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I Don't Know Where We're Going, But I Do Know Where We've Been

After I posted my rant yesterday about violence and threats of violence in politics, two of our more long-standing commenters -- James H and mantis -- expressed their displeasure with the piece in no uncertain terms. I happen to value both of them a great deal -- at several points in time, I have extended invitations to both to become regular authors here, and wouldn't mind in the least if they ever did -- so I answered them directly in the comments. With mantis, I took the extra step of initiating a direct e-mail exchange over the matter. (James, I was going to write you as well, but I got wrapped up in other crap. Sorry, old chum.)

For the record, that rant was not written sincerely. The tone was deliberately chosen to echo President Obama's speech to American bankers, where he told them that his administration "was the only thing standing between them and the pitchforks." I found that appalling, especially since there were actual protests with actual pitchforks and actual torches, going on, and my intent was to demonstrate how angered I was that the President of the United States was acting less like the Chief Executive and more like the Chief Community Organizer in using others' threats of violence to get his way, appealing as a "moderating voice" who can quell the raging mobs. (Supporting links were in the original article.)

I'm not going to summarize or quote the substance of the ensuing discussion, as it was not for public consumption (also, I'm certain, that mantis would say I am misconstruing him, and he'd probably be right), but I am going to take his last question to me and answer it publicly -- because I think it is something that is worthy of public discussion.

Where do you think things are headed, and why?

Again, the topic was violence and threats of violence in politics.

Like I said in the title, I'm not sure where it's going. But I do have an idea about where it's coming from.

We just emerged from eight years of the George W. Bush administration. And during that time, conservatives were called every name in the book and accused of every wrong and sin imaginable. We (and I'm loosely calling myself "conservative" here for the purposes of the argument) were election-stealing, war-mongering, lie-spreading, sexist, racist, bigoted, xenophobic, genocidal, homophobic, gun-obsessed, psychos who represented everything that was wrong with AmeriKKKa and needed to be defeated and suppressed.

Oh, and the Christians among us were labeled "the Religious Reich" and "The American Taliban," among other things.

It was almost all entirely bullshit, of course. But it took its toll.

And over the same time, almost every single act of violence that could in some way be found to have some kind of political overtones was laid at our feet. Mass shootings? Obviously the gun nuts enabled them. Guy with tax issues flies his plane into the IRS? Must be a teabagger. (Oh, don't get me started on THAT one.) Nut shoots people at the Pentagon or the Holocaust Museum? More gun nuts.

As I said, it takes its toll. And after a while, some on the fringe started saying to themselves stuff like "hell, if we're gonna get blamed for this shit, we might as well do it" or "let's give the assholes something to really whine about" or "if they're gonna get their panties in a bunch over this, let's see them completely lose their shit when we start acting like they say we do."

No, I'm not condoning it. On the contrary -- I think it's wrong on both a moral level and a pragmatic one. These fringers need to be identified and discouraged from acting out -- and when they do, they need to pay the price for their crimes and misdeeds.

But I think I understand it, a little.

Here is the problem with demonizing your opponents: you run the risk of creating a self-fulfilling prophesy. If you repeatedly assert that the vast majority of your opposition are horrific monsters and the worst sorts of people on earth, you just might motivate some of them to show you just how wrong you were -- that when you said they were the worst imaginable, you weren't imagining enough.

It's why I've personally shown restraint in my rhetoric against the Democrats who hold power. Yeah, they're terribly wrong and doing horrid things to the country, but they aren't the worst imaginable. I've seen what really, really determined leftists can do to a country (we're getting a wonderful demonstration in Venezuela right now), and compared to them, Obama, Reid, and Pelosi are frigging pikers.

I also give them credit for sincerity. Yeah, they're totally fucking up the country and causing messes that could take decades to fix (if ever), but they're doing it with the best of intentions and little malice.

Years ago, I read an observation that really struck me as true: "Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil."

The vast majority of liberals aren't stupid. Woefully misguided and flat-out wrong on most things, but not stupid.

And the vast majority of conservatives aren't evil.

The more you unfairly paint with that broad brush, the more you're inviting people to take that broad brush away from you and shove it right up your ass.

Both sides need to tone it down, but especially the Left. For one, they currently hold the reins of power -- and coupled with that power is the need to wield it prudently and wisely. When you're in the minority, you can be a bit more of a bomb-thrower (rhetorically speaking). But it's incumbent on those in power to act more responsibly.

For another, the side they're calling evil is, as a general rule, far better armed and better trained in violence.

I believe the left is wrong in their characterizations of the right. For their sake, they better pray they're wrong, too.

Either way, I'd rather it not be put to the test.


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Comments (45)

"...but they're doing it wi... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"...but they're doing it with the best of intentions and little malice. "

Best of intentions? I'd like to see some stats behind that.
I think Occam's Razor suggests that it's just the 'easiest way to personal power', not best of intentions.

Whatev. It doesn't really matter, because the Left still controls the debate. When little is said to condemn attacks on Conservatives, but they whine like stuck pigs when just a portion is used back at them (allegedly); we have a problem.
We still have to claw the narrative back from the Left.

The left has no reason to t... (Below threshold)
jim m:

The left has no reason to tone it down. Because, as you point out , they hold the reins of power they can use that power to control or restrain opposition. They have the opportunity to abuse that power to consolidate it unto themselves exclusively. They believe that they have the right to do so. They are already starting to do so. The protests against Obamacare are a reaction to that and the reaction of the left to those protests is one tht suggests that they feel they need to do more to suppress the masses and control what people can say and think.

Speaking of being in power:... (Below threshold)
mag:

Speaking of being in power:
I have often wonder how counries became dictorships and communistic. Now, I can see how some people are so willing to give up their freedom for a little security be it a job, housing, healthcare. And how it starts slowly and slowly creeping up to you until it is too big to kill.
And how the elite won them over with telling them everything is a right. I have the rights God gave me and the right for government and everyone else to leave me alone, the rest is up to me.

"I have often wonder how... (Below threshold)
914:

"I have often wonder how counries became dictorships and communistic."

Wonder no more. Barry's path supercede's the founders vision. Disarmament and the dumbing down continue unabated.

I believe that all the viol... (Below threshold)

I believe that all the violence and threats of same are emanating from the Left because it is in their best interests to keep things roiled up. And let's face it, Republicans are too polite to even call the Liar in Chief a Liar in Chief to his face! When we held the majority in Congress, we consistently and regularly allowed the Democratic minority to push us around!

It's time for Republicans and people on the right to grow a pair and start standing up for themselves.

If the Left persists in trying to foment violence, they may be sorry they tried. Average Americans can only take so much nonsense and then they will put their foot down - firmly on the neck of some rabble rousing clown from Chicago!

I believe that all... (Below threshold)
James H:
I believe that all the violence and threats of same are emanating from the Left because it is in their best interests to keep things roiled up.

You credit the "Left" with far too much organization.

"...but they're doing it wi... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"...but they're doing it with the best of intentions and little malice. "

I notice that Les keyed in on the same thing I did. Can STUPIDITY be considered MALICE? 1/6 of the US economy was just altered on a party-line vote. Some nimrod in the local rag stated "the PEOPLE have spoken". No, the PEOPLE didn't speak. THE PARTY spoke. THE PEOPLE will speak this November. Those desiring CHANGE don't realize how much CHANGE they are going to get very shortly. In higher taxes, less access to health care, chronic high unemployment.

We (and I'm loosel... (Below threshold)
James H:
We (and I'm loosely calling myself "conservative" here for the purposes of the argument) were election-stealing, war-mongering, lie-spreading, sexist, racist, bigoted, xenophobic, genocidal, homophobic, gun-obsessed, psychos who represented everything that was wrong with AmeriKKKa and needed to be defeated and suppressed.

You're not?

I joke, Jay Tea. I joke. Conservatives in general are not a threat to America. But the jury's still out about you. But enough with the cheap humor at your expense, Jay Tea.

Considering this post is partly a directly dialogue with Mantis and me, let me put forward two or three things to chew over and perhaps spur some discussion here

1) Your post reminded me a little bit of Malcom X's "The Ballot or the Bullet" speech. The tone -- the idea that there are reasonable actions and unreasonable actions that might be taken ... and the unreasonable remains hanging on a hook somewhere in case it's needed -- seemed similar to me. I'm not saying this is good or bad. I'm just saying it.

2) Speaking of application of force, in The Nation in 2008, Barabara Ehrenreich reported that some people had turned to suicide to escape mounting debts. As part of her article, she noted that in the Depression, peopled tended to band together (with force!) to help prevent evictions and foreclosures. Today, there is not as much of this. Indeed, much of the political and personal power seems to lie with the banks and landlords. Not calling this good or bad. Just remarking on it.

3) I am intensely worried about the level of political passion in this country. On the right, talkers like Glenn Beck are stirring up political passions to a near boil. On the left, Keith Oblerman et. al. aren't helping anything. Tensions between the two parties are rising, and neither is tolerant of the other side. Indeed, each assumes the other side is actively malevolent. I worry this rising political passion will translate into violence and may end with assaults or even attempted assassination.

Unlikely? You'd think so, but I'm not so sure. But in the last year, we've seen abortion doctors murdered. We've seen anti-globalization protesters inflict severe damage on property. And we've seen fringe rhetoric suddenly become acceptable in polite company.

I sometimes think we won't come to our collective senses until somebody is beaten with a cane on the Senate floor. Who knows? It happened once already.

"The more you unfairly pain... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

"The more you unfairly paint with that broad brush, the more you're inviting people to take that broad brush away from you and shove it right up your ass."

At the moment it looks like Obama's minions have switched to even larger brushes. I don't see any indication of that side reducing their pressure any time soon. To me it's just more of Obama's "I won" style of bipartisanship: You make the concessions, we're bipartisan. This is a pretty standard approach for community organizers. Obama's mid-east foreign policy is predicated on the same model with Israel as his focus.

Here's a good analysis of what this means as to how more than 50% of our populace is now being treated by the Obama serrogates. I'm not out humping for RiehlWorld, it's just the author deserves the credit for his own thoughts, and I didn't think of this.
http://www.riehlworldview.com/carnivorous_conservative/2010/03/obamas-current-media-strategy.html

"I sometimes think we wo... (Below threshold)
914:

"I sometimes think we won't come to our collective senses until somebody is beaten with a cane on the Senate floor. Who knows? It happened once already."


Can we start with dingy Harry?

Can we start with ... (Below threshold)
James H:
Can we start with dingy Harry

I hope you don't seriously mean that, 914.

It was a joke James... ... (Below threshold)
914:

It was a joke James...

Give them credit for sincer... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Give them credit for sincerity, Jay Tea?

I guess you've got to give that Pol Pot a little credit too. At least he was honest about things. And Hitler was awful, but he honestly believed that the Jooz were the dung of civilization. And the 9/11 nutjobs were only acting on their deeply held religious faith, one of our most basic freedoms.

I don't think so. Obama and the lefties in our legislature may have the light of the Socialist Jesus in their eyes, but what they're doing to our country is flat out wrongheaded and will destroy our economy. It doesn't matter to me if they honestly believe what they're doing is best for the country. The worst tyrannies in history come from sincerely held good intentions.

No free passes from me, and I think a lot of other people feel the same way. It's time we started cleaning up the mess. If we allow this crap to go unchallenged, all we're going to get is more of the same and a bigger mess to clean up come next December.

As Ronald Reagan said, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."


If the Dems are gonna ram t... (Below threshold)
Trump:

If the Dems are gonna ram through Cap and Trade and Amnesty, I can tell you exactly where we're going.

And they'll deserve it.

It was a joke Jame... (Below threshold)
James H:
It was a joke James...

After some of the crap of the last couple years, 914, I'm not always sure anymore.

Big thumbs up bobdog. There... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Big thumbs up bobdog. There's a very long list of awful things that have been inflicted on people over the mellenia, where the people who did the inflicting later tried to justify themselves by saying, "I only did what was necessary." There still are and always will be issue of right and wrong, it's not all varying shades of gray.

"I also give them credit fo... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

"I also give them credit for sincerity. Yeah, they're totally fucking up the country and causing messes that could take decades to fix (if ever), but they're doing it with the best of intentions and little malice"

I wish I'd known this when I heard the President taunting Republicans in his speech yesterday.

"I wish I'd known this when... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"I wish I'd known this when I heard the President taunting Republicans in his speech yesterday."

Despite the warm adulation thrown upon Barry by the MSM, he's never been anything more than a petty political hack. No matter how much they might HOPE, Barry is never going to CHANGE.

james H ..."... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

james H ...

"But in the last year, we've seen abortion doctors murdered. We've seen anti-globalization protesters inflict severe damage on property. And we've seen fringe rhetoric suddenly become acceptable in polite company."

last year we sadly had a single abortion doctor murdered.
anti-globalization protestors have inflicted severe damage every year for over a decade ...

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/G20/article5947158.ece

so when GWB was President a movie was made about assasinating him which won awards and at least one book about the same was published. Every anti-war rally had violent images and threats against GWB and was show on the evening news ...

And THAT was not fringe rhetoric becoming acceptable in polite company ? now its suddenly happening ? (I am curious what "polite company" you hang out with that finds threats acceptable ?)

when you try and paint a moral equivalence maybe you should keep your thumb off the scale ...

you show willful ignorance all too often sir and for that you deserve nothing less than the scorn that is heaped on you ...

Ahem, Jeff, please reread:<... (Below threshold)
James H:

Ahem, Jeff, please reread:

Tensions between the two parties are rising, and neither is tolerant of the other side. Indeed, each assumes the other side is actively malevolent. I worry this rising political passion will translate into violence and may end with assaults or even attempted assassination.

I limited my specific recitations of incidents to the last year simply for convenience's sake, Jeff. You will also notice that much of the remnant of my comment above was agnostic on the question of whether the right or the left is "worse."

As for this:

when you try and paint a moral equivalence maybe you should keep your thumb off the scale ...

you show willful ignorance all too often sir and for that you deserve nothing less than the scorn that is heaped on you ...

I would thank you very much, "sir," to refrain from such gross generalizations. To put it bluntly, you know of my leanings only from my rather infrequent postings here on Wizbang in the past year or two.

Previous to that and, indeed, previous to this administration, I held the various left-wing protesters in very low regard. Indeed, they are part of the problem I cited above regarding each side's attitude toward the other.

James H: "..in the Depressi... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

James H: "..in the Depression, peopled tended to band together (with force!) to help prevent evictions and foreclosures. Today, there is not as much of this. Indeed, much of the political and personal power seems to lie with the banks and landlords."

Too funny. Actually, today more and more of the power is with gov't. (which means, 'with REAL force!').:

"Obama readies steps to fight foreclosures, particularly for unemployed

By Renae Merle and Dina ElBoghdady
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 26, 2010

The Obama administration plans to overhaul how it is tackling the foreclosure crisis, in part by requiring lenders to temporarily slash or eliminate monthly mortgage payments for many borrowers who are unemployed, senior officials said Thursday...."

Why bother to band together, or do it yourself, when .gov will do it for you...

Les:I don't necess... (Below threshold)
James H:

Les:

I don't necessarily find the Depression model desirable. Neighbors getting together and pointing threatening the landlord with rifles doesn't quite seem like a good idea ...

(And, no, I do not exaggerate, assuming the Ehrenreich article is accurate).

[cue David, Chris, Jerry an... (Below threshold)
Rich Fader:

[cue David, Chris, Jerry and Tina]

"We're on the road to nowhere..."

James H., I will agree with... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

James H., I will agree with one of your assertions. I do believe it is too late to calm the storm. The tempest of hate has been growing so much and now we have the president actually stoking the fuel as with his mocking and teasing of the opposition. He could have rose above it by saying as GW Bush would have, "They have their opinion but it is not mine", etc., but he chose mockery. Very poor choice. In all sectors of civilized society we are taught to be a gracious winner and/or loser.

You have a press secretary (Gibbs) actually tell reporters "I'll say this like I would to my two year old". What is the point of that? To diminish and redicule. So, the left can save their "We should all join together and work together, blah,blah,blah" for thier own constituencies. Obama and his team have no intensions of working together with anyone and as with this last vote, they could care less what the citizens have to say.

America at one time had this happen before and the citizens rose up to take control. It was called the American Revolution and Obama is acting like King George. ww

You have a press s... (Below threshold)
James H:
You have a press secretary (Gibbs) actually tell reporters "I'll say this like I would to my two year old". What is the point of that

(Cue joke about the average reporter's intelligence)

James:"I sometimes think we... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

James:"I sometimes think we won't come to our collective senses until somebody is beaten with a cane on the Senate floor. Who knows? It happened once already."

I think you left out part of the sequence- Senatorial cane beating, then civil war, THEN a return to our collective senses.

Senatorial cane beating:</p... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Senatorial cane beating:

The FUNNY part was that the person beating Senator Sumner WAS NOT the person that Sumner had insulted, but rather a relative of his. However, he was punished. $300 fine and expelled from the House of Representatives. And promptly re-elected and sent back.

If anyone is looking for 'leadership' from those Chicago political hacks currently in the White House, they'd better get used to the term DISAPPOINTMENT.

There was a time in this co... (Below threshold)
Burt:

There was a time in this country when the vice president took the Secretary of Treasury out and shot him. Now picture that with Joe & Timmy.
Done laughing yet?

Senatorial cane beating:... (Below threshold)
914:

Senatorial cane beating:


Well if a cane beatin isn't in the offing? How about a good ole' fashioned lynching of thier likenesses in effigy? Seems to be a proper show of defiance in the mid-east and on the left here!

That should rile the natives... Again James H Im not advocating.. It would take more effort then these dumbasses are worth.

Ha ha ha ha ha, have a nice day!


Heck, the dems used to like... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Heck, the dems used to like lynching. They filibustered the anti-lynching laws and successfully kept the Dyer bill from passing the Senate.

But then like all good dems the ones that did that were only elected because they disenfranchised the voters.

Maybe Sen Byrd can help us?

First up, anyone who's auto... (Below threshold)

First up, anyone who's automatically downscoring James H oughta knock it off. You're irritating me. (I have no idea how to find out who it is, and wouldn't do anything more than say "hey, stop being a jerk even if I could, but come on, folks.)

What he's said here is utterly reasonable and pretty much as value-neutral as one can get, ideologically speaking. He isn't making a partisan case, simply laying out observations -- and dang it, he's right.

I'm toying with a theory right now that I might develop into a full-blown posting. It's in the same vein as the "liberals think conservatives are evil; conservatives think liberals are stupid" notion.

Liberals tend to be passionate; conservatives tend to be efficient.

Look at the extremes. There have been a lot more liberal domestic terrorists than conservatives, but the conservatives get the most attention because they got shit done.

Let's personalize it. There were a quite a few Weather Underground nuts, such as Obama's mentors William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, but they didn't really achieve a hell of a lot. On the other hand, Oklahoma City was pretty much the actions of two guys, and Eric Rudolph was a essentially a lone nut.

In brief, the left's wackos are more likely to go apeshit, and in bigger numbers, but it's the right's wackos that get shit done.

I don't see the benefit in having leaders speak out against this. The nuts aren't going to suddenly come to their senses because someone prominent is saying bad things about them. In fact, I suspect it might egg them on -- a lot of their motivation is attention, and even condemnation is attention.

I heard Karl Rove talk about this, as the subject of a lot of threats. He said that he always thought the best thing to do was to simply ignore most of it, but when it gets extreme, give it to the authorities to handle -- NOT to hold press conferences about it. Doing that not only gives the assholes attention, but runs the risk of inspiring copycats.

I'll probably end up lifting a bunch of the above for a full article, but that's my thoughts at this point.

J.

JT, I think what irks the h... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

JT, I think what irks the hell out of people is that liberals LOVE to trot out the threats. Just as the MSM LOVES to show 'em off. Yet a BLACK guy gets beaten by UNION THUGS and the response is ..........crickets chirping.......

Re: 31Darwin will ... (Below threshold)
epador:

Re: 31

Darwin will triumph eventually, but at what cost of collateral damage?

The tensions I believe ar... (Below threshold)
MF:

The tensions I believe are more induced by the propaganda the mainstream news and this administration wants to force feed the public.
But they have underestimated the public. The public majority (no matter what party choice) are against 'this' health care policy and they didnt follow to the will of the people. United we stand to make a better tomorrow by 1) lawsuits to reverse the wasteful spending and 2) voting out (firing the employees that were voted in that are not working in the best interest of the US citizens.

Garand, I don't answer for ... (Below threshold)

Garand, I don't answer for all conservatives. Nor do you. Don't put the same burden on mantis or James.

J.

Jay The difference... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Jay

The difference between the right and left is that Eric Rudolph was never an icon or celebrated in any way by the right.

On the other hand, Ayers and his friends were very much celebrated by the left and hey have gone on to become mainstream in the leftist movement and today are core to Obama's career.

The right gets rid of its radical fringe. The left supports it, praises it, and elevates it to positions of authority.

The right holds its radicals in disrepute. The left holds its radicals up as role models.

This is not a measure of degree. It isn't that leftists are sloppy and rightists have their personal lives organized. This is a reflection of the core culture of the movements. The left admires the thug, who is willing to ignore the law and social conventions and do whatever it takes to impose his view of how the world should work on everyone else.

The left admires Ayers and Dohrn. It idolizes psychopathic killers like Che. Leftist celebrities line up to lick the boots of thugs like Castro and Chavez.

Don't get drawn into some psuedo-intellectual conversation of how different leftists are from the rightwing extremists. You are playing their game. They want to define the right as being exemplified by their extremists. The right does not want to be identified by the extreme.

On the other hand the left really does want to identify itself with its extremes. It glories in the violence of Che. It revels in the dictatorship of Chavez, Morales, and Ortega. It fawns over murderers like Arafat and his successors.

Go ahead and write you piece on how the left and right are two sides of the same coin. You are only playing their game.

Jay,I have the utm... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Jay,

I have the utmost respect for you, so I'll try to say this as lightly as possible.

The time for anyone on the left to call for dialing down the rhetoric expired the day Obama took office after 8 years of utterly vile, incendiary rhetoric/images/books/movies from the left.

It's like the long time school yard bully whining to the teacher when someone finally had enough of his crap and popped him in the mouth.

At this point, here's how the situation looks to me:
Obama = King George III
Congress = Parliament
ObamaCare = The Stamp Tax of 1765

The question is, will the Sons of Liberty arise again?

For the record, I did not 'automatically downscore' James H.

James H.,
You claim to have held left-wing protesters in low regard during the Bush administration, and, yet, it is NOW that you are calling for a cooling of rhetoric on both sides? Show me where you were calling for the left to chill out PRIOR to Obama, or PISS OFF.

Every time the right side of the aisle gets heated, it never fails that someone on the left calls for 'everyone to just calm down', but I never hear those same voices calling for calm when it's the left all in a tizzy. Where were the Dem Pols calling for calm when Palin was being viciously trashed in the fall of '08? I've lost all patience for that crap. Demonstrate that you called for both sides to calm down before Obama was president of STFU about toning down the rhetoric.

-syb

I've gotten downscores I di... (Below threshold)

I've gotten downscores I didn't think I deserved, but when someone clicks that little button they're just registering an opinion, without the burden of articulating it. While I like having that option it would be a mistake to place too high a value on it.

Even an articulated opinion is still just "two cents' worth."

"He isn't making a partisan... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"He isn't making a partisan case, simply laying out observations -- and dang it, he's right."

Right about what, specifically?

Sheikh:Old blog, l... (Below threshold)
James H:

Sheikh:

Old blog, long dead and buried now. If you choose not to believe it, fine. I'm not accountable to you.

JayYou might want to... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Jay
You might want to explore in your future posting: So, what exactly IS your line in the sand, where you say 'Time to water the Tree of Liberty'?
Not HCR, what about full-blown single payer Socialized Med? Would that do it? ('Cause Obama et al, have said that is what they're working toward.)
If they took over your 401k or IRA or retirement fund, would that make you revolt? ('Cause they have been sending up trial baloons on that)
If they tried to ban or register guns ('Cause many of them have said that is exactly what they want)

At what point do we hit the Reset button?

I suppose there may be lines in the sand for Lefties too....but I really can't think of any.
Force everyone to worship baby Jesus and ban all other religions? (Yeah right, like that would ever happen. Half the Conservatives would join the Lefties in revolution.)

Total ban on abortion? That's about the only thing I can think of. And I don't think that'd be universally popular within the Repubs/Cons.


Is there ANYTHING worth revolting over, or is life so dear that you wouldn't risk it?
Was the American Revolution worth it, or should we have compromised and remained Subjects of the Crown and not Free Men?

I also give them credit ... (Below threshold)
Mike G in Corvallis:

I also give them credit for sincerity. Yeah, they're totally fucking up the country and causing messes that could take decades to fix (if ever), but they're doing it with the best of intentions and little malice.

Jay, I'd like to propose a little gedankenexperiment here ...

Suppose, for the sake of supposition, that the current administration included a substantial number of individuals who:

* despise the current political and economic system in the United States, and want to replace it with a command economy and a one-party system controlled by the Best and the Brightest and the Most Worthy (i.e., themselves), and

* want to accomplish as much as they can toward this end while they can, and therefore want to stay in office as long as possible without being removed from power by elections or other means ...

If this were so, then what would they be doing differently from what they're doing now?

The only way I vote negati... (Below threshold)
914:

The only way I vote negative on here is if someone posts something totally destructive to the country like "Obama wins in 2012" or something? Beyond that if it says steve G at the bottom I almost reflexively vote neg.

negs for James H... Not I

914:Obama will not... (Below threshold)
James H:

914:

Obama will not win in 2012. I'm betting on Dennis Kucinich.

Most accurate statement of ... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

Most accurate statement of current situation in America........

"Liberals tend to be passionate; conservatives tend to be efficient."


Now if either side becomes BOTH passionate & efficient, then there will be SOMETHING to WORRY about.

hmmmm...Is the left becoming more efficient, or is the right becoming more passionate?

The answer seems pretty clear to me......




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