Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Blogging, Ethics — Rick Moran @ 10:48 am

Predictably, there wasn’t much of a meeting of the minds on anything except both sides are at fault and it is impossible - indeed traitorous - to think about saving the country from unmitigated disaster by working together to solve the twin crisis of deficits and Medicare reform.

Does anyone else think it kind of stupid to deliberately sit back and allow the country to spiral into bankruptcy and God knows what else because the thought of working together to save America is just too much to bear? There are several issues that simply will not be dealt with unless both sides can work together.

I am not making any startling revelation here. This is known to anyone with half a brain. It is unfortunate that many commenters on this site and many of my correspondents and commenters from Pajamas Media suffer from that condition. But why? Is it that you are not convinced that trillion dollar deficits run over a decade will not destroy us? Is it that you simply don’t believe that Medicare Part A will run out of money in 2015 or 2016 and that the deficit will have to come out of the general government fund? Or perhaps you are simply unaware that If we don’t start dealing with the rest of the Medicare crisis, we will find ourselves breaking the bank to pay for coverages?

Which is it? Are you stupid or do you hate America? I tend more toward stupid for the bunch of you because you might actually believe that one party or the other can solve these desperately serious problems without involving the other. The hard choices that will need to be made on both of these issues - and I mean draconian cuts along with tax increases - will never be addressed by either the Democrats or Republicans alone. Hence, the notion that a bi-partisan solution isn’t an option, or a convenience, or a pie in the sky, let’s not be beastly to one another, do gooder fantasy. It is a crying necessity and that’s all there is to it. Period.

Every year that passes where we don’t do something about this crisis makes it all the harder to deal with. Waiting until disaster has already befallen us to act is a fanciful idea - a ridiculous idea - a notion only fools and ignoramuses, blinded by extreme partisanship, could embrace.

The crisis is upon us. The solutions are unpalatable, and they will only become more so the longer we wait. Of this, there is no dispute, no disagreement among people from both sides of the political divide - from liberal Robert Samuelson to conservative Fred Thompson - who aren’t besotted with the ideological Kool-Ade being imbibed by their rabid, unreasoning bases. Politicians being skittish creatures, they will not make a move if it unleashes the anger and destructive bile that the opposing bases reserve for those who transgress against the idea that their opponents are satanic in their evil and can never be approached because to do so is traitorous to “the cause.”

This is not exaggeration or hyperbole. It is a statement of fact. I think Olympia Snowe was wrong to vote in favor of health care reform in committee but kick her out of the party because she is seeking a solution to the very real, very serious problems in our health care system? I think she went about it back asswards but people weren’t going after her for trying to make the Democratic bill better (an exercise in futility I will admit) but because she dared to work with the opposition in the first place. If representing your constituents by doing their bidding and working with Democrats to address the problems with the health care system is grounds for being dismissed from the Republican party, I daresay it won’t be very long before the GOP will be able to hold their convention in a telephone booth.

Judging by the comments I received on the article on this site as well as the emails and comments I got from PJ Media, it is apparent that I am tilting at windmills. My only hope is to give encouragement to those who read this site and who believe that logic and reason as a basis for political action, rather than ignorance and fear, is an absolute necessity if there is any hope that the US will survive the next couple of decades with anything close to the economy we have today.

As for the rest; I invite you to continue to carry on grasping for power in Hitler’s bunker. Eventually, you will be fighting over what remains of a country made prostrate by your foolish, and shortsighted hatred.


  1. I think the differences can be summed up thusly: The Republicans, as a group, are increasingly irrelevant assholes. The Democrats, as a group,don’t know how to use their majority to Americans’ best advantage, let alone govern.

    Comment by Shaun — 11/10/2009 @ 11:25 am

  2. @Shaun:

    The Republicans, as a group, are increasingly irrelevant assholes. The Democrats, as a group, don’t know how to use their majority to Americans’ best advantage, let alone govern.

    There, fixed it!

    Comment by Surabaya Stew — 11/10/2009 @ 11:42 am

  3. Democrats don’t know how to to govern alone.

    Republicans don’t know how to govern alone (see 2000-2006) AND they’re assholes to women, minorities and anyone who doesn’t agree with them. So they probably won’t get the opportunity to govern alone again… in the near future.

    Comment by JerryS — 11/10/2009 @ 11:48 am

  4. If you have a problem:

    a) Admit it.

    b) Start treating it.

    And what has happened?

    a) Admitted.

    b) Made worse from Medicare Part D to the pending trainwreck a/k/a “Healthcare Reform.”

    Maybe the folks you have loaded on have a great deal more intelligence (they certainly are more rational on this point) than you and realized there is absolutely no willpower or even sign of willpower to stop making it worse. Howls about bankruptcy and deficits ring hollow, to a rational mind, as folks throw money out of airplanes and fast moving trains.

    Is that defeatism? It certainly is. Is it justified? It certainly is.

    Comment by jackson1234 — 11/10/2009 @ 11:50 am

  5. Most people are more in love with their ’stance’ than with their country. Vanity comes to mind. They will always be at least two opposing views but the most important quality any society needs to possess is the ability of self-criticism. That is what sets most Western countries apart from let’s say Middle Eastern countries. There it is always bad Israel, bad United States etc. As you can see at HA or DailyKos it also is a popular stance in this country. I just try to ignore zealots from both sides. Life is too short and there are real problems to be solved.

    Comment by funny man — 11/10/2009 @ 11:54 am

  6. The sad thing is that many people I know are starting to look for places to escape when the poop hits the fan. The sadder thing is that I’m one of them: I refuse to pay 50%+ of my income to the various levels of government, no matter how much they argue that someone “deserves” it more than I do. We’ve been looking at New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, and even Israel (I’m not Jewish, but I’m a startup techie). Some of these places have nominally more “left wing” governments, but they’re not as corrupt as we are, if for no other reason than they’re a lot smaller. Also, Americans are simply bad at bureaucracy - our skill is business, not governance.

    If you can’t influence politics by the vote, you change it by leaving.

    The problem is that the rational thing to do is to leave if you can. Staying and fighting is irrational.

    Comment by Foobarista — 11/10/2009 @ 12:40 pm

  7. The US military has an up or out promotion scheme. If you’re an officer, you get promoted or you get separated from the service. Were we to adopt this sort of system to our ongoing budget expenditures and regulations, it could be attractive to a bipartisan coalition. Small government types would rate each department and chop off, let’s say, the bottom 5% of the DoT and use the lowered expenditures to reduce the deficit and justify tax cuts. Big government types would rate each department and chop off that same bottom 5% and fund more effective transportation initiatives.

    The idea is that to be serious, the political class should rate their budgets, their regulations, and regularly get rid of the laggards, the counterproductive taxes, the idiotic expenditure rules, etc. If we could instill that sort of ethic, we’d still have Democrats and Republicans, big government and small government types but most of all we’d have a government that had a measurably better rate of improvement over time.

    Democrats could propose this. Republicans could propose this. I am proposing it. What do you say?

    Comment by TMLutas — 11/10/2009 @ 1:08 pm

  8. Mexico is starting to look good to me. Rick,I work in the District and see this shit up close and personal. I’m being very blunt when I say that La Pelosi does not permit any discussions with Republicans on any topic. Her people walk in lockstep most of the time. So even if Republicans were willing to work these things out - the opportunity simply isn’t there. I’m not being hateful or obstructionist - I’m just stating the sad, pathetic reality. Nancy Pelosi is no Thomas Jefferson or Thomas Paine. And Barack Obama is no John Fitzgerald Kennedy - not even close. You see, I was a news person covering that administration. So I’ve seen a lot and have seen a lot disappear! Like courage and morality.

    Comment by Gayle Miller — 11/10/2009 @ 1:08 pm

  9. Rick:

    I know a lot of Democrats (on the personal level, not in politics) who are willing to talk about means-testing, changes in eligibility ages and so on to start dealing with Medicare and Social Security.

    Do you know any Republicans willing to look at tax increases?

    Comment by michael reynolds — 11/10/2009 @ 2:42 pm

  10. Just scanned the comments at PJM.

    And you’re a Republican why?

    I am sustained by the absolute certainty that I am right - that reason must prevail or we are doomed. I accuse the base of hyperbole and exaggeration but that statement is as true as anything that has ever been written. Our current course will lead to economic catastrophe and the only way out is both parties working together.

    I am also convinced that for every one vicious commenter, there are many who agree with me but don’t want to leave a comment and suffer the same viciousness. The same thing happened on this site where a lot of people who used to comment favorably on the stuff I write have given up because of you and Bottoms and a few others who trash them personally for their views.

    That’s the nature of the internet and blogs, I suppose.


    Comment by michael reynolds — 11/10/2009 @ 2:50 pm

  11. I like TMLutas’ idea of instituting a performance/ratings based system that attempts to improve government over a given cycle of time by eliminating programs and expenditures that don’t perform as well as others.

    I’ve read of late that their used to be far more cooperation between the political parties in the Senate and the House and that things have degraded over time. If that’s true, what exactly was it that politicians on both sides did then that they’re not doing now?

    Is it as simple as being able to talk to each other? Or is it more complex, perhaps that they used to be more inclined to listen to their constituencies back home over what they party line was?

    My general feeling with regard to government is that it ought to be doing better. Far better. I sure as hell don’t feel like I’m getting my money’s worth on the Federal level.

    Comment by Jeremy G. — 11/10/2009 @ 3:31 pm

  12. i am one of those readers that doesn’t comment very often… i know that you mean well, rick and that you have some very cogent arguments. i will also agree that there is a need for dems and republicans, liberals and conservatives need to work together for effective governance.

    there are two reasons why i have difficulty with your arguments:

    1.) you always start a column with a sort of whining about how both political bases are unreasonable. okay, i get it - i don’t need to hear it every time.

    2.) the major item overlooked by both sides is that it is the bureaucracy that is creating policy nowadays. the reason i am adamantly opposed to liberals in government is because they have a strong track record of creating *more* bureaucracies. you can beef about the republicans spending like drunken sailors too. but, on balance, republicans tend to create less bureaucracies than dems.

    officially our government hasn’t changed size since 1959, but our bureaucracy has bloated into mr. creosote mostly built by the great society and democrat controlled congresses. the center of gravity has shifted to all the myriad agencies that comprise the federal black hole…

    i see mr. creosote in control of the government that feeds him - “betta…betta get me a bucket…”

    this country needs to wean itself off the idea that our government is capable of solving problems. what our government needs to do is lower the barriers for us to solve the problems on our own.

    Comment by thekahoona — 11/10/2009 @ 3:33 pm

  13. he same thing happened on this site where a lot of people who used to comment favorably on the stuff I write have given up because of you and Bottoms and a few others who trash them personally for their views.

    A good old fashioned Reynolds smack down here is infinitely more intelligent and coherent than what’s up on the board over there at PJM. Reading those comments made me feel like I was watching interviews with the tea party protesters on the television news.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 11/10/2009 @ 3:44 pm

  14. Rick, the country in your appeals to moderation and reason just doesn’t exist anymore. I’ve said this before: since the 2000 election, at least, we have been in a pre-civil war state of society. We are a bifurcated nation. There is no center remaining, certainly none that can hold. Calling myself a Tea-Partier now, or throwing in with Palin, or refusing to vote for RINOs or otherwise compromise, doesn’t make me crazy, stupid or reckless. In fact, it reflects the cold reality of the present situation: we conservatives either prevail or we lose all. It’s that clear cut. It will take a what amounts to a counter-revolution just to undo the damage of this administration. I personally don’t think that’s going to happen. I know I’m fighting a lost cause. But the line the base drew in the sand this year is as rational as it is emotional given the situation.

    Comment by sportsmith — 11/10/2009 @ 3:50 pm

  15. Sportsmith -

    I’m trully flabbergasted by your post. In the same post, you write:

    “we conservatives either prevail or we lose all”.

    “I know I’m fighting a lost cause”.

    Do you see the incongruity of these two statements?

    Additionally, assuming you’re not crazy, please tell me what it would have to happen for your side to “prevail”? I’m genuinely curious as to how you construct this future in your own head.

    Comment by JerryS — 11/10/2009 @ 3:55 pm

  16. “Judging by the comments I received on the article on this site as well as the emails and comments I got from PJ Media, it is apparent that I am tilting at windmills. My only hope is to give encouragement to those who read this site and who believe that logic and reason as a basis for political action, rather than ignorance and fear, is an absolute necessity if there is any hope that the US will survive the next couple of decades with anything close to the economy we have today.”
    So anyone who does not agree with you is illogical and unreasonable, and this country will go to hell if you are not listened to. My,my what arrogance and what exclusiveness. How ironic , you wail about people being too rigid in their thinking, and your the biggest violator of of your dogma.
    Stop badmouthing Republicans, it is too common here and disturbing.

    Comment by MooseH — 11/10/2009 @ 3:58 pm

  17. sportsmith Said:
    3:50 pm

    You used 151 words and did not present one coherent thought. I see a great future for you with the Palin speechwritin’ folks. Also.

    Reread the original post very slowly. It says things you need to u-n-d-e-r-s-t-a-n-d.

    MooseH Said:
    3:58 pm

    “Stop badmouthing Republicans, it is too common here and disturbing.”

    Encouragement of examining one’s beliefs and behavior during changing times is not “badmouthing.” After 35 years as a registered Democrat, I now register as an Independent. The ideals and policies of the New Deal and the Great Society don’t fit our times. The Democrats cannot let go of them so I let go of the Democrats. Rick is dead on in his argument.

    Comment by still liberal — 11/10/2009 @ 4:32 pm

  18. I don’t see how the two parties can govern together. Their governing philosophies are completely incongruent. How do the Democrats deal with “The government can do nothing well”?

    Medicare and Social Securities problems are easily solved. It’s just that the decisions that have to be made are not pleasant for the electorate. But the Republican solution seems to be to end the programs and make seniors deal with it on their own. We already know how that goes. We’ll end up with poor and destitute old people.

    As a Republican, I have seen that government run universal health has been done by other countries. They have lower infant mortality and longer life expectancy then we do and they do it for less than we spend. I been told by all my Repubican friends that the statistics are all lies to discredit the great U.S. health care system.

    How do you govern together with irrational ideas like this?

    Comment by Ken — 11/10/2009 @ 4:51 pm

  19. It is much like the cold war, both sides are afraid to unilaterally disarm because of a lack of trust.

    The way to do it is in small steps. Opportunities are lost all the time because of gargantuan bills. For example, om immigration the republicans tried to get a monstrosity through that tried to do too much. Maybe, they should have started small by trying first to limit the influx.

    Similarly, the current health care debate. the first step should have been just to fix the fraud in Medicare. By breaking up the legislation into smaller bites it’s much easier to gain consensus, and build trust.

    Comment by Allen — 11/10/2009 @ 5:21 pm

  20. Allen, the problem is that every little baby step is pounced on by people like sportsmith and Michelle Bachmann as an indelible step towards communism/islamofascist/deathcamps.

    Comment by yoyo — 11/10/2009 @ 5:32 pm

  21. If you believe that government workers generally are selfless servants of the people, who carefully use the people’s resources to advance the Greater Good, I suppose you’ll want the government to do more.

    If you believe that government workers and departments generally put their own careers and agendas first, government functions are inefficiently organized, money is spent money wastefully and regarded as manna from heaven, workers - much less departments - rarely suffer penalties for ineffectiveness, and all act to advance the goals of government while wrapping them in the mantle of the Greater Good, you’ll want government to do less and be smaller.

    Both groups can’t be right.

    Comment by Foobarista — 11/10/2009 @ 6:33 pm

  22. I would ask that all respondents to Rick’s thoughtful excursions into the issues that divide us take the opportunity to read this book:


    After absorbing its content, we can return with a more enlightened approach to commenting on said issues.

    We, as individuals, owe no allegiance to one another other than our choice to do so for the betterment of all.

    The sooner we define who our common enemy is, the sooner we will drop the trivial differences with one another that we all display at every convenience and decide to work for a better tomorrow.

    Rick is right: we are out of time. If we cling to our blindness as a shield from the true nature of our common reality, we will surely fall.

    Lastly, I would ask that any animosity engendered by the source of the book (mises.org) be put aside for the duration. I am not of any particular stripe and I find that which I believe to be truth isn’t, either.

    Comment by jon dough — 11/10/2009 @ 8:06 pm

  23. Rick:

    The mean old liberal commenters are scaring people off?

    Dude, I say this with the greatest respect and affection: you’re a huge dick to your commenters. How many people have you attacked? (Most of which, incidentally, were more or less on your side.) You slash and burn your way through your commenters, and then you turn off comments if we don’t all behave, and it’s the handful of libs here who are scaring people off? Puh-leeze. The only guy who’s meaner to commenters is Dean Esmay and he’s certifiable.

    You’re like a gay guy who still insists he’s straight — long after his family and friends and employer have all figured out the truth and accepted it. You’re not a Republican. You’re a genuine conservative. But Republicans are no longer conservatives, not the way you (and other literate people) understand the word.

    The Republicans don’t like you. You don’t drink the Kool-Aid. You have an unsettling devotion to The Truth as you see it and an indifference to teabaggery and Palinism. That’s why they jump all over you at PJM, that’s why they storm out of here yelling insults over their shoulders. Because they know what you haven’t yet accepted: you’re not one of them.

    I think you think you’re going to win the tea partiers back to conservatism. But they were never conservative, that’s just a label they seized on when Limbaugh gave it to them. The GOP isn’t conservative, it’s a grab bag of nuts and populists and rent-seekers and bigots and Christianists and fascists. They aren’t your people, they haven’t been for a while, and they won’t be again.

    People like you should stop trying to square the circle between conservatism and whatever the hell the GOP has become. It’s time for a conservative party. A real conservative party. You’d be a lot happier.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 11/10/2009 @ 8:36 pm

  24. Rick,

    It’s not my place to run with MikeReynolds conversation with you, but I don’t think you answered his question from comment #9 (please dear god let it really be #9 this time).

    “And you’re a Republican why?”

    “I am sustained by the absolute certainty that I am right - that reason must prevail or we are doomed. I accuse the base of hyperbole and exaggeration but that statement is as true as anything that has ever been written. Our current course will lead to economic catastrophe and the only way out is both parties working together.”

    I understand that your belief is why you say and do what you do — and that’s fine. You feel that way, I feel that way, my neighbor feels that way. It’s pretty normal to actually believe what you advocate (unless you are a politician, of course).

    I expect you to believe what you say, and to act on that. But the question wasn’t why do you speak and advocate the way you do — the question is why do you belong to the GOP? What you believe would only be a justification for being a GOP member if they represented those beliefs.

    Do you think that the GOP actually represents your beliefs and the truths you recognize, or do they only pay lip service to it? If they are disingenuous, then you’re membership is a betrayal of those Truths.

    I can understand voting “as” a Republican if of the two relevant parties they are closer to what you believe than the Democrats — that’s being practical, and making the best of the bad tools you are provided to do what you can to further those Truths you feel inside. But to do that doesn’t require being a member of the Party. You’ve spoken out again blind sheep groupthink enough that I feel pretty comfortable guessing you wouldn’t join “cuz you’re supposed to join a Party”. You wouldn’t declare allegience to a group unless you felt like it was where you should be . . . because it was home.

    Is it home for you? Do you think they embody and represent TODAY those truths you know in your soul? Perhaps when you originally joined the Party they did, but if they stopped doing so would you leave the Party, or would you remain in a Party that doesn’t represents your Truths out of sentimental comfort?

    I wouldn’t think you would do the latter (not that you aren’t a big sentimental teddy bear), so I have to assume you believe that they do truly embody those Truths. Is that the case?

    Comment by busboy33 — 11/10/2009 @ 9:41 pm

  25. The American Left, as embodied by the intellectually bankrupt and inherently corrupt Democratic Party, is incapable these days of risk-taking and courage. The expectation, from that quarter, would be the burden of entitlement reform ould be on the shoulders of the Right and/or Republicans, with the expectation that lead would be used as a club.

    At some point, Rick, you either will have to come to terms with the fact that today’s Democratic Party is a fragile coalition of amoral hypocrites and power-mad pols (personified by the despicable Pelosi and Reid) who use the idealistic and desperate as ash tray hearts, or you will continue to be seen as a dupe. Bipartisanship is overrated anyhow, and impossible with these people. It is either defeat them at the polls–and this is more than just blowing them away in the next mid-term election–or be subservient. They understand nothing else.

    Comment by obamathered — 11/10/2009 @ 10:56 pm

  26. The American Right, as embodied by the intellectually bankrupt and inherently corrupt Republican Party, is incapable these days of courage and risk taking. The expectation , from that quarter, would be that the risk of corporate entitlement reform would be on the shoulders of the Republicans and the Right Wing mouthpieces (as distinct from the true conservatives in the USA).

    As some point, obamathered, you will confront the fact that your Republican Party is a fragile coalition of pandering publicity seekers, corporatist shills and pimps who use, abuse and discard the desperate, dedicated, selfless and idealistic.

    However, the Democratic Party is little different, being in service to some of the same paymasters as well as the ideological dupes of the post-modern, multicultural intelligensia.

    I can (and will) say more about those who are NOT reacting mindlessly to the programming of the MSM, be it CNN, Washington Post, Fox or MSNBC. Kudos to Rick for speaking out with his

    Comment by Anonymous — 11/11/2009 @ 1:56 am

  27. frusrtation and bewilderment given his commitment to the USA and the ideals most of us share, rather than the shortsided, selfish, idiocracy that runs from the Right(Rush) to the Left(Pelosi).

    Rick, I’ve not posted before, nor acknowledeged you. I’ve disagreed a lot with you in the past, and no matter what, I’m saying: Thank you.

    Comment by A. B. — 11/11/2009 @ 2:02 am

  28. Until we think as Americans, act as Americans, and hold responsibility of our country dear, this crap of Democratic v Republican and in ability to govern will continue. It is not diversity that made us great, it was assimilation to the freedom and liberty granted in America.

    “The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.” Cicero - 55 BC

    So, what have we learned in 2,064 years? … Not much apparently.

    Comment by Gryphonskymaster — 11/11/2009 @ 6:09 am

  29. Well R.M. your liberal friends at this site are beckoning you to join their party. They are really not interested in your trolling into the the abyss of shades of grey.Remember they are the originators of BDS - no shades of gray there.The time of your contemplating your navel is drawing to an end.You have been asked many times to be specific in policies but you never respond.So man up.Republican or Democrat? Don’t be afraid.

    Comment by MooseH — 11/11/2009 @ 8:21 am

  30. Whose job is it to make everyone play nice? Because whoever it is has been asleep at the switch for something like 200 years.

    There are quotes from Abraham Lincoln that bemoan the whole “why can’t we all get along” thing.

    If you are waiting for Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid (or most other politicos) to ever, ever do anything other than secure more power for themselves, you really are out of touch.

    Comment by RobM1981 — 11/11/2009 @ 9:14 am

  31. RM write: Are you stupid or do you hate America? I tend more toward stupid..

    Me, too. Or maybe just ignorant and determined to stay that way.

    But I strongly dislike the “do you hate America?” phrasing. When some folks disagree completely with my POV, I never think they hate their country. This usage was coined and made popular by the pro-war crowd, no? As such it is another attempt by the ignorant (or misguided) to discredit those who differ from them. It needs to fall into disfavor IMO.

    Comment by HyperIon — 11/11/2009 @ 6:58 pm

  32. Hyperlon
    How about BDS rhetoric.
    “Bush lied so that soldiers died”
    “Cheney is a torturer”
    Do you think that this is ignorant?
    I agree- It needs to fall into disfavor IMO.

    Comment by MooseH — 11/12/2009 @ 12:57 pm

  33. It takes two to tango. If one partner isn’t with it you get stumblitis, not graceful, harmonious and pleasing airs over the floor.

    Do Democrats really know how to dance the tango? (Tom Delay does!)

    Comment by mannning — 11/17/2009 @ 10:51 pm

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