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All To The Good - An Attempt At Constructive Debate

As promised, I am opening the forum to the room for everyone interested, to defend the good works and ideals of your political party. This is, I stress, not a place for attacking someone else or their claims. Indeed, the only "score" which will be kept here, is a tally of strikes against those who post negative, insulting, or offensive comments.

Since you have had a day to prepare, please make clear, succinct statements about what your political party has done in the last 40 years - the equivalent of a generation - which has added to America's store of worth and ideals. If you are vague or fail to support your case with evidence, readers may ask you for clarification or support. However, attempts to directly challenge assertions or impugn motives will be charged as negative attacks for this thread.

Having seen the difficulty in getting people to respect opposing opinions, I will herewith repeat the categories of strikes:

STRIKES - As we have unfortunately seen even in this initial thread, some people are unwilling to comply with simple standards of courtesy. Therefore, even though this debate is not a competition, a record will be kept of untoward behavior. Whenever someone posts a comment which engages in negative behavior, such as attacking the other side's claim, making insults, or impersonating another person, the offending passage will be removed and a STRIKE assigned with the following values:

1 STRIKE - Attempting to derail the thread, challenging a claim made by another party, or insulting a leader from another party

2 STRIKES - Personal insults of any kind, any profanity

3 STRIKES - Impersonating another person (I can check IP addresses) for the purpose of trying to make them look like they are breaking the rules

This does not apply to any other thread, or to any other situation. I am using it here as a tool to show a group's ability or lack thereof to address the topic with decorum. Any complaints about the rules in place for this debate will be deleted. You are not required to participate, but if you do the rules apply to everyone.

The objective here is to advance knowledge and try to demonstrate the virtue of the Blogosphere for constructive debate. It's up to you whether this test fails or succeeds. And if possible, to enjoy the exchange and the civility.

Comments (30)

Dating from roughly 1980, R... (Below threshold)
Robert the original:

Dating from roughly 1980, Republican influence changed FED methods and targets from the old, discredited, Keynesian Phillips curve trade-off of unemployment/inflation, to managing the money supply and interest rates for stable growth.

Since that time the US economy has perfomed very well and we have enjoyed the two longest expansion periods in our history (working on a third) separated by two fairly shallow recessions.

I've chosen to comment on R... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

I've chosen to comment on Republican party, focusing on one aspect that is near and dear to my heart; so much so in fact that I've devoted most of my professional life to it. What I am referring to is the plight of the poor and needy in America today.

I heard a saying a long time ago. I'm not sure who coined it, but it is one of those simple truths that you can't help but recognize. That saying was: "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime."

I think of the two major political parties in America the Republicans best exemplify the truth of this idea and it is at the core of much Republican legislation that affects the poor and needy. (It is also at the core of Republican opposition to legislation proposed by the other party.) Examples of this include, but are not limited to: school vouchers, renaissance zones, no child left behind, welfare reform (from AFDC to TANF), and of course tax cuts. But beyond the specifics, I think it's really the mindset that I appreciate more than anything else. In any given situation, I believe the Republicans will look for solutions that teach people to fish, rather than giving people fish. And that mindset doesn't apply just to the poor and needy.

I also very much appreciate the accountability and results-driven approach that the Republicans demand in their programs. As George Bush has said, ""It is compassionate to actively help our citizens in need. It is conservative to insist on accountability and results." I have very much personal experience working with both left-minded and right-minded people in this field and have no doubt that the right-minded will ultimately solve the problems that are the root causes of the plight of our poor and needy citizens.

Maybe the Republicans haven't always done the greatest things possible with regard to the government's ability to affect the poor and needy, but they have done far better than their opposition.

Since 1980, conservatives h... (Below threshold)

Since 1980, conservatives have pushed through reduction in tax rates across the board, which have directly led to a surge in tax receipts, the expansion of the economy, higher wages, lower rates and lower inflation.

Supply Tax Cuts and the Truth About
the Reagan Economic Record

by William A. Niskanen and Stephen Moore

William A. Niskanen is chairman and Stephen Moore is director of fiscal policy studies at the Cato Institute.

Executive Summary

Bob Dole's proposal for a 15 percent income tax cut has reignited the long-standing debate about the economic impact of Reaganomics in the 1980s. This study assesses the Reagan supply-side policies by comparing the nation's economic performance in the Reagan years (1981-89) with its performance in the immediately preceding Ford-Carter years (1974-81) and in the Bush-Clinton years that followed (1989-95).

On 8 of the 10 key economic variables examined, the American economy performed better during the Reagan years than during the pre- and post-Reagan years.

* Real economic growth averaged 3.2 percent during the Reagan years versus 2.8 percent during the Ford-Carter years and 2.1 percent during the Bush-Clinton years.
* Real median family income grew by $4,000 during the Reagan period after experiencing no growth in the pre-Reagan years; it experienced a loss of almost $1,500 in the post-Reagan years.
* Interest rates, inflation, and unemployment fell faster under Reagan than they did immediately before or after his presidency.
* The only economic variable that was worse in the Reagan period than in both the pre- and post-Reagan years was the savings rate, which fell rapidly in the 1980s. The productivity rate was higher in the pre-Reagan years but much lower in the post-Reagan years.

For more...


And more...Tax cut... (Below threshold)

And more...

Tax cuts do not create federal deficits; greater government spending does. That is the message tax-cut supporters must hammer home, according to political analysts and economists. Otherwise this truth will be drowned out in the media in a deluge of confusion.

Politicians are expected to repeat the mantra, "Reagan tax cuts were responsible for declining revenues and soaring deficits in the 1980s," but no such thing occurred, according to budget analysts.

* Receipts from individual income taxes rose to $446 billion in fiscal 1989 -- President Reagan's last budget -- from $286 billion in fiscal 1981, the year Reagan began to slash personal tax rates -- a 56 percent increase.

* Annualized, tax receipts grew faster than that period's 4 percent inflation.

* During the same period, federal spending rose from $678 billion to $1.143 trillion -- a 69 percent increase.

From 1981 to 1983, personal income tax receipts rose 1 percent -- while spending surged 19 percent. This was during a bad recession. After the recession, the Reagan tax cuts worked and revenues soared.

* From 1984 to 1989, growth in personal tax receipts outstripped growth in spending, 50 percent to 34 percent.

* And the deficit fell from 5 percent of gross domestic product to 2.9 percent.

* After 1989, the deficit ballooned again as revenues dried up following an increase in tax rates.

* From 1989 to 1993, personal tax receipts rose just 14 percent, while spending rose 23 percent

Okay, I'll jump in for the ... (Below threshold)

Okay, I'll jump in for the Democrats (even though they are not "my party").

In my opinion, the Camp David Accords were a significant and lasting contribution by Democratic President Jimmy Carter. The accords settled one of the major components of the Middle East Peace mess. Even today, Israel and Egypt are still on good terms (at least by Middle East standards).

Here's my contributi... (Below threshold)

Here's my contribution for the Democrats: The Deficit Reduction Act of 1993.

It was passed by both the House and Senate without a single Republican vote. It was the principal piece of legislation to adress fiscal responsibility and led to the end of perennial budget deficits under Bill Clinton.

[ ONE POINT STRIKE AGAIN... (Below threshold)


Democrats have also been, i... (Below threshold)

Democrats have also been, if one is to use the example of liberal supreme court justices, responsible for protecting our freedoms. Lemon v Kurtzman (a rather obscure case to be sure) has huge import today, for it will insure that sharia law will never become the law of the land, nor any other religious observation

Miller v California also allows us to have bewbies on the internet.

Also the Individuals with Disabilities Act was a remarkable bit of legislation that has been tsisted into a pretzel of its original intent

Contract With America. Nuf... (Below threshold)

Contract With America. Nuff said.

This is a rather daunting t... (Below threshold)

This is a rather daunting task, DJ, because by your proscription of only the past 40 years, you have chosen a period of time with nearly twice the number of years of Republican ascension.

Democrat - the Mariel boatl... (Below threshold)

Democrat - the Mariel boatlift allowed me to meet some members of my wife's family, finally, who were trapped in Cuba until then. (okay, that is personal)

Republican - Amnesty of 1987 allowed those members to become citizens

[ THREE-POINT STRIKE aga... (Below threshold)

[ THREE-POINT STRIKE against Craig for a deliberate attempt to impersonate a target. Any further comments by Craig or from his IP will be deleted w/o comment ]

* Following consideration of Craig's rather craven attempt to derail this discussion, I have decided to apply Strike Points to the individual, rather than to their party. There is no evidence that Craig represents Independents, only that he is personally attempting to disrupt the thread. - DJD

REMINDER TO THE ROOM, this thread has a Zero Tolerance policy for negative tactics of ANY kind. And no, this decision is NOT open to debate.

Nixon's China policy-... (Below threshold)

Nixon's China policy-

It destabilized the Sino-Russian Alliance.

Reagan's diplomacy and negotiations with the USSR

SDI ----> BMD

Reagan's economy and management of the arm's race is what led to the USSR's economic "defeat".

The Berlin Wall coming down was also a result.

The Goldwater-Nickles Act.

How I came to be an avid GO... (Below threshold)

How I came to be an avid GOP fan late in life is the approach I've chosen to speak of the positive accomplishments of the Republican Party.

Over the course of my nearly six decades, I have driven across this country coast-to-coast, and been to 43 of our 50 states. My passion for America and Americans knows no bounds, and I am continually amazed and in awe of most American's capacity for generosity, compassion, and reaching out to help those in need or who are oppressed or under attack from evil and/or destructive forces. Both of my parents were WWII veterans, my mother having served in the Army motor pool, and my father having been a radio operator in the Navy. In fact, it wasn't until my father's death that I learned of his part in relaying crucial information during WWII from the Pacific Fleet to Washington DC.

As my fellow members of the Baby Boom Generation entered the Sixties rebelliously, I was going to work to help support my parent's large and very poor family. I had responsibilities, and no time for the luxury of protesting or rebelling. Still, I felt the peer pressure from all sides regarding liberal issues, socialistic issues, and eco/conservation issues. But something deep inside me rebelled at my rebellious generation's activism, and when I first registered to, and did, vote, I did so as an Independent.

On the basis that a party's principles were limited to a specific point of view, I voted each election not based on party affiliation, but based on which candidate I felt was most qualified for the "job". This way I was hopefully helping to elect a representation of all segments of American society. But it would be twenty years before I started to get a "clue" about the real world of politics and government, and the shock of the event that opened my eyes led to extensive research about the history of the GOP, and the Republican Party principles and platform to learn the truth myself.

Since its creation in the 1850's, the "GOP"/Republican Party has stood for civil rights, and especially the rights of individuals to be free from oppression from an overbearing, paternalistic, "Big Brother" federal government; the rights guaranteed by the USA Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The most interesting recounting of the origins and evolution of the GOP I found yesterday was at an Australian website:


Contrary to what revisionists have attempted to do to downplay that history, the GOP has fought long and hard for civil rights for minorities and women, and for free and democratic societies both at home and around the world.

From the Civil War which was fought under the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, to abolish slavery and eradicate it from the nation once and for all, to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to highlight just some of their major campaigns, Republicans have fought for the rights and freedoms of individuals regardless of, and indeed especially due to, the need for someone in leadership government to stand up for people of all colors and for women suffering similar hardships due to prejudices and discrimination, recapped in part at this site:


All the way up to the current Republican Administration, the good fight continues, with the Bush Administration's historical appointments of minorities and women to its topmost tier of its Cabinet, starting with Colin Powell as Secretary of State, who was succeeded by Condoleezza Rice, the current Secretary of State, and in the current Cabinet appointments of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters, and Secretary of HUD Alphonso Jackson:


In fact, of the current fifteen top tier Cabinet Members, nearly half are women and minorities. This is an historical Cabinet on so many levels, and yet compared to the very origins of the GOP, it is typical of and true to the GOP's principles of fighting for individual rights and freedoms.

Up until about 20 years ago, after being a liberal, albeit a registered "Independent" mostly, for twenty years prior to that pivotal point in my life, I had not known any of this. I'd assumed what I'd been told by other liberals and Democrats, that the GOP was the party of bigotry and oppression of minorities and women.

Yet I had not, myself witnessed any of this. Indeed, it was only after that pivotal period of my life when I finally committed to a party and registered for the first time as a Democrat, and became active locally in party politics, that I learned first hand the truth. It was at that point that I began what became a long journey into the "real world" of politics and government, and became a huge supporter of the Republican Party during the Reagan years. For the first time in my life I enjoyed the freedom of expressing my patriotism and love of this great nation. And although I have teetered on Center/Right for some time, in the past few years I have felt that leaning heading steadily more "Right", as I have witnessed how each new administration's policies and legislative endeavors have played out over time.

Today I am proud and comfortable being a Conservative, despite recent disappointing setbacks for the GOP in the current Congress and the party's apparent straying from some of its principles for a time. Everyone makes mistakes, even political parties. The key is in getting back to their roots and in the reaffirmation of the GOP's platform and principles.

The advances in individual freedoms and rights for all citizens of the United States of America have been largely as a result of the actions and leadership of the GOP. Women and minorities especially have benefited from self-empowerment provided when Republicans paved the way for them to grow and blossom as individual Americans.

Perhaps growing older and "wiser" helps. Perhaps living so many years helps as well, in order to witness not only events unfolding, but the enactment of legislation and other government sponsored actions, and how they impact society as a whole. Only with hindsight do we see what works, but also what causes the destruction and undermining of such a culturally and racially diverse country.

Today, benefiting from that hindsight perspective, I am a committed Conservative, whose affiliation will by choice be with the GOP because of their historical actions as each era demanded changes and growth and action to improve the human condition, both at home and abroad.

I'll chime in in an indepen... (Below threshold)
Farmer Joe:

I'll chime in in an independent sort of way. Libertarians - of both the indy and the Libertarian Party variety - have been responsible for raising conciousness about the ways in which the Federal Government has overstepped its authority in areas that endorsed by both the left and the right.

In particular, libertarians have called attention to the enormous abuses and erosions of rights perpetrated in the name of the "war on drugs".

Unfortunately I don't have ... (Below threshold)

Unfortunately I don't have the time to contribute anything menaingful today.

Though, I did want compliment CayuteKitt on a very well constructed post. I was a great read.

(wouldn't it be more fun to... (Below threshold)

(wouldn't it be more fun to ask commenters to list the positive changes from the opposite party? It'd be harder to moderate to keep the snark out, I suppose)

Dang not only that post was... (Below threshold)

Dang not only that post was good-just about everyone's except for my laundry list-for some reason I wanted to strip the "opinion" out of it.

The Republican Party for re... (Below threshold)

The Republican Party for returning a majority of disciplined constitutional scholarship and thinking to the Supreme Court.

CayuteKitt:Here! H... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:


Here! Here! A bit out of bounds, but still an excellent post.

I'm very busy today and not sure whether I'll have time to contribute. I'll just mention in passing that I am very proud of the more or less consistently pro-life position of the Republican Party. I really see it as a sister issue to the abolition of slavery. When or if that ceases to be true, I'll cease to be a Republican.

I am very proud of this pro... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

I am very proud of this prophetic speech from President Ronald Reagan:

"General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Rarely in history has an American president stood taller. Reagan was willing to name evil and call the Russian Empire on it, ultimately leading to the collapse of Communism.

"This is a rather daunting ... (Below threshold)

"This is a rather daunting task, DJ, because by your proscription of only the past 40 years, you have chosen a period of time with nearly twice the number of years of Republican ascension."

There, you have the gist of the narrowed 'debate'

Where did the draft go? An ... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Where did the draft go? An all volunteer army.

The last American to be drafted into the military reported to boot camp in 1973, the year the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam and President Nixon abolished the draft.

And despite the scary assertions to the contrary (1), President Bush has not and will not reinstate the draft.

1. In the first two weeks of September, comments speculating that President Bush would restore the draft issued from Teresa Heinz Kerry, John Edwards, Ted Kennedy, Tom Harkin, Max Cleland, Howard Dean, and Kerry's stepson Andre Heinz. This led to reports in college newspapers such as the one at Ohio's Kent State University, which reported on Sept. 8 that "George W. Bush is planning to reinstate the military draft by June 15, 2005." Jim Geraghty, "Not a Draft, but Hot Air: The Democrats Have a Scare Tactic. Another One," National Review 25 Oct. 2004

DJ, you can delete this and... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

DJ, you can delete this and give me a strike if you want, but since the treads gone dead anyway I really want to say this. And it only breaks one of the rules, I think.

Wieder and Semanticleo, I don't think you need to hold the White House to get things done and add "to America's store of worth and ideals".

I wonder why, instead of just crying "foul" you couldn't think of anything that the Democrats have added? While I may or may not disagree with any of the following, I do believe that many Democrats would consider them, and they're all from the last 40 years:

--A constitutional right to choose.

--Many efforts towards peace in the middle east by Carter & Clinton through non-military means.

--The idea that it's best to only use military force when the UN approves of it.

--Increased personal freedoms.

--Acceptance and tollerance of alternative lifestyles.

Incidentally, I like having an opposition party. I don't know if I'd be comfortable with either party having an unfillibusterable majority. Actually I think a three party system, (with 3 nearly equally powerful parties) would be a lot better than what we currently have. Sadly the power (money) of the establishments (plural - Reps and Dems) will most likely prevent that from ever happening.

(O.k., that's two rules I broke now. Oh well, I feel better for having said it.)

I am grateful for the Repub... (Below threshold)

I am grateful for the Republican party's overall standing for those still in the mother's womb and for those, like Terri Schiavo, who may have little value to a hardened society. This concept of each human having worth is the bedrock of our understanding of our civil liberties. They have also stood stronger, I think, supporting the American family.

I would like to commend bot... (Below threshold)

I would like to commend both major parties on maintaining a bipartisan stance of unity on foreign affairs from about 1910 to 1974.

While some individual party members and members of Congress dissented on particular issues, the overwhelming image presented to the world during those years was of an America united in her dealings with other nations and the world.

Back in the day, we all saw the "loyal" in "The Loyal Opposition" as something to be proud of. Both sides had the role at various times, and played it admirably. Kudos to both!

Since we're hearing about i... (Below threshold)

Since we're hearing about it in the news - I think that it is appropriate to mention Reagan's doing away with the "Fairness Doctrine" in radio.

It opened up the door to today's bonanza or talk-radio.

Also - Reagan's build up of the military - I belive - directly contributed to the downfall of the Soviet Union - and made it possible for us to be prepared for things like the first Gulf War, and today's Global War on Terror.

I'll speak up for the Democ... (Below threshold)

I'll speak up for the Democrats - that is, those of FDR during WWII.

Back then, the Democrats were for winning a war that was started, and supporting the occupation of defeated countries until new governments were raised and could act on their own. Then, instead of leaving, Democrats recognized that maintaining a permanent US military presence in those countries helped cement changes instituted by the US, and allowed them to bask under the light of freedom afforded them by the US military umbrella.

Although the Democrat party began falling off after WWII (the initial defeat of US forces in Korea was due to military readiness levels that evaporated to practically nonexistence in four years' time), and the Kennedy election was awfully rigged, at least JFK recognized that escalating US involvement in Vietnam was probably not in the country's strategic interest.

I wish we had a strong Democrat party once again, that stood firmly to its principles while keeping disagreements at the water's edge.

I enjoyed this so much I wi... (Below threshold)

I enjoyed this so much I wish it was a permanent section of the cite. Nice not to read the venom and name calling.

[ ONE POINT STRIKE again... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

[ ONE POINT STRIKE against Jeff for negative comment - DJD ]






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