Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Decision '08, Government, History, Politics, The Rick Moran Show, health care reform — Rick Moran @ 11:29 am

It would be easy to dismiss the deficit reduction plan offered by Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) a couple of weeks ago as a non-starter politically. Indeed, ordinarily I would castigate either a Republican or Democrat for offering such a pie in the sky, politically unfeasible plan with regard to anything.

But what makes Ryan’s deficit reduction plan worthy of serious discussion is what it portends for the future; that the longer we go without addressing the underlying causes of the deficit, the harder it is going to be to save the US from bankruptcy.

Even liberals were impressed. Ezra Klein totally disagreed with it but called the plan “daring.” Ygelsias said of the plan that Ryan “has gone where I thought no Republican would dare to tread.” But the establishment Republicans tiptoed around Ryan and virtually disavowed his efforts at finding a way forward. Ryan himself said he wasn’t speaking for his fellow Republicans, thus letting them off the hook.

Ryan’s plan can be considered very stiff medicine indeed. He calls for the elimination of Medicare and Medicaid as we know it by substituting vouchers that seniors can purchase to buy their own insurance plans. The value of these vouchers will go up in succeeding years but - and here’s the kicker - they will not rise as fast as the cost of medical care. Basically, it is rationing health care through individual choices.

Bruce Bartlett writing in Forbes, gives us the barebones outline of Ryan’s bitter pill deficit reduction plan:

[I]t is really heroic that Rep. Ryan did not shrink away from confronting head-on the necessity of slashing entitlements for the elderly in order to achieve his goal of abolishing the federal debt without an increase in the tax-to-GDP ratio.

On Social Security Ryan would reduce initial benefits for retirees by changing the benefit formula. Private accounts would be established immediately for those under age 55 that would be partially funded by payroll taxes.

Ryan would also raise the age to qualify for Medicare from 65 to 69 years and 6 months for people born in the year 2022. After the year 2021, the Medicare program as we know it would cease to exist. Instead of receiving health benefits through Medicare, those over age 65 would instead receive government vouchers worth $5,900. These vouchers would be adjusted for age and health status, which would put the average voucher at $11,000. Medicare beneficiaries would buy private health insurance with the vouchers.

These amounts are considerably less than estimated Medicare spending per enrollee in 2022, so there is a sharp cut in spending right off the bat. Furthermore, these amounts would only be indexed to half the historical rate of price inflation for medical care. This means that the real, inflation-adjusted voucher amount would fall continuously. To cover the shortfall, Medicare beneficiaries would either have to pay out of their own pockets for medical care or buy private insurance over and above what could be purchased with the Medicare vouchers.

Ryan also calls for the elimination of the tax exclusion for employer health care plans. This would mean a huge tax increase for workers who would have to pay income tax on the cost to the employer of their insurance.

The plan is political poison - but illustrative of the kinds of draconian measures that will be necessary to get us out of this deficit mess. In this way, Ryan has done a huge service to the American people by having the political courage to present this plan with all its pain, and the political opening you can drive a Mack truck through if you were a Democrat seeking to make hay out of it.

The GOP showed in the health care debate how easy it is to demagogue Medicare cuts; just pretend that you never supported the idea of cutting Medicare and lambaste the Democrats for wanting to cut $500 billion over 10 years. You instantly become a hero to seniors who go nuts if you even whisper about cutting Medicare. They don’t know that as recently as 2007, Republicans were calling for similar cuts in Medicare. And thus will be the fate of any politician or party who seeks to fiddle with Medicare reimbursements or costs.

This is a recipe for total disaster, as the former GAO chief David Walker has been trying to tell us for the last 4 years:

“History has shown that when America faces difficult challenges and when it rises to the occasion, anything is possible,” he said in an interview. Yet “a fiscal cancer,” he said, “is growing within us, that if we don’t treat, can have catastrophic consequences.”

For more than a year that’s been Walker’s message to Americans. It is part of what he calls a Fiscal Wakeup Tour, an itinerant, bi-partisan lecture panel known as the Concord Coalition, which is traveling to college campuses in advance of the 2008 presidential elections. Accompanying Walker are economists from the left-leaning Brookings Institution and the conservative Heritage Foundation (usually Isabel Sawhill from the former and Stuart Butler from the latter). They may disagree about the potential solution, but they are in accord that a problem exists.

The crux of the campaign: to spread the word that Americans and their government are living beyond their means and that fiscal fecklessness is imperiling the country’s living standards.

Here we are, 3 years after that column was written and the prescience of Walker and others who have been shouting in the wilderness for so long about how absolutely imperative it is to address our long term deficit problem becomes obvious. We are only at the beginning of our “unsustainable” deficits. With the debt ceiling primed to rise above our GDP for the first time, we will get a very close look at what Walker, Ryan, and others have been grousing about; less and less government spending devoted to items like defense, education, the environment, and aid to the poor with more and more of the budget being forced to fund social security and Medicare.

When I profiled Rep. Ryan here, I highlighted the kind of muscular conservatism he stands for; meaty, intellectually coherent, and now add politically courageous to that thumbnail.

Bartlett challenges the tea party movement to embrace Ryan:

I think it is irresponsible to say, as almost all tea party goers do, that they are unalterably opposed to tax increases without specifying spending cuts–large cuts in popular programs that go far beyond foreign aid, earmarks and even a budget freeze. And if they are serious they must admit that coming anywhere close to budget balance cannot be done without slashing Social Security and Medicare benefits. There’s no way around that and anyone who says so is either ignorant or a fool.

When I see people like Paul Ryan addressing large tea party conventions and receiving standing ovations for his budget plan, maybe I will begin to think it is possible to avoid a massive tax increase. But right now, I don’t see even the tiniest glimmer of understanding among the tea party crowd about the true nature of our budget problem and what it would take to avoid a major tax increase.

The next time I see pictures of a tea party crowd I will be looking carefully for signs that say “Abolish Medicare,” “Raise the Retirement Age” and “Support the Ryan Plan!” I won’t hold my breath waiting.

Indeed, those familiar with this site know that I have, on several occasions, called out conservatives for their lack of specificity in defining what they mean by “limited government.” Where would you cut? Whose ox would you gore? How would you be able to do it when the political winds blow so strongly against you? In response, I’ve gotten vague intimations of some kind of “Super-Federalism” that would transfer most of what the federal government does now to the states, or a “let them eat cake” attitude where many on the right wish to roll back not only LBJ’s Great Society, but also FDR’s New Deal. Some wish to go even further and set up what would amount to a pre-constitutional government where the states would be supreme - “an Articles of Confederation on steroids” I’ve called it.

Ryan’s plan shows it won’t be easy, that it won’t come by only cutting spending, and that not only our lawmakers, but voters as well must become responsible citizens of the republic in order to bite down - hard - and do what is necessary to save us from our own profligacy. A nation that defeated fascism, communism, and can rise above its own sordid past and elect a black man president can do anything it sets its mind to.

Just give us a couple of hundred more Paul Ryans, please.


  1. While the proposals by Mr. Ryan appear to be a step in the right direction, it may already be to late for the nation to avoid bankruptcy. In addition to what Mr. Ryan proposes, I think an area that needs to be looked at is making government more efficient. If we could do this, we may be able to substantially reduce costs without cutting anyone’s benefits.

    “A nation that defeated fascism, communism, and can rise above its own sordid past and it elect a black man can do any thing it sets its mind to.” Lets take each of these one at a time.

    The defeat of fascism was a team effort. The most important contributor to this was Soviet Russia. Without Soviet assistance it is unlikely that Fascism could have been defeated. For example, we seem to credit D Day as being perhaps the pivotal point in defeating Nazi Germany. Had the invasion of D Day failed or not been done at all the Nazis in France would have fallen from the East. It might have taken a bit longer but Nazi Germany would have been defeated even without American assistance. While American actions were certainly helpful, they were not mission critical to defeating Fascism. It is to the Russians that we primarily owe the defeat of Nazi Germany to. Without them Hitler may have realized his dream of a thousand year reign of Nazism. In summary, while America was an important member of a team of nations who defeated Fascism, it cannot take sole credit for this nor was its part in this the most important part.

    Communism has not been defeated. It is now stronger than ever. With China on the rise and with Russia resurgent we cannot say that Communisim has been defeated. With former KGB officials running the Russian government I don’t think it is safe to say that the goals have changed only the methods may have changed some. Russia and China are now both more powerful than America in most ways that matter. As such, I don’t think we can say Communism has been defeated.

    As to rising above our own sordid past, I can only hope so. I’m getting sick and tired of being reminded on a daily basis about what an evil and racist country America is. If I only listened to our talking head pundits, I would think America is the greatest incarnation of evil ever in the history of the human race.

    Comment by B.Poster — 2/12/2010 @ 12:58 pm

  2. “meaty, intellectually coherent, and now add politically courageous to that thumbnail.”

    Except his budget benefits are based on a pretty obvious falsehood:

    “For their analysis Ryan provided CBO with a remarkable assumption: he asked CBO actuaries to assume that the major tax cuts he calls for won’t create any change in federal revenue over the next two decades–at all.

    Here’s how they put it, in budget-ese: ‘As specified by your [Ryan's] staff, for this analysis total federal tax revenues are assumed to equal those under [current fiscal policy],’ the analysis reads.”

    Ryan is certainly to be applauded for being more specific than “do good things” . . . but advancing a budget with the caveat that you have to consider it assuming only good things about it is hardly what I’d call “meaty” or “intellectually coherent”.

    Comment by busboy33 — 2/12/2010 @ 1:47 pm

  3. I’m getting sick and tired of being reminded on a daily basis about what an evil and racist country America is.

    Stop doing evil racist things and maybe the moniker will go away. Yes, the country is a vastly different place from forty years ago, and except for the bone in the nose witch doctor posters, the watermelon fields in front of the White House, the execution of Amidu Diallo, James Byrd, and endless stream of black men exonerated by DNA who are leaving prison it’s a racial paradise.

    You’re just upset that no matter how much folks like you whine, the GOP can’t shake the label of racism, due in no small measure to the fact that not a single black Republican is in the Senate ( a rather exclusive club I’ll grant) or the House of Representatives and a long history of insulting outright racist opinion pieces by your brightest intellectual lights.

    Not a single one, that’s none.

    Further, you can’t seem to grasp that making a hero of a white kid who dresses up as Superfly to make a political point isn’t going to endear you to Leroy the Plumber.

    Then there’s that whole “poverty pimp” language still in use almost two decades after welfare reform ended most of the abuses that existed, though we know who Reagan meant when he was talking about Welfare Queens and “strapping young bucks.”

    Black people despise the GOP because the party has earned it. Not occasionally stupid (like Harry Reid) but hard at work to turn our stomachs like Saint Buckley did, not during some discourse in feudal England but in recent and not forgotten memory.

    Pile this quote from 2004:

    John Kerry has been in search of a line or two of American poetry to suggest the challenge ahead, most especially his role in it.

    That phrase has something going for it. It was written by an American Negro poet, Langston Hughes (1902-1967).

    On top of writing like this:

    A 1957 editorial written by Buckley, “Why the South Must Prevail” (National Review, 8/24/57), cited the “cultural superiority of white over Negro” in explaining why whites were “entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where [they do] not predominate numerically.” Appearing on NPR’s Fresh Air in 1989 (rebroadcast 2/28/08), he stood by the passage. “Well, I think that’s absolutely correct,” Buckley told host Terry Gross when she read it back to him.

    A 1960 National Review editorial supported South Africa’s white minority rule (4/23/60): “The whites are entitled, we believe, to preeminence in South Africa.” In a 1961 National Review column about colonialism—which the magazine once called “that brilliantly conceived structure” (William F. Buckley, John Judis)–Buckley explained that “black Africans” left alone “tend to revert to savagery.” The same year, in a speech to the group Young Americans for Freedom, Buckley called citizens of the Congo “semi-savages” (National Review, 9/9/61).

    National Review editors condemned the 1963 bombing of a black Birmingham Church that killed four children, but because it “set back the cause of the white people there so dramatically,” the editors wondered “whether in fact the explosion was the act of a provocateur—of a Communist, or of a crazed Negro” (Chicago Reader, 8/26/05).

    As any objective person could see, blacks despise the very word conservative, and its embodiment in the political party of the Republicans for just and oft repeated cause.

    The GOP gets cut no slack because it has earned exactly none.

    Comment by Richard Bottoms — 2/12/2010 @ 2:11 pm

  4. I think this is definitely as step in the right direction, and it’s good (and rare) to see a conservative actually being conservative. However I’m not sure we’ll see any positive movement toward eliminating the national debt until either a) we find ourselves in a 90’s-like economic boom, or b) the public starts to see the importance of doing so. Maybe it can be described in terms of how much of our money we spend on paying off the interest. What is it now, maybe $3000 a year per person on average?

    Comment by Aaron — 2/12/2010 @ 2:15 pm

  5. Richard,

    I never said I’m a Republican or had any affiliation with the GOP. Besides the GOP is out of power right now. The Democrats control the House, the Senate, and the White House. As such, it makes no sense to write a reply to my post about Republicans. As to why their are no African Americans in the Senate representing the Republican party, this is a problem for them to address. The point I was making was that America is still be accused of being the most vile, evil, and racists entity on the planet. Whether or not Republicans are racists are not is another matter. Given the fact that the voting public has thourogly rejected Republicans, the moniker needs to go away.

    As to how Republicans can correct the problems you bring up, this will be up to Rick Moran and other leaders of the Republican party to address. I think a frank dialogue between all affected parties will need to take place but this is for them to decide. In my post, I was not referring to Republicans but to America in general.

    The point is that the accusations that America as a vile racists country needs to stop. It is no more or less so than any other country. This is especially so given your assumption that Republicans are racists. Americans have thourogly rejected Republicans, yet the accusations continue. Even the recent victory of Scott Brown occurred because he appeared to run on a platform that distanced himself from the Bush era of Republicanism.

    Btw, I’m not really interested in what happened in 1957 or 1960. I had no influence on it nor did most people of influence today. Also, as DNA evidence acquits more people of all skin colors they will be set free from prison. This is as it should be. America is very much a work in progress as are all societies. Credit should be given where it is due.

    Comment by B.Poster — 2/12/2010 @ 3:21 pm

  6. The point is that the accusations that America as a vile racists country needs to stop.

    Well I’m going to have side with Ellie Weisel on the benefit of never forgetting the evils of the past so that they are not repeated.

    Btw, I’m not really interested in what happened in 1957 or 1960.

    Funny you should mention 1960, that was the first year I was called nigger. Silly me, I still remember it.

    Even the recent victory of Scott Brown occurred because he appeared to run on a platform that distanced himself from the Bush era of Republicanism.

    And who can forget when valiant teabaggers stood up against George Bush’s ineptitude as a commander in chief and the principled stand they took against his insane deficit spending.

    Wait… that happened in the other timeline where Oceanic 815 doesn’t crash.

    Comment by Richard Bottoms — 2/12/2010 @ 3:28 pm

  7. Hi Rick

    I see the incredible trolls that infest this site are at it again with quotes a dead man made circa 1960 (supposed to show how racist Republicans are - yet this registered Dem thinks the ;ibs arethe true bigots) ….and arguing that the Russians defeated Germany. Well, sort of. They killed more of their own people than the Germans did but they did fight the Germans - when their armies weren’t attacking each other. And they used millions of tons of critcally needed British and American aid from food stuff to trucks to airplanes and God alone knows what else. It is entirely possible the Murmansk Run defeated Hitler. Who actually defeated himself in large part. BTW Who else thinks having them “rescue” France would have been a good idea?

    On to your post….

    We will have to swallow a bitter pill before we get real reform. That pill is the realization that individuals in both parties are guilty of creating this mess and bipartisan prosecution (plus a whole lot of economic pain) are critical to solving our current disaster. I think the Tea Partiers get it. They go silent when they hear Joe Farah go on about the BC issue but demand economic accountability. I hope they do and am looking with real curiousity toward 11/10.

    Meanwhile, it is business as usual in DC with the same cast of characters doing the same economic mischief over two or morre administrationns. Presidents Obama and Bush are guilty but Obama is dpoing more damage, cheer leading trolls notwithstanding.

    I also note that Bottoms failed to mention the Nazi-Soviet pact - the most cynical deal in diplomatic history. It was signed 2 days before the Germans invaded Poland - where they proceeded to divvy up the country with Stalin.

    Stalin’s treachery helped start World War II. The Pact enabled Hitler to invade by assuring that he would only have to fight a one front war. And you might want to ask Mr. Bottoms where the Soviets would have been without the massive amount of assistance supplied by the US to fight in the first place.

    The Russian winter killed more Germans that the Red Army.


    Comment by Jim — 2/12/2010 @ 3:34 pm

  8. I see the incredible trolls that infest this site are at it again with quotes a dead man made circa 1960 (supposed to show how racist Republicans are

    The GOP and conservatives in particular worship WFB. I happen to believe his racist screeds are an enduring and relevant part of his legacy and are completely relevant to why the GOP wins less than 10% of the black vote in a good year.

    We simply don’t believe you when you say the Republican party is open and inclusive because you can’t demonstrate any ability to support and nuture black candidates.


    Comment by Richard Bottoms — 2/12/2010 @ 3:48 pm

  9. [...] other Republicans are quickly running away from). Conservative blogger Rick Moran talks about Ryan here and here. E.D. Kain also talks up Ryan here and here. Robert Samuelson shares his opinion as does [...]

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  10. Richard,

    I agree with you that we must remember the evils of the past so that they are not repeated, however, we cannot hold the people today responsible for what past generations did or did not do. For example, no one of any consequence holds Germans of today accountable for the holocaust. If any one attempted to do so, they would no doubt be slammed by the media and pretty much everyone. By the same token it would be wrong to hold people of today responsible for the past sins of America or any other country.

    All of us can remember every time we have been insulted in some way. My eye sight is quite poor. I’ve been insulted numerous times over many years because of this. I’m sorry you were mistreated back in 1960 or any other time. If there was some way I could help you I would, however, I’m not responsible for what happened then nor is the modern GOP. By the same token the modern Democratic party is not responsible for the social programs that a previous generation of Democrats tried to institute that almost ruined my life. I hold no malice toward current Democrats over this.

    Also, I would hope that Mr. Buckley’s views have changed over time as those of most Americans have. Besides Mr. Buckley hardly has much influence over the Republican party of today. I would hope that Republicans and you can work through your differences and work constructively together. As a starting point, old grievences should be forgiven, however, this is a problem for you and Republicans to work out.

    The American people as a whole have jettisoned such thinking. Credit should be given where it is due. I suspect the Republican party will be extinct soon. It will probably split into several different parties. How this affects the Democratic party remains to be seen. Will some of these new parties attract some Democrat voters? Time will tell.

    As to members of the tea parties not reacting to the actions of Mr. Bush on deficit spending or any thing else, I think the boiled frog analogy fits here. During the Bush tenure the frogs, in this case the American people, did not realize they were being boiled. Now they do. As such, they want out of the pot. In this case a change in Government. I don’t think they are pleased with either Democrats or Republicans right now. Does this help Republicans? I don’t know. It depends upon whether they can offer a viable alternative. So far I don’t see it.

    In any event, the tea party movement is hardly very relevant. No candidate endorsed by them is going to get the Republican nomination and no candidate wants to be to close to them right now. It is some what a mystery why the media is so obssessed with them. Perhaps it is because they seem to like Sarah Palin whom they despise. Mrs. Palin has no chance to be elected to any office at any time. The obssession with her is some what strange.

    Comment by B.Poster — 2/12/2010 @ 4:30 pm

  11. B.Poster:
    Communism has not been defeated.

    It’s true that the USSR and communist China were not defeated in a WWII-style military victory. But communism is most definitely dead. Both countries have abandoned communism in all but name. The only reason they have any power at all now is because they embraced private enterprise to a massive degree. When I first visited China in 1991 they were taking to capitalism like fish to water. Both countries are major world powers and possible threats to the US, but that threat doesn’t have anything to do with communism.

    Go to a left-wing rally and you might find a couple communists. Go to a Tea Party rally and you might find a couple Neo-Nazis. That only means that while communism and fascism are dead, idiocy is alive and well. The only significant role of communism these days is that of a political boogeyman.

    Comment by Aaron — 2/12/2010 @ 4:39 pm

  12. Aaron,

    I think it would be fair to say that certain elements of private enterprise have been adopted by China and Russia while maintaining the same state control that is a hall mark of communism. After all, if someone tried to criticize Vladimir Putin or the leaders of China their lives would be very short and their assets would be seized by the state.

    In the United States we don’t really have a private enterprise/capitalist system. It is a hybrid that currently swings much closer to socialism. I think it would be fair to say that certain big corporations such as Goldman Sachs and some of the big banks have currently found a way to reap the benefits of private enterprise without the risks normally associated with it. Time will tell how long this can last.

    I thought all tea party members were neo nazi racists. At least this is what the media tells me. Oh well we can’t believe every thing the media tells us.

    “The only significant role of Communism these days is that of political boogey man.” Who is using it as a political boogey man. It seems to me that everyone wants to take credit for its demise. Besides your statement does illustrate the point. Any one who dares point out the dangers will be labled by the media as refering to a boogey man. After all, most people don’t think the boogey man exists do they?

    I think this could be part of the plan. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being pure free enterprise and 1 being pure Communism, the United States ranks about a 3 right now and is drifting closer to 1 as this is being written. I do not expect either party to alter the trajectory unless they are forced to do so. It appears to me that Communism is very much alive and well.

    Comment by B.Poster — 2/12/2010 @ 4:59 pm

  13. I agree with you that we must remember the evils of the past so that they are not repeated, however, we cannot hold the people today responsible for what past generations did or did not do.

    I don’t recall writing a word to indicate I hold you responsible for anything.

    I know I often run into this thing where conservatives are sure I’ve written something I haven’t to which I usual ask that person to quote my exact words back to me.

    I would hope that Republicans and you can work through your differences and work constructively together.

    I am a Democrat. The only difference I have with the Republicans is that there are too many of them in Congress, especially from the armpit of our nation, the South. Now that doesn’t make them bad people, just political opponents.

    During the Bush tenure the frogs, in this case the American people, did not realize they were being boiled. Now they do. As such, they want out of the pot.

    I don’t doubt you believe it, but the past 15 years points to that flat not being true. The water was just fine when Bush I & Bush II were running things, but now that The Anti-Christ is in office, the very fate of the Republic hangs on getting Obama out of office.

    And more than a few of the teabaggers have been willing to say they are fine with extra-legal means to make it happen.

    Republicans shying away from this craziness? How many times has Governor Rick Perry of Texas indicated that secession is an option that sane people should at least discuss?

    Ron Paul has been smart enough not to outright back or denounce the Truthers but he sure benefits from their support. And no elected Republican has as yet called the Birthers out as the lunatics they are because a vote is a vote.

    Sorry, I don’t believe this season of outrage will last any longer than the length of time a Democrat is president.

    Comment by Richard Bottoms — 2/12/2010 @ 5:50 pm

  14. “Sorry, I don’t believe this season of outrage will last any longer than the length of time a Democrat is president.”

    Have to agree with this. Moreover, when there’s a Red in the Oval office criticism will be be both mocked and used as a sign of sedition.

    And this isn’t blaming past generations. This is based off of stuff from the last 5 years. The racist issues came screaming to the forefront with the Obama presidential campaign. 18 months ago. And it usually only takes a few months for another embarassing example to surface . . . often from a member of the GOP party (not just a Republican).

    Comment by busboy33 — 2/12/2010 @ 6:00 pm

  15. [...] AA Chapter To Manage The Adult Beverage Store?Posted on | February 12, 2010 | No Commentsby SmittyRick Moran gives a great apology for Representative Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) plan, as reviewed in Forbes by [...]

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  16. Republicans are not only blind to contemporary racism, they’re now evidently trying to close their eyes to historical racism.

    Not a surprise. People who profit from evil are quick to forget it. Sort of like asking Bayer Pharmaceuticals about their past. Or asking the Southern Baptist church how they came to form a separate denomination. Or asking Lloyd’s of London just what it was they used to insure back in the day. Or asking just how and why we came to have a state called Texas.

    Do evil, profit from same, then angrily denounce anyone who inconveniently points out that you’re still spending the profits of your crime.

    You want a statute of limitations? Step one is admitting what you’ve done. You don’t get to demand we “put it all behind us” while you’re still denying what you did and actively profiting from same.

    The GOP used the Southern Strategy to profit from crude, overt, undeniable, historically-demonstrated racism. Not a million years ago, during my lifetime. If REpublicans want to move past that step one is to admit it. Step two is to stop practicing the more subtle modern variant.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 2/12/2010 @ 9:08 pm

  17. [...] to get out of this fiscal mess. IMO this is a good start - note how both sides oppose this plan - Right Wing Nut House ? PAUL RYAN’S LONELY VOICE In addition to the fiscal side, I think that right of center is socially moderate (forget running [...]

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  18. Turning Medicare, Social Security, etc. into means tested welfare programs, as Ryan’s plan would do, is anything but a conservative idea. No wonder the libs are praising it.

    Ryan’s plan is a wolf in sheeps clothing and quite deservedly is going nowhere. Conservatives should avoid it like the plague.

    Comment by cool breeze — 2/13/2010 @ 8:00 am

  19. @Richard

    Okay, I really don’t know how to use the little quote box on this site, so bear with me. you said “The GOP and conservatives in particular worship WFB. I happen to believe his racist screeds are an enduring and relevant part of his legacy and are completely relevant to why the GOP wins less than 10% of the black vote in a good year.”

    As you are bashing the Republicans, is it safe to assume you are a Democrat?

    Which party filibustered the Civil Rights Act, Richard?
    Which party’s Senate Majority leader was the former Exalted Cyclops of the KKK?
    Which party spread lies about a black Supreme Court Nominee?
    Which party’s nominee called Obama “Clean and Articulate”

    Oh, that’s right, the Democrats.

    And that former “Exalted Cyclops”…he’s still serving. Senator Byrd.

    This is a delightful quote from him. “I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side… Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.”

    If you don’t believe me, here’s a link. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/18/AR2005061801105_pf.html

    Before you bash all of us “evil, racist” conservatives, remove the log from your own eye.

    Comment by Luke — 2/13/2010 @ 8:04 am

  20. Strange evolution in the comments relative to the subject. Ryan’s idea is a good one - the problem is that it requires all Americans to be willing to sacrifice a bit. But everyone will come up with a reason that they have sacrificed enough and someone else (evil republicans or evil democrats) needs to give more.
    Richard, I am sorry that 50 years after being called a name it still makes you feel aggrieved. My kids have been called plenty of names due to their mixed race but I tell them that (a) one person does not represent an entire race, party or community (b) get over it because if they let someone’s words define them as a person they have ceded the battle and the name caller wins in defining who my kids are
    And Richard some of your kin find perfect harmony with whites here in the south when it comes to how they view races that are not black or white. Quite a few democrats as well as republicans in that mix.
    The problem with this whole “No your party is more racist than our party” garbage is that if one makes the assumption that each race has roughly its own fair share of bigots (say 5%) then simple math will show the white bigots clearly outnumber black bigots because there are more whites NOT because any race is more or less than the next. But to acknowledge this causes the ones making ridiculous points to cede that (a) there are racist people in their party of choice (b) the taunts about one party being the party of racists doesn’t meet the laugh test

    Comment by Brad — 2/13/2010 @ 8:21 am

  21. Sad to see black democrats clinging to and nursing decades old sleights and blinding themselves to the glaring fact that their decades of blind support of democrat politicians has left exactly the same percentage of them in poverty as in 1960.
    The only difference is that liberal social programs have all but destroyed the nuclear black family that existed then.Democrats take their support for granted and see no reason to do more than provide lip service to their issues.
    Richard Bottoms point fingers at the GOP because it currently has no black senators or representatives. Who’s fault is that? It isn’t from lack of trying. The national chairman is black, a fact Bottoms fails to mention. When have democrats ever elected a black chairman? If blacks want real political clout they need to stop supporting democrats who’s policies actually hurt blacks and begin to field candidates in BOTH parties.
    Stop nursing 50 year-old grudges against dead men and come into the 21st century.
    Finally, you might want to take a hard look at your own bigotry.
    “The only difference I have with the Republicans is that there are too many of them in Congress, especially from the armpit of our nation, the South.”
    That’s a really broad, bigoted brush you paint with.
    Strange how you rail against the spending in the Bush years, when the highest deficit was $462 billion, yet don’t blink when Obama triples it in one year.

    Ryan is right, and I for one am not afraid to say so.
    Every time Obama points to Social Security and Medicare as examples of popular federal programs and reasons we should pass his healthcare plan, the GOP needs to stand up and point out that those programs are bankrupting the country, just as Republicans SAID THEY WOULD when they were passed over GOP objections.
    They are fiscal failures and the GOP was right to oppose them. Stop being afraid to says to and get down to the business of fixing it.

    Comment by Spartacus — 2/13/2010 @ 8:41 am

  22. Richard -

    I love how you complain from your lofty moral heights about being called a n- but you have no problem using a homosexual sexual slur against people whose political views you disagree with.

    And your ridiculous statement that Republicans never put forth black candidates - “none”, I believe you said - is just patently false. Right off the top of my head, I can name Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Michael Steele, Clarence Thomas and J.C. Watts. I’m sure I could Google more. I guess you need something to distract from having “Sheets” Byrd and Mr. “Obama-is-clean-and-articulate” Biden as fellow Democrats.

    We have now elected a black man president. Both parties have black men and women in important positions. It’s time to move on from the “Amerikka is racist” nonsense or is the grievance party just too much fun to leave yet?

    Comment by inmypajamas — 2/13/2010 @ 8:47 am

  23. Obama is not a black man; he’s the son of a white communist student from Kansas who dated a student from Kenya in college. The relationship lasted less than a year and Obama Sr. had no role in Barry’s upbringing. Barry was raised by his white marxist mum and his white “racist” grandparents.

    Comment by Peter Verkooijen — 2/13/2010 @ 8:49 am

  24. Entitlments will need to be reformed. We all know that. Some smaller steps now would be a good start - like means testing.

    However there is more to the Tea Party folks than just entitlements. A good chunk, like myself, want the Feds cut back severely to the duties called out in the Constitution. George Washington had exactly 4 cabinet members/departments. State, Treasury, War, Attorney General (Justice). Truly, what value do the Departments of Agriculture, Interior, Education, and Energy give us? How much money could be saved by eliminating these and putting it back on the States where it is closer to the people where it belongs?

    Comment by Jennifer — 2/13/2010 @ 8:50 am

  25. From the proposed legislation: “Guarantee of Contributions. Individuals who choose to invest in personal accounts will be ensured every dollar they place into an account will be guaranteed, even after inflation. With the recent market downturn, individuals must be assured their retirement is secure. By guaranteeing the dollars put into an account, individuals can be assured that a large-scale market downturn will not cost them their Social Security personal accounts.”

    Let’s think this through. Wall Street can take trillions of Social Security dollars in “personal accounts” and throw them at any high risk scheme they can come up with for short term profits, and when it all collapses the government will pay off any losses to investors. Holy Christ on a crutch. You cannot be serious.

    Comment by still liberal — 2/13/2010 @ 9:15 am

  26. Am I the only one laughing out loud at Mr. Bottoms?

    Oh, those evil racist republicans.

    And then he goes on to refer to the tea party as ‘teabaggers’ and the South as the ‘armpit of the country’.

    I stand in awe of your hypocrisy, sir.

    Comment by kstills — 2/13/2010 @ 9:30 am

  27. Richard Bottoms, Did you have a good puke? Feel better?

    Richard, may I call you Dick, what is your considered and thoughtful opinion, being a loyal Democrat,of your party moving to close down school choice for thousands of black children and their families? I’m sure with the best of intentions and the most laudable of considerations.
    Your opinion please, Dick.
    Yes, racism is a terrible thing, and you would have thought the Black Caucus would be screaming to high heaven, wouldn’t you, Dick?
    Don’t be bitter over Obama, whatever the color of his skin a clod is still a clod,and a cheap power hustler is what he is.

    Comment by johnt — 2/13/2010 @ 9:34 am

  28. It is possible that throwing Medicare into the private sector and allowing capitalism to work it’s magic would yield exactly what our feckless government wants to achieve.

    Reduced abuse, corruption and lower costs.

    Competition for these health-voucher dollars, combined with opening the market across state lines would breed some mighty interesting packages of services at cutthroat prices.

    Even diagnostic tests, and lab processing would be pressured to reduce costs in order to compete, rather than the status quo of whining about the low rate the government pays for these services.

    Worth some more thought, I think.

    Comment by Anon 1:50 — 2/13/2010 @ 9:40 am

  29. We’re spending 600 billion a year on “defense” so that we can “project” our military might in all corners of the world.How ludicrous is that?But its taboo to even hint at cutting the military.Americans could be dying in our streets from hunger, but by God we can’t cut any military budgets.We may go bankrupt Rick, but we’ll still have military bases in over 130 countries.So until we man up about that I say our powers to be can go straight to hell.

    Yes - we could get away with spending less on the military. The problem is that our defense is structured to fight wars that will never occur - great big stand up fights with tanks and APC’s, and pinpoint artillery.

    Rumsfeld - for all his other faults - had the right idea but was stymied from rethinking our overall posture by the Pentagon brass who oh so love to play with their little toys. Plus, he wanted to reform the military in the midst of two wars - couldn’t be done.

    Military procurement could stand a massive overhaul too. But the fact is, our military spending is still less than it was as a percentage of GDP in the past. Our economy is growing faster than the size of the military budget.


    Comment by Joe — 2/13/2010 @ 9:58 am

  30. Blacks are socialists for the most part, period. Case in point, Hussein bin Obaama. Latinos are socialists, for the most part.

    That’s why both groups should be reduced in size of political influence.

    There has never been, there isn’t and there will never be total peace between the races. Never.

    So why are we importing more non-White “immigrants” into our country?

    That last “duh” was most apropos. It describes the depth and breadth of your intellect to a “T.”


    Comment by gsr — 2/13/2010 @ 10:07 am

  31. @Richard Bottoms,
    You are a bitter black man - and you have showed why very few blacks are part of the GOP - not only are you ignorant of how this “Southern strategy” that you are talking about was originally a Democrat party strategy - afterall the Republican party was the natural home for blacks after Lincoln et al.

    The GOP gave the first progressive President in Teddy Roosevelt. Does the name Booker T Washington ring a bell ? the first black man to be invited in to the WH - by a Republican, mind you…

    When Democrats needed the Southern vote when FDR was President, there was no complaining was there ? Its only when the evil GOP basically replicated the Democrat strategy, black people get ruffled.

    Jim Crow laws came from Southern Democrats… George Wallace was a Southern Democrat - do you even know that ?

    So you show a basic ignorance of your own country’s history and whine and whine about GOP racism. You are so angry with WFB but barely mention George Wallace.

    Buckley was definitely wrong when it comes to race issues- at the very least he was more open about his feelings - and trust me, no one looks up to WFB for his stance on race. It is one of his biggest flaws and even conservatives know that.

    In short, race has been used by both parties when convenient.

    The Democrat party today has made blacks more dependent on Government than ever before -and you whine about GOP ! Democrats truly think that you black folks cannot stand on your own two feet and constantly need support to live. I dont know of a more racist feeling than that.

    For a thousand, angry bitter black men like you there is one Shelby Steele, one Thomas Sowell, one James McWhorter.. i am glad they exist.

    Be a slave to the Democrat party and enjoy your time.

    Sorry - Frederick Douglass was a regular visitor to the Lincoln White House.


    Comment by Nagarajan Sivakumar — 2/13/2010 @ 10:12 am

  32. Ahh.. Paul Ryan.. well, what can i say ..after Richard Bottoms hijacked this thread with his race rant, i forgot that there exists one politician in the House who must be feeling out of place.

    Truth to be told, there are quite a few in the GOP who dont like Ryan or his plans.. ofcourse the establishment GOP WILL NEVER back his plans. They would be absolute fools to do so.

    For a so called right of center country, America has actually accepted the basic tenets of liberalism rather blindly. Social Security and Medicare would never be in place in a truly conservative country.

    Every one knows that these two programs are suicide bombs waiting to blow the younger generations away. And yet no one dares approach these two programs - Republicans are now taking delight in out-demagoguing Democrats on Medicare…what a total shame… surely Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan are spinning in their graves.

    I do agree with Bruce Bartlett that the Tea Party has to come out openly against ending SS and Medicare in their present forms.. deficits are not going to reduce when the two costliest non defense Govt expenditures are not even discussed. And defense spending will go down with the winding down of Iraq and the abandoning of Afghanistan beginning 2011.

    Something tells me that most tea partiers would readily agree to an opt out of SS or Medicare - they will not pay in any more into the system and will get zero benefits at the age of 65 or reduced benefits commensurate to what they have already paid in.

    This would ofcourse raise the question - how are the current retirees going to be funded ? How much shortfalls would they have to face ? Afterall these people were mandated to pay into these two programs their whole lives and never had a chance to opt out of these two monsters ? What of them ?

    I would say that Bush’s plan in 2005 makes more and more sense - allow the youngest workers ( ie those under 40.)to opt out..umm sorry, invest half of their SS taxes into a private account - these are the people who are most likely to get zero dollars when they reach the retirement age, 25 to 40 years from now..

    Comment by Nagarajan Sivakumar — 2/13/2010 @ 10:29 am

  33. Sorry - Frederick Douglass was a regular visitor to the Lincoln White House.

    I stand corrected ,Rick- i knew that Douglass had his differences with Lincoln but i never knew that he had the opportunity to lay them out in the WH before the President himself.

    Well, there is a lot more American history that i need to learn then =)

    Comment by Nagarajan Sivakumar — 2/13/2010 @ 10:47 am

  34. Which party filibustered the Civil Rights Act, Richard?

    Which president passed and signed it? Lyndon Johnson. And what party did those filibustering racists join afterward? The GOP. Black people aren’t stupid, we do know which is the lesser of two evils.

    Which party’s Senate Majority leader was the former Exalted Cyclops of the KKK?

    You mean Robert Byrd? Sorry, we long ago forgave him. And when the old geezer said something stupid recently he sincerely apologized and because h had a track record of help black folks we forgave him again.

    The point you keep missing is the GOP has no credit in the bank to use when its members not only send postcards with watermelons on the White House lawn and said members try to defend the “joke.” It’s that credit that keeps you from getting fired when the time comes, unlike ay Trent Lott.

    Which party spread lies about a black Supreme Court Nominee?

    You mean George Bush’s affirmative Action pick to replace the dead black guy on the court? You’re still unclear on the concept. George Bush insisted that Clarance Thomas’ race was pure coincidence. We knew it was a lie, Thomas knew it was a lie.

    Too few black conservatives are shall e say, sane **cough Alan Keyes **

    Which party’s nominee called Obama “Clean and Articulate”

    Ah, we’re back to pretending that Obama being a non-scary black guy who talks like a New England pastor had nothing to do with his election. We’re cool with it, because I talk the same way, and quite a few brothers and sisters code switch just like Barack does.

    We are clean and articulate around white folks and we talk all slang and ghetto when we’re around friends. The president get props for pulling it off so well that he became President of the United States.

    Robert Byrd is good at helping Robert Byrd. The fact that you are so blinded with partisanship and racial animus that you can’t see it makes me wonder why I continue to allow you to spew your hate filled rants on this site. You are not balanced, reasonable, prudent, or even accurate in most of your criticisms. You never address the subject at hand, but insist on hijacking comment threads for your own, twisted purposes.

    I haven’t banned anyone in a long time because someone mentioned to me that if you ban their ISP number, others may be affected. But I can permanently consign your unbalanced rants to the spam folder. And that’s where they are going from here on out.

    Rick Moran

    Comment by Richard Bottoms — 2/13/2010 @ 11:13 am

  35. No matter what topic Rick presents on this fine blog both Mr. Bottom Feeder and Mr. Sideways Munchkin always manage to inject race into the comment section. How sad it is if that’s all these two tiny minds have going for them.

    Divisiveness and identity politics is what slave-owning democrat politicians have to peddle in order to control entire groups of citizens who never manage to escape their unfortunate situations in life no matter how much is given to them. Why work for it when democrat politicians promise something for nothing. The democrat war on poverty has been going on for 40 years. So where is their exit strategy?

    As far as Paul Ryan is concerned, here is a man that has the guts to move forward by offering unique new solutions. There will be more like him to come, wait and see. The tea party people hold more political influence than the media will give them credit for until it’s too late and their beloved socialist party is back on the sidelines where they belong. Energized voters will have the final say.

    Comment by CZ — 2/13/2010 @ 11:16 am

  36. “In response, I’ve gotten vague intimations of some kind of “Super-Federalism” that would transfer most of what the federal government does now to the states, or a “let them eat cake” attitude where many on the right wish to roll back not only LBJ’s Great Society, but also FDR’s New Deal.”

    Yes, so? In your own article you quote favorably a fellow who talks about Americans rising to the challenge when the situation and future course is made clear to them. Here you intimate that the ‘political winds’ blow too strongly for us ever to be rid of statism.

    I believe, in contrast, that the American people - when the situation and both history and the future alternatives are made plain to them - that they will embrace freedom, and shun the welfare state.

    But it will require a courageous commitment on the part of the new intellectuals to a comprehensive, consistent philosophy. That means, first and foremost, a total rejection of pragmatism, one half of the poisonous ingredients that have nearly killed the country over the past century.

    If you think that’s vague, you need to read more Rand.

    Comment by Jeff Perren — 2/13/2010 @ 11:17 am

  37. I would hold a sign supporting Paul Ryan’s plan and I’m 63. I think tea party people are realistic about the future. We know it will be painful and are willing to do what’s necessarty. Listen to Beck…he talks about what we have to give up!

    Comment by Toni Hagen — 2/13/2010 @ 11:29 am

  38. Col. David M. Glantz studied the USSR during the cold war and later when the Soviet archives were opened, wrote several books on the Eastern front during the Second World War. I strongly suggest “Stumbling Colossus” and “Colossus Reborn” for a good insight as to the titanic struggles between Germany and the USSR where up to 80% of German armed forces were deployed. For starters this is a paper he wrote for the Strom Thurman institute,


    After reading this you will understand the tremendous sacrifices made by the people of the Soviet Union caught between two of the most ruthless dictators in history. After reading Glantz you will also realize that statements about lend lease and frostbite winning the war to be not only wrong but a gross insult to the people who sacrificed so much to defeat Hitler.

    Comment by grognard — 2/13/2010 @ 11:44 am

  39. Wow! What obvious hatred for Republicans in these comments. I breathe a sigh of relief that I’m not one. However, I’m not a Democrat, either. All this Republican bashing does no good in solving the problems at hand. We are in big trouble. When Bush signed off on Medicare Part D my first question was how are we going to pay for it? Prescriptions are enormously expensive and Congress just decided to put the burden on the American people. Buy now, pay later mentality, it just continues, except now it is exponentially greater. The spending by our gov’t is close to treasonous in my opinion. It is time for drastic action to shrink our government. I like Ryan’s idea. It needs to be decifered, analyzed, and taken apart to see if it would work. But, there’s other ideas to be considered, such as the benefits paid to federal employees. They are out of line with private industry. Also, an audit of each branch of gov’t needs to be done to analyze where waste can be slashed. I’m sure there are many ways we can make our gov’t leaner and more effective if we could just get rid of these corrupt politicians and find people with integrity, who care about this country and it’s people.

    Comment by Sue — 2/13/2010 @ 11:51 am

  40. It is a fact of life that idealogue governments aways achieve the opposite of what they are attempting. Twelve years ago Britain’s Lbour government set out on the path Obama’s administration is following now.
    To look at the first paragraphs in the above article, the cost of healthcare is the main factor crippling western economies, it is not a question of “state versus private.” Both systems have proved disastrously expensive because the companies that profit from healthcare have insidiously been planting the idea that if we only spend enough on health care and products we can all live forever.

    In fact the huge incrase in lifespan in the 20th century was due more to civil engineering that provided efficient sewage systems and supplies of pure water into the home, building technologies that have made possible for most people dry, warm , comfortable homes and an economic system that provided for the majority adequate nutrition all the year round.

    People must be educated once again to accept death as a fact of life and simply hope (or pray if that is their thing) we live to a good age in reasonably good health. Once we understand that to die is not a failure nor is it immoral, we remove the gun the health services and drug companies are holding to our communal head.

    If we cannot do that then the problem and potential cost of caring for the old in the next few decades is a far greater potential problem than climate change.

    Comment by Ed Butt — 2/13/2010 @ 12:14 pm

  41. It would be great if Republicans knew at least a teeny, tiny bit of what they’re talking about:

    1) Here is a brief overview on the Southern Strategy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy At least glance it over before you attempt to discuss it. Yes, it was Southern Democrats who opposed Civil Rights. They then left the party to become Republicans.

    2) Not that it particularly matters but Teddy Roosevelt was a white supremacist. Granted that’s in the early 20th century context, but let’s not pretend he was a racial pioneer. He was an aristocrat who bought into the prevailing “white man’s burden” ideology.

    3) The notion advanced repeatedly that African-Americans are consistently incapable of discerning or voting in their own interests is perfectly in keeping with the genteel white supremacism that Teddy Roosevelt espoused.

    4) That Rick Moran would threaten to ban Richard Bottoms while tolerating “conservative” lies and racist insults is appalling.

    Bottoms should be banned but the guy who says:

    Obama is not a black man; he’s the son of a white communist student from Kansas who dated a student from Kenya in college

    is not?

    Uh huh. That makes sense.

    And Rick, the reason it’s so easy for Richard to hijack a thread by talking about race is that your true believers here leap to the bait, falling all over each other for the chance to deny the truth and go on the attack.

    Let me ask you straight up, Rick: Has the GOP ever since the days of the Southern Strategy profited from white racism?

    Sure. As did the Democrats for a hundred years prior to that. Stop with the holier than thou bullshit. Politics is politics. It would be nice to think that in grasping for power, there is a higher morality involved, that Democrats and Republicans since reconstruction could have eschewed the kind of slimy racial politics that both sides proved they could practice with a clear conscience.

    The attack on using the Southern Strategy is purely political. It has nothing to do with morality because it is hypocritical for Democrats to feign outrage about it now - not when the south was a one party dictatorship for a hundred years with Democrats from north and south enabling the lynchings, the cross burnings, the murders, and all the depredations that occurred. Sure there was a lonely voice raised against it here and there - on both sides of the aisle, I might add. But overall, the Dems needed the south to win nationally and maintain their congressional hegemony.

    Stop being childish about this issue. It is what it is because that’s the way it is. Race is still a powerful issue below the surface in the south - despite the protestations of my southern friends. In politics, one way to win is in exploiting differences, engendering fear of the opposition, and playing to the basest of instincts in the voter. We’d like to think it an elevating process but it is not now and never has been. For you to play the fool and wax eloquent about the GOP exploiting race as an issue only shows you to be either a morally infantile poseur or a clueless git.

    If the GOP denounced the southern strategy today and proposed abandoning it, the Democrats would pick up where the Republicans left off - seamlessly and without hesitation. Are you really making the point that Dems are less desirous of winning? Spare me.


    Comment by michael reynolds — 2/13/2010 @ 12:49 pm

  42. Rick:

    We’re only discussing the issue at all because of Republican denial. You want to deny there’s denial? Read your own comments section.

    Funny how you attack me while essentially agreeing with me. You think your right-wing friends agree with you that:

    Race is still a powerful issue below the surface in the south - despite the protestations of my southern friends. In politics, one way to win is in exploiting differences, engendering fear of the opposition, and playing to the basest of instincts in the voter.

    Kind of don’t think so. They deny precisely what you’re saying.

    Do I for my part deny the Democrats in earlier days did exactly what you say they did? No. I can cite you chapter and verse. And Bottoms wouldn’t deny it, either I assume. I have zero problem admitting that race has been and remains a huge issue, that Dems exploited it for a very long time, that Democrat hands pulled those lynching ropes tight, before seeing the light and subsequently yielding the race-baiting ball to the Republicans.

    But in politics as in all human endeavor progress isn’t best built on a foundation of lies, delusion and misplaced rage. And it is a lie to imply that Democrats embraced Civil Rights only when it became expedient. LBJ said, “We have lost the South for a generation.” And Civil Rights caused a schism in the Democratic party as you know. Democrats have suffered electorally ever since.

    Precisely because your party is in denial about their history they can have the Tea Party convention addressed by a worm like Tom Tancredo waxing poetic over the good old days of poll testing. And because they don’t want to deal with the truth the Right continues to drink the poison of race-baiting from people like Limbaugh and Beck.

    The argument that “everybody does it” doesn’t just apply to race it applies to lying, rent-seeking, bribery and every other foul aspect of our politics. Shall we shrug it all off?

    I’m not looking for moral high ground, I’m looking for race-baiting to stop, and that begins when Republicans stop denying their past and this country’s past and their present. The GOP can no more deny its profiting from racism than the Democrats can deny flirting with Marxism.

    The way to make progress is not by twisting history to serve political purposes, or to excuse the beam in one’s own eye and obsess over the mote in the other guy’s eye, but to admit bad behavior and then stop it. I for one am very happy to let the GOP off the hook for exploiting race — just as soon as they stop doing it.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 2/13/2010 @ 3:08 pm

  43. Balancing the budget is a worthy cause but I believe that Ryan is doing it the wrong way. Retired people paid into Medicare with the promise they would get it. I would not break this promise but otherwise I would honor the constitution on things like the Federal government imposing its big government values on our children. This is unconstitutional. We should abolish the
    US Department of Education and many other unconstitutional programs. Honoring the Constitution is a better way to cut costs that breaking promises.
    Thanks, Bert LoftmanForCongress.com

    Comment by Bert Loftman — 2/13/2010 @ 5:01 pm

  44. @inmuypajamas:

    “a homosexual sexual slur”

    If you are referring to “teabaggers”, its not a homosexual thing — its a sex thing, something both hetero and homosexuals can exgage in.

    But please, assume you’re being called gay in a comment decrying accusations of your subconcious bigotry. Really, really, drives your point home.

    To all the “Dems blocked Civil Rights legislation” comments:

    Can we pick a standard here? First you attacked Richard for bringing up historical sins of the past — “blaming the GOP for past generations”. Now we’re bringing up the Civil Rights Era? Either its off limits, or its fair game, for both sides.

    And to the “well the Democrats were segregationalists in the era” comments:

    On paper, yes. George Wallace was a Democrat. But is there anybody in this thread (or on the planet earth) that is saying that if Wallace were alive today he would be a Democrat and not a Republican? Or to put it another way, was he (and other pro-segregationalists) Conservative or Liberal?
    The “identity” of the parties does change over time, over generations. The fact that he had a donkey lapel pin and not an elephant lapel pin doesn’t change that he was from the Conservative camp (pretty much by definition). The fact that the Democratic Party today is generally considered “Liberal” or “Progressive” has no bearing on what it has been in the past, or will be in the future.
    And given the levels of political history people here seem to be schooled in . . . I think everybody here knows that. They just seem ot forget it when it is convenient for them.

    Comment by busboy33 — 2/13/2010 @ 6:46 pm

  45. @BertLoftman:

    ” I would honor the constitution on things like the Federal government imposing its big government values on our children.”

    What does this mean? Where in the Constitution does it say that the Federal Government cannot its Big Government values on our children?

    *sigh* why am I even asking? I’m sure you’ll proudly proclaim “The 10th Amendment” and then tell me it says all sorts of things that it doesn’t say. Then you’ll switch to what the founding fathers really meant when they wrote it and you’ll ignore all of the other viewpoints of the founding fathers (because they were all in 100% total and absolute agreement, as we all know). Then you’ll segue into “protect liberty, fight tyrany and socialism, save the children”, and other meaningless catchphrases. Then you’ll fade away.

    Like this hasn’t happened around here a couple of billion times already . . .

    Comment by busboy33 — 2/13/2010 @ 6:51 pm

  46. Rick -

    How do you expect any plan for deficit reduction to ever work when you have one of the two political parties (the GOP) flat out lying to the American people.

    Watch this: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#35322522

    Yes, it’s MSNBC, but it clearly shows how the GOP is not serious about governing - at all. It’s all politics.

    As long as the GOP is the party of no, we’ll continue to get this weird quasi-gridlock, while our problems become worse.


    When only 12% of Americans know 95% of Americans got a tax cut as part of the Stimulus plan, we have a serious problem.

    When 24% of Americans think that Federal Taxes have increased, when, in fact, they’ve gone down, we have a serious problem.

    When one party, the GOP, does not care about policy - only politics - we have a serious problem.

    Seven GOP Senators voted AGAINST a bill they created and co-sponsored. Think about that. They voted AGAINST a bill they created and co-sponsored when Obama agreeded to sign the bill if it passed.



    Heh - one party only plays politics? Right. The Democrats are dedicated public servants who don’t care a fig about politics, only doing what’s best for the people.

    Pass me that pipe - gotta be Lebanese Blond or maybe some California sensimilla.


    Comment by JerryS — 2/14/2010 @ 6:54 am

  47. Rick -

    C’mon. You can do better than that.

    When, ever, did seven Democratic Senators vote against against a bill they Co-sponsored?

    When, ever, did a Democratic Senate minority ever block as many nominations as the current GOP minority?

    When, ever, did a Democratic Senator place a blanket hold on 70 Presidential nominees for Federal office?

    When, ever, did a Democratic minority, impose the filibuster at twice the average of the previous year?

    The answer to all of the above: Never.

    You refuse to accept the simple fact that the GOP is changing the rules of the game. It’s decided to just say no, regardless of the policy. If Obama came out tomorrow and said “Tax Cuts for everyone,” the GOP would be against it. In fact, with the Stimulus plan he did, and they did.

    If you watched the Maddow segment I posted above, you’d see, with your own two fucking eyes how weak the current GOP is when it actually comes to policy.

    2000-2006 showed us what happens when GOP policies are implented. It failed miserably. And now you want those same fucking douchebags to regain power? Seriously?

    You want the guys that want war with Iran [while we still haven't solved Iran and Afghanistan] back in power? Seriously?

    WTF Rick.

    Comment by JerryS — 2/14/2010 @ 9:23 am

  48. Like this hasn’t happened around here a couple of billion times already . . .

    Of course it has…just like the rants of a couple liberals who trot out their tired arguments no matter what the topic. Both sides have moved from predictable to ignorable. Everyone talks past each other. Nobody listens. It’s a great way to have a debate. It’s all become a bunch of noise in the echo chambers that nobody else pays any attention to.

    Comment by sota — 2/14/2010 @ 9:25 am

  49. A typical argument these days online (including MANY comment threads on this site):

    Apples are a fruit.
    Apples are delicious!
    No, they’re red!
    Not all fruits are red!
    Apples are!
    No, they’re delicious!

    This is why I am again thinking seriously of turning off the comment function. What’s the fricking point? The same commenters comment on each and every post and they all say the same things all the time. It’s monotonous. Jesus, Bottoms is as predictable as rain in Seattle. Reynolds ditto. Obamatherd too.

    No one bothers to comment on what I write. Each thread ends up being a pissing contest between calling the opponent a racist or a commie. It’s pathetic.

    Don’t you get bored spouting the same nonsense over and over? I suggest you all write down three or four comments that you can simply plug into anything I write. Hell, most of you probably already do that anyway.


    Comment by sota — 2/14/2010 @ 9:33 am

  50. Actually, Rick, if you go back through the comments you’ll see that the very first one — by B. Poster — headed the conversation off the rails. You wrote a grace note mentioning the election of a black president. B. Poster riffed on that to restate his white resentment:

    As to rising above our own sordid past, I can only hope so. I’m getting sick and tired of being reminded on a daily basis about what an evil and racist country America is. If I only listened to our talking head pundits, I would think America is the greatest incarnation of evil ever in the history of the human race.

    In the 3rd comment Mr. Bottoms responded. And we were off to the races — so to speak.

    You want to try to treat political ideas as 1) stand-alone intellectual puzzles and 2) as an opportunity for partisan cheap shots. You want your commenters to respond only to (1) and to ignore (2.) And you get cranky when comments reflect the same mix of serious discussion and partisan squabbling that characterize the blog overall.

    Isn’t that unreasonable? Partisans attract partisans — both in support and in opposition. Whether you like it or not a fairly large percentage of Republican partisans are racist or at the very least shall we say “creative” in their rewriting of history. When folks like that pop up, the folks on the other side pop up.

    You have here in microcosm something like original sin. In this case, the sequelae of the southern strategy. You invite these people into your party and instead of sitting quietly in the corner — as you hope the teabaggers will do — they end up dragging you down into the gutter with them. You keep feeding them, so they won’t go away. And as long as you make them part of you you’ll be judged by that association.

    You write a throw-away grace note about the first black president and the very first comment includes yet another angry white guy spouting barely-disguised racist nonsense. And you’re shocked, shocked when the conversation is hijacked.

    Get these people out of your party. Or more accurately, get out of their party. It’s simple: the GOP can give up a little power now and in exchange get a clean start. Or they can go on race-baiting as they have for the last four decades. In which case they need to stop being surprised when they’re called on it.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 2/14/2010 @ 12:40 pm

  51. Rick -

    It would be nice if anyone bothered to respond to actual issues. I point out specifics which underline a point I’m trying to make, and you respond with “NaNaNaNa Democrats do it, too.”

    And you want civilized discourse? Please.

    Pot meet Kettle.

    Comment by JerryS — 2/14/2010 @ 1:32 pm

  52. Michael,

    I never made any reference to my skin color in my post. This is not relevant to the topic at hand. Also, I made no reference to being a guy here either. Again, not relevant to the conversation. The point I was trying to make is self evident I think. Nothing else needs to be written into it. I’m tired of America being acused of being a racist vile country. While it like all countries has its flaws it is not inherently any worse than other nations. In fact, I think its better in many ways. For the record, I don’t resent any one here. I may have some disagreements with some here but no resentments.

    I don’t like being accused of being a racist as you seem to imply. Such accusations are false. I don’t make judgements against any one based on skin color. I would like to think most people don’t but obviously some do. Since I don’t think race plays a big role or any role for that matter for the average person, I’m tired of America being accused of being a racist nation.

    For the record I think there are race hustlers on all sides. It needs to stop.

    Richard (#13),

    You didn’t accuse me of holding you responsible for any thing. My statements were meant as general statements. I apologize for any misunderstandings.

    Ed (# 29),

    I think we could certainly spend alot less on the military. There probably is alot of waste in the system, however, I would not necessarily be so quick to rule out the necessity of fighting a big stand up confrontation again in the future. With China a major power, a resurgent Russia, and India an up and coming power there is a real possibilty of a major military confrontation with any of these countries or a combination of them. This is not to say that it has to happen but that it could happen and if we are going to be a major power it is in our interests to be ready to fight such a war. At the very least, we should retain the industrial capacity to build the tanks, the APCs, and the pin point artilery on short notice.

    Of course if we don’t want to remain a major world power we could probably do without all of this. This is a very serious question that America and its leaders need to ask themselves. “Do we want to be a major world power?” If the answer to this question is yes, then the follow up question should be “can we remain a major world power?” With our massive national debt and other issues we face we may not be in a position where we can remain a major world power even if we want to.

    Comment by B.Poster — 2/14/2010 @ 10:03 pm

  53. The suggestions proposed by Mr. Ryan seem to be a step in the right direction. I suspect something like them will be implemented at some point in the future if for no other reason than they are necessary. I just hope all political parties can work together on this. (I suspect if the Republican party survives at all it will break up into several different parties.)

    The other option is for the country to declare bankruptcy and begin negotiations with the creditors. At this point, it may be possible to negotiate settlements with the major creditors while maintaining some level of dignity.

    I suspect the American government maintains control of much valuable property. Perhaps this property could be sold and the proceeds used to pay off the creditors. This along with Mr. Ryan’s plan or something like it and we might just be able to pay off the national debt and avoid bankruptcy. In any event, this plan is a step in the right direction. Kudos to Mr. Ryan for bringing it up.

    Comment by B.Poster — 2/14/2010 @ 10:38 pm

  54. B. Poster:

    Since I don’t think race plays a big role or any role for that matter for the average person, I’m tired of America being accused of being a racist nation.

    A brief history of race in the United States:

    - The US enslaved Africans and instituted one of the harshest forms of slavery ever known, including not only widespread torture, rape and murder, but the frequent breaking up of families, the sale of children, and the forbidding of education. Our slavery included an element of racial contempt not present in most previous systems of slavery.

    - The wholesale massacre and ethnic cleansing of Native Americans. This was America’s longest war. It included the deliberate and calculated slaughter of children, widespread rape and even biological warfare.

    - The theft by force of arms of half of Mexico — carried out deliberately in such a way as to take the most valuable land while excluding the “inferior” mixed race Mexican population.

    - The bait an switch over Cuba. They were “freedom fighters” resisting the evil Spaniard until we got to Cuba and discovered they were black. Our liberation turned into occupation.

    - An even more appalling bait and switch in the Philippines where we evicted the Spaniards and promptly began the deliberate, calculated wholesale rape and murder of the Philippino people on explicitly racial grounds.

    - The institution of Jim Crow laws that denied the vote to blacks, sentenced them to second class status, and turned a blind eye to regular acts of murder through lynching.

    - The interning of Japanese-Americans during WW2 despite the fact that German-Americans were left alone.

    - The conducting of medical experiments on un-informed African-Americans, including deliberate infection with syphilis.

    - Within my lifetime we denied voting rights and basic civil rights to African-Americans. My family was personally threatened by the Klan for having blacks in our house in Florida. Not a million years ago and far, far away: in my lifetime.

    - Today the Right continues to race-bait, to circulate overtly racist emails, to employ dog whistle racist messaging for the GOP and the tea party movement.

    But you’re sick of hearing about it. Too damned bad. History doesn’t just evaporate.

    Today in Dresden 6,500 neo-Nazis were stopped from entering the center city by 10,000 decent Germans — Germans who don’t deny their past, who aren’t “sick of hearing” about their past but step up like men to acknowledge the truth and who vow to stop it from happening again.

    But you, you’re sick of the truth. Waaah. Poor baby.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 2/14/2010 @ 11:34 pm

  55. Michael,

    You’ve just repeated things and interprations of history that everyone over the age of six is very well familar with and largely accepted by all. The media and our education system have made certain of that. The truth is slavery of all forms is evil and should be opposed.

    The one thing I was not familar with was how your family was directly affected. It is true that some on both sides continue to traffic in racism. It seems to be so profitable. Most of us want to learn from our mistakes and move forward.

    “But you’re sick of the truth. Waah. Poor baby.” I’m not sick of the truth nor am I crying, however, you seem to be rather bitter. America is very much a work in progress as are all countries. We are trying to correct prior mistakes and it is counter productive to continue flogging someone over past sins that they are trying to make amends for.

    I’m not necessarily opposed to reparations nor am I opposed to some type of penalties on Lloyds of London. I’m not sure as to the mechanism of how this would be done though. Also, there will need to be a more concerted effort by all those involved to end slavery every where it is currently being practiced. All slavery is bad and should be opposed every where.

    All racism should end to. The fact that another person did it to does not matter.

    I suspect if neo nazis or ku klux klans persones of today tried to enter a major American city Americans would act the smae way the Germans did. I applaud them. They deserve credit. Americans do as well. If we don’t learn from the past, we are doomed to repeat it. As such, it is a good thing every American over the age of six knows every thing you posted. Please continue to remind everyone in case the media or public education should ever forget to tell us.

    While we should never forget, little is accomplished by continuing to flog Aemricans over this. After all, we don’t flog Germans, we shouldn’t treat Americans any differently.

    When I say race does not play a big role for the average person, I’m talking about today, right now. While there remains much work to do, we’ve come a long way and credit should be given where it is due.

    I wonder how many of these neo nazis who tried to enter Dresden got killed. If KKK officials or neo nazis tried a public demonstration here, I suspect they would not last very long without police protection. Its that free speech thing that would probably mean they get police protection.

    Comment by B.Poster — 2/15/2010 @ 1:04 am

  56. Since I don’t think race plays a big role or any role for that matter for the average person, I’m tired of America being accused of being a racist nation.

    Bullshit. Not a tenth of Americans even know about Japanese internment let alone a slaughter in the Philippines. In fact, I doubt the average American knows there was a Mexican-American war or a Spanish-American war.

    But translating your point into German: “Ve all know about ze holocaust, let us forget about it. Ve must move on. After all, ze Nazis are not at you door, are zey?”

    The rule seems to be that history — the Founders, D-Day, 9-11 — are all vitally important parts of our national life and form our national character.

    But history — Wounded Knee, Fort Pillow, the Tulsa race riot — are best forgotten.

    Shall we set aside Bunker Hill and Belleau Woods and John Paul Jones as irrelevant? Shall we forget Paul Revere and Leyte Gulf and Inchon? I’m going to guess your answer will be “No.”

    It seems to me you want a 4th grader’s version of history. Include the good stuff, exclude the bad stuff. Doesn’t work. That’s not history, it’s mythology. If you’re a German you have to own Auschwitz if you’re going to claim Schiller. If you’re Japanese you have to own Nanking you can’t just cry for Hiroshima. And if you’re an American you have to own our past — all of it. All of it or none of it.

    While we should never forget, little is accomplished by continuing to flog Aemricans over this. After all, we don’t flog Germans, we shouldn’t treat Americans any differently.

    When I say race does not play a big role for the average person, I’m talking about today, right now. While there remains much work to do, we’ve come a long way and credit should be given where it is due.

    Oh, we flog the Germans, my friend. I’m a Jew and believe me, we don’t forget. Any more than a black man forgets this country’s history or an Armenian forgets what Turkey did, or a Cambodian forgets the Khmer Rouge. The victims always remember. And the people who profited always want to forget. I’m sure Bernie Madoff would like that kind of deal: let’s all just move on. . .

    This country was built in part by taking things away from other people solely on the basis of race. And today the Congress is what, 95% white? And the GOP contingent of course is 100% white. History has a lasting effect — it doesn’t just evaporate. We are all the products of our history. There’s no magic blade that comes down and suddenly frees us from the legacy of the past.

    But that is particularly the case when current individuals and institutions deliberately and maliciously carry forward the crimes of the past. Rush Limbaugh — to pick an easy target — is a race-baiting goon following in the footsteps of 300 years of racist goons. It’s not 100 years ago, or 50 years ago, it’s right now, today, here, all around us.

    You aren’t the guy who gets to decide that the past is over and done. Not when your side is still singing the same old song but in a minor key. And when you try to turn the issue around to position yourself as the victim — as you very definitely did in your first comment — believe me when I say that black people, Jews and others with a history of being on the shit-end of the Aryan stick, know exactly what’s going on.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 2/15/2010 @ 1:53 am

  57. You write a throw-away grace note about the first black president and the very first comment includes yet another angry white guy spouting barely-disguised racist nonsense. And you’re shocked, shocked when the conversation is hijacked.

    Apples are delicious!

    Comment by sota — 2/15/2010 @ 6:58 am

  58. Michael,

    You write about still more things that everyone knows about and attempt to say that it is “bull Sh*t” when I point this out to you. In any event, keep reminding everyone. In case we should all forget to teach these things.

    Now as far as race charlatans go, I think there are a number of them of all colors, hues, and nationalities. I’m thinking Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton, however, maybe not. I think there are a number of them who Hispanic, Japanese, and all other groups but again perhaps not. In any event all of it needs to be opposed.

    I never tried to position myself as a victim in any way. Also, I never said I was “Arayan” either. If by “my side” you mean Republican, I detest the Republican party. I find most of it repugnant.

    Comment by B.Poster — 2/15/2010 @ 8:55 am

  59. While I never intended to portray myself as a victim of any thing, I do think the country as a whole suffers from the current climate in this area and alot of other areas. Unfortunately the current situation may be to profitable for to many people on all sides for a change to be coming forth any time soon. I hope I’m wrong of course.

    Comment by B.Poster — 2/15/2010 @ 9:01 am

  60. Rick;
    Now what were you saying about Paul Ryan?

    Comment by c3 — 2/15/2010 @ 4:34 pm

  61. B.Poster:

    And there you go, right back to square one:

    Now as far as race charlatans go, I think there are a number of them of all colors, hues, and nationalities. I’m thinking Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton, however, maybe not. I think there are a number of them who Hispanic, Japanese, and all other groups but again perhaps not. In any event all of it needs to be opposed.

    Yeah, the problem is Jesse Jackson. Not 300 years of vicious white racism. Not the current conservative return to to those same racist themes. No, the problem is Jesse Jackson.

    Also Elie Wiesel, another race hustler I assume. And rape victims, why don’t they just shut up? And people who get run down in the streets, why don’t they just get over it?

    Because the real victim is the poor, beleaguered white man who is made to feel bad. I feel so sorry for you.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 2/15/2010 @ 8:10 pm

  62. Yes, I think Jesse Jackson is a problem. Race hustlers of all types and hues are a problem. Racism in all forms is a problem. Thankfully it seems most people are making constructive steps to address the problem.

    As to rape victims and those who are run down in the streets, its not particularly relevant to the subject but of course they should not just shut up. The important thing is to punish the actual party or parties who are guilty of the crime.

    If someone “returns” to racist themes, I think it is a safe assumption the American people will reject them. In the case of some you accuse of a “return”, we may be witnessing a push back of sorts. People who aren’t racists do not particularly like being accused of it.

    “Because the real victim is the poor, beleagured white man who is made to feel bad. I feel so sorry for you.” You keep assuming I’m a white man. I never asked for your pity but I do feel bad for the American people, all of them of all races, colors, and hues. They are the real victims here.

    Every time ANYONE suffers because of racism it is terrible. We can’t excuse it against one group while condoning it against another group. While there clearly remains much work to do, I think most Americans recognize this.

    Comment by B.Poster — 2/15/2010 @ 9:01 pm

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