02
Apr
13

Politics and the big tent

I’m not a member of any organized party—I am a Democrat.

—Will Rogers

The wonderful thing about being a modern-day Democrat—as opposed to a modern-day Republican—is that it’s a coalition which accommodates both Bernie Sanders and Joe Manchin. Unfortunately, among many of us, that’s also a problem.

I’m not talking about those who are of the Purity Left, for whom clones of Ralph Nader are the only acceptable representatives of the progressive movement. I’m not talking about firebaggers, who see any sort of compromise as a death knell to the party. (Just don’t tell them that their revered leader did business with Redstate and Drudge.) I’m talking of rank and file Democrats, of Democrats who are pragmatic, who are cut to the core when Blue Dog Democrats go against what they consider to be a defining Democratic position such as stricter gun control, or action on climate change.

I will admit that I am often frustrated by the likes of Manchin and Kay Hagan. The recalcitrance they exhibit on supporting what most of us consider core Democratic positions can be more than confounding. I sometimes lapse into the position of wanting them shunned from the Party, as they’re poor representatives of it.

Of course, that was the dominant mood of 2010. And what was the result? Pat Toomey as senator from Pennsylvania. Marco Rubio in Florida. Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Democrats in purple seats voted according to their districts, many times being given leave to do so by Nancy Pelosi in an  effort to maintain the Democratic majority in the House—a Democratic majority which brought us health care reform, the saving of the auto industry, and the stimulus which prevented a second Great Depression. But Democratic voters stayed home because it’s what they do in midterms, and independent voters who had put the Blue Dogs into their seats turned in fear that “Ohmygodthingsaremovingtoofast”.

Now, a few big money donors are threatening to withhold donations from any Democrat who doesn’t fully support the gun control measures put forth by the President.

The incendiary side of me thinks: “Good”. The inner ideologue wants these Democrats taught a lesson, that you can’t go against basic Democratic positions and expect to receive support from Democrats.

But here’s the thing: Joe Manchin isn’t Senator from California. Whether we like to admit it or not, West Virginia is not Massachusetts. A Democrat from one is not like a Democrat from the other in many respects.

But he will be a Democrat in one important way: his vote will ensure a Democratic majority. The majority controls the agenda; yes, even despite of all the obstruction thrown up by Mitch McConnell and his band of merry miscreants. And, more times than not, a red state Democrat will vote with the Democrats. How many times has blue state Republican Mark Kirk voted with Harry Reid?

There is no question that the conservative Democrats in both House and Senate have to be reminded and cajoled as to what Democratic priorities are. Those of us who live in those areas have both a right and a duty to make our voices heard, and to remind them that we elected a Democrat for a reason.

But, I am not one to cavalierly throw out anyone from the tent, at least not without just cause.

The Democratic Party is the only functioning party in the country at the moment. It is the only party which brings together a broad enough coalition to be able to effectively govern. A broad coalition means that leaders will have to make deals within the party, because eventually those Democrats in red districts will have to answer to their voters, not to Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi. The Democratic Party isn’t an authoritarian institution like the GOP. Give me a Blue Dog who will vote with me 80 percent of the time than a Tea Partier who has visions of strangling the government of money for anything save tax breaks to the rich and perpetual war. Keeping Harry Reid as Majority Leader and handing back the gavel to Nancy Pelosi means that, yes, Blue Dogs will be necessary. If we want them to be less influential, then we need to get Democrats elected to all the districts won by President Obama. We need to not let Pat Toomey and Marco Rubio and Mark Kirk represent states won by Obama. We have to defend our territory, and then poach the GOP areas where they’re vulnerable.

Politics aren’t for the pure. Neither is progress. But progress, once started, has a momentum which is difficult to stop. We see this in GOP governors jettisoning their “principles” and taking federal money to fund the Medicaid expansion of the PPACA. We see this in one Democratic senator after another—even some from those red states—coming out for marriage equality. We are the ones winning, and we have to start acting like it.

If Aung San Suu Kyi can work with the military which imprisoned her for two decades for the betterment of her country, then we can work with Joe Manchin.


211 Responses to “Politics and the big tent”


  1. 11 vcprezofan2
    April 2, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Hi!

    • 12 vcprezofan2
      April 2, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      😆 😆 😆 Thois was really funny.

      • 13 vcprezofan2
        April 2, 2013 at 12:21 pm

        I get to the page and stopped there looking a ‘Leave a Comment’ and wondering why LL’s post has been knocked out again. Then something slapped me up the side of the head ..’Hell-o! That’s the place to leave a comment, you dolt!’

        • 14 vcprezofan2
          April 2, 2013 at 12:23 pm

          Then of course, I pasted what was in my hand which was not the way to go, so I just started laughing as I erased it. Stopped quickly. Posted. Then continued giggling. This was quite an experience, and LL, I still haven’t checked to see what your focus is. Ah me! Life’s good. 😛

          • 15 vcprezofan2
            April 2, 2013 at 12:27 pm

            By the way, LL, my disorientation is your fault. 😛 😛 That shaded area was confusing as it reminded me of the ‘Oops!’ page that TOD offers up from time to time when I’m trying to search for past stuff.

        • 16 cookemom
          April 2, 2013 at 12:24 pm

          LL had a post? I was checking on a response someone made to one of my previous comments. I went to answer the reply, then refreshed and I landed in leave a commentville.

          • 17 cookemom
            April 2, 2013 at 12:26 pm

            Oh wait! This is LL’s thread. Wow, I didn’t even notice the actual threadhead. My focus zoomed on the leave a comment, all else was completely blocked in my mind’s eye.

            • 18 vcprezofan2
              April 2, 2013 at 12:34 pm

              Nowadays I usually try to quickly read the title before I respond, as in my heydey I’d been known to give a flip greeting on a serious thread, then feel a bit embarrassed. That’s why the shaded area threw me.

    • 19 MightyPamela
      April 2, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      {{{{{VC}}}}}

  2. 23 57andfemale
    April 2, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Mark Kirk has come out in favor of marriage equality, the second Republican senator to do so.

    To all my Illinois TOD family: hammer Mark Kirk on absolutely everything, and hammer him hard. I email and call his office multiple times/week because otherwise you won’t be able to tell the difference between him and Inhofe in terms of how he votes.

    The marriage equality position is only to be able to show his ‘moderate’ cred when he is up for reelection, but almost everything he votes on is in lockstep with the obstructionists.

    The only way anything changes is if we stay active. As Randi Rhodes says – you have two senators and one Federal congressional representative — stay vigilant and let them know what you think and how you want them to vote. Every email, every phone call, every letter counts.

    • 24 cookemom
      April 2, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      I posted this on the last thread. This is pandering at its best. There is no vote of any floor for this, so he is not in any danger at the moment for coming out on this in Illinois where our state legislature is poised to pass SSM. He will not be so vocal on immigration, nor any other non-teabutt initiative.

      • 25 57andfemale
        April 2, 2013 at 12:57 pm

        Sorry I missed your post on the last thread. This is typical Mark Kirk where he found a safe issue to be socially liberal and fool the voters. That’s why I wanted to warn Illinoisans to stay vigilant with him and not be fooled. He has supported the filibusters and his voting record is indistinguishable from the other RWNJ’s.

        For all the grief about Roland Burris, I didn’t have to worry about how he would vote — he a was a reliable Democrat, on everything. I hate having to keep pressure on my Senator from Illinois.

        • 26 cookemom
          April 2, 2013 at 1:08 pm

          yes, and he has to go period. Until then, we have to keep the pressure on him and his voting record. I expect the rubber will meet the road for him on immigration. With Luis Guiteriez (sp) nipping at his heels, and the large Hispanic population here, there won’t be much wiggle room for him to duck and dodge on the issue. What surprises me is how he hasn’t been made to declare on gun control. In light of the gun violence in Chicago, you’d think his feet would have been held to the fire. However, he’s been given a pass, while everyone looks at PBO because he’s from Chicago.

          One more thing, and not to be insensitive to Kirk’s physical condition, but I want to see him speak on issues live and not through a press release or through a spokesman. Has he said anything or been seen actually performing his senatorial duties?

          I never understood the issue with Burris’ Senatorial appointment. He was stellar in the role. He did kept his head down and did what he was sent to do. He didn’t grandstand, nor used the position to further his career. I especially appreciated the poem he did on ACA on the floor. It was masterful, but didn’t get much air time.

          • 27 57andfemale
            April 2, 2013 at 1:45 pm

            When he meekly made the statement that it isn’t fair that medicaid patients only get a few physical therapy treatments, I sent him a scathing letter. People who pay property taxes in IL on a modest home can’t get any health insurance or government assistance for their health care, because of Republican obstruction. What was he going to do about THAT?

            Your point about gun violence — this is exactly my point. We have to write and call constantly. If we don’t make our voices heard, these monsters do whatever the hell they want to do.

            Burris was fine. It was all because this state went batshit crazy over Blagojevich with double standards for Democrats and Republicans. When Fitzgerald made him sound like Charles Manson and Benedict Arnold combined, I wanted to scream. This, from the guy who, whenever Karl Rove got caught in a lie about Valerie Plame, let him come in an change his testimony to fit the facts. He could find plenty to prosecute Blago for, but the Bush administration got off scott free on the Plame case. God knows how many people died because Cheney had a political bug up his ass. How much destruction was done to our counter-intelligence because Rove had political scores to settle? I’m not forgiving Blago, but the work done by Fitzgerald on both cases was unconscionable.

  3. April 2, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Congrats Cookemon, as usual LL scribes a wonderful, cogent argument. ” If Aung San Suu Kyi can work with the military…. then we can work with Joe Manchin.”

  4. April 2, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    LL & UT, as I said in my now deleted post, you’re both forbidden from commenting on the top middle headline:

  5. 35 amk for obama
    April 2, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Nice piece, LL.

    Compromise – Though we all totally hate to do it, we do it all our lives. Them is the reality.

    • 36 nathkatun7
      April 2, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      “Compromise – Though we all totally hate to do it, we do it all our lives. Them is the reality.”

      This is absolutely the truth. This country, and its revered Constitution, would not have been created without compromises. And I strongly detest those Constitutional compromises that allowed slavery to exist in a country supposedly founded on Freedom and human equality.

  6. April 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm

  7. April 2, 2013 at 12:30 pm

  8. April 2, 2013 at 12:32 pm

  9. 40 4morefor44
    April 2, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    for the life of me, i can’t understand how someone can read the constitution, and the 2nd amendment along with section 1, article 8 where they define militia and how it’s controlled by an elected government, and think the 2nd amendment means a bunch a beer-bellied guys who get winded running to the end of their driveways arming themselves to the teeth to fight against their elected government.

    the entire constitution and the 2nd amendment in particular talks about stopping insurrection, not encouraging it as the n.r.a. and media have been pushing for decades. people are so confused around this issue. i don’t think there’s any constitutional basis for gun ownership for hunting even. it’s clearly talking about guns being for the militia and controlled by congress or state governments…nothing about random individuals for their own use. it’s fine for people to have some for hunting and protection i think, and laws can handle that, but it’s incorrect to say it’s a constitutional right to “bear arms” not in service of your government.

    • April 2, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      I had an acquaintance a few years come out openly and say that the reason he had guns was to take out the government if it became “oppressive”. (Needless to say, we no longer communicate.)

      That really is the mindset of many of these 2nd Amendment absolutists.

    • 45 57andfemale
      April 2, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      No one in history has written a Constitution that allows for the destruction of the government the Constitution was meant to create. It’s insanity.

      I’m sick of ignorant, climate-denying, evolution-denying idiots directing national discourse, as they have since Reagan. We have become the laughingstock of the civilized world.

      Thom Hartmann’s views on the historical basis for the 2nd amendment are very compelling: http://www.thomhartmann.com/users/devos/blog/2013/02/militias-and-guns-recent-reaction-thom-hartmanns-assessment

    • 46 nathkatun7
      April 2, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      Thank you for your excellent comment, 4morefor44! I agree with your reading of the Constitution. I also think it is laughable to think that those “beer-belled guys” (and I’ve seen some gals too) and their AK-47 and AR-15 can take on the U.S. military. The utter idiocy and lunacy of these gun obsessed people is absolutely astounding.

  10. 53 cookemom
    April 2, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    YES!!!!! LL you nailed it!!! Thanks for the insight which you illustrated much better than I, in my feeble attempts to explain this very same thing.

  11. 54 Obama Grandmama
    April 2, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Thanks LL for reminding everyone why we in the Dem Party accept differences no matter how irritating. Just remember how annoying the GOP has been in voting as a block these last two terms. Yes, it has been effective, but I value expressing your values and constituents wishes regardless of partyline wishes. That does not stop me from trying to sway them or influence them into getting in line with the party wishes.

  12. 55 jacquelineoboomer
    April 2, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Not sure if this has been posted, but Electablog is on a roll this week, as usual. This one is very interesting (and I love John Dingell!):

    http://www.eclectablog.com/2013/04/congressman-john-dingell-hosts-public-forum-on-restoring-confidence-in-our-democracy-tomorrow-in-ann-arbor.html

  13. 58 cookemom
    April 2, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Ha, a panel member on Now says of Creep Christie: “a noun, a verb, and Sandy”.

  14. 59 Nena20409
    April 2, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Great Post.

    Just to add to that. JFK’s thoughts on what a Liberal is:

    If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal,” then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.” Acceptance of the New York Liberal Party nomination (14 September 1960)

    Dems love to argue, Govern and help improve the lives of Many.

    In this nation, including the Independence, and through the 238….almost years, Liberals have made improvements of USA and in turn, helping Mankind around the Globe.

    I am adding this for Dr. Ben Carson was on a radio show spouting that White Liberals are the most racists of all………Will the right repudiate his wickedly fatuously racists comments as they did Young from AK or as they have attacked Rev Leon on 4-1-13 for speaking the on an Easter Sermon this past Sunday?

  15. 60 amk for obama
    April 2, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    One of the leading voices on the science of global warming is to retire from Nasa this week to be more active in the fight against fossil fuels.

    Dr James E Hansen has been the head of the Goddard Institute for Space Research since 1981.

    He is sometimes called the “father of global warming” for his early warnings about the impacts of rising levels of greenhouse gases.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22000810

  16. April 2, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    #FORWARD

  17. 62 jacquelineoboomer
    April 2, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    LL – Beautifully put. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

  18. 63 donna dem 4 obama
    April 2, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    THANK YOU LL!!!!!!!!!!!

    Cookemom and I have been pounding this issue for the last few weeks.

    Turn those Blue State Repubs into yes votes on our issues out of fear that they will lose their seats and then vote their butts out at re-election. ->Build on your majority so you don’t have to be pressed by those handful of Red State Dems.<- this is the key to our success.

    • 64 Nena20409
      April 2, 2013 at 12:58 pm

      Without Dems voting for them…..their dreams of continuing to be senators from ME, NH, OH, IL, WI, NV, PA, etc would die a quick ugly death………….These TBGOPers have got to Fear Dems in those states.

    • 65 cookemom
      April 2, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      yep, and remember that regardless if the red state Dems ever vote with Dems, it’s all about the headcount and who holds the gavel.

  19. 66 amk for obama
    April 2, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    How much gold is there in the world?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21969100

    An interesting read, especially the conclusion.

    The bad news is that the way we use gold is starting to change.

    Up to now it has never gone away. It has always been recycled.

    “All the gold that has been mined throughout history is still in existence in the above-ground stock. That means that if you have a gold watch, some of the gold in that watch could have been mined by the Romans 2,000 years ago,” says James Turk.

    The way gold is being used in the technology industry, however, is different.

    The British Geological Survey states that about 12% of current world gold production finds its way to this sector, where it is often used in such small quantities, in each individual product, that it may no longer be economical to recycle it.

    In short, gold may be being “consumed” for the first time.

  20. 67 japa21
    April 2, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    LL, as usual an excellent post. And it shows how even pragmatists can go astray.

    I have been guilty of calling out the Dems that have been holding back on gun control legislation, though I do not see how being for universal backgroun checks can be politically harmful for them. However, when we demand strict party line cohesion from Congressional Dems we become, to put it honestly, hypocrtites.

    Time after time we lament the GOPs total unity in its obstructionism. Many times people, including myself, talk about there must be some Republicans that, in their hearts, are moderate and would be willing to vote for the people rather than the party. And, in truth, I believe there are, although that number is dwindling.

    But at the same time we are calling for Republicans to become more independent we condemn Dems that are not slavishly tied down to the PBO agenda or what the vast majority of the party wants. We call them betrayers, traitors and soemtimes worse than that.

    And in the midst of that, we forget that, as you said LL, they will still vote with the party more often than not. There presence, specially in the Senate, means we have a Dem majoirty leader and control the committees.

    In an ideal world, this wouldn’t be necessary, but until the people who vote in red states recognize that voting even moderate Dem is more in par with their real needs than the GOP is, it is the world we have to accept.

    • April 2, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      “… but until the people who vote in red states recognize that voting even moderate Dem is more in par with their real needs than the GOP is, it is the world we have to accept.”

      Very true, japa – and, that defines precisely the challenge that an ever more energized OFA can meet. The challenge of educating those folk and that will not happen if they are given the ‘my way or the highway approach’ that emoprog purist would demand. The beauty of OFA is how it emulates the core values of the ‘community organizer’ aka President Obama. In part, that’s why I smile every time I learn he is having dinner or lunch with GOPers – he’s work’n it, all the time 🙂

      #FORWARD >> TOGETHER!!

    • April 2, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      I was trying to put together some thoughts on this superb post – but the best I can say is: +1,000,000,000 to Japa’s. My instinct is always to howl and roar for the likes of Manchin to be thrown out of the party, but what does that achieve? Apart from, in his case, losing a Dem seat in West Virginia? Because, as you suggested, if he (and others like him) was the kind of Dem we’d like him to be, he probably wouldn’t have been elected in the first place. As LL and Japa put it, “we forget that …. they will still vote with the party more often than not”. I need to remind myself of this next time I howl and roar!

      • 70 cookemom
        April 2, 2013 at 1:13 pm

        Even if they hardly ever vote with the Dem, they’re still counted as a Dem. That matters when the Speaker/Leader is at stake. It’s more important to have the gavel, than to pressure a handful of red state Dems to risk political suicide. I’ve read that book, and it doesn’t end well.

        • April 2, 2013 at 1:24 pm

          Fair point, Cookemom. I’m always torn between sensible pragmatism – ie accommodating not-so-liberal-on-key-issues-Dems – and wondering why the beep they’re in the party in the first place, and why they’re allowed remain. But chuck them out, or somehow force them to toe the line, and what does that achieve? Zilch. Except to lose seats.

          • 72 cookemom
            April 2, 2013 at 1:27 pm

            I’m all for making them toe the line. However, that should be done by the Speaker or Senate Leader, behind closed doors as trade-off for something else later down the road, or not so risky. Calling them out in public, or before the actual vote, prematurely puts their heads on the chopping block.

            • April 2, 2013 at 1:36 pm

              I wouldn’t have a problem with callng them out in public (like, for example, the Senators holding out on gay marriage at the moment), no harm in keeping the pressure on and reminding them of the party’s values – although, I’d imagine, they’d pay limited interest to any pressure that doesn’t come from within their own states. But I know what you mean, behind-closed-doors trade-offs are probably the best/only way of making them ‘come ’round’ on certain issues, so I’m sure that’s the most effective way of dealing with them.

        • 77 jackiegrumbacher
          April 2, 2013 at 3:55 pm

          Cookemon, until the congressional gerryrigging by the PA legislature, our district had a Blue Dog Democrat. There were many issues on which we disagreed, but the guy always listened when you expressed your opinion. The things we disagreed on were frustrating to the point where many Dems stopped voting for him, including my husband. I kept on pushing the button beside his name because I figured a vote for him was a vote for Pelosi. The gerryrigging put him in another district and we got stuck with a traditional Republican. Now we have someone who NEVER votes our way and doesn’t even pretend to listen to opposing points of view. I would give anything to have our Blue Dog back and so would my husband. So the moral of the story for me is that any Dem, no matter how frustrating, is better than a Republican. We need to get 18 Dem seats to win back the majority in 2014. We can be purists and endure Boehner for the test of PBO’s term, or, we can be pragmatists and give Nancy back her gavel. I know which side I come down on.

  21. April 2, 2013 at 12:54 pm

  22. 79 cookemom
    April 2, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    PBO travels to Connecticut on gun control issue. Connecticut set to past strictest gun laws.

  23. 80 Nena20409
    April 2, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Truly an excellent piece. LL, you argued and presented your case as a litigator/barrister would. Thank you.

    The work continues for IL Kirk has seen the light…….belated, but saw the lights nonetheless.

    Now, ME, NH, PA, WI, IA, NV, etc states that this president won 2X in 2008 and 2012 respectively…….those senators should fear Dems for without Dems voting for them, their senatorial wins in the future are totally impossible.

  24. April 2, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    • 82 jacquelineoboomer
      April 2, 2013 at 6:18 pm

      Had to attempt a piggyback, Chips, ’cause that woman looks just like Sue Everhart of GA and I’m trying to rile her up on Twitter (even though, as GOP Chair in Georgia, she hasn’t been on her Twitter account in months – too busy fighting same-sex marriage, locally, I guess!):

  25. April 2, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Will not drop this approach, until it is the law of the land in the entire United States.

    Yes We Can

    • 90 jackiegrumbacher
      April 2, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      Bob, have you considered starting a White House petition on this issue. If you get the required number of signatures, you at least get some response, which takes up to a higher level of attention. I would sign the minute it was up and so would most TODers. We could also distribute it through our own separate channels of communication and FB pages. This is such a common sense idea that it just has to get wider exposure. And, as you have so often said, you get a very large, powerful and well funded insurance industry working as a counterbalance to the gun lobby.

  26. 91 dotster3
    April 2, 2013 at 1:16 pm

  27. 92 cookemom
    April 2, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    The argument that it is too much a burden to register firearms in situations when it’s handed down as an heirloom or gift. Why should grandson have to register a gun that’s been handed down to him from grandpa that’s been in the family for eons?

    The same reason that grandson would have to make the trip to the DMV to register the old beater that grandpa gave him. So if the old beater killed someone, was in an accident, or otherwise impacted the public or persons, someone could be held liable for the damages.

    Not to mention, grandson must have a license and proof of insurance to take advantage of said old beater.

    • 93 57andfemale
      April 2, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      Perfectly reasoned argument, cookemom.

    • 94 57andfemale
      April 2, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      And to take it one step further – these same people concerned about this burden, are more than willing to inflict ridiculous burdens on voting rights.

      • 95 jackiegrumbacher
        April 2, 2013 at 4:07 pm

        True, 57, and how about the burden of having a loved one shot down and dealing with the heavy medical bills if they survive and the heartache and grief if they don’t? I don’t care how much burden a gun owner bears. Tough. If a person wants to own a gun, then work for it. I have to register to vote by a certain date or I can’t exercise my CONSTITUTIONAL right to participate in an election. I have to stand in line at the DMV to get my license renewed, pay to get my car inspected, shell out money each month to keep my car insured and I’m going to worry about some guy’s ‘burden” in registering a gun? Frankly, I don’t give a damn about a gun owner’s plight. Life’s tough. Let them deal with it.

        • 96 57andfemale
          April 2, 2013 at 4:11 pm

          You’re right on, jackie.

          It’s a ‘burden’ to at least be insured and be responsible if you decide to be judge and jury and shoot me in a road rage situation? These same bastards will carry on about anyone on food stamps, yet refuse to be responsible for the misery they might inflict with their phallic little toy. It infuriates me.

          He gets his ‘freedom’ to bear arms, but what about my ‘freedom’ to be safe from his whims and paranoia and anger? What about MY civil rights to feel safe on the streets or behind the wheel of my car?

          These arguments would have been laughed out of the room 20 years ago. Unfortunately, the idjits who believe this stuff are now polluting the halls of Congress and government all over the U.S. It’s despicable.

  28. April 2, 2013 at 1:24 pm

  29. 98 symmetry11
    April 2, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Great post, LL!!

  30. 99 auni
    April 2, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Along with everything big that happens daily in President Obama’s life, there are those small moments that, for me, define who he is. Seeing the kid crying, kneeling right down, hugging, comforting, —- that’s who this man is. “Shake it off, shake it off, there you go”, he sez. This country has done something right to have him as our leader. I showed the clip to my grandson with the explaniation that the most powerful man in the world has time to care for a crying kid–that’s a real man!

  31. April 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm

  32. 103 57andfemale
    April 2, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    This is what gets elected to the US Senate in the 21st century. Ted Cruz and other TX Republican heavyweights weighing in on why expanding Medicaid would be bad for the uninsured. They won’t be ‘free’ enough because ‘choices will be limited’ or some other such b.s. Some other tidbits from these mental giants:

    “Our friends who are saying they want health care do not realize that expanding Medicaid will worsen health care options for the most vulnerable among us in Texas,” Cruz said.
    Silly people wanting health care. Those greedy uninsured people with their expanded Medicaid are just going to make all the other greedy uninsured people suffer more. Also, too. It would put violent criminals on the street.
    If you want state funds to provide for our prisons and law enforcement to incarcerate violent criminals and keep them off the streets you should be glad we’re not signing up for this Medicaid expansion because every state that does so is going to be regretting it mightily because the pressure is going to crowd out just about every other priority in the budget.
    Meanwhile, Texas has the highest rate of uninsured in the country, with more than two million people lacking insurance. A Texas-based economic and financial analysis firm, the Perryman Group, analyzed the benefits to the state under Medicaid expansion and concluded that for “every dollar spent by the State for additional Medicaid coverage, total spending in the economy would go up by $43.50, output (real gross product) would rise by $21.72, personal income would grow by $14.34, and retail sales would expand by $6.13.” Expanding Medicaid in Texas could save nearly 3,000 lives.”

  33. 113 dotster3
    April 2, 2013 at 2:07 pm

  34. April 2, 2013 at 2:08 pm

  35. April 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    • 117 jacquelineoboomer
      April 2, 2013 at 5:35 pm

      Oh, that can’t be good. First, FLOTUS asks us to eat our veggies, then exercise, and now to expand our minds so we don’t forget what perseverance in the face of adversity looks like, and she even uses the royal “We.” I knew that Obama family was up to something. #MindControl (also snark, for any lurkers!)

  36. 118 japa21
    April 2, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    • 119 jacquelineoboomer
      April 2, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      There’s always a hoax being played on the American public, between the haves and the have nots … it’s just thinly disguised as “life,” which continues to go on for most. Maybe all of the negative emphasis on “the corporation is your friend” by Romney and the other gems will help all of us start to wake up and see the ruse. President Obama has played a large part in getting us to open our eyes.

  37. April 2, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Liberal Librarian,

    I’ve been reading your writings for some time now and I’m very impressed. On the face of it you would think that what you’ve reasoned here would be a no-brainer. Nice post…

  38. April 2, 2013 at 2:22 pm

  39. 129 dotster3
    April 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    I see Karen Finney is host of new msnbc weekend show—-4:00-5:00.

    • 130 57andfemale
      April 2, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      Permanent host? Is that CST? The first Hardball timeslot?

    • 131 57andfemale
      April 2, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      If I paid attention, I would have seen that you said, ‘weekend’.

      msnbc is trying to put actual content on the weekends.

    • 132 anniebella
      April 2, 2013 at 6:16 pm

      Where is Joy Reid? What about giving her a chance. Get rid of that Chris Matthews 5pm or 7pm, he don’t need two hours. The 7pm is a repeat of the 5pm show.

  40. 133 utaustinliberal
    April 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm

  41. 135 utaustinliberal
    April 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    • 136 theo67
      April 2, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      I will definitely DVR this show – as long as she’s able to withstand the corporate pull to the dark side. We need more thinking people on TV who actually have resumes that prove they know what they’re talking about!

  42. 137 utaustinliberal
    April 2, 2013 at 3:27 pm

  43. April 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm

  44. 147 utaustinliberal
    April 2, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    • 148 theo67
      April 2, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      Brilliant – somebody had to say it plainly.

    • 149 jackiegrumbacher
      April 2, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      Ut, the only smart Dem candidate for 2016 will embrace the Obama coalition and try to expand it. Everyone else will fail, no matter what their name. It takes a mighty wave of support to overcome the Republican voter suppression and electoral college rigging and anyone who depresses that support with even one negative comment about PBO is dead in the water. The Clintonistas have never understood the level of commitment and love that people have for our president.

      • 150 japa21
        April 2, 2013 at 4:30 pm

        The Clintonistas may not, but the Clintons do understand it, now. And IF she decides to run, which I am not convinced of yet, you can bet she will use that knowledge and her awareness of why that love exists to her advantage. And if she were elected, she would do her best to continue his policies with a few tweaks. The whole point, and PBO would agree with this, is to turn his policies into something that expands beyond him. So they won’t be PBO policies or Clinton policies but Dem policies.

        • 151 prettyfoot58
          April 2, 2013 at 5:03 pm

          the question for meis what will a post PBO DEM presidency be like…will they go back to the same policies that existed before PBO…or will they try to move us FORWARD to the next stage….

          • April 2, 2013 at 5:44 pm

            This is why Governor O’Malley appeals to me. He is very forward-thinking and has a very pragmatic streak. He has a vision but he also likes to see things get done.

            • April 2, 2013 at 5:45 pm

              No one running in the 2016 primaries will dare to run away from the Obama record.

            • 154 nathkatun7
              April 2, 2013 at 11:33 pm

              Meta, Gov. O’Malley appeals to me too. But my #1 choice is VP Biden. He has worked closely with the President and he would, in my judgement, be the best person to continue and build on the President’s record. I know people are concerned about his age, but he is not that much older than Hillary Clinton. Besides he seems to be in excellent health.

    • 156 Dudette
      April 2, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      BRAVA!!!

  45. April 2, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    Hi guys. Is there any news on the turnout for the South Carolina runoff? I hope Sanford loses — better for Colbert-Bush.

  46. April 2, 2013 at 4:08 pm

  47. April 2, 2013 at 4:17 pm

  48. 160 desertflower
    April 2, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    CAN SOMEONE SPREAD THIS MANURE ALL ACROSS THE INTERNET UNIVERSE???????????

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/04/02/1810441/nra-concedes-background-checks-are-necessary/

    The National Rifle Association (NRA)’s “School Shield” task force released its recommendations for school safety improvements on Tuesday, which included “model legislation” for placing armed guards in schools. But the mechanism former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR), the task force’s head, proposed for making sure these guards wouldn’t hurt students were background checks — something the organization opposes for gun owners more broadly. “Yes, yes, [background checks are] part of the recommendation,” Hutchison bragged, without the slightest sense of irony. “They would have to go through background checks, they would have to go through testing and screening and then 40 to 60 hours of training.”

    Reporters quickly poked holes in the group’s effort, questioning why it didn’t recommend limits on magazine size (which would have reduced the carnage at Newtown, Connecticut) and ignore research showing that more guns lead to greater deaths. Hutchinson didn’t have much in the way of answers.

    • April 2, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      Bats**t ****ing crazy, if you excuse my ****ing language. Thanks DF.

      • 162 Nena20409
        April 2, 2013 at 5:50 pm

        Today every Police, Security Guard or a member of the Armed Forces go through a background check already. The Police also go through psychological tests as well. And for police, those training and tests are to fire guns, regular guns, Not those AK47s or anything similar for they are not allow to carry those weapons.

        • 163 vcprezofan2
          April 2, 2013 at 6:16 pm

          Don’t forget teachers also go through background checks. At least they have to in my part of the world.

          • 164 Nena20409
            April 2, 2013 at 7:11 pm

            Yep, nurses and even those who care for the elderly and now many parents do background checks before they hire daycare for their children.

  49. 166 japa21
    April 2, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    • 167 Nena20409
      April 2, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      And now, that 40% of guns sold are not ever subject to background check of the people buying these guns today.

      Many guns used to kill and commit crimes are purchased illegally.

      Following their logic, all murderers, burglars, rapists, those committing racketeering, etc are not caught, so following their logic, We should just let them run wild, by not arresting any of them?

      Their argument are riddled with holes.

  50. April 2, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      • April 2, 2013 at 4:58 pm

        The think its a White Supremacist gang in prison, he was acting DA…. They killed the original DA a few months ago. Could also be tied to the guy who killed the Corrections Head in CO, that ended up in TX 2 weeks ago.

        • April 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm

          It’s an extraordinary story, what year are we in again?

          • 172 anniebella
            April 2, 2013 at 5:39 pm

            The DA carried a gun, but it didn’t protect him or his family did it.

            • 173 Nena20409
              April 2, 2013 at 6:01 pm

              He was killed at home. His wife went to answer the door. It was at night. The security detailed officer had already left for the evening. The acting DA was found way in the back, trying to get his gun…..I am guessing after they have already shot his wife…..he must have heard the shot that killed her.

  51. April 2, 2013 at 4:52 pm

  52. 188 prettyfoot58
    April 2, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    If we want them to be less influential, then we need to get Democrats elected to all the districts won by President Obama. We need to not let Pat Toomey and Marco Rubio and Mark Kirk represent states won by Obama. We have to defend our territory, and then poach the GOP areas where they’re vulnerable.

    ***********************************

    Right On Point!!!

    calls to mind a piece that some TODers posted about the evolution of Harry Reid….

  53. April 2, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Yes We Can

  54. 190 utaustinliberal
    April 2, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Some people deserve special reservations in hell. This Rutgers basketball coach is a scumbag.

  55. 191 japa21
    April 2, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    One of the disadvantages of twitter is the character limitation, so yes, I know Fast and Furious was not horrible and originally started under Bush. The point is, one of the reasons it turned into a fiasco is that the ATF agents were trying to track down strawman purchases, where a gun is bought by a legitimate person for person or persons who didn’t qualify to purchase guns. However, the law did not really prevent that activity. The GOP has stopped a law to ban those kind of purchases,

  56. 192 anniebella
    April 2, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    So now that jackass Chris Matthews is trying to blame President Obama for the fact that the cowards in Congress is brought and own by the NRA.

    • 193 anniebella
      April 2, 2013 at 5:36 pm

      I plan to email Matthews to let him know what I think of what he said.

    • 194 Linda
      April 2, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      He is in one of his manic moods…talking fast and spraying the guest with spittle.

      He does damage when he is like that. Yesterday he was praising PBO

      I think Tweety is easily duped !

      • 195 Nena20409
        April 2, 2013 at 6:11 pm

        Matthews is a guy without a core. He mind bends from one guest dinner party to another. He has no depth. This is a guy who was complaining that this president was being seen too much…..this year…..just months ago. Now he is complaining what? The guy is a blabbering idiot.

        I stopped taping his shows over weeks ago. His show is dead to me.

  57. April 2, 2013 at 5:40 pm

  58. 197 MightyPamela
    April 2, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Hello, and good afternoon, have been reading up, finding much to ponder. Thank you, everyone, thank you Chipsticks…..

    • April 2, 2013 at 5:42 pm

      Pamela! How are you doing today? Feeling any better??

      • 199 MightyPamela
        April 2, 2013 at 5:58 pm

        Well, yes and no, but I think it’s all part of the ebb and flow of managing pain, and learning to “rest”, whatever the heck that means!! I guess I am just one of those people who likes to be busy, getting things done, and have decided I like results! So, battling my inner nature, I suppose…. there must be a reason! Thank you for asking, and for letting me sit in on these threads, tho I mostly have nothing to add. Hugs all around….

        • April 2, 2013 at 6:05 pm

          Oooooooh, even the thought of pain management makes my knees weak Pamela, so my heart goes out to you. I have learnt, though, that we’re definitely not identical twins – I love nothing more than doing nothing, you’re happiest when you’re a busy bee! Any way, hang in there, get yourself back to 100%!

          • 201 vcprezofan2
            April 2, 2013 at 6:34 pm

            WE’re definitely identical CC ’cause – **I** love nothing more than doing nothing. I think I have finally convinced my friends here that I am perfectly fine and not at all bored doing nothing. Part of my argument has been, ‘What’s the big deal knocking out yourself to do a whole bunch of stuff that you’ll be redoing tomorrow anyway? You might as well do a bit and leave some for tomorrow. Teehee -That way there’ll be no need to feel idle tomorrow. 😉

          • 202 MightyPamela
            April 2, 2013 at 6:47 pm

            Did you have to mention ‘knees’…. ? I understand the sentiment, tho, it’s really all about knees! Like you: The Bee’s Knees! 😆

  59. April 2, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    How low can these people go?

    • 204 theo67
      April 2, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      What is wrong with these people? They are not normal.

      • 205 Nena20409
        April 2, 2013 at 6:53 pm

        They truly betray themselves.

        Karen Finney, MHP and Pres Obama, all have the same 2 things in common. Their respective moms were White and their respective Dads were Black.

        But in pres Obama, this particular fool, I bet, sees the POTUS as the enemy. This fool is pure evil.

  60. April 2, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    This is getting annoying. That little orange square sits up there taunting me. I tried to go on wordpress because I think there is a dashboard that I can read the notifications on. It says it has reset all passwords (I hardly ever go on there) and has me click a link to get a new password. Nothing happens, so I send an email to the address they suggest. Nothing happens. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Just sayin’

  61. 207 prettyfoot58
    April 2, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Does OMalley have future ambitions that include the WH


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