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AnnieOakley
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Tue Mar-22-05 05:09 PM

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"What happened to real Republicans?"


          

Weren't GOPers all about states' rights? about the govt. not getting involved in personal matters? what happened and what caused the shift? Conservatives - stand up.





http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/216616_firstperson21.html

Monday, March 21, 2005

What happened to real Republicans?

L.A. HEBERLEIN
GUEST COLUMNIST

I was a Teenage Republican. Working my precinct for Barry Goldwater, I got a thorough education in what real Republicans believe. And whether I still agree with all I learned then, I will always understand and respect it. I'm just not sure the people calling themselves Republicans today do.

When I was a Teenage Republican, all Republicans knew the 10th Amendment by heart and Republicans resisted the increasing power of the central government. Now Republicans leap over one another to make the federal government ever more powerful. It is Republicans at the federal level who now want to tell states whether they can allow medical marijuana or assisted suicide, or even who can have a driver's license. They want to tell the states who can get married. Imagine a Republican of my youth thinking the federal government should dictate policy to local school boards.

When I was a boy, Republicans cherished personal liberty. Creating secret no-fly lists and spy-on-your-neighbor programs, turning medical records over to police, holding people without trial in hidden military compounds, saying it's legal to torture them -- that's how we thought only Communists would behave.

Above all, the Republicans back in those days were the party of responsibility. They understood a balance sheet. "Yes," they would say, like a patient father with an immature child, "we'd all love that, but we can't afford it. Look right here at the numbers." Fiscal discipline was a value held almost as deeply as family and religion. Republicans knew that nothing works if you can't pay for it, that only ruin and shame can come from laying out more than you take in.

Where have all those Republicans gone? The ones running Washington, D.C., today inherited a $236 billion budget surplus, and like kids on crack with a credit card, turned it into a trillion-dollar deficit almost overnight.

If there was one thing the Republicans of my youth understood the value of, it was the American dollar. Today's Republicans stand around and watch the American dollar fall further every day. With our out-of-control trade deficits and increasingly shaky credit, all it might take is for one central banker from one small country to switch reserves to the Euro, and the dollar could plummet like the Space Shuttle Columbia, leaving a smoking trail of ugly wreckage.

When the issue of long-term planning for the future of Social Security came up, I thought maybe the Republicans I remember had resurfaced. That is exactly the sort of issue a white-haired Republican accountant for the water district would have raised in my youth. "Now, in 40 years," he would patiently explain, "the way these bonds are structured, we're going to have a shortfall, unless we adopt prudent measures right now." So the board would adopt prudent measures. After all, they were responsible people.

But have you followed the Social Security story? Do you know the plan?

The way Social Security works is that the people paying in support the people taking out. The "Republicans" in Washington want to let people stop paying in, so they can put their money in private investment accounts. But if we let people stop paying in, where's the money for people who are drawing out now?

Listen, you'll never believe this. The plan is to borrow it -- to borrow a trillion more dollars.

Oh, for a time machine. Mr. Twenty-First-Century-Call-Yourself-Republican, can I get you to come back with me to explain to a real Republican how, with our nation in debt as never before, your plan to fix Social Security is to borrow a trillion more dollars?





Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Letters to the Editor

SCHIAVO CASE


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Bush has double standard on culture of life
How ironic it is that our beloved president says that he supports a culture of life. He wants to outlaw abortions and signed into law a bill that would make it illegal to remove the feeding tube from a person who has been in a constantly vegetative state for 15 years and has virtually no chance of improvement.

And yet this is the same man who, as governor of Texas, signed more death warrants for those on death row than at any other time in history. That doesn't sound like he is very supportive of a culture of life to me. If W were truly supportive of a culture of life, he would pass a law that would make the death penalty illegal in the United States.

Chris Howard
Marysville


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Letters to the Editor

SCHIAVO CASE


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Bush has double standard on culture of life
How ironic it is that our beloved president says that he supports a culture of life. He wants to outlaw abortions and signed into law a bill that would make it illegal to remove the feeding tube from a person who has been in a constantly vegetative state for 15 years and has virtually no chance of improvement.

And yet this is the same man who, as governor of Texas, signed more death warrants for those on death row than at any other time in history. That doesn't sound like he is very supportive of a culture of life to me. If W were truly supportive of a culture of life, he would pass a law that would make the death penalty illegal in the United States.

Chris Howard
Marysville


Other victims more deserving of attention
The White House and Republicans in Congress pushed restrictions on class action cases, to prevent "judge shopping" by lawyers for clients -- such as asbestos victims fighting for breath -- who need and deserve real relief.

But Republican leaders have been quite willing to twist the entire lawmaking process -- including a rare call-back from a congressional recess and flying the president of the United States back into town, law-signing pen ready, 24/7 -- in order to judge-shop Terri Schiavo's single case into federal court when they didn't like the rulings of a judge in state court.

Gosh, wouldn't we all like such special attention from the president and Congress of the United States! What about victims of asbestos or farmworker families obliged to endure the killing mist of pesticides?

Are these "leaders" really concerned about our constitutional right to life and health, or simply pandering to a right-wing base in an appalling display of party politics?

Craig Salins
Seattle


Conservatives used to champion states' rights
One of the most basic cornerstones of conservative political philosophy is -- or at least used to be -- the protection of states' rights. What a strange group of conservatives we have now days; they are more than willing to sacrifice states' rights at the altar of the Christian conservatives.

Don't like a state's views on medical marijuana? Seek federal intervention!

Don't like a state allowing gay marriage? Seek a federal constitutional amendment!

Don't like the outcome of a state's right to die law? No problem -- the Christian right is happy to attempt to provide you with an end run through a congressionally authorized trip to the federal courts.

I remember when conservatives were, you know, conservative. Who would have thought that we would ever see the day when, in order to get the government off the backs of the people, we would have to vote for the liberals.

"The religious factions will go on imposing their will on others unless the decent people connected to them recognize that religion has no place in public policy ... To retreat from that separation would violate the principles of conservatism ... ." Barry Goldwater (1972).

Bill Tanner
Poulsbo

L.A. Heberlein lives in Seattle.

-AO
Please donate. I'm not the only one who's dying.
http://www.organdonor.gov/

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
On the Daily Show last night...
Mar 22nd 2005
1
That bit had me dying.
Mar 22nd 2005
2
It's why I intially left the party.
Mar 22nd 2005
3
states' rights never trump individual rights.
Mar 22nd 2005
4
LOL!
Mar 22nd 2005
5
Huh? | Something I need clearing up...
Mar 22nd 2005
6
I was addressing the Schiavo points.
Mar 22nd 2005
7
      Do you know how the current system works?
Mar 22nd 2005
8
      yes.
Mar 22nd 2005
9
           Oh. I was like- the heck hapm?
Mar 22nd 2005
12
                not if it matures.
Mar 22nd 2005
13
      Private Accounts don't solve the revenue shortfall
Mar 23rd 2005
31
Nice tautology, homie.
Mar 22nd 2005
10
!
Mar 22nd 2005
11
try again.
Mar 22nd 2005
14
      Okay.
Mar 22nd 2005
15
who defines individual rights, though?
Mar 22nd 2005
16
      The Constitution does.
Mar 22nd 2005
18
           there's been due process out the wazoo on this case
Mar 22nd 2005
21
           state level, yes. Feds, no.
Mar 22nd 2005
22
           obviously it's a federal constitution
Mar 23rd 2005
24
                huh?
Mar 23rd 2005
25
                     RE: huh?
Mar 23rd 2005
30
pat buchannan
Mar 22nd 2005
17
Buchanan was never a Republican.
Mar 22nd 2005
19
      exactly. Is he even a registered Republican now?
Mar 22nd 2005
20
      Last I checked, he was Reform.
Mar 23rd 2005
23
      his beliefs
Mar 23rd 2005
26
           The left wing?
Mar 23rd 2005
29
I'm a real Republican
Mar 23rd 2005
27
OH SHIT! where YOU been? you mad, why u mad?
Mar 23rd 2005
28
and just as quickly as shwin re-emerged. shwin disappears
Mar 24th 2005
32
I really see no difference between the parties anymore
Mar 24th 2005
33
they became the Bush Administration
Apr 22nd 2005
34

sunngodd
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Tue Mar-22-05 05:12 PM

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1. "On the Daily Show last night..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

They said Republicans were agaisnt a strong federal government when they didn't control the federal government.
------------------------------

“He may be friendly, but he's not your friend." - Malcolm X

  

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FireBrand
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Tue Mar-22-05 05:21 PM

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2. "That bit had me dying."
In response to Reply # 1


  

          


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FireBrand
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3. "It's why I intially left the party."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I felt that with smaller government, and with a strong moral code much could be done for Pan-Afikans in this nation and the nation/world as a whole. Then I saw the hypocrisy in the methods used in running campaigns, and in pork added to bills, as well as Military spending. I mean, when they had that contract to America I was a proud Republican. I debated our tenets for years as a College Republican and participated in campaigns readily.

Now? You have the likes of Bush just spending, and spending, and spending. NO regard for fiscal responsibility or accountability.

For me? I didn't feel that the liberal spending of dollars was not addressing the root issues in my community. But now, you got these christian zealots spewing filth from their mouths, and lying about corporate/terrorist connections so they can get rich.

Maybe that was the way the party always was, but it became PAINFULLY appearant while working with some of the cats I worked with back in Statesboro that we were headed in this direction. Bunch of Reaganites.

It's horrible.


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Expertise
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Tue Mar-22-05 06:11 PM

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4. "states' rights never trump individual rights."
In response to Reply # 0
Tue Mar-22-05 06:21 PM by Expertise

  

          

So this argument doesn't pass the test. Congress not only has the option, but the obligation to make sure a state does not violate the rights of an individual (particularly of an innocent one) and make sure that all avenues are exhausted before doing so. Thus, conservatives are consistent in conjunction with the priority of rights in this case.
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ahmsofunky
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5. "LOL!"
In response to Reply # 4


  

          

  

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FireBrand
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Tue Mar-22-05 06:26 PM

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6. "Huh? | Something I need clearing up..."
In response to Reply # 4


  

          

Are you addressing the article?




Anyone out there REALLY understand the way the social security system works now? It seems that money put in today would not service folk later unless it was invested so there was some capital growth.

I dunno, I havent been keeping up with this as I should. Been busy lately.

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Expertise
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7. "I was addressing the Schiavo points."
In response to Reply # 6


  

          

But to answer the SS question, the longer it takes before SS is to be reformed, the more money it will cost. Besides, the only Democrat solution has been to either raise payroll taxes, add income tax revenues (which would result in a call for income tax hikes), cut benefits, or raise the retirement age...all solutions either the DNC Chairman and the 2000 Presidential candidate has endorsed and would not effectively solve the problem.

At least the Bush plan would bring some closure to Social Security reform, while adding the vestiges of ownership and property into the equation. Those are conservative values, and they are definitely more acceptable than adding more government intrusion into retirement savings.
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FireBrand
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8. "Do you know how the current system works?"
In response to Reply # 7


  

          


and Ex. Come on man. You gonna pull out the Shiavo jawn outta that ENTIRE article? You don't agree with the article?

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Expertise
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9. "yes."
In response to Reply # 8
Tue Mar-22-05 06:46 PM by Expertise

  

          

It's essentially a "pay-go" system, where the current payroll funds are used to pay for current retiree benefits. It's no different than welfare, when it comes down to it.

And I was looking at the letters at the bottom of the article.
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FireBrand
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Tue Mar-22-05 06:58 PM

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12. "Oh. I was like- the heck hapm?"
In response to Reply # 9


  

          

well, if they don't currently invest the money going in, it only makes sense to me to adjust it because the money paid in today will be worth less in the future.


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Expertise
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13. "not if it matures."
In response to Reply # 12


  

          

And it would have under FDR's system or Bush's proposal.
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M2
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Wed Mar-23-05 11:42 PM

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31. "Private Accounts don't solve the revenue shortfall"
In response to Reply # 7


          


Even Bush admits that private accounts won't solve the revenue shortfall.

When you weigh the consequences of borrowing trillions of dollars to fund SS, the cost of higher interest rates and currency devaluation could easily exceed the economic cost of higher taxes and/or benefit cuts.

Additionally, with Bush's plan people receive benefit cuts on the amount of their SS taxes that stay in the traditional SS, so in some cases, some people could receive less benefits and it's not a stretch to say that it's a "covert tax" that would be used to pay back the money the Govt. owes to the SS system.

In order to reduce risk, Investment options in this plan will be very limited and the chances of significant returns that exceed those you could get with SS funds invested in T-Bills isn't particularly great.

When you "retire" you're required to purchase an annuity from the Govt, which would pay you enough to ensure you stay above the poverty line. This is good and bad, it's bad becasue you don't get all the cash like you would with current tax deferred retirement options AND because you forfeit all principal remaining in an annuity when you die.

This means that for a lot of people, the money would end up in Govt. hands anyway. Bush has said that your heirs get the money when you die, but you can't inherit an annuity.

This plan is more about private ownership than getting a better return per se, as multiple states (Notably Nebraska - Bush's plan is very much based on Nebraska's) have used private accounts as part of state pension plans and the results have been mixed at best.

Another thing to consider, is that Bush's plan is nearly identical to the one adopted in the UK a plan that has failed miserably and most people don't even bother using anymore.

If Washington is truly serious about SS Reform, they would work to redesign the system in a way that, involved a mixture of benefit cuts, ADDING private accounts and small tax increases.

Our currency is already facing a lot of devaluation pressures, borrowing 1 Trillion (just in the short to medium term) to fund Bush's plan will make it worse, particularly when the long-term fundamentals are against the dollar anyway.

E.g. It doesn't make sense to use a plan that doesn't solve the revenue shortfall and will provide our retirees with dollars of lesser value.

If I were in Washington I would restructure SS as follows:

-Create a national 401k, similar to Canada's RRSP that people can elect to participate in via a direct tax deduction. In order to facilitate free market competition in terms of management rates and Investment options, each citizen can elect their own provider to manage the account for them. I would limit risk by only allowing a small % of the money to be used in the open stock market, with the rest in low risk mutual funds.

-As an addition to the above, I would raise the limits on 401ks and IRAs.

-I would raise the limit on how much of one's income is subject to SS taxes, the Govt. has been slowly doing this already but since it only impacts about 10% of the population few people are aware of it. In 2000 it was $75k and now it's around $81k.

Thing is, it's only $372 per citizen with another $372 tacked on my their employer. Money that's hardly missed by that portion of the populace.

I would gradually raise it to minimize economic impact.

I would also roll back benefits on higher earning citizens, again, slightly and have it based on your net worth + income at retirement.

Of course, some of the things I propose would have a taxation impact as far as less tax being collected due to the new Private Accounts and higher limits on 401ks and IRAs. I would seek to minimize this via reducing the amount of ways affluent people and corporations can duck Taxes AND by changing the way taxes are caclulated for Married Couples:

At the moment, a married couple with a joint income of $56k pays 15% as their top marginal tax rate, whilst a single person pays 25%.

I think that for certain brackets things need to be evened out between married people and non-married couples who live together. You shouldn't be taxed for not being married.

I'm not saying the married couple should pay 25%, just push things towards the middle.

With most couples being married, this should bring a lot of revenue - add a tax increase or those in the top 5% as well, a small one should do it.



Peace,











M2


The Blog: http://www.analyticalwealth.com/

An assassin’s life is never easy. Still, it beats being an assassin’s target.

Enjoy your money, but live below your means, lest you become a 70-yr old Wal-Mart Greeter.

  

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Battousai
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10. "Nice tautology, homie."
In response to Reply # 4


          

  

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FireBrand
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11. "!"
In response to Reply # 10


  

          


tau·tol·o·gy ( P ) Pronunciation Key (tō-tl-j)
n. pl. tau·tol·o·gies

Needless repetition of the same sense in different words; redundancy.
An instance of such repetition.
Logic. An empty or vacuous statement composed of simpler statements in a fashion that makes it logically true whether the simpler statements are factually true or false; for example, the statement Either it will rain tomorrow or it will not rain tomorrow.




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Expertise
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14. "try again."
In response to Reply # 10


  

          

The facts are the facts. Either dispute them, or just click that little "x" at the top right of your screen.

But of course, you can't do that, or you wouldn't resort to your usually lame snide comments.
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Battousai
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15. "Okay."
In response to Reply # 14


          

Nice tautology, homie.

Happy?

  

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bshelly
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Tue Mar-22-05 09:19 PM

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16. "who defines individual rights, though?"
In response to Reply # 4


  

          

seems to me your answer ducks the question. some level of government has to define which individual rights are primary. a strong states rights position would say that obviously states are the ones to do so. so i think it's fair to say that Republicans (as well as Democrats) do not heed strong states rights positions.

----
bshelly

"You (Fisher) could get fired, Les Snead could get fired, Kevin Demoff could get fired, but I will always be Eric Dickerson.ā€¯ (c) The God

  

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Expertise
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18. "The Constitution does."
In response to Reply # 16


  

          

And the fourth amendment states that no person can be deprived of life, liberty, and property without due process. That's something that should be defended by all branches of government, and all levels, not just the state or federal government. Thus, it isn't "fair" to make judgements on politicians based on the legislative act passed Sunday.
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40thStreetBlack
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Tue Mar-22-05 11:28 PM

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21. "there's been due process out the wazoo on this case"
In response to Reply # 18


  

          

come on now.

------
"Ladies and gentlemen, what you are seeing is a total disregard for the
things St. Patrick's Day stand for. All this drinking, violence,destruction
of property. Are these the things we think of when we think of the Irish?"

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Expertise
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22. "state level, yes. Feds, no."
In response to Reply # 21


  

          

And since Congress gave the federal judiciary the authority to review the case, it's part of due process.
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bshelly
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Wed Mar-23-05 12:35 AM

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24. "obviously it's a federal constitution"
In response to Reply # 18


  

          

so obviously the feds have jurisdiction if they choose to exercise it. but at the heart of the Republican Party's (false) conception of itself is that they're the party that follows a narrow, originalist view of the Constitution and hence shows tremendous restraint in using Constitutional language and provisions to thwart state action. don't pretend the democratic party hasn't tried to use similar constitutional language in the past for their pet causes only to have Republicans scream that states should have significant leeway in their behavior, in defining what the Constitution means. civil rights are an obvious example.

this isn't neccessarily to criticize Republicans. politics is the art of the possible. a group or party defines their goals and then seeks to further them in whatever arena most benefits them. neither the Right nor the Left, Republican or Democrat, will allow principled stands on federalism to keep them from looking wherever they can to advance their interests. what should have gone out the window years ago and what has to go out the window after this saga is any notion of the Republicans as a states rights party. this doesn't mean they don't prize other things, like the right to life. it doesn't mean they're craven opportunists. it just means that on the federalism score (and on judicial activism, but that's a separate topic and i'm tired) they're no better than the Democrats. there is no party that stands for state power. to the extent that state power is preserved, it's preserved by state governments fighitng the Feds.

----
bshelly

"You (Fisher) could get fired, Les Snead could get fired, Kevin Demoff could get fired, but I will always be Eric Dickerson.ā€¯ (c) The God

  

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Expertise
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25. "huh?"
In response to Reply # 24


  

          

I've never heard an argument used by Republicans that would compromise individual rights for state power, especially stating "tremendous restraint" is to be used in interpreting the Constitution against state power. In fact, the only arguments I have heard being used is that the Constitution grants states' rights at the expense of the federal government, which is indeed accurate.

As far as civil rights are concerned, that argument was used more or less by Dixiecrats rather than Republicans. Those are two different groups.

My point still stands; Republicans can not be labelled as hypocrites through the states' rights issue through this scenario because individual rights have always trumped states' rights. You can make that argument with other things that have gone down during the GOP dominance of the federal government, but this isn't a accurate example. Besides, you'd have to also identify the different political ideologies within the Republican Party, which is actually more diverse than most would admit.

Even then, I'd still consider the Republican Party the one more concerned with localized authority rather than the Democrats. At least the party is based on principle and are willing to run on a cohesive platform. Democrats don't, and really haven't since McGovern was on the ticket.
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bshelly
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Wed Mar-23-05 12:14 PM

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30. "RE: huh?"
In response to Reply # 25


  

          

>I've never heard an argument used by Republicans that would
>compromise individual rights for state power, especially
>stating "tremendous restraint" is to be used in interpreting
>the Constitution against state power. In fact, the only
>arguments I have heard being used is that the Constitution
>grants states' rights at the expense of the federal
>government, which is indeed accurate.

we keep missing each other on this argument. my point is that in the past states rights ideology suggested a narrow reading of Constitutional provisions to keep the Feds out of states' business and allowed states a lot of leeway in interpreting Constitutional provisions on their own. using the fourth ammendment to promote Federal involvement in pro life causes is not that. in this case, it's an expansive reading that's attempting to set aside a state ruling.

>As far as civil rights are concerned, that argument was used
>more or less by Dixiecrats rather than Republicans. Those are
>two different groups.

not really. for example, all of the supreme court cases that turned back school desegregation in the 1970s pitted arguments about individual rights versus state rights against one another, and the new Nixon majority sided with states rights. if i want to be a dick, i can cite roe as another example. that was argued as a classic individual versus states rights case, with republicans on the side of states rights. whatever the abortion constitutional debate has morphed into (and i know you're about to cite the fourth again, but saave your breath) at the beginning Republicans were arguing for states rights and the Dems were arguing for individual rights.

You can make that argument with other things that
>have gone down during the GOP dominance of the federal
>government, but this isn't a accurate example. Besides, you'd
>have to also identify the different political ideologies
>within the Republican Party, which is actually more diverse
>than most would admit.
>
>Even then, I'd still consider the Republican Party the one
>more concerned with localized authority rather than the
>Democrats. At least the party is based on principle and are
>willing to run on a cohesive platform. Democrats don't, and
>really haven't since McGovern was on the ticket.

I agree with most of this. I disagree that Republicans are better on issues of federalism. They've violated it and grabbed as much power at they could since 1994. Right now neither party really cares, and whether that's a good or bad thing is a matter of debate. I also think that any time you start talking about a party being driven by a single principle you get into trouble, because American political parties are coalitions. But I can't disagree that Republicans of whatever stripe generally tend to have better developped principles at this point in time.

----
bshelly

"You (Fisher) could get fired, Les Snead could get fired, Kevin Demoff could get fired, but I will always be Eric Dickerson.ā€¯ (c) The God

  

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foxnesn
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17. "pat buchannan"
In response to Reply # 0
Tue Mar-22-05 09:52 PM by foxnesn

  

          

is the only real republican left

  

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Expertise
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19. "Buchanan was never a Republican."
In response to Reply # 17
Tue Mar-22-05 10:34 PM by Expertise

  

          

He's more of a protectionist, and doesn't believe in free trade or immigration. He's more of a european style right-winger than anything, like France's Le Pen.
__________________________
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FireBrand
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20. "exactly. Is he even a registered Republican now?"
In response to Reply # 19


  

          

He never was Republican IMO. I thought his ilk were part of the problem.


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Battousai
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23. "Last I checked, he was Reform."
In response to Reply # 20


          

Then again, the last time I checked for him was in 1996.

  

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foxnesn
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26. "his beliefs"
In response to Reply # 19


  

          

fall in-line with republican beliefs early on in american political history.

  

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Expertise
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29. "The left wing?"
In response to Reply # 26


  

          

Possibly.
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shwin
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Wed Mar-23-05 06:45 AM

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27. "I'm a real Republican"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

And I am mad as hell.

What kind of bs is this...stupid Delay.

  

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FireBrand
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28. "OH SHIT! where YOU been? you mad, why u mad?"
In response to Reply # 27
Wed Mar-23-05 07:51 AM by FireBrand

  

          

YOu think Delay has run wild? What will it take to leash him?


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FireBrand
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32. "and just as quickly as shwin re-emerged. shwin disappears"
In response to Reply # 27


  

          

into the murky depths. A denizen of the lurker brother/sistrenhood.

*shakes head* I see ya'll.


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AnnieOakley
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Thu Mar-24-05 06:32 PM

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33. "I really see no difference between the parties anymore"
In response to Reply # 0


          

this just solidified it (Terri)

-AO
Please donate. I'm not the only one who's dying.
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Hadoken
Member since Apr 17th 2005
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Fri Apr-22-05 02:02 PM

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34. "they became the Bush Administration"
In response to Reply # 33


  

          

whatever that is.

  

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