Posts tagged ‘Democrat’

August 29, 2011

Health Reform Implementation in one map

by Vince

The interesting part about the above map is the nuance that does not adhere to partisan regions:

States that have passed exchange bills tend to lean Democratic, but it’s by no means a clear dichotomy.  Both Nevada and California passed exchange bills under Republican governors;Mississippi and Idaho have, over the past few weeks, become increasingly aggressive about setting up exchanges.

Conversely, not all Democratic-controlled states are moving. Delaware and Rhode Island’s state governments are both controlled by Democrats. Neither has moved exchange legislation. Even here in D.C, an exchange bill has sat in committee since its introduction in February.

August 28, 2011

The Oslo Massacre and Stereotyping Religious Groups

by Vince

This readers story from the Dish is eye opening:

I have a best friend who would take the shirt off his back to help (almost) anyone.  We’ve been friends since childhood (we’re now in our late 40s).  I’m a liberal atheist Democrat, he’s a conservative Christianist Republican.  Certainly if we had met as adults we would never have become friends. But because of our history we remain friends, despite our differences and our friendly, but increasingly, vehement arguments.

About a year-and-a-half into Obama’s presidency we had to agree to stop talking about politics and the world in order to preserve our long-standing friendship. He wasn’t quite a birther, but he suspected something quite wasn’t right there. Our final, incredible, blowout argument was over the “Ground Zero Mosque.” He had succumbed to the “Muslims are bad” theory and had become a bit zealous, even going as far as saying “Fox News is the only media outlet telling the truth.” Sigh. We screamed at each other, there was spittle, and HUGE anger; if we hadn’t known each other for so long it might have devolved into fisticuffs.  But, with incredible restraint, we remained friends; it was clear we were skirting around current topics and trying valiantly to stay the course without saying “you’re an idiot” to each other. We were hanging out a lot less frequently than we had previously. Sad, but necessary?

Finally, Norway was a breakthrough. I would not have broached the subject, to keep the peace, but his wife brought it up tonight at a backyard BBQ. I didn’t say a word for a long time; they talked it out. In essence, the conversation went like this:

Wife:  But he (Breivik) identified himself as a Christian.
My friend: Nope, he couldn’t be a Christian.
Wife:  I know, not any Christian we know or could identify with.
My friend:  Ridiculous how he says he’s Christian.
Wife: But it got me thinking about how a lot of Muslims say the terrorists aren’t true Muslims.
My friend (I was holding my breath at this point):  Yea, I’m starting to see that.  This crazy guy wants to represent Christians.  He’s fucking insane.  Maybe the 9/11 guys were insane too and didn’t represent Muslims?

He looked me in the eye at that point and … apologized. Ohmygod!  He said, “I never saw the other side.”  We both cried.  I’m trying not to be melodramatic here, but it was literally a life changing moment for my friend.  He had truly believed that Muslims were really bad and Christians were good, with some aberrations (he used the Tiller murder as an example of a bad Christian, but never would give that “aberration” description to any Muslim).  Anyway, tonight was unbelievable in my world.  One of my best friends, and a rabid Christianist, acknowledged that all Muslims weren’t bad.  Sounds simple?  But, really, a major breakthrough.

So maybe there is something positive to come out of the tragedy in Norway. Very sad to say that, but in my little world, it’s a positive thing.  Obviously this is incredibly anecdotal, but maybe there are other Christianists seeing that there are extremists who don’t represent all Christians just as there are Islamists who don’t represent all of Islam?

Know hope.

August 11, 2010

Conservative or Liberal? You Need Both…And Some

by Vince

A great write in to the Daily Dish that hits many nails on the head:

You’ve defined conservatism many times over the years as a “disposition.” The clip that you featured yesterday of Ted Olson on Fox News, defending his strong pro position on same-sex marriage, seems – to my mind – to be about as good an example of the true conservative disposition as one could hope for: principled, humane, calm, smart, broad-minded, pragmatic, courteous, inclusive and reality-based.
But the same could be said for David Boies, Olson’s liberal co-counsel partner and – since their days as opposing counsels in Bush v Gore – good personal friend.
So where exactly does the difference in “disposition” lie, in this case? It’s not in their positions on the issue, which are remarkable similar, if not identical. It’s not in their qualities of character, which are both exemplary. Is it possible that, at this level – the principled, humane, calm, smart, broad-minded, pragmatic, courteous, inclusive, reality-based level – there really is no difference between conservative and liberal? That once having ascended the peak to actual, functional intellectual, emotional and spiritual adulthood — to human maturity — the paths of liberal and conservative meet, as they say all spiritual paths do?
Maybe we are all both conservative and liberal all along. Ask yourself: if you won a new car on some game show, but could only have one of the following two options, which would you choose – brakes, or an accelerator? The answer, of course, is every car needs both, just as every person, and every polity, needs both brakes (conservatism) and accelerator (liberalism) – and hopefully, both in good working order.
So the seemingly endless fight between conservative and liberal in this country is endless because it’s a false choice, a fake war, ginned up by those who profit by that war. The real issue is not left or right. The real issue is maturity versus immaturity, selflessness versus selfishness, country versus party, disinterested truth versus power at any price. These are not left or right issues. These are developmental issues, issues of up or down, maturity or immaturity — as both Olson and Boies so clearly prove by example.