Talking to Conservatives: Tips on Reaching Across the Aisle

Tips on talking to political adversaries. Moving past politics, partisanship and labels, recognizing corporatism masquerading as progressivism or conservatism, and going straight to the issues. Read on...

Another Republican Plagiarizes Obama

Remember Vaughn Ward, the establishment favorite here in Idaho for a Democratic House seat until he was caught plagizarizing the President? Turns out he's not the only one. Seems Republicans refuse to work with Obama but love to copy him. Hypocrisy and partisanship at their finest.

Here's Stefani Carter, the Republican nominee against incumbent state Rep. Carol Kent (D) for the Texas state house in the Dallas area:

Tom Coburn: Pray That A Senator Can't Make The Vote

Senate Republicans are forcing the Democrats to take an extra week to pass a bill whose passage we now know is inevitable. Why sacrifice their own family Christmas Eves for a tasteless political play destined to fail? (Or for that matter, their party's future?)

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) may have just given us our answer. It would seem that the Republican Senate Caucus, or at least Dr. Coburn, isn't so convinced that the final passage is inevitable. Oh, they're resigned to the fact that 60 Democrats support the bill. But that doesn't mean they're resigned to the fact that 60 Democrats will still be alive by Christmas Eve, or at least healthy. Shades of Pat Robertson and the Supreme Court on the Senate floor last night:

Was Tom Coburn saying let's pray that Robert Byrd has a bad night? To be fair, he was probably saying he hopes that some random Democrat gets stuck in an unplowed DC side street, and indeed, a spokesperson claims he was hoping a Democrat might "hit the snooze button one too many times". And that's not sinister or cruel. Undemocratic, yes, and thus perhaps a touch unpatriotic, but certainly not sinister. But as Dick Durbin points out, that's not exactly what Coburn said on the floor, no matter what a staffer says later.

Unlike many in the Netroots, I'm a fan of bipartisanship. I think it makes sense to reach out to the entire country and its representation when crafting a bill. I was appalled by Tom DeLay's tactics of intentionally passing every bill on as razor thin a margin as possible, and even now believe that progressives and Democrats won't be in the majority forever. But that said, bipartisanship can only go so far. I think Max Baucus and Barack Obama started out with the right approach but stuck to it for far too long. Bipartisanship is a wonderful tool, but policy results are the goal, regardless of the final tools used.

The American people, I think and hope, agree with me: they want bipartisanship, but they want results even more, and as such the Republicans won't benefit from Coburn's "prayers". The voters have said loud and clear that they want bipartisanship, but quips like Coburn's and votes like the Defense Approps bill make it, as my mother would say, "obvious to the most casual observer" that the reason the health bill isn't half as good as it could have been, and the reason that it will pass on exact party lines, isn't because of partisan Democrats but because of obstructionist Republican tactics. They'll gain a few seats in 2010, yes, of course. But I think if they continue to be the intentional Party of No, refusing to let this country work, they will find themselves affected by the "obstructionist" label the same way in 2012 and 2014 that Tom Daschle was in 2004. I can't for the life of me figure out why Coburn and Co. think this helps their cause. Beck and his movement will fade and the right-wing will be left with nothing more than a record of voting against troop funding and praying for old men to fall down at politically strategic moments.

There's more...

Humorous Reactions to the Nobel Peace Prize

I was recently pursing through old political commentary, when I came upon these gems. The context: this was immediately after President Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize; pundits were thoroughly analyzing the event. The predictable reactions from both parties, however, were most humorous.

Michael Steele immediately shot out a press release criticizing Obama:

The real question Americans are asking is, 'What has President Obama actually accomplished?' It is unfortunate that the president's star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights. One thing is certain - President Obama won't be receiving any awards from Americans for job creation, fiscal responsibility, or backing up rhetoric with concrete action.

Wow. That was quite harsh. It's generally considered polite to congratulate a guy when he's won an award. And when that guy is our president, disingenuously criticizing him at every turn doesn't exactly do our country any good.

The Democratic National Committee's way of pointing this out, however, is just hilarious:

The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists - the Taliban and Hamas this morning - in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize. Republicans cheered when America failed to land the Olympics and now they are criticizing the President of the United States for receiving the Nobel Peace prize - an award he did not seek but that is nonetheless an honor in which every American can take great pride - unless of course you are the Republican Party.

The 2009 version of the Republican Party has no boundaries, has no shame and has proved that they will put politics above patriotism at every turn. It's no wonder only 20 percent of Americans admit to being Republicans anymore - it's an embarrassing label to claim.


When I read that "The Republican party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists," I chuckled for a good long while. The rest of the statement actually makes a good argument, but that sentence's hyperbole is just ridiculously funny.

--Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

There's more...

Humorous Reactions to the Nobel Peace Prize

I was recently pursing through old political commentary, when I came upon these gems. The context: this was immediately after President Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize; pundits were thoroughly analyzing the event. The predictable reactions from both parties, however, were most humorous.

Michael Steele immediately shot out a press release criticizing Obama:

The real question Americans are asking is, 'What has President Obama actually accomplished?' It is unfortunate that the president's star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights. One thing is certain - President Obama won't be receiving any awards from Americans for job creation, fiscal responsibility, or backing up rhetoric with concrete action.

Wow. That was quite harsh. It's generally considered polite to congratulate a guy when he's won an award. And when that guy is our president, disingenuously criticizing him at every turn doesn't exactly do our country any good.

The Democratic National Committee's way of pointing this out, however, is just hilarious:

The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists - the Taliban and Hamas this morning - in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize. Republicans cheered when America failed to land the Olympics and now they are criticizing the President of the United States for receiving the Nobel Peace prize - an award he did not seek but that is nonetheless an honor in which every American can take great pride - unless of course you are the Republican Party.

The 2009 version of the Republican Party has no boundaries, has no shame and has proved that they will put politics above patriotism at every turn. It's no wonder only 20 percent of Americans admit to being Republicans anymore - it's an embarrassing label to claim.


When I read that "The Republican party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists," I chuckled for a good long while. The rest of the statement actually makes a good argument, but that sentence's hyperbole is just ridiculously funny.

--Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

There's more...

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