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October 16, 2006

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I'm interested in how the hyper-partisanship plays with the party realignment over race in the 1960s. After Civil Rights, things get more partisan (or more mean) because you combine the unreconstructed racists with the fiscal conservatives in one party--you basically force what is currently the Republican coalition onto them. At the same time, you deprive the Republicans of one of their appeals (and consider the Eisenhower Republicans would have gotten credit for civil rights if it weren't for LBJ's obstruction, then shepharding of the bill).

Then Nixon gives Republicans hope they can win if only their big enough assholes (though I think Nixon took some lessons from LBJ here). But the Republicans went into the wilderness for lack of constituency. They basically had to activate the Christian right to return to legislative control.

For Republicans to win the presidency, they have to do it with jingoism. The Ronnie approach works, particularly in a time of diminished expectations and self-doubt (at a national, and personal, level).

But for Republicans to win the House, they have to have rigid discipline, particularly message discipline. They've got to retain the appearance of ideological coherence, though none exists, because they need to hide the degree to which their policies are actually opposed to the interest of most people.

Just a theory, anyway.

You will hear, "well, if the Dems get in, it'll be just the same." And sometimes I wonder if that's not by the same design I believe Republicans exercised with impeachment.

They turned impeachment into a partisan joke, and now Democrats are afraid to use it even for a case seemingly tailor made for it, because "people don't like impeachment."

Republicans, of course, used their "Contract with America" to turn procedural reform into a partisan joke, making even more restrictive use of rules than the Democrats, even as they swore to do the exact opposite.

Is it any wonder, then, that American voters will react cynically when Democrats promise reform and openness?

Consider how thoroughly Republicans have poisoned the well here. You can't even get elected on a platform of honesty and transparency anymore.

Pessimism? Where is the enthusiasm of the new congressional majority?

Perhaps you have an uneasy feeling that the Republican mood in the grassroots of the country, has just been lulled to sleep by a few bad apples, and situational mishaps. True, those groups in the USA that the Republicans spoke to so clearly are still there.

The Democrats don't talk their language. Homosexual marriages, Abortions, Affirmative action, Anti-Religious, Anti-Flag, Anti-USA for that matter, Big Government, Taxation, Free rides, Anti-business just don't attract those people.

Future Republican candidates for the Senate, and House will speak their language.

Those same people in the country realize now that Bush acted like he spoke to them, but really didn't, so there is a fair chance that this time, 2008, the Democrats can win the Presidency with a candidate like John Edwards. A fair chance, only.

Hillary? I think not. What is that saying the old folks had? "You don't make a silk purse out of a sows ear."


Your description is not the majority, Jodi. Look at the polls, where americans agree with Democrats on every major issue. You keep repeating those "facts" as if they're true. Same tired dogma that's going to lose in November.

As for 2008, too soon to tell. But whoever runs on either side will be better than the toxic Texan we have now.

Jodi:

PS Orenstein and Mann are from polar opposite think tanks. Your inability to acknowledge what they're saying is part of your blind spot.

DemFromCT,

you need to understand polls better. Yes that must seem like a strange thing for me to say to you, a rabid pollster..

Let me explain in part. I said to either William O, or probably Cyrmo that I believed in all the things that Wikip? said the Democrats stood for, as well as what the Republicans stood for.
He said that I couldn't do that.

I discussed briefly "limited" government. What it could mean, what it might not mean, and gave some examples. Just that word limited can mean so many things.

And example would be babies-

Everyone (well the majority) likes babies, just like the Democrats.

The question though many times finally progresses like this-
(with the answers from the parties on the right)

Do you like babies? Yes (both)
Do you think babies should be safe? Yes (both)
Do you think people should abuse (not just 1 crazy/accident time) babies? No (both)
Should we punish people that abuse babies? Yes (Repub), Well, possibly (Dems)
Should we execute people that abuse babies? Probably (Repub), Well, no, almost certainly not! (Dem)
Should we drop people that abuse babies into shallow vats of boiling or burning oil? Yes (Jodi)

There are knee jerk issues out there DemFromCT.

They vary from time to time. It is there that elections are won and lost.

That is what Rove understood, besides organization. He didn't invent it, he just used it.

"But whoever runs on either side will be better than the toxic Texan we have now"

you are absolutely correct DemFromCT. Or we might say down where I come from "dead on."

I was so happy to vote for Bush in 2000. My first election. He was like me. Grounded in the West, in plain speak. Gore seemed a likable guy, but he was so stupid/strange at times with crazy talk. (I actually liked him, and never made fun of him.)

But Bush was going to be a great President.

NOT! NOT! NOT!

:(

Emptywheel is on to something. I'm old enough to have voted in the 1964 Presidential at the age of 22. I well remember a study we read in college that showed that Dem leaders were a little to the left (I think it was) of their followers, but the R leaders were way, way to the right of their followers, and there wasn't a huge difference between the D and R followers. The GOP line was a hard sell, and required much flimflamery and appeals to the darker side of human nature.

In the graph that the NY Times had yesterday showing the partisan split with the time of coming of age, it was interesting that Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Reagan and Clinton all correlated with young people rallying to their banner, while the greatest polarization (and young voters rejecting the party of the President) occurred under Nixon and Bush II. The Eisenhower years featured McCarthyism and stultifying conformity, but not so much hyperpartisanship on the part of the Pres and party leaders.

The GOP fundamentally is not interested in government except as a means of redistributing wealth and economic advantage to the wealthy. Democrats are much more interested in policy and process, that is the nuts and bolts of government. Democrats' graft in the modern era has always been fairly small-time, because big business and big bucks flow to the GOP. A few million to some inner city imporvement projects pales next to the billions that have gone to the corporations and the wealthy through tax cuts, deregulation, the Iraq War and earmarking.

It's not that Democrats are better people, but that they and the GOP have different interests (in both senses of the word) and the Dems' constituents feel less entitled and are less greedy in a material sense.

The GOP is the party of America's aristocracy and always has been. They want maximum opportunities for the unscrupulous and a concentration of wealth at the top. Dems want more fairness and want to spread opportunity and prosperity much more broadly. That's why, particular individuals to the contrary notwithstanding, the Dems will never be as corrupt or incompetent as the GOP.

For those who didn't see the NYTimes chart, Kevin Drum has a copy you can click on and read. It is really fascinating. Jodi, based on what you said about your age, you aren't alone among your peers in your disappointment.

it's also covered at pollster.com

i think it is a case of the republicans doing everything wrong to lose this election, not the democrats doing everything right to win it. the democrats have not had a solid anti war stance, and more then the scandal i think it is the war in iraq that the majority of voters are opposed to. would the democrats be any less corrupt? it is hard to imagine then as being capable of being as corrupt, but politicians don't have a lot of respect or trust in this era.

i agree 100% with the above post Mimikatz and will repeat the part i especially concur with >>The GOP fundamentally is not interested in government except as a means of redistributing wealth and economic advantage to the wealthy. Democrats are much more interested in policy and process, that is the nuts and bolts of government. Democrats' graft in the modern era has always been fairly small-time, because big business and big bucks flow to the GOP. A few million to some inner city imporvement projects pales next to the billions that have gone to the corporations and the wealthy through tax cuts, deregulation, the Iraq War and earmarking.

It's not that Democrats are better people, but that they and the GOP have different interests (in both senses of the word) and the Dems' constituents feel less entitled and are less greedy in a material sense.

The GOP is the party of America's aristocracy and always has been. They want maximum opportunities for the unscrupulous and a concentration of wealth at the top. Dems want more fairness and want to spread opportunity and prosperity much more broadly. That's why, particular individuals to the contrary notwithstanding, the Dems will never be as corrupt or incompetent as the GOP.<<

PS, Jodi, that's an excellent example of an outlawed push poll. It's designed to change opinion, not sample opinion. And of course, you just make up the Dem response out of whole cloth.

I don't doubt the strength of cultural issues for a segment of the population. But what you assume is true for everyone is only true for ~35% of the population. What you attest to is that Dems will never win unanimous support. Guess what? they don't need to.

I just want to YAK when I hear people bring up Newt as a potential president. My brother did it just the other day. Good lord, people. This guy is the original Liar. The Contract with America was one of the most brilliant and effective lies ever concocted. Then didn't Newt leave office amid a scandal of his own? Make no mistake, folks Newt is gaining traction in middle America. We must not let them forget. And, turn away from Hillary now. She is unelectable. Hillary is the GOP's trick to victory in '08. They know she's unelectable and a whole bunch of our left of the lefties better figure it out soon.

Jodi,

This anti abortion issue hypocrisy in the republican party really bothers me. It seems the party has a blind spot to it. The bottom line is that many republicans think it is fine to fertilize many eggs from a woman, and then transplant them back to the uterus killing however many they don't want. This goes on in large numbers (no one embryo but killing as many as 4-10 at a time). I know several very vocal pro lifers who have had the procedure. Many republicans have taken part in invitro fertilization for the sake of having one or possibly two babies. In the process many embryos are destroyed.

There is not one republican asking that this process be stopped. Not one. You all act like it isn't happening. Can you not see the hypocrisy here? Why is it okay to kill embryos for the sake of creating one life for a couple, but not okay to use already aborted embryos to save a life? Why is it okay to kill embryos to create just one life, when it's not okay to kill embryos to protect a woman from dying or from mental illness after a sexual assault? Explain that to me?? Why is okay to kill babies, women and children in a war to promote democracy. (since that's what the iraq war was for) I think we should only kill people when danger is imminent. To me that would show, in action, our commitment to life. (that we would be willing to risk our own safety in order to err on the side of safety for all- that seems respectful of life to me!!). But to republicans to honor or respect the living who the republicans have deemed "undeserving" is weakness. That seems like the worst kind of moral hypocrisy.

Ugh. It makes me sick. I can understand that there are some republicans who just think that abortion is wrong. I can understand why they feel that way. But anti abortion folks have no understanding of those of us who oppose their position. I am not a murderer. I believe that violence is wrong. I believe in Jesus and his example.

I also believe that Jesus and the old testament and almost every organized religion on this earth, has many references to taking care of the poor and the impoverished. It is our duty. But the republicans completely ignore this part of the literature. It's as if it doesn't exist. If we took care of children, and a woman knew that if she had a baby it would end up well cared for we might not have so many abortions. (but the fact is that many women fear a life in social services for their babies) We don't care for poor children as well as we could.

I don't think the republican party cares much about babies. I think they care about pulling the hood over the average american's eyes while they give corporate welfare instead of social welfare and tax breaks to the folks who need them the least. They take advantage of a segment of the population that feels strongly about these issues. Strong enough to vote against their own best interests. This party has done nothing to protect babies. Not one thing.

Yes, there is genius in using those authoritarian folks who cannot differentiate the nuances of these issues because they probably suffer from the very things this administration seeks to continue; violence, poverity and drug and alcohol abuse. It's a vicious cycle that will require thought, wisdom, compassion and intelligence. That is what the democratic party stands for in my eyes. It is what the republican party uses and gives lip service to, but if you really look you will find that the republicans have not a compassionate desire for social change but an economic desire for social change for the few and the very lucky and they use the cover of religiousity/morality as a means to an end. That is blasphemy.


I was thinking today that the Republicans seem to get a free pass on demonizing Democratic women, like Hillary and Pelosi, why do the Dems allow this to occur? Should the Dems notch up the language re:Condi, and Coulter of course, and then point out the behavior of the Republicans?

Mimikatz,
that "Kevin Drum" chart wouldn't come up.

Yes I didn't bother to vote or even register when I was 18, but then a Presential race came up, I got all enthused and looked into it carefully. And then everything went to hell.

:(

I will try the pollster.com later.

DemFromCT,
I didn't know that polls could be outlawed. Or is that just in Boston? Or maybe CT. On the 35%, DemFromCT, I am not so sure. That is the size of either the Republican or Democratic bases.
The core anyway.

By the way, I see a very important person is Lamonts wife. It just goes to show how disconnected I really am.

But I do have my absentee ballot.

Katie,

you make a good point about the fertilized eggs. That is actually strongly rejected by the Catholic Church.
But abortion is considered a separate issue by most people.

I have no problem with the fertilized eggs for parents that can't have a child.
I have a lot of problems with abortions, except in the case of "self defense" that is where the life of the mother is involved. Even where incest and rape occur, I have unease, but still the "self defense" issue can be brought to bear there. I mean by that, that it is ok to kill in self defense. And that may be the case with some women, who have been raped or molested. There the Judgements of Solomon may be needed, so I will make no judgements.

Kim,

Hillary, and Pelosi are politicans, and fairly radical at that. They are fair game.

Condi thus far is not a politican though she is a cabinet member. She alone of the 4 you mentioned might deserve some sort of bye on the worse of the bad mouthing. Lately though she has been getting her share. One reason she might be treated better than say Rumsfeld is that she is black.

Coulter is not a politican but is definitely given no quarter.

So really I don't see that there is any disparity. What causes you to make that judgement?

Well, hell, every right wing talk show or pundit I see/hear trashes Hillary and Pelosi. I've never seen any strong response to this.

In contrast, I can't think of a widespread attack on a Republican woman politician (well, I did think of Katherine Harris as I wrote this, but that's the only one and she's certainly not a leader).

As you point out the Republican examples I gave aren't even politicians in a strict sense, but the attacks on Hillary and Pelosi are certainly deliberate and politically motivated. So I think you make my point.

"Fairly radical?" Compared to what, Pat Buchannon and his sister? What land are you living in Jodi? And BTW, using "fair game" in connection with a Republican smear of a female political opponent does conjure some unfortunate Rovian baggage doesn't it?

Jodi -- you would be wise to find some old literature about the world of abortion in the days before Roe v Wade. Depending on social class and connections, women could check into hospitals for a D & C at an early stage of pregnancy, get it paid for by insurance, and "only the Hairdresser" knew the facts. Then one could do the back alley route, and since it might be bloody and septic, get dumped in a public place where help might be available. You could do it clean and sanitary with a real doctor, if you had the cash, and could travel to what was assumed to be a resthome in farm country, but was actually an abortion hospital in rural PA reached by Greyhound, cash paid on pick up -- and then back on the Greyhound that evening. (that was the safe way). You could try your luck in Mexico -- and there were other rather dangerous routes. My freshman roommate in college got raped by a U of Chicago Law Student, and she used the PA system -- and a lot of us put a few bucks in the pot to help pay. Today of course, I would not contribute unless she collected the DNA, and made the Law School student suffer the consequences. (Five years, Sexual Criminal Status, no Law Degree.) But back in the 50's there were no DNA tests.

The whole point of Roe v Wade is that women are finally deemed to have the wit to make these decisions for themselves with medical advice and philosophical assistance from whoever they select. If you don't like Abortion, fine, don't have one. But do examine the matter of whether you are being overly authoritarian by making rules for others to live by without also supporting their ability to raise a child if brought to term. And don't assume that having a child and giving it away is the answer. Any woman who was engaged with other women pre Roe V. Wade knows all the arguments all ways to Sunday. We also know women who made all sorts of choices. I think you should take time to read their stories, many of which are published. Choice does not mean you have to have an abortion.

It also doesn't define Democrats if you check out studies about who makes use of the choice to have an abortion. Here in Minnesota we did two studies (funded by the University and several foundations) and found that the religion of women attending Abortion Clinics distributes according to the religious distribution of the state -- 1/3rd Catholic, 1/3 Lutheran, and 1/3rd everything else. Likewise, within Senate Districts, virtually all seekers of abortion track the political index of that district. The study was first done in the late 1970's, and was repeated 10 years later with virtually no change of note. The differences between the parties is that Republicans are hypocrites -- they have abortions at the same rate as their representation in demographics, but they prefer to let the Democrats carry the weight of advocacy.

Their situation is similar with regards to Gay Rights. There is a little bit of outing now around the Foley matter -- regarding the influence and importance of Republican Closet Gays in the DC Party Structure and the Hill Staff. There will be much more. Summer of 2005 there was a fancy wedding in Mass when Arthur Finklestein got married to his long time partner. Finklestein is famous in Republican ranks as one of the Atwater boys -- ran communications for D'Amato, Boschwitz and Specter. Worked on Bush I's two campaigns, and Bush II's 2000 campaign. He made millions from the campaigns, and when the wedding occurred, a huge contingent from the Hill and the White House migrated to Mass. to attend Finklestein. Event of the year. And much of their money as well as their power positions were bought with money from the wallets of those who turned out in 2004 to vote against for religious and moral reasons Gay Marriage. Don't you think Jodi, that all the people who attended that wedding from the Hill and the White House -- and also those who didn't attend but sent gifts or cards, deserve to be called Hypocrites and named? I do, because I think the Hyped up Evangelical Voters out in the neitherland of fly over land need to know how principled these guys really are. It really is time to name names.

Democrats more or less decided in 1980 to be public about our Gay Members and essentially invite Democratic Gays to "come out." I had two friends who were Gay Delegates to that Convention, Bert Hennings and Dick Hansen. Both died of AIDS in the mid 1980's. Both had their picture on that famous Newsweek Cover of Politicals with AIDS. Bert was a PHD in Agriculture Economics (U of Arkansas) and Staff Directory of the House Ag Committee. He was one of the early economic innovators of the theory of "Sustainable Agriculture" and many believe he would have eventually been an international leader in this area. But Bert loved Dick, and Dick was a hog farmer in Western Minnesota, and a third generation DFL activist, and a member of the DNC. So Bert retired from DC for Morris Minnesota where he taught at the University, hog farmed, organized for Jesse Jackson in 1984, organized against foreclosures of farms (Along with Dick and Paul Wellstone they went to Jail over the failure of the Reagan Administration to open the farm loan windows in time for planting season.)

Dick and Bert liked to tell the story of Senator Kennedy's first visit to a Gay Caucus. In 1980 they had all of 90 delegates to the National Convention, and about 400 additional supporting delegates. It was really a funny story. First thing Kennedy asked, was about language. "You want to be called Gay, right?" -- "What words are not appropriate?" "Homo?" "nah," "When is it OK to use the word Queer?" -- --Ans. -- for Commie Queers and way out radical types. "OK -- we won't use the word Queer." The initiation of Ted Kennedy it was. More than half the people in that caucus were dead eight years later. It was Reagan who would not inquire about the language and all the rest, and it was Reagan who had to wait for Liz Taylor to take him by the hand and lead him after the deaths of his friends, Roy Cohen and Rock Hudson.

(By the way, the story of my friends Bert and Dick won a Pulitzer Prize in 1986 the "Aids in the Heartland" series published by the St. Paul Pioneer Press. I think it is on the web.)

The point is Democrats have been pretty realistic about all this, and we have also been open and accepting. These are our people, and we never thought of denying them. We have been electing openly gay people to office since the mid 1970's, and I don't expect any change in that. Clinton had lots of openly gay appointees and staffers. (emphasis on open). And that is the point. If one is open and out, there is no secret, and blackmail and all the rest is impossible. It is just a matter of accepting normality. It then becomes much less interesting. Republicans keep it secret because they want to play with the power of secrets and the powerful potential of blackmail. They are in a pinch right now because they don't know how to explain this game to their Evangelicals.


Kim,

I didn't use associations to smear you-- "what land" "using"fair game"" "unfortunate Rovian" I just tried to tell you what was going on.

You are pretty transparent.

I will explain though to those who might be confused.

"fairly radical" is a perception by most Republicans of those two, Pelosi, Hillary.
"fair game" means that those two have entered the political arena and there everyone is giving a shooting license. Pelosi and Hillary have theirs clipped to their orange shooting jackets and others have theirs. Pelosi and Hillary avail themselves of their shooting rights quite frequently.
"Rovian baggage" is giving Rove all the credit for things that have been going on since before Machiavelli and some Orientals wrote down a few strategies. I know you hate him because he has beaten you before, but you have allowed your minds to be clouded with your wrath, and now you are almost impotent except that true to form Power has Corrupted the Republicans and it is now their turn "in the barrel."
"What land" is an attempt to associate me with a some bad place because I dare to answer the question honestly rather than agree with the assertions. The "what land" is inferred to be a bad or evil place that good little Democrats (maybe like Kim) don't go to. And that is the real "crock,"

Anyway, Kim,

you made my point.

Now on to my premise.
If and when some female Republican office holder becomes as "radicalized" and as "polarizing" as those two Democrats, Pelosi and Hillary, then they will be treated as such.
As for now Bush, Cheney, Rove bear the burden that Pelosi, and Hillary bear. It is all a matter of prominence.

People that can't stand the heat should stay out of the kitchen.

Sara,

now I speak on a personal level. This is not about politics. Usually I just present what others think. Here I speak for myself.

First I don't personally like abortions. It is horrendous for the mother, for the child/fetus. You do know that the 2 (or at least 2) women in Roe have now partitioned against the ruling?

The question is what should we do when a woman is pregnant and doesn't want to have a child. That is one of those Solomon type questions. I don't propose to be Solomon or one of his wives who was the real power and brains behind the King and sage. I would try to do what is practical, because of who I am.
My zeroth step would be abstinence. Young girls shouldn't have sex. They should be more concerned about education, understanding their choices, etc.
My first step would be contraception.
My second would be a Morning after Pill.
My third step would be to first try to help the woman who is usually a young girl find her path towad a healthy birth, with financial aid, adoption, etc.. There are organizations for that.
My 4th step would be a voluntary abortion. [I don't like that but I am familar with the history of what has happened before, and just don't see a practical solution other than voluntary abortion. It would be nice to just Star Trek "transport" the fetus out of there over into the general nursery} My Dad is a doctor, and my mom is/was a nurse. You better believe that their first little girl got the full story.
I would say that 3T abortions should be illegal, barring the case where the woman was in a coma for 6 or 7 months and then woke up finding out she was raped by her father, brother, and a serial rapist, and had a child on the way..
Anytime the life of the mother is threatened then of course first try to save her life.

On Gays, again personal opinion.

I have no problem with gays. I have male and female friends and many acquaintenances that are homosexual. Some of them don't like it because of the problems, but they have tried and they can't be non homosexual.
Sure Gays should be open. There are problems with society and certain groups with that though. Foley's parents knew he was gay, but didn't want him to be open which is one reason he wasn't. He was actually a very good son who loved and appreciated what his parents tried to do form him. They just had that one problem, and it may have related to their strong Catholic connections. It would be nice if those problems weren't there, but we have to note them.

Yes the Democrats have saved themselves certain kinds of problems, by being pretty open about it. Of course politically they have gained a dedicated group of supporters.

One thing though about homosexuals. It does bring up a lot of problems in a locker room, or a barracks, or in other close quarter situations. I experienced it in High Shcool and College in basketball. I had some passes made toward me, and I guess maybe since I was a girl it didn't bother me particularly and I was able to pretty easily extinguish any interest except in one case where I used a medium amount of force. Remember I was a jock. Anyway that person was removed from the scene quickly. It turns out I wasn't the only one that was touched.

Now for the guys it is a whole other issue. It drives the straight guys crazy, and they will hurt people. They will go wild. My family members in the military told me that is why Clinton backed off his idea of open homosexuality in the Military. He and his advisors were told that the military was prepared to follow orders, with some resignations of course, and were also prepared to prosecute to the fullest the expected rush of beatings, murders, etc. The argument was made that general and specific orders would be given, that education, seminars, and sensitivity training would be provided. The counter argument was made that even in the training environment there would be bad problems.
And the final result would be that Clinton the Commander in Chief, the US Military, and indeed the Country would be held responsible for a large number of deaths, and over time it would continue.
Clinton then went back on his word as the Homosexuals say, and came somewhat to his senses as others thought, with a "compromise solution" which was really just about the same as before.

Anyway thatis my personal take on the two issues.

The msm badly needs reminding of will rogers comment. I keep hearing about why the democrats don't have a on line or disciplined message. I keep thinking "well, duh! because they are democrats!"
That is part of the fun. Being democrat means we are independent people who think for ourselves.
I did read somewhere that it was Tom Delay that turned the House into an ongoing criminal enterprise. That is what the House devolved to.

I forgot about the real election question around the country about Homosexuals.

"Gay Marriage" is the usual title, though I think that Lesbians also are involved I think as much as the men. But I may be mistaken.

First, I think "Civil Unions" are a good idea. I am not even sure what the difference is between that and "Gay Marriages."
I think that benefits are shared, and that if one partner is dying, the other partner has the same rights as a married partner.
I would assume the same for child rights. For adoption, for substitute type impregnation. The partners would share power, rights, and responsibility.

Someone brief me on any difference please.

So why are "Gay Marriages" such a big thing. Maybe because marriage is in the bible, and so people think that it is a religious thing. Well it isn't as there are many civil ceremonys without religion.

If there are more rights/priviliges/responsibilities in one that the other I don't know of them.

What I do know is that the Civil Union law could give any right that the normal marriage has if the law is written correctly.

I used to think that the word "Marriage" would then mean all states had to recognize the union. Now I understand that that is not the case.

Anyway, so personally Sara, for I am writing this for you, I am all for "Civil Unions" and an open Gay society, except where people are brought too close together, as in a locker room.

Let me put it another way and devise a further plan. If there was a Female Lesbian locker room, and a Male Gay locker room as well as similar bathrooms for each, and all the Lesbians and Gays came out then there would be no problem for me. Likewise Dorms.
In other words where ever we now separate by sex we would also separate by "alternative sex."

Perhaps separate facilitites, barracks, and indeed battlefield units would work in the military. But there are of course problems because there is a lack of control on the battle field.

That's my take on it Sara.

As you can see, I can make a plan.

Jodi,

I have a suggestion for all those people so appalled by gay folks in the military. How about we deal with prejudice as what it is. It is irrational fear based on judgments about what "might" happen not what "is" happening. If we give in to the fear as if it is valid we are enabling prejudice and irrational thinking. It's time to put an end to irrational thinking that is full of sweeping judgments and void of facts. My suggestion is, since you state that you are a practical gal, is that we really look at the facts. If we do this, we can end the power of those who are prejudice.

katie,

the military is like a big city, with boroughs scattered all around the country. Discipline is an ongoing problem. History shows that you get a bunch of aggressive macho males (who else better to be our soldiers) living close, working close, under strain, striving to be even more macho male and more aggressive, you have problems.

Look at the Air Force Academy. The Naval, West Point. Every year there are problems. And there we have supposedly our leaders, our paragons of honor, duty and obedience. But it ends up a full time job trying to keep a lid on it.

Any day there are murders, rapes, beatings, harassement, etc., etc. in the military just as a matter of course.

The rates are just like in a big city.

History has shown what works, and what doesn't work. Men and women put together in regular society will cause a certain number of problems and by that I mean trangressions of the law.

Katie you can build castles in the air, what should be, what we want, but when you try to live in them, sometimes the bodies pile up.

Yes I am practical. It is a strain already on the military having women mixed with men. And that is something that you are brought up with. You can't get away from it. You should be used to it.

Yet watch the news headlines, and see that there are always problems.

Let me put it another way, Katie, Sara, and others.

Do you wish to try the great Social Experiement in 2008. Push through a total open Homosexual presence in the Military?
That is quite a challenge. To OUTDO BILL CLINTON, AND NOT BACK OFF.

I love demonstrations, experiments. Today I will view 1. In two days, 2 more.

For this experiment with our military, I will pull up a pillow, and a bowl of popcorn and watch with keen interest.

Surely Bill Clinton was wrong. It has to work because "socially concerned democrats everywhere want it to." They really do.

Maybe there would be less macho related problems if both women and gays were allowed, and supported in the military and if the men who violated laws were prosectuted. Change is inevitable. It's the only thing we know will happen for sure. I know it will not stay the same as now and that for a fact, gays do not harm society. Other peoples reactions to gays do harm society and from that standpoint it is no different that racial harmony or women's rights.

One other point, Jodi. You said that history shows what works. Then why is it we got rid of slavery?? I guess it depends on how you define "works". Cause I personally think "gay" works. It saves on the population explosion and allows for romantic partnerships that are conducive to family values. I personally think God was pretty smart about the design.

Jodi -- back during World War II they said we could not have racially integrated military units because it would excite the emotions of the white racist soldiers, and in addition, no white soldier would serve under the command of a black officer or NCO. Well, it was difficult and it took time, but no one today suggests that the Officers Corps isn't capable of providing discipline in the Corps, and having a smoothly functioning integrated military in the process.

I think the same thing applies to Sexual Orientation in the military. Just make the rule -- no mixing sex with duty -- and the problem can be dealt with. You just have to make that the rule, and require the Officer Corps to apply it, and while there may be a bump or two in the road, you will eventually get there. The Military was actually the best venue in American Institutions for realizing many of the Civil Rights Laws in the 1960's. Prior to 1964 the Airforce had lots of segregated housing, and a number of informally segregated officers clubs. It took less than six months to create change. At Wright Patterson in Dayton Ohio the housing assignments were directed toward racial integration until parity was reached -- and the base command just ordered the swimming pools and golf courses integrated. Tomorrow. It worked. No problems of any measure.

Your concern with protecting boorish locker room behavior reminds me of the kind of talk that went down in Baseball regarding life in the clubhouse when the leagues were considering integration in the mid 1940's. It was why Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby should not be signed by the Dodgers and the Indians. I once had the chance to ask Bill Veck about this -- he owned the Indians in 1947 when they brought Doby up from the farm team, and in 1948 he signed Sachel Page and in addition won the world series that year. Veck just said he would impose fines if there were any Clubhouse incidents, and it took just one, and that was the end of it. And he had some dandy racists on the 47-58 roster. Veck's fines began with one month's pay -- and for a second offense it doubled. It helped that the Indians were on top in the American League, and won the Series.

Institutions are very very powerful forces in proscribing unacceptable behavior. And once you get institutions on board supporting the best behavior, you can begin dealing with the problems outside of institutions. Once it became clear to Ole Miss administration and students that James Meredith was on campus to stay -- they accepted it, and began to work to rule. And of course Meredith was just the first of many.

Katie,

I wish you the best.

Sara,

I don't believe that separation of the races on which you are an expert is on the same page as the military gay problem.

A black man and a white man have a lot in common I agree.
Macho agressive black men and macho agressive white men have even more in common. This is what we have in a military unit.
You and I agree there.
You bring a blatant homosexual into that mix of hetrosexual men into a military fighting unit, you have problems.

Even Bill Clinton acceded to that bit of wisdom.

Of course you refer to institutions and their power.
I think you confuse what institutions can do as far as individuals are concerned. And further remember that Democrats don't like authoritarian governments anyway. I think that is correct isn't it?

2001 Killed by Highway crashes-- 42,116
2000 Murders in USA (FBI) -- 15,527

Sara, where were the Institutions?
You would have thought they would have stepped in and straightened that out.

Perhaps as someone said the other day that the auto deaths were just the cost of doing business, of driving at a speed greater than 10 miles per hour. It was an acceptable loss of life. Obviously. It goes on every year.

The murders must also fall into that category.

So what do you think an acceptable loss of life per year would be in order to make the military accept open sexuality?

And remember for every homosexual that was killed, probably at least 1 non homosexual would be executed. (military law)
For every homosexual beaten, at least 1 non homosexual would get hard labor.

1, 100, 1000 per year?

What do you think?

Do you really think a one month fine would work?
Do you think execution would work to stop murders even non homosexual related?

No, it would be pouring gasoline on a fire.

And finally, and I love this question. What do you think Bill Clinton thought?


Jodi, your friendships in the Gay and Lesbian community apparently have not included the Leather Crowd, or the M/S one. They are, to put it mildly, super macho.

The point of military training is to put individual soldiers in charge of their behavior, and channel that toward mission. It is part of the point of basic training regimes, and of continued training throughout a military career. Yes, the military looks for aggressive personality types with the body strength to match it, but it builds in great self control.

Gays have been part of the military everywhere and forever. In fact, during WWII it was not grounds for avoiding the draft. It became such during the Vietnam era, and it was one of the sure means of getting 4F status. But that was before the American Psychological Association declared it "Not a Mental Illness" and not curable by therapy -- about the time the draft was eliminated in the early 1970's.

Sara,

not the same thing with the "Butchs." Two agressive dogs don't stop dog fights. The number of deaths might actually increase.

In the early years WWII, homosexuality was very very seldom open, very very much in the closet, so we had the same situation of before Clinton, and after Clinton (Don't ask/tell.) I prefer the words [Keep it a secret.]

Sara, you are a lovely person, but you don't really understand that you are just building Fairy Castles in the sky by saying that we can "Command," or just "Instruct" all the soldiers to be open to homosexuality. (Forgive that about the castles, but one day I hope to write, and I allow my creativity to run rampant sometimes on forums and blogs. I can't do it with my reports.))

First there is only a low fraction of the armed forces that will be physically hostile toward homosexuals normally. There will be followers though. There is of course a lot of psychology written about "going along," "mob action," "looking the other way," and in this case "being one of the guys."

Again I bring you to those numbers of dead each year. And even larger numbers for assaults that I didn't find readily. These things happen over and over every year, and with all the law enforcement, traffic enforcement, the same type numbers occur each year.

That is the problem. You deem it controllable. The Military and my brothers and somewhat my father, gentle soul that he is, and former President Bill Clinton don't think so. By the way my mom has worse forbodings than I.

If the USA were to embark on an open sexuality program in the military, then when the estimates come in, how high a number are you or we as a nation willing to accept Sara. How many deaths, beatings, etc. Then once we say that is acceptable, I guess we can start it.
Now don't come back and say not even 1 is acceptable, because that is not what I am speaking of. The number I speak of is the number that will not curtail the open policy.

Were it a perfect world Sara. What a glorious thing that would be. One day I hope to have children and I would like them to be happy and safe, and when I look around this wide world, it is not reassuring. Not at all.

And DemFromCT, Mr Irrepressible, would say ~that is a Democratic world~

Jody, it seems that the serenity prayer applies here. We cannot control the sexual orientation of anyone. That's a fact. We cannot control prejudice either. However, we can make sure there are consequences for anti social behavior and all violence is anti social. Gay people exist. They are in the military. They are in all walks of life and have been since the beginning of civilization. They serve an important purpose in our society. It is our duty to figure out how to interact with this issue in a way that makes our society better not worse. That is a choice, free will, that humans can make with spiritual guidance. Then spiritual or patriotic prinicples should prevail over personal attitudes and prejudices. When those values are not being adhered to, there are consequences to society. The consequences come from intolerance, not from being or not being gay.

Jodi, I appreciate your civility and think that these conversations don't happen enough between people who have very different views. Debate and discussion are such an important part of living and growing.

Thank you katie.

The world I live and work in is full of theories, facts, figures, laws, rules, black and white, binary 0 and 1, yes and no, ...
You would think it was simple then. Go or NoGo? That is the question. Go or NoGo.

Unfortunately when you get a huge pile of theories, facts, figures, laws, rules, black and white, binary 0 and 1, yes and no, then all these things conflict and make for very fuzzy, bleary, questionable, iffy logic. You sometimes have to try things. Then try, then try, then try again, before you have something viable. And sometimes never.

Maybe in time something will come along for the military and all people. But for now, I would say NoGo.

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