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McCain Derangement Syndrome

The term seems apt. In many cases, McCain hatred is so irrational as to be pathological.

I heard two examples of it this evening - one from my friend Hugh Hewitt, whose rage against McCain today on Wolf Blitzer's CNN show made the hair curl on my bald head and later, on the Larry Elder Show, I listened in as a woman caller excoriated McCain as no war hero even though she knew the Senator had spent five years in a North Vietnamese prison camp, was tortured, had his bones broken yet stayed with the other troops when offered a chance to leave, etc. Even Elder was appalled at the woman, though Larry is no McCain supporter.
One of the raps against McCain by traditional conservatives is that he opposes waterboarding and Gitmo. On the other hand, he was one of the earliest, strongest and most influential backers of The Surge. I think by any rational comparison the importance of The Surge vs. waterboarding and Gitmo isn't remotely close. The Surge is responsible for the vastly improved situation in Iraq and for our consequentially improved situation globally. The other two are of marginal importance by comparison. McCain, it would seem to me, has his priorities right (not to mention more experience) on the most important issue of our time - the War on Terror.
Romney claims to have changed and "seen the light" on many issues. I have no idea whether this is true, but I am amazed by all these conservatives who totally and almost slavishly believe this is the real Romney yet equally assuredly distrust McCain when he repeatedly says he would build a security fence. It reminds me of that old shrink's thing about the "need to be right," how it always trips us up. I have seen it happen to me a lot. Anyway, I'm not sure McCain Derangement Syndrome has a cure. People love their anger. It's a security blanket.

Yep. Measured criticism of McCain from the right is one thing, but the kind of froth-at-the-mouth hysteria of Limbaugh, Hewitt et al is something else entirely. I think one of the tell-tale symptoms of an actual MDS is a bizarre tendency to put forth Mitt Romney as a conservative standard bearer. I agree with Glenn:

What I find particularly hard to swallow, though... are the people who say that if Romney doesn't make it they'll vote Democratic rather than support McCain because McCain's not a true conservative. Maybe not, but neither is Romney, and it seems like a strange place to draw the line.


Its a shame that the definition of Republican and conservative by the self-appointed guardians and keepers of the flame has been narrowing further and further the past several years...to where one is flung from the party is he speaks out against waterboarding--not just speaks out against, but dares to not be enthusiastic about it. You're not a conservative if you think a revival of $300+ billion annual budget deficits isn't OK. You're not a true believer if you don't think the federal government should involve itself (including having the President fly back to DC in the middle of the night to sign legislation) in the affairs of a vegetative woman. You're not a true conservative if you refuse to blindly back the President and his concrete-headed Defense Secretary as they ineptly run wars on the cheap. You're not a true-blue conservative if you fail to go 'nativist' and instead look at a different approach to illegal immigration that doesn't involve mass arrests and mass deportations and mass scapegoating. You're not a true conservative if you fail to jump up and down with enthusiasm over every person nominated for a federal judgeship by the Bush Administration.

This is nice, too (saw this this morning):

Will McCain, who finished 894th out of 899 at the Naval Academy and who lost five jets, return competence to the White House?

There's another variation of MDS: McCain supporters who are less interested in engaging McCain skeptics than in berating us for not falling into line.

If you want me to think about getting on board, then start putting as much energy into making the case for your candidate as you're putting into making the case against McCain opponents.

As much as I love Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin, they aren't going to make the decision for me about how I'm going to vote in November and nobody else is going to do that either.

If you go back and look at my old http://supportfredthompson.org website you'll see that all I ever did was promote my candidate. Apart from some clearly explained complaints about media lies, I didn't bash anyone over the campaign for the nomination.

What I consistently find in return is dismissive condescension from delusional Ron Paul supporters and and angry recriminations from frustrated John McCain supporters.

Why should I get on board with people who are so plainly perturbed by my political convictions? What? Do you think you're going to humiliate me into compliance?

If it comes down to Hillary versus McCain then, yeah, of course I'll trudge down to my East Harlem polling station, hold my nose and cast my vote against the clear evil (that'll teach those Upper West Side stalinists!). But until somebody actually makes the case to me for McCain -- not just the case against Rush Limbaugh -- don't expect me to be promoting a man with whom I have so many fundamental disagreements.

WF, you do make a good point. I'm just venting my frustrations, not trying to change anyone's mind. For one thing, my frustrations are directed almost exclusively at Limbaugh, Malkin, Levin & Co., none of whom read this blog, as far as I know. The GOP-leaning folks I know in real life are, for the most part, open to McCain, probably because I live in such a true-blue state.

Sorry if I was a bit harsh there.

I like what Rush, Malkin and Levin are doing. I have enough reservations about McCain that I really want to see him backed into a corner on some of those issues. Right now it looks like McCain is more than willing to pander to and accomodate the blue states. If he wants to appeal to liberals then fine. If he wants to appeal to conservatives like me, then he's got some work to do.

Does the pattern of recent elections indicate a need to appeal to both conservatives and liberals? In order to win a general election, does a candidate have to bring out a good proportion of the base and persuade enough floaters to join him/her? If so, it seems a delicate balance is needed. Is this selection process up to the task?

As a Brit, I find the whole primary lark quite fascinating and very odd (not meant as pejorative). The level of state involvement in the internal business of political parties is very different to here. I guess that's down to the nature of the office of president being both head of state and chief executive.

Here the chief executive (prime minister) is the leader of the biggest faction in parliament. That leader sometimes faces the electorate (effectively but not actually) when the parties stand for election (Tony Blair, previous); and other times gets the position by internal party machinations (Gordon Brown, current).

I like the US republican system much better by far, but it's curious that politicians on both sides of the pond no longer seem to be coming from amongst the best that civilisation has to offer. Is this indicative that these political leadership positions aren't actually relevant to real power any more?

Although, being ultra-liberal myself, I am the last to defend the righ-wingers, I can see their point about McCain. He has been consistently "unprincipled" and flip-flopping. He says he is for tax cuts, but he voted against them. He says that he is against amnesty, but he supported the Bush-Kennedy bill. He attacked the religious right harshly in 2004, and then he surrendered to it and praised them. He also, apparently, lied about what Romeny said recently. And the only reason that he supported the "surge" was that he had been invested already so much in the Iraq war that he could not change positions. He will lose by a landslide to Obama (if he is the candidate) and by a clear-cut marhing to Hillary. I think the republicans made a mistake to endorse him as their candidate. It is not that different from the mistake they made when they supported Lincoln Chaffe in the senatorial race in RI in 2006 over the conservative candidate. Chaffe lost anyway. Except that Chaffe had (almost liberal) principles. McCain does not have any principles at this point. He just wants desperately to get elected. But he will not.

Anyway, in my opinion McCain is a cheap opportunist and cheap politician like many. That may be the only issue that I agree with far-right wingnuts like Malkin and rest. But I prefer him at this point as the republican candidate in the general election. He is totally unelectable.

Correction: I meant to say he attacked the religious right in 2000, not 2004.

I know a number of really conservative guys and one of them was a huge Giuliani guy (he's also something of a moron who thought Clinton would be down and out after Iowa (seriously, after Iowa he asked me if I was going to the funeral *rollingeyes*) and one who was a huge Thompson supporter with an okay, I guess him, feeling about Giuliani.

The first is now pulling from Romney and HATES McCain, as much as he hates Clinton (maybe more). For him, it's the torture thing. He can't believe he's such a coward. I don't get it either.

The second has decided that he's not going to vote for the Republican candidate in November(I'm not sure what he's doing on Tuesday), instead he's going to go with the Libertarian candidate, maybe Ron Paul? He doesn't hate McCain, but he's deeply suspicious of him.

According to the second guy, there's an internet poll on some conservative site he frequents that shows that if it's McCain, some 30% are planning on just staying home.

I don't get it. I do wonder what the Christian Coalition will do. Especially if it's not Romney who says he's like them and will look out for their interests and yada yada yada. Will they float Huckabee as a third (maybe fourth) party?

And did you see that that awful woman actually said she'd vote for Clinton over McCain (if it came to that)?

You mean mentally stable Ann Coulter on Hannity & Colmes last night? That was a riot.

I saw a clip of it today. Was that only yesterday she said it? I wonder if it's some convoluted plan to get Obama the nomination? :-)

>And did you see that that awful woman actually said she'd vote for Clinton over McCain


“You're not a true conservative if you refuse to blindly back the President and his concrete-headed Defense Secretary as they ineptly run wars on the cheap.” (Fred)

Is that your view Fred, that “The war in Iraq wasn’t massive enough?” Personally, I supported MORE troops as well, but, that didn’t seem to be your major objection earlier on.

So, I take it that you're a major supporter of “the surge?” Well that’s good news from my vantage point. It's certainly seemed to have worked, it's just that I didn’t see you lauding it, last February, though I certainly may have missed that.

“You're not a true-blue conservative if you fail to go 'nativist' and instead look at a different approach to illegal immigration that doesn't involve mass arrests and mass deportations and mass scapegoating.” (Fred)

WoW! Thanks for finally acknowledging that you actually support ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. You’d previously said things like, “I could never get worked up over that issue,” a very different viewpoint, insinuating that, “You didn’t understand the problem with illegal immigration.”

FACT #1: There are NO/ZERO “nativists” opposed to ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. “Nativists” oppose ALL immigration and since ILLEGAL immigration is a criminal justice issue and NOT a part of the “immigration debate,” those opposed primarily to ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION (most of whom support LEGAL IMMIGRATION) are not, by any rational definition "nativists."

If it could be argued that, “The open border view is a legitimate viewpoint and thus illegal immigration (which through that vantage, shouldn’t be illegal) IS indeed part of the overall immigration debate, then that would be another matter. The reality is that
ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION is NOT part of “the overall immigration debate.” The “open border” crowd are, at this point, as marginalized as the 9-11 Truther Kooks. They both comprise about 3% of the population.

FACT#2: ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION puts a persistent downward pressure on ALL U.S. wage rates. You won’t find a single American economist (I doubt any economist in the world) who’d say “That isn’t so.” Short of finding someone who’ll make a case that “the cheap labor that illegal immigration has provided has been of greater value than the costs incurred.”

That case can’t be made. I checked with an economics professor (now at Dartmouth) who has tried valiantly and several times to make that case and has failed because admittedly (according to him) there really is no accurate way to establish all the ancillary costs of illegal immigration.

An excellent blog on the subject is that of another professor George Borjas (a Cuban-American economics professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of government; (http://borjas.typepad.com/the_borjas_blog/)

I’ve never heard even a positive position from any of the “open border” nitwits, so I’ll do them (and perhaps yourself) a favor, by giving out the best argument I could make off the cuff, if they asked me; “This is not a country that walls people in, so it shouldn’t be one that walls people out either. I’m not naïve enough to believe that ALL people are good, but I believe the overwhelming majority of people are, and thus I believe the overwhelming majority of the people who come here “illegally,” come here to work hard and make better lives for themselves and their families. I don’t know what the overall costs of illegal immigration are, perhaps they ARE far higher than the “cheap labor” benefit they provide, but the issue shouldn’t be about mere (“cheap labor”) economics, it SHOULD BE about the American dream and allowing people to come here without having to jump through hoops, to become part of the American dream.”

Hey, be honest, don’t you wish I was on YOUR side on the issues? You’ve gotta admit, I bring passion and a way with words with me and I ALWAYS make an argument, like I did above.

Sure, that above argument of mine is pure bullshit and it’s steeped in naivete, but it’s better (if I do say so myself) than ANYTHING I’ve ever heard anyone else make in favor of open immigration.

Why is that???

FACT#3: Liberals who support amnesty for ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS are motivated by support FROM the same CORPORATIST masters that those who oppose the drilling in ANWAR are. Illegal immigration = CHEAP LABOR, plain and simple. That’s BAD for America’s working people because it takes thousands of jobs (from landscaping jobs to slaughterhouse jobs to light construction, ie roofing, etc.) OFF THE TABLE for American workers, who can’t afford to work those jobs at sub-standard wages.

The ONLY “benefit” of ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION is “cheap labor” and that benefits a few very wealthy Americans at the expense of EVERYONE else. There is no “cheap votes” rationale for nodding at ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, because naturalized Mexican-Americans are, like Cuban-American citizens, overwhelmingly devoutly Catholic, rigidly pro-Life and far more socially Conservative than even many so-called “Conservative Americans.”

It’s the same with barring oil drilling in ANWAR, there is no “environmental argument” in favor of that position. That position is the position espoused and endorsed (quietly, even secretly) by America’s energy companies, because it artificially keeps the price of oil HIGH. It's good for a few companies and a few investors, but bad news for everyone else.

When Corporatists benefit, and they DO from BOTH those positions, then those are “Corporatist positions,” and those who support them are either vehemently anti-American-worker, OR woefully uninformed on the issues.

“You're not a true conservative if you fail to jump up and down with enthusiasm over every person nominated for a federal judgeship by the Bush Administration.” (Fred)

Which ones did you oppose? Roberts? Alito??? Where did you see McCain opposing either one?! Again, I missed McCain saying anything negative about either Roberts or Alito. Maybe he did, but I missed it.

“If you want me to think about getting on board, then start putting as much energy into making the case for your candidate as you're putting into making the case against McCain opponents.” (WF)

Great point WF!

Ironically enough, it’s those folks trying to bully others into supporting McCain, who are themselves claiming to be “bullied by mean-spirited Conservatives.”

It’s not the easiest case to make. I’ve tried to do so myself and this is the best I’ve come up with; http://workingclassconservative.blogspot.com/2008/02/some-straight-talk-about-john-mccain.html

I don’t think McCain is a real “Reaganite,” (neither is Romney, or Huckabee), but he’s not at all bad either. In fact, he IS and always has been a fairly consistent Center-Right Republican, at least in my view.

I don't see him as the disaster that some folks claim he is.

Dont be that mean :-)

Well, our host said he'd vote for Clinton over Romney, and I've seen similar comments elsewhere. There seems to be a profound problem here for the Republicans - their candidates are dividing the base. It's not only the threatened votes for Clinton, it's the "stay at homes".

Assuming nothing incapacitating occurs to the current front runners (health or scandal, etc) it's reasonable to see Clinton as the next President.

Given the inevitable consequences of Democratic ascendency (Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan lost to the Jihadists), we'd sure better hope there's a Reagan (to the power of ten) waiting in the wings.

Fred, Fred, Fred, FRED...

“You're not a true believer if you don't think the federal government should involve itself (including having the President fly back to DC in the middle of the night to sign legislation) in the affairs of a vegetative woman.” (Fred)

The “Terri Schiavo” case was NEITHER a “Right to Life” case NOR a “Right to Die” case!

Both of those sides were inanely wrong...especially the “Right to Die” nitwits, since (1) Terri Schindler NEVER verifiably expressed any desire to die rather than endure endless treatments and (2) her decisions were wrongly and immorally made by an estranged, former-husband who had already Married another woman and obviously DID NOT have Terri Schindler’s best interests at heart.

It appears, given your statement that you favor the “Right to Die” side of the argument. While BOTH the “Right to Die” and “Right to Life” folks were legally wrong, the far more monstrous immorality was advanced by those who claimed THIS as a “Right to Die” case.

That entire case came down to a single legal issue, which I believe was grossly mishandled, and that issue was, “Should an estranged, former-husband (now re-Married) have the ability to make a decision to end the life of that former wife, without any verifiable evidence that that decision was in accordance with that person’s (Terri Schindler) wishes, while alive?”

That is the ONLY real issue that existed in that case.

Whether Terri Schindler’s vegetative existence was “a life worth living,” etc., were issues that were completely outside the narrow scope of the law, in that case.

And while the current administration may have been motivated by a "Right to Life" zeal (I'm not sure of that), it confined its intervention to the proper legal issue in this case. Which family member should get to make that decision. For whatever motivation, THEY were on the right side and justice did not appear to be served in that case, in my view.

“You're not a true conservative if you refuse to blindly back the President and his concrete-headed Defense Secretary as they ineptly run wars on the cheap.” (Fred)

So now that’s your objection to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – that, in effect, “They weren’t massive ENOUGH!?” Is THAT your position Fred???

I didn’t get that objection from you earlier on, perhaps I missed it in what sounded like a general objection to the military option itself.

I’d like to have seen more troops as well. That said, you too must've been very much in favor of the surge. The surge that’s worked so well that’s its basically shut the MSM up, there are no negative stories for them to write about, so they’ve chosen to ignore it!

“You're not a true-blue conservative if you fail to go 'nativist' and instead look at a different approach to illegal immigration that doesn't involve mass arrests and mass deportations and mass scapegoating.”

Well, THANKS, for finally acknowledging what you’ve denied until now, that you do indeed SUPPORT open borders and ILLEGAL immigration. Up until now, you’ve avoided that by insisting “I could never get all that worked up over this issue,” and other such comments that imply (1) a general lack of interest and (2) a good-natured naïvete, or failure to fully understand the issue.

Now, at least, you more honestly assert that you support "the right" of ILLEGAL aliens to stay here.

Well, the facts are not on your side.

FACT #1: There are NO/ZERO “nativists” opposed to ILLEGAL immigration. A “nativist,” by definition, is someone who opposes ALL immigration. Since even “open border” advocates like yourself appear unable to make affirmative arguments in favor of ILLEGAL immigrants and open borders, then I must assert, as a matter of common sense, that ILLEGAL immigration is NOT part of the overall “IMMIGRATION debate,” but instead belongs in the overall "Criminal Justice debate."

Indeed, as our laws are currently constituted, ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION is part of the CRIMINAL JUSTICE debate, NOT the IMMIGRATION debate!

FACT#2: The cheap labor provided by ILLEGAL immigration puts a persistent, downward pressure on all prevailing U.S. wage rates.

So what is credited as a “benefit” of ILLEGAL immigration, is actually a net-negative, at least for ALL working people within the U.S. and that ignores all the other myriad ancillary costs associated with ILLEGAL immigration - hospitals going bankrupt due to uncovered medical costs for ILLEGALS, prison costs, education and social welfare costs, etc.

Fact #3: There is and never was any plan in existence, from those who (rightfully) oppose ILLEGAL immigration that “involves mass arrests and mass deportations.” That is a media lie.

The plan supported by over 90% of those opposing ILLEGAL immigration involves fining the “illicit employers” for first offenses for hiring ANY “undocumented workers” and again for hiring ANY workers “off-the-books.”

That plan is foolproof! The ILLICT (magnet) jobs will dry up and the incentive for over 90% of the ILLEGALS here, to be here, would also dry up and they’d SELF-DEPORT. No muss, no fuss and “no ILLEGAL ALIENS would be hurt in the enforcing of such a policy.”

AND, it would bolster American businesses and greatly help the American worker!

Look, the truth of the matter is that your side (the open border side) has been so poor at offering affirmative arguments in favor of their positions that the open border crowd has been marginalized to single digit status, not unlike the “9-11 Truthers.”

If I were to make an argument in favor of amnesty for ILLEGALS, and open borders, it would go something like this;

“We are NOT a nation that walls people in, so we should NOT be one that walls them out either. I can’t compute all the ancillary costs of illegal immigration, I don’t think anyone accurately can, but for the sake of discussion, I’ll acknowledge that the costs ARE almost certainly far higher than the benefits acrued, but that doesn’t erode my argument, in fact, it should make clear that this should not be solely an economic argument. For at the heart of this issue is the fact that we are denying people the ability to come here and make a better life, to be part of the American Dream, solely because it stagnates wages a little?! I’m not naïve enough to think that everyone is good, there are indeed predatory people in this world, but I DO believe that the predators are few and far between and thus the vast majority of those who come here (almost certainly over 95%) are coming to work and to be part of the American Dream. Are we now saying that a few social costs and some degree of wage stagnation trumps another people’s right to live free? If so, then what do we really stand for?!”

Hey, don’t you wish I were on your side on the issues? Despite my prickly personality, I do bring passion, along with a way with words and the readiness and willingness to ALWAYS make a full argument with me. Yes, among my prickly traits is a decided lack of humility, at least at times.

Now, that above argument of mine is entirely bullshit (if you’d like, I could also dismantle that emotional appeal point by point, just ask), but the sad thing is that there are many, many gullible, misguided people around who’ll eat that crap up. Many of those people are poor and working-poor, the people MOST impacted by the pernicious effects of ILLEGAL immigration, and yet, if I were so inclined, I might be able to get a fair number of them to side with a policy that directly harms themselves.

That happens a lot, in fact, it happens all the time. For instance, those who oppose “oil drilling in ANWAR” are supporting a position that has (happily, at least for Big Energy Companies and Energy Speculators) resulted in higher global oil prices. Same with those who support “amnesty for ILLEGALS,” they are supporting a “cheap labor” policy that harms ALL American wage earners and takes thousands of jobs from landscaping jobs, to light construction (ie. Roofing, etc) to slaughterhouse jobs OUT of circulation for American workers who can’t afford to take those jobs at sub-standard wages. They are, in effect, supporting a policy that benefits a few very wealthy Americans greatly, at the expense of everyone else!

Those working dolts who support the ban on oil drilling in ANWAR and amnesty for ILLEGAL aliens are, whether they know it or not, taking Corporatist and actually anti-workingclass positions in both cases.

Seriously, I don’t get you Fred, your positions are those of a Trust Fund, Country Club, Blue Blood.

And who knows, maybe you are. That’s certainly the only way such positions make any sense.

You're not a true conservative if you fail to jump up and down with enthusiasm over every person nominated for a federal judgeship by the Bush Administration. (Fred)

Which ones did YOU have any problem with Fred? Did you oppose Roberts?...or...Alito???

I never heard McCain say anything negative about either of them and ultimately (I believe) voted to confirm both). The “Gang of 14” were the ones responsible for getting Alito the “up or down” vote that led to his confirmation (58 -42) which would NOT have withstood a filibuster.

When the vote was taken, John McCain did the right thing and voted to confirm Sam Alito.

And YES Fred, “you’re not a Conservative” (of ANY kind) if you are merely “fiscally Conservative” and socially Liberal. Such folks are either, “Liberals who understand that socialist economic policies simply don’t work,” (I call them “educated or Common Sense Liberals”) OR, in the parlance of their economically Liberal brethren, “Liberals motivated by personal greed.”

Fred, that last line isn't a dig at you at all. I wanted to make that clear after re-reading it.

It's just that "Conservative" has ALWAYS been defined as "SOCIALLY Conservative" - in favor of gun rights (the right to violent self-defense), a punishment rather than therapeutic approach to violent crime, some have added the "pro-Life," position, but that's a relatively recent wrinkle.

For instance, I support abortion (at least first trimester abortion, I DO oppose third trimester abortions), in fact, I would even support mandating birth control and abortion for "wards of the state," BUT I acknowledge that Roe was "bad law."

It was
"bad law," for the same reason that the 1973 decision banning Capital Punishment by the SC as "cruel and unusual" was "bad law." First, it exceeded the scope of the Supreme Court's purview and second, it took matters that should be decided by each individual State and placed them under federal control.

But it's impossible to argue something like, "Fiscal Conservatives who are also socially Liberal, are Conservatives too."

Fiscal or economic Conservartivism is derived from Libertarian/Free Market principles. There are many Anarcho-Libertarians who hold many positions that are anathema to conventional Conservatives.

Yes, the social Conservative movement adopted fiscal Conservatism as part of its agenda - low taxes, less governemnt, but THAT, in and of itself, doesn't make fiscal Conservatism a stand-alone form of Conservatism.

In other words, an individual who is overwhelmingly socially Liberal and also largely fiscally Conservative, is NOT really a "Conservative" at all.

They are, in fact, social Liberals who'd like to advance a socially Liberal agenda, "on the cheap," as you might say.

I have news for you. Conservatism sucks. Sorry, but it is true.

McCain isn't a Corporatist. McCain is a patriot, who is against turning America into an oligarchy, or plutocracy, as the neocons envision.

People don't hate McCain, multinational corporations hate McCain, and they use their money to prop up idiot puppets like Limbaugh and have them attack McCain day and night.

The fake neocons like JMK will immediately call any war hero a liar and coward if he isn't on board with turning this country into Mexico: a few mega rich ruling all, and everyone else a peasant.

Romney is every bit as stupid, vapid, and corrupt as Chimp. He is an empty slate waiting for his corporate masters to tell him what to think, like Chimp.

Too bad for nazis like JMK. Nobody to vote for this time, so sorry.

That's not a valid opinion BW.

You have to assert why you believe what you believe, in order for it to be a valid opinion.

I'll give you an example, "Liberalism simply doesn't work ("sucks," in your parlance) and the reason it doesn't work ("sucks") is that it requires, not only the eradication of human nature (which is impossible), but the eradication of freedom/LIBERTY as well. FREEDOM, and that's ALL freedom is rooted in economic LIBERTY, which posits that we are each responsible for ourselves and no one elese can be legitimately forced against their will to support those who can't compete or produce. Without economic LIBERTY, there is no rationale for any other form of freedom. That's why EVERYWHERE socialism ("Big government Liberalism" or Centralized Control of the economy) has been tried (whether in Stalin's USSR, Hitler's Germany, Mao's China, etc) mass murder has has to be utilized to enforce this abomination, and that everywhere it's been tried, it's led to massive economic dislocation and increased levels of poverty. There is absolutely NO way to rationally argue in favor of socialism or even a "more socialistic" set of policies. The current proofs are found in Western Europe. Sweden moved away from its massive welfare state economics aover a decade ago (1996), while both Germany and France, two fellow Corporatist nations (like Sweden, the USA and England) both voted en masse to move AWAY from the keynesian , big government policies that had stifled those economies over the past few decades. The fact that even France & Germany are moving toward a more "Americanist" economy proves that America, though STILL over-taxed and over-regulated, is very much on the right track."

Now THAT'S a valid opinion, one substantiated by facts.

One of the very problematic things about Liberalism is that it's failures are so massive (for instance, the last American Liberal in the WH, Jimmy Carter, presided over "The WORST economy since the Great Depression"), that it's doomed by its own policies. It's policies, once enacted, do so much economic harm that they result in its advocates being swept out of office (at least in democratic Republics) in relatively short order, though sadly for all, only after doing a lot of economic harm.

Supply Side policies have delivered over a quarter century of unprecedented prosperity. Since the "Reagan Revolution," we've had over 25 years of LOW inflation, LOW unemployment and LOW interest rates...and a Dow that has skyrocketed more than 4,000% (from under 3000 to over 12,000) during that period. Previously the Dow had moved from around 1,000 to nearly 3000 over FIFTY years!

Apparently Barely doesn't recall much about the Reagan era.

Of course, Barely doesn't seem to understand McCain's appeal either. McCain now promises to "make the Bush tax cuts permanent" and has called the ill-fated McCain-Kennedy Shamnesty Bill, "regrettable."

A McCain administration would almost certainly placate the GOP by tabbing a Giuliani for Chertoff's job (heading HSA), Mitt Romney in an economic development post (if he'd take it) and perhaps a Bill Bratton as AG.

McCain has no antipathy for ANY of America's coporations and corporate America has no problem with the very pro-business, low tax, government cutting McCain.

first off, the Dow didn't skyrocket 4000%--3000 to 12000 is only a few hundred percent rise. It did go from just below 800 in summer 1982 to 14000 last year--that's a pretty impressive 1700% increase. It never was above around 1000 in its history except for a few times prior to 1982-1983.

I also wouldn't cvall Jimmy Carter a liberal--for one, he was challenged from the liberal side of the party in 1980 for not being liberal enough. Incompetent, yes. Inept, yes. In over his head, yes. Awful, yes. One of the worst, yes. I really don't think he had much in the way of political bearings. Clueless regarding the Soviets until his fourth year and then he started boosting defense spending. Flailing away at the moribund economy with different economic plans every several months. Capitol Hill Democrats couldn't stand him.

I’ve always seen 3X referred to as 3000% and 5X as 5000% instead of 300% and 500% respectively Fred, but regardless, you’re really just disputing nomenclature and not arguing with the actual numbers offered - the Dow DID indeed “skyrocket” from under 3000 in the mid-1980s (the early Reagan years were still mired in an inherited recession) to over 12,000 (12,632) today.

In fact, the rest of your statement makes the gains delivered under the Supply Side policies enacted over the past quarter century even MORE impressive than I stated!

I believe it’s safe enough to say, that it seems we agree that Supply Side policies work and Keynesian policies (favored by big government Liberals) DON’T.

I don’t think one could refer to Jimmy Carter as anything except a stalwart Liberal (he was/is socially Liberal on every major issue and pro-big government social spending) and he remains so to this day. He followed the doomed Keynesian policies through Stagflation and all the rest.

The economy didn’t really begin to recover until Volker was replaced by Greenspan at the Fed. That move cemented Supply Side policies in place.

I agree that Carter failed (early on), to recognize the threat the USSR posed, until late in his term and by then, the U.S. Military was very weakened – the helicopters couldn’t even take off in the sands of Iran in the ill-fated “hostage rescue” attempt in 1980.

Liberals, like BW’s hero George Soros, detested America’s anti-Soviet policies and many Libs here felt the Soviets were no threat to us at all.

It IS true that history shows that Carter did see the USSR as a major threat towards the end of his tenure, but his incompetence made impossible for him to do much about it.

I don’t see where you disagree with me economically. In fact, I don’t see where you disagree with me much at all, unless it’s over the merits/demerits of the “Schiavo case,” Conservative appointments to the SC or ILLEGAL immigration and on those issues, I can’t figure out why we’d disagree.

I am currently looking over an aricle that blames "Military Keynesianism" for what the French author views as America's coming economic woes.

Interestig article, but many people fail to realize that SOME government spending is productive, while other government spending is counterproductive.

For instance, allowing government R&D to be used by private industry for profit is PRODUCTIVE (prosperity generating), while increasing welfare benefits and food subsidies only enables many "able-bodied" Americans to avoid work (producing) and THAT is COUNTERPRODUCTIVE (or prosperity eroding).

Aside from their being Constitutionally mandated, police and Military spending tend to preserve wealth, by protecting it from both foreign and domestic enemies of accrued wealth.

The % claculations were just to keep things square.

No, I agree that whatever form of supply-side was implemented in the 1980s did have much positive effect--it surely wasn't pure (see 1982 tax increases, for one). But I disagree that Greenspan replacing Volcker was when the economy really started to recover--that was mid-1987! And the market crash was a few months later. What about the period from end-1982 when the recession ended until then? Things weren't merely slogging along, as I recall. There were some pretty impressive economic numbers coming out of those 1983-1987 years. By mid-1987, the economy had been charging ahrd for several years and was due for a bump, which it got before taking off again.

Actually Fred, in 1983, Democratic congress PASSED and Reagan signed into law the largest tax increase in history - the Social Security Amendments of 1983.

Unlike Reagan's inital tax cut, which was an "across the board" income tax rate cut, the 1983 tax hike was aimed squarely at the middle and working classes (via increased FICA taxes).

By 1988, when Reagan left office, an additional $40 billion in new revenue had been generated for the government.

I've always supported (and STILL support) across the board INCOME TAX rate cuts. Down to about the 20% level, they tend to INCREASE tax revenues, below that mark, they cut into tax revenues. I also support the eradication of the "Corporate Income tax," which WE (as consumers) PAY (as we should) as that tax is ALWAYS (in every case) passed along as a "cost of doing business."

It's very easy to understand why across the board income tax rate cuts INCREASE tax revenues.

People respond to incentives.

Higher income tax rates incentivize higher income people (with more disposable income) to defer more of their money to the future, at reduced tax rates. Lower rates encourage them to take more of their income up front and pay taxes on it, thus increasing revenues.

THAT is NOT to say that ALL tax cuts increase revenues.

A tax hike targeted at lower income Americans 9with LESS disposable income) WILL raise revenues, while greatly increasing economic strain on those with little disposable income already!

BUT reducing across the board income tax rates (down to about 20%), lowering the Cap Gains tax, the tax on dividends AND eliminating the "Corporate Income tax" would ALL INCREASE revenues!

OK, that last one (eliminating the Corporate income tax) WOULD merely help MILLIONS of American consumers by making goods and services cheaper.

Working people don't need government programs. Working people don't get "Section-8 Housing," they don't get Food Stamps, they don't get government hand-outs, NOR SHOULD THEY.

There aren't ANY working people asking for government programs and government hand-outs, they just want to work, they want decent working conditions, decent wages and, like everyone else, they want their taxes LOW.

I'm glad you support Supply Side policies.

I have yet to hear a cogent, coherent argument by ANYONE as to how or why they believe that Keynesian policies "CAN work."

All the available evidence seems to indicate that they CAN'T. BW & Barely here have complained about "excessive spending," and the pernicious effects of ILLEGAL immigration.

I do too! But logic would seem to dictate that you DON'T look to look to a Party (the Democrats) who are even worse on border security and far worse on reckless, and excessive spending.

I have no problem with people who think excessive spending is great and that the pernicious impact of ILLEGAL immigration are "overblown," supporting Democrats, but that is clearly NOT the case with the likes of BW, DBK or BH.

Bush cut taxes, America lost jobs, went into debt, and now we are in recession.

JMK is an idiot.

What did those tax cuts, which RAISED tax revenues and halved the deficit in three years, have to do with the debt?!

I believe the answer is NOTHING, right?

And we aren't "in a recession." A "recession" is three straight quarters of negative economic growth.

To date, we've had one.

And again, America HASN'T "LOST JOBS."

Free trade has produced some 16 MILLION MORE American jobs than have left the country.

Moreover, the mortgage crisis was created by Liberal sponsored lending policies that inanely claimed that traditional lending practices had a "disparate impact" on some neighborhoods and some groups of people.


That didn't and DOESN'T prove "discrimination."

The Liberals undermined our cherished lending practices, which is akin to undermining our cherished traditional values.

Please, you're apparently far too ignorant of the facts to intelligently discuss either Free Trade OR tax policy.

Come on, look up the FACTS about those things why don't ya?

1983 was a completely separate tax bill.
1981's tax and budget cuts were in the Economic Recovery and Tax Act, I believe (ERTA).
1982's tax hike was the Tax Equity & Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA), I believe. (Why do I remember this crap?)

Both passed by Dem House and GOP Senate and signed by Reagan.

I acknowledge that they were separate Fred, but ONLY the 1983 Bill raised taxes on the people who can't avoid paying them - the "lower working class," via those FICA hikes.

I don't think there's ANY evidence that "people don't respond to incentives."

That is, when income tax rates RISE, those higher income earners (those are the people with more "disposable income") can always be counted on to "do the right thing," and that's to sock that money away in various tax deferred vehicles.

That's not only "best" for themselves, but almost certainly "best" for the overall economy as well.

That's why across the board income tax rate hikes tend to result in lower tax revenues, while tax hikes targeted at those with LESS disposable income can RAISE revenues, but at a huge personal cost.

There was ONLY ONE American who cut spending (and taxes) and actually cut our deficit spending to the point where we had our first surpluses in a half century and that was the great Newt Gingrich.

Credit has to be given where it is due.

Clinton was pulled along by the Gingrich Congress kicking and screaming, on spending cuts, on welfare reform, etc.

Tom DeLay came in and, more or less, reversed course on Gingrich's policies. In short, on spending, he "acted like a Democrat," and he was savaged for that.

BUT it's WRONG for anyone to savage DeLay WITHOUT also savaging the same excessive spending when it's done by the Dems. The Pelosi-Reid Congress has actually been even worse then the DeLay-Frist Congress in that regard.

The cunundrum that has kept socialists and Keynesians pretty much hobbled over the last quarter century is the prevailing view that "Since wealth is NOT a fixed commodity, it cannot be divided up equitably because that would stagnate economic activity (principally investment) and the "economic pie" would cease to expand."

So far as I know only one actual challenge has been made to that prevailing viewpoint and that challenge went something like, "Well, even if "wealth" is not fixed, isn't there only a set, or fixed amount of currency in circulation at any given time, and if that's so, wouldn't that seem to vindicate those who believe that one individual's disporportionate gain does indeed harm others?"

That challenge is a canard, of course, because currency is NOT the ONLY, nor even primary measure of wealth.

I've always been confounded by the short-sightedness of such people. If there are problems with Supply Side policies (and there are), it's almost certainly not because those policies are "too market oriented," but more probably because they are not market oriented ENOUGH!

In other words, if there is a problem with the current game plan, it's more likely that those problems stem from us STILL being over-taxed and over-regulated, rather than the reverse.

Where's the sense in looking back (to failed policies) and wrongly presuming that we higher taxes and more regulation is any kind of answer.

OK, it IS a "kind of answer" - the WRONG kind.

Supply side bullshit is over. Nobody buys it, so just give up.

Look around, stupid. Jobs are gone. LONG TERM unemployment, which isn't counted in your figures is sky high, wages are down, but productivity is up, and the rich are much, much richer.

No trickle down.

Liar. Moron. Loser. Imbecile.

Bwahahahaaa! And finally everyone sees it like I did so long ago.

Good by "conservatism" ... lol!

Recessions are traditionally TWO--not three--consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. But even that is not set in stone. The 1960-61 and 2001 recessions did not have 2 straight down quarters.

>Recessions are traditionally TWO--not three--consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. But even that is not set in stone. The 1960-61 and 2001 recessions did not have 2 straight down quarters.

True. It seems they relax the criteria a bit for Republican presidents. ;-)

"Look around, stupid. Jobs are gone. LONG TERM unemployment, which isn't counted in your figures is sky high, wages are down, but productivity is up, and the rich are much, much richer." (BH)

Yet another insipid opinion Barely??? Like your erroneous opinions on RICO, on H-1B Visas, on the Carter era Stagflation, etc., etc.

FACT: Over the last 30 years the lowest poverty rate was appx 9% in the late 1970s.....YES, Carter's failed economy DID indeed "spread the wealth," there was far less disparity in incomes, BUT, sadly, there was far less wealth to go around...coupled with double digit INTEREST, INFLATION and UNEMPLOYMENT rates. Indeed and UNQUESTIONABLY "The worst U.S. economy since the great Depression."

The poverty rate SINCE then has remained relatively stable at between eleven and twelve percent. It's currently at 12%!

IF, as you inanely assert, "THE JOBS ARE GONE and long term unemployment is sky high," then why hasn't poverty surged well over that 12% mark???

Why haven't our welfare rolls mushroomed???

Your one of those people who can't keep their mouths shut ESPECIALLY when they don't know what they're talking about.

Don't get me wrong, it's fairly amusing. Posting graphs that show H-1B Visas exploding feom under 50,000 in 1993 to just over 1 MILLION by 2000 and then blaming that INCREASE on G W Bush (who was President between 1993 and 2000 again???).....PRICELESS.

Same with RICO, the Carter economy and now Ron Paul as "an anti-Free Trader and Border Sealer."

You ARE consistent, I'll give you that, but being so consistently wrong is nothing much to boast about.

Geez Fred, I have an economics tome by the late, great Murray Rothbard that insists that a Democratic administration gets a single MONTH before a recession is called, while a Republican administration gets "a mulligan" or two and goes to three months before a recession is called.

While I believe the MSM agrees with you, as Barry noted, I like Rothbard's standard a little better, although I'd like to add the caveat that a Conservaqtive Democratic administration should get those same GOP "mulligans" that Rothbard noted.

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