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Old 08-27-2004, 08:16 AM   #1
Lurikeen
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Default We’re Not in Lake Wobegon Anymore

We’re Not in Lake Wobegon Anymore

How did the Party of Lincoln and Liberty transmogrify into the party of Newt Gingrich’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk?

By Garrison Keillor

Something has gone seriously haywire with the Republican Party. Once, it was the party of pragmatic Main Street businessmen in steel-rimmed spectacles who decried profligacy and waste, were devoted to their communities and supported the sort of prosperity that raises all ships. They were good-hearted people who vanquished the gnarlier elements of their party, the paranoid Roosevelt-haters, the flat Earthers and Prohibitionists, the antipapist antiforeigner element. The genial Eisenhower was their man, a genuine American hero of D-Day, who made it OK for reasonable people to vote Republican. He brought the Korean War to a stalemate, produced the Interstate Highway System, declined to rescue the French colonial army in Vietnam, and gave us a period of peace and prosperity, in which (oddly) American arts and letters flourished and higher education burgeoned—and there was a degree of plain decency in the country. Fifties Republicans were giants compared to today’s. Richard Nixon was the last Republican leader to feel a Christian obligation toward the poor.

In the years between Nixon and Newt Gingrich, the party migrated southward down the Twisting Trail of Rhetoric and sneered at the idea of public service and became the Scourge of Liberalism, the Great Crusade Against the Sixties, the Death Star of Government, a gang of pirates that diverted and fascinated the media by their sheer chutzpah, such as the misty-eyed flag-waving of Ronald Reagan who, while George McGovern flew bombers in World War II, took a pass and made training films in Long Beach. The Nixon moderate vanished like the passenger pigeon, purged by a legion of angry white men who rose to power on pure punk politics. “Bipartisanship is another term of date rape,” says Grover Norquist, the Sid Vicious of the GOP. “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.” The boy has Oedipal problems and government is his daddy.

The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk. Republicans: The No.1 reason the rest of the world thinks we’re deaf, dumb and dangerous.

Rich ironies abound! Lies pop up like toadstools in the forest! Wild swine crowd round the public trough! Outrageous gerrymandering! Pocket lining on a massive scale! Paid lobbyists sit in committee rooms and write legislation to alleviate the suffering of billionaires! Hypocrisies shine like cat turds in the moonlight! O Mark Twain, where art thou at this hour? Arise and behold the Gilded Age reincarnated gaudier than ever, upholding great wealth as the sure sign of Divine Grace.

Here in 2004, George W. Bush is running for reelection on a platform of tragedy—the single greatest failure of national defense in our history, the attacks of 9/11 in which 19 men with box cutters put this nation into a tailspin, a failure the details of which the White House fought to keep secret even as it ran the country into hock up to the hubcaps, thanks to generous tax cuts for the well-fixed, hoping to lead us into a box canyon of debt that will render government impotent, even as we engage in a war against a small country that was undertaken for the president’s personal satisfaction but sold to the American public on the basis of brazen misinformation, a war whose purpose is to distract us from an enormous transfer of wealth taking place in this country, flowing upward, and the deception is working beautifully.

The concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few is the death knell of democracy. No republic in the history of humanity has survived this. The election of 2004 will say something about what happens to ours. The omens are not good.

Our beloved land has been fogged with fear—fear, the greatest political strategy ever. An ominous silence, distant sirens, a drumbeat of whispered warnings and alarms to keep the public uneasy and silence the opposition. And in a time of vague fear, you can appoint bullet-brained judges, strip the bark off the Constitution, eviscerate federal regulatory agencies, bring public education to a standstill, stupefy the press, lavish gorgeous tax breaks on the rich.

There is a stink drifting through this election year. It isn’t the Florida recount or the Supreme Court decision. No, it’s 9/11 that we keep coming back to. It wasn’t the “end of innocence,” or a turning point in our history, or a cosmic occurrence, it was an event, a lapse of security. And patriotism shouldn’t prevent people from asking hard questions of the man who was purportedly in charge of national security at the time.

Whenever I think of those New Yorkers hurrying along Park Place or getting off the No.1 Broadway local, hustling toward their office on the 90th floor, the morning paper under their arms, I think of that non-reader George W. Bush and how he hopes to exploit those people with a little economic uptick, maybe the capture of Osama, cruise to victory in November and proceed to get some serious nation-changing done in his second term.

This year, as in the past, Republicans will portray us Democrats as embittered academics, desiccated Unitarians, whacked-out hippies and communards, people who talk to telephone poles, the party of the Deadheads. They will wave enormous flags and wow over and over the footage of firemen in the wreckage of the World Trade Center and bodies being carried out and they will lie about their economic policies with astonishing enthusiasm.

The Union is what needs defending this year. Government of Enron and by Halliburton and for the Southern Baptists is not the same as what Lincoln spoke of. This gang of Pithecanthropus Republicanii has humbugged us to death on terrorism and tax cuts for the comfy and school prayer and flag burning and claimed the right to know what books we read and to dump their sewage upstream from the town and clear-cut the forests and gut the IRS and mark up the constitution on behalf of intolerance and promote the corporate takeover of the public airwaves and to hell with anybody who opposes them.

This is a great country, and it wasn’t made so by angry people. We have a sacred duty to bequeath it to our grandchildren in better shape than however we found it. We have a long way to go and we’re not getting any younger.

Dante said that the hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who in time of crisis remain neutral, so I have spoken my piece, and thank you, dear reader. It’s a beautiful world, rain or shine, and there is more to life than winning.

http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/mai...begon_anymore/
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Old 08-27-2004, 08:21 AM   #2
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I guess Lurik read something that really touched home..and felt he had to share it.


Keep it, please.
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Old 08-27-2004, 08:27 AM   #3
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The swamp gas on Lake Wobegon has clearly rotted what was left of Keeler's brain.
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Old 08-27-2004, 08:27 AM   #4
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Oh, excuse me! You fucking tard.
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Old 08-27-2004, 08:35 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Lurikeen
Oh, excuse me! You fucking tard.
LOL!

If someone wants to tell a story about the overall and complete change in American politics, fine. But when I read about "Newt's party", I turn a partisan deaf ear to it....because it isnt nothing but partisan BS.

We can talk about economic and political changes, fine. But the truth of the matter is that there isnt a Dem or Repub "machine" running anything. These politicians come from the population and are voted it. If anything it is a reflection of our changing society, needs and policies (on both sides, not just one).

Most anytime we discuss something evolving it is a plus. But for some reason political evolutionary changes to meet the new demands of the times isnt?

Should we start a thread about how Lurik was once a nice Catholic school boy and how he turned into what he is today?
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Old 08-27-2004, 08:37 AM   #6
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Yeaaaa Luri, you didn't fail me again!

From that website:

Mission Statement

In These Times is a magazine of news, opinion and culture, committed to extending political and economic democracy and to opposing the tyranny of the marketplace over human values.

In These Times’ editorial content is shaped by a commitment to providing the news, analysis and perspective that is essential to developing a national and global movement for democracy and justice.

ROFL, the 'tyranny of the marketplace', give me a break. A few corrupt corporations and suddenly the entire marketplace is tryanical? Seems to me they are against capitalism!!
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Old 08-27-2004, 08:37 AM   #7
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The concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few is the death knell of democracy. No republic in the history of humanity has survived this. The election of 2004 will say something about what happens to ours. The omens are not good.
Anyone with half a brain will ponder this point seriously. There is a reason that the government has kept monopolies from becoming too big.


Keep it, please.
More proof that conservatives REFUSE to listen to other views. More proof that they choose ignorance over knowledge. There is no debate in this country and that is the sad part. There is no debate because the Republicans don't allow debate. Debate is essential to choice and that isn't happening. Your answer typifies the problems with your party.

The swamp gas on Lake Wobegon has clearly rotted what was left of Keeler's brain.
Typical response once again. No Debate here again. Republicans can not offer debate, instead resorting to slander and namecalling and character attacks. Thank you Laird for proving this to us.
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Old 08-27-2004, 08:45 AM   #8
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Why debate somebody who calls Republican's Newt's party... unlike the democrats we have open disabreements within the party and we don't silence dissent. Look at who will be speaking at the RNC and tell me they adhere to a strict party label as this piece would like to paint. "Hairy backed swamp developers" and other labels tune me right out. Why dignify such bullshit by arguing fact to their fantasy when they are so clearly out of touch with reality. At least debating lurikeen's words is an excercise in reality. I rarely agree with him, but he has his views, he does his best to defend him, and when you get past his childishn rantings there is often some decent insight contained therein. I can have a dialogue back and fourth with him, I'm not going to be debating Keeler so why bother?

The liberals here dismiss anything written by Ann Coulter, I'm betting without even bothering to read it half the time. They have zero problem doing that, but when we refuse to address the demented rantings of a man clearly looking for the mother ship, we "refuse to debate" as if we were hiding. Once again, nice double standards.
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Old 08-27-2004, 08:47 AM   #9
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If it sounds about right, and harms our opponent, then its all good, right? Bumble?

There is no more of a "concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few" then there has ever been. The economic situations we face now on a global scale are nowhere near that of "previous republics". Your socialist ideas of taking and stripping the wealth from the rich and equally dividing it is horseshit, Bumble.

God bless America!! I demand that you find 5 poor families and divide your income equally!!! Put up or shut up!
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Old 08-27-2004, 08:50 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by LairdRagna
Why debate somebody who calls Republican's Newt's party... unlike the democrats we have open disabreements within the party and we don't silence dissent.
What a moron. You absofuckinglutely don't know what the hell you're talking about. If you are completely unaware about the constant debate inside the Democratic Pary, then you certainly aren't involved in politics as an advisor, or whatever the hell you claim to do.
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Old 08-27-2004, 08:54 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Laird
Look at who will be speaking at the RNC and tell me they adhere to a strict party label as this piece would like to paint.
Are you really trying to use Benedict Miller as a prop to illustrate your purported GOP moderation or are there other speakers I don't know about.
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Old 08-27-2004, 08:58 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Hormadrune
Are you really trying to use Benedict Miller as a prop to illustrate your purported GOP moderation or are there other speakers I don't know about.
LOL, no... I'm talking about pro-life Republicans, pro-choice Republicans, those against gay-marriage and support a national ban and those who believe its a state descision. Those that support gun control and those who are strongly opposed. This is all within the Republican ranks.
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Old 08-27-2004, 09:00 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Inmountains
Yeaaaa Luri, you didn't fail me again!

From that website:

Mission Statement
Uh, moron ~~~~~~> Article is op-ed, so where it comes from doesn't matter.
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Old 08-27-2004, 09:05 AM   #14
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Of course there is "constant debate" in the Democratic Party. It's called "flip flopping" and trying to follow whichever way the wind blows that day. They don't believe in "concrete absolutes", what is "bad" today may be "good" tomorrow.
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Old 08-27-2004, 09:12 AM   #15
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"Uh, moron ~~~~~~> Article is op-ed, so where it comes from doesn't matter." Lurikeen

HEY MORON, I was referring to you using the "F" word to show the depth of your intelligence and debate abilities!!!
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Old 08-27-2004, 09:19 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Laird
I'm talking about pro-life Republicans, pro-choice Republicans, those against gay-marriage and support a national ban and those who believe its a state descision. Those that support gun control and those who are strongly opposed. This is all within the Republican ranks.
I hope you're simply talking conventions here (where the Dems chose to present a very unified front) and not seriously claiming that there are no issue-based divisions within the Democratic party? I would actually say that it's those issue-based divisions that have been part of why the Republicans have gained so much ground in recent years- the Dems spent far too much time and resources fighting with each other. Only in this election cycle are they starting to see a need to rally around each other in order to get this country back on track.
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Old 08-27-2004, 09:27 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Inmountains
HEY MORON, I was referring to you using the "F" word to show the depth of your intelligence and debate abilities!!!
Here debate this...

Fuck off and die
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Old 08-27-2004, 09:42 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Hormadrune
I hope you're simply talking conventions here (where the Dems chose to present a very unified front) and not seriously claiming that there are no issue-based divisions within the Democratic party? I would actually say that it's those issue-based divisions that have been part of why the Republicans have gained so much ground in recent years- the Dems spent far too much time and resources fighting with each other. Only in this election cycle are they starting to see a need to rally around each other in order to get this country back on track.
Of course there are differences in how democrats view things. As evidenced by the fact there are some choosing to back Bush. I know there are pro-life democrats. I know there are hawkish democrats and doves as well. I know there are those who would take every last gun and those who have collections that rival mine. The point is there is ZERO room for deviation from the party line at your convention. What you offer up as a unified front, I look at as suppression of dissent. Why don't you ever see a pro-2nd amendment democrat on stage saying the assault weapons ban is an abject failure, that gun control only effects those who obey laws anyway, and thus weren't the threat being addressed to begin with? The closest thing you saw to that was Ben Affleck when he said you can't believe in the Bill of Rights without believing in the ENTIRE Bill of Rights and that was on O'Reilley, not on stage.

My point is this. Republicans do far less repression of dissenting views within the party than Democrats do. The American people saw nothing but liberal democrats at your convention. Where was Joe Lieberman during primetime? I'll tell you this, I would vote Bush over Lieberman, but I would vote for Lieberman before Falwell. Where is the diversity in your party? It certainly wasn't on display in Boston.
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Old 08-27-2004, 09:52 AM   #19
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As I've said Laird- presenting a united front is the going theme this cycle with Dems- surely you realized this long before I said it here. Sure- they could have presented the vast spectrum of differing beliefs within the party, but the key here is rallying behind one candidate who needs to win. With you repugs calling anyone left of Lieberman (a very conservative Democrat) a liberal it's hard to put much stock on your criticism on this point.

Originally Posted by Laird
As evidenced by the fact there are some choosing to back Bush.
You surely realize there are some Republicans voting for Kerry also right? You recently linked polls displaying this so I hope so.

Originally Posted by Laird
What you offer up as a unified front, I look at as suppression of dissent.
Where are the outraged dissentors then? Surely there would be some very disappointed folks who would speak out after being left out of the party? Right? Suppression indeed
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Old 08-27-2004, 10:29 AM   #20
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Yes, I think the polls showed 3% of identified Republicans voting for Kerry, and between 15-20% of democrats supporting Bush. I've yet to see a major Republican officeholder stepping up and endorsing Kerry.
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Old 08-27-2004, 10:47 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by LairdRagna
Yes, I think the polls showed 3% of identified Republicans voting for Kerry, and between 15-20% of democrats supporting Bush. I've yet to see a major Republican officeholder stepping up and endorsing Kerry.
Compare your statement's above with your earlier statement...

...unlike the democrats we have open disabreements within the party and we don't silence dissent.
I guess Democrats voting for Bush, but yet identifying themselves as "Democrats" can't possibly count as dissent or "open disabreements" (sic).

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Old 08-27-2004, 11:05 AM   #22
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Your party's image is defined by the foot you put forward... in other words what happens with your candidate in the public eye. Who did he choose to have step up and speak? Was it a representation of the myriad of ideas in the party... or was it a narrowly focused representation? The fact that democrats are voting for republicans in higher numbers than republicans are voting for democrats tells me that the democrats platform and image does not match their view of the party. Likely they are conservatives who feel they are being ignored by the representation and platform that Kerry chose.

If your platform does not appeal to 15-20% of your own base that tells me it is out of touch with the majority of Americans considering people split pretty much down the middle in their identification of being republicans or democrats. The fact that the republicans are losing only 3% of their base and grabbing 15-20% of the democratic base tells me they are in a stronger position going into the last 60 days of the election.

The big issue right now is the Republican convention, if they hit a grand slam it will be near impossible for Kerry to come back... the deates just won't offer the chance to make up extensive lost ground. If Bush gets little bounce from the convention, much like Kerry, then its still a horse race and the debates become critical.

As Kerry pointed out, Bush has never lost a debate... and the same can pretty much be sad for Kerry. Kerry is an effective debater not because he conveys ideas that people agree with, but because he is known for being a master of verbal kung fu. He contorts his opponents arguments and uses them against them... much as lurikeen likes to do. He doesn't debate the issue at hand, he recrafts it to one that is rarely germane but he can win. Its disingenuous, but its effective and he is very accomplished at this, which makes him decidedly dangerous. If I were Bush there is no way I'd agree to weekly debates. All that Kerry is hoping to achieve with that is more opportunity to twist his opposition's views and tear down a strawman. It would be foolish to play into that hand. My recommendation would be 3-4 debates... 2-3 presidential and 1 vice-presidential.
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Old 08-27-2004, 11:26 AM   #23
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Laird, the National conventions, for both parties, have traditionally catered to solidifying an ideological base. The "speak" at the conventions is generally different from that on the campaign stump.

Also, where are you getting your numbers from? Care to post a link?
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Old 08-27-2004, 12:42 PM   #24
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http://www.latimes.com/news/custom/t...ews-times_poll

Believe its the sixth paragraph down from the top.

With independent voters splitting evenly in the survey between the two men, one key to Bush's tentative new advantage was his greater success at consolidating his base. While 3% of voters who called themselves Republicans said they would vote for Kerry, Bush drew 15% of all Democrats, and 20% of Democrats who consider themselves moderate or conservative, the poll found.
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Old 08-27-2004, 01:26 PM   #25
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"Here debate this...
Fuck off and die"
Lurikeen

I can't think of a BETTER way to die. We all know you will die pounding out your frustration on a keyboard!

Bush was visiting this area yesterday. I loved the quote from a young man. He said, "Bush is not the greatest president ever, but he is sure a lot better than that idiot Kerry". Couldn't have said it better myself.
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