This Is No Fun

I just thought I would go on record stating that the last few weeks and months have really sucked for me. I spent my whole life in the GOP- starting in 1984 with county meetings, going to Teenage Republican camp (my friends called it Hitler Youth Camp, proving that Nazi/Republican quips are no new development), and spending the better part the fall of 1984 going door to door for John Raese in his race against Rockefeller (Raese, as you know, lost). Now, 22 years later, I find myself not only refusing to support Raese against Robert Byrd (the man who for years has embarassed me with his pork), but I have come to the conclusion that the Republicans are so corrupt, so dishonest, so beholden to special interests and fanatical lobbying groups that Byrd not only looks to be the better option, but the entire Democratic party looks better.

I don’t know when things went south with this party (literally and figuratively- and I am sure commenters here will tell me the party has always been this bad- I disagree with that, and so do others), but for me, Terri Schiavo was the real eye-opener. Sure, the Prescription Drug Plan was hideous and still gets my blood pressure pumping, and the awful bankruptcy bill was equally bad, and there were other things that should have clued me in, but really, it was Schiavo that made me realize this party was not as advertized. And it is frustrating as hell.

What makes this even more frustrating is that not only do I feel like I have been duped, but I established a lot of friends in the right wing of the blogging community- and now I read their pages and I can’t believe what I am reading, even though I know that five years ago I probably would have been saying the same or similar things. I know many of them as people- and not just GOP parrots- having spent time working on collaborative projects with them, serving on the editorial board at Red State, appearing on radio shows with them- you name it. I have, at one point in time, defended many of them from what I perceived to be unfair attacks. So I know that by and large they are not bad people (Dan Riehl is an unmitigated asshole, however). Yet I read their pages now, and through my eyes, it looks like they are so divorced from reality it makes me question what, if anything, I ever believed in.

In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias.

And it makes me mad. I still think of myself as a Republican- but I think the whole party has been hijacked by frauds and religionists and crooks and liars and corporate shills, and it frustrates me to no end to see my former friends enabling them, and I wonder ‘Why can’t they see what I see?” I don’t think I am crazy, I don’t think my beliefs have changed radically, and I don’t think I have been (as suggested by others) brainwashed by my commentariat.

I hate getting up in the morning, surfing the news, and finding more and more evidence that my party is nothing but a bunch of frauds. I feel like I am betraying my friends in the party and the blogosphere when I attack them, even though I believe it is they who have betrayed what ‘we’ allegedly believe in. Bush has been a terrible President. The past Congresses have been horrible- spending excessively, engaging in widespread corruption, butting in to things they should have no say in (like end of life decisions), refusing to hold this administration accountable for ANYTHING, and using wedge issues to keep themselves in power at the expense of gays, etc. And I don’t know why my friends on the right still keep fighting for these guys to stay in power. Why do they keep attacking decent people like Jim Webb- to keep this corrupt lot of fools in office? Why can’t they just admit they were sold a bill of goods and start over? Why do they want to remain in power, but without any principles? Are tax cuts that important? What is gained by keeping troops in harms way with no clear plan for victory? With no desire to change course? With our guys dying every day in what looks to be for no real good reason? Why?

I really don’t know where this post is going, so I will just end it now, but I do have to say the past few months have really sucked, and I am completely disillusioned.

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562 replies
  1. 1
    Dave Ruddell says:

    Interesting that you mention Schiavo, since I think I started your site right about that time. I guess I never got to experience the full-on, GOPized John Cole.

    I mean, I suppose I could always go back into the archives, but that sounds too much like work…

  2. 2
    RSA says:

    I don’t think I have been (as suggested by others) brainwashed by my commentariat.

    Today John, tomorrow. . .the world!

  3. 3
    Pb says:

    My condolences, John, I’m sure this isn’t easy for you. However, you stood up and took a stand anyway, and good for you. As The Bard said:

    This above all: to thine ownself be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.
    Farewell: my blessing season this in thee!

  4. 4
    Zifnab says:

    There there, John. At least your party isn’t a bunch of pussies. *kicks Tom Dachle in the nuts*

  5. 5
    Dave says:

    Well if it makes you feel better John, as a liberal guy, I too hope for the rebirth of the GOP. I’d like to see them back to being respectable and principled. I’m a strong believer in grid lock and having the two parties push and pull on each other, and right now things are WAY out of whack. Not to mention I’d love to see people be able to debate each other again without all the hysterics.

  6. 6
    CaseyL says:

    John, think of it as having left a cult. Seriously.

    Cults can be incredibly nurturing environments – full of self-reinforcement, warmth, amazing amounts of supportiveness – but only as long as you buy the central premise unquestioningly. The minute any doubt whatsoever enters your head, two things happen: 1) You start questioning everything you ever did and everything you ever believed; and 2) the people who were formerly nurturing, sustaining, supportive and friendly turn on you like mad dogs.

    What you need to do is find other like-minded Republicans,a nd talk about what to do next.

    I would advise against trying to rehabilitate the current GOP, because I’m not sure if any unocrrupted infrastructure is left. Don’t forget that the current wrecking crew have been working on taking over the GOP for the last 30-40 years: their roots go way deep, and so does the poison.

    OTOH,trying to build a new party practically from scratch is a quixotic quest at best. (Ask the American Reform Party. Or the Greens.)

    Here’s a thought: maybe you won’t mind being a Democrat as much as you think you will. Not least because there are quite a few ex-Republicans in the same situation you’re in.

    Maybe you can form a support group of fellow exiles – and use that as a springboard to either take over the Party or try starting a new one.

  7. 7
    skip says:

    It is not just your imagination: the GOP got worse. Whatever one thought of Barry Goldwater’s politics you’d have been hard put to find a Democrat on the Hill who didn’t respect (even admire and like) him. DeLay was no Goldwater. Newt had feet of clay. Others distinquished themselves as bullies (George Allen, Duncan Hunter). It turned out to be a sorry lot for the most part.

  8. 8
    vdibart says:

    John,

    As a New York liberal who recently found your blog, let me say that I don’t think you’re the first to have that feeling. I had it myself in the weeks after Kerry lost in 2004. At that time the disillusionment was with how incompetent the Democratic party has become. I find them a little more tolerable now, but still mostly unbearable as an opposition party. Let’s face it, there are no good alternatives.

    I will, like most, support the Democrats in hopes that they are able to return some sanity to this wayward Administration. But in the long run, for our country’s sake, we have to shake ourselves out of the dream we’ve been living since 9/11.

  9. 9
    Andrei says:

    People who put party or ideology before country tend treat politics like sports games, where winning is this only thing worth achieving. This can have the unfortunate effect of turning people into fanatics and makes them especially useful as tools for an ends justifies the means approach of power hungry politicians or partisan personalities who have no scruples. (Obviously, this statement works regardless of party affiliation or ideology.)

    Politics is not bloodpsort. People need to stop being tools of those in power.

  10. 10
    capelza says:

    John Cole, you are one of the most decent people I know in the blogosphere. That’s all I got.

    I have watched this happen for quite awhile…the disaparaging term RINO applied to people who have been faithful the GOP all their lives by the extremists who have hijacked your party. It is appalling.

    Perhaps one way to look at it is that BJ will offer a place for more folks like you to come and maybe rebuild from there.

  11. 11
    RSA says:

    Here’s a thought: maybe you won’t mind being a Democrat as much as you think you will. Not least because there are quite a few ex-Republicans in the same situation you’re in.

    James Webb seems reasonably well adjusted to being a Democrat. Let’s hope for the best for him. (I’ve been a fan of his since reading A Sense of Honor.)

  12. 12
    craigie says:

    People who put party or ideology before country tend treat politics like sports games, where winning is this only thing worth achieving.

    Ding ding ding!

    I don’t mind – indeed, I actively would like – some honest conservative discourse. But the GOP has ceased to be about anything other than holding office. I don’t think they can even articulate why they want the power any more. It’s not as if they have some kind of coherent agenda.

    And it’s certainly not as if they actually think about what might be good for the country as a whole. They just want to win. Then the next day, it’s back to calling Dems traitors.

  13. 13
    Punchy says:

    Mr. Cole:

    The reason your friends continue to support this simply obviously corrupt party is that they’re unwilling to admit they’ve been duped. They’ll discredit Abramoff, brush off Cunningham, and ignore Foley b/c they simply CANNOT do the introspection and soul-searching that you have done.

    They’re weaker men–period–than you. Full stop. It HURTS to re-evaluate a relationship and realize you’ve been lied to…whether it be a political party or a spouse. They simply refuse to engage in such a wholesale re-examination of their loyalties, as you have. You’ve done it, and admitted the pain. They probably attempted it, couldn’t handle the pain, so just continued to drink the Kool-Aid.

    Now, unable to admit their weakness, they just go full-bore in the other direction. They want to ruin EVERYONE’S life b/c they dare not go down alone. The intellectual dishonesty necessary to ignore this GOP in the light of so much evidence of corruption and bullshit must demand a state of denial so thick that it’s now irreversible.

    Just my take.

  14. 14
    craigie says:

    In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them

    If you try that, Bush will come back early from Crawford, and a special session of Congress will try and diagnose the party from a YouTube clip, at which point they will declare that the party really can think and feel and hope.

    Then they’ll call your dog a treasonous traitor.

  15. 15
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Webb’s not the only Republican military man to run as a Democrat this time — Charlie Brown (that’s really his name), the Democrat running against my own Rep. John Doolittle (aka the Uriah Heep of the Sierras) is another one. (This district was designed to be super-Republican — both parties’ incumbents got together in California and carefully designed extremely safe districts for themselves — and Doolittle always wins 2 to 1, until now. Now he’s one small step from an indictment in the Abramoff affair, and Brown is breathing down his neck in the latest polls.)

    Also note all the moderate Republicans who have jumped ship from the party in Kansas to become Democratic candidates.

  16. 16
    matt says:

    Perhaps one way to look at it is that BJ will offer a place for more folks like you to come and maybe rebuild from there.

    As someone who is a Democrat basically by default at this point, I love the idea of a Democratic party full of guys like Jim Webb and John Tester and a Republican party with guys like John Cole.

    The Democratic party is beginning to do its part, it’s running men and women like Webb, Tester, Duckworth and Murphy, now it’s time for the Republican party to step up and do the same. Hopefully that will start after they get their clocks cleaned, and like capelza said, maybe this site can play an influential role in that.

    btw, John, this is a wonderful post, I really appreciate your honesty. Between the front-pagers and the posters, this is the best blog going.

  17. 17
    Dan says:

    John, I think the atmosphere today in all aspects of life is WIN. Nothing too disgusting,nothing off limits,nothing that crosses the line. It’s just win. To lose, would not be to lose admirably and fight another day, but it would be enduring endless taunts from the other side about how much of a loser you are,etc. Therefore the need to win overrides everything else.

    I see this in sports, on other boards,and in politics. Everyone has to be number one and everyone seems to enjoy rubbing other peoples faces in their losses. I’m a a liberal Democrat, but I have no illusion that if this election goes the way it’s fore casted, that many democrats will jump in this circus and proudly boast about winning and how republicans are the losers. Truly sad, because in the end, we are all Americans. We all have a vested interest in keeping this nation strong and when people stoop to “terrorist enablers”, “Nazis”, and the like it breeds hate and it breeds this insane desire that when my side wins, your side loses and by GOD I’m not letting you forget it while I taunt you ominously through the internet. No matter what “side” wins, America is what loses when this type of atmosphere occurs.

    It will take a special man to change the culture the political scene is in. Obviously a terrible event such as 9/11 can’t. A man that is not beholden to winning at all costs, but wants to do what’s best for the country and wants to win with class and dignity. At one time, I really thought McCain could be this guy, but as his time nears, I see, he too, has fallen prey to the culture. Perhaps Obama, but it’s still early for him and when he is attacked, let’s see how he responds.

    When will this man/woman come forward? And will it be too late? Is is already too late? One thing is for certain, no matter the results of this election, things are going to keep getting more and more toxic until someone steps up and tries to mend not offend.

    As always, JMHO.

  18. 18
    srv says:

    And I don’t know why my friends on the right still keep fighting for these guys to stay in power.

    These are people unable to accept being wrong about anything, in spite of ample evidence. Their leader, literally and figuratively is George W. Bush. A man who could not think of anything he’s done wrong in the last 6 years. There are three classes of republicans now:

    1) Those who can admit they were wrong
    2) Those who can’t and will follow GW off the cliff
    3) Those who blame GW for not being extreme enough

    I for one can’t understand why Dems want to win at this point. The only way they can affect change is by impeaching Bush and Cheney. If they win the House, they’ll just be blamed for everything in the next two years.

    As much as it pains me to say so, losing a couple more thousand troops in Iraq may be the price we have to pay to excorcise the ruling ‘conservative’ intelligencia and their enablers.

  19. 19
    cleek says:

    I guess I never got to experience the full-on, GOPized John Cole.

    i remember it. the difference is like night and day.

  20. 20
    capelza says:

    matt, not to hijack John’s thread, but also to point John in that direction…I think the Dems need to turn away from New England for awhile…a lot of us Dems in the west look to people like Tester and Schweitzer…I loved Kitzhaber.

    There’s a lot of regular folks out here (and in the rest of the country) who work, go to school, join the military, hunt, fish..all the manly stuff..and lean libertarian (not Libertarian) who just happen to be Democrats… that isn’t the party.

    The face of the party has been east coast for so long (with the exception of Clinton) that a lot of people don’t realise that.

  21. 21
    LLeo says:

    To cheer you up, John, I have a funny story about the Hitler Youth (just typing that makes me laugh).

    On of my freind’s father emigrated from Austria. He is a professional Mathematician working for the U.S. Government. He has, and has had thru his career, all kinds of security clearances. I honestly don’t know what his day job is, but he solves math problems for all kinds of departments from DOD to NIST.

    Once, this mathematician filled out yet another clearance application and handed it in. Later the same day his boss comes screeming into his office ask “Are you CRAZY?”. The application had a question on it “Are you now or have you ever been a member of an organization seeking the overthow of the United States Government?”. His boss pointed to the question and yelled “You put YES!!! Do you know how much trouble that is going to cause?”. The mathematician pointed out that he had been a member of the Hitler Jugen (Hitler Youth) like every young boy in Austria and that he was just being honest. From that time on the mathematician always put “NO” as the answer to those stupid questions on his future clearance applications/renewals.

    To this day, I don’t understand what the point of those questions on clearance applications are for. Do they believe they are susing out the next Aldrich Ames with this kind of question?

  22. 22
    Jon Karak says:

    I empathize, but don’t you realize that this is a predictable result of our two-party system? There are a few reforms we could enact, namely instant runoff voting or nonpartisan redistricting.

    I think the object of your lament shouldn’t be about how Republicans went off the deep end. Rather it should be how American democracy has now become a form of electoral date rape.

  23. 23
    Texan Transplant says:

    John,

    I originally came across your site a few years ago, and I have to admit, I couldn’t stand you back then. For a while yours was one of the blogs I read when I wanted to be pissed of at a conservative. I was a die-hard Bush supporter, especially post 9/11, and woke up the day Bush replied “What’s the difference?” when asked why we didn’t find WMD’s. I saw you as an enabler for a political philosophy that valued anti-libral partisanship over sane world policy and the lives of our troops.

    But now I visit your site with nothing but admiration. Not because I agree with you on the issues – because I don’t often. But because agreeing with you isn’t what matters. What matters is that you, unlike most conservatives, have the intellectual honesty and personal integrity to criticize your own side, call a spade a spade, and admit that you’ve been wrong on certain issues. That takes serious balls, especially in a party that seems to hypocritically consider anything short of lock-step devotion to be chickenshit defeatism.

    I in no way celebrate your being wrong or your mea culpa, but your ability to be introspective and candid – while still calling yourself a conservative Republican – gives me hope for the party I left so frustrated. Don’t be disillusioned for too long – you are needed and greatly appreciated. Turn your disillusion into determination and slap some sense into your buddies. Before it’s too late. Thanks.

  24. 24
    Shinobi says:

    John,
    I’ve been reading your blog since the 04 elections, and I think it is amazing that you’ve been able to stand up for what you believe in, even in the face of your party. I think you deserve a lot of respect for that, especially considering the unreasonable attacks you’ve had recently from the right.

    I am a GDI (god damn independant) but I recently had a long discussion with a republican aquaintance of mine. And in the end, he eventually aknowledged that the republicans weren’t doing a great job. (Though he continued to insist the democrats will be WORSE and that the Iraq mess isn’t George W.’s fault because he has good “intentions.” He got mad at me for rolling my eyes at him.)

    I agree with other commentors who think a third party is the answer. Perhaps if the choice is no longer My Team versus The Other Team we might be able to get some interesting discourse about actual issues going. I personally think the Libertarians have a good thing going, if they could get their stuff together.

    Thank you for being a reasonable voice in an unreasonable blogosphere. I look forward to reading Balloon Juice every day. I’m sorry that it is no fun, but without you us reasonable people would have to spend all day reading partisan hacks. That would be even less fun.

  25. 25
    ThymeZone says:

    In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun

    The last few years have been rotten for all of us. The country is taking it in the shorts, and Americans are being turned against Americans. Meanwhile ….

    Entrenched Dems seem to be mostly interested in their own fortunes. So we, too, have a party to rebuild.

  26. 26
    srv says:

    I guess I never got to experience the full-on, GOPized John Cole

    I hate doing this, but let’s look back 3 years. You know, why don’t more people do this with the remaining kool-aid drinkers?

    Oh – That Quaqmire

  27. 27
    craigie says:

    It used to be the case (maybe it still is) that to get a tourist visa to the US, you had to answer the question:
    “Do you intend to seek the violent overthrow of the US government?”

    I always wonder about who they expected to catch with that one.

    “Yes. I mean no! Oh shit, I can’t erase! Argghhh….!!!”

    Another future terrorist defeated by cunning bureaucrats.

  28. 28
    ThymeZone says:

    There are a few reforms we could enact

    Job one: Term limits.

  29. 29
    Texan Transplant says:

    I’d just like to add (to my comment awaiting moderation) that your ability to admit mistakes and criticize your own side is precisely what makes you credible, believable and…frankly…an adult. The absense of that sense of intellectual integrity is what makes the Michelle Malkins and Hugh Hewitts of the world scare the living sh!t out of me.

  30. 30
    HyperIon says:

    I do have to say the past few months have really sucked, and I am completely disillusioned

    well, Mr. Cole, the sadness you now feel about your party sounds pretty much like the sadness i now feel about my country.

    we got to where we are now because citizens chose to trust BUT NOT VERIFY. bush flogged his crap to all citizens, not just republicans.

    most people wanted to believe. for those that did not believe, most are too cowardly to oppose the majority. most would rather go along. it seems to be human nature. voting out the repubs will do nothing to change that.

    human beings are too easily cowed. a good thing about the 60s was the question authority meme.

    yesterday on NPR a reporter in Iraq recounted a conversation with a soldier there who said that he thought the folks back home had forgotten that this was about responding to 9/11. *sigh*

  31. 31
    Ryan S. says:

    Another slow clap for Mr. Allen I’m sure this will be everywhere but I’ll link to it anyway.

  32. 32
    Tom Hilton says:

    I’m sorry it’s so painful…but it’s worth it. Welcome to reality.

    And if it’s any consolation, those of us who have been right all along[1] take not even the tiniest bit of comfort from having been right. It sucks for us too. It sucks for the whole goddamn country.

    [1]’All along’ meaning at least since 1994, at which point it was clear that the Republican Party under Gingrich had gone completely off the deep end. Everything that has happened in the last 6 years was foreseeable given the nature of the Class of ’94.

  33. 33

    You should have been in Iowa in 1988, John. There you would have had an opportunity to see this side of the party up close and personal on caucus night when the Pat Robertson supporters came out of the woodwork.

    I supported Bob Dole that year, and I still respect the man. But the way the Robertson people behaved was astounding, I couldn’t leave that caucus fast enough that night.

    I ended up voting for Dukakis that year just out of disgust for the party. In ’92 I voted for Clinton hoping for a change, and in ’96 I voted for Clinton and against Dole and was damn proud of it.

    Looking back now, we can all agree that Clinton was a much better President than any modern Republican could ever be.

    They have always been this bad, John, you just weren’t aware of it. I’m sorry for that.

  34. 34
    Face says:

    To this day, I don’t understand what the point of those questions on clearance applications are for.

    On visa applications for foreign students, question #2 is–no joke–“Are you or have you ever participated in a terrorist organization?”

    Yeah, that’s necessary.

  35. 35
    Cyrus says:

    I’m not sure what my reaction is to thoughts of the Republican leadership being restored to reason, honesty and moderation. I don’t mean I haven’t thought about it or I’m ambivalent, I mean I don’t know which party, if either, I would belong to in that political Shangri-La. Since I was 16 years old — the Clinton impeachment in 1998 seems as good a time to mark the current era of modern Republicans as any — the political choices have been pretty clear and from my point of view, required very little thought. I could support the Stupid Party — the incompetent, disorganized, kneejerk moderate, “regulate video game violence and call it innovative” Democratic Party. Or I could support the Orwellian, Machiavellian, jingoistic “bring it on” Republican Party — the Evil Party. (I’m not, of course, applying the “evil” label to private citizens who self-identify with the party — let me second the congratulations to John — just the party leadership.)

    So I feel a little guilty that I haven’t thought that stuff through, and I’ll have to sooner or later. I’ve said before that P.J. O’Rourke was a political influence on me (not recently, of course) and there’s little I disagree with Radley Balko on. So who knows, maybe I’ll be in that sane Republican Party too. Doubtful, but possible.

  36. 36

    Job one: Term limits.

    I hate Term Limits. I’d rather see the 22nd repealed.

    No, if you want to change Congress, we need to give people more choices. That means making it the way it used to be, where the size of congress was based upon the population. One representative for every 250,000 Americans, I say!

    I am going to start a PAC and start lobbying for this after this election, I think.

  37. 37
    tBone says:

    I am sure commenters here will tell me the party has always been this bad- I disagree with that, and so do others

    Me among them. The GOP wasn’t always crazy, even if you disagreed with them on the issues. Hopefully it will be that way again someday, if you and other sane, honest Republicans can drive out the authoritarians, theo/neocons and the assorted other nutjobs and scumbags currently infesting the party.

    I don’t think I am crazy, I don’t think my beliefs have changed radically, and I don’t think I have been (as suggested by others) brainwashed by my commentariat.

    You’re like a lot of us – you stayed put while the party drifted away from you. It’s because you value principle over party. What a concept.

  38. 38
    foolishmortal says:

    John, the idea that you’ve been “brainwashed by [your] commentariat” strikes me as deeply silly. God knows that on the rare occasion I thought I had a shot, I’ve tried (e.g. the swift boat thing), but an embarassing number of the posts from lefty types here tend to take the form of “John, you GOP tool! Why do you spout this Rethuglican propaganda?”. The word “lockstep” comes to mind.

    It has always surprised me that, because you write one of the few righty blogs that is not noxious to lefties, people feel its appropriate to have a go at you in your comments. I’m all for free speech and all, but the sheer viciousness of some of these attacks leads me to believe they’re less about persuading and more about harassing. You usually react to this by redoubling your support for your original position and getting cranky.

    Is this how brainwashings are generally performed?

  39. 39
    ThymeZone says:

    I hate Term Limits.

    That proves that they’re good.

  40. 40
    Ned Raggett says:

    As much as it pains me to say so, losing a couple more thousand troops in Iraq may be the price we have to pay to excorcise the ruling ‘conservative’ intelligencia and their enablers.

    In my darkest moments, I think this.

  41. 41
    ThymeZone says:

    leads me to believe they’re less about persuading and more about harassing

    Persuasion has never been part of bloggorrhea or of its predecessor, Usenet.

    Both have always been about theater. In ten years and zillions of articles on thousands of topics, I have never seen anyone on the left persuade anyone on the right of anything, or vice versa. Not gonna happen. People do not do this seeking persuasion, they do it seeking expression.

  42. 42
    Bender says:

    but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election.

    How about the same way that you should respond when idiots call decent men like Bob Corker a racist because his ads have drums in them? Oh, that’s right — you haven’t covered that story. One-way outrage is the hallmark of this blog these days. It’s OK if you’re a Democrat and all that…

    And I don’t know why my friends on the right still keep fighting for these guys to stay in power.

    Hopefully, it’s because it’s not about “these guys.” It’s about policy, and which party stands the best chance of implementing the various policies that you think are important. I want things like lower spending that the present GOP probably isn’t going to give me, but I know damn well that the Democrats are not only not going to give them to me, but they’re going to give me the opposite. Only to simpletons is it about “these guys,” or you could never bring yourself to pull the lever for anybody, there are so many despicable pols on both sides of the aisle. What are you going to do, vote straight Democrat, pretending that Teddy K. never killed that girl, John Kerry wouldn’t lie to his mother’s face with both hands on two stacks of Bibles to get a single vote, or that Howard Dean isn’t a hate-filled sociopath, or that Robert Byrd is a fine human being who only cares about good governance, or that John Conyers and Nancy Pelosi aren’t moronic asshats?

  43. 43
    Pb says:

    It has always surprised me that, because you write one of the few righty blogs that is not noxious to lefties, people feel its appropriate to have a go at you in your comments.

    I don’t think that’s the reason–I think they’re just summarily banned if they try to even come close to doing the same elsewhere in the wingnutosphere. I generally do appreciate John’s lax approach here, and of course he can flame with the best of them as well.

  44. 44
    DougJ says:

    I agree with other commentors who think a third party is the answer.

    Oh, please. Discussions about third parties are for losers. Shit or get off the pot. Support one party or the other. Stop moping around dreaming of some pie-in-the-sky “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” alternative.

    Or at least go back to your room, read some Ayn Rand, put on some Rush CDs and leave us all alone.

  45. 45
    srv says:

    In my darkest moments, I think this.

    You have a way to go still. I consider it optimistic. The same number are going to die whether the Dems win the House or not.

    The only difference is who can get blamed for it.

  46. 46
    David says:

    I want things like lower spending that the present GOP probably isn’t going to give me, but I know damn well that the Democrats are not only not going to give them to me, but they’re going to give me the opposite.

    If John doesn’t have a blackboard full of tally marks labeled “The Democrats Are Worse,” well, he should.

  47. 47
    MonkeyBoy says:

    Look at it this way. Many of the right-blogosphere appear to be auditioning for positions in the administration where loyality is the most important qualification.

  48. 48
    ThymeZone says:

    Discussions about third parties are for losers

    Well, the spoofed approach is funny, but the fact is, third party politics doesn’t have a swell history of accomplishment.

    In Arizona, it got us a governor named Evan Mecham. You can look him up. Diaster.

    Nationally, how about that Green Party? Yee Haw, etc.

    Third party might be a viable solution when and if the two-party thing completely collapses … and I hate to tell you, but we’re a long way from that yet. You think it’s bad now?

  49. 49
    srv says:

    Both have always been about theater. In ten years and zillions of articles on thousands of topics, I have never seen anyone on the left persuade anyone on the right of anything, or vice versa. Not gonna happen. People do not do this seeking persuasion, they do it seeking expression.

    I am persuaded by your logic.

  50. 50
    manyoso says:

    John,

    As an interesting experiment in self-analysis, why don’t you go through your archives of pre-sane John Cole (and I say that with affection since you seem very sane now) and see what you find! It’d be interesting to see what you think of your prior posts without the Republican colored glasses.

  51. 51
    ThymeZone says:

    Oh dear. “diaster” = “disaster”

  52. 52
    Fledermaus says:

    Teenage Republican camp (my friends called it Hitler Youth Camp, proving that Nazi/Republican quips are no new development)

    Yeah, yeah Godwin’s Law and all. But still I find the idea of a Teenage Republican camp just a little spooky.

  53. 53
    Ugh says:

    It’s kind of sad that 10 of the past 11 front page posts on redstate.com right now are about John Kerry. It’s like they think it’s October 31st, 2004 or something.

  54. 54
    srv says:

    pretending that Teddy K. never killed that girl, John Kerry wouldn’t lie to his mother’s face with both hands on two stacks of Bibles to get a single vote, or that Howard Dean isn’t a hate-filled sociopath, or that Robert Byrd is a fine human being who only cares about good governance, or that John Conyers and Nancy Pelosi aren’t moronic asshats?

    All pretty tame compared to fucking up Iraq.

  55. 55
    Steve says:

    How about the same way that you should respond when idiots call decent men like Bob Corker a racist because his ads have drums in them?

    Are we giving this one a pass?

  56. 56
    DougJ says:

    Well, the spoofed approach is funny, but the fact is, third party politics doesn’t have a swell history of accomplishment.

    I wasn’t kidding. Discussions about third parties _are_ for losers.

  57. 57
    Pooh says:

    Entrenched Dems seem to be mostly interested in their own fortunes. So we, too, have a party to rebuild.

    So true. If we were starting a list of major “past there sell-by date” dems I can off the top of my head go with Kerry, Biden, Lieberman and Teddy K. Given a few more seconds to think about it, I’m sure I could come up with more. I fully hope that should the Dems take full control by ’08 that I’ll be as quick to criticize when they deserve it as I am of the GOP in power now, and the Dems in opposition. I hope…

  58. 58
    ThymeZone says:

    I am persuaded by your logic.

    When you wake up, you will not remember this conversation with me, and whenever you hear a doorbell, you will quack like a duck.

    { clap clap } Wake up ……

  59. 59
    Fledermaus says:

    I wonder ‘Why can’t they see what I see?” I don’t think I am crazy, I don’t think my beliefs have changed radically, and I don’t think I have been (as suggested by others) brainwashed by my commentariat.

    The GOP has done a great job shilding their supporters from reality. Between talk radio and Fox News the GOP can, as Bush would say, “Catapult the propaganda” essentially loft their lies in a uncritical environment.

    With Rush Hannity et al you have to realize that this is sometimes the only political news in rural areas. Also the demonization of liberals and other critical voices is now completely done via impeachment (in the legal sense) rather than substantive argument.

    When was the last time you heard a substantive response to O’Neill, Clarke, or any of the mirad others who persent their case against BushCo? Instead – and I think we can all chant in chorus now – the GOP propaganda machine sends out the word – they are promoting a book, disgruntled former employee, they donated to a democrat, their part of liberal acedemia. Thus they never have to enagage the arguments and their supporters can put to nasty bad facts to one side knowing that the persopn has been discretited, and thus his arguments have no merit.

    The Schiavo debacle was your through the looking glass moment. During that time I wrote you a little email saying: You may think that this was just a one off deal and the GOP will return to normal but instead it’s just beginning a year from now you’re going to be even more pissed. I possibly also mentioned making sure your passport was current. And sure enough a year and half later you are in good high dudgeon.

  60. 60
    foolishmortal says:

    Both have always been about theater. In ten years and zillions of articles on thousands of topics, I have never seen anyone on the left persuade anyone on the right of anything, or vice versa. Not gonna happen. People do not do this seeking persuasion, they do it seeking expression.

    Yeah, this makes sense. Which just makes me a fool. The few posts I do write (except if I’m drunk) generally attempt persuasion of some sort, and I also look to blogs to persuade me. It is possible, however, to change someone’s mind: John changed my mind on the WP issue, the infamous Hamsher formulation notwithstanding.

  61. 61
    Pooh says:

    Are we giving this one a pass?

    Yeah, because it’s dull. Maybe when the internet has been around a little longer, someone can do a study of how one groups political fortunes affect the quality of it’s spoofs/trolls.

  62. 62
    Perry Como says:

    Ryan S. Says:

    Another slow clap for Mr. Allen I’m sure this will be everywhere but I’ll link to it anyway

    In Allen’s defense, they thought the person they were throwing areound was a woman. Or a macaca.

  63. 63
    Lee says:

    Thanks for that post John. It gives me some hope that maybe; just maybe others will wake from their kool-aid induced stupors as well.

  64. 64
    Teak111 says:

    Going forawrd, everyone must shake the fog and fear of 911 and realize that this country belongs to the people, not the pols, not Rush, or Bush, or Rove, or Ken, or Cheney or even Fox News. We, The People, have to vote for men and women that will do their best for the country first (to reflect an idea mentioned before). The other lesson is that total control of the government regadless of party, leads to corruption, bad legislation, and ideological FP. We, The Poeple, have the power to change that. Balancing the power in the three branches of government is a legit reason to vote for the other party.

  65. 65
    Pooh says:

    When was the last time you heard a substantive response to O’Neill, Clarke, or any of the mirad others who persent their case against BushCo? Instead – and I think we can all chant in chorus now – the GOP propaganda machine sends out the word – they are promoting a book, disgruntled former employee, they donated to a democrat, their part of liberal acedemia. Thus they never have to enagage the arguments and their supporters can put to nasty bad facts to one side knowing that the persopn has been discretited, and thus his arguments have no merit.

    Typos aside, word.

  66. 66
    jaime says:

    But still I find the idea of a Teenage Republican camp just a little spooky.

    It’s a place where teens can hate blacks and gays and call it being anti-Affirmative action and pro-family.

  67. 67
    Louise says:

    I can still remember being an independent voter. I voted for Republicans, I voted for Democrats. I thought straight-line party voting was dishonest and lazy.

    Even when this country elected George W. Bush, against all logic and standards, I didn’t feel the need to reject the Republican Party as a whole.

    But you know…9/11 *did* change everything. At a time when true leadership would have brought us together, and appealed to our best natures, the people who put GWB in the White House so they could have power…they did their worst. They followed their own greed, their own interests, their own arrogance, and their own cynicism; and then denigrated the patriotism and character of anyone who disagreed with them.

    GWB led the way, the Republicans backed him without reservation, and I started pulling the lever for a straight Democratic ticket.

    I’m not happy about it. I want at least two parties to choose from. I want my fiscally conservative, states-rights-supporting, slightly uptight Republican candidates back.

    John — hang in there. We need you.

  68. 68
    stickler says:

    I don’t understand Bender’s statement about fiscal discipline. Didn’t the Democratic President deliver fiscal discipline — and $200 billion surpluses? That wasn’t all that long ago, you know.

    Regarding John Cole and the GOP:

    I know that I’m more or less the same paleoconservative I’ve always been. It’s the GOP which went off the deep end, pandering to the neo-Confederates and the Pharisees and the neocons. Wingnut radicalism — and massive corruption, too! Hooray!

    But that crap doesn’t play very well out West. Man, the Schiavo circus was electoral poison for 80% of the electorate here in Oregon; the budget deficits are just as bad. And the war … you don’t lose a war and expect real Americans to support you. Unreconstructed Confederate traitor wanna-bes, maybe — they’re into that whole Lost Cause thing. But not rational Americans.

  69. 69
    Pooh says:

    Did John Kerry single handedly just blow this thing?

  70. 70
    Tom says:

    Cheer up. It could be worse:

    “You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

  71. 71
    Kirk Spencer says:

    Thymezone,

    I don’t like term limits. First and foremost, it increases the strength of the staff (the bureaucracy) over the elected representatives. It takes a new congresscritter a couple of years to get adept at handling the job. Knowing where the bodies are buried — who to trust, and how far to trust them — takes much longer.

    I also don’t like term limits for philosophical reasons. That is, I should have the right to choose my voice in congress regardless of how long he or she has been there already. I prefer an attorney with at least a decade of experience, likewise my doctor. Why must I choose a neophyte for my government representative?

    The root problem isn’t really the fact they stay so long. It’s the fact the system is set up to encourage them to stay so long. Yes, we try to create rules and laws to weaken the power of incumbency, but it’s usually not so good. For what it’s worth, I’ve a couple of things I’d like to try instead of term limits.

    First, I’d like to end primaries. One election, multiple candidates REGARDLESS of party. The top two or three vote-getters go into a runoff if they achieved less than a plurality (almost a certainty).

    Second, I’d like to remove identifiers from the ballot. No labeling to know who is incumbent or what party this, that or the other person belongs to. Order gets established by lot.

    Third, I’d eliminate “automatic” qualifications – even for the incumbent. Petition for candidacies with a significant number of signatures (to be verified) required. I happen to be mixed about whether voters should be allowed to sign multiple petitions – I can see advantages and problems each way. But get rid of the “automatic” qualifier, whether it’s through a candidate being the nomination of a major party or it’s by being an incumbent or anything else.

    Finally, I’d try to counter the incumbent advantage in a more real way. Every challenger of the incumbent would have a pool of money from which to draw for a campaign budget. Spend and be reimbursed, no advances, Registered candidates only.

  72. 72
    Paul Wartenberg says:

    John Cole:

    You are at where I was 6 years ago, when I saw the Republicans choose a clearly incompetent hack (Bush) over a principled experienced pol (McCain), all because Bush had the money and the mudslinging. And now I am even more disillusioned, because my old hero McCain is wallowing in the same mire that Bush wallowed in, all because McCain wants the White House in ’08.

    I do hope the GOP gets its collective ass handed to them next week, but I doubt it. Gerrymandering and rigged voting machines will see to it that the will of the true majority gets screwed over by the scheming of the false party. Not that I’m bitter or cynical or anything…

  73. 73
    sparky says:

    [boring return to post]

    I’m one of those horrible non-GOP types who read here but I think it’s pretty damn hard to admit to disillusionment. It sure has been for me when I start thinking we’ve gotten the government we deserve. So thank you for having the guts to do it from the side of the party in power.

  74. 74
    capelza says:

    Pooh..I hope not…most of the bluster is from Bush’s reliable base anyway.

    Though, if we are to speak of dark moments as a couple others have, part of me wouldn’t mind the GOP keeping control..if Bush wants to hand over the Iraq problem to the next guy…let he and his continue the rot until is it isclear to every sane person in this country.

    It’s going to be a mess for the next two years. As much as I’d like to see it cleaned up, the GOP is not going to go quietly into the night…of course, if the Dems do win..then we can call the GOP “obstructionists” and see them try to wiggle out of it.

  75. 75
    grumpy realist says:

    I’m hoping the Paleoconservatives can fuse together with the Libertarians and some of the Progressives at least long enough to drag the system back into some sort of balance. (We’ll fight about social stuff later.) But the concept of being prudent, having checks and balances, civil liberties, being fiscally responsible, supporting science and technology etc.–where did that all go?

    The media also has a lot to take for the present mess we find ourselves in. They have abrogated their responsibility to research, check power, and present the news fairly. We’ve been provided with nothing more than the verbal equivalent of mud wrestling.

    I can’t figure out if they honestly think that this is all just “entertainment”, or whether no matter what happens, they’ll always be able to float over the mess caused by their propaganda.

    Remember Rwanda….

  76. 76
    Kirk Spencer says:

    sigh – can’t write what I’m thinking. Corrections…

    It’s the fact the system is set up to encourage enable them to stay so long.

    Top two or three candidates go into a runoff unless someone wins a plurality majority.

  77. 77
    Perry Como says:

    Did John Kerry single handedly just blow this thing?

    Not a chance. Even Dick Armey said this is a bunch of mock outrage from the GOP. Of course Dick Armey hates America and wants to make babies with terrorists, so who is really going to listen to him?

  78. 78

    What are you going to do, vote straight Democrat, pretending that Teddy K. never killed that girl,

    Aww a new game!

    How low can you go??

    Ready my turn…

    Did you know the First Lady is a murderer. In her youthful days, she killed her best friend by running a stop sign.

    I hear she did it on purpose.

    Ok, what do I win?

  79. 79
    Jane Finch says:

    This post is why I loved reading you even when you seemed to be drinking the kool-aid. You’re smart and you care about your country.

  80. 80
    Pooh says:

    Pooh..I hope not…most of the bluster is from Bush’s reliable base anyway.

    But given that some of them were going to stay home and are now OUTRAGED…

    Maybe we should make tax day election day so that you had to vote and file your return at the same time. The root problem is that so many people are just so uninvolved, which is the only reason this shit flies and that the pundits are able to nod sagely while saying “6 more months” or what not…

  81. 81
    Pooh says:

    Though speaking of the punditocracy, apparently you can push them too far. From that bastion of blandness, today’s WaPo:

    And at the White House and the Pentagon, fantasy reigns. President Bush famously pledged to stay the course in Iraq even if Laura and Barney the dog are his only supporters. Last week he said U.S. forces constantly change tactics to “stay ahead” of the Iraqi insurgents. Excuse me, but when have we ever been ahead of the insurgency? “We’re winning” the war, Bush insists. Excuse me, but could you elaborate? In what sense are we winning in Iraq? Where are you seeing anything that resembles victory?

    Silly me. Ordinary Americans just aren’t smart enough to think about such things. Thank you, Sir Isaac Newton, I mean Donald Rumsfeld, for reminding us of our patriotic duty: Back off.

  82. 82
    Mr. Moderate says:

    Wow, that couldn’t sum up my personal political history and current sentiment any better.

  83. 83
    guyermo says:

    Yeah, yeah Godwin’s Law and all. But still I find the idea of a Teenage Republican camp just a little spooky.

    and that’s BEFORE you find out Mark Foley was one of the counselors

  84. 84
    Bender says:

    Are we giving this one a pass?

    You can respond with your usual “It’s OK because he’s a Democrat.”

  85. 85
    Darrell says:

    but for me, Terri Schiavo was the real eye-opener. Sure, the Prescription Drug Plan was hideous and still gets my blood pressure pumping, and the awful bankruptcy bill was equally bad, and there were other things that should have clued me in, but really, it was Schiavo that made me realize this party was not as advertized. And it is frustrating as hell.

    Most people voting Repub are not happy with the prescription drug plan either.. or the pork-laden agriculture spending bill for that matter. I’m a bit confused, however, how a self described conservative puts the bankruptcy bill, holding adults more accountable for honoring their voluntary agreements, in the same category as the Prescription drug fiasco. I really don’t get that equivalency from a conservative standpoint.

    And on Schiavo, that seems like such a complicated case to result in you drawing such a hard line as an example of clear Republican wrongdoing. A case involving conflicting wishes on a life or death matter in which Terri’s parents and her brother wanted one thing, and her husband wanted another. The law defaults to giving the husband the full authority in such matters, as it should be in most cases, but in Schiavo’s case, it was difficult to determine who was most concerned about her best interest. There were legit good faith questions as to what would be best for her, and who should be able to make that decision.

    Maybe the Repub Abrahmhoff corruption put you over the top to the other side. I can empathize with a lot of your frustrations on that. But what I don’t see is how a more leftist Dem party (more leftist than they were in the 90’s) will get the country in the direction a conservative wants to see it go.

    I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back

    Can you please stop saying “anyone who disagrees” with Repubs on Iraq is being smeared as a ‘terrorist enabler’. It’s simply not true, and it’s not very principled of you to repeat that claim as you have done. You can find a few isolated over the top quotes from Repubs, but overall, Republicans are not smearing those raising legit questions over Iraq as ‘terrorist enablers’, and #2, many Dems, with their “Bush lied us into Iraq” and “wiretapping innocent Americans” lies, really are willing to sacrifice national interests (to some degree) if it furthers their own political interests. I don’t see justification for such one-way outrage, given the Dems behavior.

  86. 86
    jcricket says:

    I’m hoping the Paleoconservatives can fuse together with the Libertarians and some of the Progressives at least long enough to drag the system back into some sort of balance. (We’ll fight about social stuff later.) But the concept of being prudent, having checks and balances, civil liberties, being fiscally responsible, supporting science and technology etc.—where did that all go?

    It’s because the “paleoconservatives” and “libertarians” have shown themslves more than happy to toss all that stuff (in bold) overboard to a) achieve a more significant ruling majority; b) get more tax cuts. Otherwise known as the “I got mine today, so fuck you and your tomorrow” political theory.

    Seriously, I hear Libertarians talk all the time about how they’re socially liberal (so to speak), but it never seems to matter come vote time. In that way, I see no chance of a large “bloc” of Libertarians doing anything that moves the Republican party towards what they claims it the Libertarian agenda. If Libertarians truly had an intellectually consistent bone in their bodies, they’d have stopped voting Republican years ago.

    Combine that with the tiny, tiny political presence of paleoconservatives (do they get fired up for primaries? no. They’re all busy being “serious” and “sober” and writing columns like George Will does) and I don’t see them fusing with anyone either.

    Again, my gut tells me the right wing takeover of the Republican party will accelerate with either a loss or (especially) with a win this season. They feel it’s their destiny to rule the country, and any minor defeats mean only they weren’t committed enough to their right-wing jihad.

    And John, that, is why your former friends online hate you now. That is why they can’t see what you see. They’ve bought the circular logic wholesale. They are the party and the party is them. Losses are someone else’s fault so we should accelerate what we’re doing, wins mean people agree with us, so accelerate what we’re doing. I know I keep doing this but:

    “Nearly all children nowadays were horrible. What was worst of all was that by means of such organizations as the Spies they were systematically turned into ungovernable little savages, and yet this produced in them no tendency whatever to rebel against the discipline of the Party. On the contrary, they adored the Party and everything connected with it… All their ferocity was turned outwards, against the enemies of the State, against foreigners, traitors, saboteurs, thought-criminals. It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children.”

    Is it far-fetched to see Red State, Malkin, LGF, Powerline, etc. as the “children” of the conservative movement? Is it any surprise that the radicalism has increased to a point where that’s all they see? George Orwell wasn’t writing science-fiction, really, just observational commentary on human tendencies.

  87. 87
    Pooh says:

    Well Darrell, you smear everyone that way, so to say that “they are smeared” is true to that degree. I’ve yet to see you even acknowledge that there could be meaningful, principled disagreement. It’s all BDS, all the time, from everyone. Or there’s a book to be sold. Or an election. Or they got fired an are bitter. Michael Moore is fat and I Like Pie

    (That was me, not Tim. I did find the pie days among the best here, it must be said…)

  88. 88
    Steve says:

    You can find a few isolated over the top quotes from Repubs, but overall, Republicans are not smearing those raising legit questions over Iraq as ‘terrorist enablers’

    A few isolated quotes. I think I get why John keeps this guy around. Yeah, once every couple years, maybe someone accidentally lets “aid and comfort” slip out, but surely no more often than that!

  89. 89
    capelza says:

    If anyone had any doubts about the GOP, I was just over at ObWings…the federal government wants to “remind” abstinence-only teachers to remember that their funding includes taching people up to age 29 (on our dime). No sex before marriage!

    The guidelines have been revised, but it is just a reminder…

  90. 90
    Darrell says:

    Well Darrell, you smear everyone that way, so to say that “they are smeared” is true to that degree. I’ve yet to see you even acknowledge that there could be meaningful, principled disagreement.

    Sorry Pooh, but when leftist commenters immediately launch into “Fuck you”, “you’re a bad person” type of attacks, today as a typical example, you might try and overlook my reactions, which by any honest account, are milder than the abuse I take.

    You, on the other hand, virtually never debate on the merits.. instead snarking and insulting as you’re doing with me now.

  91. 91
    Darrell says:

    A few isolated quotes. I think I get why John keeps this guy around.

    Yes, a few isolated quotes. It’s blatent dishonesty to suggest that Repubs in general are going around accusing those raising legit questions about Iraq as “terrorist enablers”. It’s simply not true.

  92. 92
    Jimmm says:

    See, and I woke up every morning to the same news, John, and wondered when people on the right would finally see things as I saw them.

    If it’s any consolation, John. I get no satisfaction from thinking the worst of Republicans in power–and having my fears confirmed.

    At least your, I dunno, epiphany (conversion implies the wrong message), seems sincere, while Andrew Sullivan’s seems more of the “what you mean WE?” variety.

  93. 93
    Pooh says:

    Uhm, I engage you on the merits all the time, as I did above. I’m specifically questioning the accuracy of your claim that dissenters are not smeared wholesale. You rarely, if ever, respond on the merits. Case in point:

    but when leftist commenters immediately launch into “Fuck you”, “you’re a bad person” type of attacks, today as a typical example, you might try and overlook my reactions, which by any honest account, are milder than the abuse I take.

    They said mean things, so you should be excused for the things you said. Which isn’t exactly responding to me on the merits is it?

  94. 94
    Perry Como says:

    jcricket, Instafuckwit isn’t a libertarian, no matter what he says. Despite the Democrats’ reputation as the tax and spend party, I have no idea how anyone that professes to believe in libertarian principles can vote for a Republican in this election.

    Bush and his lap dog congress have been in charge of the largest increase of Federal government since FDR. They’ve doubled the amount of debt that the next generation is going to have to pay off ($20 trillion to $43 trillion). They’ve suspended Habeas Corpus and gleefully authorized torture.

    None of these things are even remotely libertarian — and aren’t even remotely conservative.

    “But the Democrats are worse!” Sorry, that’s bullshit. Even if the Dems manage to take both houses in this election, I think Bush will manage to find his long lost veto pen and get the government back to the good ol’ days of gridlock.

    I have no doubt that the Dems will try to do some things that will piss me off, but after 6 years GOP Über Alles, I’m willing to give the Dems a chance to undo some of the damage this one party government has wrought.

  95. 95
    Pooh says:

    You, on the other hand, virtually never debate on the merits.. instead snarking and insulting as you’re doing with me now.

    Where did I insult you? I made a factual claim – that you smear dissenters. To the extent that saying “you are wrong” is an insult, I guess I did.

    If you want to have a discussion on the merits, by all means, let’s. I’ll even let you pick the topic.

  96. 96
    Darrell says:

    They said mean things, so you should be excused for the things you said. Which isn’t exactly responding to me on the merits is it?

    What “merits”? You didn’t dispute any point that I made.. you only accused me of being mean to others without acknowledging the provocation and abuse disproportionately leveled at me. I’m not whining.. I’m just pointing out your double standards. What point of ‘merit’ did you make that you feel I should address?

  97. 97
    tBone says:

    when leftist commenters immediately launch into “Fuck you”, “you’re a bad person” type of attacks, today as a typical example, you might try and overlook my reactions, which by any honest account, are milder than the abuse I take.

    Yeah. You never call people “dishonest to the core” or “dishonest as hell” or “scumbags” or “kooks” or “whackjobs” or even “dishonest fucking bitches.” You never attempt to smear every “Leftist” with the same broad brush or pretend that everyone to the left of you thinks and acts exactly the same. It’s amazing that people attack you, because you’re just arguing in good faith. You’re just arguing on the merits, right, Darrell?

  98. 98
    Jimmm says:

    Can you please stop saying “anyone who disagrees” with Repubs on Iraq is being smeared as a ‘terrorist enabler’. It’s simply not true

    Bush himself essentially has said that, Darrell. Just today, in fact. As has Santorum. As has Cheney. As have Rush, Malkin, Riehl, and others on the mainstream right. I agree that it is a silly sentiment, and that the speakers don’t really believe that. But they’re saying that Democrats don’t want to win; they just want to quit. That is just false. It’s not even an oversimplification; it’s a lie.

  99. 99
    capelza says:

    Can we not turn this thread into a Darrell thread? I know I was guilty in the Kerry thread, but not this one please.

    Go back there and duke it out. Of course, Darrell does represent in microcosm everything John is talking about, but seriously..please.

  100. 100
    Kimmitt says:

    Can you please stop saying “anyone who disagrees” with Repubs on Iraq is being smeared as a ‘terrorist enabler’. It’s simply not true, and it’s not very principled of you to repeat that claim as you have done. You can find a few isolated over the top quotes from Repubs, but overall, Republicans are not smearing those raising legit questions over Iraq as ‘terrorist enablers’, and #2, many Dems, with their “Bush lied us into Iraq” and “wiretapping innocent Americans” lies, really are willing to sacrifice national interests (to some degree) if it furthers their own political interests.

    Dude, you’re not supposed to contratradict yourself in the same paragraph.

    Seriously.

  101. 101
    Jess says:

    I spent my whole life in the GOP- starting in 1984 with county meetings, going to Teenage Republican camp

    Congratulations on successfully overcoming your brainwashing.

    IMO it is a huge mistake to join any political camp; how can this lead to anything other than black-and-white, us-vs-them thinking? It creates a perpetual state of civil war where we threaten and attack our fellow Americans under the banner of patriotism. I hope we can all commit ourselves to serving American democracy first, and our pet political groups second. Many on both the left and the right have failed in this, and will no doubt continue to do so, but the current rightwingers in charge have gone way overboard in demonizing their fellow Americans, and you’re right to reject this, John. It’s the patriotic thing to do.

  102. 102
    Pooh says:

    Darrell

    Can you please stop saying “anyone who disagrees” with Repubs on Iraq is being smeared as a ‘terrorist enabler’. It’s simply not true, and it’s not very principled of you to repeat that claim as you have done.

    Me

    Well Darrell, you smear everyone that way, so to say that “they are smeared” is true to that degree. I’ve yet to see you even acknowledge that there could be meaningful, principled disagreement.

    Darrell

    You didn’t dispute any point that I made

    You say A doesn’t happen. I say you do A, therefore it happens. How is that not disputing a point that you made?

    From a logical standpoint, I might be incorrect in saying that you in fact do A, but that doesn’t mean the point isn’t disputed.

  103. 103
    cerebrocrat says:

    I read often but comment never because it always seems too complicated to compose something that doesn’t sound smug or condescending. But I really don’t FEEL smug, I feel a lot of empathy for you John because I have gone through nearly the same thing. I think I’m about your age, and was a diehard libertarian-flavored conservative up until the Clinton impeachment, when the cracks first started forming for me. There is a real loss one feels when it happens; in my case, my change of heart cost me much-beloved conversations with my father, because politics was all we could really talk about. Now, if we try to talk politics, we argue acrimoniously and briefly. So we stick to weather.

    One thing that’s made it easier for me is the realization that a party and its ideology are really only loosely related. Parties are for winning elections, and their associated ideologies are just one of several tools they use to do that. If it’s not working, they change ideologies, albeit as quietly as possible. So parties change over time, and we should be okay with changing our affiliations according to their status, and to ours. Party identification seems so fixed because our ideals seem so central to our personal identities. But it’s natural for our ideals to change over the course of our lives, inevitable for a party’s ideology to change over time, and so I don’t think there’s so much reason to grieve switching sides from time to time, and giving your self permission to do it again when the need arises.

  104. 104
    Darrell says:

    It’s amazing that people attack you, because you’re just arguing in good faith. You’re just arguing on the merits, right, Darrell?

    See the earlier thread. That was EXACTLY what I was doing, as usual, before the “Fuck you”, “mindless twat” abuse came out from the left. Then ‘honest’ leftists like tBone point fingers when I respond.

  105. 105
    Pooh says:

    Can we not turn this thread into a Darrell thread? I know I was guilty in the Kerry thread, but not this one please.

    Go back there and duke it out. Of course, Darrell does represent in microcosm everything John is talking about, but seriously..please.

    My bad.

  106. 106
    Steve says:

    Yeah, that’s pretty classic. Virtually no one calls Dems terrorist enablers, but for the record, they kinda do enable the terrorists! Only Darrell.

    I also find utterly cute his way of acting like even though he’s called all of us hacks, whackjobs, etc. over and over in the past (he even accused me of making up what I do for a living!), he’s somehow entitled to show up on every thread as a blank slate. And it’s just so horrible that all those mean liberals, when they’re not busy enabling terrorists that is, call him all those mean names for no reason, when he hasn’t called them whackjobs or anything in this particular thread.

  107. 107
    Darrell says:

    You say A doesn’t happen

    that’s a false statement. I explained my point very clearly, and I made a point to say it DOES happen, but not as a general rule, as was asserted. In case you’re unclear, here are my words once again.

    Yes, a few isolated quotes. It’s blatent dishonesty to suggest that Repubs in general are going around accusing those raising legit questions about Iraq as “terrorist enablers”.

  108. 108
    Mike S says:

    John

    It seemed to me that you started changing when the GOP started defending and pushing torture. I found your blog when Abu Ghraib broke and you were one of the lone voices on the right who was outraged. The rest either defended it or blamed it on “a few bad apples.”

    That alone showed me that you were a man of principle and “Perverse Polarity.” The whole thing is a must read.

    This section stood out for me:

    …Indeed, quite early on in Clinton’s presidency, GOP leaders explicitly decided to make the failure of Clinton’s presidency their overriding goal, regardless of, and indeed in spite of, his attempts to move to the middle. The most telling moment came during Clinton’s second big initiative, health-care reform. By any objective measure, the United States had–and still has–a terrible system, which spent far more per capita on health care than any other country while leaving a higher percentage of our population uninsured than in any other advanced industrialized nation. While many Republicans were skeptical of Clinton’s preferred solution to the problem, they at first accepted a responsibility to pass some sort of plan. Yet they came to be persuaded by the advice of conservative operative William Kristol, who urged in a series of influential memos that the GOP oppose the Clinton plan “sight unseen,” and commit to sinking whatever plan was devised–on the grounds that successful passage of any plan would keep the Democratic Party in power. In keeping with this advice, Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole even abandoned his own health-reform proposal, the better to create gridlock. …

    Governing wasn’t important. Doing what was best for the country wasn’t important. The only thing that was important was making sure the Democratic Party didn’t stay in power.

    I wrote a diary over at dKos called “The Death of Bipartisanship” back when that article came out. In it I wrote two things that stick out to me as I read it again.

    …I believe when we work on things together we get a much better outcome. I negotiate sales on homes and find that when one side gets all they want both sides are less happy with the outcome. Maybe it’s human nature to desire a give and take.


    There are many things worth reading in the article. Check it out for more examples of the decline of our government. I remember a time when both sides attempted to be a little more fair to each other in order to keep both sides happy. Because of that they made better laws that were more fair to more of the population. I don’t know if we will ever be able to return to those times.

    link

  109. 109
    Darrell says:

    Virtually no one calls Dems terrorist enablers, but for the record, they kinda do enable the terrorists!

    Well, some Dems are, to put it mildly, not very patriotic. That is very different than saying all legit questions being raised on Iraq = “terrorist enablers” as has been repeatedly suggested on this blog. Give me some examples where legit questions were raised (“Bush lied us into war” is not a legit question) which were answered by “you’re a terrorist enabler”. I’m sure you can dig up a few, but it’s nowhere neear like the blog owner and his followers are suggesting

    It’s a sort of victim-persecution-group-identity thing, reinforced by posts here all the time… like snark that George Will is a ‘terrorist enabler’. Anyone call Pat Buchanan a ‘terrorist enabler’?

  110. 110
    srv says:

    It isn’t Pie, for chrissakes! It’s Cake. Have his Cake and Eat it too.

    Darrell is now the controlling legal authority over the definition of ‘isolated’. And given such, he does not even have to tell us what that definition is.

    People, when will you learn that authoritarians would argue with us over definitions of black and white?

  111. 111
    Mike S says:

    Yes, a few isolated quotes. It’s blatent dishonesty to suggest that Repubs in general are going around accusing those raising legit questions about Iraq as “terrorist enablers”. It’s simply not true.

    Umm. Bill Frist says we want to surrender to terrorists. So does President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Fatastert, Delay and then a whole range of the GOP propagandists.

  112. 112
    radish says:

    Boy howdy…

    It’s blatent dishonesty to suggest that Repubs in general are going around accusing those raising legit questions about Iraq as “terrorist enablers”.

    Just for the record (with apologies for feeding the jackalope) the leader of the Republican Party said yesterday that

    However they put it, the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses.

    I mean c’mon Darrell, what more could you want? The man says in so many words that “however they put it” (meaning regardless of actual policy content), anything Dems do is a “terrorist win.” And this is a man who claims that he hasn’t been saying “stay the course” at every opportunity for like two years now. Why? Because he’s finally decided that the “timetable” approach that Jack Murtha was advocating months ago is unavoidable, and has to be rammed down Maliki’s throat.

    No I guess it’s not enough. I guess the point of all this is to bog every single conversation down with endless, pointless, circular arguments about the semantics of words and phrases that have plain meanings. Man, I hope you’re getting paid for this.

  113. 113
    Darrell says:

    Another thing that bothers me about John’s claims that the Republican party has been increasingly controlled by the religious right in recent years, is that 15 years ago when John was a happy active Republican, the religious right had FAR more influence than it does today. Hell Pat Robertson ran as a Repub Presidential candidate and they had religious right speakers at their national conventions. You don’t see that anymore. I blame the influx of the non-christian Jewish and athiest neocons which diluted the Christian influence [/snark]. Either way, it doesn’t make sense to suggest that the religious right has more sway now than they did 15 years back. I just don’t understand the basis for making that claim.

  114. 114
    Mike S says:

    Darrell is divorced from reality. Name one other President who only left one vacation early in ordere to sign legislation keeping a braindead woman alive.

    It’s sad.

  115. 115
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Darrel you don’t understand the claim because you and Bartleby would prefer not to.

    John Cole is a hep cat. He prefers to.

  116. 116
    Steve says:

    Bill Frist says we want to surrender to terrorists.

    No, Bill Frist said HE wanted to surrender to terrorists. You’re remembering wrong.

  117. 117
    Mike S says:

    No, Bill Frist said HE wanted to surrender to terrorists. You’re remembering wrong.

    Just saw a clip on the daily show last night with the cat killer sying that the Democrats want us to surrender to the terrorists. I’m sure Darrell will find a way to say that doesn’t relect on the party.

  118. 118
    matt says:

    the Clinton impeachment

    It’s interesting (or at least noteworthy) how often this comes up when people talk about when they started moving away from the Republican party. I never knew the extent to which this turned off moderate Republican/independent-minded voters.

  119. 119
    Darrell says:
    However they put it, the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses.

    I mean c’mon Darrell, what more could you want?

    I think what the President said there is very different than saying calling all who disagree with Iraq “terrorist enablers”. I don’t believe I’m splitting hairs in saying so either. Let’s change the country in that statement from Iraq to Afghanistan. Is it not reasonable to say that an near immediate American pullout in Afghanistan would be a victory for the terrorists?

    That’s a damn far cry from calling all those who disagree ‘terrorist enablers’. The point Dems would be making if they were sincere would be “Yes, we were right to take out Saddam, and we voted with you on that, but the war was managed poorly (with of w,x,y, and z examples), and the cost in lives and treasure is not worth the gain. Let Iraqis take care of Iraq”

    But most Dems aren’t making that argument.

  120. 120
    Mike S says:

    Darrell.

    If you are honestly saying that the leaders of your party are not, on a daily basis, saying that the Dems want us to lose the war on terror, want us to surrender to terrorists, think terrorists deserve more rights than Americans… then I honestly don’t know what to say to you.

  121. 121
    t. jasper parnell says:

    You don’t believe that you split hairs? So Democrats don’t enable the Terrorits their just ensure their victory? Odd parsing, there chum.

  122. 122
    Tim in SF says:

    I love your blog, John, and used to come here for the “sane conservative” viewpoint. On that score, you rarely disappoint (then or now). But I have to admit, I gave up reading Balloon Juice because it seems to attract more than its fair share of “Darrells.” Being conservative is one thing, but such nasty, partisan, hypocritical, obstinate, pig-headedness just doesn’t lend itself to reasoned discussion. I usually enjoy discussing current events with real, honest conservatives, but not with these darrells: People who have no willingness to ever meet you halfway, or to stop throwing rocks long enough look at the monsters they are defending, or to realize we are all Americans here and on the same side; no, they just poison the well. They say the love America but are incredibly nasty towards Americans (half of them, anyway). And what is America but her laws and her people? These darrells are no fun to talk with and, unlike with you, I’m sure I wouldn’t hang out with them at a party. They don’t lend anything to the discussion. They are the very definition of troll. They are a blight on your blog.

    Every once in a while I pop back in to see if you’ve yet gotten rid of them. I’m disappointed, once again. :-(

  123. 123
    Steve says:

    Is it not reasonable to say that an near immediate American pullout in Afghanistan would be a victory for the terrorists?

    What’s unreasonable to say is that Democrats want the terrorists to win. I’m sorry you don’t grasp that.

    I never knew the extent to which this turned off moderate Republican/independent-minded voters.

    A lot of conservatives expected great, conservative accomplishments from the revolution of 1994 and instead what they got was a decade of revenge and petty recriminations from the old guard who had spent so long in the minority that they didnt’ care about anything else. Some of the very Republicans elected in 1994, in fact, numbered themselves among the disappointed conservatives.

  124. 124
    Cyrus says:

    I’m sorry to address Darrell, but I swear I was thinking about posting a link to this before people got into it with him, so all of a sudden it’s doubly or triply appropriate.

    For John: you’re right, it’s hard to say exactly when the rot set in or became truly terrible, but it wasn’t always there. Earlier today the Carpetbagger Report linked to an LA Times editorial that provided a little context to Bush’s quote yesterday, “However they put it, the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses,” (Bush said.) From the editorial:

    Other wartime presidents have been much more reluctant to argue that only their party was committed to success.
    … (examples from Johnson, and FDR, but the last is the most relevant)…
    Even President Nixon displayed more restraint during the 1970 midterm election. Nixon barnstormed the country asking voters to elect members of Congress who would support his war policy. But he took pains to avoid claiming that only his party wanted to win. “This is not a partisan issue,” Nixon declared that October at a rally for a Texas Republican Senate candidate named George H.W. Bush.

    So John, you’re right, it’s not just your impression. Things really are different under Bush than they were under previous administrations. Even Richard Milhous Fucking Nixon.

    And for Darrell, clearly you’re right too. There are only a few isolated quotes of Republicans “accusing those raising legit questions about Iraq as ‘terrorist enablers.” Well, if by “isolated” you mean President Bush, and if by “few” you mean “three times a month, and that’s just the ones that have made it to the news.”

    I actually deleted a much longer ending paragraph from this trying to anticipate your responses, because that’s not what matters. What matters is that Bush’s support is now limited to people willing to argue with a straight face that it’s unfair to accuse Republicans of doing what Bush did yesterday. John, Greg Djerijian, Andrew Sullivan, OCSteve and all the rest, have already left. Have fun out there with Filthy McNasty (if he’s not a parody in the first place) and Bender, Darrell.

  125. 125
    SeesThroughIt says:

    I never knew the extent to which this turned off moderate Republican/independent-minded voters.

    I was (and still am) one of those independent-minded voters. I was neither a Clinton supporter nor a Clinton detractor. I was a Clinton tolerator, I guess. But the whole impeachment business was such an exercise in extended stupidity that it was insulting to me. My feeling was that government should be focused on more important tasks than partisan shit-flinging. I mean, I understood partisan shit-flinging as part of politics, but the impeachment business was so pathetic and juvenile, I couldn’t help but be turned off by it and its perpetrators.

    The hissy-fit Republicans threw when they shut down the government didn’t help, either. It was really hard to see them as anything other than bratty little children underserving of being taken seriously.

  126. 126
    bains says:

    Cole, you’re as right as Sullivan or Greenwald. It’s always interesting to listen to you all proclaim why voting Dem advances conservative, and especially libertarian ideals. And convincing to those whom are already idealogically alligned with Sully, Ellison, and you.

    But not convincing to real libertarians.

  127. 127
    Darrell says:

    President Bush sincerely believes that pulling out of Iraq would be a victory for terrorists. bin Laden himself has said that Iraq is the biggest priority for Al Queda.

    It’s reasonable for Republicans to say that an immediate John Kerry-like pullout in Iraq would be a victory for the terrorists. I think it’s dishonest to conflate that legitimate statement with calling all those who disagree with them “terrorist supporters” or the like.

    What are the Dems proposing, with regards to how they would handle Iraq differently? What significant actions would they take differently?

  128. 128
    matt says:

    I don’t think the folks at RedState are “bad people”, murders and rapists are bad people. But when you spend your time and energy implying that someone like Jim Webb is a pedophile, isn’t there some kind of…and I don’t think I can articulate this without sounding cheesy, but isn’t there some kind of…spiritual price that you pay for that?

    I know it’s politics, and it’s not for the weak, and there’s going to be smears, ect. But even in this day and age, where almost anything goes, and it’s easy for someone like me to get on a soapbox on a blog, there is still some standard, isn’t there? Where you can say, yeah, you’re not bad person, but you sure are a shitty person.

    Does anyone feel like expanding on this?

  129. 129
    SeesThroughIt says:

    underserving = undeserving

  130. 130
    Proud Liberal says:

    John, to quote a great President, “I feel your pain”. But you give me hope. Andrew Sullivan gives me hope. Dick Armey gives me hope. John Danforth gives me hope. Us “liberals” have been saying these things for a long time but it is truly good to hear honest conservatives coming to the realization that their party has been hijacked by some very very bad people. I wish you well in taking back your party, good luck.

  131. 131
    matt says:

    *murderers

  132. 132
    John Cole says:

    Cole, you’re as right as Sullivan or Greenwald. It’s always interesting to listen to you all proclaim why voting Dem advances conservative, and especially libertarian ideals. And convincing to those whom are already idealogically alligned with Sully, Ellison, and you.

    Just user smaller sentences, Bains:

    “BUSH GAVE ME TAX CUTS.”

  133. 133
    srv says:

    These darrells are no fun to talk with and, unlike with you, I’m sure I wouldn’t hang out with them at a party.

    If I was to dress up on Market tonight as Darrell, what would I look like?

  134. 134
    Darrell says:

    What’s unreasonable to say is that Democrats want the terrorists to win. I’m sorry you don’t grasp that.

    I understand that clearly and agree that such accusations are unacceptable in most cases. I dispute your assertion that Republicans in general are accusing Dems of ‘wanting terrorists to win’. More often I see Dems twisting Republicans’ words into accusations of wanting the terrorists to win.

  135. 135
    Darrell says:

    But I have to admit, I gave up reading Balloon Juice because it seems to attract more than its fair share of “Darrells.” Being conservative is one thing, but such nasty, partisan, hypocritical, obstinate, pig-headedness just doesn’t lend itself to reasoned discussion. I usually enjoy discussing current events with real, honest conservatives, but not with these darrells:

    That’s rich.. pretending to take the high road while making a post with nothing but name calling personal insults and not a shred of substance.

  136. 136
    Dave says:

    Can you please stop saying “anyone who disagrees” with Repubs on Iraq is being smeared as a ‘terrorist enabler’. It’s simply not true, and it’s not very principled of you to repeat that claim as you have done. You can find a few isolated over the top quotes from Repubs, but overall, Republicans are not smearing those raising legit questions over Iraq as ‘terrorist enablers’

    A few like Cheney?

    The vice president said U.S. allies in Afghanistan and Iraq “have doubts” the United States will finish the job there. “And those doubts are encouraged, obviously, when they see the kind of debate that we’ve had in the United States,” he said. “Suggestions, for example, that we should withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq simply feed into that whole notion, validates the strategy of the terrorists.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....00427.html

    Or how about the over the top Bush himself:

    However they put it, the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses

    http://www.kentucky.com/mld/ke.....890311.htm

  137. 137
    Darrell says:

    I don’t think the folks at RedState are “bad people”, murders and rapists are bad people. But when you spend your time and energy implying that someone like Jim Webb is a pedophile

    I read the passage in his book about the father grabbing his four year old son, turning him upside down and putting the son’s penis in his mouth. Bizarre imagination for sure.

    Repubs would have had more moral high ground though, if they would have raised these points about Webb’s writing a year ago.

  138. 138
    Steve says:

    President Bush sincerely believes that pulling out of Iraq would be a victory for terrorists. bin Laden himself has said that Iraq is the biggest priority for Al Queda.

    Here we go again. Republicans almost never accuse Democrats of wanting the terrorists to win, but then again, they honestly believe the Democrats do want the terrorists to win!

    I have no idea what statement of bin Laden you’re citing or what the context was, but gee, it’s pretty clear that Iraq wasn’t al-Qaeda’s biggest priority before we were there, and there’s no reason to assume it would be their biggest priority if we left.

    I do know that bin Laden has said his goal is to “bankrupt America”, and al-Qaeda has acknowledged in private that “prolonging the war is in our interest.” You guys don’t seem to talk about those quotes very much, though. That’s because you put partisanship – arguing that bin Laden wants the same thing the Democrats want – over focusing on the best way to fight terrorism.

  139. 139
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Honest belief my aunt fanny. I honestly believe that DougJ is the second coming of Sandy Lyle and he’s not even dead yet. I honestly believe that ThymeZone isn’t PPGAZ. What evidence does the President or you for that matter have that if we stage a gradual drawdown of American troops redeployed in a location that allows for rapid response that this is an unworkable plan. As I understand things, Murtha et al have been arguing this for months.

    Or do you and the President truly believe that when we leave the terrorist, rather like a dog you to whom you tossed the tail end of a hoagie, will follow us home their evil schemes dripping off them like rain of the mangy mongrel?
    Piffle.

    John Cole all need do know is ride your bike and your life will be complete. Also and in re bad 80s music, although this might be 70s, why not Abba’s Winner Takes It All as the theme song for the error into which partisan madness has taken us all.

  140. 140
    Pooh says:

    Darrell

    It’s reasonable for Republicans to say that an immediate John Kerry-like pullout in Iraq would be a victory for the terrorists. I think it’s dishonest to conflate that legitimate statement with calling all those who disagree with them “terrorist supporters” or the like.

    President Bush

    However they put it, the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses.

    Not having anything nice to say, I’ll just leave it there.

  141. 141
    capelza says:

    They would even more moral high ground if they weren’t writing lesbian Westerns and books about pedophilic bears in cages…

  142. 142
    t. jasper parnell says:

    And higher ground yet if they could admit that they erred; instead of suddenly insisting that they/bush never said stay the course.
    Gad, a depressing lot.

  143. 143
    matt says:

    Bizarre imagination for sure

    As I understand it, this is something he actually witnessed, so it has nothing to do with his imagination.

  144. 144
    Darrell says:

    That’s because you put partisanship – arguing that bin Laden wants the same thing the Democrats want – over focusing on the best way to fight terrorism.

    I see no substantive difference whatsoever between this argument, and the Vietnam era arguments. “If Americans pull out of Vietnam, communists win”. That’s very different than saying “those who want American troops to leave Vietnam want the VC to win”.

    Same thing in the Iraq debate, except the left is imo dishonestly conflating (with the help of a few over-the-top quotes from Repubs) the legit argument “if we leave Iraq or Afghanistan prematurely, terrorists will win” with “Did you hear that? Repubs are accusing Dems of ‘siding’ with terrorists!”

    It’s not the same thing. It’s just not.

  145. 145
    Pooh says:

    Who exactly is suggesting we should leave Afghanistan?

  146. 146
    Darrell says:

    However they put it, the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses.

    Again, nothing at all wrong with that statement. Bush believes it, and he does have a case. Just as those who didn’t want to leave Vietnam had a case saying that “if US troops left Vietnam, the communists win and America loses”

  147. 147
    chopper says:

    people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election

    the webb kerfuffle still irks me. describing another culture’s wacky antics makes you a perv? you know, in hardcore orthodox circles, the mohel removes blood from a newborn’s weiner after circumcision with his mouth. if i mentioned that in a book about being a stranger in an orthodox community, i would be akin to a child molester?

    this is what the right is left with?

  148. 148
    chopper says:

    Again, nothing at all wrong with that statement. Bush believes it, and he does have a case.

    so do those who argue that if the dems win, alien transvestite robots will descend to earth and enslave us, forcing all humans to work in their underground dildo mines.

  149. 149
    Ozymandias says:

    This post had me in tears. I can realte and it is a terrible feeling.

    God bless you John.

  150. 150
    Ozymandias says:

    *relate

  151. 151
    Darrell says:

    the webb kerfuffle still irks me. describing another culture’s wacky antics makes you a perv? you know, in hardcore orthodox circles, the mohel removes blood from a newborn’s weiner after circumcision with his mouth

    Ya know, if it was a story like you describe with a newborn infant and all, I could see your point, but I don’t believe it’s accepted culture in Cambodia for a 4 year old to get turned upside down, then have his father put his penis in his mouth. It seemed like an entirely gratuitous thing to add to the writing, complete with description of how ‘well muscled’ the father was. I think the more likely explanation is that Webb has unresolved isses.

  152. 152
    Steve says:

    Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak on Iraq:

    “The country gradually deteriorates to civil war [and] the US presence is more and more a part of the problem and not the solution,” he said, adding that “Democratization may lead to a radical Shi’a government.”

    Remember the disgusting sliming John Murtha got (well, maybe it was a “few isolated remarks”) for saying the same thing? What I can’t figure out is why Barak wants the terrorists to win.

  153. 153
    tBone says:

    That was EXACTLY what I was doing, as usual, before the “Fuck you”, “mindless twat” abuse came out from the left. Then ‘honest’ leftists like tBone point fingers when I respond.

    It’s hilarious. You can’t refrain for ONE POST from calling someone a “Leftist” because they disagree with you.

    Again, I’m shocked – shocked! – that you take a lot of abuse here.

  154. 154
    Perry Como says:

    But not convincing to real libertarians.

    Can you provide a list of what libertarian goals the GOP has advanced over the last 6 years?

    kthxbye

  155. 155
    matt says:

    I think the more likely explanation is that Webb has unresolved isses.

    Yes, that’s clearly the more likely explanation.

  156. 156
    Darrell says:

    this is what the right is left with?

    Yeah, it’s not like they tracked a candidate’s daughter at a party and circulated photos to damage him or anything right? Because you lefties are so honorable and noble.. you would never stoop so low to do such a thing. Only the right would be so ‘desperate’

  157. 157
    Perry Como says:

    this is what the right is left with?

    That and supporting women in combat and feminism. If it’s politically expedient, that is. Party before country, bitches!

  158. 158
    Perry Como says:

    I think the more likely explanation is that Webb has unresolved isses.

    He’s probably crazy from having served in Vietnam.

  159. 159
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Why do they keep attacking decent people like Jim Webb- to keep this corrupt lot of fools in office?

    Because they are evil. Not Cambodia sized evil, just selfish mean sized evil.

    But evil.

    Flawed you might say.

  160. 160
    Larry M says:

    I liked him even before he became sane. While I agreed with him far less often than I do now, there was always a decency and integrity that is so often missing from bloggers.

  161. 161
    Steve says:

    Yeah, it’s not like they tracked a candidate’s daughter at a party and circulated photos to damage him or anything right? Because you lefties are so honorable and noble.. you would never stoop so low to do such a thing. Only the right would be so ‘desperate’

    That’s a good point. Because lefty bloggers who circulate pictures of a candidate’s daughter (free tip for you: no one “tracked her at a party”) are exactly comparable to the George Allen campaign issuing press releases with quotes from Webb’s book. Yes, exactly the same degree of slime. That’s why George Bush’s disgusting comments are always perfectly balanced out by Ward Churchill and Some Guy With A Sign.

  162. 162
    t. jasper parnell says:

    So it is your belief that makes it so?

    I don’t believe it’s accepted culture in Cambodia for a 4 year old to get turned upside down, then have his father put his penis in his mouth.

    I believe it is accepted practice and, whatismore, I belive it is a practice that you have accepted. Not smearing anyone just my honest belief. See how well belief honest or otherwise works in an argument. Knowledge of the facts is so much better. Got any facts, about Cambodia? or just your honest beliefs, you leftist you.

  163. 163
    Darrell says:

    Got any facts, about Cambodia? or just your honest beliefs, you leftist you.

    I didn’t read Webb defending anywhere that such behavior was accepted practice in cambodia, especially with such a ‘well muscled’ father taking the penis in the mouth.

  164. 164
    Randy says:

    Why do they keep attacking decent people like Jim Webb

    Yeah, because we all know decent people write anti-American pornographic novels. Webb is a hack as a writer. As a politician he’s something even worse…a terrorist enabler.

  165. 165
    Pooh says:

    t.jasper,

    Too subtle.

  166. 166
    t. jasper parnell says:

    I didn’t read anywhere that you don’t either QED, no?

    Also critics = defeatocratic louts see Chaney, Lynn

  167. 167
    Perry Como says:

    I heard Webb wants to have homosexual man babies with Osama bin Laden so he can molest them. It was in one of his hack books.

  168. 168
    Darrell says:

    Because lefty bloggers who circulate pictures of a candidate’s daughter (free tip for you: no one “tracked her at a party”) are exactly comparable to the George Allen campaign issuing press releases with quotes from Webb’s book. Yes, exactly the same degree of slime

    Actually, circulating pics of a candidate’s teenage daughter kissing another girl at a party is MUCH slimier. No doubt about it. The passages in Webb’s book were from a book Webb wrote, promoted and sold. Where’s the slime in quoting in-text passages from his writings?

    You leftiest are showing your colors now..

  169. 169
    KC says:

    Just got home from work and read John’s piece. It’s about the best thing I’ve read all day, especially as someone who became a Dem a few years ago for largely the same reasons.

  170. 170
    grumpy realist says:

    I see the trolls have arrived.

    ‘Night, all.

  171. 171
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Yes well these colours don’t run nor yet to they pretend that that which is in fact that which is not.

  172. 172
    Ted says:

    the Bush Dead-Ender said:

    bin Laden himself has said that Iraq is the biggest priority for Al Queda.

    Yeah. Thanks for that, Bush. Saddam was doing a damn fine job keeping fundamentalist Muslims from getting a foothold there, and if you’re fighting a “War on Terror” instead of a War of Vanity, Iraq was probably not a good idea. But I won’t get in the way of Darrell defending the brilliant idea even now.

    Folks, I suggest you give up engaging the Darrell troll. He’s a dead-ender who could find a way to defend absolutely anything Bush did.

  173. 173
    Darrell says:

    Yeah. Thanks for that, Bush. Saddam was doing a damn fine job keeping fundamentalist Muslims from getting a foothold there

    If your leftist candidates had the balls and integrity to run on that statement which so many on the left believe, that would be one thing. But they don’t. They pretend to me more ‘moderate’ than the extremists they really are.

    I pray for the day Dems have the candor to run on a platform explaining how they really feel:

    “Things were better under Saddam. He kept a lid on the terrorists, except for those meetings with Al queda, and his support of suicide bombers in Palestine and Phillipines. It would have been better to leave him in power.”

  174. 174
    ImJohnGalt says:

    For any of you still reading this and feeling frustrated, and specifically for those who wrote above that you would enjoy reading this site more (or would participate – please stay and let us hear your voice!) if Darrell wasn’t here, do the following:

    Download Firefox 2.0.
    Download and Install ScriptMonkey
    Download and Install the Antitroll script.
    Add Darrell to the Troll list.
    Voila! (that’s french) – Balloon-Juice sans Darrell, without him being censored or banned by anyone.

  175. 175
    cleek says:

    You leftiest are showing your colors now..

    oh noes! we’ve been discover3d! whatever will we doo?

    speaking of Webb v Allen, and pictures… go check out what Allen’s good buddies at the CCC are up to these days. how about a fine article on Black Invention Myths! such upstanding “citizens”!

  176. 176
    Steve says:

    Actually, circulating pics of a candidate’s teenage daughter kissing another girl at a party is MUCH slimier.

    Wow, you completely missed the point, which is that you’re trying to compare lefty bloggers to a sitting Senator. Anyway, enjoy watching Allen’s slime attack backfire, just like Kilgore’s Hitler ad did in the Governor’s race. Doesn’t it warm your heart to see Webb pulling ahead in poll after poll during the campaign’s final week?

  177. 177
    ThymeZone says:

    I posted this to the Kerry thread, but it seems to have a place here too. So bill me for the bandwidth, I’m good for it:

    I was driving along this evening on the way to taking the missus to an appointment, and had CNN on the satellite radio in the car. So I heard the famous Kerry clip, and the cablemania bullshit about it. Clearly, the White House is just overjoyed at having something to talk about today.

    I heard the famous “joke” and my first impression of it was that Kerry was drunk. I admire the man in some ways, but as a national politician, he is a walking talking disaster. He has no sense of national politics at all, no sense of the news cycle, no sense of anything. His pigheadedness probably cost us an election in 2004.

    This latter point is salient. When confronted with the Swiftboat campaign, his stubborn reaction was to do nothing. I think this ranks as a collossal mistake on a historic scale.

    Today, Kerry is refusing to apologize for his stupid joke, thereby giving this nonstory the extra momentum it needs to stay in the next few news cycles.

    Kerry is a fucking idiot. He thinks that this little flap is all about him. He thought that the Swiftboat thing was about him, and his pride.

    Here’s a newsflash: When you are the nominee of your party at a national level, it’s about things bigger than you. Just as George Bush thinks Iraq is about him and his daddy, John Kerry thinks it’s about him and his fucking purple hearts. These men deserve each other.

    It’s about the world, and the people,and a national election. I am really tired of the old guard in politics, on both sides. FUCK THEM ALL.

  178. 178
    cleek says:

    sorry, bad link. the CCC links to that “black invention myth” article from their front page, but it’s an outgoing link.

  179. 179
    KC says:

    ThymeZone,

    My feeling exactly. I get where Kerry’s coming from, and I did like his statement today, but he should have at least acknowledged that people could have misunderstood his joke and apologized. Sometimes I wish he’d just retire.

  180. 180
    Derek says:

    Its odd ImJohGalt wants to filter Darrell out. He presents a view different from the echo chamber that is most of the comments. Don’t you benefit more from listening to others views than from preaching to choir? Politics is seldom rarly about good and evil (though many like to view it though that lense) and it about ideas. We all profit from listening to each other.

  181. 181
    Steve says:

    This latter point is salient. When confronted with the Swiftboat campaign, his stubborn reaction was to do nothing. I think this ranks as a collossal mistake on a historic scale.

    Today, Kerry is refusing to apologize for his stupid joke, thereby giving this nonstory the extra momentum it needs to stay in the next few news cycles.

    You’re right that Kerry was an awful candidate, and it’s hard to forgive anyone for allowing such a terrible President to be reelected. But consider that, with the benefit of hindsight, you’re criticizing him for not going on the offensive in one case, and for going on the offensive in the other. It’s not as easy as you make it out to be.

    Yeah, you can say that all he had to do was offer a little apology or a little explanation, and the whole nonstory would just go away, but I see that as wishful thinking. The thing is, we’re at the end of an election cycle where the GOP has just been getting hammered nonstop. And when the media sees a chance for balance by running with a story that favors Republicans, they’re going to do it, no matter how hard you try to defuse the issue.

    What you’re doing is sort of what Halperin does in his book, which is to blame Al Gore for the fact that the media wouldn’t stop talking about him inventing the Internet. If this story stays in the media, it’s much more about the media than it’s about Kerry saying the wrong thing to keep it alive. But again, I don’t disagree that he was terrible as a candidate. Did you ever see that Daily Show clip where he was talking about Lance Armstrong?

  182. 182
    Tsulagi says:

    Yeah, because we all know decent people write anti-American pornographic novels. Webb is a hack as a writer. As a politician he’s something even worse…a terrorist enabler.

    Spoken like a true Republican Foley man. If you’re not too tired after that broadside, slap on another Purple Heart bandaid.

  183. 183
    t. jasper parnell says:

    I am sorry but the non-story of Kerry being incapable of speaking coherently would remain a much touted non-story for those who find it useful regardless of his appology.
    I agree that Kerry ought go away somewhere, Ted Kennedy as well, but they won’t. Not in the Lyne Chaney eve and eve kind of secret eroticized bower way but rather something in the line of Cincanatus, or however the old dictator spelt his name.

  184. 184
    ImJohnGalt says:

    “Things were better under Saddam. He kept a lid on the terrorists, except for those meetings with Al queda, and his support of suicide bombers in Palestine and Phillipines. It would have been better to leave him in power.”

    Now, I’m pulling these numbers out of my ass (hey, at least I’m honest), but:

    Number of dead American soldiers due to Saddam Hussein while he was in power, in the period after Gulf War I but before we invaded Iraq: 0 (or thereabouts – although I’m sure some vets with lingering injuries may have died in the interim).

    Number of dead American soldiers post invasion: 2816 (and counting)

    Amount of US taxpayers’ money spent since the invasion: 338 Billion dollars (and counting)

    I’m assuming that you have a cite for the “meetings with Al Qaeda”?

    Say, I have an idea, what if we had funnelled some of that 338 billion dollars into, say, paying for the Palestinians *not* to blow themselves up? I bet we would’ve got more (no) bang(s) for the buck.

    Do you believe that it is impossible (or rather, to use your terms, ‘not legit’) to argue that it may have been better for the U.S. if Saddam was still in power? And that, had the funds spent on Iraq gone to actually combat terrorists who at that time were directed at the US (say, in Afghanistan and, oh hell, Saudi Arabia [remember 9/11?]), as well as for port security and Farsi translators at the NSA, that it just might be possible that America *would* be better off?

    Or can you just dismiss that point of view as ‘not legit’ and ignore having to think about it entirely?

  185. 185
    Tsulagi says:

    ThymeZone,

    My feeling exactly.

    Mine too. I wish he’d just STFU before he does another global test.

  186. 186
    filkertom says:

    I’ve only commented here once or twice, and I’ve only been reading off and on for the past several months (much more frequently the past couple of weeks). So it’s not like I’ve got huge amounts of cred here or anything. But… I’ve just got to say, John, I first noticed you because Atrios and a few others pointed you out, with tones of slight disbelief — a right-wing blogger who was willing to listen to arguments, look at documentation, and (gasp!) change his mind! Who’da thunk?

    I haven’t always agreed with your conclusions, but, in my experience, you’ve been willing to look at the facts and what they really mean. And, in a lot of ways, that’s all a lot of us have been asking supporters of the Republican Party to do.

    I’m one of those wild-eyed psycho progressives who really does want to save the country… and not just for the left, but for all of us. I have never understood the mindset that looks upon public service as a way to gain power. I mean, yes, of course, I understand that people can and would do that, I understand they have since forever… but I don’t feel that vibe, that need, and I can’t relate to it. And I can’t figure out why telling the truth, working with the facts, and attempting to genuinely make things better for all of us is so bad.

    I’m truly sorry for the agonizing reappraisal of yourself and your party you’ve had to go through, but I’m proud to call you a fellow American. ‘Cause, dammit, under the best of circumstances, under the circumstances we should all strive for, we are all on the same team.

  187. 187
    ThymeZone says:

    But consider that, with the benefit of hindsight, you’re criticizing him for not going on the offensive in one case, and for going on the offensive in the other

    Christ, do you sit around and figure out how to snatch confusion from clarity ALL the time?

    No, mister confuser, that is not what I am doing. I am blaming him for putting himself first in both instances. THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT OF MY POST for Christ’s sake.

    It’s not about his joke and his insistence that he has “nothing to apologize for.” It’s about an election, and a fucking war, and people’s feelings about these things, which are MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN HE IS.

    He doesn’t get that. He didn’t get it 2004 either.

  188. 188
    Randy says:

    Someone wanted a link for the meetings between Saddam and Al Qaeda. Here you go.

  189. 189
    ThymeZone says:

    a link for the meetings between Saddam and Al Qaeda

    What came of the meeting?

  190. 190
    t. jasper parnell says:

    ThymeZone, true enough but the not everyone is will to drop the purple and go back to the plow, alas.

    Sorry about length but this strikes me funny.

    BLITZER: It did have lesbian characters.

    CHENEY: This — no, not necessarily. This description is a lie.

    I’ll stand on that.

    So, these characters from Sisters are not necessarily lesbians:

    The women who embraced in the wagon were Adam and Eve crossing a dark cathedral stage — no, Eve and Eve, loving one another as they would not be able to once they ate of the fruit and knew themselves as they truly were. She felt curiously moved, curiously envious of them. She had never to this moment thought Eden a particularly attractive paradise, based as it was on naiveté, but she saw that the women in the cart had a passionate, loving intimacy forever closed to her. How strong it made them. What comfort it gave.

    See, just because Eve and Eve share a passionate, loving intimacy, they aren’t necessarily lesbian characters — they won’t find out their sexual orientation until John Kerry announces it in a presidential debate.

    And this next passage is most likely just describing a slumber party which takes place in a bower:

    Let us go away together, away from the anger and imperatives of men. We shall find ourselves a secluded bower where they dare not venture. There will be only the two of us, and we shall linger through long afternoons of sweet retirement. In the evenings, I shall read to you while you work your cross-stitch in the firelight. And then we shall go to bed, our bed, my dearest girl.

  191. 191
    cd6 says:

    I don’t believe it’s accepted culture in Cambodia for a 4 year old to get turned upside down

    MY GOD, THE HUMANITY

    teehee

    Also, girls kissing girls is hot

  192. 192
    Darrell says:

    I’m assuming that you have a cite for the “meetings with Al Qaeda”?

    Sure do. From the Clinton Justice Department

    In fact, during President Clinton’s eight years in office, there were at least two official pronouncements of an alarming alliance between Baghdad and al Qaeda. One came from William S. Cohen, Mr. Clinton’s defense secretary. He cited an al Qaeda-Baghdad link to justify the bombing of a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan.

    ….The other pronouncement is contained in a Justice Department indictment on Nov. 4, 1998, charging bin Laden with murder in the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

    Dem ideas:

    Say, I have an idea, what if we had funnelled some of that 338 billion dollars into, say, paying for the Palestinians not to blow themselves up? I bet we would’ve got more (no) bang(s) for the buck.

    They already get over a billion dollars/yr in foreign aid. But I think your plan to placate a terrorist-enabling government is one you lefties should run with and campaign on.

    Do you believe that it is impossible (or rather, to use your terms, ‘not legit’) to argue that it may have been better for the U.S. if Saddam was still in power?

    All I’m asking for is that Dem candidates run on positions they actually believe, such as “we would have been better off to leave Saddam in power” rather than pretending that they are more mainstream/moderate. Let the people vote on that basis.

  193. 193
    Perry Como says:

    What came of the meeting?

    Pie.

  194. 194
    ThymeZone says:

    an alarming alliance between Baghdad and al Qaeda

    What was the nature and result of this alliance?

  195. 195
    ThymeZone says:

    Pie.

    No doubt.

  196. 196
    t. jasper parnell says:

    From Randy’s link:

    The 9/11 Commission’s staff has come down decidedly on the side of the naysayers about operational ties between Saddam Hussein’s regime and Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network. This development is already being met with unbridled joy by opponents of the Iraq war, who have been carping for days about recent statements by President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney that reaffirmed the deposed Iraqi regime’s promotion of terror.

    Damn commie quiters on the commission anyoldhow.

  197. 197
    Perry Como says:

    What was the nature and result of this alliance?

    Flaky crust.

    That NRO article is interesting. It’s the perfect example of “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”, aka I just slid down Occam’s razor into a pool of logical fallacies and boy does my ass hurt.

  198. 198
    t. jasper parnell says:

    From Darrel’s

    The issue arose again this month after the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States reported there was no “collaborative relationship” between the old Iraqi regime and bin Laden.

    But of course the always Honorable W.J. Clinton says otherwise thus QED. The always Honorable W.J. Clinton also say that the current administration did nothing between its election and the tragic events of 9/11, thus QED?

  199. 199
    ThymeZone says:

    Let the people vote on that basis.

    Let the people vote on the basis of all the facts.

    Let the people vote, in 2002, whether “liberating Iraq” would be worth 500 billion dollars and five years of war, resulting in a ruined country, civil war, and partitioning. Let the people vote on whether a war should be started over WMDs for which there was no physical evidence whatever for their existence, their condition, their readiness for use, or their owners’ capacity to employ them.

    Let the people vote on anything that mattered, as opposed to gay bashing, or phony “social values” issues. Let the people decide whether to pursue Osama Bin Laden or turn our attention to a country that probably had nothing to do with the terrorism that he was wanted for.

    Let the people vote on whether we should have a government that lies to its own people, and pimps bigotry and religious intolerance, or one that is totally honest with the people and encourages tolerance of others’ views.

  200. 200
    chopper says:

    Ya know, if it was a story like you describe with a newborn infant and all, I could see your point, but I don’t believe it’s accepted culture in Cambodia for a 4 year old to get turned upside down, then have his father put his penis in his mouth

    apparently, it is. SE asia has some wacky customs.

  201. 201

    I haven’t read most of the 170+ comments here in the last few hours… I got down to this one…

    How about the same way that you should respond when idiots call decent men like Bob Corker a racist because his ads have drums in them?

    And I paused.

    Just curious, but would it be ok if the DNC ran an ad with a bunch of guys in white sheets burning a cross endorsing Corker?

    I can’t even fathom defending such an ad. The idea would simply be contemptuous. Yet that is exactly the style of ad that we are treated to every other year by the Republican party.

  202. 202
    cd6 says:

    Clinton was never wrong.

    This is why Repubs frequently cite him as “the smartest and most correct president”

  203. 203
    Perry Como says:

    But of course the always Honorable W.J. Clinton says otherwise thus QED.

    Clinton got a blowjob and anyone that gets blowjobs can’t be trusted. Moonbat.

  204. 204
    chopper says:

    Yeah, it’s not like they tracked a candidate’s daughter at a party and circulated photos to damage him or anything right? Because you lefties are so honorable and noble.. you would never stoop so low to do such a thing. Only the right would be so ‘desperate’

    apparently, this is what the right is left with. iraq, what’s that? failure? hey, look at this jackalope!

  205. 205
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Clinton got a blowjob and anyone that gets blowjobs can’t be trusted. Moonbat.

    Well I wouldn’t call Darrel a moonbat, a raving leftist sure, cut and run, sure. But those are my honest beliefs. Moonbat is just smearing.

  206. 206
    Ron Beasley says:

    Boy John if you were not down before this out to do it; you are now officially a “leftie“.

    The left-leaning Balloon Juice acknowledged, “I wish Kerry had not made the remark (even though he was trying to insult the President and not the troops).” But the blog said the uproar was unwarranted.

  207. 207
    chopper says:

    nice link, randy:

    Bin Laden also explored possible cooperation with Iraq during his time in Sudan, despite his opposition to Hussein’s secular regime. Bin Laden had in fact at one time sponsored anti-Saddam Islamists in Iraqi Kurdistan. The Sudanese, to protect their own ties with Iraq, reportedly persuaded Bin Laden to cease this support and arranged for contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda. A senior Iraqi intelligence officer reportedly made three visits to Sudan, finally meeting Bin Laden in 1994. Bin Laden is said to have requested space to establish training camps, as well as assistance in procuring weapons, but Iraq apparently never responded.

    wow, lotsa meetings with saddam. shit, john miller seems to have had more face time with bin laden. i guess that means there are MSM-al qaeda ties.

  208. 208
    Ted says:

    It would have been better to leave him in power.

    Well, how extremist of a position can it be when over 50% of people polled, over and over again, even within Republican pollsters, say the Iraq invasion was a “mistake”?

  209. 209
    chopper says:

    I’m assuming that you have a cite for the “meetings with Al Qaeda”?

    Sure do. From the Clinton Justice Department

    In fact, during President Clinton’s eight years in office, there were at least two official pronouncements of an alarming alliance between Baghdad and al Qaeda. One came from William S. Cohen, Mr. Clinton’s defense secretary. He cited an al Qaeda-Baghdad link to justify the bombing of a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan.

    ….The other pronouncement is contained in a Justice Department indictment on Nov. 4, 1998, charging bin Laden with murder in the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

    so which of those is the alleged meeting? i see no mention of a meeting.

  210. 210
    ImJohnGalt says:

    They already get over a billion dollars/yr in foreign aid. But I think your plan to placate a terrorist-enabling government is one you lefties should run with and campaign on.

    Ah yes, relying on a quote from a politician. How nice.

    Let’s look at a State Department source, shall we? (warning – this is a PDF):

    United States economic assistance for the Palestinians has averaged about $85 million per year since Israel and the PLO signed the 1993 Declaration of Principles.

    Ah, but what’s this?

    In November 2004, the White House proposed providing $20 million to fund the January 2005 Palestinian presidential election. Congress suspected that the funds would be diverted for terrorism or corruption, so the Department of State proposed and Congress accepted that the $20 million be given to Israel to pay overdue Palestinian utility bills, thus freeing up $20 million in other revenues to fund the election.

    So, the aid to Palestine was really more aid to Israel. Also, Palestine can’t afford to pay $20 MM to Israel for power, but if the US pays it, they’ll be able to free up that same amount to help pay for [ahem] elections. Democratic elections (albeit, without any photogenic ‘purple finger’ dioramas) that brought Hamas to power, and resulted in the cutting off of all aid.

    I’m sorry, I forget. What was your point again, Darrell?

  211. 211
    cd6 says:

    Obviously the point is that John Kerry will not be our president on Nov. 9th

  212. 212
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Also, waiting for Darrell’s “I said *foreign* aid, not *U.S* aid” response, and then his ignoring the rest of the substance of the report.

    I, of course, was talking about spending some not insignificant part of that $380 MM in ways that might prevent the madrassas throughout the more radical areas of the Muslim world from being able to paint the US as a militaristic infidel that wants the Palestinians to live like dogs.

    Ultimately, who would the students believe? Their Imams, or their own lyin’ eyes?

  213. 213
    Randy says:

    In fact, during President Clinton’s eight years in office, there were at least two official pronouncements of an alarming alliance between Baghdad and al Qaeda.

    Your guy is the one who said it. You believed everything else he said from “I never inhaled” to “I never had sexual relations with that woman.”

  214. 214
    ThymeZone says:

    You believed everything else he said from “I never inhaled” to “I never had sexual relations with that woman.”

    Produce evidence that anyone ever believed either of those two things.

    Anyone at all.

  215. 215
    BadTux says:

    Well, John, I think it all comes down to one quote:

    “Winning isn’t everything. Winning is the only thing.”

    That quote was by a football coach (Vince Lombardi) about a game. Repeat, a game. Unfortunately, the kool-aid drinkers can’t seem to tell the difference between a game, and real life. So instead of solving real problems, they instead engage in dishonest gamesmanship intended to “score points” in some obscene game played with human lives.

    Real life is that there is no “liberal” or “conservative”. There are problems, and there are solutions to problems. Some solutions work, some don’t. If a solution doesn’t work, it’s time to do something else. All this “liberal” or “conservative” or “libertarian” or whatever is just intellectual masturbation. There is no “liberal reality” or “conservative reality”, reality simply *is*, and doesn’t care about intellectual pud-yanking.

    Honest people can disagree about what the best solution to a problem is. Honest people often have disagreed. But honest people — people interested in solving problems, not in intellectual pud-yanking — can usually discuss things and come to an agreement about some way forward that might solve a problem like, say, our troops stuck in the crossfire of a civil war in Iraq. But once you turn it into a game — into the intellectual equivalent of masturbation, where it’s all about “winning”, not about solving problems — there is no way forward.

    We have a word for folks in my business (software engineering) who are prima donnas, who are only about winning, not about solving problems. That description is “fired.” Engineering is about solving problems, not about intellectual masturbation. If you are so keen on intellectual gamesmenship that you never get around to helping the rest of the team solve the problem, if you’re so unwilling to compromise that you refuse to help the team come to some consensus about the best way to go forward to solve the problem, if you refuse to do tasks that you feel are beneath you or that you disagree with the way they’re designed, you’re useless, and you’re fired. Too bad we can’t do the same with politics and politicians. Or can we?

    BTW, one thing I have to say about the lefties. They can be rabid, but they are, in general, sensible when you get them one-on-one and explain why utopian idea X won’t work. Unfortunately, the tighty righties generally aren’t. If you explain, for example, that health care is broken in America and quote statistics about emergency room backups, lack of bed space, inadequate staffing, lack of access on part of large swathes, and about how avoidance of epidemics requires that the majority of people have access to at least a basic level of health care and how devastating a major epidemic would be to the American economy, and note that other Western nations have tackled this problem with a variety of solutions ranging from a single-payer insurer to mandatory insurance schemes with a government fund for those who cannot afford insurance and how we should start looking at what these other people have done and choose whatever seems to work best and adopt it for American use, they just put their hands over their ears and shout “socialism socialism socialism!”. It’s all about “ism”, not about reality, with them. They don’t care about solving problems. They care only about their precious ideology. In their own way, they’re as bad as the hard-core Communists who insisted up until the day that the Soviet Union collapsed that capitalism was doomed and that the future of the world was a Communist utopia. It’s all about their precious ideology, not about reality and real-life problems on the ground that need solving. It’s all about winning, and never about America and Americans and what’s best for America.

    – Badtux the Engineer Penguin

  216. 216
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Not that I am not flattered at the thought that I might pull, as the Brits say, a former president but what have I said to indicated the desire to have that man from hope as mine? Or is this just your honest belief?

  217. 217
    Dustbin Of History says:

    Post of the Year for BadTux. You took the words right out of my head.

  218. 218
    ThymeZone says:

    We have a word for folks in my business (software engineering) who are prima donnas, who are only about winning, not about solving problems. That description is “fired.” Engineering is about solving problems

    What type of software are we talking about, InappropriateFormalAttire?

  219. 219
    t. jasper parnell says:

    To the tux I would just add that very few anybodies are either left or right in a total sort of a way. There are it is true the 20 odd percent on either end, but the rest of us are just trying to get through the territory with our hair, as some cowpoke once opined, shortly before also they done strung him up.

  220. 220
    Perry Como says:

    We have a word for folks in my business (software engineering) who are prima donnas, who are only about winning, not about solving problems. That description is “fired.”

    I always called them CS PhDs.

  221. 221
    ThymeZone says:

    I always called them CS PhDs.

    Heh.

    I am interested in the context of BadTux’s work, though. Little of the software I deal with has been “engineered.”

    Most of it has been “developed” by “software developers.”

    Development is to software as trial and error is to neurosurgery. In produces interesting results, to say the least.

  222. 222
    Pooh says:

    You believed everything else he said from “I never inhaled” to “I never had sexual relations with that woman.”

    I think the most common reaction on the left to both was “Bullshit, but who gives a fuck?”

  223. 223
    Pooh says:

    We have a word for folks in my business (software engineering) who are prima donnas, who are only about winning, not about solving problems. That description is “fired.”

    POTD. I have to say that Bad Tux’s return should get him nominated for comeback poster of the month, at least. I doff my cap to thee.

    – Pooh the for-once-sincere Bear

  224. 224

    It’s not about his joke and his insistence that he has “nothing to apologize for.” It’s about an election, and a fucking war, and people’s feelings about these things, which are MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN HE IS.

    He doesn’t get that. He didn’t get it 2004 either.

    I wonder if you don’t get it.

    There used to be a time when the Democratic party was all powerful on the air… back in the 1960s and 1970s. That is, when something happened, they were ready, willing and able to have fourty thousand people on the air crying outrage! outrage I tell you! outrage!

    What happened to the Democrats?

    People got fucking sick and tired of them whining all the time.

    Guess where the Republican party is today?

    All Kerry, or any Democrats need to do in response to the yapping poodles is say… “I don’t think they get it. Kerry was calling Bush an idiot for getting us into Iraq.”

    If the GOP wants to spend the last weeks newscycle whining about Kerry calling George Bush an idiot, then fine, let ’em.

    One of the strongest lines from the 2003 race was when Wesley Clark was caught on a C-span camera responding to a women’s personal question about how he’d respond to swiftboat allegations with “I’ll beat the shit out of them.” The next day the pundit poodles wanted to talk about how Clark used the word ‘shit’ and it was taped.

    Clark’s campaign aide responded on Hardball or something to the charge with “Wes Clark made a mistake. He actually meant to say he’d beat the living shit out of them.”

    You don’t get out of these cycles by apologizing. This isn’t macaca we’re talking about here. This is the poodle class whining, and the only way you can respond to whining poodles is to ignore ’em cause otherwise you just reinforce the whining.

  225. 225
    chopper says:

    not too bad, tux. although, as an electrical engineer, i have to take issue with the use of the words ‘software’ and ‘engineer’ in the same sentence. but that’s just my own asshole attitude.

  226. 226
    snorkel says:

    John’s old friends sound really, really desparate. One of their top posts now:

    In anticipation of the elections, whether the GOP loses or, as is increasingly likely, keeps both Houses, I’ve directed the contributing editors to carry out a new “whack a troll” policy. We’ll be on the lookout for trolls, mobies, and flagrant abusers of our site policies. We’ll be much, much less tolerant of new users than long time site users. Likewise, we’ll depend on good folks like Mr. Kowalski and others to flag the abusers so we can send them to The Pile.

    For the management,
    Erick
    Managing Editor, RedState.com

    Truly pathetic.

  227. 227
    Pooh says:

    TOS, in general, I agree with you, and if this had happened, I dunno a month ago, you betcha. But we’re a week out, and all we’re going to hear about until at least Thursday is “John Kerry hates America.” Wait, all we’ve been hearing since early 2004 is…what was my point again?

  228. 228

    We have a word for folks in my business (software engineering) who are prima donnas, who are only about winning, not about solving problems. That description is “fired.”

    Funny. I’m in the same business.

    We usually call them Linux Zealots. :-)

  229. 229
    Perry Como says:

    ThymeZone Says:

    Development is to software as trial and error is to neurosurgery. In produces interesting results, to say the least.

    Clients tend to be phrenologists, so it’s not really a surprise.

    The Other Steve Says:

    “Wes Clark made a mistake. He actually meant to say he’d beat the living shit out of them.”

    Oh how I wish he would have been the nominee. I had to hold my nose to vote for Kerry, but would have gladly voted for Clark.

  230. 230
    ThymeZone says:

    I wonder if you don’t get it.

    Oh, I think I do.

    Kerry’s ego knows no bounds. He’s an ass. The best thing he could have done for Democrats in this election cycle, this week, is shut the fuck up. There’s a reason why he is widely despised by activist Dems, and it’s apparently a reason that YOU don’t get.

    The guy not only owes the world an apology for his useless “joke”, he owes Democrats an apology for fucking up yet another important campaign.

  231. 231

    Development is to software as trial and error is to neurosurgery. In produces interesting results, to say the least.

    They call it “Practicing Medicine” for a reason.

  232. 232
    ThymeZone says:

    If the GOP wants to spend the last weeks newscycle whining about Kerry calling George Bush an idiot

    Why give them something to whine about at all? Why give them anything?

    You deserve the GOP, compadre. Honestly.

  233. 233
    ThymeZone says:

    They call it “Practicing Medicine” for a reason.

    Whoosh. How many points can you miss in one evening, man?

  234. 234
    John S. says:

    Repubs would have had more moral high ground though, if they would have raised these points about Webb’s writing a year ago.

    Ya, back in the good ol’ days when they only lacked morality in fiscal matters and governance. But now, thanks to that awful Mark Foley they have completed the immoral trifecta: money, politics AND sex. And there went the “high ground”.

  235. 235
    Randy says:

    Produce evidence that anyone ever believed either of those two things.

    You voted for him, didn’t you? Or are you another one of these fake “moderate Republicans” who only ran into the arms of the Peloshiites becuase of the last six years?

  236. 236
    chopper says:

    John’s old friends sound really, really desparate. One of their top posts now:

    eh, let em think they’re running a tight ship and holdin’ it down preparin’ for a sweeping electoral victory. it’s so cute…

  237. 237

    Kerry’s ego knows no bounds. He’s an ass. The best thing he could have done for Democrats in this election cycle, this week, is shut the fuck up. There’s a reason why he is widely despised by activist Dems, and it’s apparently a reason that YOU don’t get.

    I feel the same way about Ted Kennedy, so what can I say?

    But for whatever reason there are a *LOT* of old time Democratic activists who love John Kerry.

    I didn’t realize this until one of my coworkers Carol explained it to me. Carol marched in DC numerous times with Kerry and VVAW and other groups back in the early 1970s.

  238. 238
    ThymeZone says:

    You voted for him, didn’t you? Or are you another one of these fake “moderate Republicans” who only ran into the arms of the Peloshiites becuase of the last six years?

    Like I said, produce evidence that anyone believed those things.

    I did not suggest that you change the subject as a substitute for the evidence.

  239. 239

    Why give them something to whine about at all? Why give them anything?

    Oh come now. Republicans would whine about the color of their jail cell.

  240. 240
    ThymeZone says:

    But for whatever reason there are a LOT of old time Democratic activists who love John Kerry.

    You know something, Steve? I am sitting at a table that once was dined upon by Ralph Nader. Nader was in our house and eating at our dining room table when my parents owned the table. He was a big hero in our circles.

    You know what I think of Nader now? { spits }

    The motherfucker’s giant ego has hurt this country by sucking votes away from the only thing standing between the USA and George Fucking Bush. I wouldn’t give Ralph Nader the time of day.

    Sometimes it IS about winning, Steve. Like now.

  241. 241

    […] John Cole laments the pathetic state of today’s Republican’t party: In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias. […]

  242. 242

    Whoosh. How many points can you miss in one evening, man?

    Ok, enough of your Concern Trolling for tonight.

  243. 243
    Pooh says:

    I didn’t realize this until one of my coworkers Carol explained it to me. Carol marched in DC numerous times with Kerry and VVAW and other groups back in the early 1970s.

    ewwww hippies! A fair point to bring up to us younguns (and ppG)

    I don’t think the positions that once he said something stupid he did the right thing, and that he shouldn’t have opened his piehole in the first place are mutually exclusive. You can’t unring a bell and all that…

  244. 244
    ThymeZone says:

    Ok, enough of your Concern Trolling for tonight.

    Go fuck yourself.

  245. 245
    UNCoRRELATED says:

    They embarass him

    I feel John’s pain, and I long for the day when the GOP will have something real to offer again. Only one sane party isn’t good for anyone, least of all, for good government.

  246. 246
    ThymeZone says:

    You can’t unring a bell and all that…

    Pay attention, kids. Only one thing matters today. Votes for Democrats.

    If John Kerry making a stand-up apology and swallowing his Jupiter-sized pride gets ONE VOTE FOR ONE DEMOCRAT more than we’d get without it, then that’s what he should do.

    It’s about us, it’s not about him. Fuck him.

  247. 247
    Zifnab says:

    Why give them something to whine about at all? Why give them anything?

    It’s really not much of anything. I haven’t seen any epic poll shifts because John Kerry doesn’t support our troops according to the right-wing punditry. Let the noise machine make its noise. Better they go whole hog on this then actually try for an 11th Hour comeback. Then they can remorse over how “If only they hadn’t been distracted by John Kerry, they could have done a better job of organizing against Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi.”

  248. 248
    ThymeZone says:

    It’s really not much of anything.

    Then all the more reason for Kerry to apologize.

    What is he refusing for? To prove a fucking point? That he’s too good to apologize to them?

    That’s what he thinks.

    Here’s what I think. Kerry, you weren’t good enough to keep your stupid mouth shut when that joke popped into your mind, and you aren’t good enough to cost the Democrats one vote in this election. I don’t care how good you think you are, you aren’t that frigging good. Apologize and go away.

    This is a contest with people who would cut your throat just for the fun of it. What fucking game does this gigantic ego think he is playing? Whose chips does he think he is playing with?

  249. 249
    Perry Como says:

    Go fuck yourself.

    It looks like Cheney’s ghost took over someone’s username.

  250. 250
    ThymeZone says:

    Cheney’s ghost took over

    Dick learned the phrase from me.

    And say what you want about Cheney, he wouldn’t have fucked up Kerry’s joke. He’d have gotten it right and scored a point for his team with it, not missed and hit the referee and the referee’s grandmother.

  251. 251
    KC says:

    ThymeZone,

    I’m still with you all the way. The guy should have apologized and disappeared. Doesn’t mean he couldn’t have also said what he said about the president, this being a distraction, etc. However, what he said was stupid. He should have apologized.

  252. 252
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Nothing wrong with righteous indignation and all, but remember Foley and remember the taste of the crow and remeber that for the Republicans to attack Kerry that have to use the I word as in Iraq. I take second to no one in my distrust of the NYT but this seems to make a decent point.

    And remember as well it was crap like the attack on kerry that moved J. Cole esq away from his party of record. Or visa versa

  253. 253
    ThymeZone says:

    I’m still with you all the way.

    Your money order is in the mail.

  254. 254
    Steve says:

    If John Kerry making a stand-up apology and swallowing his Jupiter-sized pride gets ONE VOTE FOR ONE DEMOCRAT more than we’d get without it, then that’s what he should do.

    What if it doesn’t? Can you truly imagine anyone changing their vote based on whether John Kerry apologizes?

    I do know that every time a Democrat apologizes just to make an issue go away, thousands of Democrats wonder why they bother voting for this party of spineless wimps.

    So I’ll take the position that if getting pissed at the right-wing liars gets ONE VOTE FOR ONE DEMOCRAT more than we would have gotten if he’d wussed out with an apology, then it was a good thing.

    I doubt we’ll resolve this. But you know, a lot of Republicans say a lot of idiotic things, and they still win lots of elections, so it’s just possible that it’s not a big deal.

  255. 255
    ThymeZone says:

    for the Republicans to attack Kerry that have to use the I word as in Iraq.

    There is no earthly reason to give Republicans anthing to talk about at this juncture. A politician supposedly operating on the national stage has to learn restraint.

    Did he intend to say what he did? Not according to him when he called his remark “a botched joke.”

    If I botch a joke at the dinner table on Thansgiving that makes the women cry, then I apologize humbly and go to the den and turn on the football game. I don’t sit there and PROCLAIM MY RIGHT TO REFUSE TO APOLOGIZE to the guests. Why? Because Thanksgiving dinner is bigger than me, even when I bought and cooked the turkey. Get it?

  256. 256
    demimondian says:

    Actually, Steve, yes, I can.

    That said, all of you who are soiling your undies about this — it’s really not a big deal. If I’m in a close race, I’m putting out a presser TONIGHT saying that I will not be inviting John Kerry to speak on my behalf between now and the elction, and I’m returning any money he gave me. During the interviews, I’m repeating the mantra: “Why aren’t you out asking George Allen if he told his people to beat questioners, and why his thugs are still working for him? Why are we seriously talking about *electing* someone who permits his staffers to beat ordinary citizens?”

  257. 257
    ThymeZone says:

    What if it doesn’t?

    Next to Darrell, you and your other brother Steve are the biggest wastes of bandwidth on the planet.

  258. 258
    t. jasper parnell says:

    ThymeZone, If by your manly get it, do you mean do I understand your argument yes I do. I submit, howsoever, that you like most of the rest of the world are just a fellow with an idea and not the fount of all wisdom. You might be wrong, in short. Kerry is verbally obtuse and I find him less than appealing. Nonetheless, your vehemence is not a subsitute for the alternative arguments, which is to say other people’s views. Your gruff insistance on your own rightness, touching stories about touching E. Roosevelt and R. Nader, avant his downfall, to one side. It is truly unpleasant on this day of harmony and reconciliation, when ghoul, goblin, and zombie, sit together to eat the flesh of those still living that the idea that shouting loudest equals being rightest gains such traction in an herb I think so necessary for a decent roast chicken.

  259. 259
    ThymeZone says:

    I doubt we’ll resolve this.

    Heh. I’m sure that resolution was first on your mind.

    But, I’ll keep an eye out for your diligent efforts to resolve it, they won’t go unnoticed.

    { cricket sounds }

    { distant dog barks }

    { faraway train whistle }

    { rustling leaves }

  260. 260
    CaseyL says:

    I’m not sure what Kerry needs to apologize for. If you read the whole speech, not just the single phrase taken out of context and jumped all over, it’s damned obvious he was referring to Bush.

    So what if the bottomfeeders twisted what he said? That’s what they do. All the time. Why play their game on their terms?

    If Kerry has already apologized, and if he did so without repeating and emphasizing his actual point – “I’m sorry that some people didn’t realize I was talking about the fuckhead in the Oval Office” – then I’m mad at him for wimping out. But not for saying what he said in the first place.

    And anyone who makes so much as a hillock out of this molehill – anyone who lets this vacuous kerfuffle influence their vote – is a fuckhead.

  261. 261
    ThymeZone says:

    Kerry is verbally obtuse and I find him less than appealing. Nonetheless, your vehemence is not a subsitute for the alternative arguments, which is to say other people’s views.

    My “vehemence” is not a substitute for other peoples’ views?

    I can’t even figure out what that means, honestly. But anyway … if you don’t like my material, please don’t read it. That’s the best remedy.

    Steve and Steve are two guys who bust balls with anything that moves mostly for their own entertainment, man. I don’t have to put up with them, and I seldom do. That’s between me and them. What’s your stake in it?

  262. 262
    demimondian says:

    Casey…the problem here isn’t that what he said was so bad. It wasn’t. It was a perfectly appropriate joke that went awry.

    The problem is that in trying to turn it back on the White House, he kept it alive. “I’m sorry. That wasn’t what I meant, but I can see how it could have been interpreted that way. Having seen real combat, I understand how much such thoughtlessness can hurt the troops, and I apologize to them for any pain I might have caused. Those who are serving now are, like all those who have seen combat, represent, in many ways, the best of the youth of our nation, and no one, not even me, should disparage them. To them, and to their loved ones, I apologize for saying something which could be interpreted as an insult.”

  263. 263
    ThymeZone says:

    Well said, demi, but don’t hold your breath waiting for that sonofabitch to actually say that. He thinks this is still all about him. Which is why I think he stinks.

  264. 264
    t. jasper parnell says:

    It is thyme thyme thyme as T. Waits once crooned, sorry the grammar aint up to standard, you nitpicking prick. I meant say that your vehemance is not an adequate responce to other peoples’ arguments concerning the possible outcome of the current kerry situation. You are not a prophet, I meant to say, and shouting insults and flinging obsenities and acting like a petulant child and a bully is not a substitute for argument. Get it? It would be one thing if you were always right or if all those who disagreed with you were Darrel, but the fact is they are not. you might you know tune down the absolutism and listen. Fighting Dems might actually win friends. Why not? Various and sundry on the right have acknowledge that Kerry meant bush, why not, as some might say, fight the fight with the national spokesfolks you have instead of teh blog commentators you wish you might have.

  265. 265
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Actually Kerry stinks because he cannot end a sentence. If I can disagree without being subject to manly man get its, and other associated whatnots.

  266. 266
    ThymeZone says:

    your vehemance

    What is wrong with you?

    It’s a frigging blog.

  267. 267
    t. jasper parnell says:

    You see my point, on the one hand you decry the noise machine and on the other you enable it by engaging rants and ravings.

  268. 268
    t. jasper parnell says:

    as to what is wrong with me, plenty and then some.

  269. 269
    ThymeZone says:

    Fighting Dems might actually win friends.

    Good lord. People are here to win friends?

    Have you seen the logo on this blog lately, sir?

    HOT AIR. It’s a place for political hot air, it’s not a charm school.

    Good fucking grief.

  270. 270
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Presumably, your rant was designed to make a point about appropriate strategies for winning elections. Fighting Dems might indeed win friends, it is an argument about Kerry response; his decision to fight instead of allowing the other side frame, as he sees it, incorrectly the gist of his comment.

  271. 271
    ThymeZone says:

    you enable it

    I enable the noise machine?

    Yes, behold my mighty power!

    Apologies to Charlton Heston and the screenwriters of The Ten Commandments.

  272. 272
    Pb says:

    The Other Steve,

    We have a word for folks in my business (software engineering) who are prima donnas, who are only about winning, not about solving problems. That description is “fired.”

    Funny. I’m in the same business.

    We usually call them Linux Zealots. :-)

    Hmm. Decisions, decisions; should I go with

        A. Ok, enough of your Concern Trolling for tonight.

    Or…

        B. Go fuck yourself.

  273. 273
    t. jasper parnell says:

    If you do not think that the actions we take and the language we use in the course of discourse political or other enables others use of the same, then you sir are missing the point. Plus and also, humorous self depracation (or however its spelt), i.e., hot air, is not the same as chest thumping.

  274. 274
    ThymeZone says:

    This is the Giant Ego John Kerry’s gift to Dems on the eve of the most important election in US modern history.

    Thanks, John. And fuck you very much.

  275. 275
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Wouldn’t the screen writers be God?

  276. 276
    ThymeZone says:

    the language we use in the course of discourse

    H O T A I R

    Hello?

  277. 277
    BadTux says:

    Re: What kind of software I engineer: At the moment it’s clustering software. Tricky stuff. Easy to screw up and have a cluster ping-ponging, dual heading, or worse. I spend more time writing design documents and doing code reviews of the stuff being generated by our Chinese team as I do programming. Most of my programming nowdays is scaffolding — setting up the infrastructure that is to be filled in by the junior people, so that they can work on their own little pieces of the project in a modular manner without having to understand everything about the whole system. When you’re doing intercontinental code development and most of your team is not native English speakers and has very little experience with modern software development (but they’re cheap, sigh!), you can’t just sling sh*t like Microsoft.

    Re: Linux prima donnas: My typical saying about Linux is “Linux sucks. It just sucks less than the alternatives.” I’m probably the only person with his name in the Linux source code who ever tried to convince my boss to NOT use Linux.

    Re: PhD prima donnas: LOL! I was leading a development team developing a network tape backup program where I had written very detailed architectural documents before we assembled the team and started working on it (as in, over 200 pages of documentation, including detailed diagrams of how data flowed through the major components, the class heirarchy of major portions of the system, etc.). My co-lead and I and our VP of Engineering had a combined 50 years of experience in the software business. We had a PhD prima donna right out of collage assigned to our team. To make it short, he didn’t like how we were doing things, and submitted a very detailed plan for how he would do things. We looked at his plan, it was unworkable in the long term because it was unmaintainable and didn’t allow decomposing the problem for future maintenance by junior engineers. We explained to him why it was unworkable in the long term, and asked him if he had any better suggestions that would address our concerns. He refused to compromise. It was his way or the highway. After sending everyone out of the room except my co-lead, and getting the VP of Engineering into the room, I explained to him that this wasn’t some sort of game, that we were trying to solve a problem here, and that being part of a team meant listening to everybody’s concerns and a willingness to compromise, and that he wasn’t being a good team member when he refused to address our concerns and instead insisted upon an unworkable solution. He stomped out and turned in his resignation to HR because we were “disrespecting him”. Sometimes you don’t have to fire them LOL!

    Now if only we could get rid of his equivalent in politics as easily… but it’ll never happen, as long as compromise is viewed as “weakness” and the point of it all is seen as “winning”, rather than working with others to solve problems.

    – Badtux the Engineering Penguin

  278. 278
    Steve says:

    Actually, I’m willing to appoint T. Jasper as my counsel at this point and withdraw from the field. He has a way with words.

    As for Demi’s suggested apology, you couldn’t seriously expect John Kerry to deliver that with any sincerity, could you? Heck, if you’re going to apologize, just mumble that you’re sorry and get off the stage. Don’t start bloviating about all the “pain you’ve caused,” as if the troops in Iraq are really losing sleep over this.

    I’m still baffled by the theory that Kerry failed to defend his honor against the Swifties because he was overly concerned with himself. I’ll let my counsel explore that issue during discovery.

  279. 279
    ThymeZone says:

    Wouldn’t the screen writers be God?

    Not according to Paramount Pictures.

  280. 280
    t. jasper parnell says:

    the this to which you refer is not a fact of what will be, we do not know how this plays out. So fine, you think he ougth appologize, you also though the Dems ought tred lightly on Foley. What makes you so certain that this time your take is the correct one?

  281. 281
    t. jasper parnell says:

    It may well be called HOT AIR but as I attempted to point out, that does not make it hot air. Go upstream and read the original post. Hot air is it? Taking one’s self less than seriously, as does J Cole with the name of this here blog, is something you might maybe consider. Dealing with serious issues in a serious manner and dealing light-heartedly with the light weight might also be a strategy worth exploring; especially if you make people cry at thanksgiving.

  282. 282
    ThymeZone says:

    I’m still baffled by the theory that Kerry failed to defend his honor against the Swifties because he was overly concerned with himself. I’ll let my counsel explore that issue during discovery.

    It’s not a theory. Reported, and I think mentioned by him to some interviewer, two years ago. He just wasn’t going to give in to those rotten swifties. Not going to get down in the dirt with them.

    Fighting with people who would have cut his dick off and shoved it down his throat, he was just too fucking proud to stand up to them. And he could have, he had the high ground in that fight. He made the same stupid mistake that McCain made about his opposition …. they’d stop at nothing. Nothing. But that wasn’t Kerry’s only mistake in 2004, I could write a book about how he lost an election that I think was his to lose.

    He really can’t play at that level. He doesn’t have the instincts to go to battle with people who will cut the throat of your kid to beat you.

  283. 283
    ThymeZone says:

    especially if you make people cry at thanksgiving.

    I don’t. I cook them a big dinner, and then sneak off to watch football while they are still stuffing their faces. The perfect day.

  284. 284
    t. jasper parnell says:

    So you accept that Kerry ought to have been more combative during swift boat but now suggest that he not learn a lesson? Odd claim.

  285. 285
    scarshapedstar says:

    Alright, I’ll confess. I was a teenage Republican, too. Granted, I’m only 21 now, so things are a little bit different – but I was brainwashed just the same. Brainwashed by fear.

    Really, if you’re scared enough, you have no choice but to become a Republican. It’s quite brilliant, what they’ve done, and depressing. I supported the war, because (as just one example) every single day Glenn Reynolds had some terrifying new development, more proof that Saddam had thousands upon thousands of functional, feasible WMDs; which translated to more proof that the UN couldn’t be trusted; which translated to more proof that The Left (oddly enough, I had been the only Gore supporter at my high school only a few years earlier) was objectively pro-Saddam, pro-Terrorist, etc. The worst-case “they’re just blind” didn’t even exist in the face of Karl’s Glenn’s mountain of evidence that I believed because, well, I’d been reading his site for so long that I was essentially a dittohead. I had tuned out the dreaded MSM because of… well, actually, I have no fucking clue. In retrospect, every single proof of “liberal media bias” turned out to be bullshit. As did, needless to say, all those WMD claims.

    The difference is that I didn’t forget what I believed from one day to the next. (Okay, 9/11 excepted.) When the pundits, Insta- and non-Insta, began claiming with a straight face that a) nobody ever mentioned WMDs and b) we had found a big pile of WMDs anyhow, well, I wasn’t that fucking stupid. The 1984 alarm bells and whistles started going off, and I knew I’d been had, and never looked back. That’s really all it boils down to.

    I was quite stupid, though. I could chalk it up to my youth, but that’s a cop-out. I had sold out everything because I believed twenty guys with knives were an actual threat to the survival of this nation. I felt, as many as the right-wingers you mentioned still do, that we were in a fight to the death with an unreasoning, backwards and barbaric enemy and the only way to win was to be even more unreasoning, backwards, and barbaric. Like we were dealing with a third-grade schoolyard bully. I was stupid beyond Osama’s wildest dreams, cheering on our troops for “being tough” while they shot at phantoms. I want to apologize to them for ever having taken this war at face value, but half of them are still brainwashed, too. I know because some of my friends are still enlisting, and I’ll never live with myself if they die for this bullshit war spawned by our sham of a government, but then I think of what a basket case I would be if they sent me over to die in Iraq for no fucking reason, and I decide that maybe it’s better to leave them with a little hope.

    This does suck.

  286. 286
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Goodness me but I dilike footbal, although I am a big fan of big meals and too much wine.

  287. 287
    ThymeZone says:

    you also though the Dems ought tred lightly on Foley

    I still think so. I think now what I thought then, that the case speaks for itself, it doesn’t need people shouting about it.

    The same is true for Bush and Iraq. The people already think he has fucked it up, they don’t need Kerry to explain it to them. And since Kerry can’t put together a sentence in front of a microphone, he’s the last person I want stumping for my side right now.

  288. 288
    ThymeZone says:

    So you accept that Kerry ought to have been more combative during swift boat but now suggest that he not learn a lesson? Odd claim.

    Jesus you guys are dense. I already explained that upthread, I am not doing it again.

  289. 289
    t. jasper parnell says:

    For goodness, of course things like Foley need explaining. Its not the gay its the abuse of power and a viseral example of the way in which protecting power trumps claims of how the government ought function. Absent this kind of explanation the Foley experience becomes an attack on sexuality not an example of the dangers of one party rule.

  290. 290
    t. jasper parnell says:

    I am not guys but rather a guy and did not see your explanation up thread, although I though I read all and sundry. The bottle being empty and the alarm clock’s warning being inevitable, I quote someone or another: so to bed.

  291. 291
    ThymeZone says:

    things like Foley need explaining

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on that.

    I don’t think it requires any explaining.

  292. 292
    Richard Sampson says:

    Let’s face it. Kerry is a GOP plant in the Democratic party.
    The party needs to nominate somebody from the Midwest in 2008. I am sick of Dukakis and Kerry blowing up.
    By the way John. You will get over it. I realized the GOP was a sick party when they didnt throw Reagan off the ticket in 1984 when he said he would deal with the nuclear launch problem by recalling the nukes. !!!! Mind over matter !!!!!!! The GOP hasn’t come up with a new idea since Nixon said he had a secret to get us out of Viet Nam. It is the true party of Greed and Fear.

    We need more people like you to come to the realization there is nothing in the wake of the GOP Army but wastelands.

  293. 293
    ThymeZone says:

    Christ. Now Kerry is saying that anyone who didn’t understand the real point of his “joke” is “crazy.”

    SOMEBODY THROW A SACK OVER THIS ASSHOLE AND CARRY HIM AWAY, please. Shut him up.

    Good God almighty.

  294. 294
    t. jasper parnell says:

    Almost forgot sorry about the nitpicking prick comment, I should not have been so rude.

  295. 295

    […] As he puts it…this is no fun: In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias. […]

  296. 296
    Perry Como says:

    Really, if you’re scared enough, you have no choice but to become a Republican. It’s quite brilliant, what they’ve done, and depressing.

    Do yourself a favor and read John Dean’s book. Traditional conservatism has many admirable qualities. Playing the fear card is not one of them.

  297. 297
    ThymeZone says:

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Bush joined GOP lawmakers Tuesday in blasting Sen. John Kerry for telling a group of college students they could either work hard in school or “get stuck in Iraq.”

    “Even in the midst of a heated campaign season, there are still some things we should all be able to agree on, and one of the most important is that every one of our troops deserves our gratitude and respect,” Bush said.

    Thanks, John Kerry, for giving this piece of crap a soapbox just in time for the election.

  298. 298
    ThymeZone says:

    Almost forgot sorry about the nitpicking prick comment, I should not have been so rude.

    Har, no offense taken, trust me. I admire your work here.

  299. 299
    Perry Como says:

    I really like Balko’s blog:

    No doubt about it. John Kerry is a bumblefuck blowhard. And it pains me to defend him. So I won’t. I believe him when he says he misspoke. But he should have left it at that. Instead, he picked a stupid fight at a stupid time over an issue where he clearly made a mistake. This all could have blown over. He made this an issue, an dhe seems hellbent on letting his ego blow another election for the Democrats. Which wouldn’t bother me in the least, except that it means I have to endure another two years of the Republicans.

  300. 300
    Randy says:

    John F. Kerry just handed the Republicans the House and, possibly, a larger majority in the Senate than they already have. Big time. This will take down Menendez, Cardin, and possibly affect the race in Michigan. And you can take Montana and Ohio “off the board.” Guys in those states aren’t going to vote for a Democrat now.

    Thank you, John.

  301. 301
    Pb says:

    scarshapedstar,

    Awesome rant there, by the way, thanks!

  302. 302
    Steve says:

    Randy, you gave yourself away with “Peloshiites.” Can’t go back to the well like that, friend!

  303. 303
    Perry Como says:

    John F. Kerry just handed the Republicans the House and, possibly, a larger majority in the Senate than they already have. Big time. This will take down Menendez, Cardin, and possibly affect the race in Michigan. And you can take Montana and Ohio “off the board.” Guys in those states aren’t going to vote for a Democrat now.

    Wow, Kerry must be busy running for election in all those states.

  304. 304
    Pb says:

    John F. Kerry just handed the Republicans the House and, possibly, a larger majority in the Senate than they already have. Big time. This will take down Menendez, Cardin, and possibly affect the race in Michigan. And you can take Montana and Ohio “off the board.” Guys in those states aren’t going to vote for a Democrat now.

    I’ll take those bets, if you’ll leave here when you’re proven wrong.

  305. 305
    ThymeZone says:

    Were Sen. John Kerry’s remarks linking education to the war in Iraq appropriate?
    * 268225 responses

    Yes; the military has long been a step up for those with less education.
    18%
    No; the comments implied that service members are not intelligent.
    60%
    They were misinterpreted or taken out of context.
    22%

    Over a quarter million votes on this just today, on a site that tends to lean left in self polling.

    Thanks so much, Senator Kerry. Our hero.

  306. 306
    Randy says:

    How much money do you want to put up, PB? I’ll give you 50-50 odss in each race. Or do you want to to lump them all into one big trifecta?

  307. 307
    Perry Como says:

    Over a quarter million votes on this just today, on a site that tends to lean left in self polling.

    Your liberal media at work again.

  308. 308
    demimondian says:

    Damn. Pb beat me to it.

    Randy, Kerry is not on the ballot anywhere in this nation. George “My droogs can beat you up, macaca” Allen is. Now, which one really matters?

  309. 309
    Perry Como says:

    Now let’s get back to the real issues. Congressmen that like to beat on women.

  310. 310
    Pb says:

    Over a quarter million votes on this just today

    Sounds like someone’s Perl script really doesn’t like John Kerry, or something. Of course, I kid, I’m sure that no one is petty eough to attempt to skew an online poll like that…

  311. 311
    Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    John F. Kerry just handed the Republicans the House and, possibly, a larger majority in the Senate than they already have. Big time. This will take down Menendez, Cardin, and possibly affect the race in Michigan. And you can take Montana and Ohio “off the board.” Guys in those states aren’t going to vote for a Democrat now.

    I’m in! What’s the wager?

  312. 312
    Perry Como says:

    Sounds like someone’s Perl script

    Ruby, luddite.

  313. 313
    Pb says:

    Randy,

    Here’s the bet: if Republicans gain seats in the House, I’ll stop posting on this site for at least a year. If they don’t, then you’ll stop posting on this site for at least a year. Deal?

  314. 314
    Carot says:

    I think it may be time for a centrist party in the US just like it happened in Great Britain (Liberal Democrats) and Australia (Democrats). These always threaten to hold the balance of power and need not have many seats (since they can vote with either party or join a government), and so they make the center stronger than the extremists on both sides. Often they don’t even hold power like in Great Britain but their threat keeps both sides moderate. Blair’s government has been more centrist than any Labour party government in history, and the Conservatives there believe in global warming and alternative energy.
    In Australia the Democrats held the balance of power in the Senate and stopped a lot of extremist ideas as well. The big mistake Lieberman made was not calling his party the Centrist Party and trying to build a strong center instead of apologising for being a moderate.
    A Centrist party tends to stop people polarizing politics, which is the equivalent of removing the center and making it a battle against extremists.

  315. 315
    Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    One fact, one prediction:
    1. Kerry is a blowhard who should be hidden away until mid-December.
    2. This will have no effect on the race. Or, should I say no more effect that all of the other bonehead things we’ve recently heard.
    So, Randy, if you’re expecting the GOP to keep its House majority and actually gain Senate seats, neither will be happening.
    But keep fighting the good fight, dittohead, because the more you yap the more your jaws will be ready to open wide and eat crow.

  316. 316
    Pb says:
    Sounds like someone’s Perl script

    Ruby, luddite.

    I do not think that word means what you think it means. Unless you’re talking about some sort of steam-powered Amish Perl implementation a la Charles Babbage of which I have been heretofore ignorant?

  317. 317
    Perry Como says:

    I do not think that word means what you think it means.

    Which word? Ruby or luddite?

    Webb 2.0

  318. 318
    scarshapedstar says:

    This won’t affect anything in the sense of getting people to change their votes. However, after the fix is in, it will join “mega-super-evangelical-turnout-on-steroids” as the Karl Rove / Wolf Blitzer explanation for the Republicans’ “surprise” victory in every close Diebold district.

  319. 319
    Perry Como says:

    Watch this if you can stomach it.

  320. 320
    Pb says:

    Perry Como,

    I was thinking, ‘luddite’.

    Also, I’ll see your “Webb 2.0” and raise you some SOAP on a rope! (or rails, as the case may be…)

  321. 321
    Perry Como says:

    SOAP on a rope

    Everyone keeps one of those in their office! Best comment on the Allen/Webb campaign I’ve seen yet:

    Webb looks like he is about to hit someone all the time.

    I like that. He has my vote.

    Webb looks like he’ll hit someone (and his service record says he will), Allen sends his lackeys to do it.

    I miss the day of political arguments settled at twenty paces.

  322. 322
    gregor says:

    I am surprised that you are so bewildered by the downward trajectory of the Republican Party.

    The eventual fate of the party should have been obvious to you as soon as a despicable human being like Rove, who can go to any depth to win, became the chief advisor to and alter ego of the person in the White House.

  323. 323
    Turbine says:

    Good post. Linked to it on my Livejournal. Cheers.

  324. 324

    John, I salute your honesty — with yourself, first and foremost. It’s not easy, it’s not fun, but it is vital. That you’re going with what your mind and heart tell you is right bespeaks integrity.

    Just one thing you might want to consider while being introspective about your Republican roots. Back in ’84, weren’t you aware that Ronald Reagan and his people had obviously cut a deal with a hostile foreign power — before Reagan was president? Weren’t you aware of Reagan and his people going to that slimy length to gain political advantage and humiliate an already vanquished incumbent?

    Plenty enough right there to see what the anything-to-win neoconservative crowd was all about. And oh, let’s not forget when and how Rumsfeld and Cheney were launched on the path to more power than was good for them or the rest of us.

  325. 325
    Dustbin Of History says:

    The big mistake Lieberman made was not calling his party the Centrist Party and trying to build a strong center instead of apologising for being a moderate.

    If you assume that was Lieberman’s intention and not to, say, keep his role as the GOP’s resident lapdog.

  326. 326
    Tricky Dick says:

    I grew up a big believer in the GOP, and it’s emphasis on free enterprise. I got into trouble with my hippy Biology teacher in high school for gloating when Bush41 blew out Dukakis. But by 92, I found I couldn’t vote for a party which was clearly in the tank for Pat Robertson and his ilk. I didn’t vote for Clinton as much as I voted against Jerry Falwell.

    It’s weird. I knew lots of religious folks growing up (although I rarely ever attend services anymore) and they all seemed farily sane to me. I never really believed that the hard core fanatics would gain real power. But they clearly have done just that. And it’s worse than that. These are just awful people. All the fuss over Kerry today, after he put his foot in his mouth while trying to apparantly make a lame Bush joke, made me think about how Lynne Cheney basically accused Wolf Blitzer of being an al-Qaeda sympathizer. How is it the end of the world for Kerry to tell an offensive joke, but calling American citizens terrorists for undermining your political talking points – which, incidentally, is a journalist’s JOB – gets basically a yawn.

    I never really warmed up to the liberal set, I don’t fit in with those cats, to be sure. And I’ve tried my luck with the Cult of Kos, they have some interesting stuff to say, from time to time. But they are basically radicals in their own right, and some of the more prominent posters over there are straight up pricks. They like to hear themselves talk. But I refuse to believe that this country is going to be ripped apart by extremists on either side. I live in a fairly conservative town (more fiscal conservative than social cons) and I don’t see these crazy deranged fire-breathers when I go out and talk to people.

    Oh sure, there’s alot of sillyness. All the PC bullshit and the mindless support for foolish and wasteful policies, like the War on Drugs. And then there’s the infatuation with gas guzzling POVs. Uh, people… why do you think we’re stuck in SW Asia? But I am hopeful that people will get smart and make a course correction.

  327. 327
    Beej says:

    Just exactly what is so difficult about ignoring Darrell? A hint: just scroll down past any post with his name at the top. This way the thinking people get to talk sense and Darrell still gets to write “leftist” five hundred times an hour. See how easy that is?

  328. 328
    annefrank says:

    John – admire your honesty and courage – tenets of leadership.

  329. 329
    Arf says:

    John,

    I’ve read you off and on and added you to my feeds and removed you when I became too annoyed with you. I got annoyed because it was obvious that you were more self-aware than many ideologues, yet you could not find a way to make a clean break. Granted, a clean break is not usually not the obvious solution and it is never easy when you are trying to save a marriage.

    I don’t fault you for failing to suddenly wake up one day and realize that everything[1] you know is wrong. It takes time to recognize your own demons, let alone recognize that you have them.

    I could tell from your writings that you came to your beliefs honestly, unlike many of your compatriots. I am not at all surprised to see your inherent decency win out against your acquired “beliefs” and I applaud you for having the courage to debate yourself in public. If more people were as willing as you are to be honest with themselves, we would all be much better off than we are today.

    [1] this should not be taken as a literal — shades of grey, and grey areas, do exist and it is OK by me to be a Republican (well maybe not a young one), but there are standards and we must all live up to them. You give me hope that cooler heads will some day prevail.

  330. 330

    Cole

    Like I said before, the GOP of October 2006 is no different than the GOP of October 1996 (except that they have more power). They’re just as mean and nasty and unconstitutional and racist and evil-minded. I don’t understand what

  331. 331
    rachel says:

    BadTux is my hero–and John Cole too.

  332. 332
    molasky says:

    “don’t think the folks at RedState are “bad people”,…but isn’t there some kind of…spiritual price that you pay for that?”

    I have had this in mind for a while. This is thousands of people who believe that no amount lies, no amount of hurting the innocent goes too far. They are a cult whose guiding premise is that all acts that help republicans are righteous (sin directed against democrats is no vice). Every commenter that said Jim Webb was a ‘pedophile’ to score political points is a sick and dangerous individual. The threat of ‘unhappy’ afterlife should be the last line of defense against such pure evil. Each and every one knew what they were doing and that it was a lie. When called on it, they say “all’s fair.”

    Like the Bible says, “do whatever you have to to maintain power and destroy your enemies” (I think it’s somewhere near the back)

  333. 333
    Chris Stevens says:

    My first post here.

    I am an active Democrat and believe in discussing the issues with people. Most of my friends are Republicans and I can say that without a doubt, voicing anti war concerns will get you called a “terrorist enabler” very quickly. It does not take much.

    I was never for the war and never believed that there were WMDs. I believed the former UN weapons inspectors. But now if I say that to my Republican friends they usually just say “there is no way you could have known that.”

    Before the war began people were comparing it to Vietnam and wondering if it would turn out like that. I spent a lot of time saying it would be like Northern Ireland, a conflict that would last 100 plus years. I still believe that.

  334. 334
    Carot says:

    “The big mistake Lieberman made was not calling his party the Centrist Party and trying to build a strong center instead of apologising for being a moderate.

    If you assume that was Lieberman’s intention and not to, say, keep his role as the GOP’s resident lapdog”

    Lieberman obviously appeals to the left and the right, as do many centrist politicians. I don’t mean that people love these kinds of politicians but they tolerate them more when they are not on their side. look for example at all the sympathy Lieberman got from the right. Lieberman is not that bad or extreme, the main complaint is he is too compromised by the extreme right on the war.

    However if you get say 50 politicians like Lieberman from the left and right in a centrist party then they control the government as representing independants and swing voters. That’s what independant voters are, people who don’t feel comfortable in either party and have a centrist position. So instead of the left and right offering them tokens to grab their votes, often dishonestly, a centrist party could cater for what they want, which is is almost always a moderate approach.

    If you look at Jeffords for example he really left the right to become a centrist, and if such a party had existed he might well have joined it. If another 4 senators such as Spector, Snowe, Chaffee and maybe even McCain had joined this centrist party then the right in the Senate would have been able to resist the Bush extremism without being demonised as having sold out to the left.

    This extremism is what happened in Great Britain which is why they have 3 major parties. It’s pretty easy to work out a centrist policy, you just poll the indepandants and cater for that base.

    Once a centrist party has an identity free from domination by the left and right it can grow like the Liberal Democrats did. Look for example at the proposal at one time for a Kerry McCain ticket as a sign for the desire for a centrist political party.

  335. 335
    sm says:

    what a lame empty comment. seriously. the hyperbole that competes with andrew sullivcans emotional outbursts. sorry, but emotional outbursts of outrage is not analysis.
    reality is, when a party is in power there is always more corruption. thats how it works. because they now have more power and they have more poeple to corrupt.

  336. 336

    Election ’06 – 7 Days Until Nov. 7 (November 1, 2006)

    [This post will be updated throughout the day; scroll down for more stories] News Dems increase hope: “After a decade in the political wilderness, Democrats are beginning to predict confidently if quietly that they will win control of the House…

  337. 337
    Some Guy says:

    John, that was an excellent post. I imagine many other conservatives are drinking bitter coffee these days and it is not the prospect of Republicans losing power but the reality that Republicans have lost their way.

    My pop-psych take on why so many cannot face the facts of the disaster that is Bush (and which others have echoed here): many people are loathe to admit mistakes, irrationally hoping they will wake up one day and they will not have been mistaken by some miracle. The bigger the mistake, the more bullish on not admitting they were wrong.

    What could be bigger than hauling bucket after bucket of water for incompetent, dangerous, ignorant leaders? To realize that today’s Republicans make Dems look positively penny-pinching, that Republicans are not tough guys but nutjobs who make us less safe with radical and poorly conducted wars, that Republicans have caved to religious zealots who would be happy to shred the Constitution and set up theocracy, that Republicans have become enemies of civil liberties that limit their hold on power (which means all civil liberties in some measure). That is a whole lot of reckoning to do. Hence the irrational insistence that its not true. It would cause many people to go into existential crisis.

    But it will happen to more after the election. Losing the House will free many to be pissed off at the party. Once that starts, its like cleaning. You straighten up on part of the house and the rest looks filthy so you keep going.

  338. 338
    joe says:

    Republicanism is fundamentally flawed. Not because of what its ideologgy IS… but BECAUSE it IS an ideology.

    i.e. a grossly simplistic dumbed down model to apply to the world in the hope you can realise it.

    DITTO “Liberalism”. A kumbaya ideal. IMAGINE…. (yeah right!). Ain’t gonna happen.

    Our blogger has merely had this epiphany. Realising that ideals and ideas are two different things. The former an illusion. the latter offering a path to redemption.

    So I hate both your political parties. And the scam they have been pulling on the sheep for Soooo Long.

    But forced to choose… I would offer that the DEMOCRATS do tend… to live MORE in the world of ideas but still have to tailor their message to those who prefer their politics dumbed down. And thus they are by no means perfect.

    And I tire of reading (Dailykosish) comments about this or that male candidate – Ford, Edwards, Obama… such as :-

    “He’s so DWEAMY”. (WTF does tha mean anyhow?) DWEAMY?

    (I can never tell is those comments come from male of female posters….I think female in the main… idly fiddling with their clitz while dweaming….)

    The real test for our blogger is whether or not he slips back into idealistic “GOP mode” once (if?) some marginally more eloquent/competent GOPster runs for office.

    I bet he does. It’s like alcoholism. You are never cured.

  339. 339

    […] Note: Also check out former Republican/still a conservative Cole’s anguished, whiny, nauseating, self pitying, screed here where he solemnly announces the Republican party has left him behind because all they’re interested in is power and politics. […]

  340. 340
    Tennessean says:

    I’m a FORMER REPUBLICAN who left the party in January 2001 after the vile display from Republican operatives in the impeachment of a president and the Supreme Court of this country ruling–in what is a state Supreme Court purview–to stop the counting of votes in Florida. As a Floridian at that moment, I was horrified. As a Republican, I was ashamed. When I looked at the wreckage of the Republican Party at that moment, and read the ruling which stated Bush v. Gore was not “to set precedent,” (that in itself belies the sheer hypocrisy of the radicals in the GOP–a “Supreme Court Ruling Will Not Set Precedent?!”–and I knew we were in for a rough ride. Combine that with the gross, vile, despicable co-option of the Christian Evangelical Vote, and you’ve got a STINKER of Epic Proportions. That’s your GOP; that’s your GOP on steroids. I am still a fiscal conservative–a Democrat who has watched the GOP destroy our financial security. I’ll hold the Democrats’ feet to the fire on fiscal issues, but the GOP is lost–a party of psychopaths now.

  341. 341

    I never really warmed up to the liberal set, I don’t fit in with those cats, to be sure. And I’ve tried my luck with the Cult of Kos, they have some interesting stuff to say, from time to time. But they are basically radicals in their own right, and some of the more prominent posters over there are straight up pricks. They like to hear themselves talk. But I refuse to believe that this country is going to be ripped apart by extremists on either side. I live in a fairly conservative town (more fiscal conservative than social cons) and I don’t see these crazy deranged fire-breathers when I go out and talk to people.

    There are some incredible writers over there. And there are some self important losers. I can’t stand MSOC for instance. But what I have found is that you have a lot less stress if you ignore them, and focus on the intelligent commentary.

    I believe that’s probably the nature of things. I suspect it’s what has happened to the Republican party today. People for years ignored the Pat Robertsons as fruitcakes, until you wake up today and realize they are in control of the party.

    So I expect to find the same with the Democrats in 20 years. For now, I support them because they bring balance to the fruitcakiness of the GOP. In 20 years, as the reasonable people become less engages because things are working well and step off to the side allowing the pure zealots to stand up, well… It’ll be time to reevaluate.

  342. 342
    Anthony says:

    John,

    I am a democrat who longs for the day when the Republican party regains its conscience and behaves according to it’s principles. I have the utmost respect for those principles and believe that they serve the country well as a counter balance to liberalism. Only then will we be able to have honest debate about policy and moving our country forward.

  343. 343

    reality is, when a party is in power there is always more corruption. thats how it works. because they now have more power and they have more poeple to corrupt.

    So you agree then that the Republicans should no longer be in power?

  344. 344
    esmense says:

    Honey, this isn’t the Republican party. It’s the Dixiecrats. It took half a century and a bit of camouflage and deception to achieve victory, but now they’ve won all the power. And what a delicious irony, for them, that, thanks to Nixon and Reagan, and an army of “moderate” Republicans who were, and in many cases remain, willfully blind to their party’s corruption, they were able to use Lincoln’s party to do so.

  345. 345
    Lieinveigleobfuscate says:

    Well John, welcome to new and improved libertarian wing of the Democratic party. Political shifts happen; there was a time when the Democrats were the party of the South. So embrace change, welcome aboard and don’t suffer the past–it’s a sunk cost. What matters now is the future.

  346. 346
    Tennessean says:

    The American Conservative Magazine:

    GOP Must Go

    http://www.amconmag.com/2006/2.....ature.html

  347. 347
    Dugger says:

    John

    I actually think you have lost your ability to think rationally here. Are you judging the R party against an ideal or against the available alternatives. Are you dealing with the reality of the party or the opposition spin? Republicans are decidedly imperfect and handle success not much better than Democrats when they have the full reins of power (remember Carter’s misery index – you have to go back to the Depression to find a worse period in opur history. But as a whole, Rs will spend less of the public’s money and defend the country better and restrict freedoms less (doubt the latter, just look at speech codes on Univeristy campuses whre progressives run the show). Hope you are not becoming Andy Sullivan II. But I acknowledge there’s a lot of fame to be made by well timed apostasies from the right.

  348. 348
    Jim Miller says:

    This is both funny and sad.

    Cole says that he left the GOP because they passed a drug plan which (1) expands an already existing program to help old folks and (2) introduces a modest reform in the system, which may help control costs in the long run. (I’m not sure whether Cole knows that Bush promised the drug plan during his 2000 campaign — but he did.) By the way, if we are to have a Medicare program, it should include drugs, because they are generally cheaper and more effective treatments than the alternatives.

    And Cole says the second thing that convinced him to switch from the GOP is that they tried to save helpless woman from being deprived of water so that she died of thirst.

    These two things convinced Cole, he says, that the GOP is “corrupt”.

    Ok, we’re all done laughing at his “reasoning”, but let’s be compassionate enough to be sad that this passes for rational argument in some places. And let’s hope that Cole’s confession is part of some 12-step plan leading to recovery. And I hope that he will believe I am sincere in hoping for that outcome.

    Meanwhile, readers may want to look elsewhere for serious discussion of serious issues.

  349. 349

    Compare and Contrast

    kos on John Cole

    versus the right-wing blogs we’ve seen trackbacked here.

  350. 350
    Adam says:

    AMEN John…you gave words to the same feelings I have had for the last 5 years or so. I didn’t wake up someday and become a liberal Democrat; the party work up one day and became corrupt and fanatical.

  351. 351
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    Quick! How do we blame this on Bill Clinton?

  352. 352
    tps says:

    Need some cheese for that whine Johnboy?

  353. 353
    John S. says:

    Cole says that he left the GOP because[…]

    Reading is fundamental, Jim.

    Now that we’re all done laughing and pointing at your cheap strawman construct of John’s position, we can go back to serious discussion of serious issues.

  354. 354
    Sam-I-am says:

    Hi John,

    The farm bill of 2002 was my eye-opener. Like I’d just been sucker-punched by a friend. I knew from that point that the Republicans did not represent me, that they were just politicians.

    I’m counting on electoral realignment to move the Democrats towards Clinton’s third way. One of Clinton’s advisors (or was it a large donor?) told him that he’d been a Republican, but then he got close to the party machine and saw that the Republicans could think but had no heart. So he became a Democrat because you can teach someone to think but not give them a heart.

    If it’s any consolation, the American people would never have given Bush a the second term (and never supported the war in Iraq) if it weren’t for 9/11.

    Regards,
    Sam-I-am

  355. 355
    ThymeZone says:

    Kerry cancels appearances amid uproar.

    Isn’t this wonderful? Isn’t this just what you wanted to be hearing about today?

  356. 356

    […] I’ve about had it with people like John Cole. I’m tired of the ‘Whoa is me” nonsense people like Cole are spouting, groaning endlessly about how terrible the GOP is and asking “What went wrong?” […]

  357. 357
    ThymeZone says:

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 — For at least a few hours on Tuesday, President Bush had a chance to relive his victorious campaign of 2004, taking a break from a bleak Republican campaign season as he attacked Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts over the war in Iraq.

    Aw, that’s great, isn’t it?

    Giving Bush something to crow about on the campaign trail!

    I doubt even Karl Rove could have come up with something this good on short notice.

    Thanks, Senator Kerry.

  358. 358
    Avedon says:

    John, I know it’s hard when you realize you don’t have the anchor you thought you had.

    A lot of people on the right are too authoritarian to ever be members of the party about which Will Rogers said:

    “I am a member of no organized political party. I’m a Democrat.”

    But I kinda like it that way. I haven’t believed in Santa Clause in a long time, and I don’t believe a political party is ever going to be all pure and heroic. It’s just a bunch of people. My job is to tug it my way, but I expect others to try to tug it theirs. I think you’ll find you have a place there.

  359. 359
    ET says:

    Ok I am going to add my 2+ cents even though after 346 comments no one is likely to see much less read them…..

    When I was 18 back in the late 1980’s I registered as a Republican. I did so in Louisiana, which has a closed primary. Then I went to college in Alabama and moved to D.C. My view may have matured but hadn’t changed all that much, but in the interim I had noticed a few things. The GOP was slowly being co-opted by the white southern/west white male ethic. Now I grew up and went to school in the south so I lived there for 23 years, so while I don’t claim to be an expert I can say, that while there are nice things about these men, their politics ain’t one of them (from my perspective). That is when I decided that the GOP was not the place for me. They seemed so much better at lobbing rocks from the backbenches – but that ability doesn’t necessarily translate into good governing. The personality types of the Republicans that have developed are personality types that I have seen enough of growing up (not that they south has a lock on they type) that I could not support them or their policies. There was a whole subtext of meaning going on that was always there if you knew to look and knew not to just take them at their word. Newt Gingrich was a harbinger of things to come not only for political leanings, but in personality type, and style. I cannot abide pretty much everything about that man and consequently the Armeys, Delays, Frists, Coburns, Lotts, etc, etc, etc have not appeal to me politically or emotionally. Maybe you are reacting the personalities as well as the policies and pathological ability to justify what you see as wrong, insane, etc.

    I read an article somewhere that explains, in part, why the GOP of yesteryear is not the same party. It took decades, but strain of GOPism that we see today started at the grassroots level and worked their way up through the state party apparatus and then the federal apparatus – taking it over along the way. I don’t know that those members of the GOP of the 1970’s and earlier really have a home in the GOP (though it doesn’t necessarily follow that they have a home in the Democratic party either).

    I have always voted both parties, neither party has a lock on rightness, goodness, etc. Heck I was a registered Republican when Duke ran and there was no way in freaking hell I would have ever in a million years voted for him. However, as it is current constituted, I can’t see myself voting Republican. If one disagree with the administration or the GOP nationally, continually voting Republican for your federal and even state legislative leaders is to me, tacitly supporting the GOP national agenda and their current pathologies. That is why the Chafee’s and Shays are having problems, which is interesting. They are in the states that are likely to have the most moderate (or old school) Republicans but because of that very strain that keeps electing the type, they are also likely to be the first to shed their Republicans. So in the end, these candidates sticking with the GOP is what may doom them in the end. They continue to support a GOP that doesn’t really want them, and their constituencies are getting more and more fed up with the GOP agenda and will vote for a Democrat either because they aren’t Republican or because they actually like the Democratic candidate.

    You are in the same boat as Chaffee and Shays and are being pulled as they are – unfortunately don’t look for it to end anytime soon. The strain of the GOP that currently controls the party is not going to give up their hold on the party but until they do, Republicans like yourself will continue to be on the outside looking in or leaving the party in frustration. Not too different from the Yellow Dog Democrats from the south.

  360. 360
    ThymeZone says:

    “Kerry in the crosshairs!”

    “Will his joke give Republicans the last laugh in the midterm elections?”

    These are the opening lines on this morning’s Today Show.

    Cue the theme, and then a prolonged look at this, the top story of the morning on radio and television.

    What do you think, will Bumblefuck Kerry manage to dodge demands for a real apology all the way to election day?

  361. 361
    chopper says:

    John F. Kerry just handed the Republicans the House and, possibly, a larger majority in the Senate than they already have. Big time. This will take down Menendez, Cardin, and possibly affect the race in Michigan. And you can take Montana and Ohio “off the board.” Guys in those states aren’t going to vote for a Democrat now.

    i love it; goopers in races all over america have been caught saying stupid thing after stupid thing and stupid thing, but one sentence by a dem who isn’t even running is going to magically reverse all that?

    right.

  362. 362
    Anthony says:

    ET Says:

    Now I grew up and went to school in the south so I lived there for 23 years, so while I don’t claim to be an expert I can say, that while there are nice things about these men, their politics ain’t one of them (from my perspective).

    What are their politics?

    There was a whole subtext of meaning going on that was always there if you knew to look and knew not to just take them at their word.

    subtext of meaning? Please explain.

  363. 363
    Zifnab says:

    Not sure if everyone already caught this, but John Cole is making headlines over at DailyKos.

    I suppose for those guys, its like watching the heavens move. If they were looking for omens in November…

  364. 364
    houyhnhnm wannabe says:

    Your assessment of today’s GOP is spot on. I have been a registered Republican since my first vote in 1984 (when I, of course, proudly supported Ronald Reagan). If it weren’t for what I still perceive as the party’s intolerance for pro-life views (although that might be changing as they seem to have fielded a couple of anti-abortion candidates this year), I would become a Democrat. I am no longer afraid Democrats will overtax the middle class (at the very least, the economic data are too much to refute), they have already demonstrated they are better at balancing budgets, they are much more willing to cooperate with the rest of the world (on even the little things, like going to war), and, most importantly, they are not in the back pockets of corporate lobbies. For now, I will call myself an independent and mostly vote for Democrats.

    Thank you for your honesty.

  365. 365
    ThymeZone says:

    John Cole is making headlines over at DailyKos.

    Pretty impressive props there from Markos, another former Republican and veteran who ran away from the GOP.

  366. 366
    Randy says:

    Here’s the bet: if Republicans gain seats in the House, I’ll stop posting on this site for at least a year. If they don’t, then you’ll stop posting on this site for at least a year. Deal?

    I believe the Republicans will lose a few seats in the House, but no more than 8-10. Want to make that the bet — you vamoosh if the Republicans lose less than ten, I hit the road, if they lose more than ten. Ten exactly we both stay.

  367. 367
    Dean's World says:

    advice to John Cole

    John Cole really bares his soul in a lamentation about the state of the Republican Party. His party loyalist bonafides are sterling, yet he feels profoundly betrayed. And in his …

  368. 368
    ThymeZone says:

    one sentence by a dem who isn’t even running

    From a gigantic ego who apparently thinks the election cycle is about him. Who still doesn’t get why so many people think he has no respect for the people in uniform. Who is personally responsible for a large part of the Dems’ inability to convince many voters that they have earned respect in matters of defense, for thirty plus frigging years now.

    Thirty years is a long time to nurse a tin ear. In case anyone wonders how this guy managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in 2004, you are watching the answer unfold in front on you right now, live on your tv screens.

  369. 369
    demimondian says:

    Nah — Perl. You can actually do useful things with Ruby or Python. Perl…not so much.

  370. 370
    Blue Jean says:

    I’d suggest an amendment stating that no child or grandchild of a President is allowed to become President, then watch the frenzy begin. John Quincy Adams, Harrison, Bush II, they were all pretty bad bargains. Sure, there would be some who’d insist that “no spouse of a President can become President” be added (sorry, Hillary), but it would be worth it to stop this drift toward royalism.

  371. 371

    […] It looks like more than 2 now have. For pretty substantive reasons. […]

  372. 372
    TJ says:

    I really don’t know where this post is going, so I will just end it now, but I do have to say the past few months have really sucked, and I am completely disillusioned.

    Mr. Cole,

    Your commenters sometimes wander far afield, but in response to your post, let me encourage you to continue your journey. I have always been in favor of doing what works, and when the United states is 48th in infant mortality, 55th in literacy, and most of the “Red” states are re-fighting the Monkey Trial, there’s something really wrong.

    I read about Goldwater, who said “every Chiristain should kick Jerry Fallwell’s ass” and “you don’t have to be straight, you just have to shoot straight” to be in the military, and I too wonder what happened to conservatives. When did conservative mean we should decide when and how anyone should have sex? Or that another country should have elections, at the barrel of US guns? (Vote or die. No, really…)

    What happened to leaving people alone? What happened to “Your home is your castle”? How did corporations become people? Not just people but undying, more powerful, BETTER people?

    I have no answers, I vote and work for the Democrats as the lesser of two evils. They work as hard for the corporate kleptocracy as the Rethuglicans, but if they take power, they may return us to Constitutional rule (maybe even reinstating the 4th and 5th Amendments!)and let us live alone!

    Keep thinking and keep posting. Thanks.

  373. 373
    Devil's Advocate says:

    John,

    Your intellectual honesty is refreshing. Unfortunately, you are one of the very few representatives of an endangered species: a true conservative who has remained loyal to conservatives precepts.

    I am a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. As such, I am sure that you and I would disagree on a host of issues. However, you are one of the rare types with whom I could have an honest discussion, and agree to disagree.

  374. 374

    I still think of myself as a Republican- but I think the whole party has been hijacked by frauds and religionists and crooks and liars and corporate shills, and it frustrates me to no end to see my former friends enabling them, and I wonder ‘Why can’t they see what I see?” I don’t think I am crazy, I don’t think my beliefs have changed radically, and I don’t think I have been (as suggested by others) brainwashed by my commentariat.

    Why do you have to be a Republican? or a Democrat? Do the Democrats stand for EVERYTHING you stand for now or then? Have the Republicans always stood for EVERYTHING you stood for as well?

    Can’t “they” see what you see? What do you see, John? Is the GWOT a complete and total fuck-up? Is it really? Are all the soldiers you know (you do know some, right?) part of that total fuck-up? Does everything they touch turn to shit? Why not ask them. Are the “good” reports from abroad simply not making the news – why should that matter for a blogger, anyway?

    Is the county REALLY in a shambles? Are we REALLY losing our civil rights in broad daylight (or in the dark for that matter)?

    Has Congress ever been truley fiscally responsible during your lifetime? Regardless of party?

    Yeah, as a Reagan supporter I heard the “Ronald Raygun – Fascist gun in the West” remark a lot, right after the election in 1980, when I was a senior in high school. It wasn’t true then and it’s not true now with W in office.

    The closest danger to losing my civil rights came during the Clinton years with the Brady law. If you are a supporter of gun control, John, then you’re not really on the “right,” are you?

    Abortion rights apparently are implied somewhere in the Bill of Rights. Gun rights are explicitly stated in the 2nd Amendment. While abortion is symbolically vilified by just about every member of Congress (who in office has ever said they’re “pro-abortion”? they’re all afraid to use the word! It’s “choice”), Roe v. Wade won’t be reversed. How? Partial-birth abortions and cloning and all that easy stuff to vote against (because it affects few citizens) but criminalizing abortion in this modern world won’t happen – it makes for good debates, though. On the other hand, gun rights are in jeopardy and the Democrats will make it a top priority to ban gun ownership if they’re in power. Is that something worth supporting, John? If so, then you’re as left as Nancy Pelosi.

    Does it REALLY drive you apeshit that homosexuals cannot marry in the US? I guess it bugs the homosexuals that their marraiges aren’t Federally recognized, but… lets see the open debate, lets see the Constitution Amended to address this. Will the Dems support that? Is that of paramount importance?

    Here in New York, Hillary! runs TV ads parading her crusade against violent video games as a way she has helped families. Hillary’s pretty smart, but video games? Non-issue, but easy because no one likes violent video games, right? Of course, if she sponsored legistlation that would provide Federal funding for weekly battery recycling in New York City, I’d be more impressed, but it’s easier to fight against those awful video games…

    Charles Rangel (and others, sure, but chuck is on the forefront) has called for a military draft – just so it will make the “rush to war” painful since we’re now all in it together, I guess. Is that a good thing? Why do we need a draft? The soldiers who’ve signed up since 1974 have done so voluntarily and has that been a disaster?

    John, you may not like what the Republicans are doing – like getting funding for their constituents… how unusual for an elected official to try and bring money to his/her home state… – but are the Democrats, the minute they get into power (if) going to “fix” everything? Will they push through legislation that will reverse all these “horrible” things that Congress passed under W – things like No Child Left Behind (does it suck that much? Really?), the Patriot Act (is it REALLY that horrible? Is it REALLY the precursor to the world of 1984 or is it a genuine, sure flawed, but what isn’t?, attempt to protect us against a very, very real terrorist threat?

    Will “liberating” Gitmo do anything other than shut down an intelligence operation that – hey – might be affective in combatting terrorism? Will shutting down all the programs, known and secret, that are supposed to be – really – fighting terrorism, be better for the US?

    Or, was 9-11 an inside job? Was 9-11 faked? Where they missles and not planes? – the Democrats support GWOT and, generally, do not cater to the 9-11 loons. Just like the Republicans.

    Should we abandon Isreal? – the Democrats will not do that.

    Do you want high gas prices or low gas prices? The prices can be set as high as “necessary” though taxation. Would that be good or bad? Does W control oil prices? How? Why not make gas $5 a gallon – like it is in Europe – and put all the extra tax money into energy programs? Do the Dems promise this? Or, do we get Chuck Schumer (D-NY) complianing about W making the gas prices too high – never mind that, for some strange reason, they were 10-20 cents less per gallon in New Jersey, that bastion of pure, honest Republican leadership. Strange, that…

    Are the Republicans perfect? Hell now. Some of them are, apparently, dumb as posts. Embarrassingly dumb. How the heck did they get elected in the first place…? Same with some Dems.

  375. 375
    Jomar Reyes says:

    I hope Kerry runs for reelection two years from now, so voters could throw him out of office in 2008. Democrats and Bay State voters deserve to knock him off his U.S. Senate lectern.

  376. 376
    Krista says:

    Poor John…you sound so sad. Disillusionment is a bitter enough pill as it is, but it’s even harder when you find yourself disillusioned with the community into which you were so integrated and welcome.

    At any rate, you don’t seem to be the only conservative who’s disgusted with the current government. Not by a long stretch. For what it’s worth, a lot of people here are damned impressed by your willingness to admit that you were wrong about something. If only politicians had half of that courage…

  377. 377
    nolahn says:

    Mr. Cole,

    There are a whole lot of responses to you (360 at the time of this writing), but the majority of them are saying the same thing: We know how you feel. We’re just as disillusioned and stunned and frustrated. I know I can’t go more than a week without becoming truly depressed about the things that are going on in this country.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think this is a Republican thing. Even as a moderate/liberal (depending on who is in office) who has been a registered Democrat since he could vote, I could take a look at the traditional Republican platforms — smaller government, states’ rights, strong military, cutting taxes and enforcing strict fiscal responsibility — and see the VALUE of those things.

    But with control of all three branches of government, in a time that should be a golden era for the Republicans, where are those values now? My best guess is that this breed of convervatives, obtaining power trumps everything else.

    It’s probably the Red Sox fan in me, but I always felt that the Dems were better at legistlating and the GOP better at politics. I guess where we are now is the inevitable conclusion. And as for their supporters, maybe they just need to believe so badly that they can’t see what’s really happening.

    Anyway, you might get a fair amount of flak for your post, but I found it reassuring. Somewhere along the line, everyone seemed to lose the ability to discuss and debate — now it’s all about distorting what the other guy said and screaming at ’em. I admit, I’ve never read any of your other posts and perhaps you’ve done your share of distorting and screaming in the past. But you’re here now, and I think that has to count for something.

    Hang in there. You’re not alone.

  378. 378

    Argh! Look at all those typos!

  379. 379

    Boo Hoo… So the Republican Party isn’t run by John Cole. Stay home everybody. Iowa was won by the small margin of 135K votes. With your whiny, crybaby attitude, how many have you dissuaded from going to the polls? More than you should have. Your solution of despair and nonparticipation is in effect a vote for those you have claimed to be fighting against. Quit being so self-centered and realize that Democrats in charge would be a disaster. Don’t worry, you shall be reminded of it. By the way, weren’t you part of the whole ‘bandwagon’ effect to oust Trent Lott? That got us a nice guy but we would never have had ‘The Gang of Eight’, if Lott was still Senate Leader. Coaxing the worst out of people on election day makes as big of a deomocrat plant as Michael (Weiner) Savage. Thanks alot!

  380. 380

    ThymeZone – You are an excellent concern troll.

  381. 381
    chopper says:

    From a gigantic ego who apparently thinks the election cycle is about him.

    i’m not saying he didn’t screw up. but all the media politicos who are talking up and down about how this will cost the dems the election are full of it. they’re just full of joy that finally, there’s some bad news coming outta the other side, so they’re gonna beat this dead horse til the election.

    but are voters in montana really going to vote against the dem because of something kerry said? while they’re at it, are voters in montana going to vote against the republican because allen called a dark-skinned dude ‘macaca’ or any of the myriad of other things republicans acutally running for election this year said?

    i think kerry needs to STFU, but the GOP is in a fantasy land if they think they can ride this issue to a GOP house.

  382. 382
    Pb says:

    Randy,

    I believe the Republicans will lose a few seats in the House, but no more than 8-10. Want to make that the bet—you vamoosh if the Republicans lose less than ten, I hit the road, if they lose more than ten. Ten exactly we both stay.

    It’s a deal!

  383. 383

    houyhnhnm wannabe wrote:
    If it weren’t for what I still perceive as the party’s intolerance for pro-life views (although that might be changing as they seem to have fielded a couple of anti-abortion candidates this year), I would become a Democrat.

    I don’t know of any Democrats who are intolerant of pro-life views. What we are intolerant of is statist views.

    Nobody likes abortion. But as with all medical procedures, sometimes it is necessary. If you can’t appreciate why someone might find it necessary, that is a problem and it is the main reason why I don’t want to see government involvement in medical decisions.

    I think it’s fine to advocate for issues. Tell people there are adoption options available, or help educate people on birth control options so we don’t have unwanted pregnancies to begin with. That’s a pro-life stance.

    But calling for government regulation? That’s pure statism, and it’s got nothing to do with being pro-life, it has to do with trying to control others.

  384. 384
    Steve says:

    criminalizing abortion in this modern world won’t happen – it makes for good debates, though. On the other hand, gun rights are in jeopardy and the Democrats will make it a top priority to ban gun ownership if they’re in power.

    I’m not saying the reverse of this view is any less hysterical but seriously, come on. “A top priority to ban gun ownership”?

  385. 385

    Dave Violence writes from fantasy land:

    On the other hand, gun rights are in jeopardy and the Democrats will make it a top priority to ban gun ownership if they’re in power. Is that something worth supporting, John? If so, then you’re as left as Nancy Pelosi.

    Don’t think so. GW Bush has revitilized an understanding of why the 2nd is there.

    Let’s just say… if the Republicans lose the election and refuse to leave office lawfully. They’ll be talking to my negotiating team of Springfield, Enfield and Remington.

  386. 386
    Urinated State of America says:

    “It used to be the case (maybe it still is) that to get a tourist visa to the US, you had to answer the question:
    “Do you intend to seek the violent overthrow of the US government?”

    I always wonder about who they expected to catch with that one.”

    On the clearances, it’s probably to catch you *lying about it*, in which case they can bin your clearance application expiditiously.

  387. 387
    ThymeZone says:

    ThymeZone – You are an excellent concern troll.

    You’re an asshole.

  388. 388
    Jomar Reyes says:

    I’ve been reading the earlier threads… I’m deeply disappointed in Darrell’s thinking. His thinking process is the same as that of a Communist I talked to a few times.

  389. 389
    Martin Washburn says:

    Thank you. Your painful assessment gets high marks for an honesty unusual in this season.

  390. 390
    Urinated State of America says:

    On John C.’s despair – I think the closest analogy to the current GOP is the British Tory party towards the end of John Major’s Prime Ministership. Like the GOP post Reagan and Gingrich, the Tories were running on ideological autopilot post-Thatcher, while getting more and more mired in scandal (although Major, while inept, was nowhere near as disastrous as Bush II).

    The one thing missing is that the Tories were bitterly divided amongst themselves (over policy towards the EU), but as post-mid terms we may see an ideological divide emerge as the GOP argues amongst itself whether to continue to be a chorus for Bush or to repudiate him. The GOP primaries may be very entertaining.

    It’s taken about a decade for the Tories to recover, as it took a long time for it to realise the era of Thatcherism was over. Let’s hope the GOP takes a similar amount of time.

  391. 391
    Steve says:

    On the clearances, it’s probably to catch you lying about it, in which case they can bin your clearance application expiditiously.

    If they know you’re lying, that means they know you really do support the violent overthrow of the United States government. I sure hope they’re allowed to shitcan you at that point without going through the added formality of catching you in a lie.

  392. 392

    Shorter John Cole

    It sucks to be a Republican these days. You have my sympathies, John….

  393. 393
    ThymeZone says:

    i’m not saying he didn’t screw up. but all the media politicos who are talking up and down about how this will cost the dems the election are full of it.

    They are talking mostly about how John Kerry has, for no apparent good reason, given the opposition something to crow about when they had nothing else to crow about, at a critical time. And they are exactly right.

    This story led all three broadcast network morning news shows and all three major cable news shows today. Today did ten minutes on it. When was the last time you saw Today lead with ten minutes of politics first thing in the morning, all of it bad for Dems …. videos of the insane Kerry ranting on and on about how he’s “not going to stand” for the Republicans trying to make something of his joke.

    The man is as nutty as fucking fruitcake at this point. He’s a walking disaster for our party. He apparently thinks that this all about how he, the great war hero and veteran, lost out to those awful people two years ago and he’s had enough. He’s full on crazy, an embarrassment.

  394. 394
    matt says:

    Tell people there are adoption options available, or help educate people on birth control options so we don’t have unwanted pregnancies to begin with. That’s a pro-life stance.

    I think the problem with this (and the reason there’s never going to be a meeting of the minds) is if you believe abortion is murder, why would you (and really, why should you) agree to some kind of “sensible compromise”?

    Pro-choice people argue about abortion like there’s a reasonable middle ground that reasonable people can get on board with, but that’s a fantasy. It’s not an issue like tax cuts or even the death penalty.

  395. 395
    Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    Thyme,
    Please tell me you see the irony in your posts, repeatedly discussing Kerry while decrying that everyone now will keep discussing Kerry.

  396. 396
    Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    But, Thyme, I know you’re not a concern troll.
    You’re a hothead who sometimes doesn’t know when to shut up – and that last quality you share with Kerry.

  397. 397
    demimondian says:

    TZ — the reason the majors are all over this is that it looks like it could make the election a horse race. They’re losing viewers when there’s no right-supporting controversy. They’re going to ride that horse as long as they can, since it keeps their Neilsons up.

  398. 398
    koNko says:

    Sir –

    OK. Now walk on and don’t look back, the world is looking for a few good men and you are one. Change is opportunity.

    Yours Truley, ko

  399. 399
    cd6 says:

    15 of the last 19 front page posts at RedState are Kerry related.

    Number of posts referencing the fact that Maliki orders around our army in Iraq, abandoning the search for a missing US soldier? Zero.

    Priorities?

  400. 400
    Pb says:

    if you believe abortion is murder, why would you (and really, why should you) agree to some kind of “sensible compromise”?

    There’s simply no reasoning with the people who think that embryos are people *and* discarding embryos is murder *but* fertility clinics (which discard embryos all the time) are fine *but* actually using those embryos to save lives is evil, etc., etc.

  401. 401
    Steve says:

    I think the problem with this (and the reason there’s never going to be a meeting of the minds) is if you believe abortion is murder, why would you (and really, why should you) agree to some kind of “sensible compromise”?

    Everyone who claims to believe abortion is murder, yet supports anti-abortion laws which fall short of sending women to prison for having an abortion, is agreeing to a “compromise.”

    The true “abortion is murder” position – that a woman who gets an abortion should go to prison for life or something approaching life – is completely fringe, and there’s no point in even discussing it as a political position. If you think “oh, it’s enough just to take away the doctor’s license,” then guess what, you don’t really believe abortion is murder.

  402. 402
    No To Ideology says:

    Congratulations, John, welcome back to reality.

    ITS THE IDEOLOGY, STUPID.

    Apologies for the ‘stupid’ line, its more a result of parroting the Carville line of ’92 that a reflection of my feelings toward yourself. In fact, I thought in reading your blog that a lot of your positions were reasoned, but I’m a new reader so perhaps I would not have approved of your comment when you were ‘drinking the Kool-Aid’.

    The problem is that the Republican Party has fallen victim to some failed Ideologies. Among them neo-conservatism and Reaganomics. Let us no forget that the ultimate extension of conservative political theory is Nazism. Hilter used religious beliefs and fear to destroy German democracy. And dont forget that the original American conservatives, the Tories, sided with England and FOUGHT THE CREATION of AMERICA. The conservatitve WHIGS took up arms AGAINST AMERICA. And the decent Republican Lincoln WAS NOT CONSERVATIVE, he sided with the Democrats to free the slaves which the conservative Whigs opposed. Teddy Roosevelt was a progressive, prompting his conservative funders to quip ‘we bought him, but he didn’t stay bought’. Let us not forget the last decent Republican, Eisenhower, warned us about the plans of his GOP ‘buddies’, the military-industrial complex.

  403. 403
    DW says:

    I’ve always been a pseudo-yellow-dog-democrat. I would vote for a republican for congress from time to time as my attempt to split the government..hoping it makes all involved more honest.

    So of course, I never voted for Ronald Reagan. I didn’t agree with him BUT I never ever feared for the the state of the country while he was in office. Reagan may had an agenda in which I disagreed, but I truly believed he was doing what he thought was best for the country.

    Present date Republicans, they do what is best for them personally and their party. If that harms OUR nation at home and abroad, so be it.

    I try to explain to my older children that the Republicans today are not the Republicans I knew. Republicans had once been individuals one could work with to achieve a goal, have a conversation. Now there are people to fear.

    What happened?

  404. 404
    marjo says:

    I was Republican in the 70s when they were moderate, decent and responsible, and Reagan’s rise moved me steadily to the left, which now to me represents open and rational discourse, compassion and tolerance of diversity (whether opinion, ethnicity, orientation, etc.) Now I have abandoned all idealism about moderate politics and bipartisanship. I am sincerely worried about the future of this nation as a free state. In fact, the way John Cole feels about the GOP now is how I feel about religion. I feel the false Christians have poisoned the well for true compassionate Christians and given all faith the taint of hypocrisy. My own conversion is complete. I embrace the left because I believe that we must be free of hatred and fear-mongering, free to disagree, and free to study the problems we face without crass emotionalism and political opportunism. That to me is “liberal.”

  405. 405
    OmegaPaladin says:

    Well, I’m sad to see you jump ship, but I really can’t see how the Democrats can offer much in the way of responsible politics. The Democrats have horrid foreign policy that is dominated by the hard left, and I frankly think they would be incapable of defending the country. Bush just started taking the global Jihadist threat seriously, and the democrats attack him for even those steps. Your critique basically avoids this issue, preferring to act as though 9/11 never happened.

    I seriously thought about voting Gore. Bush only barely got my vote in 2000. He was not impressive, I am a social and economic moderate, and Gore showed some potential. I would have voted Lieberman in 2004, and gave Edwards a good look. However, nearly the entire democratic party seems to strive to show that, bad as the GOP may be, they can do worse. Robert Byrd is a serious offender in that regard.

    Frankly, I think its sad the democrats lack someone with the vision of Harry Truman or FDR right now. Until the democrats show they can be trusted to defend the country, they aren’t getting my vote.

  406. 406

    […] this now. Do you feel the same way? I know I do!      […]

  407. 407
    Adam in Philly says:

    Hey John, good article. I’m glad you are standing up for what you believe in!

    I went through the same change as you back in 2003. I voted for Bush in 2000, and Kerry in 2004. I still consider myself a moderate (I don’t like gun control, abortion, or affirmative action quotas) but I plan on voting a straight Democratic ticket next week.

    Your trigger was Terri Schiavo – mine was when no WMDs were found in Iraq. I wasn’t thrilled about the war even when it started (in fact I even attended a couple protests with my very liberal girlfriend at the time) but I thought it would be worth it if we could neutralize the threat that WMDs in Iraq represented. Once that lie was exposed, the whole facade of competence and leadership that the GOP represented to me came crashing down like a house of cards.

    I can’t make any guarantees about how I’m going to vote in future years but it’s clear to me our nation is in a very trying time *right now* and things need to be made right. The only way this can be done is through new leadership.

  408. 408

    […] A couple more heretofore Republicans have just gone public with their apostasy: Bruce Bartlett, who held various positions in the G.H. W. Bush and Reagan administrations; and John Cole, the West Virginia-based proprietor of the blog Balloon Juice. […]

  409. 409
    jcricket says:

    If so, then you’re as left as Nancy Pelosi.

    This attempt to make Nancy Pelosi into the next Michael Moore, or card-carrying member of the Communist party is really hilarious. I think they believe it will work because so few people know Pelosi they think she’s a blank slate onto which they can project their caricature of Democratic policies. I just don’t see it swaying the election their way, because she’s not really far enough left (she’s no Kucinich).

    And my prediction: Kerry’s remarks won’t mean anything at the polls. Local news (see below) and continued bad news from Iraq will dward this. Democrats will re-take the house by a narrow margin and come close in the Senate but still be short.

    Enough disaffected Republican voters will still vote Republican when the time comes to keep the “tidal wave” effect from leading to a large Democratic majority in the house and a re-taking of the Senate. And with that, there may be some party switching (both in the Senate and House) and confusion (who will Lieberman vote with?).

    Sure, some agitated Republicans will fill in their little ovals a little more angrily, but an equal number of agitated Democrats will just add this to their “irrational Bush Hatred”, say “I wish I had said that” and darken the little circles on their ballot a few more times. Lots of teeth gnashing in the next 7 days, that’s to be sure. At the local level, do you think Allen supporters are happy his staff just assaulted a critic of his? Or that there’s an investigation into sexual assault in Nevada on the Republican gubernatorial candidate? This will be seen by the general public (who doesn’t respond to CNN polls, or read CNN or Fox or whatever)) as a Kerry/Bush flap – circa 2004 Presidential election.

    I’m far more concerned, for example, about the black Democrats endorsing Steele (a bone-headed move if I ever saw one), although I still think Cardin will win. Plus, this ain’t erasing 12-point deficits for Santorum, McGavick, etc.

    On a bigger point, I see this as one more example of the media latching on to any story (missing white women, runaway brides, insta-polls) for want of anything more important to write about. Sure gets the “eye balls” for them. The pundits give the media “cover” by explaining that the issues the media covers are “important” and thought about by “serious folks”. When you read the Republicans, “Democratic Strategists” (read: the DLC) and concerned pundits saying, “America still loves this President”, or “America supports this War” and then see poll after poll indicating the opposite, you get the idea that the media has a different definition of “love” and “support”.

    Again, I’m not saying the public can’t be swayed by media coverage in the short-term. Just that when the reality overwhelms them, day-in and day-out, in a way that contradicts what they’re being told, most people wise up real fast.

    This is why the Republicans are losing. They wrote so many checks they couldn’t cash (Rovian wedge social politics, Iraq war paying for itself, the economy will be great for everyone after tax cuts, Medicare Plan D, etc.) that their ponzi scheme is crashing all around them, and I don’t see anything coming in to provide them support. The news about everything they’ve done (throw in stuff about convictions, the EPA debacle, corruption, Foley, Kolbe, etc.) is just going to keep being bad for months, if not years.

  410. 410
    KarenMcL says:

    Sorry Juan…but as the saying goes:

    “Of Course It Hurts…You were getting Screwed by an Elephant!”

    Welcome to Sanity Central! (*wink*)

    And for those of us who’ve always Seen the Light…there is sliver of Optimism on the horizon. We refuse to despair.

    However – on a serious note, Here’s a bit of a long post (too long to clog yer comments with) about an idea of where to begin to unravel the *Legal Fictions* to correct the underlying problems with our Government (and Media) which have crumbled under the thumb of Corporate Control.

  411. 411
    Robert Fredson says:

    John, perhaps you could join down a “Tear Down America” parade with Michael Moore, Charles Manson, and John Kerry. You could drive down the main streets of small towns, spitting in the faces of the good people who live there.

    That would be about as patriotic as you and your blog seem to get.

    You, and all your fellow Qaeda-sympathizers in America, make me sick. President Bush was exactly right to say that giving into the Democrats–your kind–will be a victory for the terrorists.

  412. 412
    Mary Rosh says:

    “I think the whole party has been hijacked by frauds and religionists and crooks and liars and corporate shills”

    No shit?

    For real?

    And it only took you from 1984 until now?!?

    Such perspicacity!!!!!

  413. 413

    […] Disgraceful: I just thought I would go on record stating that the last few weeks and months have really sucked for me. I spent my whole life in the GOP- starting in 1984 with county meetings, going to Teenage Republican camp (my friends called it Hitler Youth Camp, proving that Nazi/Republican quips are no new development), and spending the better part the fall of 1984 going door to door for John Raese in his race against Rockefeller (Raese, as you know, lost). Now, 22 years later, I find myself not only refusing to support Raese against Robert Byrd (the man who for years has embarassed me with his pork), but I have come to the conclusion that the Republicans are so corrupt, so dishonest, so beholden to special interests and fanatical lobbying groups that Byrd not only looks to be the better option, but the entire Democratic party looks better. […] […]

  414. 414

    I always liked your work John. Even when you were promoting the White House policies, your posts were always civil and well reasoned. I adore you now that you’ve seen the light.

    It takes a big man to admit he was tricked. My hat is off to you.

  415. 415
    ThymeZone says:

    Right about now, Democrats don’t want Sen. John Kerry’s snakebit support. The senator’s “botched joke” about bad students getting stuck in Iraq unleashed venomous GOP reaction. And Democrats in tight congressional races want the Massachusetts lawmaker off their stumps. “You just don’t need something that might bring out extra people for the other side,” a campaign official said.

    It’s the lead on CNN’s top online story at the moment.

    Dem candidates now try to run away from this crazy fucker as fast as they can.

    Wonderful.

  416. 416
    cd6 says:

    Robert Fredson

    John, perhaps you could join down a “Tear Down America” parade with Michael Moore, Charles Manson, and John Kerry. You could drive down the main streets of small towns, spitting in the faces of the good people who live there.

    That would be about as patriotic as you and your blog seem to get.

    You, and all your fellow Qaeda-sympathizers in America, make me sick. President Bush was exactly right to say that giving into the Democrats—your kind—will be a victory for the terrorists.

    grade a stuff man
    top notch

    stick around please

  417. 417
    Steve says:

    The Democrats have horrid foreign policy that is dominated by the hard left, and I frankly think they would be incapable of defending the country.

    That’s why the vote on Afghanistan was something like 8 zillion to 1 in favor. Democrats are so reflexively anti-war that gee, half of them even voted for the stupidest war we’ve ever fought. On one level, I’m astounded at the caricatures people are willing to buy into regarding the Democrats; on another level, I understand that SOMEONE is still voting for Republicans, and there’s really no way to explain it unless they believe stuff like this. Or, like the other guy above, that the Democrats’ #1 priority is to take away your guns.

  418. 418
    Dennis says:

    I do understand where you are coming from. I’m a frustrated Republican that is aghast about the state of the party. We no longer have principles. I think we need to lose next week in order to slap the party upside the head and maybe allow for its rebirth.

    This was a great post. Know that you aren’t alone.

    From a fellow Disciple

  419. 419

    I think the problem with this (and the reason there’s never going to be a meeting of the minds) is if you believe abortion is murder, why would you (and really, why should you) agree to some kind of “sensible compromise”?

    I’ve got to echo the other other steve’s comment here.

    If abortion were murder, they’d be demanding we charge women who have it performed with a capital crime. They don’t. Why not? Because they’d lose political support for their arguments.

    Sounds like moral relativism to me.

  420. 420
    Chesty says:

    John,

    I read your post, and I almost cried. I’m going through the same feelings. I know exactly how you feel, and it hurts to make these choices. Judging by his rather kind review, Kos understands, too.

    I’m sick and tired of defending this party and being ridiculed as a RINO or other crap from neocons. I want to believe “it’s my party, too”, but it’s not.

    Thank you for showing me I’m not alone.

  421. 421
    14All says:

    I applaud your honesty and courage. As a flaming and unapologetic liberal, I long for a time when I can engage with conservatives in rational discourse about the best way to handle the problems that face our country. The conversation might get heated, and we might lose our tempers, but at the end of the day we’d have a modicum of respect for each other.

    Unfortunately, the U.S. has been taken over by a bizarre alliance of crazed fanatics and corrupt power-brokers, and right now we just need to focus on getting our democracy back.
    I know it’s a sad time for you, but you’re definitely not alone. Plenty of former Republicans are over here with us Democrats, simply because we all share the most essential traits: sanity and a love of our country. I hope you all can introduce some of that sanity back into your party.

  422. 422

    This was a brave post.
    And, if it makes you feel any better, I look at the past and people like Lowell Weicker who are men of decency and principle and I know there WERE decent men and women in the Republican party.
    Perhaps there will be again.

  423. 423

    Robert Fredson wrote:

    You, and all your fellow Qaeda-sympathizers in America, make me sick. President Bush was exactly right to say that giving into the Democrats—your kind—will be a victory for the terrorists.

    This is the kind of rhetoric that has turned people off from the Republican party.

    If you complain about the ineptitude of President Bush, and his rubber stamp congress, suddenly you are America-hating, terrorist loving Al Qaeda sympathizers? This isn’t unique to Fredson, it’s also the rhetoric coming from President Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and a host of Republican leaders.

    How can you claim to love America, when you quite clearly hate Americans? Seriously, answer that one for me.

    At what point did some people stop understanding that we are all Americans who we share common values, dreams and ambitions. What we differ on is how to best implement those things. That’s it. No one side hates America and the other side loves America. We simply differ on how we can best make America a better country.

    I think this divisive rhetoric more than anything else is at fault for the Republicans failing poll numbers. Republicans spend more time attacking fellow Americans than attacking this nations foreign enemies.

  424. 424
    Patrick says:

    You noticed too, eh?

    The real problem is that Washington has been highjacked by low people — people with very few scruples and even less sensibility.

    The Democrats are no better, but differently proportioned.

    I’m pretty sure things would look just as bad if Democrats were controlling the House … just different in the details of ‘craptitude’.

    The US government needs a major shakeup and is screaming for reform. Maybe a full-on loss to the Democrats will help that happen — a wakeup call to everyone else in DC that reminds them who and what they work for. I dunno, but it can’t continue on this course.

    I’d still like to see McCain win in ’08. But….

    -Farmer in WV

  425. 425

    […] Wednesday, November 1st, 2006 in politics by Daniel Larison Why do they keep attacking decent people like Jim Webb- to keep this corrupt lot of fools in office? Why can’t they just admit they were sold a bill of goods and start over? Why do they want to remain in power, but without any principles? Are tax cuts that important? What is gained by keeping troops in harms way with no clear plan for victory? With no desire to change course? With our guys dying every day in what looks to be for no real good reason? Why? ~John Cole […]

  426. 426
    Alan says:

    I went through a period like this as a Democrat as well and, in the mid-90’s (for one year), I actually joined the Republican Party.

    I think its good that you question your party and your beliefs on occasion. I think its a good reminder for people on all sides that, in politics, things aren’t always as they seem.

  427. 427

    Bush just started taking the global Jihadist threat seriously, and the democrats attack him for even those steps.

    Naw, we attack you guys because your yellow bellied cowards afraid of your own shadow.

  428. 428
    DragonSchoar says:

    I’ve had conservative friends go through the same thing – hell, one switched right on over to a passionate Deaniac.

    What i told them was this – the Republican Party focused purely on winning. All political organizations want to win, but in this case it became a case of win-at-really-utterly-any-cost. Resources rallied, deals made, alliances formed, promises promised.

    The result however is a party that’s very good at rallying people and playing the media game – and completely 100% unable to govern whatsoerver. There’s nothing there but endless campaigning, payoffs to constituents, backgroom deals, and everything that got them elected. There is no governance.

    I can complain a lot about the Democrats and the Greens, but there’s still some principles there overall. And there doesn’t quite seem to be the contempt for the base that I see in modern Republicans.

  429. 429
    Chris M. says:

    I totally understand. I’m a liberal, and back in 2000 I just couldn’t understand my friends who were Nader supporters. It took them four years of Bush 2 to finally admit their folly.

  430. 430
    RoonieRoo says:

    It’s always hard to finally become disillusioned with a group you’ve believed in for so long. It happened to me with the Democrat party several years ago. The Democrats have gone through their periods of disgusting behavior and it is a horrible thing to witness.

    I have a large group of friends who are, what I consider, true Republicans. I miss the true Republican party. Where I might not have held their ideals, they were honest and good people and were the correct balance to a healthy Democrat party.

    Fight for your party. It will be hard but we need the true conservatives as much as we need the liberals for a healthy society and government.

  431. 431
    ThymeZone says:

    I’d still like to see McCain win in ‘08

    The sooner he is out of government entirely, the better.

    The man is a total political whore. I say this as an Arizona constituent and former admirer. I think you’d find me considering him president material a year or two ago. All I can say is, Boy.Was.I.Wrong.

  432. 432
    donna says:

    Welcome back to reality.

    Namaste.

  433. 433
    billofwrites says:

    johnny! babe!

    as i told doughy pantload on the day he published his “iraq was a mistake” column, i’m SO not grateful for this way-too-late “boo-hoo-hoo.” it’s like a mafia don’s last rites & confession after years of criminality. fuck you. you didn’t just “sit by and watch as…etc.” you actively and often enthusiastically contributed and enabled these thugs.

    frankly, if iraq, katrina, the deficit and all evidence of republican incompetence and venality were exactly the same as it is today, BUT! the preznitwit was somehow riding high in the polls, you’d still be eating the peanuts out of his shit.

    go over to walter reed and cry for the guys with the blasted and missing limbs. i’m sure they’ll be so grateful.

    yours in christ,
    bw

  434. 434
    tBone says:

    The man is a total political whore. I say this as an Arizona constituent and former admirer. I think you’d find me considering him president material a year or two ago. All I can say is, Boy.Was.I.Wrong.

    Yeah, the “Straight Talk Express” threw a rod a few months back. Seeing how willing McCain is to debase himself in his chase for the presidency is really depressing.

  435. 435
    Innocent Bystander says:

    What a thoughtful commentary, John Cole. I think this post is going to get a lot of play on both sides of the political fence. For the record, I’ve always been a Democrat. I came of political age during the Johnson/Nixon Years. I saw the seeds of modern day Republicanism get planted way back then. I’ve always thought there should be a vibrant 2 Party system that kept the radical tendencies of both extremes in check. My folks were Eisenhower Republicans and I understood their reasoning and respected their political philosophy. But, boy, have the times changed. Frankly, I’m sick of political labeling that does nothing to further our common interests. What’s “left”, “right”,”liberal”, and “conservative” mean in today’s political terrain? Not much.

    What is relevant is the unchecked power and systematic corruption that is pervasive in our federal government and the complete lack of checks and balances to make these people accountable. If we can’t trust our electoral process to drive change (HAVA), what is the recourse?

    I look at the RNC today and I wonder, do they really want to promote and run people who have strong independence, honesty, and integrity as defining characteristics? People who will demand investigation, buck the Party line, and do what’s right for the country….or do they search out compromised candidates who’ll rubberstamp the Republican corporate agenda and look the other way while sharing in the personal riches that this fealty brings? Personally, I think the Republican Party has reached the end of the line in their political evolution. The gene pool grows shallower by the day. As thoughtful people like yourself start to bail on this party, all that is left are hate-filled apologists, war profiteers, and quasi-religious, cult-like followers who cannot separate their political identification from the reality of what the Republican Syndicate is doing to the long-term reputation and commonwealth of our country. And that vicious cycle can only accelerate until either the Republican Party implodes or this country, as we’ve known it, is completely destroyed.

    Maybe you won’t ever be comfortable supporting a Democratic agenda, but I truly hope you and other like-minded individuals will take back your hijacked Party and help move the national political dialog back to debating policy minutiae, instead of exploiting politically divisive rhetoric. Good luck.

  436. 436
    Galloping Goose says:

    The Democratic Party needs people like you to shape it’s future.

    The Democratic Party is not the party it once was. In fact it has no real identity these days except as the Republican opposition.

    The identity of the emerging Democratic Party will be determined by the new blood that is coming into the party, not the aging politicians who “lead” it now. It will be shaped by the Jay Fawcetts and the Stephanie Herseths.

    The new party appears to me to be one that will stand for personal rights, fiscal responsibility, limits on big business and lobby influence, and hopefully rational policy making.

    The Republicans have inherited much of the old Democratic Party — they have all the budget-busting Dixiecrats and many of the old radicals, now recast as “neo-conservatives”.

  437. 437
    Zifnab says:

    The man is a total political whore. I say this as an Arizona constituent and former admirer. I think you’d find me considering him president material a year or two ago. All I can say is, Boy.Was.I.Wrong.

    No kidding. I think McCain was the straw that finally broke any lingering doubts I had about modern day Republicans. He and Specter have done more two-faced bullshitting than any politician I can remember. At least George Allen and Rick Santorum have the balls to stand up and say their batshit crazy. But assuming he didn’t just have us all completely fooled back in ’00, McCain is a dried up husk of the politician he was before. The very idea that someone can fall that far, that fast… disgusting.

  438. 438

    If it helps you at all, the same sort of transformation overcame Frank Sinatra in the 1960s.

    He had believed in the New Deal “greatest generation” thesis for much of his life. He even let his song “High Hopes” be used as a JFK theme in 1960s. But something happened…a lot of somethings. He evolved.
    http://www.danablankenhorn.com.....e_w_3.html

    (answer here — http://www.danablankenhorn.com.....ame_w.html)

    And if you’re looking for a new operating thesis to replace the Nixon Thesis of Conflict, may I humbly offer http://www.danablankenhorn.com.....al_is.html

    Stay well.

  439. 439
    David Moffat says:

    Partisanship is inherently dishonest.

    The deeper one sinks into partisanship, the more difficult, and less likely, the awakening to truth. You’re suffering, but that’s a part of the recovery. I suspect you won’t be fooled again. I think you’ll get over th pain.

  440. 440

    I was reading a book by Alan Cole and Chris Bunch (don’t expect great literature, but they write darn good adventure fantasy/scifi), and they pointed out one of the big troubles with the Republican Party today. (They weren’t talking about the Republican Party specifically, of course.)

    Once people have believed in a hero, they have a very hard time stopping it.

    It started with Rush Limbaugh; he showed you could sell hate and do well, so long as you were bold, and made it out to be half-joke, half-serious.

    Newt Gingrich picked up on that, and through GOPAC, said “Let’s portray ourselves as heros, fighting against the villians who are the Democrat(“ic” specifically removed) Party!”

    And that strategy got the commentators doing the same thing. There’s nothing more exciting than a big fight where you’re the good guys and they’re the bad guys.

    Ah, but when a strategy works once, it keeps getting used.

    And now you have some truly despicable liars who are willing to say hateful things about anyone, anywhere, to gain an advantage. And you have some people who are so used to seeing the Republicans as heros and the Democrats as villians that they don’t realize that they’re telling lies any more. Put them together, and you have the current state of the party, because there are too few people willing to take a stand and say “no, this is wrong.”

    The worst part is, there are now three troubles that have to be faced.

    First, there’s the turning from a hero… accepting that the Republican Party in general, and the Bush administration in particular, were not heros

    Second, there’s recognizing that the Democratic Party members weren’t villians – no, not even Al Gore or John Kerry.

    Third, and most importantly, there’s the realization that support of the Republican Party has led to some terrible things… in short, the realization that the supporters were also part of the problem.

    It’s going to be very hard to break through this. It’s going to take something bad, a train wreck of some kind… something where it’s clear that their old tactics were hurtful to the spirit of the Republican Party, so they have to be renounced. But I don’t know what. That’s been bugging me since 2002, at least.

    Good luck finding your answer… and please, remember, even if you decide you’re not a Republican any more, some day the Republicans will need the help of people like you to help them find their way again.

  441. 441
    jcricket says:

    The sooner [McCain] is out of government entirely, the better.

    McCain, in particular, may have some good “fiscal sanity” votes, but he’ll gladly go along with the president on suspending habeas corpus and legalizing torture and warrantless wiretapping. Also, lest we moderate Democrats forget, McCain is generally very socially conservative. Here’s McCain on the issues. In favor of a no flag burning amendment, wants to increase the use of the death penalty and make it harder to appeal, wants to prosecute abortion doctors, increase our drug war on its current route, votes yes for abstinence-only education, etc. Sure, there are a couple of Republican bogeyman issues he claims to be against (he’s against the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage), but given his recent votes authorizing “coercive interrogation techniques” after barely putting up a fight, and his wooing of the religious right at Bob Jones University, you know McCain would vote the Republican way on those issues when push comes to shove.

    I also can’t see Specter and Chafee leave soon enough. Were they actually a moderating influence on Republican legislation, I would think differently. But all that moderate Republicans do these days is: contribute to the “numbers” Republicans need to ensure they control committees and the legislative agenda; act as “talking points” for Republicans to claim they’re a “big tent” party; and provide “cover” so Republican can claim there is dissent or debate about stem-cell research or against torture or whatever (knowing that these moderates will roll over when necessary).

    After that, perhaps Snow and Collins can be replaced with actual Democrats, or switch parties (even to “I” would be fine).

  442. 442
    BadLiberal says:

    Dag! 437 comments in less than 24 hours. I guess you musthave touched a nerve or something….

    This post could have been written about my abandonment of the Democratic party. After growing up in a yellow-dog Democrat household in Texas (where I was taught to believe that FDR and LBJ were among the greatest presidents our country has had), I became a socialist, a communist, then a European-style Democratic socialist, then a liberal Democrat, then a conservative Democrat, and now I’m practically a Republican.

    John looks at the GOP and sees corporate shills and the wreckage of the Goldwater ideals. Ditto. At the same time, I look at the Democratic party and see a bunch of race-baiting shakedown artists who’d be more at home in a third-world country handing out tax-derived goodies to friends in powerful places.

    In short both parties seem so helplessly mired in paybacks and favors that I believe a third, fourth, and fifth party MUST come about.

    Remember, they all said that there wasn’t room on the airwaves for Fox….

  443. 443
    Redwretch says:

    Bravo John!

    Welcome to the sanity based world, make yourself comfortable.

    I’d like to hear a little more repenting, please. I mean, in late October 2006 we’re unable to undo most of the damage this cadre of pricks has wrought around the world…and people like you have enabled them up to this point.

    Better late than never, but it’s likely that in October 2004 you had misgivings which you chose to ignore.

    We’ll forgive you if you promise to never again sacrifice your principles at the altar of a party, OK?

    We like to refer to Bush 43 supporters as cult-like because they are. The first order of business when a member leaves a cult is to bad-mouth that individual in an effort to close ranks.

    That’s what cults do — be they religious congregations insulting former members who have chosen to leave, criminal gangs, sales teams (a personal experience), or an army unit (boot camp = you were nothing before joining the army, and if you leave you are less than nothing because you’re not tough enough to handle this [abuse]).

    It’s basic pshychology…pack mentality.

    And now you are free! Happy day! Go outside and tell everyone who’ll listen to vote Democrat for oversight!

    PEACE

  444. 444
    Jay C says:

    Late to the fray, but I must add this to the pile: Anyone who has ever read more than one blogpost from John Cole, and can even DREAM of opining that he might have been “brainwashed by his commentariat” is definitely short a few socks in the laundry-basket. I read a lot of blogs, and outside of Balloon Juice, I can recall few bloggers more willing to deal with comment flames by telling their critics to flatly “go fuck yourself” than JC.

    He’s tasted the latest GOP Kool-Aid, gagged on the foul taste, and spit it out. However rude it might be, it’s still better than being poisoned. Well done.

  445. 445
    Robert Jung says:

    Politics should, first and foremost, be discussion and negotiation and debate about what’s the best course of action for the entire nation. There may be heated words when differing viewpoints clash, but at the end of the day, everyone recognizes that “the other side” also wants what’s best for the nation, but merely disagree in the direction and priorities. Unfortunately, today’s Republican Party cares only about securing the 51% minimum needed to remain in power, and destroying anyone who disagrees with any means possible.

    (Will the Democrats do the same if and when they return to power? I’m inclining towards no, if only because I believe you can’t demonize folks for things they haven’t done yet.)

    Speaking as a self-proclaimed moderate-to-liberal type-a lefty, I have to say that today’s Republican Party needs more John Coles and fewer Rick Santorums.

    –R.J.

  446. 446
    Robert Fredson says:

    How can you claim to love America, when you quite clearly hate Americans? Seriously, answer that one for me.

    Please do not ask me to love those Americans (John Kerry, Michael Moore, Webb, Ford, John Cole, etc.) who stand for complete capitulation to Al Qaeda in Iraq and the abandonment of our nation’s security. I, admittedly, do not have a lot of love for the likes of you.

    I do love my country, though. And, in fact, even though we love our nation, conservatives tolerate the rights of liberals to live and breath here. This goes on despite the fact that you would have our wives and daughters wearing the hijab within a generation. I think that is rather neighborly of us, though frankly, I’m not sure your slanders and treasons will be allowed to continue if and when there is another attack.

  447. 447
    Jon says:

    I feel your pain, but let me offer an insight…or at least a thought that helps me with my tremendous disappointment with the GOP. Instead of a Republican, think of yourself as a conservative in the Goldwater tradition…small governement, fiscal responsibility, staying out of personal lives whether you agree morally or not, seperation of church and state. Precepts the Party used to adhere to before it became a snake nest of self-serving yahoos. Since I live in Ca. I don’t need to worry about whether my vote counts or not in net weeks election, but if it did I’d be torn between what I see as the only 2 viable choices…abstention or Democratic (libertarians sadly don’t count..but it’s most likely how I’ll vote)

  448. 448
    Theo Merkle says:

    I am glad you have seen the light about the truth of the Republican Party. I too want to see the return of a normalized Republican party, wedded to the interests of the elite, to be sure, but capable of compromise for the good of the country. As an old fashioned liberal, I am seriously concerned about the leadership of the Democratic party, who are almost as wedded to corporatism as the Republicans are. I agree with you that Webb should not have been attacked as he was, but Webb is no friend to women, for example. His support of the Navy in the Tail Hook scandel was truly appalling. I don’t want to see a Democratic party taken over by a lot of men on top types. Female voters in Virginia now have a choice between two men whose philosophy is not supportive of women’s rights. Already the Democratic party is positioning itself to abandon women’s issues, and what have we done for African Americans lately? In thinking about your change of heart and mind, don’t fail to see that the Republican party has within it some of the most reactionary elements in the country, people who are against racial and gender equality, and those who see politics and life through the prism of the elite. The party has folded into its structure white supremicists and fundamentalists. With the Republicans we have seen the politics of the irrational take hold. Most important, the Republicans have become the party of the authoritarians. Authoritariansm has always been present in our nation and both parties sadly have contributed to its growth, but I take seriously the results of the scholarship of Bob Altemeyer that shows that authoritarians are the enemies of freedom, and are against racial and gender equality, and are people who paradoxically are fearful and project their fear onto others, with calamitous results. They must have an enemy, from within and without. And do not forget that the denigration and destruction of liberalism is the historical prelude to fascism. That fascism would be a particularly American type, but fascism nonetheless. At their core, fascists fear and hate women. Today’s Republican party has shown its willingness to destroy anything that involves a collective approach to the solving of our problems, which of course has the taint of the feminine. Instead, it fosters the myth of rugged individualism, the myth of free trade, and the primacy of the male, white males at that. I believe that this need for destruction comes from fear of modernity and of the female. The sexual panic evident in the discussion of the Foley scandel was very telling. (I believe Foley is a sexual harrasser rather than a pedofile.) Paranoid thinking is no stranger to the Left, but it has reached its apotheosis in today’s Republican Party. It is critical for the survival of our country, indeed the world, that we come together to get out of Iraq, to put our financial house in order without unduly hurting the poor, to begin to solve our problems and bring the world together to solve our greatest immediate problem, global warming. Time is running out. The leadership of the Democratic party has been timid against the haters on the Right. (The historian John Lukacs has written that hate is always stronger on the Right than the Left, although elements of both are present in each.) We shall see whether we are we up to the challenges facing us.

  449. 449
    Perry Como says:

    Robert Fredson Says:

    I do love my country, though. And, in fact, even though we love our nation, conservatives tolerate the rights of liberals to live and breath here. This goes on despite the fact that you would have our wives and daughters wearing the hijab within a generation. I think that is rather neighborly of us, though frankly, I’m not sure your slanders and treasons will be allowed to continue if and when there is another attack.

    You need to do better than that if you are going to troll on this site. If you are going to mention Michael Moore you need to at least point out he’s fat. And there’s not even a reference to the billionaire George Soros. Overall a 3 out of 10.

  450. 450
    Robert Fredson says:

    You need to do better than that if you are going to troll on this site.

    You can call me names and I will still believe in what I believe. Nice try, though.

  451. 451
    chopper says:

    Please do not ask me to love those Americans (John Kerry, Michael Moore, Webb, Ford, John Cole, etc.) who stand for complete capitulation to Al Qaeda in Iraq and the abandonment of our nation’s security. I, admittedly, do not have a lot of love for the likes of you.

    I do love my country, though. And, in fact, even though we love our nation, conservatives tolerate the rights of liberals to live and breath here. This goes on despite the fact that you would have our wives and daughters wearing the hijab within a generation. I think that is rather neighborly of us, though frankly, I’m not sure your slanders and treasons will be allowed to continue if and when there is another attack.

    that’s not even good spoofing. that’s like a spoof who got hit on the head with a brick.

  452. 452
    chopper says:

    If you are going to mention Michael Moore you need to at least point out he’s fat. And there’s not even a reference to the billionaire George Soros.

    michael moore is fat because he ate george soros.

  453. 453

    Allegiances

    John Cole is, understandably, upset about the direction his party has taken over the last six years. And it makes me mad. I still think of myself as a Republican- but I think the whole party has been hijacked by…

  454. 454

    I think that you’re all missing the point of the contention by Bush and his surrogates that Democrats want the terrorists to win. He’s laying the foundation for his real power grab. Bush and Gonzalez and Yoo (oh my!) have already stated their theory that as Commander-in-Chief Bush has authority to do whatever Bush, in his sole discretion, thinks is necessary to win the war (whatever “win” and “war” mean).

    If Democrats win the majority of one or both houses next Tuesday, the Congress that convenes in January will be dominated by Democrats, who don’t wanna win, impeding the war effort. How do we know? Because Bush himself has said so, several times, and he’s the Decider. Accordingly, as C-in-C he’ll forbid Congress to convene.

    (Or, to pretend he doesn’t really want to be a dictator, he’ll permit Congress to convene on condition that all power be placed in the hands of Quislings like Lieberman.)

    Buy gold.

  455. 455

    This goes on despite the fact that you would have our wives and daughters wearing the hijab within a generation.

    I think we need to re-think this one. Low-rise pants anybody?

  456. 456
    Pb says:

    The Other Steve,

    At what point did some people stop understanding that we are all Americans who we share common values, dreams and ambitions.

    When some American citizens stopped demonstrating that they shared even those common values, but rather, started demonstrating and holding opposing values.

    What we differ on is how to best implement those things. That’s it. No one side hates America and the other side loves America. We simply differ on how we can best make America a better country.

    So, someone explain to me how dismantling The Constitution, the separation between church and state, The Bill of Rights, presumption of innocence and Habeas Corpus, and practicing torture and maintaining secret prisons are all somehow consistent with American values and would best make America a better country? Traditional American values = Totalitarian Christian Theocracy? They have to destroy the country to save it? Are they calling us traitors and calling for our deaths in good faith? No, I’m not buying that bullshit for a second. You can’t hate most Americans and want them to die, and then claim to somehow love America — We The People, motherfucker, do you speak it.

  457. 457
    Perry Como says:

    Low-rise pants anybody?

    I had a pair, but they are drafty.

  458. 458
    Redwretch says:

    Robert Fredson must be smoking crack.

    I mean really, exactly when has any of the listed individuals, including the owner of this blog, who authored this post, said or written anything approaching “complete capitulation to Al Qaeda in Iraq”?

    NEVER. EVER.

    Just another deluded fantasy from a nut job. Must be fun projecting your inadequacies into the thoughts of better men so you can act strong while sending enlisted men and women into a senseless pit of violence. How forthright of you.

    And leaving Iraq for the Iraqis isn’t capitulating to Al Qaeda in Iraq, it’s ending an unjust occupation.

    Unjust in March 2003, and still unjust to this day.

    The United States Government has no right to invade other countries without cause (manufactured causes = without cause). The United States Government has no right to occupy other countries without cause (Steal oil = without cause, Permanent military bases = without cause). How do you make the leap that staying is just, when the evidence is so compelling that Iraq has been fubared since March 2003? Oh that’s right, you blame the media, or liberals, just about anyone but the Republicans who make the decisions. And Iraqis and US servicepeople keep dying, day in, day out.

    Give it up. Your worldview is flawed, and as the CIA well knows the Iraq occupation is THE recruiting tool for Al-Qaeda, both in Iraq and around the world. When you decide to remove your blinders you’ll see that the US military is better spent in Afghanistan, and as a surgical force where needed most.

    And in case you haven’t noticed, your federal government has been lying to you consistently on most subjects, most recently “we’ve never been ‘Stay the Course'”. Very sorry about that one, as it’s clear he’s just phoning it in at this point.

    Robert, don’t you want us to win the global war on terror?

    Because Bush 43’s decisions are hampering that effort, not helping it. When the guy leading the fight is getting it wrong, and no amount of sense can be talked into him, the options that remain are few.

    I’m all for impeachment, because the status quo is so hopelessly counterproductive, and bloody expensive.

    You should spend less time questioning the patriotism of fellow Americans and more time questioning the intentions of your ruling party.

    PEACE

  459. 459
    Inactivist says:

    Of various moral panics and campaign ’06

    Alternately amused and bemused, am I, at the Kerry flap, but what I am not is worried about it. And no, I’m not linking to this Greenwald post because one of my comments was picked up in an update, but rather because it expresses my own view (some lin…

  460. 460
    chris says:

    Yes, John, tax cuts are that important. The bankruptcy bill was that important. Control of oil is that important. That’s what your party has become.

  461. 461
    RS says:

    My apologies for interrupting the partisan rants to post on the original topic:

    John,

    I am 100% with you. I go way back in the GOP – voted Reagan, Bush Sr. (twice), and Dole – even Bush Jr the first time. so why do I fell so dirty everytime I tell someone I am a Republican? Why do I hasten to explain that I mean ‘old-school’ Republican – strong on defense, BALANCED BUDGET, small government Republican? What happened to my party? I know there is no way in hell I could ever vote for todays’ “Republican” party, and it saddens me…

  462. 462
    t. jasper parnell says:

    This is from MediaMatters. Should you actually want to overcome the Kerry Kerflufle as someone up thread called it push this line and not the Kerry idiot of the century. This line of argumentatoin if followed might just shut the noise machine up, why oh why echo its wrong-headed lying?
    Although kerry is a dolt.

    MATTHEWS: [I]f you listen to the transition of words there, it clearly looks like he was talking about President Bush being in a state of denial, not realizing when he took us into Iraq what he was going to face because he didn’t study hard in school. President Bush says today, no, he wasn’t saying that. Isolating the few words in the middle of that statement, he said, he was trashing the military for being uneducated and the kinds of people who flunk out of school and end up in the military and then get stuck in Iraq.

    Matthews then asked Armey which was the “correct interpretation,” and Armey concluded: “Look, I think John Kerry’s right. He’s making a defense of himself. He’s saying, ‘Look, I was not maligning the troops. I was maligning the president of the United States.’ ”

  463. 463
    Pb says:

    t. jasper parnell,

    I rather liked Olbermann’s take on it–“Kerry called them stupid, and they were too stupid to know he called them stupid.” But even that is probably more discussion than the original comments ever warranted.

  464. 464
    MT says:

    The GOP reminds me so much of Frank Herbert’s 4th book in the Dune Series, “God Emporer Dune.” Hugely fat, slovenly, slothful, but totally in control (for awhile anyway.)

    True conservatives are a minority in their own party. What a shame.

  465. 465
    Quatrain Gleam says:

    Welcome to the world of grays, John. Where everyone with a strong opinion is perfectly happy for you to have your equally strong and different opinion. Where real diversity is not only inescapable but also embraced. Where everything takes longer to decide, is more complex in outcome, and isn’t disseminated in 5 hard-hitting bullet points by the lead of each news cycle.

    It can be frustrating. The contest never seems balanced. Authoritarian organizations land blows faster, harder than undisciplined big tents. Being inclusive and considered sure can look a lot like dithering.

    Bullies aren’t as popular and the testosterone level is less poisonous, which means that you’re going to be called weak female genitalia a lot. But most smart chicks are “liberals” so you’ll enjoy better conversations.

  466. 466
    tBone says:

    that’s not even good spoofing. that’s like a spoof who got hit on the head with a brick.

    Let’s give the new guy a chance. I kind of liked the line about “you would have our wives and daughters wearing the hijab within a generation.” And the implied threat that “conservatives” would exterminate liberals should we suffer another terrorist attack? That’s some good, batshit-crazy stuff there. I think this is a spoof with a future. 6/10.

  467. 467
    Perry Como says:

    And the implied threat that “conservatives” would exterminate liberals should we suffer another terrorist attack?

    Will liberals have to wear blue hats? That’s niiiiice.

  468. 468
    mike says:

    The beginning of the end for Bush in the polls was the Schiavo mess. I think a few have already pointed to the likely death, or at least retrenchment, of ‘right wing’ blogging. Its still possible we end up with a split congress, but if both go I think the Bush/RNC kool-aide sites will suffer tremendously.

    I wrote this just after the 2004 election as a warning about signs of overreach by the party. Like you, the past 18 months I am usually mocked for any ‘off the reservation’ comments I may make on right side blogs. Its a shame really as what began as places to have some degree of thoughtful debate have ended up being no better than nutty leftwing sights where if you don’t sing with the choir on every note you are banned.

  469. 469

    […] At Balloon Juice, long-time Republican John Cole writes: In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias. […]

  470. 470
    Pooh says:

    Well, John, if nothing else, this post has brought us a fresh infusion of wingers with whom to play. Darrell, be ware, Bob Fredson is going to give you a run for your money.

  471. 471

    […] At Balloon Juice, long-time Republican John Cole writes: In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias. […]

  472. 472
    Lex says:

    John, as a Republican since 1978 I know the feeling.

    Welcome back to reality. As for your erstwhile ideological colleagues who are now demonizing you, well, you could always start moderating your comments.

  473. 473

    I do love my country, though. And, in fact, even though we love our nation, conservatives tolerate the rights of liberals to live and breath here. This goes on despite the fact that you would have our wives and daughters wearing the hijab within a generation. I think that is rather neighborly of us, though frankly, I’m not sure your slanders and treasons will be allowed to continue if and when there is another attack.

    Again, how can you claim to love America when you quite obviously hate Americans?

    And the first amendment. And Democracy.

    Here we are, having a wide open debate about the future of our country. About whether or not the Bush strategic blunder in Iraq has made us less safe. And your response?

    Totally ignore reality, and call people who disagree with you names. They ahte America, they want to hand us over to the Taliban, they are guilty of treason.

    This is the rhetoric which has caused the Republican party to lose support in America. You cannot win in a democracy when you hate the voters.

  474. 474
    Lex says:

    Also — the road from where you were to where you are is a long one, but this might help others see how you and a lot of people like you have gotten to this point:

    http://blogontherun.wordpress......-progress/

  475. 475

    Let’s give the new guy a chance. I kind of liked the line about “you would have our wives and daughters wearing the hijab within a generation.” And the implied threat that “conservatives” would exterminate liberals should we suffer another terrorist attack? That’s some good, batshit-crazy stuff there. I think this is a spoof with a future. 6/10.

    Yeah, but you gotta feed the spoof a bit, otherwise they get bored. :-)

  476. 476

    The GOP reminds me so much of Frank Herbert’s 4th book in the Dune Series, “God Emporer Dune.” Hugely fat, slovenly, slothful, but totally in control (for awhile anyway.)

    That’s a good way to put it.

    We wait for Muad’Dib to cleanse us of there stench.

  477. 477

    ThymeZone wrote:

    “Dem candidates now try to run away from this crazy fucker as fast as they can.”

    This guy shows up to hijack the thread and take it off topic. He tosses in foulmouthed, irrelevant invective. He pulls this crap not with one or two comments, but a steady stream of them. And, he does this repeatedly.

    Looks to me like the village idiot got himself a job. I doubt he’s really a blogger or blog reader in the usual sense. I strongly suspect ThymeZone is a paid right-wing operative, if not of the Republican Party then of some sugar-daddy backer or crackpot group —— a la Houston homebuilder Bob Perry and that pack of pet jackals, the Swiftboat Vets.

    John, it’s your blog and I wouldn’t presume to tell you how to run it. But if BJ was mine, ThymeZone would be permanently banned. Not for disagreeing about politics or the points in your post, but for being repeatedly off topic and deliberately foul and disruptive.

  478. 478
    Robert Fredson says:

    The Other Steve wrote:

    This is the rhetoric which has caused the Republican party to lose support in America. You cannot win in a democracy when you hate the voters.

    Cannot win? Hate the voters? The voters that put together a Republican congress, Presidency, and Supreme Court Majority over the course of a decade? You liberals might get the House back this fall… might. I believe that the word my son would use is, “scoreboard.”

    America is actually filled with people that love our way of life and are dedicated to protecting our families and our freedom. You would know this yourself if you ever left your college dormitory or limousine liberal enclave in the suburbs.

    As for all the trolling or spoofing comments, I don’t really understand them. I happen to agree with the President and the majority of my party (you know, the one that John Cole and Andrew Sullivan abandoned once they realized that it’s a tough world out there) about the true nature of the threat that American Liberalism represents to our way of life. I sincerely believe that when John Kerry gets quoted in Al Jazeera, this is “Aid and Comfort to the Enemy”–a treasonous offense. When Islamic websites can link to American blogs bashing our President, again, the collusion with radical Islamism is there. If you don’t agree with me (and the Constitution), fine, but I don’t understand the name-calling.

    I am not calling for wiping out liberals, I am calling for liberals to think before they act, and for the Aid and Comfort to stop.

  479. 479
    Steve says:

    I strongly suspect ThymeZone is a paid right-wing operative

    That’s my theory too. But he’s very clever with the cover story, trying to pretend, for example, that he doesn’t think Eleanor Roosevelt was a man. They’re cagey, these Rovian plants.

  480. 480
    Dutch says:

    John, I am with you all the way. I was a republican when I registered to vote initially and felt the party strayed from the limited government and balanced budgets of the past. Many principled conservatives have been voicing your same concerns. Defeat may be just what the GOP needs.

  481. 481
    Pooh says:

    When Islamic websites can link to American blogs bashing our President

    Why does HTML hate America?

  482. 482
    Krista says:

    sincerely believe that when John Kerry gets quoted in Al Jazeera, this is “Aid and Comfort to the Enemy”—a treasonous offense.

    Um, doesn’t President Bush also get quoted upon occasion?

  483. 483
    seydlitz89 says:

    Just my two cents, John, not here to preach. . . I was where you are now 20 years ago. Had voted GOP, from a traditional GOP family, and bam, along came Iran-Contra with commissioned officers lying under oath, destroying evidence of their criminal acts, betraying their oath to the Constitution, and I suddenly realized through all the Olliemania that this bunch and I had absolutely nothing in common. I was one of those USMC officers who thought that Ollie should have been shot, and there were many of us, back then, probably more now.

    The Republican party as an historical entity no longer exists, and hasn’t for some time. Vote Demo, since that is the only choice, but don’t kid yourself that you will be one of them, that is a “liberal”, since you will not. Until what I call the Reaganist Party (and I voted for RR twice) is unmasked and overthrown, there will be no hope for a real Conservative alternative in this country. This radical monstrousity is the betrayal and gravedigger of conservativism in America. . .

    What you’ve done takes courage John, and I commend you for it. Most still with Bush lack that moral courage, or to them it is simply a question of interests and/or retaining their prejudices/delusions intact.

  484. 484
    Pooh says:

    ThymeZone would be permanently banned. Not for disagreeing about politics or the points in your post, but for being repeatedly off topic and deliberately foul and disruptive.

    Nah, we’ve all learned that once a month or so he gets the bit between his teeth about something or other and then, well, off he goes. During times like these he sees disagreement with his point as not understanding the point, so he takes a carpetbombing approach.

  485. 485

    […] Or not. But as the stink of cheap evil from Riehl World View thickens into a palpable fog, we feel privileged to pass on the following endorsement by John Cole: I know many [conservative activists] as people- and not just GOP parrots- having spent time working on collaborative projects with them, serving on the editorial board at Red State, appearing on radio shows with them- you name it. I have, at one point in time, defended many of them from what I perceived to be unfair attacks. So I know that by and large they are not bad people (Dan Riehl is an unmitigated asshole, however). […]

  486. 486
    demimondian says:

    Well, John, if nothing else, this post has brought us a fresh infusion of wingers with whom to play.

    Anaphora, counsel. That should read “wingers with *which* to play”.

  487. 487
    Steele says:

    =(

    As a liberal/centerist-nonvoter, i feel bad for you. Conservatives/republicans used to stand for some pretty good ideas: Low taxes, states rights, keeping the goverment’s nose out of private citizen’s business, etc. We used to have debate and civil discourse in this country, but now it’s all flame wars and cheap tricks and insults on all sides.

    But, just because members of your party are doing dumb things doesn’t mean you should vote for the “one other side”. Find someone running an independant ticket whos ideas match yours. Yeah, it’ll be throwing your vote away, BUT, if all “woke up and smelled the coffee” dems and republicans voted for candidates based on their values and views, instead of the R or D next to their names, maybe, just maybe, someone worth their salt would get elected. I realize this sounds niave, but really, at this juncture, we’re being forced to choose between dumb and dumber, and I’d like to think that anything would be btter that that.

    There’s more people like you than you think.

  488. 488

    […] Conservative blogger John Cole bravely stands up against the “do-anything-to-win” trend and makes an empassioned plea for Republicans to return to genuine conservative values, rather than what he sees as a subversion of the GOP by “frauds and religionists and crooks and liars and corporate shills.” […]

  489. 489
    Tom McCann says:

    American politics:

    Coke or Pepsi?

    Whatever!

  490. 490
    George Arndt says:

    The “leave us alone” crowd of the mid-ninities has become the “boss us around crowd.”

  491. 491
    jcricket says:

    On a serious note, why is this always touted as a “good idea”

    good ideas: Low taxes,

    By itself, I don’t think low taxes are a good idea. I don’t even think low taxes + spending cuts are a good idea. To me, the pragmatic, centrist, apolitical take is that the appropriate level of taxes is that which can pay for the services that people want the government to provide, and not more. If that means higher than the current level, so be it, if lower, so be it.

    When the public comes along and starts saying “fewer services”, then I’ll think low taxes are a “good idea”. Right now (and historically) they’ve basically been a “have my cake and eat it to” kind of idea.

    Plus, Steele, while I agree there was nominal Republican allegiance to the “keeping the government’s nose out of private citizen’s business”, I’ve been voting long enough to know this has never applied across the board. Sexual decisions between consenting adults, birth control decisions, end-of-life decisions, gay-marriage and adoption rules, etc. have all be “fair game” as far as Republicans were concerned as far back as I can remember.

    I will agree that there appear to be fewer Republican candidates in office that hew to the Goldwater-ian line of “you just have to shoot straight”. I’m just saying there never have been as many of those people as moderate Republicans like to think. Most of those moderate Republicans have been in states where their moderation was owed to an inability to get a fire-breather elected, more so than a genuine Republican party commitment to libertarian (small L) ideals.

  492. 492
    serena1313 says:

    Anyone willing to question their allegiance to a party whose actions are a serious concern is to be commended. Your disappointment and dissatisfaction are understandable and grounded in “reality.” Notwithstanding it does not make it easier to come to grips with that “reality.” Every one loses when party loyalty takes precedence over what is best for the country.

    Facing the truth is not always easy, especially feeling like a party-of-one, but in doing so your courage to stand on principle deserves to be commended. Note your colleagues putting you at the centre of discussion rather than examining or challenging the merits of your case lends credence what you are saying in the first place whether they realize it or not.

    To effectuate change for the better one first begins with evaluating and acknowledging weaknesses and poor choices. The next step begins with exploring options that will strengthen and empower the situation or person — in this case the republican party.

    You may feel alone at first, but in time those with the temerity and courage to step up and recognize the challenges the party faces will join the effort to move the party forward on a path akin to its familiar standards and values.

    Everyone needs to keep a watchful eye on government otherwise as history proves government will abuse power. When that happens it calls for ousting whichever party is in power. This is about Americans, not republicans, not democrats, but Americans, we the people. When corruption becomes pervasive, when the balance of power becomes unbalanced, when politics take priority over people’s lives it means we weren’t paying attention to what is important. This is a wake-up call for all citizens to take note.

    Both parties have been seduced by power. That power is corrupting the foundation of our Constitution and our system of government. If neither party is willing to change, then it is up to the people to come together to find alternatives.

    When we strive to better ourselves, we succeed.

  493. 493
    nikolai says:

    John, thanks for the heartfelt, candid “confession”. It sucks when you put your heart and soul into something that turns to crap. What has happened to the republican party is the old saying, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”. This couldn’t be truer than what you have today in the republican party. The neocons had been lusting and salivating for position and power for 8 long years and they simply went nuts once they got their people and hooks into place. (Kind of like Hellraiser). Really friggin scary is what it is; they are so obvious about it too, starting a major war by invading a little piss-ant country, then when folks protest the neocons cry, “You’re supporting the terrorists!” This now shows that not only are the republicans greedy, but they’re manipulative, traitorious and murderous as well. Their latest ploy, “A vote for the Democrats is a vote for the terrorists!!” illustrates my point perfectly. It’s pretty da*n obvious these neocons have gone stark raving mad with power and desperately need to be muzzled and chained like rabid pitbulls; they will have to be FORCED to heel…

  494. 494
    Mary says:

    Hey John, you’ve been MeFied. You poor sod.

  495. 495
    puget sounds says:

    Long live the paleocons!

    And being older and wiser, they can put their pajamas on two legs at a time.

  496. 496
    torrentprime says:

    Hey–Just saw the post here, and wow. I don’t know if you’ll get through all of these, but here’s my take.
    I’m with you. Right now, this last month: what you describe is where I am. I’ve been a Republican since college, not dyed-in-the-wool but deeply libertarian and very much a fan of the GOP against the “self-righteous, arrogant, victimizing” Democrats, as I saw them, and I spent years on the side of and even a bit of money time campaigning for the GOP. Over the past two years I have completely reversed, on nearly everything, when it comes to political party support.
    Am I still mostly conservative? Yes. Am I actually a libertarian who will be really, really frustrated with a Democratic majority? Yes. But nonetheless I have spent hundreds of dollars this election cycle and volunteered with GOTV efforts in order to retire the current poisonous majority. I just cannot take the attacks on gays, science, and the middle class anymore, and I can’t stomach the terrorist-baiting either. For presumably-rational people to accuse people who want, say, warrants for wiretapping of “hating America” and being “terrorist enablers”(!) just blows my mind.
    I tried for awhile to do the whole “work from within,” and despite massive misgivings, I voted for Bush the 2nd time in 2004, but even though I think I knew the end was coming. I still post mostly on conservative blogs, and I try to offer some sane opposition, or even just quiet, gentle questions to shake up the unthinking acceptance of GOP talking points: the response is harsh, snarling, immediate rejection and attacks on my character, history, and love for America. I even, after a year or more of polite opposition, got myself banned from Redstate.com for not applauding sufficiently when Hastert guest-posted. Even some conservative gay sites, usually immune from the more virulent FreeRepublic-style anger, have gotten bitter and acidic against any who question even a bit of the current Administration, its people, or its policies.
    Anyway, that’s enough. Cheers for you, and may we all find a better way someday.

  497. 497
    pakaal says:

    I hope and pray that more folks like yourself will continue the process of separating from the edges and trying to make your way back to a place where civil discourse can begin again. I think both parties have a lot to do in order to get to where we can actually debate political issues rather than who wrote the most salacious book or who had the most plastic surgery.

  498. 498
    tBone says:

    I am not calling for wiping out liberals, I am calling for liberals to think before they act, and for the Aid and Comfort to stop.

    More great material! “I’m not calling for liberals to be wiped out, I’m just accusing them of siding with the terrorists whom we are sworn to eliminate.”

    America is actually filled with people that love our way of life and are dedicated to protecting our families and our freedom. You would know this yourself if you ever left your college dormitory or limousine liberal enclave in the suburbs.

    More good work. Personally I can’t stand all of those liberal limousines clogging up the streets in my suburb, so I’m with you on this one.

    As for all the trolling or spoofing comments, I don’t really understand them.

    Well played, Spoofmaster General. Well played. When in doubt, deny, deny, deny.

  499. 499

    When Islamic websites can link to American blogs bashing our President, again, the collusion with radical Islamism is there. If you don’t agree with me (and the Constitution), fine, but I don’t understand the name-calling.

    Don’t understand it? You’re soaking in it!

  500. 500
    Mary says:

    If you’re too damn young to undertsand Righteous Bubba, go here.

  501. 501

    Dammit, now I’m so old I need footnotes.

  502. 502
    Pb says:

    I mean really, exactly when has any of the listed individuals, including the owner of this blog, who authored this post, said or written anything approaching “complete capitulation to Al Qaeda in Iraq”?

    Never, of course, but it *is* the party platform of Democratic Candidate Dumbfuck McDoesntExist

  503. 503
    Pb says:

    I mean really, exactly when has any of the listed individuals, including the owner of this blog, who authored this post, said or written anything approaching “complete capitulation to Al Qaeda in Iraq”?

    Never, of course, but it *is* the party platform of Democratic Candidate Dumbfuck McDoesntExist

  504. 504

    jcricket wrote

    “When the public comes along and starts saying ‘fewer services,’ then I’ll think low taxes are a ‘good idea.'”

    Bingo!

  505. 505
    Jill says:

    Well, WE like you, John. You know, once upon a time there were liberals and conservatives, and each side was confident that the other side also wanted what was best for America — they just differed on what that looked like and how to get there. And they’d work together and hammer out compromises that perhaps no one was ecstatic with, but that everyone could live with.

    Then Ronald Reagan came along and started this polarization that we see today. Reagan started it, Lee Atwater honed it to a sharp point, and Karl Rove and George W. Bush and PNAC are the keepers of the flame.

    There is nothing I would like better than for the thoughtful Republicans of yesteryear and the thoughtful Democrats and progressives, all of whom understand that intelligent people of good will can disagree, and work together to hammer out some of these problems. I’m a pretty doctrinaire progressive at this point, but I haven’t lost sight of the benefits of compromise. The problem is that with this bunch, compromise means “Do it my way or I’m taking my dollies and dishes and going home.” “OK, I’ll do whatever you want, just please invite me to your party.” See also: Joe Lieberman.

    I would hope that what we’re about to see would be a sea change in the way we do things in Washington, from the kind of rigid, doctrinaire, “party before country” polarization we’ve seen from the Republicans to a return to a recognition that we don’t disagree because we “love the terrorists”, we disagree because we love the Constitution — and then maybe we can talk about how to keep the country safe while keeping it free, about how to help the poor without sacrificing incentive, and about how to save the planet without too much economic upheaval.

    Damn. Right now that sounds pretty close to utopia.

  506. 506
    Pat Mechling says:

    Where were you people 50 years ago? I worked for 2+ years at Republican headquarters, Los Angeles County and saw the fascist takeover of the Republican Party leadership then. I was dismayed. These 40 – 50 men (no women) grabbed the reins and never let go. And they were wealthy and/or funded by fortunes, in California; Chicago; Texas. They fronted Richard Nixon – when he went sour, they fronted Ronald Reagan, a charming man who gave them a false face. Until Reagan, the Republicans were lousy at the election games. Their arrogance and contempt for the people and social goals, developing fast in the fascist background of the chief kingmakers then, had been so obvious, at least to me as a then Republican.

    Point being that their underhanded perfidy is not new – it was planned. The religionists and perverts of democracy ideals were there then – 50 YEARS AGO. And believe me they were evil,as opposed to those who believe in private rights and the constitution. I watched the decent, nice, conservative people leave the Rep. party in California then. I left. There are so many reasons; name what they do now that confounds your republican conservative sensibilites and the fascist Republican leadership was doing those very things then. I wish you all had known that when you continued to believe in this party’s operating philosophy.

    Why have you waited so long after seeing your party hijacked by truly destructive forces? I will never understand that. I’m not upholding the democratic candidates – it isn’t like you had a desirable alternative I realize. Why haven’t you spoken out for the moderate, conservative tradition, thatcan for example compromise if faced with the need to progress the future of this country? Example: Tax reform, 1986 et al. Where have you been politically? What were you thinking?

  507. 507
    jcricket says:

    Bingo!

    Go me!

    And 504 comments. Is that a record for our humble Blog Host? John should switch parties more often if he wants to make money at this ad-supported blogging game.

  508. 508

    […] John Cole, of Balloon Juice, after some shocks along the way, has finally woken up to what has become of the GOP. I went through the same process on a personal level years ago, long before I moved out here, and it is disconcerting. You see the world a certain way, and then you discover that the very basis for the view is wrong. So you become very confused as you try to sort through what you know and thought you knew and what is real and what was part of the deception and gradually—very gradually—reality starts to emerge, as if seeing things through a thick fog that’s starting to lift. It’s a hard experience, because you have to reorganize and rearrange and reconsider so much of your world view. Meanwhile, those still caught in the spell are angry at you—very angry, because you’re bringing their own doubts and denied perceptions to the surface, threatening their own certainty. […]

  509. 509
    mike holmes says:

    I have asked myself the very same questions. Why can’t intelligent people I admire see the truth about whats happened to the republican party. The answer can probably be found in the book “True Believers”, written by a San Franscico longshoreman philosopher named Eric Hoffer. You may want to read it. Best I can remember he had concluded that some people in an attempt to make sense out of the world and find value in their own existence come to believe in an ism of some sort without really examining the rationale basis for their beliefs. In fact he submitted those people could as easily be, for example, a zealot cristian as a zealot muslim given the right circumstances. But whatever they believed they would be zealots. And indeed could quite readily turn from being a zealot of one belief to being a zealot of a totally opposite belief, but with zero examination, not after careful reflection. So the folks in the republican party who cannot see how it has lost its bearings are those who must vilify the democrats in order to fight something evil and give life meaning even though they have made no thorough, rigorous analysis of whether democrats are indeed evil. For them to now question whether it might be republicans who are the problem would mean they must question their own moral superiority, not just politics. Thus it has nothing whatsover to do with the facts, merely a belief system on which ones moral self esteem hangs. Zealots are simply people who find this approach to life so much easier than thinking, as millions of nazis and communists in the last 70 years probably found. And apparently like drugs, it really makes you feel good for awhile. But they also found it had a hell of a price tag eventually. Our President seems to be the classic case of a true believer; strong on conviction, short on analysis, and morally superior.

  510. 510
    Pb says:

    And 504 comments. Is that a record for our humble Blog Host?

    I don’t think so (check out the Israel / Lebanon stories, one of them had 655 comments), but it’s up there, and was done in relatively short order as well.

  511. 511
    BlogReeder says:

    Then Ronald Reagan came along and started this polarization that we see today.

    I can’t believe you would say that. Ronald Reagan was a reaction to Jimmy Carter. Jimmy Carter was a reaction to Richard Nixon (Ford was just a placeholder).

    Jimmy Carter was/is/always will be a block head. The polarization started then.

  512. 512
    BlogReeder says:

    John Cole: I spent my whole life in the GOP- starting in 1984

    I was surprised by this. I always got the impression you were a liberal that went right-ward (like a 9/11 convert). This site always seemed to have more liberal commenter than conservative. Of course I didn’t really start reading you until 2004ish.

    John I think you’ve been hanging around Tim too much. The dark side will do that to you. (If someone else said that too, I concur. I didn’t read all 500+ comments.)

  513. 513
    Innocent Bystander says:

    “Jimmy Carter was/is/always will be a block head. The polarization started then.”

    Yeah, the right was soooo supportive when the mission to rescue the hostages failed…it was Carter’s fault! And let’s not remember that Reagan (well, Bush actually) was making deals with the Iranians to hold the hostages so they could get elected. And let’s also not remember that the 1st thing Bush/Reagan did was derail the solar energy program and energy conservation efforts of Carter. Way too much money to be made supplying “cheap” oil to America. Except, now, that “Morning in America” has morphed in evening and the bill has come due.

    You are right though, that’s when the polarization really started.

  514. 514
    lightning_fast_draw says:

    Mr. Cole,
    As a libertarian I’m use to being disappointed with both political parties. However, these past few years I’ve been horrified by the republicans. I have voted mainly republican for over 30 years without regret until the year 2000.
    Our country is being managed behind closed doors by a handful of radicals. As to what they want to accomplish, I can hardly imagine. I do know that it is not in the best interests of most americans and that they are shaking the very foundations of our constitution. I also know that these people are republican in name only.
    They have tried to give terms “center right” and “compassionate conservative” a whole new meaning but the problem is their actions never compliment their words. As a consequence they have proven themselves to be pathological liars. Their actions show them to be far left and far right.
    On the one hand they enact a bill like medicare plan D and try a last minute save with Teri Schavio, and on the other they start an unprovoked war in Iraq and suspend habeas corpus and give $11 billion in tax breaks to the oil companies. They are either communists or facists I’m not sure yet, but they are definitely not republicans.
    They are the worst kind of politicians. Secretive, defensive and working solely in their own self-interests.
    They’ll come back someday, maybe. But it will take men of integrity like yourself to revive them after the voters have beaten them to a pulp.

  515. 515
    wtf says:

    With Republicans its always about ‘me’ and thats where the problem starts. My money, my safety, my religion, my guns, my, my, my! And when its always about ‘me’ then you have to always complain or demonize others to get more of what you want…the brown people, the lazy welfare recipients, the bankrupt, the voters without ID Cards, those who think they deserve medical insurance or the right to sue the shit out of a corporation that didn’t give a damn about their safety in order to make a buck.

    The Democrats, while you can sometimes complain about their leaders, and sometimes bitch about their ability to execute, AT LEAST THEY GIVE A SHIT about other people besides themselves! Its built into their fundamental reason for being in politics. Sure, power can corrupt…just look at Leiberman. But overall, its a different mindset that leads to a dramatically different set of politicians and policies.

    Corruption is built into the ethos and defining principles of the Republican party. Until you acknowledge that, your flipflop only points out the fact that you can see the obvious. Only its Nov. 2006 and GWB has been voted in twice…thanks for nothing!

  516. 516
    Rancid Badger says:

    I know exactly how you feel but from the other side. I grew up with a family that had direct contact with the Roosevelts. My parents were ardent politicians in VA, “yellow dog’ democrats. As a kid I was hauled around to all the political events. When we were bad we had to wear a Poff for Congress pin; he was a republican, it was humiliating to have to wear the pin. JFK came along and it was like the second coming. Johnson was less welcomed, and then came McCarthy and the “clean with Gene” The party destabilized by going to the fringes.
    George McGovern sized the party by controlling the delegate selection by a system based on quotas. My parents active in the party for 35 years were squeezed out of being convention delegates. In fact they were shunned as being not progressive enough by the newbie’s. My dad voted for Nixon in 1972. So things changed. Regan was probably the apogee for the Republican Party and now Bush Jr. is the new Darth Vader. My dad went local with his politics and became an independent of sorts achieving a lot of what he thought best for the community. His rejection of the party allowed him a broader view and empowered him to change his world.

  517. 517

    Two guys I respect… Hell I even admire them…

    First John Cole, who has always had my respect, and always called bullshit when he saw it. What makes this even more frustrating is that not only do I feel like I have been duped, but I established a lot…

  518. 518
    Ben says:

    Thank you for saying this. A few years ago, a coworker went around asking his Republican-voting colleagues who they would choose in a presidential race: Dole, McCain, Lugar, or W. Bush. None picked Bush. Because they know what any fool can see–the man is not qualified. Just watch him speak.

    I kind of miss the conservatives of the 80s–it seems like they were at least respectable opponents.

  519. 519
    Media Lies says:

    I read the strangest blogpost today….

    ….over at Balloon Juice (which I quit reading quite some time ago.) John writes about his disillusionment with the Republican party over the past six years and reveals his conversion…

  520. 520
    JoelJ says:

    Mr. Cole – You are honestly the sort of Republican I would be proud to have across the aisle from me. The sort of person I could respect, and have a damn honest debate with.

    I am a proud liberal – but I am also very much more a proud American; and my biggest fault finding with the Republican party of late has been poisoning the well of national discussion.

    It’s a fine thing to have a heated debate over an important issue – truely we should; But I believe our national government – especially the Congress – was intended to be run on the ideal of consensus and compromise, at least as much as possible. Its not only a way to keep everyone happy, and to keep outrageous laws from… well, becomming laws. But its also very much the spirit of democracy itself. Unfortunately at present, the minority party has been, essentially, excluded from government.

    I think that is truely the most heinous thing the current far right have done. Yes they’ve commited physical crimes that are terrible in themselves; but these things would not have gone unpunished by the electorate if they had not decided that turning national politics into a question of party first, national good second, was somehow preferable.

    In looking at history, the only thing I can hope for is a return to the ideals we have laid out in the constitution. That no matter who is in power, conservative, liberal, moderate, regardless of party, rules with the nation’s best interest; and a willingness to listen to the other party.

    Honestly – the thing I most want to come of this current situation is a preponderance of successful third parties. I know that’s not likely – but I would be thrilled to have 4 or 5 parties that really stood a chance – it’d prevent any one group from having too much power except in the most extreme circumstances.

    Of course I’ll also add – and this is the fault of politicians across all parties – Gerrymandering is freaking ridiculous. In all seriousness; I think that’s part of our problem as a country as well. Gerrymandering (old as it may be – it has been in more recent decades refined to an artform) is a symptom of the problems I talk about: That is politicians being so concerned with staying in office, regardless of party, that they’ll do anything to stay in office and completely and utterly ignore that they are supposed to be working the will of the people.

    Sorry for the enormous ramble; at any rate – I just wanted to say Mr. Cole that I find you admirable. I hope that within the next twenty years we’ll see national politics return to what they were designed for – rule by the people, for the people. Not rule by the special interests, for the dollar sign.

  521. 521
    jillbryant says:

    When I was in 9th grade I changed schools mid-year. I was in class and answered a question incorrectly because I misunderstood it. Someone answered it correctly and the teacher asked me if the answer made sense now. I started to explain I misunderstood the question when the guy in front of me turned around and said “don’t explain – just say you were wrong.” I started to try to explain why I was explaining and he said, “Just say you were wrong.” Once again, I tried to defend why I answered what I did and he said “You were wrong, wrong, wrong. Just say it.” I remember how hard it was to start saying it but once I did, I realized it was okay….

    I found out this confronting was something that was done to everyone in class who was defensive or made excuses. And yet, no matter how often it happened, there would be someone that had a hard time saying they were wrong. There must be something in human nature that often makes it very difficult to say.

    I’m actually not saying you were “wrong” here. I don’t think this is as simple as the answer to 2 + 2. What I am saying is what you just did is really hard to do. I’m not sure what arena is more difficult – 9th grade or the blogosphere but either way – commendable.

    And, after being in that class, I saw that I really admired those who would just say, “You know – I was wrong.” There was a certain grace and confidence that came with that attitude. And – there still is.

  522. 522
    lurker says:

    Welcome to reality. It won’t be more pleasant than where you’ve been, but it will be honest and real. The democrats are far from perfect, but in general they are trying to do the right thing these days (as are a few – very few remaining republicans). Who knows, maybe we can get a strong independent candidate in the white house and clean up some of this mess.

  523. 523
    Innocent Bystander says:

    Lightening_Fast_Draw said:

    “Our country is being managed behind closed doors by a handful of radicals. As to what they want to accomplish, I can hardly imagine.”

    I’ve got a theory about that. One thing that was marketed to us heavily in 2000 was their promise to run government like a business. Real efficient. See, the Decider was a CEO and an MBA. They knew business real well (remember about Arbusto Energy, Spectrum 7, and Harken Energy?).

    So they aquired the USA in a hostile takeover. They’ve been stripping assets, outsourcing services, and making a killing on their pump and dump. Their hostile acquisition of Iraqi National Petroleum didn’t go as expected – no due diligence done on that merger. Boy, are the stockholders going to be pissed when new management opens the books and delivers the bad news…..

  524. 524
    mclaren says:

    You guys sowed the wind. Now you’re reaping the whirlwind.

    You have the guy to say you don’t know when things went bad? How about 1967, when the senile criminal and all-around sociopath Ronald Reagan announced in a public speech, “If it takes a blood bath, let’s get it over with.”

    How about in 1970, when I listened in horror as right-wing fanatic after right-wing fanatic called in to praise the Kent State National Guarsmen who shot down students, murdering them in cold blood for the high crime of exercising their right to freedom of speech under the first amendment.

    How about when the senile criminal Ronald Reagan hired an astrologer to time the announcement of his public appointments? How about when the sociopath Reagan announced to a group of far-right religious fanatics “I can’t acknolwedge your support, but you can acknowledge mine”?

    How about when the sociopathic brain-damage case Reagan lectured the primse minister of Japan about the coming Rapture during a state visit?

    You’re shocked? You’re horrified? What bathyscaphe have you been living in for the past 26 years, delusion-boy? What planet do you live on? You live in a state of denial so massive it must have its own zip code. For the past 26 years, kooks and cranks and crackpots on the far far right (not the rational right wingers, not people like Goldwater or the John Birch Society, but the REAL crazies out there with Vlad the Impaler and the Unarius saucer cultists) took gibbered lunatic drivel about the coming Rapture (Ronald Reagan and his crackpot appointees, including James Watt — who explained we didn’t need to conserve natural resources because Jesus was returning in the Second Coming during our lifetimes) and subverted the constitution in crazy schemes cooked up by fringe lunatics like Ollie North in the white house sub-basement.

    You think Iraq is crazy? What the hell do you call plans to send a cake to the mullahs in Iran in the shape of a key and a Bible? (North and his band of lunatics again.) You think tax cuts during a war are insane? What do you call repealing the usuary laws and making it legal to charge 4000% interest? (Another economic wonder we need to thank the senile sociopath Reagan for.)

    The Repubs in Washington are doing nothing, absolutely nothing, but carrying through everything crazies like Ronald Reagan his corrupt den of sociopathic thieves laid out plans for. Destruction of separation of church and state? Reagan started it. You applauded it. Now you’re standing in a warm puddle because you can finally see what it actualy means — witch-burning, scientists purged like Soviet Lysenko victims, global warming and the collapse of the American economy as creationism and astrology (those old Reagan favorites) get taught in our schools, while the rest of the world passes us by and learns serious science and math.

    But after all, what do we need science for when we can just pray to god? What do we need math for when all need to do is count to the ten commandments? We can just make up deluded stories seen in old movies, the way the senile criminal Reagan did, and pass ’em off as reality. Remember, it’s morning in America! You and your crackpot buddies clapped your hands raw at the kook Reagan as he destroyed America, busting unions and filling the streets with homeless people and wrecking our balance of trade and trashing our current accounts deficit and ruining America’s infrastructure with fat-cat overseas tax havens and welfare the rich (misnamed “tax cuts” — only for millionaires for flew helicopters to work, the average working guy never saw a dime of that so-called “tax cut”)…and now you and your asshole buddies have the unmitigated gall to whimper, “I”m shocked! Shocked!” in that same tone of voice used by Claude Rains. “I’m shocked,” you declare, “Shocked!” to learn that corruption and gambling has been going on in your sacred Republican party — just before the maitre ‘d sidles up to you and whispers, “Here are your winnings, sir.”

    You and your corrupt asshole buddies have made fat livings off attacking patriotism and savaging free speech and verbally sodomizing any American citizen who dared to stand up and use critical skeptical thinking by asking “Where’s the evidence?”

    And now that it’s all going wrong, the way every witch hunt has gone wrong since the beginning of time, the way every mass McCarthism movement goes into the sewer…now, now, you’re shocked.

    I hope the mob of anti-intellectual sociopaths you’ve nurtured and fed with your lies and your heinously dishoonest verbal calisthenics strings you up by your heels, the way the mob did to Mussolini, and beats you to a pulp. You deserve it. You’re a piece of human garbage. You and your kind have turned America into a torture chamber run by superstitious lunatics. I hope you die slow, screaming, at the hands of your Christian fundamentalist Rapture-addled scientist-lynchers. You deserve it.

  525. 525

    […] On of my favorite bloggers, John Cole, has been in considerable angst over this transformation, as you can see from this recent post: In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias. […]

  526. 526
    John says:

    This is not just a failure of one party. This is a failure of American Democracy. I hope we can do something about it or else our kids will pay a high price.

    http://www.democraseed.org

  527. 527

    […] UPDATE: John Cole, author of the thoughtful Balloon Juice, has also had it with the Republican party: In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias. […]

  528. 528
    OddjobXL says:

    Some of the liberal voices here point out that the scarey trends you identify in the Republican Party aren’t at all new, at least to people who’ve been around a while, they are newly dominant and in a way that would have even shocked Reagan most likely.

    While some of the shrillness and bitterness on the part of people who’ve been banging their heads against the public’s inability to see the fish below the ice is understandible it’s also not the way to greet someone who sincerely and painfully has reevaluated his political orientation in light of evidence that is new, at least to him, if not to history.

    It’s not as if Democrats, as a group, are without their historical failings as well. It wasn’t a Republican that got us into Vietnam. It was, however, that brand of anti-communist liberalism that morphed, eventually, into neoconservativism. Since Reagan you’ve really had most of the crazies, with any influence at least, all lined up on the same side of the scale. The neoconservative ideology is the glue that holds together multinational commercial interests, the military industrial complex and the religious right.

    But it really wasn’t until Bush II that the neoconservatives became the dominant political ideology. Under Reagan, the neocons were damagingly influential – they overstated the Soviet threat deliberately for political reasons (and we’re living with the fallout now in Central and South America – look at how the U.S. is universally seen south of the border – not to mention what arose from the ashes in Afghanistan). But they always met some resisance even from within their own party from the realist faction (Kissenger, at the time at least, et al).

    They were mocked and suppressed under Bush’s father for leaking a report calling for America to dominate the world much in the same way the the contemporary Bush Doctrine calls for.

    Still, the crazy juice that keeps them aloft was forged under Reagan. The far right religious conservatives and big business. One’s the muscle, the other’s the paybag.

    Both have one thing in common besides the neoconservatives and the Republican Party – a real need to take science and rational discussion out of public discourse. And that’s really my line in the sand. Once you take out the only impartial measure of consensual reality then what’s left for determining effective policy? How do you predict outcomes or even form rational hypotheses?

    John, read this. It’s a book review that really nails my big issue with the Republicans, or the Republican party as it is now.

    http://dir.salon.com/story/boo......html?pn=1

    Yeah, it’s Salon. You might not subscribe so be prepared to click through some advertisements but you’ll find it’s worth it.

    Welcome to the reality based community – but we’ve got our crazy uncles too. At least we keep them in the attic where they belong (usually!).

  529. 529
    Jomar Reyes says:

    I wish your (Americans’) well of reasoned debate hadn’t been poisoned by Republicans – but they have. They give Conservatism a horrid name.

    I wish I could go there, knock some sense into millions of your fellow Americans’ heads and vote for principled candidates on Tuesday, but I can’t. I’m just an almost-17 Filipino teen with a long-running interest in your politics (and history). Maybe (?) I should thank God there are still Senators like Snowe and Collins who’re RINOs. Btw, why don’t they take their State’s motto seriously and lead conservatives like John Cole out of the Party that spits on him and what he stands for? People like him don’t deserve to boil in what used to be their oil.

  530. 530
    Tim F. says:

    John I think you’ve been hanging around Tim too much. The dark side will do that to you.

    More evidence that if I saw the world like blogreeder I would quit my job and take up drinking. Honestly, I don’t see how that doesn’t hurt.

  531. 531
    Sulla says:

    I have a new hero and his name is John Cole. Who cares if I don’t agree with you on most issues; I am impressed with your honesty and willingness to admit what the rest of us have known for quite a while now.

    Keep up the good work!

  532. 532
    Panya says:

    How about the same way that you should respond when idiots call decent men like Bob Corker a racist because his ads have drums in them?

    Whoa, whoa, I live there, and that’s not what’s going on. (Sorry for the slight derail, but WOW, misinformation.) Bob Corker is being called racist because the RNC or some subset of them (I have not seen the commercial in question yet, but it’s not by his committee) ran (is running?) a political spot that featured a number of references to his opponent’s appearance at a Playboy Super Bowl party last year. His opponent, Herald Ford, happens to be black. He also happens to be a member of a family well-known in town and in-state for being highly politicised, with at least six members in various offices and races.

    Bob Corker himself, not any of his commercials I have seen, nor anything I’ve heard, has not at any point attacked Ford for his skin color — just … well, everything else. (Religion, beliefs, past, present, education … )

    Please know what you’re talking about before you say things like that, y’all.

  533. 533
    Luke A says:

    This is the first I’ve read your blog. However, you wrote my thoughts as of late. As a registered republican I find better discourse with Democrats lately, and I still feel weird saying that but sometimes you gotta call a duck a duck. Most intra-party discussion I have, I’m stunned and appalled at the complete lack of critical thought in the party right now. I’m also aghast at the topics of conversation, which have nothing to do with: small government, individual freedom/privacy, metered spending, financial savvy, stalwart guardianship of constitutional tenants. Over the past 4 years I’ve watched and diluted myself that we were reacting to a tenuous and urgent situation and sacrifices were required. I realize now that was a party line completely empty of promise and so full of corruption and bull shit that the leaders speaking it now appear like products of Jim Henson studios, less like human beings. I’m repulsed and I have voted a 75% democratic ticket this year only because my personal moral set could not support the crap spewed by most of the Republican ticket. God rest the Republican revolution, hopefully there is a tide of us willing to regenerate the GOP as the Grand OLD Party. The new one is not only a complete embarrassment to this country, it is deteriorating our very foundations.

  534. 534

    […] This post by John Cole of Balloon Juice about why he is so dissatisfied with the Rebulican party is getting a lot of attention.  Bloggers on the left are using it as a triumphant demonstration that the Republican Party is a crock, while bloggers on the right are using it to show that John Cole isn’t a ‘real’ conservative etc. etc. […]

  535. 535
    Jill says:

    Don’t go dissing Jim Henson, Luke.

    Other than that, right on, brother.

  536. 536
    Eric says:

    Hey, like others this is the first time I’ve read your blog. I know you’re going through some serious disillusionment here, but I just wanted to say that I really, really respect you for having the courage to admit that you are questioning things, rather than continuing to repeat the “talking points”.

    It takes courage to truly look at yourself and ask hard questions, and whether they agree with you or not everyone should be damn respectful of your willingness to do this.

    I’ll take a bunch of confused, questioning Republicans AND Democrats any day of the week over ranting, self-sure ideologues.

  537. 537
    Amber says:

    I was referred here by a link on a liberal site, and am glad I checked it out. This is so encouraging to hear that people are having a reasonable discourse, irrespective of party. I wish this could have happened before Bush was nominated for a second term.

  538. 538
    ASurvivorInUtah says:

    It took a lot of courage to write about this John, and I wanted to thank you for helping me understand your viewpoint. I’ve always respected the rights of others to their own views but have been at such a loss to understand the kind of activity that you’ve described so well in your posts. I was married to an alcoholic who has a personality almost identical to George W. Bush and I’ve never been able to look at either man without seeing that shit eating grin. But I don’t remember being so angry about the things that were being wrought on our country, or by our country EVER before the Rovian GOP took office. I don’t remember feeling so angry when other people didn’t seem to see the cronyism, the rewarding of incompetence or the tragic consequences brought about by our government and I will say it again TORTURE IS NOT AN AMERICAN VALUE. I don’t remember feeling as angry when my candidate didn’t win but this hatred and vitriol being spewed at anyone who doesn’t agree with the current administration is truly horrifying. I hope for your sake that we can all vote no to corruption and change the course of our country and become more the way we want it to be than the way that rich corporations and greedy politicians want.

  539. 539

    Because, John, most of us realize a few things.

    First, the information provided en masse to the American public has been less than balanced — partly a function of the White House’s ineptness in message management, and second because of media intransigence.

    For example, despite the wealth of information now out there and accessible, media discussion of the atrocities committed by the previous Ba’athist regime in Iraq has been as rare as hens’ teeth.

    Why? Because it brings the war into perspective. Even Abu Ghirab, as awful as it was, looks like a Christmas card next to the things you see on that link. However, what it also makes abundantly clear is exactly what types of behaviors the Democrats consider it “unnecessary and unjustified” to stop — and reminds us of just how much CNN and others covered up in exchange for access to Saddam’s Iraq.

    In short, the media is disinclined to report things that make their party look bad, that make Bush look better, and that make obvious their own relative untruthfulness concerning pre-war Iraq. And the Bush administration has bumbled the communication on their end.

    Second, you’re confusing thoughtful conservativism with knee-jerk reactionism.

    For better or for worse, the country is stuck with Medicare Part A — which is the mandatory hospitalization coverage that all of us pay for and all of us can (eventually) utilize.

    With that in mind, one of the things we would want to do is to find ways to limit our costs of hospitalization. Believe it or not, one of the best ways to do that is through prescription drug coverage.

    Why? Simple — because drugs help to limit or lower the likelihood that one will have to be hospitalized. We may not like having to pay $1,000 per year for Grandma’s blood pressure medication, but it’s better than a $100,000 hospital bill for a stroke. Assuming she lives 25 years after she becomes eligible, which would you prefer to pay — $25,000 total over 25 years, or $100k up front?

    I think it’s far more conservative to look at the situation and determine what is the most cost-effective answer — and sometimes that means spending more money up front. It’s initially far cheaper to do your business accounting on paper than to install a computer system, but when you add up the amount of time you spend doing accounting versus the time you could be spending on your customers or business, is it really a savings?

    I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse.

    When said man openly admits that he is politicizing his disease in order to help another candidate win, how does that make you feel?

    When Jim Webb allies himself with a party who pays operatives like Mike Rogers to make wild accusations about Republicans having sex in public restrooms, how does that make you feel?

    I will be happy to defend “decent men” like Jim Webb when they decide to say “Enough” and stop trying to make mountains out of macacas, or paying liberal bloggers to be disruptive at campaign events.

    But until then, I’ve given up on outrage over campaign tactics. I’m back to the fact that the fundamental tenets of the Democratic Party — hostility to religion, contempt for the military, pandering to terrorism, increasing government regulation of business, hiking taxes on working people to pay for the lives of those who won’t — are antithetical to everything in which I believe.

  540. 540
    Neil in Chicago says:

    With all due respect, what took you so long?
    The first day in office, for one example, this crowd rehabilitted the entire Iran-Contra gang, and then appointed one of them, well-known as an international narco-terrorist, Ambassador to the United Nations.
    If you didn’t know at the time that the excuses for invading Iraq were bogus, you need to seriously rethink you selection of news sources.
    etc.

    “The Constitution may have its problems, but it beats the hell out of what we have now.”

  541. 541
    Virgil E. Vickers says:

    From the nuts-and-bolts side:

    Instead of letting whichever party is in power in state legislatures use computer code to produce superb gerrymandering to guarantee their majority with as few really contested districts as possible, we should have nonpartisan commissions use computer code to produce reasonable districts.

    Don’t know how to get there from here: if my people had a majority, I’d be reluctant to engage in unilateral electoral disarmament.

  542. 542
    Innocent Bystander says:

    Virgil @ 3:22

    I’d be happy with making sure all votes are counted and we have voter verified paper ballots. That would be a fair start. Nuetralizing party advantage in redistricting should be left to independent committees that have no political ax to grind….if there is anyone left who fits that description.

  543. 543
    Black Elk says:

    I have been a Democrat all my voting life and and now it
    makes me sick to say what I am. More like I want to puke
    every time I say the word Democrat!!I look at both sides
    and its damned if you do and damned if you don’t…You
    can cap on Dubya and company but look at what the left has
    to offer,Dean,Pelosi,Reid,Kennedy,Durbin,Murtha S O B what
    a bunch of white trash…It’t true both partys prove White
    eye’s speak with forked tongue!!!Black Elk speaks!!

  544. 544
    LanceThruster says:

    I think some sort of improved voting option (IRV or proportional representation) would preclude the trap that both Dems and Repubs often find themselves in which is trying to pick the lesser of two evils (provided that said voting is not rigged – not easily guaranteed). I think it is no coincidence that both sides want power to remain no more than a two-way split. As such, both can often be viewed accurately as two sides of the same coin. I applaud your epiphany, however belated as the mark of a healthy society is a sensible equilibrium and the ability of either side to advocate rationally for its positions as well as the integrity to revise one’s views when appropriate.

  545. 545
    Innocent Bystander says:

    Black Elk-

    Did you get in on that hot casino action with your Republican buds? Forked tongue, in-deed.

  546. 546
    Aaron Baker says:

    For whatever it’s worth, Mr. Cole, I’ll chime in with you, tho’ I think I’ve gone further to the left than you have. I was quite conservative, and had been for many years; if anything, the September 11 attacks pushed me further to the right. As much as I regret it now, I initially supported the war in Iraq. But the peculiar combination of ineptitude and criminality that is the present day Republican party, and, most of all, the ineptitude and criminality of George Bush, forced me leftward and have kept forcing me in that direction–to the point where voting for a Republican (even a moderate Republican) would, I think, be inconceivable to me now. Reading your comment gave me a twinge of sympathy. Now that you’re being attacked by many too stupid to figure out just how they were suckered, please remember that many others are sympathetic–as am I.

  547. 547

    News roundup.

    Dick Pombo is shameless. This has been pointed out countless times. So I guess it shouldn’t surprise anyone when it turnse out Pombo cashed a check from Tom DeLay’s brother yesterday. Randy DeLay is a Houston-based lobbyist and BushCo “pioneer”….

  548. 548
    BlogReeder says:

    More evidence that if I saw the world like blogreeder I would quit my job and take up drinking.

    Tim F. I’d like to quote some SNL at you but you’re too touchy. You’re so wound up now. Lighten up. You liberals are like that whenever we get near elections lately.
    I can’t understand you. Have you even read anything you’ve written? I know it makes good posts for blogs. But everything you write is against this administration. (except the beer posts) I know of course, you don’t like this administration and you think your crooks can do better. Maybe you don’t think that they’ll do better but I wouldn’t know because you don’t write about that either. All you do is attack this administration. And you call me biased? That’s what so amusing. You are so hell bent on seeing this administration fail you start to see things that aren’t there. Everything is a failure to you. Maybe you don’t write about successes because it wouldn’t make a good blog post. You would lose that persona you’ve created. Have you ever written “This administration did the right thing”? What will you do in 2009?

  549. 549

    […] Great Sympathy for a Rational Conservative     political   life   thoughts John Cole from the conservativeblog Balloon Juice has reached a point where he can’t believe in the current GOP or many of those supporting them. In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias. […]

  550. 550
    Janet Edens says:

    I posted on my own disillusionment awhile back and was horrified at the vitriolin some of the responses. I am encouraged by the comments here. While some are pointless ad hominem attacks, much of it is thoughtful and reasoned. Here’s to a brave new world where we are countrymen first and partisans second.

  551. 551
  552. 552
    Forty-Two says:

    among the dust bunnies

    Just in time for the election, a collection of links which have been collecting dust on my hard drive: Bill Maher video: New Rule: America must stop bragging it’s the greatest country on the earth and start acting like it….

  553. 553
    Rob Stafford says:

    John–

    May have been here once or twice, don’t really know you or your views. Eric Alterman pointed me at you this morning.

    Look–you’re pissed, you’re unhappy, you’re worried you’re going to lose some friends… I’m sorry about that, but we in reality based America honor & appreciate your honesty none-the-less.

    I’ve lost friends the last few years, lost (i think) at least one job opportunity, been yelled at and made fun of dozens of times from people on the red side of the fence for saying what seemed true to me.

    America, as a society, seems broken to me, and you’ve done an excellent job above of articulating what seems broken about it.

    Thirty odd percent of the population is still hoping if they believe hard enough George Bush is a good president, he’ll suddenly become one. It’s hard to admit you’ve been wrong. To admit you’ve been tricked. To believe someone who tells you they are a Christian and then turns around and kills hundreds of thousands of people…for what exactly, I still haven’t figured out. If I tell myself that it’s all about Halliburton & Big Oil, then I can at least imagine the plan is working out as expected. As you may imagine, that doesn’t satisfy.

    Not here to beat up on GOPers though–just to say “Welcome Back, we need you”–we need you, as a conservative, as a Republican, as an honest, relatively non-partisan, politically aware person–there are so few.

    Don’t give up–as long as they don’t declare martial law, there’s still time. Fight for the country you believe in, fight for the America you want to be part of, and keep calling bullshit bullshit–heck, maybe we can save America, wouldn’t that be something?

    Best,

  554. 554
    Violin Player says:

    “This Is No Fun… I just thought I would go on record stating that the last few weeks and months have really sucked for me.”

    Aw, poor baby. Are we supposed to feel sorry for you? I don’t, and I never will. I feel sorry for the thousands families who had to bury their loved ones who died in the Iraq meat grinder. I feel sorry for the tens of thousands who will never walk, grasp, or see again. I feel sorry for the innocent people who will be detained indefinitely and tortured without cause. I feel sorry for the tens of millions of Iraqis and hundreds of millions of Americans who must suffer through another two years of Bush administration incompetance and corruption.

    And I hate you for your role in supporting all of the above. This is YOUR President, YOUR Republican majority, YOUR war. You fought for them all and you must be held accountable for them all.

    You owe appologies to John Kerry, the Democratic Party, anti-war activists — including Michael Moore, the American people, and Western civilization in general for all that you’ve said and done, and if you lack the character to make such an appology, then having no “fun” is the least of what you deserve.

  555. 555
    Jano says:

    There is absolutely nothing that this administration has done that is worthy of support by regular Americans. They’ve cut taxes for the rich to the detriment of our national well-being (look at the deficit for godssakes, and the state of our infrastructure! We can’t run this country for free). They’ve gutted environmental protections; they’re killing our public schools; they’re cynically pandering to the right on “values” issues they themselves don’t give a whit about; they’ve replaced serious political discourse with rovian dirty tricks. I’ll tell you what today’s GOP is about: Money! All Americans should be very afraid because the corporations who want to control this country are amoral. They want as much money as possible no matter what the cost, a philosophy that has been sanctioned by the courts for 100 years. The GOP is bought and paid for, and if the Dems get power you can bet the corporations will open their purses in that direction. It’s up to all of us to stop it, and in that respect we should all be on the same side.

  556. 556

    […] Okay, you don’t want to listen to me or Tom Friedman? Here’s John Cole, a conservative blogger: I just thought I would go on record stating that the last few weeks and months have really sucked for me. I spent my whole life in the GOP- starting in 1984 with county meetings, going to Teenage Republican camp (my friends called it Hitler Youth Camp, proving that Nazi/Republican quips are no new development), and spending the better part the fall of 1984 going door to door for John Raese in his race against Rockefeller (Raese, as you know, lost). Now, 22 years later, I find myself not only refusing to support Raese against Robert Byrd (the man who for years has embarassed me with his pork), but I have come to the conclusion that the Republicans are so corrupt, so dishonest, so beholden to special interests and fanatical lobbying groups that Byrd not only looks to be the better option, but the entire Democratic party looks better. […]

  557. 557
    Tax Analyst says:

    John, I’m a little late in seeing this post of yours. First off, “Right On!” I have only started posting lately, but I have been looking in now and then for about the last, oh, 16-18 months and had a chance to see your growing disgust and disappointment. Yeah, the Terry Schiavo thing really took all the masks off, didn’t it? I never have believed George Bush anyway, but I had HOPED his 2000 statements about “bi-partisanism” would be more than just BS. However, it was pretty easy to see right away that it was nothing BUT BS. I’ve never really identified with the Republican Party, but I might have by now IF they hadn’t moved so far off into totally irresponsible absurdity and abuse of authority. It would be funny were it not real and so very tragic. I can understand that it took a while for you to finally get take a clear and sober look at the picture – I’m sure right now you wish it had been sooner…but as my Mom used to say, “better late than never”, and even though she ended up Stone Freaking Crazy she was right about that. Keep speaking up for what you truly believe is right…who knows, maybe you’ll start a trend.

  558. 558

    […] It started with Cole’s admitting he’d had it with supporting the Republican Party. The Shiavo debacle cracked him. In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias. […]

  559. 559
    Davol says:

    So the scales have fallen from another Republican’s eyes. Welcome to the growing club. I personally have been a professed Anti-Republican as a party affiliation since Ronald Reagan. To tell the truth, the reason for that has to do with the fact that I would have voted for Reagan both times he ran even though I thought he was guilty of treason by the end of his senile Presidency, and I just felt lied to. Ever since then I’ve seen Republican lies for what they are along with the follys of policies like Privitization to name just one, and I resent being fooled by them. Of course when I talk to Republicans, they are just like me, except they shine that critical light on Democrats instead of Republicans. I can’t help but see better intentions in Democrats who are probably just as greedy, and disconnected from my income class. I think the delusion being lifted from many believers of the (R) faith has to do with the way we’ve been miss-using the words Conservative and Liberal to the point of them having absolutely no real meaning other than fascist and bleeding heart respectively. Many Republicans are true believers in these words, which have real meaning for them, and it offends them to see these words twisted into their own opposites. In truth a Conservative political philosophy is sensible when not used as absolute dogma. You could say the economic boost we had in the 90’s during Clinton’s “Liberal” years had to do with a gridlock in Congress that even shut the government down for 6 months. The outcome as the economy just got better on its own without government interfearance was a Conservative result of doing nothing and letting things work on their own. Even the so called “Liberals” not wanting the Constitution desecrated by things like a Police State Patriot Act, and a Military Commissions Torture bill are chanting a very “Conservative” opinion against very radical and not-at-all-Conservative changes. The true Conservatives in the Republican party are probably leaving these days in droves because their party has become more radical then even “the left”, which I want to point out is really just a reference to the physical side of something. By nature it’s impossible for a left side to exist independent of a right side, and visa versa. Just misused words, or in other words, lies.

  560. 560
    TrueBlueMajority says:

    Thanks for posting this. I am reading it the day after the election, thinking about well-meaning and intelligent Republicans I know who are coming to the same conclusion.

    money quote #1:

    I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse.

    money quote #2:

    the whole party has been hijacked by frauds and religionists and crooks and liars and corporate shills, and it frustrates me to no end to see my former friends enabling them, and I wonder ‘Why can’t they see what I see?”

    It may surprise you to hear that I would hope that you stay a Republican and reform your party from within and restore it to what it was when it had a variety of responsible voices (like yours) in charge.

  561. 561

    […] There are principled conservatives who recognize what has happened and lament what the Republican party has become – I would offer John Cole as one, and there are others. If we are fortunate, the Republicans’ recent crushing midterm losses will awaken more of them to the poisonous and irresponsible course of action their party has taken and give support to those who want to return it to the path of honesty and sanity. Bookmark to: […]

  562. 562

    Mr. Cole,
    As a libertarian I’m use to being disappointed with both political parties. However, these past few years I’ve been horrified by the republicans. I have voted mainly republican for over 30 years without regret until the year 2000.
    Our country is being managed behind closed doors by a handful of radicals. As to what they want to accomplish, I can hardly imagine. I do know that it is not in the best interests of most americans and that they are shaking the very foundations of our constitution. I also know that these people are republican in name only.
    They have tried to give terms “center right” and “compassionate conservative” a whole new meaning but the problem is their actions never compliment their words. As a consequence they have proven themselves to be pathological liars. Their actions show them to be far left and far right.
    On the one hand they enact a bill like medicare plan D and try a last minute save with Teri Schavio, and on the other they start an unprovoked war in Iraq and suspend habeas corpus and give $11 billion in tax breaks to the oil companies. They are either communists or facists I’m not sure yet, but they are definitely not republicans.
    They are the worst kind of politicians. Secretive, defensive and working solely in their own self-interests.
    They’ll come back someday, maybe. But it will take men of integrity like yourself to revive them after the voters have beaten them to a pulp.

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  1. […] There are principled conservatives who recognize what has happened and lament what the Republican party has become – I would offer John Cole as one, and there are others. If we are fortunate, the Republicans’ recent crushing midterm losses will awaken more of them to the poisonous and irresponsible course of action their party has taken and give support to those who want to return it to the path of honesty and sanity. Bookmark to: […]

  2. […] It started with Cole’s admitting he’d had it with supporting the Republican Party. The Shiavo debacle cracked him. In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias. […]

  3. […] Okay, you don’t want to listen to me or Tom Friedman? Here’s John Cole, a conservative blogger: I just thought I would go on record stating that the last few weeks and months have really sucked for me. I spent my whole life in the GOP- starting in 1984 with county meetings, going to Teenage Republican camp (my friends called it Hitler Youth Camp, proving that Nazi/Republican quips are no new development), and spending the better part the fall of 1984 going door to door for John Raese in his race against Rockefeller (Raese, as you know, lost). Now, 22 years later, I find myself not only refusing to support Raese against Robert Byrd (the man who for years has embarassed me with his pork), but I have come to the conclusion that the Republicans are so corrupt, so dishonest, so beholden to special interests and fanatical lobbying groups that Byrd not only looks to be the better option, but the entire Democratic party looks better. […]

  4. Forty-Two says:

    among the dust bunnies

    Just in time for the election, a collection of links which have been collecting dust on my hard drive: Bill Maher video: New Rule: America must stop bragging it’s the greatest country on the earth and start acting like it….

  5. […] Great Sympathy for a Rational Conservative     political   life   thoughts John Cole from the conservativeblog Balloon Juice has reached a point where he can’t believe in the current GOP or many of those supporting them. In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias. […]

  6. News roundup.

    Dick Pombo is shameless. This has been pointed out countless times. So I guess it shouldn’t surprise anyone when it turnse out Pombo cashed a check from Tom DeLay’s brother yesterday. Randy DeLay is a Houston-based lobbyist and BushCo “pioneer”….

  7. […] This post by John Cole of Balloon Juice about why he is so dissatisfied with the Rebulican party is getting a lot of attention.  Bloggers on the left are using it as a triumphant demonstration that the Republican Party is a crock, while bloggers on the right are using it to show that John Cole isn’t a ‘real’ conservative etc. etc. […]

  8. […] UPDATE: John Cole, author of the thoughtful Balloon Juice, has also had it with the Republican party: In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias. […]

  9. […] On of my favorite bloggers, John Cole, has been in considerable angst over this transformation, as you can see from this recent post: In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias. […]

  10. Media Lies says:

    I read the strangest blogpost today….

    ….over at Balloon Juice (which I quit reading quite some time ago.) John writes about his disillusionment with the Republican party over the past six years and reveals his conversion…

  11. Two guys I respect… Hell I even admire them…

    First John Cole, who has always had my respect, and always called bullshit when he saw it. What makes this even more frustrating is that not only do I feel like I have been duped, but I established a lot…

  12. […] John Cole, of Balloon Juice, after some shocks along the way, has finally woken up to what has become of the GOP. I went through the same process on a personal level years ago, long before I moved out here, and it is disconcerting. You see the world a certain way, and then you discover that the very basis for the view is wrong. So you become very confused as you try to sort through what you know and thought you knew and what is real and what was part of the deception and gradually—very gradually—reality starts to emerge, as if seeing things through a thick fog that’s starting to lift. It’s a hard experience, because you have to reorganize and rearrange and reconsider so much of your world view. Meanwhile, those still caught in the spell are angry at you—very angry, because you’re bringing their own doubts and denied perceptions to the surface, threatening their own certainty. […]

  13. […] Conservative blogger John Cole bravely stands up against the “do-anything-to-win” trend and makes an empassioned plea for Republicans to return to genuine conservative values, rather than what he sees as a subversion of the GOP by “frauds and religionists and crooks and liars and corporate shills.” […]

  14. […] Or not. But as the stink of cheap evil from Riehl World View thickens into a palpable fog, we feel privileged to pass on the following endorsement by John Cole: I know many [conservative activists] as people- and not just GOP parrots- having spent time working on collaborative projects with them, serving on the editorial board at Red State, appearing on radio shows with them- you name it. I have, at one point in time, defended many of them from what I perceived to be unfair attacks. So I know that by and large they are not bad people (Dan Riehl is an unmitigated asshole, however). […]

  15. […] At Balloon Juice, long-time Republican John Cole writes: In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias. […]

  16. […] At Balloon Juice, long-time Republican John Cole writes: In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias. […]

  17. Inactivist says:

    Of various moral panics and campaign ’06

    Alternately amused and bemused, am I, at the Kerry flap, but what I am not is worried about it. And no, I’m not linking to this Greenwald post because one of my comments was picked up in an update, but rather because it expresses my own view (some lin…

  18. Allegiances

    John Cole is, understandably, upset about the direction his party has taken over the last six years. And it makes me mad. I still think of myself as a Republican- but I think the whole party has been hijacked by…

  19. […] Wednesday, November 1st, 2006 in politics by Daniel Larison Why do they keep attacking decent people like Jim Webb- to keep this corrupt lot of fools in office? Why can’t they just admit they were sold a bill of goods and start over? Why do they want to remain in power, but without any principles? Are tax cuts that important? What is gained by keeping troops in harms way with no clear plan for victory? With no desire to change course? With our guys dying every day in what looks to be for no real good reason? Why? ~John Cole […]

  20. […] Disgraceful: I just thought I would go on record stating that the last few weeks and months have really sucked for me. I spent my whole life in the GOP- starting in 1984 with county meetings, going to Teenage Republican camp (my friends called it Hitler Youth Camp, proving that Nazi/Republican quips are no new development), and spending the better part the fall of 1984 going door to door for John Raese in his race against Rockefeller (Raese, as you know, lost). Now, 22 years later, I find myself not only refusing to support Raese against Robert Byrd (the man who for years has embarassed me with his pork), but I have come to the conclusion that the Republicans are so corrupt, so dishonest, so beholden to special interests and fanatical lobbying groups that Byrd not only looks to be the better option, but the entire Democratic party looks better. […] […]

  21. […] A couple more heretofore Republicans have just gone public with their apostasy: Bruce Bartlett, who held various positions in the G.H. W. Bush and Reagan administrations; and John Cole, the West Virginia-based proprietor of the blog Balloon Juice. […]

  22. […] this now. Do you feel the same way? I know I do!      […]

  23. Shorter John Cole

    It sucks to be a Republican these days. You have my sympathies, John….

  24. […] It looks like more than 2 now have. For pretty substantive reasons. […]

  25. Dean's World says:

    advice to John Cole

    John Cole really bares his soul in a lamentation about the state of the Republican Party. His party loyalist bonafides are sterling, yet he feels profoundly betrayed. And in his …

  26. […] I’ve about had it with people like John Cole. I’m tired of the ‘Whoa is me” nonsense people like Cole are spouting, groaning endlessly about how terrible the GOP is and asking “What went wrong?” […]

  27. […] Note: Also check out former Republican/still a conservative Cole’s anguished, whiny, nauseating, self pitying, screed here where he solemnly announces the Republican party has left him behind because all they’re interested in is power and politics. […]

  28. Election ’06 – 7 Days Until Nov. 7 (November 1, 2006)

    [This post will be updated throughout the day; scroll down for more stories] News Dems increase hope: “After a decade in the political wilderness, Democrats are beginning to predict confidently if quietly that they will win control of the House…

  29. Cole

    Like I said before, the GOP of October 2006 is no different than the GOP of October 1996 (except that they have more power). They’re just as mean and nasty and unconstitutional and racist and evil-minded. I don’t understand what

  30. […] As he puts it…this is no fun: In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias. […]

  31. UNCoRRELATED says:

    They embarass him

    I feel John’s pain, and I long for the day when the GOP will have something real to offer again. Only one sane party isn’t good for anyone, least of all, for good government.

  32. […] John Cole laments the pathetic state of today’s Republican’t party: In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back. I don’t know how to react to people who think that media reports of party hacks in the administration overruling scientists on issues like global warming, endangered species, intelligent design, prescription drugs, etc., are signs of… liberal media bias. […]

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