same issue re absence of q for queers' relationship status. i deal with this kind of crap not infrequently in the "real worl." it enrages me that i have to deal with it in the "progressive" blogosphere. walk your fucking talk.
I am an out lesbian college professor who has lived in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and rural Maine. I have never supported gun bans, although I've had concerns about Saturday Night Specials and automatic weapons when I have lived in densely populated urban areas. Perhaps the pure mountain air you breathe inhibits your capacity to imagine that the urban dweller's experience of guns is radically less joyous than yours. You need to understand that people whom you pejoratively characterize as "NE pseudo-liberals" have infinitely more complex life experiences and infintely more imaginative capacity than you allow. I have friends, relatives and neighbors who are cops, military, hunters and target shooters. Their opinions on the issue of gun control are far more varied than your "mountain men hunt and their woman folk love it" would allow. The point of this thread was to open a dialogue not give chest thumpers a megaphone.
New England Liberals - The folks who brought you the Bill of Rights.
In my experience it's a function of the community you live in. When I lived in the city, I wanted gun control (I don't mean ban, I mean the level of regulation car ownership gets) because it was a crowded anonymous place. Now I live 10 miles past where Christ lost his shoes. And the guys in town hunt which means in November I wear blaze orange and waive to them and in the fall one of them helps me get rid of any squirrels trying to nest in my attic. I don't want gun control here, because I can, in a sense, control it. I know the folks in my community and my knowledge (and that of everyone else in town) regulates the guys use of guns. I don't know how to create a regulatory scheme that would acknowledge the different needs of different communities. Even "leaving it to the states" doesn't quite capture the issue. If I lived in a large city in my state, I might be more in favor of more extensive regulation than I am in my small town.
Snowe is well liked here and has an incredible constitutent services operation. However, the Dems have to start somewhere and going after "moderate Republicans" in states trending blue might be a good idea. The national party didn't do much for Chellie Pingree (in my opinion) and she did much better than expected against Collins in 2002.
I think the Rethugs have gotten where the are in part by making it impossible for a moderate Democrat to draw Republican votes - thus permitting Repub moderates to move to the right. I think the Dems should develop a comparable strategy and test it in Maine. (We should all also offer the libations necessary to beat Santorum).
Could we also make the word "conservative" as toxic as conservatives have made the word "liberal"? What is a conservative today: supports unilateral wars, economic policies that guarantee jobless recoveries from recession, fiscal drunkards. We should start challenging people when they say there conservative: as in "oh, you're for jobless recoveries and fiscal insanity?" When they splutter say, "well you're not really a conservative then, are you."
Yes, yes, yes. We need to make the term "conservative" as toxic as the "conservatives" have made the term liberal. When both labels are devalued we may have a political discourse grounded in (dare I say it) reality. Conservative means wars, deficits and jobless recoveries. Conservative means the feds can check out what you've buying with your credit card and borrowing from your library. Conservative means that state government can't act to protect the interests of their citizens. Conservative means financial fraud on Wall Street and in the Pentagon.
I recognize that some fiscally conservative will feel uncomfortable and confused when the word "conservative" pushes as many hot buttons as the word "liberal." Screw 'em. They had the chance to redeem their party and they failed. If they stay with their party they're part of the problem, not the solution.