I'm all ears

This may be hard to believe, but I know more than a few Republicans personally. A couple of them are even good and honest people, despite their misguided political philosophies. Today one of those people (who had heard about BlueNC) said it seems like the whole political scene has become personal to me. He couldn't understand why I ridicule and attack Republican lawmakers and candidates so relentlessly, why I am so hostile.

I told him I would think about his concerns and respond. Here is what I have to say.

Dear Republican friend:

I'm afraid it is personal to me. Because over the past eight years, starting with the right wing feeding frenzy on President Clinton, Republicans have quite nearly destroyed my country. They have intentionally and maliciously divided this nation in pursuit of power. They have behaved without integrity. They have burdened our grandchildren with unending debt. They have allowed a corrupt administration to destroy America's standing in the world. And they have treated the minority party in Congress with scorn and disdain.

Getting Republicans out of power in Congress has been my single-minded mission for the past twelve months. And I have been willing to do almost anything to accomplish that mission.

I haven't lied, not intentionally anyway. And I haven't cheated. But attack? You bet. Ridicule and rant? Of course. Fight in the gutter? Yes sir. Behave like fool? I'm too old to worry about that. Whatever was necessary to end the reign of the Party of Greed, I've been willing to do it. Because I have had to. You see, I'm just one of the little people. I have no power whatsoever. All I have is my voice and my blog.

North Carolina Republicans, especially in the US House of Representatives, went along with leadership that shut out Democratic voices to the point of near extinction. They marched in lockstep behind George Bush all the way over the cliff. They never even hinted at having interest in what Democrats had to say. And they never spent a second engaging with the thousands of visitors at Blue NC.

Did these Republicans do ANYTHING of value over the past six years? I honestly don't know. I asked my friend and he said of course they did some good things. I'm waiting to hear what they were.

But in the meantime, I'm willing to do something that no elected Republican has ever done to me. I'm willing to listen. I'm willing to invite them to register at Blue NC and make the case for why I shouldn't just wish them into oblivion.

If you are a Republican doing something good for North Carolina, I'd like to hear about it. Seriously.

Tagged:

Comments

And we will beat your animals if you pop off again!

And they have treated the minority party in Congress with scorn and disdain.* A

Yeah! And don't forget that they held Larry's goat hostage until Blue NC snatch him back on the web.

Not only that! In the last moments of the campaign, they said my Dog was Gay as former Holy flying Congressperson Foley.

Gay dog

Hadn't heard about that one Max. It's hard to keep all this straight (pun intended). Are YOU the dog that's not gay, or are you the dog that owns the dog that's not gay?

Corn fusing.

Are you Gay Solider or simply a misunderstood Pope basher?

Hadn't heard about that one Max. It's hard to keep all this straight (pun intended). Are YOU the dog that's not gay, or are you the dog that owns the dog that's not gay?

Corn fusing.* A

You think that was confusing. You should have seen me confronting my campaign mascot dog about his gender issues. He simply lick and smell the the rear of another neighbors male dog and told me it was none of my business. My neighbor who is a loyal democrat assure me that he would not let the local Religious Republicans in the neighborhood know about this. He all also said that my gender issue was somewhat suspect since he saw me in my undershorts putting out the garbage early one morning for pickup. Later in the week, I notice a Poster on the neigborhood watch sign with my picture and a reward being offer as the local democrat sexual child abuser on the state sexual watch list and Homeland Security by the Western Wake Republican Club.

Like most political advisers I will neither confirmed or deny or even comment on this outrageous Republican rumor.

However, A another poster has been found in the neigborhood with a picture of George Bush under the Wanted Section from the post office for treason and unconstitutional sexual practices for screwing over the American and Iraq peoples.

Yours for better designer dressers in the 21 st century of politics.

Max

and another gripe about Republicans...

I have really grown tired of having my patriotism questioned every three months or so by someone who thinks I should worship tax cuts for people I don't know(that 1/2 of 1%),failed domestic and foreign policies, etc. I love my country - I could and HAVE lived in others. I take citizenship seriously. I volunteer. I donate blood. My pastor knows who I am. I am sick and tired of being slandered by people who are worse violators of our rights than Nixon, and his crowd read my mail in the 60s!

I want more politicians who send me a personal thank-you note for a woefully small contribution(like the one I got this week from Larry Kissell) instead of the kind who think getting elected is their ticket to to the perks of corporate cronies.

You might hear what a Republican says...

...but will you belittle them first before listening? A few months ago, I asked some questions of a author on a post on Health Care - I had to respond to several sophomoric accusations that trolling and lying. I was trying to get a better handle on the post and challenge the author - which is the point of comments.

Because I didn't start my comment by calling the President a chimp, accusing Robin Hayes of fueling his SUV with puppy blood, or posting evidence that Charles Taylor clear cuts his land and uses the resulting pulp to print fake money gave license to the author and other commenters to have at me like I was a tithe-paying member of Fred Phelps church.

Recently, there was a post about Coy Privette. The commenters and authors referenced a site by Harold Smith as if that was the only conservative voice on the web in Cabarrus County. As a blogger who works hard at every post, I'd like to think I need to do a little more work a promoting my blog; but it's easier for you all to believe that we Republicans are a bunch of ignorant oafs like Harold Smith.

Conservatives are just as guilty as liberals (or progressives or whatever y'all are calling youselves this month) as failing to see the diversity of opinions within the opposition's ranks and making an honest attempt at trying to understand the underlying philosophy behind the argument. The result is an argument that throws excrement around with such accuracy and velocity that its demonstration belongs in Asheboro and not Raliegh.

If you really meant that you are all ears, why is there not even one Conservative doing an occasional guest post here? I'm sure folks like Betsy Newmark, Sister Toldah, or others would welcome the opportunity. Creative Loafing gives Tara Servatius a little space and she's the only one whose column seems to keep from devolving into an expletive-filled rant about Bush.

The point is this: you can either be a site that makes snarky posts with catchy graphics about how all of us SUV-driving, knuckle-dragging blindly follow whatever our party leadership tells us or you can be a site that makes snarky posts with catchy graphics that engages the other side and the undecided. Whether or not they drive SUVs or use evil incandesent light bulbs.

It's hard not to belittle the Party of Greed

given the enormous destruction you have wrought over the past six years. But let me try to meet you halfway.

If anyone, including you, wants to post here, you're more than welcome. We have never banned anyone. But you can't have it both ways, Justin. You can't defend a party built on a culture of attack and swift-boating and not expect to get slammed back hard. And you can't use phrases like "sophomoric accusations" and expect anyone to take you seriously. You can't get away with smart-ass comments like "whatever you call yourself this month" and expect to be greeted with anything besides "f*ck you." (For the record, we call ourselves progressives and have done so since day one here at BlueNC.)

So now that you've gotten your complaining about mean old progressives out of the way, how about answering my question: What have Republicans done that's good for North Carolina? Name one thing.

My thought, Mr. Thibault. would be that you

might want to test the waters here yourself and see what happens. You might want to consider not using such phrases as "progressives or whatever ya'll are calling yourselves this month" if you want similar courtesy extended to yourself.

For starters...why don't you come up with an answer to Anglico's question?

I'd really like to hear what you, or anyone, might say this Republican Administration and Congress has done of which they can be unequivocally proud. You can rest assured that many of us are painfully aware that many Democratic Representatives and Senators are as much to blame for the (IMO) sorry state of affairs in this country.

You're gonna find some good snarks here...because those on the receiving end are deserving of such. You won't find too much of the expletive stuff because the posters here rarely need to lower themselves to gratuitous use of four letter words to express their opinions or thoughts. On the other hand, if TURD seems to be an apt description, you'll likely encounter it.

Now...let's hear what you have to say. I'm all ears.

Stan Bozarth

Stan

Sorry to trample on your post with my four letter words. I've cut back a lot on swearing here, but sometimes it spills out.

Whenever people call me on obscenity, I always have the same response. "You want to see obscenity? Just look at what the Party of Greed has done over the past six years to the integrity and honor of this country. A few swear words PALE in comparison to that horror."

Sometimes those words just seem like the right thing to say...

so no sweat. Use 'em myself from time to time. :)

Stan Bozarth

Coy Privette

"The commenters and authors referenced a site by Harold Smith as if that was the only conservative voice on the web in Cabarrus County"

I was the one pointing people to Harold Smits website because somebody asked what the URL of Coy was.
They didn't ask "what are some of the conservative voices in Cabarrus County?".
If someone asks you if Coy privette has a website (and he doesn't) wouldn't you point them to what is the closest to it?

So please don't see any conspiracies where there are none. I was simply answering a question.

Now just to please you I will tell them where YOUR blog is: http://tbotalks.blogspot.com/

Free publicity from a democrat for a republican blog. How's that?
You're welcome.

Cabarrus Democrats
Larry Kissell

No suprise here

Mr. "Be Nice" Thibault gets all uppity about a little push back from the kind hearted souls at BlueNC, but has this disgusting cesspool linked in at his personal blog. Figures.

You know what...

the rest of the group can welcome you with open arms, me I'm more of the "Go take a flying leap."

If you support the Republican Party, in this day and age, you are no friend of mine. Indy with strong Libertarian leanings, or Indy with conservative fiscal policy, fine. Supporter of the evil and immorality that IS today's Republican Party? Go take a leap.

My Dad is a Republican, an Eisenhower Republican, who has voted for John Kerry in 2004 and Bob Casey in 2006, not because he has changed his philosophy but because the right-wing nutbags have taken over the Republican Party.

So, if you want to come here to push Republican Party policies and theology - take a leap.

If you want to discuss policy issues from an Independent point of view, welcome. However, as long as you link to Mr. "Sorry, faggots, in this country, at least so far, we've got freedom of speech." Ogre, I'll assume you are just another talking-point spewing, insult-hurling, theocon like your friend.

I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for. ~ Thornton Wilder

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

My Thoughts

I've read your post, and all the responses you've received up to the moment that I'm writing this reply. Frankly, I find something to agree with, and something to object to, in what nearly everyone has said. So if I may, let me make a few points of my own...

I'm a good old fashioned liberal. I'm 56 years old, and when I came on the scene the word "progressive" conjured up images of Teddy Roosevelt and the Bull Moose Party. "Liberal" referred to someone who was open, non-judgmental, forward thinking and tolerant. The word "Conservative" referred to someone who revered the well tested values of the past and saw the world as a place of vivid contrasts: better or worse, wrong or right.

I know those are broad characterizations, but they'll have to do for our purposes here. Back in that time of greater political comity the large majority of people who fell under either of those two labels found a way to respect and appreciate the people who fell under the other. Those were good times, and I miss what we had.

Back then did a long period of political ascendancy put the Democrats, or the "liberals," out of touch with our nation's political mainstream? Yes, that's probably true. I won't provide a long list of errors, but any fair minded person would admit that many liberal programs were expensive, meddlesome and ultimately ineffective.

The 1980's were probably an appropriate time of political correction. The underbrush of failed government programs that the Democrats couldn't clear away had started to choke off the more proven and successful programs that were more worthy of public support.

In this period of retrenchment the Democrats were, for the most part, honest partners in difficult legislative surgery. For instance, President Carter advocated an end to regulation in the trucking and airline industries. President Clinton famously advocated a thoroughgoing reform of the federal welfare system.

In better times this would have happened with some pain and gnashing of teeth, but good people respecting each other would have come out on the other side all the better for it.

However, this is not what happened.

Beginning with Lee Atwater in the 80's, and up through the current reign of people like Carl Rove, there's been an unleashing of low blows, wedge issues, ugly rhetoric and the politics of personal destruction. This has so polluted the political environment that for people on both sides who take their politics seriously, we suffer from a general attitude of grievance, contempt and even hatred.

If any fair minded person should admit to the need for conservative correction during the 80's, then any similarly fair minded person would admit that this current fouling of the political environment was born of the Republican Party. It is a form of politics that has enjoyed considerable success, but that success has cost all of us dearly in a coin that has very little to do with policy.

On the one hand, I admire you for trying to participate in a small corner of the web where people don't agree with you, and I'm also distressed with the anger and the occasional foul language with which you're "welcomed." However, though I'm repelled by it, I also know where all that animus and resentment comes from. I know why you're vilified and why it's so hard for some to attribute even one good thing to either you or your party.

I know all of this because I struggle with that anger myself.

Perhaps there's a lesson here - a lesson for all of us. Victory is not nearly as important as the price we pay for that victory, because finally, nothing should ever be preferred to our need for mutual respect.

I'm 56 years old. I moved to North Carolina five years ago. The previous twenty-five years I spent as a resident of Chicago's north shore and before that Wisconsin, Utah and California. I live in Moore County. My Congressman is Howard Coble, my State Sen

Bravo, and well said !!

I too struggle with anger. I've been politically angry since since 1966 when Lyndon Johnson was President...a worthless, corrupt, turd if ever there was one. I'm an equal opportunity kinda guy...

I want decent, responsible, honest, and ethical leadership in our government. I don't care what party someone is affiliated with if he/she will meet those criteria and have some reasonable measure of concern, and as George said...mutual respect...for his/her fellow beings and other living creatures on our fragile planet.

Currently, I can't think of a single Republican member of Congress for whom I would cross the street to pee in their face if their nose was on fire...and only a few Democratic folks. But...I have hope.

Stan Bozarth

Too early to say.

There is the possibility that 1994 will be the best thing that ever happened to our country, not because of the disaster that has been the Republican leadership, but because it knocked Democrats down a notch. But, it is too early to say. Will it be business as usual? If so, expect to see my anger turn to the Democratic leadership.

I'm not distressed at all that people "welcome" right-wingers with anger and occasional foul language. I'm distressed that "liberals" are still willing to fall for the "bi-partisan" bull that flows from Republicans now that they are in the minority. You're like a battered wife that keeps saying "Well, he promises he'll stop." I'm not going to be that person.

The Republican Party has done NOTHING to prove to me they are worthy of any trust. None. Period. Ever.

When they change their ways and prove themselves worthy of my trust, then I will be happy to work with them.

I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for. ~ Thornton Wilder

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Justin...cool

Can I quote you on the puppy blood/SUV thing? hehe

Juuuuuust kidding

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Justin Thibault Batch Response

I appreciate y'all responding. I figure a quick batch response would not sully the comments section up too much.

Robert P - "You're either with or against us"...that sentiment sounds oddly familiar. Obviously, you have more in common with some parts of the Republican Party than you think.

Anglico - To answer your question about what Republicans have done that is "good" lately on a national level - I'll admit that it's a bit difficult given two factors. The first factor is that I'm not a big consumer of Fox News, New York Post, or any of the other major media that leans right. I listed to a lot of NPR and their coverage does have a leftward bend...a rather artistic one those. Second, given the audience, I can't say "tax cuts!" ;-).

So, I'll go with this - better diesel standards. A diesel engine that was built on the day of Bush's inauguration was just as dirty as the one that was built on the day of Clinton's inauguration. The reasons for eight years of inaction on a major source of air pollution are manifest; but some have speculated that political relationships with labor and the UAW spawned a somewhat protectionist policy against European diesel technology. Whatever the reason, the political independence of the Republican Party from labor took that factor out and allowed the standards to be implemented.

On a state level, that's much more difficult. Democrats are quite artful in drawing districts - the 12th Congressional District is noted across the country for its maneuvering through various counties and its breadth in some areas and lack in others. This talent obviously has been put to use in determining districts for the State Senate and General Assembly. So, I'm going with a local example would be The North Carolina Research Campus. The people who have gotten Murdoch to consider the project and Kannapolis; and who've lead the project though have all been Republicans (State Sen Fletcher Hartsell, House Members Linda Johnson and Jeff Barnhardt, The Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners [Republicans all], and Kannapolis City Council Member Darrell Hinnant).

Stan - I wasn't talking about expletives here - but in Creative Loafing. Swearing and blogs go together like Bondo and duct tape. I'm the son of a sailor - so, I've just about heard it all. This morning, I was clearing out my RSS reader and I couldn't help but notice that many Creative Loafing writers can't seem to finish a column without breaking out in a cussing fit. There's something about that in print I find a little unsettling. Not a lot, just a little.

LiberalNC - I owe you an apology. Let me explain why I zeroed in on your message in a somewhat inaccurate manner. I started my blog largely in response to what Harold Smith was spreading around the community. I'd become familiar with his site while working on the School Bond campaign in 2004. Quite frankly, I chose to ignore it until I found a large number of people were quoting it and the papers were starting to treat it like a credible source of opinion. Since May 2005, when he's gone after someone locally - I've defended them: Republican and Democrat alike. He's got his First Amendment rights and all that; but he's a bully and a rather oafish one at that. If can't be stopped - he needs to be countered. My frustration is that even though my site comes up stronger on Google searches, has more inbound links, and I actually do research and link to outside sources - the entertainment offered by his invective and the childlike simplicity of it garners more attention. So, when I first scanned the comment thread and saw your comment - I got a little peeved; because his misspelled lies get more attention than my research results. When I actually read the thread in context, I realized you were just answering a question. I'm not trying to explain away my accusation - just trying to offer a little understanding to what I said.

In short: I'm sorry - you didn't deserve that.

George - Thanks for being thoughtful. I read BlueNC long before I ever participated in any of the comment sections just because people were going to automatically assume that I was a racist theocrat bent on converting baby seals into a special pesticide to keep native grasses out of my flower garden. I participated because I felt that there were policy issues like Health Care where the Republican Party really isn't doing enough. Since I'm involved, I wanted to understand all of the alternatives. When you challenge informed, impassioned people on either side of an issue there's a possibility you'll walk away informed. I don't leave comments on most blogs on the Left because of the assumptions they will make about me without ever getting around to answering the question or comment I would leave. I took a chance here a few months ago because of the diversity of bloggers and commenters. I did walk away with some insights.

On the subject of Mr. Ogre and my blogroll. I've participated in his forums on occasion - a few times in the positive; but mostly challenging him (we have some stark differences on the subject of immigration). He hosted a New Blog Carnival and did a nice feature on my blog. Also, there's the standard link quid pro quo we find in the blogosphere. He linked to me and I returned the favor. Not saying I'll do it in any circumstance; but it seemed appropriate in that case. Even though Anglico pointed out that link (well, singled out that link), he failed to mention the ones to Orange Politics and Scrutiny Hooligans. Many people who visit my blog don't read any other blogs. I tried to give a good sample of blogs across the spectrum the left and right. A few readers have told me that my blogroll generally sucks; because some of the blogs and sites I've referenced there have since died. I'm working on a complete revamp of my site and the blogroll is on the renovation list.

As for expecting people to be nice. I'm not that naive. I don't expect you to play nice and for everyone to "get along; but I do respect a proportional response. I largely get one around here once I demonstrate that I'm not "trolling". If I challenge a fact in a post, I expect to get a strong retort on the challenge and the facts. Not on my faith, fitness as a parent and/or human being, or my participation in the vast, right-wing conspiracy.

I will take you up on your challenge to actually make a post here.

Thanks.

I look forward to reading what you have to say. Bring some friends.

twisting the truth, eh Justin?

I believe I made it very clear that I would be willing to debate with those of an independent bent, but not with Republicans who toe the line. Period. That isn't quite "with us or against us" land.

I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for. ~ Thornton Wilder

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Toe the Line

Every once in awhile I say or write a phrase, then immediately think to myself "I should know what that actually means." Thank you wiki:

The longest running use of the phrase, often mentioned by tourist guides, is from the British House of Commons where sword strapped members were instructed to stand behind lines that were better than a sword’s length from their political rivals. Thus the cry to “toe the line!” was echoed to return order to the House and to quell a potential mortal conflict.

I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for. ~ Thornton Wilder

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me