MSNBC used this delightful photo in its story. It features Beck, Palin, Limbaugh, Boehner and Cantor as Hitler. Media outcry in 3... 2... never.
The full spectrum of leftists were out in force this afternoon. [Update: the use of NAMBLA as a comedic vehicle on The Daily Show was pointed out by a commenter. Hilarious.]
Ever get the feeling that the left will still be blaming Bush for the Great Dilythium Crystal Shortage of 2050?
I have no idea what the sign on the left means, but I'm sure socialists understand it.
Wild guess: this person votes Democrat.
Mmm hmm. That is a problem I often hear expressed: the media is too damn conservative.
I asked whether any of these patriots voluntarily paid taxes at the pre-Bush tax cut level and they told me to shut up.
Nothing says "Rally for Sanity" like the umbrella parachute helmet.
Perfect timing while PETN bombs are shipped to American synagogues and the Iranian clerics gleefully ready their nukes to hasten the return of the Twelfth Imam.
Actually, it was going okay until Nancy Pelosi took the reins of the budget and spent us into oblivion.
Oh, yes he does.
"I can see Crazy from my house."
Indeed I can.
I truly fear what a handwriting analysis of this sign would tell us.
A perfect way to close: this flag is made up of destroyed American flags.
But don't you dare question their patriotism.
Linked by: Michelle Malkin, Dan Riehl, Jammie Wearing Fool, Right Wing News, NewsReal and Blogs for Victory. Thanks!
All this shows is that Stewart is correct: the lefties who go too far with the rhetoric are just as bad as those on the right who go too far with the rhetoric.
Those signs AND your responses were excellent examples of exactly what Stewart argued was hurting America.
You missed one:
You might not want to flaunt your pop culture ignorance
So I'm a socialist for understanding the word "idealogue?" Or for getting the reference to the Phelps-style signs? Actually, the "God Hates" signs were a common thread in this event, and it's shocking that the right is taking that offensively (at least, based on what I've seen on Twitter with the #fearofsanity hashtag they've been using today). The God Hates signs aren't talking about the Tea Party at all, they're making fun of the Westboro Baptist Church run by Fred Phelps. They are known for protesting outside of military funerals with signs like "God Hates Fags," "God Hates America," and "God Loves Dead Soldiers." They believe that our men in uniform dying is a sign of God's retaliation toward America for becoming more accepting of gays. Really. This rally isn't about Tea Party members, it's not a partisan rally, it's simply a rally about rhetoric.
If both sides would stop the namecalling and the bickering, things would get better. We need to be recognizing the things we agree on, not focusing on the things that make us different. The fact that all of you on the right are making fun of Stewart's rally shows that you don't get the point – it's the same reason I didn't insult Beck's last rally.
Beck made a point of telling people to tone down the rhetoric at his last rally. While liberals love to claim that was done for malicious intent, I honestly think it's him trying to tell his followers to calm down and to rationalize. That rally was clearly not about politics, it was instead about a message I can, while not fully get behind, understand and sympathize. I recognized that Restore Honor had a message of peace attached to it, not a message of agitation, which is why I didn't go after him for it.
I'll get mad when anyone on either side is solely trying to incite anger and fear through rhetoric, or to insult the other side through rhetoric. You all should too, damn it – dangerous rhetoric undermines our democracy by manipulating voters. Instead of ignoring and marginalizing the meaning of this event, we should encourage all citizens to speak their mind in a fair, rational manner (and not through agitation). We should have open, clear debate which encourages voters to make their own minds – and that's as much of a jab at MSNBC and Olbermann/Maddow as it is at Fox News and Beck/Hannity.
Any pictures of the condition the lefties left the Mall in?
Actually, anybody should be able to say anything they want anytime (within the obvious limits of causing imminent immediate harm to someone). Putting Hitler mustaches on someone is no big deal, nor is saying that you can see sanity from your house.
If you think the electorate is truly swayed by this sort of thing, then you need to spend your time educating those around you. Quit blaming the rhetoric, and raise the level of discourse yourself.
Stewart, Colbert, Beck, Limbaugh, et al are all in the same game and shame on us if we get taken in. The only ones I really hate in all this are the MSM who have pretty carefully tried to tailor the discourse but with the new media they're pretty much irrelevant anyway.
I want EVERYONE to vote. I want EVERYONE to hear EVERY argument and then go out and pull the lever, and may the best ideology win.
Have fun and let's do this again on November 3rd, shall we?
Let me be the first to say that your opinions about todays event don't mean shit considering you have no proof of your claims.
You missed a lot of the cultural references. The pictures of right-wing people with Hitler moustaches was precisely to spoof the idiocy of using Hitler moustaches as a vehicle for fear (it is called irony).
The FEAR THIS uses the Reddit logo.
The "God Hates X" is a spoof on the Phelps use of "God Hates Fags".
People wearing crazy outfits to a rally does not denote insanity.
Honestly, humour is not a bad thing.
Oh, and the "Death to right wingers, but in a nice way" was also clearly humorous.
Wow, it sure is a good thing that we have so many people around to illustrate how utterly incapble of understanding humor we conservatives are. Now that it has been explained to me, I see how funny it all is. Thank you for setting me straight. I will begin rethinking my life right away.
I got linked here from LGF. I always tell my liberal friends they are wrong when they say we conservaties don't understand irony or humor and we're just old white boring men. After reading your commentary on some pretty damned funny signs I think I have to start agreeing with them.
They're making fun of you, and I don't think you're smart enough to get it...
Based on my own experiences, "Death to Right Wing Extremists" means anyone who disagrees with a Leftist ... even just mildly ... on any issue.
I wish I were kidding.
And just to be clear - making fun of someone is not "humor". It's snark, and Stewart is the king of snark, although his sidekick Colbert is right up there with him.
It takes no wit to make fun of someone, and all it requires is an audience of similarly witless to laugh at you to make you think you're funny.
Making fun of someone and calling it humor is mean-spirited and disingenuous, and is a favorite pastime of those unable to actually engage in conversation or debate. Rather than have actual positions, they instead degrade and debase others and congratulate one another on how clever they are.
I suppose it crosses both sides, but it seems to predominate on the left, whether it's Stewart, Colbert, Behar, Handler, or the insufferable quasi-commentators from MSNBC, who can't seem to manage five minutes without making condescending remarks about someone.
You'll note that I'm not employing "humor" here. I find condescension to be the last refuge of the clueless, and if there's anything I wish were to disappear from the social discourse, snark would be my choice.
But I suppose there will always be adolescents (of all ages) and those that pander to them, and so we will always have condescension.
Where are the Black Faces?
Was The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear March a Success?
If you don't oppose the ever-growing federal government, the kind our country's founders feared and opposed, then you are a socialist.
Regulating toilet tanks, dust, shower heads, light bulbs, health care, the size of cars, cow farts...
Stand with the Constitution -- or stand with tyranny.
Stand with the greatest minds in mankind's history -- or stand with despotism and failure.
We stand at the precipice of disaster, precisely because of the vast social engineering experiments that have failed miserably and bankrupted this country.
Vote the straight Republican ticket on Tuesday and crush the would-be tyrants.
Making fun of someone for beliefs and actions that have no relation to anything they think or do is worse than snark; it's a smear, and there's nothing remotely funny about it. There's nothing funny about Fred Phelps. He's repugnant. There's nothing funny about NAMBLA. There's nothing funny about Hitler mustaches unless they're on cats.
I think it would be okay if you here Stewart and Colbert condemn the signs as the Tea Party has condemned the goofs that soil a decent cause.
This whole rally was a sheer publicity stunt for ratings and I can't believe that so many people fell for it. Stewart and Colbert I know you mock "the man" but you guys are geniuses. find someone who will pay your salary and ride it to the end. Money is good isn't it.
Some more nasty signs here:
When someone has to defend something that is so incredibly offensive, it is ploy to try and spin attention away from what is the obvious.
I think it is ridiculous. Here we have all the leftists telling us that anything we point out as being repugnant such as the Hitler moustaches is irony or we don't get the joke. Actually I get the joke very well. I just don't appreciate the joke much. It is long past funny, especially when you draw Hitler moustaches on a practicing Jewish man. It is also funny that you are trying to paint Phelps as being a Tea Partier or Republican. He is not. He and his whole family are registered Democrats. And that first one is so humorous. Right wing extremists, whatever they are to this delusional little beeyotch, should be killed but left wing ones are just dandy I guess. Lovely.
The other thing about these signs is that Stewart specifically asked that people attending this rally not make Hitler signs or other signs of this sort and that the rally was to get rid of these bad feelings but the dippies here had to ignore him and do their usual bit of krep. Good going, guys, I am sure you made a lot of friend and points with these signs here. All the independents will see them and of course immediately say, "look at that sign, now I have to vote for Harry Reid or Bawney Fwank or Nanny Pelosi." That'll work out just great.
All in all, especially after the rally by Beck, this one comes off as being about as juvenile as you can get, especially when you have as an honored guest a Muslim who goes along with a fatwa on Salman Rushdie; sorry I just saw that Cat Stevens or Yusuf whatever he calls himself now says that it was just a joke and that he really didn't mean it. Now where have I heard that one before. Only every time a liberal gets caught out making ridiculous and scandalous remarks; the response was I was only joking. Right. And I have a bridge to sell you, some disassembly required; I am sure you can get some of your friends to help with that one after the job they did on the WTC.
Where are the black faces?
Thank you for posting this pictures. This rally definitely doesn't look that sane to me :)
Ah democracy in action! I will stick to my republic and the rule of law. God save us from democracy (which is not mentioned in the US Constitution or the Declaration of Independance), which is simply the rule of the majority (mob) before it leads us further toward on oligarchy - a form of government where political power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society distinguished by royalty, wealth, family, and/or military powers.
It's spelled "Independence."
But then, you wouldn't know that.
You're afraid of majority rule, and oligarchic rule. What's left exactly? A monarchy?
By the way - dictionary definition of democracy = "a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections."
US Constitution = "The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States...The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years."
See that? democracy in the Constitution. Literate people are able to understand definitions even when the word being defined isn't there!
Don't bother replying, my IQ is dropping reading this blog.
But I am so glad not to be you.
REB, I can see that you're a scholar as well as a spelling champ, so I was wondering why you didn't mention that the part of the Constitution that calls for the election of senators "by the people" is the Seventeenth Amendment (not the handiwork of the Founders.) It was pushed through by progressives in 1913.
Perhaps you are familiar with the words of former Democratic senator Zell Miller, who said in 2004, "Direct elections of Senators ... allowed Washington's special interests to call the shots, whether it is filling judicial vacancies, passing laws, or issuing regulations."
Certainly you know Federalist 10, in which Madison explains, "Pure....democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths....A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking. Let us examine the points in which it varies from pure democracy...."
Progressives have been moving us toward "pure" democracy for a hundred years. You should work on that fragile IQ.
"progressives" pushing for a "true democracy" like...
North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Calling yourself "progressive" has become fashionable because calling yourself "leftist" set off too many alarms.
"Oh, and the 'Death to right wingers, but in a nice way' was also clearly humorous."
So if I say "Death to democrats!" or "Death to black people!" or "Death to Jews!" or "Death to Pelosi!" or "Death to Boehner!" it will be funny if I just add "but in a nice way" in parentheses? Let's let somebody try that at a Tea Party rally and see if the media lets it ride.
Looks like some one skipped the day that sarcasm was taught in school.
Wow. People are actually defending this stuff and saying it's not about Tea Party Members? What the "tea bag" didn't give it away for you? How stupid do you think we are?
Leftist are INSANE. We all know this. Stop trying to justify this crap and calling it irony. Irony is funny.
if your name is "anonymous", than what the hell are you afraid of. At least true patriots have the guts to show their name............
You American fascists are so pathetic and ignorant that it doesn`t take Stewart for us to laugh at you.
Europride wouldn't be laughing much at all if it hadn't been for Americans helping to save Europe.
Looks like some one skipped the day that sarcasm was taught in school.
Be happy: I devoted a whole post to your comment!
Making derisive comments about costumes here is funny in itself. It was the day before Halloween . . . there were plenty of costumes being worn throughout the city, not just at the rally.
directorblue, you really leave a lot to be desired. Here's a gloss:
1. "If you don't oppose the ever-growing federal government, the kind our country's founders feared and opposed, then you are a socialist."
If you were a liberal, using this type of language would actually be funny and show your sense of humor, since you realize how well it caricatures the usual situation of "conservatives" using gross simplification to paint other opinions as not just opinion, but wrong opinion and even heretical opinion in the sense that they go against what the founders intended. Any serious student of the American Revolution and period immediately after, when the Constitution was drafted, knows that the Constitution came out the way it was for very specific reasons. That there was a lot of debate (in the writings, positions were usually more principled and much better supported than those in today's debates). On the point of "ever-growing federal government", to the extent that there is a right answer, especially with regards to what "the founders" wanted, feared, or opposed, it should first be noted that
a) the founders are not around any more and it is our country, and
b) the founders are not God--more generally, they were wrong on some things and it is defensible to fix things that were mistakes or have not turned out all that well for the country.
Then when we come to the specifics on the size of government, it should be said that no reasonable person should call the United States socialist. (Even Sweden is not properly socialist.) More to the point, I am absolutely sure that even the Anti-federalists of the 1790s would have changed some of their opinions about the wisdom of having a grossly decentralized system of government with a weak and excessively limited federal government. The Constitution was drawn up as a direct response to the near-collapse of the United States under the Articles of Confederation. If Anti-federalists looked at the history of the United States under the Constitution since then, acknowledged some of the serious problems we have faced over the past 50 years, and came to terms with the fact that in certain areas, the entire country needs to have unified positions and regulations so that it can effectively compete economically with successful smaller or more centralized states--if they could do this, some Anti-federalists would have changed their arguments and positions. We have the benefit of knowing the arguments of the Federalists and Anti-federalists, as well as the history and some of the reasons the country evolved in specific directions. It's very clear that while the ideal of government being the most powerful on the local level and the weakest at the state level is noble, it would be a complete failure owing to the fact that most people do not want to take the time to get involved in the business of governing (and even today, a depressingly low number of Americans vote) as well as the fact that, as I've said earlier, there are many areas in which not having powerful central authority would produce a chaotic and sclerotic mess that doomed the country to failure. Some of these areas include pollution, manufacturing, housing, immigration, and health care. These things are specifically in addition to what is mentioned in the Constitution, and the facts on the ground have changed such that debates in each area would be unrecognizable to both Anti-federalists and those who drafted the Constitution.
2. "Regulating toilet tanks, dust, shower heads, light bulbs, health care, the size of cars, cow farts..."
If you are against environmental regulation, let it be said that there is overwhelming agreement among those who study economics that one of the deficiencies of the free market is the tragedy of the commons, which is related to the idea of externalities--ancillary effects not addressed in prices, which otherwise settle based on supply and demand and the "invisible hand". Most liberals and progressives are not reflexively big government but are, in a more nuanced fashion, pro-government that is as large as it needs to be to serve the common good. They are most defensible when they take positions in areas prone to market failure, like health care, environmental standards, and, I'd even argue, the financial markets.
Libertarians tend to forget that rules and regulations, while annoying, are usually warranted--in the sense that they are created to fix some specific problem. There were no rules concerning air pollution in the 19th century. Many people suffered from respiratory airway diseases. To say nothing of the danger to food, other animals, and costs of dealing with all of the related problems. Is it better to regulate air pollution or let the free market address it? Well, let's just say very little changed about air pollution until it was regulated in the 20th century. Our economy managed to survive (and flourish, actually) as it adjusted to the justifiable regulations. China's air quality standards have been terrible for some time. Because it's authoritarian there, though, ordinary Chinese people have to wait until it is convenient for the ruling class to address the very serious problems caused by air pollution. It started becoming an important threat to the Communist Party a few years ago, and they have accordingly adopted plans to reduce pollution and raise environmental standards across the country.
There are various justifiable reasons to regulate:
toilet tanks--if there is no real cost to consumers in terms of getting refuse out of the house but regulation can save us a lot of money on water (which, by the way, is generally underpriced), why wouldn't you want a minimum standard?
dust--very few people who aren't personally making money from directly polluting the environment with particulate matter will be of the opinion that we shouldn't regulate dust: most "dust" is produced from inefficiently burning fuel, like coal, in bulk (note that power plants, which produce most of our dust, also spend a lot of money to try to prevent themselves from being subject to regulations which are in everyone else's interest)
shower heads--again, there is a trade-off when it comes to the individual and the economy at large; mostly because of the fact that consumers do not act rationally in the medium- and long-term, regulating shower heads serves to save the state headaches over the sustainability of the water supply (this is actually happening in the Southwest, especially in California) just because people irresponsibly bought things like showers, toilets, or sprinklers that were way too profligate in their water demand
light bulbs--once again, economists use rational-consumer models where people allocate their money efficiently, and there is little justification to spend a little less money now on a light bulb when you'll spend a lot more money in the long-term as you use it; there's a limit to how much regulation is too much, but it's safe to say that if people saw the overall/long-term costs of their lighting, they would make different choices; no one should be against regulation that gives the consumer information to make more rational choices, and those people that are tend to be anti-market because they are benefiting from the market distortions
5. "We stand at the precipice of disaster, precisely because of the vast social engineering experiments that have failed miserably and bankrupted this country."
The greatest recent disaster that has been foisted on us specifically is probably that of not investing enough in this country to produce jobs and populate communities with enough middle class people. This started as late as the 1970s when America's balance of payments shifted towards deficits and the response was to articulate a corporate policy that rewarded companies that shifted their work force out of the country. This exacerbated our balance of payments problem, which was originally principally caused by demand for oil outsripping domestic supply, requiring that we send money overseas to power our transportation sector. As production of things like appliances, clothes, toys, durable goods like furniture, and even services has shifted overseas, our money follows our industries abroad. This means that fewer people pay for American stuff, which depresses the rate of import growth and intensifies our balance of payments deficit.
The greatest disaster overall is that posed by climate change. Of course, denying climate change is even going on, which requires that you be blind to and dismissive of all climate data collected over the past 125 years of record-keeping, is a serious problem that is part of the reason we have been so slow to action. But every year it becomes more obvious that our climate problem is serious and even our best science may not be telling us clearly how bad the ramifications of uncontrolled climate change can be. It also becomes more obvious every year how few people and how much money it takes to sustain the climate change denialism think tanks. If there is anything to put aside the petty (and not so petty) squabbles of politics for, it is the serious problems that climate change will probably wreak.
3. "Stand with the Constitution -- or stand with tyranny."
Well, anti-Constitutionism isn't truly tyrannical, but it does subvert the foundations of the state. It could be seditious if it encourages rebellion, but you ought to note that:
a) sedition encourages rebellion
b) tyranny is a type of government that extends the preferences of one or a few over the many, unwillingly
c) fascism, just in case you were tempted, is definitely a tyrannical form of government that extends the preferences of an entire class of people; since it's nationalistic, these people tend to be reckoned the "true X-ian", according to whoever is doing the speaking and eventual governing
d) irresponsibly tarring all people who hold one political opinion as any of these terms is not usually smiled upon in free democracies but is almost always par for the course in fascist or otherwise tyrannical states
Making any political argument one about the Constitution, especially one about the "original" understanding of the Constitution is an easy way to lose an argument since it becomes unwinnable. At least 99% of Americans, even if they do not know every iota of the Constitution, do not "stand against" the Constitution. More to the point, to say that not holding your opinion makes a person anti-Constitutional is in fact very much not what a person who has read the Constitution should do. The Constitution is intended not as a bludgeoning instrument, but a document that invites everyone to argue over the specifics of American politics. If everyone else is anti-Constitution and anti-American, it would serve little purpose to discuss things with them, and you probably shouldn't share a country with rehabilitated America-haters.
If there is one thing you should stop doing with your posts, you should never tar people as anti-American or anti-Constitution for being liberal. That is offensive and outside the bounds of respectable political discourse.
4. "Stand with the greatest minds in mankind's history -- or stand with despotism and failure."
The greatest minds in mankind's history did not exist at one particular and unreproducible time in history, but have existed throughout history. The greatest minds in human history were not gods, and should not be accorded that status. Specifically, if they knew how wrongly their words would be taken out of context and extended to support wholly unrelated matters, they probably would have issued disclaimers on every text they authored. The founders in particular didn't do this because they trusted that American people were wise and nuanced enough to read things dispassionately and have arguments based on principles and facts. Always make sure to articulate these. Because, yes the founders were against despotism and failure but were also not conservative enough that they were against change and trying something new and different, especially when there was some evidence to believe it might work. This was the whole point of declaring independence from Great Britain and establishing a democratic republic.
6. "Vote the straight Republican ticket on Tuesday and crush the would-be tyrants."
Yes, calling your opponents tyrants when the evidence to support the claim is (at best) weak is a terrible action to take in a free democracy because it lowers the bar for speech when it comes to both truth and respectability.
Even so, voting a straight ticket for any party is probably the worst way to express your voice in a democracy. Not just because it pigeonholes you into the ignorable base of your party, but also because it completely dismisses the point that voting and democracy require thinking, deliberation, and rational decision-making. Do you do that yourself, or do you let the party elites make your choices for you? This is one of the reasons that the Constitution was silent on the issue of political parties and people like Washington were against them. You should not use the existence of a party structure to ignore your duty as a citizen to vote in an informed manner, weighing the good and the bad of the candidates from all parties.
Maybe you would be surprised to know that the New York Times editorial board doesn't exclusively endorse liberals or even Democrats. It has political opinions that on some matters lean liberal or very liberal. Sometimes a Republican candidate can be better than a Democrat because the former satisfies more of the big picture than the latter.
Of course, in the 111th Congress Republicans actively worked to stop the Democrats from advancing legislation that they previously supported before opportunistically turning against it to try to get back into office. In general, Democrats worked with Republicans on most things during the Bush administration. Republicans have called Obama a socialist and a fascist, even though actual fascists share more in common with Republican positions than Democrat ones. I cannot recall any mainstream Democrats or opinion leaders with significant followings calling Bush a fascist. Things like this depress the conservative impulses within me and convince me that Republicans aren't even interested in governing as respectful conservatives. Of course, the fact that no Republican administration has run a surplus since Nixon has also convinced me that Republicans are not interested in getting our house in order and being straight about how it's going to happen. These things predispose me not to support the Republican, but I believe that eventually, Republicans will move back to the center and become a party that I can support. Right now, voting a straight Republican ticket would basically egg on elements within the Republican Party that have been convinced the country is innately Republican and Republican policies as well as Republicans in Congress are unpopular because they haven't been conservative enough.
On 6, continued:
The country is innately centrist. (There are enough people in the country with different opinions that you can't have a purely liberal or a purely conservative party. This is why lawmakers must always compromise.) Obama knows this and has been trying to temper liberal policies with centrist or even conservative elements in order to do right for our country in the long run. The Republican Party as a whole has been trying to counter Obama's shift to the center not by shifting to the center and giving him a run for his money, but by going out further, in the process recruiting fringier candidates (or actively not recruiting them and then deciding to support them anyway). That's not the way you run politics, and if your conception of politics is that flawed and self-serving, you shouldn't govern until you are able to campaign on an agenda that is as popular as Obama's.
More to the point, people are angry at Republicans because they have been articulating some pretty sick policies that have actively worked to bankrupt the nation. Even low-information voters who are voting Republican are doing so in the hope that maybe it will inspire more moderation in the country. If the Republican Party had spent the last 2 years looking to conciliate and moderate their positions, they would be well placed to make great gains in 2010 and 2012, since it is a historical fact that the president's party generally suffers in the first midterm election on his watch. That is to say, even if bills that passed the House passed the Senate in unobstructed form, people would still moderate by supporting Republicans and they could take credit for the economy starting to come back in 2011 and 2012. Basically trying to hold up the bus in order to start driving it again is canny but destructive politics and it works really well for 2010 but implodes in 2012. Because you took over the bus and are perceived as the force keeping it in place rather than misperceived as the force moving it forward.
--"Oh, and the 'Death to right wingers, but in a nice way' was also clearly humorous."
So if I say "Death to democrats!" or "Death to black people!" or "Death to Jews!" or "Death to Pelosi!" or "Death to Boehner!" it will be funny if I just add "but in a nice way" in parentheses? Let's let somebody try that at a Tea Party rally and see if the media lets it ride.--
The sign doesn't say "Death to right wingers." Learn to Read.
I have posted on these topics -- the intersection of philosophy, law, history and economics for years, so I won't repeat myself.
For starters, see my "comic book" on this very topic.
I guess you're convinced that if the two of us had a sober argument before the American body politic, they would choose a small government of "limited powers" and roundly proceed to write into the Constitution all the anti-Tenth Amendment things that are worth keeping and have gone on since 1789. It's obvious that interpreting the Tenth Amendment as strictly as you do is not only not in anyone's proximate interest, but more a battle carried out on principle. To avert some long-off radical event that is apparently presaged by the election and machinations of Democrats. By the same token, you could say that maybe the Bush administration was the road to Atlas Shrugged, I guess--if only it didn't have to compromise its conservative principles and govern a decidedly mixed bag of a country.
Just like I remain unconvinced that most Americans know what the Tenth Amendment is, I remain convinced that they would not countenance the nullification of popular and/or effective social programs and other aspects of government that are thought to be unconstitutional by some for the reason that they are not specifically enumerated and the Tenth Amendment effectively prohibits them. They would just reform the Constitution. Now if that means that in your eyes, the US is on the road to blind sucking at the teat of socialism, you'll note that your proposal of a reactionary revolution in order to quell an as-yet unconsummated socialist counter-revolution is a bit far-fetched. Specifically because by your measures, we would be the only not-really-all-that-socialist country in the OECD, and we seem to be finding ourselves in chronic deficits specifically attributable to unpaid-for tax cuts and a terrible industrial policy. And the remedy to this mess is to go back to the basics, dust off the tenth amendment, make the federal government an afterthought (then who would Fox News cover?!), and watch our country magically revive from its moribund state?
It doesn't add up. Sounds like a good way to get wildly ineffective national government, which was at best a tepidly acceptable goal in the early 19th century, when we were the most successful and advanced small republic in a hemisphere of starter nations. Also sounds like a good way to allow for endless mobility for capital and the wealthy throughout the country and out of the country, at the expense of all the little people who are left in a collapsing state.
Until the New Deal the 10th Amendment was indeed interpreted -- for the most part -- as it should have been.
The result was the 5,000 Year Leap.
Various actual conservatives reject this book as being afactual.
Also, much of Theodore Roosevelt's Republican administration would sound unconstitutional on your watch. He used the 1890 Clayton Antitrust act (Benjamin Harrison, Republican) to break up monopolistic enterprises. This violates the conception of the Constitution that holds that the federal government cannot interfere with businesses, as this is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution.
The fact remains that you would roundly reject the governance of lots of otherwise valid administrations. Lincoln's, for one (the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act distributed federal monies to build colleges in the several states based on their populations). Education had historically been understood to be within the purview of states.
Correction: Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890.
I'd love a principled response to some of the points I made, if you can spare the time.
(Sorry, I'm anonymous. I have neither a Blogger account nor a blog of my own. I generally just read stuff online.)
You want a response? Okay, here's a simple one.
Foisted upon us by regulation gone mad, CFLs are a menace to society. Here's what the fine folks would have us do (this is from a CFL *advocate!*):
"While it is true that each CFL contains a trace amount of mercury, they are not hazardous as long as they are handled safely by the base and protected against breakage. Each CFL contains between 3 – 6 milligrams of mercury which is the tip of a ballpoint pen. If a CFL bulb breaks, there are safety procedures that you can put into action to protect yourself and your family. Open windows to allow the mercury vapours to escape, and keep people and pets away for at least fifteen minutes. Once fifteen minutes pass, be sure to wear suitable disposable gloves and a dust mask while cleaning up the bulb fragments. Do not use a vacuum cleaner. Use an old broom, and do not forget to dispose of the gloves, dust mask and broom."
Get that? If you happen to drop a CFL, first clear out the room. Then put on Hazmat gear to clean it up and then THROW OUT THE GEAR.
The cost of cleaning up one busted bulb will more than offset any energy savings.
Also note that you soft-pedal this garbage by saying regulation is "giving the consumer information". That disingenuous claptrap in itself reduces the credibility of the rest of your arguments. CFL regulations are not giving us more information, they are otulawinf incandescent lights and putting American workers out of work.
But hey, you're the expert. Explain to me again why I should be loving the government's ever-more intrusive behavior. And this is just one instance. Most of your arguments have the same lack of substance (but lots and lots of REALLY COOL words!).
Not quite sure what language "otulawinf" is, but the word should have been outlawing.
There's no real reason why the US shouldn't produce more efficient lighting. CFLs are more efficient than incandescent lamps because most the electricity isn't wasted as heat. LEDs are more efficient still and are safer than CFLs. If we are losing jobs by encouraging a shift to more efficient lighting, then it is a fault of American business not producing that lighting.
CFLs are slightly dangerous because of their mercury content. If they break, you have to follow the same precautions you would follow for any flourescent light, within reason. Of course, people have to change CFLs less often, and it's not often that you break light bulbs, so this shouldn't really be as big a problem as you say it is. I'm not so cool with mercury, but I do like saving money with more efficient lighting. I think once LEDs are priced effectively (the market is bringing them down, so they'll be ready for prime time in American consumer market over the next two years), you'll have to find some other argument against lighting choices that are initially more expensive but cheaper in the long run.
Of course, the main problem I have with your argument is that in many cases what happened was the laws slowly got tighter on efficiency in ways that encouraged and allowed more efficient incandescent bulbs to come to market. And what had been an otherwise boring market became interesting again as innovation centers improved upon the traditional light bulb to make it a better competitor against CFLs and LEDs.
I don't have much time to respond to individual comments, esp. anonymous ones, but the major point is this:
If the Constitution doesn't mean what it says, as the framers intended, then:
- what are the limits on the federal government established?
- why isn't any law living and breathing? In fact, why isn't my mortgage living and breathing?
We have a huge administrative state, never contemplated by the founders, that is integrally intertwined with the Democrat Party and public sector unions, all to the detriment of the taxpayer.
In good times and bad, it gets ever larger, levying crushing regulations, dictates and demands.
What are the limits on the federal government if not those established by the Constitution?
How much government is enough for these Democrats?
Hey, anonymous, what part about banning incandescents don't you get? Free market is what will get you better light bulbs. If the CFLs can compete in the marketplace, they will. Banning incandescents is the evil, and you haven't addressed that. You're just looking to foist your opinion off on others as law, which is what we're against.
Your defense of not having laws that encourage the development of more efficient light bulbs in general is that it is anti-free market. I won't make a defense for laws that make it illegal to sell incandescent bulbs, because that's going too far. But I did make a defense for having standards that force light bulb manufacturers to get more efficient. If the rebuttal is that it is still anti-free market, there's not much else to say. I know of very few examples of actual free markets, and they tend to be very boring. In a real free market, the price is uniformly low and people know the prices of everything that the price quoted by all suppliers is the same. Most times market distortions reward consumers who have more information or actors who use shady means to corner the market. I'd love a site that showed me the price of cereal at all local supermarkets, so I could make a rational free market choice and go out and save money. I suppose the reason such a site doesn't exist must also be the free market.
No one is saying the Constitution doesn't mean what it says. I don't know of any significant and lasting interpretations of the Tenth Amendment that posited that the federal government could do absolutely nothing not specifically enumerated in the Constitution. This debate went on during the generation of the Framers', and by your interpretation of the Tenth Amendment, even people who supported Tenth Amendment maximalism ended up violating the Constitution that they drafted. This is a good way to tell that a particular interpretation is probably not what the Framers intentioned.
The limits to federal government are established in practice, through civil discourse by politicians to decide what the government should and should not do, within its agreed-upon powers articulated in the Constitution.
Supporters for a static, absolutely literal Constitution probably should have rebelled right after Marbury v. Madison made it clear that John Marshall would not take the country in that severely limited direction. In fact, I'd say that if it were true that the government was always designed to be run by making the states much more powerful than the federal government, there would have been a large revolution, because that inherently puts the country in danger of dissolution. (France suffered several revolutions over constitutions that did not, in the eyes of its citizens, set out a path for fair government of the country.) The United States had just one Civil War, and thereafter it became a point of fact that the federal government was not only more powerful than the states, but the force to unite the wills of people from all states to do the great duties set out for the powerful country that emerged throughout the course of the 19th century.
We have had a huge administrative state ever since the 19th century. It has needed reform since then. Civil service laws were just one of the many things people did back then. Obviously the list of the things that any level of government should and should not do is very long and how they interact is quite complex. I don't think they are so complex we need the tangles of our current bureaucratic state, and I would support for a whole host of reforms that simplified the workings of government so that average citizens could understand which level of government to petition and can more easily participate in a transparent political process. This would take a while to bring to fruition, but it has to be done. In the past several decades, government under the direction of Republicans has proven to be just as large and complex and unreformed as under Democrats. I'm not sure its complexity knows a certain party configuration. I do know that Republican policies have routinely produced deficits: http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/108xx/doc10871/Summary.shtml#1098590
The blip of surplus can be explained by George H.W. Bush working together with Democrats to balance the budget and Clinton working with Republicans to continue the practice. We ought to at least get revenues up and outlays down so we can balance the budget again.
The "FEAR THIS" sign is the Reddit logo. Reddit is a link sharing site where you can vote on the links, like Digg, except its pretty much all far-left users. There were a TON of Redditers there.
Oh come on, there were American flags (nondestroyed) all over the place, the National Anthem and God Bless America were played, I saw quite a few Jesus-oriented signs. You picked out the one flag made of destroyed American flags and showed that? I was there, I saw the vast majority were peaceful and pleasant signs, or at most ironic and tongue-in-cheek. Yes, a few were anti-GOP or on the nasty side but come on, we're talking the preponderance of evidence here. And it was a very patriotic gathering. I was there, I know.
How can so many people fail so miserably at getting jokes? They're jokes people. Pretty clear to me not one of those sings is the least bit serious...all in the name of trying to at least slightly diffuse the very tone you insist on perpetuating by taking these signs and attaching anyone's actual political ideals to them. Either you just don't get it, or you really are threatened by these people you're attempting to write off.
"Because not everyone who has the Stockholm Syndrome is Swedish."
All I can say is wow... Whoever posted this knew nothing about The Daily Show or the Colbert Report. I guess they didn't know half the rally was to "Keep Fear Alive," remember? Those are jokes. Irony. satire. Get it? I find it doubtful this person even watched the rally because all context is lost to whoever wrote those photo captions. I would expect one who has such strong distaste for such an event to at least know something about what actually went on there. All this talk about lefties and yet not ONE candidate spoke or was endorsed. This photo collection is being portrayed in a misleading manner due to the posters ignorance. I am so embarrassed for you.
I agree with Diane. This article, and many comments left illustrate Stewart's point perfectly. Believe it or not, many of us that went to the rally, are in the middle. Stuck in the middle again. Don't you understand? It's HEALTHY for us to have differing opinions! It's GOOD to discuss and debate issues. We shouldn't all agree, but we should get along.
Oh doug, I understand the difficulty in understanding irony, all that thinking must hurt your little brain but please do the world a favor and use a dictionary to look up the word satire and ironic. Thanks big guy!
Ever heard of parody? satire? irony? humor? Lighten up! All your hatred will not tarnish the memory or the spirit of the Rally for those of us who attended. It does, however, sadden me that the people who have the least to gain from supporting the plutocracy that is taking over America, fight so damn hard for what will surely turn this nation into two classes, the haves and the have-nots. Guess which group you'll be in...
But you don't have to listen to me, I'm just an old lady, who won't be around probably to see it. Unfortunately, my grandchildren will be.
The difference that I see is these are aimed at people, citizens not politicians. The tea parties are aimed at the government and political organizations that are destroying America. These people have no intention of fighting with their fellow Americans but against them. The tea party is for smaller government and to get them out of our daily lives, plain and simple. I just think that if Stewart is going to make fun of people, stop keeping it one sided.
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