Three more years of Bush is a long time. The Dem’s can take the House this year, but not with shenanigans like those of Feingold this week…..it’ll only embolden the GOP base if that rhetoric keeps up, rhetoric that is equally self-serving.

    One question, what was your reaction to censure and impeachment proceedings against Clinton for a blowjob? Did you honestly (honestly now, please tell us how you really felt back then) oppose censure/impeachment then?

  43. 43
    Jim Allen says:

    Shorter McNulty: It’s OK to threaten judges as long as no one complains about it.

  44. 44
    Pb says:

    Brian,

    Statistically speaking, Paddy is correct, but remember: the GOP is the richer, whiter, more religiously zealous Christian party in a rich, white, Christian nation. That’s because the GOP embraces the social conservatives, whereas the Democratic party tends to oppose them. Remember the Southern Strategy? Or did you miss all that over on the Left Coast…

    DEFINING VALUES: Conservative on social issues ranging from gay marriage to abortion. Support an assertive foreign policy and oppose government aid for the needy, believing people need to make it on their own. Strongly worried about impact of immigrants on American society. More middle-of-the-road on economic and domestic policies, expressing some skepticism about business power and profits, and some support for government regulation to protect the environment. While not significantly better-off than the rest of the nation, most express strong feelings of financial satisfaction and security.
    […]
    WHO THEY ARE: Predominantly white (91%), female (58%) and the oldest of all groups (average age is 52; 47% are 50 or older); nearly half live in the South. Most (53%) attend church weekly; 43% are white evangelical Protestants (double the national average of 21%).

    As for gay marriage, of the typology groups, only the Liberals really support it. Look it up on Pew’s site, it’s fascinating stuff…

  45. 45
    Neo says:

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg obviously felt safe enough during the recent hearing on the Texas redistricting to take a nap.

    Justice is not only blind, but asleep.

  46. 46

    Never read it. Heard of it though. Wasn’t it called “What’s teh Matter With America’ when it was sold in Europe?

    Yes, actually. That’s the copy I have at home, which I bought in a London bookstore.

  47. 47
    Rome Again says:

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg obviously felt safe enough during the recent hearing on the Texas redistricting to take a nap.

    With the high level of security in the Supreme Court, that’s where she probably feels safe to catch a few winks. Far less chance of having someone attack here there.

    I kid, but one never knows, if she’s really that scared, it could account for the naps at work.

  48. 48

    The most likely way I will go by ‘08 is to register as Independent. I like SeeThroughIt’s idea of a 3rd party, but it is a long shot. Always has been. But with both parties lately, it feels like the wheels are coming off this country. The polarization, the insane rhetoric, the pandering at the expense of honest debate, the unwillingness to debate, the soundbites, the lack of backbone, the manipulation, the money…..it’s so ugly.

    I see no solution in a third party. I do see a solution in changing the Democratic party. The Democrats right now are very ripe for someone to come along and reframe their message in a new way. I’ve been trying to point out over on dKos for a couple of years now, that in all reality much of the Democratic message is very free-market oriented and would really appeal to a much larger set if they’d argued it from that position.

    For instance, here in Minnesota the Taliban has decided to write up a bill making it ok for a Pharmacist to deny filling a prescription for birth control. A lot of people get confused by that one. The key word is Pharmacist, but replace that with Employee.

    Basically they’re saying it’s not up to the Employer to decide what they want to sell, the Employee can override the Employers wishes and not be fired for it. That’s the point of the bill.

    I’ve been arguing that the Democrats should fight this by saying it makes sense if a business wants to hold that policy, but not an employee. So let’s say Walgreens doesn’t want ot sell birth control, fine, let them. But also let Costco advertise the fact that they do sell birth control.

    Let the customer decide who they will take their business to.

    Why didn’t the Republicans make their bill in that form? Because they know in a free market, their idea won’t win. That is, no pharmacy is going to stop selling birth control pills because of the amount of business they’ll lose for other things.

    The Democrats on the other hand are trying to argue that every pharmacy should carry everything, no exceptions. Failing to understand that the free market will push that position anyway, if you just put a little trust into it. But the way they are arguing today doesn’t work, because they are just playing right into the Republican game instead of doing the smart thing and letting the GOP hang themselves by the neck.

  49. 49

    Oh, but the point is. I think when explained in a reasonable calm way… that message will win over Democrats. So there’s no point in a third party, but just enacting change within the existing structure.

    It works. It was members of the Republican party who initially fought for Birth Control and then later Abortion. The Democrats at the time were beholden to the Catholics and wouldn’t touch the subject. Now it’s the other way around.

  50. 50
    dith says:

    Politricks is the ritualized killing of love. It is the law of the jungle disguised in the jungle of their laws.

  51. 51
    Darrell says:

    Let the customer decide who they will take their business to.

    Why didn’t the Republicans make their bill in that form? Because they know in a free market, their idea won’t win

    I agree with you 100% on letting the customer decide who they will take their business to. You’re wrong about Repubs though. On a Balloon Juice thread on that subject a month or so ago, I’d say 80%+ of the Dems posting (granted this site is not a perfect sampling) were in favor of using the power of the government to force a pharmacy to distribute morning after pills and birth control, even if the company chose not to distribute it.

  52. 52
    jg says:

    I’d say 80%+ of the Dems posting (granted this site is not a perfect sampling) were in favor of using the power of the government to force a pharmacy to distribute morning after pills and birth control, even if the company chose not to distribute it.

    Are you ignoring the Why? The reason they are in favor of that or are you going to just let it dangle that the reason is because dems are socialists and want gov’t to tell you what to do?

    A doctor, someone who saw the patient and prescribed a medication is the only one who should be telling a patient what drugs they can and should take. Not a pharmacist, they don’t know the patient, they just have personal beliefs they want to force on others. The dems you refer to I’d bet were responding htat only the gov’t has the power and authority to tell the company to perform the service its in the business of doing.

  53. 53
    Darrell says:

    The problem is, it appears that years of rhetoric can have a substantial impact on the behavior of the less balanced

    Dems tried to blame Bush for the dragging death of James Byrd. Nothing Repubs have said come close to that. And with the endless accusations of Bush administration being the “real terrorists”, nothing there to embolden unbalanced left-wing crazies to do anything violent, right?

  54. 54
    Darrell says:

    jg is another case in point example. You see, when it comes to leftist causes, one must use the power of govt to force those who disagree to comply with their wishes. If a pharmacy chain chooses not to stock certain drugs for whatever reason, they must be forced to do what liberals say. The left really believes this. It’s who they are

  55. 55
    Davebo says:

    Darrell,

    I don’t see much need for government involvement here.

    Just one rule for those pharmacies who choose to refuse.

    Post a clearly marked sign explaining to your customers that you will not fill prescriptions of XXX due to moral objections.

    I’d say that would solve the problem within a week.

  56. 56
    Bernard Yomtov says:

    Conservative commentator Ann Coulter joked earlier this year that Justice John Paul Stevens should be poisoned.

    Joked? Nice joke. Very funny.

  57. 57

    I agree with you 100% on letting the customer decide who they will take their business to. You’re wrong about Repubs though. On a Balloon Juice thread on that subject a month or so ago, I’d say 80%+ of the Dems posting (granted this site is not a perfect sampling) were in favor of using the power of the government to force a pharmacy to distribute morning after pills and birth control, even if the company chose not to distribute it.

    Huh? Democrats have never tried to implement any legislation on this issue. The only point they’ve made is the doctor gave them a prescription, the pharmacy ought to fill the damn thing.

    It’s the Republicans who are pushing for legislation protecting Pharmacists from their employers.

    If you don’t understand the distinction, then I can’t help you because you are a fucking maroon.

  58. 58

    Dems tried to blame Bush for the dragging death of James Byrd.

    Oh my God, what!? Who the hell is James Byrd, and how the hell is Bush involved?

  59. 59
    Darrell says:

    Davebo, we finally agree on something.. sort of. Companies should be free to sell or not sell whatever (legal) products they choose. But it’s their choice if they want to explain their business decisions.

    I mean, have you tried to find real crocodile skin belts? Very few stores carry them these days, and none explain why. It could be a lack of demand, but I doubt it. I’ll bet animal rights activism plays a part in many of those decisions. But the stores should not be obligated to explain themselves either way.. except maybe to stockholders

    OT, been to the rodeo yet?

  60. 60
    Pb says:

    have you tried to find real crocodile skin belts?

    Yeah, my doctor prescribed one for me the other day, and I couldn’t find it anywhere–I’m pissed! But anyhow, I went back and asked him if he had any suggestions for an alternative treatment, and he prescribed something else for me that was much easier to find, especially around here!

  61. 61
    Darrell says:

    The only point they’ve made is the doctor gave them a prescription, the pharmacy ought to fill the damn thing.

    In other words, the government should force the pharmacies to distribute products that they choose not to sell. Whatev

    I think Repubs who are trying to protect pharmacists who knowingly took jobs at a pharmacy which sells drugs they object.. I think they are as whacked as the Dems who are in favor of govt forcing pharmacies to carry certain products they don’t want to carry

  62. 62
    Darrell says:

    Pb, are you, or are you not in favor of the government forcing pharmacies to fill prescriptions for drugs they would otherwise choose not to carry? It’s a simple issue really, no matter how much you dishonestly try to skirt around it

  63. 63
    jg says:

    jg is another case in point example. You see, when it comes to leftist causes, one must use the power of govt to force those who disagree to comply with their wishes

    You are such an idiot. I never said I was in favor of it, didn’t even give my opinon. I set you up so that you would give your reasons for posting that distortion and you played right along.

  64. 64
    Darrell says:

    You are such an idiot. I never said I was in favor of it, didn’t even give my opinon

    Liar

    A doctor, someone who saw the patient and prescribed a medication is the only one who should be telling a patient what drugs they can and should take. Not a pharmacist

  65. 65
    Davebo says:

    Darrel,

    I don’t think stores selling belts have to be licensed by the state. Nor do I beleive their salesclerks and managers have to be certified by the state.

    And frankly, the idea that a business owner would be prevented from firing an employee who refused to do his job, by the federal government, is one of the most incredibly blatant anti conservative ideas I’ve ever heard of.

    But, that’s a sign of what’s happened to the Republican party isn’t it.

    I wonder though. Should we pass a law banning employers from firing any employee who refuses to do his job due to moral objections?

  66. 66
    ppGaz says:

    pharmacies to distribute products that they choose not to sell.

    Pharmacies do not “sell products.”

    They dispense to prescriptions. It’s a different verb and it means a different thing.

    Accepted pharmacy practice as defined by the national association of pharmacy boards, the last time I looked, held that pharmacies are required to dispense to all legal prescriptions.

    Pharmacy practice is regulated, it is not a free market environment. Every aspect of the practice is controlled and regulated by law.

    If you don’t believe me, try opening a pharmacy, and you’ll find out the mountain of regulations you are going to have to deal with.

  67. 67
    Pb says:

    Darrell,

    Pb, are you, or are you not in favor of the government forcing pharmacies to fill prescriptions for drugs they would otherwise choose not to carry?

    I’m in favor of setting a responsible balance–I believe that patients have a reasonable expectation that they should be able to receive the medication prescribed to them by their doctors, especially in the case of any commonly prescribed or emergency medications. And I believe that in general, this is a matter of state law, and at the moment, a relatively minor one as such questions go.

    It’s a simple issue really, no matter how much you dishonestly try to skirt around it

    Darrell, you’re projecting again–crocodile skin belts? Please. Go find something else to ruin.

  68. 68
    RSA says:

    Pb, are you, or are you not in favor of the government forcing pharmacies to fill prescriptions for drugs they would otherwise choose not to carry? It’s a simple issue really, no matter how much you dishonestly try to skirt around it

    An equally simple response: If you’re against the government forcing pharmacies to fill specific descriptions, I assume that you’re also against the government preventing specific prescriptions (e.g., for marijuana, or for whatever other drug I might like to obtain) from being filled? Or does this issue of government involvement go in only one direction?

  69. 69
    RSA says:

    Oops: “prescriptions”, not “descriptions”. Call me a descriptivist.

  70. 70
    jg says:

    Thats not my opinion dickhead. I’m paraphrasing the dems you spoke about. You neglected to state why they felt the way they did, preferred to let the inference do the talking for you.

    Personally I’m against the gov’t controlling my choices but in this case they aren’t, they’re trying to protect my choices. Its an individual who is trying to push a value system on others and restrict their choices. That I’m against. In this country I shouldn’t be confronted with someone denying me anything at all because it violates THEIR religious views. I have no problem with the gov’t fixing that person.

  71. 71
    demimondian says:

    Are you, or are you not in favor of the government forcing pharmacies to fill prescriptions for drugs they would otherwise choose not to carry? It’s a simple issue really, no matter how much you dishonestly try to skirt around it.

    I don’t know whether he is or not, but, no, I am not in favor of governments forcing pharmacies to fill prescriptions for medications that they would not otherwise carry.

    I am, however, in favor of requiring pharmacies to either dispense all legally issued prescriptions or none. Pharmacists who don’t want to dispense abortifacients are free to not do so — but the price of being able to dispense profitable and popular drugs is dispensing all legal drugs when requested by a properly license health care professional.

  72. 72

    I think Repubs who are trying to protect pharmacists who knowingly took jobs at a pharmacy which sells drugs they object.. I think they are as whacked as the Dems who are in favor of govt forcing pharmacies to carry certain products they don’t want to carry

    Ahh, but once again… Dems aren’t trying to push for legislation.

    Republicans are.

    I fight those who are out to fuck me over, not those who just have loud mouths.

  73. 73

    I mean, have you tried to find real crocodile skin belts? Very few stores carry them these days, and none explain why. It could be a lack of demand, but I doubt it.

    Why do you doubt it? The only people I know of who want to wear crocodile skin belts and boots are lonely old divorcees who think wearing a pinky ring and a green leisure suit makes them look cool.

    I’ll bet animal rights activism plays a part in many of those decisions. But the stores should not be obligated to explain themselves either way.. except maybe to stockholders

    So let me get this straight.

    Animal Rights activists go around claiming that wearing fur and leather is bad because it harms animals. They chant, they hold signs up and are a nuisance. They have changed consumer attitudes, and at no time was a government law passed saying it was illegal to sell fur.

    But they are evil, because they changed consumer buying habits.

    Meanwhile Republicans are good, because they want to enact Government legislation to ban things, rather than fighting it out in the hearts and minds of the world and changing consumer attitudes.

    See, Darrell. You don’t believe in a free market. You are a statist.

    At least the animal rights people understand markets, even if I don’t agree with them.

  74. 74

    I am, however, in favor of requiring pharmacies to either dispense all legally issued prescriptions or none. Pharmacists who don’t want to dispense abortifacients are free to not do so—but the price of being able to dispense profitable and popular drugs is dispensing all legal drugs when requested by a properly license health care professional.

    See, that’s the beauty of the free market solution.

    We let the pharmacists not dispense stuff if they don’t want to, but the pharmacy has to post a sign outside saying “Prescriptions for these drugs will not be honored here.”

    Then we let the consumer decide. Do they want to do business with this store or not?

    And right there, the free market in action. The price of refusing some drugs is you don’t get to make much money off the others, because you are going to lose business.

    Trust in the free market. The Republicans don’t, that’s why they are pushing this law.

  75. 75
    Mason says:

    Look out, Paddy O’Shea! There’s a racist under your bed!

    Jackass.

  76. 76
    ppGaz says:

    We let the pharmacists not dispense stuff if they don’t want to

    Uh no, not acceptable. The practice of pharmacy exists only to serve patients. If they stop doing that, the practice can be eliminated. It’s a middleman process, and it’s there to shore up a particular procedural model. It serves no technical purpose any more. Pharamacists don’t compound any more. They count pills and apply labels.

    When they turn this license to get paid $40 an hour to count pills into some kind of opportunity for moralizing and coercion of an unwilling public ….they’re through, and they need to know that. And they will find it out.

  77. 77
    Brian says:

    Brian, nice to make your acquaintance, from one ex-true believer to another.

    Nice to make your acquaintance as well, Ron. I’ve bookmarked your blog, and will go back for a closer look at the end of work today.

    One question, what was your reaction to censure and impeachment proceedings against Clinton for a blowjob?

    I recall that I thought it was a waste of time and embarrassing for the world to witness. I also thought Clinton was being foolish responding to it all the way he did.

    The others who mention Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” have my ear. I am cognizant that this strategy is what still represents the GOP, in stereotype, if not in fact to some extent. I hate that the GOP gets this rap, but maybe it’s deserved because of the history. It’s a shame, because I see the party for values that have nothing to do with that past, and for it being willing to take on some hard questions about society and the economy.

    I was willing to vote Democratic last year, but Kerry didn’t measure up. Maybe in ’08, someone will come around to get my vote, but it won’t be Hillary. I won’t stand for another Bush in the White House, and I sure won’t stand for another Clinton. Enough with the dynasties, already.

  78. 78
    demimondian says:

    Then we let the consumer decide. Do they want to do business with this store or not?

    The problem here is that there is no free market in medication. The amount of specialized knowledge required to correctly prepare complex medications is such that is was found to be necessary to license specially trained individuals to dispense medications. That constitutes a necessary market restriction, from which follows an unavoidable artificial scarcity. (And don’t go Randroid on me here — if you think that a pharmacist just counts pills, I recommend you go look at a pharmacy school curriculum.)

    It is from the artificial scarcity that the all-or-nothing regulation follows. If there were no such scarcity, there would be no reason for additional regulation.

  79. 79
    Brian says:

    After my last comment, I found this quote out of the London Guardian. Question to any conservatives here: are you rallying around Bush because of his enemies, or because he truly represents his party?

    As a nominating speech for President Grover Cleveland once put it, “They love him most for the enemies he has made.” Conservatives love Bush because the left hates him. If the New York Times would run a front-page story headlined “Bush Delivers the Big Government Clinton Never Did,” and the lefty bloggers would pick it up and run with it, maybe conservatives would catch on.

    So here’s your challenge, lefty bloggers: If you don’t like the tree-chopping, Falwell-loving, cowboy president–if you want his presidency fatally wounded for the next three years–then start praising him. One good Paul Krugman column taking off from that USA Today story on the surge in entitlements recipients under Bush, one Daily Kos lead on how Clinton flopped on national health care but Bush twisted every arm in the GOP to get a multi-trillion-dollar prescription drug benefit for the elderly, one cover story in the Nation on how Bush has acknowledged federal responsibility for everything from floods in New Orleans to troubled teenagers, and maybe, just maybe, National Review and the Powerline blog and Fox News would come to their senses. Bush is a Rockefeller Republican in cowboy boots, and it’s time conservatives stopped looking at the boots instead of the policies.

  80. 80
    demimondian says:

    They count pills and apply labels

    ppG, you’re not getting your money’s worth from your pharmacist. Yesterday, I went in to get a vial of oitment for a staph infection on my foot. The pharmacist sat down with me, and showed me how much oitment to put on my toes, and explained what applying it correctly should feel like afterwards, and also (more importantly) what should not show up, and when I should immediately call the doctor because something was wrong.

  81. 81
    jg says:

    I go to the CVS to get my psoriasis ointment and when he asks if I need instructions I tell him no, my doctor explained it before presribing it (leaving out the implied, ‘but thanks for filling this tube for me’ snark). I can’t imagine, because its never happened to me, any doctor prescribibng a med without telling the patient how to take the medication. What kind of whacked out quack would leave it up to a pharmacist to instruct me? Which one gets hit with the malpractice suit?

  82. 82
    VidaLoca says:

    Brian —

    Well, the Republicans used to be the party of Lincoln, and Eisenhower too; but those days are over. And yeah, I think that Nixon was the dividing line. At that point they were able to grab the banner of white-skin privilege that the Dems (think LBJ) had dropped. Today the party is being led by people who were in their 20’s and 30’s in the Nixon era, and you have to give credit, they learned their chops.

    Now five years into a regime that’s featured control over the Executive, both houses of Congress (for all but about 18 months) and the courts — they don’t have much to show in the way of accomplishments. Look for more wedge issues in the coming campaigns, they have a proven record of running on those.

  83. 83
    ppGaz says:

    Demi, I commend you to Rodney Dangerfield:

    “My doctor prescribed me sleeping pills. I asked the pharmacist, when do I take these? He said, when you wake up.”

  84. 84
    ppGaz says:

    Demi, and by the way, your pharmacist is gay.

  85. 85
    Darrell says:

    I don’t know whether he is or not, but, no, I am not in favor of governments forcing pharmacies to fill prescriptions for medications that they would not otherwise carry.

    Is entirely inconsistent with this statement made by the same poster

    I am, however, in favor of requiring pharmacies to either dispense all legally issued prescriptions or none.

    Pharmacies should be free to stock or not stock, whatever medications they can legally sell. Not “all or nothing”, but whatever they want. Their decision

    I don’t agree w/ppgaz about much, but I think he raises a valid point about pharmacists

    Pharamacists don’t compound any more. They count pills and apply labels

  86. 86
    Darrell says:

    Animal Rights activists go around claiming that wearing fur and leather is bad because it harms animals. They chant, they hold signs up and are a nuisance. They have changed consumer attitudes, and at no time was a government law passed saying it was illegal to sell fur.

    But they are evil, because they changed consumer buying habits.

    They have also repeatedly used violence, harrassment, and destruction of property to intimidate stores and customers.

  87. 87
    EL says:

    Darrell said:

    I’d say 80%+ of the Dems posting (granted this site is not a perfect sampling) were in favor of using the power of the government to force a pharmacy to distribute morning after pills and birth control, even if the company chose not to distribute it.

    Many posters have mentioned the states’ longstanding role in licensing and regulation of pharmacies. Darrell, the government has been telling pharmacies what they can and can’t stock for over 100 years, according to the FDA site.

    But in addition to that, you’ve overlooked an important point. Most pharmacies do stock birth control pills. The pharmacies and pharmacists who refuse to dispense emergency contraception are refusing to dispense the exact same pills, where the only difference is the dose and schedule. Just like their regulations of what hospitals must do, the same is true of pharmacies.

    How would you feel in the not-so-long-ago days when most insulin was of animal origin, if an animal rights activist refused to dispense it? How about a Jehovah’s Witness pharmacist refusing to dispense factor VIII to a hemophiliac? Will you support those?

  88. 88
    Darrell says:

    At that point they were able to grab the banner of white-skin privilege

    Please elaborate on the white-skin priveleges of the Republican party. that I would like to hear

  89. 89
    Andrei says:

    Pharmacies should be free to stock or not stock, whatever medications they can legally sell. Not “all or nothing”, but whatever they want. Their decision.

    Not while we have regulation that controls drugs, monitors the dispensing of drugs and otherwise keeps an eye on how the public is served in this market. If we had a true free market in the drug industry that had little federal regulation and oversight, it might be be a valid point. But you seem to keep ignoring the people who try to remind what reality is versus what your rose-colored glasses seem to make you think it is.

  90. 90
    Darrell says:

    Darrell, the government has been telling pharmacies what they can and can’t stock for over 100 years, according to the FDA site.

    Nothing on that site says the FDA can dictate to pharmacies what antibiotics, diabetes treatments and other drugs they can and cannot stock. But I doubt you’ll correct your error

    And if an animal rights activist refused to dispense my prescription or sell me leather shoes, my reaction would be to take my business to another pharmacy or store.. not try and make the govt force the pharmacy to stock something it chose not to offer

  91. 91
    Darrell says:

    Not while we have regulation that controls drugs, monitors the dispensing of drugs and otherwise keeps an eye on how the public is served in this market

    Just because the govt licenses pharmacists and decides which drugs are legal and which illegal.. does not justify additional govt intervention forcing pharmacies to stock products they otherwise choose not to stock for whatever reason

  92. 92
    Blue Shark says:

    “driving me away from the party I have been a member of for 22 years”

    …Drive faster John…FASTER…maybe you can outrun the stench.

    …You and your like-minded buddys are the enablers to this disaster. You share the blame.

  93. 93
    SeesThroughIt says:

    Very interesting London Guardian quote, Brian. I do think there’s some truth to it, too–especially the idea that a lot of Republicans love Bush in no small part because “leftists,” the GOPers’ avowed enemies, can’t stand him. It’s a petulant little display that gets played out time and time again, particularly across the right-wing onanosphere.

    I also fully agree that Bush is a Rockefeller Republican in cowboy boots. However, I think there has been ample opportunity to stop looking at the boots and start looking at the policy. All those things mentioned in the quote have been pointed out, but there’s still an alarming amount of cognitive dissonance on the right. They see that Bush has acted anything but conservative, but they choose to pretend that he hasn’t and that he is, in fact, a conservative dream. I think some true conservatives are realizing that Bush hasn’t measured up–hell, you’re probably an example of that yourself–but there are still a lot more who are just dug in too deep. Bush is their guy: He’s got an R next to his name, ’nuff said!

    Somebody here made a comment yesterday to the effect of, “This isn’t like sports where you pledge undying allegiance to your team even if they happen to suck during a given season. This is running the country, and effectiveness ought to take priority over team loyalty.” I fully agree with that. Unfortunately, not everybody does, and they’d rather defend a bad member of their team tooth and nail than go out and find a better member or even a better team.

    (PS: I agree with you completely about the Clinton impeachment. And I worked in a bookstore when the Starr Report got released. That really, really sucked.)

  94. 94
    StupidityRules says:

    Perry Como said:

    Debt ceiling has been raised to $9 trillion. That’s $9,000,000,000,000. Around $30,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States. Yay small government!

    Rapture is coming anytime now. So the debt ceiling isn’t something to worry about. Unless you are one of those who won’t be raptured. And if so you got bigger problems. Like Antichrist.

  95. 95
    Darrell says:

    Unfortunately, not everybody does, and they’d rather defend a bad member of their team tooth and nail than go out and find a better member or even a better team

    I see a LOT of legit criticism being hurled at Bush from the right. Problem is, the alternative the Dems offered up was John “reporting for duty” Kerry

  96. 96
    EL says:

    Nothing on that site says the FDA can dictate to pharmacies what antibiotics, diabetes treatments and other drugs they can and cannot stock. But I doubt you’ll correct your error

    The regulation of biologicals, and further, the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 said that the purity, strength, and packaging of drugs were regulated – in effect telling pharmacies what they could and couldn’t sell.

    I never claimed that it dictated specific antibiotics etc. – those are your words, not mine.

  97. 97
    ppGaz says:

    Pharmacies should be free to stock or not stock, whatever medications they can legally sell.

    Of course not. That model simply won’t work, and the result of trying it will be to eliminate pharmacists altogether. At present, they add little value.

    They do not even add much economic value of their own. Chain pharmacies make little profit. Some operate at a loss, whose sole purpose is to draw customers who will spend in a sundries store and buy profitable products. Walgreens, for example, operates unprofitable pharmacies in order to turn large volumes of high-profit merchandise.

    But my point is that the pharmacist is only essential to the doctor-patient process when he adds value by dispensing. Once he starts to interfere with the only value added element in the puzzle, he has meddled himself out of a job.

    Pharmacy practice is regulated, it is not a “free market” model. But once pharmacists try to impose their own “needs” on the process, there is no need for them at all. In my state, most HMO-covered pharmacy services are shifting to fill-by-mail services and 90-day refills. The idea? Eliminate the pharmacy and its unwarranted costs.
    Walgreens operates a large fill-by-mail operation here and it is growing rapidly.

    In any event, don’t listen to the idiotic Darrell. He is spamming the thread and insisting that somehow pharmacists exercising their free will can impose “moral” boundaries on the dispensing of medications. This will not happen, trust me. People like me and my household who consume $1000 a month worth of pills are not going to stand by and let a bunch of phony moralizers fuck up medicine.

  98. 98
    Andrei says:

    Just because the govt licenses pharmacists and decides which drugs are legal and which illegal.. does not justify additional govt intervention forcing pharmacies to stock products they otherwise choose not to stock for whatever reason.

    You think federal regulation is about “justice?” Let me remind you what my father use to remind me:

    While you live in this house, son, you’ll abide by my rules. I don’t care if you don’t think it’s fair.”

    Again, to reiterate… the drug industry is regulated by the federal goverment. Walgreens can’t just willy nilly sell, stock, refuse to dispense or whatever else they want to do with regard to their pharmacy. They are regulated. They have to get licenses. There are a ton of rules to follow. It is not a free market. Stop trying to make whatever minuscule point you think are making when your fundamental presumption is simply false.

  99. 99
    EL says:

    Darrell,

    If an animal rights activist refused to sell you insulin (I don’t care if they refuse to sell you leather shoes, that’s their business) and if they were the only pharmacy in town, you should care. But if you don’t, fine, I still care on behalf of my patients who deserve to have their prescriptions filled as I have written them.

    You also haven’t addressed the other point – the fact they already stock the drug, just refuse to dispense it in the dose and schedule prescribed.

  100. 100
    SeesThroughIt says:

    I see a LOT of legit criticism being hurled at Bush from the right. Problem is, the alternative the Dems offered up was John “reporting for duty” Kerry

    Well, I see more criticism of Bush coming from the right nowadays, but prior to the election…not so much as unity was the key principle. But believe me, I didn’t think very much of John Kerry at all. Like I told friends at the time, Kerry’s probably about a C-/D+…but Bush is an F. South Park pretty much had it right: It was choosing between a giant douche and a turd sandwich.

  101. 101
    VidaLoca says:

    Darrell–

    At that point they were able to grab the banner of white-skin privilege

    My argument was that the Democrats, beginning with the Reconstruction era, were able to consolidate control over politics in the old Confederacy, much of the border states, and by extension (though not as consistently) the rest of the country by leveraging the willingness of white people to overlook their economic impoverishment and political powerlessness in favor of the benefits they received under the Jim Crow system of discrimination. I used the shorthand “white-skin privilege” to describe those benefits.

    My second point was that in the late 60’s the Republicans under Nixon were able to capitalize on the destruction of segregation in the South and the upheavals of the anti-war movement to convince the Democrats’ conservative base that they (the Republicans) could protect and promote those privileges better than the Democrats. They’ve been working this with excellent success since then.

    Whereas the Democrats directed their “states’ rights” and “unique social system” coded messages toward the passive and active sympathizers of the Klan, the Republicans direct their “family values” coded messages toward the fundamentalist religious right. Different messages, different periods, but it all boils down to the use of appeals to bigotry as a way of consolidating power — or in the current case, staying in power when your record of real accomplishment is negligible.

  102. 102
    Zifnab says:

    So here’s your challenge, lefty bloggers: If you don’t like the tree-chopping, Falwell-loving, cowboy president—if you want his presidency fatally wounded for the next three years—then start praising him. One good Paul Krugman column taking off from that USA Today story on the surge in entitlements recipients under Bush, one Daily Kos lead on how Clinton flopped on national health care but Bush twisted every arm in the GOP to get a multi-trillion-dollar prescription drug benefit for the elderly, one cover story in the Nation on how Bush has acknowledged federal responsibility for everything from floods in New Orleans to troubled teenagers, and maybe, just maybe, National Review and the Powerline blog and Fox News would come to their senses.

    Firstly, let us not run off confusing “big” entitlement programs and “liberal” entitlement programs. When Democrats spend money, they build some blotted beaurocracy and watch the machine grind their money away. When Republicans spend money, they pay big businesses to grind the money away for them. Privatization is the dividing line between Republican and Democrat. And privatization is at the heart of the K-Street project, no-bid contracts, and a host of other corruption woes.

    Bush cut a multi-trillion dollar check to Pharmaseudical companies, not to a Medicare beaurocracy. His attempts at privatizing Wall Street serve to cut checks to Merril Lynch and Morgan Stanley. You can’t, in good conscience, support that sort of blatant pay-off scheme, even in a tongue-in-cheek manner.

  103. 103
    Darrell says:

    Vida, I think you overlook that Dems engage in race baiting far more often than Repubs. Hell, they field straight up racists like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson for President without a peep of objection from the rank and file. And then there’s running those ads trying to link Bush with the racist dragging death murder of a black man..tell me, where is the equivant example on the Republican side to that kind of race baiting?

    And last I checked, Dems love to campaign in churches, and especially seem to like the photo ops in black churches, so let’s have some honest acknowledgement that Dems actively seek religious voters, but they target different demographics

  104. 104
    Andrei says:

    And then there’s running those ads trying to link Bush with the racist dragging death murder of a black man..tell me, where is the equivant example on the Republican side to that kind of race baiting?

    Oh good lord… how soon the forget Willy Horton.

    Try as some of us might Darrell to give you the beenfit of the doubt… you’re just a fucking moron.

  105. 105
    VidaLoca says:

    Darrell —

    Somebody brought up the issue of the Dems running ads trying to link Bush to the dragging death murder down in Texas (don’t think it was you that brought it up, can’t remember where I saw it). It’s the first time I’ve heard of it — can you provide a reference.

    Sure the Dems actively seek religious voters — my argument was that the GOP is mobilizing their fundamentalist religious base by using wedge issues that appeal to bigotry. The “gay marriage” canard is an example. I would say that the current Dems don’t use wedge issues as much as the current GOP, and I can’t think of a recent example in which they’ve done so, perhaps you can. I’d agree that they certainly did in the past.

    My point is not about racism, i.e. the ideas that might be rattling around in peoples’ heads and occasionally coming out of their mouths. For the purposes of this discussion at least, I don’t care that, for example, Al Sharpton is a racist (or just an idiot) any more than I care that William Bennet is a racist (or just an idiot). The conversation I was having with Brian started from a point Paddy made about poltical rule.

  106. 106

    Of course not. That model simply won’t work, and the result of trying it will be to eliminate pharmacists altogether. At present, they add little value.

    I should note, when I initially presented my whole Free Market Pharmacy theory, this really was my point. The Democrats could promote such a bill, and it would totally undermine the Republican bill for Pharmacist protection, while at the same team being completely and utterly ineffective… because no pharmacy in their right mind would even try to follow the proposed guidelines for fear of losing substantial business.

    I’m just saying, the Democrats need to start to learn to play the street fight game. If they can make the point that the whole street fight is ridiculous, even better.

    A point a friend of mine made, that Democrats need to learn. When you’re in the minority you can make up really stupid bad laws because there isn’t a chance in hell of them being implemented.

  107. 107

    Hell, they field straight up racists like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson for President without a peep of objection from the rank and file.

    Whoa. How the hell is Al Sharpton racist?

    Or more importantly, is he any more or less racist than William Bennett?

    You know, I never really much cared for the argument that everybody is a racist. I find it actually kind of pathetic coming from you.

  108. 108
    ppGaz says:

    no pharmacy in their right mind would even try to follow the proposed guidelines for fear of losing substantial business.

    Let me guess: you live in a large urban area, right?

  109. 109
    ChristieS says:

    The Dem’s can take the House this year, but not with shenanigans like those of Feingold this week…..it’ll only embolden the GOP base if that rhetoric keeps up, rhetoric that is equally self-serving.

    Brian, I’m a moderate democrat…not quite Joe Lieberman, but nowhere near Ted Kennedy if you can make that distinction. I support the measure of censure, as that’s really the only recourse that is possible right now in this Congress.

    The thing is, the president broke the law and should be impeached. That doesn’t say that he should be removed from office because of it, IF he can provide extenuating circumstances AND provide evidence. But he needs to be impeached.

    Clinton broke the law when he perjured himself and got impeached for his lie. Andrew Johnson got impeached for violating the Tenure of Office Act because he didn’t feel he needed to obey it.

    George Bush has violated a couple of different Constitutional amendments AND the FISA Act. He needs to be impeached. He won’t be, but he should be.

    I don’t think Feingold’s resolution for censure is “shenanigans” or partisan “rhetoric.” I think it’s the only option right now to make the Bush Administration accountable for it’s illegal actions.

    If you’re a holder of high office and you break the law, you need to be impeached. Simple. I don’t think that’s partisan, I think it’s proper.

    My $.02. YMMV.

  110. 110

    They have also repeatedly used violence, harrassment, and destruction of property to intimidate stores and customers.

    Yep, so have Pro-lifers. So I assume that means you can’t stand them as well.

    Still the difference is the animal rights folks didn’t go whining to the government demanding fur be banned.

    I don’t have a problem with advocacy, or even a bit of harassment. I do have a problem with whining that the government will advocate for you.

  111. 111
    Zifnab says:

    I’m just saying, the Democrats need to start to learn to play the street fight game. If they can make the point that the whole street fight is ridiculous, even better.

    A point a friend of mine made, that Democrats need to learn. When you’re in the minority you can make up really stupid bad laws because there isn’t a chance in hell of them being implemented.

    Except – contrary to what so many Republicans would have you believe – the Democrats have little control over their message and the media. The Republican media machine has refined the smear tactic to an art and if Democrats come of the block thinking they’ve got nothing to lose, they’ll be seriously mistaken. Democrats have very little political capital left to work with, which is why some many of them have been gunshy. We need Democrats to be daring enough to stand up and shout down what is obviously wrong. However, Democrats can’t come across as stupidly idealistic or naive. If they fool around, the Republicans will chew’m up and spit’m out.

  112. 112
    Zifnab says:

    Yep, so have Pro-lifers. So I assume that means you can’t stand them as well.

    Still the difference is the animal rights folks didn’t go whining to the government demanding fur be banned.

    Fur advocates typically don’t have the manpower or the political muscle to run that stuff through.

    However, the whole fur v. fetus arguement falls on its face in more than one way. Fur is a luxury good reserved for the financial elite. No one would consider wearing polyester an undue financial burden upon the mother. Rape and incest never really enter into a fashion choice. And the “right to wear fur” isn’t enshrined within the Constitution, last I checked. The rights to life, health, and privacy are.

    Much like other environmental crusaders, animal rights activists typically campaign against those simply looking to turn a profit. Pro-Lifers aren’t fighting the Abortion Industry.

  113. 113
    Tulkinghorn says:

    Much like other environmental crusaders, animal rights activists typically campaign against those simply looking to turn a profit. Pro-Lifers aren’t fighting the Abortion Industry.

    You don’t read their literature much, do you?

    The extreme pro-lifers dwell at great length on the tens of billions of dollars they claim are being earned by the Abortion Industry. I suspect they claim this because they can not grok any moral justification for poviding this sort of health care service other than pure, wicked love of wealth.

    Considering most practitioners do it out of a sense of moral and ethical obligation is just beyond their imagination.

  114. 114
    ppGaz says:

    Yes, I noticed. Knock it off. I paid good money for this handle, it’s mine.

  115. 115

    Let me guess: you live in a large urban area, right?

    Is there anybody left in the rural towns?

    I mean come on… 60 year olds aren’t really buying that many birth control pills.

  116. 116
    Llelldorin says:

    I’m skeptical of the third-party idea, because we’d need at least two more. It’s hard to see how a single third party could simultaneously meet the needs of Democrats complaining that the moderate Dems act like Eisenhower Republicans, and Republicans complaining that the social conservatives don’t.

    I suppose one could set up an Eisenhower Republican Party, but it’d be hard to get the moderate Dems to leave. Currently, they control the party’s leadership—remember, it’s the liberal to left-wing progressives that want to leave the party, not the moderates!

  117. 117
    ChristieS says:

    Is there anybody left in the rural towns?

    I am. Williamson, GA – population as of 2003:… 331

  118. 118
    RonB says:

    I’ve bookmarked your blog, and will go back for a closer look at the end of work today.

    Thanks…just havin’ a little fun over there, trying to walk that fine line between both spin rooms.

  119. 119
    ppGaz says:

    60 year olds aren’t really buying that many birth control pills

    You would be so surprised, my immature friend.

  120. 120
    D. Mason says:

    Llelldorin I think You’re right that a third party couldnt fill all the needs left unfilled by the current “two parties”, however it might break up the block system. Maybe it would even make wedge issues less prevalent. Imagine if politicians ran on issues that actually matter to America instead of bullshit like abortion and gay marriage which is mostly inconsequential.

  121. 121
    demimondian says:

    Oh, I love it! ppG(TM)!

  122. 122
    ppGaz says:

    Branding is everything today.

    Who do you want on your side when an scs attack or a Darrell intrusion threatens your thread?

    Brand X? Or ppGaz?

    I rest my case.

  123. 123

    You would be so surprised, my immature friend.

    LOL, I’m from Iowa. I know rural better than you know your own hand.

    Even so, it’s not relevant. If the rural country go with the moral majority, it’ll just force even more people into the urban scene. Again, the free market in action.

  124. 124
    ppGaz says:

    Rapture is coming anytime now. So the debt ceiling isn’t something to worry about. Unless you are one of those who won’t be raptured. And if so you got bigger problems. Like Antichrist.

    So, my debt share goes up to $60k and I have to deal with a fucking antichrist?

    That is one badass reality tv show, compadres!

  125. 125

    BTW… Alabama is talking about parting with the past, and moving into the future.

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/03/.....index.html

    Finally after 40 years, they’re going to pardon people arrested for violating segregation laws.

    And get this… the Republicans are actually helping to cheerlead it.

  126. 126
    ppGaz says:

    I know rural better than you know your own hand.

    Only the left one.

  127. 127
    ppGaz says:

    Alabama is talking about parting with the past, and moving into the future.

    Meanwhile, the people in Hell are thinking about a Snow Cone franchise …..

  128. 128
    demimondian says:

    Alabama is talking about parting with the past, and moving into the future.

    That’s amazing.

    Well, not the part about parting with the past — we all do that, every instant. It’s the part about Alabama thinking that has me flabbergasted. I didn’t know that states could think.

  129. 129
    ppGaz says:

    I didn’t know that states could think.

    A few can, but Alabama isn’t one of them.

    But don’t they have the Ten or Twenty Commandments emblazoned on their license plates, or in their state song, or something?

  130. 130
    Richard Bottoms says:

    I cannot emphasise enough my immense satisfaction at seeing the implosion of the Republican party as its twnety-five year old deal with the devil now comes due.

    You may all kiss my liberal behind.

  131. 131

    Religion has to be a component when a regime goes so far off the track. Belief in magical solutions, in prohibitions about sexual things. It’s all part of it.

  132. 132
    Cyrus says:

    Darrell Says:

    Vida, I think you overlook that Dems engage in race baiting far more often than Repubs. Hell, they field straight up racists like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson for President without a peep of objection from the rank and file.

    They “field” them? What does that have to do with anything? Jackson or Sharpton puts his name in for the nomination, he gets about 15% of the vote, he endorses the angriest of the serious contenders. Neither one has been a viable candidate since I was old enough to drive, if ever. And the fact that 15% of Democrats support them shows… nothing at all. In a country where you could probably get 15% of the people to tell you that Elvis is still alive, to choose a ridiculous and unsupported idea that’s apolitical, the fact that only 15% of Democrats support Jackson and Sharpton would be reassuring to anyone more well-balanced than you.

    And then there’s running those ads trying to link Bush with the racist dragging death murder of a black man..tell me, where is the equivant example on the Republican side to that kind of race baiting?

    Apparently the Willie Horton example, as someone else brought up, isn’t recent enough for you. Fine, from earlier this month, paid for by Liddy Dole and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, we have “Fancy Ford.” Admittedly, August’s post addresses hypocrisy more than racism because it goes on to point out that Dole and the NRSC are fine with this behavior when it’s done by black Republicans. And no, it’s obviously not exactly the same because they’re not blaming Ford for a hate crime, just for getting uppity. But if you think that racism on the level of Jackson and Sharpton (whatever it is) should make them untouchable and yet you don’t see even a tinge of race-baiting on the “Fancy Ford” site, then you deserve every insult to your intelligence you’ve had here.

    And last I checked, Dems love to campaign in churches, and especially seem to like the photo ops in black churches, so let’s have some honest acknowledgement that Dems actively seek religious voters, but they target different demographics

    Campaign in churches, yes, thank you for noticing that Democrats are not, in fact, a bunch of soulless atheists.

    Actually, that’s not fair to you, you’re more the “liberals all worship Stalin” brand of conservative rather than the theocon one. But anyways, no one argues that Democrats don’t ever make contact with racially or religiously distinct groups. Both parties do. However, only one of them makes contact with those groups and then tries to turn their most immoral and destructive (oh, and also unconstitutional, can’t forget a little thing like that) impulses into the law of the land. Again, if you can’t see the difference between looking for common ground with someone and appealing to their worst instincts…

  133. 133
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Mason: I understand your bitterness.

  134. 134
    ppGaz says:

    However, only one of them makes contact with those groups and then tries to turn their most immoral and destructive (oh, and also unconstitutional, can’t forget a little thing like that) impulses into the law of the land. Again, if you can’t see the difference between looking for common ground with someone and appealing to their worst instincts…

    Well stated.

    It’s one thing to make a political appeal in a church, and say, we’re with you, we want your vote. It’s another to say, we’ll advance your worst impulses and bigotries for you, if you’ll vote for us. We’ll give the worst of your ideas and values cover, if you vote for us. That’s the GOP and it’s sick relationship with the so-called “christian” right.

  135. 135

    And the fact that 15% of Democrats support them shows… nothing at all.

    It’s interesting. Pat Robertson got far more than 15% when he ran, and is a far more hateful individual than Sharpton or Jackson.(He came in 2nd behind Dole in the Iowa caucus)

    So by Darrell’s own standards, the Republican party is an cesspit.

  136. 136
    Greg says:

    Don’t forget the current nonsense attacking access to contraception (potentially even for married people) in Missouri, all because some wingnuts think birth control encourages promiscuity.

  137. 137
    scs says:

    John, you act like you never realized that the Republican party had a strong component of religious people in it. For as far back as I can remember, I think this was always the case. I don’t think there has been any sudden change recently. Pat Robertson has been around for ages. Remember Newt Gingrich in the 90’s and his far right, religious base? Why the sudden beef now? I think others have a point that if you are going to call yourself a member of a party, you should and should have realized what you are accepting. It’s like signing up to become a member of the Nazi party in the 30’s in Germany because you liked Hitler’s ideas on unemployment and then all of a sudden being surprised when they arrested your Jewish neighbor. Okay I know Nazi references are verboten, and somewhat overblown, but you get my point.

    I think the Dem party has changed more than the Republican party recently, but it doesn’t matter to me because I’m not really a “party” person anyway. You believe what you believe regadless, and just try to pick out the people to vote for who most closely match that, regardless what party they are in. But anyway, from what I know about you – as a good guess, I’d pick out Libertarian for you. Time to change your voter cards.

  138. 138
    jg says:

    Yo ppG. I’m tooling around in a new Mustang right now. Its a rental while my cars in for its scheduled maintenance checkup. Beautiful car, but sloooooowwwwwwww. I only got the v6 and its a slushbox but damn, its just slow out the box. Bimmers aren’t really fast cars but I feel like i’m dragging something in comparisaon to my 330. Maybe its just teh bimmers a stick, no torque converter so no lag. I hope you got the v8 in yours.
    Definately one of the better looking cars I’ve seen though and the interior is too cool. Bright red with tan inside.

  139. 139
    ppGaz says:

    Hm. Well the current V6 Mustang is faster than the old GT was. Maybe the rental units are set up differently. I’ve driven all the engine-tranny combos and that V6 is a sleeper. There’s a Mustang mag out there that has a drag strip comparo on some power adders and they threw a stock V6 in there just for grins … and it suprised everybody. It’s lighter than the GT and also the shift points are set up to maximize 0-60 performance. If you put a cold air kit and a flowmaster exhaust on it, it screams.

    I can’t give too many details, but my Mustang has been retired in favor of a new car. See my url for details.

    Long story, but it was a complex business decision. I miss the pony car and the adrenaline rush but I am focussed on something else for the time being.

  140. 140
    jg says:

    Yeah, there must be something wrong with this Stang. Its got the tight steering response of an 06 but the throttle response of a car thats way old and badly mainained.

    Sorry you had to lose the pony but Hondas last forever so you can’t go wrong there.

  141. 141
    Krista says:

    Late to the thread, but I was reading over the arguments supporting letting the market decide, in regards to pharmacies choosing whether or not to carry birth control. Unfortunately, free market only really works where there is actual competition. There are small towns, in the arse end of nowhere, all over America, where if people don’t go to the nearest pharmacy, they might have to drive hours to get to the next one. That’s no real choice, especially considering today’s gas prices. In a small, isolated community, the free market rules don’t really apply, because the business owners know that their customers can’t easily go elsewhere. So, if one of those pharmacies chooses not to carry hormonal contraception, or emergency contraception, the people affected by that really have no recourse, do they?

  142. 142
    ppGaz says:

    Sorry you had to lose the pony but Hondas last forever so you can’t go wrong there.

    As much as I love the pony and muscle cars, I gotta say, these new rice burners with their ultra-high-tech motors and sweet chassis and suspensions are just amazing. Right now I am changing my mind about American cars. I thought we were catching up … but we are not catching up.

    And it’s no longer because it takes time and investment to catch up, the time and investments were taken. It’s just that the American auto makers are consistently making the wrong business decisions. Ford decided to put the Fusion out there without standard side air bags. Honda made side and head curtain bags standard on the civic.

    So when IIHS does their testing, they buy and test the standard car and Fusion does poorly on the side impact test. With side air bags, it would do fine, but no, they get two weeks of bad publicity because they decided to make the bags an option and thereby lower the base price of the car. Now they’ll retest with the bags but it will be too late … the news story was “Fusion disappoints in safety test.” IIHS did this deliberately to embarass Ford, and I say, good for them. Ford deserves to be embarassed. Bean counters made a dumb decision. The cheapest Civic on the road has the air bags on the side. What does that tell you? That somebody at Honda thinks safety is more important than a couple hundred bucks on the price of the car.

    Take that mentality and apply it to the six hundred decisions that are made about a car going to market, and what do you get? Me, a loyal Ford guy, says fuck it, I’m buying the Honda. Loyalty ends at the intrusion of an SUV bumper into my thorax.

  143. 143

    Definately one of the better looking cars I’ve seen though and the interior is too cool. Bright red with tan inside.

    I got the standard silver with black interior in my 325. (I like black up here in frigid land) But I kind of wish I’d gotten the topaz blue with the brown leather interior. Not tan, but actual brown. I saw one of those once, and man was that sharp looking.

  144. 144
    jg says:

    I got the standard silver with black interior in my 325. (I like black up here in frigid land) But I kind of wish I’d gotten the topaz blue with the brown leather interior. Not tan, but actual brown. I saw one of those once, and man was that sharp looking.

    The red and tan is the color of my rental Mustang. My bimmer 330Ci is black with grey leather interior.

    Right now I am changing my mind about American cars. I thought we were catching up … but we are not catching up.

    I heard Chrysler is getting close but you’re right its bad decision making thats killing US automakers. They think we want big bad motors and drive trains so they give us that but to meet a low price point they cheat us everywhere else. My bimmer doesn’t compare to much cheaper american cars when it comes to HP, 0-60 or quarter mile times but if you crash in one you will walk away. You pay more ofr the cars but the interior doesn’t have cheap plastic and poor fitting components that rattle after 10000 miles. Its sad. The US could kick ass but chooses to lag behind. Then they blame it on healthcare costs. Definately a factor but not the main casue IMO. I stil love my Pontiac Grand Prix though. 2 door of course, I always buy coupes.

  145. 145
    scs says:

    Okay, what I don’t understand, and maybe you car buffs can help me with, is how come every other consumer good has become cheaper in recent years and cars are still so frickin’ expensive. I mean have you all seen the price of a laptop recently? I’ve seen them for $450 recently whereas a year or so when I was looking to buy one I saw them around $800 min. I suppose some obvious reasons are cheap labor in Asia and economies of scale for an older product. But has labor costs in Asia gone down that much in 2 years? And why haven’t there been any noticeable economies of scale for car production? I’m just waiting for the day when buying an expensive car doesn’t cost as much as a cheap house.

  146. 146
    jg says:

    Okay, what I don’t understand, and maybe you car buffs can help me with, is how come every other consumer good has become cheaper in recent years and cars are still so frickin’ expensive.

    You don’t need a car buff you need an economist.

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