Archive for Wednesday, June 14, 2006

GOP split in Kansas may hint at U.S. trend

Division between moderates and conservatives expected to define presidential nomination in 2008

June 14, 2006


— Mark Parkinson got his start in Republican politics at age 19, as a precinct committeeman. He served six years as a Republican state legislator, eventually becoming state Republican chairman.

But two weeks ago, Parkinson announced he was running for lieutenant governor - as a Democrat. He said he no longer felt welcome in the increasingly conservative Kansas Republican Party.

Parkinson became the third Republican politician in the last nine months to startle this red state by switching to the minority party. The other two are targeting GOP incumbents in the attorney general's office and in the state House of Representatives.

Political observers say the fracture within the Kansas GOP may foreshadow the future for the national party. The division between moderates and social conservatives is expected to define the contest for the party's 2008 presidential nomination.

Kansas has been at the forefront of the culture wars that helped the Republican Party gain national dominance this decade. Twice in the last seven years, its State Board of Education voted to teach alternatives to evolution in public schools. Voters in 2005 overwhelmingly approved a ban on gay marriage. The state's attorney general last year subpoenaed medical records of abortion patients.

"A lot of people in Kansas are feeling lost right now," said Parkinson, 48, who was invited onto the ticket by popular Democratic incumbent Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. "I decided I'd rather spend time building great universities than wondering if Charles Darwin was right."

Conservative power

Moderates who emphasize economic development and religious conservatives concerned with limiting abortion and gay rights have battled for more than a decade for control of the Kansas Republican Party, which dominates the state with 48 percent of registered voters. The remaining voters are split evenly between Democratic and Independent registration.

In 1994, when the GOP won both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years, a group of religious conservatives in Kansas ousted the moderates who ran the party. The intramural squabbling grew so great that four years later, the then-chair of the party unsuccessfully ran against the moderate Republican governor.

Today, Web sites for some county branches of the party instruct on how to identify RINOs - Republicans In Name Only - and keep them from gaining influence. Social conservatives have solidified their power over the party and are especially influential in low-turnout primaries and local elections. Increasing numbers of moderates like Parkinson are saying they've had enough.

Ideological schisms

Alan Cigler, a political science professor at Kansas University, compares the intra-party turmoil to the national schism between business-friendly moderate Republicans and cultural conservatives over illegal immigration.

"The state is kind of dividing up," Cigler said. "It's the Christian right versus the business interests of the Republican party. That's what Kansas is all about now."

The Kansas Republican Party, Cigler said, "has been ahead of the curve."

Ron Freeman, executive director of the state GOP, says the recent defections are due to the personal ambitions of the politicians, not because of any ideological shift.

"To say it's gone way to the right, that's not a fair analysis," Freeman said, noting that two of the party's four statewide officeholders back abortion rights.

One of those officials, Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, is opposed in the GOP primary by a candidate opposed to abortion rights. Another moderate, Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh, is facing a primary challenge from a female GOP state senator - Kay O'Connor - who was reported in 2001 as saying family values began to erode when women got the right to vote.

Alienated voters

Some Kansas voters say they feel shut out. "I'm absolutely fed up with the conservative Republicans," said Richard Meidinger, a retired physician in Topeka. "All the abortion stuff, gay marriage stuff doesn't belong in the legislative debate."

Martin Hawver has a name for lifelong members of the GOP like Meidinger: "failed Republicans." The editor of a respected Kansas political newsletter, Hawver's Capitol Report, Hawver counts himself among their number, occasionally doing the unthinkable and voting Democratic.

"It used to be you could never go wrong with voting for who the Republicans nominated," Hawver said. "But that's changing now. People are a little uneasy."

Cindy Neighbor is one of them. A veteran member of her local school board and a moderate, Neighbor, 57, unsuccessfully ran against a conservative for an open seat in the statehouse in 2000. She narrowly lost, but won in 2002.

Neighbor wasn't long for Kansas Republican politics, however. She backed an education bill that could have raised taxes, and party conservatives told her there would be retaliation. She lost the next primary to the same representative she'd ousted two years earlier. Another moderate Republican who'd co-sponsored her bill - Bill Kassebaum, the son of former U.S. Sen. Nancy Kassebaum Baker - was ousted at the same time.

Now Neighbor's running for her old seat - as a Democrat.

"It was, 'If you don't like this - goodbye,"' she said of her struggles to stay in the Republican Party. As a Democrat, Neighbor added, "you can still have your ideas and you're accepted."

A.G. race

Paul Morrison, the 51-year-old district attorney of the state's largest county, also switched to the Democratic Party. The laconic Morrison, who served as Johnson County's top prosecutor for 17 years, said he'd never been particularly partisan but thought the Democratic Party was "a better fit" for challenging state Atty. Gen. Phill Kline.

An outspoken evangelical, Kline has gained national attention for subpoenaing records of patients who had abortions at two Kansas clinics, as well as for saying that state social workers and psychologists are required to report teenagers who admit they have sex so law enforcement can conduct child abuse investigations. Morrison criticized Kline for "forging a public policy that fits a narrow agenda that most people don't agree with."

Whitney Watson, a spokesman for Kline, dismissed Morrison's challenge and noted that a majority of Kansas' county sheriffs, including some Democrats, had endorsed Kline. "It's unfortunate that Mr. Morrison believes that protecting Kansas children ... is a peripheral issue," Watson said.

When Morrison announced he was challenging Kline last fall, Parkinson, a longtime friend, endorsed him. Parkinson said he figured it was the end of his political career. So the former GOP chairman and legislator was surprised to get a call from the Sebelius campaign exploring whether he'd join the governor's ticket.

Sebelius, whose Cabinet includes a former Republican governor, Mike Hayden, said she contacted Parkinson because she knew him from his time in the Legislature, not because of his party. Democrats in Kansas, she said, have a natural inclination to reach across party lines.

"Even if 100 percent of Democrats vote for something," Sebelius said, "it won't happen unless you can draw out Republicans."


xenophonschild 11 years, 9 months ago

Well-written. Kansas deserves better than "outspoken evangelicals."

Find a quiet spot and wait patiently for your dead Galilean to return; you are no longer welcome in Kansas.

Redzilla 11 years, 9 months ago

As the descendent of Free State fighters, I am so excited to be returning to Kansas this year. Looks like finally Kansans are remembering what our state used to stand for: freedom. Sometimes wacky, often radical, but about making people more free, not less free, which is what the Republican party has been about so recently.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 9 months ago

Imploding under it's own weight, I guess. It was only a matter of time. As much as I agree with the party's stance on abortion and gay marriage, there hasn't been a lot of political saavy on the part of the Christian right. The attitude of "we are now in charge" has created polarization within the party.

"you are no longer welcome in Kansas" is probably an exaggeration. With this one news article we are all going to be tared and feathered and run out of town? It looks like the polarization is a two way street, Xeno.

If you want to blast evangelicals or Republicans, go right ahead. Much of that would be deserved. But when you start poking fun at the Christ, you are picking a fight with the wrong guy. The Gospel message is not at fault here. The Galilean who died for your benefit is not asking to be your enemy. Want to blast Pat Robertson or Dub-Ya? Go ahead, I may even join in. But, as the great rabbi Gamaliel once said, if you go toe to toe against Christ, you might be found to be "opposing God". Why tug on Superman's cape (Jim Croce reference)?

daddax98 11 years, 9 months ago

I can't wait for the rightthinker, porkribs and bankboys of the forum to put their two cents in

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 9 months ago

We have a slow flame-war day going here. Maybe everyone is on vacation.

Sigmund 11 years, 9 months ago

Despite the obvious control the religious right has had over the traditional conservatives in the Republican party over the last few years, the Republicans have continued to win elections. As the article pointed out the religious right as a faction is far more organized than the traditional conservatives and, from I have seen, this is true in Douglas County as well.

What is mind blowing is why the Democrats have not been able to take advantage of this situation in the last few years. My own opinion is that the extreme left of the Democratic Party is far more organized than the traditional democrats faction is. They have exactly the same problem as the Republicans and right now Kansas, and to some extent the rest of the country, is able to tolerate the extremes on the right than the extremes on the left.

Perhaps one day we will see the LJW do an article about why the Democratic Party in Kansas can't win elections with the Republicans so divided.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 9 months ago

This is a very well-written, incisive piece. The GOP is now dominated by right-wing fundamentalist christians, but the moderate republicans are beginning to grumble and are tiring of "taking one for the party". They are finding that the GOP has left them behind at best and is purging them at worst.

The populist chickens are coming home to roost for the business-minded GOPers who used evangelicals for so many years to gain power. The evangelicals want their due.

Laura 11 years, 9 months ago

I really take exception to being told that to oppose Christ is to oppose G-d. At the risk of sounding completely unoriginal, would you stop assuming everyone is a Christian?

conservative 11 years, 9 months ago

Agnostic, Please put me firmly in the conservative party. I wish that more people were like you and realized that there is a huge difference between a conservative like me and an evangelical like Cline.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 9 months ago


I actually agree with your post and the idea that the US populace is more tolerant of right wing than of left wing.

In answer to your questions about why democrats can't win in Kansas, I would say "Wait a few years".

As to why they haven't yet, you already hit upon. The republican message appeals to greed and fear and the democratic message often appeals to people's more charitable, "help thy neighbor" side.

Greed and fear will win nearly every time unless a true leader is delivering the message. Clinton was somewhat successful, but the democrats haven't seen a true leader in a some time.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 9 months ago

Laura, Everyone is a christian even if they don't know it yet.

Jamesaust 11 years, 9 months ago

Wow. I guess only a Democrat would believe that Democrats appeal to egalitarian, charitable impulses while Republicans focus on greed and fear. I suppose Republicans would say that Democrats appeal to greed and fear while Republicans emphasize independence and self-reliance.

Both, however, are full of it. Both rely heavily upon stoking fears and pushing the levers of envy, prejudice, etc. They just rely upon different types of fears - usually right before Election Day.

Democrats hope that the yellow rose of jealousy will impel the average masses to approve theft from those more fortunate. Democrats portray even the most modest (almost irrelevant) levels of spending control as the second coming of Marie Antoinette. Republicans in recent years have set up a false trade off between freedom and liberty and can't seem to wait for an opportunity to beat the warning drums of impending Indian, err..., homosexual attack!

Why do they do it? It works. And you let them.

xenophonschild 11 years, 9 months ago

Christian ethics are fine; in fact, a case could be made that the ethics of Christianity are a shining achievement of our civilization. Unfortunately, not too many people - and, oddly, a great many Christian fundamentalists - do not practice Christian ethics.

People in Kansas are basically good people who want the best for themselves and everyone else too. Democrats could win big in Kansas by emphasising this innocuous generality in their platform, and dispelling the myth that our party is only for women, disaffected white males, and minorities.

xenophonschild 11 years, 9 months ago


Sorry, but Democrats are the party of fiscal conservatism and responsibility. William the Great left office with a balanced budget and a budget surplus, and Nancy Pelosi has emphasized that "pay as you go" will return as SOP in federal budgetary policy, once we are rid of vile Republican profligates

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 9 months ago

"The populist chickens are coming home to roost for the business-minded GOPers who used evangelicals for so many years to gain power. The evangelicals want their due."

Moral of the story: Dance with the one who brung ya; but if they can't dance very good, then get ready, cause someone's going to be stepping on your toes.

Laura: was your comment a general comment, or was it directed at my post?

Jamesaust 11 years, 9 months ago

"Democrats are the party of fiscal conservatism and responsibility."

To quote Marion:

Hahaha! Hahaha! hee hee hee hee




hee hee



What is it about some people to think that the more outlandish the lie the more likely someone would believe it?

Sigmund 11 years, 9 months ago

William Jefferson Clinton was able to move to the center and still hold his base. It's becoming increasingly hard for Hillary to do it, she is heckled when she tries while Kerry's just decided he really was against the war before he was for the war just prior to being against the war, to wild applause from the hardcore Democrats and skepticism from everyone else.

It appears to be easier for candidates to move away from the national platform on the Republican side (Guliani and McCain) than it is for candidates to move away from the Democratic national platform. As odd as it sounds, and I know many of you will correct me, but I see the Democrats as more monolithic and intolerant of their candidates than the Republicans despite the religious rights influence.

erichaar 11 years, 9 months ago

Do not think that labeling Christians as fundamentalist right-wing-extremist religious-right lunatic-fringe wackos will diminish our level of participation in American society.

First of all, those comments reveal your intolerance and bigotry. Addtionally, that kind of hatred only galvanizes Christians to become even more engaged in the political process.

Laura 11 years, 9 months ago

Yes, OldEnuf, my reply was directed at your prior post. I regret the comment because your earlier statement was obviously just a statement about your beliefs, not mine. Sorry...just a knee-jerk reaction. As to being a Christian, nightmare, I'm not. I am a Jew.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 9 months ago

"Addtionally, that kind of hatred only galvanizes Christians to become even more engaged in the political process."

Very true. Make us feel as if there is no war, and we will become complacent (as we once were). Continue to attack, and we will remain vigilant. This is what perpetuates this environment of "polarization" that we all seem to hate so much.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 9 months ago


While it is worthwhile to recognize both political parties as corrupt and selfish, interested only in getting relected, it is still important to choose, as they are all we have.

Yes yes yes, members of both parties lie, cheat still, etc... Let's move on and compare the parties by their rhetoric and action.

I stand by my statement that GOP arguments are based in greed and fear and that democrats, at least some of the time, use charity and community-mindedness in their approach.

The tax cut shibboleth of the GOP is nothing but an appeal to people's greed and unwillingness to give to others. The beauty of the GOP approach is that they have convinced the middle class that tax cuts on the wealthy are good for them. See, greed is good for everybody. And besides, the poor will just waste your tax money anyway; they are undeserving. Besides, tax cuts help the economy for everybody (true to an extent but a lie in the extreme that has been disproven over the last 25 years).

While it is not in vogue right now, many democrats still back the principle that a network of social programs for the poor, middle class, and upper class are good for everyone, and that the government ought to support that. I suppose you could find greed in their somewhere, but I prefer the latter message.

Greed and fear are easier sells than community support and charity. The GOP message of greed and fear will continue to win as long as you let it.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 9 months ago


Sorry, I was being sarcastic. I, too, am not a christian (not a jew, either, but I have some jewish ancestors).

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 9 months ago


Glad you find Clinton's balanced budget, Clinton's welfare reform, and Clinton's unprecedented economy so humorous. You must find Bush's deficits, stagnant economy, and refusal to reign in middle class entitlement spending downright hilarious.

Laura 11 years, 9 months ago

Well, hell...all that righteousness on my part for nothing! Guess I'm too dense to catch even not-so-subtle sarcasm!

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 9 months ago

MartyrEnuf2BmyMom said: "Continue to attack, and we will remain vigilant. This is what perpetuates this environment of "polarization" that we all seem to hate so much."

This is a textbook definition of "reactionary". Instead, why don't you learn some self-control and get some internal guidance instead of just reacting to those "attacking" fundamentalist chrsitianity?

Sigmund 11 years, 9 months ago

Despite propoganda to the contrary, and even after the tax cuts, tax revenues have never been higher both at the state and federal level. The Democratic tax policy seems to be increase taxes for people who have more money than you do, to fund a never ending list programs for 'victims' who need stuff. They hope to turn these victims that get all this great free stuff into loyal Democratic voters so that they can maintain their power.

That might sound great (don't tax you, dont tax me, tax that guy, behind the tree) but in practice many middle class families are considered rich by the democrats. What the middle class realises, intuitively, is that you can only increase taxes on the rich so much before the rich become middle class, just like you, and me, then who is going to be the new guy behind the tree?

There is no "end game" or "exit strategy" for the higher taxes policies of the democrats and the logical conclusion of such a strategy is confiscation of all private wealth for the benefit of everyone, with politicians and government in control of who gets what. This is a unacceptable outcome for most Americans, no matter what their short term benefit might be.

Jamesaust 11 years, 9 months ago

"Clinton's balanced budget, Clinton's welfare reform, and Clinton's unprecedented economy so humorous."

True, if the definition of "Clinton's" is "the Republican's". It is even now the virtue of Reagan's economic reforms (only in part tax cuts that are now a worldwide phenomena) that we are feeding from and which allowed the budget to become balanced. It was a GOP-controlled Congress that blackmailed Clinton into not issuing a THIRD veto of welfare reform (a betrayal for which Willy is still castigated for by the far-left). And, of course, bring the Cold War to its final conclusion in partnership with our allies.

The subsequent abandonment of these principles by the current regime (much heartburn-creating to conservatives) does NOT however wash away the sins of the trillons wasted by the Democrat's welfare state or resuscitate the corpse of "Truman" national security Democrats. It merely means that we have two big-government/big-spending political parties. The Republicrats and the Democans.

Getting back to the focus of this article: whatever high profile defections made by opportunistic (not a bad word in my dictionary) Republicans, there is NO movement among the masses of moderate Republicans to convert. Given the chaotic, confused, and extreme elements in the national Democrat Party as it currently exists, Kansas Democrats will have to be content being the lesser of two evils for the mass of moderate Kansas GOP voters.

Jamesaust 11 years, 9 months ago

"I stand by my statement that GOP arguments are based in greed and fear and that democrats, at least some of the time, use charity and community-mindedness in their approach."

And again, a classic example of stating all true and yet leaving out yet critical truth. At least, I've been able to get "at least some of the time" added. I believe this to be the equivalent of an admission that, yes, Democrats also use greed and fear as a campaign strategy. If I can just get some acknowledgment that the GOP also emphasizes individual liberty, I'll be satisfied that some balance has been obtained.

A typical housewife answers the knock of a pollster. "What's bothering me?" she says. "Well, the price of gas, and the war, and high taxes, and health care costs, and the crackhouse next door, the national debt ........"

The Democrat pollster marks the answer as "lying, deceitful, warmongering Bush and his rich Texan oilman cronies."

The Republican pollster marks the answer as "liberal gays having abortions while conspiring with terrorists."

xenophonschild 11 years, 9 months ago

Too many of you lollipops simply do not understand how dangerous Christians are. They are waiting for their dead Galilean to return. Their bible offers a panopy of conditions that will/must arise before their dead god comes back to life, and the danger to us all is that, with enough of them in power, they can work to effect these conditions - "the destruction of Israel," etc.

Too many of them, and particularly the fundamentalist idiots in their brood, reflect overmuch on their interpretations of Revelations.

They are a menace, a hidden danger. Would that we could find a Stalin to rid is of them.

xenophonschild 11 years, 9 months ago

Enough of this nonsense about Democrats.

Answer a simple question: yes or no.

Did Bill Clinton leave office with a balanced budget, and a federal budget surplus?

Those of you who denigrate Democrats need to answer that or get off this site with your misconceptions, fuzzy logic, and/or outright lies. People should be expected to tolerate only so much stupidity.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 9 months ago

Agreed with Xeno. Lets just look at the facts. Clinton reformed welfare. Clinton balanced the budget. Clinton oversaw an economy unprecedented on the face of the earth.

Yet by magic all of this was Reagans doing? Please.
By this logic, one could argue that the fall of communism in 1989 was a result of Jimmy Carter's actions 10 years earlier. Not an argument I hear many republicans positing.

No doubt Clinton took what he saw as benificial in GOP policies and implemented them (opportunistic is a good word, correct?), and it is also true that he was cowed a bit by the GOP, but so what? His administrattion accomplished those things. With the exception of a few moderate GOPers in congress, the current republican regime looks pathetic in comparison.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 9 months ago

And lets be real here. It is a useless thing to pine for the days when republicans were social moderates and fiscal conservatives. Those days are over. Gone. Kaput. Social and fiscal moderation now lies with the democrats, no matter how much one might despise them from their previous incarnations.

Times have changed, and the democrats now hold the mantle of centrism and moderation whereas the GOP is dominated by rabid christian fundamentalists.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 9 months ago

Oh, and arminanus, "xenofelon" is kind of a funny derogatory name. Props for that.

xenophonschild 11 years, 9 months ago

Arminianus the Liar:

Rein in your psycho-sexual hatred of William the Great long enough to understand the truth that it was prior to - before - your nauseous Republicans and their Contract On America (1994) that Clinton, albeit grudgingly, sacrificed the Democratic majority in Congress in order to get legislation passed that raised taxes on the wealthy - which ultimately led to a balanced budget and a federal budget surplus. Legislation that was passed in 1993, not later. Legislation that prompted Richard Mellon Scaife to spend his millions to demonize William the Great, to unleash a campaign of character assasination and personal destruction not seem in our country since the days of William Randolph Hearst and "yellow journalism." A campaign that you, and a few pathetic wretches like you, still carry on today.

Do not prevaricate, as is your wont: It was William the Great, and his devotion to cutting both the size of the federal government and government spending, that made a balanced budget and budget surplus possible.

Your lies about Broaddrick simply illustrate how desperately you need help to resolve the dilemmas inre sex you suffer in your life.

Jamesaust 11 years, 9 months ago

"Did Bill Clinton leave office with a balanced budget, and a federal budget surplus?"

Sure, the 106th Session of the Congress of the U.S. (controlled by the GOP) - source of every spending and revenue bill under our Constitution - closed leaving a balanced budget.

"Clinton reformed welfare." much for the fuzzy memory. Clinton VETOED welfare reform. Then, for good measure, Clinton VETOED it again. Finally, beaten down by his own moral implosion and impending elections, Clinton AGREED to go along with the GOP despite the rhetoric of the Apocalyse put forward by ... well ... every nutcase leftist Stalinist who comments on these things but who now rely upon the short memories of the public to PROUDLY PROCLAIM IT AS A CLINTON ACCOMPLISHMENT! For shame.

staff04 11 years, 9 months ago

Still hammering away on someone who isn't now, nor will ever again be president, I see...

melott 11 years, 9 months ago

Will the Democrats take advantage of this? Never. Recall the "Swiftboat" scam in the last election? That could have deen defeated by a similarly "independent" public interest group asking: "Do you want a draft-dodging, AWOL, former coke addict to be your president?"

Too highminded. Permanent losers.

staff04 11 years, 9 months ago

Yup- That's why they were in control (in recent political history) for all but the last 12 years and even conservative estimates show that they will win back the House this year. Permanent losers...

staff04 11 years, 9 months ago

Arminius- If you supported AWOL George W. Bush in 2000 and/or 2004, you forfeited the right to criticize anyone else's military record.

staff04 11 years, 9 months ago

Oh, wait...I forgot that you don't believe that GWB was AWOL. You think he showed up for every bit of his service, despite the contrary statements of several men with which he was supposed to have served and the numerous mysteriously missing documents that would verify his service. So, I guess if you believe that, then your logic does* work.

staff04 11 years, 9 months ago

Okay Arminius, you win.

I could waste my afternoon pulling up links about Bush's military service if I wanted, but instead I'll just take a page from your playbook: I choose not to believe that Clinton was a draft dodger.

See? It makes about as much sense as your blind defense of GWB's military service.


Someday you will understand why your constant attacks against someone who is not in power does not stand as an excuse for the failures of one who is.

If Bill Clinton jumped off a bridge, then I guess that would make it okay for the current President to do the same, right?

staff04 11 years, 9 months ago

AWOL or awol (wÃ'l) adj. Absent without leave.

Pretty sure that he didn't have leave on that day, therefore: AWOL.

I don't have time to do this all day, but if you want to redefine AWOL, go ahead. That was from Webster's.

staff04 11 years, 9 months ago

Oh, and why can't I find this 'record' that shows that he completed his ANG obligations? Can you post a link, since obviously I don't know how to use the internets?

staff04 11 years, 9 months ago

How do you know whether I served or not? Another bold assumption, or just a lie?

BTW, I just googled 'Bush Military Service' and that was the first thing that came up. Your link to the national review is not, nor will it ever be any more objective than what I linked to.

staff04 11 years, 9 months ago

And, if you served, you should be ashamed to align yourself with Bush, who did NOT serve with any honor, if at all.

staff04 11 years, 9 months ago

but, take the last word. I don't want to waste anymore of my energy on this. There are far more important things for us to focus on.

staff04 11 years, 9 months ago

Nope. Not going to argue that Clinton has a better miltary record than Bush--for the record, I never have. I'm also not going to blame the failure of every future Democratic leader on GWB. Why can't you just answer for the man's failures if you are going to continue to defend him? Do you not understand that you CANNOT blame Bill Clinton for Bush's mistakes? It isn't a defense, and frankly, it grows more and more pathetic every time you do it.

You kind of remind me of a comedian with writer's block--every time you repeat the same joke, it becomes less and less funny.

As for the National Review: we've argued about this before. The National Review is a self-proclaimed conservative publication. 'Nuff said. Even Buckley doesn't claim to be objective. He announces his bias on the cover of the damn thing. It isn't any more credible than the publications of move on, Lyndon LaRouche, the Weekly Standard, or any of the other crazies out there.

staff04 11 years, 9 months ago

Wow. I wish I could do a search of all of your posts to look for the word Clinton...

I would never call my liberal rants objective. To call the blathering of any idealogue objective is a fallacy...

staff04 11 years, 9 months ago

Oh, and you are going to lose in November. Nyah.

Godot 11 years, 9 months ago

swbsow wrote: "This was from my post in the Coulter nastiness forum. Please pay attention to the phrase "Reagan sought to make the Afghan rebels and other anti-communist insurgencies the centerpiece of the "Reagan Doctrine".

Who do you think the other anti-communist insurgencies were?:

And who do you think were our allies in the Balkans?

Godot 11 years, 9 months ago

I'll answer that for you. Our allies in the Balkans were mujahadeen, Al Qaeda.

Godot 11 years, 9 months ago

Amazing. The constant in this history of the US funding despots and maniacs is not any one administration, not democrats or republicans, it is the CIA.


Godot 11 years, 9 months ago

sbcsow wrote: "I'm sure the CIA is but just a tool (or a bunch of tools if you prefer)."

What if they are not the tool? What if they are the mechanic? Prior to the reorganization under the Patriot Act, the CIA seemed to operate autonomously.

Godot 11 years, 9 months ago

swbsow:"I'm sure the CIA is but just a tool (or a bunch of tools if you prefer)."

There is a continuum of operations conducted by the CIA that has not been affected by the change in administrations. The CIA should be dissolved. Everyone currently in the CIA should be fired or retired.

Godot 11 years, 9 months ago

swbsow wrote: "How so? Do you deny that Reagan supplied funds & weapons to Saddam? Do you deny that Bush, Sr. had a chance to take out Saddam? Do you deny that the U.S. provided funding to the Afghan rebels who teamed up with the Taliban? Do you deny that that the U.S. provided Pakistan with weapons & money that were then funnelled to the Taliban (Afghan Arabs)?"

The distinction is that, when Reagan supplied funds and weapons to Saddam and to bin Laden, both were deemed to be allies.

Clinton failed to recognize that the allies had become enemies. He failed to respond to the 93 attack on the WTC; instead he attacked the dangerous religious compound in Waco; he failed to respond to the threat in Somalia; instead he clamped down on the danger posed by our school children; he turned down the offer of Saddam by Sudan because he feared being accused of violating a legal technicality; he did not hear when bin Laden declared war on the US in 1997, and he did not respond when Al Qaeda sank the Cole in 1999.

I wish I had been a little birdie in the room when Clinton, after all the delays and obfuscations of the DNC after the 2000 election, met for just an hour with GWB to brief him on all he needed to know about protecting our country.

I, for one, will never, ever, forgive Bill Clinton for wasting what could have been a great presidency. You see, I voted for him in 1992 because I saw promise; I defended him, and voted for him again in 1996, because I was blind.

He let us down, big time.

anonimiss 11 years, 9 months ago

It's incomprehinsible to think that someone hates you and wants you dead, your head cut off, and your decapitated body drug through the streets simply because of your nationality. Which is why we ignored it for so long. I can forgive Clinton for not being tougher on terrorism because I didn't think much of it either. But 9-11 changed all of that. People dancing on the streets of Palestine, people celebrated all across muslim countries. People with Osama t-shirts. People saying "your 9-11 is coming". It soon became clear that these sick people don't deserve freedom, maybe not even life. Which is why the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were so popular at first. Everybody remembered what it was like to watch people burning flags, stomping on them, celebrating the deaths of thousands of innocent Americans, praising the one who planned the attacks, wanting more. But thanks to a short memory and impatience by the public, and with a considerable amount of help by the media, these atrocities have vanished out of site. We are again being viewed as the bad guys, even in our own country. Newsweek publishes a false article about abusing the Koran in prisons, which sets off riots killing people. The false article made headlines, the retraction didn't. Tales of schoolchildren being blown up, buses being pulled over and kids seperated out by religion to be killed, mosques and markets being bombed, terrorist attacks being staged out of mosques, are all buried on page 10 at the end of an article with a headline "One marine wounded". Tales of families inviting known terrorists over for religious holidays are given the headline "Civilians killed in airstrikes". Tales of men being killed for wearing athletic shorts and women killed for doing anything are confined to the right-wing news sources. Loud music is now torture. The Red Cross was up in arms over force feeding of hunger strikers at Guantanamo. They demanded more privacy. Privacy was given, and the inmates used it to kill themselves. Red Cross was angry about that also.

anonimiss 11 years, 9 months ago

It doesn't take a genius to figure out why we were attacked in the first place. Because we're Americans. It doesn't take a genius to remember the clips of muslims celebrating our loss. It doesn't take a genius to read past the headlines counting the number of Americans dead like it's a stock ticker to get to the other dozens of Iraqis killed everyday so that Zarqawi can get his name in the newspaper. It doesn't take a genius to see that these terrorists will kill hundreds of their own simply to make the nightly news making Bush look bad. It doesn't take a genius to see that if the US pulls out, then the government isn't strong enough yet to keep the terrorists from taking over. It doesn't take a genius to seperate the two distinct ideas of starting the Iraq war and already being there for 3 years. It doesn't take a genius to admit the war was started for erronous reasons, but stopping it would be a bigger mistake. It doesn't take a genius to see that a terrorist-countrolled Iraq would be even more dangerous than the Taliban controlled Afghanistan that Osama thrived under. Which makes me think that most Americans are morons. It's only a matter of time before a democratic president and a democratic congress pull us out of the middle east, thinking all's good and well, forgetting the lessons of 9-11 that some people out there hate you for being an American, want your head cut off, want to drag you through the streets, want to hang you from a bridge, want to kill as many Americans as possible in the most visible places. All for being born within some made-up lines on a map. It's only a matter of time before you go to work in your freedom tower, forgetting what happened that day, as I sit fearing for my life because everybody else forgot also. It's only a matter of time before the next 9-11.

Wake Up!

anonimiss 11 years, 9 months ago

Sorry, that started off as a rebuttal to not being able to forgive Clinton. And a little about the pre 9-11 view on terrorism. But the second half was just purely a rant.

Godot 11 years, 9 months ago

Excuse me. Clinton was PRESIDENT for 8 years. It is okay that you didn't notice. Clinton should have paid attention.

oldgranny 11 years, 9 months ago

I would not be too surprised if bin laden is not suddenly caught a few days before the Nov. 06 election.

oldgranny 11 years, 9 months ago

Young man are you stuck in the 90's? Good heavens! Clinton hasn't been president for 6 years! And they say old people are the only ones who get senile!

Godot 11 years, 9 months ago

By the same token, liberals (the Clintonistas) have done a very fine job of demonizing people who think differently from them. Such a circle.

And know look at good ole Bill, pulling the race card, calling those who dare to deviate from the liberal way of thought as being, "white southerners."

What a bigoted statement from our former-president-to-be-first-lady. How sweet that he says, "I'll do whatever she wants." So subserviant, so aware of his position in life.

I would think there should be some outrage from the libs for these comments.

Godot 11 years, 9 months ago

"The big difference between Clinton & the current Republican party in power is that he can talk about his "opponents" in a positive light."

That is because Clinton is a flim-flam man. He lies better than he tells the truth.

He will pay Bush a compliment at 10AM in Paducah, and denounce him in Riyaad at 10 PM.

Godot 11 years, 9 months ago

With ole Bill, it is all about the money. Pay him to appear, and he will convey your message.

$5 million in speaking fees just last year----not a bad retirement.

Godot 11 years, 9 months ago

How much did he contribute to charity last year? Just wondering.

Probably not much, considering the amount of money he owed to his legal team. Damn, they are good. They have to be really expensive.

Godot 11 years, 9 months ago

Perfect example of confused thinking by a liberal. Poor thing.

KSMeadowlark 11 years, 9 months ago

Why all the hype when statistically little has changed in voter registration in Kansas? In Kansas are more Republicans becoming Democrats, or are more Democrats becoming Republicans?

ASBESTOS 11 years, 9 months ago

You guys with the Bush bashing and the Clinton bashing both miss the point of the discussion and the thread, remember the GOP divide reflecting the national trends.

What we have todya is identical to that time when President Clinton was elected. The Father, President George Bush 41 po'ed the "conservatives" (note: not bible thumpers) with the change in the tax issue and they left him. That was the last straw after NOT going all the way to Baghdad to oust Saddam in '91. We left the party period.

THAT more than anything else elected Clinton, 19% of the republicans voting for H. Ross Perot was what elected President Clinton. Not Clinton's politics, or anything else. Those republicans remained unengaged until President Clinton had his Monica scandal and impeachment. Then they stood up.

The moral of the story is that far liberal left and the far right wingers need to understand something....

THE CENTER RULES!! not the whacked out left or right.

The center wants the borders shut down and to have an effective effort on the WoT and Iraq and does not want to cut and run...nor do we like being kept in the dark. The Center wants limits on the immigration and a total stop of illegal immigrants and empolying of aid illegals. The middle wants to drill in ANWR AND conservation AND effective energy policy.

What the center does NOT want is the screetching that is occuring currently from both parties. And the Center wants the Senate to clean up its act.

The party that understands that will win.

BTW, you RINOS who hate evolution, want abstinence training in schools, and are worried more about abortion and gay marriage than border security and the Wot had better not come to our houses and ask for any money to support your whackos.

ALLof you SUPPORT AMERICA and not some obscure political philosophy!

oldgranny 11 years, 9 months ago sound like a broken record. Do you have any different tunes?

oldgranny 11 years, 9 months ago

swbsow..I wouldn't worry to much about his opinion if I were you. I don't think the boy is hitting on all 8 cylinders.

sandersen 11 years, 9 months ago

Addressing an issue takes time, critical thinking skills, a willingness to delve beyond the spoon fed-pablum of soundbytes and pre-orchestrated talking points to find fodder for logical discussion.

It is ever so much simpler to impugne the reputation of an adversary, to resort to snake-speak, defamation and character assasination.

I truly do not understand why some of those posting whom insinuate via their "name" a conservative nature would so willingly incinerate dignity, composure and reason in favor of vitriolic junior high antics. Surely there is a more successful method for stimulating intelligent discourse than maligning the individual who possesses the opposing viewpoint.

Godot 11 years, 9 months ago

It is hilarious that holybeer uses wikipedia and Frontline as sources and actually expects us to view those as legitimate sources! LOL!!

Jamesaust 11 years, 8 months ago

Goodness, someone seems to be working on longest-surviving comment panel.

I don't find it odd that someone from Jordan (eastern Iraqi-border Jordan) would make their way to Iraq. No more so than it would be odd to run across someone from Kansas in, say, Omaha.

What I do find odd is that someone would believe that content derived from talk radio and bumperstickers would make anyone "informed."

I also find it odd that someone would believe, for example, that Herr Rumsfeld is a political/military/intel expert but dismiss four-star generals who disagree with the Little Lieutenant as cowardly, confused, unprofessional, traitorous, or spiteful.

But not nearly as odd as considering the estimable military service of Le Roi Dick - (a/k/a, Dick Cheney our Viceroy) as a guaranator of political/military/intel expertise. Surely the real political/military/intel experts busy creating a national intelligence estimate for Iraq in two weeks rather than the customary year or so must have found it odd to find Cheney camped out in their lobby full of "suggestions." Is it really so odd that the resulting intelligence document would prove so spectacularly wrong?

thusspokezarathustra 11 years, 8 months ago

To use your own line of reasoning against you Arminius, you're saying that planes buried in the desert are WMD's? I wish just once your sights would support your arguments.

thusspokezarathustra 11 years, 8 months ago

Nice Arminius, just the kind of retort I was expecting from you, baseless, ineffectual & personal. I guess I'll reply in kind. No I don't know how to dress & feed myself that's why I have your mother do it. Now let's see how off topic you can get attacking a complete stranger just because you aren't able to make a cogent argument or find evidence that directly backs up any of your statements.

thusspokezarathustra 11 years, 8 months ago

"Given that Saddam buried aircraft in the desert, it is quite possible that he buired stockpiles in the desert"

It is also quite possible that he didn't. This is conjecture & isn't backed up by any facts. Many things are possible but few are known. I'm just holding you to your own standard. Remember we didn't sell WMD's to Iraq because the article only said helicopters it didn't specifically name chemical weapons. (It wasn't until March 3, 1984 that the state department intervened to prevent a U.S. company from selling 22,00 pounds of phosphorous fluoride to Iraq.) So we sold them the chemicals to make the weapons & the helicopters which were the means to deliver them but we didn't sell them WMD's. It's just as much a logical leap to say that we should have known what they were going to do with those elements as it is to say that buried planes means that there are buried WMD's too. If you aren't going to let others make "quite possible" arguments then you should refrain from making them.

thusspokezarathustra 11 years, 8 months ago

Arminius, if I tell you that Clinton's wars WERE illegal then what becomes of your argument that the Iraq war isn't illegal? Stating that someone else did something wrong is hardly a defense. Are you agreeing that this war is illegal or justifying Clinton's use of force? This is just another example of how you fail to make a cogent argument. You worry too much what Holygraile believes I think you have a crush on her.

thusspokezarathustra 11 years, 8 months ago

Holygrailale, I'm sure they will find a way to link even that to Clinton. Maybe that's what he was doing in Moscow he was buying Russian made weapons to sell to Saddam. I really liked how Conservativeman misspelled the word "lose" when he was correcting your spelling of the word plagiarism. Nothing like speaking with authority right after inserting your foot into your mouth.

thusspokezarathustra 11 years, 8 months ago

Arminius, blaming it on the Europeans? Would any of these European countries be members of NATO or maybe multinational corporations? Like G.D. Searle & Co. which Rumsfeld was the head of? Regardless of the source of the chemicals they did exist & were used by Iraq against Iran & the Kurds. Why didn't we do anything about it then? Why did the Department of Agriculture provide taxpayer-guaranteed loans to a country that was using chemical weapons almost daily. Why did we insist that the U.N. declaration condemning chemical weapons not specifically name Iraq? In essence why did we keep the international community from pressuring Saddam's regime in 1984? I'll give you a hint, it's the other "I" country in the region. We hate them even more & Iraq was at war with them. It's hard to keep your hands clean when you are playing realpolitik.

thusspokezarathustra 11 years, 8 months ago

I hope he doesn't plan on being coddled like those other drug addicts. Remember you have to be tough on these guys if you don't make them do hard time how do you expect them to ever give up their wicked ways. A slap on the wrist isn't enough for those types.

thusspokezarathustra 11 years, 8 months ago

You're right I can't prove that chemicals were diverted to make WMD's. There is no smoking gun or slam dunk but then again you don't have any proof that Saddam had the WMD's that we went to war over. To use your line of reasoning the fact that the U.S. state department banned the sell of chemicals to Iraq means that it's "quite possible" that they were being diverted to make chemical weapons. Don't you trust the government?

The ethical dilemna of providing money to someone who not only had WMD's but was actively using them might not bother someone like you but taxpayer money being used to fund the purchase of commodities smacks of socialism to me. Does the use of a 3rd party purchaser make this any less of a government subsidy?

You still can't deny that Saddam used WMD's because then where would your justification for the war go? But still explain to me why it took nearly 20 years for the Republican leadership to become morally outraged at the atrocities commited by Saddam or fearful enough of his WMD's to do anything about it? Why is war justified now but wasn't then?

thusspokezarathustra 11 years, 8 months ago

Waiting 20 years is pre-emptive? We unofficially supported him under Reagan, fought him with H.W. Bush but it was W. that was acting pre-emptively? One wonders why we didn't pre-emptively remove him during desert storm. Surely he gave us reason enough then.

FDR was a socialist, or at least accused of being one. But I would also argue that we never had to invade Britain to remove their leader because of atrocities or use of WMD's.

I still want to know why the Republican leadership is claiming the moral high ground about Iraq when they turned a blind eye to these same atrocities when it suited our political ends. If only they would admit this war is about U.S. hegemony & not liberation. Unfortunately that would require honesty from an administration that doesn't seem to understand what that is.

ASBESTOS 11 years, 8 months ago

HolyGrail psycho,

I only wish to tell you NEVER leave me a PM again. I really don't care if the thread is shutdown. I do not want anything from you in my mail box. OK? SO just don't send them anymore, they will be deleted.

I may have to put up with you here on a blog, but I do not want to receive any email or messages from you, EVER! That is here for all to see.

SO, if you do send me messages like that again, I will then forward them to the local constabulary.

Again, here is the place for your opinions. When you don't get your way, DO NOT violate MY right ro privacy and NOT having to listen to your spewing!

Good DAY! and please learn some type of ettiquite or manners. You are uncooth.

thusspokezarathustra 11 years, 8 months ago


"Do you have evidence that Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Tip O'Neill, or Robert Byrd were concerned about Iraq's atrocities during the 1980s?"

Odd that you would expect the democratic leadership to lead the charge on this. Since congress was officially neutral in the Iran/Iraq war our support came at the behest of Reagan through his National Security Directives. This was Presidential policy not national policy. Since it was Reagan's State Department that removed Iraq from the list of state's supporting terrorism why is it only now that we are worried about WMD's falling into the hands of terrorists? Links to terrorism & use of chemical weapons it seems like we should have been concerned about it then.

"Were Democrats such as Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Joe Biden, Dennis Moore, et. al. voting for hegemony instead of liberation when they voted to authorize the use of force to remove Saddam from power?"

I'd say they were politically motivated. Does the minority party set the agenda for congress? Do they establish foreign policy? Since the constitution made the President Commander In Chief he's still ultimately responsible for the military isn't he? The congress can raise an army & declare war but has no power to actually send the military anywhere. Therefore our troops being in Iraq right now is Bush's responsibility. Since the reasons he gave us were WMD's & none have been found then he should admit he was wrong or that the intelligence was flawed but he decided to trust the intelligence so once again he is not absolved from guilt.

" If the latter, would you say his administration didn't seem to understand what honesty is?"

I'd say Clinton's administration was known for anything but honesty. Your point is? Oh that's right you assume everyone who disagrees with you must be a democrat so you invoke Clinton, a diversionary tactic. Can you ever defend the current administration on its own merits or lack thereof?

ASBESTOS 11 years, 8 months ago

ALL that is your opinion. I pointed out YOUR mistake, that is thinking that your OPINION actually means anything to me. You really take the damn cake!

Just who do you think you are?

Your mistake is to "let it go"! What? Someone who HAS to get the last word in because they (HGA) believes that they are faultless and always right? What? Someone

" There was nothing uncouth or inappropriate in my email to you;"

Sez you, I found it offensive for someone to feel the need to "correct me" outside the discussion board. You are kidding right?

YOUR ERROR missy is thinking your opinion actually means something!

I think it is time for the LJWorld to limit you. You add nothing but static to the discussion. You drive off other people. And you are often incorrect and then refuse to believe it even when absolute facts are presented. You just move on to another spin that the facts asr suspect, then this...then this...

It is maddening. IF LJWorld wants something resembling more than a monkey biosolids fight out of this blog, some members such as you need to be put on a leash and muzzled to some degree.

Ot drives some of us away.

As I am leaving, there is no intelligent life in Kansas...on the Right OR the LEFT!

thusspokezarathustra 11 years, 8 months ago

holygrailale, stay away from asbestos it gives you cancer.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 8 months ago

I see every one is alive and well and their normal selves. this is good.

Godot 11 years, 8 months ago

"Why did we wait 20 years to do that when we knew he was committing horrible abuses at the time we were supplying him all sorts of support?"

Ask Reagan, (well, you can't now) Bush I and Clinton (close buds). Oh, and the CIA. And the geezers in Congress. And the entrenched libs in the State Department.

xenophonschild 11 years, 8 months ago

A little secret none of you seem to grasp: Kevin wanted to be the one wearing the blue dress.

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