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Wizbang Blue: The "Liberal" Notion That Some Things Are None of the Government's Business

[Note: This entry is the second of several planned for this week from liberal, progressive, Democratic, etc. members of the Wizbang comment community and readership in response to a call for entries last week. The reasoning behind the experiment is explained in the call for entries posts. Posts titles will be proceeded with the text, "Wizbang Blue:" to highlight that they are not posts from current Wizbang authors.


By: Black Cat

Once upon a time, not really that long ago, the conservatism was linked with the principle smaller, less intrusive government. Conservatism trusted people to make their own choices. This was the conservatism of Barry Goldwater. But then something went badly wrong. Certain partisans found out that some religious groups were lusting after political power, and that lust led to the illegitimate offspring which still bears the name of conservatism but follows few of its original ideals.

What would conservatives think of the idea that Washington should be able to decide which unions churches should be allowed to consecrate? But the religious right believes that government is better equipped to endorse some marriages and forbid others than either the church or the individuals involved. Would conservatives approve of the idea that government must be consulted in matters which should be strictly the business of doctors and their patients. The allegedly-conservative senate majority leader "diagnosed" a comatose woman based on little more than a few videotapes and decided that nothing short of the Hammer of Congress would suffice to impose their choice of treatment for this woman despite the pleas of the persons who were actually involved with the case. And what would conservatives say when millions of taxpayer dollars are being spent to regulate the sex lives of American citizens up to the age of 29 - the ones who are supposed to be "consenting adults?"

And then there are other "conservatives" who believe that speech should only be free so far as it doesn't offend their sensibilities or their personal beliefs. They want to amend the constitution to prohibit the desecration of the flag, but only the American flag - people burning other flags such as that of the United Nations or some country they don't like are just fine. Or maybe a politician is elected by the citizens, but he's the wrong religion and wishes to hold the wrong holy book in his left hand while he raises his right to take the oath of office. It doesn't matter to these people that the constitution is quite clear that no religious test to hold office shall exist, this person doesn't deserve to share a room with the upstanding citizens who believe that everyone should think and believe exactly as they do.

And so conservatism has moved from being the ideal of those who prize liberty above political dogma to those who would use the power of the federal government to make all of us think and act alike. And sadly for the memory of the man who believe that "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice," it's left to those who now call themselves liberals to carry on his cause.


Comments (62)

Oh for gawd's sake...boiler... (Below threshold)

Oh for gawd's sake...boilerplate sophistry!

While I agree that some Republicans and/or conservatives have been stupid about "big" government (specifically not getting rid of Federal control of health/education), the three examples you give have nothing to do with "religious" interference that undermines contemporary conservatism.

You are not advocating "libery" but "libertine".

Good lord, if this is the "quality" of "liberal" argument .... !

Bring back Hugh.... (Below threshold)
Mrs. Davis:

Bring back Hugh.

I don't remember liberals b... (Below threshold)
Paul Zrimsek:

I don't remember liberals being so terribly fond of Goldwater back in 1964. Why would they want to carry on his cause now?

Pot, meet kettle. Kettle, p... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Pot, meet kettle. Kettle, pot.

Which party is it whose supporters enact speech codes on college campuses, shutting out differences of opinion? Whose party's supporters oppose the right to bear arms, repeatedly ignoring the Constitutional statement "Congress shall make no law. . .?" and incidentally, which party has had a President sign into law opposition to same-sex marriage, and whose most recent Presidential candidate supported that very position, only qualifying it with an opposition to a Constitutional Amendment?

I'm not a Christian by any stretch, nor am I a "conservative." I'm solidly liberal by my community standards (and fairly liberal by more rational, neutral standards), and agree that the stated flaws are marks against the Republican Party. However, flaws run just as deep in our other national party, whose members and supporters operate with identical willful blindness to their flaws. The difference to me comes down to that one party is willing to take decisive, even controversial action to protect this nation, and the other is not. When the Democrats become a realistic party of American national security priorities first, and social change second, they will once again have a chance at my vote.


Saddly, BC, ever sin... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:


Saddly, BC, ever since the govt got involved in issuing marriage licences, the churches have had nothing to really say in the matter. Nobody needs Church sanction to married in the eyes of the state.

When I get married in October, I need both my Church and the State to sign off, because I choose to.
If I only get the State, I get all of the fun privledges and resposibilities the Gov. bestows. Theologically, I may be in trouble. But I'd be married.
If I only get a preacher to marry me, the Gov. won't recognize my marriage (in my state, at least).

What you're really seeing is that some want the government to not only redefine marriage, but get the Churches to as well. Look at the Mormons. Back in the day, their Church recognized polygamy. Until the Gov decreed that only 1 man, 1 woman unions would be legal in eyes of the State. And when Mormons disagreed with Govt, they were punished.
Today, mainstream Mormons follow the Gov rule.
Anyway, to many religious folk, left or right in their politics, view marriage as a sacrament and one between a man and a woman. And I know plenty of blue state Catholics, Methodists etc that are socially left, but take the man-woman definition of marriage as being sacred.
The definition of marriage, BTW:
mar·riage
-noun
1. the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.
2. the state, condition, or relationship of being married; wedlock: a happy marriage.
3. the legal or religious ceremony that formalizes the decision of a man and woman to live as husband and wife, including the accompanying social festivities: to officiate at a marriage.
4. a relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other in the manner of a husband and wife, without legal sanction: trial marriage; homosexual marriage.
5. any close or intimate association or union: the marriage of words and music in a hit song.
6. a formal agreement between two companies or enterprises to combine operations, resources, etc., for mutual benefit; merger.
7. a blending or matching of different elements or components: The new lipstick is a beautiful marriage of fragrance and texture.
8. Cards. a meld of the king and queen of a suit, as in pinochle. Compare royal marriage.
9. a piece of antique furniture assembled from components of two or more authentic pieces.
10. Obsolete. the formal declaration or contract by which act a man and a woman join in wedlock.

So it isn't a minority of religious conservatives that hold the defintion of man-woman, one of each.

I favor civil unions, and I favor them for more than just gay couples. I think if 2 people come together for mutual care/defense/resource pooling, they ahould be able to. A child caring for an invlaid parent. Older siblings who's families have passed on or passed them by. Why should it be limited to only those pairings of 2 people that love each other and supposedly have sex with each other?
Still, it shouldn't be called marriage by the State, as it is only a matter of time before someone tries to coerce those religions that disagree with the definition to get with the program. Ala the Mormons.

Then, of course, there is the old slippery slope argument. If you now want government out of marriage, and left solely to the Churches, what happens when NAMBLA finds a church willing to perform the wedding of a man and a boy? Groups like the Branch-Davidians would love to bring back the Harem. Do you want Fred Phelps to decide who get's the privledges and rights of marriage?

Still, what about the states that have put the matter on the ballot? Are the people allowed to decide? Or only when they decide in the way you prefer?

For your point about free speech, explain to your feelings on universities' speech codes?

I'll address this jem:... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

I'll address this jem:

"But the religious right believes that government is better equipped to endorse some marriages and forbid others than either the church or the individuals involved."

Actually we want the government to not impose their view of marriage on the people. But rather let the people decide what marriage should be.

Reference this thread here:

http://wizbangblog.com/2006/12/28/the-checks-in-the-mail.php

The fact gay marriage is voted on but gets overruled in favor of gay marriage often tells me it isn't the conservatives that are trying to impose their views on the country.

Nail, meet Hammer, aka John... (Below threshold)
epador:

Nail, meet Hammer, aka John Irving.

I agree with Mrs. Davis. H... (Below threshold)

I agree with Mrs. Davis. Hugh's piece was at least an attempt to be thoughtful. This entry, though, is just a recitation of specious lefty talking points that few can take seriously.

OregonMuseLeftist ... (Below threshold)

OregonMuse

Leftist dogma consists of small sets of index cards... one set of ten vague feel good platitudes (ie, Peace, Love, Justice, etc), one set of ten one-word "answers" to those that disagree with them (ie, racist, sexist, homophobe, etc)

Allows them to act superior with no effort at thinking.

And then there are... (Below threshold)
stan25:
And then there are other "conservatives" who believe that speech should only be free so far as it doesn't offend their sensibilities or their personal beliefs. They want to amend the constitution to prohibit the desecration of the flag, but only the American flag - people burning other flags such as that of the United Nations or some country they don't like are just fine. Or maybe a politician is elected by the citizens, but he's the wrong religion and wishes to hold the wrong holy book in his left hand while he raises his right to take the oath of office. It doesn't matter to these people that the constitution is quite clear that no religious test to hold office shall exist, this person doesn't deserve to share a room with the upstanding citizens who believe that everyone should think and believe exactly as they do.

It has been my experience that the left has hindered the right of free speech far more than the right. They are the ones that forced the Congress and state legislatures to pass so-called hate crime laws in the name of diversity and equal rights. It looks to me like the ones that are preaching hate are so-called liberals/progressives that run the colleges and universities in this country. You can also add the likes of Al Sharpton Jessie Jackson Louis Farrekan and other various so-called minority leaders to that list.

Can you tell me where in the Constitution that says that we must scrape and bow the Unholy Nations and the communists that run it? There is none. This organization was foisted off on us by the very liberal (almost communist) Franklin Delano Roosevelt Administration. The principle architect of this monstrosity was none other than Alger Hiss, a known communist and a rabid supporter of Josef Stalin.

You and your leftist friends squawk like a wounded pipe organ whenever the Bible is used to administer the oath of office, when the Ten Commandments and the cross are displayed, but it is okay for some illegal alien to be elected to Congress and use the Koran to take the oath of office. This my friend (I use the term very loosely), snacks of blatant hypocrisy.

Just a comment on the post ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Just a comment on the post in general.

Black Cat obviously subscribes to the idea that all conservatives are some kind of automatons for a Shadow Theocracy that is trying to seize control of the country.

I just wished instead of throwing out several different items centered around that idea, he'd actually just say it directly. Otherwise a response to his post needs to go all over the map.

Certain partisans ... (Below threshold)
kbiel:
Certain partisans found out that some religious groups were lusting after political power,

I don't completely disagree...

and that lust led to the illegitimate offspring which still bears the name of conservatism but follows few of its original ideals.

...but that is going too far. And to prove your point you apparently have to use hyperbole and lies.

What would conservatives think of the idea that Washington should be able to decide which unions churches should be allowed to consecrate? But the religious right believes that government is better equipped to endorse some marriages and forbid others than either the church or the individuals involved.

Even Barry Goldwater would have laughed at you for this statement. The regulation of marriage as an important institution for the continuation or civilization has occurred since before the ratification of the constitution. Now if you question whether it should be handled at a federal level, then you might have an argument. It shouldn't be necessary to amend the constitution, but liberal judges disagree and the only defense against a judge is either congressional/legislative proscription or amending the constitution. Conservatives have had little luck with the former and therefore have had to resort to the latter. BTW, I do not think that we need an amendment now, but we will need one if the supreme court were to apply the full faith and credit clause to marriage some time in the future.

Would conservatives approve of the idea that government must be consulted in matters which should be strictly the business of doctors and their patients. The allegedly-conservative senate majority leader "diagnosed" a comatose woman based on little more than a few videotapes and decided that nothing short of the Hammer of Congress would suffice to impose their choice of treatment for this woman despite the pleas of the persons who were actually involved with the case.

Congress did nothing wrong in this case. They merely authorized the federal judiciary to review the case and the appeals court gave it a pass. The move was ham-handed and against conservative principles, but hardly long lasting or destructive to the federal system.

And what would conservatives say when millions of taxpayer dollars are being spent to regulate the sex lives of American citizens up to the age of 29 - the ones who are supposed to be "consenting adults?"

Now an out and out lie. What regualations regarding sex are being foisted upon people age 29 and below? Please cite the bill approved by congress and signed by the president and name the agency that regulates peoples sex live.

And then there are other "conservatives" who believe that speech should only be free so far as it doesn't offend their sensibilities or their personal beliefs. They want to amend the constitution to prohibit the desecration of the flag, but only the American flag

And yet the flag burning amendment has never even passed congress, even while congress was dominated by conservative Republicans. Mitch McConnell, widely recognized as the leading conservative in the Senate, has consistently voted against such an amendment.

Or maybe a politician is elected by the citizens, but he's the wrong religion and wishes to hold the wrong holy book in his left hand while he raises his right to take the oath of office. It doesn't matter to these people that the constitution is quite clear that no religious test to hold office shall exist, this person doesn't deserve to share a room with the upstanding citizens who believe that everyone should think and believe exactly as they do.

No one forced Ellison to swear upon the Bible. It was merely requested of him by one prominent conservative who is not even Christian himself. His reasoning was that the U.S. is founded upon Judeo-Christian values and that swearing in on a Bible is a symbolic gesture recognizing those values as the corner stone of our nation. There was no religious test involved; Ellison is still a member-elect of the house; nobody proposed a law or amendment to force a religious test. Your point is just laughable.

And so conservatism has moved from being the ideal of those who prize liberty above political dogma to those who would use the power of the federal government to make all of us think and act alike. And sadly for the memory of the man who believe that "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice," it's left to those who now call themselves liberals to carry on his cause.

Thanks for the chuckles. I'll try to remember that liberals want limited government when Nancy Pelosi pushes through a minimum wage hike and expand the medicare prescription plan. I'm sure that Barry Goldwater would approve.

Black Cat,At least... (Below threshold)
Adrienne:

Black Cat,

At least your were sort of polite...I think you're a bit delusional though...Thus ends my response to you BC...However here's a little shout out to Hugh (the terrific poster from yesterday)...Hugh do you have friends that would consider writing the next few posts...At least until your side learns how to first find a point and then argue the point...Opinions are okay, but hopefully your buddy(ies) would be aware of some facts as well...At the very least your buds could post original thoughts instead of talking points?...Or better yet, failing any of your amigos wanting to participate, couldn't you take over and write all future post?...We miss you already Hugh...

Thanks to everyone for your... (Below threshold)
blackcat77:

Thanks to everyone for your comments, both positive and not so positive...

To Darlene: I'm neither libertine or Libertarian. I believe that personal morality is the basis of sound leadership in all things, but the "personal" part is important. It's not the government's place to dictate our beliefs.

To Paul Z.: You're right. Goldwater was pro-war and seemed to be anti-civil-rights (though actually, he was pro-choice on that matter) and those two things alone put him on the oppositing side to the things I believed most strongly at the time. It's only with 40 years' perspective that I realize the value of his belief in individual liberty. And LBJ's commitment to the war far exceeded anything suggested by Goldwater.

To jpm100: Rights aren't decided by plebiscite in this country, they're encoded in the constitution, and the founders wisely avoided all entanglements in this sort of thing. I believe in the separation of marriage and state, with the government's only involvement being to certify the legal "contract" created by the couple. Marriage is strictly a matter for churches.

To Oregon Muse: If it's so specious, please pick one and show me that it isn't accurate. I'm ready to discuss any of these issues in depth.

To Stan25: I agree with you completely. I don't believe in affirmative action because it's just deiscrimination with a friendlier face. AFAIC, the only "hate speech" would be when a speaker incites his listeners to commit a crime. He should then he held accountable for his share of the responsibilitity. Other than that, I believe in the market of ideas which would include many things which are anathema to fuzzy-headed leftists such as the Confederate flag. As for the UN, I think it's a great idea which has a lot of flaws, but it won't go away just because we don't like it and so we should work for it's reform, and since our share of the budget is so high, you'd think we'd have plenty of leverage. Regarding religious displays, I have no problem with them at all -- on private property. The problem with religious displays on public property is that if you allow one, you must allow them all, and that's rife for abuse by people like Fred Phelps. BTW, I was saved on December 28, 1970, and though I'm no longer an evangelical, my faith is a very large part of my life. If someone wants to hold the bible in their hand while taking the oath, that's fine with me, but don't complain if that's not the only holy book used.

And finally, a second comment to jpm100: No, I think that the public face of conservatism has been hijacked by people who are not really conservatives at all. That was the whole point of my submission. Conservatism should mean the respect for individual beliefs, but over the past decade or so, "conservatism" has become a pulpit for fundamentalist Christianity, which my favorite *real* conservative, Andrew Sullivan, calls "Christianism," and the imposition of their beliefs by the power of Washington. That's not conservative.

A couple comments were post... (Below threshold)
blackcat77:

A couple comments were posted after I begean writing my responses, so I'll address them here:

To Adrienne: I'm not Alan Colmes. I'm not a milquetoast liberal and I'll speak my mind on the issues. I agree with Hugh that there's too much heat and not enough light in the current political climate, but I won't surrender my principles just for the sake of getting along.

To kbiel: Did you see the documentary on HBO about Barry Goldwater? One of his grandchildren (?) is gay and he had no problem with him at all. As for marriage, I'm all for it -- I've been married to the same wonderful lady for over 20 years. Stable personal relationships are important to society and what's good for the straights is equally good for the gays. I've never heard an objective argument that forbidding a legal union of gay couples does them any good, or that it has any effect on straight marriage at all. You are right about "regulate" in my comment about sex. My bad, and substitute the word "influence." But this influence is coming out of our pocketbooks and is not a proper role for the federal government. Regarding Ellison, no member of congress "swears on" any holy book. They simply take an oath. They may or may not choose to have a holy book in their other hand for the oath, but pictures of them with their hand on a Bible (or Koran or whatever...) is strictly a photo-op. Finally, and this is not directed to you specifically, but since you brought it up, I know that not all conservatives are alike, but not all liberals are alike either. I oppose persons of ANY politicians who would impose their beliefs on everyone, and I endorse those who promote liberty. I think there are benefits to a federally-operated, single-payer healthcare policy, and I think it deserves rational discussion. Clearly what we have now is not working and just screaming "Socialism!" at any attempt to offer an alternative isn't getting us anywhere.

Black Cat,I give you... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Black Cat,
I give you alot of respect for posting on a right of center blog such as this. You will get many comments of people dismissing you and disagreeing with you.

Unfortunately, I must disagree with you as well.

Your basic point about Barry Goldwater is flawed because it is based on revisionist history. Late in his life Barry Goldwater changed from a traditional conservative a sort of libertarian. The 1964 Barry Goldwater that upset Nelson Rockefeller (in a sort of miracle that the majority of party members didn't really want) was a different man from the Goldwater "conservative" that you advance as the "ideal."

That "ideal," those ideas, has never, at any time, dominated the Republican party. Ronald Reagan wanted, but couldn't get it because he had more important priorities, small government then George W. Bush would ever want. But the GOP idea dominant before Reagan-ish Republicans was Nixonish and then Fordish and before that was held by "hold the line" Eisenhower Republicans.

Even before then "Mr. Conservative," the isolationist Robert Taft, if one looks at his voting record you will find him less conservative then Ronald Reagan economically.

Socially, Goldwater 1964 did not support overturning abortion restrictions. Left of center domestically Nixon blasted it. Ford, on the other hand, was ambivalent. Among Democrats of the time, Hubert Humphrey and Eugene McCarthy were staunchly pro-life.

The time is not being described as how it existed.

Thanks Jim. I think all of... (Below threshold)
blackcat77:

Thanks Jim. I think all of us evolve politically as we get older and it's my belief that whether we start out left or right, we usually move toward support of a more hands-off government. I agree that libertarian thinking has never ruled the Republican party except maybe in the Rockies and the southwest, which is a bastion for personal liberty in both parties. Abortion is a separate topic which is too complicated to get into on this thread, but right now, there is no valid legal definition of the point where life begins. Some would argue conception, and on the other extreme, some would argue birth. As usual the truth is in the middle somewhere, and until some sort of consensus is reached about when life begins, abortion discussions will be strictly political.

blackcat,While I b... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

blackcat,

While I believe you made some serious mistakes of both fact and logic in your piece, at least you engaged the Wizbang readers and commenters. For that reason, I vote your piece better than Hugh's pabulum. Maybe Kevin can take a survey after all the "liberal" pieces have been published to see which gets the most votes from Wizbang's readers and commenters.

"No, I think that the p... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"No, I think that the public face of conservatism has been hijacked by people who are not really conservatives at all."

That's exactly the way I feel about liberalism. It has been hijacked by people who are not liberal at all. They're not democratic either (preferring fascist judicial dictat to the will of the voters).

Nor are they progressive from my prospective. If you want to live in a morally bankrupt society the the actions of those on the left would be considered "progressive" as they are causing the society to progress towards moral bankruptcy but from my perspective they are regressive. I mean returning to the moral values of 1000's of years ago seems more like regress than progress to me.

I actually agree with some of the things Black Cat wrote about "conservatives" but overall the post was full of informationally retarded comments. For instance Teri Schaivo was not "comatose". And to say "despite the pleas of the persons who were actually involved with the case" simple means that you are choosing the side of her estranged husband over that of her family members who were ALSO actually involved with the case. I suppose myopia is common in both extremes, right and left, but it's hypocritical in either case and very hypocritical in your post.

Oddly enough, there are jus... (Below threshold)

Oddly enough, there are just as many, and some of the same, problems within liberalism.

"Would conservatives approve of the idea that government must be consulted in matters which should be strictly the business of doctors and their patients." Conversely, leaving this "to those who now call themselves liberals" will give us government healthcare. And if you think there's intrusion now, just wait.

"And then there are other "conservatives" who believe that speech should only be free so far as it doesn't offend their sensibilities or their personal beliefs." Again, leaving this "to those who now call themselves liberals" will give us more "hate speech" laws. If you think burning the flag is big, just wait.

"...to those who would use the power of the federal government to make all of us think and act alike." But, to leave this "to those who now call themselves liberals" will most certainly strive make sure we all live to the same standard - or they'll take it from you.

P. Bunyan, I agree with you... (Below threshold)
blackcat77:

P. Bunyan, I agree with you wholeheartedly! Often what passes for liberalism is stuff like gender feminism or mindless opposition to any war under any circumstances.

This year's election, however is encouraging to me. Ned Lamont appealed to the fringe and won his primary but lost the general election. And I believe that the wider rejection of the Republican party was the same thing -- the leadership of the party no longer reflected the attitudes of the American people in general. The Democrats who won were almost always more moderate than their Republican opponents. I think that the American people are tired of extremists calling the shots in BOTH parties and would like to see a return to a time when politicians were beholden to their constituents, not special interests.

To kbiel: Did you ... (Below threshold)
kbiel:
To kbiel: Did you see the documentary on HBO about Barry Goldwater? One of his grandchildren (?) is gay and he had no problem with him at all.

That's a nonsensical response. Whether someone has a gay family member has nothing to do with whether constitutionally protecting each state from the other with regard to marriage is sensible or not. Those conservatives who are for the marriage amendment support it because it keeps the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court from imposing homosexual marriage upon the other 49 states vis-a-vis the full faith and credit clause. I don't support the amendment because it has not been necessary yet.

As to whether any state should or should not regulate marriage in the first place, that is another argument. You will be hard pressed to find a significant number of conservatives, past or present, who believe that each state should not impose some standard with regard to marriage.

As for marriage, I'm all for it -- I've been married to the same wonderful lady for over 20 years. Stable personal relationships are important to society and what's good for the straights is equally good for the gays. I've never heard an objective argument that forbidding a legal union of gay couples does them any good, or that it has any effect on straight marriage at all.

The argument from the conservative side has never been about whether or not state sanctioned marriage was good or not for homosexual couples or whether homosexual marriage affects any particular heterosexual couple's marriage. Their are two arguments that have come from the conservative side: 1) tradition/ancient institution and 2) marriage is really about children. I don't care for the tradition argument because it brings no facts or logic to the argument. As for the purpose of marriage, I very much believe that marriage is really about the state and/or church making sure that children are provided for. That is why we have common law marriage, if a heterosexual couple is living together, there is a real possibility of children either through choice or accident. And if marriage standards were not really about children then why does the state restrict brothers and sisters or mothers and sons or fathers and daughters from marrying? If it really just a contract between two people, then why can't it be between any two people?

You are right about "regulate" in my comment about sex. My bad, and substitute the word "influence." But this influence is coming out of our pocketbooks and is not a proper role for the federal government.

Most conservatives probably do agree with you. The problem is two fold: 1) we already had a sex eduation/propaganda program in place and conservatives decided that if we must have that program we could at least make it abstinence based and 2) we have a president who, while purporting to be a conservative, is closer to Nixon than Reagan in his view of the role of the federal government.

Regarding Ellison, no member of congress "swears on" any holy book. They simply take an oath. They may or may not choose to have a holy book in their other hand for the oath, but pictures of them with their hand on a Bible (or Koran or whatever...) is strictly a photo-op.

Completely correct. And there was nothing in the conservative ethos that would prevent a conservative or all conservatives to request (not require) that Ellison use a Bible.

Finally, and this is not directed to you specifically, but since you brought it up, I know that not all conservatives are alike, but not all liberals are alike either. I oppose persons of ANY politicians who would impose their beliefs on everyone, and I endorse those who promote liberty.

You're really starting to sound like a libertarian rather than a liberal (by either the classical or modern definition). The whole point of government is to impose beliefs upon the people. Otherwise you have anarchy. Now, if you want to argue whether a particular belief is beneficial to society and/or whether it should be imposed by the federal, state or local government, then we can talk.

I think there are benefits to a federally-operated, single-payer healthcare policy, and I think it deserves rational discussion.

It does deserve a rational discussion, but at what point do we look at what is happening in England and Canada and decide that their health care system is a disaster? For someone who is all about liberties, why do you want to force everyone to use your preferred method of health care financing instead of letting the free market rule?

Clearly what we have now is not working and just screaming "Socialism!" at any attempt to offer an alternative isn't getting us anywhere.

For every person you can find that 'just scream[s] "Socialism!"' when debating about a national, single payor health care system, I can find five who will debate you point for point with facts and figures. And it certainly is not clear that what we have is not working. I really don't see how people can say that when almost every important medical innovation in the last five decades was created by the U.S. health care industry. What isn't working is this crazy experiment with PPOs and twenty dollar co-payments that we started in the 1970s. The market is starting to correct that and one of the few things that Bush has done regarding health care, HSAs, is really helping.

>>: 1) tradition/ancient in... (Below threshold)
blackcat77:

>>: 1) tradition/ancient institution and 2) marriage is really about children

Slavery is an ancient institution as well but more rational thinking defeated blind obedience to tradition. And my own belief is that marriage is about the couple. Children are a blessing, but do not define marriage. Close relatives are forbidden to marry because of the increased chance of genetic problems, so there is an objective as well as a religious basis to this prohibition. As for "anybody" marrying, that would be up to the churches, not the state. As I said before, the state's responsibility is about inheritance and other contractual-type issues.

>>: 1) we already had a sex eduation/propaganda program

True enough. The whole idea of "safe sex" equalling a condom is a lie. It's SAFER sex, but it's not an excuse for promiscuity which is how many fuzzy-headed liberals treat it. We need to tell the kids that abstinence is best, but it's wrong to stop there with no mention of contraception and means to minimize the risk of disease.

>>You're really starting to sound like a libertarian rather than a liberal (by either the classical or modern definition

Philosophically, I'm a liberal. Pretty much across the board, my personal beliefs are left of center but I believe that the best way to promote them is by dialogue, not by mandate.

>>The whole point of government is to impose beliefs upon the people

Here we differ radically. The point of government is to ensure the rights of every citizen. The only time that it would "impose rules" would be when one person sought to deny the rights of others whether it would be to steal his property or to define a person's spirituality or lifestyle.

>>but at what point do we look at what is happening in England and Canada and decide that their health care system is a disaster?

At what point do we look at our own and recognize that it, too, is a disaster as more and more people find that healthcare is simply out of reach or that a medical emergency can ruin them financially for life? BTW, I've spoken with many people from Canada who are quite happy with the system there. I will not argue that it's perfect, but their's is one system we can look at -- for better *and* for worse -- in the effort to improve our own.

>>every important medical innovation in the last five decades was created by the U.S. health care industry

We have the best medical system that money can buy. But if you don't have the money, you don't have the care and to me, that's the problem. It's not accurate to say that all the bells and whistles which distinguish our medicine are readily available. For tens of millions of Americans, the best they can hope for is very basic treatment in the emergency room.


If someone proposed tort re... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

If someone proposed tort reform as a fix to the health care system, I would not "scream socialism", but if someone proposed the Hillarycare program of the early 90's I would (well I wouldn't "scream" it, but I'd say it) because that's what it was plain & simple.

Many, if not most or all, of the "solutions" the left tends to come up with are socialist and I don't see why simply pointing out socialism when we see it should be a conversation stopper. Instead why don't you try to explain why the modern American left can make socialism work given the fact that everytime it's been attempted on a national scale in the history of the human race it has cause far more harm than good.

No, I'm pretty much against all forms of socialism, EXCEPT if they wanted to socialize the legal system (i.e. all laywers become government employees and get paid the same hourly rate regardless of how much they win for their clients) I'd be behind that socialist idea 100%!

So far the Lefty guest blog... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

So far the Lefty guest blogger score is 0 for 2.

Sweet nothings yesterday and typical Liberal boilerplate today.

Nothing new or interesting.

"But if you don't have t... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"But if you don't have the money, you don't have the care and to me, that's the problem."

This is simply not true. No way no how. It's against the law for hospitals to not treat someone because they can't pay.

One of my clients (I'm a social worker of sorts) even got breast implants for free (because she simple never paid the bill) but that's an extreme example.

Sorry Black Cat, but from t... (Below threshold)
Adrienne:

Sorry Black Cat, but from the looks of the initial post, you have no principals just slogans...Never really compared you to AC or even thought of you as being AC...Now that you mention it though, you are more like him then you could ever imagine...Your too sensitive for your own good...If you can dish it out, then you should be able to take it...You're entire post was meant to insult conservatives...It's a sport for liberals...It doesn't work and even your responses to the responses are still boiler plate...would love to see what you have to say after you've spent some time (a) getting to know a few conservatives, (b) actually thinking through what it is you don't agree with us on and (c) engage in a common sense debate/conversation regarding these issues...Of course a bit of kindness and respect can get you quite far...

Happy New Year!

Black Cat,I should... (Below threshold)
Adrienne:

Black Cat,

I should also say that after you've flushed out some of your points and responded to other responses, I do think you are pretty reasonable and appreciate that you would even ventured over to Wizbang...So Hughs post was a little, let's say fungible, but I think we have to first stop talking past each other...Both of you deserve cudoos in that department...I pray that you won't retreat (and from the looks of things you won't) from us...

Again enjoy your New Year!

>>why don't you try to expl... (Below threshold)
blackcat77:

>>why don't you try to explain why the modern American left can make socialism work given the fact that everytime it's been attempted on a national scale in the history of the human race it has cause far more harm than good.

Socialism as a form of government will not work because it does not link reward to effort. That being said, I don't think that programs such as Social Security and a single-payer healthcare program would be defined as socialism. I see that term as more of a generic insult than a valid description.

>>This is simply not true. ... (Below threshold)
blackcat77:

>>This is simply not true. No way no how. It's against the law for hospitals to not treat someone because they can't pay.

But we ALL pay for their treatment. That's the source of the legendary "$50 aspirin." So in a very real sense, we already have subsidized healthcare in this country because those who CAN pay, pay not only for themselves but for others as well. Additionally, even though treatment is mandated, many hospitals have just closed their emergency rooms or find some loophole to decline patients who cannot pay. And the level of treatment at those who do still provide services is basic at best.

Adrienne: Thanks for takin... (Below threshold)
blackcat77:

Adrienne: Thanks for taking the time to read my responses. I admit that my original submission was written as a conversation-starter, and that's what places like Wizbang are all about. From the looks of the replies, it seems to have worked. :) A happy new year to you as well.

BC the governme... (Below threshold)

BC

the government's only involvement being to certify the legal "contract" created by the couple.
So, you have no problem with bond slavery, then?

>>So, you have no problem w... (Below threshold)
blackcat77:

>>So, you have no problem with bond slavery, then?

I don't really understand what that has to do with what I said. I don't cinsider marriage to be bondage, I just think that the government's role in marriage sould be to confirm inheritance, who makes choices for the person if he should be incapacitated and the like.

To SCSIwuzzy (I forgot to r... (Below threshold)
blackcat77:

To SCSIwuzzy (I forgot to respond earlier, sorry):
I don't think there should BE speech codes at universities or anywhere else. Anything that chills public input is detrimental to the political process and to society in general. The only people who fear discussion and dissent are those incapable of rational defense of their position.

And that was a very good point about civil unions being more than just a "secular marriage." A lot of people would benefit from legal recognition of the person they wanted to manage their affairs in case of death or emergency.

Every time a socialist soci... (Below threshold)
stan25:

Every time a socialist society has been tried, it has failed in one way or another. Latest example is the Soviet Union. It fell under the weight of it's massive buearcracy and mishandling of the populace ie the sending of millions of people to the gulags in Siberia. Other countries have tried socialism for awhile and they have reverted to the capitalistic system that was replaced by socialism.

Red China is very good example of this. They tried the hard line communist way under Mao and it was a total failure. The country was in deep poverty and getting in deeper. The communist facade is slowly crumbling and as each day passes, the free market economy is slowly replacing the old ways of communism and socialism. In a few years, China will replace Japan and South Korea as the economic powerhouse in the western Pacific Rim area

Every day there is a new failure, but the left in this country insists on trying it anyway, even when they know deep down in their hearts it is doomed to failure. Sure the capitalistic system has it's failures too, but the free market works and works well.

I don't think there shou... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

I don't think there should BE speech codes at universities or anywhere else. Anything that chills public input is detrimental to the political process and to society in general.

And yet you spent your shot at a WizBang post in a one-sided, myopic, ultrapartisan attack on the Republican Party. Here's a suggestion. . . use 99% of the energy you've used posting here to go back to the left-wing sites and Democrat boosters, and convince them to change.

Modern 'liberals' share lit... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Modern 'liberals' share little in common with classic Liberalism.

liberals are pro-choice... unless by choice you mean school vouchers.

liberals are pro-choice.. unless by choice you mean retirement planning (i.e. Social Security)

liberals are pro-choice.. unless by choice you mean the freedom for two people to engage in an employer-employee relationship (i.e. minimum wage).

liberals are pro-choice.. unless by choice you mean the choice to say something that's deemed 'offensive'.

liberals are pro-choice ?

Yes, there are facets of those in the Republican party (Republican doesn't necessitate conservative) that aren't Liberal, in the tradition meaning of the word. However, the modern liberal is more akin to the classic totalitarian than the classic liberal. I suggest you take a hard look at your camp before complaining about the other camp.

>> ultrapartisan attack on ... (Below threshold)
blackcat77:

>> ultrapartisan attack on the Republican Party

I never mentioned the Republican party. I was talking about people calling themselves conservatives who were not.

>>go back to the left-wing sites and Democrat boosters, and convince them to change.

I'm persona non grata on Democcratic Underground for doing exactly that. Their solution to defeat after defeat after defeat was to get more and more radical. I want the party to become populist. As for the boosters, the party will follow the money, and the more money which comes from individuals instead of special interests, the more closely the party will listen to the people.

blackcat, don't be disingen... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

blackcat, don't be disingenous, it's tired, played, and lowers your virtual worth as a debating partner. Every example you gave was of Republican grandstanding in office, while claiming that the opposition was better. It's been amply demonstrated in this thread alone that such is untrue. Those calling themselves "liberal" (while actually mostly ducking that title for meaningless blather like "progressive") aren't fighting for liberty any harder at all.

Notice the difference, though, between this "right-of-center" blog and the bastions of tolerance and understanding on the Left?

Now hopefully you'll have a better response than "but I didn't actually say Republican, did I? nudge-nudge, wink-wink, saynomore saynomore."

Nonetheless,I did not use t... (Below threshold)
blackcat77:

Nonetheless,I did not use the term "Republican." If it makes you feel any better, I would be just as adamantly opposed to any Democrat who put political expediency above his oath to defend the constitution, which many, many of them did for stuff like the flag amendment, the marriage amendment and all the rest. Either individual liberty has value or it does not -- that goes far beyond partisanship.

To everyone who has joined ... (Below threshold)
blackcat77:

To everyone who has joined in this thread: Thank you for your responses. And special thanks the the people running this forum who gave someone like me a soapbox. As John Irving said a couple notes above, that's not the sort of thing you'll find on too many radical leftwing forums and the open-mindedness of our hosts gives me hope for the future of the political process.

I plan to stick around and share my opinions on many subjects and I look forward to speaking with you all again.

OK, its liberal week and th... (Below threshold)
Robert the original:

OK, its liberal week and the first thing they do is tell us the're not liberals and Soros undoubtedly, has given the trolls the week off in honor of the occasion. Of course I began the investigation immediately.

After an in depth computer analysis, it can only be concluded that Hugh is going for Miss America.

And after being bitch-slapped today by a Goldwater groupie concerned with overspending and libertarian issues, my BS meter is glowing red.

blackcat77:<blockquo... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

blackcat77:

To jpm100: Rights aren't decided by plebiscite in this country, they're encoded in the constitution, and the founders wisely avoided all entanglements in this sort of thing.

And this has to do with marriage how?

Do a text search on the Constitution and no where does it say marriage. Marriage has never been an entitlement in any society ever until recent times and the consequences aren't in yet. It has always required public approval. Currently that's been reduced to what seems to be a few formalities, but the state has always reserved the right to deny marriage. For one, close relatives can't marry. For another does "speak now or forever hold your peace" ring a bell?

It's never been handled by a bureaucrat. It isn't just a matter of filing papers. Its conducted by Judge, Ship's Captains, Priests, Witch doctors, etc. These are people that are high ranking members of society and have obligations back to society. They are giving Society's "blessing" (approval) to this union.

You can't force approval. The minute it is forced without any standard, it becomes meaningless for all.

BCMy bond slavery ... (Below threshold)

BC

My bond slavery question was relevant because you just got through saying that the government has no rights to define contracts...just rubber stamp 'em.

So any contract between any two, three, four or more people has to be enforced, according to BlackCat's theory of Correct Liberalism.

Right?

So why couldn't someone sell themselves into slavery? I maan, as long as it's consensual.

It's not like it hasn't done before.

It's only with 40 years'... (Below threshold)
Paul Zrimsek:

It's only with 40 years' perspective that I realize the value of his belief in individual liberty.

What, laissez-faire economics and all?

There's been a lot of speculation lately about the possibility of a liberal-libertarian alliance, but I never dreamed it would come to pass by liberals turning into libertarians!

"I'd like to invite our ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"I'd like to invite our prominent lefty commenters - you know the ones who are so critical of the Wizbang writers all the time - to to submit blog posts for publication."

Who is Blackcat?
I don't recall him commenting much at Wizbang; though he is now suddenly all over every new Wizbang posting.


Did anyone here really expe... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Did anyone here really expect a 'liberal' to write anything intelligent?

moseby,It's usuall... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

moseby,

It's usually not a matter of intelligence, it's more a matter of closemindedness (which is not uncommon on the far right either).

If you form your opinions by focusing entirely on one side of the issue and totally discounting the other side you end up sounding like Lee, Hugh, & Barney no matter which side you are arguing.

Nice try Black Cat. ... (Below threshold)
tyree:

Nice try Black Cat.
Please stick around, we might all learn something.

In regards to health care: What was the Democrat slogan about welfare? "Fix it, don't end it? John Edwards made $20 million in 4 years suing doctors. Although he said he was only suing insurance companies, doctors were named in the suits. My father's malpractice insurance went up $20,000 in one year, in 1974, due to lawsuits. He wasn't sued, other doctors were. The best way, in my opinion, to fix our health care system system would be tort reform. Socialised medicine doesn't work a well as the capitalist system. Fidel Castro just had a doctor flown in from Spain with medical equipment not available in the people's paradise of Cuba, and Breshnev had a pacemaker manufactured in New Jersey.
In my area, the emergeny rooms are crammed with illegal immigrants, but both the Republicans and Democrats agree on sticking the citizens with that bill.

I don't care if Bill and Bo... (Below threshold)

I don't care if Bill and Bob want to get married. I don't care if someone says unpopular things or wants to insult another. I don't care what religion an elected official is as long as s/he abides unwaveringly by our Constitution. I don't care if someone wants to smoke pot. All as long as it doesn't affect the liberties of others. So, socially, I'm quite liberal.

What I do object to is the liberal agenda in America comes firmly attached to an economic-equality agenda by redistribution of wealth.

Even the socialist utopia Sweden has, bit by bit, abandoned its welfare state model over the last ten years or so, or a stagnant economy and bankruptcy was in the cards. There were cries of widespread abuse of the system which is standard in any government program due to bureacracy and on-size-fits-all programs. I've read that in the late nineties government employees (local and central) constituted about 37% of the work force there. Although, while central government employees have decreased, local government employment hasn't changed much, yet. [Cited here]

And I think I've said this before in regards to socialized/government healthcare: Hillary's (and also John Kerry's) healthcare plan would simply shift the burden of healthcare for the poor from the state to the federal level. Without question, this means raising federal taxes. Anyone who thinks once that burden becomes the federal government's that states will lower their taxes is delusional.

And last, I've talked to too many people from Europe who tell me that once they've lived here for a while they discovered that Americans who have more do mostly because they work damn hard for it (something many in Europe aren't willing to do) and have more liberty in choice through lower taxes and a freer enterprise system. What socialism has wrought is - Why should one work so hard when the government will give it to you for free?

Well said Oyster.A... (Below threshold)
epador:

Well said Oyster.

And the level and volume of comments on these Blue threads seems on a higher plane than when the typical "trolls" come out to play. Congratulations to this Wizbang effort. I say keep it up!

Catching up with the commen... (Below threshold)
blackcat77:

Catching up with the comments posted since last night:

To jpm100: I agree with you about marriage. Gay marriage -- and STRAIGHT marriage for that matter -- is an issue for churches to decide. I support the separation of marriage and state with the state's role being to affirm the LEGAL relationship between the people involved, not their spiritual status.

To Darleen: The problem is one of meaning of terms. If a person is a slave, he is property, and property can't own things. So the idea of selling yourself would be pointless because you'd forfeit the legal right of property ownership and self-determination. Seems to me that anybody who would consent to such a deal would be easily proven to be mentally incapable of entering into a contract.

To Paul Z: I'm not as enthusiastic about laissez-faire as I am about constitutional protections from intrusive government. The people have much more control over their government than they do over corporations and so big business can abuse people with unbridled power more easily than politicians who have to face the voters on a regular basis. I'm not saying we should hamstring business with excessive regulation -- and my wife and I operate a small business so I know about this far too well -- but there should be tripwires in place if consumers are being abused.

To Les: I was a lurker before. After I responded to the request for submissions, I started commenting in other threads as well.

To Tyree: Tort reform should be a component of healthcare reform. A lot of gynocologists are getting completely out of that branch of medicine because insurance rates are so high. But that is not the only reason that services are scarce and expensive.

If "not controlled by other... (Below threshold)
Paul Zrimsek:

If "not controlled by other people" implies "can abuse people" as automatically as you suggest, it would seem to follow that everyone should be controlled by others as much as possible. Believe it if you wish; just leave poor Barry out of it, OK?

BCthe idea of s... (Below threshold)

BC

the idea of selling yourself would be pointless because you'd forfeit the legal right of property ownership and self-determination.
Are you aware of how often your contradict yourself? You're whole same-sex marriage "argument" was that government has no right to determine which contracts are valid or which are not...and you are now outright saying that YOU can.

If someone CONSENTS to subordinate their labor/rights/determination to another via contract, who are you to say "no"?

Do you support landlord/tenant statutes? Again, another area of contract law in which legislatures have determined what is in the best interest of society at large.

MARRIAGE is no different. Marriage is not private, it is a public institution. Society is fully within its purview to determine who qualifies to make a contract under family law provisions.

This doesn't concurrently ban private relationships. No one breaks down the door and hauls off to jail co-habitating couples. Or co-habitating groups, for that matter.

BC: OB is one big problem,... (Below threshold)
epador:

BC: OB is one big problem, folks getting out of it due to malpractice woes, not gyn. Many family practitioners used to deliver babies. Now most do not. The only way to have a kid in our small town is through the hospital-supported and developed OB department because otherwise there would be no deliveries here. Using the economic forces malpractice insurance costs impose on our health care system is a backasswards way of reforming the system. Coupled with the hamstrung not really free market approach we currently have in health care, and the lack of a coherent systematic attempt at error reduction throughout the system, its amazing there's as much access to care as we have now.

jp2 couldn't be bothered to... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

jp2 couldn't be bothered to write an original piece, but rather went with an existing comment. While it has generated the most responses, many of those are between commenters, some of whom didn't show up on Black Cats' and Hugh's pieces. I rank the "liberal" pieces so far as #1 for Black Cat, #2 for jp2 and #3 for Hugh. Are there any more or is that it?

>>If "not controlled by oth... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

>>If "not controlled by other people" implies "can abuse people" as automatically as you suggest, it would seem to follow that everyone should be controlled by others as much as possible.

Regulated, not controlled. If you want to sell milk, that's great, just make sure it's really milk and not 50% milk and 50% water -- which is a real example from the turn of the 20th century which led to regulations on the dairy industry. Everything else would be the same -- deal honestly with your customers and no problems...

Darleen: Again, I'm not ta... (Below threshold)
blackcat77:

Darleen: Again, I'm not talking about marriage, I'm talking about the state recognizing a legal relationship between two people which MAY be a marriage-type relationship or it could be a couple of elderly people granting power-of-attorney to each other in case of an emergency.

As for marriage being a subjugation of rights, I'd really rather not go there. Suffice it to say that I consider it to be a fulfillment, not a subjugation.

So we prohibit force and fr... (Below threshold)
Paul Zrimsek:

So we prohibit force and fraud but otherwise allow capitalist acts between consenting adults? Sounds very Goldwater-like to me. Just not very left-liberal, that's all. (For example: in what respect is saying you'll pay someone $3.00 an hour to work for you and then paying him $3.00 an hour similar to offering milk and delivering half milk and half water?)

I'm libertarian-liberal. <... (Below threshold)
blackcat77:

I'm libertarian-liberal.

And again, I support *regulated* capitalism. You cannot defeat the profit motive or you'll destroy innovation and the value of hard work. But I don't want big business to hold all the cards and leave ordinary people no means to seek fair treatment.

BTW, that may have been a minimum-wage comment, and if it was, I definitely support a raise in the minimum wage. The economy is like a pyramid, and it will be no more solid than it's base. There has been a serious redistribution of wealth in this country over the last quarter century or so, all flowing uphill! The result is that most of the people in this country have actually LOST purchasing power which means they aren't buying stuff and keeping the economy growing. Giving a boost to the lowest wage earners will hopefully have a ripple effect all through the middle classes and it will be a big boost to the economy -- much more than you'd get from another few million in the accounts of a few chosen people or a few more points on the Dow Jones.

"Giving a boost to the lowe... (Below threshold)
pagar:

"Giving a boost to the lowest wage earners will hopefully have a ripple effect all through the middle classes and it will be a big boost to the economy"
Judging by the legal jobseekers who applied to
Swift after illegal immigrants were removed, I be
lieve that getting rid of illegal immigrants would have a much greater effect on improving all legal workers living standard and the economy of our nation.

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