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BlueStateMan On March - 7 - 2010

About 30 years ago, the religious right decided, after futile attempts to affect policy by creating their own power center, that it would be easier to take over an EXISTING Political Party instead… & that is EXACTLY what they did.

With the help of Ronald Reagan, the Republican Party ceased to be the moderate-to-conservative entity that it once was… one that was truly interested in governance through dialogue, compromise & a patriotic embrace of our system into what we see today.

A bunch of close-minded, dogmatic ideologues who are closer to the “Party of Lincoln ROCKWELL” than the “Party of LINCOLN”.

They got their way.

Isn’t it time that the LIBERALS in the Democratic Party took a few moves from the “moral” majority’s playbook, get involved at the GRASS ROOTS of our our Party & RE-TAKE it so that it might stand for the ideals & values that WE hold… back to the Party of Thomas Paine & FDR??

Don’t like the way the BlueDogs are betraying us?

Get INVOLVED at the PRIMARY LEVEL & get RID of them THERE… DON’T just say that you’ll “vote third party” or register as an “Independent” ..because you LOSE your INFLUENCE when you do that… once they are on the ticket.. it’s TOO LATE.

Don’t like the way the GOP is obstructing EVERYTHING the President is TRYING?

Then STOP empowering them by hoisting up THEIR STANDARDS & allowing them to DIVIDE us.

STAND UP for what we CAN be… & GET INVOLVED!

Categories: News & Politics

85 Responses so far.

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  1. SueInCa says:

    Well it has been a long day and I amgetting a bit sleepy. So good night to all my friends at the Planet. Sleep well everyone.

  2. Khirad says:

    Alright, I lied, I will put in my 2 cents.

    Point has already been made I’m sure; but, for years the Religious Right was used by the GOP cynically. Now, they have indeed taken it over -- and to what effect?

    I agree with primaries, when practical and in the right constituency… I’m not sure I would go so far as to give the district to Republicans, though.

    I had an interesting question I asked myself today. My Blue Dog is not like others. She was for a PO and is socially moderate to liberal but fiscally moderate to conservative. But, could I vote for a Stupak? I really, really, really don’t have an answer to that. I caught myself shouting at him today on the TV to just get it over with and defect to the GOP. He is totally pissing me off.

    In those districts like Blue Dog darling Heath Shuler’s, I don’t know… maybe we need to count on them to give us a majority, but little else on high profile initiatives? I’m not sure if in the end that math is worth it… but … I’m just not sure if all districts and states are made the same and I don’t share the same optimism that we can win them over -- at least not without a brilliant southern or midwestern folksy orator -- a real populist. Until that time comes, we continue with GROW and try to do what we can; but I just think we should focus on primarying candidates in places that can win a general. I hope for Arkansas, for example. Pragmatic optimism and progressive advocacy, I am all for. Perhaps I am too cautious or weak -- Democratic traits; but I like to think I’m a hopeful realist.

    • KQuark says:

      Living in the brightest red part of GA in Phil Gingrey’s district I would love if any Democrat could win, even Stupak. But it’s a moot point because not even a blue dog has a chance in my district.

      You should not feel like you have to apologize for being progressive in your principles and a pragmatic optimist.

    • SueInCa says:

      The worst thing that could happen to this country is to let another republican in the WH. If you think the past 30 years have devastated this country, give them 4 or 8 more years and we will all be reporting to the Christian Department of the Interior. There is not one candidate in that party that I think could do any better job than Obama is doing right now, in fact if they come to power again, they will finish off the freedoms that we still have.

      If they get in to power again, I truly fear for our country because progressive dems and liberals are going to wake up one morning and you are going to be required to declare your christian status and if you refuse, you will be thrown in jail. Perhaps we do need to understand the worst case scenario to wake us up. My friends, if we wake up one morning in that worst case scenario for lack of action, we only have ourselves to blame.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Sue, I can’t agree more!

        Last night, I was up late because the movie The Pianist was on IFC-- no commercials. I saw it when it came out, and frankly, how many Holocaust movies can you see?

        But the thrust of the movie wasn’t the camps or the Nazis, but how steadily the Nazis rounded up the Jews in Warsaw. I was reminded, yet again, how disbelieving the Jews were. The Nazis were ludicrous, ridiculous to think they could get away with it. The Polish Jews were middle class professionals, teachers, artists-- they laughed at the boorish Nazi sympathizers.

        I mean, how could I not see the parallels between that and the RW? We say Sarah Palin could NEVER be Prez. Oh yeah?

        • KQuark says:

          Your point about the right wing using apathy is very true. They literally got millions of people in Germany believing democracy was bad because it was too messy.

          The sad part is people have such short memories that Hollywood should never stop doing Holocaust movies at least once in a while.

        • SueInCa says:

          If you ever get the chance, watch QBVII. It is one of the best I have ever seen. It starred Ben Gazarra and Anthony Hopkins. The book was written by Leon Uris.

        • SueInCa says:

          Believe me she is the darling of the Christian right and has been groomed by some of the worst of them.

          First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out

          • Chernynkaya says:

            Thanks for the quote-- I’ve been wracking my brain all day for that!

            • SueInCa says:

              LOL. I bought 5 postcards at the Holocaust Museum. When I got home I bought 5 frames and I have hung them in a prominant place in my homes everytime I moved.
              That quote is on one of the cards so I look at it everyday.

      • choicelady says:

        Brilliantly said, Sue! If you all think this won’t happen, you have SO missed the fervor of these people! They have four solid seats on the Supreme Court. Wait until they get five.

        The intent is to take us over, round up all of us who have free minds, and make SURE there is no way we will ever get control back. It CAN happen here if we give away the votes for even wobbly Dems. There is no such thing as a liberal or progressive Republican any more.

        • SueInCa says:

          I never want to sound like the “sour grape” in the room but I have done my research on these people and I know what they want. They are not dominionist for nothing. You can hear it in their choices of words, regime, socialist, communist, fascism. They say when you constantly refer to others with these ideals you are probably projecting what you believe in your heart.

          Authority is at the heart of their doctrine and you can bet they will make sure it is dealt all over this country. I just do not know how to wake people up…………….Michael Moore, where are you?

    • choicelady says:

      Let me see if I can work out my own thoughts about the religious right’s domination of the Reeps.

      My liberal side says “all views are worthy” but my pragmatic side says, “Who you kidding?” I don’t want to wade through a whole history of religion (and y’all know I CAN) but bottom line -- the religious right is actually a teeeeeeeny minority view of Christianity. Sure, they and the Catholics sometimes agree on abortion and same sex marriage, but that is the beginning and the end. The RW Dominionists (end times believers who think you have to ‘perfect’ the world so Christ can come again meaning get rid of all of us here) HATE Catholics with a passion. So the universe is actually very much smaller.

      Stupak is part of yet another fringe movement -- The Family. There is really no characterizing them since they believe in almost nothing other than their own power. He is Catholic, and he hates abortion, but beyond that he has no core beliefs.

      That said, they are a source of REAL worry. The reason why the RW is so dangerous is -- it believes in nothing. It has NO principles. It rests on three legs: anti-abortion, anti-gay/lesbian, no taxes. You simply cannot run a nation on those three things. You can run a reich, not a nation. I guess you could throw in American unilateral power, but frankly they don’t give a rip about the US so much as they want any geographic base from which to exercise their control over the world in their own interests.

      Blue Dogs infuriate me, but they can be moved. Stupak -- not clear. If he is willing (and he has 9 others) to kill people to save embryos (who are not being killed by the health care bill, BTW) he is SO without morals that it is sickening. But I don’t know him and whether he can be moved on health care.

      That really is the bottom line. Is what you are proposing moral? Does it HELP people? Or is it your hobby horse for your own personal and political aggrandizement? That’s where the RW has gone. I don’t know any Republicans anymore who would have sacrificed the nation the way this group is doing.

      Back in the “old days” my brother applied for CO status during Vietnam. My family were devoted Dems in an overwhelmingly Reep district (and non-Christians in hard right Christian territory to boot. Not fun growing up there.) My brother appealed to the Republican Senator, Chuck Percy, who SUPPORTED my brother’s request for conscientious objector status. A Republican! Supported him! You’d not find that much today. I knew John Chaffee -- part of that same Old Guard. Good people. Did not agree with lots they believed, but when push came to shove, they’d be honorable.

      Today too many of us have poor choices -- wobbly Dems, rabid Republicans, tea baggers. We need to keep our eyes on the prize -- if we want progressive ideas to grow, we have to VOTE for the people who have half a chance of believing in them. If we stop voting, we go back to ‘default’ Republicanism and a nation that will shatter under their incredible ignorance adn venality.

      This is Weimar. The progressives sat that out, did not become engaged, preferred politicial arguments in cafes to actual engagement, and they got Hitler. It CAN happen here, and even when we don’t like a Dem (unless it’s Stupak) we mostly need to vote for them to give them moral courage and hold the line. It does matter terribly.

      So with the exception of Stupak (and the other 9 whose identities I don’t know) I think we must vote, we must vote for the Dems, and we must become deeply engaged with those Dems to try to move them leftward. It’s slow going, but that IS how the religious right took over. We cannot do any less. I honestly don’t know about Stupak, but he IS good on other issues, so he might become someone you could win over. Or not. Cannot say. I just think the Reep would be a disaster in terms of House control.

      And if the Reeps in the pockets of the religious right get back in -- where will MY organization, MY principles, MY work be? I truly fear limits on religious freedom FROM the religious right! They want a theocracy, and trust me folks, we ain’t it. I could see that happening with the current Supremes and a Reep/teabag dominated Congress.

      The Repubs were bad enough under Bush. If they get any control back, they have moved SO far right into the Teabagger arena, they will be dangerous beyond belief. At the moment ideological purity among Dems is of less concern to me than just having a party with some intelligence and lack of Brown Shirts.

      Maybe I’ve been doing this too long, but I think we’ve rarely seen such horrible goings on. We just cannot go through the upheavals of the 50s again. Or worse. We need to keep our nation safe from extremism, and if that means compromise with DEMS, then that is what we must do.

      • Khirad says:

        Well said. I do like the rel. history though. (both the reminding me of what I should know, and new stuff. You, Sue, Cher and I have a little ecumenical religion club here 😉 ). Totally right on the Catholics (funny, in TP rally video posted in OT, I saw a Vatican flag though! Odd… think back to the “Papist” accusations against JFK)

        If Stupak is in line with other stuff, maybe -- considering no better alternative, I could plug my nose and pull the lever. But, with him, this is like his hobby horse. If it were for a message back to his district, I think he already made it. No, he’s still harping on this, even though this isn’t the time nor the place. I think he’s a “moral” attention whore at this point (he really is pissing me off, did I mention that?). He seems intransigent, and I’m not sure there is dealing with him. But I agree with your general point wholeheartedly. I don’t like the prospect of gambling and shooting ourselves in the foot blindsided by our myopic idealism.

        Problems and faults of Chris Matthews aside, I do once in a while pick up things from him. Like, the Republican and Democrat who used to drive back to their home state together, before jets; and how Dems And Repubs used to hang out together. How they could disagree on the floor, and go out for a drink later. Some may say -- Hey, Washington is BAD! -- you’re out of touch! There is no more congeniality. No compromise. Little decorum, all theatrics (not that the latter hasn’t existed since politics immemorial).

        Maybe part of the lesson is that they could use a little more time in Washington -- forced to talk to each other. But, these types, and the new GOP, without almost any class as a whole is a whole new breed. We used to be able to disagree with them… I mean, I’m starting to look back on Newt as House Speaker with nostalgia… maybe that’s just time softening how horrible that time was, and it was; but honestly -- the Republican Revolution of ’94 seems to pale in comparison. Am I wrong and flawed in my rear-view perspective here? In any case, I’m not about to not vote for the lesser of evils:

        Because, the alternative is still the greater evil, by far!

        P.S., isn’t funny how the rabid minorities in each respective religion have the habit of having a bark (and a bite), which misrepresents and poisons the whole religion in the eyes of outsiders? There’s a few proverbs to this effect. They are the ones who rather than “revitalizing” religion, are, in fact, destroying it.

        • SueInCa says:

          Khirad, CL is right. Old Newt is right in the middle of the Christian right. If you think Bush was weak, Newt would be a disaster. You don’t have to be pentacostal to be in that group. The group is composed of evangelicals and communists(mainly Catholics) that are on the more rabid side of the respective religion. You can go to one Presbyterian church and get a mild case of protestant, then go to another and get rabid, evangelical christians. In the 70’s they came up with a term for these people, Charismatic to soften the pentacostal term, make it more palatable to the masses.

          My series is going to start this week and I cover the make-up/history of the christian right in the first installment. I said it better in that post.

        • choicelady says:

          Khirad, dear -- don’t go overboard here! Newt STILL is one of the BAD GUYS! Remember he went on Pat Robertson and said, OK I schtupped two women (that I’m admitting to) in adultery, but I’m just fine because Jesus forgave me, so I’m not a hypocrite for pointing fingers at Bill Clinton. (A friend said that this “Jesus forgave me” stuff is really NOT their call…)

          He may not (yet) be a tea bag person, but I think he’s definitely in the school of Christian whoremongers.

          It’s one think to get nostalgic. It’s another to get amnesia!!!! I understand you’re going for hyperbole, but that made my blood run cold! Yeeeek!

          • Khirad says:

            I guess I was referring to the Republicans brought in under him and not him per se. His recent stumping and comments haven’t made me forget that part of him. What I am saying is that the GOP as a whole seems even more radicalized than then;. I do not remember him fondly, as a person. I don’t want to dig my self in deeper, but at least you could spar with him. Now it's just "no". It was hyperbole, but also not. I am still in pain over that whole era -- a psycho proto-Bachman/Schmidt won our district -- I do not remember that fondly; but even she didn't march lock step with Newt (but still gives me shudders). Now Brian Baird (it's weird to see him on TV so much lately) is stepping down and though I no longer live there, I worry for them with the coming election…

            What I am arguing here, is really degree. Like, it's even worse now; not that it wasn't bad then. That's when I wonder if I'm giving in to the "now" perspective and maybe the past has gotten fuzzy. I think there is a case to be made that it is objectively worse now, though (except that they aren't power, of course -- that is definitely better).

  3. choicelady says:

    Ok -- TOTALLY off the point, but what with one of our utlra-conservative anti-gay-voting state Senators having been picked up for drunk driving after coming from “Faces”, the premier gay bar in Sacramento, I HAVE to address the big tent issue.

    Someone wrote that the Republicans don’t need a big tent. They need a bigger closet.

    I have not stopped laughing.

    • kesmarn says:

      c’lady, that is hilarious.

      But, as I told Sue on another thread, I’m suuuurre his was only at “Faces” for the purpose of doing research for a report to his base on how “the godless people” misbehave. Right. Undoubtedly.

    • SueInCa says:

      That’s real family values. What is up with the state vehicle? They should sell them all and make these guys drive their own cars

      • choicelady says:

        Yup -- I do agree!!! If Weird Jerry gets elected Guv again, at least the state motor pool will shrink since his appointees will be deprived of cars again,I bet. The point was that no one in elected service should be out of pocket by having to maintain two homes, two cars, etc., but honestly the thing has gotten waaaaay out of hand. I agree, Sue -- ENOUGH!

        And anyway -- if you’re going to be caught in flagrante, is it not better NOT to do so in a state car? So tacky!

        • SueInCa says:

          Sheeet, in my opinion if budget cuts should be made, start with them. What do you want to bet there is a C street house somewhere in Sac? And, they knew when they ran what they were up against. I notice they have not forgone their pay raises. That is part of the problem, our elected officials do not set the example for everyone else.

          If they want, I will take one of their places, I can carpool or drive to work then they don’t have that two home worry.

          • choicelady says:

            BTW -- you’d be a great Assembly or Senate member, but you’d run screaming from the building! No one can legislate thanks to the dysfunction built into the entire system from all the frigging propositions that have legislators tying themselves into knots. Then add in the party extremism. Legislators today are unable to even TALK to one another since the party won’t let you cross the aisle anymore.

            No -- you keep your sanity, good new friend. I like you better not babbling in a rubber room!!!!

            • SueInCa says:

              I have thought about running if only to point out the hypocrisies during the campaign………….but i don’t have the green to run a campaign.
              I would not mind being the spoiler and stirring up the pot alittle. LOL

          • choicelady says:

            Oh I’m sure there IS a C Street type place, though the “minister” actually commutes up to hold Bible study IN the Capitol (as do the Catholics and Jews -- only the liberal Protestants -- me -- do not.)

            We support the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s work to purge the religious evangelism from the military. Waaaay too many places where commanding officers are telling enlistees and even officers they are “fighting for Jesus”. The foundation behind this RW extremism to make the military into Christian warriors is the Christian Embassy -- and its west coast leader is down in the Delta in Rio Vista! Had a letter in the Bee, and I about plotzed. Creeeeepy!

            • SueInCa says:

              They are infiltrating every area of society, I am fully aware of that. That little creep Stephen Baldwin is the head of one of those organizations. I can’t think of the name off the top of my head. Christian Embassy, I will have to look that one up.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Great line!

    • escribacat says:

      That was delicious.

  4. Khirad says:

    Food for though… http://books.google.com/books?id=GJSbW1IT4WgC&pg=PA124&lpg=PA124&dq=#v=onepage&q=&f=false

    As to the drama. Please don’t include me. I come here as a refuge from a’ that. Right now I’m dueling (that’s generous) with an Ahmadinejad apologist defending the Holocaust conference and his recent Truther comments. It’s like a woo-woo magnet.

    Seriously… we don’t need to sing Kumbaya, but… *sigh*

    There be worse things in the world to unite against.

    Edit: I didn’t mean to conflate current disenchantment with Fascism vis

    • Chernynkaya says:

      That was a great link!! Bookmarked it. But Khirad, I must respectfully-- I mean that-- disagree. It is very understandable for you to not want “drama” but I don’t consider debate-- even heated and passionate-- to be “drama.” To me, drama is bitching and infighting and gossip. This is a pretty political site though, so debate should be expected. Still, I really do understand your wish to remain out of the fray!

      • Khirad says:

        Oh, no, I agree! I can get into it with the rest of them and enjoy it -- respectfully. Let’s just say, that this isn’t one of those things I feel like getting into, nor am I in the mood.

        I was just trying to say, that we have more in common than not here, that’s all -- and to be mindful of that when addressing each other. (queue sappy music, I know)

        Perhaps that’s what can make it so heated -- like arguments among family! :-)

        P.S. I totally lifted the link like a few weeks to a month ago from someone ‘over there’. I bookmarked it then, and now, here you are!

  5. Blues Tiger says:

    Kalima I didn’t say I wouldn’t exercise my right to vote, I said I doubt that I would cast another vote for Obama… You are taking liberties in your assumptions…

    I am sure that I fail the Purity Test Standards that seem to be occurring on this site the last few days, but to post that somehow I fail to care about 300 million Americans borders on the offensive… It may be hard for you to fathom but literally millions of people who voted for President Obama don’t wake up in the morning and drop to our knees thrusting our hands skyward yelling “hallelujah I voted for Obama”… Millions upon millions of us who voted for President Obama in the general election(by the way the # grows daily)wake up read the news of what the Administration is proposing or has done and think “WTF”…

    • KQuark says:

      😆 Progressive ideologues are the ones trying to impose purity tests on anyone who is left leaning.

      Name one opinion that is not in lock step with the progressive blog group think I’ve seen from any of your posts.

      There is absolutely no purity of positions on the Planet. Based on the diversity of opinions you just can’t handle anyone who is not a purist like you.

      Like most progressive purists these days, you are mischaracterizing people who support the president with your petty sarcasm. The vast majority of people that support him don’t agree with him on many issues and wish he could get more done. I had no delusions like most people didn’t that things will be magically fixed since Obama was elected president. The biggest evil I see in American politics today comes from the extremes.

      Anyway if you don’t like the various opinions on the site you have plenty of sites where you can preach to the progressive choir in lock step like you want.

      • Blues Tiger says:

        Feel better now? You presume to lecture people as though you are the authority quite often on your posts… I ignore you and your bitter demeaning condescending attitude most of the time and will continue to do so…
        I have come to expect nothing less from you than belittling judgments of me and this post only proves it…
        You or the Admin are more than welcome to return my and my friends monetary contributions anytime and we will move on…

        • choicelady says:

          Hi Blues Tiger and KQ-

          First, I would vote again for Obama because a whole lot of really great stuff is occurring because of his election. Never did think he walked on water, and saw him as a progressive on issues but dedicated to moderation with respect to something SO important -- trying to unite this nation once again. I think the past year has been limited in big policy accomplishments, very successful with stuff that matters hugely to people in need, and worth the doing -- trying to bring Reeps and Dems together.

          Well, it’s only on the latter that he has “failed” -- in the sense that it did not happen.

          I hear from progressives all the time that Obama is no damned good. Yes, actually , he is GREAT. He’s not ideological and won’t give all of us what we want, but -- remember what we’ve had over the last THIRTY years, and say that he’s not better. He is.

          Now that I’ve said my say, Blues T. -- KQ is one of the coolest people on this blog. He is most respectful of us all, and he and I do not agree on many things, but I learn from him, and I feel welcomed by him to have my say.

          I like your posts, Blue -- I think they’re often interesting and thought provoking. I’d say I don’t agree with you on NOT voting for Obama because I think we’ve not remotely seen what this statesman can do yet. But I also have a bug up MY butt about progressives being “too good” to vote for mainstream Dems. That’s how we got Reagan -- people too good to vote for Carter. But if you’re on welfare, if you’re sick, if you have real economic problems, man -- you WANT Obama (Carter? Not so much!) because he is slowly and steadfastly moving us along to a much healthier economy, polity, and society.

          We ALL wanted the bravdo of FDR, but frankly, the nation was not in bad enough shape. We wanted an LBJ -- but WE brought him down over Vietnam, ignoring the absolutely magnificent social programs he’d developed, that were killed off by Nixon and successors.

          So we at the Planet have been discussing this for several months. And we do believe that there is a tendency for progressives who have no skin in the game -- not unemployed, do have health insurance, not in college with fees soaring -- to be ideological at the expense of realistic.

          We mostly believe that mature reflection on Obama shows he is making huge changes. That what both nervous progressives and nervous teabaggers share is the fear of “might”. “Might happen”.

          So we’d ask you to keep working WITH us to look at the steps that have been done well, to keep the pressure on Obama AND Congress to do the best things, and for us NOT to snipe at one another. KQ is the means test for a good America -- you may not know his history (and it’s his to tell), but he is the American story in the 21st Century personified. And he’s a really good person as well!

          So hang in there. We’re very cool. We welcome you, but we want you to understand where we are coming from.

          And oh -- by the way -- NOW I will tell you I work for a major progressive FAITH organization. The Planteers got over their shock to discover I’m VERY cool, and I hope you will too!!

          • KQuark says:

            Thanks CL.

            I know I can be passionate about certain subjects and I even cross the line sometimes.

            You know my background is as blue collar as it gets being the first one in my family to graduate college. My father and oldest brother are both Teamsters who are retired now. They are both vets and my biggest role models, especially my father. I have lived the American Dream only to lose it to several illnesses. I have skin in the game and many scars to prove it. So yeah when I hear ideologues who are trying to kill an progress or undermine the president who is fighting for that progress, because it’s not progressive enough it does infuriate me.

            • choicelady says:

              KQ -- it’s you I keep in my heart when I lobby on health care. I am a die hard single payer supporter -- who knows it ain’t happening today. What I want is what will help YOU, KQ. I want the many things that Obama has gotten passed from the Lilly Ledbetter law to SCHIP to all the things listed earlier here that make me know that many people won’t starve tonight, won’t go cold tonight, won’t be tortured tonight. These things MATTER. Obama is also restoring democracy, checks and balances, and civility, and none of that comes easily in a nation that is so polarized. I also have real problems and have had since 1980 with progressives “too good” to vote for a candidate with basically good stands but who makes compromises. I’m unyielding in my upsets with Carter but could easily see how many people in 1981 would starve, go cold, be lied to, have their unions busted, and be thrown onto their own if Reagan was elected. I do want more progressive action from the Dems -- it’s NOT just Obama. We are a nation of hate mongers on one side and too many cowards on the other, but it’s NOT all Obama. It’s where we are historically. I LOVE most of what Obama has accomplished, and while I do not love the health care plan, it WILL offer you, KQ, a chance to take care of yourself without being driven into bankruptcy. You and your family are my touchstones for what is worthy. What Obama is doing is worthy, and your family will be honored and cared for by it. That matters. That is REAL. YOU are real. We have to drop ideological purity that stands between you and decent health care. Between your family and decent labor laws. Between the middle class and honorable financial transactions. We have just started. Now is NOT the time to abandon hope!

            • KQuark says:

              I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I get the care I need even though it’s not easy. Most of the providers really care including my doctors, the hospital and medical devise suppliers which could have taken my town house by now or made me declare bankruptcy based on my six figure healthcare bills. Since I’ve had no insurance about 90% of my healthcare costs have been gratis or written off.

              In fact my only income is private disability because the public SSDI system has become so ridiculous to get, especially in red states like GA. The worst part is getting SSDI automatically triggers Medicare so it’s a double whammy.

              So while in principle I prefer public insurance, in practice public systems are far from perfect.

          • escribacat says:

            I heart you, choicelady.

          • kesmarn says:

            Blessed are the peacemakers….

            If you’re not too weary to scroll all the way down, there’s a word of appreciation for all you have done in my earlier comment.

            • choicelady says:

              Escriba and Kes -- thank you! Those are lovely words. I do hope I’ve helped keep the notion of FAITH as opposed to RELIGION alive. One is active for justice. The other is smug self indulgence.

              I hope we keep moving forward together. There is SO much good happening that it is not the time to get faint of heart. We’re just starting what I think will be a wave of solid progressive changes. We need all hands on deck as we make the sea changes.

              (And please everyone -- give me credit for at least this once having kept my cliches in order. I’m really bad for mixing sayings!)

            • KQuark says:

              Those are the biggest issues I voted for but I wish I could be as optimistic.

            • escribacat says:

              I may be blind with optimism but I see HCR being passed, I see the kids coming back from Iraq, I see the development of new green industries — all biggies for me. Progress, not perfection.

    • Kalima says:

      Ok and I didn’t suggest that you wouldn’t exercise your right to vote, I said that I don’t have much patience with people who don’t.

      Why make such a broad sweeping statement about how people don’t fall on their knees every morning to thank Obama. It sounds very much like the rhetoric used on HP during the primaries against Obama. However to think less of people who truly believe that he will make a difference in his term is unfair to the people who believe it and to the man himself when even I, so many thousands of miles away know how the Senate is almost at a standstill due to Republican obstructionism.

      So obviously, Obama is just a man and not God after all.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      the Purity Test Standards that seem to be occurring on this site the last few days

      If by that you mean that we can disagree with each other and say so, then I suppose you could characterize that as a Purity Test. I don’t see it that way though-- I see it as interesting. Maybe the Purity Test would be more fairly seen as a site where everyone was made to agree?

  6. KQuark says:

    So you are trying to tell us having the ideologues take over the party is a good idea. Isn’t that what got Repubs in this mess now?

    If I’m wrong tell me.

    People still forget that self described liberals are only about 20% of the electorate. The swing to the left in the 60’s and 70’s is part of what caused Dems to be marginalized in electoral politics for almost 30 years but progressive want to make the same mistake again.

    We have to move the center of this country not break of into the extremes.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      KQ, How do we move the country to the center if we don’t move it to the Left? It seems to me that this country has moved so far to the Right, that the Center is now center-right. What is the true center? I think that could be what Obama represents, but to get to where he is on the political spectrum was achieved with his base of left leaning voters.

      I do not want to see our Party become fractured by the far left, but I think the only way to get back to the center is by some pulling to the left. I am also open to suggestions on how to do that.

      • KQuark says:

        Some pull to the left sure but making the Democrats a fringe party like the “moral majority” GOP is not the answer. That will only scare moderates and fracture any chance of electoral victories, especially in presidential and Senate races Dems have to run from a more centrist position. The only reason Republicans were able to have a large fringe element in there party was based on the white fear Southern strategy. The Dems have always been most successful as a big tent party. I know people revise history now and say FDR had a liberals only party but he had many social conservatives from the South in his coalition as well.

        The best way to move center left is from coalition building, but the Dems still need to prove they can govern. FDR was successful at moving the country center left because he compromised well with the Dems coalition much more than people’s revised version of history remembers today. But I still doubt FDR would be that successful today because he did not have to deal with a right wing echo chamber and a base that questioned every move.

        • Chernynkaya says:

          but the Dems still need to prove they can govern.

          Well, that’s really the bottom line. If the dems can’t do that, all the rest is just theoretical blather.

          But here is my quandary: One of the reasons we seem to be incapable of passing important legislation is that we ARE a big tent. Unless the Blue Dogs and the Progressives BOTH can set aside some of their ideology, they will bring the whole Party down. So yeah, big tent necessary to win, but not really functional to govern.

          • KQuark says:

            Dems were always big tent when they passed things like SS and Medicare. The problem now is Dems make a point now not to follow their leadership. HCR and other parts of the Dems agenda would be done right now if they were dependable votes. I know it’s a chicken egg situation but you can’t lead people who don’t want to follow.

  7. TheRarestPatriot says:

    My two cents:

    I am and have been for a more activist approach to taking back a Progressive path to our party. Ask anyone here and they’ll tell you I’m for nothing short of civil disobedience and political upheaval in the streets. I mean, how many more generations of our kind will simply fire off angry letters and emails and phone calls to our representatives just to be placated and ignored? I have to point out again this thought: If we were SO very hopeful and bleary eyed with optimism when a man like Obama became president only to see his policy and power watered down to appease the Right and Blue Dogs, who in the hell is going to come along in the future that is a better representative of our agenda? Honestly, I believe that if something doesn’t change drastically within the presidential election cycle, the Right is going to take back power. And it will be a long time coming, maybe the rest of OUR lifetimes before real change happens and who knows what schemes the Right is concocting to ensure their stay in power isn’t disrupted by we, the great unwashed.
    Yet, a caveat. I’m not optimistic we Libs have it in us to be true, effective activists like the Right. They have great unifiers like, fear, hate, intolerance and a rock solid religious faith that drives their collective sense of superiority. Libs on the other hand simply have logic, facts, reason and a desire to evolve our society for the sake of humanity’s common good. That’s a tough hand to play…and win. The Right will blindly unite to elect whomever the talking heads tell them to elect. Period. We Libs will debate, discuss and contemplate the candidate that bests suits our own personal beliefs, etc…this logic will scatter our votes and muddy our collective voice. I can only hope I’m wrong.
    Also, by reducing our rhetoric and activism down to the tea bag level…doesn’t that in itself just bring us down to…~gulp~…their level of extremism? Like I said above, not all Progs or Libs will look upon such activist efforts kindly.
    But as a boat rocker for life, I’m ready for the pitchforks and torches…Don’t Tread on Me, motherf%$%s…..!

    • Blues Tiger says:

      If you wanted a “progressive” as President than you should have voted a “progressive” in office to be President…

      • TheRarestPatriot says:

        Had there been a Progressive in the running I would have. However, I voted the right person into office at the time. It’s a 2 party system and you only have the option of choosing the lesser evil of those 2…or not vote at all…or throw your vote away on a 3rd party so you can feel good about about your vote and suffer the next 4 years. IMHO.

        • Kalima says:

          President Obama was the lesser of two evils when his hair is already turning grey in just a year to get the country on it feet and cares enough for the people to introduce HC for all?

          I’m sorry, I really don’t understand what some Americans want or expect. Seems that the man just can’t do enough, even though he has done more than any President since Roosevelt. There are so many countries all over the world that would give an arm an a leg just to see a quarter of the legislation he has signed since he took office.

          Patience is a virtue and no one can always get what they want.

          • Blues Tiger says:

            Every Presidents hair turns grey in a year or so why should President Obama’s be any different…

            If you decide your vote is for the lesser of 2 evils your still voting for evil…

            • Chernynkaya says:

              I would not vote for evil, no matter which Party. I have, however, voted against what I consider to be the actual evil of the Republican Party while at the same time voting for what I considered to be mediocrity. Not Obama, but in other elections.

              I do not believe in the false equivalency of the lesser of two evils, when one side is evil and the other merely so-so.

              I see a big difference between a Party that does little or nothing-- and I am frustrated and angry about that-- and a Party that actively and vigorously works to dismantle democracy for a Christo-fascist state. A Party that has not just a few corporate owned-and-operated Senators (as do the Dems) but a Party that APPROVES of corporate ownership of government (the Reps).

            • Kalima says:

              So what is evil about President Obama, I think some of you really deserved McCain, then you would have had something to complain about.

              The grey hair is not what is important, it’s what he has already done that he gets absolutely no credit for that is.

              I expect the term”lesser of two evils” in developing countries and not from citizens of a country who still call themselves # 1 on many occasions.

            • Kalima says:

              BT, contrary to beliefs I don’t live in the North Pole and I know that there were many who didn’t vote for Obama.

              If you vote or don’t vote is really not my concern but I find it to be a case of cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face and a cop out.

              In December I will have lived in this country for 30 years, I’m not a citizen so have never voted. If I had voting privileges I would always vote because I care enough about my life here, I would want for things to change to make it even better. I have no time or patience with people who say they won’t vote because they want their own way. I thought that progressives were supposed to care about others, what about the rest of your over 300 million people, don’t they count?

            • Blues Tiger says:

              It may be news to you but a large portion of people didn’t actually support Obama in the primaries or in the General Election…

              I didn’t vote for “Obama”, I voted against McCain/Palin and I am having serious doubts if I will cast a vote for President Obama in the next election… My state will go GOP so I have the luxury on whether I vote for the lesser of 2 evils or not…

    • BigDogMom says:

      Morning TRP, hope all is well with you.

      How young are you? Do you remember the Vietnam War protests? Do you remember the civil rights marches? Good lord, there was a protest for everything and anything.

      Hell, I remember being part of a sit in a High School over the need for a subsidises lunch program, marching with the rest of the student body FOR integrated busing and boycotting school and marching with the teachers during a Teacher’s strike! Those were the days….

      The left unified then, why not now? What has happened to us? Have we become too comfortable?

      • TheRarestPatriot says:

        Although I wasn’t old enough to witness those events, I have studied them. But, again…protests make ‘real’ Americans (I’m using a Right-wing expression here) become angry at protesters. Any unrest and the masses consider them ‘lefty liberal hippies of elitist wealthy parents’ and dismiss them. Disruptions simply anger people. Ever see a wounded animal when there are other animals around? They attack the poor creature. I’ve never quite figured out why that is, but I think it translates to humans, too.
        Too comfortable? I think so, yes. We are all so busy and concerned with keeping our own lives from ruin that we just slink away and hope someone else picks up the cause…

  8. kesmarn says:

    Thanks, Blues, for a fine article!

    The religious right has done a dandy job of portraying the left as godless pleasure-seekers. Atheists, pro-choice folks, pro-marijuana legalization advocates, pro-gay marriage activists--of course you’re going to find them on the left! Why would they be anywhere else? They’re certainly not welcome on the right! But that doesn’t automatically make the right…well…right.

    Do they seriously believe they’re the only Christians in the game? Or the only religious people in general? (Loads of left-voting devout Muslims and Jews where I live, folks!) This is why I’m so grateful for people like choicelady who refuse to let these people take ownership and control of the term “Christian.” I hope she never gives up on that!

    The right has done the same thing with the concept of patriotism. They’ve put out the word that they are the only TRUE patriots. Anyone who doesn’t cave to their demands is a socialist (or fascist…most of them don’t know the difference) saboteur.

    Sometimes I wonder if one of the best approaches to countering their arguments is to show up AT their churches, and when in conversation with them, just simply and politely REFUSE to agree that their point of view is Christian. Take it to them. Right now, their churches are little “safe havens” where they can sit and listen to the preacher tell them how to vote (all the while still maintaining tax-exempt status) and congratulate each other on how righteous they are.

    Maybe we should go as Sunday visitors (after all, they say they want to “grow” their numbers) and rattle their smug world view a bit.

    Refuse to let them hi-jack the term “religious.”
    Refuse to let them hi-jack the term “patriot.”

    • BigDogMom says:

      Morning kes, this morning at I was confronted by a band of these “Christians” that rent the out the cafeteria at the school in my neighborhood where I walk the dogs.

      They seemed like very nice people, smiling at me and the dogs as we walked by, one of them handed me a booklet with the header “Jesus Saves!”.

      While I continuing my walk, I started reading the little booklet and was amazed at the “un-Christian” like rhetoric is spewed forth….I was almost tempted, (I would have if I didn’t have the dogs), to sit in on their service and to mention to them that should put an asterisk after the booklet’s title, it should have read:

      “Jesus Saves”*

      *Only if you believe exactly the way we believe, if not your going straight to hell.

      • kesmarn says:

        BDM, we’re on the same wavelength. I love the idea that you were tempted to sit in on their service. (At the same time that I totally understand why that was impossible with the pups in tow!)

        I really think that this might be a kind of grassroots activism that we can do right in our own backyards. It seems every community has at least one of these Wasilla Wacky Churches and it might be “edifying” for ’em to be exposed to a little bit of reality-speak instead of the pseudo-Christian echo chamber they wallow in every Sunday morning. (Except on Christmas, of course, when they’re too busy to hold services.)

        We can be courteous but firm in challenging the stuff they define as being “Christian” and/or “Patriotic.”

        (Have to run out for a bit, but will be back later. I think this is an important issue!)

        • BigDogMom says:

          What really got me is that the a city school has allowed it’s rooms to be rented out to a church, now I know the school system is hurting for money, but what happened to separation of church and state?

          Monday morning I think I’m going to call the school board to see what there policy is on renting out the school, I don’t like them being in a school where the could leave these booklets behind for kids to see.

          • kesmarn says:

            BDM, you have to wonder where they draw the line? Would they rent it out to a white-supremecist group? a Neo-Nazi outfit? The KKK? As long as they had a cross on their logo? I think you’re wise to check the board’s policy on this.

            Am just about to head out the door. More later!

          • Blues Tiger says:

            How does renting out some space on a day there is no school equate to seperation of church and state?
            If the school system is renting out space to raise funds shouldn’t everyone be allowed to participate?

            • BigDogMom says:

              BT -- I believe that anything religious should be kept out of our schools, whether it makes the school system money or not.

              I always thought the school system in my town had strict religious policies on this….I guess not now.

            • choicelady says:

              As long as there is rent paid and it is the same for each and every group, it’s not a problem for the separation issue. It does not intrude since the religious groups is “speaking to its own” -- so to speak.

            • PepeLepew says:

              I looked it up. It appears that if they actually make the church group pay rent, they can do it. But, it probably depends on case law state to state.

            • Blues Tiger says:

              From what you described they were just renting space to meet… It doesn’t appear that they are actually in the schools spreading the message to students during school hours…

  9. AdLib says:

    Right with you. Check out the posts here about GROW, there are many people here who are geared up to be more activist as Progressives and in our democracy.

    The time for passivity is over, it’s time to either grab the wheel or sit passively in the passenger seat while being driven off a cliff.

  10. msbadger says:

    I couldn’t agree more! Perfect!

  11. PepeLepew says:

    Isn’t caring about the poor and dispossessed and downtrodden being moral.

    This is what infuriates me about so-called “moral” right-wingers who claim they care about the unborn, but don’t give a rat’s ass about the poor, the unemployed .. or the women of Afghanistan, etc.

    • msbadger says:

      Hi, Pepe. I’ve been reading a lot in the past couple of days about that very thing. I really like that Ol’ AH has added the Religion section to PuffHo. This has always been one of my worst aggravations about this kind of “Christian”- but certainly not the only one. I loathe hypocrisy and they embody it. The other one is taking the bible literally about homosexuality, but conveniently ignoring the magnitude of citations by Jesus himself about caring for the poor, and not doing violence. Oh, well.. SOS, really. But I liked the article.

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