Left and Right Are Not Alright

Two articles in the New York Times—a recent news story, Twinned Cities Now Following Different Paths, and an earlier but similar opinion piece, Right vs. Left in the Midwest—look at the political divergence between neighboring states Wisconsin and Minnesota, both with “one party rule.”

While Wisconsin “elected Republicans to majorities in the Legislature and selected a bold and vigorous Republican governor, Scott Walker. Minnesotans elected one of the most progressive candidates for governor in the country, Mark Dayton of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.”

Among the results, “Minnesota raised taxes by $2.1 billion, the largest increase in recent state history. Democrats introduced the fourth highest income tax bracket in the country and targeted the top 1 percent of earners to pay 62 percent of the new taxes, according to the Department of Revenue.” Consequently, “According to a recent Minnesota Chamber of Commerce survey, a quarter of Minnesota companies—a 10-year high—describe the state’s business climate as worse than elsewhere.”

But Minnesota also began recognizing same-sex marriage.

Wisconsin, on the other hand, has held the line on taxes and played hardball with government workers unions fighting to protect outsized pay and benefits packages paid by taxpayers who, overall, have considerably lower pay (for comparable positions) and less rich benefits. But Gov. Walker and his GOP are firmly against marriage equality.

Business owners in Duluth, Minn., lament they are not across the river in Superior, Wis. But public school teachers in Superior wish they were working in Duluth. And a gay couple told the reporter they were planning on moving from Superior to Duluth, where they can be married.

As the news story points out, “In Minnesota, a coalition of wealthy in-state donors joined with national labor unions and gay-rights groups to smother the state’s divided Republican Party with a blitz of advertising and grass-roots organizing, handing Minnesota’s Legislature to Democrats, who also held the governor’s office.”

Yet another recent NYT article also discusses the impact of out-of-state gay political donors on shifting states into the Democratic column:

Republican majorities [in Minnesota] had sought to enact a wave of conservative or pro-business policies, battling with the new Democratic governor, Mark Dayton, over tax cuts, education spending and a measure to rein in unions. … Minnesota already had a law on the books banning same-sex marriage. But over Mr. Dayton’s objections, Republican lawmakers had put a question on the November ballot asking voters to enshrine that ban in the State Constitution, making it less vulnerable to repeal.

Other deep-pocketed gay-rights groups, both in Minnesota and around the country, were already mobilizing to defeat the marriage initiative. The Gill group had a complementary goal: helping Democrats win back the Legislature, so that Republicans would not get a second chance.

And they succeeded, turning Minnesota into a high-tax state subservient to government workers unions, but with marriage equality.

One might wonder why we can’t rein in excessive government spending, keep business and individual taxes moderate and also recognize same-sex marriage? The answer is because party alliances are built on blocs, and gays + government workers are Democratic blocs while anti-gay conservatives + pro-business interests are GOP blocs.

Some of us, of course, would like to rearrange the blocs, as challenging as that might be.

40 Comments for “Left and Right Are Not Alright”

  1. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    I would be a bit cautious about characterizing Wisconsin as an economic nirvana, Stephen. It is a nirvana for union busting and loss of public sector jobs, but it isn’t a nirvana for private sector jobs.

    Wisconsin’s rate of private job creation consistently lags the national average and all of our Midwestern neighbors except Illinois, with which we tied for last place in the region.

    I’ll grant you that private sector job growth isn’t everything, and that the economic picture in the two states is open to interpretation, as the NYT article you cite notes:

    Three years into Mr. Walker’s term, Wisconsin lags behind Minnesota in job creation and economic growth. As a candidate, Mr. Walker promised to produce 250,000 private-sector jobs in his first term, but a year before the next election that number is less than 90,000. Wisconsin ranks 34th for job growth. Mr. Walker’s defenders blame the higher spending and taxes of his Democratic predecessor for these disappointments, but according to Forbes’s annual list of best states for business, Wisconsin continues to rank in the bottom half.

    Along with California, Minnesota is the fifth fastest growing state economy, with private-sector job growth exceeding pre-recession levels. Forbes rates Minnesota as the eighth best state for business. Republicans deserve some of the credit, particularly for their commitment to education reform. They also argue that Minnesota’s new growth stems from the low taxes and reduced spending under Mr. Dayton’s Republican predecessor, Tim Pawlenty. But Minnesota’s job growth was subpar during Mr. Pawlenty’s eight-year tenure and recovered only under Mr. Dayton.

    I think that your enthusiasm for Wisconsin’s economic prospects might be gilding the lilly, more than a bit.

    In any event, a lot of us in Wisconsin “would like to rearrange the blocs, as challenging as that might be …”, and that’s a fact.

    • posted by Mike in Houston on

      Minnesota also did something that USED to be considered conservative: namely, paid for the programs that were enacted. Time was, that when you wanted to rebuild roads & bridges, or put in school programs, you figured out what it was going to cost and budgeted for it – with cuts here and taxes there… and even the most conservative pols conceded that raising money through taxation was part of the equation.

      Fast forward to today, and we can’t even add a penny to the gas tax here in Texas to fund our highway system because of GOP/Tea-Party orthodoxy.

  2. posted by Houndentenor on

    No comment on this?


    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      I think DeSalvia just reached then end of his rope. He commented the other day, in response to Dav Agema’s (RNC from Michigan) defense of Russia’s anti-gay laws as “common sense”, as follows:

      “Every time Agema or someone said something like this — not as bad as this — they’ve always said, ‘We need to treat everyone with dignity and respect on issues like that, he doesn’t speak for the RNC, etc. They’ve never denounced what he said and said he’s wrong, and that’s what they need to do, but nobody over there seems to have the guts to denounce him.”

      A sane person will beat his head against the same wall only so many times. The GOP is not moving in a forward direction on “equal means equal”, and DeSalvia has clearly reached the limits of his endurance.

      • posted by Jorge on

        Oh. Yeah, probably. I’ve definitely noticed a change in focus and tone in their emails the past few months. They are much more like what you’d expect from LCR.

      • posted by Jorge on

        By the way, truly distressing story out in Nigeria now.

    • posted by Jorge on

      Humph. One of the reasons he left is because it’s too big government.

      That wasn’t my reason.

      • posted by Houndentenor on

        I always laugh when someone tells me they are Republican because they want smaller government. There’s no record in modern times (at least since WW2) of any Republican administration reducing the size of government. Actually you will find the opposite if you look at the spending and other actions of various administrations.

  3. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Yet another recent NYT article also discusses the impact of out-of-state gay political donors on shifting states into the Democratic column …

    I would suggest that anyone interested in what the article actually has to say read the article itself. It might be an eye-opener for those more interested in facts than spin. The article is about the corrosive effect of targeted independent expenditures and targeted issue donations on developing party monopolies for both parties. Stephen is slowly moving spin into the “pants on fire” category.

    • posted by Walker on

      Yes, everyone should read the article. Which says exactly what Stephen said, plus some other things.

      • posted by Tom Scharbach on

        Stephen’s selective use of the article reminds me of the Walker fundraisers who call frequently spreading the alarm that Mary Burke (a Democrat who is challenging him) is a millionaire and that unions are going to flood the state with money to defeat him.

        Both statements are true but ignore the reality that Governor Walker is raising funds right, left and center and is likely to outspend Burke 2:1, and that the Koch brothers network are going to flood the state with money to put him back into office, as they did in 2010.

        • posted by Houndentenor on

          Walker may be the most bizarre personage in current American politics. He made millions from medicare fraud and now runs as a Tea Party conservative. It baffles the mind (of anyone who has one).

          • posted by Tom Scharbach on

            Are you sure you aren’t thinking of Rick Scott, of Florida?

            Wisconsin’s Governor Walker is a career politician, first running for the Assembly at the age of 22, moving up to become the Milwaukee County Executive, and then, after he’d done enough to screw up Milwaukee County, turned his attention to the state.

          • posted by Don on

            He is talking about Rick Scott. And I delight from time to time when tea party people speak well of him and I reply, it’s not the tea party I oppose. But I think Republicans should be ashamed that they even put such a man forward. So you nominated a man who either made millions out of defrauding the state out of billions; or you nominated a man whose company was so corrupt he had no idea he was defrauding the state of billions. Which version are you most proud of?

            It truly baffles the mind. But Gingrich was right. Republicans will vote for anyone who is a republican provided they get the nomination.

    • posted by Jorge on

      Oh, my God! Not only does this explain what happens to all my ****ing junk mail, it shows that it’s only going to get worse. You mean it ****ing works???

      Save your mailbox. Disenroll from the Democratic and Republican parties while you have the chance! No, wait, that might not work. There’s still former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg and his unpredictable billions. There is yet another shoe waiting to drop.

      I thought I could only max out at $2,500 (plus the primary). Oh, no! Soft money–what was it, gAyTM?–is unlimited and takes you everywhere! A hundred little organizations that, far from competing with each other, each feed into the same vast right-wing conspiracy network (Ed Gillespie? Really?). And almost every single one of them calls me a conservative! It’s a good thing I have a strictly middle-class budget.

      The methods are deplorable, but I have no problem with the result the NY Times describes. In fact I welcome it. Really, Tom, why on earth do you frequent this spindizzy site?

      • posted by Tom Scharbach on

        The methods are deplorable, but I have no problem with the result the NY Times describes.

        I do. I’ve seen what targeted money can do in state elections.

        In 2010, I managed an Assembly campaign in rural Wisconsin. Our candidate, a first-term moderate Democrat who was seeking reelection, was the only targeted Democrat who survived the 2010 Republican tidal wave, by about 250 votes out of 13,000 or so cast.

        Post-election analysis suggests, conservatively, that right-wing outside interests spent about $300,000 on the race, in addition to the $50,000 – $75,000 that the Republican Party networks made available to the candidate’s campaign through conduit money and so on.

        To put this in perspective for those of you living in urban areas: (a) ours is rural district, and television ads don’t count, so nobody uses them, (b) under Wisconsin law, the maximum individual contribution to an Assembly race campaign $500, and (c) the normal campaign budget for a rural Assembly race is typically $25,000, up to $50,000 in a tough, highly contested race.

        It is very, very hard to beat that kind of outside money in a state legislative race. Our campaign did it, with a few breaks and a lot of hard, door-to-door work, but few others managed, and that is how Wisconsin ended up with a Republican 61-38 majority in the Assembly.

        The Republican-controlled legislature redistricted in 2011, and did so in a way that will make it virtually impossible for Democrats to regain control of the Assembly until after the 2021 redistricting. The state Senate is not quite so locked down, but regaining control of the Senate will be an uphill fight. So any hope we might have of bringing marriage equality to the people before 2025 is dead as a rock. As it is said, “elections have consequences”.

        I don’t think that there is any way to stop outside interest groups from targeting state races, giving the Supreme Court’s recent decisions, but the deployment of enormous amounts of money in state legislative races is corrosive.

        In fact I welcome it. Really, Tom, why on earth do you frequent this spindizzy site?

        I guess that’s a question more than one of us could be asked, I suppose.

  4. posted by Sonicfrog on

    Three months ago, due to some propaganda thing floating around the facebooks about Gov Scott Walker walking back his jobs creation target, I wrote a blog post concerning Wisconsin’s economy to see if this liberal attack was accurate, and to see what the progress was in that state.

    I expected to mind a better situation than I did.

    What I found was that, indeed, there was a lack of breakout success in attracting jobs to the state, which is exactly the opposite of what the Walker economic model is supposed to do. Rush limbaugh always says that “Conservatism works everywhere it’s tried”. Well, so far, i’s not working there. I’m not saying his policies are complete failures, and the long term health of the state is probably better. But the standard Conservative policies, the ones that are supposed to be huge incentives for economic and jobs grown, are not having the desired effects in that state.

    As for this NYT article, I wished they would have really dug into the stats to see how the two states are doing economically. That would have brought more meat to the story. At a glance, as of a few months ago, Minn seems to be doing better than its neighbor, but I don’t have the time right now to delve into the numbers as of the new year.

  5. posted by Doug on

    Denial is a wonderful reality isn’t it Stephen. Just keep believing and someday if you click your red shoes it might all come true.

    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      Stephen misses a simple fact: We do not need a realignment of blocs. We need a pro-equality Republican Party so that both political parties are pro-equality. We do not not need to transform the Democratic Party into the party of social conservatives.

      • posted by Jorge on

        Why not? It used to be. Maybe we don’t, but the country does.

        I think all that is needed is to have some control over the pendulum backswings. What does it matter if a significant political party is against the legal recognition of same-sex marriage if, once they come to power, legal recognition stays? (Of course that means the pendulum needs to swing at least once.) Which means that the reason they come to power should not be gay marriage. Which means that should they betray their mandate, they shall be held accountable for it. Or at the very least, they shall parry our account convincingly enough to demonstrate their worthiness to lead people of all backgrounds. Not all Democrats and Republicans are equal in this last regard.

        • posted by JohnInCA on

          “What does it matter if a significant political party is against the legal recognition of same-sex marriage if, once they come to power, legal recognition stays?”

          Look at abortion for a second. However you feel about it, it’s pretty clear that continued strong opposition even after it’s “settled” can have a serious impact, by just plain making things more difficult, to chipping away at hard-won protections and rights.

          Not to mention it’s not just about marriage equality (and never has been), and trying to reduce LGBT rights to that one issue is quite disingenuous. It’s what the DoJ does and doesn’t pursue, what judges get appointed to what courts, what international positions and postures the administration takes.

          Hell, look at places abroad. Uganda, Nigeria, Russia. Things can and do backslide.

        • posted by Tom Scharbach on

          What does it matter if a significant political party is against the legal recognition of same-sex marriage if, once they come to power, legal recognition stays?

          A firmly entrenched, anti-gay Republican Party may not make a lot of difference in terms of long-term outcome for marriage equality if SCOTUS acts in our favor.

          Assuming that SCOTUS rules in our favor (likely, with the current Court, much less likely if a Republican President is elected in 2016 and gets to nominate a replacement for Justice Kennedy, Justice Ginsburg or Justice Breyer), I think that you are right. In that case, the worst that will happen is a repeat of the segregationists’ “massive resistance” strategy following Brown v. Board, in which the Republican Party spends the next decade chipping away at “equal means equal” around the edges, as the social conservative wing of the party is now doing vis a vis DADT and DOMA demise, but “massive resistance” will fail, in the long run.

          I’m not saying dealing with “massive resistence” will be easy (we will no doubt see an uptick in anti-gay violence, and we’ll have to devote a lot of time, energy and money to fighting the social conservatives off, politically and in courts for a decade at least) but I am agreeing with you that if SCOTUS acts in favor of marriage equality, social conservatives are unlikely to prevail in wiping out marriage equality entirely.

          The main problem with a Republican Party that remains cemented, more or less permanently, to Christian anti-gay social conservatism, is that it will have a destructive effect on the conservative movement and on society as a whole in a number of ways:

          (1) Social conservatism substitutes government, acting on behalf of a perceived majority or on behalf of a religious code of conduct, for personal conscience as the arbiter of personal conduct. We see that in social conservative attempts to regulate sexual behavior, contraception, and pregnancy outcomes. If social conservatives continue to dominate the Republican Party, the American public will increasingly associate “conservative” with government control of morality, as the enemy of personal conscience. To the extent that social conservatives are successful in their quest, government will increasingly intrude on areas where personal conscience should prevail.

          (2) Social conservatism seeks to undermine religious freedom. We see that in social conservative attempts to obtain “religious freedom” exemptions for themselves with respect to “moral issues” to which they have religious objection, but not with respect to others and other issues. We see that in social conservative calls for laws based on their particular understanding of Christian morality, coupled with calls for laws banning acts and practices that, although permitted by other understandings of Christian and non-Christian morality, conflict with social conservatives’ understanding of morality.

          (3) Social conservatism seeks to undermine free speech. We see that in social conservative attempts to enact “don’t say gay” and similar laws restricting positive information about homosexuality, and in their fulsome praise of Russia and other countries that have banned free speech in various ways that support social conservative values.

          The dangers presented by social conservatism aren’t limited to “pro-equality” versus “anti-equality”, although that is a hot button right now. The danger is that through the efforts of social conservatives, the idea that the government should be the arbiter of personal morality might take hold, a real loss to the conservative movement and to our freedom.

  6. posted by Kosh III on

    In 2010 the now GOP governor and the Teanuts ran on a jobs creation platform. The Teanut fascist Senate President said they would be “focused like a laser” on jobs.
    What did they do? Cut the income tax for the wealthy, tort reform which gives near immunity to bad MD’s and others, and even though the state is facing a huge drop in revenue, plans to cut taxes even more.
    Plus giving tax money to rich private schools(vouchers).
    AND they gave 400 million in welfare to a large wealthy multi-national which promised thousands of new jobs; they built the factory, hired 300, laid them all off and closed it before it even opened. And we are still giving them “tax-incentives,” while they build facilities in COMMUNIST China.

    Meanwhile, one rural red county has an unemployment rate of 16.1% many counties are over 10% the state rate is higher than the national average and that Forbes report puts us near the bottom at 44th for jobs and business friendliness.

    As for civil servants, the gov gave the commissioners a 40% raise and everyone else 1.6%. So much for overpaid public servants.

  7. posted by Don on

    One of my great frustrations in the debate regarding economics is the complete avoidance of some basic understanding of what it is. Economic activity is simply money changing hands. When money doesn’t change hands, the economy falters. When it does, it flourishes. It is hard to avoid value judgments about how it changes hands. (taxes, government spending) There is nothing wrong with money pooling into fewer hands at the top provided those hands invest it, create jobs, and increase economic activity. But that isn’t happening. And if those further down the scale have fewer discretionary dollars, the economy slows.

    This is a basic reality. Now, is it preferable for individuals to keep more of what they earn to spend how they choose? Absolutely. But then we have a problem if they choose not to spend it. And I see no reason why they would choose to invest to make products no one can buy.

    So cutting taxes sounds wonderful, but only on the proviso that the money continues to circulate. And it usually does that in high confidence times. This is why tort reform, slashing taxes, and cutting public payrolls sound great but have dire consequences unless the other half the equation holds.

    Henry Ford famously doubled his workers salaries voluntarily “so they could afford the product they made” and it changed the economy locally. Things boomed without a government lifting a finger. Starving workers is great initially to the bottom line, but when people have fewer dollars to spend, just like the 2008 crisis, economic activity slows to a trickle and may even shut down entirely.

    So all the talk about a business-friendly environment is great. But if there is no worker-friendly environment as well, no one will be able to buy the fabulous stuff they are making. Business people aren’t stupid, they don’t make stuff that people can’t or won’t buy.

    And so here we are. Again.

    • posted by Houndentenor on

      Exactly. The logic behind giving tax cuts to the highest income people and to big corporations was that they would turn around and spend or invest that money back into the economy. If they actually did that, it might help. But they haven’t been so it hasn’t. Money invested in a new business venture creates jobs. Money moved to an off-shore account does not. It’s not 1983. We can’t count on the rich to invest in America any more.

    • posted by Sonicfrog on

      Don… Yep.

      In the current government / business paradigm we’re living under, the sacred tenant of policy is to make the investment community the top dog. As Larry Kudlow likes to say “Profits are King”.

      Problem is, profit are going toward building more paper profits because it’s a much cheaper way to make profit than to actually spend the money on business and infrastructure.

      Prime examples – The industrial spill in West Virginia and the recent rail car derailment in North Dakota. Now, had the companies invested in upgrading to safer technologies in each cases, they would have not only created more jobs, but also probably averted the disasters, or at least lessened the scope of them.

      Why are both using older than dirt technologies? Because, even though both companies are very profitable, improving each would eat into profits, making the stocks a little less attractive and cut into profits.

      Also, do you know why the Target credit card heist was so huge? Because the banks here in the US, who are certainly not hurting for profits, won’t spend the capital to move to newer, much more secure, credit card technologies that every other first world country now uses. Why… Because doing that, even though it would also create new jobs, would eat into their profits.

      And the general public? Well, the boom years of the 80’s, 90’s and naughts were not a product of higher and better pay… Those booms were purchased on credit… Credit cards and home equity loans that is. The Great Recession took that away. The economy is recovering slowly because banks are not issuing credit quite as crazily as they did ten years ago. Of course, that also means that if something else happens that tanks this current anemic economic recovery, because the majority of the employed are barely scraping by, and there is much less credit leeway being offered, there is much less wiggle room for anyone to survive financially. Basically, we are running on an economic model that is poised to collapse rivaling the Great Depression.

      Something has to change. And though many Dems don’t really have much to offer as far as economic structural vision goes, the path the Republicans want to not just continue on, but follow right off the proverbial cliff, is a road to disaster.

  8. posted by J. Bruce Wilcox on

    The (Tim) Gill foundation- located here in Colorado- has been working for many years now on the REALITY of GLBT EQUALITY- via its ability to assist (monetarily) a shift (in many places) in politics- as we (still) have that constitutional amendment against marriage. In 2012 religionist republicans kept us from getting civil unions. Last year politics shifted- thanks in part to Tim Gill- and we now have civil unions- and at least 8 GLBT state congressional members- plus many more supporters- including our governor.

    So until equality means equality EVERYWHERE- to complain about someone who chose to put his money where his mouth was AND HELP US ALL- is beyond ignorant. The imperfect system seeking equality is far better than the imperfect system seeking MONEY. The imperfect people seeking only money and discriminating against ME- will one day get to eat their money while they starve to death.

    And by no means should you expect me to be civil.

  9. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    In case anyone missed it, a federal judge ruled today that Oklahoma’s anti-marriage amendment was unconstitutional. The judge stayed the decision pending appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is also the court that will be hearing the appeal of the Utah decision.

    In addition to Oklahoma and Utah, litigation is underway in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

    No word today on when Indiana’s House Judiciary Committee will meet to vote on Indiana’s anti-marriage amendment.

    • posted by Houndentenor on

      I’m keeping the corks in my champagne bottles for now. I am not that confident about what SCOTUS will do with this.

      • posted by Tom Scharbach on

        I’m not sure, either.

        It is almost certain that we’ll see a conflict in the Circuits within a couple of years, and then SCOTUS will be forced to step in to resolve the conflict.

        The problem is that the current rash of decisions is moving the ball forward too quickly — the expected timetable had been 2018-2020, and now it is looking more like 2016 — and that may present a problem for the Court. Several of the Justices that we hope will form a pro-equality majority have expressed clear preference for incremental legal development on the issue, and hearing the case in 2016 might be too soon for them to pull the trigger.

        I have no doubt that the current Court (note the word “current”, because the composition of the Court could turn decidedly in a social conservative direction if a Republican President had the opportunity to appoint a successor to any of Justices Kennedy, Breyer or Ginsburg, and nominated social conservative like Alito) would be willing to pull the trigger in 2018-2020. I’m not sanguine about reaching that result if a decision is forced in 2016.

        • posted by Mike in Houston on

          Having read both the Utah and Oklahoma decisions, I think that even our divided Supremes would be hard-pressed to reverse them — unless they completely ignore how both judges completely dismantled the arguments for discrimination.

          We now have a situation where the 9th & 10th Circuit are likely to rule expansively — and reading Kern’s OK decision, it could certainly be the case for other similarly situated cases (like Texas, Virginia, etc.) if logic & the law mean anything.

          • posted by Tom Scharbach on

            The 9th Circuit ruled for marriage equality (the California case), and the marriage equality current appeals (Oklahoma, Utah) are both before the 10th Circuit.

            Marriage equality challenges are coming up in seven of the eleven Circuits: 3rd Circuit (Pennsylvania); 4th Circuit (North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia); 5th Circuit (Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas); 6th Circuit (Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee); 8th Circuit (Arkansas); 9th Circuit (Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon); and 10th Circuit (Colorado).

            No cases are coming up in the 1st Circuit or the 2nd Circuit because all of the states in those Circuits are marriage equality states. No cases are yet filed in the 7th Circuit or the 11th Circuit.

            In the 7th Circuit, Wisconsin is the only anti-marriage state. Lambda Legal and Fair Wisconsin will almost certainly bring a case forward, but only after the current litigation involving our Domestic Partnership Act is concluded in the Wisconsin Supreme Court later this year. I don’t know the situation in the 11th Circuit.

          • posted by Houndentenor on

            I hope you are right.

          • posted by Don on

            For good or bad, Scalia and his colleagues would never vote for gay marriage no matter how sound the legal argument. Remember, the document is “dead, dead, dead” in his eyes. Although he is willing to vote based on what the moral callings of 200+ years ago were, often stating “they would never have made this protected.”

            As I am reminded of myself at times, we see what we want to see. Not what is. The true measure of a human being is their ability to put what they want to see aside. I strive for that, but admit even I fall short of the lofty goal.

  10. posted by Don on

    I’m part of an effort that may be getting something off the ground awful fast in Florida. Stay tuned.

    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      Good for you, Doug. No other cases are pending in the 11th Circuit.

      • posted by Tom Scharbach on

        Sorry Don. “Good for you, Don.” My fingers get ahead of my brain sometimes.

  11. posted by Sonicfrog on

    “My fingers get ahead of my brain sometimes.”

    HA! I’m glad I’m not the only one! 🙂

    PS. And thanks “Doug”! I took your comment and wrote a post around it!


  12. posted by Tom Jefferson III on

    It is always…interesting how an issue — gay rights or labor laws or whatever — gets ‘framed’ by both sides.

    How Stephen choose to ‘frame’ the economic and labor situation in Wisconsin was intellectually dishonest (IMHO), but he and many other conservatives see it as being true.

    Again, I realize that people in both parties do it. But it goes back to what I was saying in an earlier post about how we really need to do a better job of teaching debating skills/practical reasoning skills.

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