Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Road to Perdition (or the HILL-GORE highway)

Last night as I engaged Ellie ("Political Hot Spot" and a great blog, btw...) she mentioned believing that either Hillary Clinton or Al Gore will be the nominee for the Democratic party in 2008.
That was it for me.... "I'm damn angry and I'm not gonna' take it anymore" I bellowed to the four winds....
Ok, so it wasn't that dramatic, but I did let out a sigh... Jeez, I said, are you kidding me? let me paste what I said verbatim. And I quote...

"Ellie, I was going to save this rant for a future posting of my own but you have uncoiled it from me. Every time I try to give the Democratic party a chance to earn my vote (not probable, but possible...), most people I talk to pull out the Clinton/Gore bit. I can't find the fascination with Hillary Clinton or Al Gore. Seriously; and Bill Clinton was the ONLY Democrat I've ever voted for (a protest vote in 96' against Dole, but all the same). Personally I would love if Al Gore would just clean Hillary's clock in the primaries and have her scurry to run for President of the Senate or something mundane. Just to see her arrogant Butt wither in the vine. As painful as it is to watch Gore, at least he stands for something and will lob verbal bombs with the best of them. I admire the guy. He took the sickest punch to the solar-plexus in the history of politics in 2000 and kept his chin up; did the private thing at Harvard and Apple, and kept his quasi-public image enough in the open to be a thorn to Bush at every possible moment. Good for him. I dis-like Bush as much or more that he does. What has Madame Hillary done? Field-poll testing of every answer she gives, sits on the fence on half a dozen "third-rail" issues and has not come out for or against anything in 6 months! She is the stepford candidate. Doesn't want to piss on any group, no matter the ideology. Talk about playing it safe. It is amazing to me the gumption of this woman. Its like she expects people to come up and kiss the Ring in the primaries and give her the de facto red carpet to the oval orifice. I agree with you that it will PROBABLY be one of those two, but the Democratic party has so many talented Governors like Warner (Virginia), Locke (ex-Washington), Corzine (New Jersey),... The list goes on and on and yet it always comes down to these two invalids. If the party of the Donkey loses again in the 2008, it is not because independents like me won't give them a shot, it is because you guys can't pick a solid candidate to save yourselves. Gore? 8 years of Clinton prosperity... .he blows it, could not even win his own home state!. Kerry? HE had 4 years of Bush bumbling, speech-polio and Iraq,... HE blows it. Just as America is tired of the Bush legacy so is half of America brain-fatigued of the Clinton name as well. But go ahead and give her the nod. You do so at your own peril, ... and mine too unfortunately."

Shortly after that rant I began to look for reasons why I felt this way.... Stay with me Demos, because in spite of not liking what you are going to hear, you will like me at the end (I can hope, cant I?)

Reason 1. Like it or not, the blow-hards on right wing radio have it right on one thing, you guys spend 90% of your bull-horn minutes bashing Bush and 10% giving semi-salient alternatives to his policies. People, my ambivalence for the man is well documented in many of my postings, but who wants to hear complaining about him 24/7? ... Harping about stuff we already know? Bush lied, Bush is dumb, Bush cant put 2 words together, Bush is suppressing our civil liberties, Bush is killing our soldiers...... you guys are killing ME! The Democratic "New Plan" unveiled last month made such amazing new proclamations as "we will look harder for Osama Bin Laden" (wow!) "We will fight a smarter war" (stop, I can't take the cutting-edge thinking!) The day the preponderance of Democratic bloggers stop the bitching echo and start to REALLY talk amongst themselves, ... start engineering solutions, convey platform alternatives, hash out ideas outside the box, put a positive and pragmatic view of the future ...that is the Day you will right (pardon the pun) your ship and start getting traction with the "silent majority", those who don't rant but stand back and watch the parade go by. You have precious few Red States in play for 08', and not ONE Blue State you can afford to lose. I swear, I listen to right and left wing talk radio all day , I sure as hell know what you are against, but I still don't know what you guys are FOR! The perpetually-surprised looking Pelosi is not a good face for your party, and her plastic surgeon should get fired as well (I know, its a cheap shot but I've gone 3 paragraphs in serious mode..)

Reason 2. Your candidates, -pure and simply- Suck. Al Gore?... look, even I can see that one. Eight years faithfully serving at Clinton's side, yep;... he was due and probably amongst the better-prepared Vice-Presidents in history. I'll give you that. But Kerry? the guy was a back-benching, Gold-diggin' Senator for 12 years! Name me one, ONE amazing piece of legislation he wrote or co-wrote at the top of your head (googling is not permitted today) The reason I did not vote for either candidate in 2004 is that to me, they BOTH sucked!. I voted for my little known Libertarian fellow and said to hell with both major parties. If Bush and Kerry are the "best and brightest" we can muster then our Country is toast. Whatever happened to people like Harry Truman? He could care for the poor, stand on moral principle, refer to God without having to qualify his statement, drop a few Atomic bombs on Japan AND still be for fiscal responsibility. I swear if he were alive and running today I would kneel down and swear allegiance to the Donkey's Ass... (is that a redundant thing or what...). Nominate Hillary and you will get 5% of the swing voters in Purple States -that are the true "deciders" of the election-, and they will vote for whom-ever is running against her, even if its freakin' Gumby. There goes your election, your hopes and the high probability of 8 more years of Republican rule. I can live with myself, I don't vote in Democratic primaries,... whats your excuse?

I love my country soooo much, that I would eschew my own party line, for the greater good. You guys give me a candidate I can look up to, respect their honesty, trust the fairness of policies and see transparency through-out, and I will vote with you, not against you.


Always On Watch said...

the blow-hards on right wing radio have it right on one thing, you guys spend 90% of your bull-horn minutes bashing Bush and 10% giving semi-salient alternatives to his policies.

Do the Dems not understand how stupid the Bush-bashing is? Sure, bashing the opposition is part of politics. But having no plan, combined with the bashing of opposition, has rendered the Democratic Party the pary of the ass.

I have several friends and relatives who USED TO BE Democrats. But they're so fed up now that they'll vote for just about an third-party candidate.

Truth-Pain said...

I tell my friends all the time, the Bush-bashing (justified or not) is your biggest yoke. We ALL know his deficiencies, his faults, the errors of the administration (even if they dont),... heck, the press, the media and the bloggers dont let us think about anything else! It's tough being an independent I tell ya', on the one hand i want to be even handed and look at whats best for the Country and not whats best for my party, but both major parties act like they dont really care what i think, only that they want me to know that THEY are yelling the loudest.

betmo said...

jeez truth- you just took part of the wind out of my sails. here i am working on my synopses- and you take part of my argument. i agree- not on the candidates necessarily- but neither one will run. they have pretty much said that. my state of perplexity comes from my fellow dems insisting that they do. we have plenty of talent(and not so much) to choose from- why keep hoping. my personal thought is clinton is doing good things for new york in the senate- keep her there. gore is doing good things for the environment- keep him there. next- get a new hope. come on already.

Truth-Pain said...

Dangit!~ Sorry Betmo :( i just could not contain myself any more... This theme has been festering in my dome for a week and the interchange with ellie just made me go into lockdown mode and I did not look up from the keyboard till i was done.
But hey, I am still looking very much forward to what YOUR take on this is. Dont cheat on me now! :)
Seriously, In spite of my "withering on the vine" salvo (and I stole that bomb from Gingrich), I do think her best place is the Senate and if she shoves Reid out of the way there would be no tears to be shed on either side of the isle, he is worthless to me.
I look forward to reading your thesis :) Cheers!

5th Estate said...

Hi there truth-pain….

Quite the rant you got going there.

I think perhaps these three quotes identify the crux of your post:

“The reason I did not vote for either candidate in 2004 is that to me, they BOTH sucked!. I voted for my little known Libertarian fellow and said to hell with both major parties.”

“If the party of the Donkey loses again in the 2008, it is not because independents like me won't give them a shot, it is because you guys can't pick a solid candidate to save yourselves”.

“I love my country soooo much, that I would eschew my own party line, for the greater good. You guys give me a candidate I can look up to, respect their honesty, trust the fairness of policies and see transparency through-out, and I will vote with you, not against you.”

At first glance it sounds perfectly reasonable to vote for whomever you believe is the best candidate for the job. In that way you don’t compromise your principles and that’s a noble thing.
But consider the following:
As long as you vote Libertarian presidential, you will never get the president, or the government you want until the Libertarian party gains more public (and of course private) support. So what are your options? Don’t vote at all (and then you can blame everyone for pretty much everything), or vote for the candidate and party that you have the most in common with and that can actually execute some of the policies you support.
Now, as I understand it two major Libertarian desires are for the smallest-sized Government possible and fiscal responsibility. Those are policies that the Republicans also claim. Democrats on the other hand are often described as the “Tax and Spend” Party and are certainly not interested in a minimal government. So the obvious compromise for a libertarian is to vote with the Republicans.

WWII saw a huge increase on the size of the Federal government. When the war was over, it continued to increase every year for a variety of reasons and in a variety of areas and in a variety of ways. The most recent attempt to reduce the “size” of Government was actually under Clinton’s tenure when Congress was split between Republican and Democrat majorities in the House and the Senate. It wasn’t dramatic but it was notable that it actually occurred at all.
Also under Clinton’s tenure the budget was finally balanced, and in the face of what had been a record deficit.

That “smaller government” and fiscal responsibility are major planks in the GOP platform one would then expect a Republican President with GOP majorities in both Houses to do what they have promised in every single election campaign since the 60’s. Instead Government has continued to increase and the national debt has hit record highs every year since 2001 (and as a percentage of GDP is rising above 60% with no policies suggested to slow it down). It’s Reagan redux, which gave us the recession that “did-in” Bush Sr.

The whole idea of principles is that once established, they aren’t supposed to change. Yet some of the declared principles of the GOP appears to have changed, or else has been forgotten or perhaps, as the history seems to show, these “principles” are all bullshit.

Time for the edit button—I better wrap this up.

The Libertarian party is simply a non-starter in practical terms. The GOP claims some libertarian ideals and once in power, never executes them. Under a Democrat President with a balance of power in Congress at least two Libertarian principles were acted upon (fiscal responsibility being the most successful).

I’d suggest it’s a little early to get agitated over “08 Presidential candidates just yet. Governors do well statistically, Senator’s do not. IMHOP Hillary would be an effective executive, but not “The Executive” (and even if she single-handedly brought Osama Bin Laden to justice she still wouldn’t win the Presidency).
Despite Bush’s assumption of “supreme executive power” a President is clearly dependent on the Congress for success or failure, and so too is the nation as whole. If you are serious about voting with an eye to “the greater good”, maybe you should look to the congressional and senatorial elections this year first, and then follow what transpires. If Democrats win both House and Senate in ‘06 or win one and then look like winning the other in ’08, both you and the greater good might be better served with a Republican president, or if each party looks to have a majority in just one house, then you can make a more personal rather than pragmatic choice.

Finally, I have to “zing” you:
”…you guys can't pick a solid candidate to save yourselves”.
To which I respond: And you can? How is the libertarian president doing? Reducing government? Being fiscally responsible?


I must say it is a source of frustration for me too, that a nation founded and developed on the principles of “freedom of choice” has so little freedom of choice, and such frequently lousy choices, when it comes to politics and politicians.


Truth-Pain said...

5th Estate:
Replies like these never need using the edit button, Great reply! I am on my way to a meeting and cannot counter to your points but will do so later tonight. Stay tuned... Cheers!

5th Estate said...

this is the damning thing about blogging; it's so exploratory. Whatever one says can be picked apart--supporters and opponents converge on the same spot. The more "visible" the blog the more challeges you may face. As much as I'd like ny blog to be more visible I'd egotistically prefer the attention to be positive, not negative.
I guess this is what professional politicans have to deal with. Thought the difference is we are expressing opinions, we don't get to pass laws on a daily basis.

(: Tom :) said...

Wow! I have to say that your argument is clear, concise, and more or less free of the rancor that seems to poison these sorts of conversations. But I have to respectfully disagree with quite a few of your basic assertions and assumptions on this post. And I probably should read some more of your stuff before getting into any depth or misrepresenting what you are saying here. I'm going to hit the self edit button, and hopefully post about it some time soon on my site so's I can get some feedback if you would choose to give it.

But I must ask you seriously, and rather quickly:

1. you say you guys spend 90% of your bull-horn minutes bashing Bush and 10% giving semi-salient alternatives to his policies. - but why are you not concerned that we deal with the very serious issues some Dems see with regards to Bush and allegations of high crimes and misdemeanors in this administration? I seem to recall a lot of crap, government shutdowns, etc. and CLenis carping quite a bit in all of the so-called liberal media when a recent president got a blowjob from someone who was not his wife. When there are some serious allegations about some serious abuses of power, why isn't everyone howling to have this dealt with, investigated at least, and why isn't a real set of allegations about a really serious problem (if the allegations are true) even being investigated? And why is it all mindless Bush-bashing, and dismissed out of hand?

2. You also say Your candidates, -pure and simply- Suck. As compared to the Dukestir? Frist? Hastert? Roberts (who has been stonewalling one of those mindless Bush-bashing concerns about investigating 9-11)? Coburn? Hatch? Do I need to go on even more here, or do you get the point I'm trying to make? I like an awful lot of the fringe candidates, too, and I wish more of them could get elected. I would love to see one of them get a chance. Until then I'd rather not have the Republican Party in charge any more, thank you very much.

For what it's worth, at one point I was a member of the Libertarian Party, and I do not vote straight Dem like some mindless automaton. But I do not understand why you do not see even more, and even more mindless, lockstep partisanship when you look at the Republicans. And I see endemic problems with both of these sets of clowns, and wholesale corruption in one a lot more than the other (but existing in both), so I'm not necessarily the biggest fan of the Democratic alternatives.

Thanks for the perspective.

Cubed © said...


I think AOW might be on to something: "I have several friends and relatives who USED TO BE Democrats. But they're so fed up now that they'll vote for just about an third-party candidate."

In fact, there are a lot of folks who are fed up with BOTH parties for a lot of reasons. I know I am, and I voted for Bush twice (a "lesser of two evils" vote).

Here's something a friend of mine sent me this morning that you all might be interested in reading; it's really interesting:

Truth-Pain said...

5th Estate:
Thanks for your patience.
I fully understand the dicotomy of voting for principle, fully knowing that voting in such manner does not further my long term goals. It is something I wrestle with and to be honest, I change my views day to day depending of what my latest rant is. But in the end, I make a spur-of-the-singular-moment-of-clarity vote.
In California,.. excuse me, The Peoples Republic of California, Democrats win by 3 to 7% of the vote constantly. Although the great majority of the counties vote Republican, there is enough vote volume in the metro areas to overwhelm the wishes of the rural and suburb areas. If the tipping point was closer? then I would have to "hold my nose" a la Giuliani (I'll get to that later) and vote Republican simply because my fiscal concerns trump my civil liberty ones, albeit only for the moment.
To clarify your assertion, the Libertarian Party's two-prongued concerns are Smaller Goverment (which by nature includes draconian fiscal discipline) and civil liberties bordering on Anarchism. So in effect, Libertarians vote with whatever their priorities of concern are. Fiscal (Repubs) or Liberties (Demos).
As to the Clinton years, in my observation, he did not make even cursory approaches to smaller government, fiscal discipline or Welfare reform until the 94' Republican Revolution that took over Congress under Gingrich forced a balanced budget ammendment down his throat. With credit to his masterful political skills he triangulated the issues, made them his and is given credit for the bottom line effects. So be it. I care not who gets the Kudos as long as something gets done.
No matter what the President can proclamate, it is the House that has purview over the Treasury. Reagan was screwed twice by Tip O' Neil who promised him to curb ear-marked pork spending. Reagan, ever the gullible chap got in the rectum both times. Besides he was trying like hell to bankrupt the Soviets with the biggest military buildup in history so spending (again) was anathema to another GOP Prez. He actually accomplished his wishes but the results happened after his watch during Bush 41.
The current GOP or "neo-cons" are divorced from the "small goverment" section of their platform. The suckers just gave up. How do you compete with "Vote for us and we will give you entitlements up the ying-yang, vote for them and you get squat"?.
Bush decided to join in the fun and pass prescription drug law. A Godzilla-sized program that will lay the lumber to us like we don't yet comprehend. Serves us well for electing him as President. We reap what we sow.
I'm almost on the edit button ...
As to your "zing"... you got me!... I have no clue. I know there is a duality in my reasoninig that is not logic-proof but I give it my best shot with the meager resources of my frontal lobe :)
I would say thanks for the brain food, but I see I have yet another howitzer from you waiting in the wings and I can't rest... now can I?
Until then....

Publius said...

I am sure Hillary wants to run and she very well might. She has an unquenchable thirst for power, otherwise she would have left Bill years ago for his philandering but he was her ticket to fame and glory.
Al is a nice choice but a retread like throwing Nixon back up there in ’68.
I think the Republican Party can defeat either one, so I say let them run.

Truth-Pain said...

5th Estate:
Your comment on the visibility of blogs and the effects of the viewing public's positive/negative quotient is very true. I find that when I had one guy a week reading my stuff I pranced from topic to topic giving no care to the details of my madness,... but now, as the traffic increases your words are prophetic,.. very much so.

Truth-Pain said...

I agree with you 100%.. they trot out Gore or Hillary and America will vote for Santorum before they vote for those two. This is not a slag on Santorum or a personal blight on Hill-Gore, but I just don't see them getting 10 states,.. it will be a mauling of Reagan-esque proportions.

Truth-Pain said...

AOW may indeed have something, .... she is not the only one Ive heard that from. A couple of people at my work are independent Democrats who hate Bush, and hate Pelosi, Reid et al even more... It will be fascinating to watch this metamorphosis of discontented party loyalists voting in anger..
And yes, it does permeate to both parties so the GOP cant be feeling to comfy right now..
Thanks for the link, its on my bedtime "must read" list :)

Truth-Pain said...

First of all welcome to casa de Truth-Pain and thanks for the complimentary words. Your lengthy comment is very much welcomed and I am priviledged to have caught your interest in this posting. I will try to encompass a reply without trying to leave too much out.
Point 1:
Although your points are very valid I was refering more to solutions and thinking about how to fix grand scale problems. Social Security, Government Waste, Medicare,.. the bloated intelligence and military (in my humble view)... I think I will leave the justice department to care for crimes and other malfeasance as they see fit. Whenever we get into trying to convict and demand justice we just incinerate any semblance of cooperation and just pee on each other for sheer entertainment value. I understand what you are saying but my point still stands. The bitching and moaning about Bush, or allegations about corruptions do nothing to give me an insight as to what the Democrats have to offer as an alternative.

Point 2:
This was a piece specifically invested in the Democrats. No further. If you read further postings you will see that I lay the lumber just as madly if not more so at the GOP. Again, you points are skillful, and the politician-persons described are no better, and that I readily admit, but this is a posting on my dis-enchantment with the current DEMOCRATS.... the day of reckoning for Republicans at casa de Truth-pain is coming soon enough. Stay tuned.
As to your last point?
We both have plenty in common on that. Although I am a registered Libertarian, I think my party is full of it in a few issues and say so loudly and saliently. I vote for the best person the country needs not blindly for party allegiance.
I sincerely welcome your comments in the future,.. Well said. Cheers!

Pekka said...

How strange to us non Americans that, Republicans can run elections but not the country, and Democrats can run the country but not elections.

Truth-Pain said...

I can see that view as well, potitics in the US is all about perceptions as well,... the media coupled with party rhetoric can certainly make your observation an ironic truth. Thanks for visiting :)

betmo said...

i,too, wonder why the repubs won't take a good hard look at the true issues. i'll limit it to three that i feel are kind of important that seem to be overlooked by the repubs and debated endlessly by the left:

1) the lies that continue to come out of the congress and executive branch- and the impunity with which they continue to do it. any explanations or rationalizations? not just about iraQ.

2) the domestic spying and mining for personal information from regular citizens- and classifying of thousands of documents that have never been classified before.

3) the skewering of anyone who even remotely disagrees or challenges the authority of the current government- and the erosion of civil liberties at an alarming rate

i could go on with issues but i will limit here. perhaps a post on my blog. i would ask for a thoughtful reply- not the right rhetoric of being at war or having a war on terror or bush being a war president. i mean an insightful answer. i am not being snarky- i want the truth. we aren't any safer as a nation than we were pre 9/11. i'll check back.

Truth-Pain said...

Great points as always, I will reply later today, Im runnin' late:)

Ellie said...

glad I could set you off on a rant. :) (great post btw)

I replied to ur comment over at my place. as for the bush-bashing you're right, there is a little too much of it. True, we're trying to get all the corruption and lies into the American people's skulls, but I agree...democrats need to take action.

Kerry - big mistake. I don't want to say he was too intelligent, because the president is supposed to be intelligent. He just appeared as one of those poeple who's standing in the corner reciting statistics all day, and people didn't think he could actually get things done. I believe that Bush stole the election and that he used very good politics to smear kerry and to bring up the whole moral topics. However, Kerry was still a bad candidate. In my humble opinion he should have been asking the same thing over and over: "Why are we in Iraq?" Its pretty sad that he lost to an incumbent who had gotten thes country into a war for no reason, lied, violated our civil liberties (okay I'll stop).

as for a candidate, I still feel it's going to be gore or hillary. I hope gore wins the primaries. I admire him for coming out against the war and I think he could do a much better job than hillary.

Today my friend told me that there is a new party being started by some ex-governor that hopes to run in 2008. I think that might be the alternative you're looking for. Maybe they'll actually take some action. And I can see it being successful because the Republicans are doing such a bad job and the Democrats aren't really doing much. Anyways, I gotta run, tons of stuff to do. I'll research that more and maybe a post will be coming on that, soon, probably tomorrow...maybe the next day.

Truth-Pain said...

Ellie, I did see your reply over at your neck of the woods,.. great post as usual. Gotta scoot to work but will catcht up to this tonight:)

Truth-Pain said...

3 quick hits on your points.

1) Yes, there is very little oversight or serious inquiry in congress about anything,...why? because they know that there will come a day when their very own party is in power and the quid pro quo is King of the hill in Wash DC. Nobody is going to set a precedent that is going to haunt them in 4 or 8 years. Like Metallica says,.. Sad but true.

2) I have a simple explanation of my own. I really don't think its (the whole NSA thing) a big deal. When I make a cell phone, do you think it is priviledged information? I am making a cell phone using the air waves of microwave antenna relays. Any person with cursory knowledge of ham radios can grab my signal straight out of the sky and listen to me tell my Girlfriend my deepest darkest....
The movie "Enemy of the State" was very prophetic. The communications industry has been in bed with the feds for 60 years.... nothing is private anymore except what we may say in the privacy of our own thoughts.
Personally? I could give a rip if someone data mines my phone and sees who I call. I am a law abiding cat so I could care less,.. seriously. And this is coming from a Libertarian!.. I pick my battles carefully. And this one has been lost long ago. I just live with it.

3)What specific errosions are you talking about? I have read the patiot act... fully (and trust me there is no more boring a read in history).. When my friend (another libertarian) and I finished our disecting, we figured there was nothing the Government was NOT doing before, that the are now. Its just that now they have a reason to put it on paper!...

Look, do you think the ACLU or liberty advocates would not sue the pants off the administration if they felt it did not pass constitutional muster? It is a highly interprative document. And courts will cede the executive powers for situations which no precedent has established illegality. I know its important to you, but we can't get all we want. After 9/11 things changed,.. the mood of Americans accepted the priying into our lives as a fair price to pay for the possibility of the capture of terrorist cells being at better odds. It sucks but America is obsessed with liberties as long as their security is not in peril. And I say "security" in a highly subjective manner.

Truth-Pain said...

Betmo has a helluva posting today about the differences in political party cultures,... it take a lot from a lot of sources but it is a great read to calibrate everybody on the basics of why we think the way we do.....
I think you are one of the few progressives that really "get it"... that it takes a hard mirror look and serious spring cleaning of ones political motor to come up with a new paragigm for success.

conservativekat said...

Well, I won't complain. But (just my opinion) if George Allen went for president and I was old enough to vote, I'd vote for him.

conservativekat said...

Overall it was a pretty good post.

Truth-Pain said...

ConservativeKat: Welcome to Casa de Truth-Pain, your visit and comments are always welcomed.
I dont really know too much about the Senator from Virginia other that him being son to his famous father, the NFL coach of the Redskins. Everybody keeps talking about him, though. I've only heard him speak once, something on C-span. Not the most electrifying speaker I've ever heard,.. but you cant judge a man just for his speech (believe me, I know what I am talking about)...
Thanks for dropping by :)

Ellie said...

I'm gonna scoot right over to betmo's and check that out. :)