Patterico's Pontifications


Let’s just say it: The Democrats are the problem.

Filed under: General — Karl @ 8:33 am

[Posted by Karl]

Let’s just say it. After all, that’s what Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein did to the Republicans at the WaPo, apparently set off by this incident:

Rep. Allen West, a Florida Republican, was recently captured on video asserting that there are “78 to 81” Democrats in Congress who are members of the Communist Party. Of course, it’s not unusual for some renegade lawmaker from either side of the aisle to say something outrageous. What made West’s comment — right out of the McCarthyite playbook of the 1950s — so striking was the almost complete lack of condemnation from Republican congressional leaders or other major party figures, including the remaining presidential candidates.

It’s not that the GOP leadership agrees with West; it is that such extreme remarks and views are now taken for granted.


The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

Although Ornstein and Mann claim to “have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted,” they provide no links to all the op-eds they did about the extreme statements about Republicans being Un-American, comparing them to fascists, Nazis, racists and so on made by Democratic Reps. Nancy Pelosi (on her own and with Steny Hoyer), George Miller, Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, Barney Frank, Maxine Waters, Jerrold Nadler, Jesse Jackson Jr., Sam Gibbons, Tom Lantos, Keith Ellison, Baron Hill, Jared Polis, Steve Cohen, Sheila Jackson Lee, Eleanor Holmes Norton and Louise Slaughter.  Or Senators Robert Byrd and Blanche Lincoln.  Or current Califonia governor Jerry Brown. Or repeat offender Al Gore.  People might be forgiven for thinking Democrats, not to mention Ornstein and Mann, take that extreme rhetoric for granted in their rush to condemn the GOP.

As for the supposed anti-science bent of the GOP, Ornstein and Mann probably should not have picked the week in which Gaia theorist James Lovelock announced he and others had been unduly alarmist about global warming to wheel out this particular trope.  Moreover, O&M apparently have not noticed the degree to which Democrats are anti-vaccination, anti-nuclear, and anti-animal research.  And they missed how Democrats ditch science whenever it threatens party dogma on race and gender issues.

Ornstein and Mann next trot out several GOP boogeymen to explain the current apocalypse.  They spend the most venom on vilifying Newt Gingrich, who in their telling poisoned the well by building the first GOP House majority in 40 years by scandal-mongering and demonizing his opponents (Democrats never did this before 1994, you know).  Gingrich certainly did shine a light on the corruption of the Democratic leadership of the time, including Jim Wright and Dan Rostenkowski, and the GOP did benefit on balance in 1994 from the House banking scandal.  However, Ornstein and Mann certainly do not make the case that the Wrights and Rostenkowskis were clean and deserved to remain in powerful positions in the House.

Moreover, as self-proclaimed scholars of Congressional history, Ornstein and Mann surely know that the election of a GOP House in 1994 was the culmination of electoral trends stretching back to Eisenhower, accelerated by the rise of the New Left within the Democratic Party starting in the late 60s and early 70s, and turbo-charged by the first two years of the Clinton administration.  The GOP has not held the House for most of the years since 1994 because of a few bounced checks.  However, the notion that Republican majorities in Congress reflect public support for the GOP agenda conflicts with their narrative, so Ornstein and Mann play dumb about all of this.

Ornstein and Mann then move on to the supposed intransigence of the GOP during the Obama administration:

On financial stabilization and economic recovery, on deficits and debt, on climate change and health-care reform, Republicans have been the force behind the widening ideological gaps and the strategic use of partisanship.

What O&M leave out here is any consideration of whether the Democrats’ legislation on any of these issues was all that popular.  They also skip over the fact that Democrats had large majorities in both houses of Congress for the first two years of the Obama administration, even enjoying a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate for the period between the election of Al Franken and the death of Ted Kennedy.  They further leave out the fact that Obama rejected a Republican suggestions on economic recovery with the in-your-face declaration “I Won” on his third day in office, and made a priority of cutting a campaign ad against the lone Republican who voted for Obamacare in the House.  And O&M fail to acknowledge that it was Obama who torpedoed a bigger deal during negotiations over the debt ceiling, after the allegedly intransigent-on-taxes GOP leaders signaled willingness to accept $800 billion in revenue measures.

They also complain about the escalating use of the filibuster.  They overlook the argument that the filibuster can be a way to promote compromise.  They also overlook Ornstein’s past enthusiasm for the filibuster, coincidentally enough when Republicans were threatening the so-called “nuclear option” to end Democratic filibusters.

Ornstein and Mann then jump back in time again:

No doubt, Democrats were not exactly warm and fuzzy toward George W. Bush during his presidency. But recall that they worked hand in glove with the Republican president on the No Child Left Behind Act, provided crucial votes in the Senate for his tax cuts, joined with Republicans for all the steps taken after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and supplied the key votes for the Bush administration’s financial bailout at the height of the economic crisis in 2008. The difference is striking.

Moving past the hilarious understatement of Bush Derangement Syndrome we all endured for eight years, what are Ornstein and Mann actually suggesting here?  If their thesis is that the GOP has pursued a radical policy agenda, did Dems go along with these measures solely out of some moral obligation to bipartisanship?  Or might it be that the GOP agenda is not as extreme as Ornstein and Mann suggest?  Occam’s Razor suggests politicians tend to vote based on what will keep themselves in office, or in the case of unpopular measures based on what they judge to be truly in the national interest.  In Ornstein’s and Mann’s world, when Dems vote for a Bush administration bill, it is solely Democratic noblesse oblige, as though the Bush administration allowed no input from the Ted Kennedys of the world on NCLB.

Ornstein and Mann trot out complaints about the GOP from people like former senator Chuck Hagel, but fail to note the complaint from former Senator Evan Bayh, made after Scott Brown’s Senate victory in the deep blue state of Massachusetts: “Whenever you have just the furthest left elements in the Democratic Party attempting to impose their will on the rest of the country, that’s not going to work too well.”

O&M continue:

Shortly before Rep. West went off the rails with his accusations of communism in the Democratic Party, political scientists Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal, who have long tracked historical trends in political polarization, said their studies of congressional votes found that Republicans are now more conservative than they have been in more than a century. Their data show a dramatic uptick in polarization, mostly caused by the sharp rightward move of the GOP.

For dudes bent on calling the GOP anti-science, you would think Ornstein and Mann would not only know, but also note that the use of the Poole-Rosenthal data to make these sort of claims is, er, not without controversy among political scientists.  You would be wrong.

On a roll, Ornstein and Mann get egregious with this one:

In the House, some of the remaining centrist and conservative “Blue Dog” Democrats have been targeted for extinction by redistricting, while even ardent tea party Republicans, such as freshman Rep. Alan Nunnelee (Miss.), have faced primary challenges from the right for being too accommodationist.

O&M really hope you do not click on the link they provided, which reports:

On Tuesday Reps. Jason Altmire and Tim Holden, members of the moderate-to-conservative caucus of Democrats known as the Blue Dog Coalition, lost their primary battles to more liberal opponents who painted their centrism as apostasies that could no longer be tolerated.

These were the latest blows delivered to the Blue Dogs, whose membership ranks have been decimated the last two years by a perfect political storm that has driven the House Democratic caucus farther to the left than at any time in the last decade.

It’s increasingly unclear whether Democrats can ever reclaim the House majority unless they pick up ground in the conservative-leaning terrain that the Blue Dogs once represented. In addition, with so few moderates left, there are fewer House members in the political center to create the sort of bipartisan coalition that in the past has provided the bulwark of support for budget compromises.

In other words, Democratic moderates are “targeted for extinction” by Democrats (especially Big Labor), in the same way they accuse the right of doing to GOP officeholders.  To be sure, The GOP has its Jeffordses, Specters and Snowes, but the switches of the Gramms and Shelbys and the departures of Democrats like Bayh and Ben Nelson, not to mention the primary defeat of Joe Lieberman by the left-wing “netroots,” demonstrates this is a bipartisan phenomenon.

Ornstein and Mann’s highly selective reading of history all builds to this:

Our advice to the press: Don’t seek professional safety through the even-handed, unfiltered presentation of opposing views. Which politician is telling the truth? Who is taking hostages, at what risks and to what ends?

Urging the press to be unfair and suggesting Republicans are hostage-takers is their recipe for bringing  bipartisanship into our political sphere.  Extremism is the defense of center-left establishmentarianism is no vice!

What could possibly go wrong?


74 Responses to “Let’s just say it: The Democrats are the problem.”

  1. Ding!

    Karl (6f7ecd)

  2. You make it look so easy, Karl.

    Ornstein, Mann and their fellow travelers don’t embarrass easy.

    Colonel Haiku (d3ebb6)

  3. #2 – what he said Cheers, Colonel~! Is it just a bonus for M&O to begin the marginalization of Veep potential, war hero, and conservative black Repubican Allen West?

    TimesDisliker (3e00b6)

  4. TimesGuy!

    Colonel Haiku (d3ebb6)

  5. Well, that’s a thorough fisking!

    I have some here as well, but I’m not worthy!

    ‘The New Politics of Hostage Taking? Actually, Republicans Are Not the Problem’.

    Donald Douglas (19e86d)

  6. Amazing age we live in — you need to apologize for speaking the truth.

    Yes, there are more then a few Democrats whose political belief 99% coincide with those of our Marxist Leninist friends in Cuba, China, old USSR etc.

    Why this is even a debate is ridiculous and only parlor speak by efete intellectuals who are so nuanced in their thinking they can tell the difference between killing a plant or aborting a 6 weeks old baby.

    Bill (af584e)

  7. Donald Douglas,

    Nice to see you! But you have to get up pretty early to be as big a windbag as I am. 😉

    Karl (6f7ecd)

  8. Great smack down and fisking of two clowns standing just to the left of ring three at the circus. Two clowns “full of high sentence but a bit obtuse.” (T.S. Eliot) Quite obtuse actually, and made so by their extreme and radical, but time-worn, Marxist views.

    Fred Beloit (4edfb1)

  9. Also the very right wing revel is tossing out moderate-left Republicans.

    The extreme left wing deny they do the same to their of center-left Democrats.

    Just fact.

    Bill (af584e)

  10. Well done Karl. Now if only we could get you published in a paper directly next to these charlatans and show what thorough fools they are.


    NJRob (fe68e7)

  11. “Also the very right wing revel is tossing out moderate-left Republicans.”

    I call bullsh*t.

    Colonel Haiku (d3ebb6)

  12. Col.,

    I think Bill is suggesting the GOP is more honest and transparent about its intraparty fights. I’m not sure that’s true, but I would say the level tone of the media coverage differs.

    Karl (6f7ecd)

  13. they provide no links to all the op-eds they did about the extreme statements about Republicans being Un-American, comparing them to fascists, Nazis, racists and so on made by …Maxine Waters,

    Well, here’s a link to a YouTube video of Maxine Waters. She’s not calling the Republicans names in this one, though:

    Maxine Waters on the Oil Industry

    She’s advocating “socializing” the oil industry. She catches herself, then just says “taking over.” As if that’s less outrageous.

    Mann & Ornstein are forced into the ridiculous position of calling the party that controls the House, the majority of governorships, and the majority of state legislatures an “insurgent outlier.” And all because occasionally a GOP pol doesn’t sugarcoat the truth and instead states the glaringly obvious. A large chunk of the democratic party, both leadership and rank and file, is marxist at heart. That they publicly deny it while advocating blatantly marxist policies doesn’t change the facts.

    Here’s another link to an article and video where a citizen journalist attempts to question Rep Danny Lewis (D-IL) after he accepted a lifetime leadership award from the Chicago HQ of the Communist Party of the USA.

    Apparently it’s “McCarthyism” to point out that the democrats and communists are in bed together.

    Mann & Ornstein have to engage in such hysterics, I suppose, in order to prop up their precious illusions in the face of evidence they would prefer everyone ignores. And they’ll berate people in print who have the temerity not to ignore the evidence. They would have made great Soviet propagandists, where stating the glaringly obvious would land you in prison.

    Steve (8ab96a)

  14. I’d like to add my compliments for this excellent post, Karl.

    These authors seem to be desperately seeking excuses for the failure of the leaders and policies they hold dear.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  15. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

    Four points here. I say 1 is not true, but open to interpretation; 2 is a lie, and 3 & 4 are true.

    What say you?

    Alex (4767b0)

  16. Sorry! 2 and 4 are true, 3 is the lie!!!

    Alex (4767b0)

  17. Don’t seek professional safety through the even-handed, unfiltered presentation of opposing views.

    this is the tasty gooey chewy center at the still-beating heart of fascism

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  18. Alex,

    depends on what you mean by conventional. If you mean, “based on or in accordance with what is generally done or believed” I’d dispute that. If you’re talking about the way the left uses “consensus” to push their belief systems, then I’d agree. But I’d believe a better way of saying that is just “unmoved by propaganda.”

    NJRob (fe68e7)

  19. So, a shorter O&M: When Republicans are wrong they’re evil, and when they’re right they’re divisive.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  20. Anyone know f Mann and Ornstein were/are Journolistas?

    ropelight (7ea768)

  21. Give it 6 months and these guys will be calling for Obama to self-coup to prevent the stupid/deceived voters from giving power to the counter-revolutionaries.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  22. Did West get it right? are there 70-80 members of congress that are members of the communist party? Well…. communism is socialism, and the 70-80 that he references caucus with the socialist caucus, no?

    So, at worst, he got the name wrong — but not the ideology.

    And if it is an open thing (the socialist caucus) — and they are proud of it — why hide it? West was just calling a spade a spade.

    He got it right.

    john b (be9549)

  23. If only Democrats such as O & M would be so forceful in their opposition to the Jihadists as they are in their opposition to Republicans.

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  24. Karl, that is a nice fisking, and I wish that the two authors were confronted with your evidence repeatedly, and shamed into responding to it.

    The party system has devolved into an “us versus them” philosophy that is corrosive. I like Alan Simpson’s maxim (paraphrased): there are two parties in American politics..the Evil Party and the Stupid Party. I’m with the Stupid Party.

    More seriously, this all derives from deification or demonization based on party affiliation. Right now, the Progressive Left thinks well of itself…so folks who disagree must be bad.

    The hypocrisy is palpable. Which is why I have stated that the motto of the DNC is “…that’s different” with a petulant foot stomp.

    If they took both parties to task for overstating and demonizing opponents, it would be one thing. But as you have shown, their philosophies change with party affiliation.


    One thing I am proud of: folks on the conservative Right are going along with Romney (as better than Obama), but are not deifying him. The Left really has trouble criticizing the man and his policies. Which makes their criticism of the Right, um, suspect.

    Again, great job, Karl!

    Simon Jester (f2424b)

  25. I used to, as a younger man, have a tremendous amount of respect for Norm Ornstein; but, that suit was hung away in the closet a long time ago to feed the moths.
    He and Mann seem to be completely out-of-sorts in attempting to deal with the quantum change that the electorate is undergoing in rejecting the Progressive wisdom of Nannyism, and demanding the opportunity to make their own decisions, and mistakes.
    The People-at-Large have realized that individual mistakes, even in the aggragate, are less costly than when an over-reaching, and over-weaning, government makes them.
    It would be ironic if the term of our most Progressive President marks the high-water point of Progressivism, and its ultimate rejection.
    Perhaps they should have found someone somewhat less charismatic, and more competent?

    AD-RtR/OS! (93973a)

  26. Comment by john b — 4/28/2012 @ 10:36 am

    Progressives are Marxists who march beneath a different colored banner.

    AD-RtR/OS! (93973a)

  27. The problem as I see it, only Mr. West has the sack to attack. The rest of the pussycats are afraid of the dog eater in chief.

    sickofrinos (44de53)

  28. Progressives are Marxists.


    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  29. — right out of the McCarthyite playbook of the 1950s —

    What DO you call a witch hunt that keeps on finding witches?

    TANSTAAFL (bb1ee7)

  30. I think it is refreshing that the so-called “professional journalists” of Big Media are letting the mask of they wear of supposed objective reporting, finally drop off to reveal the partisan power-mongering bastards they always were.

    Now even those in the audience who don’t pay much attention will finally see just what these “journalists” really are.

    Brad (ee8048)

  31. As for Rep. West’s remarks, his primary error was mere imprecision. Socialists or Social-Democrats would have been a better description. Most so-called “progressives” in the United States pine for a society they imagine resembles Sweden instead of the Soviet Union.

    Though the praise lavished on the corruptocrat dictatorship of Red China by American progressives is profoundly troubling.

    Brad (ee8048)

  32. Most so-called “progressives” in the United States pine for a society they imagine resembles Sweden instead of the Soviet Union.

    That’s what they say in public when they need to. Given the fact that they routinely talk like Al Armendariz when they think they’re among friends puts the lie to that. Make no mistake; socialists are not good or nice people and they are attracted to socialism precisely because it is a political philosophy that justifies their most tyrannical impulses.

    Anyone can go nuts and kill a few people. It takes an ideology to kill 100s of millions. And it takes a pretty nasty piece of work to continue advocating and excusing that ideology after a century of mass murder committed in its name.

    Steve (8ab96a)

  33. First, let me say this post is an outstanding response to the slime piece published by WaPo. Thank you for taking the time to pull all this info together to create a terrific rebuttal.

    Now let me give my two cents on why I think West’s remarks have provoked such a hostile response.

    The Progressive Caucus was formed in 1991 by avowed socialist Bernie Sanders. Since then, he’s persuaded about 80 like minded elected Democrats to join him. If the Progressive Caucus were in Europe they’d proudly call themselves socialists.

    The RINO and Democrat coalition that has governed the country the past 80 years has successfully turned the U.S. into the most socialist country in the world. However, Progressives understand that many Americans still want to delude themselves into believing that they value liberty. So the “socialist” label, while accurate, remains toxic. Only Bernie Sanders will honestly embrace it, mostly because he represents a state of aging old hippies that actively helped turn America socialist in the first place.

    So, the reason West’s remarks have provoked such a hostile response is because they are too close to the truth for progressive comfort.

    Scott (872c6c)

  34. “… has successfully turned the U.S. into the most socialist country in the world.” — Scott.

    Most socialist country in the world? Seriously?

    I sure hope that the quote represents just a mistake, a typo or similar error. Because it is a damn silly statement.

    Brad (ee8048)

  35. Steve

    I don’t deny that there is a hard core of anti-American bastards who love communism and marxism and conceal themselves under the self-applied description of “progressive”. But I believe those people are only a small minority of those people who call themselves Progressive.

    Be fair now. Do you really think most Progressives actually desire a Marxist-Stalinist state in America?

    Brad (ee8048)

  36. What a great refutation of this fatuous nonsense!

    DaMav (48fe0d)

  37. Brad: They want a soft Marxist tyranny where everyone will automatically do what they want because it’s the thing that should be done, gosh darn it.

    They don’t realize that it immediately becomes a Stalinist tyranny when people don’t and they enforce their dictates.

    Enforce them they will.

    luagha (72a2e7)

  38. Does Karl have an argument besides false equivalence?

    As a partisan for a group of people who held the debt ceiling hostage for no good reason (paying for the bills we already racked up is unfair!) and then reneged on the agreement they accepted; as a partisan for a group of people trying to turn Medicaid into a declining value voucher program (using a mandate which is suddenly NOW not oppression) so capital gains for Romney can be cut to zero, Karl should know he represents almost lilly white tribal movement, based on resentment and a neo-feudal goal of destruction of the middle class. Maybe he doesn’t realize it

    timb (8f04c0)

  39. 36. Steve

    I don’t deny that there is a hard core of anti-American bastards who love communism and marxism and conceal themselves under the self-applied description of “progressive”. But I believe those people are only a small minority of those people who call themselves Progressive.

    Be fair now. Do you really think most Progressives actually desire a Marxist-Stalinist state in America?

    And yet, that “small minority” can call for violence all it wants and it never becomes the “insurgent outlier” among these supposedly “decent progressives.”

    When push comes to shove you’ll find that even the “progressives” you think are really decent folk don’t find killing a few million kulaks too high a price to pay to establish a socialist utopia on Earth. Their attitude is that it may be unfortunate but when you’re making a redistributionist omelet you’ve got to break a few eggs to serve the greater good. The “decent progressives” may not run around advocating the killing of people at the top of their lungs like the “small minority,” but they are perfectly willing to turn a blind eye toward it when it happens around the globe, romanticize those who do the actual killing and imprisoning, and when forced to acknowledge the ugly reality of socialism make apologies for it because the slaughter and oppression was done for only the very best of motives (in their view).

    Sorry. No sale, Brad.

    Steve (8ab96a)

  40. Why is AEI paying Ornstein a salary?

    Douglas Dubh (5ed709)

  41. ______________________________________________

    Do you really think most Progressives actually desire a Marxist-Stalinist state in America?

    I think too many on the left behave not too differently from Andrew Gilbert, a founder of a British-Jewish educational charity (Limmud), per below. So in their mind, the ends justify the means, and even if the results turn out to be contradictory and absurd, that’s okay, because — as they see perceive the world — humaneness, love, tolerance, sophistication, compassion and generosity (real or imagined) absolve all vices and horrors, and excuse all mistakes., April 27:

    Is London about to elect a mayor who has been accused of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism? Until last week, former mayor Ken Livingstone was trailing the incumbent Boris Johnson in opinion polls by as much as six points. But now, only days before the election on Thursday, May 3, the two are neck-and-neck, separated by just two percentage points, according to pollster YouGov.

    If Livingstone, who was mayor between 2000-2008, is returned to office, it will be greeted with concern by much of the Jewish community, which makes up around 200,000 of Greater London’s population of 8.2 million. Livingstone, who belongs to the left-wing Labour party, has clashed with them repeatedly.

    On March 1, Jewish Labour supporters attended a private meeting with Livingstone in order to explore ways in which he could reconnect with his alienated Jewish voters. Livingstone responded that they would not vote for him anyway, as the Jewish community is “rich.” Six of the attendees wrote a letter expressing concern to British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (who is himself halachically Jewish), which was later leaked, garnering national attention.

    Throughout his career, Livingstone has been known for his love of newts, his hatred of the establishment and his association with far-left figures such as Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and Irish Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams. After controversially meeting Adams in 1983, Livingstone said that Britain’s treatment of the Irish over the last 800 years had been worse than Adolf Hitler’s treatment of the Jews.

    Livingstone built his career upon identity politics, strongly promoting minorities such as the gay and Muslim communities. In this election campaign, for example, he has promised to make London a “beacon” for the words of the prophet Muhammed (though he ignited a political storm this February when he remarked that the Conservative party was “riddled” with homosexuals). [T]here have been persistent concerns over his association with radical Islamists, in particular his decision as mayor to host Sheikh Yusuf al Qaradawi, a radical Egyptian cleric who has supported suicide bombings in Israel…”

    It recently emerged that Livingstone, who in the past has blasted rich tax dodgers, exploited legal loopholes to drastically reduce his own tax liability.

    “…Ken has made more effort to woo the Jewish community than he has in previous elections,” says former chair of Limmud International Andrew Gilbert, one of the signatories on the letter. “There’s no question that, ignoring Jewish issues, Ken would be the better choice for London.”

    Five out of the six signatories on the letter, including Gilbert, have now issued a statement endorsing Livingstone after all — with “eyes open and breathing deeply, maybe with a sigh or two.” “So much about Ken is good for London and even for the Jewish community,” they wrote. “ Ken’s policies on housing, transport, regeneration, business, young people, crime and so much more is streets ahead of [current mayor and right-leaning] Boris.”

    Mark (411533)

  42. timb,

    As linked, Obama screwed up the debt ceiling negotiation. The GOP got little for it, but helpful at the margin. Also you’re confusing Medicaid and Medicare, and a voucher system with a premium support program of the general sort supported by Dems like Alice Rivlin and Ron Wyden. The projected annual increase in support under Ryan-Wyden is GDP+1% — exactly the same rate as under Obamacare. (The House version is GDP +0.5% — exactly the growth rate Obama called for in his February budget.)

    Otherwise, you seem to be trafficking in ad hominem, and hope you’ll be in a better mood tomorrow.

    Karl (6f7ecd)

  43. Karl, timb has a long established reputation for making up stuff out of whole cloth, rewriting history, etc.

    So his comment above was rather par for the course.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  44. I think too many on the left behave not too differently from Andrew Gilbert, a founder of a British-Jewish educational charity (Limmud), per below. So in their mind, the ends justify the means, and even if the results turn out to be contradictory and absurd, that’s okay, because — as they see perceive the world — humaneness, love, tolerance, sophistication, compassion and generosity (real or imagined) absolve all vices and horrors, and excuse all mistakes.

    Mark, except for saying any of this was a “mistake” I can’t take issue with anything you’ve said. Here’s a review of some interesting reading:

    Autocratic Ghosts and Chinese Hunger: A Review Essay of Autocratic Tradition and Chinese Politics by Zhengyuan Fu and Hungry Ghosts by Jasper Becker

    Continuing revelations about Joseph Stalin’s reign have led many historians to rank him the greatest mass murderer of our century and possibly all time. But a growing body of evidence indicates that they are probably mistaken: Mao Zedong, the dictator of Communist China for nearly thirty years, appears to have outdone his Russian counterpart after a dozen years in power. Two recent books by scholars of Chinese Communism further cement the case that Stalin did not retain the “number one” slot for long. One of these works, Jasper Becker’s Hungry Ghosts: Mao’s Secret Famine (Free Press, 1996) focuses on Mao’s single greatest atrocity, the Great Leap Forward. The other, Zhengyuan Fu’s Autocratic Tradition and Chinese Politics (Cambridge University Press, 1993) puts Communist China into a 3000-year historical perspective, arguing that Chinese Communism married Marxism-Leninism to the native-grown Chinese despotic tradition. Both books are excellent contributions to herculean task of writing the history of modern China.

    Interesting, that is, to everyone except socialists who need to willfully turn a blind eye to the murderous nature of the tyrannical system they so love.

    They’ll fight tooth and nail against any attempt to commemorate the victims of communism, because that would make it more difficult for them to claim their hearts are in the right place as they attempt to impose it on more and more people.

    Excuse me if I find it laughable that I should admit such people have any sort of decent intentions toward me, no matter how innocuous they find it tactically necessary to appear to be.

    Steve (8ab96a)

  45. The ultimate solution to Marxism is Rule-7.62!

    AD-RtR/OS! (45c403)

  46. timb,

    Why do you lefties always opt for a strategy of asserting that rich people actually want to destroy the middle classes ?

    Now, it seems to me that if the middle classes are figuratively “destroyed,” and most of those people thereby fall into a lower income bracket, they would no longer be as capable of purchasing the goods and services that make wealthy people wealthy.

    How is that a desired outcome for wealthy people ?

    Doesn’t it make more sense that wealthy people want as many people to purchase their goods and services, as possible ?

    I’m not trying to embarrass you, rather, I’m just trying to get clarity about what exactly you believe.

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  47. he Nadler link is to an e ABC’s “The Note” from August 19, 2009:

    Congressman Jerrold Nadler was not speaking about elected Republicans, or even maybe Republicans at all. He speaking about people who attended “town-hall” forums and attempted to shout down or shut up members of Congress who wanted to justify their positions.

    The only problem with this is that this goes on far more on the left than on he right, usually with speakers at universities.

    This is the key excerpt:

    …. ””The people who are bringing fascism into the debate are the people who are using fascist tactics not to disagree but to keep members of Congress from explaining their positions to their constituents and to keep their constituents from asking questions,” Rep. Nadler told ABC News’ “Top Line” when we asked him about his recent rhetoric in the Huffington Post.

    “If you want to go to a town hall meeting and ask hostile questions, skeptical questions, make very hostile remarks, that’s your privilege,” said Nadler.” But if you want to go to a town hall meeting for the purpose of making sure that nobody can be heard, that it can’t be discussed that is a fascist tactic and we ought to be labeling it for what it is.

    Now, I’m not saying that people who opposed healthcare are fascist. God forbid, I would never say that. But people whose aim it is to prevent the discussion, they are using fascist tactics,” he added.

    Serving as a reminder of just how tough it will be for President Obama to unify the left, middle, and center of his party, Congressman Nadler drew a bright red line in the sand on his vote for healthcare reform.

    The final version of the bill to come out of the House and Senate conference must have a government run/public health insurance option or Mr. Nadler will not be voting for it.

    “I will not vote and many of us will not vote for a final House/Senate compromise without a public option in it because we’re not going to throw hundreds of billions of dollars at the insurance companies and enact a program that will be unsustainable in the long run,” Nadler told us.

    After sensing some shakiness in the Obama administration’s support for the public option, many liberal Democrats are stiffening their collective spine and making it clear to the White House that they feel they have already made sufficient compromises.”We’ve already compromised repeatedly. First we compromised by saying alright we won’t do a single payer plan, we’ll do a public option. Then we compromised by saying alright, the public option won’t be open to everybody. . . it will only be open to unemployed people or people whose employers don’t offer health insurance. Then we compromised by saying alright, we won’t base the reimbursement rates to doctors and hospitals on Medicare. And that’s it,” said Nadler.

    ”Some people in the White House may have thought that alright, the House will pass a bill with a public option. The Senate, because we’re not cracking down on the Senate, won’t. The conference committee will come out with a bill and the liberals will cave in. Well, we’re not going to cave in.”You can watch the entire interview with Rep. Nadler HERE:

    That link actually does not exist there.

    Sammy Finkelman (f913b2)

  48. @Brad — 4/28/2012 @ 2:41 pm

    No, I did not use the phrase “most socialist country ever” in error.

    I define socialism in America as social security, medicare, medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance, disability insurance, public housing, subsidies for mortgages on homes, student loan subsidies, ethanol subsidies, solar subsidies, wind subsides, etc. Basically everything in the tax code that’s been designed by Congress to redistribute wealth in a way that directly “takes” from one party and gives to a preferred party.

    If you examine the federal budget, you will see that the total amount of money the government confiscates from “producers” and transfers to the preferred classes is larger than the entire GDP of the USSR at its peak (nominally).

    If you don’t like my definition of socialism, fine. But whatever you call it, the numbers are what they are.

    Scott (872c6c)


    Incumbent Voting Record

    Jerrold Nadler (D) seeking re-election after holding the seat for years.

    Major Bills Incumbent Vote All Democrats

    HEALTH CARE BILL Yes Yes: 219 No: 34…

    Sammy Finkelman (f913b2)

  50. Would you like to know why the west, why conservatism, is doomed?

    Because ‘conservative’ internet pundits think they need 1659 words to make a simple point.

    Fred Z (cd57b8)

  51. A capacity for self-examination seems to be genetic and unnecessary for survival of the individual.

    That is the only explanation I can imagine for its evident extinction in the species.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  52. Toynbee said “America is great because Americans are good”:

    Truth died, earther’s hardest hit.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  53. 55. Braveheart, call the office.

    The post-fan splatter begins pocking faces.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  54. not that 0bama
    eats teh dogs problem is he
    keeps screwing teh pooch

    Colonel Haiku (94eb97)

  55. Excellent, Karl. The caution to the press against being “even-handed” is priceless. They might as well have just told reporters to write biased stories and be done with it.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (6f639c)

  56. I love it when opinion writers like Ornstein and Mann lecture us about science by linking to pseudoscientific Democratic hack Chris Mooney.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (6f639c)

  57. “Or might it be that the GOP agenda is not as extreme as Ornstein and Mann suggest?”

    It’s not, what makes them extreme is when Democrats decide to pass the GOP agenda. Look at health care.

    TJ (6eeaf5)

  58. A long debunked talking point, TJ. Amusing that you try to revive the corpse of that claim.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  59. Yup:

    “unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science;”

    TJ (6eeaf5)

  60. TJ is fundamentally dishonest. Or dummerer than a sack of jharps.

    JD (2585aa)

  61. Yup:

    “and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”

    TJ (6eeaf5)

  62. Though, to be fair to West, he’s one of those nutcases that would probably take a simple description of social security (we take from people who are working to pay people who are not) as socialism and communism. So to him just about everyone in that crowd that supports social security would be a commie. Which is just pathetic.

    TJ (6eeaf5)

  63. It is easy to be dismissive of trollish Dishonest clowns. especially if they do not read the post.

    JD (2585aa)

  64. It doesn’t matter of it’s Schakowsky, Pelosi, or
    Waters, much like with the Model A, the CPC is the same.

    narciso (8d0f34)

  65. Schakowsky is a confirmed member of the Democrat Socialists of America. Don’t know about Lugosi or Waters.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  66. They don’t mind being part of it, just called on it;

    narciso (8d0f34)

  67. According to Karl’s post, this is what Mann and Ornstein wrote: “The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”

    This morning at Redstate I saw that Erick Erickson noted and has a simple, but what I think is a pretty great rejoinder to Ornstein’s “they’re soo extreeeeme” howl:

    “Nothing says marginal extremism like holding the US House, most statehouses, most governorships, and a plurality of national party ID.”

    elissa (2e448c)

  68. The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics.

    Ummm, last i checked, didn’t about 60-70% of independent voters ack that they were more aligned with the GOP than with the Dems, when it comes to ideology?

    This term “outlier” They keep using it. I do not think it means what they think it means.

    Heck, even if you go with the homophone, it’s pretty clear that Democrats are very much more outliars than the GOP.

    Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master (8e2a3d)

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