Hoping, audaciously

By BRAD WARTHEN
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR
BACK IN JANUARY, I said — on video; you can view it on my blog — that this year’s presidential election presented the American people with a no-lose proposition.
    It was the first time in my career when the two candidates we (and I) enthusiastically endorsed for their respective nominations actually made it onto the November ballot. So how could we lose?
    Well, there’s one way — the guy we preferred between the two guys we liked didn’t win on Nov. 4. But now that the other guy has won (and did you ever really think he wouldn’t?), I’m putting that setback behind me and looking forward to what happens next, with Barack Obama as my president.
    You could say I have no choice, but you’d be wrong. Unfortunately, we have before us a plethora of examples of how to have a perfectly rotten, stinking attitude when your preferred candidate loses, from the “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Bush” bumper stickers that appeared on Republican cars before Bill Clinton was even inaugurated to all that nonsense we’ve heard for eight years from Democrats about how the election was “stolen” in 2000.
    We always have the option of being mean, petty, poor losers. But not me. Call me audacious, but every day I see fresh cause to be hopeful:

  • First, there’s Barack Obama himself. Just as John McCain was the best conceivable Republican to unify the country, Sen. Obama offered himself as the one Democrat most likely to put the bitterness of the Clinton/Bush years behind us. As we wrote when we endorsed him in the S.C. primary, “for him, American unity — transcending party — is a core value in itself.” In a column at the time, I cited “his ambition to be a president for all of us — black and white, male and female, Democrat and Republican.” When a guy like that wins an election, nobody loses.
  • Sen. McCain’s gracious (and typical, for him) concession speech left his supporters no room for bitterness, as he wished “Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president.”
  • Sen. Obama’s promise that same night, in his first flush of victory, “to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn.” He said, “I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president too.”
  • The appointment of Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff. He’s been called a partisan attack dog, but he was defended against those who called him that by our own Sen. Lindsey Graham, John McCain’s close friend and ally. Yes, he ran the Democrats’ successful effort to take over Congress in 2006, but he did it by recruiting candidates who appealed to the political center — something his party’s more extreme elements haven’t forgiven him for. In an interview just before he was offered the job, Rep. Emanuel said, “The American people are unbelievably pragmatic. Have confidence in their pragmatism. It’s the operating philosophy of our country.” (The Associated Press says exit polls back that up: “This year 22 percent called themselves liberal, compared with 21 percent in 2004; 44 percent moderate, compared with 45 percent; and 34 percent conservative, same as four years ago.”)
  • The image of the Obamas visiting the Bushes at the White House a week after the election. No big deal, you say? It is after the way the current president has been demonized by many Democrats. The presidential election of 1800 proved the miracle of the American system — that power can change hands in a peaceful, civilized manner. That never gets old for me.
  • After days in which the more partisan types in the Senate debated just what to do to Joe Lieberman in light of his unpardonable “sin” of supporting Sen. McCain, the president-elect said that of course the senator from Connecticut should still be allowed to caucus with the Democrats.
  • The fact that on Monday, Sens. Obama and McCain will sit down at transition headquarters to chart ways to move forward together. “It’s well known that they share an important belief that Americans want and deserve a more effective and efficient government,” said an Obama spokeswoman Friday, adding that the two men “will discuss ways to work together to make that a reality.” They will be joined by Sen. Graham and Rep. Emanuel.

    You’ll notice a certain theme in my points, and just in case I haven’t hit you over the head with it hard enough, I’ll say it again: I draw my hope from signs that this country is ready to move beyond the stupid, pointless, destructive  polarization that has been thrust upon us by the two dominant political parties, their attendant Beltway interest groups, the blogosphere and the mindless yammering of 24/7 shouting-head cable TV “news.”
    You might say that mere nonpartisanship — or bipartisanship, or post-partisanship (or my favorite, UnPartisanship) — is not enough by itself. That’s true. But without it, there’s no hope. Fortunately, I see plenty of cause to believe we’re about to see something new, and better.

Join me in hoping at thestate.com/bradsblog/.

42 thoughts on “Hoping, audaciously

  1. Lee Muller

    Your celebration of the election of a Marxist is premature.
    Liberals here, and in Germany, had the same giddiness at when 90% of Germans voted to affirm Adolf Hitler as Chancellor.

    Reply
  2. Randy E

    “typical for him”? I certainly respect McCain’s concession speech which FINALLY showed McCain 2000. Typical grace has hardly been a hallmark of McCain 2008 and your continued “ignorance is bliss” approach to the gutter campaign he ran still surprises me.
    Obama’s post election approach reflects his judgement and may be THE reason many of us supported him. This has been his approach all along. When Clinton was slammed with the sniper question in the debate, he begged off the moderators question – he could have blasted her. Also, he NEVER questioned McCain’s character even after McCain repeatedly questioned Obama’s with “he wants to lose a war to win an election.” Then contrast his response to the economic crisis and the gas price hysteria this summer with McCain – the former showed much greater poise.
    All along Obama referred not to red nor blue states but the United States. His actions are speaking as loudly as his words.

    Reply
  3. bud

    Let’s see how long Brad champions his bi-partisan principals once the president orders a complete withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. I can hear the howling now. Sometimes bipartisanship gives a result that runs counter to one’s personal convictions. I believe in doing what’s right and not harp on philosophy so much. We’ve had some pretty awful decisions made by bipartisan government. It’s not always pretty.

    Reply
  4. p.m.

    Bipartisan principals? Have a little homonym with your breakfast, bud. Most principals at public schools agree on the principles of democracy, but few are bipartisan, because virtually all of them are Democrats.

    Reply
  5. Adolph Hitler

    I was raised in one country, but my father was born in another. I was not his only child. He fathered several children with a number of women.
    I became very close to my mother because my father showed little interest in me. Then my mother died at an early age from cancer. Later in life, questions arose over my real name. My birth records were sketchy. and no one was able to produce a reliable birth certificate.
    I grew up practicing one faith, but converted to Christianity because this
    was widely accepted in my country. But I practiced non-traditional beliefs and did not follow mainstream Christianity.
    I worked and lived among lower-class people as a young adult before I decided it was time to get serious about my life and I embarked on a new career.
    I wrote a book about my struggles growing up. It was clear to those who read my memoirs that I had difficulties accepting that my father abandoned me as a child.
    I became active in local politics when I was in my 30s and then burst onto the scene as a candidate for national office when I was in my 40s. I had a virtually non-existent resume, very little work history, and no experience in leading a single organization. Yet I was a powerful speaker
    who managed to draw incredibly large crowds during my public appearances.
    At first, my political campaign focused on my country’s foreign policy. I was critical of my country in the last war. But what launched my rise to national prominence were my views on the country’s economy. I had a plan on how we could do better. I knew which group was responsible for getting us into this mess.
    Mine was a people’s campaign. I was the surprise candidate because I emerged from outside the traditional path of politics and was able to gain widespread popular support. I offered the people the hope that together we could change our country and the world.
    I spoke on behalf of the downtrodden, including persecuted minorities such
    as Jews, but my actual views were not widely known until after I became my
    nation’s leader. But anyone could have easily learned what I really
    believed if they had simply read my writings and examined those people I
    associated with. But they did not. Then I became the most powerful man in the world. And the world learned the truth.
    Who am I?

    Reply
  6. Harry Harris

    Brad, it seems that some don’t share your hope. Others who share it would like to deny that you should have it because of your previous positions. In the kindest spirit I can muster, I’ll just say “Screw ’em.” Let’s move on together with an open invitation to all to get over our personal issues and get about helping to move this nation (and world) forward. The hope Obama calls from us will not allow the coalition of the willing to get bogged down in arguing with those who would perpetuate the paralysis our divisions has created. I welcome you aboard.

    Reply
  7. bud

    I do share one thing with Brad, optimism. Given the utter failure of the conservative brand of government rule how can one not be optimistic about our future? We now have a president and a congress who reject the failed conservative policies of the last 8 years. The failures of the GOP run deep and have caused much hardship. The failed foreign policy of Bush has led to the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in a disasterous military occupation that has torn one nation appart and imparted a sense of legitimacy to an evil band of extremists called Al-Qaeda. How could this have happened given the good will America had following 9-11? Bush has so ruined our diplomatic environment that now even Iran looks like a moderate nation in comparison.
    But I digress. We all know the horror stories. There really is no need to harp on the past. With President Obama we can begin the healing process. American troops will return from Iraq soon and we can put that mad episode behind us. The Iraqi people will be free of the tyranny of the Bush adminstration and they can determine their own destiny. Obama will utilize these freed military assets to go after the people who perpetrated the atrocities of 9-11.
    The world has rejoiced in the election of Obama and they will work with us to make sure all people are treated with dignity and respect. At the end of the day this newly established good will will help the nations of the world pursue peace and prosperity as we did in the 1990s.
    The disasterous failures of conservatism will be put to rest as one more philosophy that failed to live up to it’s advanced billing. The party of talk radio idiots like Rush Limbaugh will have to re-make itself into something quite different in order to survive. Perhaps we will see something that focuses on the realities of the 21st century where the people are the beneficiaries of their toil rather than the elitist few who have been the only group who thrived during the Bush years.
    Indeed with the death of the Limbaugh GOP we can all look forward to a better world. And not a moment too soon.

    Reply
  8. Lee Muller

    So Michelle thinks it’s okay for Obama to have some of the same programs as Adolf Hitler or some tinhorn communist dictator, and to even use their rhetoric in his speeches, but it is verboten for anyone to point it out.
    Gee, that really is a lot like Hitler and Mussolini supporters would think.
    Oooops! There I went, pointing out the truth again.

    Reply
  9. Lee Muller

    The economy will continue to slide towards a recession as long as Obama and the Democrats threaten to tax the Productive Class, and continue to devalue the dollar by running monstrous budget deficits.
    The only way to revive the economy is to not implement any of Obama’s stupid Marxist campaign platform, and to abolish many of the Democrat programs which created this economic collapse, starting with FNMA and FMAC, and including Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
    Of course the socialists will not do that. Just as they did under FDR, they will blindly pursue their Marxist ideology, and blame ever one of their failures on “the failure of capitalism”.

    Reply
  10. Karen McLeod

    Last night some friends and I were gathered to watch the Gamecocks play. Since they didn’t, people drifted into other conversations. A few women got to talking about politics. One said she was Republican, and the other identified herself as Democrat. And whoo-boy! did the conversation go downhill from there. It soon became (apparently) a contest to see who could use the “f-word” the loudest and most often. This scenario, needless to say, became not a serious discussion, or even debate of differing ideas, but an ill-tempered shout-fest. This approach to polictics wins nothing, and tends to isolate those who engage in it (the rest of us moved away from that group). Brad, do ya really think there’s any hope that we can move away from that form of “political discussion” and get some real work done? And maybe some real learning?

    Reply
  11. jfx

    Actually, Lee, FDR harnessed the strength of our capitalist manufacturing base to defeat the Nazis and save the world.
    The kind of fear-mongering you practice on this blog against Democrats is exactly the kind of fist-pounding rhetoric against the “bourgeois” and the “liberal elite” that Hitler used to whip crowds into an angry frenzy. Sprinkle in a generous dash of militant nationalism for good measure.
    Lee, look in the mirror, and give yourself a big “Heil Muller!” Your smear fits YOU far better than it fits Obama.

    Reply
  12. Lee Muller

    Actually, FDR’s policies in the beginning were Herbert Hoover’s platform, which FDR had ridiculed.
    Unemployment was as bad, and the economy worse, in 1936 as it was in 1932. FDR improved economic activity the same way Hitler and Mussolini did, by arming for war and running huge budget deficits.
    Unemployment was actually worse than the official figures, if you just look at manufacturing and other private sector jobs, and discount the socialist works projects run by the military, like the WPA and CCC.
    Unemployment was finally reduced by drafting 4,000,000 men into the military.

    Reply
  13. jfx

    OK, Lee, now we’re getting somewhere. Let me see if I can tie the Lee Muller worldview together real quick:
    Socialism = bad
    FDR = Socialist
    FDR = Hitler = Mussolini
    Obama = Socialist
    Hitler = National Socialist
    Obama = Hitler
    Obama = FDR = Hitler = Mussolini
    Phew, finally the mystery of WWII is solved. It seems we were fighting ourselves all along! Ain’t that a bitch! The Greatest Generation was just a bunch of stinkin’ Socialists!

    Reply
  14. Phillip

    jfx, excellent. I also agree with Randy that the hope for a post-partisan Presidency was the reason I supported Obama, even more than for the sake of his policies. That means that on occasion I have to swallow my disappointment at some of his positions…the recent FISA legislation for example or his continued opposition to gay marriage, but I would accept some disappointment on specific policy issues if the main legacy of Obama’s Presidency was to change the tone both in terms of our domestic politics as well as internationally, in the way that we see ourselves relating to the other nations (especially the other democratic nations) of the planet.
    Brad, as someone who disagrees with you on some very fundamental principles (but not all, certainly) and recognizing that you supported the other guy in the general election, your editorial and your hopes for this administration are appreciated. Obama needs to seal the deal with folks like you. (To that end, watch for the Three Amigos—well, maybe two-and-a-half—to play a very important role in the next four years.)
    We shouldn’t kid ourselves that there are not going to be strong arguments. Not every decision can be “split down the middle.” Sometimes you have to pick Choice A or Choice B. But those of us whose politics are perhaps inherently closer to Obama’s than Brad’s are should give Brad benefit of the doubt before we pre-emptively assume he will accuse Obama of departing from the post-partisan approach. For example, Bud, I think it’s more likely that you and I are going to be the disappointed ones when Obama in the end sticks relatively closely to whatever timetable is set forth in the Status-of-Forces-Agreement with Iraq (tweaking things perhaps semantically to claim a faster withdrawal) than it is that Brad will be the one howling.
    Anyway, Brad, I’m glad to say I share your cautious optimism.

    Reply
  15. Lee Muller

    jfx, you are just an uneducated, or miseducated, kid. All you can do is talk trash. You are completely unfamiliar with FDR and the failures of his socialist programs.
    You cannot discuss history with us, much less challenge or explain away the historical facts.

    Reply
  16. Lee Muller

    Unemployment under FDR
    Unemployment (% labor force)
    Year Lebergott Darby
    1932 14.0 14.0
    1933 24.9 20.6
    1934 21.7 16.0
    1935 20.1 14.2
    1936 16.9 9.9
    1937 14.3 9.1
    1938 19.0 12.5
    1939 17.2 11.3
    1940 14.6 9.5 No improves so far!
    1941 9.9 8.0
    1942 4.7 4.7
    1943 1.9 1.9 4,000,000 in uniform
    1944 1.2 1.2
    1945 1.9 1.9
    Note:
    Lebergott counts only those working in industry or agriculture, using the same measures as before 1933.
    Darby counts those in socialist work programs like the CCC and WPA as being employed, even if they only worked part-time or for just room and board.

    Reply
  17. Rich

    I think Lee just likes to stir things up. Too bad his views are not shared by the majority of academics in this country–or are they all conspiring against the Wisdom of Lee??

    Reply
  18. Lee Muller

    I post the FACTS, which apologists for FDR cannot refute.
    The majority of academics are liberals, progressives, or outright socialists and communists – of course they deny history, which contains no success for their ideology.
    At least I am familiar with the details of the fantasy history of the New Deal, which is taught as a propaganda tool.
    I am also familiar with the economists and historians who compiled the facts which refute the propaganda of Democrats.
    Have you read any of Milton Friedman, Hayek, von Mises, Percy Greaves, or John Flynn, or Thomas Sowell?
    Or are you just familiar with the few slogans memorized for your socialist professors?

    Reply
  19. jfx

    Good grief! Lee, the very first thing you did in this thread was talk awful trash, equating Obama to Hitler. That’s just sick. Warped. Mental. The man you demonize in such sick fashion is still your new President, you clod.
    Hitler was a Jew-hating mass murderer who destroyed a continent and shot himself in the brain.
    Get help, you comedian.

    Reply
  20. Birchibald T. Barlow

    Lee – A few thoughts on some of your comments here…
    1. To even attempt to compare President-elect Obama to Adolf Hitler is ridiculous. It either shows your lack of understanding and knowledge of who Hitler was and the extreme nature of his actions in Nazi Germany or it shows a desensitization to such disgusting crimes against humanity and thus a detachment from reality.
    2. Freddie Mac is not abbreviated “FMAC.” It is abbreviated FHLMC, as in the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. The first time I saw it I let it go. But, the fact that you have posted “FMAC” more than once has to make one wonder if you have any inkling whatsoever when you post about such subjects.
    3. You like to invoke the names of Hayek, von Mises, etc when criticizing the Democrats and their supporters. You even go so far as to call them “socialists.” However, when Bush, McCain, and the Republicans support or push policies that conflict with your Economist Heroes not only do they avoid the “socialist” label, they get a free ride altogether. This gives you less of an appearance as the intellectual economic thinker you make yourself out to be and instead more of a Republican Party kool-aid drinker.
    For someone with the educational and intellectual background that you claim to have, you really have no clue how to make an effective argument.

    Reply
  21. david

    Brad, it is neither surprising nor disappointing that you are a faithful lap poodle for Obama now that he’s in.
    Nothing. No disturbing fact about Obama, no wildly leftist doctrine, no dangerous association he had with terrorists or anarchist or virulent racist preachers made even a dent in your unquestioning support for him.
    Given that we know this about you, why should anyone who questions or doubts Obama EVER buy a State newspaper for the next four years? Can we ever really be sure that you’ll actually do anything remotely resembling objective journalism where Obama is concerned?
    For me the answer is quite clear: No need looking in The State…nothing Obama says or does, and absolutely nothing could possibly happen that will sour Brads’ undying love and unquestioning support for Obama…never has, never will. I can save fifty cents, I already know what you think.
    David

    Reply
  22. Karen McLeod

    As you can see from the comments above, president-elect Obama has his work cut out for him if he’s going to reconcile both sides. But one can hope, and try to cooperate with reconciliation.

    Reply
  23. Bart

    Karen,
    As a conservative, I ask myself the same questions you do. When I am around people who start cursing and screaming at each other about politics, it is time to leave or find another room. At times it feels like I am in one of those gatherings when I read the comments on this blog.
    You don’t have to like Bush or Obama to voice your disagreement with policies or anticipated policies but when the conversation degenerates into vile name calling, it is time to log off and read something truly informative and interesting.
    Obama is not Hitler, neither is Bush. The accusations hurled at Bush and the name calling does no one any good. He has been accused of mass murder, being a traitor, an idiot, and any other invective that can be found in the dictionary. Maybe some who call Bush names then get upset when the same is done to Obama should consider that when they engage in the same behavior, calling others out is an act of hypocrisy.
    When bud makes his accusations against Bush like he did on this post places him on the same level as he places Limbaugh. Rush believes what he says, bud does the same thing. What is the difference?

    Reply
  24. Lee Muller

    No one said that, “Obama is Hitler.”
    Many policies of FDR were modeled directly on those of Hitler and Mussolini. Obama is one of many Democrats calling for a return to those policies.
    Democrats in office are the ones calling President Bush a traitor, liar and idiot.
    Obama pandered to that hatred among the Democrat base by saying he would consider handing over Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield and others to The World Court to be tried as war criminals.
    None of the FDR apologists can refute the fact that unemployment was no better in 1939 than it was when took office in 1932.
    None of then dare challenge my list of Democrats who have been members of communist or socialist parties, or the 48 current Democrats in Congress who are members of the Democratic Socialist Alliance.
    “Barlow” is wrong on all points, as usual.
    FMAC is the acronym used on Wall Street for “Freddie Mac”. Take it from me, an economist who worked there developing mortgage derivatives hedge fund systems in 1990.
    I have criticized Bush and McCain for voting for programs which are socialist, such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, federal involvement in education, and the bail out of FNMA and FMAC. The reason McCain lost, besides Democrat vote fraud, is that 4,100,000 of the GOP base did not vote, because they saw McCain as too accomodating of socialism.

    Reply
  25. donnagchapman

    This is a little off topic but I want to vent to someone who might be able to make sense of this….Sat. State said that DJJ was closing 3 of 5 group homes in the SC due to budget cuts. Where will these children go? Many cannot return to their homes because their parents are incarcerated or unwilling to do the work to have their kids back. Then there are those who have been sent there by DJJ because they have gotten in trouble with the law…are we going to send them to our overcrowded prisons. I fail to see how closing group homes isacceptable when coaches and university presidents in our state are raking in huge salaries.

    Reply
  26. Bart

    Lee,
    Almost anyone with the money and looking for a place where their kids can get a quality education look to private schools, not the public ones.
    There are several private schools in my area and each has a waiting list. If the public schools were of the same quality they were when I was attending school, we might have a better educated electorate.
    When our kids attended public schools, my wife and I took the time to work with them, encourage them, instill the need for a good education, and let them know up front that it is there for the taking if they are willing to take advantage of it. Our public schools do offer instruction and educational opportunities but if the students don’t want to learn, there is not one thing the teacher can do to force them to learn. Like I said, our kids went through the public school system and attended a state supported university. Both received their degrees and have well paying jobs with solid companies. One went on to get a masters in business and finance. So, in my view, the school system is not the problem, the problem starts in the home.
    If nothing else positive comes from Obama being elected is that maybe, just maybe, the minority students will have a positive role model for education instead of football, basketball, baseball players, rappers, and bling laden celebrities. It is discouraging to be standing in a local store and listen to a parent brag about spending $1,500 on chrome wheels for his “ride” while his kids are standing next to him needing clothes. That is a true story.
    So, until the parents get involved, stay involved, and stop blaming everyone else for their kids problems in school, not one thing will change. If parents don’t instill in their children the need for a good education, who will?
    We can spend $100,000 per child each year and it won’t make a dent in ignorance if they don’t want to learn or change. That lesson comes from the home, not from the school system.
    And finally, the public school system is there to educate, not indoctrinate. No political discussion other than the make-up of the system should be discussed. The teacher in Asheville should be fired for her blatant endorsement of Obama when she attacked the little girl because she was for McCain. And she did attack her by using the 100 year Iraq war scenario, knowing the little girl’s dad was in the military.

    Reply
  27. Lee Muller

    Not only do I agree with your, Bart, but so do liberals who send their children to private school in great numbers.
    Dreher High and Hand Middle schools, here in Columbia, are among the best public schools in America. Each year, Dreher has SAT scores near the maximum, and sends graduates to the best colleges in the country. Yet, many black students at those schools fail to take advantage of the opportunities given to them.
    All public schools are full of pro-government indoctrination, and it is vital that patriotic parents help their children learn to recognize propaganda and opinion when it is presented as fact. Unfortunately, again, many parents do not, which permits the government schools to put bad ideas into the heads of children.

    Reply
  28. Brad Warthen

    Above we have 32 comments. Seventeen of them are by or about Lee Muller (10 by him, including the first and the last; seven about him.)
    That means the majority of comments are not about the subject at hand. The subject at hand, of course, is my effort to elevate public discourse above the level of polarization and pointless shouting.
    I’d like to thank Harry, Karen, Phillip, Bart and, eventually bud (once he decided not to “harp on the past”) for engaging the topic positively, and Randy and David for at least engaging the topic.
    Anyone have any suggestions as to what do do with the fact that most of the string was occupied with polarizing distractions? This is a serious question, because now that the election is over I’m evaluating how much energy to put into the blog, given that we are so short-handed and I’m so harried these days.
    When I started this blog, I had a staff of six full-time people (including four associate editors) and one part-timer to write for, edit and produce the editorial pages. And even then it was extremely difficult to squeeze out the time from a 24-hour day to blog. Now I have three full-timers (down to two associate editors) and one part-timer in the editorial department. Finding time for the blog long ago reached the point where most people would say “impossible.”
    My Sunday column spoke directly to why I do this blog. It’s about carving out a place that is an alternative to most of the hyperpartisan blogosphere, which reflects the style of nondiscourse framed by the parties, the advocacy groups and the shouting-head television “news.” A place where people can interact constructively, and even listen to each other.
    I deeply appreciate those of you who try to have a constructive conversation in spite of all the shouters in the room. Unfortunately, there are many, many people of good will who simply won’t try that hard.
    Anyway, anybody have any constructive suggestions for going forward?

    Reply
  29. Lee Muller

    The reason all the thread veer off topic is because statists start posting glowing false histories about their political heroes, and falsehoods to smear all non-socialists.
    We choose to correct them by posting the historical facts.
    You can choose to delete their personal attacks, or you can choose to delete our reasonable posting of facts about the failures of socialism which so anger these hooligans who only come to the Internet to shout down honest discussion.

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  30. bud

    Brad, I haven’t done a formal analysis but it seems to me that the only people who address Lee Muller are the relatively new people to the blog who don’t understand his need for attention. Most of the old timers generally ignore him. (Although the “Soaring Rice” thread was pretty funny and most people couldn’t resist piling on.) So from that perspective you got 15 useful comments here. That’s not bad. Too bad there’s not some way to hit a button that just hides the Lee Muller comments. Then again, sometimes they do provide a bit of comic relief to the proceedings.

    Reply
  31. Lee Muller

    Don’t flatter yourself, bud. No one cares anything about attention from you.
    The best way to avoid contact with me, bud, is to
    A. Stop replying to my posts, since you never post any facts, much less attempt to discuss them.
    B. Stop posting your outrageous political fantasies, hate and falsehoods, which we thinking people will correct with FACTS.

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  32. Michelle

    I’m sorry Brad. I didn’t realize there were rules here–but thanks to Bud for filling me in. We’re just supposed to ignore Lee right? Well that makes it MUCH easier. Will do. No problem.

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  33. Michelle

    And on topic? I think it is a good sign that Obama asked McCain to meet with him today (Monday). I can’t really recall this ever happening before in a general election. Maybe it will help to set a precedent of sorts and help to at least get a dialog going.

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  34. Lee Muller

    Are you hoping Obama will tone down his socialist platform and compromise with McCain, or just sucker the GOP into moving further to the left to meet the Pelosi agenda?

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  35. Bart

    Lee,
    There is no such thing as a homogeneous Democrat or Republican Party anymore. The divisions inside each party and the downright nastiness between the parties is driving voters away by the thousands each election cycle. Independents and moderates made up the single largest segment of all and like it or not, they perceived Obama as being the one who could bring harmony better than McCain could. Yet, conservatives outnumbered liberals by a considerable margin when the polls were taken.
    What does this tell us? To me, when the voters are willing to give someone a chance even with the knowledge he or she has strong socialist leanings, a clear message is being sent.
    I interpret the message in very simplistic terms because there is no need to get into some deep, esoteric, physch evaluation of the results. Just take them for what they are.
    Voters to Obama, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – get on with the business of running the country in a bipartisan manner, leave your anger and childish behavior on the doorsteps, solve some of our pressing problems without further bankrupting the country, and leave the social issues to us.
    We are capable of raising our own children and we will make mistakes. We don’t want the government dictating morality to us or imposing unequal burdens on any one segment of the population. We still want to have the opportunity to succeed or fail on our own and not be propped up by false hopes and taking away from those who produce to give to those who don’t.
    Just do your job. Listen to us for a change. If you don’t, come 2010, remember the Republicans in 2006 and 2008. We voted you in, we can vote you out.
    Our form of government has served us well for over 200 years and we have made mistakes but each time, we set about correcting them in the best way we can. We move forward on the important issues and still argue about others because some things still go against the grain of the majority. Don’t force laws and changes on us by going over our heads and letting nine people in black robes be the shadow government doing the bidding of either side.
    We have survived two world wars and come out ahead. We lost over 70 million people worldwide in WWII and yet we still move on and upward so get the hell off our backs.
    Don’t make the mistake of interpreting the election results as a tacit approval of becoming a socialist country. While we embrace some “socialist” programs like Social Security and Medicare, we still like to make our own decisions and make our own way.
    Sorry for the rant.

    Reply
  36. Lee Muller

    Bart,
    There has not been a homogeneous Democratic Party since the 1930s. It is a collection of special interests which comes together to win elections and fight over the spoils.
    Even with all the socialists, communists, and fascists running the New Deal, the bulk of people, legislators and judges were too respectful of the Constitution to permit the full implementation of their revolutionary agenda.
    Today is different. Obama is the first openly Marxist president elect. The party is run by a core of radicals from the 1960s, many of whom began their political careers as Communist Party or Socialist Party activists. These people believe in socialism because it gives them power, and they use that power to become quite wealthy soon after taking office.
    The mass of their voters are completely ignorant of the issues, because they only become involved at election time, as the consumers of targeted issue marketing.
    None of these people care a thing about the Constitution or advancing Americanism.

    Reply

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