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Old Jun 6, 2012, 08:18 PM   #476
Wokker
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Originally Posted by OlivetNaz View Post
A little harsh there with your comments tonight, eh, razor?

That being said, the public sector unions had it coming by pushing for too much when times were good. If neither side trusts the other, then Wisconsin over the past 15 months is what happens.
This. I think Unions in Illinois learned from the experience too by making concessions under Quinn.

It has been a very tense and interesting time to live in Wisconsin. All I ask is that politics mellow out some. Oh, and that the Packers suck this year and the Bears don't!
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Old Jun 6, 2012, 08:26 PM   #477
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This. I think Unions in Illinois learned from the experience too by making concessions under Quinn.

It has been a very tense and interesting time to live in Wisconsin. All I ask is that politics mellow out some. Oh, and that the Packers suck this year and the Bears don't!
The concessions made here in Illinois - at least with regards to the teacher unions - were all concessions that I had no problem with being made. I have to think that if Walker and the GOP up there had actually sat down at the table and said "this is the current state of the budget, this is where the SBO (budget office) projects us in 1, 5, and 10 years, and this is what, in an ideal world, we want to do" vs. shoving it through the legislature like Obama did with his moronic healthcare bill, they could have come up with some sort of reasonable compromise that left no one satisfied entirely but everyone happy that they were able to get some of what they wanted. I will admit that I don't know the dynamics between organized labor and the GOP up there in Wisky. It may not have been possible for them to work together due to bad blood or mistrust.

I don't believe in all-or-nothing politics, and those who practice it make me sick.

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Old Jun 6, 2012, 08:34 PM   #478
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I don't believe in all-or-nothing politics, and those who practice it make me sick.
Agreed. I am too young and green to really know how politics were more than say, 10 years ago.

However, the sheer divide between the two parties today, both here at the state level and nationally, is a huge reason why this country is headed for a cliff.

As you said, cramming things through legislation will always leave ~40% of the population pissed off and looking for blood. Whether it's Walker leading it here, or Obama at the Federal level, the short-term, knee-jerk politics leave nothing but a lot of bad blood in their wake.

At what point do politicians realize that having a supermajority is a potentially dangerous rarity, and that bipartisanship is the only logical way to get things done?
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Old Jun 6, 2012, 08:38 PM   #479
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A little harsh there with your comments tonight, eh, razor?
No, I actually toned it down a bit.

I'm just pointing out that 1) you can't claim democracy failed every time you lose, and 2) the citizens of Wisconsin wouldn't have retained Walker if they felt the same way the left would have us believe. Sure he succeeded in his mission and angered a lot of people along the way. But I think a majority of the people up there feel the way a whole lot of other Americans feel. Unions, while once good and very necessary, have gotten away from their mission and gotten too powerful. Yes he probably partially went after them because they oppose him, but can you blame him when unions funnel large amounts of cash into democrat campaign funds? They do. They just do. Maybe it was partially personal, but the unions made it so.

Yes, I think the Illinois teachers unions learned a valuable lesson from Wisconsin. Good for them.

In the end, Walker did something that a minority of Wisconsin residents thought was wrong.
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Old Jun 6, 2012, 09:03 PM   #480
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No, I actually toned it down a bit.

I'm just pointing out that 1) you can't claim democracy failed every time you lose,
I agree with you on that one.

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Originally Posted by illinirazorback View Post
Unions, while once good and very necessary, have gotten away from their mission and gotten too powerful.
In some places, yes. Wisconsin may have been one of those places. Not paying anything into your own pension plan? Seriously? How did they get past 1990 with that one?

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In the end, Walker did something that a minority of Wisconsin residents thought was wrong.
I don't disagree with you that the majority support Walker in Wisconsin. I disagree - strongly - with his tactics. They don't build trust, but erode it. He's setting things up to where when the pendulum swings again and the Dems come back to power, they'll treat the GOP the same way Walker treated them at their worst. That's a horrible way to do things.

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Old Jun 6, 2012, 10:06 PM   #481
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I don't believe in all-or-nothing politics, and those who practice it make me sick.
My friend, divided government produces exactly the kind of radical partisanship you're railing against.

Think about it. If we have a system that encourages single-party rule, in which the blocking power of the minority is relatively weak, then every election becomes a referendum on the actually implemented policies of that party. You can't hide from the voters, and you have a pressing, urgent incentive to garner the support of as broad a swath of the electorate as possible. It forces both parties toward the "center", but vastly more importantly than that, it focuses public attention on good governance, rather than ideology.

Divided government does just the opposite. It incentivizes both parties to cultivate their base around agendas that cannot be passed. It encourages distrust. And, at its worst, as we have seen in this congress, it can shut down the country.

I don't know what exactly I'm proposing to fix this. You'd have to tear up a whole bunch of the constitution in order to make America operate in a way that encourages pragmatic, efficient, intelligent governance, but some sort of reforms in that direction are pretty urgent at this point.
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Old Jun 6, 2012, 10:23 PM   #482
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My friend, divided government produces exactly the kind of radical partisanship you're railing against.

Think about it. If we have a system that encourages single-party rule, in which the blocking power of the minority is relatively weak, then every election becomes a referendum on the actually implemented policies of that party. You can't hide from the voters, and you have a pressing, urgent incentive to garner the support of as broad a swath of the electorate as possible. It forces both parties toward the "center", but vastly more importantly than that, it focuses public attention on good governance, rather than ideology.

Divided government does just the opposite. It incentivizes both parties to cultivate their base around agendas that cannot be passed. It encourages distrust. And, at its worst, as we have seen in this congress, it can shut down the country.

I don't know what exactly I'm proposing to fix this. You'd have to tear up a whole bunch of the constitution in order to make America operate in a way that encourages pragmatic, efficient, intelligent governance, but some sort of reforms in that direction are pretty urgent at this point.
I believe you have this wrong. On several levels I believe it is wrong.

First, it assumes that there have ever been a time when there wasn't bitter political rankling. Our government is in no way more divided than it was in 1800, 1850, 1900, 1950 or 2000. Whether we have been fighting about the form of government we would have, whether we would have slavery, the original progressive movement, the civil rights movement/McCarthyism or the 2000 Florida election, we have alway been a divided nation.

Second, it assumes that government action is a good thing. In point of fact, it usually is not. Every law creates winners and losers. Laws only rarely create anything of value. So a divided Congress forces both parties to do nothing except what absolutely must be done. We had all Republicans under W and all Dems under Obama. Both have been disastrous times. The last two years have been reasonably good in that very little has happened.

The difference now vs. before is that we have a ridiculous amount of information at our disposal and an easy way to communicate our feelings. In the 50's we didn't know what our neighbor thought because he wasn't blogging for all the world to see. We didn't get to see the stark contrast of the points of view on every topic.

So we have always been divided, we were just blissfully ignorant of it. Now the men behind the curtain are more apparent to us and they are ugly.

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Old Jun 6, 2012, 10:31 PM   #483
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So a divided Congress forces both parties to do nothing except what absolutely must be done.
You as a libertarian should recognize the folly of this statement. Divided government, especially in good economic times, leads to the always convenient compromise of spending on government programs while not raising taxes to pay for them. And in hard times, it leads to the utter failure to do even the essentials.
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Old Jun 6, 2012, 10:32 PM   #484
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Divided government =/= Politcal divisions among the electorate.
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Old Jun 6, 2012, 10:37 PM   #485
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You as a libertarian should recognize the folly of this statement. Divided government, especially in good economic times, leads to the always convenient compromise of spending on government programs while not raising taxes to pay for them. And in hard times, it leads to the utter failure to do even the essentials.
That is almost all government ever does regardless of whether it is divided or not. Almost every positive movement in this country has occurred with bipartisanship. Whether it was the Civil Rights movement or the dramatic environmental and peace accomplishments of the Nixon administration, the welfare reform and tax restructuring of the Clinton administration; it is always bipartisan.

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Old Jun 6, 2012, 10:59 PM   #486
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That is almost all government ever does regardless of whether it is divided or not. Almost every positive movement in this country has occurred with bipartisanship. Whether it was the Civil Rights movement or the dramatic environmental and peace accomplishments of the Nixon administration, the welfare reform and tax restructuring of the Clinton administration; it is always bipartisan.
Well, the 1964 Civil Rights act was passed in an all-Dem congress (though it needed Republican votes to pass because of the Southern Democrats), but I see what you're saying.

I just think bipartisanship is a red herring. Political courage doesn't only exist between the two parties. Quite the opposite really. This reminds me of something I read today in the *gasp* New York Times. It was one of the often dreadful exchanges between Gail Collins and David Brooks, but I thought this was a really good point:

Quote:
David: Still, I have to give Walker credit. He did do the hard thing. The proof that it was hard was that he had to go through this whole recall effort. Not many people are willing to do that. It took guts.

Gail: Gutsy maybe, but not admirable. This is a Wisconsin version of what we see in Congress. The Tea Partiers happily slash away at programs that their voters don’t care about and pretend they’re being heroic. They take on special interests, but only the ones that support their opponents. That’s not calling for sacrifice. That’s just raiding the enemy camp when nobody’s home but women and children.
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Old Jun 7, 2012, 06:13 AM   #487
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Well, the 1964 Civil Rights act was passed in an all-Dem congress (though it needed Republican votes to pass because of the Southern Democrats), but I see what you're saying.

I just think bipartisanship is a red herring. Political courage doesn't only exist between the two parties. Quite the opposite really. This reminds me of something I read today in the *gasp* New York Times. It was one of the often dreadful exchanges between Gail Collins and David Brooks, but I thought this was a really good point:
I am confused. Walker did what he did in a one party system in Wisconsin. Dems had no ability to stop it and it led to near riots.

It would seem that Gail Collins, whoever she is, is likewise confused. The Tea Party is a minority within the Republican party. They have not slashed away at anything and there have been no cuts at all. None. The fantasy that the government is somehow spending less now than it did is ridiculous (aside from the stimulus spending dying out and that was not supposed to be a permanent increase in spending).

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Old Jun 7, 2012, 09:26 AM   #488
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the citizens of Wisconsin wouldn't have retained Walker if they felt the same way the left would have us believe.

In the end, Walker did something that a minority of Wisconsin residents thought was wrong.
I wanted to comment on this earlier but a banning kept me off the board. I've been a Wisconsin resident for 34 years and live in a rural part of the state that generally supports Walker. The overwhelming feeling here is not that Walker is right or wrong but that the recall and all the money and energy it took was wrong.
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Old Jun 7, 2012, 09:29 AM   #489
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The Tea Party is a minority within the Republican party. They have not slashed away at anything and there have been no cuts at all. None. The fantasy that the government is somehow spending less now than it did is ridiculous (aside from the stimulus spending dying out and that was not supposed to be a permanent increase in spending).
Well, they got a couple of fistfuls out of the debt ceiling hostage negotiation, but in general you're right, but that just makes my point for me.

Put it this way. What are we voting on in this election? Because of the utter gridlock of Congress, neither party has real ownership of where we are right now, and neither party has a shot at the sort of sea-change victory that would give them the chance to take ownership of the future either.

You drew a couple of historical analogies in an earlier post, I think the most apt for our present status is the immediate pre-Civil War era. Different reasons obviously, but that was the last time our political system was rendered totally paralyzed by a great national issue. It wasn't that they wouldn't make the right decision, it's that they were incapable of making any decisions at all.

Obamacare, like it or not, is the last time Washington actually worked properly. That was almost three years ago.
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Old Jun 7, 2012, 10:42 AM   #490
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Well, they got a couple of fistfuls out of the debt ceiling hostage negotiation, but in general you're right, but that just makes my point for me.

Put it this way. What are we voting on in this election? Because of the utter gridlock of Congress, neither party has real ownership of where we are right now, and neither party has a shot at the sort of sea-change victory that would give them the chance to take ownership of the future either.

You drew a couple of historical analogies in an earlier post, I think the most apt for our present status is the immediate pre-Civil War era. Different reasons obviously, but that was the last time our political system was rendered totally paralyzed by a great national issue. It wasn't that they wouldn't make the right decision, it's that they were incapable of making any decisions at all.

Obamacare, like it or not, is the last time Washington actually worked properly. That was almost three years ago.
First - Congress being in a state of vapor-lock is because we have career politicians who think of themselves and their careers first and not the country. Personally, not a single one of those idiots who have served more than ten years should still be there. I don't want another situation where one party can force-feed the country whatever the heck they want because the opposition doesn't have the numbers to slow down the process and engage and debate and compromise.

Second - Obamacare was an example of the government NOT WORKING. Obama and the Dems could have done so much more with that to make it better, but instead they force-fed the nation a half-baked bill that the majority (over 60%) of the electorate did not support - and the reason for that was because they moved too quickly and didn't seek input from Republicans, independents, etc. Our government was as broken then as it is now, but if my only choices are vaporlock or forcefed policies, I'd rather have the vaporlock.

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Old Jun 7, 2012, 11:02 AM   #491
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Obamacare, like it or not, is the last time Washington actually worked properly. That was almost three years ago.
Only if you call passing legislation contained in a nearly 3,000 page document that was read in its entirety by NONE of the elected officials who voted on it 'working properly'...
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Old Jun 7, 2012, 01:58 PM   #492
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First - Congress being in a state of vapor-lock is because we have career politicians who think of themselves and their careers first and not the country.
You want different outputs, change the inputs.

I'm sure that's exactly what you would propose, but it just bothers me when people accuse politicians of doing things to try and get reelected like the response of the electorate isn't exactly what they're supposed to be concerned about.
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Old Jun 7, 2012, 02:00 PM   #493
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Only if you call passing legislation contained in a nearly 3,000 page document that was read in its entirety by NONE of the elected officials who voted on it 'working properly'...
I mean, whatever you think of the bill, it was at least an example of the federal government identifying a problem, coming up with an idea to fix the problem, and passing a bill to that effect. That's an incredibly low bar, but one that hasn't been hurdled since.
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Old Jun 7, 2012, 03:27 PM   #494
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Well, they got a couple of fistfuls out of the debt ceiling hostage negotiation, but in general you're right, but that just makes my point for me.

Put it this way. What are we voting on in this election? Because of the utter gridlock of Congress, neither party has real ownership of where we are right now, and neither party has a shot at the sort of sea-change victory that would give them the chance to take ownership of the future either.

You drew a couple of historical analogies in an earlier post, I think the most apt for our present status is the immediate pre-Civil War era. Different reasons obviously, but that was the last time our political system was rendered totally paralyzed by a great national issue. It wasn't that they wouldn't make the right decision, it's that they were incapable of making any decisions at all.

Obamacare, like it or not, is the last time Washington actually worked properly. That was almost three years ago.
The pre-Civil War era was highlighted by the South feeling powerless to have their way of life preserved. I am not defending them but they left because they saw that the SYSTEM would not allow them to continue the way they were. When people feel they have no ability to influence things (as in a one party in charge era) they are more likely to resort to radical action IMO. If the Democrats could have kept slavery going and tarriffs at reasonable levels in Congress (after all they'd already won in the Supreme Court) they never would have left the Union and the Civil War would never have occurred. Once they saw that Congress was inexorably swinging against them, they left.

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Old Jun 7, 2012, 05:58 PM   #495
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This is kind of stunning to me.

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By the way, the single most interesting number in the whole race was 28,785. That is how many dues-paying members of the American Federation of State, County and Municiple (sic) Employees were left in Wisconsin after Mr. Walker allowed them to choose whether union dues would be taken from their paychecks each week. Before that, Afscme had 62,218 dues-paying members in Wisconsin. There is a degree to which public union involvement is, simply, coerced.
By the way for those of you that are Republicans the article is a wonderful treasure-trove of tidbits. Noonan's style of writing has always intrigued me. It meanders all over a general topic in an almost flight-of-ideas fashion but remains anchored to the main premise just barely enough to be entertaining. Of course she is conservative so you have to be willing to put up with the ideological overflow but I find her to be one of the least offensive partisan hacks out there.

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Old Jul 5, 2012, 01:57 PM   #496
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Didn't really know which thread to put this in, but I thought it was pretty funny.

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Old Jul 5, 2012, 03:50 PM   #497
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Didn't really know which thread to put this in, but I thought it was pretty funny.

You know those books that say, If you....you're a redneck?

If you think that is funny, even a little, chances are you're an effete liberal.

It seems to me that liberals believe in things that are impossible. How's that you say?

Quote:
I can’t believe that,” said Alice.

“Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try.”

Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said. “One can’t believe impossible things.”

“I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for a half-hour a day. Why, I’ve sometimes believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

More than unworkable, liberal ideas are preposterous, impossible – refuted by logic and human experience.
Given that premise I wondered if Liberals could at least agree with things that are clearly true and found this online.

Quote:
15) That the Occupy Movement has broken more laws and been much more violent than the Tea Party Movement.

14) That If we can ask people to present an ID to buy alcohol, drive a car, or get on an airplane, then it’s no great burden to ask people to present an ID if they’re doing something as important as voting.

13) That increasing taxes, adding expensive regulations, and demonizing businesses hurt economic growth.

12) That for whatever flaws it may have, America has done more good for the world and is still doing more good for the world than any other nation in world history.

11) That opponents of abortion are primarily motivated by the fact that they think a child is being killed during an abortion and thus, they feel they’re morally obligated to speak out.

10) That a machine is more likely to accurately count votes than human beings, who have a reason to try to slant the totals because of their political affiliation.

9) That Communism is an evil comparable to, if not worse than, Nazism.

8) That a lot, if not most, of the charges of “racism” that are thrown around in the political sphere are done so for the sake of politics, not because people actually believe there’s any racism occurring.

7) That the life of a human being is more important than that of an animal.

6) That Fox leans to the right while ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and MSNBC lean to the left.

5) That Bush never had any intention of implementing a draft.

4) That Bush was right about the surge turning the tide in Iraq.

3) That conservative policies, mostly opposed by liberals, led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and American victory in the Cold War.

2) That the Left’s opposition to drilling in ANWR and other places in the U.S. has driven up the cost of gas.

1) That at best, Barack Obama has been ineffective at turning around the economy and at worst, his policies have made it worse.
Of course there is a series of things conservatives believe that are simply impossible and if they could admit those things then we might be making some progress.

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Old Jul 5, 2012, 03:53 PM   #498
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 04:15 PM   #499
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Well that was a bizarre response.

But what the hell, let's have a go:


15) That the Occupy Movement has broken more laws and been much more violent than the Tea Party Movement.

Sounds true, I have no idea

14) That If we can ask people to present an ID to buy alcohol, drive a car, or get on an airplane, then it’s no great burden to ask people to present an ID if they’re doing something as important as voting.

Wrong, but we've done that one before

13) That increasing taxes, adding expensive regulations, and demonizing businesses hurt economic growth.

"Demonizing" isn't a thing, but either way that's an oversimplification

12) That for whatever flaws it may have, America has done more good for the world and is still doing more good for the world than any other nation in world history.

Absolutely. And now the rest of the world is taking our innovations and beating us over the head with them.

11) That opponents of abortion are primarily motivated by the fact that they think a child is being killed during an abortion and thus, they feel they’re morally obligated to speak out.

True.

10) That a machine is more likely to accurately count votes than human beings, who have a reason to try to slant the totals because of their political affiliation.

What a bizarre statement. Obviously true, but the second clause is tinfoil hat drivel

9) That Communism is an evil comparable to, if not worse than, Nazism.

LOL. It's the implicit second inferential step that's so great about these. It's almost as if "therefore, the auto bailout=concentration camps" is in small print right underneath.

8) That a lot, if not most, of the charges of “racism” that are thrown around in the political sphere are done so for the sake of politics, not because people actually believe there’s any racism occurring.

Unfortunately, yes

7) That the life of a human being is more important than that of an animal.

Is that actually something liberals don't believe? Or is this a PETA thing?

6) That Fox leans to the right while ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and MSNBC lean to the left.

Again, LOL

5) That Bush never had any intention of implementing a draft.

Again, did anyone ever say this? Also, Bush implementing a draft would have been the most intellectually honest and politically courageous thing he ever did.

4) That Bush was right about the surge turning the tide in Iraq.

Depending on what "turning the tide" means, yes.

3) That conservative policies, mostly opposed by liberals, led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and American victory in the Cold War.

LOL

2) That the Left’s opposition to drilling in ANWR and other places in the U.S. has driven up the cost of gas.

Not true. Misunderstanding of the nature of the global oil market. But we should still be drilling anyway.

1) That at best, Barack Obama has been ineffective at turning around the economy and at worst, his policies have made it worse.

We've done that one too
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 04:21 PM   #500
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Of course there is a series of things conservatives believe that are simply impossible and if they could admit those things then we might be making some progress.
Like trickle down economics is actually beneficial to the middle class?

I'm old and sick of all the crap both sides claim to believe in. To solve a problem leaders need to be pragmatic. It's not happening.
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