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Opinion

Opinion

Dems outmaneuver GOP

March 14, 2012

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You’ve got to hand it to Democrats and the Obama re-election campaign. Like a quarterback who looks left to draw the defense away from his intended target on the right, Democrats have managed to divert our attention. Instead of debating President Obama’s dreadful record on just about everything, Democrats have managed to get Republicans talking about sex and morality. Rather than figuring out what to do about Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, Democrats have put Republicans on the defensive over the use of vulgar words applied to liberal women. For their use of equally offensive or similar words applied to conservative women, they mostly get a pass, because this isn’t about the words; it’s about politics.

The strategy seems to be working. After a week of debating, discussing and deploring what Rush Limbaugh said about Sandra Fluke, the Democrat-friendly Washington Post ran a front-page story last Saturday announcing “GOP gains dwindling among women.” They must be toasting each other at President Obama’s 2012 national headquarters in Chicago.

How did Republicans allow themselves to be outmaneuvered like this? Why do they think that talking about sex, much less trying to regulate it (some might start with regulating themselves) is going to gain votes for the party in a hedonistic age where worship of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and pleasure trumps a Higher Authority? The public has little faith in the ability of politicians to run the country. The approval rating for Congress just hit an all-time low of 9 percent, according to a recent New York Times/CBS News poll. That’s lower than the approval rating for pornography, polygamy and human cloning, as cited in Gallup’s 2011 Values and Beliefs poll.

Republicans are missing an opportunity to outmaneuver Democrats. Instead of playing the Democrats’ game, Republicans should embrace a positive and optimistic vision.

I have made this argument before in different ways and with different analogies and I will continue to make it until someone takes it seriously. Stop arguing about philosophy and morality and instead feature people who have embraced Republican principles and whose lives are better as a result. These would include a single mother who is now independent of government assistance and either has a job or operates her own small business, thanks, perhaps, to a microloan.

Show me people who were brought up on “the wrong side of the tracks” with an alcoholic father, or absent mother, but because someone took an interest in them (a teacher, a mentor), managed to make something of themselves.

How about an example of a man who was mired in debt but decided to stop spending money he didn’t have, paid his bills and is now debt free with a good credit rating? He could provide an example for what government should do.

Why aren’t Republicans telling positive stories, instead of so often labeling and condemning people? Republicans should find people in small towns and big cities who would tell their stories. That’s what voters want to hear and see. It’s called leadership. It inspires people to believe in themselves and, ultimately, in America. It’s what Reagan did. Go to YouTube and watch that 1984 campaign commercial “It’s Morning in America.”

For too many Republicans, the sun is setting on America. The return of Daylight Saving Time isn’t going to help.

— Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services.

Comments

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 7 months ago

How can the GOP embrace a positive and optimistic vision? They are the party of hate and fear.

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headdoctor 2 years, 7 months ago

Guess the Republicans didn't take any notes from Forrest Gump. Stupid is as stupid does.

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deec 2 years, 7 months ago

I guess the Democrats used their mind-control rays to force the GOP candidates to obsess about, and take ridiculous positions regarding,sexuality, birth control, and abortion. God, gays, and guns. We're pro-life and proud of it. Yup, these are brand new topics for the GOP. They've Never played those particular cards before to distract the masses from the messes that their fellow politicians have made. It doesn't matter anyway; both parties are actually playing for the same team, the one owned by Wall Street. The only difference is which side gets a few placating crumbs thrown to them once the election is over.

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grammaddy 2 years, 7 months ago

As usual, everything is Obama's fault. The debble made him do it."Dreadful record on just about everything..."Wow! Really? I think he's done a fantastic job considering the plate full of crap he was handed. Can't wait to vote for him again! Hawaiian Ninja 2012!!!

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asixbury 2 years, 7 months ago

How soon we forget what a mess Bush left this country in....

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asixbury 2 years, 7 months ago

Bush was the worst President of American history. He left this country a torn-up mess when he left office. I am not saying Obama is perfect, because he isn't. But he did not have much a chance to accomplish anything yet, since the Repubs block anything he comes up with just because his party came up with it. The childishness on both sides of the political parties is embarrassing and ridiculous. Scrap all of them and start over. No career politicians, either, because all they care about is getting re-elected.

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Abdu Omar 2 years, 7 months ago

If Israel has nukes and Iran has nukes, it reminds me of the cold war. The Soviets threatened to kill each of us, had targets set on our cities, but nothing ever happened because they didn't want to receive the same kind of treatment. So why all the anger and readiness to bomb Iran? I am not Iranian, but why are Israelis afraid of them? If they sling a nuclear bomb at israel, what can they do it return? A lot since they already have nuclear armaments and can defend themselves. But all this sabre rattling is about Americans doing the job for them. They don't want to dirty their hands in a war, and they would rather American men and women die for them. Obama did the right thing by refusing to join "Bibi" in his war against a non-enemy. If Israel is afraid of Iran, let them deal with their own fear.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

The problem isn't if Iran bombs Israel with a nuclear weapon. It's what if they give a little of that nuclear material to Hezbollah to use in a dirty bomb. Or maybe to Hamas. Iran currently supplies both and what we see is crude missiles flying into Israel and much larger retaliation in return. Iran gets to start a problem, see it escalate while enjoying plausible deniability. It's their way of increasing their influence in the region without getting their hands dirty. And what if some of that material winds up in the hands of Assad who seeking to deflect world attention away from his brutal regime decides instead to set off his own dirty bomb in Israel, thereby unity the Arab world against the common enemy, Israel, which will surely retaliate. The escalation could engulf the region, with worldwide implications. You mention the cold war, and while it's correct that the U.S. and Soviets never engaged in an all out battle to the death, they did engage in a series of proxy battles; Korea, Viet Nam, etc. Deaths totaled millions while destruction and misery were very real. That an all out war didn't happen as a result of the Berlin blockade or the Cuban missile crisis may have been nothing more than sheer luck. Shall we roll the dice some more? Can you guarantee we won't crap out again?

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tolawdjk 2 years, 7 months ago

First, let me state that I do not Iran to become a nuclear power.

However, Iran can enjoy plausable deniability "now" because crude missile design and explosisves are as ubiquitous as the internet.

Should any two bit Islamic terroist group obtain nuclear material, it won't take a ton of detective work for the finger to point back to Iran with all the implications. The surest way for Iran to doom itself would be to allow material to slip out to the wrong hands, and, given Iran's "stellar" internal security measures, slipping out isn't a matter of if, but when.

Personally, I don't think it is the weapons grade stuff we need to be worrying about. Weapons grade material would have the tightest security associated with it, at least internally to Iran. The Iranian govt would have to sanction the "slipping", and while I fully acknowledge that there are those in Iranian power that can and would do it, it is a smaller subset of the nutjobs.

However, a dirty bomb doesn't require "weapons grade". Spent fuel rods, unspent fuel rods, milling tailings, etc could all be used in a "dirty" bomb. You don't have to turn Israel into glass, you just have to make it uninhabitable, and enough C4 and uraniaum powder could see that happen. With "power" operations, one would have to think the slipping of that kind of material would be much easier. I would guess that the fingerprint of that material could still be traced back to Iran for them to take the blame, but at that point the damage has been done.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 7 months ago

"A dirty bomb is a speculative radiological weapon that combines radioactive material with conventional explosives. The purpose of the weapon is to contaminate the area around the explosion with radioactive material, hence the attribute "dirty". Though a radiological dispersal device (RDD) would be designed to disperse radioactive material over a large area, a bomb that uses conventional explosives would likely have more immediate lethal effect than the radioactive material. At levels created from most probable sources, not enough radiation would be present to cause severe illness or death. A test explosion and subsequent calculations done by the United States Department of Energy found that assuming nothing is done to clean up the affected area and everyone stays in the affected area for one year, the radiation exposure would be "fairly high", but not fatal.[1] Recent analysis of the nuclear fallout from the Chernobyl disaster confirms this, showing that the effect on many people in the surrounding area, although not those in close proximity, was almost negligible.[2] Since a dirty bomb is unlikely to cause many deaths, many do not consider this to be a weapon of mass destruction.[3] Its purpose would presumably be to create psychological, not physical, harm through ignorance, mass panic, and terror. For this reason dirty bombs are sometimes called "weapons of mass disruption". Additionally, containment and decontamination of thousands of victims, as well as decontamination of the affected area might require considerable time and expense, rendering areas partly unusable and causing economic damage."

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

So you're saying it would be O.K. to explode a dirty bomb at 9th. & N.H., since the effects on East Lawrence wouldn't be too bad and it would probably disrupt the building being proposed at that site, something you're opposed to, right? After all, you wouldn't ask someone else to live with potential dangers that you yourself wouldn't be willing to live with, right?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 7 months ago

"So you're saying it would be O.K. to explode a dirty bomb"

No-- merely pointing out that the most significant damage would be from the explosion, not the radioactive material that might be spread by that material.

And attacking Iran's nuclear sites would have zero effect on their ability to set off a bomb made from conventional explosives, and it wouldn't even reduce their ability to include radioactive materials in such a bomb.

But it would increase their motivation to do set off such a bomb, whether it's "dirty" or not.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 7 months ago

That should be "that might be spread by that bomb."

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

I find it curious that you constantly minimize the actions of one side, and the potential for damage that their actions would have yet do the opposite with the other side. Interesting.

I find history to be a useful tool when trying to predict the future, when facts about the future are nearly impossible to determine. Israel has attacked the nuclear facilities of two countries in the region, Iraq and Syria. While it's impossible to say for certain what the Iranian response to a similar attack would be, it should be noted that if their response did mirror the responses of Iraq and Syria, then there is no reason to believe there would be a significant escalation. The only real consequence would be that irrational regimes would not possess nuclear weapons.

BTW - You skirted around the whole issue of whether or not you would ask someone to accept risks you yourself would not be willing to risk. If, say, someone in W. Lawrence lobbed a couple of dozen missiles into your neighborhood, but missed you, you'd be O.K. with that, right? I mean, after all, they missed. So it's O.K., right?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 7 months ago

"I find it curious that you constantly minimize the actions of one side,"

What "actions" did I minimize? There has been no dirty bomb dropped on Israel

"If, say, someone in W. Lawrence lobbed a couple of dozen missiles into your neighborhood, but missed you, you'd be O.K. with that, right?"

OK with it? Likely not. But what if E. Lawrence regularly attacked W. Lawrence with the most sophisticated and deadly weapons systems in the world, killed them by thousands, blockaded them, and regularly destroyed every conceivable type of infrastructure? Would that change your little hypothetical any?

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

It depends, which comes first, the rockets or the retaliation?
Before you answer that question, let me say that whichever day you choose, I can make a compelling argument for an earlier date. And I assume you can as well. So we can either deal with Adam and Eve or we can deal with today. But we likely will not agree on any other date.

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jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

How about the date of the founding of Israel?

Before that point, there could be no hostilities between Israel and any other nation, since it didn't exist.

The recent set of bombings is interesting - Palestinians threw some bombs at Israel, which didn't kill anybody (apparently Israel has some sort of nifty "shield" which we supplied them) - in response Israel threw some bombs at Palestinians which did kill some people.

Is that a reasonable response - killing people on the other side, when nobody's been killed on their side?

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

And what date shall we assign to Palestine. Are their interests to be forgotten? Or will Egypt and Jordan look after their interests? Or are you speaking of a wider Arab/Israel conflict? Hostilities did indeed exist prior to the creation of Israel. That history of conflict as well as Arab support for Germany and the Nazis is what led many Jewish immigrants to bypass any negotiations with indigenous Arabs living in the region that would become Israel. Frankly, I could go on and on. Actually, I think picking that date works in Israel's favor as I don't think a peace with the Palestinians can be achieved unless it happens at the same time as a peace with other Arab countries and with the "Arab Street", and your date pulls them into the process.

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jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

Any one you care to mention - until Israel was founded, there were no hostilities between Israel and anybody else, since Israel didn't exist yet.

No answer to the question, huh?

Hostilities between human beings have existed as long as we know, but that's too broad a view to be very useful in this context.

There is no Palestine, since they aren't recognized as a state - that's what you've said in the past.

As such, there are in fact no hostilities between the state of Palestine and anybody else.

There are hostilities between the state of Israel and a variety of others, including some existing states, and people who call themselves Palestinians, who apparently have no statehood.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

If there is no Palestine, with whom shall Israel make peace? And if the Palestinians were to become a country, yet continued to seek the destruction of Israel, surely you would not expect Israel to make peace in that context? So the conditions that must exist prior to any peace being consummated is a Palestine willing to live in peace with Israel. And it is my opinion that for that to happen, the broader Arab community must be willing to have that happen. Having said that, if those conditions were met, I believe Israel would accept peace, allow a Palestinian state on lands conquered in 1967, with minor modifications. Israel has a history of electing "doves" when peace seemed possible and electing "hawks" when peace seemed unlikely.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 7 months ago

Regardless, the important point is that an Israeli attack on Iran would do little more than delay any Iranian nuclear arms development by a couple of years, and increase their will to produce one.

But in the meantime, attacks on Israel would almost certainly increase in both scale and intensity, whether they be with conventional weaponry, or a dirty bomb, which apparently doesn't doesn't increase the dangers of these attacks by an great degree-- it'll be the explosions that kill people, not the radioactive garbage.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

Little more than delay their program a few years? Like in Syria and Iraq.
We can use history as a guide or we can pull guesses from our rear end.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 7 months ago

Iran is neither Syria nor Iraq-- btw, while there was speculation about whether either of those countries had programs to develop nuclear weapons at the time, there wasn't any evidence.

Not that you think that Israel should ever have to have any justification for doing whatever it damn well pleases.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

You're either joking or a fool. Shall I say there is no evidence Israel has nuclear weapons. They are not open to international scrutiny. Nor have they ever admitted they have them. So let's pretend they don't have them and Iran isn't making them and Syria and Iraq weren't either. Joking or fool? Those are your only choices. And mine. I'll choose whatever you choose. Deny the existence and so will I. Admit the programs and so will I.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

So, is that your choice? Remember, I choose the same.
So if you're suggesting I'm a tool of some other entity, then you're suggesting the same for yourself. If that's what you meant. I'm guessing.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 7 months ago

You've demonstrated time and again that you're an uncritical supporter of Israel. I have no allegiance to any of the partisans in the Middle East. So don't try to paint us as mirror images of each other, OK?

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

I can do whatever I choose to do. As may you.

Much of the story I tell is filling in the blanks of your half-thruths and deceptions. Half-truths are nothing more than lies. They cannot be left unchallenged. If you don't want your lies challenged, then tell the whole story. If you don't like what I have to say, then don't speak to me. I could care less.

And if you don't believe Iraq and Syria were developing nuclear weapons and if you don't believe Iran is, then you are a fool. And if you don't believe the region is safer for Hussein and Assad not having nuclear weapons and if you don't believe the region would be safer without Iran having nuclear weapons, then you are a fool.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 7 months ago

"Much of the story I tell is filling in the blanks of your half-thruths and deceptions. "

Jeez, all you do is parrot Israeli propaganda.

Like I said, what a tool.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

There are two sides to every story. If you tell one side, willfully leaving out the other, misleading, and I then tell the other half of the story, completing the facts, that's not Israeli propaganda.
If you say Israel fired the first shot in the 1967 war, but leave out the events leading up to that, then you're telling a tale that is misleading. You're encouraging the reader to believe a lie. This example is one you've already engaged in. For me to tell of the events leading up to that first shot is not propaganda. It's the truth. A truth you're not comfortable telling, because you want people to believe something that isn't true.
I have never had any problem with a truthful examination of Israel's actions. As long as they are put into proper context. You should try it sometime.

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jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

That's really not true, from my conversations with you on this subject.

You justify Israel's actions, and condemn Arab/Palestinian actions, even when they're very similar.

For example, I have heard nothing about the fact that Israel just fired rockets that killed people, in response to a rocket attack that killed nobody.

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jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

The region would also be safer if Israel didn't have nuclear weapons.

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rtwngr 2 years, 7 months ago

If a society thinks nothing of strapping a bomb onto a child, sending that child into a group of people and then detonating that bomb, they would think nothing of dropping a nuclear device anywhere it suited them. Martyrdom to these people is holy and an act to be revered.

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Abdu Omar 2 years, 7 months ago

NavyVet, the return of the Caliphate is a dream of the Wahabis and not of moderate Muslims, so the whole of Islam is not looking for that to happen or even want it to happen. However, during the Caliphate in the 7th to 20th Century, Muslims regarded Christians and Jews as people of the book and treated them very well. This concept some people have that Islam spread at the point of a sword is unfounded and probably indicates the fight between the Spanish Inquisition and the Muslims, Jews and Protestant Christians that were expelled from Spain.

Iran knows that if they give a bomb of nuclear material to Hamas, Hesbollah, or any other freedom fighter group and they use it, it is the same as if they used it themselves. There is no excuse for it and they know it. What point would they make to have such a bomb? Do you think they want to be destroyed by Israel and the US, because Israel will get the US involved in any escapade they endeavor to fight. Actually, the Americans will provide more man power, more ordinance and aircraft than Israel would. They have used us before for their dirty work, why not now. Why do you think "Bibi" came to the US last week?

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MyName 2 years, 7 months ago

I think alot of what Iran doing is rational, Pakistan to the East and Israel to the west both have the bomb, as does Russia to the North. They don't want to be the one's bringing a knife to a gun fight. And they're no more likely to be a threat to "Western civilization" than North Korea.

The big issue is them having nukes could get the Saudis and the rest of the Middle East arming up, which is bad news. That's why diplomacy is the best hope to resolving this: even if we fight a war and win (like we "won" in Iraq), then they're going to want that deterrent more so they can win the next war, but with sanctions we're driving up the cost to the point where having nukes means turning into N. Korea, only without the crazy cult support that Kim Jong has.

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Alyosha 2 years, 7 months ago

Strange that you refer to the duly elected president as "the anointed one." Can you try composing a well-thought-out post that doesn't use such meaningless and strange terms?

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voevoda 2 years, 7 months ago

Why do you resort to blasphemy to make your point, BornAgainAmerican? "The Anointed One" is the sacred title of Jesus Christ. You should not use it as a term of political abuse, at least if you consider yourself to be a Christian.

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Alyosha 2 years, 7 months ago

Your post here, Falsehopenochange, is quite difficult to follow. What point are you trying to make? And what, from a rhetorical perspective, is your intention with your use of quoted words? Are you quoting actual speakers? If so, the normal convention is to cite the source of your quote. If you don't cite your sources, you give readers the opportunity to reasonably conclude that you are making up quotes.

Making up quotes is both immoral and unethical: you are trying to persuade your readers in bad faith.

Remember the commandment "thou shall not bear false witness."

Of course, I don't believe you would actually make up quotes to deceive your readers. Be careful of that, and try harder next time! I know you can do it.

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esteshawk 2 years, 7 months ago

Impossible. Obama isnt even a US citizen.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 7 months ago

" Democrats have put Republicans on the defensive over the use of vulgar words applied to liberal women."

Perhaps it's more than just the statements, Cal. Maybe it has more to do with the misogynistic policies they support.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 7 months ago

Indeed, RIP, Peter Bergman, greatest bozo of them all.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 7 months ago

one can always lead the elephant back to the self distruct button.....they find it everytime .... sometimes with the help of the Larry the Cable Guy character in the rented Paul Revere outfit saying I want my country back with that wonderful drawl that sounds soooo intelligent.......

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 7 months ago

Here's a brief excerpt from an interesting article about how successful conservatives are in determining the tone and language of the national political dialogue-- I recommend reading the entire article.

The Santorum Strategy: Why the Right Wins Even When It Loses by George Lakoff

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/03/12-11

"The Santorum Strategy is not just about Santorum. It is about pounding the most radical conservative ideas into the public mind by constant repetition during the Republican presidential campaign, whether by Santorum himself, by Gingrich or Ron Paul, by an intimidated Romney, or by the Republican House majority. The Republican presidential campaign is about a lot more than the campaign for the presidency. It is about guaranteeing a radical conservative future for America.

snip

Here’s how (conservative) logic goes.

The strict father determines what happens in the family, including reproduction. Thus reproduction is the province of male authority.

The strict father does not condone moral weakness and self-indulgence without moral consequences. Sex without reproductive consequences is thus seen as immoral.

If the nation supports birth control for unmarried women, then the nation supports immoral behavior.

The conservative stress on individual responsibility means that you and no one else should have to pay for your birth control — not your employer, your HMO, or the taxpayers.

Having to pay for your birth control also has a metaphorical religious value — paying for your sins.

This is a classical slippery slope narrative. If no one else should have to pay for your birth control, the next step is that no one else should have to pay for any of your health care.

And the step after that is that no one else should be forced to pay for anyone else. This is, everything should be privatized — no public education, safety nets, parks, or any public institutions or services.

snip

Incidentally, Rush Limbaugh’s “slut” and “prostitute” remarks, while even more extreme than Santorum, make sense to conservatives in terms of the same conservative moral logic. Limbaugh apologized for those two words, but not for the logic behind them. Even after the apology for the two words, the logic lingers."

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Alyosha 2 years, 7 months ago

Again, False, your post here is difficult to follow and its meaning is not clear for readers.

Are you attempting to use parody as a rhetorical tool? If so, I applaud the attempt, but your execution here isn't so good.

Also, try reading your posts out loud before submitting them. You'll get a very good sense from that whether or not your readers will get what you mean.

In this case, though, very little clear meaning comes across. Your post reads more like a random series of words. (You could be trying for a dada-esque performance art post; and if that's the case, it's still unclear what overall meaning and effect you're going for. Keep trying! :) )

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jaywalker 2 years, 7 months ago

"This is a classical slippery slope narrative. If no one else should have to pay for your birth control, the next step is that no one else should have to pay for any of your health care.

And the step after that is that no one else should be forced to pay for anyone else. This is, everything should be privatized — no public education, safety nets, parks, or any public institutions or services."

Shark.

Jumped.

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jaywalker 2 years, 7 months ago

Must have something to do with how your posts stink.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 7 months ago

Not exactly a snappy comeback, but I'll give you a B-, nonetheless.

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jaywalker 2 years, 7 months ago

Damn, thought that was pretty good.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 7 months ago

OK, I'll raise it to a B+, but if you want to get into the "A" range, you'll need to be snappier next time.

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jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

This reminds me of an interview with Michael Moore in which he was asked if he felt bad about making Charlton Heston look bad in one of his movies.

He said "No, I just asked him questions - I didn't make him say those stupid things".

Why is it that conservatives, who claim to believe strongly in personal responsibility, don't apply that to their own actions?

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jaywalker 2 years, 7 months ago

And why is it so many want to lump a whole group of individuals into one behavioral mindset?

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jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

Ok - it was too broad a statement.

But, I see many self avowed conservatives on these comments who often seem to do just as I've mentioned.

They blame their own incivility on the left, rather than take responsibility for it.

And, when the discussion turns to others' behavior, they seem to not apply the concepts evenly as well.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

Just out of curiosity, but wasn't Charlton Heston suffering from early onset of alzheimer's disease when that interview was conducted? "If" that is the case ..... If an interview is being conducted by a journalist, then a certain amount of neutrality is expected of the interviewer. Isn't that much of the rub against FOX News? Certainly Michael Moore is not a neutral interviewer. Therefore this was a debate between a mentally fit individual and an ill person. Fair and balanced?

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jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

I have no idea if that's the case or not - do you have a source for that idea?

And, it wasn't a "debate", it was an "interview".

Heston could have said no to it, but he said yes to it, and proceeded to answer the questions - Moore just asked them, and discussed the answers a little bit.

So, whose fault is it if he looks stupid?

If you want to assign some blame to Moore, then you have to show that Heston was in fact suffering from Alzheimer's, and that Moore knew it and took advantage of it.

I'd like to see any evidence you may be aware of that those two things are true.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

I was going on memory. I looked up Mr. Heston on wikipedia. They said he publicly acknowledged his Alzheimer's disease on Aug. 9, 2002. I then googled the interview which aired in 2006, though I could not determine if that was the date of the interview or just when it aired. I don't know if Mr. Moore knew of Mr. Heston's disease.
Again, though, I expect a certain about of objectivity, a certain detachment from a journalist. Not someone who already has his mind made up. I'm just "old school" enough to think that Walter Cronkite was a journalist and Bill O'Reilly is not. Michael Moore reminds me more of O'Reilly than he does of Cronkite.

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jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

Moore is certainly somebody with a point of view - and, as far as I can tell, he doesn't pretend objectivity.

Also, of course, objectivity may be a bit of a myth, and not achievable by human beings, given the ways in which our points of view affect our perceptions.

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George Lippencott 2 years, 7 months ago

It would be nice if I knew what the Republican vision really is = from them and not from the Democrats

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jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

If the Republicans aren't making their vision clear, whose fault is that?

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yourworstnightmare 2 years, 7 months ago

By embracing right wing populism and the tea party and purging any moderates from their ranks, the GOP have virtually ensured that they will receive a rabid 25% of the vote, but little more.

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Alyosha 2 years, 7 months ago

Can you define what you mean by "the Obama machine"? Readers not clued in to your own fantasy world won't clearly understand the point you're trying to make.

All political actors have a network of supporters in various roles in society. Can you provide evidence for your claim that President Obama's network of support warrants the term "machine" whereas others' networks — say, the Bush family's; the Romney family's, etc. — don't? Otherwise you're opening yourself up to the reasonable conclusion that you're less interested in persuading others to accept your points than simply wasting people's time with negative blather that signifies nothing.

Keep trying! :)

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jaywalker 2 years, 7 months ago

I liken the 'machine' fetish to the 'gate' fetish; you know, like Iran-Contragate, Climategate, the recent Bountygate, etc. Seems to me the use of "machine" as synonymous w/ corrupt and powerful campaign organizations began w/ Clinton, coined by Rush, and then continued against Bush. Tossing it out there is supposed to sully the named group in some way, as if doing their jobs well obviously had some devious device and intent behind it all.

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asixbury 2 years, 7 months ago

Your use of quotations is really annoying, by the way.

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Alyosha 2 years, 7 months ago

This post is difficult to follow. Can you try removing all your buzz-words and emotional trigger words and instead try to present a cogent argument that uses reasoning and documented evidence to support your points? I know you can do it! :)

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asixbury 2 years, 7 months ago

What are you talking about FalseHopeNoChange? The Dems did not force or make the GOP act like complete misogynistic, bigoted, fanatics; they did that all by themselves!

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somedude20 2 years, 7 months ago

"Democrats have managed to get Republicans talking about sex and morality"

Twas not the Dems who brought sex and morality chief. Talk to your boy Ricky S who kicked this stuff off. I also recall the Repubs talking about this when they were attacking Newt

Rush threw gas on this when he decided to start calling women sluts and wanting to "see" her having sex on the net (what a slimebag thing to do and say)

The Repubs started this morality garbage because they can not win with their policies so they try and bring God and morality and sex and all the things that have nothing to do with running the country so that you (the people) forgot or don't focus on the real things that matter

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voevoda 2 years, 7 months ago

For years, Cal Thomas has been railing about sexual immorality in America, and calling upon "conservatives," particularly Republicans, to fight against it. Now that the Republican candidates have followed his advice, he scolds them for doing so?

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asixbury 2 years, 7 months ago

FalseHopeNoChange: Obama had nothing to do with the bald eagles: "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has taken the unusual step of issuing a permit allowing a Native American tribe to kill two bald eagles for religious purposes." Try reading your own article.

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asixbury 2 years, 7 months ago

I'm not saying Obama is clueless about the issue, but that he had no direct tie to the decision. Nor does he probably care. The article clearly states the US Fish and Wildlife Service issued the permit.

I also did not make any statement about the separation of church and state, since this article is not, in essence, about that. It is about allowing a native tribe to perform their religious ceremony by issuing a permit for them to kill a bird that is essential to said ceremony, despite the killing of the bird being a banned practice under normal circumstances.

Stretching a little, huh?

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jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

Isn't the F and W service part of the executive branch?

As such, it's under the president's authority, right?

Of course, it's about church and state - when a church practice conflicts with secular laws, one has to sort out what the correct response is. If it's ok to make exceptions for native ceremonies, then religion is influencing government decisions.

What's the essential difference between that and churches not wanting to pay for contraception?

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asixbury 2 years, 7 months ago

Churches not wanting insurance to cover contraception impedes on a woman's right to adequate healthcare, since a lot of women take bc for health-related issues. Just because their insurance offers it does not mean they have to take it, or force others not to.

It is under the president's authority, but he had no direct say in the issue. Bureaucracy would take even longer if you had to get his seal of approval on everything.

Also, that decision did not influence the government, since all it did was make a one-time exception. They didn't change any laws to cater to the religious group.

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jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

Ok.

So it would be ok with you if they just made exceptions to the laws for religious groups instead?

Our society has not yet determined that we have a "right to adequate healthcare" in this country - that's what's being debated.

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asixbury 2 years, 7 months ago

If I'm paying for insurance coverage, like most people whom have it are, then, yes, I do have a right to adequate coverage.

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asixbury 2 years, 7 months ago

Try actually responding to people's comments, and not just post the nonsense that you do.

What a woman does with her body is her choice and no other, despite any religious beliefs against it.

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voevoda 2 years, 7 months ago

You have to blaspheme, too? "The Anointed One" is the Lord Jesus Christ, and you use his title as a term of political abuse. That's a violation of one of the Ten Commandments.

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camper 2 years, 7 months ago

There really was/is no maneuvere by the Democrats. They are just letting the GOP be themselves.....the party that panders to our fears.

This is Thomas' bi-annual piece where he is not just a political hack writing propoganda for the GOP base. With the excepton of the following statement, it is an ok column:

" Instead of debating President Obama’s dreadful record on just about everything,"

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 7 months ago

"Republicans talking about sex and morality"

For many years, I have been under the mistaken impression that our being involved in two rather bloody wars at the moment is a bigger issue, and that is what should be debated at the national level, instead of sex and morality.

But on the other hand, maybe it's a good thing in that by talking so much about those things, the Republicans are making it unnecessary for President Obama to waste any of his time campaigning for reelection.

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George Lippencott 2 years, 7 months ago

I can double my taxes by voting for Mr. Obama or I can kiss my pension and social security good by if I vote Republican. In the meantime I can find out about all sorts of birth control, religious control, government control, corporate control, PAC control, mind control ...

Informed Democracy is wonderful

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camper 2 years, 7 months ago

Double your taxes? Really? Will you lose your pension and SS?

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George Lippencott 2 years, 7 months ago

I have posted how I came up with that figure. We take in about a trillion now. We are an additional trillion out of balance. Simple math – to cover that trillion we double the tax.

The Republican candidates have various proposals to end SS and Medicare as we know them. It takes only a bit of thought to recognize that what is happening in Kansas will happen to those programs.

I might observe that the Democrats seem to be in love with means testing after the fact.

For some of you to be winners others have to be losers.

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pace 2 years, 7 months ago

It is the democrats fault what the GOP say. Well if that is the case, if democrats have such control over the republicans, controlling their thoughts and words. Cut out the weak middleman. Vote democrat, vote the ones in 'control". This would be funny if I didn't suspect some democrat made Cal write this garbage, just to make him look silly.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 7 months ago

false....leave the Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming out of your nonsense..... nothing like a factless troll inventing titles to annoy people with and expand threads.....I heard that the Lawrence school district was having elementary placement tests today....why didn't you go like Billy Madison and take your third grade equivilency test today?

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weeslicket 2 years, 7 months ago

after reading the GOD column today, i thought that maybe calvin had meant to use the title: democrats outmaneuver GOD

these poor republican fellows. why is god so unhappy with the god party? (i think some of the previous posters may have helped answer that question.)

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esteshawk 2 years, 7 months ago

I wonder how much the Koch Machine pays some of you wingnuts to post such nonsense about "The Obama" or "The Annointed One?". I keep reading things about all the damage Mr. Obama has/will do to this country, but never an example other than what Fox News and the like spew. What say you, False - Math?

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Mike Ford 2 years, 7 months ago

please take your meds....it' embarrassing to sound this crazy in public.....

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 7 months ago

"Breaking news! Republicans jump the shark! GOP blames Dems! News at 11!"

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jayhawklawrence 2 years, 7 months ago

In Cal Power's world, the Earth is still the center of the solar system.

The larger question is whether we will see the rise of a new political party to replace the Republican Party within the next few years and it won't be the Tea Party.

They are badly in need of a younger and more educated generation that is equipped to deal with 21st century issues.

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tomatogrower 2 years, 7 months ago

" Why do they think that talking about sex, much less trying to regulate it (some might start with regulating themselves)" Conservatives talk about freedom and regulating themselves, but then they turn around and try to regulate everyone. See hypocrisy here?

"For too many Republicans, the sun is setting on America." That's there message of fear. Are you just catching on that their message can only work for awhile. Like "Obama is coming to get your guns." And then people start going, "Hmm, over 3 years and no one has tried to take my guns. And I can even carry my guns in National Parks now." Maybe the fear mongers are wrong. People don't want to live like that.

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George Lippencott 2 years, 7 months ago

Hi grower. Who is regulating sex. I though we were arguing about the government paying for it. I don't know about you but not wanting to pay for something is not regulating it.

Just where did all these rights to OPM (other peopels money) come from???

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heygary 2 years, 7 months ago

This shows you the mentality of the current administration.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2115230/American-flag-Obamas-face-leaves-veterans-fuming.html

I suspect the best thing that could happen is for Obama to win re-election ... once the inevitable mess becomes obvious, it will be 30 years before the Democratic party would again hold office.

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