Say Hello to the Newest Member of the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy

I had meant to re-register independent (or as it is known here in West Virginia, “No Party Affiliation”) for the past two weeks after I had finally had enough of the bullshit during the Graeme Frost escapade, but never got around to it (and it really was not that big of a deal, I had made the mental commitment, which is what matters). I had to pick up a registered letter for an unrelated issue, so I went to the Court House to the Voter Registration Office.

I had intended to register independent, but when I got there to do it, I had a moment of clarity- there seemed to be no point leaving the Republican party in protest and joining the unwashed masses. If I really was going to protest, it made no sense to not commit to the opposition party. Besides, as a Republican all these years, I never had any problem voting for libertarians, Democrats, etc., I don’t see why being a Democrat will change anything. And, the 2008 election really is the most important election of my lifetime- the basic foundation of our country has been under assault for a while, now, and I want to vote in the Democratic primary as a Democrat, not as someone with no party affiliation. I want to send a message, and as small as this gesture (which should appropriately be interpreted as a middle finger to the GOP and not as a sloppy wet kiss to Nancy Pelosi) is, I want it to mean as much as possible. There is now one less Republican in WV, and one more Democrat.

Long story short, I got up there to register as an independent, said “Fuck it,” and now I am a Democrat. I certainly don’t agree with all their positions, but they are not bat-shit crazy like the GOP. That has to count for something. Additionally, I no longer have to read posts by the 24% crowd calling me a “true conservative” with quotes o’sarcasm (you know who they are). Not any more, bitches. I repudiate you, your party, and whatever the fuck it is you are currently pretending is “conservatism.” It isn’t.

Now send me my check from Soros and the 40 virgins.

*** Update ***

And you have no idea how mad at me Tim is right now. I will let him explain.

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360 replies
  1. 1
    Olly McPherson says:

    Wow–keep ’em honest, either way!

  2. 2
    Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    *jaw drops*
    SWEET!
    That’s a stand of extreme principle, and applaud.
    Kinda funny how the political landscape has shifted to such a degree that a true conservative is now a bomb-thrower.

  3. 3

    One Of Us, One Of Us

    John Cole drinks the Kool-Aid….

  4. 4
    dslak says:

    Congratulations. I made the change back in 2000, when I saw which way the wind was blowing in the Oklahoma GOP. I don’t think I’ll ever feel completely at home in the Democratic party, but I certainly don’t mind dropping in for dinner and a chat now and then.

  5. 5
    Left Wing Conspiracy says:

    Check is in the mail!

    You want the virgins now, or when I let the Islamofascists in?

  6. 6
    Ryan S. says:

    Now send me my check from Soros and the 40 virgins.

    40 Virgins?!? Shit, I knew I was missing something. Well, I guess I could always cash my Soros check and buy 80 well used hookers instead.

  7. 7
    Bombadil says:

    My god, even Atrios may blogroll you now!

    I imagine there may be a few heads at Pajamas Media that are dangerously close to exploding, though.

  8. 8
    Dave says:

    I de-registered as a Republican about two years ago, but I couldn’t bring myself to register as a Democrat. But you’ve inspired me to do it. Well done, John!

  9. 9
    Spence says:

    Welcome brother. Next time I see you, I’ll be sure to give you the secret handshake.
    Does this mean you are now a homosexual?

  10. 10
    Zifnab says:

    Long story short, I got up there to register as an independent, said “Fuck it,” and now I am a Democrat. I certainly don’t agree with all their positions, but they are not bat-shit crazy like the GOP. That has to count for something.

    Don’t worry John. You’ll fit right in.

    Three Cheers to the Newly Inducted. In ritual celebration, we will now raise your taxes, marry you to a homosexual, and give you an abortion.

  11. 11
    Bombadil says:

    Now send me my check from Soros and the 40 virgins.

    Well, maybe this isn’t the best time to tell you this, but all you really get is a discount coupon at Target and 40 bags of Funyuns. There was a transcription error in the original promise.

  12. 12
    chopper says:

    damn, dogg.

  13. 13

    First we had Juan. Now we have John.

    We can now check ‘Cole’ off of the list.

  14. 14
    Krista says:

    Of course, the usual douchebags suspects will probably say that you were a Dem all along in everything but name. Screw them. It takes a big man to make a change in something as image-defining as his political affiliation.

    I’m proud of you, kiddo.

  15. 15
    Jake says:

    Will the last sane person to leave the GOP please turn out the lights?

    Not any more, bitches. I repudiate you, your party, and whatever the fuck it is you are currently pretending is “conservatism.” It isn’t.

    Shorter John Cole: I reject your “reality,” and substitute reality.

  16. 16
    Mr Furious says:

    Good for you, John. If I bolt, I won’t feel so bad knowing you’ve taken my spot…

    No, I’m not really going anywhere, but the Dems are really testing me these days…

  17. 17
    Bombadil says:

    Will the last sane person to leave the GOP please turn out the lights?

    I think he just did.

  18. 18
    MNPundit says:

    Now that you are a Democrat I can allow you to blast Democrats for their spineless capitulations and subservience to money–welcome to the circular firing squad.

    At least it’s not the circle jerk of the modern GOP.

  19. 19
    Fwiffo says:

    Voting in the Democratic primary, eh? I’m guessing you’re a fresh recruit for the Dodd army. One more and we can get a game of bridge together.

  20. 20
    ninerdave says:

    Well this sucks, I can no longer point to you and say “see I read republican blogs!”

    Quite a change…congrats!

  21. 21
    Mary says:

    Way to go, John! This has been brewing for a long time, so congratulations on making not just a symbolic change, but a change that actually gives you some power.

    Now I’ll just sit here in the corner and wait for Tim. Hey, anyone want popcorn?

  22. 22
    Jake says:

    Next time I see you, I’ll be sure to give you the secret handshake.

    So don’t be alarmed when a hand appears under the bathroom stall…

  23. 23

    Hats off. Many, many, people put party label before any principle. And the principles of non-insanity and policy based on facts are worth sticking up for.

    I can’t see why a Burkean would choose the GOP over the Democrats. It made some sense in 1980; less so today.

    May all of those of us who are praising you today be ready to do the same thing if the Democrats veer off course as badly as has the GOP.

  24. 24
    qwerty42 says:


    And, the 2008 election really is the most important election of my lifetime- the basic foundation of our country has been under assault for a while, now, and I want to vote in the Democratic primary as a Democrat, not as someone with no party affiliation. I want to send a message, and as small as this gesture (which should appropriately be interpreted as a middle finger to the GOP and not as a sloppy wet kiss to Nancy Pelosi) is, I want it to mean as much as possible. There is now one less Republican in WV, and one more Democrat.

    No snark, John. I think you hit the exactly the way a lot of folks feel.

  25. 25
    Stooleo says:

    TRex over at FDL is going to be even more enthralled.
    http://tinyurl.com/ytynsn

  26. 26
  27. 27
    Tim says:

    yeah, this was one of my “conservative” blogs too. I’m so confused. Does this mean that Hillary is the best Republican candidate ?

  28. 28
    Dug Jay says:

    In response, Zifnab says:

    “Don’t worry John. You’ll fit right in.”

    He’s absolutely right. You certainly belong in there with Hillary, Robert Byrd, Cindy Sheehan, Al Sharpton, Duncan Black, all people that you have belittled and ranted against in the past. On the other hand, they are a forgiving lot of sods, and will surely welcome you aboard.

    Congratulations and good riddance.

  29. 29
    another Cole says:

    I remember reading somewhere that it is kind of like choosing between 2+2=3 and 2+2=51472. Thanks for rounding down.

  30. 30
    Dreggas says:

    John,

    I had to make the same decision in 04, only difference was at the time I was part of the unwashed masses. C’mon in the water is fine. We all float down here.

  31. 31
    Bombadil says:

    Dug Jay Says:

    In response, Zifnab says:

    “Don’t worry John. You’ll fit right in.”

    He’s absolutely right. You certainly belong in there with Hillary, Robert Byrd, Cindy Sheehan, Al Sharpton, Duncan Black, all people that you have belittled and ranted against in the past. On the other hand, they are a forgiving lot of sods, and will surely welcome you aboard.

    Congratulations and good riddance.

    John, you might want to bookmark that little screed, just in case you ever have second thoughts that you did the right thing.

  32. 32
    FLILF Hunter says:

    Every time I feel like there’s no hope left for this country, I read something you post and I regain a little bit of confidence.

    For the sake of mom, hot dogs, and apple pie, let’s hope there are a few million more John Cole’s out there.

  33. 33
    Tony J says:

    Hey John, as a Brit from a seriously lefty family whose first opportunity to vote coincided with Tony Blair’s leadership of the Labour Party, but who has no opposition party worthy of the name to vote for, I can tell you right now that it could be worse. You could live in a country where the only Party actually opposed to the shitstorm that is our Iraq policy has no chance whatsoever of gaining power.

    Imagine a world where Al Gore did what George Bush had done, then imagine a choice between Joe Lieberman and Jeff Gannon at the polls. Then drink some herbal tea, it’s good for getting the taste out of your mouth.

    I’m still impressed though. Do you want me to give Jane Hamsher your number or are you going to make that call yourself?

    Oooh, snark 8-)

  34. 34
    scarshapedstar says:

    Wa-ha-ha!

    I gave you 5 years to become a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, as I recall. I may have to shorten that to 2.

  35. 35
    tBone says:

    Sorry, John, but you’re not really a Democrat until you smuggle an illegal immigrant over the border, perform an abortion on them, and gay-marry their donkey on a stack of burned Bibles. Yeargggghhhhhhh!

    Seriously, though, good for you. I’m sure your political transformation/brainwashing at our hands has been a painful process, and it takes guts to share it in such a public way.

    One down, 24% to go . . .

  36. 36

    YaY! Welcome John!

  37. 37
    Llelldorin says:

    Welcome aboard, Mr. Cole!

    Just to ease you in to the left side of the aisle, here are two pointers:

    (1) The Democratic Party is a “political party” in about the same sense that the United Nations is a “world government.” In place of the coherent, strong voice shouting strident nonsense that you’re probably used to from your old party, you’ll now be hearing dozens of voices alternately pressing their own issues and complaining about how stupidly ineffective the other voices are.

    (2) Internal Democratic debate rules: “That’s almost enough to make me consider a third party,” is shopworn but tends to serve as a Godwin’s Law equivalent in Democratic intraparty debate. A counteracting effect is to complain about the Republican party (that’s the main unifying theme that keeps the Democratic Party from fissioning into the entire political spectrum of a typical European nation).

    Again, welcome to the party! By and large, we’re a great bunch. Not, it must be said, a political machine of terrifying efficiency, but generally a good group of people honestly trying to run the country well.

  38. 38

    […] Just read this on Balloon Juice, a conservative blog, from it’s primary author: […]

  39. 39
    tBone says:

    He’s absolutely right. You certainly belong in there with Hillary, Robert Byrd, Cindy Sheehan, Al Sharpton, Duncan Black, all people that you have belittled and ranted against in the past. On the other hand, they are a forgiving lot of sods, and will surely welcome you aboard.

    Congratulations and good riddance.

    I think Dug Jay is off having a good cry right now. * sniff * JC and the Republican Party were like totally supposed to be BFFs! How could this happen??

  40. 40
    Perry Como says:

    Can we now start making cracks about the John Coles of the Left?

  41. 41
    guyermo says:

    Tim’s mad? did he lose the pool by a day?

  42. 42
    gypsy howell says:

    It was the whole Riverdance thread, wasn’t it John?

    You knew you were one of us now….

  43. 43

    Now send me my check from Soros and the 40 virgins.

    I’ve that, unfortunately, my 40 virgins are determined to stay that way.

  44. 44
    Llelldorin says:

    What’s funny about Dug Jay’s response is that I initially didn’t read his name. I saw “you’ll fit right in there with Hillary and Robert Byrd” and initially thought it was a comment by a Democrat pointing out that you’d fit comfortably with the more conservative Dems like those two. My brain hit a bump when I saw those names followed by Sharpton and Sheehan.

  45. 45
    guyermo says:

    say, now that your officially a democrat, does that mean you’ll get rid of the Pajamas Media advert?

  46. 46
    Jess says:

    Way to go, John! I’m surprised and impressed. I made a similar choice recently, wavering between Independent and Green Party, but also registered Dem for much the same reasons. It’s time to pull together, for now anyway. We can go back to throwing rocks from outside the fence when the establishment has returned to sanity.

  47. 47
    gypsy howell says:

    does that mean you’ll get rid of the Pajamas Media advert?

    I think the dimwits over at PJ just pooped their jammies.

  48. 48
    capelza says:

    Wow…welcome.

    When you make a statement you really do it.

    I am truly sorry that your party let you down so badly. But common sense is always welcome.

    As was said above, welcome to the circular firing squad. :)

  49. 49

    Congrats John and welcome to the Party!

  50. 50
    jeff says:

    Good work, John! I always knew you’d come over from the dark side, to the side of Truth, Justice, and Right (Democrats, natch). Just kidding. I love this site and you’ve really been on fire these last few weeks.

  51. 51
    gypsy howell says:

    We can go back to throwing rocks from outside the fence when the establishment has returned to sanity.

    See, that’s the beauty of the Democratic party. We throw rocks at each other from inside the fence.

  52. 52
    guyermo says:

    I think the dimwits over at PJ just pooped their jammies.

    Assuming they’d be able to tell after wallowing in it up to their navels for a year or so.

  53. 53
    ninerdave says:

    I actually will be interested to see if PJ Media does anything. Regardless of the other crap they “publish” they have been extremely tolerant of John.

    My guess is they won’t, I’m sure John gets quite a few page views which = ad revenue for his overlords. However, if he did get dumped I’m sure Advertising Liberally would pick him up! *grin*

  54. 54
    John Cole says:

    I can understand why there is considerable antipathy towards PJ media, but you all are not looking at this from my perspective.

    1.) I signed a contract, and I intend to keep my word. Should they decide they no longer want me around and want me under their banner, I will leave. Otherwise, I will honor my commitment.

    2.) They have been a great company to me. They never hassle me about what I say or write, they never bother me to post about specific topics, they offer quick technical support, I don’t have to handle any of the ad negotiation or other bullshit and can choose to not run ads I deem offensive, and the one time I was being threatened with a lawsuit, behind the scenes they stood by me and even offered legal help should I need it. I know some of you don’t want to believe this, but Roger Simon has been great to work with on this- always friendly, always eager to help, always willing to make things work.

    3.) If you really think PJ media really is some sort of slush fund for right wingers, and not just a new business model, take some solace in the fact that some of their money is now being covertly channeled to the VLWC.

    Long story short- I will be with them until my contract expires. I keep my word.

  55. 55
    kid bitzer says:

    the great thing about the democratic party, john, is that *none* of us feel a deep and abiding commitment to it.

    that’s because it’s not a cult. it’s not a religion. it’s just a very loose, dysfunctional attempt at voluntary association.

    like democracy itself, it is the worst political party, except for all of those other political parties that have been tried from time to time.

  56. 56
    Mr. Sifter says:

    Welcome to the democratic party John. I, like you, disagree with the democrats on plenty of things, but having them in power is much better then the alternative. I can’t vote in primaries in PA if you don’t register with a party, which is the main reason I changed my status from an independent to a democrat a two years ago.

  57. 57
    PaminBB says:

    Welcome to the ever expanding Big Tent of the Democratic Party. The Republican “Big Tent” was only a bunch of white sheets, and they seem to have gone back to wearing them.

  58. 58
    Amit Joshi says:

    And you have no idea how mad at me Tim is right now. I will let him explain.

    Who is Tim?

  59. 59
    Silver Owl says:

    I jumped out of Independent and into Democratic specifically because making the Democratic party better was more realistic than even attempting to clean up the republican party.

  60. 60
    wasabi gasp says:

    And, now come the nightmares…

    Happy Halloween, Moonbat!

  61. 61
    Jake says:

    John Cole Says:

    I can understand why there is considerable antipathy towards PJ media, but you all are not looking at this from my perspective.

    Pssst. I think they’re teasing you.

  62. 62
    Gus says:

    I think Will Rogers said it best: “I don’t belong to an organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” I’m an independent myself, but I’ve never voted Republican. I’m still hoping for a third party I don’t have to hold my nose to vote for, but Democrat is probably the best decision under the circumstances.

  63. 63
    SDM says:

    Welcome aboard! To really celebrate, you should spark your hookah with a burning flag.

  64. 64
    Punchy says:

    Do you want me to give Jane Hamsher your number or are you going to make that call yourself?

    I just got a death stare from my boss for laughing so loud at this. Cole-man and Teh Hamster. It’s got a ring to it.

    Welcome to our world, finally. Your bank account’s about to meet the IRS, the SEC now wants to see your mutual fund, and the FBI will be there shortly, asking about your newfound bloglove of the maryjane.

  65. 65
    guyermo says:

    My contempt for Pajamas Media can be traced to the friendly folks at Powerline. Perhaps I don’t cruise deep enough into the GOP deep end, but the folks at Pajamaline seemed to be the biggest drivers when it was created.

    But perhaps Pajamas Media is now more sane.

  66. 66
    TomMil says:

    I take personal responsibility for this. I mentioned the name “Abbie Hoffman” on a thread yesterday and this happens today. A coincidence? I think not!!!

  67. 67
    ThymeZone says:

    Oh My Fucking God.

    I can’t believe you did this. This is a great day.

    I will never say a negative word to you again, I swear.

    I have to lie down.

  68. 68
    Pb says:

    Now that you’re a registered Democrat, you can dust off that Democratic Stupidity category, start blogging more about the VLWC, and become disenchanted with that party too!

    I’ll help–because Rep. Jane Harman really wallowed in teh stupid today–she apparently missed civics class, and therefore thinks we need a veto-proof majority to uphold the Constitution. Yeesh.

    Maybe I should have registered as a Democrat by now too, but things like that make me happy to stay Independent.

  69. 69
    libarbarian says:

    John,

    I did the same thing a few weeks back when I went to renew my drivers license and I became a Dem because I too want to vote in their primary.

  70. 70
    EA Poe says:

    I guess this means you won’t need the wetsuits anymore. Will you be auctioning them off soon?

  71. 71
    John Cole says:

    Now that you’re a registered Democrat, you can dust off that Democratic Stupidity category, start blogging more about the VLWC, and become disenchanted with that party too!

    I joined the Democrats pre-disenchanted with them.

    I did the same thing a few weeks back when I went to renew my drivers license and I became a Dem because I too want to vote in their primary.

    In WV, I could vote in the primary of my choosing (R, D, mountain party) with “no party affiliation,” and it would count, but I decided what was more important was to make a statement. Like I said, there is one less Republican, one more democrat in WV. That is all I can do.

  72. 72
    Krista says:

    ThymeZone Says:

    Oh My Fucking God.

    I can’t believe you did this. This is a great day.

    I will never say a negative word to you again, I swear.

    John, if you knew that this was all it would have taken, would you have made the switch earlier? ;)

  73. 73
    HyperIon says:

    ThymeZone Says:

    I will never say a negative word to you again, I swear.

    this is what you need to bookmark.

  74. 74
    The Truffle says:

    Well, look at it this way, dude.

    You didn’t leave the GOP.

    The GOP left you.

    Their loss.

    By the way, George Soros is going to cut you a check first thing tomorrow.

  75. 75
    Jane Finch says:

    Ho hum…I always knew that deep down inside you were a terrorist loving pinko!

  76. 76
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Now send me my check from Soros and the 40 virgins.

    Not so fast, buddy. First you have to perform an abortion on an illegal immigrant. If you want to skip to the front of the line, you also have to assist a terrorist.

    Snark aside, good on ya, John.

  77. 77
    Robert Johnston says:

    Tim Says:

    yeah, this was one of my “conservative” blogs too. I’m so confused. Does this mean that Hillary is the best Republican candidate ?

    Well, she is–by a pretty wide margin–the closest thing to a conservative running as a legitimate candidate in either party. The world would probably be a much better place if she were running as a Republican; center-right Republicans running against center-left Democrats is so vastly preferable a situation to what we have now.

  78. 78
    Svensker says:

    Boo Ya!

    I’d never voted for a Dem in mah life, but was shocked to find myself hosting a MoveOn party for John Kerry (John Kerry!!!???? MoveOn!!!???) in 2004, the Repubs had made themselves so disgusting. I do draw the line at working for Hillary, but if the choice is between her and Rudy — and Rudy looks to have a hope in hell of winning — I might vote for her. OMG.

    Just to make yourself feel better, go back and read some of Byrd’s speeches from right before the Iraq war. True eloquence and heartbreaking to read. (When you find yourself agreeing with Byrd and Kennedy, you know you have really jumped the shark.)

  79. 79
    Peter Johnson says:

    Good Lord. I thought at least you’d reregister as a libertarian. Do you agree that we should have socialized medicine? If not, then why are you a Democrat.

  80. 80
    ConservativelyLiberal says:

    Well, this independent is VERY upset with you John. You LIED to me, saying that you were now an independent. We were misled, yet again, by someone on the right.

    You are obviously still a republican, you lying sack of…

    ;)

    Congrats d00d, you won’t regret it! Now lets see how long it takes for PJM to bail on you…

  81. 81
    Billy K says:

    Welcome John. Maybe you can help us clean up our party, too.

  82. 82
    Face says:

    and the one time I was being threatened with a lawsuit, behind the scenes they stood by me and even offered legal help should I need it.

    Legal help? Pfffft!

    /cracks knuckles, pounds fist into hand repeatedly

  83. 83
    jcricket says:

    By the way, George Soros is going to cut you a check first thing tomorrow.

    Soros uses ACH transfers now. So John, just post your bank account# and routing# and after I take my cut (to go to Hillary’s fund for every baby) I’ll pass along your share.

    BTW – good timing on the switch. Looks like if the “dam” of executive privilege that’s holding back all the malfeasance the Bush administration has committed these past 6 years ever breaks, the entire GOP will be drowned under the flood waters. Did you read the latest on how they’re simultaneously claiming Abramoff had like no dealings with the WH and they ned to redact/withold 600+ pages of evidence from Waxman?

  84. 84
    Ron Beasley says:

    John
    I have been voting for 40 years and have been both a Republican and a Democrat but I haven’t been either for over 20 years. Non afiliated voter is fine with me. I can see how you want to make a point and registering as a Democrat certainly does that. Good for you!

  85. 85
    Billy K says:

    Well, she is—by a pretty wide margin—the closest thing to a conservative running as a legitimate candidate in either party. The world would probably be a much better place if she were running as a Republican; center-right Republicans running against center-left Democrats is so vastly preferable a situation to what we have now.

    A-fucking-men.

  86. 86
    guyermo says:

    oh and lest there be confusion, i WAS kidding about the PM advertisement. Over at the great orange satan we have advertising meta diaries all the time, currently involving the chevron ad. If they want to work against their interests, I say let ’em.

  87. 87
    capelza says:

    Okay, now that we are all Democrats here, well with some indies, too…

    I’ll come out and say that there is nothing wrong with being centrist! Some of my fellow travellers on the left (and all those RINO screaming idiots on the extreme right, too..can’t leave them out) forget his when they say “centrist” like it is a dirty word.

    Most of this country is centrist…I just wish some of the “progressives” and “purists” would acknowledge that. I really need to stay away from Kos diaires.

  88. 88

    John: You wouldn’t happen to live in Mollohan’s district, would you? See, this would give you a chance to rail against good old fashioned corruption. You know, I kind of miss the good old day–when the big news was another Criminal Congressman getting busted, or a President lying about sexual behavior we all wished we could get more of. Instead, I have to worry about the former Cheerleader declaring me an enemy combatant and shipping my as to Gitmo for “intensive interrogation” and attitude adjustment. Nothing, like suspension of habeas corpus to focus the mind.

    I am a strong believer in faith-based initiatives. I have plenty of faith that the Republicans will continue to prove they have no business trying to steer the Ship of State. This American Dream gig is rapidly disappearing, and our only hope seems to be a bunch of spineless Democrats, who collectively don’t have a pair big enough to keep from being laughed at in a grade school locker room. Jesus! Is it really that bad? I don’t know, but things could get markedly worse if we don’t keep an eye on ALL these treacherous bastards.

  89. 89
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Most of this country is centrist…I just wish some of the “progressives” and “purists” would acknowledge that.

    Word to that. I wish hardcore partisans would fuck off, or at least go squabble amongst themselves and leave the rest of us out of their reindeer games.

  90. 90
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    I’m not particularly happy with the principle of party registration, but I suppose that a primary system generally demands it. I’d basically set it up this way: you register as a ‘voter’, and you make your choice to vote in a party primary when you walk into the polling place and pick up your ballot paper, and no sooner. If you want to ‘join’ a political party, you do so at the state or county level.

    Frankly, I will be glad when John re-registers as a Republican. Not because of some holier-than-thou purity test, but because I’m a fan of the ol’ political dialectic.

    I look forward to that time, when the politics of the nation are sufficiently recalibrated that we can have productive, healthy and occasionally raucous disagreements about political fundamentals that don’t involve one set of Republicans setting up torture chambers for masochistic pleasure, while another sets them up for sadistic pleasure.

  91. 91
    Catsy says:

    Who on earth would want 40 virgins? I’ve had two, and I much prefer a woman with some experience under her belt (so to speak).

    As for the registration, good for you taking a stand on principle, John. We need people like you to help keep the Democratic Party honest. :>

  92. 92

    May all of those of us who are praising you today be ready to do the same thing if the Democrats veer off course as badly as has the GOP.

    Right on, Elvis. By the way did you and JFK ever get rid of the evil Egyptian entity at the nursing home?

  93. 93
    Margot says:

    Welcome, John.
    Just wanted to ask you one thing: if you get a copy of the “Liberal Agenda,” will you please send it to me? I keep hearing about it from conservatives but have never seen one in my 30+ years as a registered Democrat.
    Maybe it’s real short: “World Domination!” That would work.

  94. 94
    capelza says:

    Bubblegum…very true.

    I AM very left (or survivalist, not sure which) leaning, but I know most of the country isn’t. I can respect that.

    People don’t want ideaologies, they wan’t a workable system for their families.

    But, that said, buzz words and happy war talk do work for most people who are too busy or uninterested in the wonkiness. Iran..bad. Things like that.

    I spend most of my political conversations in rewal life explaining the nuance stuff…people are willing to listen. They just don’t know.

  95. 95
    bittern says:

    Welcome, dude.

  96. 96
    nightjar says:

    Speechless but proud

    I joined the Democrats pre-disenchanted with them

    Well, your not alone on that one. Don’t be alarmed if your head starts getting a little pointy shaped, it’ll pass, maybe.

  97. 97
    Jake says:

    I will never say a negative word to you again, I swear.

    Don’t believe him. TZ just wants to borrow some of your virgins.

  98. 98
    Rick Taylor says:

    Bravo. I agree entirely. In a state like ours predicated on two party dominance, not joing the lesser of the two evils would be just disempowering yourself. Plus you’ll have a hell of a better chance to persuade the Democrats to become more conservative than the Republicans to become not-batshit-crazy.

    Democrats:not completely bathshit crazy.

    There’s a slogan for you.

  99. 99

    […] Today it’s John Cole: Long story short, I got up there to register as an independent, said “Fuck it,” and now I am a Democrat. . . . Now send me my check from Soros and the 40 virgins. […]

  100. 100
    Mike P says:

    The reaction to this news in the wingnut blogosphere is going to be special. Someone screen cap all the madness.

    Welcome John! Does this mean you have to get new PJ’s?

  101. 101
    DougJ says:

    Most of this country is centrist…I just wish some of the “progressives” and “purists” would acknowledge that.

    What a crock of shit. Anyone who calls himself a centrist, can go fuck himself. Or fuck David Broder. Whichever he prefers.

    Pick a position on an issue and defend it. Don’t go pussyfooting around about how it’s centrist, or moderate, or wise, or serious. It’s right or it’s wrong.

    God, I hate centrists. I’ll take a right-wing nutjob a centrist every day of the week.

    If you call yourself a moderate or a centrist, I don’t want you in my political party. I’d rather join forces with neocons or Buchananites or some other group that has a functioning set of testicles.

  102. 102
    Jay B. says:

    Wow. I mean I was born into the Democratic Party (it was like that scene from Rosemary’s Baby, right down to the presence of Satan and the naked elderly people chanting — the difference being they were chanting about their Social Security checks).

    There was no real escape from it, but to choose it? Do you realize that you now have to:

    – Really care about a candidate, only to have that candidate finish fifth?
    – Then suck it up and complain about (while raising money, and voting, for) the “lesser evil”?
    – And admit that 2000 was an all-time fucking screw job while ALSO admitting that if Nader had a beef, he should have ran in the primaries?
    – Automatically assume your candidate in the general election is running a shitty campaign?

    Oh, it’s a magical place, my Democratic Party. Welcome aboard.

  103. 103
    ninerdave says:

    Oh! You’re on the front page of the Great Orange Satan, by Satan himself.

  104. 104

    […] Nov 1st, 2007 by Michael van der Galiën Joe Gandelman links to this post by John Cole, owner of Balloon Juice, in which he announces that he re-registered as a… Democrat. He had been a Republican for years, went to the Voter Registration Office to re-register as an “unaffiliated voter,” but – when there – decided that “there seemed to be no point leaving the Republican party in protest and joining the unwashed masses,” if he wanted to protest the direction the Republican Party has taken in the last, say, seven years. […]

  105. 105
    Rick Taylor says:

    Just to add, in a saner political system that didn’t enshrine two party dominance, I would join the Greens.

  106. 106
    Anne Laurie says:

    Welcome to our Disorganized Party, John. Even before Will Rogers’ famous quip, during the reign of the original McKinleyites, that great political observer Mr. Martin Dooley (aka Finley Peter Dunne) said:

    “The Democratic Party ain’t on speaking terms with itself. When you see two men with white neckties set in opposite corners while one mutters ‘traitor’ and the other hisses ‘miscreant’, ye can bet they’re two Democratic leaders trying to reunite the party. There’s as many Democrats out of the party as there are in, settin’ on the doorstep to read themselves back and the other readers out. The loudest readers wins… “

    And yet, as it was a century ago, there are times when public brawling is a truer sign of political health than the rank odor of public santimony and private sociopathy. We Americans have survived some terrible times, mostly of our own making, and by the grace of hard work by those of us in the Other Seventy-Six-Percent we’ll scrape through the multiplitous disasters currently approaching as well. And a very Happy All-Hallows-Eve to all!

  107. 107
    DougJ says:

    And yet, as it was a century ago, there are times when public brawling is a truer sign of political health than the rank odor of public santimony and private sociopathy.

    I agree completely.

  108. 108

    I read your stuff a couple years back and thought “this guy is too smart to be a Republican.” I was right!

    I voted for Bush in 2000. Gawd.

    let us all try to undo the damage.

  109. 109
    Zifnab says:

    I’ll come out and say that there is nothing wrong with being centrist! Some of my fellow travellers on the left (and all those RINO screaming idiots on the extreme right, too..can’t leave them out) forget his when they say “centrist” like it is a dirty word.

    Bullshit. When everyone from Faux News to Al Sharpton regularly claim the “center” as their turf, and when everyone from Chuck Hagel to Bill Clinton to Joe Lieberman are considered fringe leftist radicals, the word “centrist” is typically synonymous with “capitulator” or “Bushover”. “Centrists” have been linked with the nomination of Judges Sam “I’m not Harriet Miers” Alito and John “Fuck Starie De sises” Roberts. “Centrists” proudly sold out on Iraq in ’03 and again on our constitutional rights with the Military Commissions Act. “Centrists” poo-poo’d impeachment, but were more than willing to vote up MoveOn.Org condemnations. “Centrists” can suck my right-wing testicle, because if it walks like a Republican and it talks like a Republican and it votes like a Republican, then its not occupying the center of the ideological spectrum.

  110. 110

    […] A prodigal son has come home. Spotlight […]

  111. 111
    capelza says:

    Zinfab…just because people like Confederate Yankee like to call themselves “center-right” does not mean they are.

    Whatever..I am talking about regular Americans, not politicans. I could call myself a “neo-libertarian right left social conservative free loveist”, but it woudn’t make me so.

    Don’t confuse politicans with regular people. There’s a reason politicans on both sides call themsleves centrists, because they know that most people are.

    The Dem leadership is afraid of it’s own shadow.

  112. 112
    Dreggas says:

    Centrism is much maligned.

    I am mostly centrist. I am socially liberal but fiscally conservative.

    In most areas I am center left but in others I am definitely center right.

    What am I if not centrist?

  113. 113
    CaseyL says:

    John, watching your metamorphosis over the last couple of years has been one of the most touching, fascinating, and funniest experiences ever.

    I’m proud to welcome you aboard with the monkey-eating surrender cheeses.

    Gouda for you!

  114. 114
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Don’t confuse politicans with regular people. There’s a reason politicans on both sides call themsleves centrists, because they know that most people are.

    Bingo. I see it as analagous to these ridiculously rich politicians trying to have people think of them as just regular common folks.

  115. 115
    DougJ says:

    I am socially liberal but fiscally conservative.

    Then just say that.

    (Unfortunately, neither major party is socially liberal, by the way.)

  116. 116
    ThymeZone says:

    I agree completely.

    You’re pimping principle, which is fine … unprincipled centrism is really a cop out for anything from apathy to sociopathy.

    But there is such a thing as principled centrism, and it’s really nothing more in most cases than a refusal to get caugaht up in the zero-sum false dichotomies of left-right politics, at least in this country.

    We don’t have to choose between false choices. It isn’t necessary to be on just one side or the other. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with cafeteria style issues positions. For Social Security, against broadband govt paid healthcare, for progressive policy, against big spending, etc etc.

    The problem today is that one side of the two-sided game has been taken over by complete lunatics. If there were rational and reasonable either-or choices, that would be one thing. But there aren’t. In these times, the only rational response to politics is to decide to destroy the GOP beast, the insane monster that has taken over the government. But once that’s done, there’s an opportunity for open-minded principled centrism to do something worthwhile.

    Whether it will or not, who knows? But demonizing something as inncocuous and essentially rational as refusing to be drawn and quartered by false choices is no more rational than the Dobsonites or for that matter the Neocons. It’s just another form of Them politics.

  117. 117
    DougJ says:

    TZ, the trouble is that when people say “I’m centrist”, the next words out of their mouth (as in the quote I criticized) are “and I hate those extremists.”

    Do you see my point? It fucks up discourse for people to be able to retreat to some superior “nonpartisan” perch where they can spit on those of us who actually give enough of a fuck to have a real opinion.

    I’m not a party-line Democrat personally. I probably only agree with even my closest candidate (Dodd or Edwards) on half the issues. But I’m not going to call myself a centrist so I can say “see most people are like me, why can’t we have a party of people like me, damn you crazy partisans.”

  118. 118
    capelza says:

    DougJ…you know how the word “liberal” was hijacked? Turned into something bad….though I think people should just come and say “Yeah, I’m a liberal..so what?”

    The same thing has been done to “centrist”…there are millions and millions of people who are that. So to not offend the purists they must use some long ass descriptive phrase, else be called weak jerks?

    Look at our elections over the years…they have been squeakers between left and right, with both sides fighting for the middle. I’ll forgo the arguments over stolen elections, but even then the margin is very slim,

    And I hate to break it to you, but this country leans right compared to other Western nations. Actually i am sure I am not giving you any news you already don’t know.

    So for the “progressive” wing of the Democrats..the “if they don’t do what I want I’ll vote for Nader” wing to not recognise this..well were you around in 1972? Peple were sick to death of the war yet they voted Nixon back in a landslide, because they weren’t ready for McGovern and what they saw as too far to the left.

    Though in times of dire trouble, like the Depression, people will go left. Health care and the economy may just do that. But don’t bitch out the “centrists” because they are in the center.

  119. 119
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    ‘Centrist’ is a tricky word in an era of partisanship. It’s fought over like a fumbled football. (And no-one’s in the bleachers to cheer for the football.)

    TZ is on the mark: if you look at similar periods in history, the ‘vital center’ re-emerges after one extreme is repudiated by the populace. But within the political game, most people who speak up for a supposed center — I’m looking at you, WaPo op-ed types — are speaking up for the position of the football, which is to get kicked all over the field.

  120. 120
    ThymeZone says:

    TZ, the trouble is that when people say “I’m centrist”, the next words out of their mouth (as in the quote I criticized) are “and I hate those extremists.”

    Do you see my point? It fucks up discourse for people to be able to retreat to some superior “nonpartisan” perch where they can spit on those of us who actually give enough of a fuck to have a real opinion.

    Can’t agree. YOu are generalizing a rather specific conceit into a general assertion about anyone who adopts the label of “centrist” when there is no agreed-upon definition for the term, no boundary established for the demographic, and no coherent set of policy positions for the centrist to point to. Basically we are labeling anyone who rejects the demagogueries of right and left as an evil spineless bastard who won’t choose. When in fact, in gentler times, it’s quite a rational response.

    As I said, it’s the times that make waffling look bad. When one side is batshit crazy and wants to throw away all liberties in favor or expediency, sure, one has to take a side. But we can’t really operate a country that way.

    Neither partisanship nor centrism are inherently good or evil. It’s all in the application. The devil, you might say, is in the details.

  121. 121
    Realist says:

    Well, damn – that leaves my father as the only Republican for whom I have any respect.

  122. 122

    John, free at last, free at last. Thank God almighty, you’re free at last!

    As for not agreeing with all the Democrats’ positions, welcome to the party. Unlike the lemming horde — some of whose members are rabid — Democrats thrive on diversity of thought, not to mention the occasional demolition derby.

    Democrats aren’t always correct and sometimes wander off the path of common sense, it’s true. But even then, usually, what distinguishes them is a belief in staying in touch with reality, an abiding decency and keeping their hearts in the right place.

  123. 123
    r€nato says:

    One of us! One of us! One of us! Gooble gobble, gooble gobble…

    someday we’ll even get you to come out of the closet.

    …as a liberal, I mean.

  124. 124
    r€nato says:

    …actually John, I wish you’d stayed GOP just long enough to vote for Ron Paul in the primary! Now THAT would have been a real thumb-in-the-eye as a parting shot!

  125. 125
    Heywood Jablomy says:

    Don’t feel bad John — If Jefferson or Jackson or Lincoln or TR or Ike or Nelson Rockefeller or Nixon came back today they’d register Democrat in about .043 seconds. The Republican Party is not the conservative party in any way. It’s basically a loony bin. I think even Reagan would pause at the voter registry. *sigh*

    In any cse, the Dems need endless horsewhipping to nut up and fix this Goppy mess, and your just the horse with the whip.

  126. 126

    […] Say Hello to the Newest Member of the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy […]

  127. 127
    DragonScholar says:

    Welcome aboard.

    And let me note what I’ve said before. Republican, Democrat, whatever, first and foremost I think of you as an American.

  128. 128
    boadicea says:

    Well, you certainly know how to make an entrance as well as an exit, John.

    Welcome to the Democratic Party. I expect, from what I’ve read of your writing, that you’ll find yourself more at home than you might expect.

    Let’s take our country back.

  129. 129
    Andy K says:

    Delurkin’ (after about three years of nothin’ but readin’ and spittin’ Mountain Dew on my monitor) to welcome you, Mr. Cole.

    Now, about Steely McBeam….

  130. 130
    kate r says:

    Nearly everyone thinks of himself as a centerist, so the word means nothing. It’s like saying “I’m reasonable.”

    I’m like the other Indoctrinated At Birth Librul (I.F. Stone was the high priest droning on in our religion)so I was thirty before I realized my idea of center was most people’s version of batshit looney left.

    Someone like Cole, who can move from R to D, that’s proof behind them words. And maybe the center’s moving again. Was right for a long, long time, at least from what I could discern out here in the looney left stretches of the milky way

  131. 131
    liberal says:

    capelza wrote,

    Whatever..I am talking about regular Americans, not politicans.

    You do know, don’t you, that 52% of “regular Americans” think we should attack Iran to prevent it from building a nuclear weapon?

  132. 132
    Ron says:

    Went from Independent to Democrat in 2004.

    There’s no hope for Republicans until they get rid of the Neocons and Yahoos, instead of kissing up to them.

  133. 133
  134. 134
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    Welcome aboard!

  135. 135
    jerry says:

    I’ll send you my check from Soros…. as soon as I get my check. I am also waiting for a check from the International Jewish Conspiracy, and I haven’t gotten that one yet either.

    Welcome to the Dems. We are batshit crazy, especially those strains amongst us that believe that being in speech and thought policing.

    Welcome, and I look forward to your keeping us on the straight and narrow.

  136. 136
    Jim says:

    John, why do you hate America?

  137. 137
    Psycheout says:

    Sorry to see you go, but you’ve been acting like a far lefty howling moonbat for quite some time. Whatever happened to the old John Cole I read years ago? With enough time in the Democrat party, you’ll switch to Independent, if not Republican again. Believe me. If Hitlery wins, that process will be a quick one. So don’t turn in your credentials just yet.

    So, do you listen to Err America now? Is it still on?

  138. 138
    Jess says:

    Nearly everyone thinks of himself as a centerist, so the word means nothing. It’s like saying “I’m reasonable.”

    I think saying “I’m reasonable” does mean something important. I support most of the policies coming from the left–and even some policies considered extreme by everybody but the libertarians, such as legalized drugs, prostitution, and physician-assisted suicide–but I call myself a centrist because of the way I come to support those policies. I try to judge each on its own merits, based on real-world practical outcomes, not abstract ideology. Just because something SHOULD work in a perfect world doesn’t mean it’s going to work to implement it in our messy state of affairs. But I think I end up agreeing with the Dems about a lot of things because they are more willing to debate ideas and compromise and look at evidence and outcomes. In other words, I end up supporting the Dems because they usually get it right (eventually), but I don’t automatically support policies merely because Dems propose them.

    But I also agree with DougJ’s point that being too cautious about taking a stand is a problem. Some things–individual freedoms and rights, and the concept of a balance of power and rule by law–are worth fighting for tooth and nail. Nothing moderate about my reaction to an attempt to fuck with the democratic process.

  139. 139
    Cain says:

    Congratulations John! I’m non-affiliated although I heavily lean Democrat. I now wonder why I don’t switch so at least I can vote for a democratic candidate in the primaries instead.

    cain

  140. 140
    Johnny Pez says:

    I have to echo ninerdave here.

    Now that you’re a Democrat, you’re useless to us.

    And now I have to go to all the trouble of finding another sane Republican, assuming there are any.

  141. 141
    Dreggas says:

    boadicea Says:

    Just wanted to comment on a most excellent choice in a posting name.

  142. 142
    Nikki says:

    John! You were supposed to become one of me…ya know…independent. But if you had to choose, you certainly did it in a big way. Congrats!

  143. 143

    […] Fright Night For years Balloon Juice, written by John Cole, had been a rather good conservative blog.  For years he railed against the idiotarians of the left, the Jane Hamshers of the left and the liberal fascism that defines the Democrat party.  For some reason, the battle to protect Terri Schiavo from her husband and those who would like to usher in a holocaust against the handicapped to rival the holocaust against the pre-born caused something to snap in John Cole’s brain.  He has been moving away from the Republican party since that time and has been posting ever more unhinged rants for at least the last.  He has just declared himself a registered moonbat. […]

  144. 144
    DougJ says:

    All of the arguments against my anti-centrist diatribe are of the form “long ago, in a galaxy far, far away centrism made sense.” Today, saying “I’m a centrist” usually means “I’m a David Broder worshipping pussy.”

    I’m surprised this crowd doesn’t get that.

  145. 145
    DougJ says:

    Some things—individual freedoms and rights, and the concept of a balance of power and rule by law—are worth fighting for tooth and nail. Nothing moderate about my reaction to an attempt to fuck with the democratic process.

    Exactly.

  146. 146
    Psycheout says:

    Come back into the light, John Cole. Does Ted “Swimmer” Kennedy and Robert “Sheets” Byrd really represent your values? I know this is not the case. We await you when you sober up and realize that President Hitlerly is not in your best interests. When you do, I will not laugh at your hangover.

    I will simply say, “welcome back, old friend.”

  147. 147
    Jim Treacher says:

    Welcome to the 11% crowd! :)

  148. 148
    ThymeZone says:

    Nothing moderate about my reaction to an attempt to fuck with the democratic process.

    Of course, that’s issue partisanship. Not standard issue party partisanship.

    Our two party system is really about machine politics, not issues. Or, it’s supposed to be, and was for a long time. Even the Republicans genuflected before Social Security for decades. Centrism in that atmosphere is different from faux “centrism” of intellectual apathy.

    But the cure for that kind of “centrism” is salesmanship and leadership. If good leaders can’t sell the benefits of democracy and liberty, then …. what chance do democracy and liberty actually have in the long run?

    Don’t waste your energy being mad at imagined “centrists.” Spend your energy defending and building democracy and liberty.

  149. 149
    DougJ says:

    Being mad at centrists is an important part of (re)building democracy.

  150. 150
    DougJ says:

    But the cure for that kind of “centrism” is salesmanship and leadership

    This, I agree with.

  151. 151
    numfar says:

    Wait. There’s a check?!? And VIRGINS?!?

    Where do I sign up?

  152. 152
    John Cole says:

    All of the arguments against my anti-centrist diatribe are of the form “long ago, in a galaxy far, far away centrism made sense.” Today, saying “I’m a centrist” usually means “I’m a David Broder worshipping pussy.”

    This played into my decision today. I know how operatives on the right work, and I know how they use statistics and point to the number of registered Republicans and manipulate polling data to debase the debate. I know how they co-opt the center to get their way. Watch the Mukasey debate to see them in action.

    I didn’t make up the ‘you are with us or against us’ dichotomy, I am just recognizing the rules of the game. Simply not being a Republican was not enough in my estimation. I needed to help swell the ranks of Democrats. it is only one, but every one counts.

    Truth be told, I probably would be more comfortable as an independent. There are a lot of things I don’t feel comfortable with regarding the democratic party (and rather than list them now, you will hear about them as we hit them, because believe me, I will bitch about them). But right now, on the things I deem important- foundational issues about how our country is supposed to work (torture, surveillance, the use of the military and our foreign policy, attitudes about individual rights and liberties, the constitution, and basic issues of privacy and fairness), the Republican Party is wrong across the board. Not opposing thim at this point seems like an abrogation of my civic duties. Why the fuck even blog or vote if I can’t make a stand as simple as this?

    The Democrats aren’t right on everything, but we have injected a lot of what I will call ‘disastrous Bush Republicanism’ into this country, and right now, simply ceasing to inject the poison is not going to save the patient. We need an antidote, and the Democrats are the only one I see out there.

    Maybe in a while I will split ways with the Democrats and find some place else where I am more comfortable. For now, though, you can count me in the “against us” category. Centrism is not going to cut it. Things are way fucked up, spiralling out of control, and getting worse by the day. Jane Hamsher, Atrios, Kos, and I all see eye to eye.

    Take the hint, centrists. Things are seriously, seriously wrong right now, and get along go along is not going to cut it.

  153. 153
    DougJ says:

    I didn’t make up the ‘you are with us or against us’ dichotomy, I am just recognizing the rules of the game.

    That’s the point exactly.

    For my own part, I am very much of a compromiser by nature. It goes against every instinct I have to be such a complete anti-Bush, anti-Republican partisan. But, as John said, those are the rules of today: you’re with Bush and his minions or you’re with those who oppose them.

  154. 154
    Lou says:

    Welcome. We’re not perfect, but we’re better than the Thugs/Pugs! :)))

  155. 155
    Kathy says:

    Congratulations, John — or as they say in my crowd, mazel tov!

  156. 156
    Trittydi says:

    My father was a conservative. I could respect him and his views and even voted for GOP candidates now and then. This group is just a bunch of bat-crap crazy whack jobs. The GOP was completely hijacked and it’s a terrible shame.

    It is not such a bad thing that true conservatives and democrats might unite to overcome the threat this group poses to American and democracy.
    *

  157. 157
    dogeatdogi says:

    Golf clap!!!!! Welcome to the party, now lets get to work :)

  158. 158
    Dreggas says:

    I guess I am not really a centrist then because I have always been in the “against us” category and definitely despise the religious reich and the morons running the republican party. I am registered as a dem but hearing what the current definition of being a centrist is to everyone I definitely don’t fit it.

  159. 159

    Join the new boss, same as the old boss.

    Not that there is any real alternative now, but joining Wall Street’s rubberstamp party, the Washington Generals of politics isn’t really doing much good.

    I will not vote for any of the Donklephant enablers of imperial war and Wall Street. National politics is lost to the people for some time to come, and attention should be focused locally.

    I’m a registered Democrat, but that will change soon. Never again will I vote for that feckless party until they start standing for something.

  160. 160
    Arn Gunnutes says:

    John,

    Congratulations.

    Yes, the Democrats have their problems, but for the last 27 years, since the days of TRAITOR Ronnie Reagan, the Rapeublics

    have been getting more and more TREASONOUS, with the culmination being Iran/Contra TREASON, Poppy Bush pardoning

    the TRAITORS, and Junior starting ILLEGAL WARS of aggression, and SABOTAGING National Security by EXPOSING

    our CIA WMD people in the Middle East, most notably Valerie Plame Wilson and Brewster Jennings.

    The Bushes have been TRAITORS for 70 years, such as Granddaddy Prescott laundering Nazi money and getting

    property seized for TRADING WITH THE ENEMY in 1942.

    Cheney has been pushing for an imperial presidency and ILLEGAL SPYING on Americans since the Nixon days.

    God Bless, John, and watch your back from the GHP (Grand Hypocrisy Party) traitors.

    Sincerely,

    NRA Gun Nutes

  161. 161
    moondancer says:

    A small confession. I lurk at your site on occasion. I enjoy your blog, but didn’t realize that you were supposed to be a right-winger until you switched. You sucked at wingnuttery. LOL

  162. 162
    MacDaffy says:

    Congratulations, John! Welcome to the motley crew! I’m sure George will get that check out to you forthwith, but you’re in the wrong party if you’re looking for virgins. Check with the wives of the congressional Republican delegation–they might fill the bill.

    Aloha!

  163. 163
    nightjar says:

    The Democrats aren’t right on everything, but we have injected a lot of what I will call ‘disastrous Bush Republicanism’ into this country, and right now, simply ceasing to inject the poison is not going to save the patient. We need an antidote, and the Democrats are the only one I see out there.

    I don’t think we know the half of yet. Aside from getting rid of every tax they could, especially for the rich, and creating a permanent war state after 9-11, their second order of business was to corrupt every single Federal agency.

    This was the whole idea behind creating their version of Homeland Security Dept.. It’s why they pushed to get every agency possible under that umbrella and republicanise the whole thing for years to come, mainly by installing wingnut acolytes in all the career civil service mid management slots. They are the people who run the agencies anyway. I fear it will take at least a decade or two to begin fixing the damage these assholes have done, just to get the fed government to function competently and free of ideology.

  164. 164
    Jon H says:

    “Now send me my check from Soros and the 40 virgins.”

    Didn’t want the GOP-logo wetsuits, huh?

  165. 165
    DougJ says:

    I described myself as a centrist until late 2003, by the way. That was when I started paying attention to how the media used the word “centrist”.

  166. 166
    azureblue says:

    look, this isn’t about Left or right, or Republican and Democrat.

    It is about standing up for the principles this country was founded upon- the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the rule of law, and dignity & integrity. And the present day Republican party fails in all categories.

    You did the right thing, John, by leaving the whatevers that dominate the present day Republican party. They can’t lead, they steal, they don’t care about America and its people, except when it comes to lining their own pockets, and they sure hate the Constitution. The Greene smear campaign shows them for what they really are, all to well.

    Congratulations. not for becoming a Democrat, but for seeing the ruin that Bush Republicans have brought to this country, and how dangerous the situation really is. You are standing up for America, and the country needs more of you.

  167. 167
    4jkb4ia says:

    Expect to be on the Kos blogroll soon :)

  168. 168
    Karl Lenin Stalin says:

    So, congrats on giving up your homorepublican ways. Welcome back to the Hetero-crats.

  169. 169
    ThymeZone says:

    Take the hint, centrists. Things are seriously, seriously wrong right now, and get along go along is not going to cut it.

    This, I agree with. And John Cole is just the guy who can convince the “centrists” that their interests are best served by standing against the idiotocracy right now.

    (er, I mean, the Republicans.)

  170. 170
    JJohnson says:

    Haha, welcome aboard Mr. Cole! I’ve been reading your blog for awhile on and off; mostly links from C&L. To see an honest man take the steps they feel they need to take does my heart good – you’ve had my admiration for awhile for your clarity of thought; but making such a break away I think makes an excellent statement on your part.

    I also don’t agree with everything the Democratic party stands for – but then, I think thats one of the good things about it really – very few people do. Ideally – it wouldn’t be just one party, but several (as would the GoP); unfortunately, we as a nation have very long kept ourselves under two big tents.

    On the upside – that means that the party is big enough for fairly broad spectrums of opinion; and I guess I just wanted to say – welcome.

    Also, you can pick up your George Soros signed check at the annual Fetus BBQ in San Francisco. You can recognize us by the pink pentagrams and 666 tattoes. We’re a little low on virgins right now though…

  171. 171
    Dreggas says:

    DougJ Says:

    I described myself as a centrist until late 2003, by the way. That was when I started paying attention to how the media used the word “centrist”.

    I guess I just didn’t pay attention to how the media used the word, same way I didn’t pay attention to how they used liberal because I am pretty liberal and honestly don’t like progressive much.

  172. 172
    Dreggas says:

    Also, you can pick up your George Soros signed check at the annual Fetus BBQ in San Francisco. You can recognize us by the pink pentagrams and 666 tattoes. We’re a little low on virgins right now though

    Yes because as any moonbat knows the youngest are the most tender…

  173. 173
    DougJ says:

    I learned to love calling myself a “progressive”. When I look at other people who call themselves “progressives”, I mostly agree with them.

    I hated it at first, too.

  174. 174
    Psycheout says:

    Ahem.

    Yes, the Democrats have their problems, but for the last 27 years, since the days of TRAITOR Ronnie Reagan, the Rapeublics

    have been getting more and more TREASONOUS, with the culmination being Iran/Contra TREASON, Poppy Bush pardoning

    the TRAITORS, and Junior starting ILLEGAL WARS of aggression

    […]

    The Bushes have been TRAITORS for 70 years, such as Granddaddy Prescott laundering Nazi money and getting

    property seized for TRADING WITH THE ENEMY in 1942.

    Cheney has been pushing for an imperial presidency and ILLEGAL SPYING on Americans since the Nixon days.

    These are the people you’re joining, John. Heh. Any second thoughts? You might as well support Ron Paul and the WTC7 Truther Brigade.

    I’m surprised that there haven’t been more conservative blogs linking to your coming out of the liberal closet. I guess they gave up on you long ago. Sad. I thought they were your friends.

    No BLOOD for OIL I can sound UNHINGED too if I use CAPSLOCK to EXPOSE my MOONBATTERY.

  175. 175
    John Cole says:

    These are the people you’re joining, John. Heh.

    Have you read Malkin once in the past four years?

  176. 176
    Shade Tail says:

    The real problem with “centrism” is that it is so poorly defined. As a few people already pointed out, almost everybody calls themselves a centrist nowadays. It is political shorthand for, “I’m a fair and reasonable person.” When even the likes of Bill O’Reily and Sean Hannity call themselves centrists (or, alternately, independants), FOR THAT VERY REASON, you know that the term has lost all meaning.

    Besides, the vast majority of the country are pro-life, support keeping social security as it is, are starting to agitate for some form of nationalized health insurance, want the occupation of Iraq to end, and other such left-wing “extremism“. So arguably, being in the center means being on the left.

  177. 177
    Kathy says:

    For some reason, the battle to protect Terri Schiavo from her husband and those who would like to usher in a holocaust against the handicapped to rival the holocaust against the pre-born caused something to snap in John Cole’s brain.

    Eat your heart out, A-hole. He’s one of us now, and the Democrats have one more of the kind who really, actually do value human life.

  178. 178

    Well put. I also agree that Pelosi deserves no big wet kiss. Maybe you can help change the Democratic party to one where its leadership is responsive to the will of its base.

  179. 179
    qwerty42 says:

    … But right now, on the things I deem important- foundational issues about how our country is supposed to work (torture, surveillance, the use of the military and our foreign policy, attitudes about individual rights and liberties, the constitution, and basic issues of privacy and fairness), the Republican Party is wrong across the board. Not opposing thim at this point seems like an abrogation of my civic duties. Why the fuck even blog or vote if I can’t make a stand as simple as this?…

    Good post (a lot of good posts). I appreciate your old friends on the right wanting you to hang in, but this is a bad situation and it has to be faced. It’s going to be a hell of a year.

  180. 180
    Shade Tail says:

    Besides, the vast majority of the country are pro-life,

    @!#$^$!!! Pro-**CHOICE**.

  181. 181
    Tristram says:

    Welcome to the dark side. I made the switch a couple of months after the mess in Iraq started and haven’t looked back since.

  182. 182
    Arn Gunnutes says:

    ************************************
    Ahem.

    Yes, the Democrats have their problems, but for the last 27 years, since the days of TRAITOR Ronnie Reagan, the Rapeublics

    have been getting more and more TREASONOUS, with the culmination being Iran/Contra TREASON, Poppy Bush pardoning

    the TRAITORS, and Junior starting ILLEGAL WARS of aggression

    […]

    The Bushes have been TRAITORS for 70 years, such as Granddaddy Prescott laundering Nazi money and getting

    property seized for TRADING WITH THE ENEMY in 1942.

    Cheney has been pushing for an imperial presidency and ILLEGAL SPYING on Americans since the Nixon days.

    These are the people you’re joining, John. Heh. Any second thoughts? You might as well support Ron Paul and the WTC7 Truther Brigade.

    I’m surprised that there haven’t been more conservative blogs linking to your coming out of the liberal closet. I guess they gave up on you long ago. Sad. I thought they were your friends.

    No BLOOD for OIL I can sound UNHINGED too if I use CAPSLOCK to EXPOSE my MOONBATTERY.
    *************************************

    Ahem. All the TRUTH. All well-documented.

    Moonbattery?

    How about TREASONONOUS scumbags like Bush who LIE and MURDER and then say they are “christian”.

    No greater INSANITY than THAT.

    What I wrote was the TRUTH.

    People like “psyche” are part of the DoD/Pentagon WAR ON THE INTERNET, to obfuscate the TRUTH.

    Link to declassified DoD documents showing EXACTLY THAT:

    http://www.iwar.org.uk/iwar/

    Sincerely,

    NRA Gun Nutes

  183. 183
    ThymeZone says:

    That was when I started paying attention to how the media used the word “centrist”.

    Yeah, but the media are mostly whores. Right?

  184. 184
    Dreggas says:

    DougJ Says:

    I learned to love calling myself a “progressive”. When I look at other people who call themselves “progressives”, I mostly agree with them.

    I hated it at first, too.

    eh when I see people who are defending Hugo Chavez calling themselves progressive and telling me I am not because I call him the dictator he is I am happy to be a liberal :).

    How about this I am an American and a Democrat in that order?

  185. 185
    ThymeZone says:

    Today, John Cole.

    Tomorrow ….. Birdzilla?

  186. 186
    Jerry Garcia says:

    Good for you! I’ll be joining the “Pitchforks and Torches Society”. They’ve been around since 1776 and are not a third party but are the first party.

  187. 187
    Dreggas says:

    hey TZ, you wouldn’t happen to know anyone who does floors and cabinets in phoenix would ya? Or a general contractor?

  188. 188
    demimondian says:

    I am not a progressive. I am a liberal.

  189. 189
    Punchy says:

    A small confession. I lurk at your site on occasion. I enjoy your blog, but didn’t realize that you were supposed to be a right-winger until you switched. You sucked at wingnuttery. LOL

    ooooh, SNAP!

    I’m still hooked on “dipshittia”, “idiotocracy”, “dumbfuckia”, and “fuckfaceness” to describe Malkin and her ilk. I hear “wingnuttery” and I envision a discount at Buffalo Wild Wings.

  190. 190
    Punchy says:

    Today, John Cole.

    Tomorrow ….. Birdzilla?

    No. Never. Not until he either masters a keyboard or a dictionary. One or the other, or no dice. He’s just too foul. Heh.

  191. 191
    DougJ says:

    Yeah, but the media are mostly whores. Right?

    The national media is, for sure.

  192. 192
    Bill Boland says:

    Welcome Home (home is where the heart and soul are)

    Curlydog

    http://www.curlydog.com/blog

  193. 193
    ThymeZone says:

    Dreggas, I can put you in touch with a guy who builds houses as a hobby. Assuming you are looking for top notch work.

    Why don’t you drop me a line at my email address which is camouflaged here. Just drop the dashes and spaces. Also you might want to join our mailing list. Many of your favorite miscreants are members.

    Write me at -f-r-a-n- -k-l-i-e.m-y– –d-e-a-r at ya hoo dot com.

    Cheers.

  194. 194
    Innocent Bystander says:

    OK….welcome aboard. But please don’t try to make us into your image of the political ideal – solid, centrist sane Republicanism. I totally understand the need to provide political refuge for any sane American in our current political climate. But I worry that our core principles will become diluted as the Democratic Refugee Camp fills up with doctrinaire conservative Republicans fleeing the Organized Crime Syndicate. Stay as long as you like, but please leave it in the same condition as when you checked in. :-)

  195. 195

    In Minnesota we do not register under a political party. We just register to vote.

    I’ve always been of the opinion that this registering for a particular party was a holdover from the days of machine politics, where you would strongarm your supporters.

  196. 196

    I guess i joined you in your decision from the other direction. Up until last week i was a member of the Green Party.(You know, the party that has it’s Convention three weeks before the General Election and sends out it campaign information six months later.)

    I did this because i want to vote for Dennis Kucinich in the Primary.

    Whoever you decide to vote for, vote for Kucinich. :)

  197. 197
    D-Chance. says:

    So tell me, Mr Cole… were you brainwashed by Nickelodeon? Is that is? Is that who we blame for this situation?

    :0)

  198. 198
    John Cole says:

    In Minnesota we do not register under a political party. We just register to vote.

    You don’t in WV, either. When you go in to vote on the primaries, you tell them what ballot you want.

  199. 199

    All of the arguments against my anti-centrist diatribe are of the form “long ago, in a galaxy far, far away centrism made sense.” Today, saying “I’m a centrist” usually means “I’m a David Broder worshipping pussy.”

    I’m surprised this crowd doesn’t get that.

    I understand it. The fact is, there is no center today.

    Bush has defined politics as either being with him, or against him. There’s no center. There’s no mushy spot where you can be apathetic and disappointed. Just being apathetic means you are against Bush.

  200. 200
    Shrink-in-sf says:

    I respect your writing and thinking, and most of all your independence. I remember watching the mock-impeachment vote for clinton and seeing 4 dems vote to impeach and 4 reps vote not to: I wasn’t very aware of politics at the time but I remember thinking, those 8 people should rule the nation. they are the only people in this country who can think for themselves.

    This is the only legacy that matters, the one that pushes us out of the center.

  201. 201
    jake says:

    I’ve always been of the opinion that this registering for a particular party was a holdover from the days of machine politics, where you would strongarm your supporters.

    Now you just have to strong arm the guys who program the machines.

  202. 202
    Reda StCyr says:

    Welcome to the club my brother. You did the right thing for now because after this shit is over, we are going to go after the democrats that screwed us also.

    You are so right to conclude that democrats are the lessor of the evils and all good things come in time.

    Peace to you

  203. 203

    Welcome to the left… Let me be the first to kick our new ally. :)

    While you have acknowledged the real problems, your answer is only a bandaid solution for some serious hemorrhaging.

    I find it odd that many in the left are celebrating this. I would much prefer that you fixed the party that you helped break instead of switching sides. The nation needs both parties to take a jump to the left before this country will be balanced again. More conservatives in the Dem party will only tilt the country even further into the abyss, unless a real left party comes into play while the dems become the new conservative party.

  204. 204
    jillbryant says:

    That’s fantastic! And extremely bold in light of the intense amount of hate email you are going to get, I’m sure (I didn’t even want to read them – I read the first inane one from a victim of the not-so-subtle art of political misdirection – something about marrying a homosexual and getting an abortion – and just didn’t have the stomach for any others.)

    I wanted to say I’m a registered Democrat because there isn’t any other way to vote in the primaries in California, as far as I know. But – that doesn’t mean I won’t vote for anyone I want to vote for. That said, right now that’s moot because that was pre-Bushco. P.B., I would look at each candidate individually. Now, I won’t vote for any Republican because just the fact that they are still in the party that is taking this country down and the world down with it shows a lack of courage and awareness).

    You are obvious a very brave guy and I hope others follow in your footsteps….

  205. 205
    Dave M says:

    Sad to see you go…

    You should have lingered with the GOP just to vote Ron Paul in your state primary.

    Should he not get the GOP nom, I’m heading to non-affiliated land too.

    The Dems will never get me in their tent. Socialism doesn’t work.

  206. 206
    Jess says:

    Also you might want to join our mailing list. Many of your favorite miscreants are members.

    Is this open to other regular B-Juicers as well?

  207. 207
    ThymeZone says:

    Is this open to other regular B-Juicers as well?

    Yes, all lefties who long for world domination are welcome.

  208. 208
    Dreggas says:

    ThymeZone Says:

    Is this open to other regular B-Juicers as well?

    Yes, all lefties who long for world domination are welcome.

    woohoo!!! Now I know I am going place, I have entered the inner sanctum.

  209. 209
    ThymeZone says:

    I have entered the inner sanctum.

    Repeat after me:

    “Going someplace, I am.”

    and …

    “Luke, I am your father.”

    That’s all there is to it.

  210. 210
    demimondian says:

    Now I know I am going place, I have entered the inner sanctum

    Hmm. Much like Boylan do you sound, young Dreggas. Remember, young padawan, the perils of pride and ambition — to truly be a troll, you must face humiliation, and embrace it.

  211. 211

    The things a habit of emotive exhibitionism leads to.

    Now you can be known as an “honest conservative” by people who grasp neither concept. Congrats.

  212. 212

    […] John Cole of Balloon Juice has announced that he has dropped his registration as a Republican and is now a Democrat: Long story short, I got up there to register as an independent, said “Fuck it,” and now I am a Democrat. I certainly don’t agree with all their positions, but they are not bat-shit crazy like the GOP. That has to count for something. […]

  213. 213
    demimondian says:

    Now you can be known as an “honest conservative” by people who grasp neither concept.

    So you’re planning on according him that label?

  214. 214
    ConservativelyLiberal says:

    Innocent Bystander Says:

    OK….welcome aboard. But please don’t try to make us into your image of the political ideal – solid, centrist sane Republicanism. I totally understand the need to provide political refuge for any sane American in our current political climate. But I worry that our core principles will become diluted as the Democratic Refugee Camp fills up with doctrinaire conservative Republicans fleeing the Organized Crime Syndicate. Stay as long as you like, but please leave it in the same condition as when you checked in.

    Got that John? Don’t pollute the democrats with your logic, your centrist, sane republican logic. Don’t make waves dude, or you will piss them off!

    Damn I am glad I am an independent! No party affiliation to worry about sullying with my thoughts and words, no listening to stupid stuff like ‘the democrats accept anyone, we don’t have to agree because we like political discussion’, which is followed up with ‘don’t pollute the party, leave it as you found it’. Ahh yes, political nirvana. The big group hug.

    /barf

  215. 215
    Thursday says:

    Switching from the party devoted to hating enemies to one devoted to alienating allies, eh?

    Tell me this doesn’t reinforce the idea that binary thinking does far more harm than good…

    Good luck to you!

  216. 216
    Dreggas says:

    demimondian Says:

    Now I know I am going place, I have entered the inner sanctum
    Hmm. Much like Boylan do you sound, young Dreggas. Remember, young padawan, the perils of pride and ambition—to truly be a troll, you must face humiliation, and embrace it.

    I find very little humiliating anymore but god I hate it when I make typos…or is that “hate it, god i do, when typos I make”?

  217. 217
    Kewalo says:

    I am delighted to welcome you to the Democratic party. We need good thinkers and people willing to work to change the party to make it more progressive.

    I am really stoked. You made my night.

  218. 218
    Bruce Campbell 2008 says:

    I’m switching from Independent to Democrat so I can vote for Chris Dodd.

    Legalize it, bitches!!!

  219. 219
    Heywood Jablomy says:

    Heywood Jablomy says:

    Not to be too theatrical – oh, why not – but i sense something profound in John’s post and the enthused followups. It’s not a groundswell for the Democrats. It’s a groundswell for, in Cole’s apt phrase, “sucking out” forever after the poison that is Bushism. Some months back, when I saw the Dems in Congress roll over on FISA and hand Bush the unfettered surveillance powers that he and Gonzales had already stolen, I took to my bed in a ghastly funk. Not even old Johnny Cash vids on Youtube could bring me out of it. I thought, Where is the brushfire going to start? Our generation can’t possibly be this wreckless. We can’t be this dishonorable to the memories of the men who wrote the Constitution and Bill of Rights under threat of imminent hanging. It can’t be. I even rented “1776″ for inspiration. It made me cry. But I admit I was almost out of optimism. I even priced a house in Toronto, and it wasn’t because I was feeling g’eh.

    Then I saw a few slender reeds on the googletubes. Greenwald and TPM and that sputtering but right-thinking Olbermann bashing away at the spineless curs, with Firedog and Kos and Huff and Cole and others chiming in. I saw conservatrons like Bruce Fein and Bob Barr attacking torture and warrantless wiretapping. Ron Paul lashing out. Dodd threatening to hold up telecom immunity. There would be a brushfire after all.

    Well, we are now seeing the greatest coalition since Reaganism building. Perhaps greater – perhaps New Deal greater. There will be seams and fractures of course but we will be united in the Big Things – the ones that never got so malevolently challenged in the past: Habeus Corpus and warrants, keeping our soldiers OUT of harm’s way unless there TRULY (not fakely) is no alternative, needy children’s health care (the preamble’s “promote the general welfare” has meaning).

    I’ll never support asinine speech codes and hate crimes laws, never have tolerance for abortion, never stop disliking the laws that make it hard for me to own my firearms, never regret that we went and fetched Noriega like a bunch of hemispheric heavyweights. But right now, as Cole says, the great and transcendent fabric that we live by is at stake. We need to excise the tumor that in Neo-connery, lance the boil that is Cheneyism. And it has to be an ear-splitting and world-stunning repudiation. We did not win the celestial lottery and enter life as Americans to allow the permanent upfucking of this beautiful, wonderful country by a putsch of certified a-holes. For now we’re just democrats, with a lower-case D if you like. And we all agree on this: We need to run these bastards out of town, out of OUR capital, out of OUR White House, on a goddam rail.

  220. 220
    DougJ says:

    Now you can be known as an “honest conservative” by people who grasp neither concept. Congrats.

    Now you can be called a funny conservative by people who enjoy Fox’s “The 1/2 Hour News Hour”.

    And shouldn’t you be off crossing swords in a a bathroom stall somewhere?

  221. 221
    Delia says:

    It’s late and I don’t have time to read all the posts in this thread. I was born and bred a Dem in the red red state of Utah. My dad was the one who made the switch, back in about 1938. It was Roosevelt’s job programs that enabled him to get off a rock-poor farm during the Depression and go to college, and he never forgot it.

    I’m having my issues right now with the Harry-and-Nancy Show. But it beats Fascism with A Down Home Face, which appears to be the alternative.

  222. 222
    boadicea says:

    Dreggas:

    I and my inner politico-historical geek thank you for the compliment on my byline choice.

  223. 223
    Cain says:

    Good for you! I’ll be joining the “Pitchforks and Torches Society”. They’ve been around since 1776 and are not a third party but are the first party.

    What? You’re not going to join “The Boston Tea Party”? It’s been around much longer. :-)

    cain

  224. 224
    Darkness says:

    Dougj brings up something:

    If you call yourself a moderate or a centrist, I don’t want you in my political party. I’d rather join forces with neocons or Buchananites or some other group that has a functioning set of testicles.

    It made me realize one of the fundamental problems with political discourse right now, and news that has to make a profit is helping fuel it. It is perceived as weak to stake out the middle in this country. This isn’t true in other places, like Europe (never mind the disfunctional Brits, who aren’t European by their own choice).

    Sorry, Douggy, it takes FAR MORE cajonés to stand in the middle (the DMZ as it were) and stay there. Are you kidding? Bring all those polarized children to the table and make them sit there and hand out enough candy and pat them on the head and tell them how nice it is of them to not make faces during the meeting so that they will play nice enough to take a minute of their time from campaigning and puffing up their chests to solve even a tiny problem the country has? Meanwhile taking shit from all sides for not taking up a polarized position and therefore being a traitor even to your “own” side? Holy crap. Sorry THAT is the toughest job going in politics and the reason no one does it well right now because it carries no reward. Meanwhile the country’s business is stuck with half its wheels spinning one way and half spinning the other, going in a circle. You want to join in spinning the wheels? That takes no guts. There are scripts for that, you don’t even have to think for yourself to do that. And lots of people will pat you on the back while you’re doing it. Try finding a middle ground on something, even a small thing, and see how fast you yearn to run for cover/ and or dig a fox-hole. No guts involved in that? Right.

    In the end, if someone does the center job well, no one acknowledges that they did anything at all. Partly because the polarizers have to take credit for everything, even if its the very thing they demonized before they were forced to sit their ass down and behave.

    By the way, great commenters you have here, John. I keep spitting my coffee out.

  225. 225
    Cain says:

    Hey John, what does your boss think of your conversion? I seem to recall he likes to read this blog.

    cain

  226. 226
    z adura says:

    John,

    My first vote was for GHW Bush in 1988, two years after I graduated from high school and deep in the middle of my college republican days. I bought every single piece of bullshit fed to me back then and was on a Republican high until 1994. By 1998, it was clear that Republicans, whatever I thought they were originally, were dispicable, petty and unamerican. I registered Independent in 2000 and remained there until 2004 when I did what you did today – I took a stand.

    I don’t really like the party to which I belong especially much, but that is the probably the right kind of relationship to have with a political party anyway. We share the same core belief in democracy, the worst form of government man has ever invented, aside from all the others…

  227. 227
    Mylegacy says:

    Canadian here…

    None of you really realize how far your country has sunk. Babybush is not the first but if you’re to ever reclaim your leadership he’d better be the last.

    Following 9/11 most EVERYONE in the WORLD was with you. You’re unspeakable over-response to that fateful day has DESTROYED your soul. The baddies could not have had a better response from you, did they pay you? Your government destroyed ALL that you STOOD FOR to the rest of the world. You have betrayed yourself beyond measure and friends of America, like me…can only weep at the fall.

    You don’t just need a Democratic President…you need at least a generation of change, a generation of rebuilding your souls. You MUST DO IT. The world needs you to do it.

    America is now the biggest bully on the block, and a soon to be a bankrupt one at that. WE need, YOU need, to BELIEVE in what AMERICA STOOD FOR (STANDS FOR) and not be the tail on every terrorist’s dog. They HATE what you were – what you’ve become – is their twin.

  228. 228
    TenguPhule says:

    We await you when you sober up and realize that President Hitlerly is not in your best interests.

    Do not worry, Psycheout, you too can be forgiven after you give up cockslapping with your band of GOP brothers.

    And Remember, every power Hillary wields tomorrow is the same one you asses of the Right gave Bush today.

    Now bend over and prepare to be assimilated.

  229. 229
    over it says:

    Congrats, John. I liked ya fine as a Republican…I’m sure I’ll love ya as a Democrat. ;)

    I have been a full on Dem ever since Bush entered office…but, prior to that, I always said I was either a conservative Democrat or a liberal Republican. I doubt that I will ever again consider myself any kind of Republican for as long as I live.

    So, Republican or Democrat…keep up the good work. Though I may not comment often, I read daily.

    Cheers!

  230. 230
    wvblueguy says:

    John… please come over and join us at wvablue.com. We welcome all viewpoints and opinions. Glad to see another Democrat in WV. Bush does that to a lot of folks.

  231. 231

    […] He’s got a lot of worthy competition, but there’s one site that shouldn’t be listed in that category. That would be John “I just registered as a Democrat” Cole. I expect his Kossack friends will be pleased to see he gets the Conservative category award. […]

  232. 232
    Rob S says:

    I admire your willingness to public proclaim both your switch and your reasons. You may also take comfort in Demographics. There are a great many people like you who have been republicans — although the extremists are the ones who get the press — and all of those folks who are just like you — probably about 5% of the country — will hopefully help us to take our constitutional system back. If democrats take total power, there is a question as to whether or not they have the guts to do it.

  233. 233
    broadsword says:

    I made a similar decision several years ago. During the run-up to the Iraq war.

    Knowing it was all BS, the whole causus belli rationale, and that family members who just would *not* listen to reason were willingly voting a party line that was clearly demagoguery from every conceivable angle…well, that sealed it.

    That and the steadfast insistence that I respect ‘beliefs’ that are clearly bunk, which were being aggresively instituted as freakin’ POLICY, well that all drove me running from a party that my family’s been in since there *was* a party.

    A terrorist attack is NOT an excuse to ram a Conservative domestic agenda in to law. It’s NOT an opportunity for profit. The GOP ought to be totally ashamed of itself for what it’s done, and it’s not. Not even close.

    “Good riddance” you say?

    Fuck you, I say. You’re kind of in denial about how very badly you’ve fucked things up.

    So, Mazel Tov on your choice. You’re going to find that there are a lot of really awesome people on the, er, light side of the force, if you will.

  234. 234
    ConservativelyLiberal says:

    I’m with Darkness on being in the middle, or as he called it, the DMZ (how apropos). It is those of us in the middle who have to listen to both sides and either choose what we see as right, or the lesser of two evils. Sometimes we say screw both sides and take a breather from it.

    I am no centrist, but I am both praised and cursed by the right and left for my positions. Usually it is the more extreme elements of either side, along with whoever they have garnered support from at that time/for that cause.

    Those of us in the middle take a lot of crap from both sides, but when it comes to voting all we hear is “We want to earn your vote!” or “The other side will blow up the world, so vote for us!”.

    You party faithful can stake out your positions on either side, but if you want to sell me on it you better do more than call me (or the other side) names. How about your best persuasive argument, and if I disagree then at least respect my decision instead of deriding it?

    Name calling and labels are not any way to garner support. Not from this independent, no way.

  235. 235
    belledamesansmerci says:

    Congratulations on your disgust with your old party. It must be catching–both ways–because I, a south-side of Chicago-born Irish former Catholic (and we are born Democratic), switched from the Democratic party to the Independent party about two years ago due to extreme disgust with my party’s spinelessness and cowardice in the face of extreme governmental malfeasance. Plus, they were just so headed towards being Republican-lite since Clinton anyway–what’s the real difference? Clinton was pretty much a Goldwater Republican. So anyway–let’s try to keep both sides on their toes, the bastards. God knows almost none of them are worth the carbon they’re made of, but someone’s gotta watch them.

    BTW, yours was one of the only Republican sites I read. Where am I going to go now for a non-rabid, thinking person’s “other” side of the tale?

    Seriously, I know how hard it is to leave a party you felt allegiance to. I know how saddening it is to see things you thought were sacrosanct completely shit-canned for nothing but money and power for the few. You’re a patriot–you should be proud. I know a whole lot of really disenfranchised Republicans and Democrats and I know that those are the most patriotic people out there.

    Slainte!

  236. 236
    Hephaestos says:

    What the heck took you so long?

  237. 237
    Smgumby says:

    As a liberal independant, I too, have now lost one one of he few “conservative blogs” I could read. The GOP has tried and tried to push me into the arms of the Democrats. I even voted a straight D ticket in 2006 as my statement of protest. But although I rail against the GOP, the Democrats continue to disappoint. Maybe YOU can talk some sense into them.

  238. 238

    […] John Cole, of Balloon Juice has formally changed over from Republican to Democrat. […]

  239. 239
    trip_wonders says:

    Welcome John. You’ll be receiving your free Guide To Wiccan Orgies in the mail. On behalf of the Democratic electorate I’d like congratulate you on a fine decision.

  240. 240
    over_educated says:

    John, if you win the web award for best conservative blog, it would be classic…

    Seriously though, why is Tim upset? Inquiring minds want to know!!!!

  241. 241
    Jill says:

    Let’s all give John a big liberal hug! Gee, John, if I knew you were coming I’d have baked a cake. The really good black forest cake, too.

  242. 242
    W. Kiernan says:

    And here I was thinking of re-registering here in Florida as a Republican. Just so I can cast a vote for the most unelectably-lunatic candidate in the primary, you understand. I did vote for Republicans three times thus far since 1974.

  243. 243
    Christopher Walker says:

    Interesting choice; interesting reasons.

    Welcome. You may, in hindsight, though, wish you had been a tougher negotiator. I took the check from George Soros, but I held out for an acre of virgin teens.

  244. 244
    Carnacki says:

    Long story short, I got up there to register as an independent, said “Fuck it,” and now I am a Democrat. I certainly don’t agree with all their positions, but they are not bat-shit crazy like the GOP.

    From one West Virginia Democrat to another, welcome to the party! Please feel free to join us at West Virginia Blue, where your line above could be our site’s slogan even though we are a Democratic blog.

  245. 245
    Thepanzer says:

    I did much the same as John in 2004. 3rd generation Republican and 3rd generation military. Never even voted for a Democrat prior to 04. It was time to make the switch though. The republicans have gone crazy, the people running the switchboard are either neocons, religious nuts or facist loonies. If you don’t fall into one of those three camps (or to be more honest tow the line in all 3) you don’t have a seat at the policy table.

    So far I’ve found the Democrats to be much more accepting of opposing views, and though I still disagree with many policy positions I’m not called a traitor for daring to question when some C average imbecile in the white house thinks starting a 2 or 3 front war on the opposite side of the planet is a good idea.

    You’d think the Republicans would have noticed by now how many life-long R’s are jumping ship. Especially their key demographic of “white christian males.” Only goes to show how batshit crazy they’ve gotten that they don’t care that everyone but the crazies are leaving.

    F* the Republicans, I’ll never go back. Now if we can find some way to clone Senator Webb 50 times or buy spines for the dems to take the fight to the republican camp.

  246. 246
    Carnacki says:

    Is that the same Josh Trevino that tried to convince readers at Swords Crossed that even the “anti-war” Michael Yon saw progress occurring in Iraq? And Trevino questions someone else’s honesty? Bwhahaha.

  247. 247
    BG says:

    Congrats John, you have left the cool kids and joined the kids who think. They seem to require a lot of team spirit to make it through the day, dont they?

  248. 248
    serge says:

    John…I’ve always read your blog because you were obviously smart, saw things logically, and wrote what you determined was the truth. It didn’t matter what party you were affiliated with. I’ve been a life-long democrat but I refuse to buy into all of the bullshit just because it was disseminated by another democrat. That would be no different than the next incapable-of-independent-thought republican. The democrat-ic party is messy and frustrating at times. It’s all I’ve got, though.

    I want to see pitchforks and torches on the streets of this great country. Maybe then we’ll get the attention of the enablers, appeasers, propagandists, and just plain evil fucks in charge.

  249. 249
    cynical Jim says:

    John,

    I feel your pain. I did the same thing three years ago. I thought that by remaining in the Republican party I could help bring it back to its roots and to reality. No chance. I’m not an idealogue. I’m not a facist. I believe in the rule of law.

    That’s what the Republican Part is about – idealogy, facism (in the classic sense), and personal loyalty.

    Now if we could just get the Democrats in Congress to grow some spines there may be a chance of reversing the travesties that the Republicans have imposed on America and the rest of the world.

  250. 250
    DougJ says:

    Sorry, Douggy, it takes FAR MORE cajonés to stand in the middle

    God held up us.

  251. 251
    Palolo lolo says:

    The rational brain finally kicks in. Congratulations and welcome to the real world. Not sure what we can do about the 40 sturgeon though :)

  252. 252
    DougJ says:

    To all you wankers going on about how great and brave it it so be in the center with David Broder and Joe Lieberman, would you mind answering a series of questions:

    Do you think that the US should bomb Iran?
    Do you think gay marriage should be legal?
    Do you think that marijuana should be legal?
    Do you distrust people who think that God talks to them?

    If you answered yes to two or more of the questions above, you are to the left of all major Democratic candidates? So shut up about all the guts you’re showing with your brave, wise, moderate, nonpartisan, centrist positions, okay?

  253. 253
    DougJ says:

    I guess the first question was supposed to have a “no” answer, but you get my point.

    In this country we have one right-wing party and one far right-wing party. Get used to it.

  254. 254
    Rebecca says:

    Welcome on in. I swapped parties years ago.

    R.

  255. 255
    E in Md says:

    I’m more of a centrist myself. But I prize freedom and I don’t like a government that trashes the very documents that gave them the power they are weilding like clubs against us.

    To be sure, we have our own fair share of crooks and nutjobs in the Democratic party too. The fault in all this lies with all of *US*, the American people for not holding these fools accountable for their actions and making sure they pay for their crimes.

    We elect these out of control rejects again and again because we are afraid of change. Before the 06 midterms if you were an incumbent you were 90% likely to remain an incumbent even if you were known to be crooked.

    We seem to think that the devil we know is better than the devil we don’t. In the case of politicians it’s not. When the devil you know is building $300 million dollar bridges in a county with less than 7000 people you have to do something. When they refuse to invest in our schools or don’t want to fund universal healthcare but doesn’t have a single issue spending $9 billion a week in a war of choice the fault doesn’t lie with the politician the fault lies in us.

    Democrat or Republican doesn’t matter. What matters is we need to hold these bums up to the same standards we would any other employee. You don’t get to keep your job at McDonald’s if you bilk money from the till and get caught. They seem to be forgetting that they work for us, not for Haliburton or Exxon or Intel. But in Congress that’s tradition!

    It is heartening to see Republicans coming to their senses with what their party has done of late and put aside any ideological differences for the good of the country. We just need to make sure we don’t let the Democrats get away with anything either. Politicians on both sides rely on the ignorance and apathy of the American people to get away with these shenanigans. Once we get these neo-cons out of office, and keep them from destroying our nation then philosophy can come out and play.

    Until then, welcome aboard. We have cookies.

  256. 256
    Indigowatcher says:

    We should all be abandoning the Republican AND Democratic parties in droves. Our nation desperately needs more than 2 political parties, because the system is rigged. It’s a fundamental flaw in the way our system of government works, but it can be fixed. We as a nation have changed dramatically since we were first declared a sovereign nation, but not nearly enough updates have been made to reflect the changing times. The arrival of new technologies means that we as American citizens can have the chance at a true vote, not some drop-in-the-bucket gesture made pointless by the electoral college. So I say we mindfully form 2 or 3 more political parties, abolish the electoral college and outlaw lobbyists. The Republicans that are leaving their party now for the Dem side will find it a poor fit, I’m afraid.

  257. 257
    zzyzx says:

    Wow! I started reading this blog during the Schiavo fiasco but I never thought it would lead here. Now the only complaint I have with you is your choice of football team to root for ;)

  258. 258
    Dreggas says:

    Haywood says:

    I’ll never support asinine speech codes and hate crimes laws, never have tolerance for abortion, never stop disliking the laws that make it hard for me to own my firearms, never regret that we went and fetched Noriega like a bunch of hemispheric heavyweights.

    Well, while I do support a womans right to choose and do, at least to an extent, support hate crime laws I agree with the rest of what you had to say. The beauty is I am a democrat, and even as a democrat I don’t have to be in lock step with the rest of the party. Being a dem doesn’t mean you have to support EVERYTHING the dems do, however being a republican, in todays world, does.

  259. 259
    Bombadil says:

    Rebecca Says:

    Welcome on in. I swapped parties years ago.

    R.

    OK, maybe I do drink too much coffee. I read that as “swapped panties”.

  260. 260
    Moses says:

    Congratulations. I did the same in 2003. Whatever our party was, it isn’t that anymore. It has more in common with the fascists and other totalitarian groups than it ever had with the party that gave us Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Lincoln or just about any other Republican party in history.

  261. 261
    Andrew says:

    Welcome to some semblance of sanity. I am not saying the Democrats are completely sane, but they are orders of magnitude closer to the “sane camp.”

    Like you I have tended to be independent. My favorite MN Govenor was a Republican (Carlson) I have tended to vote for the person, but this bat-shit-crazy Republican crowd has pushed me into the hardcore Democrat box. I am now a very proud Democrat and will give time and money to help them return sanity to our government.

  262. 262
    DougJ says:

    But I prize freedom and I don’t like a government that trashes the very documents that gave them the power they are wielding like clubs against us.

    Then you’re an extremist, not a centrist.

  263. 263
    DougJ says:

    never regret that we went and fetched Noriega like a bunch of hemispheric heavyweights.

    Spoof? We are a hemispheric heavyweight.

  264. 264
    DougJ says:

    Never mind: I didn’t check your screen name.

    Well played.

  265. 265
    The Agitator says:

    Odds n’ Ends

    John Cole is now a Democrat. I stopped registering as a Republican in 2002. Don’t think I could ever…

  266. 266
    Tom says:

    As a currently registered Democrat, I’ve often considered registering Republican in order to vote in the Republican primary for the lesser of evils. I think the party one registers for should be done not for one’s personal idealogical alignment, but where one feels one’s vote might best be used.

  267. 267
    ThymeZone says:

    Do you think that the US should bomb Iran?
    Do you think gay marriage should be legal?
    Do you think that marijuana should be legal?
    Do you distrust people who think that God talks to them?

    1. No

    2. No, but I don’t think government should be in the marriage business at all. Civil unions, yes, and those should be for anybody who wants them.

    3. Yes

    4. Very much so, yes.

  268. 268
    mrmobi says:

    Woot! Woot! Woot! John Cole is a DEMONCRAT!

    Welcome to the least organized political party ever, John.

    There’s going to be a lot about the Democratic Party to be unhappy with in the coming months, but it’s really great that you made this choice. This country deserves a principled Republican Party, and it looks like the only way we’re going to get that is to send these bastards to the hinterlands for a few years.

  269. 269
    Pete Bogs says:

    Soros hasn’t sent me my check yet, so you’ll have to wait…

  270. 270

    “Carnacki,” my boy, I was definitely wrong about Michael Yon’s political (war-itical?) leanings back in …. well, when was that? Eighteen months ago? Your fixation on the point, and your inability to distinguish between error and malice, is a bit obsessive — and disturbing.

    Back to the subject at hand: John is a decent sort, but the company he falls in now is profoundly disturbing. Assume that his critique of the Republicans (much of which I share) is accurate: does it follow from this that the sole alternative is to join the Democrats? (Leave aside that the Democrats here are the famously corrupt West Virginia Democrats!) Personally, I reject the notion that our choice is between greater evil and lesser evil — despite my fondness for Raymond Aron. Individual integrity is always an option — and it’s always the superior option. Conscious self-identification with “Jane Hamsher, Atrios, [and] Kos” is antithetical to that.

  271. 271
    Tim F. says:

    I reject the notion that our choice is between greater evil and lesser evil—despite my fondness for Raymond Aron. Individual integrity is always an option—and it’s always the superior option. Conscious self-identification with “Jane Hamsher, Atrios, [and] Kos” is antithetical to that.

    Um, torture and unsupervised government surveillance are the greater evils. Identifying with intolerably smug assholes are pretty trivial concerns, particularly when the rightwing blogosphere is full to bursting with the same and worse.

  272. 272
    Jen says:

    I think that’s great, but I do humbly disagree that the 2008 election was the most important one. It was 2000. Next most important was 2004. We blew it and went into a tailspin. Must….dig….out…
    But it is important. And maybe history will view it as the most important one. If it lasts, and lasts, and lasts, and the landscape of politics changes fundamentally, maybe it will view it as, a little too late but never late than never, a repudiation of the hateful, un-American policies of this administration, not to mention of its dizzying heights of incompetence and complete lack of empirical thinking.

  273. 273
    tBone says:

    Re: centrism, I have to go with DougJ here. In normal political circumstances, there’s nothing wrong with being a centrist. I used to consider myself one, and hopefully one day I’ll be able to again.

    But these aren’t normal political circumstances. The Republican party has drifted, possibly irretrievably, into Crazyland while the Democrats have been experimenting to see how far they can retract their collective balls into their collective body cavity. The “center” has been dragged to the right. If you moved with it, if you think centrism is a virtue unto itself regardless of how the political spectrum has changed, then you have no real principles.

    Maybe someday we’ll have two functioning parties – one liberal, one conservative – that stand for different things and keep their crazies in check, but we’ll never get there unless the Broderites come down off the damn fence and actually stand up for something.

  274. 274

    Oh, but Tim, you know as well as I that there are policy issues attendant to that identification.

    Suffice it to say that if you’re interested in personal liberty and Constitutional governance, the Dems merely propose to erode both in completely different ways.

  275. 275
    jcricket says:

    I’m in complete agreement that “faux centrism” is really just a bullshit way of thinking these days. I’m not saying you have to lock-step agree with either party. But the idea that there’s something more noble in not hewing to a “partisan” line of reasoning is just crap.

    It’s one of the things that made me stop reading Joe Gandelman a loooong time ago. On nearly every issue that matters, the Democratic party is “correct”. If that makes me partisan, or lefty, or liberal – who the fuck cares? The answers that one commentator gave to DougJ’s questions makes him a Democrat, in every meaningful way.

    Bush has defined politics as either being with him, or against him. There’s no center. There’s no mushy spot where you can be apathetic and disappointed. Just being apathetic means you are against Bush.

    It’s actually worse than this. If you’re a Democrat, that’s one thing. If you’re a Republican, that’s something else. If you “claim” to be open/centrist, you’re just a pawn for the Republicans (see the Blue Dog Democrats and Lieberman).

    There was an era when this wasn’t true, but no longer. A vote for the Republicans, on anything, is a vote for torture, unconstitutional, un-American malfeasance, continued corruption, demonization of gays/muslims, etc.

    In other countries there is a center. There is left, center/left, center/right and right (take Israel, France or Germany for examples). In this country there is only “bomb the fuck out of all the darkies” right wingers and the left.

  276. 276
    CaseyL says:

    I’m gobsmacked by how many people have stopped by here to comment, and even more gobsmacked by how many of them are also former members of the GOP. It’s like an AA meeting :)

    One of the earlier comments here was to the effect that the refugees from the GOP, angry progressives, and people who just want sanity and lack of evil in government have the makings of a coaltion to rival the old Democratic New Deal/Great Society coalitions.

    That’s a wonderful idea: not just take back our country from the madmen who now run it, but work hard to transform it into the place it could have been. It makes me feel hopeful, something I haven’t felt in years, since the best I thought we could do was a holding action.

  277. 277
    Patty says:

    This is fantastic! No better message to the current GOP then to join the Dems. Brave move that must be applauded.

  278. 278
    Tim F. says:

    Suffice it to say that if you’re interested in personal liberty and Constitutional governance, the Dems merely propose to erode both in completely different ways.

    Indeed, if we lived in a world where no meaningful difference existed between “propose to” and “have done” then you would have a point.

  279. 279
    DougJ says:

    2. No, but I don’t think government should be in the marriage business at all. Civil unions, yes, and those should be for anybody who wants them.

    I agree completely. But that’s an even more extremist answer.

    The point is that I don’t think any of us here is in the center in terms of: (a) what the media would have us believe voters believe or (b) what voters actually do believe.

    As I see it, there are three political philosophies I hear from intelligent people. Chomskyites argue (correctly) that our entire country is run by corporations and that we have no real free press. Clintonites argue (correctly) that sensible pro-business policies and sane liberal interventionist foreign policy (e.g. Bosnia) helped bring prosperity to the country and more peace to the world. Libertarians (real ones, not the ones who are just dope-smoking Republicans) argue (correctly) that there are a lot of advantages to having the government do as little as possible.

    I think that when people on a blog like this — which, as much as I hate to say this, consists mostly of well-informed, intelligent commenters — say that they’re centrist, they mean that their beliefs are some combination of Chomskyism, Clintonism, and libertarianism.

    I hate to get all David Brooks with my made-up words about political philosophies, but I think it’s worth addressing what non-wanker people are trying to say when they say they’re centrist.

  280. 280
    jcricket says:

    and even more gobsmacked by how many of them are also former members of the GOP

    My brother-in-law was a center/right Republican for a looong time. Voted for Bush in 2000 and always says things like “Dems are worse”.

    At least he used to. Voted for Kerry in 2004, and has voted for all Dems in 2006 for the first time ever. I now hear him ranting about how Bush is fucking up the country and ruining us “forever” unless we vote the Republicans out of office.

    There are plenty of “moderate” Dems and “independents” who used to occasionally vote Republican. Now a lot of them are voting a straight Democratic ticket. It’s not just the WH or Congress Republicans need to worry about. It’s governorships, state legislatures, statewide offices, non-partisan races, etc… If Republicans don’t change course soon (and I doubt they will – they seem to think losses mean they’re not bat-shit-crazy enough) they’ll be in the wilderness for the rest of our lifetimes.

  281. 281
    jcricket says:

    Indeed, if we lived in a world where no meaningful difference existed between “propose to” and “have done” then you would have a point.

    I have this argument with my “well meaning” very liberal friends all the time. For a while (between 2000 and 2004) they seriously argued that Gore would have invaded Iraq too (just like Bush).

    I tried to point out that even the conservative Dems (outside of Lieberman) wouldn’t go out of their way to conduct attempt to legalize torture, warrantless wiretapping, etc. That Dems wouldn’t gin up intelligence to send us to war with Iraq, etc.

    Yes, Dems aren’t progressive enough on plenty of issues I care about, but they are light-years better than anything the Republicans do, say, care about, propose, etc. And with Dems in charge, the party can theoretically be moved to the left if that’s what we want to do.

    Lefties need to take one thing from the right-wing special interest groups. Don’t make it “all or nothing”. Get promises, get someone elected, then hold their feet to the fire on those promises.

  282. 282

    Tim, I believe the hypothetical universe you seek is the one where Democrats have never enacted any preferred policy on any subject, ever. We know them as well as we know the Republicans. Admittedly, most of the blogging left appears to have sprung ex nihilo into political consciousness between 1998 and 2001: but they are not condemned to perpetual historical ignorance as a consequence.

    You might also consider that your argument implies a necessary sympathetic ear to any out-of-power faction, regardless of the objective quality of its goals. Surely you don’t mean that.

  283. 283
    whaat? says:

    west (by god) virginia is filled with right wing democrats anyway

  284. 284
    Tim F. says:

    Trevino, now you have my interest. What Democratic policies, whether real or proposed, would you put on par with torture, unsupervised government surveillance, detaining American citizens without access to habeas corpus? McCain-Feingold? Honestly, I’m curious. As I recall the oppressive government surveillance program that had the freepi worked up during Clinton was FISA, the old version before Bush started toying around with it.

    Or we could go on about logical fundaments, for example about how you mistook my refutation of your attempt to disqualify Democrats for a specific endorsement on my part. Ambitious proposals usually go nowhere; if you doubt it read the Texas GOP platform for any given year. Then take a shower. Dems have had plenty of turns at the helm and so far as I can tell none have enacted torture.

  285. 285
    Contrarian_Libertarian says:

    Buh-bye!

    You write this as if Republicans should somehow lament your apostasy…as if we should say “Oh My God!! What have we done!!!”

    I’ve long thought that we’re better off as a party without people like you in it. Seriously. You should be where you’re comfortable.

    Have fun in the party of “hey-lets-incite-Turkey”!

  286. 286
    Contrarian_Libertarian says:

    Tim F — well that depends what torture is, doesn’t it? I mean, I could call reading one of your posts “torture”. Doesn’t necessarily make it so.

    We haven’t legalized torture — real, honest-to-goodness torture. We’re just having a discussion about where that line needs to be — and a healthy discussion, at that.

    FTR, Congress could outlaw what you call torture anytime they like. The Democrats have the majority now. They could easily pass legislation making, among other things, waterboarding illegal…even if it would be vetoed (which hasn’t stopped them from passing other legislation).

    But they haven’t. And they aren’t going to. And, moreover, even if HRC is the next president, they still aren’t going to.

    And that’s because they’re not as dumb as you think they should be.

  287. 287
    Contrarian_Libertarian says:

    Joshua, you’re right about that.

    And to add one more example to the pile, which president was it who enacted extraordinary rendition as policy?

    PDD 39 is declassified and available for all to see:

    http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/pdd39.htm

    Now, I don’t really know whether this is a good idea or not. It’s controversial, to be sure. And even Michael Scheuer himself confessed that the foreign agencies to whom we turned over suspects didn’t operate “up to US standards.” So, we knew full well what was going on.

    Let’s not get on high horses here. And, besides, I don’t think it’s a badge of honor to say you used kid gloves on terrorists. This is a war, not some kind of a criminal enterprise.

  288. 288
    ThymeZone says:

    I agree completely. But that’s an even more extremist answer.

    Now that’s an interesting comment. Because my proposal is completely Constitutional and completely in alignment with what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

    How in the world did we get into a situation where the government, and in particular the fucking Federal government, decides what marriage is and who can participate in it? It’s a church idea.

    Civil union is about taxation, property, and equal protection. It’s not about God and some phony horseshit about One Man and One Woman or any other religion-based mumbo jumbo. Civil union is the only rational and sensible approach to the recognition of the family unit by government. Anything else is completely incompatible with any description of a free society.

    How is that extreme? You appear to be defining extremism as “not real popular” or “not politically viable at the present time.”

    Extreme to me means extreme in terms of moral or fiscal effect. Juding waterboarding to be legal, that’s extreme.

    If centrism is the opposite of extremism, what is the basis for opposing it? Are you going to generally pimp extremism, or just set up zero sum contests between extreme ideas to see who wins?

    I don’t get it.

  289. 289
    Contrarian_Libertarian says:

    Bush has defined politics as either being with him, or against him. There’s no center.

    Now that’s just false on its face. He’s defined politics no such way.

    You’re mixing up a message he gave (though, sadly, never followed up on) to Middle Eastern governments about, on the one hand operating as a US ally and, on the other, facilitating or otherwise aiding terrorist groups.

    I tend to think it would be a pretty sane practice. But, then, it wasn’t long after this that he was pictured holding hands with King Abdullah. And that kinda shoots the whole “with us or with the terrorists” message. Because Saudi Arabia has long typified the fence-sitters in that arrangement.

    But to take those words and twist it into meaning that “Hey, American people, you’re either with me or you’re an enemy of this country” is perverse and has no place in reasonable discourse.

  290. 290
    jcricket says:

    I’ve long thought that we’re better off as a party without people like you in it. Seriously. You should be where you’re comfortable.

    I think this sums up the Republican party perfectly these days. Don’t like it? Get out.

    Gay? Black? Hispanic? Muslim? Get out
    “Working Woman”? Back in the kitchen and out of my party.

    Enjoy your party of 1 guys.

  291. 291
    ThymeZone says:

    But to take those words and twist it into meaning that “Hey, American people, you’re either with me or you’re an enemy of this country” is perverse and has no place in reasonable discourse.

    Uh, okay, spoof confirmed, I’d say. Try not to be quite so obvious, dude. Really, if we are going to spoof, we have an obligation to try to live up to some standard.

    Perverse? Cover = blown. Everything about this sick asshole’s presidency is perverse. Get outta here.

  292. 292
    Contrarian_Libertarian says:

    Gay? Black? Hispanic? Muslim? Get out
    “Working Woman”? Back in the kitchen and out of my party.

    Not at all, jcricket. That doesn’t sum up my feelings at all.

    It’s about holding particular ideas and values. And I’ve long thought that John’s ideas and values didn’t really square with the Republican Party’s. And I think both he and the party are better off apart.

    I don’t give a wit what race, ethnicity, religion, or whatever. I don’t care if they’re gay or straight. All of that stuff is entirely meaningless to me.

    I do, though, think there are limits to the swath of represented ideas. John is left-of-center, obviously. And it doesn’t bother me at all when left-of-center Republicans leave the party.

    Why should it? Does it bother you that Joe Lieberman and/or Zell Miller left the Democratic Party? Is that because Lieberman’s Jewish and you just don’t want those Zionist types hanging around? Or is it because you realize that Lieberman’s view of the world is at odds with the broader Democratic Party’s view of the world today?

  293. 293
    Tim F. says:

    Tim F—well that depends what torture is, doesn’t it?

    Please friend, your legalistic approach is making Clinton jealous.

    We tried Japanese for war crimes after WWII because they waterboarded prisoners. Should we have let them go free? Apparently if Contrarian Libertarian had headed the wartime prosecutions at the time a huge number of disgraced Germans and Japanese would have walked away with a clean record.

    Let me put it even more simply. If we are having a “discussion” about how far we can go in physically and mentally tormenting prisoners, and god help us if we are, then it’s a discussion that you have already lost.

  294. 294
    Contrarian_Libertarian says:

    Uh, okay, spoof confirmed, I’d say. Try not to be quite so obvious, dude. Really, if we are going to spoof, we have an obligation to try to live up to some standard.

    Perverse? Cover = blown. Everything about this sick asshole’s presidency is perverse. Get outta here.

    I don’t even know what a spoof is.

    I’m simply saying that this poster twisted words, and badly so. And that’s obvious to anybody who isn’t up to their eyeballs in fury and rage.

  295. 295
    DougJ says:

    Now that’s an interesting comment. Because my proposal is completely Constitutional and completely in alignment with what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

    Believing that the constitution is something other than a quaint relic of pre-911 thinking is extremist. Remember: most Americans would never vote for something like the bill of rights.

    Your (and my) belief in the sanctity of the constitution puts you in a tiny minority of the population (maybe 20%). Certainly, there is no major pundit (unless you include Krugman) who cares a whit about the constitution.

    You are way, way out of the mainstream here. So am I. So are most reasonable people.

  296. 296
    ThymeZone says:

    I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

    Barry Goldwater, acceptance speech as Republican candidate for President, 1963
    US politician (1909 – 1998)

    So DougJ, I am calling you out: Are you the reincarnation of Barry Fucking Goldwater? Yes, or no, will suffice.

  297. 297
    Tim F. says:

    It’s about holding particular ideas and values. And I’ve long thought that John’s ideas and values didn’t really square with the Republican Party’s. And I think both he and the party are better off apart.

    Perfectly right. The party left conservatism years ago, it’s just a shame that they had the bad taste to take the term with them.

  298. 298
    DougJ says:

    I’m mocking the use of the word extremist in our public discourse, TZ. I don’t like the word, personally.

  299. 299
    ThymeZone says:

    I don’t even know what a spoof is.

    God, that’s a great answer!

    Seriously. Just between us, I don’t either.

  300. 300
    DougJ says:

    TZ: I agree with Goldwater completely there.

  301. 301
    Contrarian_Libertarian says:

    We tried Japanese for war crimes after WWII because they waterboarded prisoners. Should we have let them go free?

    Didn’t say that. I’m simply saying that the Congress has an obligation here to specifically define what’s in-bounds and what’s out-of-bounds.

    Because “torture” is a meaningless word. Somebody could claim that the temperature being too high in a holding cell is “torture”. Does that mean that we should go through adjusting thermostats ensuring the environmental comfort of our prisoners?

    That would be silly, I think we could agree.

    Congress has spoken at least once recently to the proper treatment of detainees. And they have a prerogative to speak again and again if they so choose. And I don’t have any problem with that — neither does anybody else.

    But it’s stupid to say “we’ve legalized TORTURE!!!” when that’s a vague and dubious word. Anybody can call anything they want torture…doesn’t make it so.

  302. 302
    ThymeZone says:

    I’m mocking the use of the word extremist in our public discourse, TZ. I don’t like the word, personally.

    Yes, but …. where else does your position take us but to the feet of Goldwater (see blurb, above)?

    And please be careful, because if you know me, you know where this is leading. Goldwater’s assertion is the justification for Ends Justify Means in politics and policy, and the end result of that is …. the Younger Bush Administration.

    So I need to see how you stay off that slippery slope and prevent your plunge to perdition.

  303. 303
    ThymeZone says:

    TZ: I agree with Goldwater completely there.

    Well, his assertion ranks with me as one of the most toxic ideas ever placed before the American people.

    It’s all any Bushite needs to defend any destruction of justice, liberty, or process in the name of “defense” of something we all love.

    It’s all any sociopath needs to defend his sociopathic views or behavior. It’s the Ultimate Excuse, the Ultimate Worthy Ends for which any vile Means are excusable.

    No dice, pal. Not buyin that load of crap.

    Goldwater was a nice guy and all, but a horse’s ass at heart, and not that smart about people. He didn’t get that his little brain fart would ignite the Religious Right and the Rovian Doctrines. Because he himself didn’t bother to explain the huge restraint needed in that idea of his in order to prevent it from turning totally to shit.

  304. 304
    DougJ says:

    TZ: Goldwater’s words can be interpreted in a variety of ways. I don’t think one has to assume that by “extremist”, he means “stupid and unconstitutional.”

    And it’s worth noting that if one interprets the statement in light of Goldwater’s positions from later in life, then one might say that he is saying the same thing I am: that there is nothing wonderful about “moderate” in one’s defense of the constitution or the truth or basic notions of human decency.

  305. 305
    Contrarian_Libertarian says:

    Perfectly right. The party left conservatism years ago, it’s just a shame that they had the bad taste to take the term with them.

    Well, I don’t think that’s true. And neither do most of the people who have long claimed the mantle of conservatism.

    To be sure, I think the Republican Congress combined with the Republican President proved to be pretty bad at restraining the growth of government. In fact, they were downright awful.

    But that they failed at it doesn’t mean that the Republican Party is no longer the home of small government ideologies. If you’re somebody who holds this value in esteem, then I’d say that your job is to push Republicans to govern as they talk. But the Democratic Party is no home for somebody of that ilk. They’ve never claimed to value a small government, quite the contrary. They’re finding ways to make taxpayers pay for as much as they can — such as this recent SCHIP debate.

    When you take away all the verve and vigor, that was simply a debate about how high up the economic spectrum we’re willing to expand the welfare state, was it not? And for those of us who value small government, it was clear which side we ought to be on.

  306. 306
    ThymeZone says:

    TZ: Goldwater’s words can be interpreted in a variety of ways. I don’t think one has to assume that by “extremist”, he means “stupid and unconstitutional.”

    You might be describing Goldwater himself. But you are not describing the army of idiots and lunatics he was talking to …. and had no idea how to lead. That’s the problem.

    Goldwater was something of a damned fool, he wasn’t William F. Buckley. His speech was toxic, not because of what he himself believed, but because of what it caused others to believe … and then he stood back and watched his “movement” become a horror show.

  307. 307
    Contrarian_Libertarian says:

    This is just an observation as somebody who doesn’t frequent this blog…

    But why is it so profane? Can’t you guys discuss things without doing a Bobby Knight impression?

    I usually have a hard time taking anybody who can’t govern their language better than that in public seriously. It’s as if they’re all rage and emotion and no reasoned, rational substance.

  308. 308
    DougJ says:

    You might be describing Goldwater himself. But you are not describing the army of idiots and lunatics he was talking to …. and had no idea how to lead.

    I realize all of that. But if you asked me if I agree or not with the sentiment of those words as they are, to me, most naturally interpreted, then I agree with them. I don’t like Goldwater.

    But why is it so profane? Can’t you guys discuss things without doing a Bobby Knight impression?

    This must be spoofery. If not, I suggest you start TiVoing the Lifetime Network.

  309. 309
    ThymeZone says:

    And it’s worth noting that if one interprets the statement in light of Goldwater’s positions from later in life,

    By later in life, you mean after he himself had become politically irrelevant and his “movement” had been taken over by the assholes who now run your country.

    Goldwater’s whole blurb was based on the idea that talking tough was the most American thing to do.

    Well, welcome to his world.

    His very next sentence in the famous speech, which nobody has ever paid any attention to:

    We must not see malice in honest differences of opinion, and no matter how great, so long as they are not inconsistent with the pledges we have given to each other in and through our Constitution

    Is that the idea that characterizes the modern GOP or the so-called “conservative” movement? Heh, I think you get my drift. Goldwater thought that the people he was talking to really understood him. They never did, he misjudged them and they misjudged him.

  310. 310
    Contrarian_Libertarian says:

    This must be spoofery. If not, I suggest you start TiVoing the Lifetime Network.

    Again, I don’t even know what spoof means.

    No, I’m being serious….what kind of childish person can’t discuss these matters without turning into a raving, potty-mouthed lunatic?

    How’s the old saying go? Profanity is the last refuge of the inarticulate?

    It’s just odd for me to be at a blog where people are regularly dropping F-bombs at each other and calling it discourse. It’s not that I’m a prude…good grief, my favorite film is “The Big Lebowski” and I’m fairly certain it set some kind of record for uses of the F-word.

    I just don’t think it’s any way for actual, mature people to converse.

  311. 311
    ThymeZone says:

    what kind of childish person can’t discuss these matters without turning into a raving, potty-mouthed lunatic?

    Um, a non spoof, for one. Check the name of the blog, it’s about Hot Air. Not Nice Air, or Reasonable Discourse, or Wednesday Afternoon Ladies Auxiliary Tea Politics.

    Please, stop with the phony niceness. It’s really annoying.
    People are dying over the shit we talk about here. The world is acting out this crap with real bullets. Cut the crap.

  312. 312
    ThymeZone says:

    Again, I don’t even know what spoof means.

    You can pick up a decent used dictionary on Amazon for under ten bucks including shipping.

    Or, there are several good online dictionaries that are free.

  313. 313
    Russell L. Carter says:

    John, what a big step. Now you got to stir shit up within the party, that is part of your duty as a member.

    “I usually have a hard time taking anybody who can’t govern their language better than that in public seriously. It’s as if they’re all rage and emotion and no reasoned, rational substance.”

    This has got to be a spoof. A Republican torture apologist language concern troll. I’m in awe.

  314. 314
    Contrarian_Libertarian says:

    LOL….so using this logic, FDR and his contemporaries must’ve been the foulest-mouth people in history! And don’t get me started on old’ Cussin’ Abe. ;)

    You aren’t by any chance the “Don’t Taze Me, Bro!” guy are you?

  315. 315
    Contrarian_Libertarian says:

    A Republican torture apologist language concern troll.

    I’m neither a troll nor an apologist for torture. I’ll discuss any matter you want to forthrightly and honestly. And we should discuss these matters — they are weighty.

    But I think we can do better than talking to each other like Paulie Walnuts and Silvio Dante talk to each other. That’s all.

    And I also think that we can and should be more respectful of each other — and that’s not only an indictment of this blog, but the current state of political discourse in general.

    I think, when you do no better than getting up in hyperbole and charged rhetoric, you shut out actual thinking and conversing. And that’s not good.

  316. 316
    ThymeZone says:

    my favorite film is “The Big Lebowski”

    No it isn’t. That probably isn’t even the Cohen Brothers’ favorite film.

    Raising Arizona, Fargo, Millers Crossing, O Brother Where Art Thou?

    Hellooo?

  317. 317
    Madmatt says:

    You can call yourself anything you want…doesn’t mean you aren’t a jackbooted thug who has proven that he is willing to cut and run when being a jackbooted thug becomes less popular.

  318. 318
    John Cole says:

    I am reminded every time that Goldwater’s name is invoked that, at the time, Goldwater was portrayed as a lunatic by Democrats. I wish I could find a copy of an image of the counter to Goldwater’s ‘In your Heart You Know He is Right,’ which was ‘In your gut you know he is nuts.’

    At any rate, the Goldwater invocations (of which I have sometimes hastily made myself), are fraught with peril. Things are completely different from when Goldwater politically was relevant. It isn’t so much that the poles have shifted as to what is ‘left’ or ‘right,’ it appears that it is just a completely different game altogether.

    I actually was thinking about this the other night while watching a PBS show about a trip of climatologists and evangelical leaders to Alaska to explore the real-life impact of global warming. Where would I find myself politically should a coalition of evangelicals and environmentalists come to the forefront, aligned with like-minded big government activists? Should that happen, I know where I would be- once again in the minority tilting at windmills.

    In one sense, I agree with Josh completely- the Democrats are not the answer to what I think are many of the problems facing us, and, in many regards, have their own designs on wrecking how I think the country should be. It is just right now, I have decided that the current incarnation of the Republican party is a major source of the problems, and more importantly, they are in charge. Not one of the candidates in the GOP is repudiating the excesses and abuses of the past few years.

    Maybe the contrarian_libertarian is right- I have been in the wrong party for a number of years. I may have been in some idealized version of the GOP in my head and in my head only, and accept that is wholly possible. Regardless, I think we all agree that right now I am better off outside the GOP. Whether or not being a part of the Democratic party is a good thing is something different altogether. One thing is clear, as I noted earlier- I joined the Democrats pre-disenchanted. I am here to stop the current GOP. Nothing more, nothing less.

  319. 319
    Carnacki says:

    Josh wrote:

    I was definitely wrong about Michael Yon’s political (war-itical?) leanings back in …. well, when was that? Eighteen months ago? Your fixation on the point, and your inability to distinguish between error and malice, is a bit obsessive—and disturbing.

    Josh, my dear light-saber wielding boy,

    Your “error or malice” regarding Yon was pointed out to you at the time and yet you stood by your comment, never admitting you were wrong, but instead arguing you were right. To say you did it in error ignores the fact that the article you linked to claiming he was “anti-war” contained numerous references to his pro-war views. I’ve mentioned your deception on the Yon matter twice since then which I doubt others would see as “obsessive.” I’m also surprised you’d find someone pointing out your deception “error or malice” twice as “disturbing?”

    But what do I know of disturbing? I’ve never called for cruel measures like rounding up women and children and laying waste to the land.

  320. 320
    Mark says:

    As a bonus, lefty chicks are a lot easier.

  321. 321
    ThymeZone says:

    I am reminded every time that Goldwater’s name is invoked that, at the time, Goldwater was portrayed as a lunatic by Democrats. I wish I could find a copy of an image of the counter to Goldwater’s ‘In your Heart You Know He is Right,’ which was ‘In your gut you know he is nuts.’

    Yes, that isn’t far off from the political reality of 1964, really. And since I was 18 and supporting myself at the time, I can say, I remember it well.

    Of course those of us in Arizona knew Goldwater wasn’t nuts. The problem with Barry was that he appealed to nuts.

    Barry was a nice guy, not a Karl Rove type. He did not set out cynically to appeal to nuts. And he always seemed puzzled that nutty people would take his ideas and warp them. Which is why I say, he was never fit to he president, because he did not understand the basics of how his appeal could be turned into something rotten, and that his own leadership could have at least ameliorated that, if not eliminated it. But he had another flaw besides having those blinders on: He was stubborn to a fault.

    And so he was the precursor to the completely dysfunctional right you have today. Today’s Rovian right is a lot like Barry but without the nice guy part.

    When Barry revealed himself as a genuinely decent guy as an oldster, the right dumped him.

  322. 322
    Yeah Mooney says:

    Just use the reverse of the line that Reagan used to use:

    I didn’t leave the Republicans, they left me.

  323. 323
    jlynne says:

    Welcome. It IS a big tent! I may not be a member much longer, however, the conservative influx is becoming stifling. ;)

  324. 324

    […] Oop, looks like they just did. I don’t know who this guy is, but I just saw this on Sullivan: Say Hello to the Newest Member of the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy. (Title stolen from comments there.) Guy used to a conservative Republican, but realized they didn’t exist anymore. Apparently, the dude had had enough! […]

  325. 325
    John says:

    I’ve been a Republican all my life, my family has been for generations, my grandfather used to be very proud of the fact he voted for Alf Landon in ’36, but I jumped ship about four years ago. These people aren’t conservatives. One of the most amusing aspects of the next Democratic presidency (probably Clinton lets face it) will be watching all these people who have thrown the basic tenets of conservatism in the trash can over the past few years turning on a dime and trying to justify the complete reverse of their arguments of the past few years. I can see it now. Learned articles in the WSJ saying of course we believe presidents are above the law, just not Democratic presidents.

  326. 326
    DonkeyKong says:

    John, I read the Republican leadership’s belief in evolution continues to drop every year over the last ten years.

    Basically, the party continues to be LESS able to find it’s ass with both hands.

    It’s about time you grabbed some ass, You Homo.

  327. 327
    vrk says:

    I switched 9 months ago. My daughter refers to it as my “burn the village to save it” moment.

  328. 328

    […] Heh. Former conservative John Cole becomes the latest member of the vast left-wing conspiracy: Long story short, I got up there to register as an independent, said “F*ck it,” and now I am a Democrat. I certainly don’t agree with all their positions, but they are not bat-sh*t crazy like the GOP. That has to count for something. Additionally, I no longer have to read posts by the 24% crowd calling me a “true conservative” with quotes o’sarcasm (you know who they are). Not any more, b*tches. I repudiate you, your party, and whatever the f*ck it is you are currently pretending is “conservatism.” It isn’t. […]

  329. 329
    Nick says:

    I’m a veteran (3 years as an MP) from a family of veterans. I’m a small business owner. I worry about entitlements and their effect on the economy and our society. I voted for Bush senior because I figured he would be best for national security. I could hardly care less about gun control and I want us to reduce abortion as much as possible.

    I am not a radical leftist by any stretch.

    But I’ll never vote Republican again. I’ve learned too much about them to ever give the right wing another shot at power. I’d rather chance what the leftist extremists have in mind, and trust moderates will win out in the long run.

  330. 330
    Dreggas says:

    Mark Says:

    As a bonus, lefty chicks are a lot easier.

    some are hairier, others come with more metal, other still have whips and other “toys” not all are easy though LOL.

  331. 331
    Dreggas says:

    Nick,

    speaking as a Democrat liberal leftisti but not an extremist we tend not to encourage the batshit insane ones.

  332. 332
    Humbleobserver says:

    Kinda sad when you have to pick a side to have your vote count.

  333. 333
    Heywood Jablomy says:

    DougJ Says:

    never regret that we went and fetched Noriega like a bunch of hemispheric heavyweights.

    Spoof? We are a hemispheric heavyweight.

    Not spoof. Bad grammar. I should have written as a hemispheric heavyweight. As we are, have been and should always be thanks to the great Mr. Monroe. Which is not to say we should train death squads to slaughter priests and peasants. With great power comes great responsibility, for Peter Johnson’s sake.

    Let’s keep this simple, because we are after all a herd of cats when it comes to politics:

    1) Do you believe that everything Cheney and Addington say and do is correct and should be continued, especially regarding the executive branch and its powers?

    2) Do you think it’s OK to torture people for information, fully aware of 3 things: Some of the tortured will be innocents; much of the info gained from the torture will be wrong/made up; torture is against the law.

    3) Any administration – be it Bush, Clinton, Mrs. Kucinich or Giuliani – should be able to spy on US citizens without a warrant?

    4) We should bomb Iran rather than isolate, contain, sanction and negotiate.

    5) It is OK to refer to people who disagree with any of these positions “traitors,” “fifth columnists,” “islamofascist enablers,” “caliphatists” and weeners.

    If your answers are Yes, please go away till the adults are done voting your radical un-American asses out of government.

    If your answers are No, vote “democrat” with a big-D or little-D — at least for now — because priority No. 1 is dis-upfucking the mess wrought by the un-democratic assholes who answer Yes.

  334. 334
    ThymeZone says:

    1) Do you believe that everything Cheney and Addington say and do is correct and should be continued, especially regarding the executive branch and its powers?

    2) Do you think it’s OK to torture people for information, fully aware of 3 things: Some of the tortured will be innocents; much of the info gained from the torture will be wrong/made up; torture is against the law.

    3) Any administration – be it Bush, Clinton, Mrs. Kucinich or Giuliani – should be able to spy on US citizens without a warrant?

    4) We should bomb Iran rather than isolate, contain, sanction and negotiate.

    5) It is OK to refer to people who disagree with any of these positions “traitors,” “fifth columnists,” “islamofascist enablers,” “caliphatists” and weeners.

    I love a test.

    1. No 2. Never 3. Not a chance 4. No fucking way 5. Nope

  335. 335
    demimondian says:

    Nick —

    When you say “reduce abortion as much as possible”, what do you mean? Provide ready access to birth control and accurate, complete education on how to avoid becoming pregnant? Work to protect women from abusive men and/or rapist who would take that control away from them? Provide access to non-abortifacient post-coital contraceptives?

    If the answer is “yes”, then you’re a liberal on the matter of abortion. Do you really think that we *like* abortion? I’ve watched people go through them, and they’re pure hell for the women involved, even when they’re doing it because the baby is likely to be born dead, or, of born alive, to live only a few hours, and those in mortal agony. No rational person wants abortions to happen — but any rational person wants to make sure that as long as they are necessary, they are available.

  336. 336
    Free At Last says:

    What a long-lasting thread! Haven’t been on-line for a couple of days and WOW – what news. From a frequent lurker – Congratulations, John.

  337. 337
    Bill Camarda says:

    Best of luck. I know two things: I won’t always agree with you, and — much more important — you will always think for yourself. That is precious and rare.

  338. 338
    Robert says:

    Well John, that leaves the Republican Party in this neck of the woods with just enough members to fill a small booth in the Eat ‘n Park. Ya shoulda stayed and terrorized them from within.

  339. 339

    I read often but hardly ever post. Delurking because of your important announcement. I’ve long felt you were too much of a thinker to stay in the party of Malkin and Hannity and Coulter and O’Reilly and Ingraham and Beck and freepers and demands for unquestioning obedience with policies that get more indefensible with every passing day. It’s more fun trying to keep the D party honest than trying to argue with the 24% backwash in the R party who have convinced themselves that Daddy never makes a mistake.

    Welcome to the party that knows the Constitution is more than just the Second Amendment, the party that respects the moral decisionmaking ability of women, the party that makes it a priority to take care of children after they are born, the party that thinks America should not torture people or send them to other countries to be tortured, the party that knows the difference between a president and a king, and the party that isn’t trying to legislate extremist religious beliefs into secular law. Not perfect by any means, but what self-respecting person with three brain cells could belong to the party that stands for the reverse of all those things?

    Glad to have you aboard, John! I’ll enjoy watching you kick butt and take names from the reality-based side of the fence. I know your decision will encourage others and I look forward to welcoming them as well. We need everyone’s help to get this country back on the right track.

  340. 340
    Dabney Braggart says:

    I don’t read much from Republican blogs, so I have this question: if a Democratic blogger had signed up as a Republican, do you think the Republicans in his comment list would make as many jokes about their own party as my lot have about ours here? (“Welcome, John…your field guide to telling the theocons from the corpos from the libertarians will be in the mail…as soon as it’s privatized and all the stamps have Jeebus on them.”)

    My biased guess is “no”, but as a good Enlightenment proponent I realise that my guess may say more about me than about reality, so….

  341. 341
    Brian Ewart says:

    Funny, I just changed my registration to Republican. Since I was 18 I have always been an independent, but it has become apparent to me that the only candidate worth voting for (in my opinion) is Ron Paul. He is the Candidate I have always dreamed of, who stands for almost exactly what I believe in. So I am a republican, at least through the primaries. If Ron Paul loses, and the Republicans continue on their path to becoming the Neocon Party, I will change my registration again.

    … but it won’t be to Democrat.

  342. 342

    Balloon Juice

    Link: Balloon Juice. Welcome John Cole to the “Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.” Thanks to Brian at I Ain’t No Bad Dude for the heads-up.

  343. 343
    Victor says:

    You swear too much.

  344. 344

    […] This is why the former pro-Bush pro-war Republican, the widely-read John Cole, went to change is voter registration to Independent, and then decided it was time to grow up – […]

  345. 345
    XuYu says:

    Yay! Bush’s approval ratings amongst Republicans just went UP another point!

  346. 346
    Cujo359 says:

    Welcome aboard the VLWC, John. It’s a big tent, and it seems to be getting bigger these days. Hope we’ll eventually have a second party sane people can inhabit again.

    BTW, if you run into Soros ask him where my f**king check is.

  347. 347
    MacDaffy says:

    Barry Goldwater was a family man first, an American second, a soldier third, and a conservatve and Republican last of all. I could disagree with Goldwater and he could disagree with me about fundamental issues–civil rights, chief among them.

    But when the time came to tell Richard Nixon that he’d had it, Goldwater didn’t flinch. When it came to passing legislation with which he might have disagreed but did good for the nation, he worked the system, got compromises, and got it passed. Goldwater didn’t brook the incursion of the religious right into national policy.

    You could call me a Socialist and I’d say “Thank you, sir! May I have another?” But I respect and revere people like Barry Goldwater and Bill Buckley and George Kennan and Hugh Scott and hundreds and thousands of other old-line conservatives who could disagree with you without questioning your fitness as an American or the quality of your ideas.

    Now, ideology trumps the good of the country. Now, it’s “I’ve Got Mine, Jack!” instead of “I Am My Brother’s Keeper.” Now, it’s confrontation instead of disagreement.

    The movement that gained ascendancy beginning with “The Reagan Revolution” have damaged horribly the concept of the “Fellow American.” They’ve destroyed what was–for a while–the concept that we could all work together to make things better. And they did it for power and personal gain.

    You may not choose to remain a Democrat, John, but you’ve placed your faith in your fellow Americans instead of your fear.

    Thank you.

  348. 348
    Barringer says:

    John,

    I am an unenrolled post-modern progressive from Massachusetts. These “welcome to the fold” e-mails must be making you cringe. Parties don’t line up with ideologies. I don’t know if they ever really did. Good luck in your journey.

  349. 349
    Stupid Git says:

    “We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the world – no longer a government of free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men.” – Former President Woodrow Wilson

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  350. 350
    Avedon says:

    And just when I finally added you to my blogroll – in the “Loyal Opposition” category.

    Oh, well, I think I’ll leave you there – it’s rarified company.

  351. 351
    JLee says:

    The Democratic party is, in recent times, more about what it’s against than what it’s for. What it’s against, fortunately, is the incursion of fascism in America and that in itself makes it a party worth supporting–at least as long as the threat is ongoing.

  352. 352
    Vince N says:

    Welcome to the dark side man.

    Seriously, We fight amongst ourselves quite a bit but only because we don’t mind people with a large diversity of positions. I hope you’ll eventually feel at home.

  353. 353

    […] A commenter at John Cole’s blog asks:   […]

  354. 354
    Tony Hart says:

    I made the switch 6 years ago for the same reasons, I guess I just saw a little further down the road. But I just wanted to say welcome to the club and I completely agree.

  355. 355
    not important says:

    Wow.

    Joining the Democrats in WV…real politcal courage there. Apologies for my snark.

    I don’t question the sincerity of your change of heart, nor will I bother to argue with the rationale(s) behind it. I just think that joining as crooked an organization as the WV Democratic Party is a poor way to display a commitment to anything other than voter fraud, cronyism and a one-party tyranny that is as thorough as anything the Baath Party might have yearned for in the streets of Mosul or Basra.

  356. 356

    […] 14, 2007 John Cole, Former Republican… Posted by John O under Political   …who woke up one day to find his party dominated bycomplete fucking morons and switched, has a great rundown of the Republican fear of a Huckabee candidacy. […]

  357. 357

    […] I used to read Balloon Juice on a regular basis but, over time, the guy just has gotten too clever to pay attention to.  He got trapped in the popularity of being the “conservative” that the lefties loved because he was so anti-Bush.  Over time he got so much love from the left that he started to revel in the light they provided him.  It wasn’t enough for Cole to jump ship and leave the GOP – which I applaud – but when it was time for him to officially change his party registration he had an epiphany and put a D by his name.  Now he’s part of the popular clique’ of those who defend liberalism by pointing to converts.  What I really think is that the guy is a phony approval seeking idiot who has left his convictions at the door of cyber-fame. […]

  358. 358

    […] Based on his positions, and given that there are still no voices within the Republican Party offering credible alternatives to Bush, I can’t criticize Cole for changing his party affiliation or even the one-sided nature of his blogging today. That doesn’t mean he’s suddenly a “lefty,” and if conservatives want to pile on because of a sense of betrayal, they’re missing the big picture. For one thing, people like Cole in the Democratic Party used to be called conservative Democrats, and I can’t recall any successful Republican candidate dismissing them outright as “lefties.” The point being, to win as a national party, Republicans need the support of people like John Cole, and if the big tent is closed to them, it condemns the party to being a national party no more. […]

  359. 359

    As a currently registered Democrat, I’ve often considered registering Republican in order to vote in the Republican primary for the lesser of evils. I think the party one registers for should be done not for one’s personal idealogical alignment, but where one feels one’s vote might best be used.

    This is my exact sentiment. I found this page by searching for someone who has done what I’m thinking; sort of political sabotage. I’m a liberal registered as independent here in PA. I wouldn’t mind either Democratic candidate in the Oval Orifice. I would prefer Obama, but if they have to face up against a big, bad GOP candidate, I want it to be a good fight. I’m registering as a Republican, voting for Dr. Ron Paul. From what I read and hear, Ron Paul would a welcome change in executive branch. I’m also not voting for any incumbents on the ballot. Kick ’em out. The system is fcked, so lets fck with it more.

  360. 360

    […] John Cole: committed treason by leaving Republican party and is occasionally proud of having done so. […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] John Cole: committed treason by leaving Republican party and is occasionally proud of having done so. […]

  2. […] Based on his positions, and given that there are still no voices within the Republican Party offering credible alternatives to Bush, I can’t criticize Cole for changing his party affiliation or even the one-sided nature of his blogging today. That doesn’t mean he’s suddenly a “lefty,” and if conservatives want to pile on because of a sense of betrayal, they’re missing the big picture. For one thing, people like Cole in the Democratic Party used to be called conservative Democrats, and I can’t recall any successful Republican candidate dismissing them outright as “lefties.” The point being, to win as a national party, Republicans need the support of people like John Cole, and if the big tent is closed to them, it condemns the party to being a national party no more. […]

  3. […] I used to read Balloon Juice on a regular basis but, over time, the guy just has gotten too clever to pay attention to.  He got trapped in the popularity of being the “conservative” that the lefties loved because he was so anti-Bush.  Over time he got so much love from the left that he started to revel in the light they provided him.  It wasn’t enough for Cole to jump ship and leave the GOP – which I applaud – but when it was time for him to officially change his party registration he had an epiphany and put a D by his name.  Now he’s part of the popular clique’ of those who defend liberalism by pointing to converts.  What I really think is that the guy is a phony approval seeking idiot who has left his convictions at the door of cyber-fame. […]

  4. […] 14, 2007 John Cole, Former Republican… Posted by John O under Political   …who woke up one day to find his party dominated bycomplete fucking morons and switched, has a great rundown of the Republican fear of a Huckabee candidacy. […]

  5. […] A commenter at John Cole’s blog asks:   […]

  6. […] This is why the former pro-Bush pro-war Republican, the widely-read John Cole, went to change is voter registration to Independent, and then decided it was time to grow up – […]

  7. Balloon Juice

    Link: Balloon Juice. Welcome John Cole to the “Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.” Thanks to Brian at I Ain’t No Bad Dude for the heads-up.

  8. […] Heh. Former conservative John Cole becomes the latest member of the vast left-wing conspiracy: Long story short, I got up there to register as an independent, said “F*ck it,” and now I am a Democrat. I certainly don’t agree with all their positions, but they are not bat-sh*t crazy like the GOP. That has to count for something. Additionally, I no longer have to read posts by the 24% crowd calling me a “true conservative” with quotes o’sarcasm (you know who they are). Not any more, b*tches. I repudiate you, your party, and whatever the f*ck it is you are currently pretending is “conservatism.” It isn’t. […]

  9. […] Oop, looks like they just did. I don’t know who this guy is, but I just saw this on Sullivan: Say Hello to the Newest Member of the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy. (Title stolen from comments there.) Guy used to a conservative Republican, but realized they didn’t exist anymore. Apparently, the dude had had enough! […]

  10. The Agitator says:

    Odds n’ Ends

    John Cole is now a Democrat. I stopped registering as a Republican in 2002. Don’t think I could ever…

  11. […] John Cole, of Balloon Juice has formally changed over from Republican to Democrat. […]

  12. […] He’s got a lot of worthy competition, but there’s one site that shouldn’t be listed in that category. That would be John “I just registered as a Democrat” Cole. I expect his Kossack friends will be pleased to see he gets the Conservative category award. […]

  13. […] John Cole of Balloon Juice has announced that he has dropped his registration as a Republican and is now a Democrat: Long story short, I got up there to register as an independent, said “Fuck it,” and now I am a Democrat. I certainly don’t agree with all their positions, but they are not bat-shit crazy like the GOP. That has to count for something. […]

  14. […] Fright Night For years Balloon Juice, written by John Cole, had been a rather good conservative blog.  For years he railed against the idiotarians of the left, the Jane Hamshers of the left and the liberal fascism that defines the Democrat party.  For some reason, the battle to protect Terri Schiavo from her husband and those who would like to usher in a holocaust against the handicapped to rival the holocaust against the pre-born caused something to snap in John Cole’s brain.  He has been moving away from the Republican party since that time and has been posting ever more unhinged rants for at least the last.  He has just declared himself a registered moonbat. […]

  15. […] Say Hello to the Newest Member of the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy […]

  16. […] A prodigal son has come home. Spotlight […]

  17. […] Nov 1st, 2007 by Michael van der Galiën Joe Gandelman links to this post by John Cole, owner of Balloon Juice, in which he announces that he re-registered as a… Democrat. He had been a Republican for years, went to the Voter Registration Office to re-register as an “unaffiliated voter,” but – when there – decided that “there seemed to be no point leaving the Republican party in protest and joining the unwashed masses,” if he wanted to protest the direction the Republican Party has taken in the last, say, seven years. […]

  18. […] Today it’s John Cole: Long story short, I got up there to register as an independent, said “Fuck it,” and now I am a Democrat. . . . Now send me my check from Soros and the 40 virgins. […]

  19. […] Just read this on Balloon Juice, a conservative blog, from it’s primary author: […]

  20. One Of Us, One Of Us

    John Cole drinks the Kool-Aid….

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