Republican Party Intolerance of Other Points of View within Their Own Party

As Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama race towards the Democratic nomination, on matters of policy and position, the differences between the two are merely superficial.  Gender, ethnicity, age.  That’s about it.

This common vision for what the future of America should be is one of the reasons Democrats are swamping Republicans at the polls this primary season.  For example, Virginia is a Red State, but Obama got 600,000 votes there, more than doubling the combined total of Senator McCain and former Governor Huckabee. Even Hillary outpolled the two Republicans in the race.  Democrats are going to the polls in record numbers while Republicans are staying home.

Conservative Republicans are simply not happy with their choices.  This was posted on CNN.com:

Although McCain is 379 delegates away from the 1,191 he needs to capture the Republican nomination, he still hasn’t convinced conservatives that he should be the party’s nominee.

McCain has been battered in recent weeks by talk-radio hosts over his relatively rare but high-profile departures from GOP orthodoxy.

Mike Huckabee doesn’t get off easy either; Conservatives have already labeled him “Tax Hike Mike” for the number of times Huckabee raised taxes in Arkansas.  Ron Paul is regarded as a unelectable kook who is against the War in Iraq and looks to the Constitution for guidance.

And look locally, on the Flash Report.  Jon Fleischman’s commentary celebrates the primary loss of a moderate Republican congressman, Rep. Wayne Gilchrist, under the notion of how “Republicans police their own;” (yeah, they did such a good job with Duke Cunningham, Mark Foley, David Vitter and Larry Craig).

From the commentary, Jon writes:

This is a very positive thing because it shows that at the local level, Republicans want to send Representatives back to Washington who will stop the liberal agenda of Nancy Pelosi and her cohorts, not ones who will seek to work with her towards her goals.

Those folks should really take a lesson from Gilchrist’s defeat. Remember, no one forced you to run for office as a Republican, but if you are one, you have a responsibility to your party — which right now is to be part of process of reclaiming the mantle of fiscal conservatism. If you’re not on board with that plan, it’s time to look in the mirror, hard.

I especially enjoyed the TV spot Jon posted where the word “liberal” is still a dirty word. Since Maryland is still a pretty blue state, I have to believe Rep. Gilchrist was doing his best to represent the interests of his constituents over the interests of the party.  To wit, Rep. Al Wynn, a Democrat, was defeated by upstart Donna Edwards in the Democratic Primary for the 4th district of MD.  An infusion of younger voters seeking change propelled Edwards to victory; but you don’t see lefties claiming we clean our own house by dumping Wynn.

Yesterday, Jon’s commentary took aim at the California Senate’s priorities and suggetsed the re-election of vulnerable moderate Republican Abel Maldonado not carry the high priority banner assigned to it by Senator Dick Ackerman. Why? Because Abel wasn’t a stand up guy with the Party during the last State budget cycle.  Abel committed the sin of voting in the interests of his constituents and not in the interest of the far right wing of the Republican Party.

IN the Democratic Party, we have hard core left-wingers and moderates; there are also a number of conservatve Democrats worthy of respect.  I believe that all colors of the rainbow will come together for Obama or Clinton come November.

 

  36 comments for “Republican Party Intolerance of Other Points of View within Their Own Party

  1. February 13, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    but you don’t see lefties claiming we clean our own house by dumping Wynn.

    You don’t, Dan?

    That’s exactly what the king of the lefty bloggers, Kos, said today:

    “As I wrote time and time again, we don’t have the money to buy off our politicians, and the bad Democrats know we’re not about to start voting for Republicans. So the only way we can hold our caucus accountable is to send notice that we will primary them. And sure, they may survive such primaries. But sometimes they won’t.

    We’ll be working this fall for “more” Democrats, but today we struck a blow on behalf of better Democrats.

    Our caucus is once again on notice. If they continue to serve corporate interests rather than their constituents, if they insist on remaining aloof to the nation’s popular sentiment, they’ll get booted in a Democratic primary like Joe Lieberman in 2006 and Al Wynn in 2008.”

  2. Dan Chmielewski
    February 13, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    “If they continue to serve corporate interests rather than their constituents”
    You missed this line Matt; its not the “stick with the Party line or else” its about representing constituents. And unlike Jon, who is a GOP Party Official, the posters at Kos are not Democratic Party officials. So in that respect, I should have been more specific in stating that unlike the California GOP party officials who demand loyalty to the party above consitituents, the Democratic Party supports the party’s nomine after the primary. That would have been accurate.

    And I seldom read Kos; Donna Edwards is a highly credible candidate with significant support from a number of center-left organizations. She narrowly lost in 2006.

    But back to my point; Republicans, who always claim to have a big tent, really don’t tolerate views that are other than hard right.

  3. February 13, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    like Joe Lieberman in 2006

    How exactly was Lieberman serving “corporate interests” over his constituents?

    And I suppose Markos will define exactly what that menas.

    Republicans, who always claim to have a big tent, really don’t tolerate views that are other than hard right.

    I’ll be sure to remind all those pro-life Democrats for whom your party rolls out the red carpet. Or anyone who deviates from the teachers union line on education policy.

    Pot, meet kettle.

  4. Dan Chmielewski
    February 13, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Joe Lieberman lost the Democratic Primary in 2006 largely due to his continued support for a failed war; he ran as, and is, an independent. But I do realize your definition of bipartisan is having all the Republicans and Joe Lieberman vote for an issue. Oh, and great support for the offical GOP candidate in CT in 2006; way to go with party loyalty.

    Since I’m the Pot, you can be the Kettle:

    Let’s add Gay Republicans (out and closeted versions) and Pro-Choice Republicans to the mix then too; or the school choice crowd that still wants the government to pick up their kid’s tab at their private school because they don’t want to pay the tuition alone. How about the Republican business leaders that dodge paying corporate taxes through offshore HQs and shell corporations that allow them to still do business with countires that mean to do harm to America (I’ll say it: Romney/Cheney/Haiilburton) while continuing to cut things like health care for needy kids? Don’t you think non-Christian Republicans are a little edgy at Bible Study?

    Wasn’t Lieberman a “Loserman” for Republicans in 2000?

    Over to you; I can do this all day

  5. February 13, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    So how is supporting the war in Iraq the same as supporting “corporate interests”?

    You know, pro-choice Republicans actually get to do things like be party chairman, or win primaries. There is far more tolerance in the GOP on abortion than there is in the Democratic party.

    And when it comes down to towing the teachers union line, or backing even the incremental step of giving poor kids in crappy schools a chance by giving them a tuition voucher, the Democratic Party will side with the union every time.

    I hate to break it too you Dan, but when you tax corporations, you tax everyone else, because the corporations pass on that higher cost of business in the form of higher prices.

    And Dan, I have no doubt you can bang out non sequiturs all day long.

  6. RHackett
    February 13, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    I hate to break it too you Dan, but when you tax corporations, you tax everyone else, because the corporations pass on that higher cost of business in the form of higher prices.

    That is only true in a market that is a monopoly or small oligopoly. In a “free market” where competition exists the decision makers have to decide if passing that expense on to the consumer and risk losing market share to a competitor that is willing to accept less profit on a unit sold but might enjoy a great ROI due to the higher volumn of acquiring the market share of their competitors.

    Certainly as a “free market” conservative you would embrace the ability of the consumer to enjoy as many choices as possible.

  7. Dan Chmielewski
    February 13, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    I’m sure Rudy Guiliani would agree with you on that pro-choice (and thank you for using the term pro-choice and opposed the incorrect term of pro-abortion).

    Great Matt; find a private school in OC where a voucher would pay for tuition; better to improve “crappy” schools by investing in better-trained teachers and teaching things like science as opposed to intelligent design; how about educating kids to be critical thinkers as opposed to passing a test? Unions are not bad things; and teachers could make far more in the private sector. Good teachers should be paid as well as political consultants, don’t you think?

    Corporations raise prices to pay CEOs outlandish salaries; doesn’t it bother you that you may be paying more taxes than some company?

    Lastly…its a non-sequiter when I write it but not when you do. Weak.

  8. Aunt Millie
    February 13, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    I hate to break it to you Matt, but every expenditure is a tax. When Republicans borrow and spend, borrow and spend, they are taxing our kids. Bush and his friends have doubled our debts, paying for their trillion dollar war with borrowing from the Chinese.

    How do the Jubalettes feel about paying back the money that you have borrowed on their behalf ? Do they know how much they owe ?

    But that’s OK with movement conservatives like you and Bush.

  9. RHackett
    February 13, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    When Republicans borrow and spend, borrow and spend, they are taxing our kids.

    Conservative economist Milton Friedman has stated the true amount of taxation is the federal budget. It is either big taxes now or bigger taxes later.

  10. Aunt Millie
    February 14, 2008 at 4:43 am

    Courtesy of Bondad, let’s remind Matt Cunningham of the record of the Bush administration on borrowing and spending . This is why hypocrites like Cunningham never answer questions about the basic principles of Republicans and how they have been executed at a Federal level. Or answer the question of how our kids and grandkids should pay for their wars

    Let’s start with the fiscal history of the last 7 years. This information is from the Treasury Department and it shows the total federal debt outstanding at the end of the federal government’s fiscal year.

    09/30/2007 $9,007,653,372,262.48
    09/30/2006 $8,506,973,899,215.23
    09/30/2005 $7,932,709,661,723.50
    09/30/2004 $7,379,052,696,330.32
    09/30/2003 $6,783,231,062,743.62
    09/30/2002 $6,228,235,965,597.16
    09/30/2001 $5,807,463,412,200.06
    09/30/2000 $5,674,178,209,886.86

    Currently, the total debt outstanding is $9,250,932,577,938.04.

    To put that in perspective, debt as a percentage of GDP has increased from 57.29% in 2001 to 64.47% in 2007. That’s a solid and steady increase.

    Now — the Republicans have created a meter on their website to track the increases in government spending. You guys ran the government for 6 years. You had complete control. YOU GOT US INTO THIS MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE. SHUT THE HELL UP.

  11. Dan Chmielewski
    February 14, 2008 at 7:50 am

    Here’s the link you’re looking for Matt.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republicans_for_Choice

    The list is a little lighter than Pro-Life Democrats

  12. The Captain
    February 14, 2008 at 10:26 am

    These pro-life Democrats, are they “personally” pro-life but “respectful” of a woman’s “right” to choose? Because that isn’t pro-life.

    If you look at the Republican Party, it is far more tolerant of those who oppose life than the Democrat party is of those who would support a ban on abortions. As many of my Democrat friends have pointed out, everyone is pro-Life the difference is on a person’s perception of choice.

  13. Dan Chmielewski
    February 14, 2008 at 10:46 am

    and the primary focus of the perception should be that of the woman.

    And shame on these pro-life Democrats for actually following the law of the land.

    So by your logic, Gay Republicans abhor themselves….?

  14. February 14, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Dan and Jason:

    Posting links to two Wikipedia articles about two political groups is pretty thin gruel.

    And the Harry Reid example supports my point more than your. I pay attention to national politics and had know idea Reid is pro-life. Maybe that’s because he’s quiet as a clam about it. Which is the price of ascendancy pro-life Democrats: you have to be silent about it.

    Yeah, you Dems are sooooo tolerant.

  15. The Lovable Curmudgeon
    February 14, 2008 at 11:59 am

    I’d say it’s VERY well-known that Senator Reid is pro-life.
    Perhaps you aren’t paying as close attention as you think you are. Or maybe you are focusing your attention other places.

  16. February 14, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Dan,

    That list of Republicans for choice is much smaller than the list of Democrats that are “pro-life”. Imagine that.

    Jubal may be right though, the GOP seemed to be very tolerant of Louisiana Senator David Vitter’s escapades with female prostitutes.

  17. February 14, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    very tolerant of Louisiana Senator David Vitter’s escapades with female prostitutes

    Hey, don’t forget our locals! My own congressbeing, Ken “the lap” Calvert, is another escapadee.

  18. February 14, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Sean: thank for the sympathy, and back at ya’. I don’t think I would go so far as to say I’m “represented” by Calvert. But he’s the guy with the “R” behind his name who keeps showing up on our ballot.

  19. February 14, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Jubal,

    Why the heck is the GOP still fixated on abortion? Abortions are going down. Even Hollywood has weighed in with two smash hits about keeping unplanned babies – Juno and Knocked Up.

    With our economy sliding into a deep recession, an endless war in Iraq bleeding our coffers dry, etc., I would think that voters are more concerned about those issues, and health care, as opposed to the issue of abortion, which is settled law.

    This is a big reason why the GOP is down to 33% of the voters here in CA.

    Here is a thought to ponder – how many abortions have come about because of the philandering of GOP congressmen in DC?

  20. Dan Chmielewski
    February 14, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Matt –
    Your answer about Harry Reid proves you don’t pay close enough attention to the Democratic Party. You knew he’s a Mormon too, right?

    Here’s more on Harry’s pro-life stance:

    Harry Reid openly identifies himself as “pro-life.” He stated in a 1998 National Political Awareness Test that he believed “Abortions should be legal only when the pregnancy resulted from incest, rape, or when the life of the woman is endangered.”[14] In 1999, he voted against an amendment explicitly expressing support for Roe v. Wade.[15]

    Reid has voted several times to ban what physicians call the “intact dilation and evacuation” procedure and what abortion opponents call the “partial-birth abortion” procedure.[16] In 2003, he supported alternate language than the act that eventually passed that would have banned all late-term abortions, while allowing exceptions for the life and health of the mother. Several polls have stated that a majority of Americans support banning “partial birth abortion” when the pollsters describe it as such.[17][18] Reid also voted in favor of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, in favor of parental notification in the case of minors undergoing out-of-state abortions, and in favor of maintaining the ban on abortions and supplying birth control for US military personnel.[19]

    Pregnancy prevention and clinic safety
    In 1994, Reid voted for the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act prohibiting the use of intimidation or physical force to prevent or discourage people from gaining access to a reproductive health care facility. He was the co-sponsor of an amendment to the bill which allows anyone to exercise freedom to worship at a health care facility. It allows reproductive health care professionals to gain access to a clinic without being physically threatened and, at the same time, allows religious organizations to pray outside of abortion clinics.[20]

    Reid introduced legislation in 2006 co-sponsored by Hillary Clinton that would fund abortion prevention efforts such as giving women broader access to contraception. In a press release about their “Prevention First Amendment,” Clinton and Reid stated that for every dollar spent on pregnancy prevention, three are saved by pregnancy and birth-related expenses borne by Medicaid.[21] The bill received Republican opposition and failed.[22]

    Reid voted in favor of an amendment that would over turn the Mexico City Policy. The policy bans U.S. aid to overseas health organizations that give men and women birth control, provide information about abortion procedures, or that perform abortion procedures as part of a “family planning policy”. Opponents of the policy argue that the ban keeps funds from going to non-governmental organizations distributing condoms and USAID-donated birth control and has resulted in an increase in unwanted pregnancies, and thus an increase in the rate of abortion. Opponents also argue that the ban promotes restrictions on free speech as well as restrictions on accurate medical information.[23][24][25][26] Supporters of the policy have argued, using the example of the Philippines, that the ban prevents overseas health organizations from using US government funds to disobey the abortion and birth control laws of their own countries.[27] Supporters also argue that the policy prevents the health agencies from promoting abortion at the expense of other birth control methods.[28] The amendment overturning the Mexico City Policy passed the Senate by a 53-41 vote. President Bush has vowed to veto any legislation eliminating the policy.[29]

    Reid received a 100% rating from NARAL in 2001 and voted with the interests of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association 68% of the time from 1995 to 2004. In 2003 and 2004, he received 29% and 20% ratings, respectively, from NARAL Pro-Choice America.[30][31] From 2005 to 2006, “Reid supported the interests of the National Right to Life Committee 50 percent.” Planned Parenthood gave him a 57% rating in 2006.[32]

  21. Aunt Millie
    February 14, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Notice how Matt Cunningham ( aka Jubal) never, ever, ever answers the questions about Republian core values and the massive deficits that the Jubalettes will be paying for Cunningham’s endless wars paid for by tax cuts for billionaires and borrowing from China.

    And how he calls us crazy all the time, lacking logic and reason.

    What a tool.

  22. Jubal
    February 14, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Aunt Millie:

    Perhaps because I try to stick to the point and follow a logical progression. You respond the the same catalog of cant every time.

    If I said to you, “I think it is going rain today,” you’re probable response would be “But Bush lied!!!”

    Don”t blame me for your inability to inability to stick to the point. It’s like arguing with an adolescent.

  23. Aunt Millie
    February 14, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    And Matt,

    You never, ever answer the question about what your core economic values are and how you justify the crony capitalism and profligacy of Bush and every other Republican in Washington.

    Or how the Jubalettes will pay for your deficit and tax cuts.

    Every expenditure is a tax.

    This is cant?

    This is lack of logic?

    No, it’s the cold hard logic of economics and looking at the bottom line.

    You love to call us names, but you never, ever answer the real question of how you justify the disaster of Bush and his economic policies.

    I don’t blame you for resorting to insults and refusing to talk about money.

    I just don’t understand why your head doesn’t explode from cognitive dissonance.

  24. Jubal
    February 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Dan:

    2001: 100% from NARAL

    1995- 2004: 68% from National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association

    2003: 29% from NARAL

    2004: 20% from NARAL

    2005/2006: 50% from National Right to Life

    2006: 57% from Planned Parenthood

    And Reid voted to repeal the Mexico City policy.

    That’s a pro-life voting record? At best it s flip-floppy record — and weren’t you regularly castigating Romney for his changes on the issue?

  25. Jubal
    February 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Aunt Millie:

    First, I don’t resort to insults. That’s your bag. It beats thinking. You don’t argue logically. That’s just self-evident.

    Again, your M.O. is to continually change the subject and then criticize me for not responding to your every change of subject.

    That is how adolescents argue.

    If there are any adults left around, I’m always up for a rational discussion.

  26. Jubal
    February 14, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    That list of Republicans for choice is much smaller than the list of Democrats that are “pro-life”. Imagine that.

    Oh yes, Sean. I’m certain those are definitive lists.

    Perhaps you can tell me how many Democratic members of the state legislature are pro-life? How many of the Democratic statewides are pro-life? Or what chance a pro-life Democrat would even have of winning a statewide office in California? Or the presidential nomination?

  27. February 14, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Jubal,

    I don’t use “pro-choice” or “pro-life” as a litmus test on who to support. However I know that I am much more tolerent of those that are “pro-life” then the OCGOP is of those that are “pro-choice”.

    Just look at how you folks hated Lynn Daucher, Doris Allen and still hate Tom Harman.

  28. Jubal
    February 14, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    In other words, the answer to my question is next-to-none — if any.

    “You folks”? I know this is asking a lot, but is it possible to be…I don’t know…specific?

    And maybe you’ve forgotten that Doris Allen was pro-life.

  29. Dan Chmielewski
    February 14, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Matt -
    Those are voting numbers from the respective groups and you more than anyone know it depends on what bills were up that year. Reid says he’s pro-life unless the pregnany is the result of rape or incest or places the life of the mother at risk; that should be good ebnough for you.

    Its not a flip flop; what Romney did was come out with a big sob story in 1994 about his mom being pro-choice and how he was pro-choice and then, when courting the Religious Right, saying he had changed his mind like Ronald Reagan did.

    And this: “Perhaps you can tell me how many Democratic members of the state legislature are pro-life? How many of the Democratic statewides are pro-life? Or what chance a pro-life Democrat would even have of winning a statewide office in California? Or the presidential nomination?”

    What chance does a pro-choice Republican have of winning his party’s nomination?

  30. Jubal
    February 14, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Those are voting numbers from the respective groups and you more than anyone know it depends on what bills were up that year.

    Maybe you forgot you’re the guy offering them as evidence.

    What chance does a pro-choice Republican have of winning his party’s nomination?

    If you’re talking about the presidential level, all things being equal, a pro-lifer has a definite advantage over a pro-choicer. But a pro-choice candidate can win it. Giuliani had a great shot, but blew it with a really bad strategy.

    Here in California, a pro-choicer has a very good shot. Pete Wilson was a pro-choice Governor. Former Treasurer Matt Fong was pro-choice. Mike Huffington was pro-choice. Current Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner is pro-choice. Quackenbush was pro-choice. Bill Jones was pro-choice. Bruce McPherson was pro-choice.

    Both parties have their orthodoxies, and some issues are more of a litmus test for activists than others, depending on the candidate and how hungry they are to win. But to pretend that the Dems are the “party of tolerance” and the Reps are the “party of intolerance” is hokum.

  31. Aunt Millie
    February 14, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Once again, Matt Cunningham, writing as Jubal, refuses to answer the basic question of how we pay for his wars, and how the Jubalettes pay for the borrow and spend Republicans and their profligacy.

    He calls us crazy, and me illogical and adolescent, but he never, ever answers the question.

    What are the economic principles that he believes in, and how does he reconcile his belief with what Bush has done? How can any responsible adult support crony capitalism and massive debt borrowed form China?

    And how does he keep his head from exploding from cognitive dissonance?

    Note that Cunningham will never answer these questions, but will continue to accuse us of all kinds of things.

    Heinlein would hang his head in shame at Cunningham’s folly.

  32. Bladerunner
    February 14, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    Gentlemen, gentlemen(and gentlelady)……

    I submit tolerance by both political parties is relative. In California, a state which most serious observers would acknowledge should be categorized as pro-choice, the GOP is more tolerant to its statewide candidates then are the Democrats. . The Reds get a hall pass from the pro-life wing of the GOP. Hence, as Jubal notes, the Arnold and Pete Wilson. Pro-choice GOP state legislators are harder to come by although the rare Lyn Daucher does pop up from time to time.

    For the Democrats in California, I wouldn’t use the word tolerant for pro-life Democrats at the state level. Pro-life–which i will for this comment operationally define as someone who not only believes abortion is wrong but is willing to apply restrictions to others ability to obtain abortions–is pretty much di rigeur for Democratic candidates to obtain an endorsement from the Party or win the primary. There are a handful of pro-life Democratic legislators who generally come from one of the few marginal districts or from heavy latino districts.

    As for the political parties in California, i can not conceive of a vocal, pro-choice candidate for GOP party Chair winning and even less of a chance for a vocal pro-life candidate for Democratic State party Chair winning. For a Democrat, you can be pro-life as long as you say its your personal belief and you won’t impose it on someone else. Or keep your mouth shut.

    Once you leave California, however, tolerance is relative to location. I don’t think South Carolina Republicans would tolerate a pro-choice statewide candidate for example. And Democrats in states like Pennsylvania have shown that they are tolerant of a pro-life Democrat and pro-choice to the max Senator Shumer was one of pro-life Bob Casey’s biggest supporters. I suspect there are more pro-life Democrats nationally then pro-choice Republicans in office but it’s not enough of a margin to base a claim of the Democrats being more tolerant then Republicans on the issue. Both parties

    On the presidential level, the chances of a candidate breaking out of the pro-life Red or pro-choice blue Party standard is slim. Jubal sites Rudy but Rudy started out with significant opposition because of his pro-choice stand(as well as his gay rights, 2nd amendment and other GOP-deviant positions). Yes, his campaign made one of the worst tactical decisions since Mike Dukakis rode in a tank, but he started out with a significant base of opposition that Romney and Huckabee could exploit. I don’t think he ever had a great chance. And as for Democrats, being pro-life is a non-starter. Hence, Al Gore, Dick Gephardt and yes, Roswellian Dennis Kucinich all shifted from being pro-life members of the House of Representatives to being pro-choice candidates for President.

  33. Jubal
    February 15, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Bladerunner: well said. Nice to have an adult on this thread.

    Aunt Millie: you need to grow up. If I thought I could have a rational discussion with you as I am fortunately able to do with BR, Gila and other Democrats, I’d be happy to answer your questions. Unfortunately, you have demonstrated no interest in reasonable debate. You aren’t a serious person but a name-caller only interested in one-upmanship, with whom debate is utterly pointless.

  34. Dan Chmielewski
    February 15, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Thanks BR — great commentary. Matt, with due respect, its hard to have reasonable debate with someone who challenges logic at every turn. If you don’t get it, then it doesn’t make sense for everyone is hardly a winning argument. I still maintain, there’s a wide divide between what Republicans say they stand for and what they actually do when governing.

  35. February 15, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    I’m inclined to think that a person whose arguments seem to be immature or illogical is often just someone whose point of view is radically different from one’s own position.

    I listened to Rush Limbaugh for years, back in the days before Faux Gnus, in order to try to figure out what made him and his listeners tick. I never bought into their POV, but after a while I started to see the logic in it.

    To summarize mercilessly, I find that people with different viewpoints are generally starting from a different set of base assumptions. One takes one’s beginning assumptions, applies logic, and comes to a conclusion.

    If your beginning assumption is “A” and you apply logic to it, you will come to conclusion “B.” If your beginning assumption is “X” and you apply logic to it, you’ll come to conclusion “Y.”

    It’s not a matter of faulty logic. It’s a matter of starting at different places.

  36. February 15, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Something here I don’t understand. Because Jubal judges Aunt Millie to be incapable of a rational discussion, he is thereby granted a pass on answering the question?

    Now, I’ve not called anyone anything. So I’ll try asking. What are the Republican core values with regard to deficit spending? How will the deficits be paid for? How does that jibe with cutting taxes for some and running up a tab that borders on incomprehensible? How does one reconcile federal spending with pronouncements of personal responsibility?

    Or am I also incapable of rational discussion for having posed the questions? See, I actually do want to learn the answers. I may not like them; I may not agree with them. But I do want to learn what they are.

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