A Philosopher's Blog

Political Impact of the Shutdown

Posted in Business, Law, Politics by Michael LaBossiere on October 16, 2013
English: Boston Red Sox Cap Logo

English: Boston Red Sox Cap Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One point of concern among the pundits and politicians is the political impact of the shutdown on upcoming elections. In a sense, this involves looking at the handling of the shutdown as moves in the larger game of political maneuvering. In the specific scenario of the shutdown, there seem to be four main goals. The first is to achieve specific objectives (for example, defunding or delaying Obamacare). The second is to keep the other side from achieving its specific objectives. The third is to score positive political points for one’s side. The fourth is to make the other side accumulate negative points.

While achieving the first two goals can impact the second two goals, there is actually no need to achieve or prevent the achievement of actual objectives (such as delaying Obamacare). After all, positive and negative points can be gained or inflicted by the means of various rhetorical devices as well as the classic tactic of simply lying about the facts.

The Republicans apparently initially set out to defund or delay Obamacare and have been using the shutdown and threat of default to try to force the Democrats to yield to their demands. Interestingly, the Republicans do not seem to actually know what they want, which makes achieving these unknown goals rather problematic. However, they do seem clear in one goal: they want to shut down the government.  Some Republicans, such as Michelle Bachmann, seem to think that the shutdown was itself a desirable goal. If so, that could be considered a “win” for her and people who think that way.

The Democrats do seem to be clear about what they want-they want the Republicans to accept the legal reality of the situation: Obamacare is a law and it has been ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court. They also want the shutdown to end, but refuse to yield to the Republican threats and coercion.  Naturally, the Republicans have tried to spin the story so that the Democrats are to blame for not negotiating the matter.

On the face of it, the Republicans certainly seem to deserve the blame. To use an analogy to baseball, it is as if the game has been legitimately won by the Red Sox, but the Yankees want to negotiate the matter. When the Red Sox refuse, the Yankees say they will burn down the stadium unless the Red Sox negotiate. True to their word, the Yankees then start burning things, all the while blaming the Red Sox for the fire. In the case of the shutdown, Obamacare won-it was passed, ruled constitutional and set to go into effect. The Republicans then decided they did not like the result and set out to burn things down, all the while blaming the Democrats. That said, politics is mostly about perception and not so much about the reality. So, a rather important matter is how the voters perceive the situation.

Not surprisingly, no one is looking particularly good to the voters. Congress started off with an abysmal approval rating, so it is hardly a shock they still look bad to the voters. However, the shutdown has also spilled over onto the parties and the president.

As of October 14, 2013 74% of Americans disapprove of the manner in which the Republicans in Congress are handling the situation. To be honest, I am somewhat surprised that the number is that low-I would expect a higher disapproval given that congress seems to be handling the matter exceptionally poorly. Last week it was 70% and at the start of the shutdown it was 63%, thus indicating that the longer the shutdown continues, the more disgruntled Americans will become. This does give the Republicans some reason to end the shutdown, assuming they are concerned about public opinion.

While the Democrats are suffering from a 61% disapproval rating, they are still better off than the Republicans. Also, the Democrats seem to be suffering less of an impact: at the start of the shutdown they had a 56% disapproval rating. As such, the Democrats are “winning” in terms of being perceived as somewhat less bad than the Republicans. While this might not seem like much of an advantage, the fact that we have what amounts to a two party lock on politics, the side that is doing less bad is thus the winner.

An obvious counter is that given the clever gerrymandering of congressional districts, the parties do not need to worry as much about disapproval. After all, if a district is rigged to be mostly Democratic or Republican, the dominate party is all but assured of victory. However, the once unified Republicans (who followed Reagan’s eleventh commandment) have become divided into factions, thanks to the Tea Party Republicans.

The Tea Party members have shown considerable willingness to go after their fellow Republicans for not being “conservative” (or, apparently, crazy) enough and this has created a situation in which moderate Republicans face the greatest challenge from their own Tea Party faction and not from the Democrats. This has played a significant role in the shutdown, which seems to have been largely orchestrated by the Tea Party faction. In contrast, the moderate Republicans would seem to prefer to have avoided the shutdown. Of course, how this plays out depends a great deal on what the voters think about the situation.

As it stands, 47% of Republican voters approve of the way their party is handling the matter, while 47% disapprove. In terms of how this will impact upcoming elections, much depends on the approval or disapproval of the voters in those cleverly gerrymandered districts. If the majority of Republican voters in a specific district favor what has happened, then this will bode well for the incumbent. It seems likely that Tea Party voters would tend to approve of this situation, thus it seems unlikely that the Tea Party incumbents will not be re-elected. However, the more moderate Republicans who have more moderate Republican constituents could run into problems-they might end up losing to a Democrat as punishment for riding the Tea Party tiger too far. Alternatively, if a moderate Republican decides to jump off the tiger, they might be punished by the Tea Party members in their district and end up being defeated in the primary. Then again, the voters might forget about all this by the time the elections come around.

The Democrats are doing better internally: about 60% of Democrats approve of how the Democrats are handling the situation. Not surprisingly, the Democrats are hoping to cash in on this division in the Republican party in the next election cycle. If the Tea Party comes off looking bad to the general population of voters and the once moderate Republicans continue to ride the Tea Party tiger, then the Democrats might come out ahead. This might see the beginning of the decline of the influence of the Tea Party and the more moderate Republicans might decide to abandon their more radical fellows. After all, if people get that the Tea Party folks are fine with shutting down the government and taking us to the brink of ruin, people might start rethinking the matter. However, the Tea Party folks might rather like what grows from what they have sown and their influence might grow stronger. Much depends on whether the voters can see the Tea Party for what it is-and whether or not they like what they see.

As a final point, Obama is doing the best of the lot: his disapproval in this matter is at 53%. His disapproval rating increased by three points since the start of the shutdown. As such, Obama seems to be winning in approval in that he is losing the least.

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33 Responses

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  1. T. J. Babson said, on October 16, 2013 at 9:31 am

    You reap what you sow. By excluding Republican input during the drafting of Obamacare, the Dems have created a law that will disappear the first time the Republicans can manage it.

    Even the legal challenges are not over. The ACA was found to be constitutional as a tax. The Constitution says that all tax legislation must originate in the House. But the ACA originated in the Senate. Stay tuned.

    It is pretty clear that the Dems smell blood and are looking for total annihilation of the Republicans. The press (“Democratic operatives with bylines”) are on board with this project. They are overreaching.

    The Republicans control the House and expect to have some say in the running of the government. This effort is characterized by Dems as “hostage taking,” “extortion,” etc.

    Yesterday I thought the House Republicans would simply capitulate because the press is against them and they have trouble getting their message out. Today I think they are going to hold firm. I don’t think there is going to be a deal anytime soon.

    • WTP said, on October 16, 2013 at 10:02 am

      So TJ, I have neither the time nor inclination to read several paragraphs of Mike’s disjointed logic and fallacy festivals. Since you seem to have bit the bullet here, can you tell me WTF this has to do with the Boston Red Sox? Bearded Marxism, perhaps?

      • T. J. Babson said, on October 16, 2013 at 11:02 am

        Mike’s analogy:

        “To use an analogy to baseball, it is as if the game has been legitimately won by the Red Sox, but the Yankees want to negotiate the matter. When the Red Sox refuse, the Yankees say they will burn down the stadium unless the Red Sox negotiate. True to their word, the Yankees then start burning things, all the while blaming the Red Sox for the fire.”

        I would say a better anaology is that the Red Sox won the first game of the series and then claimed victory while refusing to play any more games.

        • WTP said, on October 16, 2013 at 11:54 am

          Well, yeah, that would be a better analogy. However where’s the emotion in that? The justification for violent revenge? The pure, self-justified hate?

          Just an ignorant guess but I’d be surprised Mike knows anything about baseball beyond hit the ball, run around the bases, count the balls/strikes/outs level.

          But back to the actual subject…How often do we let Mike get away with this violent imagery, this hate, this justification of revenge for presumed harm? For a philosopher, someone who supposedly believes in the triumph of ideas over physical violence, he seems to have no qualms about justifying violence. After, of course, demonizing those with whom he disagrees. A common tactic of lefties. And on top of all that, he feels no need to justify this violent rhetoric.

          Here’s something that occurred to me recently. I doubt Mike has ever met, let alone spent the time to really get to know, an actual CEO or other captain of industry. Oh, sure, I can guess he has a couple semi-rich friends, but I mean of the type of wealth creators he constantly vilifies. Yet it is quite obvious he spends considerable time around the campus radical types who promote hatred and violence. Yet he can rail against these unknown (to him) “selfish egoists…the big time money makers” without a so much as a peep regarding the true looters of society’s wealth. Whatever happened to the adage “Write what you know”?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 16, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      They did not exclude Republican input. The mandate was actually a conservative idea and the Republicans had every chance to offer proposals. So far, they have come up with: defund, delay, emergency room. Now, if the Republicans had an actual viable alternative that the Democrats spurned, I would accept that the Republicans would have a legitimate gripe.

      Legal challenges are fine-there is no actual limit to those. But these should be done as…well…legal challenges. Shutting down the government is not how to handle a legal challenge.

      The Republicans do have say, obviously. However, using the threat of a shut down to coerce a change in an established law is not “having a say.”

      If the Republicans do not pass a clean CR and we default, the consequences will be rather bad. Perhaps they intend to destroy America in order to save her?

      • T. J. Babson said, on October 16, 2013 at 3:05 pm

        Why is it OK for the Dems to be willing to default rather than agree to a 1 year delay of the individual mandate?

        Obama allowed a 1 year delay of the employer mandate with no legal authority. If a law is constitutional he is obliged to enforce it. He does not get to pick and choose what laws to enforce.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 17, 2013 at 11:46 am

          Here is the thing, when the Republicans abandon the established legal process and say that they will shut down the government unless they get what they want, the blame rests on them. The fact that the Democrats were not willing to simply give in to their demands does not make it the fault of the Democrats.

          I do agree that the 1 year delay for the employer mandate while not granting the same to individuals is wrong. The Republicans blew two good chances to address real problems: the 1 year thing and the badly managed roll-out. Instead, they elected to engage in this irrational strategy that hurt the country, distracted people from real problems with Obamacare, and seems to have damaged the Republican party.

      • T. J. Babson said, on October 16, 2013 at 3:26 pm

        “If the Republicans do not pass a clean CR and we default…”

        I see you have bought into the Big Lie. I challenge you to explain why we would default.

        • WTP said, on October 16, 2013 at 3:55 pm

          Don’t hold your breath waiting for a reply.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 17, 2013 at 11:49 am

          Which lie? It seems true that if the debt ceiling was not raised, then we would default.

          http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-10-14/the-u-dot-s-dot-can-survive-a-shutdown-but-not-a-default

          • WTP said, on October 17, 2013 at 12:04 pm

            Ah…my evil plan to get Mike to respond worked.

            So Mikey, not that you will address me, are you completely ignorant of the FACT that more money is coming into the US Treasury than is necessary to pay the interest on the debt? What do RESPONSIBLE people do in such a situation? Pay debts before discretionary items, right? Or are you making the absurd argument that we must be able to borrow more money so that we can pay the interest on the money that we have already borrowed? Stop being a typical lefty douche and do some independent thinking. It’s what you’re (ostensibly) paid to do. Seems to me one thing we could do to help finance the debt payments is to eliminate federal support for student loans for non STEM course work. Granted that wouldn’t cover everything but at least it’s a start. And again I give you Bastiat:

            “Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”

  2. ajmacdonaldjr said, on October 16, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    The Republican party was begun by new, young, radical politicians who sensed a means to gain power, which was to pander to their base by decrying the sensible compromises made by the older, sensible politicians, claiming the old timers had sold out the timeless principles of morality and the US Constitution.

    The same is occurring today, only with different names and issues.

    REPUBLICAN PARTY

    The Republican Party began at a protest meeting in Ripon, Wisconsin, on 28 February 1854 as a group of antislavery activists, known as Free Soilers, met to start a new grassroots movement… With the collapse of the Whig Party in the 1850s, the Republicans emerged as one of the legatees of the Whig organization.

    Source: REPUBLICAN PARTY – http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Republican_party.aspx

    The Republican Party  “Birth of an Antislavery Party”  February 1854

    As the 1850’s progressed, the nation’s politicians increasingly were becoming divided more along geographical lines than party lines. The two major U.S. political parties were the Democratic party and the Whig party, both of which had Southern and Northern factions. The issues of slavery and the expansion of slavery into new territories and states were causing the national parties to crumble and break into many splinter groups.

    Politicians who supported the party line would find themselves not being re-elected; those who split with party policy were losing their influence in the party. New parties such as the People’s party, the American “Know-Nothing” party, the Free-Soil party, and others were springing up around the country in an effort to unite disillusioned Whigs and Democrats.

    It was in February 1854, at a political rally in Ripon, Wis., that the label “Republican” was first decided upon by a small group supporting an antislavery position. The Republican party rapidly absorbed other splinter parties under the platform of the nonexpansion of slavery, a strong central government, high tariffs, federally funded internal improvements, and other measures repugnant to Southerners. The area of the country from which the Republican party drew its support was the most densely populated and industrializes; it had most of the railroads and controlled much of the country’s commerce. The Republicans were capable of making an immediate impact in national elections.

    In the presidential election of 1856, the Republican party, labeled “Black Republicans” for their stand against slavery, nominated the western explorer John C. Fremont. He received less than 1 percent of the Southern vote; however, he carried 11 Northern states outright. For the first time a purely Northern major political party had positioned itself squarely against the Southern slave power.

    Abraham Lincoln, a former Whig, joined the Republican party in 1856. In 1858, he lost the race for U.S. Senate to Stephen A. Douglass, author of the Nebraska-Kansas Act.

    Source: The Republican Party  “Birth of an Antislavery Party”  February 1854 – http://civilwar.bluegrass.net/PoliticsAndPoliticians/therepublicanparty.html

    The Formation of the Republican Party: 1850 to 1865

    By 1856, the Republicans were able to pick up a few more seats in off year elections, bringing their total to at least 108, depending on how one counts sympathies. Thanks to that success, later that year the Republicans were able to get Nathanial P. Banks, a Know-Nothing from Massachusetts elected Speaker of the House. While not a thru and thru Republican, this was undoubtedly a Republican victory, as the Republicans were able to elect a fusion speaker without getting any support from the Southern states. For the first time, the Republicans were able to break through the Democrat’s control of the system, albeit through a coalition. That year, on February 22nd, the birthday of George Washington, the Republicans held their first national convention in Pittsburgh.

    The Convention was reported to have been widely attended, and fairly harmonious. To read Horace Greely’s accounts, would simply be to be reminded of how strongly he felt towards the Republican cause. The convention was significant because, besides being the first, it laid out in writing, the Republican platform through a series of resolutions.

    These resolutions read:

    First. Demands repeal of all laws allowing the introduction of Slavery into Territories once consecrated to freedom, and the resistance by constitutional means of the existence of Slavery in any Territory.

    Second. Support by all lawful measures the Free-State men in Kansas in their resistance to the usurped authority of lawless invaders, and favors its immediate admission into the Union as a Free State.

    Third. Strongly urges the Republican organization to resist and overthrow the present National Administration, as it is identified with the progress of the Slave power to national supremacy

    Source: The Formation of the Republican Party: 1850 to 1865 – http://scottmonster.hubpages.com/hub/The-Death-of-the-Republican-Party-and-the-Birth-of-the-GOP

    The Road to 1860

    Not until April 12, 1861, when Confederate guns fired upon Fort Sumter, did America’s sectional conflict bloom into organized violence. However, the Civil War was decades in the making. The seeds were planted at the nation’s founding, tended by the balance of power between North and South, and bore their deadly fruit through the degeneration of compromise…

    This problematic relationship was compounded by the legal details of westward expansion. Since the question of whether or not territories could allow slavery was unclear in the Constitution, those lands unclaimed by the white man emerged as the central battleground upon which the future of slavery would be debated. Despite efforts to reconcile the positions of North and South– notably the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850 — Congress could not settle the conflict. Since the legacy of the revolutionary era rhetorically condemned yet systemically validated slavery, and since that legacy remained inscribed in the Constitution, any compromise would necessarily be a temporary solution: the fundamental contradiction would not go away, and would continue to breed conflict.

    Source: The Road to 1860 – http://xroads.virginia.edu/~cap/scartoons/car1860.html

  3. magus71 said, on October 16, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Not an Alex Jones fan, but this looks like it could be real. The begginning of the end. Niall Ferguson has always consistantly stated that when empires fall, it is not as gradually as is imagined. In fact, shocks occur thoughout the empire that are very painful.

    Just remember what Edmund Burke said about trying to impose too much change on a society at once: Don’t do it.

    http://www.infowars.com/chase-bank-limits-cash-withdrawals-bans-international-wire-transfers/

    • magus71 said, on October 16, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      beginning*

      • WTP said, on October 16, 2013 at 3:54 pm

        Yes, but let’s not forget we have a loooong way to fall. And it took the Romans many centuries to fail as well. We have no legitimate rivals at this point. Even our past ones, when looked at from perspective of time, were not as strong as they seemed. But I do, most definitely, fear for what we are teaching our next generation(s). Past empires have corroded from the weakness that comes from success. We were in a similar situation before both WWI and WWII. Fat, drunk, and happy is what the Nazi’s thought. But we turned things around and got straight. But we didn’t have a unified news media nor academia that viewed our country in the worst possible light. We had anarchists and communists and such running loose, but the established institutions and independent thinkers were not anti-American. This self-flagellation has got to stop.

  4. T. J. Babson said, on October 16, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  5. T. J. Babson said, on October 17, 2013 at 8:50 am

    I think we have reached the end of the line, intellectually.

    The people who are trying to save the U.S. from financial suicide are regarded as crazy extremists.

    The people who see no reason to limit government spending are considered the rational actors.

    This won’t end well.

    • WTP said, on October 17, 2013 at 11:01 am

      Well what can you expect when “education” and “information” institutions have spent the last 30-40 years spreading unfounded disinformation in a culture that is as obstinate to other points of view as is displayed here on a regular basis? Another aspect of what you are seeing here is the control of language. “Irrational” has become redefined as meaning anything different from the media/academic narrative. etc.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 17, 2013 at 11:55 am

      Who are the people trying to save us from financial suicide? The Republicans that shut down the government and thus did at least $24 billion in damage?

      Who are the people who see no reason to limit spending? The Democrats have made it clear that they are willing to make cuts in spending. However, they are also pushing for revenue increases. The moderate Republicans seem willing to reach a deal on these matters, but the Tea Party folks seem intent on preventing any compromise. They are nicely living up to the guiding philosophical view, so I will give them credit for being consistent in their ethical egoism.

      • WTP said, on October 17, 2013 at 12:08 pm

        Cut the spending properly and you don’t need revenue increases. Why the false choices? Why, again, build a straw man and yet not see the problem in your own position?

      • T. J. Babson said, on October 17, 2013 at 12:35 pm

        “Who are the people who see no reason to limit spending? The Democrats have made it clear that they are willing to make cuts in spending. However, they are also pushing for revenue increases.”

        OK, then. I challenge you to provide a link to any concrete Democratic plan that would get our fiscal house in order. I don’t think there is one. Prove me wrong.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 17, 2013 at 2:08 pm

          It depends on what you mean by fiscal order.

          While both parties often flail away with unthinking ideology guiding (or not) their mouths, there are legitimate value disputes regarding the worth of services and the justness of revenue methods.

          • WTP said, on October 17, 2013 at 2:14 pm

            While both parties often flail away with unthinking ideology guiding (or not) their mouths, there are legitimate value disputes regarding the worth of services and the justness of revenue methods.

            And Mike plays the same game by being coy with his response to a direct question. Just like the politicians he pretends to look down upon.

      • T. J. Babson said, on October 17, 2013 at 1:47 pm

        “They are nicely living up to the guiding philosophical view, so I will give them credit for being consistent in their ethical egoism.”

        You really are living in an alternate universe, Mike. The folks you are disparaging give more, volunteer more, and serve far more than the average American.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 17, 2013 at 1:57 pm

          Ted Cruz?

          • T. J. Babson said, on October 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm

            No, actual data:

            By now everyone knows that the dramatic November election was not an endorsement of Republicanism, but rather a rebellion against expansionist government and an attempt to re-establish America’s culture of free enterprise.

            The tea party activists behind the wave—and more importantly, the nearly one-third of Americans who classify themselves as “supporters” of the movement, according to Gallup—endure endless abuse from the politicians they have dethroned and the pundits they have challenged. One particular line of attack focuses on their supposed selfishness.

            It is common to hear that the popular uprising against the growth of the welfare state, with rising taxes and deficits, is based on a lack of caring toward those who are suffering the most in the current crisis. As soon-to-be ex-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi puts it, the tea party is working “for the rich instead of for the great middle class.” Others have asserted that the backlash against the growth of government is nothing more than an attack on the poor.

            Few would disagree that free enterprise is grounded in one’s self-interest. But self-interest is not the same thing as selfishness in the sense of unbounded consumption or disregard for the less fortunate. In fact, the millions of Americans who advocate for private entrepreneurship and limited government—whether they are rich or poor—may be stingy when it comes to giving away other people’s money through state redistribution, but they are surprisingly generous when it comes to giving away their own money privately.

            Americans in general are very charitable, by international standards. Study after study shows that we privately give multiples of what our Social Democratic friends in Europe donate, per capita. But not all Americans are equally generous. One characteristic of givers is especially important in the current debate: the opinion that the government should not redistribute income to achieve greater economic equality.
            Enlarge Image

            Getty Images

            Consider the answer to the question, “Do you believe the government has a responsibility to reduce income differences between rich and poor?” Many surveys have asked this over the years. In 2006, the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) found that Americans were almost equally divided on this question (52% in favor, 48% against). This is in stark contrast to the Europeans. For example, 94% of the Portuguese in the 2006 ISSP survey were in favor of redistribution; only 6% were against.

            When it comes to voluntarily spreading their own wealth around, a distinct “charity gap” opens up between Americans who are for and against government income leveling. Your intuition might tell you that people who favor government redistribution care most about the less fortunate and would give more to charity. Initially, this was my own assumption. But the data tell a different story.

            http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748704774604576036010174911064

            • WTP said, on October 18, 2013 at 10:24 am

              Mike’s keeping his clown nose on for this one. Doubt you’ll see a reply.

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 18, 2013 at 11:06 am

              Liberals and conservatives seem to be basically the same in the extent of giving (at least in 2012), but they do differ in where they give. Conservatives (which might be Tea Party folks) tend to give to religious organizations while liberals tend to give to secular organizations (and disaster relief, at least in the case of the 2005 tsunami).

              Your point does raise an interesting issue: is charitable giving an indicator that a person is not selfish? Coincidentally, I was recently teaching Aquinas and Aristotle on the matter of virtue. For both of these thinkers,it is not just a matter of giving money. What also matters in the moral assessment is the motivation of the giver, the recipient and so on. So, if people are giving not for the sake of giving but for some other motive (to impress people or to be able to claim they are generous), they would not be generous. Also, if the charitable giving is not really going to something that is truly charitable, then that is a concern as well.

              The Tea Party folks certainly do seem to make a point of endorsing ethical egoism of the Ayn Rand sort-hence the John Galt references. Now, it could be claimed that these folks do not know what they actually believe (they claim to be ethical egoists, but are not) or that many Tea Party members do not actually buy into ethical egoism. A person could endorse small government, low taxes and so on and not be an ethical egoist. A good example is the anarchist Thoreau. He did advocate helping others and contributing to social goods. So, some Tea Party folks might be sliding towards a Thoreau style anarchism-a kind, gentle Tea Party that thinks “the government is best that governs least”, but also pays the “highway tax” to be good neighbors: “I have never declined paying the highway tax, because I am as desirous of being a good neighbor as I am of being a bad subject; and as for supporting schools, I am doing my part to educate my fellow-countrymen now. It is for no particular item in the tax-bill that I refuse to pay it. I simply wish to refuse allegiance to the State, to withdraw and stand aloof from it effectually.”

            • wtp said, on October 19, 2013 at 4:22 pm

              So my ploy continues to work…

              You’ll note Mike just can’t resist taking a swipe at TP’s even for doing good. You see when they do good things it is only for evil intentions. How does mike know what is in the hearts of people when they are being charitable? No, that’s not a rhetorical question. I’d like to know just how Mike knows these things.

              it is not just a matter of giving money. What also matters in the moral assessment is the motivation of the giver, the recipient and so on.
              Yes. Yes, what is their motivation? What is Mike’s motivation in throwing people’s generosity back in their faces and calling it selfishness. I mean, it just could not be any other way. No prejudice there. Nor straw man or other fallacies.

              And again with the anarchy red herring. I doubt ANY TP’s would favor anarchy. But Mike knows this.

              You’ll also note the questioning of TP’s generosity, which the do with THEIR OWN WEALTH. But no questioning of the supposed high-mindedness of lefties such as himself and the dems when they attempt to do “good” with wealth taken from others.

              Also completely ignored is what people do with their free time, of which TP’s have less because they are out there working to support the lefties. Lefties make a job of their “goodness”.

  6. WTP said, on October 17, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    • T. J. Babson said, on October 17, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      Even Thomas Friedman is beginning to realize their is a problem.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/16/opinion/friedman-sorry-kids-we-ate-it-all.html?_r=0

      • T. J. Babson said, on October 17, 2013 at 1:37 pm

        Oops–should read “there is a problem”

        • WTP said, on October 17, 2013 at 4:49 pm

          Heh:

          “My generation — we brought down the president in the ’60s because we didn’t want to go into the war against Vietnam,” Druckenmiller told an overflow crowd at Notre Dame last week.

          Seems he’s still a bit confused. Or does he mean LBJ? Wouldn’t say he was brought down so much as he quit.

          Cute seeing boomers who knew everything when they were young try to tell young people who now know everything that they didn’t know as much as they thought they knew but they know now so young people should listen to them because they don’t know everything like they do now. Ya know?


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