Richard Land: Third Party Is Not a Bluff

Richard Land has some things to say in an interview with Newsweek that I hope Republicans will hear. Some of the key exchanges are below:

NEWSWEEK: So we wanted to ask you, first of all, about the third party idea and whether it’s serious. A number of people are suggesting it is just a threat.
LAND:
My intuition [is that] this is not a bluff. If Giuliani is the nominee, there will be a third party. There are things that Giuliani could do to help mitigate the damage. But I have been in too many discussions over the last 15 years where evangelical leaders have said, “The one thing we will never allow to happen is for the Republican Party to take us for granted the way the Democrat Party too often takes the African-American community for granted.”
This is not a bluff.

So what you are saying, as a bottom line, is that you would be prepared to help Hillary [Clinton] get elected if Giuliani were in the race?
Well, I personally wouldn’t be saying that… It’s just [that] I’m not willing or able to violate my moral conscience. It would be like asking an African-American to choose between Strom Thurmond and George Wallace or asking Abe Lincoln to vote for a pro-slavery candidate. I personally can’t do it. I am not going to criticize those who choose the lesser-of-two-evils option. [But] I can’t do it, and my guess is somewhere between 25 percent and a third of our people won’t do it.

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When Rudy says “I will appoint strict constructionist judges,” you are not hearing that?
I hear it. I hear it.

Well, you don’t hear Hillary saying that.
[Land turns to question a Newsweek reporter] Could you vote for a Klansman?

[Reporter responds] No.

You’ve answered my question. I cannot vote for someone who believes that it’s all right to stop a beating heart.

But when he says [he would] appoint nothing but constructionist judges, [perhaps] he is trying to say to you, “I am in your camp, but I don’t want to say it too loud because I want to win the general election…” you know–
But he’s not in my camp. And I hesitate to say this, but I might as well because it is in the equation. If Giuliani were a once-married man who was still faithful to his wife, I might be more inclined to take his promises seriously, but he is a thrice-married and twice-divorced man, and the circumstances of at least his second divorce are abominable. Now, I am not saying that I wouldn’t vote for a divorced man. I am not saying that divorce disqualifies a man or a woman from being President.

McCain, for example.
Yeah. Well, and Thompson and Reagan. When it comes to divorce for most evangelicals in 2007, the number and the circumstances are important. In terms of numbers, more than one divorce is a problem, and adultery is a problem.

Do you feel that to be a person of faith, being pro-life goes with it?
I think it’s impossible for me to comprehend how a person can be a person of faith and be pro choice and be consistent, but human beings by nature are inconsistent. Look, I grew up in a society where I am very grateful that I was always taught at home that racism was not only wrong, it was sinful, but I lived in a society [Houston] that was still segregated. I went to segregated schools, lived in a segregated neighborhood, and I knew people who were in many ways profoundly faithful and religious people who had an enormous blind spot called “race.” For many of them, it was a very paternalistic attitude. It wasn’t a hostile, vicious attitude, but it was a very paternalistic one.

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Read the rest here: “‘This Is Not a Bluff’: A Christian political leader on the threat of a third party.”

30 Responses to Richard Land: Third Party Is Not a Bluff

  1. J October 25, 2007 at 1:05 am #

    As I have mentioned once before on this blog, I am a Christian who is very nieve and inexperienced when it comes to politics and government, so please bear with me. As I start to think more about where I stand on the issue of abortion, I know undoubtedly that I am 100% against abortion personally. I see it as a sin, and I don’t think a true follower of Christ could honestly do it and feel ok about it. I have always thought this made me pro-life. However, in my youthful and unseasoned political thoughts I find myself questioning whether I think government should even be big enough to rule one way or the other on abortion, especially the federal government. If I were to come to that conclusion, would that make me pro-choice? Is it possible to pro-life personally, but pro-choice politically?

    I know that I favor a much smaller federal government (for many reasons, that I won’t bore you with now), and that in general aligns me with conservatives, except on the issue of abortion. I find it interesting that abortion is one of the very few issues that conservatives actually call for BIGGER government. I do find it just as interesting that in general, liberals choose this issue to encourage less government.

    I guess what it comes down to, is if I view abortion as murder. I obviously want my government to be big enough to protect against murder.

    This dynamic is also present with the issue of gay marriage though. I do not support homosexuality, and I view it as a sin. But, at the same time, I’m not sure I am for a federal government that is big enough to make decisions concerning this issue.

    Has anyone else similarly been down this path. I would appreciate insight.

  2. Alex Chediak October 25, 2007 at 9:19 am #

    Denny,

    When are you going to pick a candidate? 🙂

    Alex

  3. Paul October 25, 2007 at 9:52 am #

    well, all I can say is that Land and every other “small government” Republican is nothing short of a hypocrite. Here they are talking about what they want out of a candidate, and it exists wholly and completely in Ron Paul. If Republicans ACTUALLY stood for what they say they stand for, they’d forget the primaries, nominate Ron Paul and wait for November.

    Their willingness to look at Romney and or Giuliani (both big government spend and don’t tax republicans who must hate our future generations) just proves that the Republican party is no longer the party of small government. Instead of calling themselves conservative, they should call themselves the party that loves unborn children and hates everyone else that isn’t rich.

  4. Denny Burk October 25, 2007 at 9:55 am #

    Alex (in #2),

    I don’t know, but there are several that I could vote for in the general election if they were to become the nominee. Anyone but Giuliani. I am following the race, and I’ll make up my mind before too long.

    Thanks,
    Denny

  5. Paul October 25, 2007 at 10:12 am #

    Here’s my question, Denny…

    are republicans still a small government party, or are they only interested in social issues at this point?

  6. Mark Gibson October 25, 2007 at 10:13 am #

    I wouldn’t call Land or anyone that supports a pro-life candidate a hypocrite on this issue. Roe v. Wade was big government that took the issue out of the hands of “We the people.”

    I like Ron Paul except for his anti-war stance. Maybe he just doesn’t like how the war is being fought, which I could understand. My vote is going to someone like Tancredo, Hunter, or Keyes.

  7. Paul October 25, 2007 at 10:24 am #

    Mark,

    I would call them all hypocrites because they’re saying one thing and doing another. Jesus (remember Him?) said it best: let your yes be yes and your no be no. If you want to have the government of constant spending and no revenue, then more power to you, but don’t call yourself right wing. Cause you aint. And, please, at least spend that money on the right stuff. We don’t need to be spending seven billion dollars per year for the helium reclamation program. However, it might be nice to fund schools in impoverished areas and to give needy kids health insurance without mocking a 12 year old who benefited from the program.

    Ron is anti-war because he is an isolationist (read: THE TRADITIONAL CONSERVATIVE VIEWPOINT ON FOREIGN RELATIONS).

    With Afghanistan, we were attacked, our enemy was being aided and abetted there, and I still claim that even Gandhi would have invaded Afghanistan.

    However, Iraq is a joke that leaves us impotent in the face of an actual threat from Iran. And had we not gone into Iraq, pretty much the whole world, save for Russia, might back us up. Hussein was a leader interested mostly in his own power. Iran, however, is interested in spreading Islamic law and ideals throughout the world, and is willing to build nukes and attack Israel to do it.

    We’re in no shape to even threaten Iran at this point, and they know it. We’re nothing but a paper tiger right now, and save for Paul, all of the rest of the Republican candidates want us to continue to be a paper tiger, while completely missing the bigger picture.

  8. BrianW October 25, 2007 at 10:50 am #

    A third party attempt may not be a bluff, but it would be a concession, that’s for sure.

  9. Mark Gibson October 25, 2007 at 11:31 am #

    Paul,

    I still don’t understand how they are hypocrites when it comes to wanting Roe v. Wade overturned. I do agree with you on the government spending. I would argue that the federal government should only spend our tax dollars on national defense and infrastructure. Most other spending is big government.

    I understand that Ron Paul is an isolationist just like George Washington. The world has changed, and whether we like it or not the isolationist policy doesn’t work anymore.

    Saddam Hussein broke a cease fire agreement when he fired at our jets patrolling the No Fly Zones. Also, don’t forget about the assasination attempt on Bush (41). He got what was coming to him. Countries weren’t going to support us in our fight there no matter what. They were making too much money of off the UN Oil for Food program.

    We’re in good shape to take on Iran. Some of the American public may not be, but we still have those big beautiful B-52 bombers that haven’t been used in a while. The only reason we might be viewed as a “paper tiger” is because of the liberals in this country. They want us to fail in Iraq just because they hate Bush.

  10. Paul October 25, 2007 at 11:56 am #

    Mark,

    They’re not hypocrites because they want Roe v. Wade overturned, although I know some libertarians, and more Republicans than you’d want to admit that would claim that being pro-life is the ultimate in big brother styled government. I don’t agree with that standpoint, but such a stand can be and is made all of the time.

    They’re hypocrites because they claim to be conservative. You want to call yourself conservative? Line yourself up with Goldwater, Reagan, Ron Paul, George Will and the libertarian party. Today’s Republicans have nothing in common with those folks. And for all of the times that the pseudo-right wants to talk about the liberal fringe, let’s look at something here: which party is the party of personal liberty at this point? The “liberal” democrats. Which party can make a case for being more fiscally responsible? The “liberal” democrats.

    Or, as Barry Goldwater put it at the 1964 Republican Convention…”In the future, I’ll be looked at as a liberal…”

    In 2004, Kerry’s proposed spending plans were lower than Bush’s by a long shot. Where’s the conservativism amongst conservatives?

    There is none. And the lack of support for Ron Paul, a pro-lifer and a true conservative through and through just proves the total and complete hypocrisy of those who align themselves with the Republican party.

    And as for the pro-lifers, you can call yourselves pro-lifers when you’re truly pro-life and not simply pro-birth. The lack of an outcry over the republican handling of S-CHIP proves that the republicans only want babies to be born, not for them to live happy and productive lives.

    All of that and we still haven’t even gotten to Iraq yet.

    Isolationism totally works. When was the last time that Canada was attacked? How about Japan? Switzerland? They don’t hate us for our freedom, they hate us because we try to be the world’s police. It’s not our place, and the sooner we realize that, the better off we’ll be.

    And none of the reasons that you mentioned for going to war are worth 3700 American lives, tens of thousands wounded or crippled soldiers, and possibly 100,000 dead Iraqis. If it’s such a worthwhile cause, why aren’t you over there fighting it?

    And while I do hate Bush with far more energy than I ought to put into hating a retard, I don’t want him to fail. Because that failure means more American deaths, more American wounded, and more tarnish to America throughout the world. I want our soldiers to win this and get home, so they can fight battles that are worth fighting to people who don’t own stock in the oil companies.

  11. Mark Gibson October 25, 2007 at 2:42 pm #

    Paul,

    I agree that there a bunch of Republicans that claim to be conservatives that aren’t. Bush is a moderate. He is conservative on some things, and he is a liberal on others.

    Please tell me what personal liberties the Republicans have taken away from you. Also, please give examples of how the liberals are for personal liberty. They already think that you don’t know how to best spend your money. They don’t think that you can make your own decisions when it comes to healthcare.

    In 2004, Kerry proposed new spending of close to $2 trillion over the next decade. I don’t believe Bush has proposed that kind of spending except for Medicare. No matter how bad the current Republicans have been about spending, it is always much lower than what Democrats have proposed.

    Bush proposed a $7 billion increase for the S-CHIP program. The Democrats proposed around a $45 billion increase. Their increase would include kids that are in the middle class and already have insurance. The S-CHIP program does nothing but further the welfare state. Isn’t government provided healthcare “big government?”

    Japan is isolationist because we protect them. They also have troops in Iraq. Not many, but a few. Canada sure doesn’t mind making money off of Iraq. Canada was involved in the Gulf War. Canada is also a part of NATO; therefore, they send troops all over the place. They are also currently in Afghanistan. Switzerland may be the only true isolationist country.

    I don’t know why these countries haven’t been attacked. But you don’t know that they haven’t been targeted. Australia has never been attacked, they go to war every time we do.

    I don’t believe that we should be the world’s police either, but I do understand that sometimes war is necessary. I hate the fact Americans get killed in war. I haven’t served in the military but I support those guys that do. There is no such thing as supporting the troops but not their mission. I am thankful for their sacrifice and don’t use it as a political tool.

    So Bush is a retard and he tricked the entire world into faulty WMD intelligence so that Cheney’s Haliburton stock would increase? If we are in this world for oil, then why don’t we invade Canada and Mexico for their oil? Those two countries supply 18.5% of our oil. Persian Gulf countries only supply us 11.1%. I’ll just assume that you are ignorant on the subject of economics because of your “blood for oil” comment.

  12. Mark Gibson October 25, 2007 at 2:43 pm #

    I meant if we are in this war not world.

  13. Jon October 25, 2007 at 4:04 pm #

    J:
    It seems that you kinda got caught in a crossfire, there. One question that helps me to think through these political issues, and whether or not we can/should differ in our personal opinions versus our politial positions is the same thing that helps me to live out my faith: If Christ and my moral principles are good enough for my personal life, why shouldn’t they be good enough for my public life? Remember that Jesus calls us unto Himself to be His ambassadors in this world. This includes speaking out against anti-christian values on any and every level, especially in a government that is to be by the people and for the people. YOU are the government (through elected representatives). I’m not sure why you might be thinking that there should be any separation there.

    Hope that helps a little,
    Jon

  14. Paul October 25, 2007 at 4:14 pm #

    Mark,

    Good. We agree on something. The only difference is that you say SOME Republicans aren’t conservative, and I would point out the spending bills, pork projects and attempts to legislate morality that would tell you that MOST Republicans aren’t conservative. Bush is far from a moderate. He’s all for a welfare state, as long as that welfare state protects CEO’s instead of poor people. He’s all for creating bureaucracy where none existed before (hello homeland security!), he’s spending like a maniac and he’s dumping money into Iraq like there’s no tomorrow.

    He’s no moderate. He’s a fascist with a theocratic veneer.

    Republicans taking away liberties? Umm, Patriot Act anyone? They may not be my liberties today, but, left unchecked, they’ll be mine tomorrow. Allow Charles Mingus to make my point for me (and points allotted if you know who he is. Doubly so if you’ve actually heard him…):

    “One day they came and they took the communists, and I said nothing because I was not a communist.

    Then one day they came and they took the people of the Jewish faith, and I said nothing because I had no faith left.

    One day they came and they took the unionists, and I said nothing because I was not a unionist.

    One day they burned down the Catholic churches. And I said nothing because I was born a Protestant.

    Then one day they came and they took me.
    And I could say nothing because I was guilty as they were, for not speaking out and saying that all men have a right to freedom.”

    When the government starts feeling the need to wiretap at will without warrant, all they’re doing is taking their time getting around to me. As it was, I was waiting for the day when they were going to come crashing down the door to my grandmother’s house for saying (in French no less) that she missed Algeria whilst on the phone with our relatives in Europe and Morocco.

    Sorry, but seeing even some of the comments about Barack Obama on this blog, it’s a well placed fear, even for a Bible believing Christian these days.

    Insofar as health care goes, you parrot an oft-quoted line from the right. The sad part is, there are 40 million Americans without health insurance. One bad slip and fall for one of them could mean losing everything. And this is where things get interesting. You think it’s the government trying to steal from us if those people are insured. I see it as my responsibility to my fellow man. If I can’t personally help those people, I can at least be part of a broader plan to ensure that we all help each other. You want the government to get out of your pockets, and magically fund a war that costs millions of dollars per day. I want the government to spend my money wisely. It’s a philosophical difference best left to another discussion, probably.

    As for S-CHIP, what better to spend our money on if not the care and betterment of our most vulnerable citizens? And, just in case you were wondering, plenty of middle class folks have no insurance or really bad health insurance. And, even though I have one of the better health care plans that I’ve ever seen, it still leaves me paying out of pocket a lot more than I would deem reasonable. I can’t imagine what someone with a high deductible and poor coverage must be going through. A helping hand here and there is a good thing. And a much better thing to pay for than helium reclamation or marriage education. If S-CHIP is going to be the conservative hill that you’re going to die on, and not full blown fiscal responsibility or civil libertarianism, then you are best described in words I wouldn’t dare use on this blog.

    As for isolationist countries, sure we protect Japan. And, at that point, I am sure that Japan sent soldiers to Iraq COMPLETELY of their own volition.

    Canada, Switzerland and the rest, however, you have no answer for. Why is this? Maybe it’s because they don’t attempt to be the world’s police force. They don’t bother anyone, and no one bothers them. If it works in third grade, it might just work in the real world.

    this next chunk, I’m singling out for ridicule…

    “I haven’t served in the military but I support those guys that do.”

    so their cause is noble enough for THEM to die for, but not for YOU to die for? Right. I am sure that you support them with a little yellow ribbon on your minivan and a hearty “oo-rah!” whenever they play the ballad of the green berets on your local radio station. Again, philosophical difference between you and I.

    “There is no such thing as supporting the troops but not their mission. I am thankful for their sacrifice and don’t use it as a political tool.”

    Wrong. I want our troops to be safe, and I will support them with donations for phone cards and body armor that their own government doesn’t supply them with, but I hate the fact that their bosses sent them to fight a pointless war. Unless the point is to unite all of the Islamic loonies against us.

    And, no, Bush didn’t trick anyone. But the very second that they had an in, Cheney and Wolfowitz were angling for an Iraq invasion. Watching the Frontline episode on Iraq at some point will be eye opening for you.

    As for your last point, it is YOU sir, that is ignant. You forgot about five little letters that cost us dearly every day: NAFTA. No tariffs on Canadian or Mexican goods. And they’re also not members of OPEC. And last I checked, 11% of millions of barrels per day is still A LOT of change to jingle in one’s pocket. Certainly enough to risk the lives of the common folk to keep the coffers full.

  15. Jon October 25, 2007 at 4:16 pm #

    J:
    I guess I missed commenting on your other issues. I propose a question for an answer: How does refusing to recognize gay marriage contribute to bigger government? Similarly, is it really bigger government to oppose abortion? The basic law is already in place: “Thou shalt not kill.” Back to marriage: It is over the government’s head anyway. Marriage is an institution of God, not of man. Legalizing gay marriage is a feeble attempt to shirk Divine authority on the subject.

    And now I may be thoroughly berated for those comments, as in the comments section under the “Guiliani” article.

    Jon

  16. Paul October 25, 2007 at 4:24 pm #

    Jon,

    you’re trying to fit a BIG GOD into a small constitution.

    You’re right about marriage. It is divine and not a legal matter at all. Which is why I think ALL marriages should be civil unions, and if people want the church to recognize that marriage, THEN they can go to a church for the ceremony. I don’t see why that’s so hard.

    And, Jon, before you complain for being berated, I noticed you never said I was wrong. So, keep pouting, buddy.

  17. William October 25, 2007 at 4:49 pm #

    Being only broadly related to this post, I wanted to know what you thought of the discussion on Evangelicals and the Public Square over at the Pew Forum website.

    http://pewforum.org/events/?EventID=156

    Cheers,

    William

  18. Jon October 25, 2007 at 9:35 pm #

    Paul,
    You’re wrong. Ok, now that we’ve got that out of the way… And I’m not trying to shoehorn God into a constitution. All I’m trying to do is accurately handle the Word, and restate that which God has already said. Let’s be cautious to study the Word carefully and treat it with all reverence and respect, but proclaim what it clearly teaches with unwavering conviction and boldness.

    While I freely admit that what we do with the government as Christians is subject to individual interpretation and conviction, there are certain issues in the Bible wherein God simply doesn’t leave any “wiggle room”. It is better to wrestle with the text and mine those riches out than to flounder on every subject under the sun, which leads to wimpy Christians who are indistinguishable from the world (not that I’m laying that charge on you, Paul or anyone else).

    What do you guys think? Are there absolutes in Scripture? (Please say “yes”!)

    Vaya con Dios,
    Jon

  19. Clint October 25, 2007 at 11:12 pm #

    Paul,

    liberalism is a mental disorder (as well as Ron Paul)

  20. Paul October 26, 2007 at 12:19 am #

    Denny,

    if you’re going to delete my comment, it is only fair that you would delete Clint’s as well. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and it’s not my fault that y’all elected an autistic chimp to the white house.

    (my apologies to chimps and people with autism)

  21. Mark Gibson October 26, 2007 at 9:20 am #

    Paul,

    I still believe that there are plenty of good conservative Republicans in Congress. I think the problem has been the leadership. People that have been in Congress too long. I believe there should be term limits because over time they learn that they can buy votes with our tax dollars.

    I’m not exactly sure what you mean by a welfare state for corporate CEOs. Are you talking about tax cuts? Please clarify.

    Bush is not a fascist. Quit with the name calling already.

    Thanks to the Patriot Act we have stopped countless terrorists attacks on our nation. You can’t give one credible example as to how the Patriot Act has taken anyone’s civil liberties. The only people it has hurt are the terrorists.

    The Department of Homeland Security is exactly what you say it is, a worthless bureaucracy. It is one example of Bush not standing up to politcal pressure from Democrats to create it. My recollection is that he was initially against it.

    The 45 millions Americans without health insurance is a misleading number. A lot of those people are between jobs or they are young and don’t believe they need it. The problem is not the insurance companies, but the regulation on the healthcare industry. People don’t have the freedom of choice. Ron Paul makes some very good points on this issue. My belief is that my healthcare is my responsibility and no one else’s.

    Another thing to add. Americans are a very giving people. On average, Americans give 2% of their salaries to charities. Imagine what that number would be if it weren’t for insane taxes.

    The S-CHIP program is just another example of politicians extending the welfare state. In my opinion it is unnecassary. Anyone (including illegals) can show up to a hospital and get the healthcare for free. The poorest Americans also benefit from the Earned Income Tax Credit which gives them free money without paying taxes. They can also raise the limits on Flexible Spending Accounts so that their wages allocated to healthcare are tax-free. You can call me whatever you want to. If you don’t want to use words that you ” wouldn’t dare write on this blog to describe me, ” then feel free to e-mail me at Mark@odysseyis.com.

    Japan went on their own and you have nothing to prove otherwise.

    I addressed Canada.

    Isolationism didn’t work too well in the 1930s and 1940s, did it? Japan sure didn’t mind bombing Pearl Harbor. According to your point of view, we shouldn’t have ever fought Germany.

    Since you wish to ridicule my support for our military personnel and their mission, I thought you might like to know why I support their mission. My father has always taught me the greatest admiration for the military. His opinion was that when our guy’s are in harms way, your job is to support their mission. My dad was a United States Marine, and I think he knows what he is talking about. If you think I don’t have the right to support them, then you don’t have the right to believe their sacrifice was a waste. You can tell me their service was worthless, but I would like to see you tell them to their face that their service was a waste. Also, tell the 100,000 Marine and Army recruits that join every month they are signing up to fight a pointless war.

    ” I am sure that you support them with a little yellow ribbon on your minivan and a hearty “oo-rah!” whenever they play the ballad of the green berets on your local radio station.”

    I drive a gas-guzzling Jeep Grand Cherokee and a hearty “oo-rah” would be reserved for the Marince Corps Hymn. The Green Berets are a part of the Army and they would get a hearty “hoo-rah.”

    NAFTA is irrelevant when it comes to my challenge of your “blood for oil” comment. If we are in Iraq for oil, then where is all of the free stuff? Why is oil at $91 per barrell?

  22. rf2r2 October 27, 2007 at 10:46 am #

    so their cause is noble enough for THEM to die for, but not for YOU to die for?

    This is the most idiotic logic I have ever heard in my life. Not everyone is cut out to be a soldier – wanting our military to suceed even if you are not in it is perfectly reasonable and neccessary in a society where civilians control the military anyway. Logic 1, You 0.

    I really like you, Paul (you add variety to the speech here and you are generally well thought out) but this is not your caliber of thought.

    “There is no such thing as supporting the troops but not their mission. I am thankful for their sacrifice and don’t use it as a political tool.”

    Wrong. I want our troops to be safe, and I will support them with donations for phone cards and body armor that their own government doesn’t supply them with, but I hate the fact that their bosses sent them to fight a pointless war.

    I happen to be active duty military and I have to question the logic that says the very purpose for my existence (as an airman), to fly, fight, and win, is to be counter-balanced against the notion that I should be safe. My job is not safe. It is not supposed to be. My job is to win and if you want to support me in that endevor by giving me body armor or phone cards, that’s great, but don’t do it to make me safe. I’m an airman and my job is to defend my country with my life. If you want to support me, tell me you want me to win with honor and help me do that.

  23. Paul October 28, 2007 at 4:52 pm #

    okay, guess I gots lots to answer here…

    rf2r2,

    First off, thanks for enlisting and protecting us. Sincerely. I tried to enlist about 10 years ago, but medical issues kept me out. I do consider it one of the great disappointments in my life that I wasn’t able to serve.

    Secondly, I know that it’s not your job to be safe. However, it IS the government’s job to ensure that you and everyone else that is in the armed forces are as safe as possible. Rumsfeld’s quip about “sometimes you go to war with the army you’ve got” upsets me beyond belief because of that. Deciding that Hummers and people don’t need the proper armor is downright offensive, and threatening to deny death benefits to any soldier who might somehow get that armor is doubly so. While you know far better than I ever will, from my seats, it simply looks like you got the short end of the stick twice:

    1) you got sent to go fight a pre-emptive war that didn’t need to be fought (sorry guys, another 100K troops in Afghanistan would have been a far better use of our troops IMHO), thusly, you’re getting shot at, risking life and limb for a war that we can’t say for certain was necessary.

    2) you can’t even get your hands on the proper protective gear to give yourself a better chance of survival once you’re stuck fighting (what I perceive to be) a pointless war.

    So, while I guess it’s not right to wish you safety, I can wish you more safety than you have now. And had we had responsible people in office, you might just have that safety.

    Next, I don’t agree with the “everyone’s not cut out to be a soldier” thing. At all. I fully believe that there should be a draft. No college deferments, no getting out of it because your mommy or daddy is a big shot, no, as Dick Cheney said, “I had better ways to spend my time (or something to that effect)”. And that’s spoken as a Mennonite. THEN let’s see where we go to war and what for. When it’s Republican Senator X’s kid going to war, let’s see if we make another pre-emptive strike on a target that didn’t have anything worth striking.

    Finally, I don’t think I was wrong it what I was saying, but I think I just didn’t get it out as well as I could have. Mark had said that there’s no such thing as supporting the troops without supporting their mission. Which is absolutely wrong. Just because I want you to be alive with all of your limbs intact doesn’t mean that I wanted to see you sent to Iraq.

    I get tired of these armchair chicken hawks who say all of the right buzz words, but they don’t do anything about it. If we’re fighting such a noble war, then they should go fight it. After all, the armed forces recruiters aren’t making their necessary recruitment numbers. So, either go to the local recruitment office and sign up, or quit mocking the left when we say that we shouldn’t be there. But don’t say that we absolutely should be there and then do nothing for the effort.

    I hope that there’s more solid logic to be found here than in my previous post.

  24. Paul October 28, 2007 at 5:53 pm #

    Mark,

    first off, thanks for the mostly civil discussion. Most folks on the right either ignore the other side or call them names. So you don’t get too much chance to get any meaningful discussion done. And it’s usually during those meaningful discussions that you realize that there ain’t that much ground between us.

    But, on to the arguments…

    1) Well, we both agree with term limits then. That, and the representative term should probably be pushed to four years. At two years, they get in, they get about a year’s worth of work done, and then they’re back out on the campaign trail. Limit them to a single four year term, and let them actually work without bowing to monetary interests.

    If we did that, I am sure that we’d see more noble conservatives AND liberals. And there’d probably be far less name calling from us and corruption from them.

    corporate welfare: government bail outs. Maybe I could see them for companies doing business with the government. But outside of that, if a business can’t make it on its own, it shouldn’t be getting any help from the government to prop itself up.

    And, oh yeah, Wal-Mart constantly getting tax free deals on their new stores for 5-10 year stretches is just another reason why I despise Wal-Mart. But, if a town is dumb enough to have one, more power to ’em I guess…

    Bush IS a fascist, and it ain’t name calling if it’s true. It’s name calling if I call him a chimp, the boy king, shrub, or any number of other things. However, fascist and moron are both true, and therefore not name calling. If this falls into Denny’s category of egregious violations of righteousness and reason, then y’all need to read more newspapers.

    The Democrats did not initially suggest the Homeland Security Office. The Republicans came up with that bit of needless bureaucracy all on their own.

    As for the Patriot Act, it did accomplish some good, I won’t lie. But Ben Franklin said it best: He who would sacrifice his liberty for his life deserves neither. And like I said before, it’s just a matter of time. The patriot act allowed the AG to treat Jose Padilla as an enemy combatant. While he might have trained with Al Quaeda, he IS STILL A CITIZEN! Our criminal justice system is certainly good enough to deal with the likes of an idiot who can’t pronounce his own name. If our rights as citizens are in jeopardy for one of us, they’re in jeopardy for all of us. Alberto Gonzalez was able to wipe out Habeas Corpus during his tenure due to the patriot act. What’s next? And, certainly, you cannot tell me that you’re both a right winger AND a supporter of laws, acts and signing statements that infringe upon ANY citizen’s liberty.

    As for your quip about health insurance, I feel the need to ask, where is your sense of compassion? Numbers are misleading because people are out of work? No, sir, those are still people who are one injury away from going bankrupt. And I can tell you from personal experience, I was one of them. I would much rather be in a higher tax bracket and know that neither you, I or anyone else who is here legally would be able to get decent health care when they need it.

    As for what’s wrong with medicine I can only say the following. I have multiple relatives in the medical field that range from CNA’s all the way up to hospital administration. There ARE problems with regulations. We can agree there all day long. But to say there’s no fault to be found with the insurance companies? Either you work for one of them, or you’re smoking better stuff than I ever did in my teens. If you want to hear doctors (with consciences) scream, ask them about insurance companies that cut corners on what they’ll pay for or how long they’ll pay for it.

    The problem is, you have companies in for profit roles that shouldn’t be. The second that an health insurance company is a for profit entity, someone is going to pay the price for that, either with higher premiums or lack of care. And that’s scary. Really, really, really scary.

    As for S-CHIP, maybe it does enlarge the welfare state. So what? You mentioned some options, and some of them are viable. I don’t know much about the EIC, as I’ve never qualified for it. Flexible Spending is cool, provided that you’re in a position to have that money taken out of your paycheck in the first place, and provided that you know you’ll use it (as I am sure you know, it’s a use it or lose it proposition). Which gets us back to square one: how do Jane and John Doe making just enough to support themselves survive when they find out that little Jenny Doe has cancer? Or don’t you care?

    OOOOH! Americans (the richest country on earth!) give TWO PERCENT of their salaries to charity! And, I am sure that the number is skewed by the fact that people give non-charitable charities like alumni endowments and the such. And then how many more “charitable donations” go to the likes of televangelists and stuff like that. So, of that two percent, how much actually goes to charities that would use it on things like kids with cancer or heart problems or the like? And I tire of the bit about our “insane tax rates.” Are you yet another person that has to be reminded that we have the lowest tax rates of any first world country? And how much better could that tax revenue be used if we wiped out the asinine programs that our yearly spending budget is littered with?

    Fine, Japan bombed us. And, we were right to go to Germany, as Germany had declared war on us. That’s different than a pre-emptive strike on a country with an ornery dictator.

    I addressed the military stuff upthread.

    And, also, there is a difference between free trade and free. I figured you would know that difference. Oil is at $91/barrel because we’re now competing with India and China for a finite amount of product. And the U.S.’s solution to our energy woes? Let’s drive up the cost of corn by using ethanol!

    At least the “let’s see who can buy off Bush this week” game is fun to watch…

  25. rf2r2 October 30, 2007 at 12:08 pm #

    Paul,

    I really do respect your attempt to enter the profession of arms. My sister is probably going to be medically discharged from Air Force technical training, and it is a very emotional and disappointing experince for her and we (the family) are hurting with her.

    You know, my faith in the principles which led us to war is not as solid as it once was. When America was going to war, I was still working for my family and listening to talk radio and hopping on the band wagon. I’m not the same person I was then politically or spiritually, so, looking back, I might have been more cautious in my support of the war. However, troop levels, poor planning, and unrealistic expectations probably wouldn’t have disuaded me (the me of today) in the face of an unfriendly and unstable dictator who possibly controlled a nuclear arsenal. To this day I have not heard a single credible argument against the idea that virtually the entire global, multi-national intelligence community agreed that Saddam likely controlled some form of WMD. I would have made the choice to support the invasion then based on that fact alone.

    Were troop levels too low? Yes. Were troops put in the field without the proper protection from the most (strategically) predictable threats (IEDs)? Absolutely. However, there is a mission still going on in Iraq right now, and I for one want a realistic goal and a practical solution for getting there. I hear good news everyday about how the surge is making security a reality across Iraq, and I personally see MRAPs being airlifted to the AOR from my home station of Charleston AFB (those things are freaking amazing btw – I’ve seen pictures where one ran over an IED and the only injury was that the driver got a couple broke ribs – just incredible). Bottom line, I see real progress towards victory and if the military gets it legs cut out from under it by politics (left or right) it’s going to piss me off. I don’t want to tell my grandkids I served in OEF with a sense of embarassment – I want to be proud of what got done. That’s all I want, to “get ‘er done” – to win with honor. If you’re on board with that, then I call you my political ally and I honestly think we agree at least on that point.

    Next, I don’t agree with the “everyone’s not cut out to be a soldier” thing. At all. I fully believe that there should be a draft… THEN let’s see where we go to war and what for.

    I can understand your logic here and I might even agree with you, but I just can’t see my wife fighting a war, or my 300-lb. brother-in-law. I don’t know, maybe it would be for the better, but it’s not a position I’m ready to take yet. But still, my point that the military is purposefully under the control of civilians still stands. I don’t want a military establishment entrenched in the lives of every able-bodied American. Soldiers are federal employees too, and with a mandatory draft, that is an awefully big teet for the nation to be suckling at. Just a thought.

    Just because I want you to be alive with all of your limbs intact doesn’t mean that I wanted to see you sent to Iraq.

    Fair enough.

    I appreciate your candor and your contribution, I just don’t always see the point in personally attacking political figures or persons when their logic is easily more interesting to disrespect 🙂 There was a little too much spite in my first comment to you, but I am sorry and I do appreciate your voice here.

    You are loved,
    Brandon

  26. rf2r2 October 30, 2007 at 12:11 pm #

    And the U.S.’s solution to our energy woes? Let’s drive up the cost of corn by using ethanol!

    Yeah, I remember reading the State of the Union address in which President Bush first unveiled his support of ethanol and thinking, “WTF? Of all the things he could have said… ethanol?”

  27. Mark Gibson November 2, 2007 at 9:54 am #

    Paul,

    Sorry I haven’t had a chance to respond in a while. I’m enjoying our debate also. Let me know if you are still even reading this thread. I don’t want put the effort into writing something that someone might not even read.

  28. Paul November 2, 2007 at 10:55 am #

    just peeked and saw that you wrote something Mark.

    bring it on. 😀

  29. Mark Gibson November 5, 2007 at 3:36 pm #

    Hey Paul,

    I’m finally getting a chance to respond.

    I would like to see term limits set to six for representatives and two for senators. In my opinion, I rather them be out on the campaign trail rather than screwing up things in Washington. The biggest problem is the pork they can throw into any spending bill. They are basically buying votes.

    We are in agreement on government bailouts of corporations. It is another example of the nanny state.

    I have no problem with a city/town giving tax abatements to businesses. If they want to bring in more jobs, then more power to them. Also, there is no such thing as a tax on corporations. They just increase the price of a good/service to cover the tax costs.

    I also have no problem with Wal-Mart. They are probably the best anti-poverty tool in America. They provide savings to millions of poor Americans. I wish I could find the Wall Street Journal article I once read about it. Your Libertarian friends Penn & Teller did a great episode about Wal-Mart for their show Bullyouknowwhat.

    Bush is NOT a fascist. You’ve never said why he is a fascist, just that he is one. I just want to hear some examples.

    “Bush initially resisted the idea of a new department, which had been championed primarily by Democrats in the wake of the attacks. But Bush embraced the concept in June and used the issue effectively on the campaign trail this past fall, criticizing Democrats who differed with him over the issue of labor rights within the new department. “ From CNN, http://archives.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/11/25/homeland.security/ , hardly a conservative news source.

    Oh no, the Patriot Act took away the rights of a terrorist. Sounds like it is working to me.

    My sense of compassion does not outweigh my common sense. You want to talk about taking a citizen’s civil liberties away, then this is the perfect example of it. Government should have no say in healthcare. Government programs are making healthcare more expensive. Out of those 45 million people that don’t have healthcare, how many of them have TVs? Cable for the TVs? DVD players? Cell Phones? Internet? Expensive clothes? They just need to learn to prioritize. Compassion comes from people giving. It doesn’t come from taking someone else’s money then giving it away.
    I don’t work for an insurance company. There is nothing that says that you have it.
    All companies should be in the business of making a profit. That is why our healthcare is the best in the world. What else is a company (unless not-for-profit) suppose to be in business for?

    The FSA is good except for the use it or lose it. I think that people should be able to keep what isn’t used. Not having the funds to take it out of their paychecks comes down to priorities. A person supporting taking money away from “rich” people to give to poorer people is not compassion. You don’t know what money I have given; so don’t question whether or not I care.

    On the 2% issue, you don’t know where that money goes. We do have the lowest tax rates. We also have the strongest economy. Why would you be against lowering rates and getting rid of government healthcare spending? It would give you the opportunity to put your money where your mouth is and give to all of these charities. It would be interesting to see how giving liberals are when they aren’t giving away other people’s money.

    I couldn’t agree with you more on asinine spending. You’ll like this criticism of Bush. Every year during his State of the Union Address, he promises foreign aide to Africa when there are Americans that are uninsured. I am sure that you’ll agree with me that that is moronic. I am against any government healthcare, but why put Africans ahead of Americans? It just doesn’t make sense to me.

    There was not a pre-emptive strike on Iraq. The Gulf War had never ended. A cease-fire was signed. Saddam decided to break that cease-fire repeatedly. Therefore, there was no pre-emptive strike.

    I know we’re competing with India and China. You still haven’t answered how Iraq was blood for oil. Ethanol is a global warming alarmist solution to our energy woes. We have just as much oil as the Middle East. They just don’t have to deal with environmentalists over there. Let our oil companies start drilling where they want, then watch those prices go down.

    As for buying off Bush, quit making baseless charges then asking your opponents to prove otherwise.

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