Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 9, 2011
POLITICS: Making Stuff Up

As anyone who has spent any time reading them knows, left-wing bloggers and activists tend to live in a world of their own, in which the most outrageous sorts of allegations against conservatives and Republicans are not required to be supported by any evidence. This is especially true when it comes to accusing conservatives and Republicans of bigotry and other improper motivations; left-wingers feel free to lecture us on how they know better than we do what motivates us and how we think, and leave conservatives and Republicans stuck attempting to disprove a negative.

In theory, the Washington Post is supposed to be a reputable newspaper and above this sort of thing. But Greg Sargent, the former Talking Points Memo blogger and the Post's current in-house left-wing activist, doesn't see himself as bound by such mundane considerations as having evidence before slandering an entire movement. Consider this Tweet today from Sargent:

Hah! RT @Redshift4 TP leader compares Tea Party to abolitionism, civil rights, & women's suffrage. // 3 things they want to reverse

I saved a screenshot here in case he takes it down:

Now, if you're familiar with Twitter, this Tweet is sort of odd, as he appears to be Retweeting a user named @Redshift4 and adding his own comment after the slashes, but @Redshift4 appears to have only Tweeted once and this wasn't in that Tweet. So, it's not clear at all how much of this Tweet is Sargent's "original" thought or, for that matter, what Tea Party "leader" (there are almost as many as there are Tea Partiers, which if you know anything about the movement is kind of the point) he's quoting. But it is nonetheless clear that Sargent is at least endorsing the notion that "they" - presumably all Tea Partiers - want to "reverse" the work of the abolitionists, the civil rights movement and women's suffrage and restore slavery, Jim Crow and the male-only vote.

This is outrageous. I realize that slandering grassroots opponents of the Obama Administration is considered necessary by the left-wing blogs, that left-wing bloggers are often so unfamiliar with ordinary Americans as to find their motivations inscrutable, and that Twitter lends itself to off-the-cuff oversimplifications. And I realize that grassroots movements, by their nature, include a broad enough array of opinion and attract enough cranks that you can find somebody in a movement of millions to support just about any old fool thing. But we are talking here about bedrock elements of our Constitutional structure - the 13th, 14th, 15th and 19th Amendments - and legal and social changes that are by now deeply embedded in our society, none of which has anything to do with the stated purposes by which the Tea Party movement has attracted such a wide following. Sargent cites no evidence, and I expect him to cite none, that any significant sliver of the Tea Party movement, let alone the dreaded "they" that appears to refer to the entire movement, has designs on reinstituting slavery and segregation and denying women the vote. Even the 9/11 Truthers had more to work with than this.

The Washington Post should consider whether it stands by Sargent's characterization of the motives of the entire Tea Party.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 2:35 PM | Politics 2011 | Comments (69) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

We have always been at war with EastAsia.

Posted by: PaulV at February 9, 2011 2:54 PM

BTW, The Toyota death panel was another case of demonization of targets by the left in the administration war on science.

Posted by: PaulV at February 9, 2011 3:21 PM

Pardon my french; "touche' ".

Posted by: dunce at February 9, 2011 3:21 PM

Do you really think only one side of American politics is "making stuff up"....whew pull your head out of the sand...both sides use us equally...

Posted by: Loose Lips at February 9, 2011 3:23 PM

I'm sure Greg Sargent and the WP will issue a retraction soon.

In other news, I should soon be receiving a large amount of money from a Nigerian prince.

Posted by: Kevin R at February 9, 2011 3:31 PM

Loose Lips- Please enlighten us. I suspect for every example you cite on the right, we can come up with five on the left.

Posted by: Will G at February 9, 2011 3:34 PM

Post from the Daily Kos:

“As anyone who has spent any time reading them knows, right-wing bloggers and activists tend to live in a world of their own, in which the most outrageous sorts of allegations against liberals and Democrats are not required to be supported by any evidence. This is especially true when it comes to accusing liberals and Democrats of having treasonous and other improper motivations; right-wingers feel free to lecture us on how they know better than we do what motivates us and how we think, and leave liberals and Democrats stuck attempting to disprove a negative.”

Posted by: Magrooder at February 9, 2011 4:59 PM

see everything said and done by Democrats regarding Iraq from 1990-2003.

Posted by: dch at February 9, 2011 5:03 PM

HAHA Magrooder, That deserves an edit.
"Kos feel free to lecture us on how they know better than we do what motivates us and how we think, and leave non Kossacks stuck attempting to disprove a negative."
One ad hominem attack deserves another.
How does it feel to get your own post used to refudiate you?

Posted by: PaulV at February 9, 2011 5:06 PM

So tell me Crank, if you suddenly have this urge to defend the Constitution, where were you when so many right wingnuts sort of only defended part of the Second Amendment. And does your statement "Making Stuff Up" pertain to, say, uh, Mr. Glenn Beck. Or maybe all the fun wiretapping stuff you seem to enjoy.

As to what motivates you, well, great writers have a deep understanding of that, which is why there were, and are great. Shakespeare knew it, and certainly Orwell did. What motivates you guys on the right? Just what Orwell said. Not anything virtuous, not the truth. No, the purpose of power is power.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at February 9, 2011 5:20 PM

The beauty of the Tea Party's amoeba-like structure is that it can never be blamed for anything because there is no "leader." Nice try Crank.

There are, of course, prominent Tea Partiers. Since most rank and file members I've heard in sound bites and interviews are about as coherent as PaulV, the prominent members (Beck, Angel, O'Donnell, Rand Paul, etc.) play a paramount role in Tea Party "thought" and serve adequately as proxies.

The Civil Rights Act is unconstitutional -- Rand Paul

Restricting voting to property owners is a "wise idea." -- Tea Party Nation president Judson Phillips

"Perhaps the most racist point of all in the tea parties is their demand that government "stop raising our taxes." That is outrageous! How will we Colored People ever get a wide screen TV in every room if non-coloreds get to keep what they earn? Totally racist! The tea party expects coloreds to be productive members of society?" -- The Tea Party Express' Mark Williams

The Tea Party views the constitution as sacred quasi-religous text. Their point is to suggest that the Constitution, like the Bible, decrees what’s right and wrong (rather than what’s legal and illegal), and to insist that only the fundamentalists who think as they do can access its truths. We are moral, you are not; we represent America, you do not. Theirs is the rallying cry of culture war.

Posted by: Magrooder at February 9, 2011 6:00 PM

It has been my experience that in most cases when the libs start making accusations of wrong doing it is to divert attention away from something they are doing. The sheep go running to the loudest bell and time is bought.

Posted by: maddirishman at February 9, 2011 6:51 PM

Highest stock market ever/most Americans employed ever/2nd lowest average monthly unemployment rate/ low inflation/low interest rates = according to liberals the worst economy ever

Posted by: dch at February 9, 2011 7:33 PM

Yes, dch, average unemployment when W was POTUS than it was when WJC was POTUS. Things went bad with ReidPelosi Congress. Fact that libs deny.

Posted by: PaulV at February 9, 2011 8:16 PM

through his 1st 6 plus years, including the recession he inherited, it was the lowest ever

Posted by: dch at February 9, 2011 9:08 PM

Am I the only one who's noticed that liberals' response to every single issue is "Well, but you do it too!" No attempt to defend their own positions; they simply try to shift blame like a 5 year old. Quite childish.

Posted by: David at February 9, 2011 9:12 PM

Uh-oh. Another "family values" Republican can't keep his schlong in his pants.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41498568/ns/politics-capitol_hill/?GT1=43001

Posted by: Magrooder at February 9, 2011 10:20 PM

Truth is beside the point. Accusations of right-wing bigotry require time and resources to respond to. That's time and resources that can't be used to advance serious right-wing ideas. It's all about diversionary attacks and battlespace preparation for the Left.

The behavior of many on the Left suggests that they see engagement on ideas as a fool's game and power politics as supreme.

Posted by: Jonathan at February 9, 2011 11:23 PM

Magrooder, It was a good thing that WJC resigned after he was caught committing perjury and obstruction of justice. If he had stayed he might not have taken the action needed to kill Osama and destroy AQ before they had opportunity to attack US>

Posted by: PaulV at February 10, 2011 10:12 AM

My take, fwiw: liberal blogger laughs at dumb joke, but not endorsing joke as fact.

I never heard of the guy, but I skimmed a few of his articles. He seems more interested in scoring political points and being snarky than providing any kind of useful analysis. In short, not worth reading.

Posted by: MVH at February 10, 2011 11:15 AM

The Tea Party is the Republican Party with a name change only. Same people, same funding, same failed economic ideology.
Sure, Crank will mention that THIS TIME they really are going to cut government spending so we should believe them (conveniently leaving out the fact that EVERY Republican candidate since Reagan promised the same yet failed to deliver). Then reality slaps Crank in the face, so he has to deny the obvious (they promised $100 billion in budget cuts, but can only deliver $32 billion).
So how is the Tea Party different from the GOP?
The answer: not at all different.

Posted by: Berto at February 10, 2011 3:27 PM

Berto, Tea Party purpose is to discipline those Rs you have attacked so that they won't overspend. Read the November elections and see how many incumbert Rs were taken out. Yes more Ds were taken out and replaced with fiscal conservatives. Why are you in denial?

Posted by: PaulV at February 10, 2011 4:57 PM

Crank (and everyone else),

I find it hard to believe that the quotation was intended to be taken seriously. It rather strikes me as hyperbole intended as a flip way to express displeasure with the Tea Party (although not being particularly familiar with Sargent's work I can't really say for sure). Whether or not that is prudent, appropriate, or right is another question, but I doubt it was meant to be taken seriously.

Crank, you and I disagree on a lot of social, political, and legal issues, but I nevertheless usually find your writing insightful, lucid, and furthering of an intelligent debate, even if I ultimately disagree with some of your first order premises and/or ultimate conclusions. I have noticed what I consider a disturbing trend, however, in that you hold left-wing blogs/media in contempt for obfuscating issues, issuing ad hominem attacks, and/or making "outrageous"/factually unsupported claims. The left is of course guilty of this sort of thing, but so too is the right. Both sides have a habit of arguing past each other and disavowing substantive debate over the issues in favor of rhetoric, innuendo, ad hominem attacks, and unsupported contentions about the other side. To act as though the right is not guilty of this is every bit as outrageous as the conduct on the left that you find so contemptible. None of this is meant to suggest that the left does not engage in the sort of tactics you accuse them of, or that such tactics are not worthy of our ire. The left does, and they are. But the right is no different, and they do not deserve a pass because they happen to agree with your viewpoint. That's the same sort of thing you dislike in the left, and quite frankly you're too smart of an individual not to realize that, and proceeding on that assumption undermines the credibility of many of your excellent conservative arguments. As a left-winger who loves to read your viewpoint (and not to ridicule it, but because I find it enlightening), I wish you would change your approach in that regard. I don't mean to stop calling out left-wingers who say and do stupid things (otherwise what good would a conservative blog be?), but simply not to proceed as if the right is above all of that.

Rich

Posted by: Rich at February 10, 2011 5:06 PM

Rich, that is never going to happen.

Posted by: jim at February 10, 2011 5:38 PM

Rich, so you are not complaining about what Crank said, just what he did not say?

Posted by: PaulV at February 10, 2011 6:45 PM

Paul,

Partially I'm complaining about what Crank said, in that as I said the statement at issue seems to me more a hyperbolic, flippant "joke," though I acknowledge that I lack familiarity with Sargent's work and could be wrong on that.

If I am wrong, and Sargent was being serious rather than hyperbolic, then my objection is not really to Crank's criticism of Sargent. Sargent should be so criticized. Rather, my quarrel is with the way in which Crank framed the issue. Here's the first two sentences of Crank's post:

"As anyone who has spent any time reading them knows, left-wing bloggers and activists tend to live in a world of their own, in which the most outrageous sorts of allegations against conservatives and Republicans are not required to be supported by any evidence. This is especially true when it comes to accusing conservatives and Republicans of bigotry and other improper motivations; left-wingers feel free to lecture us on how they know better than we do what motivates us and how we think, and leave conservatives and Republicans stuck attempting to disprove a negative."

Now, Crank does not come right out and say it, but there's a clear implication here that this is a problem that pertains only to the left and not the right (Crank, if I am misinterpreting, please correct me, although as I said the implication seems pretty clear to me). Framing the issue in this way is every bit as harmful and disingenuous as the left-wing media and bloggers that so vex Crank. This is not a left wing problem. It is not a right wing problem. It's a MEDIA (let's include bloggers here) and DISCOURSE problem. Both sides are guilty of it, and fixing it thus requires the acknowledgment and attention of both sides. Whether coming from the left or the right, and whether accusing the left of the right, framing the issue as pertaining to only one side does more harm than good. It obfuscates the point, which is completely independent of where you are on the political spectrum, that meaningful and substantive political discourse gives way to rhetoric, innuendo, and unsupported contentions. To discuss this problem as though only one side is guilty of it is precisely the same sort of rhetoric, innuendo, and unsupported contentions that Crank complains of in the first instance. Framing the issue as though only one side is responsible perpetuates rather than solves the problem.

Whether you are a conservative or a liberal, we can all agree that meaningful discussion of substantive issues is important to solve any real political or social issue. Acting as though only one side is responsible for diverting attention from this sort of real discussion doesn't solve the problem. It IS the problem.

Rich

Posted by: Rich at February 10, 2011 7:09 PM

You forgot all that Bushhitler and Bush as Joker stuff, jokes about snipers aiming at Bush, books and movies about killing Bush?
Idiots who refused to acknowkedge that opponent of Iraq war mentioned Plame to Novak and the like? I think your case is weak.

Posted by: PaulV at February 10, 2011 7:31 PM

"I find it hard to believe that the quotation was intended to be taken seriously."

Rich - agreed. Not much here to take issue with, except for the joke itself, which was lame.

Posted by: MVH at February 11, 2011 7:46 AM

So much about the left should be mocked, not just what you protrayed as a bad joke. Clapper, 911 Truthers, unSmart Diplomacy. The list is endless. Call the left on their crap and mock them and they may improve. Mocking their apologists is good way to start,

Posted by: PaulV at February 11, 2011 9:13 AM

Paul,

I'm not sure if your comment is directed at me or not. If it is, I'm not sure what you said contradicts my point. Yes, there were idiots who compared Bush to Hitler, and that is exactly the sort of thing that Crank is complaining about the left doing, and yes that's bad. I don't dispute any of this. But guess what? Right wingers compared Obama to Hitler, too. Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly sling anti-left bee ess in just the same way that Bill Maher and Michael Moore set up conservative straw-men just to knock them down. The only difference between Beck and O'Reilly on the one hand and Maher and Moore on the other is the ideology. All four employ the same rhetorical excesses that blind us to the real substantive issues (ok, maybe you disagree with my specific examples of Beck, O'Reilly, Maher, and Moore; if you don't like those four for my point, I'm sure we could easily identify some others with which you wouldn't quarrel. And yes I acknowledge that Moore probably goes farther than any of the others). My point is not that it's ok if both sides do it, that only right wingers do it, or that it's ok when left wingers do it but not right wingers. My point is simply this: Both sides are equally guilty, and it's equally harmful when either side does it. Moreover, to complain about one side's antics without acknowledging the other's (whether it's left wingers or right wingers doing the complaining) is precisely the same rhetorical excess that we're complaining about in the first instance, and it obfuscates the real point, which is that these rhetorical excesses hinder meaningful substantive debate, no matter which side is slinging mud.

There's an incident that happened in college that I will never forget and which shapes my thinking on these sorts of issues. This was about five or six years ago, towards the beginning of the Iraq war. Dinesh D'Souza came to speak at the University of Wisconsin (my alma mater). D'Souza is a conservative thinker and author who, at the time, was with the Hoover Institute in California (don't know where he is now). D'Souza was there to speak about the war, but that's not the important part. At the end, he held a Q&A, and a student asked if it was true that D'Souza was in favor of repealing the 1964 Civil Rights Act. D'Souza said no, but he was in favor of modifying it. D'Souza then asked the student if he would like to hear why. The student said no, and literally walked out.

I was mortified and ashamed of my alma mater (for probably the only time-nothing but great things to say about Wisconsin). Look, I disagreed with nearly everything D'Souza said. But his points were intelligent, respectful, well thought out, and far from crazy. I learned listening to the man speak, even if I ultimately did not agree. The aforementioned student, on the other hand, wouldn't listen to why, or even how, D'Souza wanted to change the law. It was enough for him to hear that D'Souza was in favor of changing something the student liked. This isn't exactly rhetorical excess, but it goes to the same general theme: Rhetorical excesses, like our shameful student, are at best superficial inquiries into the real issues; at worst, they conceal them. The student, like many on both the right and the left, was content to hear that D'Souza disagreed with him, and engaged in the rhetorical excess of walking out. He refused to engage the debate on any meaningful level, just like media/bloggers on both sides of the aisle. Neither side has a clean conscience no this regard, and both need to stop to improve political discourse in the country. Acknowledging the sins of only one side in this regard without the other only perpetuates the real problem.

Rich

Posted by: Rich at February 11, 2011 9:22 AM

Paul,

Your second comment makes my point precisely: You seem to suggest that it's ok for you and others to mock the left because you disagree with them. Guess what? Those on the left who mock the right think it's ok to do so because they disagree with the right. The logic is this: "if it's a bad idea, then it's ok to mock it rather than actually engage the argument and show why it's a bad idea."

Consider this sentence: "So much about the right should be mocked, not just what you protrayed as a bad joke. Faith-based initiatives, tax cuts for the wealthy, global warming deniers. The list is endless. Call the right on their crap and mock them and they may improve. Mocking their apologists is good way to start."

Do you recognize that sentence? You should, because you just wrote it, only I substituted left for right. It's all the same. Instead of mocking people, explain why "Clapper, 911 Truthers, unSmart Diplomacy" are bad things. Mocking gets us nowhere except further entrenching people in the ultimately uninformed positions they alread have (*I say "uninformed" because people never hear the other side of the argument. They only hear, to quote the great Lisa Loebb, what they want to).

Rich

Posted by: Rich at February 11, 2011 9:28 AM

A follow-up point: Crank's "science and it's enemies on the left" is a great example of what I mean. I don't doubt for one second that left-wingers may have improperly utilized science to fit their ends (although I disagree with many, though certainly not all, of the specific points Crank makes in this series). But the idea that this is exclusive to the left and that the right is totally innocent is simply incredulous. Remember, conservatives (not all, but many) in this country seek to teach children about sex and birth control with religious belief rather than science; they seek to teach creationism in schools rather than evolution; and they deny there's anything to global warming (yes, there's a serious causation/correlation problem with the evidence supporting global warming, but it is hard to ignore the rise in temperature). If creationism, religious based teaching about sex and birth control, and ignoring the rise in global temperature is science, then I'm the Queen of England (none of which should be taken to suggest that the contrary is conclusively and scientifically proved, just that the right isn't engaging these issues on the scientific merits).

Again, this is not meant to exonerate the left or fry the right. But science has enemies on BOTH the left and the right, and pretending like its just the former and that the latter is innocent is every bit as ridiculous and harmful as the enemies of science that so bother Crank.

Posted by: Rich at February 11, 2011 11:41 AM

Rich,
Sorry, do you mean that the LaRourche Democrats used the Obama/Hitler comparison.
The left has used so many dishonest attacks that push back is deserved. Why complain when Obama said to bring a gun to a fist fight?
The NYTimes goes out of joint and get upset when someone says "be armed with facts" and dishonestly says that "be armed", leaving out "with facts". I am glad you repeat liberal distortions in your reply proving my point.

Posted by: PaulV at February 11, 2011 12:31 PM

Paul,

I never said don't push back. Of course you should push back. I encourage it. What I take issue with is HOW you, and others on both the left and the right, push back. If the left is guilty of dishonest attacks, by all means call them on it. But don't pretend the right is not similarly guilty, and don't push back on dishonest attacks with more dishonest attacks. Mocking is not the answer. Explaining why certain policies are unwise is.

As for Obama/Hitler, no that's not what I was referring to. I was reference the (I believe) tea-partiers who compared Obama to Hitler in the wake of the health care bill.

You're penultimate sentence gets to what I'm talking about: "be armed with facts." Both sides could take a lesson in this: use facts, not incendiary rhetoric. The former is informitive and helpful; the latter harmful and concealing.

This shouldn't really be controversial. Whether you're a liberal or a conservative, denying that your preferred side is guilty of this sort of thing is simply intellectually dishonest. And again whether you're a liberal or conservative, we can all agree that the most helpful response to a "dishonest attack" is not another dishonest attack, but to "push back" with facts that explain the dishonesty.

Rich

Posted by: Rich at February 11, 2011 1:06 PM

"If creationism, religious based teaching about sex and birth control, and ignoring the rise in global temperature is science, then I'm the Queen of England"

your Highness,

What exactly do you mean by saying that 'conservatives want to teach about sex and birth control with religious belief rather than science'? Are you describing abstinence? Frankly, abstinence is scientifically proven to work whenever it is tried - unless you want to argue pregnancy occurs without sex (which would be a very religious argument on your part). Are you describing monogamy? Again, lack of monogamy puts the 'ST' into 'STD' - that's pretty scientific as well. To dismiss such as merely religious and not scientific comes across not as open-mindednesss on your part, but as a nice rhetorical trick (or does your conditioning even let you even realize that you've done that?).

As for creationism - most conservatives (if not all) that I know were taught that there really is no conflict between creationism and evolution - both agree that man was 'raised from the dust'. Creationism doesn't explain the particulars of how, and evolution does not explain why that happened (or what the original cause was - the proof of which will just have to be taken on faith). Granted, there is a group trying to promote 'intelligent design', but they are quite small and likely do not out-number those waiting for the arrival of a mother ship or such. My experience is that conservatives are far more willing to have both creationism and evolution taught than liberals are - in which case which side would you say is more suppressive or uncurious?

And it's much easier to 'ignore the rise in temperature' once you realize that even the 'raw data' used to support such a conclusion has itself been 'statistically normalized' by algorithms unknown as they are not disclosed by the 'scientists' involved.

It's not enought for you to say one must 'use facts, not incendiary rhetoric' when your own conclusions heavily draw on rhetoric (even if not intended to sound 'incendiary').

Posted by: tanstaaf lunch at February 11, 2011 2:26 PM

Yes, Rich, you fell for those attacks on the tea party when media knew it was the LaRouche Democrats. They did not say that a black Larouchie held that Obama Hilter sign. You wer sucked in by that deception. So why do you think that the administration deserves slack after using the death panel on Toyota blaming the computer when their investigators knew it was driver error? Pay back to UAW for its election support for democrats. They were held in contempt of court for lying about what their panel of scientists said. They drag their feet on FOIA requests and fire "indepentent" IGs and Reid let them get away with that. Republicans have learn they have to speak up and challenge crap to get answers.

Posted by: PaulV at February 11, 2011 8:02 PM

PaulV,
But hasn't the mantra of the GOP since the Reagan Revolution been about too much government spending and the government growing too large?
How is that different from the Tea Party?
They are exactly the same. You can deny that if you'd like, but surely it is the truth.
-----------------
Rich,
jim is right. It's never going to happen. To think it will, is to misunderstand the reason for Crank's blog.

Posted by: Berto at February 13, 2011 12:13 PM

Berto, are you ignorant of the fact that tea party first went out after Rs for supporting overspending?
How much have the deficits grown since ReidPelosi took over Congress in 2007? Dou you think that deficits and deby can grow without consequences? Clearly the uncertianty foster by deficits, debt and fear of the federal government has choked off any recovery? Have you gotten the talking points that "dangerous extremist " hostage takers" have taken over the Republican Party? Sad.

Posted by: PaulV at February 13, 2011 2:28 PM

PaulV,
Liberals, like myself, have been saying since Reagan the whole Republican schtick of small government/ limited spending is nothing but 100% Grade A Bullshit.
What made you finally join us? It can't be the facts, because they've shown that all along.

The Tea Party IS the Republican Party. They believe money moves down in a capitalist society, when the entire history of successfully functioning capitalism shows the opposite.
The Tea Party (GOP) isn't worried about debt, if they were they'd slash the bloated defense department budget by 40% and end the war on drugs tomorrow.
Instead, after letting the nations economy be decimated by Wall Street fraud (and without any accountability paid by those who committed the fraud) the Tea Party wants those who missed out on the great 30-year transfer of wealth to the rich to tighten their belt and suck it up for the good of the nation. They may as well ask them to scrawl "sucker" across their foreheads in red markers as well.

The Tea Party IS the Republican Party. the "dangerous extremist" "hostage takers" ARE the Republican Party.
Made up of liars, who run interference for the corporate rich, and the woefully misguided who cheer them along.

Posted by: Berto at February 14, 2011 4:33 AM

Berto, why has budget and deficits increased so much since ReidPelosi took control of Congress in 2007? You liberals love to soend money we do not have. The tea party did not contro; budget, you liberals did.Why do your democrats whine about a $100 billion cut in this year's budget? They are fiscally irresponsible? How can you defend their waste? The wasteful spending has made recession worse and delayed recovery, which is much slower than normal. The tea party movement was a reaction to your liberals bailing out Wall Street and Big Unions. Why do democrats want to keep secret how the billions in bail outs were spent. Berto, that is what crooks do. I know that you will rant, afraid to respond to facts.

Posted by: PaulV at February 14, 2011 9:00 AM

PaulV,
Because we had to bail out the economy ruined by the precious corporations you think shouldn't be regulated.
----
"You liberals love to spend money we do not have."
Are you fucking serious? Are you REALLY going to sit there and say Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II didn't grow the deficit?
If so, you (like Tea Party/ GOP members) are either a bad-faced liar or too fucking ignorant of reality to debate.

Listen, Paul V. You are the one saying the Tea Party is different than the GOP. If you really believe that, explain why. All I've heard about them is they want to lower the deficit (but want to increase defense and police spending) and want smaller government (but want the government to have more control over a woman's womb). My question to you is how does that make them different than Republicans? Are you saying Republicans aren't for lowering the deficit and aren't for smaller government---and when they have said so they were just full of shit? If your answer is yes, then us liberals want to welcome you to reality. We've been telling you that since at least 1984.

Posted by: Berto at February 14, 2011 12:59 PM

Which corporations screwed economy, Fannie Mae & Freddy Mac? Their collapse ruined many banks, S&Ls and Insurance companies that held their stock. Why bail out GM & Chysler, when Ford & non union US auto companies made better cars. Hint-UAW was big supporter of dems. W inherited a recession from WJC even before 911. Average unemployment under W was less than under WJC. It was lowest of all time until democrats took control of congress in 2007, Now BO says he wants to cut budget while increasing 2012 budget by $200 billion. Democrats complain when Rs want to reduce 2011 budget by $100 billion. Why didn't produce a 2011 budget last year. They were ashamed and scared of the voters.
I see why you are afraid to defend the democrats, they are worthless. WJC was lucky enough to inherit a rapidly growing economy and a peace dividend. He was saved by a Republican congress elected in 1994. They saved WJC's ass just as 2007 Dem congress screwed the country. Do you realize how much Carter screwed the economy, high unemplyment, inflation and interest rates. You are scared to talk about that, aren't you. Do you fear the cuts that the tea party demands? it would seem so.

Posted by: PaulV at February 14, 2011 1:44 PM

I see you've given up the idea that the Tea Party is in any way different than the Republican Party. So this back and forth has accomplished something of note.

Are you really unaware of the rampant fraud perpetrated by Wall Street?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=731G71Sahok&feature=player_embedded#at=36
Probably, because even though Obama gave the thieves a free pass, you think he's actually been attacking them. Good grief!

"...the democrats, they are worthless"
You've FINALLY written something which has a shred of truth to it. Congratulations.
Everything else looks like talking point bullshit fed to you by Rove, Rush and the rest of the unabashed liars.
(Note: They don't misspeak, They aren't confused. They don't have faulty information. They are LIARS.).

Posted by: Berto at February 14, 2011 2:13 PM

"Now BO says he wants to cut budget while increasing 2012 budget by $200 billion."

BO is just following in the footsteps of every President since Reagan. He's lying to the American public by telling them they can have everything they want, and it won't cost them anything. Let's see, Reagan, Clinton, and W all won re-election telling this lie to the American public. Yet you want to hold only BO accountable. He's just trying to get re-elected by the gullible American public (a method which has worked for 3 of the last 4 Presidents). Will you admit your only problem with BO's lie is it might help him get re-elected?

Posted by: Berto at February 14, 2011 2:32 PM

Berto, unable to give credit to Republican Congress for reducing growth of spending under slick willie? Why? Forgotten that tea party ran people against those RINOs who supported spending increases? WJC's man Rubin wanted bailout of Enron. W would not do so and exposed corporate fraud that flourished under WJC. Dot com boom was under your hero Willie and W had to pick up pieces. Wall Street support BO for a reason, corruption. Follow the money, wall street gave bulk of money to BO, Dodd and dems. Who were the Friends of Angelo, who did Angelo give his money to? Why attack the people who want to limit growth of government?
Why are you such a loser? Obama wants to increase spending a magnitude greater than anyone else and you cry about those who want to stop over spending. Yes, Rs fell to demonization by Willie when they wanted to reduce spending and you were silent. Deficits under a R Congress were being reduced until dems took control of Congress. Give them credit for that. Why try to protect democrats?

Posted by: PaulV at February 14, 2011 3:11 PM

Berto, Democrat Congress doubled debt since they took control in 2007. Read it and reflect.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/02/14/red-ink-dems-took-over-congress-greater-all-previous-deficits-combine

Posted by: PaulV at February 14, 2011 3:35 PM

Frankly, both parties have their heads in the sand recently regarding the debt/deficit. The House republicans have proposed a completely inadequate spending reduction bill (and worse, linked it to abortion, which makes sure it fails), and Obama's budget does not even take into account his own deficit commission's proposals.

The take-home message is that both sides are posturing for 2012.

Posted by: MVH at February 14, 2011 5:35 PM

"As for creationism - most conservatives (if not all) that I know were taught that there really is no conflict between creationism and evolution."

In one sentence, the know-nothing ignorance of the right is encapsulated. If there were a god, I'd exclaim, "god help us all."

Posted by: Magrooder at February 14, 2011 8:45 PM

MVH, maybe they put it in to get a compromise. Will Ds shut down nfed government? Voters might like that.

Posted by: PaulV at February 14, 2011 8:54 PM

magrooder, explain how there would be a conflict, or is your opinion faith based?

Posted by: PaulV at February 14, 2011 8:55 PM

Magrooder, speaking of no-nothing ignorance, you've been even more petulant than usual since I called bs on your blood libel (blaming Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh) after the Arizona shooting - you replied that 'truth is a complete defense'. Find that 'truth' yet?

Darwin's work was entitled "On The Origin Of Species", it didn't suggest an origin to kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, or genus. And it certainly does not suggest from where matter came from. He argued a very narrow question far down that chain.

Posted by: tanstaaf lunch at February 14, 2011 9:56 PM

"MVH, maybe they put it in to get a compromise."

If so, I'm at a loss as to why they started with such a low number, never mind tossing the hot-button abortion issue in there for good measure.

My suspicion is that the Republicans don't want to give Obama any opportunity to take credit for reducing the debt/deficit before 2012. They advance a bill that allows them to placate their base by suggesting budget cuts with no entitlement reform, while throwing a bone to the pro-life wing at the same time. Dems are sure to reject it, so they get to say in 2012 that the Dems are pro-abortion and pro-spending.

For my money, the Dems really should be pressing a big budget cuts - focusing not on short-term spending, but on long-term entitlement reform so it doesn't hurt the economy now. But, of course, the dems have their own base to please.

Posted by: MVH at February 14, 2011 10:07 PM

Magrooder, the 2011 budget should have been voted on last year. The $100 billion is for the reat of the fiscal year and dmes are whining about that.
It makes since to cap budget at 2006 levels, get rid of uncertainty and deficit will decrease as economy grows. States and people are already doing so. Because the dems love to demonize any cuts in entitlements it needs to be done by both parties. Unless the People repeat throwing out democrats in 2012 as they did in 2010. People are more interested in reducing the burden of federal government. Obama budget has an increase in spending of $200 billion in 2012. How he can reduce the deficit by spending more money. With expected rise in interest rates and cost debt the burden of debt service is rising. Expect inflation with the widespread increases in commodity cost, including food. AS BO says WTF! being pro spending will haunt the dems in nest election.

Posted by: PaulV at February 14, 2011 11:28 PM

Serious question: What percentage of the anti-abortion crowd cares about the children?
Seems a lot of them don't want to fund programs like Head Start, SCHIP, or anything else which might give a leg up to an underprivileged child, exposing themselves as prudish, busy-bodies who want to just punish women for having sex.

Posted by: Berto at February 15, 2011 12:07 PM

The deficit hawks are full of shit. Ask them to de-fund the useless wars, which cost billions per week, and see them make excuses about why they need to burn wheelbarrows full of cash.
They are bullshitters, like PaulV, who have such huge concern for the deficit that they pushed for extending Bush's tax breaks for the rich. I love their explanation about how only spending, but not revenue shortfalls lead to higher deficits. It's very 5-year old understanding of economics of them.
These same liars wave off any concern about wasteful corruption by the war profiteers (excuse me, PaulV's benevolent corporations) in Iraq.
They don't care about the deficit, they don't care about waste, and they don't care about spending or smaller government. They just care about scoring points against the other "team" PERIOD

Posted by: Berto at February 15, 2011 12:31 PM

Berto, why support a failed program like Head Start or subsidized medical program for children of people who can afford to send children to ritzy private school like the ones Dems highlighted in pushing SCHIP?
Are you talking about Obama extending tax cuts for everybody? Upset about the pork he spent to favored political supporters rather than creating jobs, or that ObamaCare will cost jobs as CBO says? Did you hear HRC's whine about Rs trying to cut funds to Iraq and Afghanistan. DO you want rs to undercut POTUS by denying him money that he says military needs to fight AQ and its supporters, the Taliban? Do you remember when McCain exposed plan to give tanker plane contract to politically favored Boeing at inflated price? How much would it have cost US to cut and run in Iraq and bot to win as surge did?Do you hate the good jobs businesses and corporations provide for Americans? Are you upset that Arsenal America built the weapons that defeated AXIS? Do you call their those heroes war profiteers? Why do you lie and say that Bush tax cuts were for the rich when dems now admit they were for all when they were extended? Do you think the soldiers and marines do not deserve the best equipment?
You are not man enough to give honest answer.
Unable to make coherent argument you make untrue statements of about my knowledge.

Posted by: PaulV at February 15, 2011 2:30 PM

PaulV,
Good job supporting the tax cuts.
Guess the deficit that you thought was so important up thread that you wanted the working classes to tighten their belts and take the hit, has taken a backseat in importance. That sure didn't take long.
To the rest of you who've been following along on this thread: This is how you expose a red herring. Notice that PaulV and his ilk don't really care about the debt and deficit. It was all just a show he was putting on in order to score points for his "team', and to run interference for the rich.
PaulV,
I assume you are a Tea Partier. (i.e someone so upset with deficit spending, they stood on the sidelines and cheered W as the nations deficit soared over a trillion dollars, but found their voice when the half-black guy with the "D" behind his name took over.

Posted by: Berto at February 16, 2011 8:55 AM

Berto, What did you want Bush to do when he inherited Clinton recession plus the trillion dollar hit from 911? Deepen recession by not doing anything. Why are you unable to admit that Bush cut taxes for everybody, proportionally more for lower income brackets.
Why increase taxes on those who create jobs unless you want fewer jobs created? Why do you hate and unemployed and want to keep them on dole? You notice that Obama used veto threat when Rs wanted to decrease military spending as well other wasteful spending. Man up and attack the failed stimulus, not people who want to balance budget by reducing spending to the level of income. I am not a member of tra party or any tea party group, but like most voters I support reducing wasteful spending. Your ignorance of what they tea party stands for is a joke. Why do you favor putting our children and grandchildren in debt that will screw the economy? Have you been bought off by Obama and ilk?

Posted by: PaulV at February 16, 2011 9:36 AM

PaulV,
So what you are saying is, during times of recession deficits don't matter as much. (Like when Bush extended the deficits with tax cuts).
Or are you saying they only matter when the President has a "D" behind is name? (Being against Obama for the same exact thing).
Seems you want it both ways. How ever, then, did I confuse you with a tea member. (SNARK)
-----
I know what the Tea Party stands for. The same exact things Republicans have stood for since at least Reagan. That's because the Tea Party IS the Republican Party.

BTW, Obama is a terrible President. Not Reagan terrible (how could he be, really?), but terrible nonetheless. So, no, I am not a fan of Obama, nor have I been "bought off" by him.
Despite the part about us disagreeing on almost everything, I appreciate that you defend the tax cuts for the rich without the fantasyland excuse that the rich create jobs--one of the more ridiculously hilarious excuses I was hearing back during the tax cut extension debate.

Posted by: Berto at February 16, 2011 1:43 PM

It was the tax cuts for all taxpayers, which is why it passed the D controlled Senate in 2001.
Why do you repeat the lie that is was for just the rich? Lack of integrity. I think you cannot forgive Bush for winning Iraq war and getting the country out of recession by using tax cuts. Yes, the economy started to falter a year after democrats regain control of congress, but is that Bush's fault. You must have loved the high unemployment, high inflation and interest rates under Carter. RR wisely got the country going again and his effort led to end of cold war. I can imagine how depressed you get ehrn your pet theories are proven wrong. Please whine some more for everyone amusement. How come average unemployment under Bush was lower than under Clinton? There can be no debate unless you face facts rather than ignore them.

Posted by: PaulV at February 16, 2011 5:14 PM

Not that this one on one debate needs any more fuel but PaulV if you want to use stats I don't think going to the "average unemployment of Clinton v. Bush 43" would be the way to go. Clinton was handed 7+% unemployment and it was under 4% for a good part of his terms. Bush started with under 4% and it went to nearly 7%. Neither one deserves full credit or blame but stats like that are meaningless. I could easily say using your framing, "Why was average unemployment under Clinton less than it was under Reagan (which it was)?"

Posted by: jim at February 16, 2011 6:02 PM

"Neither one deserves full credit or blame but stats like that are meaningless."

Precisely. These arguments are what happens when you start analyzing the economy by picking the political party you want to defend. As if somehow the entire US economy can be explained by looking at arbitrary data and assuming that the arbitrary data you choose can all be attributed to one president.

Posted by: MVH at February 16, 2011 11:01 PM

jim, WJC inherited a rapidly growing economy, the peace dividend and a Republican Congress that held government spending in check, W got
the dot com bust, a recession and corporate fraud from WJC. Rubin wanted Bush administration to bail out Enron to help out his Wall Street clients, all big donors to democrats. 911 attacks were trillion dollar hits on economy, but tax cuts worked while Porkulus was epic fail. Sad to see what you guys overlook because of your bias.

Posted by: PaulV at February 16, 2011 11:52 PM

I don't have any bias I just know what using average statistics means and I don't think you do or you at least choose to summarize them in a way beneficial to your point of view. An Obama supporter could easily say, "look at the disaster he was handed, collapsing car companies, a disastrous bank bailout, 2 wars and so on." You keep universally assigning good things to people you like and bad thins to people you don't when that simply is not either true or possible in the real world. Here on this blog there is a lot of black and white so feel free to say your piece and divide the world up into cookie cutter caricatures. Hopefully Crank will post a few things soon and this thread will disappear.

Posted by: jim at February 17, 2011 10:41 AM

So why does Obama bail out his friends, UAW and Wall Street, big Dem donors. Government FSE & regulars push and Friends of Angelo push no doc loans & other lending practices that caused housing bubble & burst. Bush was demonized when he tried to get reform at Fannie &n Freddie. Your bias is showing.

Posted by: PaulV at February 17, 2011 10:57 AM

PaulV,

If you think Obama caused the housing bubble to burst (I think that is what you are insinuating but GOK because what you wrote is super difficult to read given the syntax and odd punctuation) then I don't know what to say. Also, what does that have to do with, well, anything?

Posted by: jim at February 17, 2011 11:58 AM

Jim, you do not read well. You say something stupid to avoid the issue of cause of housing boom and crises. Sucks for you that denial is not a river in Africa. Who pushed Fannie and Freddie to give loan without proper credit?
You are afraid to answer.

Posted by: PaulV at February 17, 2011 6:37 PM

PaulV,

I have neither the time nor interest to argue with you. You believe what you want and rant away. I'll leave the heavy lifting (at least volume-wise) to Berto.

Posted by: jim at February 17, 2011 7:01 PM

Fannie and Freddie got in late. The private financial institutions had already caused the root problem of the financial crisis with fraudulent lending practices.
Fannie and Freddie just wanted to get on the gravy train with the banks.
PaulV, it sucks for you that your charge that the ni**as did it has no factual validity. Keep believing the GOP talking points you you've been fed aren't racial. Someone has to deny that the GOP coddles bigots, and it might as well be someone like you who is clueless anyway.

Posted by: Berto at February 18, 2011 2:14 PM
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