When is a first strike not a first strike?
When it's Anticipatory Retaliation.

October 13, 2004

The Cancer of American Politics

Charlie Victor Echo

It occurred to me recently that if one were to examine my political beliefs, they actually fall closest to the definition of a Moderate Republican. I am, after all, fiscally conservative, in favor of a balanced budget and a strong military, even while espousing more progressive social values.

So why am I a Democratic election judge and the (very) occasional voice of the Left on this forum?

Because of the Cancer in American Politics.

They've always been there, you know, eating away at America.

In the beginning, in 1776, they were the ones who demanded Jefferson take out the condemnation of slavery from the Declaration of Independence.

By the 1850s, they'd progressed to arguing that slavery was good for the enslaved, and the institution should be protected, for the good of the slaves.

Having lost the Civil War, they returned home from the battlefront to form the KKK...and politically, they were responsible for the Jim Crow laws that disfranchised generations of African-Americans.

After owning their regional politics for almost a century, their dominance was handed a setback by Brown v Board of Education, then badly wounded by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Perhaps not surprisingly, it was in this era that they jumped ship, and left the Democratic Party (who, under Kennedy and Johnson had supported Civil Rights) and joined the Republicans.

Having lost the segregation battle, they've since turned championing the teaching of their religion in public schools, argue to supress equal rights for homosexuals, and seek to enforce morality....their morality.

They habitually proclaim their values and declare that it is not enough that they themselves practice them, but that everyone should practice those values.

And George W. Bush is their champion.

He's fine with the teaching of Christian scripture as scientific fact in the form of creationism.

He supports a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

He's a big supporter of enforcing morality, even in the bedroom.

I'll agree with my counterpart that John Kerry is something of a dodgy fellow, and that I'm not really thrilled by his candidacy, despite solid showings in the last couple of debates. And while I hope that he's smart enough to know that we can't bail out of Iraq, and indeed I'm fairly sure he is that smart, I'm not 100% on that, and know that it would be a tragic mistake to pull out too soon.

But I'm willing to take that risk and back Kerry, because I foresee the possibility of greater damage being done at home by George W. Bush.


Because there may be as many as three Supreme Court vacancies in the next four years.

Replace the conservative Rehnquist, moderate O'Conner, and liberal Stevens with three hard-core religious right Bush candidates and see how fast things change in this country. Roe v Wade? Forget it. Gay marriage? You've got to be kidding. Sodomy laws that allow them to arrest you for the kind of sex you practice? Absolutely.

Privacy? What is this privacy of which you speak? The Bush Court will have none of it.

Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of huge issues out there. Iraq, Al-Qaeda, Health Care, Taxes, Globalization, and so on. But most of them are such that the almost certainly evenly divided Congress will ensure that nothing especially radical goes on, no matter who wins.

Not so the social issues, for whom the Supreme Court is the final arbiter. This may be the most crucial election in decades towards determining what kind of country we live in...And that's why I have to support John Kerry.

Launched by Charlie Victor Echo at October 13, 2004 10:43 PM
Anticipatory Retaliation Retaliates with: Chemotherapy In American Politics
Centerfield Retaliates with: Cancer Treatment

Retaliatiory Launches

Good post, couple of things to add to the hopper.

The will replace as many as three Supreme Court Justices thing, well, let's just say that's not the first (or thirtieth) time I've heard that. That gets recycled continuously.

Second bit, is that you have to remember that all these fellows have to get past hearings. So, while you may not see a strongly left leaning judge appointed, it's vanishingly unlikely that you'll get a bible-thumper in there.

Overall, I think, if nothing else, it would be a bloody refreshing change of pace for the legislature to regain controll of the making of laws, rather than the sort of backdoor legislative power that the Supreme Court has been busy accruing.

But then again, I trend constructionist, so YMMV.

Posted by: Bravo Romeo Delta at October 13, 2004 11:47 PM

I'm amazed at how much we agree. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Nickie Goomba at October 14, 2004 12:12 AM


You just saved me a bunch of typing by concisely pointing out:

Overall, I think, if nothing else, it would be a bloody refreshing change of pace for the legislature to regain controll of the making of laws, rather than the sort of backdoor legislative power that the Supreme Court has been busy accruing.
Nothing more need be said, so I won't.

Posted by: Patton at October 14, 2004 05:22 AM

You left one out.

* In 1864, they (the Democrats/Copperheads) adopted an anti-war stance supporting George B. McLellan against Abraham Lincoln, and arguing that the only way to end the conflict honorably was to "settle" with the South over the issue of slavery, allowing it to secede to continue a slave economy south of the Mason/Dixon line. It is not known whether McLellan spent any time windsurfing, but he did manage to flip back and forth between the Copperhead position, and those less sanguine about the plight of the darkies and their masters.

I ought to also point out that the quickest, and perhaps the only, way the US will ever develop sufficient deference for authority that the establishment of an effective socialist movement won't seem treasonous involves the establishment of religion. While the short term consequence of such an establishment would be piety and religious intolerance history has shown that once the link is established between Church and state the inevitable ebb of religious conviction would leave the state in possussion of a good share of the deference once reserved for the church. It would also, as it has in every other country in Christendom, result in a steep decline in regular church attendance to single digit percentage levels.

Posted by: Demosophist at October 14, 2004 08:30 PM

Reading this post just made my day. I'm glad that the moderate Republicans are starting to see George Bush for who he really is. A Neo-Con.

I am an independent who will be supporting John Kerry because I don't even want to imagine another four years of Bush.

Posted by: Rob at October 15, 2004 05:53 AM

The Supreme Court bit really strikes home. I voted for Clinton once, because I figured that during his term he'd have to appoint a Justice or two, and I was worried about the Court becoming too conservative.

I'd feel the same way this time, except that my hot-button issue is Foreign Policy, and Senator Kerry scares me and pisses me off with his worldview.

Posted by: Ted at October 15, 2004 12:38 PM


I suggest reading the article again. He isn't talking about all republicans, he is talking about the republican extremists who have always existed in the party.

Bush is their champion. To argue otherwise is delusional.

It is ashame that you can't even realize the Republican party has been taken over by the extremeist in the party, and yes they are responsible for all those things mentioned.

Posted by: Rob at October 16, 2004 01:21 AM

It would appear my former comment has been removed. I imagine I'll have to remain delusional ...

Posted by: MartiniPundit at October 18, 2004 05:50 PM

Martinipundit -

No - your comment was eaten, but I honestly have no idea how or why. I'm chalking it up to digital gremlins. But, as always, your comments are appreciated, and no, you weren't the subject of deletion.

Posted by: Bravo Romeo Delta at October 18, 2004 07:25 PM

Good to know, thanks - I had meant to suggest that I was deluded into thinking I had posted a comment of course ... ;)

Posted by: MartiniPundit at October 18, 2004 11:11 PM

It seems that the "cancer" that you describe is largely a southern phenomenon. As someone who grew up in the South, I have to say that I believe the South has been largely a negative and reactionary force in American politics almost from the beginning. (Although we did produce at some pretty good statesmen.) (At the same time, the people are nice and there are lots of good things about it.) Today, the southern base of the GOP is driving the party increasingly to the right and divorcing the party from more moderate roots in the east and midwest. Thus, you have a party dominated by extreme religious fundamentalists and totally in thrall to corporate interests. The GOP has become increasingly dependent on the Solid South, much as the Democrats did until the late 1960s. Because of this, I think that moderate GOP elements from outside the South are being margnalized.

Posted by: MWS at October 19, 2004 07:22 PM

I would say that politics itself is the cancer of life. It's a major cause of many human troubles.

Posted by: Jacob at October 27, 2005 08:19 PM

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