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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-28-06 09:18 PM
Original message
Some Destructive Stupid Myths About Liberals, Invented by Conservatives
It is the destructive myths against liberals, initiated by our political opponents, and more recently amplified by the corporate media, which have caused numerous Democrats to turn away from the liberal label. What would happen if, rather than turning away from the label, we fought back by challenging those myths?

Myth 1: Liberals encourage irresponsibility

The predominant basis for this claim is that Democrats have created the Welfare State, which encourages people to become loafers and sponge off of the taxpayers. Nobody can claim that this has never happened. There have been and will always be abuses of welfare programs, as there will always be abuses of most programs. These abuses should serve as incentives to improve our programs to deal with the abuses, rather than as calls to abandon the liberal principle that all people should have the opportunity to a decent life.

Whereas liberals create programs that occasionally lead to abuses by the poor, conservatives create corporate welfare programs which positively encourage abuses by the rich and powerful.

And it was John F. Kennedy who told us to ask what we can do for our country, whereas George W. Bushs primary response to the 9-11 attacks on our country (other than to manipulate intelligence data to provide an excuse for war) was to fight the creation of a commission to investigate how the attacks were allowed to occur, tell people to go shopping and travel, and provide the wealthiest citizens of our country with massive tax cuts.

Furthermore, looking at the overall picture, if it was true that liberals encouraged irresponsibility by virtue of their welfare programs, we should see more jobs created under Republican than under Democratic administrations. Yet we see just the opposite:

Rate of annual job gain during U.S. Presidencies: 1923-2003, in descending order *

Roosevelt (D)...5.3%
Johnson (D)...3.8%
Carter (D)...3.1%
Truman (D).2.5%
Clinton (D). 2.4%
Kennedy (D)....2.3%
Nixon (R)....2.2%
Reagan (R).2.1%
Coolidge (R)..1.1%
Ford (R)...1.1%
Eisenhower (R)...0.9%
Bush I (R)...0.6%
Bush II (R).-0.7%
Hoover (R).-9.0%

* James Carville in Fighting Back



Myth 2: Liberals are soft on national defense

Give me a break. FDR saw the risk of Fascism to the world at a time when most conservatives did not consider it a threat. Consequently, he made efforts, to the extent that the political opposition and our Constitution would allow, to contain that threat, by preparing our defenses and collaborating with Britains valiant and lonely fight against Fascism, long before the attack on Pearl Harbor made it politically feasible for us to enter that war.

George McGoverns principled opposition to the Viet Nam War provides a prototype for the conservative claim that liberals are soft on defense. McGovern was excoriated as a pacifist for his opposition to the war, despite the fact that there was no evidence for that claim. George McGovern, former bomber pilot and war hero from World War II, is not and never was a pacifist. He was against the Viet Nam War because he recognized, long before the great majority of other Americans recognized, that there was no legitimate moral basis for that war. The Viet Nam War was not a war of national defense by any stretch of the imagination, so it is absurd to say that being against it constituted being soft on defense.

I have seen Tim (Presstitute) Russert on numerous occasions laud George Bushs national defense record by challenging Democrats appearing on his show who criticize Bushs handling of the War on Terrorism, by responding with something like You have to admit that you cant argue against his record. Since 9-11 there hasnt been a single attack against us on our soil.

What a great record! That puts Bush in the same company, after 9-11, as every other American President, unless you want to blame James Madison for the British invasion of our country or Lincoln for the Civil War. But what about 9-11 itself? I seriously doubt that had any of the 12 Democrats who ran for President in 2000 or 2004 been President in 2001 that the 9-11 attacks would have ever occurred or have been as successful as they were, given the numerous warnings that were provided.


Myth 3: Liberals are wild spenders and cant balance a budget

Yeah, right. If anyone can say that today with a straight face, after reviewing the record deficits of the Reagan and Bush II administrations, and comparing that with Clintons reversal of the Reagan deficit, then its hard to know what to say to such nonsense.

It is true that liberals have sometimes encouraged spending on social programs at the expense of balancing the budget. That has generally not been because they are wild spenders, but rather because they have sometimes come to the conclusion that a temporary imbalance of the budget is a reasonable price to pay for addressing a serious social problem that prevents people from the opportunity to lead a decent life.


Myth 4: Liberals are anti-law and order

Wrong again. There is no evidence whatsoever for this. Liberals are in favor of the constitutional guarantees provided in our Constitution to suspected criminals including the right to such things as a fair and speedy trial.

Liberals are also against filling up our prisons with decent and harmless (except for the fact that they are likely to vote for Democrats) people who are convicted of victimless crimes. With almost two million of its population in prison as of 2002, the United States has a far greater percentage of its population in prison (especially racial minorities) than any other industrialized nation in the world. Liberals think that that is a disgrace and it is. And that doesnt have anything to do with them being against law and order.

A good example of being against law and order would be a riot created by elected Republican Party officials, with the express purpose of preventing election officials from carrying out their duty to count votes. And a similarly notorious example of being against law and order would be the failure to take legal action against the people who incited a riot for that purpose.

And finally, a supreme example of being against law and order, which defines the pResidency of George W. Bush, is the assertion that laws do not apply to the President of the United States, and the wholesale abrogation of international treaties, as in:

 The Kyoto protocol
 Our antiballistic missile treaty with Russia
 The Geneva convention on rules for the humane treatment of prisoners
 The International Criminal Court


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yorgatron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-28-06 09:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. kick
:kick:
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formernaderite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-30-06 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #1
39. very well stated
I like it!!!
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mcar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-28-06 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
2. Challenge them!
You're absolutely right.
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Cronus Protagonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-28-06 09:43 PM
Response to Original message
3. About the treaties Bush ignores - here's a graphic
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 05:07 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Nice graphic
That's quite a record, isn't it?
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Mnemosyne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 08:23 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. Don't forget the Nuremberg Principles of 1945. n/t
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Cronus Protagonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #10
27. I wanted to stick to fully ratified treaties only
There are dozens more that he ignores also, but most of them have technical "outs" and I wanted to ensure that the list was irrefutable.

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Mnemosyne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #27
33. Can you explain for me why the Nuremberg Principles would
not be considered ratified please? He is a war criminal according to these, the UN Charter of 1945 and the Geneva Convention going by everything in the language as I read it. It seems clear and simple. They are a rotten bunch of weasels. (apologies to the weasels)

Thank you!
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Cronus Protagonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-30-06 12:41 AM
Response to Reply #33
35. No, I can't, because I'm not an expert on that
... I just took the advice of scholars. Perhaps it's because the principles are not a ratified treaty or something like that.

I went to the bat for this in the past and proved it to someone else but I simply don't have the energy to do it for you. I have a better idea. If you find the topic interesting, you do the googling :evilgrin:

If I ever come across the source documentation again, I'll keep it so I can just give you a link. Right now I'm too sleepy to locate it for you.

peace out
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Mnemosyne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-30-06 07:07 AM
Response to Reply #35
36. I have been reading all I can find on this issue and have
found nothing so far to indicate that the Nuremberg Principles were never ratified that is why I asked if you could explain.

Sorry to have troubled you. Thanks anyway.
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Jeffersons Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #3
19. nice graphic
:kick:
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #19
25. Good start for his legacy
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BREMPRO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-28-06 10:31 PM
Response to Original message
4. Run on the record and we win. Runaway n Hide and we lose.. n/t
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AuntiBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-28-06 10:33 PM
Response to Original message
5. Outstanding Post!
Everyone should read this - its historically truthful.

~ I'm One Very Proud Liberal ~
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-28-06 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
6. I remember how the vilification of the word "liberal" in the Reagan
and Bush I years was accomplished, by saying it with a sneer (Reagan's cheerful, head-shaking sneer) and implying that only hopeless losers like that homo Jimmy Carter could believe such nonsense.

Even today, people feel better calling themselves "progressive" instead of liberal.

Great post. I hope Governor Dean reads it.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #6
18. Thank you bleever - I remember that pretty well too
I thought at the time that Reagan would be the worst President we ever encountered in our life time, but unfortunately that turned out not to be true -- not by a long shot.

Actually though, I think the denigration of the term liberal started some time before that. I don't know if you're old enough to remember this, but by the time that Nixon's dirty tricksters got done with McGovern, "liberal" was well on its way to becoming a term that Dems would run from. That was such a shame, because McGovern might very well have been the most liberal (and best) President we ever had.

He lost by 20 points or so and carried only MA. It was the first election I was old enough to vote in, and it was so disappointing.
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understandinglife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-28-06 11:57 PM
Response to Original message
7. Excellent. Thank you. Bookmarked.
If You're pro-Bu$h, You're anti-America
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July Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 07:10 AM
Response to Original message
9. Timmy, Bush's record starts BEFORE 9/11.
Both that attack and the anthrax attack happened ON BUSH'S WATCH.

We can't argue with Bush's record on national security? Hell, yes, we can!

Your "argument" is tantamount to saying, "You can't argue with O.J. Simpson's record on personal safety (since the day after Nicole and Ron were murdered)." Or "you can't argue with Mary Kay LeTourneau's record on protecting children (since her conviction, jailing, and the births of two children by her former student)."

GMAFB, Tim, you can do better than that, can't you?
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #9
30. Yeah, Russert's a real creep
What makes it so much worse is that he always pretends to be neutral and unbiased, so most people take him seriously. He's a first class hypocrite.

I always hope that one of his Democratic guests will tell him off, but what's the point? They'd just cut the tape if it made him look bad.
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July Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #30
34. Yeah, I have this atavistic need for him to do well because we're from the
same place -- South Buffalo -- and he keeps disappointing.

I can tell you that he's an anomaly among South Buffalonians. Democratic stronghold for many decades. I don't get his style of going halfway -- asking a few good questions but never following up. Not to mention softballs for the team that makes his life cushy. Sorry if I sound bitter, but that's South Buffalo for you. Don't get above your roots unless you've really got the goods. He looks like a sellout to me.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-30-06 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #34
38. A couple more things on this
I used to think of him just as he appeared to most people -- a very competent, intelligent, and fair journalist. Perhaps I hadn't been paying enough attention at the time, or perhaps his true colors have only emerged in the past few years.

Anyhow, the first time I noticed the problem was during the 2000 Florida recount, which I followed probably closer than any other news event in my life. Every time the situation took a turn in Gore's favor, Russert would become almost apoplectic it seemed to me, though he tried very hard to control his outward behavior. His coverage of that affair was nothing what you would expect of a journalist with integrity.

You note rightly how he often asks a few good question but doesn't follow up, and lobs softballs for the team (Bush) that makes his life cushy. But he does anything but that when dealing with someone whom he is trying to bring down.

The best example of that was his treatment of Howard Dean during the 2004 primary season, when it looked like Dean was well on his way to the Democratic nomination -- and the Presidency. He asked Dean how many troops were needed for the Iraq invasion. Dean gave him a ballpark figure, but Russert insisted on an exact answer. Dean tried to explain and defend the fact that he couldn't give an exact answer to the question, and Russert proceeded to lecture him that anyone seeking the Presidency should be able to give precise answers to questions like that. He was like a pitbull, he just wouldn't let it go. Compare that to his softball questions and lack of follow-up when idiot Bush was on his show. I believe that he was instrumental in bringing down Dean's candidacy.

I also read a report about his secretly wearing a vote for Bush button under his suit coat and flashing it at people whom he wanted to suck up to.

And then of course there's his role in Plamegate, which hasn't been entirely flushed out yet.

He is one of the worst of the Pre$$titutes IMO.
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July Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-30-06 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #38
43. Yes, he really seems to be a snake in the grass.
At least w/Blitzer (another Buffalo boy) you know what you're seeing from the get-go.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
11. In this post I discuss why I believe that the Dems have made a mistake in
running away from the "liberal" label.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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Dora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
12. Kickity.
:kick:
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 10:15 AM
Response to Original message
13. There was a terrorist attack AFTER 9-11.
The "Anthrax Attack" was a terrorist attack with REAL WMD. It killed Americans on American soil.
This attack shut down the Federal government, and caused panic and fear in the nation's capital.
The terrorists who perpetrated this REAL TERROR ATTACK on Washington DC are still FREE (as is Osama).
As far as anyone can tell, the Bush* administration is not even looking for these terrorists.
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Rocknrule Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. It's because the victims were Dems
and in Amerika they are 2nd class citizens
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #13
22. That's an excellent point
I suspect that the Bush administration isn't looking for those terrorists for the same reason he isn't looking for Osama.

Are you aware that the strain of Anthrax that was found to be the cause of the attacks was one that was manufactured only by the U.S. Government (Army, I believe). No kidding they didn't investigate that. And of course Bush did everything in his power (which was a lot) to prevent the 9-11 Commission from forming, and when it did form he did everything he could to prevent it from doing its job -- and he was quite successful in that effort.
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
14. great post -- K & R
:kick:
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AnarchoFreeThinker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
15. with all due respect...
few here would diagree with what you wrote, but in my humble opinion by challenging the republicans on these points, we allow them to craft the debate over our own definition--a debate in which they will always be on the attack and we will always be on the defense. Defense appears weaker than attack. Thus, we, again, appear weaker.
So I have to agree with those who think we should call ourselves progressive. It's hard to argue with progress. Progress itself is a value worth fighting for.
And I have to think it's time we define republicans into a corner. They're deficit-spending cronies. They're small-picture thinkers. They can't manage prosperity OR safety for our country, so they try to run it on fear. They don't remember that America was once about much more than war. They've forgotten that the most important family value used to be that you didn't tell families what they should believe. They've forgotten that if you get a tax cut but lose your job, the tax cut isn't much use. They've forgotten that no woman is in love with the idea of abortion--but most people would never dream of telling a woman what to do with her body. They've forgotten America.
I'm not suggesting we won't ocassionally have to educate people on what it means to be liberal, but let's focus on defining republicans into a corner, using our liberal values to do so--without letting the debate turn to defending ourselves against their definitions. That's their dream come true.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. I appreciate your opinion on this, and I agree with much of it
You say that we should focus on putting Republicans into a corner by discussing the shortcomings and their action. I certainly agree with that, and I agree with the Republican shortcomings that you mention.

You say that defense appears weaker than attack - and I agree with that too.

But it seems to me that by running away from the "liberal" label we are helping them to put us on the defensive, whereas by standing up to their attack on liberalism we are taking the offensive. As I say in the last sentence of this post, "I have to wonder if the increasing avoidance of the liberal label by Democrats over the past few decades, in response to bullying by our political opponents, hasnt played right into their hands by producing the widespread impression liberalism is a failed political philosophy."

I think that is the key. Why should we give into the impression that liberalism has failed, when it has not failed at all? And why do you say that by not running away from the liberal label we thereby will always be on the defensive? I see it as just the opposite. And, it seems to me that in a debate over the validity of liberalism as a political philosophy, that is a debate that we should win.

You also mention "progressive" as a good alternative because it's hard to argue against progress. Well, that's part of my point. The word "progress" is so unspecific that nobody can argue against it, but at the same time it doesn't mean very much either. I'm sure that George Bush and all the Republicans will say that they are also for progress.
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CrispyQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
20. Excellent! Thank you!
Printing out to send with my weekly LIBERAl package to my repub mother. Maybe someday something I send will take hold.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. That's great - let me know if it works
My wife and I deal with the same sort of thing on her side of the family.
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Texaroo Donating Member (155 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
21. What about the GOP myths?
You gotta remember that for each one of these idiotic propagandistic claims, there exists an inverse proposition that supposedly applies to the GOP. They are currently self-destructing on the economy, defense, spending, crime, and just about every one of their suppose "merits."

It is far easier to show a better way than we pretend - I agree with the others here that we should NEVER let the SOBs define the debate (like they are doing on immigration right now). We desparately need to step up to the plate, and show how they have:

*raised taxes/"fees" (federal taxes decreased, state and local INCREASED, due to unfunded mandates)
*further isolated the wealthiest in the nation and disproportionately rewarded the uber-rich
*increased the risk to the US by poisoning any goodwill abroad
*failed to back law enforcement
*built new monopolies
*increased utility costs while allowing utility infrastructure to deteriorate,
*funded private business initiatives through tax subsidies, tax breaks, and even GRANTS, which benefitted ONLY shareholders
*poisoned the environment to enrich big business

It's pretty simple. Democrats should stand for the little guy, the wage earner, women, civil rights and liberties, and for the OPPRESSED. There is no voice in the GOP for anyone who is oppressed, and they have no way in hell to disprove that contention.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #21
26. That's right -- The GOP myths are the inverse of the liberal myths
The GOP has gone so far to the right, and has operated so much against the interests of the great majority of Americans that the only way they can hope to win an election now is through electoral fraud or through the intense efforts of the corporate media to spin what is going on until it has no relation to the truth.

Of course, they have both those things going for them. So we have quite a challenge ahead of us.
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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 04:30 PM
Response to Original message
23. This is an excellent to-do list for the Dems. K&R
They need to work hard to dispel each and every myth listed here.

Thanks for posting this.
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Astrocloud Donating Member (5 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 07:25 PM
Response to Original message
28. I'm shocked that Bush did so well in Unemployment
I thought that the unemployment figures were somehow manipulated by this presidency.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/12/opinion/12krugman.htm...

Unemployment


Mr. Bush will boast about the decline in the unemployment rate from its June 2003 peak. But the employed fraction of the population didn't rise at all; unemployment declined only because some of those without jobs stopped actively looking for work, and therefore dropped out of the unemployment statistics. The labor force participation rate - the fraction of the population either working or actively looking for work - has fallen sharply under Mr. Bush; if it had stayed at its January 2001 level, the official unemployment rate would be 7.4 percent.


If Unemployment was at 4.2 percent* when Clinton was president...

Doesn't this make Dumya's "Job Gain" = -3.2 not -.7 ?


*http://clinton4.nara.gov/WH/New/html/20000112_1.html
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. Not exactly
It's possible that his job growth numbers may be worse than the figure that Carville came up with - I don't know how well he was able to hide that.

But we're talking about two different things here. "unemployment rate" and job growth numbers are two different things, although they are obviously related. Unemployment rate is the percentage of the working population that is unemployed, whereas job growth is the percentage of new jobs created. As pointed out in the article, in order to keep unemployment rate from falling, job growth would have to be at least about a 1.7% increase, in order to keep up with population growth. So, you can have job growth of a very small degree and still have increasing unemployment at the same time.
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YOY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 08:52 PM
Response to Original message
31. Aparently according to a bumper sticker we "whine a lot"
Rather reminds me of them when Clinton was in office...oh wait, they were rightfully offended by his horrible infidelity. :wtf:
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-29-06 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. Yeah, I could never figure out what they meant when they refer to
"whiny Democrats"

I think that they consider criticism of the pResident (e.g. for trying to make our country into a totalitarian state) to be the equivalent of whining.
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riona Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-30-06 07:33 AM
Response to Original message
37. nice post, thank you
:thumbsup:
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Viking12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-30-06 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
40. The Kyoto Protocol was not ratified by the US Congress, therefore
not law. However, Bush should be severely criticised for dropping out of the negotiations of an international agreement that would help to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-30-06 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #40
41. I agree
Whether it is currently law or not this is an international effort which very much needs the participation of the US in order to ensure the safety of the world, including our country.
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Viking12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-30-06 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. My point is....
that if you are going to argue that the current administartion is acting unlawfully and use the Kyoto Protocol as an example, your argument is fundamentally flawed.

In other words, "Whether it is currently law or not" does matter given the context in which you placed it.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-30-06 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #42
44. Yes, I know
Technically my argument is flawed, and I hadn't considered that when I posted this.

But in a deeper sense I feel that my argument on this point is not flawed. Bush's contempt for the Kyoto Protocol and other similar international agreements is in large part due to his contempt for international law. If he had any respect for international law AND if he gave a damn about the fate of the world he would work to get Congress to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
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dolstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-30-06 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
45. Sorry, but there's a grain of truth in each of these
Regarding #1, some liberals have tried the shift blame for crime away from criminals and onto society as a whole. According to these people, criminals are victimes too -- victimes of poverty, discrimination, an indifferent government, etc. Of course, this argument ignores the fact that of all the people who grow up in poor neighborhoods, only a fraction actually commit crimes.

Regarding #2, the fact is that many liberals to have all almost knee-jerk opposition to military force. You can't ignore the anti-war movement's association with the left. And while I agree that Democratic presidents during the New Deal era were actually pretty hawkish, the Scoop Jackson wing of the party is largely gone, and the few remaining Democratic hawks, like Joe Lieberman, are actively despised by the left.

Regarding #3, very few Democrats are really serious about restraining spending. The main difference between Democrats and Republicans are that Democrats are willing to raise taxes to support higher spending.

Regarding #4, the fact is that liberals are much more likely to side with the interests of criminal defendants against the interests of the law enforcement community. You may feel perfectly comfortable defending that choice, but don't try and pretend that a choice hasn't been made. On everything from Miranda, to the exclusionary rule to the death penalty, liberals have opposed the positions advanced by the law enforcement community (i.e., police officers and prosectors).
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-30-06 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #45
46. It's hard to argue against a "grain" of truth -- However
Regarding # 1, don't you think that a more balanced approach to crime would be to punish the criminal and to look at the role of society in producing crime as well? I submit that there are no mainline liberal politicians who advovate that criminals not be punished simply because society is partly to blame for their crimes.

Regrading # 2, name me a single war that we have fought in that was necessary on the basis of self defense, where a substantial number of liberals were against that war. You mention Scoop Jackson, with his support for the Viet Nam War, as an example. Are you claiming that the Viet Nam War was a morally justifiable war, or necessary for our self defense? Are you claiming that being against that war constituted being soft on national defense?

Regarding # 3, I don't see how anyone can try to make the point that Dems are less serious about restraining spending than Republicans, given the massive defecits that Reagan and Bush II have rolled up.

Regarding # 4, my point is that criminal defendents (i.e., suspected criminals) have a right to constitutional protections that were put into our constitution largely to prevent the innocent from being convicted of crimes, and that liberals are serious about protecting that right. Why do say that I'm trying to pretend that a choice isn't being made. Indeed a choice is being made, it is a damn good choice, and that's what I say in my OP.
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dolstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-30-06 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. Actually, there's more than a "grain" of truth
Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there.

Regarding #1 -- Just look at your response -- you suggest that society is "partly" to blame for the actions of criminals. Sorry, but responsibility for criminal activity rests with the criminal. Plenty of people live in truly desparate circumstances without resorting to criminal activity. The point I was making, is that some liberals (including, it appears, yourself), rather than seeing the moral choice involved, seek to shift responsibility away from individuals and onto society. And beginning in the mid-1960s, there emerged a divide between the views of ideological liberals and the public at large over the issue of crime, with the liberals favoring leniency and the public increasingly favoring harsher punishment.

Regarding #2 -- Once again, just look at your response. Nothing you said changes the fact that liberals have, at least in the post-WWII era, been much more likely to oppose the use of military force, and seek reductions in military expenditures. You may think that liberals have been right, but that doesn't change the fact that the public by and large grew uncomfortable with the idea of entrusting the nation's defense to liberals. Better to have someone a little quick on the trigger in charge than someone who's too timid. Again, you may not accept this, but don't deny that the liberals have made choices -- opposing the Vietnam war, supporting the nuclear freeze movement, opposing the Reagan era defense build-ups -- that have fed the public perception that liberals are weak on defense.

Regarding #3 -- Please name a liberal Democrat who wants to cut spending. Pretty much all the deficit reduction proposals I see focus on raising revenue through eliminating tax breaks and raising marginal rates. Democrats like Bob Kerrey and John Breaux were willing to consider entitlement reform, but I can't think of any liberals who really want to see spending reduced.

Regarding #4 -- Again, just look at your response -- You can defend all you want your support of the rights of criminal defendants. But please don't pretend that these positions aren't at odds with the positions taken by the law enforcement community. And that's the issue. The reason why liberals were seen as being opposed to law and order is because they consistently sided with the ACLU against the police and prosecutors.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 08:06 AM
Response to Reply #47
48. Just because I can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there?
Well gee, just because you and the corporate media believe it doesn't mean it is there either?

I think you're missing my central point:

Regarding # 1 -- Many conservatives miss the point that most problems have more than one cause. By saying that crime has society based causes does not in any way take the blame off the criminal -- nor does it have much to do with recommending leniency. You accuse me of not seeing the moral choice involved. You're putting words in my mouth - I certainly do see the moral choice involved. The simplified view of life that every problem has only a single cause is completely at odds with reality. Take heart disease, for example. It's caused by high blood pressure, certain kinds of high cholesterol, cigarette smoking, lack of exercise, genetic factors, and others. Would you accuse a doctor who wanted to deal with all of them of neglecting one particular cause just because it was your favorite one?

Regarding # 2 -- What I said was that liberals are not soft on national defense. You argue against that assertion by making the simple minded statement that liberals are more likely to be against the use of military force in some situations than are conservatives. The point is that there are some wars, such as the Viet Nam War and the recent Iraq War, where national defense is not served at all -- in fact national defense is impaired by those wars. Liberals like to make those distinctions and go to war only when there is a good reason to do so, and when it serves our national purpose rather than impairs it. That does NOT constitute being weak on national defense. Do you claim that those two wars served national defense purposes?

Regarding # 3 -- What I said in my OP was that liberals are not "wild spenders", though sometimes they feel that there are social programs that are worth spending money on, even though doing so might cause a temporary budget imbalance -- or require an increase in taxes. For example, Medicare. Liberals feel that that program is needed so that the elderly could afford to have their medical problems taken care of. Liberals would be willing to bring taxes on the wealthy back to pre-Bush era levels in order that more U.S. citizens could have health care. I don't believe that that constitutes "wild spending". Do you?

Regarding # 4 -- Are you aware of how many prisoners on death row were found to be innocent when DNA testing became available? The purpose of our constitutional rights to a fair trial is to protect the innocent. Do you think that wanting to protect our constitutional rights to a fair trial constitutes being opposed to law and order?


In general -- You repeatedly butress your arguments by saying things like "The reason liberals were seen as...", "the public by and large grew uncomfortable with...", "have fed the public perception that..." That's my point about the myths. The corporate media trumpets the myths, and much of the public, who get all their news from the corporate media, pick up on those myths and believe them. That does NOT mean that the myths are valid. And I see very little in your arguments that directly addresses my points.
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dolstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #48
55. You just don't get it
None of your arguments are persuasive to anyone who doesn't already agree with you. That's the problem so many liberals have. They've done a great job of convincing themselves that they aren't weak on defense, soft on criminals, big spenders, etc. But convincing themselves was never the issue. Convincing the 80%+ of the American public that don't consider themselves liberals is the issue. And seriously, why even bother to post something like this on a left-wing bulletin board? If you need that kind of affirmation, why not just buy a puppy instead?


The fact is, it took a Democrat who clearly WASN'T a liberal -- Bill Clinton -- to make many of these issues safe for Democrats again. Bill Clinton supported the death penalty. He called for putting 100,000 additional cops on the street. He supported the first Gulf War and chose a running mate who did as well. He signed welfare reform into law. And to this day, many liberals -- including quite a few around here -- despise the guy and the organization he helped found (the DLC) and accuse him of "selling out" the party and turning it into "Republican Lite".
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #55
56. Good job of changing the subject
If you want to argue about this why don't you try addressing any of my questions?
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erpowers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #47
51. Clinton
Clinton managed to cut spending. It would be nice if you would look at the facts instead of trying to just make your point. Liberals were seen in the ways that they were in that Republican realized years ago that they could not win the debate if it was based on fair logic. If you read Republican writings about the media you will see that Republican realized that in order to win they would need to smear the Democrats and gain control of the media. Can you give me cases where the ACLU was against law enforcement? I have given you at least one case where the Democrats sided with the law enforcement officials and the Republicans sided against them. I can now give you another one. After 9/11 Bush claimed that he would give aid to police and fire fighters across the country. However, when the time came to make good on that offer Bush refused. That is why so many police and firefighting groups supported Kerry over Bush in the 2004 election. Also, the mayor of New York was a Republican. Police and firefighters had asked Gulinani for better communication devices before the 9/11 attacks, but for some reason Gulinani never got around to giving them better equipment before 9/11. If police and firefighters had been given better communication devices maybe more would have survived the attacks. So, when one really looks at the facts one realizes that it is the Republican who have been at odds with the law enforcement crowd while the Democrats have been the group on the side of the law enforcement crowd.

Name one Republican who claimed to what spending reduced and then when given the opportunity to do so did. None of them. When they took control of Congress spending went up. Just visit the Citizens Against Government Waste website www.cagw.org .
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erpowers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #45
50. Full of Bullshit
Your post full of bullshit. First, Democrats are not soft on people who commit crime. Democrats only say that putting everyone is jail will not end the problem of crime in neighborhoods. Democrats push the idea that if we want to stop crime we have to give people jobs and education. Just think logically, if you drain the education system of money and send kids to school that look like prisons and send prisoners to jails that looks like Prep School then what are these people going to do with their lives with no education and no way to get a job. If a kid with no education and seemingly no where to go in life is approached by someone telling them they have a way for that kid to make million of dollars selling drugs then what do you think they will do. That is not giving them a free pass. That is saying that while ultimately the crime was their fault if we want to stop the crime we must do something in those communities that gives people the chance to make their lives better.

Now lets talk about the Republican on the crime issue. For some reason I did not here that George P. Bush spent anytime in jail for breaking in to someones house, verbally assaulting them, and then ramming his SUV into that person's home. Tell me again how many years Jeb Bush's daughter received for her drug habit. Lets also talk about Rush Limbaugh who for years pushed the throw them in jail line, but when he was caught in his own drug issue for some reason he all of a sudden had a right to privacy and did not need to give his information to federal prosecutors. Finally, lets talk about George H. W. Bush and his sons George and Neil. It is highly possible that Bush lied to the American people about the S & L scandal in order to save his son Neil's ass in that Neil was involved in the scandal. Also, it is possible that Bush help his other son George W. with his insider trading issue. From what I have read recently it is likely that Bush did have knowledge of the stock drop before it happened. I have two more words for you Iran-Contra. Yeah, those Republicans are really tough on crime.

This idea that Democrats have a knee jerk reaction to military action must be why so many Democrats in Congress joined to military during the Vietnam era while so many Republicans ran the other way. So what that you cannot deny the anti-war movement 's association with the left. I think that is better than having a bunch of kids jumping up and down for war, but when they are asked to go fight the war their first response is "Hell no, I got into the best business school in the country and I am not going to give that up" For some reason Democrats both now and during Vietnam decided that they would give something back to their country by joining the military. It was the president of a College Democrats group that left school last year to go fight in the Iraq war. Tell me what College Republican leader has left school to go fight in Iraq. Most on the left do not dislike Lieberman just because of his war stance, but let us look at your claim of hate toward Lieberman for his war stance. Lieberman has been a strong supporter of this war and even though there have been no ties to Al Queda and no WMD Lieberman still supports Bush. What really gets Lieberman in trouble with the left his is willingness to abandon the left on other issues. Like supporting the Patriot Act and other Bush issues that have very little to do with the war. Also, John Kerry, John Murtha, Tom Daschle, and Tom Harkin all joined the military when they were young. For some reason I have not found Lieberman's distinguished military record.

On you third point you really need to look at the Citizens Against Government Waste website. Some of the biggest spending is being done by Republicans. Right after they took control of Congress in 1994 the Republican sent out a highway bill filled with pork. Also, it was a Republican who chose to spend $1 million of taxpayer dollars to provide a heated bus stop to the people of Alaska. It was also a Republican who decided to take $ 500 thousand of taxpayer dollars to paint a Salmon on the side of a airplane. It was also, a Republican or a group of Republicans who decided to take $450 million dollars away from the effort to make the levees in New Orleans stronger in order to build a bridge that connects Alaska to an island with only a few thousand residents. Finally, there are bill that when Congress was under Democratic control did not have earmarks. Now under Republican control those some bill are full of earmarks.

Finally, yes Democrats hate the police and all law enforcement groups, that is why Democrats fought to keep assault weapons that could pierce the bullet proof vest of policemen off the streets. I will remind you that it was the Republican controlled Congress that against the will and wishes of the police and law enforcement officials let the assault weapons ban expire. Considering that our Constitution grants people the right to a fair trial I am happy that Democrats have pushed for laws that assure that people are made aware of their rights and that the Democrats have pushed for laws that do not allow law enforcement and prosecutors to take any piece of evidence found by any means and use it is a case. How has making law enforcement officials get warrants to search people houses hurt our system? How has making law enforcement officials leave out evidence they have obtained in the wrong way hurt our system? Without this rules it is possible that we would have many more wrongly convicted people in prison now.

In conclusion, your post is full of bullshit. Democrats are not soft on crime or responsible of people acting irresponsible. Republicans are not tough on national security issues. There are oppressive leaders throughout the world that the Republican are willing to do business with. It is the Republican's who actually have a knee-jerk reaction to military action when either they or their children have a chance to be involved in the action. I guess it is easy to say "it feels good" to start a war when your kid is not on the front line. Yes, George W. Bush pumped his fist and said "it feels good" after he gave his speech starting the Iraq war. The Bush administration did not deny the quote, they only criticized Yahoo for printing the quote. The Republican party is a big spending group. They spend taxpayer money on whatever they want to spend it on. Finally, it is the Republican who have always fought against the law enforcement officials while fighting to take the rights of the regular citizen away.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #50
53. Excellent post erpowers
How is it that conservatives are not called on their knee jerk response that all war is good, as long as we are on the winning side?

:thumbsup:
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rasputin1952 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 08:36 AM
Response to Original message
49. It can also be said, that in Clinton's watch the two terrorist attacks on
American soil were dealt with and placed in the books of "solved". The first WTC bombing was dealt with swiftly and came to conclusion in good order. The OK City bombing, likewise was solved and the perpetrators dealt with.

I will not say that Clinton had anything to do with this per se, but both cases were brought to conclusion under his watch. Good police work and luck were paramount in bring closure in these cases. bush has no such credit, Osama is still running around, the anthrax mailer is still free, and essentially, there is no push to bring either of these to closure.

Fact of the matter is, bush is a failure, while Clinton came out a winner. Too bad the R's can't accept that, but they think their bumbling oaf in the WH is some sort of 'genius' at getting down to protecting the nation; yeah, right.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #49
52. Damn right
Not only that, but Bush actively and aggressively tried to IMPEDE any investigation into the 9-11 attacks. And I must say that he was fairly successful in witholding adequate funding from the 9-11 commission and otherwise obstructing the type of investigation that would have provided meaningful clues to how the attacks occurred.

And furthermore, the response to the attacks themselves, including the first half hour that Bush spent reading to shcool children, was quite a bit less than inspiring. Of course, you don't see the corporate media saying much about that:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...



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Redbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
54. Bush has destroyed most of these myths.
Conservatives can only take two positions."

Either:

"Bush is a "liberal" or

The myths were false to begin with.
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