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hoffmang
10-05-2009, 5:16 PM
Interesting editorial on FoxNews from Curt Levey (who I met at GRPC) on the effect that the gun rights community is and will be having on the Judicial nomination process:

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2009/10/05/curt-levey-supreme-court-guns-new-abortion/

Guns Are the New Abortion

With an estimated 90 million firearms owners in America and a huge margin of popular support for a right to keep and bear arms, the gun rights community is a potent political force. But until recently, it had little reason to care about judges. That's all changed with the arrival of a new Supreme Court justice and the Obama administration.

As a new Supreme Court term opens today, one issue on the Court’s docket stands out, not only for its legal significance, but also for the role it will play in future High Court confirmation fights. The issue is gun rights, and in several ways, it’s the new abortion.

Last week, in a case out of Chicago, the Justices agreed to decide whether the Second Amendment gives Americans a constitutional right to keep and bear arms that is enforceable against state and local gun laws. Coming on the heels of the High Court’s landmark gun rights decision last year, and at a time when the retirement of two Supreme Court Justices appears imminent, the Chicago case reminds gun owners that their battlefield has shifted to the courts and hastens the profound change in the politics of judicial confirmations that began this summer.

Spurred on by the courts’ new role in gun rights and by Sonia Sotomayor’s narrow view of the Second Amendment, gun owners – from the grassroots to the National Rifle Association – jumped into a Supreme Court confirmation contest for the first time in history this summer. With an estimated 90 million firearms owners in America and a huge margin of popular support for a right to keep and bear arms, the gun rights community is a potent political force. But until recently, it had little reason to care about judges. Its battles took place almost entirely in the legislative arena, where it built a long record of success.

Then came District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision recognizing the Second Amendment as an individual right. By empowering Americans to protect that right in court, the Justices transferred the theater of war from legislatures to the judiciary.
However, Heller left two huge questions unaddressed – the all-important standard for evaluating the constitutionality of gun regulations, and the Second Amendment’s application to state and local laws. Moreover, the Supreme Court’s 5-4 split means that if President Obama replaces one of the five center-right Justices, Heller itself could be gutted or even overturned.

As with other ideologically charged issues in the hands of the courts, the future of gun rights depends as much on the composition of the federal bench as on the strength of the legal arguments. That’s why I and others predicted that gun owners – their fate tied to the selection of judges in the wake of Heller – would emerge as a potent part of the coalition advocating against liberal judicial activism and for judges who strictly interpret the Constitution.

Those predictions seemed prescient when President Obama chose a Supreme Court nominee with – in the words of former NRA president Sandy Froman – “an extreme anti-gun philosophy” and record. Word about her record spread quickly among gun owners, generating calls to senators and leading gun rights groups. Despite some initial hesitation about jumping into the unchartered waters of judicial nominations, the groups listened to their members and began to speak out against Sotomayor’s confirmation.

Some criticize the NRA for joining the bandwagon late, but it deserves much of the credit for making gun rights the most prominent issue in the final month of the confirmation fight. Nearly every senator criticized, defended, or tried to counterbalance Sotomayor’s Second Amendment record in explaining their vote on confirmation.

The last time a controversial Democratic Supreme Court nominee came before the Senate, only 3 Republicans voted against Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The conventional wisdom was that Republicans might be able to muster 20 votes against Sotomayor. But in the end, 31 of 40 Republican senators voted nay, and the Second Amendment issue explains much of the increase over history and expectations. Similarly, predictions that several of the four GOP senators in the heavily Hispanic states of Texas and Arizona would vote for the first Hispanic Supreme Court nominee fell flat, largely because those states also have large gun-owning populations.

Across the aisle, Democratic senators from gun-heavy red and purple states waited until almost the last minute to announce their support for Sotomayor. Several of them would likely have voted nay had the NRA gotten involved earlier or “worked” the vote, or had the Democratic leadership failed to squeeze the vote in before those senators went home to gun country for August recess. In any case, if Sotomayor votes against gun rights while on the Supreme Court, the red and purple state Democrats who supported her will likely pay a price at the polls.

The political dynamics of nominating and confirming judges has been forever altered. Abortion rears its head in virtually every Supreme Court or hotly contested lower court confirmation contest. Gun rights will now do the same, especially as the explosion of Second Amendment litigation guarantees that more and more judicial nominees will have relevant rulings, briefs, articles, and speeches to scrutinize and debate.

Abortion opponents have been the most influential part of the coalition opposing liberal judges and judicial activism. But the new, gun-owning gorilla in the room matches the pro-life movement in numbers and surpasses it in ability to influence moderate Republican and Democratic senators. And there’s no comparable countervailing force on the other side.

This summer, the Second Amendment community got its feet wet. Next time around, gun owners – from the NRA down to the grassroots – will be more focused on the importance of judicial nominations, more educated about the politics of the confirmation process, more sophisticated about influencing the outcome, quicker to the draw, and more aggressive. Even red and purple state Democratic senators will have to seriously consider voting against judicial nominees who appear less than sympathetic to the Second Amendment. And, should Heller or a victory in the Chicago case be imperiled by the retirement of one of the five center-right Justices, all bets are off.

In the end, the payoff for gun rights advocates may be found as much in the selection of judges as in the confirmation process. By all reports, the White House was unpleasantly surprised by how big an issue Sotomayor’s Second Amendment record turned out to be. Expect Obama and his Democratic successors to borrow a page from Republican presidents, who have shied away from nominating outspoken opponents of abortion for the past two decades.

In the war for the soul of the judiciary, the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor will be narrowly viewed as a setback for conservatives. But viewed with an eye on future battles and interest group dynamics, her confirmation contest was an important turning point. It’s like 1917, when the teetering Allies gained a powerful new partner in the Great War. In time, it made all the difference in the world.

Curt Levey is Executive Director of the Committee For Justice, which promotes constitutionalist judicial nominees and the rule of law.

-Gene

GuyW
10-05-2009, 5:24 PM
"Several of them would likely have voted nay had the NRA gotten involved earlier..."

THAT would have signaled NRA/gunowner power....

.

BigDogatPlay
10-05-2009, 5:27 PM
This summer, the Second Amendment community got its feet wet. Next time around, gun owners – from the NRA down to the grassroots – will be more focused on the importance of judicial nominations, more educated about the politics of the confirmation process, more sophisticated about influencing the outcome, quicker to the draw, and more aggressive.

One can dream.

I'd be ecstatic for firearms to become a "third rail" at all levels of political discourse in this country. Touch the third rail, you die politically.

CaliforniaCarry
10-05-2009, 6:16 PM
I was seriously wondering about this issue earlier today.

What the heck happens if we lose one of the 5? It's doubtful that we'll lose one before incorporation, but what about after?
Do the 5 know what's going on, and will they try to postpone retirement as long as possible in order to prevent the current administration from rebalancing the court?
Will Obama and the Senate suffer politically if the balance is upset? Would this political backlash be enough to get another pro-gun judge nominated by an Obama replacement in 2012?
Will Obama, in fear of backlash, not nominate an anti-gun replacement for one of the 5?

I know we can't know the answers to these question yet, but they scare me.

forgiven
10-05-2009, 7:50 PM
Obama is going to follow the radical left to the end.

yellowfin
10-05-2009, 8:30 PM
One can dream.

I'd be ecstatic for firearms to become a "third rail" at all levels of political discourse in this country. Touch the third rail, you die politically. And for it to oust our real enemies, not just low level first termers who simply wander astray on accident. Take down Schumer, for one. Block every anti gun judge the jerk in the White House attempts to put forth. Kick out a bad ATF head. Give us some REAL heads on a pole.

mblat
10-05-2009, 8:43 PM
I was seriously wondering about this issue earlier today.

What the heck happens if we lose one of the 5? It's doubtful that we'll lose one before incorporation, but what about after?

It would be highly unfortunate. We will most likely end up with with some variation of Kelo case. If you are not familiar
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelo_v._City_of_New_London

Basically right to keep and bear arms will NEVER be questioned again ( as right to private property), however regulation of that right that may be deemed constitutional may be extreme. ( like taking one property and giving it to other private party in order to raise tax revenue ).
Think about it - if it is constitutional for government to confiscate property to raise tax receipts, why similar concept can't be applied to gun registration/ownership/magazine limits?

So you will be able to owe pretty much ANY gun, as long as you keep it unloaded and locked all the time. Or something similar.....

I know that bunch of very capable and very smart law professionals on this board disagree with me on this. And I fully respect knowledge they posses and I don't. However, this has NOTHING to do with what CONSTITUTION or SCOTUS precedence says. What they refuse to recognize is that judges in this country no longer interpret law. They make it. For SCOTUS it has long become purely political game. Heller after all was 5-4? So four judges choose to ignore "shall not be infringed". Given a chance they WILL find the way to go around the Heller.


Do the 5 know what's going on, and will they try to postpone retirement as long as possible in order to prevent the current administration from rebalancing the court?

yes - they do it all the time. Unless one of them dies they will stay on court until R will be in the office.

Will Obama and the Senate suffer politically if the balance is upset? Would this political backlash be enough to get another pro-gun judge nominated by an Obama replacement in 2012?

no. Obama may not nominate openly anti-gun judge.... but he will NEVER nominate openly pro-gun judge either.


Will Obama, in fear of backlash, not nominate an anti-gun replacement for one of the 5?

no


I know we can't know the answers to these question yet, but they scare me.

Sure we do know the answer. And it is:
Guns matter...... they just don't matter all THAT much. People care about jobs, not guns. There are probably close to ten million gun owners in CA, by far largest block. We also have one of the most severe anti-gun laws.

One can hope that gun owners will start voting as a block, but it is unlikely to happen.

yellowfin
10-05-2009, 9:04 PM
^ Which for all those reasons I have long said that we need to work towards the ideological and political extinction of the other side, not to just play ping pong with it. Gene and company are working it on the judicial side with the end game in mind, to close the door and weld it shut, but it needs to be done in the other sectors of influence, like education, social structures, the legislative field, and so on.

rabagley
10-05-2009, 9:37 PM
I wonder if when young people imagine the Republican party they get pictures of dusty old farts that aren't fun.

At this point, non-religious people imagine the Republican party and get pictures of a Pentocostal revival or getting beaten up by a stack of Bibles.

The new Republican party isn't old, it's fundamentalist Christians. And that's a problem for the non-religious. As a non-religious Republican, this means a daily identity crisis. According to most of those on this board, I'm a RINO.

Dr Rockso
10-05-2009, 9:48 PM
At this point, non-religious people imagine the Republican party and get pictures of a Pentocostal revival or getting beaten up by a stack of Bibles.

The new Republican party isn't old, it's fundamentalist Christians. And that's a problem for the non-religious. As a non-religious Republican, this means a daily identity crisis. According to most of those on this board, I'm a RINO.
+1

I think that's why you're seeing a surge in independents, libertarians, and right-leaning dems. The Republican party has (unfortunately IMO) branded itself as the theocratic party.

510dat
10-05-2009, 10:04 PM
I wonder if when young people imagine the Republican party they get pictures of dusty old farts that aren't fun. Then, for some reason, think that Democrats are opposite? Think this is by any means true? And, have any bearing on how people vote? Since, obviously, many people aren't voting because a particular politican seems to have a good grip on reality.

More or less. In Ca, Republicans are viewed by young non-Republicans, as, essentially, people who hate young people and everything they are.

In all seriousness, Republicans are viewed as the "No" party:

No abortions,
No birth control,
No sex for young people (that's only for married congressmen in bathrooms or hotels)
No drugs,
No shirt, no shoes no service,
No help for people who need it, (welfare, unemployment, etc)
No young people allowed out at night,
No loud cars or stereos
etc.

Allright, so they're ok with guns, but only crazy people actually have guns.
And they do seem to want prayer forced on everybody in school.

Emotionally, young people think of Republicans in the same light that they view power-tripping cops; arrogant, overbearing know-it-alls who want to tell us all how to live.

And then go look at the TV and tell me that's not true.

If the Ca Republicans could lose the religious dogma, they would have a chance to pick up an awful lot of fiscal conservative, social liberal types who want nothing to do with the bible-thumpers.

bwiese
10-05-2009, 10:12 PM
At this point, non-religious people imagine the Republican party and get pictures of a Pentocostal revival or getting beaten up by a stack of Bibles.

The new Republican party isn't old, it's fundamentalist Christians. And that's a problem for the non-religious. As a non-religious Republican, this means a daily identity crisis. According to most of those on this board, I'm a RINO.

I feel ya, bro... Hard-right small-L libertarian atheist American nationalist.

Old-school conservative - a la Barry Goldwater
http://www.thoseshirts.com/images/square-med-goldwater.jpg

7x57
10-05-2009, 11:06 PM
I feel ya, bro... Hard-right small-L libertarian atheist American nationalist.

Old-school conservative - a la Barry Goldwater
http://www.thoseshirts.com/images/square-med-goldwater.jpg

Nice picture of Barry.

:patriot:

All this mostly goes to show that none of you actually knows what the grass-roots religious conservative voters are. My parents, who fit that description more than most, are still proud of campaigning for Barry Goldwater. I'm proud of that too, though it took some DIY deprogramming after university to understand what a great man Goldwater was (as I had a Goldwater scholarship I heard enough passing comments to know how hated he was by "all the smart people"--that's sort of like Jew-baiting in front of a Jew, though they didn't know it). That was the only campaign I am aware of them ever working for. Apparently, that was the one they believed in enough to be foot-soldiers.

But, being religious conservatives, that's impossible. Apparently. According to all of you.

I never, ever question my commitment to gun rights when I have to deal with anti-gunners. Often, it's motivating. I only question it when gunnies start trotting out the same smears and stereotypes about people who they know nothing about. (That isn't aimed at Bill, just the thread in general.) The problem comes out when we have threads like the one where the pagans (that's an affectionate term in this context) moaned about how the religious voters don't believe in the 2A, and seemingly could NOT process the fact that everyone who posted who actually attends a conservative church said their church was somewhere between neutral and positive on self-defense and the 2A. I suppose that, in addition to being treated as though they have something to do with the TV Heretics, they must also be treated as though they have something in common with the National Council of Socialists Churches.

I don't normally say much it, because it doesn't do much useful as far as advancing the cause that brings us here. But sometimes I get annoyed.

In the mean time, you can thank all those people you dislike for saving your Second Amendment rights for you long enough for us to see Heller. Without them, and without procedural issues like geographic districting and the Great Compromise that gives the small states in the bible belt and the West equal representation in the Senate, we would be discussing our fight to keep our single-shot hunting rifles and double shotguns.

We have not won until we have saved the great cities, but we'd never have the chance without having been able to retreat to small-town America when the hour was darkest. It's always worked for the Russians, and an analogous strategy worked for us. (I am glad we're past our Stalingrad, at least.)

The importance, or perhaps simply the tragedy, of this thread is that there are only two long-term political outcomes for the US. Either the social conservatives and libertarians manage to make common cause for the considerable common ground they have on Limited, Government, Constitutionality, and the citizen's liberty to live independently of his government, or the Socialist Juggernaut will win.

The necessity of getting those two groups to cooperate when they have no interest in even knowing whether they're blaming the right group for the right thing is one reason I'm a perennial pessimist.

7x57

bwiese
10-05-2009, 11:26 PM
All this mostly goes to show that none of you actually knows what the grass-roots religious conservative voters are. My parents, who fit that description more than most, are still proud of campaigning for Barry Goldwater. I'm proud of that too, though it took some DIY deprogramming after university to understand what a great man Goldwater was.

I never, ever question my commitment to gun rights when I have to deal with anti-gunners. Often, it's motivating. I only question it when gunnies start trotting out the same smears and stereotypes about people who they know nothing about. (That isn't aimed at Bill, just the thread in general.) I just don't normally say it, because it doesn't do much useful as far as advancing the cause that brings us here.

Your points 7x57 are well taken - for the past, and in fact for much of certain regions of America.

But that was then and there and this is here & now: with the decline in relgion as time moves on that weighting will change, and as I've often said, the *CA* Republican party has alienated a huge portion of CA population that it'll never get back unless it changes in certain ways. (And I'm with you - that doesn't mean going to "tax & spend RINO mode".) The dominance of a small segment in party mgmt. has relegated it to near-unelectable status in CA. My neighbors might well want to vote for a fiscal conservative, but when he has the baggage of Creationism in schools, and "anti-choice" status around his neck, it's no wonder they flee to the other side. [Note that I did not say I was pro or anti- choice - I just said it was a 100% losing issue in CA that the CA Rs need to run away from to have a hope of getting more than 1/3 leg. seats and any significant state office.]

Mssr. Eleganté
10-05-2009, 11:48 PM
I remember watching a biography on Barry Goldwater. They talked about when he started pissing off the religious right in his later years because of his stance on homosexuality and his hatred of Jerry Falwell. There was a movement in the Arizona Republican Party to have Barry Goldwater's name taken of the Arizona Republican Party headquarters (the building is named after him). When asked about it, Goldwater replied something like "If the Republican party keeps going the way it is, I'll go down there myself and take the my name off of the building!" :)

7x57
10-06-2009, 12:06 AM
But that was then and there and this is here & now: with the decline in relgion as time moves on


That's mostly a demographic fiction. Go read Rodney Stark's The Churching of America if you want to know how imaginary the picture of a grand secularization trend has been. It may be true in specific regions, but at least as a picture of the whole country it contradicts the data. You're believing a fantasy history invented by people like Lyman Beecher. The historians of religion were employed at places like Harvard, Cambridge...the seminaries of the "respectable churches." They wrote what they wrote at least partly because they were determined to write the authentic churches of the people (which means Methodist and Baptist derived churches) out of the history books because they weren't respectable enough.

The thumbnail version is that the "decline of religion" was an unexamined axiom of the non-religious historians and a euphemism for the decline of "our kind of church" by the historians of the seminaries.

What does happen is that the conservative churches are the ones that grow. I'm not sure that there is a single significant counterexample. That has important demographic consequences.

The one of relevance to this thread is that they'll be around indefinitely, and tend to vote for gun rights and fiscal conservatism. Note I said "tend to"; part of the problem is that the loss of genuine citizenship education (why would any government teach citizens to stand in judgement over it? why would anyone ever have imagined that one would?) means they're fuzzy on key concepts. (On the other hand, they are far ahead of the rest of you on taking control of their children's education, which in the long run is tremendously useful on issues that have nothing to do with religion.)

But they're fertile ground, if not driven away. There's the take-home message. They're not going to stop voting for the Rights of the Unborn. But we'd like them to vote for other things with similar fervor.

How fertile? Well, I had someone come and ask me about this ammo shortage thing he'd heard about, and why it was so important to people. He was quite interested in my attempt at a rushed sketch, and was interested in hearing the longer version.

Oddly enough, that happened in church. A rather multi-racial Southern California church. A (gasp) pentecostal church.

It's hard, but I do my best to try to convince you guys (and by "you guys" I mostly mean you over there who think I must have been in a snake-handling church or something--you know who you are) that this is not particularly unusual, and that I can sell Constitutionalism more successfully to conservative Christians than to any other group. (Where else can I get away with explicit metaphysical arguments about the citizen's obligation to uphold the government?)

Calguns is probably an isolated enough forum not to be a big problem, but as a more general point I'd sort of appreciate it if you atheist Constitutionalists would not make it harder to be out selling Constitutionalism to people who actually vote. Which kind of bible-thumper (whoever they are) do you prefer? The one who understands the Constitution and the Federal system and believes it's his religious duty to uphold it (that's an easy extension, thanks to St. Paul), or the one who sees the government through the lens of what he learned in public school?


(And I'm with you - that doesn't mean going to "tax & spend RINO mode".)


Much of the dispirited Republican mood in 2008 seemed to be rooted in people who watched a succession of Republican presidents grow government and whose alternative choice to the statism of the Academy was a candidate who everyone believed was himself a RINO (and confirmed that belief right before the election by coming out of the gate with tires smoking in favor of the bailout). It's hard to get them out for a cause they believe in when they have good reason to think their own party has been betraying their votes for decades. (Sometimes I make Republicans uncomfortable by pointing out that even Reagan didn't exactly slash spending. The significance of our man Barry is precisely that he seems to have been the last major-party candidate who truly believed in small government as a matter of both Constitution and of policy.)


[Note that I did not say I was pro or anti- choice - I just said it was a 100% losing issue in CA

Two points on that. The first is that those of you who feel that way don't seem to turn out to man phones, pound pavement, and seal envelopes. Secular Libertarians, it seems, are great talkers, but vanish when the ground game gets going (I phrase it offensively so maybe someone will decide to change that). You can't run a campaign without a ground game. My guess is that it's very difficult to run the campaign you desire without being able to self-finance at a level that allows you to pay for stuff to happen that is often done by volunteers in other campaigns.

The Second is that the Prop 8 vote illustrates that the situation is more complex than that. Many traditionally Democratic constituencies are socially conservative--they simply don't generally vote that way. That's a bit of a ticking time-bomb that may or may not someday go off. Perhaps it is beyond the CA Republicans to actually exploit, but that's a matter of organizational incompetence.

In the mean time, I continue to not actually write my monograph on the theology of self-defense and Constitutional government. Maybe because deep down I don't expect it to gain an audience?

7x57

mblat
10-06-2009, 7:45 AM
Your points 7x57 are well taken - for the past, and in fact for much of certain regions of America.

But that was then and there and this is here & now: with the decline in relgion as time moves on that weighting will change, and as I've often said, the *CA* Republican party has alienated a huge portion of CA population that it'll never get back unless it changes in certain ways. (And I'm with you - that doesn't mean going to "tax & spend RINO mode".) The dominance of a small segment in party mgmt. has relegated it to near-unelectable status in CA. My neighbors might well want to vote for a fiscal conservative, but when he has the baggage of Creationism in schools, and "anti-choice" status around his neck, it's no wonder they flee to the other side. [Note that I did not say I was pro or anti- choice - I just said it was a 100% losing issue in CA that the CA Rs need to run away from to have a hope of getting more than 1/3 leg. seats and any significant state office.]

This thread hasn't started as discussion about religion. If it will turn into one it should be moved.... Generally I am trying to avoid commenting on religious topics - but this was too good to pass up.
with the decline in relgion as time moves
What are talking about, Bill? Religion is on great rebound all over the World, to think that rebound will not touch America is strange - after all we are not above the rest of the Word when it comes to general trends.

Glock22Fan
10-06-2009, 8:19 AM
Emotionally, young people think of Republicans in the same light that they view power-tripping cops; arrogant, overbearing know-it-alls who want to tell us all how to live.

Sounds like a fair number of lefties to me: Feinstein, Schumer, Pelosi, Soros, Huffington, editorial staff on LA Times, NY Times etc. etc. and even our current president.

bulgron
10-06-2009, 8:36 AM
That's mostly a demographic fiction. Go read Rodney Stark's The Churching of America if you want to know how imaginary the picture of a grand secularization trend has been. It may be true in specific regions, but at least as a picture of the whole country it contradicts the data.
7x57

Regardless, it is clear that in the here and now, California Republicans are all-but unelectable, and the reason why is their insistence on clinging to religious principles above all other issues.

In the SF Bay Area, Republicans seemed to have learned to down-play religious issues, but then they turn around and go straight for Tax & Spend gun-hating Democrat-lite status.

In other words, the Republican party in this state is incompetent, which is why we have the nut jobs running Sacramento that we do. After all, what reason do California Democrats have to reform themselves and better represent the people when Republicans have become so weak and ineffectual that the Democrats can literally do whatever they feel like doing and still win re-election?

The Republican party isn't even an opposition party in this state. It's a nothing party.

California is a one-party state.

The one thing we have going for us is that the Democrats keep sending people to office who are incompetent when it comes to writing gun laws. Otherwise, this place would be unlivable.

M. D. Van Norman
10-06-2009, 8:42 AM
If not for the so-called religious right, the Republican Party might already be dead. The dogmatic power of religion is all that pushes many younger and less-affluent voters into the Republican camp.

Fundamentally, the Republican Party suffers from a marketing problem. It has a few good ideas, but it has done a terrible job of selling them to the American people in recent decades. Instead, it has worked most fervently on sweetheart deals for monopolists and on theocratic social controls—political capital that could have been spent on reducing government and implementing market-based reforms.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party has been winning converts through the seductive message that those greedy rich people can be taxed to provide everyone else with an array of attractive benefits—free of charge, of course.

7x57
10-06-2009, 9:03 AM
This thread hasn't started as discussion about religion. If it will turn into one it should be moved....


If it became focused on religion in general, OK. But how it touches politics, and specifically gun politics, seems fair game to me. Bill's argument, in fact, was that it is very important (in a negative way) for CA gun politics, seeing as how that always touches on party politics. That seems to me to be fair, *especially since the original post created an analogy with abortion right in the subject line.*


What are talking about, Bill? Religion is on great rebound all over the World, to think that rebound will not touch America is strange - after all we are not above the rest of the Word when it comes to general trends.

The actual situation is in many ways causally and temporally the reverse of what you say. As far as Christianity goes (obviously this will not apply to phenomena in the Islamic world) the movement you speak of nearly amounts to the export and globalization of something that was already endemic to America. If you're a secularist you may think of it as religious Kudzu. :D

I can only reference Rodney Stark's research once again for the situation in America--particularly for the measurable fact that "religiosity," if you will, has been uniformly increasing for more or less the entire history of the country. Yeah, your history teacher lied. As for the global situation, in the ninteenth century, the church, particularly the American church, rediscovered the Great Commission (for those following along without a glossary, that means they re-discovered that evangelism and missions were in fact the primary mission of the church, not static maintenance of culture), and by the twentieth had learned to do it right (for example, had learned to separate God from cultural cues--what I call the "putting pants on the natives" problem). For various reasons this was really only possible for the American church (for one thing, the vigorous American churches are positively anti-hierarchy, which means they not only could turn their new churches over to the local people but had an ideological preference for doing so).

To attempt to not stray further than how this touches gun politics, the point I tried to make earlier is fairly simple: you can't wait out the "bible-thumpers" (you see I'm trying to work with the wacky local lingo for the sake of the secularists ;) ), because they're not going away. You also can't win alone--an awful lot of secular Libertarians seem to have precisely the political sophistication of GoA, which means you lose. Purity kills, as the history of gun rights demonstrates.

So the question is simple: do you want to win? If so, you're going to have to be able to make common cause on specific issues with people you disagree with. The largest group that seems to have a built-in receptivity to issues of Constitutionality, small government, and so on happen to be those hated bible-thumpers. Likely a secularist won't see that because they'll trip over the wrong buttons--but then, Christian missionaries learned long ago to start by learning the language and culture, and Libertarian missionaries should (but probably won't) learn the same lesson.

But *I* can make a decent go of selling those ideas. (The reason is simple--those ideas were invented by people who, if not any kind of orthodox Christian themselves, had the background and the language. The ideas were *designed* to fit into the worldview and mental categories of a protestant Christian. Knowing that, I can use the native categories and speak to the worldview.) The more interesting question is why should I bother, if the secularists are sufficiently hostile that they'll undo that work.

Which one do you like more: your guns and gun rights (and related issues of liberty and Constitution), or taking potshots at the bible-thumpers? My argument is that they work against each other, and you have to choose which you care more about (or you choose without knowing it, likely to your detriment).

The broader issue here is that the secularists have a certain self-imposed blindness caused by essentially wishing away the religious history of the West and of America. Part of that blindness seems to be that they come across as the most boorish sort of "ugly American" when talking to people they should be allies with. In Gene's words, they are tone-deaf.

I can't fix that, and sometimes I get too exasperated to want to try. :(

7x57

wash
10-06-2009, 9:22 AM
The "bible thumpers" can't seem to get a handle on the idea of separation of church and state.

It wasn't designed to keep "those other religions" out, it was designed to keep them all out.

rabagley
10-06-2009, 9:46 AM
The largest group that seems to have a built-in receptivity to issues of Constitutionality, small government, and so on happen to be those hated bible-thumpers. Likely a secularist won't see that because they'll trip over the wrong buttons

From my perspective, the issue is that as someone strongly in favor of a return to Constitutional boundaries, small government, and fiscal restraint among many other conservative notions, whenever it comes up that I'm not a believer in any religion, I'm told that my kind aren't welcome in the Republican party. That I'm some sort of RINO.

My analysis is that the religious right walked away from the coalition that the Republican party built in 1994 because they believed they were strong enough to go it alone and that they shouldn't compromise their core values to make nice with the riff-raff. They'd rather have 30 "real Republicans" than 60 of something else, despite the fact that "something else" could win elections and make policy.

I don't refuse to play nice with the religious. The religious were the ones who made their own exclusive club and said I couldn't be in it. I'll wait until the Republicans want to win again and open the doors to libertarians like myself.

In the meantime, those western conservatives are the Dem Blue Dogs and are still on our side on 2A issues, are still on our side on states rights issues, are still on our side on a lot of the issues that matter to me. And those western conservatives are going to continue to be Dems until the Republican party decides it is not a theocratic party but a conservative party.

M. D. Van Norman
10-06-2009, 9:48 AM
[D]o you want to win? If so, you’re going to have to be able to make common cause on specific issues with people you disagree with.

This bears repeating, though it is usually a challenge that I level at “conservative” gun owners. I think 7x57 is sending it in the opposite direction this time. ;)

7x57
10-06-2009, 10:00 AM
Regardless, it is clear that in the here and now, California Republicans are all-but unelectable, and the reason why is their insistence on clinging to religious principles above all other issues.


Let me translate that so the absurdity is explicit rather than implicit: "if the Republican party duplicated the position of the Democratic party on a key issue that motivates the people who actually do the hard, unglamorous work, but my orbital mind-control lasers forced the same people to vote for my candidate and keep working for a cause they would not believe in, the Republican party would be more electable."

Of course, that's true--slave labor is good as a huge pile of money. It might even be enough to win. But you don't have that slave labor. Your argument contains an implicit "all other things being equal" assumption. All other things are *not* equal. The people you want to sit at the back of the party bus will leave, and you don't have replacements lined up.

Reality sucks, doesn't it?

So: in the real world, how are you going to elect pro-abortion Republicans (I assume you mean small-government, fiscally conservative ones--otherwise, why even bother) without the slave labor? The policy shift you suggest would lose those people, but would not actually bring anyone else in to replace them--once again, I say that the secular Libertarians appear to be do-nothings. If they turned out like social conservatives, and therefore could act as replacements for those you lost because of abortion, your strategy might be viable. But the few who do apparently only turn out for, say, Ron Paul. They won't turn out for a less ideologically pure, fiscally conservative, pro-abortion candidate in sufficient numbers to matter.


In the SF Bay Area, Republicans seemed to have learned to down-play religious issues, but then they turn around and go straight for Tax & Spend gun-hating Democrat-lite status.


But I suspect you fail to understand why. Without understanding Bay Area politics, I have a guess. Take away the social conservatives, and you have taken away enough small-government voters that there is no longer a real constituency. The secular Libertarians in the Bay Area are, apparently, too few on the ground and too politically inactive to matter.

Once again: do you want to win, or do you want to cling to your ideological purity? If you want to win, you're going to have to get comfortable with working with social conservatives just as they're going to have to get comfortable with you. Or, you can find practical ways to replace them. But if you can't do either, politics will continue to chug along as though you do not exist. Politically speaking, you don't.

This is all precisely the same problem as dealing with the all-or-nothing ideological purity issues within gun rights. People would rather be pure than be effective.


In other words, the Republican party in this state is incompetent,


This much is certain no matter how you interpret the voting and volunteering patterns. Some particularly clear evidence of this is that apparently the party elite told Larry Elder they wouldn't support him if he ran. (Apparently, they thirsted after Carly's money, and then she later turned around and told them she would not self-finance. Helped out a lot, didn't it? Morons.)

They didn't want a black conservative to run? Words fail me. I don't know if he's electable--but who cares? If he runs, he's in the public eye. I don't even know a great deal about his specific positions--but again, who cares? It undermines the Received world view of the left, and that's what's important. It is disruptive to the enemy. As long as he isn't a flat-earther, a Holocaust Denier, or something that far out, he's useful in the larger picture.

What game are they playing? Not politics, apparently.

It also undermines the terminal death-spiral of dependants voting for more dependency, but I'm only talking about politics here and not the tragic human cost of the left's social engineering schemes.


which is why we have the nut jobs running Sacramento that we do. After all, what reason do California Democrats have to reform themselves and better represent the people when Republicans have become so weak and ineffectual that the Democrats can literally do whatever they feel like doing and still win re-election?


That's not the fundamental reason. The fundamental reason seems to me to be gerrymandering and similar effects that disenfranchise voters in favor of party apparatchiks. What you're talking about is more of an effect. You want the Republican party to be more centrist in a particular sense. Gerrymandering disenfranchises the centrists and places the parties solely in the hands of two groups: the ideologues and the apparatchiks. The specific way that plays out will involve specific issues in specific times and places--abortion, say. But that is the symptom. The disease is parties that are unaccountable in the general election, the only one that has actual Constitutional status. If parties are only accountable in the primaries, they are accountable to no one.

Once again, I assert that social conservatives and secular libertarians may hang together or hang separately, but have no third option. Now is the very best time to do that, politically--the election of Obama creates the best opportunity in at least a generation.

I'm betting on wasting the opportunity and hanging separately, frankly. But then I always did have a low and cynical view of human nature. :(


The one thing we have going for us is that the Democrats keep sending people to office who are incompetent when it comes to writing gun laws. Otherwise, this place would be unlivable.

Indeed. Chicago and New York would never give us loopholes through which to drive OLLs and the like. It is fortunate that we appear position to win in the courts in the near term, because in the long term we can't count on incompetence forever. Sacramento spews legislation in full-auto mode, and sooner or later even "pray and spray" lawmaking will get us.

Unless we take their stupid toys away before they hurt someone. :43:

7x57

rabagley
10-06-2009, 10:24 AM
So: in the real world, how are you going to elect pro-abortion Republicans (I assume you mean small-government, fiscally conservative ones--otherwise, why even bother) without the slave labor? The policy shift you suggest would lose those people, but would not actually bring anyone else in to replace them--once again, I say that the secular Libertarians appear to be do-nothings. If they turned out like social conservatives, and therefore could act as replacements for those you lost because of abortion, your strategy might be viable. But the few who do apparently only turn out for, say, Ron Paul. They won't turn out for a less ideologically pure, fiscally conservative, pro-abortion candidate in sufficient numbers to matter.

And therefore, the Republican party should/must remain the theocratic party. :( :(

One other point. I believe life begins at conception. That the 14-week old fetus in my wife's belly is a person. And yet, you think I'm "pro-abortion" because I believe in small Constitutionally bounded government and I do not think it's government's place to impose my definition of when life begins on everyone. I am not pro-abortion. I am for reducing the number of abortions as low as possible. But I am not for banning abortion and people who are for banning abortion will not get my vote.

Fix that error in your thinking and we'll be on the road to winning elections based on common interests.

GuyW
10-06-2009, 11:31 AM
Its clear from posts here that bashing religious people who are not in the closet, is more important to many gunowners than gun rights.

So be it.
.

mblat
10-06-2009, 11:35 AM
The actual situation is in many ways causally and temporally the reverse of what you say.

Really? I can think of at fifty million ( or so ) new Christians appearing in the last 20 years or so.....

berto
10-06-2009, 11:41 AM
Its clear from posts here that bashing religious people who are not in the closet, is more important to many gunowners than gun rights.

So be it.
.

I didn't get from the posts but then I'm a pro-choice gay marriage supporter who gets called a RINO because I don't fit in the small tent social conservative box that many wish the party to be.

We need to continue working together on the vast majority of issues as many of us share core beliefs outside of abortion/gay marriage. I want a big tent majority that wins.

GuyW
10-06-2009, 11:47 AM
I didn't get from the posts but then I'm a pro-choice gay marriage supporter who gets called a RINO because I don't fit in the small tent social conservative box that many wish the party to be.


Are the Dems homogenous? Hardly - they have as much or more distance between their leftist side and their Blue Dog side, than do the Republicans.

Its seems that many erstwhile republicans, however, leave the party because they can't stand diversity of opinion within the party. How ironic.

So how do the Dems hold together their fractured group, while Republicans may not do as well on that subject??
.

bwiese
10-06-2009, 11:49 AM
Its clear from posts here that bashing religious people who are not in the closet, is more important to many gunowners than gun rights.

Actually it's the reverse, Guy.

In CA - not necessarily nationally - I have to disagree with 7x57 and say that the R's stance actively hurts gunrights because the R's are just unelectable in general in CA. With control of both leg houses hovering around 2/3s, it's safe to say that CA R marketing sucks.

Even if I and other gunnies hold ours noses and vote for a religionist (because I always vote guns first), the dozen guys down the street - who are fairly conservative, educated suburban homeowners, and who want low taxes and min gov't but doesn't want religion in schools and who listen to their wives on 'choice' - certainly won't. These folks might well also have an LGBT family member or coworker they aren't horrified about, and are thus inflamed by support for Prop 8 - and they wonder why money is wasted on attacking people's personal lives instead of fixing something that needs to be fixed.

And THESE are the folks' votes are why the Republicans can't win in CA until party focus - and changes - and the past reputation of that focus changes.

So my friend 7x57 praises the various religious types that go out and do grunt ground work for the CA Rs - not realizing that that work is often at the primary level, and that these people are reprehensible to enough folks in populous areas that these choices become Big Losers.

Religion-driven poltics & thought are dying in California. Sure you can find that in the Central Valley but there's not enough population swing there to compesnate for alienated metro suburbs.

The end result is that the religious-touting segment of the CA Republian party in essence works against gunrights, low taxes and min. gov't because they keep putting generally unelectable people in the political stream, and the 'escape valve' allows occasional RINOs like Schwarzenneger and antigunners like Whitman, Poizner and Campbell to emerge.

I always remind folks that we can win on the gun issue as it's only a 6th to 9th level of concern in CA polity. "Choice" is always #1 - #3 on the list, however. A CA candidate of any party waving a dozen ARs and a bag of dead babies is far more easily elected than a Dan Lungren antigun+anti-choice type.

bwiese
10-06-2009, 11:50 AM
We need to continue working together on the vast majority of issues as many of us share core beliefs outside of abortion/gay marriage. I want a big tent majority that wins.

I do too. Tell the goons in Orange County to bring back Barry Goldwater.

dantodd
10-06-2009, 12:10 PM
Guys. The solution is to neuter the government. The government has way too much power.

If they don't have the money and power they won't be able to spend any money or power trying to pry into our bedrooms or wallets.

bulgron
10-06-2009, 12:13 PM
Even if I and other gunnies hold ours noses and vote for a religionist (because I always vote guns first), the dozen guys down the street - who are fairly conservative, educated suburban homeowners, and who want low taxes and min gov't but doesn't want religion in schools and who listen to their wives on 'choice' - certainly won't. These folks might well also have an LGBT family member or coworker they aren't horrified about, and are thus inflamed by support for Prop 8 - and they wonder why money is wasted on attacking people's personal lives instead of fixing something that needs to be fixed.

And THESE are the folks' votes are why the Republicans can't win in CA until party focus - and changes - and the past reputation of that focus changes.

Bill, remind me to buy you the beverage of your choice when next we meet. This is exactly what I was trying to say, but couldn't seem to stop stumbling over my own keyboard this morning.

berto
10-06-2009, 2:05 PM
Are the Dems homogenous? Hardly - they have as much or more distance between their leftist side and their Blue Dog side, than do the Republicans.

Its seems that many erstwhile republicans, however, leave the party because they can't stand diversity of opinion within the party. How ironic.

So how do the Dems hold together their fractured group, while Republicans may not do as well on that subject??
.

Do they leave because they can't stand the diversity of opinion or do they leave because they no longer feel welcome?

Being called a RINO gets tiring especially when many doing the name calling are the same who threaten to leave the party if opposition to abortion ceases to be the core issue in the republican agenda.

The two factions (let's say two for the sake of simplicity) agree on a vast majority of issues. One faction wishes the other to pipe down on a few issues but the other faction wants to fight a loud and contentious battle inside and outside the party on those few issues.

Bringing this discussion back to guns, the dems have found a way for pro-2A candidates to exist and win in local and state elections. The national stage is trickier but they obviously make it work. It's because guns aren't issue #1 for most folks.

The reps haven't really made that leap as far as abortion goes in this state. Part of the reason is the grass roots feet on the ground support given by social conservatives. The support is vital but making abortion issue #1 prevents a broader coalition from forming and keeps candidates who could win a general election from getting out of the primary. I know quite a few should be republican women who will not vote for an anti-abortion candidate. They vote abortion like I vote guns and taxes.

Canute
10-06-2009, 3:45 PM
I wonder if when young people imagine the Republican party they get pictures of dusty old farts that aren't fun. Then, for some reason, think that Democrats are opposite? Think this is by any means true? And, have any bearing on how people vote?

One difference is that the social conservative are, for the youth, on the wrong side of a lot of social issues, practically by definition. Homosexuality, for example, is absolutely taboo for many in the pre-60s generations. Many who grew up in the post-60s era couldn't care less. Result: when the social conservatives start shouting out against gay marriage the younger voters run away.
Our culture changed to be more accepting of things that used to be taboo. My mixed marriage probably raises a lot fewer eyebrows than it would have a generation ago, certainly less than it would have in the '50s.

bulgron
10-06-2009, 4:08 PM
Being called a RINO gets tiring

The RINO moniker is the #1 reason why I'm not a member of the Republican party. Can't call me a RINO if I'm not a Republican!

The Republican party's lack of focus on gun rights (especially in this state), plus the way it badly misbehaved fiscally when it had power, is the reason why I won't give the Republican party money. (I might give individual candidates money, but that's on a case-by-case basis.)

yellowfin
10-06-2009, 4:23 PM
I won't give any politician money because it's not on a results = reward basis. I don't gamble and it seems too much like gambling to me- I don't give out money on the basis of what someone might do and before the fact. I would, however, donate money to political efforts on a bounty basis: knock Feinslime out of her seat and then I'll gladly give whoever does it what money I would otherwise cough up for campaigns- but not one penny until and unless.

dantodd
10-06-2009, 4:25 PM
I won't give any politician money because it's not on a results = reward basis. I don't gamble and it seems too much like gambling to me-

If it seems like gambling it's only because you aren't giving enough. If you give enough you can be pretty confident they will vote the way the dead presidents tell them to.

5hundo
10-06-2009, 4:37 PM
The RINO moniker is the #1 reason why I'm not a member of the Republican party. Can't call me a RINO if I'm not a Republican!

The Republican party's lack of focus on gun rights (especially in this state), plus the way it badly misbehaved fiscally when it had power, is the reason why I won't give the Republican party money. (I might give individual candidates money, but that's on a case-by-case basis.)

I'm not a Republican because of their stance on Stem-cell research, Abortion or the Iraq War (however, I do support Afghanistan)...

Conversely, I'm not a Democrat because of their stance on Gun Control and higher taxes...

Libertarian, baby!!! It's the only way to go... (see my sig block ;) )

dantodd
10-06-2009, 4:48 PM
Holy cow... color me slow on the uptake but as a nearly non-sequitor to this thread I had no idea that Karl Rove, the bane of liberals everywhere, is not part of the Christian Right.

Apparently he is an atheist. I guess the tent is a little bigger then I thought, even at the very top.

dantodd
10-06-2009, 4:55 PM
Instead of " I'm a Replublican/Democrat ", how about " I'm a person with some ideas, here they are".

And then a number of people will agree with your ideas and they will start to follow you on twitter, then they'll run for office describing the same beliefs as HondaMasterTech (HMT for short.) After a little while people will start listening to those out there running on the same (or very similar) beliefs that you espouse and they will also say they believe in the HMT way. Eventually you end up as the HMT party. It's human nature you can't eliminate the "party" model. It is the only way you get people to agree on a core set of beliefs when you really can't have people agreeing on every piece of policy minutia.

So, whether it's the Democrat/Republican parties that dominate, or the Libertarians/Greens or the Whigs/Democrats or the Democratic-Republicans/Federalists. Now, there may be room for more than 2 but since we don't have a representationaly apportioned parliament that is not very likely.

5hundo
10-06-2009, 5:04 PM
Would anyone agree that the Republican-Democratic style of governement needs to go away?

Yes...

That's why I chose the Libertarian party. It's always on the side of personal liberty. They support gun owner's rights, they say the prohibition on drugs should end, they support gay marriage...

Basically, the idea is to allow every American to live their lives exactly how they want to live them and keep the government out of your personal affairs.

Who doesn't think that this nation needs more of that?!?!?! :confused:

HondaMasterTech
10-06-2009, 5:08 PM
Yes...

That's why I chose the Libertarian party. It's always on the side of personal liberty. They support gun owner's rights, they say the prohibition on drugs should end, they support gay marriage...

Basically, the idea is to allow every American to live their lives exactly how they want to live them and keep the government out of your personal affairs.

Who doesn't think that this nation needs more of that?!?!?! :confused:

I know I don't always explain myself clearly. I don't blame you.

KCM222
10-06-2009, 5:51 PM
A CA candidate of any party waving a dozen ARs and a bag of dead babies is far more easily elected than a Dan Lungren antigun+anti-choice type.

Anyone else think this was sigworthy?

Mulay El Raisuli
10-07-2009, 9:18 AM
In the mean time, I continue to not actually write my monograph on the theology of self-defense and Constitutional government. Maybe because deep down I don't expect it to gain an audience?

7x57


You underrate yourself. I pay attention to everything you write. I think over what you write very carefully. I don't even think that you're long-winded either. While you do post some very long posts, explaining a complex concept just can't be done with few words. I, for one, would be more than happy to see your thoughts on this.

With all that said, however, none of the above means that I agree with all that you write. :)

The Raisuli

ironpants
10-07-2009, 11:49 AM
And then a number of people will agree with your ideas and they will start to follow you on twitter, then they'll run for office describing the same beliefs as HondaMasterTech (HMT for short.) After a little while people will start listening to those out there running on the same (or very similar) beliefs that you espouse and they will also say they believe in the HMT way. Eventually you end up as the HMT party. It's human nature you can't eliminate the "party" model. It is the only way you get people to agree on a core set of beliefs when you really can't have people agreeing on every piece of policy minutia.


This is precisely the reason that I believe political parties should not exist in the eyes of the law. While politically like minded groups of people will always form, such groups should not wield any legal power beyond the individual votes of their citizen membership. The problem with our system is that political organizations have become so entrenched by law in the political process that they wield enormous power; far beyond the mere collective voices of their constituency.

yellowfin
10-07-2009, 12:38 PM
George Washington said the same thing.

7x57
10-07-2009, 1:13 PM
The "bible thumpers" can't seem to get a handle on the idea of separation of church and state.


Let's take the single largest group of "bible thumpers" (once again, whatever they are). Ever heard of the fundamental Baptist concept of "soul liberty"? Thought not.

In other contexts, people would be ashamed of generalizing about "all black people," or something like that. But there is no shame in doing it about Christians. Not a liberal protected class, you see. I always am amused to see self-described Libertarians (whether you are one or not) slavishly following the ideological mandates of the Academy.


It wasn't designed to keep "those other religions" out, it was designed to keep them all out.

In a sense, but unlikely in the way you think. I don't generally make a big deal of it on Calguns, but the "wall of separation doctrine" is no more Constitutional than gun control. It's actually quite easy to understand what the disestablishment and free-exercise clauses were understood to do--it's just that too many self-avowed originalists don't like them, and so abandon their own originalism for ideological preference.

Again, more or less exactly what the left demands.

Inconsistency is your prerogative, but it becomes important if you want to persuade others to vote for the Constitution and it's small government, independence from the state, and other doctrines. When they note your hypocrisy, they tune you out.

Like so many other people, often Libertarians are their own worst enemies.

7x57

dantodd
10-07-2009, 1:22 PM
Let's take the single largest group of "bible thumpers" (once again, whatever they are). Ever heard of the fundamental Baptist concept of "soul liberty"? Thought not.

In other contexts, people would be ashamed of generalizing about "all black people," or something like that. But there is no shame in doing it about Christians. Not a liberal protected class, you see. I always am amused to see self-described Libertarians (whether you are one or not) slavishly following the ideological mandates of the Academy.

I never read "bible thumpers" (as inadequate a term as it is) to encompass all Christians. I have a number of family members who are both liberal and christian, even work in the church. I think it is you who have made an irresponsible generalization.


In a sense, but unlikely in the way you think. I don't generally make a big deal of it on Calguns, but the "wall of separation doctrine" is no more Constitutional than gun control. It's actually quite easy to understand what the disestablishment and free-exercise clauses were understood to do--it's just that too many self-avowed originalists don't like them, and so abandon their own originalism for ideological preference.


I too am surprised that so many assume that "separation of church and state" is somehow part of our founding documents.

7x57
10-07-2009, 1:29 PM
And therefore, the Republican party should/must remain the theocratic party. :( :(


That's your defamatory word. It isn't even worth commenting on, so I simply point out that this is how you, personally, do your part to elect candidates like Obama. That's a test of political ability, and you fail.

As do most of the rest who would like an alternative to the left's Juggernaut. :(


One other point. I believe life begins at conception.


No, you don't. Not unless you also think killing those already born to be acceptable as well--otherwise, that's not what people mean by life beginning. They mean the beginning of the possession of inalienable human rights by an entity with moral personhood.

The closest consistent position to yours is perhaps Camille Paglia's. She says she believes a fetus to be a person and abortion to be killing, but thinks that abortion is OK because nature also kills. She's a smart cookie, and she's correctly learned something that I find few have--that there is no such thing as ethics derived from nature. One only obtains them with some initial metaphysical assumptions, and the only question is whether the thinker is aware of his assumptions or controlled by them without his knowledge.

She's consistent--but seems unable to understand that she's done for ethics precisely what the collective rights theory does for the Constitution. In the latter case, it removes protection from all rights. In the former, it means that no person may appeal to a non-negotiable right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

The only way to get ethics from nature is to re-define ethics so it does not mean what people always meant by "ethics." There are only two kinds of true materialists: those who understand that, such as (I infer) Paglia, and those who do not. Which are you?


That the 14-week old fetus in my wife's belly is a person. And yet, you think I'm "pro-abortion" because I believe in small Constitutionally bounded government and I do not think it's government's place to impose my definition of when life begins on everyone.


And yet you feel free to impose your other moral definitions on people--that theft is a punishable offense, that cold-blooded murder is a depraved, punishable act, that forced slavery is vile and punishable, and so on.

The fact is, criminal law exists for one reason--to impose morality on those who will not govern themselves. Unless you are a true anarchist, you, yes you personally, believe in imposing your morality on others in at least a range of cases.


Fix that error in your thinking and we'll be on the road to winning elections based on common interests.

The error is yours. You haven't yet come to terms with your own moral beliefs and their consequences.

7x57

dantodd
10-07-2009, 1:47 PM
No, you don't. Not unless you also think killing those already born to be acceptable as well--

This summarizes my beliefs pretty well.

5hundo
10-07-2009, 2:00 PM
This summarizes my beliefs pretty well.

If you were a teenage girl and victim of incest, you might think otherwise. You might think that this is not an everyday occurance but I assure you that it is...

7x57
10-07-2009, 2:04 PM
And therefore, the Republican party should/must remain the theocratic party. :( :(


Since I was ragging on you, I should have added this comment about how the above quote in fact touches the point I have been, at least sometimes, making.

So let's do a little thought experiment. Depending on whether you have the ability to adjust your rhetoric contextually or not, it might well be true that you have no other line of argument. Perhaps you will insult your listeners before you even have a chance of being heard. But you see I do have other lines of argument, because I understand who I'm talking to and I don't despise them. Sometimes that makes all the difference.

There is no question that the states have the power and responsibility for writing and enforcing basic law. But there is a reasonable argument that the federal government in fact cannot do this outside of it's narrow Constitutional confines. The consequence of that would be that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided not because it decides on the legality of abortion either way but because it inserts the feds into a matter of state law.

We could debate whether that's true: I believe it to be certainly true before the 14th amendment, but the 14th amendment in fact inserts the federal government into the business of enforcing human rights against the states. It isn't so clear that this makes the killing of another a matter for the feds to interfere with if the states will not do their job.

But let's not debate whether the 14th gives the feds any power over abortion at this time. Let's suppose we determined that it did not, and consider the interesting consequences.

The key consequence would be that abortion would become an internal matter for each state. This is an outcome that is at least more in the spirit of Federalism (because the way in which I speculated that the 14th might make it a Federal issue is precisely because it reduces the degree of Federalism in our system), and likely more acceptable to Libertarians on basic principles. In fact, I have seen Libertarians make that precise argument, and my impression was that they were not personally in favor of banning abortions either.

I can make that argument, and there has never been a better time in my lifetime to do so. I've seen secular Libertarians advocate this position, certainly, but they seemed unable to even find a venue where they could get a hearing, much less make an argument based on an understanding of the prospective audience.

There are similar issues. Law and Order issues are a good one--plenty of Conservatives/Republicans/whatever vote for some very bad policy because they are philosophically confused. A lot of what Gene calls "police state" Republicans are police state Republicans because they apply the *left's* concept of absolute state and the left's Constitutional hermeneutics to classical moral categories and notions of objective guilt and real human evil. That is to say, they may not agree with what should be done, but they agree with the left that "something must be done" and believe that the government must do it. They are confused, and some are salvageable. But not by people who condescend or insult them. But I find no trouble forcing such people to consider their beliefs in a new light--because I know what they already believe and can show the contradictions in their worldview. Some of them will do a much better job of voting their duty as a citizen, if they are shown why their worldview is not acceptable in an American context. You can do that if you know to some extent what it already is, and if you don't hamhandedly close down communication before it begins.

See why it makes a difference whether you insult out of ignorance or work based on understanding? There is a saying which to some degree makes everything I just said redundant: "you catch more flies with honey instead of vinegar."

I don't really expect to convince anyone of much, and this is off-topic for Calguns, except for my original question: how much do you want to win on core issues like Constitutional limited government, fiscal responsibility, self-determination, personal responsibility and freedom from the state in your day-to-day life? Some of those topics lead directly and inexorably to gun rights. How much are new gun-positive voters worth to you?

Even more pointedly: do you only want gun voters who agree with you? There is occasionally rhetoric on this board about not driving away gun-friendly liberals for the sake of the one issue this board is about. Is that a code phrase for "you guys should be less conservative," or is it sincere? If the latter, it has to apply elsewhere--such as getting more "bible-thumpers" to be *active* gun-positive voters. How much are they worth to you?

I cannot answer those questions for you.

On a sadder note for me personally, I am always reminded of the profound disconnect most Americans have with their own intellectual heritage when I find that their picture of twenty centuries of Western culture in general is no more accurate than their specific picture of two centuries of limited government as the servant of the free, armed citizen and not his master.

7x57

7x57
10-07-2009, 2:23 PM
In CA - not necessarily nationally - I have to disagree with 7x57 and say that the R's stance actively hurts gunrights because the R's are just unelectable in general in CA.


The physicist's habit of critiquing his own work dies hard, so I'll just say that Bill has made the point before, and I acknowledge that the weakest part of my argument is precisely that I fill in a great deal of information from the West and Midwest, where I grew up. You'll notice I never directly quarrel with Bill when he accuses me of being provincial, or perhaps I mean not provincial enough. Except he says it nicer. :D

It's true that "all politics is local," and Bill is accusing me of not being a local. Well, it's true I resist acclimating as much as I can--that's why I believe in gun rights. I'm really channelling a long line of Montana ranchers and midwestern farmers. They never stopped believing that they were citizens, and have a lineal connection with the original gun culture the 2A was supposed to protect that few people I meet here seem to have.

That said--I still believe that the issues are more structural than he believes. Even on the question of which positions sell, I think there is a great deal of distortion precisely because of the effects of gerrymandering and large districts too big to personally walk. I say that gerrymandering by nature takes the middle out of the equation, and Bill says the Republican party refuses to respond to voters' preferences. On that point, I feel he's illustrating my point more than disagreeing with it.


So my friend 7x57 praises the various religious types that go out and do grunt ground work for the CA Rs - not realizing that that work is often at the primary level, and that these people are reprehensible to enough folks in populous areas that these choices become Big Losers.


Which is one way gerrymandering can turn out. It places the decision in the primary and reduces accountability in the general election. What effect the center does have is often a simple choice between alternatives they dislike--not the ability to affect which candidates are nominated in the first place.

But the fact remains that if there was a big secular Libertarian demographic that actually did anything, they would be a force in the primaries too. They are not, because they either don't exist or they cannot be bothered to do the work (the latter is possible, as Libertarians share the gun owner's preference for being left alone--the problem is, of course, no government ever will leave you alone without being forced to).

It's a pity, too, because pro-life voters are too easily bought off by big-government candidates who pay lip service to their one issue (and almost always no more than lip service). It would be very nice if such candidates felt they had to buy off Libertarians as well. Why not get some lip service, at least, for small government too? I'm *not* a single-issue voter.

And that's why I'm quite serious with the challenge about how much winning *something* is worth to the rest of you. In my lifetime, we've not won much on any issue. Mostly, the larger political landscape has mirrored the gun rights problem: winning means no change, and losing means losing something that we never get back.

It would be nice if we could change that, but we don't have a Heller driving the courts to begin to re-consider.

That said--I'm surprised no one has noted that nationally support for abortion is at it's lowest ebb in decades. Leaving California's local politics aside for a moment, perhaps that's also an interesting challenge. Do all of you who claim expediency for wishing the CA Republican party was more pro-choice make the opposite argument in areas where the politics may be different? Or is it just a one-way thing when it serves your personal agendas? That's related to the question of political bedfellows and winning.

OK, enough crabbiness.

7x57

7x57
10-07-2009, 2:25 PM
Guys. The solution is to neuter the government. The government has way too much power.


Are we not speaking about the politics that prevents us from performing the castration? It seems that you're saying "guys, the solution to our cash-flow issue is that we need more money." ;)

7x57

bwiese
10-07-2009, 2:28 PM
7x57,

You make a good case for broad national positions. You fail to accurately describe the CA situation, however, with the CA R's self-condemning themselves to loserdom.

Their positions on a coupla key issues relative to a broad swath of the "middle swath" of voters - those who are not too idelogical either way unless pressed, and who are generally fairly conservative - render them increasingly unelectable. And we don't even need a survey to find that out: the last decade or so of CA election history is the ultimate Customer Dissatisfaction survey.

CA R's also forget that many more women vote now than in the past, and their vote has increasingly been decoupled from the male vote (women marry later, if at all, and may well vote opposite of hubby or BF). So that just kills the CA R's if they tout any anti-choice stances [aside from their irrelevance given Roe v. Wade likely will stand forever].

CA Rs are gonna have to differentiate themselves from the national party if they want to win. Otherwise these such activists need to wear a big "Big FAIL from Orange County" T-shirt - or, "I'm a pro-lifer from Orange county helping raise your taxes indirectly." .... or... "I'm helping turn California Republicans into Whigs".

This isn't an insult, it's just plain fact. Add to that the perceived religious bias of CA Rs and a big demographic just walks away and rejects it: they don't want their kids being taught creationism in schools. Even if the CA R party reforms itself to make itself relevant to CA voters, it's still gonna take 15 years to regain traction.

This thread has drifted a bit, but it's certainly relevant to CA politics & gunrights.

7x57
10-07-2009, 2:35 PM
My mixed marriage probably raises a lot fewer eyebrows than it would have a generation ago, certainly less than it would have in the '50s.

Given the makeup of the church I've been going to, I find it very amusing to hear that this is a religious issue. We just gave a coffee table to possibly the highest albedo contrast couple I have ever seen. Though it's a close contest with my cousin and her husband, frankly.

No particular point here, except once again I see no real evidence that the, um, "pagans" ;) actually know who they're talking about.

I could also talk about the necessity of addressing certain issues *theologically*, but on that point I actually think it *is* generational because I've never had to do that personally. Too bad, it's an easy exegesis and I don't mind fielding pop flies. But, as always, you have to go to the *actual* basis of people's beliefs, not the one you imagine.

7x57

7x57
10-07-2009, 2:48 PM
plus the way it badly misbehaved fiscally when it had power, is the reason why I won't give the Republican party money.

I must quit reading this thread and go back to doing something useful, but I wanted to end with this quote because it summarizes so much. The fiscal irresponsibility of so-called Republicans to me is *the* lethal issue at the national level, not any of the culture wars you guys are interested in. I was once so angry about it that I coined the term "slash & spend" Republican to mock the idea of big-spenders calling the Democrats "tax & spend." My folks, social conservatives if there ever were any, are probably as unhappy with the beltway crowd as any.

And while I question Bill's identification of abortion as the third-rail issue, I will certainly say that what the current grass-roots efforts seem to get right is the universality of the economic issue. If it were possible for secular Libertarians to cooperate with social conservatives, the unifying issue would be lower taxes *and* a government that lives within its means (not merely the latter--Bill Clinton actually did a decent job of that one--or the former--spending like Obama without bothering to pay for it is precisely the problem).

The problem is, for that to work people have to be ready to fight over other issues (abortion, for example) at the primary level and then back whoever wins, if he's for small government and fiscal responsibility. That is the actual winning formula, I believe, though I'm not going to try to justify it at length today.

But I will make a moral argument: one thing people of all political persuasions dislike is a hypocrite. Generally, it's easier to accept someone who disagrees with you than someone who runs as a fiscal conservative and then votes for more spending.

And that's what the leadership of the Republican party has been doing for decades. Lip service on money, big-government votes in actual practice. It shouldn't be tolerated, but--back to my constant point--it can't be punished unless social and fiscal conservatives can work together to do it. And if it *isn't* done, there is no future for limited, Constitutional government nor for the state as a servant instead of a master.

And to return to my other claim, people would rather watch the wave of barbarians wash over the hills of Rome than deal with each other to stop it. :( I wonder how many people remember that during the Siege of Jerusalem, Jewish factions were *still* knifing each other with the Romans outside the walls. That's pretty much America.

OK, I've depressed myself now. Time to go. :mad:

7x57

berto
10-07-2009, 2:51 PM
That said--I still believe that the issues are more structural than he believes. Even on the question of which positions sell, I think there is a great deal of distortion precisely because of the effects of gerrymandering and large districts too big to personally walk. I say that gerrymandering by nature takes the middle out of the equation, and Bill says the Republican party refuses to respond to voters' preferences. On that point, I feel he's illustrating my point more than disagreeing with it.

Which is one way gerrymandering can turn out. It places the decision in the primary and reduces accountability in the general election. What effect the center does have is often a simple choice between alternatives they dislike--not the ability to affect which candidates are nominated in the first place.

But the fact remains that if there was a big secular Libertarian demographic that actually did anything, they would be a force in the primaries too. They are not, because they either don't exist or they cannot be bothered to do the work (the latter is possible, as Libertarians share the gun owner's preference for being left alone--the problem is, of course, no government ever will leave you alone without being forced to).

It's a pity, too, because pro-life voters are too easily bought off by big-government candidates who pay lip service to their one issue (and almost always no more than lip service). It would be very nice if such candidates felt they had to buy off Libertarians as well. Why not get some lip service, at least, for small government too? I'm *not* a single-issue voter.

And that's why I'm quite serious with the challenge about how much winning *something* is worth to the rest of you. In my lifetime, we've not won much on any issue. Mostly, the larger political landscape has mirrored the gun rights problem: winning means no change, and losing means losing something that we never get back.

It would be nice if we could change that, but we don't have a Heller driving the courts to begin to re-consider.

That said--I'm surprised no one has noted that nationally support for abortion is at it's lowest ebb in decades. Leaving California's local politics aside for a moment, perhaps that's also an interesting challenge. Do all of you who claim expediency for wishing the CA Republican party was more pro-choice make the opposite argument in areas where the politics may be different? Or is it just a one-way thing when it serves your personal agendas? That's related to the question of political bedfellows and winning.

OK, enough crabbiness.

7x57

Perhaps the secular libertarians are split and mute their own impact in primaries? Political reality says many secular libertarians pick D or R when registering. Some hold their nose on the abortion/gay issue and pick R while others hold their nose on other issues and pick D. The extremes in each party overwhelm the split secular libertarians with sheer numbers. Those secular libertarians choosing not to pick D or R go a third way and have no impact on primaries where they aren't allowed to cast a ballot.

If pro-life wins elections elsewhere have at it. My tent is big enough for both factions of the party. I want to win *something* but the candidates I'm given ensure treading water at best but mostly losing.

5hundo
10-07-2009, 3:27 PM
Perhaps the secular libertarians are split and mute their own impact in primaries? Political reality says many secular libertarians pick D or R when registering. Some hold their nose on the abortion/gay issue and pick R while others hold their nose on other issues and pick D. The extremes in each party overwhelm the split secular libertarians with sheer numbers. Those secular libertarians choosing not to pick D or R go a third way and have no impact on primaries where they aren't allowed to cast a ballot.

If pro-life wins elections elsewhere have at it. My tent is big enough for both factions of the party. I want to win *something* but the candidates I'm given ensure treading water at best but mostly losing.

I think you're correct... (especially on the bolded part)

It's unfortunate, really because if everyone would adjust themselves to the mindset that Americans should be allowed to have personal liberty, the country would be a much better place.

It's okay to be anti-abortion. In fact, I can say with complete certainty that I'm against abortion. I don't like them at all and I think it is an absolute last resort to a series of bad circumstances. However, I'm still pro choice because I don't feel like my beliefs should be forced onto other people, thereby depriving those individuals of their liberty.

Gun control is the same idea: some people don't approve of guns. Great! Don't buy one!!!

...but also, don't try to take mine away, just because you don't like them.

To me, it's the best set of political ideals that any political party in this nation has. I don't understand why it's not twice as popular as either of the two major parties. (I'm thinking that money might have something to do with it, but...)

M. D. Van Norman
10-07-2009, 3:43 PM
Do all of you who claim expediency for wishing the CA Republican party was more pro-choice make the opposite argument in areas where the politics may be different?

Yes, I would make such alliances where the mutual benefit outweighed the danger, though the problem usually runs in the other direction (i.e., pro-RKBA “conservatives” spewing hate at pro-RKBA “liberals”). However—and you knew this was coming—the abortion issue is fundamentally about the right to privacy. Normalizing the right to arms may well give privacy advocates the shield they need to keep the panopticon at bay.

bwiese
10-07-2009, 3:49 PM
However—and you knew this was coming—the abortion issue is fundamentally about the right to privacy. Normalizing the right to arms may well give privacy advocates the shield they need to keep the panopticon at bay.Yup. And the happy converse...

...fundamentally, if the Supremes hold that there's an unenumerated right to privacy, nationwide that operates down into the state level (and they've done that in Roe v. Wade) then there is no way they can avoid incorporating a specific, enumerated right codified in the BoR and which has already been 'activated' for DC.




Do all of you who claim expediency for wishing the CA Republican party was more pro-choice
make the opposite argument in areas where the politics may be different?

Yup. This ain't Tennessee or Kentucy. Those particular polities run differently than California's.

I'll also say that the CA R's trade deal for 'safe seats' in the late 90s let the CA R's live in a protected world where they did not have to adapt to changes: my pampered indoor-only housecats wouldn't make it in the big bad outdoors very well, just as those CA Rs (whose politics could then range wildly & unsensibly due to their protected seat making their stances not too big of an issue) couldn't survive in the "political outdoors", a larger statewide election.

7x57
10-07-2009, 5:23 PM
I said I was trying to be productive, but part of that was trying to sort and deal with my out-of-control Firefox tab situation before I can't even look for documentation any more. I had this in a tab, and it's relevant:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/6559c650-b36e-11de-ae8d-00144feab49a.html


Bachmann voices ire at ‘Bail-out Nation’

By Edward Luce and Tom Braithwaite in Washington

Reaction against Barack Obama’s “Bail-out Nation” is provoking the emergence of a coalition of conservatives, libertarians and independents increasingly alarmed over the growth of US national debt and budget deficits, according to Michele Bachmann, a rising rightwing star of the Republican party.

Ms Bachmann, a second-term congresswoman, who played a prominent role in the “town hall” agitations against Mr Obama’s healthcare reform agenda in August, made her comments against the backdrop of sharply falling support for the Democratic party – although Mr Obama’s personal approval rating remains high.

On Wednesday a Gallup poll showed the two parties running almost neck and neck for the first time since 2006 – with the Republicans at 44 per cent and the Democrats at 46 per cent.

The pollster also showed a majority of independents favouring the Republicans over the Democrats – again, reversing the trend of recent years.

“What we are seeing is a real sense of unease among American people and not just Republicans,” Ms Bachmann contended in an interview with the Financial Times.

“Whether it’s the government bail-out of the banking system, or the White House sacking the chief executive officer of General Motors, or the bail-out of AIG, or the level of debt accumulation, more and more people are joining a coalition that is saying this is unconstitutional and un-American.”

Ms Bachmann has been the source of plenty of controversy in recent months.

In August the lawmaker from Minnesota called on opponents of “socialised healthcare” to “pray to God” for Mr Obama to fail. Last year Ms Bachmann, a Christian conservative, provoked memories of the witch hunt days of Joe McCarthy when she called on the media to investigate “un-American” sentiments in Congress.

Ms Bachmann, whose mere name can provoke apoplexy in some liberal quarters, has been less vocal than some of her colleagues in the “birther” debate that questions whether Mr Obama was actually born on US soil.

In the interview she sought to play down social values to stress the coalescence of a new movement, united against further federal government involvement in the economy.

“It remains to be seen what role social values will play in the backlash against Obama,” said Ms Bachmann.

“What I can say is that we are agreed on 70 to 80 per cent of the issues and that it is united around a defence of the constitution. The fabric of this big tent is made up of the very parchment of the constitution.”

Ms Bachmann would not be drawn on whether she would back Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska, as the Republican party’s presidential candidate in 2012.

But she pointed out that Ms Palin’s forthcoming book, Going Rogue, hit number one on Amazon’s bestseller list last week, a month before its release date.

“What did Nancy Pelosi’s [Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives] book sell in the first week? Two thousand, seven hundred copies?” Ms Bachmann asked. “Sarah Palin is a compelling political figure.”

Ms Bachmann’s comments may prove anathema to a dwindling band of moderate Republicans, who are concerned about the party’s supposed abandonment of subtle thinking and of intellectual inquiry, in favour of a more populist Midwestern approach to politics.

But the debate within the Republican party is likely to intensify in the coming months, with a growing number of leading figures already throwing their hats into the ring for 2012.

Tim Pawlenty, the Republican governor of Minnesota, Ms Bachmann’s home state, announced he would attend a political fundraiser in Iowa next month – a sure sign of presidential toe-dipping, since Iowa hosts the first caucus event in the battle for party nominations.

Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, has barely paused for breath since being eliminated by John McCain in last year’s Republican primaries.

Old-fashioned Republicans believe it would be suicidal for the party to embrace a candidate such as Ms Palin. But for the time being the political tide appears to favour populist figures.

“People are beginning to realise that Obama is a socialist,” said Ms Bachmann. “And that is not the way America is.”


Now I want to argue that this is more or less illustrative of my point: the effective movements (and you can easily tell which are effective--they are the ones that scare the monopolist press and get the most hyperventilated coverage with the most outrageous defamation) are those that have both social and fiscal conservatives backing them.

That reminded me that I rarely mention the Tea Parties here. It's probably the residual egghead in me--they are driven by the realization that the eggheads have more or less betrayed the country, after all. Perhaps I have a little bit of the Philosopher King left in me, too. I'm probably not so lowbrow populist as I'd like to think.

But the fact is, whenever I have attended a related event, I find that I cannot deduce the core worldview of the person I am speaking to as reliably as usual. The person who seems most passionately fiscally conservative, who I am certain is largely Libertarian in leaning, will end up making a casual comment about the churches waking up. The person who seems most concerned with personal responsibility, a legal system based on authentic, objective guilt, and the reality of human evil will say something that makes me realize that they're probably a secular economic conservative. Someone who mainly talks about economics and private property will reveal that they believe in gun rights and have a quite good understanding about the Right of Revolution implicit in the Second Amendment. I can talk for half an hour before I discover that the person I'm talking to is an Objectivist.

Those sentiments are not always strictly compatible, however, they are all pieces of the complete, traditionally American culture. And they are so not by accident, but by design--the Constitution is designed to protect precisely that culture. (And if you don't believe that includes protecting the religious sentiments, you might ponder why the first Western nation to completely disestablish is the only one which retained a vigorous, vibrant religious life. When European intellectuals insist that religion died, they in fact mean that the state churches died. When American intellectuals say it, they mean the formerly established churches of "quality people" died. Not much more, though.)

That's why I like them--because they do attract people who unite on a variety of issues. That's what I've been trying to say--that is the only possible ground on which to fight. If you can't stomach that, you can kiss your Constitution goodbye.

Since I'm being a bit inconsistent in that I'm telling secular Libertarians to play nice and at the same time sort of chewing them out, perhaps I should sweeten the pot a bit and point out the other side of what I'm saying--how to walk through the door that opportunity presents you, while the door is still open thanks to "shock and awe" socialism.

I'm going to give you the five-minute evangelist son's pep talk. There will be an altar call afterwards--well, not really, just a call to service.

If you accept, for sake of argument, that social conservatives are fertile ground for certain Libertarian ideals because they already possess the worldview to understand limited government, and usually at least some of the practical consequences as well, how do you secular Libertarians exploit that? How precisely do you expect to gain converts of your own? (Understand that any kind of conservativism that isn't a missionary movement is a waste of everyone's time. I don't suggest it's a good use of time, but if it would help would you knock on doors for your country? Would you hand out tracts on the streetcorner for the Constitution? I know some would--they were handing out AB962 flyers. Good show--you just reinvented witnessing and street corner ministry. ;) )

A successful movement believes in itself enough to *want* to engage. It believes that it's principles are good for everyone. It is confident enough to want to discuss principles. But you have to have the opportunity. The opportunity is more or less what I've been advocating. Because in addition to being the only politically effective strategy, alliance means you get to talk about your ideas with others. It has happened on a mass-production scale at every Tea Party style event I've attended. It happens at the small, retail level when you work on a campaign with someone.

Which is more productive? Whining about the theocrats (who don't actually exist in precisely the way you think they do, but never mind that), or "setting brushfires" of personal liberty and Constitutional limited government in minds either already half-convinced or at least with a compatible Weltanschauung. Aren't your ideas good enough to succeed on their own merits? If you know what the Constitution says, why aren't you explaining it to people who already come convinced that (1) texts have fixed, objective, discoverable meanings, and that (2) the written law is authoritative? The Constitutional system was *designed* for protestant mental categories. Exploit that.

The call to service, more or less, is 2010. You figure it out. ;)

OK, that's my sermon for the day. :eek:

7x57

dantodd
10-07-2009, 6:41 PM
If you were a teenage girl and victim of incest, you might think otherwise. You might think that this is not an everyday occurance but I assure you that it is...

First of all, one of my wife's best friends had an abortion because of a rape when she was in high school. This incident along with a couple of others led directly to her taking her own life. I do not underestimate the damage that an unwanted pregnancy can cause.

Second of all I believe that you mis-read my post. You took it in exactly the opposite way I meant it.

M. D. Van Norman
10-08-2009, 8:57 AM
The problem is ideological inconsistency. Those who want a government powerful enough to enter bedrooms and physicians’ offices must also accept a government powerful enough to enter their pocketbooks and gun safes. Very few people on either side of a given issue seem to understand this.

yellowfin
10-08-2009, 9:51 AM
I'll also say that the CA R's trade deal for 'safe seats' in the late 90s let the CA R's live in a protected world where they did not have to adapt to changes: my pampered indoor-only housecats wouldn't make it in the big bad outdoors very well, just as those CA Rs (whose politics could then range wildly & unsensibly due to their protected seat making their stances not too big of an issue) couldn't survive in the "political outdoors", a larger statewide election.
The exact same thing can be said about the Dems in CA. If they had any real competition and at least a 50/50 chance they'd lose instead of a 99% incumbent reelection rate they'd be obliterated like they would be anywhere else. You get the worst of the worst there because there's simply no demand for them to be anything else but that.

5hundo
10-08-2009, 10:32 AM
First of all, one of my wife's best friends had an abortion because of a rape when she was in high school. This incident along with a couple of others led directly to her taking her own life. I do not underestimate the damage that an unwanted pregnancy can cause.

Second of all I believe that you mis-read my post. You took it in exactly the opposite way I meant it.

It appears that I did...

My apologies... ;)

hvengel
10-08-2009, 11:49 AM
The exact same thing can be said about the Dems in CA. If they had any real competition and at least a 50/50 chance they'd lose instead of a 99% incumbent reelection rate they'd be obliterated like they would be anywhere else. You get the worst of the worst there because there's simply no demand for them to be anything else but that.

Hopefully this will change in 2012 when the districts are no longer gerrymandered. I suspect that it will affect both parties and that we will see some significant changes in how they behave because of this. Time will tell.

yellowfin
10-08-2009, 11:53 AM
I wouldn't take it for granted that the districts will be changed that much unless we have enough of our own people in the room to force them to be changed. What's the update on the redistricting? Have we forgotten about this? What's next to do? This is something we need to be all over like piranhas on a beef carcass.

dantodd
10-08-2009, 1:31 PM
It appears that I did...

My apologies... ;)

Doh! apologies are due to you. I actually mis-read the part I quoted. Big time egg on my face. For the record, I do not think infanticide (post-birth) is ok. :D

I do however, believe that life begins at conception and that abortion should not be completely banned. Without derailing the thread too far, there must be some point at which a mother loses the right to abort but that is not at the point of conception imo. I do not value all life equally.

berto
10-08-2009, 6:46 PM
The way to solve the abortion issue is to solve the unwanted-pregnancy issue. ( not counting forced-pregnancy )

Sure, but how?

Legislating personal responsibility doesn't work. Legislating parental responsibility doesn't work. Sterilization until people are mature and stable enough to procreate isn't an option. Abstinence only education doesn't work. I understand not wanting sex-ed in schools, though I don't agree with the feeling, but the folks who don't want it taught aren't usually the ones with kids who don't get any guidance at home. The cultural shift required isn't going to happen.

It's like gun safety and the nanny state laws regarding storage and sales. Everything defaults to the idiot who won't listen or follow the rules anyway.

HondaMasterTech
10-08-2009, 7:27 PM
Good question.

Dr. Peter Venkman
10-08-2009, 8:07 PM
Sure, but how?

Legislating personal responsibility doesn't work. Legislating parental responsibility doesn't work. Sterilization until people are mature and stable enough to procreate isn't an option. Abstinence only education doesn't work. I understand not wanting sex-ed in schools, though I don't agree with the feeling, but the folks who don't want it taught aren't usually the ones with kids who don't get any guidance at home. The cultural shift required isn't going to happen.

It's like gun safety and the nanny state laws regarding storage and sales. Everything defaults to the idiot who won't listen or follow the rules anyway.

The only way to fix it is to remove the "enabler"...in this case, the Nanny State.

7x57
10-08-2009, 9:17 PM
I'll also say that the CA R's trade deal for 'safe seats' in the late 90s let the CA R's live in a protected world where they did not have to adapt to changes: my pampered indoor-only housecats wouldn't make it in the big bad outdoors very well, just as those CA Rs (whose politics could then range wildly & unsensibly due to their protected seat making their stances not too big of an issue) couldn't survive in the "political outdoors", a larger statewide election.

This is more or less what I tend to identify as the core problem, though you summarized it better. The purpose of gerrymandering isn't simply to disenfranchise the other side--it is also to firm up the insider control of your own party and prevent populist interference.

I'm skeptical that CA is really "all that different" than the rest of the country for a possibly irrational reason--I was always told it was different on guns, too, but the NRA finds it doesn't poll differently on guns than the rest of the country. The passage of prop 8 probably was the final straw for me putting any stock in that idea. I think that's about when I became convinced the issue was rigged structure and other systemic issues. I won't argue at length that I know better than Bill, but I remain unconvinced.

I am prepared, however, to believe that the precise region Bill lives in is all as he describes and more. :D

7x57

7x57
10-08-2009, 9:22 PM
What's the update on the redistricting? Have we forgotten about this? What's next to do? This is something we need to be all over like piranhas on a beef carcass.

As pure instinct unsupported by any evidence, I have the sinking feeling that the CA Republican party can screw up even an issue that obviously important to them.

And perhaps that's because of the "unfitness" problem Bill described--fixing the redistricting would have the downside of forcing them to compete. That might be viewed as worse than having the safe seats. Perhaps there is no will left to try.

7x57

yellowfin
10-08-2009, 9:38 PM
And perhaps that's because of the "unfitness" problem Bill described--fixing the redistricting would have the downside of forcing them to compete. That might be viewed as worse than having the safe seats. Perhaps there is no will left to try.Ah, but don't you see the same time the other side which is equally unfit will have to compete too. They're both out of shape slovenly losers, so it's a footrace between the two unfit ones. It's not like they're a sumo wrestler up against Terrell Owens in a 3 mile run, they're both ghastly blobs of fat borderlining on invalids that exist only because their food is brought to them.

M. D. Van Norman
10-09-2009, 9:32 AM
As pure instinct unsupported by any evidence, I have the sinking feeling that the CA Republican party can screw up even an issue that obviously important to them.

There is absolutely no guarantee that even fair and honest redistricting would allow Republicans to gain more power in California. It is quite possible that the Democrats would seize total control of the state. Look at their overwhelming dominance in statewide elections.

If redistricting does in fact come to pass, the results may be very entertaining. :43:

7x57
10-09-2009, 4:16 PM
There is absolutely no guarantee that even fair and honest redistricting would allow Republicans to gain more power in California. It is quite possible that the Democrats would seize total control of the state. Look at their overwhelming dominance in statewide elections.


But they would likely not be the same parties, as they would respond to a different universe of pressures.

Tactics aside, there is always some advantage in asking for integrity instead of a system guaranteed to subvert everything it was designed to do.

7x57

7x57
10-09-2009, 4:17 PM
Ah, but don't you see the same time the other side which is equally unfit will have to compete too.

I thought about that. But as a pure guess, the D's are more capable of competing, and also have bigger piles of money to bury challengers.

7x57

M. D. Van Norman
10-09-2009, 4:32 PM
But they would likely not be the same parties, as they would respond to a different universe of pressures.

Indeed, but that’s part of the entertainment. Will it be comedy or horror?

In any case, I agree with you wholeheartedly on the integrity of the system, but there I go being an ideological purist again.

advocatusdiaboli
10-09-2009, 8:21 PM
"I think that's why you're seeing a surge in independents, libertarians, and right-leaning dems. The Republican party has (unfortunately IMO) branded itself as the theocratic party."

++1.

I am with both of you on that.

advocatusdiaboli
10-09-2009, 8:35 PM
Guns are the new abortion? Let me point out the major way in which that is completely wrong: pro-choice is about individual rights and so is 2A. Those of you who favor government intrusion on personal decisions on abortion never seem to get the irony--you are helping establish the government as the ombudsman for individual choice and freedom. If the government can tell a women what to do with her body, then telling you what to do with firearms is far less intrusive and a piece of cake.

Talk about wrong-headed ignorant logic--those guys at Fox need to get some intelligent thinkers in there. They are becoming, nay have already become, a laughing stock around the world and it hurts the 2A cause. It hurts my cause and I am pissed. Can't we find an intelligent conservative anywhere?

M. D. Van Norman
10-09-2009, 8:42 PM
The problem is ideological inconsistency. Those who want a government powerful enough to enter bedrooms and physicians’ offices must also accept a government powerful enough to enter their pocketbooks and gun safes.…

Normally, I wouldn’t quote myself, but … ;)

vrand
10-09-2009, 8:50 PM
I feel ya, bro... Hard-right small-L libertarian atheist American nationalist.

Old-school conservative - a la Barry Goldwater
http://www.thoseshirts.com/images/square-med-goldwater.jpg

Barry Goldwater quotes:
I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

:cheers2:

bsim
10-09-2009, 9:03 PM
So reading through all this I come to the conclusion that

Libertarian = God-less Rebublican?

JBBenson
10-09-2009, 9:13 PM
Guns are the new abortion? Let me point out the major way in which that is completely wrong: pro-choice is about individual rights and so is 2A. Those of you who favor government intrusion on personal decisions on abortion never seem to get the irony--you are helping establish the government as the ombudsman for individual choice and freedom. If the government can tell a women what to do with her body, then telling you what to do with firearms is far less intrusive and a piece of cake.


I'll second that. Don't forget the irony of the Right favoring capital punishment: those who scream loudest about getting Government "out of their lives" are often passionate supporters of a government apparatus that engages in the execution of it's own citizens.

RRangel
10-09-2009, 9:39 PM
I'll second that. Don't forget the irony of the Right favoring capital punishment: those who scream loudest about getting Government "out of their lives" are often passionate supporters of a government apparatus that engages in the execution of it's own citizens.

Yes, you know, violent criminals like serial killers and the like are all such wonderful people. No logical thinking person could ever wish such dirtbags the death penalty.

advocatusdiaboli
10-09-2009, 10:49 PM
Yes, you know, violent criminals like serial killers and the like are all such wonderful people. No logical thinking person could ever wish such dirtbags the death penalty.

"There you go again!" As someone you know would say.

He wasn't advocating serial killing or any such horrible thing--only pointing out the irony of supporting government intrusion on personal liberty for only some things--as if the government, once head strong with that right would stop trying to apply it everywhere. Some of you just don't get it do you? They want you to gradually acquiesce (yeah I know big word--oh scary--look it up) the rights of others you disdain, and support their efforts with laws they want. And you are too happy to oblige. And then they'll come after you and your guns to complete the takeover. You guys don;t see it--Bush and Cheney are the threat to the Constitution and Bill of Rights--not the liberals. They proved it by revoking it for "special needs". Jefferson, Adams, Franklin,Madison are turning over in their graves.

Cheney fears you. He outed a CIA operative in spite--he is lawless and evil. And he'll take you down once you've done his bidding and are no longer useful.

leelaw
10-09-2009, 10:57 PM
Blah blah blah...

They want you to gradually acquiesce (yeah I know big word--oh scary--look it up) the rights of others you disdain, and support their efforts with laws they want.

Any reason why you're being insultingly condescending?

RRangel
10-09-2009, 11:37 PM
"There you go again!" As someone you know would say.

He wasn't advocating serial killing or any such horrible thing--only pointing out the irony of supporting government intrusion on personal liberty for only some things--as if the government, once head strong with that right would stop trying to apply it everywhere. Some of you just don't get it do you? They want you to gradually acquiesce (yeah I know big word--oh scary--look it up) the rights of others you disdain, and support their efforts with laws they want. And you are too happy to oblige. And then they'll come after you and your guns to complete the takeover. You guys don;t see it--Bush and Cheney are the threat to the Constitution and Bill of Rights--not the liberals. They proved it by revoking it for "special needs". Jefferson, Adams, Franklin,Madison are turning over in their graves.

Cheney fears you. He outed a CIA operative in spite--he is lawless and evil. And he'll take you down once you've done his bidding and are no longer useful.

It's pretty sad that you don't seem to understand that we are a nation that has the rule of law. The same could be said in the era of Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, and Madison.

You really need to stop the delusional posting. Crazy talking points get old. Get over it because Bush and Cheney are long gone and it's the Obama show now. At least try something new. This forum has been around long enough that people here can distinguish between trolls and those with legitimate concerns.

bwiese
10-10-2009, 2:04 AM
Cheney fears you. He outed a CIA operative in spite--he is lawless and evil. And he'll take you down once you've done his bidding and are no longer useful.

Going a tad off topic and responding to this even though it's non-RKBA relevant, there are severe questions whether Valerie Plame indeed was a "protected ndercover operative" at the time of Plamegate.

Plame had already decided to play the politics game, some time before, with her husband Joe Wilson - and she was already well-known around the DC cocktail circuit. And if she were an undercover operative, geez, we need a new CIA - her identity was readily traceable thru her shell companies by reporters (IIRC, the LA Times ? took someone knowing nothing of the case, pointed to her shell company, and asked, "Who is this chick?") If *they* could find her, a private dick could find who she was in half the time -- and thus any opposition intel agency or OrgCrime group could do the same or better.

This is a completely different dispute than outing a real live agent in hostile territory. The idea of hiring a tall willowy and stylish Ivy Leage "Miss USA" blonde to clear dead drops in Moscow, Peking, Kabul, Tehran or Mogadishu is laughable. (Not to be sexist, that'd also apply to a big-arsed whiteboy like myself.) But you simply can't "out" someone who was already readily detectable as US agent -- the fact some paperwork in Personnel/HR did or did not say she was still in undercover status is irrelevant, as she'd already walked out of the closet and took the means in her own hands to compromise whatever moderate cover she had.

Valerie Plame really needed to make a career decision: be a semiunderground, readily-detectable spook, or go play anti-Bush politics with her husband. She couldn't - and cannot - have it both ways. It's perfectly legal to attack your political opponents, and they shouldn't be able to hide behind some prior, now irrelevant and compromised, secret employment.

Valerie Plame's only real possible complaint is that her future covert usefulness was been compromised, which is merely the result of an employment choice she herself already made when she crossed into the political realm in conjunction with her husband.

Scooter Libby's only issue was how to respond to a political proseuction + persecution: he shoulda STFU, and said "See my lawyer." Instead he tried to explain himself, put his foot in his mouth, and pulled a Martha Stewart. Fitzgerald got the only charge he really coulda gotten (perjury) since the primary charge was unfounded.

[The parallels to the CA gun world: former DOJ BoF agent Iggy Chinn (and his mgmt chain) insisting he was a valuable undercover agent, despite him jumping up & down to (successfully) get interviewed on TV or in newspapers - in his jumpsuit, epaulets, and tac boots.]

bwiese
10-10-2009, 2:33 PM
Guns are the new abortion? Let me point out the major way in which that is completely wrong: pro-choice is about individual rights and so is 2A. Those of you who favor government intrusion on personal decisions on abortion never seem to get the irony--you are helping establish the government as the ombudsman for individual choice and freedom. If the government can tell a women what to do with her body, then telling you what to do with firearms is far less intrusive and a piece of cake.

You're not getting the title of the ariticle...

"Guns are the new abortion" just means that (Nationally!) gun issues have risen to "Third Rail" status - meaning there's a ton of support for pro-gun (or anti-anti-gun) issues and that prospects of antigun legislation at the Fed level are very weak even on a good day.

advocatusdiaboli
10-10-2009, 3:54 PM
You're not getting the title of the ariticle...

"Guns are the new abortion" just means that (Nationally!) gun issues have risen to "Third Rail" status - meaning there's a ton of support for pro-gun (or anti-anti-gun) issues and that prospects of antigun legislation at the Fed level are very weak even on a good day.

Fair enough. I took it the a different way and I seem to have misunderstood. I need to stretch a bit sometimes to provide counterpoint--sometimes its tough when the issue is pretty clear.

Let me make one thing clear:I am not trying to troll. I am trying to invoke discussion through a bit of controversy and sometimes I have to stretch a bit--a big bit even. I am new at taking the other side because I agree with a lot of you, but if we don't have good debate, then why have a forum? Why not just have the moderators post essays and just vote for them and tally the points: yes, no, maybe, undecided and be done with it.