Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Don't Get Your Hopes Up, Liberals, But...

Readers of my blog no doubt have noticed lately that I seem to be undergoing an introspection of sorts.(What? Again?) What I mean is I am having second thoughts about what I believe, politically. I think my main problem is that I am both blessed and cursed with the innate ability to see and understand things from all possible perspectives, and that's what leads me to question my own ideology. There are several factors at play in this introspection:

The list of Bill Clinton's accomplishments that ER published in my comments section.

Jaymeister, and Liam, and, to a lesser extent, even Rich Bachelor making some compelling arguments.

The rampant overspending of the Bush Administration and the Republican dominated legislature, particuarly the transportation bill which contains so much pork we could literally hold a BBQ for the world.

Bush's announcement of the appointment of another of his cronies to an important leadership post in the immigration department, who has no experience in immigration matters at all.

The failure of Bush and his administration to secure the borders.

Today, I have discovered that Sean Hannity is engaged in the type of spin that I used to think only Liberals were guilty of. On his program today, he addressed the issue of Tom Delay's indictment of campaign contribution related malfeasance. Hannity told his listeners that The Travis County Texas District Attorney was a partisan hack who has a long record of indicting Republican politicians in the state of Texas. We are led to believe, if we take Hannity's word for it, that Ronnie Earle has a personal vendetta against all Republicans.

I personally don't see where Delay did anything even questionable, let alone illegal, but if that be so, why would Hannity be employing typical Liberal tactics by attacking the accuser?

I did some research into the case because ER brought it up on his blog, and found a website that seems to indicate that Mr. Earle is simply doing his job, and that he has actually prosecuted more Democrats than Republicans during his tenure in office. However, I also keep in mind that the information in that site may be as much spin in Mr Earles favor as Hannity's spin is against him.

Lately, I have learned it's best to not accept anything on face value. Or, in other words, "Don't believe everything you read". Especially if it's in the New York Times.

How many times are their reporters going to be caught lying before no one ever believes them again? Geeeez.

I also looked up the actual indictment of Rep. Tom Delay. To Hannity's credit, he appears to be correct in his assessment that Mr. Delay has little to do with the charges listed in the indictment other than an association with the other 2 defendants. The allegation that Delay is personally involved in any illegal activity is tenuous at best. Although I don't understand legalese that well, and the particular statutes mentioned in the indictment aren't explained so that a 4 year old can understand them, and I definitely need things explained to me as simply as possible.

In short, I am not saying that I am about to become a Liberal, or even a Democrat. I have been both in the past and I no longer ascribe to that ideology. The issues that concern me are issues of Republicans behaving in a most un-Republican like manner. We conservatives are supposed to be against out of control spending, and for integrity in politics, and picking the right person for the right job regardless of personal feelings, and in controlling the borders.

I don't see that happening lately.

Could it be that President Bush, knowing that he can't run again, is throwing caution to the wind and just doing whatever he wants with no regard to the future of his party?

I don't know, but it certainly looks like that from where I sit.

But then, Bruiser puts things in their proper perspective for me.

20 comments:

Mike's America said...

Mark:

I was looking for the punchline here, but sadly discovered you weren't joking.

Of course this whole thing IS a joke.

See Flopping Aces, who covers most ground like this in greater detail than I have the time to do for more on who and what this DA Earle is all about.

He's been targeting Delay for years. Texas Democrats are so p.o'd at Delay for redistricting them out of five more congressional seats they have been looking for revenge.

Democrats like Nancy Peolosi accusing Delay of misconduct have been convicted of worse and yet they retain their office unquestioned by the left.

I know it is fashionable lately to question the wayward leanings of our less than conservative Republican government in Washington.

But Mark, consider the alternative.

We throw our own over the side and what is the result?

How does Speaker Nancy Pelosi sound to you?

How bout Majority Leader Harry Reid...

And of course "Madame President"

Think that will be an improvement in the issues that you and I care about?

Mark said...

No, No, NO, Mike. I mean to say, that the Bush administration and some Republican apologists are acting very un-Republican, and it is distressing to me. I will never again revert back to being Liberal which is why it is so distressing to me. I am very unhappy with the direction many Republicans are going.

By the way, the last line is the punchline. Bruiser reminds me of why I left the Democrats in the first place.

Jaymeister said...

If I can put in my two cents here...

First of, Mark, I'm very flattered that you find some of my comments compelling. I find a lot of what you and Wordsmith and others write to be extremely valid. There's a reason I prefer to frequent blogs from the Right, and that's to learn different perspectives. To read left wing blogs exclusively, or sites like Free Republic where everybody agrees with each other and dissent is forbidden, is very uninteresting. I'm not any more likely to become a conservative than you are to go back to being a liberal, but that isn't what discussion and argument are about.

The big problem I have with the Republicans (I'm Canadian, so I don't have a dog in that fight) is that they are NOT conservative. The Republican agenda flies in the face of traditional conservatism, and so many erstwhile conservatives seems to have bought it hook, line and sinker. Others will complain about spending and fiscal responsibility and what not, but still support the GOP because it represents their "values". As Thomas Frank wrote, the Republicans talk a good game on moral values issues but never do anything to fix them, because they would lose a rallying point - that's why Roe v. Wade will never be overturned. I don't know what the Republican agenda is supposed to be.

The problem with the Democrats is that nobody knows what they represent either. They talk a good liberal game but when push comes to shove and they feel a little bit of heat, they act like Republican-lite. We should all long for the days when the national debate was between traditional conservatives and traditional liberals.

rich bachelor said...

But even the definitions of liberal and conservative have changed, over the years. Without going into a lengthy history lesson, I'll let that one stand where it is.
I wonder what it is that's changed. Just now noticing that political rhetoric tends to get nasty Mark? Come on! You already knew that.
And I didn't view your last post as being evidence that you were doing any soul searching about your beliefs, because all you did was confirm your own beliefs in public, which didn't surprise me or anyone else who reads your blog.
And I can't let that stand, this idea that somehow liberals are the only ones who engage in as hominem attacks: I'm appealing to your objectivity here. You know that isn't true.
Or do you really believe that?

BRUISER said...

Mike's Delusional unAmerican----tow that line boy , tow that line right over the cliff in which you speak....


Republicans The Culture Of Corruption

Toad734 said...

First thing is first; Ignore Mike. You couldn't be further from center than Mike; he is far more right than I am left.

Bottom line is you don't have to label yourself anything. You don't have to believe in anything that someone may tell you should believe in. Republicans aint what they used to be, that is for sure. Bush is no Lincoln or Eisenhower (a true commander in chief) or even, I hate to say Reagan.

I usually sound like a dedicated leftist Democrat but only because I enjoy cranking up guys like Mike who need a serious taste of reality and a look from another perspective. There are times that I'll rebut people like him and his posts not because of how I personally believe but just as a devils advocate.

I am registered as an independent and I typically vote on the candidate first and if I don't know about the candidates I vote straight ticket Democrat except for prosecutors and judges and then I vote straight republican. I don't fit into either party because I am pro death penalty and lean more conservative when it comes to crime and punishment, except for the drug and gun issue. Socially I am somewhat liberal and then middle of the road fiscally.

Hannity, as you pointed out, is an idiot, and his show blows. Don't listen to people like him or Limbaugh (junkie) because you will find they are typically wrong. Someone like Dennis Miller is more mainstream and middle of the road and is what Republicans should look like.

I do suggest putting your bias aside and checking out Fahrenheit 911 objectively and you will realize there isn't as much bullshit in it as everyone says. I would also suggest watching Real Time with Bill Maher who can be very rational and makes a lot of sense most of the time.

No one should fall behind party lines hook line and sinker. It has always seemed to me that it is nearly impossible for anyone to do that and I am surprise at people like Mike, Hannity, Streisand who can blame everything on the other party and its policies and think their side is always right and that their side can do no wrong.

Voting Democrat doesn't necessarily mean Voting for Hillary, or someone who supports reparations, handouts for crack head welfare moms (but what’s worse giving free money to people who need it or free money to rich people who don’t need it?)or someone like that. There are the Lieberman’s, Gephardt’s, Bay’s, Edwards out there who are fairly middle of the road just as there are the Powell’s and McCain’s on the Republican side.

I almost made the point of the crazies like, Limbaugh, Frist and Bush and from the other side like Kusinich but as it turns out Kusinich and Dean were right.

And as you can see with what is going on with Frist and DeLay, they have no more values nor do they stand on a higher moral ground than someone like Bill Clinton. If you break the law, it's worse than not wanting to censor rap lyrics or not wanting to turn our country into a theocracy.

Jesus hates cheats, liars and greedy rich gluttons as much as he hates fornicators.

Toad734 said...

Oh and never be a single issue voter. Abortion should not be the only reason one would vote for a president; there are other issues out there that are far more important and relative.

Lores Rizkalla said...

Mark,
I think you're experiencing the tension that many of those of us who consider ourselves conservatives are feeling.

Honestly, I don't consider myself a Republican. I am a conservative who is a Christian. Therefore, there have been many times that I have not voted Republican.

I agree that I look forward to a day when we can have honest debate between people who hold to true conservatism and true liberalism.

When politicians play politics, there's not much difference between the parties. That's what we see today.

Mark said...

You are right, Lores, and now that I have done further research into Hannity's allegations as well as Earles, the results will be posted here tommorrow.

jgaoehals14962 said...

Toad,
I have to disagree with you. There are many who vote Republican because they are pro life. A lot of people would give some credence to the Democratic party if it wasn't controlled by the Abortion rights people. But that one issue speaks more about this country than any other issue. It says that we are truly not concerned for the downtrodden, the weak, the innocent. And as long as the Republicans hold to that, they will garner a lot of conservatives. As long as Dems hold to their pro abortion view, many will stay away.
God bless

Toad734 said...

Timmothy:

So you are saying that you care for them all the way up until they are born and then they are on their own. That seems to be the Republicans stance anyway.

So if Republicans want to cut welfare who is going to raise all these unwanted fatherless babies? You? Are you going to support them?

If the only thing you care about is something that is none of your business, and that's how you vote; God help us all.

As long as Hitler is against abortion he can do what ever else he wants. That's a brilliant strategy.

By the way the Democratic Party is no more controlled by the abortion people than the Republican Party is by the NRA, Jerry Falwell, and Halliburton. Oh wait, the Republican party is controlled by those people.

The same thing applies to Democrats who won’t vote for Republicans just because of the Anti-choice issue. McCain would have made a better president than Kerry or Bush.

jgaoehals14962 said...

Toad,
I think you are taking my comments to the extreme. Who is the most helpless? The unborn. Therefore, we stand for the unborn. That doesn't mean we neglect them once they are born. We do care for those who are in poverty. What we don't care for are those who are sluggards and wards of the state becuase they are too lazy to work. We know that there will always be the poor and we want to help them, but putting them on welfare is not helping them. BTW, the welfares system breeds the fatherless babies. It has brought about the many women who want more children for another check. And yes, I have seen it first hand and dealt with those who have had that attitude. Before the welfare system came about, the family unit in the black community was much stronger. It was weakend by welfare, and welfare is a dismal failure. With the 6 Trillion dollars spent on it since 1964, we should have stamped it out a long time ago. So the solution Dems have presented is a failure.

Also, it is not the only thing we care about. But abortion is a key issue for many Republicans. Sorry that you missed my point. We could side on a lot of issue with Dems if they were not controled by the feminist wing of that party. You say that they are not, but when was the last time we had a pro life dem elected to any substantial office? And yes, there are pro choice Republicans who do well in the public arean... Guiliani for one...
God bless

Erudite Redneck said...

I'll never EVER understand how a pastor of any Christian church can be so callous and judgmental about the poor. I don't really care WHY they're poor. Feed a crackhead. Entertain an angel unawares.

--ER

jgaoehals14962 said...

ER,
I know what you mean. Stinkin pastors given up on people...

Really, I think a lot of it is that we can only be stretched so many ways and I get tired of trying to help those who really only want money. The church is not in the business of money. We are in the business of the kingdom, and if we gave money to all those who asked, then we would have to close. But we are in the business of helping the poor. My distinction is between the sluggard, which the Bible condemns, and the poor. There is a difference. The poor do need our help, and I'm glad to give it where we can. But not to those who are unwilling to work, unwilling to try, unwilling to do anything for themselves.

When I was back in Arkansas, I was working with one family where the daughter, 19, didn't really want to work because she had to get up too early. I worked with the entire family, until she got pregnant. Why? Because it was another check from the government. I gave them money all the time up until that point. I encouraged them. I shared the gospel with them. I invited them to church, and to join afterwards for a meal. I never saw any fruit and it was very frustrating.

Then there was Willie. Willie was about 68 years old and showed up asking for money so he could get his prescription filled. after all, he had just got out of the hospital, again, and again, and again. Not to mention his three children, on one visit, and four the next visit, and two visits later, he only had two children. He wanted money, not food. We had plenty of food. I would take him to McDonald's if he wanted to go there, but he wanted money. Why? For his alcohol. In fact, he got a check every month and drank it away. Never wanted to go to any place to get over his alcoholism. All the pastors in town knew Willie. We all met together regularly in order to help the poor in our town. But we had to say no to Willie. He was known to spin a yarn to get money for alcohol.

But then there were those that it was a delight to help. The family that was passing through that needed gas money to so the could get home to St. Louis. The poor man and his family were having a time of it. He had to work on his car, and burned his hand. He got it fixed and the only food they had was Twinkies. So we got them some gas and a bag full of groceries. I'm sure they are doing fine, because he had a job waiting for him in St. Louis. He was really grateful for the help.

Can pastors be calloused? You bet. Can we be useful, that we can. Are we perfect in this area, not at all. I just believe that at some point, you no longer help those who have proven themselves to be sluggards because you are only aiding them in their laziness. The Bible does condemn laziness. It condemns those who will not work, and they do get what they deserve. But to classify all poor as lazy is wrong. I think that is what you are thinking I'm doing. Not so.

But I do believe the welfare system leads to sluggardness. It allows those who do not want to work, to continue not to work (realize I know there is an entire category of those helped by the government because of disability. I am not referring to those. My mother qualified for that and took it at times. But she liked to work instead, when she could). But those who are able-bodied but dont' because it's not convenient... ugh!
God bless

Poison Pero said...

BRUISER said...
Mike's Delusional unAmerican----tow that line boy , tow that line right over the cliff in which you speak....

Republicans The Culture Of Corruption
-----------------------
Are you the "pot" or the "kettle", Bruiser?
-----------------------
Lores Rizkalla said...

Honestly, I don't consider myself a Republican. I am a conservative who is a Christian.
-----------------------
I am not a Christian, but consider myself a Conservative American.

A "Republican-by-Default".

I've never voted (D) because I'm of the opinion that majorities matter.....Even a good (D) is bad, because that person will add to the power and prestige of the insaniacs in the (D) party. --> Teddy, Hillary, Boxer, Schumer, etc., etc., etc.

Toad734 said...

As far as I know, now days you don't get a welfare check for every kid you have. It is in the tax code now, and everyone gets that welfare for kids in the form of child tax credits which is just as much bullshit as handing someone a check for everykid they have.

jgaoehals14962 said...

Toad,
I disagree. An income tax credit is for people who are actually paying taxes. All it does is allow them to keep more of their own money.
God bless

Meers Texas Longhorn Steakburgers Are #1 said...

poison nemo- You Partisan Hack you.

Toad- You vote straight Republican on Judges ? Are you one of the Kids Of Whitney High Music Program? You should never vote straight anything on election day...you should take the time and do a little research into policies of the parent Co. the GOP...these "activist" fringe hack Republicans are generously seeking your vote. Wow it spins that way too just as easy.

BRUISER said...

pastor Tbag- just stop...your scaring the children by giving them a dollar value. You too Toad.

Ps- The Next time you interact with anyone on welfare send me a picture on your brand new computer you use for blogging.


I hope everyone here really knows that white collar crime really is worse and has a much more negative impact on society than a crackhead who wants your change when you leave a grocery store. Remember he might in fact be a veteran.

Toad734 said...

Meers:

I said I vote straight ticket when I don't know who the candidate is. Typically I know a little about most of them. And really it's the Prosecutor that I usually end up voting Republican on, not always the judges.

RE: Pastor

That tax credit is for people who worked, even just a little, but it's not necessarily for people who paid taxes. And it isn't letting people keep their money for having children; it is giving them my money to support their children. You can make 10k per year and get a $400 tax refund (hypothetical) on the federal income collected meaning you essentially only paid some state and SS taxes. On top of that they give you a check for each kid you have regardless of how much in taxes you paid out or how much you earned. In other words this is not money they earned and it is being given to them based on a lifestyle choice. No one is giving me free money to buy a new car, which is a lifestyle choice.

Don't look now but you are starting to sound like a Democrat.