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Pitts Jr. begins: "I am pleased to report the sighting of an artifact so rarely seen among Democrats that it has become the stuff of legend and conjecture, like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster. It is called a spine."

A State Assembly Democrat at the Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin, pumps his fist during a protest rally. (photo: Darren Hauck/Reuters}
A State Assembly Democrat at the Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin, pumps his fist during a protest rally. (photo: Darren Hauck/Reuters}

Democrats Need to Stand Up to Tea Party

By Leonard Pitts Jr., The Miami Herald

30 August 11


am pleased to report the sighting of an artifact so rarely seen among Democrats that it has become the stuff of legend and conjecture, like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster. It is called a spine.

Said spine was briefly glimpsed a little over a week ago at a "jobs summit" in Inglewood, Calif. in the person of Rep. Maxine Waters. "I'm not afraid of anybody," the California Democrat said. "... And as far as I'm concerned, the 'tea party' can go straight to Hell."

Her words left the Tea Party Patriots sputtering about the need to play nice. "The president and all leaders of the Democratic Party, who have called for civility in the past, are neglecting to censure their own," the group said, according to The Washington Post. "Is civility only required from their opponents?" Which is funnier than a Bill Cosby monologue, coming from the folks who turned town hall meetings into verbal brawls and threw rocks through windows because they opposed health care reform.

I intend no blanket lionization here of Rep. Waters, who is the object of a protracted ethics probe and whom I have for years privately dubbed "Mad Max," in both consternation and admiration of her feistiness. Moreover, as hypocritical and self-serving as the Tea Party Patriots' statement is, it is also correct: telling people to go to hell is about as uncivil as it gets. I could never, in ordinary times, applaud such conduct.

But no one will ever mistake these for ordinary times.

These are, rather, times in which the nation's civic dialogue, the ordinary political business of give and take, has been made hostage to the whims of a loud, incoherent minority that has used its very extremism as a weapon. Seventy percent of us, according to a Gallup poll, think both tax increases and spending cuts ought to be used to reduce the budget deficit. That reasonable, balanced approach was not a part of the debt ceiling deal because the tea party threatened, credibly, to push the nation into default rather than allow it.

Republicans have been shamefully complaisant toward this behavior, unable to produce a stateswoman - or man - willing to stand up for the simple idea that one should put national welfare above ideological purity.

Democrats have been their usual hapless, communicatively-challenged selves, the congressional equivalent of the kid in school who walks around all day with "Kick Me" taped to his back, then wonders why people keep kicking him.

The need of a viable third party has seldom been more apparent. What is lost here, though, is not simply points for a given party but, rather, our very ability to compromise which is, after all, the soul of politics. Nor, obviously, will Waters' intemperate remark do anything to bring that ability back.

But it does acknowledge a reality President Obama refuses to accept: Compromise requires a partner. When the other party's bottom line is that you fail, when that is the opponent's prime directive, the most important item on their agenda, then you lack both that partner and any basis for negotiation.

To put that another way: after you have reasoned with the bully, bargained with the bully, tried to appease the bully, sometimes the only remaining option is to punch the bully in the nose. That's what Maxine Waters just did. Good for her.

Leonard Pitts Jr., winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is a columnist for The Miami Herald. your social media marketing partner


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It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

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+144 # Bill Clements 2011-08-30 16:13
Love Leonard Pitts! Another one I consider a National Treasure. I don't think I've ever read one of his columns I didn't resonate with. Of course, this one is no different in that regard. I think he's absolutely correct: it's time we publicly push back on the Tea Party when possible.

Maxine Waters could be one of just a handful of Democrats in Congress who tell it like it is, who has a spine and who's tired of being silent.

If Obama isn't going to take the fight to the Republicans and the Tea Party, then we need to. Our Democratic leadership has generally been anemic, if not pathetic. If our representatives aren't going to represent our views and sentiments, then it's up to us to make a case for ourselves.

Or we can stand back and let the GOP take over the Presidency, the Congress, and the Supreme Court. That, too, is an alternative, although far more painful.
+74 # KLA3114 2011-08-30 17:41
Totally Agree!!! Thanks, Bill, for your comments. Now is not the time to be prim and proper. Can't do that with Bullies.
+51 # KLA3114 2011-08-30 17:43
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aide of their country! Now is the time to let the Bullies take note that we are tanned, rested, and ready! b
+86 # fredboy 2011-08-30 16:31
Wow! This is a rare sighting. Are you sure it wasn't their tail between their legs?

Amazing that we have an established national party that controls the White House and the Senate yet cowers from a few white supremacists street thugs and county club drunks and miscreant bloggers, writers and broadcasters.

And they want our votes?
+84 # Doctoretty 2011-08-30 17:45
Not all of them are gutless. In Fl we had Alan Grayson. Despite losing to a teabagger, he's going to run again. Ther are some others and those are the ones that should get our support!
+2 # dr. labwitch 2011-08-30 18:40
let him run again. beat the crap out of him. if i could still walk i'd be beating down doors for all the men and women fighting these vermin. that's all they are, they have no spine and no brain, we can do this easily, unfortunately our legislators are somehow paralyzed by the tprs. take that name, tp=toilet paper. tprs are used toilet paper. nasty and disease ridden. maybe appealing to the masses by likening the tprs to virulent disease will help. announce there is no vaccination and see how fast these tprs are shunned.
+44 # reiverpacific 2011-08-30 18:51
Quoting Doctoretty:
Not all of them are gutless. In Fl we had Alan Grayson. Despite losing to a teabagger, he's going to run again. Ther are some others and those are the ones that should get our support!

Rigt On! Alan Grayson is right up there in the guts department. He's the one who stated that the party of "No's" idea of a medical system was to die quietly and quickly. -And he was pilloried in the nicey-nice corporate press, into which junk-food bag I throw PBS and NPR!
+42 # Vardette 2011-08-30 20:30
The Gop, Cantor, Boehner and all the rest of these ruthless corporate criminals are spending 900 billion per week on the Afghanistan war but they want tp do away with FEMA, Social security, Medicare and Medicade, public schools and 40 EPA regs that keep our air and water clean, food safety regs you name it and let the nation and us go to hell so the rich can stay rich!!!! College loans would be a thing of the past!. WHO ARE THESE GUYS? I'm telling you folks if we don't get rid of these guys all of our lives will be at stake. They want to abolish the hurrian watch! This is truly a matter of life and death for all of us! Rick Perry would make our nation unrecognizable - it would make the Bush era look good. So remember for your childen's sakes and grandma's and grandpa's and all of the terribly suffering Americans, we need many more like Alan Grayson!
0 # AndreM5 2011-08-31 10:49
Make that "900 million" and I would feel a lot better about the rest of the commentary.
+5 # jerryball 2011-08-31 12:27
If Obama, the anti-Harry Truman, won't lead ... WE NEED TO FIND A LEADER WHO WILL! "Give 'em hell Harry" wouldn't even try to make nice with these lice, vermin, and bottom-feeders. Another Era, another stalwart age of standing up for what you believe, and all of this politically correct prancing would have been laughed at. We had just won WWII and the men and woman came home from the front. A time when men were men, not a bunch of mewling capons frightened about not knowing what to do and fretting that we might be looked at as not "nice." Well, to hell with that stance. It's gotten us NOTHING but contempt, and rightfully so because it isn't pretty. If we can't stand up for our belief, we deserve to go down in dust and give it up to the Parasites.
+89 # Barbara K 2011-08-30 16:33
Absolutely! It is time for us to draw that line in the sand and stand up to the playground bullies disguised as Republibaggers. This ignorant band of terrorists need to be taken out of our congress, as nothing meaningful will get done while they are there. Their only goal is to destroy us. How better could they have done that than not to allow taxing the wealthy their fair share, and disallowing the stopping of the subsidies going to big corps who don't need the money. They just want to keep the money out of the government so there isn't money to be used to save our country from them. They even make threats about printing more money. Well, I say print baby print. We need the money.
+43 # Darrell Mazura 2011-08-30 16:44
RIGHT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!
+87 # fredboy 2011-08-30 16:51
May Rep. Waters spread courage throughout the land.
+66 # MEBrowning 2011-08-30 17:47
Recently, someone from the Democratic party called me for a contribution. I told them I would contribute again when the Democrats get a spine. The caller hung up on me. Instead of hanging up, it's high time they started listening.
+21 # dr. labwitch 2011-08-30 18:41
call them back and tell them who called and that they had the audicity to hang up on you. they won't be making anymore calls after that,
+21 # Phlippinout 2011-08-30 21:23
Thats funny! when I received a call asking if i would stand with Obama, i said yes, as soon as i can find out what he stands for.
+36 # RNF123 2011-08-30 17:10
I cannot always say that I am in agreement with Maxine Waters in a number of ways but this time she is right on the money. If Obama can't muster the courage to stand up to these idiotic fools, he should use surrogates like Maxine to send them the message. Perry, Bachmann and others just says as they please. Meaning they lie through their teeth and are never called on for it. The Teaparty is a minority losing power every day not a national movement that can control our government. We need more Maxine's. LBJ would never have been so pleasant. Nor Nixon behind doors. Maybe Cheney.
+18 # jon 2011-08-30 20:20
One thing the Dems need is a systematic approach to countering every lie that these cads spew.

If we had the money of the Koch bros at our disposal, we could start something like the Cato Institute, or the American Heritage Foundation, to trap, counter, and dispel these myths.
+20 # ALinSTL 2011-08-30 17:29
+14 # dr. labwitch 2011-08-30 18:42
if you quit yelling maybe we'll read what you wrote.
+4 # jon 2011-08-30 20:10
"if you quit yelling maybe we'll read what you wrote."

dr. l,

"ALinSTL" has been asked before to take "Caps Lock" off, but he seems to be adamant. As a consequence, I do not read his posts.

Too bad. I have no doubt that otherwise, he means well.
+13 # chick 2011-08-30 20:45
Dr. and jon maybe he or she is so angry that is the only way to let people know how they feel.

In this time, I can relate.
And they are right.
-1 # jon 2011-08-30 20:57

Thanks for the thumbs down.
+3 # Phlippinout 2011-08-30 21:27
Just read it softly dummy!
0 # jon 2011-08-30 22:20
That is funny, someone who is as impolite as ALinSTL.
+6 # Saberoff 2011-08-30 21:52
What the hell do you care about, capital letters?
-1 # MEBrowning 2011-08-31 01:32
It's about online etiquette.
+5 # shesap 2011-08-31 07:56
Maybe she/he can't see well!
+3 # in deo veritas 2011-09-01 19:23
Bravo if that's yelling! The whole damned country needs to get in the faces of the teabagger vermin and deafen them with outrage and indignation. For now, at least, the best way is to run every lousy one of them out of office by recall or by an honest election process. Those who are not holding office should simply be shunned or boycotted by decent Americans. Their god is money so starve their god. They have no hearts but they will feel the pain in their pocketbooks and wallets.
+4 # in deo veritas 2011-09-01 19:49
My opinion of teabaggers was best expressed by V.P. Spiro Agnew-they are "Nattering Nabobs of Nihilism". They are FOR nothing but Against everything. No positive solutions for our problems just plans to make things worse. The existing political parties in Germany caved in and let the Nazis lead them to ruin. If we do not thwart our version of those vermin we will suffer the same fate.
0 # michelle 2011-09-03 10:48
Good Golly, Spiro Agnew. Nice to have a smile so early in the morning. Everyone remember the poem about Agnew's anti-free speech rant?

"How much news would an Agnew choose,
If an Agnew could choose news."

Those were the days when we made fun of the wingers and of course with Agnew, jailed them.
+43 # allie 2011-08-30 17:33
I wonder at times if Obama and his staff, if in fact 97% of the Dems in office have converted to republicanism. It boggles my mind why there is no fight for what they used to stand for and for what the people want.
+16 # dr. labwitch 2011-08-30 18:42
excellent question! make your legislator answer that one. get the media involved!
+4 # chick 2011-08-30 20:55
I do not think most have converted. There are certainly some fighters, can't remember their names but they are there. Only the Blue Dogs democrats are the ones I wish would lose to more progressive Dems.

Pelosi, and the six on the super committee are fighters. Pelosi and Reid picked good ones.
+1 # michelle 2011-09-03 10:52
I think Max Baucus is on the committee. He is a Blue Dog owned and operated by the health insurance industry. He fought healthcare reform. He may be a fighter but not on our side.
+58 # Isar 2011-08-30 17:50
Once this country was frightened by the John Birchers, but ultimately, we convinced most people of their extremism, and then politicians no longer pandered to them. Once the Tea Party is shown for what they really are---bigots who are mostly white, upper-class Americans who are isolationists and want to drag us back to the "safety of the '50's" we will have them back where they the gutter...AND THEN, the Republicans can relax, take a breath, and stop pandering to this bunch of crazies...and THEN, perhaps, each party will be able to talk sensibly to one another...AND THEN, perhaps, Obama's "reaching across the aisle" thing will work some of the time. However, it will be easier done if we get rid of some of the biggest panderers...Eri c Cantor, Mitch O'Connell...and yes, even the Speaker John Boehner. They are all clinging to their jobs in Washington any way they can...and if that means bowing to the extremists in our society, they will do that. They have no self-respect and no honor. They have only their self-interests to protect, and not the best interests of the country. They have become accustomed to the "good life" in Washington. In the next election, we should send them back home...back to the "real world." AND YES, Maxine, the Tea Partiers can most certainly GO TO HELL...where many other nutters are waiting for them.
+18 # dr. labwitch 2011-08-30 18:44
true, remember, many of them are the john birchers we recall. treat then the same, call them the same, in fact, link them to the KKK and the skinheads. good ideas all isar!
+28 # blah blah blah 2011-08-30 17:54
Well put, Mr. Pitts. May some new Democratic leaders take a lesson from your article and take a clue from Maxine Waters. I say the new Democratic leaders because I would not believe the current ones if they changed their tune at this point in time.
+26 # CowboyToo 2011-08-30 17:59
AMEN ! I have been saying this for a long time. I've written to Representatives (we have no Democrat Senator here in Arizona - actually no senator, period, worth his salt) I've written to the President, I've complained to the local Democrat Party. I send money to every Democrat cause I can.

All this feels like shouting upwind in a hurricane, though. Maybe James Carville should lead us.
+12 # dr. labwitch 2011-08-30 18:45
i feel your pain...i have john cornyn and kay bailey (sit on your ass) hutchison. any ideas for new senators and i'm ready to listen!
+1 # Erdajean 2011-08-30 22:52
OK, y'all -- you have the Dark Ages picture of what it's like for people with a brain, in SC, where the T-P-ers run EVERYTHING. But -- Hark! Something is afoot. At a meeting with our T-P congressman, et al, today it became pretty clear that Rick Perry is going to be their guy, probably with Michele MadHatter as his running mate. Though I expect our uber-imbecile Jim DeMint is aiming for that spot. How will this play out? Far better than the Democrat wussies deserve. The mainstream GOP -- mean-spirited pragmatists all -- will stop at nothing to win the White House in 2012. They may be ugly but they're NOT stupid. They're not going to let the T-P rule and lose the election with a nut-job who could not win Boy's Room Monitor.The war that blows the GOP apart (BooHoo!)is as near as the next Repug convention. No matter WHAT the Democrats do or don't do. Alternative -- Paulists -- and there are many across the spectrum -- will bolt and run their old guy in a Third Party campaign. For good or ill, he will win.
+6 # chick 2011-08-30 20:58
Not with his Republican horrible wife.How he ever married her is beyond me.
+9 # bigkahuna671 2011-08-31 10:03
I, too, am an Arizonan, always embarrassed by the state of our State and the idiots who "lead?" it. Kyl, McCain - two idiots who have the combined IQ of our state gun. One never served and the other got his butt shot down 'cause he was a cowboy (sorry, CowboyToo) and wouldn't listen to his wingman. We have Russell Pearce, Sheriff Joe, the wingnut sheriff from Pinal, and a lot of other nutcases who complain about ObamaCare, then demand that their Medicare and Social Security be left alone. Isn't it amazing that the only good governors this state has had in the past 40 years were all Democrats and the only ones who were indicted (and convicted) were Republicans? Hmmm.....
Sounds like a lot of the GOP to me, regardless of state...
+31 # jon 2011-08-30 18:13
It would REALLY be something to see ANY other Democratic congress person make a similar stand.

(It could become a movement.)

I challenge you wimps, who else wants to be "in the News" for acting like a champion of the people ?? !!
+26 # reiverpacific 2011-08-30 18:13
QV; Moreover, as hypocritical and self-serving as the Tea Party Patriots' statement is, it is also correct: telling people to go to hell is about as uncivil as it gets. I could never, in ordinary times, applaud such conduct."
For Gawd's sake I could wax eloquent with much stronger language than THAT!
There is no place left for civility in the current depths to which political dialogue has sunk at the hands of the Tea-Pisser-Path alogues who, as pointed out, were the ones doing the Town hall disruptions very much in the spirit of the S.A. Brownshirt thugs which even the Fuhrer had to rid himself eventually.
Remeber, these were the same tactics deployed by the Florida Republic-nastie s in Tallahassee, when they tried to physically assault, and certainly managed to disrupt and intimidate, the people doing the recount in that confusing and confused state (Flown there by Ken Ley's jet B.T.W.!).
We could do with a few more "Mad-Maxines" to pull the bully-teeth of the cowards in the Twit-Party.
I mean, have you ever actually tried to engage these types? The tend to substitute shouting for dialogue and talk through one's attempts at response, sometimes causing this ol' Rugby-confronta tionist to be -shall we say- explosive after too much of this- and they back down every time!
So sometimes you have to git tough -and I wish the Hell Obama would get this!
+30 # Vardette 2011-08-30 18:18
We can't wait for them Democrats anymore. We need to replace those in the congress and senate with those who will not take bribes that puts our health, safety and welfare at risk. That works in the best interest of the nation as a whole and our people. We need to change the face of the Democratic party the way the Tea party changed the face of the Republican party but this time we need to pack the house and senate with Progressives like Maxine, Bernie, Warren and I understand that many more will be running when the time comes. Bernie doesn't need millions to win. He will always be elected becasue the people of VT knows what he stands for. Just like the people of Wisconsin didn't vote for those fake Democrats. They voted for the people they knew were on their side.
+9 # chick 2011-08-30 21:03
I beg your pardon but thos Wisconsins voted for the Republicans. It was only after they realized what a mistake they had made they started the movement to replace them.

Remember they originally voted them in.
+4 # Bill Clements 2011-08-31 00:05
Yes! These are not the people who have our best interests at heart! On the contrary!
+34 # DLT888 2011-08-30 18:19
Yeah, go Maxine!!! You rock, Woman!! You've got what it takes!!! You put Obama to shame!
+31 # angelfish 2011-08-30 18:38
The Tea Partiers are Anathema. They are the Anti-Christ, Al Queda and the Taliban all rolled into one! Pledging NOT to raise Taxes on the Wealthy to their god and mentor Grover Norquist (WHO is this guy?). They seek nothing less than the ENTIRE destruction of the United States as we know it, ALL for their MEGA-WEALTHY Masters, headed by aforementioned Grover Norquist and the Koch Brothers. WHY can't the Rich be Taxed? WHY can't they pay their fair share of the burden of running the Greatest Country in the World that has afforded THEM the Magnificent Wealth they so enjoy? Are they NOT Citizens? Not only do they want to Destroy us Financially, they want to dismantle Environmental Protections that USED to keep consumers safe from the Ecological Rapists who would Poison our Air, Water and Earth! The Majority of Americans will NOT allow them to do these EVIL things! The THUGs have talked about "second Amendment Remedies" and "Taking back the Country". They best mind what they propose lest they find themselves hoisted on their OWN Petards by an over-burdened and struggling Populace who is sick and tired of getting SCREWED Over and Over and Over again! Maxine Waters Spoke TRUTH to the Elitists, something that they are unfamiliar with having lied us into oblivion for so long, like "compromise" it's a word not seen in their lexicon. Methinks they're about to hear a whole lot MORE!
+23 # Laurence 2011-08-30 18:58
The real problem is NOT the Tea Party and Maxine Waters showing spine is not a very positive sign. She taken contrary positions publicly often relative to other Democrats. The problem is the fact that most of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are beholden to big campaign donors who are rich and are not interested in the needs of ordinary people.

The task is to build a new movement that challenges the current Demorat/Republi can/ruling class monster by mobilizing people to say NO!
+11 # reiverpacific 2011-08-30 20:19
Quoting Laurence:
The real problem is NOT the Tea Party and Maxine Waters showing spine is not a very positive sign. She taken contrary positions publicly often relative to other Democrats. The problem is the fact that most of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are beholden to big campaign donors who are rich and are not interested in the needs of ordinary people.
The task is to build a new movement that challenges the current Demorat/Republican/ruling class monster by mobilizing people to say NO!

Suggestions welcome -and I'm serious! Solidarity is for the rest of us now and no more nice-nice. Keep us posted on how to do it and I'll be right with you.
+25 # JayMagoo 2011-08-30 19:18
I was just a little boy when Franklin Delano Roosevelt died in 1945, but I remember hearing him on the radio. I sincerely wish Obama would listen to some of Roosevelt's speeches, and would imitate some of Roosevelt's actions in standing up against the Republican bankers and Republican Wall Street financial interests like Roosevelt did. We need it.
+13 # jon 2011-08-30 20:31
"I sincerely wish Obama would listen to some of Roosevelt's speeches, and would imitate some of Roosevelt's actions in standing up against the Republican bankers and Republican Wall Street financial interests like Roosevelt did. We need it."

Not since FDR have we needed it like we do now.

Thanks, Reagan, for quite a bit less than nothing.
+5 # MEBrowning 2011-08-31 01:36
Isn't it interesting that FDR was Reagan's favorite U.S. president? The FDR memorial in DC is the largest of any memorial to a president because Reagan accorded more real estate to it. Go figure.
+8 # eddiethelip 2011-08-30 20:07
We've been talking about this since the first days of the Obama presidency when it became apparent that he was just another hack. Unlike most of the other respondents I don't propose to know the answer. A third party would just allow the Republicans to gain full control and perhaps that is the answer. Let them drag us back to the thirties and then maybe, just maybe, the people who have been defending the wealthy elite find themselves on a soup line, they will stand up and revolt again and bring back a new New Deal. Until these FAUX news sound bite acceptors realize they are being figuratively sodomized there is no hope for America.
+16 # jon 2011-08-30 20:53
What a quandary we are in.

"the people who have been defending the wealthy elite find themselves on a soup line, they will stand up and revolt again and bring back a new New Deal."

My fear is that when that absolutely certain eventuality occurs, those who still listen to Rupert Murdoch owned radio stations, and of course Fox News, will be blaming us and the Dems for the fact that they are in the soup line.

The man with the gold rules, because he also owns the radio, and TV stations, and controls the lying message.

(mass-consumption swill)
+17 # chick 2011-08-30 21:15
I agree with you on the first part. Making a new party would just enable the Republicans to win a very, very big majority and then we surely would go back to the 1800's.

But I certainly do not want to give up on the Democartic party. If they had a very big majority (not like the weak one with Blue dog Dems voting with the Reps)
then we can overthrow everything the Reps have put on the book.

I was a child during the Depression and believe me it was nt nice. My Mom with her five kids and mother (father had died) were thrown out of our miserable apartment (before Home relief) and there we were four little girls, one boy, and on grandmother. And Mom going crazy trying to find a job to get us off the street.

I remember vets selling pencils for a penny. No I most certainly would never want the Reps to win just so we can revolt. Just keep contacting your Senators, Representative, president as I do and keep signing petitions, and don't let anyne tell you it won't work.

and then be sure to vote, vote, vote. Do no give up hope.
+11 # jon 2011-08-30 22:06

Thank-you for your sage advice.

I agree that we must deliver a majority to both houses, and with any luck a Democratic President. And then, really make noise so that the prostitutes in congress finally realize that the power has shifted from the oligarchy, back to the people.

We are so close to the absolute end of Democracy that to give even an inch, in any way, hoping that if things get bad enough, there will be a revolution, is to ignore the reality that we would all be squashed like BUGS.

They have been preparing for just such such a possibility since the "Patriot Act".
+9 # amye 2011-08-30 20:57
Yeah Maxine! You go girl! Its about time someone stood up and said something! I don't consider telling someone to go to hell all that uncivil! There sure are a lot more uncivil things to say than that!! And we all know what those are! Boohooo Republicans! Can't take a little heat? Get out of the kitchen then as they say!
0 # in deo veritas 2011-09-01 20:04
ZTelling them to go to hell is not uncivil. It is a certainty. Anyone who really believes in what jesus taught and that there is a God cannot believe that the evil these charlatans have practiced will go unpunished. They are guaanteeing themselves a front row seat in hell. We are simply wishing them Bon Voyage!
+3 # Wink 2011-08-30 21:35
Laurence hit it on the head. I do understand the ultra-leftist leaning of this forum, where it appears to be perenially open season on Republican bashing. But in perspective, there is plenty of blame to go around on both sides. Our system has been corrupted by special interest groups with deep pockets driven by less than stellar motives, and few of our elected representatives have demonstrated any significant ability to turn down such lucrative opportunities. Net result: souls for sale, and a nation sliding ever more quickly down a slippery slope. Given the fact that politics is an incredibly expensive trade, it should come as no surprise that corruption fueled by PAC money now abounds. And mutual self-serving backing by participants on both sides reinforces the process. The real question, then, is how to cleanse and rectify our system with effective reforms to bring about much needed change. Like cancer, this problem will not simply cure itself. Without treatment, the prognosis- again, like cancer- is grimly predictable.
+6 # GTrout 2011-08-30 21:51
Uh, eddiethelip, although I agree with your statements, just WHO will be providing these soup lines? So many churches have turned away from helping their fellow Americans in favor of exporting funds and families to any of the currently trendily needy countries overseas. City councils are outlawing feeding the homeless. The homeless are required to be registered and licensed to panhandle or receive the pittance of local government aid. Our society is quickly being rigged to make a slow death the only option for those in need of soup kitchens. Never mind that so many homeless and hopeless were put there by the structural changes in society started during Reagan's reign and accelerated by every succeeding administration, and supported by institutions local, state, religious, social and medical.
+2 # in deo veritas 2011-09-01 20:08
Speaking of Reagan-remember how The Glibber ordered the DC cops to remove or arrest the homeless people who were camped around or on the exhaust grates at government buildings where they were just trying to keep from freezing? Any of you who don't just ask any DC residents you know. Wasn't he such a humanitarian? BARF!
+9 # Saberoff 2011-08-30 22:25
OK. I've got it! And it is NOT new....

Finding and electing our best rep is fine and good, but what we should really be concentrating on, in the meantime, is a strike: as all-encompassin g as it can get. This of course entails many variables; it will take much thought (to protect the innocent) communications, and planning.

Hit them where THEY feel it (the corporate gangsters). We start by buying only what we need, to live, from selected sources. We do NOT go to work (for them, any longer!). We stay home, with the kids.

I believe this could be very effective against these dogs: running and ruining our lives!

Maybe someone (like O) would do SOMETHING in response to a national strike.
+17 # artistre 2011-08-30 22:50
Stop all this talk, talk, talk and act...It's time to go in the streets as we did, in mass, in the 70's. Most of the people that are suppose to rep us are all taking funds from the top 10% to keep their jobs and have forsaken us.
We must take back our gov't and our lives before all is lost and it's too late and that moment is coming soon.
+8 # giraffee2012 2011-08-31 01:13
Maxine said this just before her job fair -- which was a SUCCESS. Bravo Maxine. I've called your office several times to tell the answerer when I've been proud of you ON THE FLOOR -- Clap Clap - proud of you. Keep up your position serving as an elected official "should" -- may the rest follow your example.
+3 # futhark 2011-08-31 05:01
Democrats need to stand up FOR some things, not against others who are standing up FOR the things in which they believe. The Tea Party is really quite a messed up bunch, having originated as an anti-neocon group of Republics opposed to big government spending on foreign wars, to big government incursion into Americans' right to privacy via the PATRIOT Act, and to big government borrowing to support these activities. All this was happening under Cheney/Bush. At some point they were co-opted by the neocons and allowed arch-neocon Sarah Palin to address their convention. Suddenly there was a 180 degree turn in their standing with the Republic Party establishment and they became darlings of Rush Limbaugh and others who had previously vilified them and called them "traitors". Somehow the left missed this turnaround.

Anyway, the means by which any political group garners a loyal following in this country at this time is to speak out consistently in opposition to policies of the plutocratic oligarchy. People are getting more desperate every day, losing their homes, their medical insurance to high cost, and their hopes for a better future. They want to hear positive ideas for something that will really restore their hope, not some empty gas bag rhetoric about "hope" and "change" that deflates at the first challenge.
+3 # davidhp 2011-08-31 09:39
The Tea Party was in opposition to most government spending (education, TANF, and other government economic safety nets), government regulation, and to unions from their beginnings. They were the descendants of the John Birch Society even as anti neo-cons during the Bush years.
+6 # BishopAndrew 2011-08-31 05:40
When you speak truth to power in this case the Republican Tea Party you do not do so with your hat in your hand while dancing a step and fetch routine begging massa to give you some crumbs. I don't intend that statement to mean anything other than the truth that those who hold power over the poor and elderly and the young and the student and the non insured don't give a continental damn about them and the rawness of their disdain towards those of us who do not sit at the banquet table cannot be made into some kind of academic centrist respectability!
+7 # warrior woman 2011-08-31 06:04
Small point, if we believe that the deficit hysteria was man made, why the heck would we want to increase taxes and cut spending?? HUH? It didn't take long at all for various websites to fall for the bait and start calling for both reductions and tax increases. We wouldn't need this at all for Social Security for example, since it's fully funded till 2037! USE YOUR BRAINS!!!!!

We can cut war spending, stream line work but cutting benefits, education and healthcare should be off the table.
-16 # Martintfre 2011-08-31 06:14
Yea - Stand up to the TEA Party because Big Government and government employee unions need protection from tax payers!

your tell em!
+14 # davidhp 2011-08-31 08:48
I am a taxpayer who perfers government regulations to stop coporate theft of the economic security of the poor, working and middle classes. I support any union which stands up to management walking all over workers. I don't support ignornate tea baggers who parrot FOX news talking points coming straight from the Koch brothers. Coporate fascism is the enemy of American freedom and the economic security of the working class.
+3 # shesap 2011-08-31 07:59
From Pitt's pen to Obama's ears!
+2 # David Starr 2011-08-31 13:17
What do you do when you have an "opposition" like the Repubs who continuially show their true colors, reflective of an agenda that at its base is really quite old?

No doubt, they would like the U.S. to go back to the "good, old days" before the 1930s, or more so to the "Guilded Age" when Repubs especially were overtly racist, contributing to Manifest Destiny doctrine to "civilize" the "savages," those "unfit for self-government ." More so, to maintain a more unfettered and savage capitalism. The Dems were guilty as well, but with a few resisting.

Today, we also have a few amongst the Dems who resist: Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee, Jim McDermont, and, yes, Maxine Waters. Plus the socialist Bernie Sanders.

What do we do? Waters provided an obvious example. It is indeed necessary to get in the face of a strain like the Tea Party, among the other strains in the Repub party. We know the dangers, based on that old agenda, not just to the U.S. but worldwide.
0 # m... 2011-08-31 23:01
Democrats are far too embarrassed to stand up after chronically wetting their pants every time a CONservative walks into the room.

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