scalding hot tea

Will Conservatives Be the Ones to Out Anti-Gay Sen. Lindsey Graham?


Sen. Lindsey Graham, the Republican from South Carolina who supported 2006’s constitutional gay marriage ban effort, has long been rumored to be a homogay. Sometimes people even confront him about it in hallways. And now, the Tea Party is doing it.

An as-yet unidentified speaker Americans for Legal Immigration PAC’s William Gheen at a rally last week in Greenville, South Carolina, told the crowd: “Barney Frank has been more honest and brave than you. At least we know about Barney Frank, nobody’s going to hold it over his head.”

Graham has long maintained an uneasy relationship even among conservatives in his home state. But if this trend continues, we’ll have the conservatives who are supposed to be the ones re-electing Graham attacking him instead. About his alleged sexuality.

As a lawmaker who’s consistently voted against gay rights, we’ve got no problem outing Graham if he is gay — to show his hypocrisy. But it’s a terrible world when any voter will go after a politician’s sexuality as a reason why they are ineffective on unrelated policy matters, like regulating Wall Street or health care reform.

[Digby, Salon]

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  • Dave

    They have their Tea Party and we have GetEqual. Both sides need misfits.

  • Cam

    No. 1 · Dave
    They have their Tea Party and we have GetEqual. Both sides need misfits.

    HRC will be sending you the check in the mail. Get Equal is at least getting our issues some TV time so folks who assume that Obama kept all his promises know that we are still without many rights.

    As for the people confronting Lindsay Graham, he is anti-gay on his votes. I don’t care if he is outed by us or by the tea partiers. As far as our issues are concerned he is horrible to have in office so however he gets outted is fine.

  • clark

    Is there any credible evidence that he is, in fact, gay?

  • Dave

    @Cam: Ahhh, “TV time?” They are laughing at us on tv. Just like most people laugh at the Tea Party.

  • Cam

    No. 4 · Dave
    @Cam: Ahhh, “TV time?” They are laughing at us on tv. Just like most people laugh at the Tea Party.

    1. No, they are laughing that HRC thinks having Kathy Griffin in town will win us any votes.

    2. Are Senator McCain and Charlie Crist laughing at the TEabaggers? Was the Incumbant GOP in NY State who lost his district because of a tea party candidate laughing?

  • Sam

    @David Ehrenstein: Care to share with the rest of the class, David?

    (Unless it’s some kind of sex tape, of course. I really, really don’t need to see that. *shudder*)

  • Robert, NYC

    If anyone knows for sure, its Mike Rogers. If the proof is there, then I have no problem outing Graham. He was on my gaydar several years ago as soon as he opened his mouth to speak.

  • Joe

    He sure sounds like a faggot.

  • Jake the libertarian

    *Disclaimer* I am not a tea party person and I really don’t like them at all…

    The tea party movement is a really interesting one, and it is not being accurately portrayed in the media. It is largely a libertarian movement and one that really should be pro-gay and secular. However the media doesn’t know how to report on a small government movement without trowing in the idea of big church.

    Having said that, the tea partiers do themselves no favors by having Sarah “I am the biggest homophobic idiot bitch to ever come out of Alaska” Palin to their rallies.

    There is a large group of gays that really should back a lot of what the tea party people are talking about. Lower taxes, limited government, 2nd amendment issues, individual liberty, and government responsibility are all things us gays should really be supporting… after all it is this government that has legally discriminated against us for decades… even centuries, why shouldn’t we be for limiting their power?

    I just throw that out there… take it for what you will. Personally I think there is room in the tea party movement for gays, if they would throw the christian right overboard. I would be tempted to visit a rally if they would just endorse the end of DADT or DOMA… two things that really would fall within their principles… I know, I know… its never going to happen, but it sure would be nice if it did.

  • Ian

    Wow, not only are these morons anti-immigrant, racist, and misogynist, but now they are homophobic too.

    Immigration reform is going to be the law of the land before the end of this year whether William Gheen wants it or not. That’s about 12 million new Democrat voters ready to give teabaggers the finger.

    PS: The speaker is William Gheen, president of ALIPAC, a white supremacist, anti-immigrant, hate group as described by the SPLC. He is pissed off at Lindsey Graham because, while he is a Republican, he supports immigration reform.

  • Ian


    Where was your outrage when president Bush was sending the national debt through the roof? We are still stuck in Iraq and Afghanistan, and paying billions of dollars to remain there.

    Oh, and by the way, thanks to president Obama and the Democrats, this year Americans paid the lowest taxes in 60 years. “Libertarians” and teabaggers are protesting reality, NOT higher taxes.,-thanks-to-Democrats-and-Obama

  • Jake the libertarian


    I doubt you will find a bigger critic of the Bush administration than me. I HATE the Bush administration and always have. You are a fucking moron who doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground. Libertarianism is about equality, the seperation of church and state, and limited government. I ask you why you support giving power to a government that hates and oppresses you?

    I said I don’t support the tea party, I am just pointing out that some of their libertarian arguements are things gays should support. But you are too much of a line toeing party hack to think for yourself.

  • Jake the libertarian


    PS: I am an Iraq vet and I lost friends there. It was a crime to attack that country and i have been vocal about it for years… your party voted overwhelmingly to attack them…. mine was against it.

  • MudgeBoy

    Dear Jake the Libertarian,

    I’m a democrat but I really appreciated your insights into the Tea Party Movement. I hadn’t really thought of the fact that, in most ways, they and I are in agreement. I also agree with you on (1) tea party needs to ditch religion and keep it out of politics, and (2) it’s unfortunately that Palin is their champion and spokesperson, since she is so deluded. The one thing that I dislike about the tea party people is that they are very angry. In fact, some of the ones that I see on TV are just red-faced angry and mean. I live in SC and I have a neighbor who is a tea party guy — he’s just plain mad about almost everything, but he
    did love Bush. I wonder how many Tea Party people are Bush lovers. Stats show that 75% of Tea Party people are over 45, and most of them make over $50,000. Anyway, thanks for the post.

  • Rob Moore

    @Jake the libertarian: I must disagree with your assertion that it is largely a Libertarian movement. There is already a Libertarian Party that so far has had nothing to do with the teabaggers. If it was largely libertarian, the speakers would have glamoured the faithful into calling for abolition of Social Security and Medicare, but quite the opposite is true. They don’t want Healthcare reform because they accept the rhetoric of socialism as truth, but when polled about Social Security and Medicare, there is strong opposition to cutting those programs. If they were Libertarian, they would be loathe to express homophobic positions vis-a-vis laws about marriage and adoption.

    This is a movement that is unable to acknowledge that it is at its core driven by fear of a changing country. When their speakers say “We want our country back”, they are referring to the time when the U.S. was overwhelming caucasian. Despite the odd, token raisin in the mix, this is almost completely a white movement that is anti-immigrant, racist, homophobic, and ultraconservative Christian. If you asked 100 of them whether or not they ever read the Constitution, 99 of them would only be able to say something about guns.

  • Rob Moore

    @Jake the libertarian: “Lower taxes, limited government, 2nd amendment issues, individual liberty, and government responsibility are all things us gays should really be supporting… after all it is this government that has legally discriminated against us for decades… even centuries, why shouldn’t we be for limiting their power?”

    Lower taxes is a red herring. Taxes for most of us went down in 2009. This is the first tax return in years in which I got a refund. Under GOP policies, my annual tax bill required anywhere from $1200 to $2300 in additional payment. This year, I will get back $800. Most of America’s tax burden is at the state and local level with property taxes, sales taxes, utility taxes, state income taxes, increased fees for things such as license and tag renewals.

    Limited government has been an argument in this country since George Washington’s presidency. The fact is that in a country this size, it is difficult to say where it should be reduced. Libertarians would never have supported universal healthcare. Libertarian philosophy would have little funding for public education. In fact, the libertarian movement called for privatisation of public education, at least in the past. Under libertarian philosphy, there would be no sodomy laws in states governed with a libertarian philosophy, but there is nothing that says they would be anymore supportive of our equality than the teabaggers.

    Additionally, our military would revert to the format it had before World War II so that between wars there would be only a rump national military, which would be augmented at the outbreak of hostilities. That might have worked until 1939, but in today’s environment, a war would be over and we would have lost before the military could have been ramped up. I’m not at all opposed to reducing the size of our military to something less than the war footing we’ve been on since 1941, but not to the point we would have to start training soldiers with wooden toy guns as we did at the beginning of both World Wars.

    On the 2nd amendment, perhaps, there could be some common ground. But the 2nd amendment is not worded the way most seem to think. It does not make a single reference to guns or personal ownership. It refers to the right to keep and bear arms, which it is reasonable to assume involves personal ownership of anything from swords to nuclear weapons, but in the historical context of the day, it was for purposes of community defense in local militia and the common practice of supplementing the family diet with wild protein, not simply private ownership. In other words, owning arms was for a purpose. In the second phrase of the 2nd amendment, it calls for a well-regulate militia. If we accept that the context was for private ownership for community militia, then it is not a great leap to connect it to gun ownership. Arguments in judicial cases almost always treat them as separate, basically as Amendment 2A and Amendment 2B.

    Limiting government use to refer to limiting the power of the national government to intrude in personal matters, although in the context of the Tea Party and the GOP, it is supposed to mean the reduction in actual size. The homophobia expressed by much of the tea party faithful as well as the racism that is expressed, does not in any way give me a warm and fuzzy feeling the Libertarians if underpinned by support from teabaggers would consider us entitled to equal rights. It is even doubtful, libertarians would support the Voting Rights Act, which effectively destroyed segregation in the South. It was clearly a case of federal intervention strengthening democratic institutions. Limiting the Federal government does nothing to limit the intrusion of the State governments, which is where most legalistic descrimination occurs. If you want to limit government, then the libertarians must address the entirely separate problem of a state government intruding. With a more constrained federal government, the resurgent albatross of state’s rights will see the return of sodomy laws and all hope of universally recognised equality for minorities such as gay people will be lost.

  • Ian

    @ JAKE THE LIBERTARIAN “PS: I am an Iraq vet and I lost friends there. It was a crime to attack that country and i have been vocal about it for years… ”

    So you’ve been vocal about it and yet you decided to join the military and kill innocent people? And you have the nerve to call me a moron?

    You have friends who died there, boo hoo, guess what imbecile? There are millions of Iraqis who lost their entire families. You and your friends are murderers and are not worthy of my pity.

    And way to ignore my point about taxes being the lowest in 60 years under Obama. Is “libertarian” code for idiocy?

  • Robert, NYC

    Jake the Libertarian, No. 10. Some gays, mostly republican would get behind the Libertarians undoubtedly, but do you really believe they’d support the end of DOMA and abide by the 14th amendment of the constitution? I don’t. DADT, maybe. That said, the majority of the Libertarians are disgruntled republicans and as such, are NOT going to throw out the religious base that the GOP can’t do without to sew division in this country. Its wired in their blood.

    Rob More, No. 16….well said, I couldn’t have said it better. Indeed, Libertarians would NEVER support universal health care. With all this talk about less government intrusion in our lives, I’d love to know just how the Libertarians and their big brother the GOP would pay for social programs through privatization. Where would the revenues come from if not through increased taxes subject to higher employment? How would they pay for the military, the police and fire departments, FEMA, FBI, CIA, FAA, CAA, HUD, Medicare, Medicaid, Public School System, Libraries, Fire and Police Departments, National Guard, Mass Transit, Homeland Security and all that it encompasses and a host of others? They haven’t offered one solution let alone have any plan. In the eight years of Bush 43, where were they on health care and before? NOWHERE! They were perfectly content to let the status quo remain and allow insurance companies to run rough shod over subscribers, gouging them at every chance they’d get, dropping people because they became too sick and excluding those with pre-existing conditions and they claim they’re for working people? I think NOT.


    Really interesting convo about Teabaggers vs Libertarians.

    That’s all.

  • Jake the libertarian


    Not only are you a moron but you are kind of an ass. I won’t explain myself to you.

    @Rob Moore:

    Good points all. I suspect we just disagree on the proper role of government. I think private education is superior to public… I am against public healthcare… I like the right to keep and bear arms… I think its morally wrong and fiscally stupid to redistribute wealth…

    My point is that these are things I thinks gays should support. They mostly work to our benefit.

    As for lower taxes, the massive spending our government has been doing over the last 10 years will have to be paid for… it will come from very high taxes on business and individuals. I am against it, and I think a lot of gays should be also.

  • Robert, NYC

    No. 20, Jake the Libertarian. Jake, since you don’t believe in public healthcare, how would you manage to get access to it if, hypothetically speaking, you lost your job, your home, your wealth, had no money? Who would you turn to?

    With all the teaparty badmouthing of universal health care, can you explain to me why, if its so very bad, that not one country in the world where universal health care is the norm, faults and all, has abolished it? How is it they’re not imitating ours if its so superior? Why is it that so many republican senior teapartyers on social security aren’t rejecting medicare and buying their own private insurance if they want no part of government run health care? Why do a lot of republicans send their children to public schools if they hate government intrusion into their lives? Can’t they simply send them to private schools instead, irespective of their ability to pay? They have a choice and can take second jobs to pay for it.

  • Jake the libertarian

    @Robert, NYC:

    Hi Robert! I can’t speak to republicans… I’m not one, but I can speak to a libertarian view. It is not the philosophy of everyone having access to healthcare that I have a problem with. I think that is a lovely idea. However in our debt laden society, and with our corrupt, incompetent government (very much both ruling parties), I do not believe that this will work at all. It does not work well in other countries. This is evidenced by anyone with the means to do so, coming to the US to get treatment for major illness. This idea that somehow healthcare will be paid for is a myth. You will still pay for your healthcare… just much much more.

    To your point, if I lost my job and money and coverage and got ill, I would have to make my own arrangements to get treated for illness. It would likely be far inferior to the care that wealthy people with good insurance would receive… My point is only that that is the situation now too… and will be once the full bill is enacted. It is expensive and will not solve the problem, therefore I believe it should be repealed. I hope I am wrong, but I don’t believe I am.

    I went to public schools as a kid. As a libertarian I am probably philosophically supportive of privatizing education, but in all practicality this is simply not on the libertarian platform. We do believe in competition though. Private and charter schools are doing wonders for Harlem, LA, and some other previously bad school districts. These children and getting wonderful educations and saying NO! to the teachers unions and other governmental instruments. How could anyone be against what is going on with the charter schools in Harlem?

    As for social security and medicare, these are short sighted corrupt programs that are major sources of fraud and theft of the public money in this country. It is widely understood that these systems will have to be eliminated or completely revamped over the next decade. They are a drain on our economy. I don’t know how to break the pattern as people have come to depend on this money and we should not simply cut it off, but one thing is for sure… under a libertarian view they would have never been enacted.

    I simply don’t trust the corrupt, whore, treasonous, bastards in Washington. I hate them like the plague. They are unoriginal prostitutes and should all be exiled. I am skeptical of anything that comes out of the forked tongued mouths, and the more expensive and expansive… the more skeptical I am.

  • Robert, NYC

    No. 22, Jake the Libertarian. There is NO perfect medical system in any country, least of all the U.S. I lived in England for 28 years so I have first hand personal experience of health care delivery there, no lines, no delay in getting to a doctor, no death panels, easy access for women to obtain abortions, no inadequate care and definitely a higher degree of access to preventive care more than we have here in this country. Much of the anti universal care sentiment expressed in the teaparty movement and the GOP is totally unfounded and just barefaced lies to avoid the inevitable. Yes, they pay more taxes for social programs than we do, but their outcomes are far better as far as general health is concerned and educational achievement.

    Please desist from the myth that so many people are coming here for health care not available in their own countries. They’re not coming from Western Europe, they have no reason to. If that were the case, their governments and their people would demand an end to national health care and as I said previously, imitate our own. The fact of the matter is, they don’t and they never will.

    You’ve failed also to explain how all of those government run agencies I mentioned in a previous paid would be paid for by privatization. Please explain where the funding would come from. I don’t see any plan for that by GOP or Libertarian movement. If one exists, can you point me to their manifestos where its laid out in full for all to read? I heard nothing during the campaigns in 2008 or for November 2010.

    You state that medicare and social security are corrupt programs, yet you don’t think that the entire health insurance construct isn’t? You failed to answer my questions about what you would do if you had no access to any health care. Just what would be your arrangements in the absence of having enough money or none to pay for it, because that is the reality for millions of Americans right now? You wouldn’t be able to access medicare because you don’t believe in government run anything, so tell us, just what would be your arrangements exactly without any financial help from family members to pay for it?

    You’re dead wrong about charter schools. Read Diane Ravitch’s book, “The Death and Life of the Great American School System” for a brilliant insight into the problems of public education. She is a professor of education at NYU and has written more than 20 books on the subject. There are an equal number of failing charter schools just as there are public schools. Some succeed, some don’t.

  • Bill Perdue

    Jake the Libertarian is dead wrong about the Teabaggers.

    According to a NY Times/CBS poll published a week ago: “The 18 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45. They hold more conservative views on a range of issues than Republicans generally. They are also more likely to describe themselves as “very conservative”…”

    Teabaggers are members of the looter class, or at least it’s lower echelons. For the most part they’re gynephobes, racists, homohaters and angry that taxes are used for social services for working people, the poor, unemployed and homeless people and above all by non-Euroamericans.
    [img][/img] The Looter Class…

    They’re happy to accept social services like Medicare for themselves but want to limit it to their class. If they coalesce as an independent group they could form one the bases of a fascist movement.

    However, it’s way too soon to tell. What can say with absolute certainty is that the leaders of the Democrat and Republican parties will be unable to deal with the Teabaggers and their violence because they have so many things in common with them.

    Teabaggers, Republicans and Democrats all support the imperial wars to steal oil and other resources that waste the lives of GI’s and civilians from Palestine to Pakistan at a prodigious rate. They all support curbs on civil liberties. They are all in competition to see who can be the best lap dog of the looter rich.

    In that race Obama is winning hands down. The looter rich much prefer working with Democrats like Obama and the Clintons – they’re greedier, they fool more people and they’re able to get away with a lot more than Republicans.

    All three parties are hotbeds of union busting, homohating, immigrant bashing gynephobes. We need an independent left party to use the elections to explain that the fix is on and the only remedy is to fundamentally alter society.




  • Jake the libertarian

    @Robert, NYC:

    Hi Robert, I’ll try to address your points. To the best of my ability anyway…

    I cannot speak to the healthcare system in England. I have been to London on a couple of occasions, but have never used their system and strain to think of even a distant friend who has (that I am aware of anyway). I will say however, that here in the US, I cannot think of a government run entitlement program that is not laden with inefficiency, debt, and fraud. I do not believe we will have a system that is run well. My side lost this argument… so I guess we get to find out. However if we find out that this healthcare program is unfundable and doesn’t work, please be so kind as to take responsibility for it yourselves and not blame people like me who didn’t support it in the first place. I will promise to do the same if it is a smashing success.

    Paying high taxes is DEATH to our economic system. Our companies and jobs are based on the ability for private business to make a profit. It blows me away that Democrats get away with blasting the very people who pay our salaries and create our jobs. The government has NEVER done any of that… it has always been and will always be the innovators in our society that, in the process of making a better life for themselves, create companies that employ our nations workers.

    You mentioned funding of programs that have been privatized… By their very nature, they would not be funded. That’s what makes them private. They provide services that are paid for by those receiving the service. The people who own the company, make a profit. They employ people who buy goods and services… its a free market economy and has worked all over the world for centuries. I am not sure what programs you are referring to here though. I am not an anarchist and do support a publicly funded police force, fire department, etc…

    Please stop referring to the GOP with regard to me. I hate the GOP probably more than you. I have heard NOTHING whatsoever from them that makes any sense to me. I did not vote for Bush, I can’t see voting for anyone in their field right now. Please also note that i am a libertarian with a small “L”. The current national Libertarian party recognizes racists and crazies… they should be ousted before they would ever receive support from me.

    As for a good libertarian manifesto… read any of the founding documents of our country. Read Adam Smith. For more modern stuff, here are a few recommendations: Anything by Ron Paul, anything by F. A. Hayek, Who Killed the Constitution by Tom Woods, Man, Economy, and State with Power and Market by Murray Rothbard. There are others, but those should get you started.

    I believe that government protected insurance companies are absolutely corrupt. Their government protection, as exists especially in this healthcare bill, should be taken away. The free market should decide what fair prices and policies are. Before you start in on them being in the free market before this healthcare bill… they were not. They were protected and regulated by the government you love so much.

    You asked how I would pay for my healthcare. I have private insurance. It is not through my employer. I pay about $135 a month for my policy. I have a high deductible to keep my premiums low… as I am relatively healthy. My insurance premiums btw are expected to DOUBLE with the new bill (this is according to my own insurance company)… yay for free healthcare!

    As for the schools… I agree that not all charter schools are going to succeed. The difference is that when a charter school fails, it must revamp or close to make way for something better. Bad public schools fester for generations and become breeding grounds for ignorance, crime, and illiteracy.

    I know we aren’t going to come to an agreement here, but this is where I stand. I like your philosophy. I like fairness and charity. I like the idea that everyone can have everything… but that isn’t the world we live in. We, as a country, have become wealthy enough to fake it for a while, but it is not sustainable… and will end up bankrupting our nation. I just hope we still have the cultural resolve to WORK our way out of the inevitable fall on the horizon. If not, off to the ash heap of history we go… and we make way for what has always replaced liberty… chains.

  • Jake the libertarian

    @Bill Perdue:

    I agree that there are far too many homo-hating nutterbutters in the tea party movement. That is why I have clearly stated I do not support them.

    My point was that some of their libertarian ideas are things gays should support. If you are a leftist, we are not going to agree on much when it comes to policy… but we probably do agree on most social issues.

    For the life if me though, I cannot understand this inherent trust in our leaders. They have done nothing but lie to us. Why would anyone support giving them more power? Especially us gays!

  • Robert, NYC

    No. 24, Bill….excellent, as always, thoroughly agree with all your points, well said.

    No. 25, Jake, the programs I’m referring to are in my post No. 18, go read it. Now explain how we the public as receivers of goods would pay for all of those services without taxes, or if not, how would the Libertarians find alternate ways without taxation? Universial health care and other social programs have NOT bankrupted one western country, name one. I heard no comlaints from teabaggers, republicans and libertarians when Bush pure unlimited funds into an illicit, unnecessary war. Where were they. If anything can bankrupt a country, its war. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan far exceed anything that universal health care could ever envisage. The G7 is comprised of several of the worlds wealthiest nations four of which reside in the Europen Union all of whom give aid to overseas countries. If they were that bankrupt, they wouldn’t be G7 members. They’re all part of the IMF too, giving financial aid to strapped economies throughout the world.

    Yet again, you’ve NOT explained how you would pay for health care if you had no money and were indigent.I didn’t ask how you pay for it, I asked how you would pay for it if you had no money or any other means. How would the libertarian party play a role in that? Where is it written that your health insurance premiums would double once the health insurance reform law kicks in in 2014? Where is the evidence? The congressional budget office says otherwise. What if the new law is a success? Try telling that to 30 million or more people who for the first time will have been able to gain access to health care, especially during a general election year. Are you naive to believe that your insurance company is telling you the truth? They’re all run by republican supporters, the largest lobbying group within the beltway. Under the new law, you’ll have more choice at lower premiums, there will be more competition to keep premiums lower.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Robert, NYC: Morning, Robert.

    The Libertarians are a bit of a sect, yearning for a US that never existed and ignoring real and unsolvable conflicts based on class, gender, sexuality and the fights against racism and immigrant bashing.

    They’re a dead end.

  • Robert, NYC

    Hi Bill, No. 28. The teabaggers too are in the same boat. If this health insurance reform does become a success, I’d like to see the libertarians and the GOP try to repeal it. With more than 30 million more Americans insured, they’ll alienate themselves even more as irrelevant and out of touch with reality, creating more independents than ever before. Both are indeed dead ends as you so correctly describe.

  • Jake the libertarian

    @Robert, NYC:

    On most of this we are simply going to disagree. I do hope you are correct on this healthcare stuff. I hope it is a smashing success and I get proven to be the cold-hearted jerk who didn’t want it to happen… but time will tell.

    As for your list of programs, I will explain how each of them would operate under a libertarian rule:

    military: as is, the police and fire departments: as is, FEMA: as is, FBI: reduced in size and funding but publicly funded, CIA: disbanded, FAA: as is with limited scope, CAA: this is a British agency isn’t it?, HUD: disbanded, Medicare: disbanded, Medicaid: disbanded, Public School System: as is with competition, Libraries: disbanded or privatized, Fire and Police Departments: as is, National Guard: as is, Mass Transit: privatized, Homeland Security: disbanded

    As for the war comment, you are completely off base. The libertarians were one of the only groups against the war in Iraq. The Democrats voted for the war.

    My insurance representative told me that my personal premiums would double over the next few years… I believe that much more than some corrupt hack in Washington.

    And finally, if i had no money and no coverage and i got sick… I WOULDN’T PAY FOR HEALTH CARE! That’s one of the big problems with being poor… If you don’t like being poor, work hard and get some damn money. If you stay poor and you get sick… you die. This new legislation wont change that a bit… But as I said before, time will tell.

  • Jake the libertarian

    @Bill Perdue:

    HA! We are a bit of a sect… I can admit that. Although true libertarians are certainly not racists.

    I also don’t think I yearn for a US that never existed either. I just simply look at fiscal and social policy from a position of restricted and limited government. I believe that individual rights are paramount and the no one has the right to take what is yours without compensation. Each individual owns his or her self. We have the ability to make our own destiny. Yes, some of us have it easier than others, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t responsible for our own success and advancement. Society isn’t going to do it for you… they simply wont.

    Libertarians understand that those people in Washington who say that they care about you are liars and thieves. They couldn’t care less about you… If there is anything that Barack Obama and George Bush could agree upon its that neither of them give a fuck what happens to Jake the libertarian or Bill Perdue.

  • Bill Moyers

    With all due respect, we can only wish those tea party activists who gathered this week were not so single-minded about just who’s responsible for their troubles, real and imagined. They’re up in arms, so to speak, against big government, especially the Obama administration.

    But if they thought this through, they’d be joining forces with other grassroots Americans who will soon be demonstrating in Washington and elsewhere against high finance, taking on Wall Street and the country’s biggest banks.

    The original Tea Party, remember, wasn’t directed just against the British redcoats. Colonial patriots also took aim at the East India Company. That was the joint-stock enterprise originally chartered by the first Queen Elizabeth. Over the years, the government granted them special rights and privileges, which the owners turned into a monopoly over trade, including tea.

    It may seem a stretch from tea to credit default swaps, but the principle is the same: when enormous private wealth goes unchecked, regular folks get hurt – badly. That’s what happened in 2008 when the monied interests led us up the garden path to the great collapse.

    Suppose the Tea Party folk had dropped by those Senate hearings this week looking into the failure of Washington Mutual. That’s the bank that went belly up during the meltdown in September 2008. It was the largest such failure in American history.

    WaMu, as we were reminded this week, made sub-prime loans that its executives knew were rotten, then packaged them as mortgage securities, and pawned them off on unsuspecting investors.

  • Jake the libertarian

    @Bill Moyers:

    Very good point with regard to the big banks and wall st crooks Bill. Just keep in mind that they have done all of this while partnering with the government. It was Freddie and Fannie that were involved in a lot of those loans and they were encouraged, and in some cases even coerced by left leaning political organizations.

    The bottom line is that it is our government that helped create a situation where it was profitable to lend people money they knew they could not pay back. It was done, largely, in the name of fairness and the idea that every American should own a home. The punishment for those big banks is for them to go out of business… something the government refuses to allow to happen… my question is where is the accountability in the government? They sit there all shocked and appalled at the situation without the slightest sense of self awareness that they helped create this situation.

    What no one likes to say is that if this was all left up to the free market, we probably wouldn’t be in this mess as most of those loans wouldn’t have been made in the first place.

  • princess.johnsonXIV

    i can’t believe than comments not “voted on” are now “hidden”.
    boutique blogging!
    how decadent, corny, uncool and intellectually lazy;
    next you will be burning books, blanches.
    “get equal” is ready for john waters and so is this peculiar blog!

  • Bill Perdue

    @Robert, NYC: The success or failure of Obama’s health care sellout depends on a very iffy economic turnaround.

    A second great wave of foreclosures and homelessness is underway fueled by an obstinate and massive ‘real unemployment’ rate of 16.8%, a depression level rate.

    An Obammaville near Ann Arbor…

    Commercial bankruptcies are up 52% and the big banks and lenders are in trouble again. (The rise in the stock markets is artificallly fueled by bailouts and doesn’t mean much.)

    If the economy continues in failure mode people won’t be able to afford the private insurance that Obama’s sellout health care bill demands they purchase.

  • james_cambridge

    One thing about government and private businesses. Private companies tend to be as corrupt and incompetent as any institution out there so the Libertarian philosophy of letting them run the country is absolutely chilling. Libertarians had their way in this country prior to the 1930’s when there was hardly a Federal government to speak of and what was the result? Prior to the 1930’s with no one regulating the economy, depressions were common and recessions practically an annual occurence. After the 1930’s recessions were infrequent and depressions didn’t occur. Prior to the 1930’s corporations ran this country, some of them owning entire towns with their own police force that dealt with anyone wishing to unionize with deadly force. With no income-guarantees to the working class like social security, half, HALF the population of the United States was poor. Children worked in coal mines and factories at almost no pay. And with no public education, if you were born poor, you tended to die poor. I can go on and on. I’m assuming Libertarians are no different from the rest of this country in that they have no sense of history, which is why you pine for a country with no Federal government or regulations. But if you actually do know what this country was once like and you want to return to such a time, then you are simply evil.

  • Robert, NYC

    No. 36, James_Cambridge, exactly right about that! FDR, after the great depression of 1929 brought in the Glass-Steagall Act I believe in 1933 maybe before to prevent what happened in 1929. fast forward to 1999, the republicans of which Ron Paul was a vocal supporter and with collusion of some democrats, dismantled the act entirely and abandoned all regulation. That’s what brought about the meltdown starting with Reagan’s voodoo trickle down economic policy. Repbulicans don’t believe in any kind of regulation, and like the Liberatarians, believe in the free market as the solution to every economic issue. Didn’t seem to work over the past eight years did it? The free market didn’t exactly create affordable health coverage for 46 million uninsured Americans either. The GOP and Libertarians are perfectly comfortable to let that remain unchanged. I can’t wait to see them try to repeal the new legislation once insurance companies gain an additional 30 million more subscribers. It will guarantee them a place in the political wilderness indefinitely. Its not going to win them any control over both houses come November, they’re delusional.

  • james_cambridge

    Robert, every Federal program & regulation was brought to you courtesy of your Democratic Party. You’re exactly right that the Repubs are afraid of being in the wilderness which is why they’re squealing like stuck little pigs. After the Dems gave us Unemployment Insurance, Social Security, Glass-Steagall & countless other programs in the 1930’s, the Republicans became a minority party for SIX DECADES! They know they’re going down the same road now and they’re terrfied. Bunch of little bitches!!

  • james_cambridge

    The Republicans fuck things up (Hoover in the 1920’s, Bush in the 2000’s), A Democrat follows them (FDR in the 1930’s, Obama now) and cleans up after them, the American people vow to never again vote for a Republican, then decades down the road people forget and a Republican sneaks in. Rinse and repeat. Nothing is ever new.

  • Robert, NYC

    No. 38 & 39, James_Cambridge, right on! The ironic thing is many teabaggers use those federal programs for themselves and their families including those in Congress. Some are so dumb that they were saying…”hands off my medicare”, mostly all republican dimwits. Some republican congressional members use the Federal exchange pool for health insurance coverage too. They also enjoy federally provided pensions once they retire including a continuation of their federal health insurance. Go figure! Another think virtually every time a democratic president leaves office, he leaves the nation with a net surplus. Its ironic how a republican president doesn’t. So much for trickle down free market economics they believe in to solve the nation’s economic woes. Its NEVER worked!

    Did you know that during the last 106 years there have been 19 years of recession under Republican administrations, and only seven under Democratic administrations?

    If you ask yourself, how many years were the Republicans in office and how many years were the Democrats in office during that period? Maybe if the Republicans were in office most of the time that would explain the disparity.

    Well, Republicans were in office 58 years and Democrats in office 48 years. That means that the Republican recessions outlasted the Democratic recessions by almost 3-1 in years.

    Moreover, the number of Republican recessions outnumbered the Democratic recessions by 15 to seven, whereas the Republican years of administration outnumbered the Democrats by only 1.2 to 1.

    During the last 32 years there have been 46 months of recession in Republican administrations and only six months of recession in a Democratic administration (four Republican recessions to one Democratic). Further, if you go back to Eisenhower, there have been nine Republican recessions and still only 1 Democratic recession.

    President-elect Obama has inherited one heck of a recession (maybe depression would be a better word) and it will be interesting to see how he gets out of it.

    The next time you hear some republican or libertarian arguing for less government in Washington and less regulation, you might want to ask yourself if you want more recessions, continued high unemployment especially like this one. Maybe, taxing and spending is a better way to go for the American economy.

  • Bill Perdue

    @james_cambridge: @james_cambridge: Your partisanship is showing. Badly.

    The problems of homophobia, war and economic collapse are bipartisan, not just Republican or Democrat.

    To claim, as you do, that Democrats fix Republican problems is simply to repeat the lies and hype of the DNC and the WH.

    The economic crisis of the 1980’s and the collapse of S&Ls was caused by:

    A) Jimmy Carter and Democrats in Congress or

    B) Ronald Reagan and Republicans in Congress

    Answer – both. Carter signed a bill deregulating S&L’s and Reagan changed regulations to let the sharks get into the S&L business and wreck it. The result was the financial collapse of 1987 and the whole mess cost working people hundreds of billions in added taxes to fix. The rich never paid for their screw-up’s.

    The current economic collapse – 2007 and counting – with its 17% real unemployment and mass homelessness was caused by:

    A) Bill Clinton and Democrats in Congress or

    B) Ronald Reagan and Republicans in Congress

    Answer – both. Clinton championed NAFTA and the deregulation of banks and predatory lenders. Both parties voted overwhelmingly for them. Bush facilitated fraud by banks and other financial predators.

    Obama and the Democrats are prime movers behind the bailout – the theft of trillions from working people given to the looter rich. Obama busted the UAW and both parties have voted for draconian cut in social services and other austerity measures that only effect working people.

    The Great Depression was ended by:

    A) FDR’s alpahbet soup of reform programs or

    B) The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

    Answer: the Depression ended at Pearl Harbor at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time on the morning of December 7th, 1941 (3:18 a.m. December 8 Japanese Standard Time) and not a second before. Military spending ended the Depression and until 2007, in the form of mass handouts to war contractors and the military-industrial complex, prevented it’s reoccurrence.

    Now military spending and Obama’s wars are just another factor leading to collapse. It’s all the Republicans fault and it’s all the Democrats fault. To say otherwise is to parrot party propaganda at the expense of the truth.

  • james_cambridge

    Bill, SPENDING ended the great depression. What we learned was that while FDR eased the depression, he didn’t spend enough to end it completely. A wartime economy and massive GOVERNMENT spending ended the great depression & we’ve used that little lesson (keynesian economics) to spend or tax cut our way out of recessions ever since. And I never pretended to be non-partisan. I will say, however, that the reason I’m partisan is because I’m a history/political geek and know enough about both to side with the party that does the greatest good for the most people and not the side that does all it can for corporations & reactionaries. In other words, 100 years ago I would have been a Republican. Now I’m a Democrat.

    And Reagan used FDR’s Keynesian economics to end the Carter recession. He spent like a maniac on the military & instituted tax cuts, both of which were FDR tactics and which helped end the recession. You should know that both parties are beholden to liberal economic theory now, they just disagree on which one to use, spending or tax cuts. As we’ve seen under both Regan and Bush II, Republicans like to do both (there are no votes in cutting spending), which is the reason why we have such insane deficits, deficits which started as a direct result of your hero Regan. FDR was more responsible, spending but also taxing at the same time. Any way you cut it, Republicans have proven themselves to be fiscally irresponsible and socially reactionary. What’s to support??

  • Bill Perdue

    @james_cambridge: Bill, SPENDING ended the great depression. Yes, but it was military spending not FDR’s relief programs which in any case gad a nasty habit of disappearing after elections.

    In other words, 100 years ago I would have been a Republican. Now I’m a Democrat. We’re very different. From 1860 to 1865 I’d have been a radical blue uniformed Free soil activist fighting to defeat the party of slavery and secession, the Democrats.

    Both parties are bankrupt.

    I’m a socialist who blames your party and the Republicans equally for the current economic collapse, for the genocidal wars and occupations from Palestine to Pakistan and for promoting bigoted violence by jointly passing Clinton’s DADT and DOMA.

  • Rob Moore

    @Jake the libertarian:
    Many aspects of personal liberty resonate with me, but personal liberty is not the property of the Libertarian Party. There are many, many problems with implementing a libertarian philosophy.

    One of the biggest problems is maintaining a military that is large enough to provide defense and deterrence at any given moment. Prior to the 20th century, transportation limited the ability of other countries to invade this continent and also provided time for the Congress to raise an army and navy. In our present time, an attacker would provide America no more than a few days to raise a credible military force for defense.

    The second problem is in the area of infrastructure. No people, no country, no government in the world has managed to develop infrastructure relying on private or local funding. The capital markets respond with development after the infrastructure such as roads, electricity, and water are available in general. One of the biggest reasons for the economic explosion of the 50s and 60s was because the Federal government got behind construction of the interstate highway system. The electrification of the vast rural parts of the country were only possible with broad federal support.

    Healthcare is the biggest weakness in my opinion. Under libertarian philosophy, there would be no National Institutes of Health, no CDC, no county health clinics. When I was a child, it was the county health clinics, with large support from federal and state funding, where I received all my vaccinations. My family was too poor to pay for these things. Even so, we had large epidemics of measles and chickenpox, since the vaccines for those were still years away. A classmate of mine during a chickenpox epidemic when I was six, died from encephalitis brought on by chickenpox. Polio was largely gone by that time, but only recently and still required vaccines distributed through the county health clinic. My mother who is English, was appalled at the primitive state of medical care when we came to the U.S.

    Education is another major weakness. You state that private schools are better. Perhaps, but there are reasons for that having nothing to do with quality of instruction. Private schools have the ability and power to expel disruptive students. The students that are accepted are, in general, from well-to-do families with resources to support the effort or at least from families that encourage and support education for their children. If the costs of a private school rise, they can raise money through tuition rises and many have substantial endowments. There are private schools that are terrible. In my area we had two private schools close without warning. In one case, parents literally learned of it when they came to drop off students for school. We also have religious schools here that are little better than Muslim madrasa. They are not certified and do not feel the need to teach such heresies as evolution or social studies (unless one counts teaching about heathens). Home schooling is a joke. The number of students who are “home” schooled is ridiculous. The success stories are known, but many simply get pulled from public school, and disappear from the rolls of education.

    I too find the level of public debt and the deficits alarming, but my alarm started in the 80s when Reagan tried cutting taxes and raising military spending without also cutting spending elsewhere. Under Reagan and the first Bush, we saw the national debt triple in size although Bush 1 cut the rate of growth with help from Democrats in control of Congress. Clinton finally, although barely, got a plan passed by 1 vote that led to a balanced budget and enough surplus revenue to begin reducing the debt. He was fought tooth and nail by the Republicans and a few DINOs (Zell Miller).

    With the selection of Bush 2, everything came undone, again. In his 8 years, he added more to the national debt than Reagan and Bush 1 combined. The bailouts so many like to blame on Obama were actually the last act of the Bush administration that was left to the Obama administration to execute. There was really little choice by then. Too big to fail is a fact of life in the financial markets, which during the lax regulatory environment of the Nought decade became a house of cards waiting for a breeze. For evidence look at Goldman Sachs.

    The primary flaw in libertarianism is that it requires everyone to act in good faith and with honour. Neither of those traits are strong in the corporate world and in particular on Wall Street. Indeed, they might not be strong virtues in general society. The stock market has evolved into a huge casino for making bets. Even the terminology has adopted some of the lingo from gambling.

    Libertarianism should have as its sole core, the concept of individual liberty and responsibility of individuals to their communities. Entangling it with the notion that reducing the size of government as the only way to achieve a successful, free society is making it a failed philosophy.

    The ease with which right wing politicians such as John Paul could move between being a Libertarian and a Republican is what makes the claim of separation from Republicans nothing more than a myth. Can anyone name a single politician who has moved back and forth between the Libertarian Party and the Democratic Party?

  • Rob Moore

    @Bill Perdue:

    Some of what you state has truth, but you have made some large errors in fact.

    1.) The bailout was the child and plan of the Bush administration in December 2008. Obama did not become president until late January. He was left with the execution of the bailout. By that time, there were no other options left short of complete economic collapse, which would have made the Great Depression seem like child’s play. Obama is responsible for the economic stimulus plan which passed in spring 2009, and is showing results, now.

    2.) The Great Depression ended by the middle of the 1930s. The economy began to expand around 1934 and continued until 1938 when Roosevelt tried to reduce the governments role. By the time growth resumed, the economy had sunk into a deep hole, which took years to fill. Unemployment effectively ended with World War II, but a lot of it had already been reduced by the military build-up that occurred starting in 1939. The armaments we built for Britain and China did a lot of that . In any event, it was government spending in the private sector that ended unemployment.

    3.) Many things prevented the return of the Great Depression although government spending was not a major player. Mostly it was regulatory institutions, which prevented the tremendous speculations preceding the G.D. It is not accident that we began to see the return of speculation on a massive scale with the weakening of the regulatory environment under Reagan and the Bush boys with a supporting roles by Clinton and Congress (under both parties). Ask yourself this question. Why does an internal combustion engine work without exploding? The answer is that combustion is regulated to prevent too much fuel and oxygen mixing at one time. The analogy extends to financial markets. Left to their own devices, financial markets will always explode because they do not moderate themselves internally.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Rob Moore: Let’s see if this one can past the censors. My number 43, commenting on Cambridges 43 got censored.

    1.) The bailout was the child and plan of the Bush administration in December 2008

    So? Obama was a major supporter of the bailout and Democrats voted for it overwhelmingly. The bailout is grand theft, the largest transfer of wealth in human history. Bush started it and Obama administered it. Bush and Carter made frantic phone calls the weekend before it oassed twisting Congressional arms to get it passed. Bush and Obama are bipartisan criminals.

    2.) The Great Depression ended by the middle of the 1930s…

    Bull. It ended because of military spending. Roosevelts relief was a temporary palliative. Unemployment was ended by the war. Now Obama’s wars are creating more economic chaos.

    3.) Many things prevented the return of the Great Depression although government spending was not a major player.

    War spending has been a mainstay of the economy since 1945. It explains the Republican-Democrat anti-communism campaign, the wars in Korea and Vietnam and the current ‘war on terror’. The other key factor that provided economic energy was the growth and power of unions that gave the economy the spending power to stay on an even keel. That’s been eroded by every president since, and including, Nixon.

    The Democrats deregulation of S&Ls under Carter and predatory banks under Clinton and their exploitation by Reagan and the Bushes created the current economic crises.

    I’m afraid you’re the one not quite up on the facts.

  • Robert, NYC

    Great posts, Bill, James_Cambridge, Rob Moore. Some great, inciteful comments. However, I do tend to come down in favor of Bill’s comments, well said.

  • Rob Moore

    @Bill Perdue:

    Economics are never as simplistic as you seem to think.

    1.) What do you think would have been the proper response to the implosion of the banks and the financial markets? Letting them fail is the best response if we still had mechanisms in place to handle it. With the loss of the regulating laws such as Glass-Stegall and the abrogation of responsibility by remaining regulatory agencies, there was nothing to manage the fallout. Since I like analogies, try this one. A tall, multi-story building is empty and in danger of collapse. Do we let it fall and in the process lose the buildings next to it, or do we do a proper, planned demolition that lets the building collapse on itself with no damage to the surrounding buildings? The banking system was collapsing but without plan. Instead of regulators catching the problems as they should have and bringing about a controlled demolition, we had a collapse that was seemingly sudden and was dragging others off the cliff as well.

    2. Economic history shows otherwise. Economic expansion resumed in the middle of the 1930s, but real unemployment of 40% does not disappear quickly. The definition of a depression or even a recession requires economic contraction. Unemployment was still in the neighborhood of 20% at the outbreak of the war. Once government began spending massively on arms, and conscripted millions of young men into the military and out of the workforce, unemployment disappeared quickly. Roosevelt’s New Deal was not a temporary palliative in that the dams, roads, and electric networks built with New Deal money remained and in turn allowed economic growth to continue once the public funding had flowed past. My grandparents went from sharecroppers to small farm owners in the New Deal which provided low interest loans to buy land, but they repaid the loans with interest. My father’s high school (later my elementary school) was built with New Deal money and literacy in the largely illiterate South almost disappeared.

    You might call them Obama’s wars, but the wars started years earlier. As he promised, our involvement in Iraq is shrinking. Even though terrorists are attacking, it is mostly Iraqis who are involved on both sides, now. The number of casualties amongst Americans in Iraq has dropped dramatically. Afghanistan is another matter. Toppling the Taleban was the one thing Bush did with which I agreed. Pulling forces out of Afghanistan to fight in Iraq is something I opposed since it allowed bin Laden to escape and the Taleban to regroup and rearm.

    3.) I agree that the U.S. remained largely on a war footing in terms of the amount of military spending after World War II. Until Afghanistan and Iraq, wars were financed primarily with taxes and domestic bonds (war bonds in both WWs). The budget process did not keep war spending off the books until Bush’s wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. In terms of share of GDP, military spending shrank steadily after WW2. Unions were a factor in income growth but not as large as you imply. At their peak in 1945, unions represented no more than 36% of workers and has been in decline ever since. Of far more importance was the G.I. bill, which made higher education available to millions of men returning from military deployment. This bought time for most of the economy to revert to civilian purposes and did not flood the labor market with returning soldiers at a point they could not be absorbed. It also helped that in the aftermath of the war, many nations in Europe and Asia had severely damaged infrastructure and manufacturing capacity so that when the Marshall Plan was approved, these countries borrowed large sums of money from the U.S. to rebuild by buying equipment from U.S. manufacturers. World trade resumed and grew rapidly in the noncommunist world. The break-up of the colonial empires of England, France, and the Netherlands created even more markets for U.S. goods.

    The deregulation of the S&Ls began under Carter in 1980, but it was under Reagan that the S&Ls were “liberated” from most oversight with overwhelming bipartisan support in the Democratically controlled House and the Republican controlled Senate. The Germain-Garn Act in 1982 turned the S&Ls into banks without imposing adherence to the regulations followed by banks. Looting was inevitable but apparently not to Reagan and Congress.

    The Republican controlled Congress removed the remaining barriers between commercial banks, investment banks, stock brokerages, and insurance companies in the 1990s. It was signed by Clinton. Bush 2 began policies of leniency for what oversight remained ignoring the lessons learned by his father during the S&L crisis. I remember when Bush 1 was president and hearing him express concerns about derivatives and junk bonds. Even a Randian like Alan Greenspan expressed concerns about derivatives in the 90s but Congress ignored him.

    If you want me to quote more facts, I will be happy to do so.

  • Rob Moore


    Can you give Bill and me information why some of our posts get this message? It just started and as of yet, I can see no problem with my posts.

    Your comment is awaiting moderation. Our system might have erroneously auto-flagged your comment as spam; if so, we’ll fix it quickly. Or maybe you previously abused your commenting privileges, violated our Comments Policy, included a link to a known SPAM/harmful site, posted comments that detracted from the conversation, or have been repeatedly flagged by other users for being a jerk — in which case we won’t publish your comment.

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