Displaying 1 - 10 of 19 Forum Posts1 2 Next
  • May 02, 2020 07:07 PM
    Last: 8d
    284
    that guy in AZ Wrote:

    An article in today's New York Times explains why an avowed feminist, who believes Tara Reade, is still voting for Biden.

    Here is the key paragraph:

    "So what is the greatest good or the greatest harm? Mr. Biden, and the Democrats he may carry with him into government, are likely to do more good for women and the nation than his competition, the worst president in the history of the Republic. Compared with the good Mr. Biden can do, the cost of dismissing Tara Reade — and, worse, weakening the voices of future survivors — is worth it. And don’t call me an amoral realist. Utilitarianism is not a moral abdication; it is a moral stance."

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/06/opinion/tara-reade-joe-biden-vote.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

    I understand the logic of her argument and I want Trump gone too but this is still troubling. Trump supporters and people in Alabama who wanted Roy Moore for the Senate probably rationalize things the same way she does. Are we so filled with fear and contempt for Trump that we will do anything to get rid of him ? If we don't have morals and principles or they can be easily set aside for expediancy then what else matters ? Whether we support Biden or want him off the ticket every Democrat needs to struggle with this as a real dilemma. Our integrity and humanity demand no less.

  • May 03, 2020 04:08 PM
    Last: 18d
    115
    Dutch Wrote:

    Chet, it is not "consumerism"; even an "monkey" can do that; "give him an banana and you get the "peel" back.

    Sorry it is the "common sense" which should drive it and try to get an "balance" in any society which interacts with the world. Anyone should be able to sustain itself and have food on the table as well get an decent education. Of course the people who are sick or mentally incapable should be cared for.

    If you have an happy prosperous mentally sound society then everyone is happy.

    Right now due to the fact that we have an leader as well an system which favors certain groups and the rich, then you get the imbalance which ruins any society. Only the greed for "power" and" wealth" have the overtone.

    But yeah our system is badly broken and therefore we get what we deserve.

    Dutch... I'm not ready to give up on trying to make things better. It would help if we stopped being cynical about politics. Moreover we need to understand that conflict can be tamed and is the basis for compromise both parties can live with. We don't have to accept the way things are.

  • May 02, 2020 07:07 PM
    Last: 8d
    284
    Ken Wrote:
    Center Left Wrote:

    My problem with many of these allegations of sexual harassment and assault is their timing. Why was nothing said or done sooner ? Why did Ms. Reade stop pressing her case back then ? Why take it up again now ? If Biden did this it should have ended his career long ago. Is it about political dirty tricks ? Furthermore are throwing out any standards of proof or due process in the name of believing women and proving we are not sexist ? I just have a lot of questions. Maybe I'm just being sexist.

    The timing is a problem for me too, because maybe if we'd known only a few months ago, we'd have made different choices in the primary.

    I don't think you're being sexist. I do think it's possible you're being tribal. A lot of what you're saying is the same as what the right said about Blasey Ford, and some of it is commonly used to attack the credibility of sexual assault victims. For example: "why didn't you come forward with this when it originally happened?" Because it's extremely emotionally challenging, because a lot of women suffer for doing so, etc. "What about standards of proof?" Yes, these are important, but we must distinguish between criminal courts and selecting people for high office. In the former, proof beyond reasonable doubt is required; in the latter, I would say we should choose someone else if the accusations are sufficiently credible. "Is it about political dirty tricks?" We'd all like to believe that when it's our party's people on the stand, wouldn't we?

    Let's change the offender here, what about accusers of Trump? Nobody really gave a shit what he did, at least 27 accusers, who were Johnny come lately, and nobody fucking cared. What about Trump popping tic tacs and grabbing women by their pussies? OP didn't care about that I'm guessing. He helped the offender in chief get elected!

    Not a chance: I care a lot about that, I vigorously opposed Trump and continue to do so, and I'm appalled by the fact that our nation installed a serial sexual predator in its highest office. Yes, Trump is far, far worse than Biden. I get it.

    But when both parties play the game of what-about-ism, nobody wins, least of all the nation's people. Both parties just shoot flaming darts at each other, then circle the wagons to protect their own people, right or wrong be damned. Reflexive tribal defensiveness takes over, and everybody loses.

    The only way to break the cycle is for each side to hold its own people accountable. It's basic human psychology. When we get criticized by our enemies, we perceive it as a physical threat and instinctively fight back. But "wounds from a friend can be trusted." We might fear that doing the right thing unilaterally will put us at a disadvantage against a foe that has no standards at all. I say let's do it anyway, because if we're not willing to do the right thing for fear of losing, then what's the point of winning? Are we in this for our own power or for the good of the nation?

    Thanks...Ken your points give me something to reflect upon. I think their needs to be an investigation of Ms. Reade's claims and if they are credible Biden must go. However I'm not sure if we're going to start such a process. Circumstances surrounding the virus and political opposition might keep us from getting at the truth which is most unfortunate. One thing I would like to know from you Ken is how do we establish ( sufficient credibility) ? I think it's a legitimate question.
  • May 03, 2020 04:08 PM
    Last: 18d
    115
    Ken Wrote: Great summary of liberalism's values, challenges, and opportunities. Not hostile to profit-making enterprises, faith, or family values, but supportive of individual freedom, opportunity, and a capitalism that works for everyone and doesn't destroy the earth. I think you are pretty spot on, sir.

    Appreciate that Ken....Neither the Trump Presidency or this virus will last forever. Moreover these things are related to other longstanding economic and social problems that need to be addressed especially by us liberals. I should have entitled this The Liberal Challenge Beyond Trump and The Virus.

    Bernie Sanders's embrace of the Democratic Socialist label ought to inspire liberals to reclaim our label and defend our values again. Elizabeth Warren has showed us what bold liberal policy can be as well. Moreover we must stand with ordinary activists. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain to make our country better. Sorry for the soap box rant.

  • May 03, 2020 04:08 PM
    Last: 18d
    115
    Dockadams Wrote:

    First, conservatives won't enact a minimum wage increaase, paid leave, single payer healthcare, or break up big banks until they stop taking money from corporate pacs and wealthy donors. You can't break the power of wealthy elites and big business if you depend on their money.

    Thanks for clearing that up for us.

    Next time, try to use your windows spell checker.

    Dockadams...thanks for your response. I reviewed the post again to try and edit. However the I used the word liberal not conservative. Not sure what you are getting at. Thanks all the same.

  • May 03, 2020 04:08 PM
    Last: 18d
    115

    The New Deal in the 1930s and the Great Society in the 1960s were the greatest periods reformist political liberalism in American history. The former responded to economic crisis while the latter met demands for racial equality, helped the poor, and elderly. Both made mistakes and questionable compromises. Moreover they were only initial efforts to make America more free and prosperous for all. Their success was due to a manufacturing economy that enabled broadly shared prosperity and a middle class society. Today our economy is driven by technology and finance. It is global and despite growth with full employment it is very unequal with less upward mobility. The average working person even if educated struggles to make ends meet. The middle class is vulnerable and many poor people will never get into it.

    At the same time America has made strides toward legal equality, and rejection of racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia. However people still suffer from subtle discrimination. They are impacted economically and socially. In recent years liberals and the left have been divided over economics (or class) versus identity politics. This is a false choice. The liberal challenge is to reform capitalism so it benefits all working people with no barriers of race, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin. This requires a practical politics rooted in positive freedom that addresses economic and identity issues both.

    Negative freedom means noninterference. The state or society doesn't bother or impose upon individuals. This leads conservatives to oppose government regulation of the economy, welfare programs, and political solutions to social problems. Contrary to popular belief liberals value negative freedom too. They don't think the government should control speech, thought, expression, or worship. Liberals also value privacy and personal freedom. They don't think government should interfer with these things to promote virtue or piety. Unlike conservatives this is what liberals mean by limited government. It's important to note that liberals don't favor a state controlled economy either. However liberals also value positive freedom. This is the ability to choose and follow your own goals.Workers not paid a living wage, the uninsured unable to access healthcare, those discriminated against due to race, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin are not free. They don't have choices or the same chances as others to follow self chosen goals. For this reason liberals think government should eliminate social barriers and meet certain needs. Things like justice, equality, and compassion matter, but they don't come before individual freedom on which America and liberalism are based. Liberals have forgotten this as the reason for their policies and the focus of political discourse.

    While the economy is growing and unemployment is down wealth/income inequality is a serious problem. Some economic inequality is inevitable and desireable in a free society. But we have become too unequal undermining the middle class, increasing poverty, and enabling the wealthy to dominate our politics.Work is no longer enough to pay bills, save
    for retirement, or educate your children. The benefits of higher productivity and profits go to wealthy elites who move money and capital around the globe hurting individuals and communities. Liberal values like freedom, equality before the law, and controlling power depend upon stopping this predator capitalism. Today liberals must redistribute wealth and income. They must break corporate power too. These efforts ensure the material basis of individual freedom for working people.

    When it comes to social issues and identity politics America is probably less racist, sexist, and homophobic than ever. Yet we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking these problems are solved. Alot of work is left to do. Blacks are more likely than whites to be poor and unemployed. Their problems are compounded by mass incarceration and police killings. Women on average are still paid less than men for the same work. This impoverishes single moms and their children. And the Women's Marches and Me Too are raising awareness of domestic violence and sexual harassment. A few years ago as Americans celebrated marriage equality as a great victory in the struggle for LGBT rights. However in more than thirty states and numerous localities LGBT people still lack basic civil rights protections in employment, housing, and public accomodations. For transgndered people systemic discrimination causes poverty, unemployment, homelessness, and poor health. Liberals cannot be true to themselves if they ignore these issues while talking about economics.

    Liberalism isn't merely idealistic. It doesn't aspire to things without a way to accomplish them. Liberalism is political. It is a practical way of achieving things within the system.

    First, liberals won't enact a minimum wage increaase, paid leave, single payer healthcare, or break up big banks until they stop taking money from corporate pacs and wealthy donors. You can't break the power of wealthy elites and big business if you depend on their money. Small contributions from lots of people are important. At the same time we need liberal politicians and activists who are not only prochoice on abortion or support LGBT rights. They should support unions, fair trade, and less wealth/income inequality. Liberals should talk about positive versus negative capitalism. The former ensures a strong middle class that poor people can get into. It's built on living wage jobs and universal affordable healthcare as esential to freedom. Negative capitalism only frees the wealthy and huge corporations to enrich themselves at the expense of workers, communities, and the climate we all must inhabit. It only exploits people and hoards the benefits of prosperity. This is why the 2020 Presidential campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are so important. Second, movements like Black Lives Matter and Me Too should not be dismissed or mocked as a bunch of " whiny social justice warriors. " Too many liberals overly concerned with appealing to moderates take this view and it's wrong. Marginalized people denied freedom only progress through struggle. Liberalism takes up their cause translating their demands into political reforms that ensure the equal right to freedom. When it comes to the difficult issues of identity politics liberals must be honest and courageous calling Americans to remember our highest values. Liberals need to argue protests about race, gender, and LGBT rights are about the freedom and equality the founders aspired to in our Declaration of Independence. A practical politics mobilizes and unites the Democratic Party base while drawing in more people. It is a positive kind of Americanism that people can relate to and feel good about.

    All of these things are difficult. Yet liberalism can do big things. It can be bold. None of this is inevitable. However if liberals take up this challenge it will be better for America and perhaps the world. When we live up to our values and are strong at home America can lead the world in solving common problems, but we need to do it at home because it's right. Criticizing the rich, corporations, and inequality while embracing identity politics will be portrayed as leftist extremism by the right. Keeping capitalism won't satisfy a renewed, more vocal, socialist left either. However liberals should not allow the right or far left to decide what they do or say. Liberalism is not the enemy of big business or rich people. It is not against traditional faith or family rather liberalism works to ensure individual freedom with equal rights and opportunity for all. It's the kind of political reformism that has always expanded American freedom.

  • May 02, 2020 07:07 PM
    Last: 8d
    284
    Schmidt Wrote:

    Well it's been 27 years. Memories become clouded. And her story has changed as a result. Maybe it's a "guy thing" but I have met a lot of men who exaggerate or embellish stories to make them more interesting...attention grabbers. Trump certainly does that, and I've listened to guys in a bar brag about their "conquests" knowing full well that they are stretching the truth to impress. Trump calls it "locker room talk."

    I have no idea if Tara Reide is such a person that might embellish a story for attention. She needs to have her story and character thoroughly vetted. Is she the type that is honest and forthright in her daily life? Is there a pattern?

    If her character stands up to the scrutiny, then she is credible. Biden has already admitted that he has been a "toucher" and has apologized for it. Remember when George W. Bush put his hands on Angela Merkel's neck to give her a neck rub in the middle of a meeting. Was it like that with Reide or something more?

    What is her motive? Does she believe that Biden is a sexual predator that should never be president? It doesn't fit his reputation from those closest to him...unlike Trump whose reputation as a "womanizer" and predator is well known.

    Well I suppose the Me Too Movement can speak out and say they refuse to support him. That will kill his candidacy. Then Dems can turn back to Bernie Sanders who by the way has been labeled a "dead beat dad" for having his son Levi in 1969 with Susan Campbell Mott, a girlfriend. He couldn't support her or his son. Well is that story embellished as well? Better to be a dead beat dad than a sexual predator?

    So who is left after we apply purity tests ad infinitum?

    My problem with many of these allegations of sexual harassment and assault is their timing. Why was nothing said or done sooner ? Why did Ms. Reade stop pressing her case back then ? Why take it up again now ? If Biden did this it should have ended his career long ago. Is it about political dirty tricks ? Furthermore are throwing out any standards of proof or due process in the name of believing women and proving we are not sexist ? I just have a lot of questions. Maybe I'm just being sexist.

  • Apr 30, 2020 11:08 PM
    Last: 23d
    43
    Dutch Wrote: Forget Warren; she's not suited at all; especially with Biden she would not be as timid as an Pence, but overrule and power play Biden. She "knows" it all, but knows nothing of the world around her, neither has any "world" experience like Obama had.

    Thanks Dutch for your response..... In the Senate she could be an important advocate for the kind of liberalism we need. As Biden's VP I think she would be constrained rather than a domineering "know it all." At the same time Biden might be too center right without some pushing him to the center left. Warren might be the one to do some of that. Not enough for my tastes. That's just the way it goes.

    What I don't like is the way big money interests are trying to influence Biden about who to pick. They're out for their own problematic agenda not the Democratic Party or working people. Like I said they embrace a partial liberalism focused on certain social and environmental issues. They don't want reforms that cost rich people money and power. We will never make badly needed progress on universal healthcare, getting money out politics, or narrowing the vast wealth/income gap as long as Democrats depend on and cater to them.

  • Apr 30, 2020 11:08 PM
    Last: 23d
    43

    http://file:///C:/Users/kfbry/Documents/Donors%20pressure%20Joe%20Biden%20to%20not%20pick%20Elizabeth%20Warren%20as%20VP.html

    If you thought moderates and major Democratic donors were against Sanders as the party's nominee they don't want Biden to choose Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren as Vice President either.

    Big money donors are pressuring Joe Biden to not choose Sen. Elizabeth Warren as his running mate , even while the centrist former vice president tries to appeal to progressive voters.

    Biden and his team, according to people familiar with the matter, have heard from many donors in the business community about who they think would be best to be chosen as his vice presidential nominee.

    Those conversations have recently included attempts to push the campaign away from picking Warren and encouraging the choice of other candidates purportedly on his list, such as Sens. Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar, and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Many Biden contributors spoke on the condition of anonymity as these conversations, both with Biden and among his associates, were in private.

    If you thought the Republicans were the party of big money and corporations think again. Money and big business play a powerful role in the Democratic Party as well. These monied liberals and moderates may be for reproductive freedom, LGBTQ Rights, and environmental protection. However they oppose labor unions, higher taxes on investment income, tougher regulations on the financial markets, and single payer healthcare. They are firmly against Warren's reformist vision of capitalism as much as Sanders Democratic Socialism. They're determined to flex their muscle.

    Warren has often called for raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Her latest effort is a bill co-sponsored by progressive firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y, which would halt mergers and acquisitions in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.Â

    “There are two Elizabeth Warrens. The one I had in my home when she was a U.S. senator and consumer champion. She was awesome,” Florida businessman John Morgan, who is fundraising for Biden, told CNBC in discussing her as a possible VP pick. “Then  came Warren the socialist trying to out-Bernie Bernie. That is her dilemma.” During the campaign, Warren sought to distinguish herself from Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, by saying she is a capitalist.

  • Apr 26, 2020 06:12 PM
    Last: 21d
    161
    Ken Wrote:

    Hi everyone, thanks for your contributions. I realize how easy it is to attack the morality of the current Republican party and its leaders, and I agree that they are indeed morally bankrupt. I don't think this is intrinsic to conservatism and I don't think we should celebrate it; I'm convinced that liberalism and conservatism each contribute core insights that are required for good statecraft. But that's another topic for a different thread. I intended this thread to be more about avoiding exchanges like the following:

    Conservative: "Government shouldn't recognize homosexual marriages, because homosexuality is morally wrong."

    Liberal: "That's not government's role. You can't legislate morality."

    Conservative: "What are you talking about? All legislation is moral. You talk about legislation in moral terms all the time."

    Liberal: "..."

    I'm saying we have better ways of explaining why government should regulate some choices and leave other choices to the people - and that getting this distinction right is more important long-term than tearing down the current Republican party, which I hope eventually reforms itself (not holding my breath though).

    A lot of Republicans I know think of it in terms of "whose morality" - assuming that one group's morality must eventually become the favored one, culturally and politically. By this way of thinking, one group must inevitably "win" at the expense of the others.

    I'm a committed Christian myself, but I don't want my group to hold some sort of hegemony over the rest of the nation. What I want is a set of rules that all of our diverse groups can live with - rules that promote justice and the common good, while respecting the freedom of each group to live out its own unique values and preferences. To get there, it's clear to me that "which morality" is a better formulation than "whose morality" - that is, clearly delineate which areas of public and private life may be regulated by the government, and which may not.

    Ken I agree with the point you're making here. In recent years I have stopped saying you can't legislate morality. To me it's about the legitimate role of government authority over the individual which is central to liberalism. The government should not interfere with what an individual does until their actions pose bodily harm to other persons or deprive said persons of like liberty. Conservatives wrongly want regulate or forbid actions, lifestyle choices, and forms of expression that go against traditional notions of religion and personal morality. In a liberal democracy government policies enable different and conflicting ways of life to coexist. Thanks for your post.