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Imagine humanity's decline*

In which I am overly self-referential. Back in October of 2003, I made the claim that 2004 would end up looking like 1968. I think that's when I first trotted out my now overused West Side Story analogy. The thought started here:
There's a definite rumble coming. There's gangs lining up on every side; the terrorists here, the protesters there, the pro-war people, the Jew-haters, the Death To America crowd, the extremists and Bush haters; it's showdown time in the back alley! We've been dancing too long. The tension in the gym, all decorated with flags and anti-flags, depending on which side you are standing on, well, its become unbearable. We're gonna rumble like it's 1968.
I followed that up a week later with this thought about the left: bq. They have become a large, swarming mass, making a giant buzzing sound, just waiting for a reason to go all out. An election year gives them that reason. In July of this year, I called what the U.S. was experiencing a social civil war: bq. Welcome to the social civil war, where we are all soldiers, all victims and all losers, no matter who wins the election. I was thinking this over last night and I realized that perhaps my prediction for an 1968 style uprising or a civil war wasn't totally off base; I just had my dates wrong. Ok, so the reality of civil war may be far-fetched, but the ideas are out there, floating around, making their way from obscure blogger to major media columnist. Secession is the word of the day. And while a few people on the right are diving headlong into this swamp of an idea, it's mostly being bandied about by the left. Jesusland, indeed. Papers like the Boston Herald and Newsday are letting their columnists entertain thoughts of civil war and secession. This is not something just being played out in the sewers of Democratic Underground. Secession is the new black! It's interesting to watch the red state/blue state gang fight heat up. I've already heard arguments over which side would have better health care and which side would be more economically stable. You may think it's the tree hugging hippies vs. the God-fearing fascists, but you'd be dead wrong about that. Hell, it's not even a blue v. red thing anymore, as the Northeast is now claiming superiority over the south, totally taking the west coast and the heartland out of the civil war equation. It can be mighty confusing and someone needs to make a scorecard to keep track of which state is joining which secession movement. I honestly thought the great divide would come before the elections were held. I thought we would lapse into a civil war sometime during the summer, complete with deathly riots and martial law. I assumed that once the election was over, no matter who won, the anger would subside as we got on with the business of getting our country in shape and sharpening our respective parties up for the great knife fight of 2008. Boy, was I wrong. The rage is only starting to heat up now. The whole past year it's just been set on simmer. Not only is no one turning the flame down, they've turned the gas up even higher. The thing is, I have no horse in the race. And that's what frightens me the most. While you would think it would be a good thing to just be an observer in this rumble, it's not. It's like standing in the middle of two bulldozers bearing down on you and having nowhere to go. You're an obstacle, a bump to be razed, a fly to be swatted. Where do people like myself go in this overblown gang fight? People like Michael Totten or Roger Simon, who do not define themselves as red or blue, tree hugger or God-fearer, north or south, heartland or LaLa land. Everyone seems to be moving to their side of the line, but I don't know where to go. It's not that I really want to pick a side. But it's strange feeling disinvited to both parties. If the right really wants to embrace the notion of Jesusland, even to a lesser extent, I'll be pushed out of the fold. I've already been pushed out of the left and although that was mostly of my own accord, the door still hit my ass on the way out. It's not easy being in the middle. You hear the slings and arrows buzz past you from both sides. While you're ducking the stones being thrown from the left, you get hit in the head with a bullet from the right. If I had to absolutely make a choice, if America was physically splitting down the middle and one side was blue and the other red, I think you know where I would go. The left has become too ugly, dark and dangerous to ever think of siding with them again. I've seen reasonable people slide so fast into the depths of vitriolic insanity that I they became unrecognizable within mere weeks. In a way, I'm astonished at what I see happening to this country post-election. Even though I predicted that it would become this ugly and divisive, I thought I was engaging in a bit of hyperbole most of the time. But it's here and it's real and it's out there. It's moved away from the blogosphere, away from the fringe elements that meet in dank basements making subversive flyers. It's out here in our daily newspapers, on our news shows, on the afternoon drive radio. So here we have the left engaging in mockery and ridicule, further alienating themselves from the rest of the world. That the two memes swarming the left - Jesusland and the notion of them being reality-based (as opposed to what?) - tells you something of their attitude towards the rest of you. But they aren't the only problem. Because now I'm suddenly a target not just for the left, but for the right. I'm being told I must fight the good fight, rethink my stance on gay issues, abortion, the definition of family and religion. I'm seeing the first hints of alienation. They got my war on terror vote. I was part of them for this whole election cycle, working side by side to get Bush elected. And now that the election is over, I've been given a put up or shut up demand. Bad enough to get the bullets from the opposing party, I'm now being eased out the door of my own. So what happens when the civil war takes place and the blue secedes from the red? Where do I go? Where does anyone like me go? Will it be like fifth grade gym class, with me standing on the sideline wondering if anyone will want me on their dodgeball team? It didn't really matter which team I was on, anyhow, as I had no friends at all. Everyone hated me. Wheee! It's fifth grade all over again, except this time, the fate of a nation is at stake. Please, let me just end up on the side with the stronger kids, then. Will we have to choose a side ourselves and just become a stranger in a strange land or do we find a small, unused island and just go there to wait it out while the unhinged fight it out with the moral crusaders? It's so easy to get caught up in all the anger-fueled adrenaline that's floating through the country right now. It would be so easy for me to just pick up a knife and join in the fight, even if the red guys aren't going to accept me wholly. But that's not what I want. That would make me no better than the great unhinged masses that are calling for assassination, dead soldiers, terrorist attacks, riots and civil war. They seem to be getting swept up in this hurricane of bile and violence and it's fascinating, if completely revolting, to watch. As much as my Republican compatriots are trying to drag me into their lair, at least they're not coming to a street fight with nuclear bombs. But, hey, whatever gets your point across, right? Means to an end and all that. Personally, I'd rather hang out with the folks in Jesusland than with people who think the idea of starving all red staters to death is funny. But that's just me. Anyhow, someone let me know when the sides are finally drawn up. I think I'd like very much to go back to just reading comic books and playing video games and letting people with less anxiety issues than I worry about the world. It's not like I can do a damn thing, anyhow, when I have no place to stand in this fight. * Further reading for your enjoyment. Update: For the comprehension impaired, I'm not saying that I think secession will ever be anything more than just bloated post-election braying. It's the cutting animosity rising out of the talk about it that worries me more. And more further reading here.

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Comments

You can come hang out at my house. My family made it through the last Civil War thanks in large part to whiskey making (both legal and non), so I figure my genetic heritage--and whiskey--will help see me through this one.

Seriously, secession? Yeah, because it worked out SO WELL last time. Just ask Atlanta.

Moh-rons.

You know which side you're on. Neither. Because taking sides is for sissies. People with guts don't let other people bully them into agreeing with them. And they don't hate everyone just because it's convenient.

Good point Solonor.

Having had family that was directly harmed by the last Civil War, and by directly I mean we lost everything but a tenth of what we owned pre, I have a specific notion to not seeing one happen ever again. And not just for the cash either.

Who would we get to play the part of Sherman? Howard Dean? Or how about the Red State's Lee? Zell Miller? No, I don't think we have the right actors at all.

Besides that, the bloggosphere/talking head punditry has a way of amplifying crazy talk. The Union of America will remain the Union so long as the reasonable people remain esconced in Washington.

Wait... what did I just say?

Well, it's not so much a matter of which side I'm on as much as it is what happens when the two fighting sides (figuratively, I hope) go to war? Where does that leave us middlemen?

I've thought the answer was pretty obvious - you go to where most of the people accept and welcome you. I understand there are some among the blue states that have no use for folks who have your ideas, but there aren't all that many of them and we tend not to listen to them very much.

It's been a point of pride for me in the last few years to see blue states really act like a "big tent" group of folks and I think it's still that way. If the red states are going to push folks out, we're more than happy to take them in and make them feel welcome.

Actually, it's my own blue state pushing me out as well as my adopted red state.

If the blue states are a "big tent' then that's some circus freak show you've got going on under there these days.

And if I had to go where "most" people accept and welcome me, that would be the red states, then.

I don't understand why the Red Staters are still so angry...they have control of everything now, and it should pretty much go their way for the next four years. Of course, that's a problem in itself...who to blame if they don't.

I do think that the Red Staters have to examine why they claim they don't want liberal "big government" but ignore the fact that big government is necessary to support Red State federal transfer payments and subsidies, or don't want "liberal education" but applaud increasing federal intrusion into education. Seems like they have their own priorities to sort out, and the continuing anger about liberals is way old and not the way to do it.

And what's particularly obnoxious is the elitist Red Staters who pretend that they a) don't themselves live in Blue States; and b) don't have the kind of education or employment or lifestyle that they decry in "elitist Blue State liberals". None of them would be caught dead living in North Dakota for example, or working in the kind of jobs they think are fine for the Red backbone of America.

On the other hand, "Jesusland" is bullshit too. However, losers at least have an excuse to whine for a while.

Excellent analogies. This has been coming for a long time, even since before 1968, it just finally came to a boil.

No one's going anywhere. It's just talking heads trying to convince people that they have a reason to exist.

As far as living in a "blue" state for you, Michele. That's the guts part! :)

I have the opposite problem. I'm a little too far left to be living in a "red" state. But I think you have to deal with things one incident and one person at a time. You can go crazy worrying about all the problems of the world, or you can deal with the butthead in front of you.

I know there are a lot of screamers out there who'd rather listen to their own spittle hit the ground than stoop to listening to what you have to say. But you don't convince anyone by automatically spitting back. Someone has to be the adult. Might as well be you.

Not that you don't have to haul off and whack some people every once in a while. It's just more effective if it's a surprise. Strategic spittery. That's my motto. :)

Well, the whole secession meme is bullshit anyhow, and both sides know it. We’re talking the fringe here, on both sides of the spectrum. Neither of them have ever had a real firm grasp on reality. Folks like you (and myself) are the ones who put a stop to this crap- once the Big March For Secession is called and nobody shows up we get to point and laugh at the freaks.

In the red states the notion seems to be that if the North East wants to go, let them. But in the Blue States, well, short of a violent and bloody uprising I can’t see more than a percent or two of legal voters going for it. And if they do try something violent there is always that “uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America” thing in the military oath- makes it hard to take any of this seriously at all. Besides, my state of New Hampshire would never go for it- the Democrats flipped it this election by registering lots of out of state students to vote, but it’s still a pretty deeply conservative state, with little use for the Soc***ist Elites in Boston and New York City (no offense :)).

So, if secession is so popular in the Blue States, where are the polls? Somebody must be polling on this- the lack of numbers means that releasing them would kill the meme and deprive the MSM, and a lot of Bloggers, of a ranting point.

yawn

Wake me in 2006.

Now suddenly I AM a target not just for the left, but for the egotistical, holier-than-thou CENTRISTS like Michele.

I'm being told I must fight the good fight, rethink my stance on gay issues, abortion, the definition of family and religion.

I'm seeing the first hints of alienation. They got my vote to get George "Pro-Civil Unions" Bush into office. I was part of them for this whole election cycle, working side by side to get Bush elected.

And now that the election is over, I've been given a put up or shut up demand. Bad enough to get the bullets from the opposing party, I'm now being eased out the door of my own.

And worse, I have to deal with their holier-than-thou egotistic whines that only comes from being a mush-head centrist.

Sorry for speaking MY mind. We should all shut up and only let Michele speak now on.

What will the Blue Staters do with the Red Stater Atheist voter, since it was the Red Stater Atheist voter who pushed the vote towards a Bush victory. Atheist voters increased it's Bush vote by about 3% since 2000 while the Christian vote for Bush remained the same.

Michael Moore should retitle his self-proclaimed label of "Jesusland" to "Atheistville"

Now, who ever said Red Staters were intolerant people?

For the sake of accuracy, The Collective Conscience of the Self-Righteous Intellectual must re-title their title of those who rule in the White House as "Extreme Right-Wing Jewish Neo-Con Jesusland Nazis" to "Extreme Right-Wing Neo-Con Jesusland Atheist Nazis".

Everything you say is true, but what you are forgetting is that not only do we in the Red State (using the Red State as a metaphor for people who voted for Bush and who share the values of those who read this blog, more or less) have the guns, we have the vast majority of the actual land, and we actually know how to do stuff. You know, like produce food, build houses, fix cars, make stuff like toasters and toothbrushes.

Most doctors I know, no matter where they live now, share our values, so they'll come over to the Red State. We'll be healthy, well fed and continue to enjoy a standard of living not even imagined by emperors and kings of old.

While trial lawyers, journalists, leftwing writers, most people in the entertainment world, most long-winded professors, pundits and pontificators will be concentrated in the Blue State.

This is getting to be not such a bad idea. However, it won't happen because Blue State people can't stand alone. The only thing they're good at is talking. They need us to fund them, feed them, fill their gas tanks, fix their plumbing, and generally give them a false sense of being grownups. So after they talk themselves silly, they'll go back to policy wonking and dreaming up elaborate schemes for improving our lives while we go about the business of actually running everything and making of own lives what we will.

Perhaps this past election will prove the sea change it seems to be. Things were already moving to the right even while Clinton was still in the White House, now I hope the changes will escalate. I noticed that F 9/11 has been excluded from the Golden Globe awards because it doesn't meet their standards for documentaries. I'm too lazy to check, was Moore's last "documentary" which won an Academy Award for best documentary banned from the Golden Globes as well?

Aw crap...

There's a war on, people! We're fighting an enemy who doesn't care who you voted for or what color your state is. Once I stop having nightmares about bombs going off in downtown Nashville, we can go back to being a bunch of shrill partisan hacks. Until that day comes, though, we've got to pull together and put our differences aside.

Y'know what really irks me? While folks are yammering on about secession and armed revolution against the "fascist death machine", I can just imagine that the loyal mujahadeen are watching all of this inner turmoil the same way a starving hyena watches a lame baby gazelle...

Hang out in Jesusland with us whackos. I think you'll find we're a pretty tolerant and loving bunch after all. Do your own thing, it's ok. Want to talk about it? Even better. :)

I was beginning to believe that 'lunatic fringe' has become a geographic term, but seeing the far right act on the canard that 'values' won this election illustrates that lunatics abound.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

Unless those rednecks are opposed to stem cell research, in which case let's forget it.

Of course talk of secession is blowing off steam. We worked up a lot of emotion in this election, and the result was an anti-climax. The emotion needs to go somewhere.

We now have Four More Years of a President who cannot pay attention to business longer than 15 minutes at a time (there is consistent, well-attested, evidence for this, by the way).

We also have a Senate and House full of Republicans who do not know how use a majority to legislate on their own. So we will get all the changes that can be made by 15 minutes of Presidential leadership, and nothing more.

This is why the Red State crowd is still steamed, though they may not realize it. There is very little of consequence that the President could do in the Next Four Years that he couldn't have done in the last four years, had he put more time and attention into it.

His character remains the same, so he's just not going to transform the country into a 1950's sitcom, despite all Red State hopes, and, on some level, I think most of people who voted for him realize it.

We Blue State folks are steamed for obvious reasons. All that we think is wrong in the country--growing poverty, rising health care costs, ballooning deficits, pointless military manuvers which kill and maim without regard for real security--is not going to get fixed and the consequences are going to get worse.

It generally takes three weeks for any truly aroused affect to calm down. Come on back around November 23 and we can talk turkey and not secession.

Jane

IMHO I don't think "redstaters" are angry but just getting publicly annoyed at the girlie-man histrionics of "bluestaters" who have traded the slams of the last four years "President Select" "Fraudistration" et al, for delegitimizing the voters who went for GW by calling them "dumb" "stupid" "Jesusfreaks" ..even to wondering if they should be allowed to vote at all. What's more, is the idea that it is up to these "redstaters" who have just been dumped on to shove down and shut up about their ideas and to make nice-nice with the "bluestaters" who wouldn't even piss on a "redstaters" if they found one of them burning in the street.

Funny thing is, I live quite nicely in a blue state, because like most "reds" (though, I think of myself as trending toward the purple) I've learned to be very discreet on where I express my opinions. Roger L. Simon reported on the very surprising election results that are coming out of Beverly Hills demonstrating that quiet conservatism is alive, well and making enroads.

What bluestaters miss is that "values" or "morality" does not exclusively equal "Jesus." We all vote our values.

This is all just silly-pundit talk. Yes, it's true that even here in the blue states we conservatives have most of the cops and most of the gun owners (although erp, most doctors I know are big lefties). But nobody really wants secession, it's just one of those things people vent about periodically.

Jane - The difference between us highly-educated white-collar blue-state conservatives and blue-state liberals is respect. We have respect for the guy in North Dakota who fixes cars for a living, owns a gun and takes the Bible literally, we don't have a burning need to change him, and frankly when this country gets into trouble we're not embarrassed to admit that we are glad he's there.

As for the whole issue of the blue states paying more than their fair share in taxes, I can't think of an argument more fundamentally inconsistent with Democratic party ideology than moaning about how taxes redistribute income. To anyone who makes this argument, I say: welcome to the Republican party!

Diagnosis: Stress from political burnout
Prescribed treatment: Vacation
Prognosis: High probability of regaining sense of proportion

Personal anectdote: My wife and I took a long weekend, sat on a near-deserted beach -- reading, photographing migrating birds, eating fresh seafood, napping with the sound of the surf in the background (you get the idea).

Life is good. Ignore the sore losers and bad winners.

At the risk of sounding trite, a revolution now and again is a good thing. I'd rather have people thinking about what they believe in and what others believe in, than be apathetic.

If you think back, a lot of this same ol' vitriol was spewed when Clinton won, when Reagan won, and when we had the "contract on America." And, going to my original point, those days were much more intellectually interesting than the boring, apathetic days of 41 and Ford.

What I think we all may crave is "civil" discourse. The fact that those days are no longer in sight is the unfortunate aspect of recent events.

You know, the split might have happened in the 19th century. But Lincoln decided that the Union of states was more important than the rights of states themselves. (I think he was right, and the South had to reform anyway.)

Now, in principle nothing prevents a state from seceding if its inhabitants vote for it with a large enough majority. But on what grounds?

For a state to WANT to secede, the Federal power (i.e. the U.S. Government) must have completely alienated a state to the point where the state's citizens find federal rule intolerable. Are we there yet?

Or, alternately, a group of states will decide to secede (as the South did) and form an independent union. Again: on what grounds? Are Democrats really serious about this? I'm not prepared to write this off as just a joke. Any mad notion can gain a following.

And of course, if this ever happens we should ask: What would Lincoln have done? The answer is obvious: "A house divided against itself cannot stand." America's enemies would be greatly encouraged by a secession of states, and act on it. So there would have to be war -- civil war -- to save the Union of States. (Guess which side the French would back.)

But if the Union fell apart - for whatever reasons - I fear the Dark Ages would descend upon the world once more. There are barbarians in the world, and warlords, who would sack Rome if they were given a decent chance.

-A.R.Yngve
http://yngve.bravehost.com

I agree with the comment (above) that said this is all just the steam blowing off. I have to say, I have been pretty antagonized by the stuff spewed by the left (the Jesusland stuff) ... but I think it's important to point it out (and criticize) when people say stupid stuff. I think things will calm down (dare I say, I pray?) Let's get everyone in she shopping mood ...

I'm not picking sides at all. I'm gonna stand with a bunch of other people and watch both these smallish, rabid mobs wail away on each other. I will take bets on a)which indivual will go down first, and b)which "gangleader" smartens up first and smacks some sense into his cohort that the brawl is useless.

Most of both sides' truly stupendous idiots will keep fighting long enough that I'll clean up on the bets.

Michele,
In the immortal words of Willy Wonka, "Scratch that. Reverse it".

Damned color coding. I have no idea which state I belong to anyhow. I'll just simplify it. Come on down with us backwards, cousin-schtupping, Bible-pounding, UN-hatin', Reba-watchin' folks and I'm pretty sure that you'll be just fine.

michele: I'm being told I must fight the good fight, rethink my stance on gay issues, abortion, the definition of family and religion.

Who has "told" you to change your views? I'm sure lots of people disagree with you about these issues, but is that the same thing as ordering you to adopt their ideology?

What sides?

We see one group of people calling another group names and threatening to start a civil war and secceed from our nation.

Yet suddenly there are two sides?

What do you call a mugging, a two-sided affair????

Who has "told" you to change your views? I'm sure lots of people disagree with you about these issues, but is that the same thing as ordering you to adopt their ideology?

I suppose I was engaging in a bit of hyperbole, Michael, as I'm prone to do when I'm feeling feisty. However, there are people sending me emails telling me I should consider my stance on those issues unimportant if I truly want to help the Republican party win again in 2008.

Wow, conservatives trying to persude you to their views! OUTRAGE!

And yet on the flip side, YOU try to persuade THEM to change THEIR views...but you do so in a sneaky, dishonest way (i.e. your post).

How about this - THINK FOR YOURSELF.

Michele, I read your site because you are quirky, unique, and have some views in common with me and some in divergence. I like your writing style, and I am pretty sure I would enjoy hanging out with you and your family. I don't want you to provide anything to me than what you already are, that is an interesting and thoughtful outlook on the world we all live in. Thank you for giving me diversion and things to think about. Would it bother you if I prayed for you?

Chris, people pray for me all the time. I always appreciate it.

Just in case I'm wrong. (insert smiley thing here)

Myself, I think it's a bunch of nonsense generated by the pundits and talking heads on both sides. The Moores, Limbaughs and and Coulters have built themselves a nice little house of hyperbole, innuendo and outright lies in an attempt to create a self-perpetuating cycle of divisiveness and antagonism. Hell, it's what they get paid to do and without conflict these folks are unemployed and might have to, you know, work for a living.

The 'blogosphere' doesn't help. There are so many people who have built reputations based solely on their political positions that there is no incentive towards inclusiveness and moderation. When your entire persona is based upon a vocal dislike for either 49% or 51% of your neighbors, there is a problem. On the other hand, without what I believe to be an artificial gulf, these folks would be back to posting cat pictures.

Lost in all of this is the awareness that most of us don't give a fuck about Red and Blue states, secession or Jesusland. We care about being safe, having security in our jobs and decent schools for our children. I expect when it comes to daily life your Vermont dairy farmer feels pretty much the same as a Georgia tobacco grower. Jesusland is a myth -- a fantasy perpetuated by Dems who need a convenient scapegoat for a poor candidate and awful campaign and the far evangelical right who see it as a chance to foster the belief that they have far more influence than their numbers should account for.

Thanks for the critical thinking AL. You claim you don't care about this discussion, but you take up our time with your lame, profane little rant.

Meanwhile you toss out "both sides" as if it is reality. Let me ask you - is a mugging a two-sided affair?

Thanks for showing us all how much smarter you are than us. Also thanks for telling us how we should think.

Al is on the money - the deafening volume created by the Moores and the Coulters obscures the fact that the vast majority of people are in fact moderates who do not want to see a radical agenda enacted from the right or the left.

I completely understand Michele's frustration, because I feel it too. I'm a blue person living in a red state, but if I were living in a blue state I would probably be perceived as a "red sympathizer". The extremists on both sides attempt to use the politics of division, basically telling their less radical brethren that we MUST go along with their crazy ideas because the other side is even crazier.

The only way we're going to get ourselves out of this far-left vs. far-right dichotomy we're in is for all of us in the middle - who are in fact the majority of Americans - to stand together against the dangerous fruitcakes on both extremes.

but you take up our time

"Our" time? I think you're on Michele's time now, Mr. Spiccoli.

Nope - on her bandwidth, yes, but not time.

I'm thinking I really don't like you much, redstater.

Burst your bubble?

Hardly. You just don't make a good first impression. Too - what's the word I'm looking for? Hmm. Oh, too dickish.

I suppose I am just too honest.

Nah, an honest person wouldn't hide behind a fake name and email address.

Perhaps I value my privacy. But now you are drifting into Ad Hominem.

I have grown tired of you.

I guess I "won" then. Am I allowed to converse with others or am I kicked out? It's your bandwidth.

Do you really mean "converse" or do you mean "talk down to?"

You haven't done anything bannable. Yet.

Redstater: Profane? Cool. I'm not seeing it myself, but whatever works for you.

As far as telling people what to think, you couldn't be more wrong. My point was that I, and many others, are tired of being told what to think.

Read for comprehension my friend, it's fundamental.

michele: If you want to can the BS and start debating, lets do it then.

Al: 1) See your F-bombs. 2) Nobody can tell you what to think. YOU THINK.

Here's the thing. I don't want to debate. See, I put my words up here every morning so I can rant to my hearts content about whatever I want to. I don't have to debate with anyone or answer any questions if I don't feel like it. However, you all are free to carry on without me.

I have already broken my rule of not appearing in my own comments way too many times today.

Then don't reply. But don't expect not get replies.

Okay, I'm just going to come out and say it. The left in this country was much more civil in this election than the right. The right has been preemptively bashing the left as "ugly, dark and dangerous" (that's the NICE version) since mid-2003 and you'd have to go all the way to Europe to find equivalent flaming from the other side. The Guardian isn't published in a red state or a blue state.

Which official presidential campaign used images of Hitler to bash the opposition? (Hint, their phony bullshit rationalization was that an Internet troll submitted the clips to an online contest! Bonus points for claiming to represent more civil discourse in the same ad!)

The left differs from the Catholic church on the issue of abortion. The right differs from the Catholic church on the issue of the death penalty. Which side wanted members of the other side excommunicated/barred from parts of religious life because of one of these differences?

Which side claimed the other would ban the bible? Which side passed out bumper stickers saying "Kerry is Osoma's man"?

Three words, purple heart bandages.

I hate Michael Moore. I can't stand people who like Michael Moore and I think anyone who takes anything he says seriously is a moron. However, running around the country giving away underwear and calling President Bush a deserter and a war profiteer is uncivil in the extreme, but it's not nearly as bad as claiming your opponent is evil and loves bin Laden and Saddam. In my opinion, it's not even as bad as letting your Vice President run around and tell people that your opponent won't defend the country.

/rant. The real point: the election is over, the Democrats are whiny losers and the Republicans are whiny winners. That doesn't affect the fact that 99.98% of this country remembers that we're at war and we know who the real enemy is. It isn't the right or the left or even the center, that's for sure. It's not even Redstater the professional forum troll (gasp)!

PS: yes I have been saving that rant from all the posts where Michele kept leaving disclaimers to not bother posting anything the right says or does. Finally she left it off! ;)

"The left in this country was much more civil in this election than the right."

I guess you count slashing tires, breakign windows, shooting at campign headquarters, equating democractically elected leaders as Hitler, hints that the same leader caused terrorist attacks and vandalism as civil behavior. Or that Minnesota, California and New York are really Europe?

But enough. I could have a field day with your illogic, fallacies and outright lies...but I won't.

Redstater says, "We see one group of people calling another group names and threatening to start a civil war and secceed from our nation.
Yet suddenly there are two sides?
What do you call a mugging, a two-sided affair????"

I tell you what....some guy comes up to me and starts calling me names and then threatens to seccede from the Union and then tells me to give him all my money, I'm kicking his ass.

Redstater,

And worse, I have to deal with their holier-than-thou egotistic whines that only comes from being a mush-head centrist.

Okay, I'll keep that in mind.

We see one group of people calling another group names and threatening to start a civil war and secceed from our nation.

No name calling in your group though; except, I guess, the "mush-headed centrist" thing.

Meanwhile you toss out "both sides" as if it is reality. Let me ask you - is a mugging a two-sided affair?

Nope, but this is. See "mush-headed centrist."

Perhaps I value my privacy. But now you are drifting into Ad Hominem.

Again, see "mush-headed centrist."

I guess I "won" then.

Let's see: Crashed in, insulted the host, and contradicted your alleged point. I guess that was a win. Savor it.

Bigal: According to some here, it is somehow equally your fault the guy is coming up to you in the first place.

(Not sure if they REALLY think that as it is probably is just a form of pretension.)

You can argue that the Right was more ugly during this last election cycle, but I won't believe you. I thought the purple heart band aids were funny. Certainly funnier than Mrs. Kerry's "Axle of Asses" button - and gee, wasn't the DNC convention before the RNC (which is where she wore the button.) Who ran around the country saying Kerry was evil and loved Bin Laden? Because I certainly missed that. There were criticisms ... but I never once walked past a house where a picture of Kerry was mocked - unlike a house down the street from me which had an "arty" Bushitler image. Why is it so hard for the left to accept they have been guilty of what they have accused the right of for years. Intolerance and hate.

Hubris: Except I didn't call any group a mush-headed centrist. I called michele one. Is she now a group?

And though "mush-headed" was in regard to her specific line of argumentation, it was probably borderline ad hominem. But since that wasn't my main argument anyway, I withdraw "mush-headed" from my argument. I stand by the rest of my points.

Guess I win again. Yay!

The comment lifespan of redstater grows dim.

I'm not teasing - what are your other points? That there's only ugliness from one side of the political spectrum? That's fairly easy to disprove. That it's uglier on one side than the other? If your point is the latter, look back to Michele's post:

If I had to absolutely make a choice, if America was physically splitting down the middle and one side was blue and the other red, I think you know where I would go. The left has become too ugly, dark and dangerous to ever think of siding with them again.

Are you simply agreeing with her? If so, how are you "winning"? Or is it that since the Left started it, the Right is justified in responding in kind? If so, you're drifting toward tu quoque reasoning.

See my first post for my main point (michele's dishonest hypocracy). I don't disagree with her on the point you cited.

PS:The "winning" comment was ironic.

PPS: This is my last post as Michelle decided to ban me. I guess she couldn't handle another viewpoint (her right).

Thinking someone is being rude doesn't mean you can't tolerate their viewpoint.

Before you leave, for future reference.

Welll... Michele, you're welcome down here in Texas. No one has yet required me to reconsider my stances on gay marriage or drug decriminalization. They haven't even required me to cut my ass length ponytail at gunpoint yet. ;) Dallas even appointed a gay hispanic Democrat police official just after the election, so I kinda doubt that "moral homophobia thing" had as much to do with the election down here as a lot of lefties believe. [I'm kind of taking that my gay cousins haven't been beheaded by the Christian Taliban as a barometer of sorts.]

We actually have a contractual clause in our Union Contract that we're allowed to seccede. [Assuming that still holds after that rejoining the Union thing], so we may just pull out and watch while the other 49 states duke it out. ;]p~

Seriously, Billy Beck and I've predicted this coming up also. I even linked back to your "Partying like it's 1969" post. I don't think it will get to the point of either seccession or civil war - not for a long while - but massive civil unrest and moonbat violence isn't something I'm willing to rule out. Especially if there's another massive Democrat loss in 2008.

Thanks for the link. My point was that it is hypocritical to pretend to be offended when others have opinions. If that is the case, others have equal cause to be offended by her views.

This was apparently rude of me to point out. She can ban me for whatever reason she wants. But I don't think it was based on my politeness.

Have a wonderful day.

Am I taking crazy pills or did I just ridicule Redstater for comparing name calling to a violent crime and simultaneously win him over as a friend.

We can beat these slings and arrows into hugs, people. I know we can!!

But I didn't compare the two. It is called a metaphor. And I must have missed the irony in your post, as I thought you were serious.

Have a great life. I am out of IP addresses. You can email me at the following if you have any additional questions: sam999788@hotmail.com

Buh bye, Redstater. Write if you find work.

"But they aren't the only problem. Because now I'm suddenly a target not just for the left, but for the right. I'm being told I must fight the good fight, rethink my stance on gay issues, abortion, the definition of family and religion. I'm seeing the first hints of alienation. They got my war on terror vote. I was part of them for this whole election cycle, working side by side to get Bush elected. And now that the election is over, I've been given a put up or shut up demand. Bad enough to get the bullets from the opposing party, I'm now being eased out the door of my own." - Michele

My advice? Kick back, enjoy the chaos, and take advantage of the opportunity to make fun of both sides excesses while we have it. Because the way the Victorious Republicans are going, we'll be inagurating Hillary in 2009. ;) By 2007, people will be sick enough of the gloating they'll elect a gay penguin if it has "Democrat!" stamped on it.

And then the whole damn cycle starts anew. Kewl. Gods I love America! ;]

I'm off to gloat now. I don't want anyone to be able to say I didn't do my part to make this happen, y'know? (00)

Carin,

You can argue that the Right was more ugly during this last election cycle, but I won't believe you. I thought the purple heart band aids were funny.

I rest my case.

I agree that the "Axis of Asses" button was moronic and childish. Anyone who wears one should be treated with the scorn and derision they deserve. However, if I ever meet someone wearing a "purple heart bandage" I will punch them in the face. The idea that it's funny to second guess the decorations of a veteran 30 years after-the-fact while he's still carrying around scrapnel that he took for this country just pisses me off. Oh, and before you go and say "see the left is violent," 1) I supported Kerry because President Bush is competeting with FDR and LBJ to be the most "big government" president of all time which doesn't exactly make me "left", and 2) I would do the same thing without regard to the political affiliation of both the veteran and the button wearer in that scenario.

In regards to one of the other commenters, you might have noticed that while the police were distracted by the Bush campaign office shooting the bank across the street was getting robbed. I await your proof that it's more likely "the left" was responsible, rather than bank robbers.

Only one side used Hitler in an ad to attack their opponents. I regard officially endorsed campaign ads as more representative than signs from screwball protestors.

Vandalism occured just like it does in every election. It happened to people on both sides, and those responsible are hoodlums and criminals. You can go to the freepers or the DU if you want to see morons from either side try to claim which side is worse on that score.

Who's been running around, you ask? Perhaps you've heard of Senator Orrin Hatch? The name Ann Coulter ring a bell? Would Osoma be more comfortable with Kerry? Speaker Denny Hastert says "That's my opinion, yes!"

I await your "field day" with baited breath. Or not.

People like Redstater make me ashamed to be a Repub. I suspect I would agree with most all of his political positions, but that doesn't make him any less of a prick.

Love the site BTW

"(her right)"?... No, me right; Michele is more toward the center (maybe a little center right).

Glad you were banned, Redstater, you were making us conservatives look bad.

"Field day"? I don't know what you're referring to, perhaps someone else. You know, it's just interesting. It's like ... the left can't get it's head around the idea that perhaps they crossed into the land of irrational. You only get irritated by "officially endorsed campaign ads" yet the purple band aids send you into rages (something some people wore at the convention)? As a wife to a vet, and a sil to someone who is heading to Iraq in January, I can say both of them found it rather funny. Bushitler ... not so much. It wasn't offically endorsed anyhoo ... not like how Michael Moore was sitting in a seat of honor at the DNC convention. Members of the DNC lined up to shake his hand at the release of his movie But, you know, it's true, I never did hear the words "I'm John Kerry, and I endorsed this ad" attached to it. Funny ... Ann Coulter got BOOTED when she crossed the line ... booted from one of the most respected conservative magazines. She got FIRED from her week-long writing gig at USA Today, because they didn't like what she wrote. Kinda ironic that you brought her up. See ... the right takes it's loonies to task ... the left pretends they aren't loonie ... or openly endorses them.

I think there's a little subjectivity in michele's estimation of red state hospitality. As a straight, white, married person with equity, she may indeed feel more welcomed by the red state crowd. But if one of her kids turned out to be queer... well, who can say? It depends on the state and the part of the state, I suppose. While I appreciate Ironbear's endorsement of the great gay-friendly state of Texas, I do feel compelled to remind him that sodomy was illegal in that state until the Supreme Court struck the law and that Texas was one of four states with laws that prohibited oral and anal sex between same-sex couples. Dallas may be more tolerant than red places are usually characterized as being— but Bush only took Dallas County by one point, 50 to 49.

Not, mind you, that I subscribe to the Jesusland shtick. But let's not get carried away in the other direction either.

ps-

Once I stop having nightmares about bombs going off in downtown Nashville…

I'm kind of fascinated by this idea that a lot of Americans see to have that they, personally, are in grave danger from terrorism. I mean, what is there in downtown Nashville that a terrorist would want to bomb, exactly? There are about 20 larger cities in the country and most of them have much higher population density. And symbolism is also important in terrorism. So, you know: Pentagon, Washington Monument, Statue of Liberty, etc.

I know Graceland's important to a lot of people, but come on...

Carin,

"Field day"? I don't know what you're referring to, perhaps someone else.

Sorry, I got baited into answering the resident troll on this thread and didn't want to admit it. Everything after "In regards to one of the other commenters" wasn't addressed to you.

You only get irritated by "officially endorsed campaign ads" yet the purple band aids send you into rages

Obviously I get irritated by more than officially endorsed campaign ads. I get more irritated by them than by similar content in less official context. My point has never been to defend the outrageous left in any way, shape or form, only to point out that this was the first election ever where I was more aggrivated by the right than the left. In fact, a chief vexation has been the continue drumbeat of conservative attacks which accuse the left of being out of control negative attackers. The official campaign spot where President Bush used images of Hitler to attack the Democrats and, at the same time, claimed to be holding the high ground against Democratic negativity was simply the most outrageously hypocritical example of that.

Michael Moore vs Ann Coulter again proves my point. Michael Moore isn't calling for us to "invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." He's giving away underwear and calling the President a deserter without real evidence. Both are bad, I wouldn't defend either, but one is so bad that she's acting as a "useful idiot" for our real enemies.

Also, despite your claims that she's been "taken to task," she still seems to pop up on a whole lot of conservative shows. Her parting from the National Review sure sounds a whole lot more like a personality conflict than any actual "taking to task" to me:

What publication on earth would continue a relationship with a writer who would refuse to discuss her work with her editors? What publication would continue to publish a writer who attacked it on TV? What publication would continue to publish a writer who lied about it — on TV and to a Washington Post reporter? - Jonah Goldberg

Joshua? Graceland's in Memphis.

I know we're just flyover people, but come on...

Wasn't it Moore that started the whole Bushitler crap? Now, granted, I've refused to see the movie ... but I've read a lot more quotes from that man that are more "serious" than handing out underwear on college campuses. How about saying that Bin Laden got it wrong, because he killed Democrats instead of Republicans?

In regards to the rest ... you say "tomato" - because I was pretty aggrieved by many of the things I heard the liberals say this go around. How 'bout the supposition, that neither of us can judge objectively as to who was the absolute WORST, because we are both biased? What I find amusing, is the claim by the left that they did not get ugly and intolerant. Not. At. All. And, that they're not being ugly right now as they call all the "redstates" redneck, cousin-marrying, morons.

Oh, and I did want to re-visit Ann Coulter. She is nothing but a pundit. She gets invited on Foxnews shows ... along with many other firebrand personalities (right and left leaning). But, the fact remains, that she got totally booted when she wrote those words you quoted- fired by conservatives. No second chance, she was fired. She doesn't sit next to ex-presidents at conventions, and doesn't get congratulated by the RNC head upon the release of her new books. She also has but a fraction of Michael Moore's exposure and influence on the general population.

I know we're just flyover people, but come on...

How embarrassing. There's even that gawdawful Mark Cohn song to remind me. Ah well. Mia maxima culpa on that one.

Carin,

But you're not amused by the claim by the right that not only did they not get ugly and intolerant, but they are actually being incarnation of "sugar and spice and everything nice" and anyone who thinks different different is obviously an unholy terrorist lovin' heathen? :) Of course it's quite impossible to be "objective" about a "which is worse" argument ... the substance is the very definition of subjectivity. That's quite an impossible standard ... but I'm definitely correct!

But, the fact remains, that she got totally booted when she wrote those words you quoted- fired by conservatives. No second chance, she was fired.

Are you calling Johan Goldberg a liar? He claims to have given her lots of chances and only fired her because she was lying about the National Review in insulting ways on TV. He was extremely specific that he did not fire her for her views. Either Goldberg and everyone on the National Review staff are lying, or your "fact" is inaccurate.

the Civil War?

heh, I have a great aunt who still calls that the War of Northern Agression!

88,

What a pathetic troll. E-mail address is Adolph@dachau?? Yup, that sure is funny. See ya on Springer! RAHOWA! Let the "Springer final thought of the day" begin!

My theory is that 88 and Redstater are actually the same person, and that this mystery guest is just trying to wind people up.

Just a guess.

Joshua,

Probly right, I stand down. Too many beers for me, guess I fell for it. Thanks for calming my blood pressure.

"While I appreciate Ironbear's endorsement of the great gay-friendly state of Texas, I do feel compelled to remind him that sodomy was illegal in that state until the Supreme Court struck the law and that Texas was one of four states with laws that prohibited oral and anal sex between same-sex couples." - Joshua

yawn You don't have to remind me: I live here, boy.

I'm going to note that there's a huge difference between having a law on the books, and that law having any appreciable effect on anyone. Ever been ticketed for not having two flags on your car's bumpers and not having a guy walk slowly in front of you to warn horses and pedestrians that a powered vehichle was coming? ;)

No? Why not? That or similar laws are still on the books in various places across the US - even in gasp! some enlightened places in the Northeast! Shocking. Don't have any wierd laws on the books in your state that have never been removed?

Ever been a homosexual in Dallas, Houston or Austin? Ever spent much time here in the gay communities? [Yes, I said "communities": we have entire areas like Oaklawn that are known to be inhabited by predominately gay folks, and gasp! there's no regular lynching parties. Or irregular ones.] Have gay relatives that you're pretty close friends with that you talk to about what life is like being gay in The South? Ever spend any appreciable time in the south? Living here or even extended visits?

Yes? No? Maybe?

Heh. I probably could have boiled that whole list down to "Talk out your ass, much?" Yes? No? Maybe? ;)

If one of Michele's kids turned out to be "queer" [Love that, darling: remarkably tolerant phrasing for an "enlightened" librul. Mind if I borry that word sometime?], well, if she's living in Athens Texas or Alice, things might get a little odd at times... kind of like if she's living in a few places I can think of in oh, I dunno, Rural Pennsylvania, but in Dallas she and the kid will probably be more or less ok. Assuming the kid survives high-school, which won't have anything to do with gay/not-gay: I'm straight and I barely survived high-school. ;]

Actually, having lived there, a woman with an openly gay kid in Athens or Waxahatchie or Ennis probably won't catch any more flak than they will in enlightened New Yawk. Correct me ifn I'm wrong, but didn't all of the harrassment stories about the uproar over "Homo-High" come out of one 'o them north eastern cities a year or so ago?

Looks over at Michele Sorry mom - he hit me first! grin

88's comment has been deleted. He's a semi-frequent troll who has been banned many times but keeps coming back with different IP addresses.

Ironbear—

I live here, boy… I probably could have boiled that whole list down to "Talk out your ass, much?" Yes? No? Maybe?

Yeah. That's cute. I hope you get the chance to call me "boy" to my face someday. 'Cause that'd be funny.

Second of all,

I'm going to note that there's a huge difference between having a law on the books, and that law having any appreciable effect on anyone.

I would expect this to be obvious, but—the Supreme Court case came about as the result of the law being acted upon. Two men were arrested, charged, convicted and fined for having consensual sex in their private residence. Additionally, Debra Danburg filed legislation to repeal the anti-sodomy laws in the Texas legislature on several occasions and never even got a hearing. Translation; the law had enough support in the electorate that legislators were unwilling to endanger themselves by acting on the repeal process.

As far as your whole, "have you ever" shtick: my wife's from rural western Virginia. Obviously I've been out there to visit her family. My brother in law's a youth pastor at a Southern Baptist church down there. My dad, who raised me from the time I was 3, was gay (died of AIDS in 1990). My first cousin's gay and lives in south Florida. So I'm not from the South myself. But I know a little bit about it.

And as far as "queer"—it's the catchall word for GLBT people that we use on the West Coast. Queers use it, queer-friendly straights use it. So if your point is that the word is somehow pejorative—well, what can I tell you? You're wrong. Sorry.

And just as a point of order: I'm not from the Northeast, and I've only ever visited there once. I'm west coast white trash from the I-5 corridor. So you should maybe find yourself another horse to flog.

Any unelected Supreme Court just made Belgium's largest political party illegal. That's the kind of thing you need to worry about. I know who's coming to take away my liberty, and it isn't James Dobson.

People today are too selfish to start a "Civil War."

Nobody want's to get hurt defending their POV, or even their stuff, anymore.

The overwhelming majority of people just want to get up in the morning, go to school or work and pretend like everything is still okay, while in their mind they are stringing up the Bush admin at the gallows on the White House lawn.

Civil war in America simply won't happen, the people are too apathetic. Now if the entire Internet or Cable/Satellite TV went out - then maybe some cars would be set on fire for a day or two.

Fair 'nuff, Josh. I'll grant you that "boy" can also be taken as pejorative, and I apologise.

Not sure "funny" would be the word I'd use, but that discussion'd be "interesting". And probably "educational" for both of us. ;]

Ok, so you're a west coaster, not an northeast coaster. I still think you're painting with an awfully broad and not-quite-accurate brush - objecting when you get painted with the same brush is choice. Texas isn't quite as "gay hostile" as you painted by insinuation in your first response. There's places I've traveled in the North [east and west] that aren't as Gay Friendly as they like to purport, and I've experienced that first hand traveling with gay friends and family.

Re: the "Queer thing" - I know gays and gay friendly people who use it as a descriptive here, and I know gay and gay friendly people who consider it a pejorative on the order of the "n-word". Would imagine you do also. So... not quite "wrong". Sorry. Painting again with the same broad brush you favored. Shall we both agree to narrow the brush a bit?

The new "redstate = the Biblethumping cousin marrying gay hatin'" sthick and "moral values = won the election" election poll meme are another broad brush variant, and one that your "if one of her kids turned out to be queer" commentary on my response to Michele does little to narrow.

Sure, I agree with you that it's going to depend somewhat on what state and what parts as noted in my comment on Alice and some south Texas areas. It matters for that matter what part of California or NY State one lives in also: San Fran is a lot more gay friendly, other areas vary, just as Dallas/Austin is more so than some parts of South Texas.

I'm not buying into this meme. I've lived in too many places across the US. The same exit polling data that turned out to be so spectacularly flawed in predicting an early Kerry win is now being used to promote the "moral values" and "anti-gay voter" split, and it doesn't hold under the actual breakdowns. No more than a lot of the images painted of Bush over the past four years - on both sides - hold up under the data. "Moral values" covers too much ground to attribute: it can mean whatever your preconceptions want to read into it. This "broad brush generalization" is adding to the polarization that Michele is noting, and that you and I are arguing about: and it's not really accurate when we start to take apart our various states and look at the people around us. That vote in 2004 was predicated on too many different issues, of which SSM and terrorism were only parts.

I'm afraid that if we keep propogating those generalizations we're going to keep exaccerbating that schism to the point where eventually Michele's, mine, and Beck's "Uncivil war" observations will materialise, and the worse thing will be that it will be based on distorted imagery.

Better if that does come that it's predicated on actual differences, not distorted ones propogated by media inference and illusions fed by the likes of DailyKos and Pat Robertson, wouldn't you agree? The media have a distortion ageda, and neither Robinson nor Kos are accurate mirrors of the rest of us.

I'm going to suggest in passing that neither you nor I have a lot of respect for the people right/left/and-other who're flooding Michele's inbox with the "ok, thanks for helping us win, now you need to adopt our views whole" style missives. You or I would probably respond to an email like that with some variant of "Thanks, but no" in our inbox, regardless of our political positions.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say purple band-aids so I will guess it has something to do with this

http://www.tiadaily.com/php-bin/news/showArticle.php?id=919